It was said by former Clinton advisor Dick Morris that, Clinton was an utter and total failure. The statement refers to Clinton's unwillingness to remedy the problem of international terrorism. Much has been said and written about Clinton, but facts are facts, and the facts show that Clinton did not protect America from terrorism, in particular Usama bin Laden. Usama bin Laden heads the terrorist group Al Qaeda. Bin Laden explained the purpose of the group in an interview in May of 1997, he declared a jihad, a holy war, against the United States government because it is, according to him, unjust, criminal, and tyrannical.
Clinton was made painfully aware of the danger this group provided, but he did little to nothing to stifle its threats. Al Qaeda was busy during the Clinton Administration; the group took responsibility for the attack on the World Trade Center in 1993, the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole, the attacks on two U.S. military barracks in Saudi Arabia, the bombing of two U.S. Embassies in Africa, and the attacks on United States soldiers in Somalia. Throughout these attacks, Clinton did nothing to protect America or her citizens; in fact he sabotaged America's ability to protect herself. Clinton incapacitated America by weakening the counter-terror organizations, overusing diplomacy, and simply ignoring the problem of international terrorism.
Weakening the Counter-terror Organizations
Clinton disrupted the counter-terror organizations' ability to protect America on many different levels. It seems he kept a few words handy when dealing with armed forces, Central Intelligence Agency, and Federal Bureau of Investigation: under-funding, over-politicization, and compromise.
Clinton dangerously weakened the armed forces. He kept them under-funded and over-politicized at the same time as spreading them thinner than any president had ever done before. To keep his special interest constituents happy, Clinton made sure the armed forces, the Army in particular, was bogged down with political correctness. Clinton instituted a stress card system in boot camp. In this system, if a recruit was stressed he or she could flash a yellow card to the Drill Sergeant and would be exempt from the exercise. How will a soldier be able to stop terrorists if they can wimp through boot camp? President Clinton lowered the level of Special Forces training so that more women could join.
At the same time as weakening the Army, he spread it out all over the world. He used the Army in South America, the Near East, Africa, the Middle East, and Oceania. His use, or rather misuse, of the armed forces was both dangerous and ineffective.
The Central Intelligence Agency suffered greatly under Clinton. According to CIA agent Robert Baer, by the mid-1990s, the CIA’s headquarters throughout the world lacked the officers to go after the rising epidemic of radical Islam. Clinton often ignored the CIA’s advice, he considered them irrelevant. The CIA warned Clinton that without proper funding, it could not properly supply the White House with current, honest intelligence. Clinton responded by disregarding the CIA’s request for more funding.
It was the Federal Bureau of Investigation agent John O'Neil that first connected Usama bin Laden to the rise in Islamic radicalism, specifically the terrorist actions of Muslims. O'Neil told officials in 1997,
When bin Laden, speaks we have to listen. They have the capability to strike American soil any time they choose.
Then on September 10, 2001, O'Neil said,
It's going to happen. And it looks like something big is brewing.
OíNeil made a career of tracking bin Laden and predicting his actions, he informed the White House that bin Laden is the center of activity and that he controls the actions of millions of followers. The White House, starting with President George H. W. Bush and peaking with President Clinton, neglected his warnings.
The one time President Clinton did use military might, it was hastily done. Clinton had ordered the bombing of Afghanistan and Sudan to take attention away from the Lewinsky scandal. O'Neil, and a few others in a tight circle of national security insiders, knew Clinton was working with intelligence that was more than a year old. O'Neil felt that if Clinton was going to use the information, he should have used it when he got it, not when it was politically helpful. Clinton did not even notify the Director the FBI of the attacks. Clinton also didn't notify the FBI or CIA agents that were in those countries; they were essentially left in two heavily bin Laden sympathizing nations wearing FBI coats. A total of 75 Tomahawk Cruise Missiles were fired, Afghani terrorist camps and a Sudanese VX manufacturing plant were the targets. The VX plant turned out to be an aspirin plant, the only casualties were Sudanese civilians. And time proved Clinton wrong with his attacks in Afghanistan. All the terrorist training camps survived well enough to train Mohammed Atta, the suspected ring-leader of the high-jackers on September 11th.
The Over Use of Diplomacy
It was President Teddy Roosevelt that said, Walk soft but carry a big stick. Clinton never failed to walk softly, but his destruction of the armed forces weakened his big stick. Clinton was weary of using the full force of military might, this is shown by his complete inaction after each terrorist attack. This compounded with his ineffectiveness at diplomacy made him useless at protecting America.
After the bombing of Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia that killed 19 Americans, the Saudi government arrested eleven suspects. Clinton tried to get the Saudi government to allow America to try the suspects. He failed. Agent O’Neil contacted former President Bush, and together they were only able to witness an interview of the suspects.
To prove his complete lack of caring, Clinton froze all of bin Laden's assets. He did this as a last-ditch effort to prove he did something. Clinton notified Congress of his freezing of bin Laden's assets in August of 1998, three years later bin Laden was still capable of killing thousands of American citizens on American soil. Clinton failed to realize that bin Laden's power doesn't come from assets, it comes from rhetoric.
Dick Morris explains Clinton as having
paralysis by analysis. According to him, Clinton
sees everything as a complex problem, where others
would simply see it as a problem that can be fixed
with swift military action. Morris had this to say
Beyond Clinton's reluctance to engage the military, another factor was at play here: Bill Clinton was a one-thing-at-a-time president.
It was this indecision and inaction that caused the September 11th attacks. Clinton should have engaged the military with an all out assault on bin Laden, his terrorist camps, and all nations that harbored those camps.
Clinton Simply Ignored the Problem of International Terrorism
Bin Laden claimed responsibility for six terrorist attacks on Americans during Clinton's years as president; as Morris writes, All our terrorist problems were born during the Clinton years. After the six attacks, a total of 75 missiles were launched, no troops were deployed, and no extra covert agents were deployed.
In 1993, American soldiers were involved in what has become named the Black Hawk Down Incident. In a routine operation, U.S. soldiers were to detain key Somali figures. The soldiers came under heavy fire and were unable to adequately protect themselves because of a White House order to only use light weaponry. In that operation, 18 American soldiers were killed. Bin Laden claimed responsibility for the attacks. President Clinton responded by showing his attitude toward terrorism, he gave in to bin Laden and removed all troops from Somalia.
After the attacks on the U.S.S. Cole, the Khobar Towers, and the World Trade Center, Clinton did nothing of importance. Bin Laden was basically told that he could kill Americans with no repercussions. It was this message that Clinton showed that allowed bin Laden to orchestrate the attacks of September 11th. Also, when the Sudanese government got tired of protecting bin Laden, they offered to give him to Clinton, but Clinton refused. Rumor has it that this occurred two other times with the same result; however, this can not be proven because when people learn of devastating information about Clinton, they tend not to survive.
On February 26, 1993, America and Clinton Administration realized the full scope of bin Laden's abilities. On that morning, Ramzi Yousef and a few others parked an explosives-ridden van in the below-ground garage of the World Trade Center. When the bomb went off six Americans were killed and over one thousand were injured. This attack was the first of its kind seen on American soil, it should have awakened the Clinton Administration, but it didn't.
No man caused the attacks of September 11th more than bin Laden himself, but it was President Clinton that allowed those attacks to happen. Bill Clinton systematically turned the counter-terror organizations to a politically correct automaton of his pacifistic, anti-military beliefs. It is this attitude of his that allowed bin Laden to kill almost 3,000 Americans in one day. Clinton also relied too heavily on diplomacy when military intervention would have been safer, more methodical, and more complete. Finally, Clinton disregarded the warnings of the CIA and the FBI. He continued his pattern of ignoring America's best interest by refusing to imprison bin Laden. It was Clinton that allowed the tragedy to happen, and now he has the death of 3,000 Americans on his conscience.