Monday, September 25, 2006

Did I hear that right?

In all the hoopla over the Bill Clinton/Chris Wallace interview on Fox, I thought I heard something that I didn't hear. My old ears play tricks on me sometimes, like when the refrigerator dumps ice into the tray, I'll hear it and answer the door. My daughter and Milady thinks that is hilarious.

I thought I heard President Clinton say something about a contract killing. Turns out, I was right. From the transcript, (emphasis mine):
I want to know how many people in the Bush administration you asked, ‘Why didn’t you do anything about the Cole?’ I want to know how many people you asked, ‘Why did you fire Dick Clarke?’ We contracted with people to kill him. I got closer to killing him than anybody’s gotten since.

I am not of the Repubs who believes that Clinton screwed the pooch on terror. I recall those times, and frankly, terror was just a blip on the screen. We are doing a lot of blaming about who knew what, when, and what value that information was worth at the time. On September 10, 2001 the last thing on my mind, and the minds of most Americans was Islamic jihad. The next morning changed all that, and I think that we need to give our leadership before that date, the benefit of the doubt.

I was no fan of the Clinton administration for a number of reasons, and I believe that with hindsight, he probably would have done some things differently, but I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on terror.

However, this killing-for-hire thing is new. Were I Chris Wallace, I would have asked him "Who? Who did you hire? How much did you pay them?" The big story here is that the US government under Bill Clinton contracted someone to kill Bin Laden. I would love to see some follow-up on that. I'm not naive enough to believe that the US doesn't do things like that, but I don't believe I have ever heard a sitting or past President talk about it on TV.

Is having someone assassinated a violation of the US Code?


Standard Mischief said...

Is having someone assassinated a violation of the US Code?

I think it was, but we changed it after 9/11.

But hey, nations, especially superpowers like the USA don't go to jail for breaking laws, only the little people do.

...frankly, terror was just a blip on the screen...

The warning signs for radical Islam fundamentalism sponsored terror were written on the wall for years, it's just that no one paid them any mind. The first attack against the WTC should have been a tip-off, but AFAIK no one stressed that they were attempting to topple one tower against another and no one stressed all the financial markets that were in and around the vicinity of the WTC towers. I'll admit to never giving the first attack a second thought.

It came out in the trial that the FBI had an informant in the group, and that informant claimed that the plan was to supply inert chemicals to the group. The FBI denies that and also claims that they had no advanced knowledge of the attack. Say what? Obviously I'm missing some plausible deniability here.

Flintlock Tom said...

Now that it seems "Okay" to assassinate foriegn Bad Guys (BGs), I have a list I'm forwarding to the Whitehouse.

Now let's get the "go-ahead" on "Domestic" BGs.

Anonymous said...

I don't want the government to start assassinating domestic BGs. If they can kill them here, they can probably catch them here. I am more concerned with idiotic rules of evidence and our methods for picking juries, which actually consists of "catching" people who can't dredge up a convincing reason to let them off poorly-paid jury duty. pardon the digression.
I agree that the Right gives Clinton a little too much heat on the terrorism question while glossing over the bad judgement/incompetence of Bush 41, Reagan and Carter. We could take it back to Ford and Nixon as well.
I remember seeing an interview with McCain in the late 90s where he complained that when he started talking about the dangers of North Korea's nuclear program, his audiences eyes glazed over.
I just hope we stay awake now.