Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Preemptive CYA by Democrats

September 6, 2006

On September 10 and 11th, ABC (of all networks) plans on running a two part mini-series titled “The Path to 9/11.” It is described as look at the build up to the attacks from the time of the first attack on the World Trade Centers in 1993.

Due to the time period, it takes a very critical look at the Clinton Administration and their efforts, or lack thereof, in dealing with terrorism and terrorists.

A pre-showing of the docudrama drew the ire of Clintonistas and other Democrats almost immediately. The outrage from the left, who have been diligently trying to make President Bush solely responsible for the attacks of 9/11, is predictable. Truth be damned.

Rep. Louise M. Slaughter (D-NY), Ranking Member of the House Rules Committee, called on ABC to make it clear to viewers that is not a documentary account of the events shown. Slaughter also expressed concern over the timing of the mini-series as we near the mid-term elections this year. She then goes into the expected political diatribe, “"The difference between Democrats and Republicans is that we stand for real security..” She fails to define “real security.”

Richard Clarke and Sandy Berger, two real life figures portrayed in the movie, both have raised “factual objections.” Richard Ben-Veniste, one of the 10 members of the Sept. 11 commission, denounced the veracity of a key scene involving Clinton national security adviser Samuel R. Berger.

In the scene Berger freezes in apprehension when a CIA agent radios in from Afghanistan to say that he and a band of local tribesmen have Osama bin Laden within sight and begs for the green light to terminate him. In the film, the line goes dead before Berger offers any reply.

At the screening, Ben-Veniste stood up and said that the Berger-bashing scene didn’t square with the research he and the other commissioners conducted. “There was no incident like that in the film that we came across. I am disturbed by that aspect of it,” Ben-Veniste, a loyal Democrat, told the panel.

Sandy Berger later seconded Ben-Veniste’s criticism. “It’s a total fabrication,” he said tersely. “It did not happen.”

However, reading the book “Dereliction of Duty,” by Lt. Col. Robert “Buzz” Patterson, USAF (Ret.), former Air Force Aid to President Clinton, one of the ones who carried the “nuclear football” everywhere Clinton went, I ran across the following account;

“THE WHITE HOUSE SITUATION ROOM was buzzing. It was fall 1998 and the National Security Council (NSC) and the "intelligence community" were tracking the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden, the shadowy mastermind of terrorist attacks on American targets overseas. "They've successfully triangulated his location," yelled a "Sit Room" watch stander. "We've got him."

Beneath the West Wing of the White House, behind a vaulted steel door, the Sit Room staff sprang into action. The watch officer notified National Security Advisor Sandy Berger, “Sir, we've located bin Laden. We have a two-hour window to strike.”

Characteristic of the Clinton administration, the weapons of choice would be Tomahawk missiles. No clandestine "snatch" by our Special Operations Forces. No penetrating bombers or high speed fighter aircraft flown by our Air Force and Navy forces. No risk of losing American lives.

Berger ambled down the stairwell and entered the Sit Room. He picked up the phone at one of the busy controller consoles and called the president. Amazingly, President Clinton was not available. Berger tried again and again. Bin Laden was within striking distance. The window of opportunity was closing fast. The plan of attack was set and the Tomahawk crews were ready. For about an hour Berger couldn't get the commander in chief on the line. Though the president was always accompanied by military aides and the Secret Service, he was somehow unavailable. Berger stalked the Sit Room, anxious and impatient.

Finally, the president accepted Berger's call. There was discussion, there were pauses and no decision. The president wanted to talk with his secretaries of defense and state. He wanted to study the issue further. Berger was forced to wait. The clock was ticking. The president eventually called back. He was still indecisive. He wanted more discussion. Berger alternated between phone calls and watching the clock.

The NSC watch officer was convinced we had the right target. The intelligence sources were conclusive. The president, however, wanted a guaranteed hit or nothing at all.

This time, it was nothing at all. We didn't pull the trigger. We "studied" the issue until it was too late - the window of opportunity closed. Al-Qaeda's spiritual and organizational leader slipped through the noose.

This lost bin Laden hit typified the Clinton administration's ambivalent, indecisive way of dealing with terrorism. Ideologically, the Clinton administration was committed to the idea that most terrorists were misunderstood, had legitimate grievances, and could be appeased, which is why such military action as the administration authorized was so halfhearted, and ineffective, and designed more for "show" than for honestly eliminating a threat.”


Dereliction of Duty, page 129 –131, Lt. Col. Robert ‘Buzz” Patterson, USAF (Ret.) 2003, Regenery Publishing Inc., Air Force Aid to President Clinton, May 1996 to May 1998

While not exactly like presented in the mini-series, it does appear that at least one witness spoke of a similar “missed opportunity” before this film was even thought of.

Former Republican Governor Thomas Kean of New Jersey, the chairman of the Sept. 11 commission and a consultant to the production, defended the film, saying it showed "a colossal failure of government.” "If you portray that accurately," he added, "people from both (the Clinton and Bush) administrations will complain."

As of yet, I have not come across anyone from the Bush administration complaining. I also have failed in finding Democrats complaints about Michael Moores piece of garbage, Farenheit 911, which was an obvious attempt at skewing the efforts of the War on Terror, especially the battle in Iraq.

I also remembered seeing two movies in 1993 and 1995 after the Presidential election of Clinton. The films, “Falling Down” and “The American President,” both took critical looks at the right and the left, painting the left in a favorable light while showing the right somewhat unhinged.

Searching high and low, I have been unable to find Democrats condemnation of those films.

Lew

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