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Bill Clinton Blasts Wallace on Fox ‘News’

One thing is certain. If Clinton had gotten the word that our country was under attack, he wouldn't have sat on his ass for 7 minutes trying to figure out what it meant.

No wonder Keith Olbermann made the comment he did yesterday about Wallace “sandbagging” Clinton on Fox “News” Sunday. I can't wait to see Brit Hume cluck, then try to save Wallace from disgrace. Good luck with that one. The wingnuts jumped on the tiny clip of Clinton last night. Watch the Olbermann
interview with President Clinton
if you want real perspective.

I've got one phrase for the wingnuts: BIN LADEN DETERMINED TO ATTACK
INSIDE U.S.

Also, why didn't Chris Wallace ever ask Condi the Incompetent about this PDB
when he had the chance? Wallace is in the bag for Bush.

Bush was on vacation when he received the PDB and he stayed on vacation after he
got it.

What about the Bush
and Cheney lies about Flight 93
? Wallace never asked Bush or Cheney about this whopper. A lie is okay on their side.


…In his bunker under the White House, Vice President Cheney was not notified
about United 93 until 10:02—only one minute before the airliner impacted
the ground. Yet it was with dark bravado that the vice president and others
in the Bush administration would later recount sober deliberations about the
prospect of shooting down United 93. “Very, very tough decision, and
the president understood the magnitude of that decision,” Bush's then
chief of staff, Andrew Card, told ABC News. Cheney echoed, “The significance
of saying to a pilot that you are authorized to shoot down a plane full of
Americans is, a, you know, it's an order that had never been given before.”
And it wasn't on 9/11, either.

President Bush would finally grant commanders the authority to give that
order at 10:18, which—though no one knew it at the time—was 15
minutes after the attack was over.

But comments such as those above were repeated by other administration and
military figures in the weeks and months following 9/11, forging the notion
that only the passengers' counterattack against their hijackers prevented
an inevitable shootdown of United 93 (and convincing conspiracy theorists
that the government did, indeed, secretly shoot it down). The recordings tell
a different story, and not only because United 93 had crashed before anyone
in the military chain of command even knew it had been hijacked.

At what feels on the tapes like the moment of truth, what comes back down
the chain of command, instead of clearance to fire, is a resounding sense
of caution. Despite the fact that NEADS believes there may be as many as five
suspected hijacked aircraft still in the air at this point—one from
Canada, the new one bearing down fast on Washington, the phantom American
11, Delta 1989, and United 93—the answer to Nasypany's question about
rules of engagement comes back in no uncertain terms, as you hear him relay
to the ops floor. … …

9/11 Live:
The NORAD Tapes
(emphasis added)

There wasn't one meeting about Al Qaeda in the months leading up to 9/11, until,
that is, Septemer 4, 2001.

The terrorist czar position was demoted to below a principal's position by
Condoleezza Rice. Oh, and speaking of Ms. Incompetent, why won't the Bush administration
release the speech she was to give the day after 9/11? It's considered classified.
Why is that? Because it was going to be about anything but terrorism.

And there's also the fact that the Bush-Rummy-Franks trio allowed Bin Laden to escape after the battle of Tora Bora. That is a fact. Just ask Gary Berntsen or read Thomas Ricks's FIASCO.

Then all you have to do is look at how we got from 9/11 to Iraq.

Think Progress
has part of the interview culled from a rough draft of the full
piece
. Chris Wallace thought Clinton would just take it. He didn't. He hit
back hard. Wallace looks like one of those little boys in the playground who
decides to take on the smarter kid, but doesn't know what he's up against and
gets his little pompous ass kicked.

WALLACE: When we announced that you were going to be on Fox News Sunday,
I got a lot of email from viewers, and I got to say I was surprised most of
them wanted me to ask you this question. Why didn’t you do more to put
Bin Laden and al Qaeda out of business when you were President? There’s
a new book out which I suspect you’ve read called the Looming Tower.
And it talks about how the fact that when you pulled troops out of Somalia
in 1993, Bin Laden said “I have seen the frailty and the weakness and
the cowardice of US troops.” Then there was the bombing of the embassies
in Africa and the attack on the USS Cole.

CLINTON: OK..

WALLACE: …may I just finish the question sir. And after the attack,
the book says, Bin Laden separated his leaders because he expected an attack
and there was no response. I understand that hindsight is 20/20.

CLINTON: No let’s talk about…

WALLACE: …but the question is why didn’t you do more, connect
the dots and put them out of business?

CLINTON: OK, let’s talk about it. I will answer all of those
things on the merits but I want to talk about the context of which this arises.
I’m being asked this on the FOX network…ABC just had a right wing
conservative on the Path to 9/11 falsely claim that it was based on the 9/11
Commission report with three things asserted against me that are directly
contradicted by the 9/11 Commission report. I think it’s very interesting
that all the conservative Republicans who now say that I didn’t do enough,
claimed that I was obsessed with Bin Laden. All of President Bush’s
neocons claimed that I was too obsessed with finding Bin Laden when they didn’t
have a single meeting about Bin Laden for the nine months after I left office.
All the right wingers who now say that I didn’t do enough said that
I did too much. Same people.

Clinton takes on Fox News bias:

WALLACE: Do you think you did enough sir?

CLINTON: No, because I didn’t get him.

WALLACE: Right…

CLINTON: But at least I tried. That’s the difference in me
and some, including all the right wingers who are attacking me now. They ridiculed
me for trying. They had eight months to try and they didn’t…I
tried. So I tried and failed. When I failed I left a comprehensive anti-terror
strategy and the best guy in the country, Dick Clarke… So you did FOX’s
bidding on this show. You did you nice little conservative hit job on me.
But what I want to know..

WALLACE: Now wait a minute sir…

CLINTON:…

WALLACE: I asked a question. You don’t think that’s a legitimate
question?

CLINTON: It was a perfectly legitimate question but I want to know
how many people in the Bush administration you asked this question of. 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 you asked: Why did
you fire Dick Clarke?
I want to know…

WALLACE: We asked…

CLINTON:…

WALLACE: Do you ever watch Fox News Sunday sir?

CLINTON: I don’t believe you ask them that.

WALLACE: We ask plenty of questions of…

CLINTON: You didn’t ask that did you? Tell the truth.

WALLACE: About the USS Cole?

CLINTON: Tell the truth.

WALLACE: I…with Iraq and Afghanistan there’s plenty of
stuff to ask.

CLINTON: Did you ever ask that? You set this meeting up because you
were going to get a lot of criticism from your viewers because Rupert Murdoch
is going to get a lot of criticism from your viewers for supporting my work
on climate change. And you came here under false pretenses and said that you’d
spend half the time talking about…

WALLACE: [laughs]

CLINTON: You said you’d spend half the time talking about what
we did out there to raise $7 billion dollars plus over three days from 215
different commitments. And you don’t care.

Clinton on his priorities and the Bush administration priorities:

CLINTON: What did I do? I worked hard to try and kill him. I authorized
a finding for the CIA to kill him. We contracted with people to kill him.
I got closer to killing him than anybody has gotten since. And if I were still
president we’d have more than 20,000 troops there trying to kill him.
Now I never criticized President Bush and I don’t think this is useful.
But you know we do have a government that thinks Afghanistan is 1/7 as important
as Iraq. And you ask me about terror and Al Qaeda with that sort of dismissive
theme when all you have to do is read Richard Clarke’s book to look
at what we did in a comprehensive systematic way to try to protect the country
against terror. And you’ve got that little smirk on your face. It looks
like you’re so clever
…

WALLACE: [Laughs]

CLINTON: I had responsibility for trying to protect this country. I tried
and I failed to get Bin Laden. I regret it but I did try. And I did everything
I thought I responsibly could. The entire military was against sending special
forces into Afghanistan and refueling by helicopter and no one thought we
could do it otherwise…We could not get the CIA and the FBI to certify
that Al Qaeda was responsible while I was President. Until I left office.
And yet I get asked about this all the time and they had three times
as much time to get him as I did and no one ever asks them about this. I think
that’s strange.

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