Sunday, June 20, 2004
Clinton and Osama bin Laden: Listen to Sean Hannity on Monday, because I can bet you he is going to raise holy H-E-Double Hockeysticks about the following statement by Bill Clinton -- one not challenged by slow-pitch softball extrordinaire Dan Rather.
Rather: (9/11) Commission member Bob Kerrey, former Democratic senator, someone you know well, said that you, President Clinton, let pass opportunities to arrest or kill the al Qaeda leadership. Is that true?
Clinton: I don't believe that is true. There was a story, which was factually innaccurate, that the Sudanese offered bin Laden to us. And as far as I know, there is not a shred of evidence of that.
The truth is that there's more than a shred -- and it comes from Clinton's very own mouth. You can find an audio file of Clinton answering a similar question on al Qaeda here. Here is the relevant portion of Clinton's answer:
Mr. Bin Laden used to live in Sudan ... And we’d been hearing that the Sudanese wanted America to start meeting with them again. They released him. At the time, '96, he had committed no crime against America so I did not bring him here because we had no basis on which to hold him, though we knew he wanted to commit crimes against America.
Which is true? Very likely the first version of his story. I think Clinton realizes now that the American people will have little sympathy for his timid response to terrorism in the '90s, so he's decided to change his story -- and Rather certainly isn't going to challenge him on it.