One of the most pressing
questions inside the minds of millions of Americans for over two years now
has likely been this: Could the terrorist attacks of 9/11 have been prevented?
If you’re of the Sheryl Crow/George Clooney variety, you possibly believe
terrorism can be thwarted if the United States would simply quit being so
gosh-darned mean to all its neighbors. But fair-minded Americans, who understand
that defense and intelligence agencies are on constant alert for those who
would do us harm as we sleep, want real answers to perhaps the most important
question of our time.
And that’s exactly what you’ll find in Losing bin Laden, Richard Miniter’s
unrelenting, impressive exposé chronicling the Clinton Administration’s
many failures in our war against terrorism.
Although Osama bin Laden was unknown to many Americans prior to September
11, 2001, explains Miniter, “[he] was tracked by the CIA as early as December
1992.” So why weren’t we prepared for 9/11? What are the real reasons for
bin Laden’s hatred of America? And what does the future hold for us when
it comes to further terrorist attacks?
In Losing bin Laden you’ll find answers to all these questions, and learn much more, including:
Bill Clinton’s refusal to pursue bin Laden’s first attempted attack on American
soldiers overseas (Aden, Yemen 1992) during his presidential transition only
emboldened bin Laden.
the Clinton Administration insisted on treating terrorism as a law enforcement
matter when it should have been in the hands of the Department of Defense;
and how this prevented the FBI and CIA from sharing critical information.
Dick Morris considers Clinton’s treatment of the 1993 World Trade Center
bombing as merely a criminal matter “the single greatest omission of his
- How Bill Clinton’s refusal to provide U.S. troops with adequate equipment in Somalia cost dozens of American casualties.
Clinton’s many personal scandals caused him to spend more time fighting charges
of sexual harassment, perjury, and illegal campaign contributions instead
of fighting terrorism.
the Clinton Administration’s attempt to successfully strike bin Laden secretly
in Afghanistan was compromised, allowing the terrorist to narrowly escape.
Sudan repeatedly attempted to win America’s favor by offering to share intelligence
on bin Laden’s activities, but was consistently rebuked by the Clinton Administration.
- And the truth behind the working relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda as early as 1993.
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While Miniter is scrupulous to point out that critics who insist Bill Clinton
did nothing to fight international terrorism are being disingenuous, the
author nonetheless explains that Clinton simply did not do enough. Indeed,
one of the most prevalent revelations in the book is that whenever the former
president had opportunities to retaliate against bin Laden, it always seemed
he was too consumed by fundraising, election year timidity, or personal scandal
to be bothered to react.
The reader is also left with the lucid understanding that the Clinton Administration’s
most damning trait throughout was likely its insistence upon handling terrorism
as a law enforcement matter, as opposed to one of national security. Aside
from bureaucratic strangleholds that were placed on street-level agents as
they sought to communicate and share pertinent intelligence, handling investigations
from a legal perspective ostensibly restricted the administration from indicting
bin Laden based on a perceived lack of evidence.
Though Miniter falls short of explicitly suggesting intentional malfeasance
by the Clinton Administration as it pursued terrorists, the keen reader cannot
discount the potential accuracy of this inference: while the administration
repeatedly claimed it did not have enough reliable information to legally
indict bin Laden, in truth it may have deliberately chosen to consider terrorism
a law enforcement matter as an excuse to take a less decisive and vigorous
As Americans now know, Bill Clinton’s failures to deal forcefully with terrorism
have allowed President Bush to demonstrate the leadership qualities so foreign
to his predecessor. But unlike President Clinton, George W. Bush, like Ronald
Reagan before him, understands that the primary responsibility of the Commander
in Chief is to defend the nation.
President Bush has risked his presidency to fight the War on Terror, and as Richard Miniter has so exhaustively presented in Losing bin Laden, it was the one risk Bill Clinton was never prepared to take.
Trevor Bothwell is the editor of The Right Report.
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