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was clinton handed bin laden?

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by iceberg, Jan 25, 2008.

  1. iceberg

    iceberg detoxed...part 2 Zone Supporter

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    i regard factcheck.org as a pretty unbiased place so i actually did some research on it and read through this. while he may have been "told" he could have him if he wanted him, at the time we really didn't have reason to from what i can tell here. given that saying bin laden was handed to clinton and he refused is mixing up today vs. yesterday and not correct in perception for the time it was done.


    Did Bill Clinton pass up a chance to kill Osama bin Laden?
    Was Bill Clinton offered bin Laden on "a silver platter"? Did he refuse? Was there cause at the time?
    Probably not, and it would not have mattered anyway as there was no evidence at the time that bin Laden had committed any crimes against American citizens.
    Let’s start with what everyone agrees on: In April 1996, Osama bin Laden was an official guest of the radical Islamic government of Sudan – a government that had been implicated in the attacks on the World Trade Center in 1993. By 1996, with the international community treating Sudan as a pariah, the Sudanese government attempted to patch its relations with the United States. At a secret meeting in a Rosslyn, Va., hotel, the Sudanese minister of state for defense, Maj. Gen. Elfatih Erwa, met with CIA operatives, where, among other things, they discussed Osama bin Laden.

    It is here that things get murky. Erwa claims that he offered to hand bin Laden over to the United States. Key American players – President Bill Clinton, then-National Security Adviser Sandy Berger and Director of Counterterrorism Richard Clarke among them – have testified there were no "credible offers" to hand over bin Laden. The 9/11 Commission found "no credible evidence" that Erwa had ever made such an offer. On the other hand, Lawrence Wright, in his Pulitzer Prize-winning "The Looming Tower," flatly states that Sudan did make such an offer. Wright bases his judgment on an interview with Erwa and notes that those who most prominently deny Erwa's claims were not in fact present for the meeting.

    Wright and the 9/11 Commission do agree that the Clinton administration encouraged Sudan to deport bin Laden back to Saudi Arabia and spent 10 weeks trying to convince the Saudi government to accept him. One Clinton security official told The Washington Post that they had "a fantasy" that the Saudi government would quietly execute bin Laden. When the Saudis refused bin Laden’s return, Clinton officials convinced the Sudanese simply to expel him, hoping that the move would at least disrupt bin Laden’s activities.

    Much of the controversy stems from claims that President Clinton made in a February 2002 speech and then retracted in his 2004 testimony to the 9/11 Commission. In the 2002 speech Clinton seems to admit that the Sudanese government offered to turn over bin Laden:
    Clinton: So we tried to be quite aggressive with them [al Qaeda]. We got [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']–[/FONT] well, Mr. bin Laden used to live in Sudan. He was expelled from Saudi Arabia in 1991, then he went to Sudan. And we'd been hearing that the Sudanese wanted America to start dealing with them again. They released him. At the time, 1996, 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. So I pleaded with the Saudis to take him, 'cause they could have. But they thought it was a hot potato and they didn't and that's how he wound up in Afghanistan.
    Clinton later claimed to have misspoken and stated that there had never been an offer to turn over bin Laden. It is clear, however, that Berger, at least, did consider the possibility of bringing bin Laden to the U.S., but, as he told The Washington Post in 2001, "The FBI did not believe we had enough evidence to indict bin Laden at that time, and therefore opposed bringing him to the United States." According to NewsMax.com, Berger later emphasized in an interview with WABC Radio that, while administration officials had discussed whether or not they had ample evidence to indict bin Laden, that decision "was not pursuant to an offer by the Sudanese."

    So on one side, we have Clinton administration officials who say that there were no credible offers on the table, and on the other, we have claims by a Sudanese government that was (and still is) listed as an official state sponsor of terrorism. It’s possible, of course, that both sides are telling the truth: It could be that Erwa did make an offer, but the offer was completely disingenuous. What is clear is that the 9/11 Commission report totally discounts the Sudanese claims. Unless further evidence arises, that has to be the final word.

    Ultimately, however, it doesn’t matter. What is not in dispute at all is the fact that, in early 1996, American officials regarded Osama bin Laden as a financier of terrorism and not as a mastermind largely because, at the time, there was no real evidence that bin Laden had harmed American citizens. So even if the Sudanese government really did offer to hand bin Laden over, the U.S. would have had no grounds for detaining him. In fact, the Justice Department did not secure an indictment against bin Laden until 1998 – at which point Clinton did order a cruise missile attack on an al Qaeda camp in an attempt to kill bin Laden.

    We have to be careful about engaging in what historians call "Whig history," which is the practice of assuming that historical figures value exactly the same things that we do today. It's a fancy term for those "why didn't someone just shoot Hitler in 1930?" questions that one hears in dorm-room bull sessions. The answer, of course, is that no one knew quite how bad Hitler was in 1930. The same is true of bin Laden in 1996.

    Correction: We originally answered this question with a flat 'yes' early this week, based on the account in "The Looming Tower," but an alert reader pointed out to us the more tangled history laid out in the 9/11 Commission report. We said flatly that Sudan had made such an offer. We have deleted our original answer and are posting this corrected version in its place.
  2. jterrell

    jterrell Penguinite

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    thanks ice.

    apparently my making that point 10 times and even posting this article you just posted caught your eye:)


    This is what we know imho.

    1. Clinton was after Osama more diligently than Bush.
    2. Clinton failed in his attempts to get Osama. Flat failed.
    3. Clinton was obviously aware Osama presented a real danger but would not go to the mattresses to get him.
    4. Saying he was "handed" Osama and refused is ludicrous and neo-con speak.

    5. Bush did not focus on Osama at first.
    6. Bush has tried to get Osama but like Bill parrots that the cost would be too high. Bush has flat failed.
    7. Bush did get Saddam though the cost has been astronomical.

    8. Osama sucks and really deserves a public execution in the US.
    9. It should be televised on pay per view in order to help fund the various wars we have fought after 9/11 and to repay any money spent in the wake of 9/11.

    10. Georgie took his Dad's unfinished Saddam business and finished it... ok well he got Saddam.... perhaps Hilary will clean up after Bill and get Osama. She certainly has reason to hate fundamentalists in the area after seeing Bhutto murdered.
  3. WiPatfan

    WiPatfan New Member

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    Ouch. Spin much, jterrell?

    Both Clinton and Bush are to blame. Did you forget "Black Hawk Down" and other miscues of the Clinton Administration regarding the Middle East and Near East.

    Believe it or not, the 90's were not an ideal paradise of Hillary's creation.

    I still think she will win the nomination, but South Carolina warmed my heart. Perhaps it is just fool's hope, but *Holy Jesus* I would trade every single Super Bowl to be inspired by our next President.

    I wish your cold, cynical heart would warm to Obama and your dull, lifeless eyes could blink awake to see what the Clintons really are.

    I know, I know... You've "joined the dark side, Luke." But it is still not too late to find the light.
  4. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    ONe point needs to be made: do not accept the 9/11 commission as some kind of ultimate authority. There were all kinds of compromises made on the commission and it was just as political as anything else in Washington is.

    Osama Ben Laden was known to be at LEAST a financial backer of terrorists groups that had attacked americans before. He was known and and he SHOULD have been a target to take out at any oppurtunity. That was the recomendation of a lot of people who were at the mid level in the intelligence community= it was as usual the high level idiots that screwed things up.
    When you have a shot at ANYONE involved in terrorism you take it.
    BUT the numbies in that meeting refused to take terrorists as a big threat.
    DESPITE by that time we had already had one shot taken at the WTC, and the Khobar Towers, to just name a couple of places where AMERICANS had already died. Then of course the embassy bombings in Kenya and else where.
    Madeline DUMBbright and the rest of those morons at State never wanted to do anything anywhere, so she was no help either.
  5. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Bad Santa Staff Member

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    This whole thing is something that needs to be looked at with logic.

    IF OBL was never offered to Clinton than one has to ask some questions.

    If he was never offered than...

    1. Why would they come up with the talking point that they had nothing to hold him on? One would wonder why they would come up with these talking points if he was never offered.

    2. Why would they tell Sudan to give him to the Saudis? If they were never offered him than how could they give the Sudans the advice to offer him to the Saudis? Why would they ever bring up the Saudis if they were never offered him.

    Now there can only be two logical explanations to me.

    1. They were told by Sudan that they had him. But the Sudan never offered him to the US, they only told us they had him and asked for advice. To me this scenario seems unlikely. I highly doubt they would call, tell us they had him and ask advice as to what to do with him while never offering us to him.

    2. They called us, offered him to us, but we felt we did not have anything to hold him on at the time so we asked them to push him off on the Saudis. This scenario seems more likely.

    Now for those that said we passed on him only because Bill was too busy dealing with Monica issues. That sounds idiotic and partisan to me. Just as bad as people claim that the bush bashing is partisan...so is this idea.

    If he was too busy to deal with that at the time because of the reasons some would like to say...than why did he even bother with OBL later. Just makes no sense.

    So breaking it down by logic. It would seem we WERE offered him but we decided we had nothing to hold him on that would stick at the time. It does not appear, from logic, that we were never offered him nor does it appear we just passed on him because of the Monica situation.

    But hey, that is just one guys opinion.

    As I stated in another thread, no matter the who, what, when, why or where...it would appear that both admins failed in their mission to get the man while both using different tactics.

    Not sure one could argue that one tactic is better than another since the end results are the same concerning OBL.
  6. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Bad Santa Staff Member

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    If this is such a huge threat and we must make all efforts to get him. Why were no strikes made at OBL in the bush admin until 9/11?

    People want to make this a Clinton or Bush scenario. Both have yet to show they can get the man no matter how many wish to argue in favor of one side or the other.

    This just further goes to show the silliness of partisan politics.

    Neither have got him yet one side is always willing to blame the other side while at the same time giving a pass to their side.

    Time to wake up and smell the coffee.

    So far both admins have failed to get him.
  7. heavyg

    heavyg Active Member

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    I couldn't agree more!! IMO we should be putting more effort in the attempt to find OBL. Not going to argue the reasons for or againts the Iraq War. But I think more time and effort does need to be spent on OBL
  8. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Bad Santa Staff Member

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    Well from what I have been hearing/reading it would seem they are now starting to gravitate some more back to Afghanistan. Now I am not sure that will help much against OBL. The increased pressure on Pakistan is what needs to be done concerning OBL.
  9. heavyg

    heavyg Active Member

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    IMO this whole war on terror will be a never ending war. How can we realistically expect to stamp out all terrorists?
  10. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    Clinton had 8 years to take action against a growing threat. Bush had 8 months-and due to the ongoing election questions he did not have the usual transition time either. Trying to claim both should share blame is a pathetic joke.
  11. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Bad Santa Staff Member

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    Trying to deny it is a pathetic joke, but of course coming from a guy like you it is no wonder.

    You are just as bad, if not worse, than those you seem to persecute for being a partisan.

    Furthermore he did take action against OBL, but as I said before, which you seem to fail to grasp...BOTH sides have FAILED in their tasks. That is a FACT that must suck for you.
  12. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    I listened for many years from experts that it was only a matter of time before the US would see major terrorist attacks and this country did nothing to be pro active in going after these thugs. The world trade center was attacked once and that still was not enough for this country to put terrorism as a priority and to actively go after these people and unfortunately it took a second attack on the WTC for people to wake up and now I feel that many have gone back to sleep on this threat. As for the blame game many can be blamed
  13. vta

    vta The Proletariat

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    Yes, now it is categorized as a 'neo-con', brand-named-war ruse.
    The threat is numbed by the fact that the dying is happening half a world away; no urgency.

    It's a complete waste to play the blame game, as all it does is create a divide amongst the people who should be united in their efforts to ensure our government takes every possible action to diminish the threat.
  14. vta

    vta The Proletariat

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    That's not the plan. The plan is to diminish the influence of those who promote such an ideology. That's why the U.S. isn't simply in Afghanistan looking for revenge against one man.

    While everyone is decrying the segments of the war, not directly related to 9/11, the wisdom of the overall strategy is lost on the population in general.
  15. jterrell

    jterrell Penguinite

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    Sudan had Osama and was going to release him. We were aware they had him and tried to get Saudi Arabia to extradite him and imprison or even preferably execute him. We were involved but we did not have legal authority to do anything with him. We had never charged him with anything at that point. He was a financier and that was it.

    And I do think we can draw a distinction because while results are the same one admin spent a lot more money trying but failing and kept our international reputation in tact in the effort. Its kind of like campaigns. If one campaign spends next to no money in the state and loses and another spends a ton then it is a bigger loss for the big spender.
  16. jterrell

    jterrell Penguinite

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    This reminds me of a place I used to work at.

    The big bosses made a lot of bad decisions and then they announced major layoffs. They came into a company-wide meeting and said how we all needed to "stick together", join ranks and be willing to sacrifice to get things righted. To which one employee stated "you mean we should do twice our normal workload because upper management made mistakes and hope that upper management makes good choices next time?"

    It was hilarious but true.
    That company does not even exist currently.

    Neo-cons were all quite happy to be identified ideologically not so long ago. Now it is an insult and they try to dance around their earlier inclusion. Not all that unlike folks who were members of various dated organizations that have now been besmirched like the KKK. When it was a popular social thing it was cool but when t got a bad name it was labeling and divisive. :rolleyes:
  17. jterrell

    jterrell Penguinite

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    I am not sure you know this but Obama owes a lot of his political power to Hillary Clinton. She basically put him on the map. She advised his early campaigns and stumped for him in earlier races. She had democrats in Congress get him to co-sponsor bills.

    Young people get caught up in underdogs and they get caught up in talk. Obama is a fine candidate but he is 46 years old and has not had much time to walk the talk. He was hardly a member of key Congressional subcommittees and his Illinois experience was strong but as a junior member not a force that caused change as he portends with each speech. I was aware of Obama and touting him here as the VP long before he announced his run for the Presidency.

    Ideologically he is a bit more liberal but both are rather alike.

    I could care less about those living in glass houses but the reality is Obama is campaigning currently in only states with high African-American populations. He may talk a good game but he is falling into the racial nonsense himself.

    He is winning the black vote and the youth vote and the independent vote. Well on February 5th those voting blocks will be minimal and Hillary will walk away with a huge delegate lead and the party's de facto nomination. You can either get on board with the real message from the real candidate with the real experience or you can cry over spilt milk.
  18. vta

    vta The Proletariat

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    Wow. A searing anecdotal bit of irony. Certainly there's an object lesson in there somewhere.

    And another one.

    The KKK has been besmirched? Has the Nazi party 'now' been besmirched also? When were they cool and popular social things and just what would lead one to think such a thing?

    The real problem with a society that tries to live by standards of group characterization is two-fold: the person that is characterized and the person who thinks he recognizes that character trait in another; both allowing themselves to be guided by external forces: peer pressure. You might be surprised to find out that the once social and cool organizations, like the KKK and the Nazi party were spawned by just such bird brained thinking.

    So Joseph, what do you call yourself?
  19. iceberg

    iceberg detoxed...part 2 Zone Supporter

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    you're a very difficult person to talk to jt. you call people stupid and say they have no idea what they're talking about then you find out maybe they do - so you just hush and never go "oops". i'll admit i was one on bill for this and i'm just trying to use unbiased (read, NOT YOU) information on what really happened. i don't allow people to get away with one thing because i like them *if* i feel that action is wrong - period.

    you seem not to care *if* you like that person. you'll justify it however you'd like.

    so while i appreciate your input, when it comes to the clintons, i file it under senseless cheerleading and put no merit to it.
  20. iceberg

    iceberg detoxed...part 2 Zone Supporter

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    that seems to be what the article is saying. if we didn't have a need for him at the time, people cherry pick memories and events cause many people don't look back and clarify for themselves. too much trouble.

    after 9/11 it was easy to say "you were offered bin laden!" but if it was 3-4 years earlier where he was just another militant muslem not really after us per se or had hit us before, then what point would it be to bring him in?

    i really don't know on this one and will just read through threads and non-jt-approved articles to find out. : )

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