Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Bush Lying and Obfuscation Part Infinity: The Clinton Order to KILL Bin Ladin Remember how the Bush Administration has tried to say that the Clinton Administration, in particular President Clinton did NOT issue an order to kill Bin Laden? Do you also remember the story of the Bush White House withholding 9,000 pages of documents from the 9/11 Commission and finally relenting AFTER the initial round of disparagement? They tried to use it to impugn Clarke's statement of some praise for Clinton, because Clarke insisted there was such an order. Well, well, well. Guess what is buried amongst these documents according to the Washington Post: Disclosures at yesterday's commission hearing included: • The panel last week obtained a copy of a previously unknown secret order that may clarify a long-raging debate over whether the CIA had the authority to assassinate Osama bin Laden during the Clinton administration, or whether it was required to attempt to capture him. Commissioners were vague on details, citing secrecy rules, but indicated that the document rebutted assertions by Ashcroft and others that no clear kill order existed. .. Ashcroft also said that one of the first things he did after becoming attorney general was to conduct a "thorough review" of the authorities that the Clinton administration had given the CIA to take covert action against bin Laden. His review showed, he testified, that there was "no covert action program to kill bin Laden." But several commissioners disagreed. They cited the 1998 "memorandum of notification" signed by Clinton, which was found among the documents that the Bush White House originally refused to turn over to the commission. Oh, and there are some other specific lies and surprises as well, which you won't hear on Fox News: One day after telling the Senate that combating terrorist attacks was his highest priority, Ashcroft issued a memo on May 10, 2001, outlining the Justice Department's strategic goals that contained no mention of counterterrorism. Dale Watson, the FBI's terrorism chief at the time, told the commission staff that he "almost fell out of his chair" when he read it. Ashcroft said he based his memo on a strategic plan issued by former attorney general Janet Reno, although he acknowledged that the original included several goals relating to terrorism. Double oh-oh. Surely, God would not forsake Mr. Ashcroft. Gee, I sure wish the 9/11 Commission would stop playing politics is the familiar refrain we are hearing from Bush supporters. Apparently, that is ONLY the province of the Bush Administration.
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