Clinton on Larry King re bin Laden
CNN Larry King transcripts of a Clinton interview has his very clear response to this allegation, and for someone like me, who believes that all legitimate acts of the American Government, must flow from behind the constitutional barriers imposed upon it, I found it to be rational.
This is at the very wellspring for the will which impels me presently. This is about the survival of The Dreamtime America.
I try to find the Clinton cite ASAP. It should be sourced into this stub.
--Hugh Manatee 10:35, 3 Mar 2006 (EST)
- CNN LARRY KING LIVE
- Encore Presentation: Interview With Frm. President Bill Clinton
- Aired June 27, 2004 - 21:00 ET
(sorry, not url, CNN will have it)
KING: Do you ever say, I should have taken out bin Laden? I could have, should have, should -- shoulda, woulda, coulda?
CLINTON: No. What I say is I tried like the devil to take him out. I knew how bad he was. Even in my first term we were watching him. And we worked hard on terrorism. We had to.
Keep in mind, we had the first World Trade Center bombing in '93. We had the Oklahoma City bombing in '95. We finally passed the big anti-terrorism legislation I'd been pushing for a year and a half in '96. We averted all the terrorist attacks planned for the millennium, plus earlier attempts to blow up the Holland Tunnel and the Lincoln Tunnel and the U.N. building in New York, the L.A. airport. Planes flying from the Philippines to the L.A. airport.
KING: There were plans to blow up the L.A...
CLINTON: Absolutely. All those things.
And after the African embassies were blown up, there was a plan to blow up our embassy in Albania. We did that. There was a plan by many of bin Laden's allies from the mujahideen in Afghanistan, the Afghan War, to take over Bosnia after the Bosnian War and we stopped that.
So we were deeply immersed in this. So what I say all the time is -- and what I told President Bush when we had our little meeting after the Supreme Court decision -- I regret deeply that I didn't get him. I tried everything I knew to get him.
I wish -- the only real regret I have in terms of our efforts is nearly everybody in the world knew that he did the USS Cole in October of 2000. I knew what our options were, I knew what our military options were, I knew what our covert options were. And I felt I couldn't take strong military action against Afghanistan because the FBI and the CIA didn't officially agree that bin Laden had done it until after I left office.
If they had done so when I was in office, I would have taken stronger action -- even as a lame duck president.
KING: Do you know why they didn't?
CLINTON: I think they just had a process they wanted to go through. And keep in mind, you know, when Oklahoma City happened, which before 9/11 was the worst domestic terrorist incident, a lot of people immediately jumped to the conclusion that it was a Muslim militant terrorist. And I remember standing in the Rose Garden of the White House pleading with the American people not to jump to any conclusions.
So I felt if I launched a full scale attack, violated air space of countries that wouldn't give me permission, had to do the logistics of doing that without basing rights like we had in Uzbekistan and other things we had after 9/11, I would have been on grounds without an approval.
But I don't think -- I don't know of anything that I could have done that I didn't do at the time that would have dramatically increased the chances of getting bin Laden because I wanted to do it and I regretted not doing it.
- CNN LARRY KING LIVE
- Interview With Bill *Clinton, Bob Dole, Andrew McKelvey, Dan Rather
- Aired September 3, 2002 - 21:00 ET
CLINTON: I remember exactly what happened. Bruce Lindsey said to me on the phone, my God, a second plane has hit the tower. And I said, bin Laden did this. That's the first thing I said.
He said, how can you be sure?
I said, because only bin Laden and the Iranians could set up a network to do this, and they wouldn't do it, because they have a country in targets -- bin Laden did.
KING: Did you also think of the same time where you came pretty close to getting him?
CLINTON: Yes. I thought that my virtual obsession with him was well-faced, and I was full of regret that I didn't get him. I mean, I immediately thought that he had done it.
KING: You were obsessed with him?
CLINTON: Yes I was. Some people thought I was obsessed?
KING: Now the current president is obsessed with him.
CLINTON: Well, he should be. And I've supported everything he's done in Afghanistan. I think it's very important.
The guy is smart. He's got access to money. He's got a lot of the fanatic supporters around the world, and has to be completely defeated and eradicated.
KING: Senator Dole, do you think we're going to get him, or do you think maybe he's already been gotten?
DOLE: Well, I was going to ask the president that question because, you know, I think he may not be alive. I don't know, but there's been no sightings; maybe he'll reappear one of these days to let somebody in the world know that he's still around and still spreading terror wherever he goes.
But, you know, the last picture I saw, he didn't look well. And then he had this -- apparently had this kidney problem, maybe he needed dialysis, maybe not. But I'll bet it's 50/50 whether he's alive or dead.
CLINTON: Could be. He had a serious health problem.
CLINTON: And God forgive me, I think he's the only person I ever prayed would succumb to his health problem. And, you know, the world would be a lot safer place in he had.
So I don't know. But I think we have to assume he's still alive. And according -- all I know is what I've the press with the press reports that we have intelligence that the al Qaeda network is still trying to plan attacks around the world.
KING: You fellas fear more? Mr. President, do you think we're going to see more?
CLINTON: I think there will be, but I think our defenses will improve, too.
Look, there's never been a time or age free of danger. Bob Dole served this country with great distinction in World War II when all of civilization could have been destroyed if his generation hadn't saved us and saved freedom.
But no terrorist attack has ever succeeded, and none ever will, I don't believe.
Just putting together a bit of a timeline on this to help sorting the article page out:
- August 12 1993: U.S. Places Sudan on list of state sponsors of terrorism; 
- February 1995: U.S. Department oif State reports a Sudanese national, who pleaded guilty in February 1995 to various charges of complicity in the New York City bomb plots foiled by the FBI, indicated two members of the Sudanese UN Mission had offered to facilitate access to the UN building in support of the bombing plot.
- 26 June 1995: Assassination attempt on the life of the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
- 11 September 1995: Organization of African Unity (OAU) Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution on Sudan and assasination attempt;
- 19 December 1995: Organization of African Unity (OAU) Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution on Sudan and assasination attempt.
- 31 January 1996: UN Security Council Resolution 1044 calling for extradition to Ethiopia of the three suspects in Sudan and wanted in connection with the assassination attempt.
- February 1996: U.S. Embassy in Sudan evacuated.
- 3 March 1996: meeting between Major General Elfatih Erwa, Sudan's Minister of State for Defense and US officials re offer to deport bin Laden to Saudi Arabia.
- April 1996 the U.S. Department of State expelled a Sudanese diplomat at the Sudanese UN Mission who had ties to the conspirators planning to bomb the UN building and other targets in New York in 1993.
- 26 April 1996: UN Security Council Resolution 1054 reiterating above
- 15 May 1996: Sudan Foreign Minister Ali Othman Taha faxes US official giving up on offer of transfer of custody.
- 18 May 1996: Bin Laden deported from Sudan.
- August 1996: According to Ijaz Sudan's Hassan Turabi writes to Clinton offering data on terrorists in Sudan.
- 16 August 1996: UN Security Council Resolution 1070 reiterating above.
- April 25 1997: Arakis Energy Corporation announces Ijaz appointed to an advisory committee to the board. Arakis's had a major interest in new exploration and development projects in the Sudan.
- April 1997: According to Ijaz, he "persuaded Bashir to invite the FBI ti view the data" (on terrorists in Sudan);
- June 10 1997: Ijaz appeared before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime Hearing on the "Prohibition on Financial Transactions With Countries Supporting Terrorism Act";
- September/October 1997 (CHECK DATE): Madelaine Albright re-establishes limited ties with Sudan.
- November 1997: US announces new comprehensive economic sanctions against Sudan;
- February 1998: According to Ijaz, Sudan's intelligence chief, Gutbi al-Mahdi, wrote to the FBI.
- 1998: US Embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya.
- 20 August 1998: Clinton approves US missile attack on the al-Shifa pharmaceutical plant in Khartoum, which it claimed was associated with Usama Bin Ladin's network and "believed to be involved in the manufacture of chemical weapons, to prevent an anti-US attack." Sudan rejects the claims. The US Department of Justice cited this attack as a precedent for George W Bush having the legal authority to lauch military attacks in response to the September 11, 2001 World Trade Centre and Pentagon attacks.
- July 2000: According to Ijaz he "brought the White House another plausible offer to deal with bin Laden, by then known to be involved in the Embassy bombings".
- October 2000: attack on the USS Cole in Yemen.
Relocating for the moment
- "The United Nations imposed diplomatic sanctions while the U.S. Congress imposed a ban on financial transactions between U.S. companies and Sudan. [..]" - need to check this - I think there was one set of sanctions imposed on the Sudan as a result of the US designating it as a state sponsor of terrorism, diplomatic sanctions by the UN and then in late 1997 further US imposed sanctions. Need to check the specifics of each one.--Bob Burton 23:37, 7 Mar 2006 (EST)