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Blame-and-Bash-Clinton Media Misses A Few 'Inconvenient' Facts
Kim Sayers helen_wheels1@yahoo.com

The Blame-and-Bash-Clinton mentality is standard fare in today's consolidated corporate right-wing media. However, there are a few facts the partisans conveniently fail to mention.

First, and most important, the worst terrorist attacks in our nation's history occurred during George W. Bush's occupation of the White House--after he had been in office for the better part of a year. Despite repeated warnings from Israel's Mossad and intelligence agencies from Egypt and Jordan weeks before the attacks, as well as urgent warnings early last spring from the Hart-Rudman commission, our current leader did absolutely nothing to prevent them.

In fact, while the terrorists were plotting the final details of the attacks, George W. Bush dismissed the warnings, assigned the matter to Dick Cheney for "more study" and spent the entire month of August on fundraising junkets and on vacation at his Texas ranch while Cheney vacationed in Wyoming and Colorado.

The Clinton administration's 1996 and 1998 anti-terrorism bills were gutted by congressional Republicans who were far more interested in causing distractions and in bringing down the presidency than in protecting our country from terrorist attacks. They played the dirtiest of politics and weakened the country in the process.

Clinton signed an order to kill Osama bin Laden in 1998. Clinton also launched cruise missile attacks on Sudan and Afghanistan, missing bin Laden by only a few hours. Instead of praising Clinton for trying to eradicate bin Laden, Republicans called the attacks on the Sudan and Afghanistan "wagging the dog."

Never mind that the film "Wag the Dog" was written about the George H.W. Bush Gulf War and the bogus PR campaign of lies that was used to sell the American public on supporting the war. Reagan's and Bush's Ambassador to Bahrain, Sam Zakhem, was charged with income tax evasion and failure to register as a foreign agent for the part he played in raising those funds. This of course did not stop Zakhem from fundraising in the Mideast for the George W. Bush presidential campaign in late 1999.

From the Bush campaign in 2000 we heard again and again about how the Clinton administration had supposedly decimated the armed forces, and that they were unprepared to fight for our country. The attack on the Cole occurred almost immediately after Bush started making irresponsible campaign speeches about how "decimated" our military force is.

The Bush plan to increase military spending had not gone into effect at the time of the attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C., yet we have been able to quite effectively and successfully wage war in Afghanistan--and in a much more timely manner than when we prepared for the Gulf War.

Unprepared? Low morale? There is no evidence of it now nor was there in 2000. The military took a quantum leap under Clinton. While "smart bombs" were available during the Gulf War, 98% of all bombs were still dumb, and the targeting system was still largely inaccurate. In Afghanistan, most bombs were smart. What does that mean? It means a plane can hit its target from 40,000 feet where anti-aircraft weapons can't reach it. Even our stockpile of dumb bombs were retrofitted to the newer technology.

One has to wonder how much more progress could have been made if Clinton had not had to deal with an obstructionist partisan Congress. Republicans and the consolidated corporate right-wing media were busy prying into the sordid details of Clinton's private life under the guise of a Whitewater investigation while Clinton was busy trying to find bin Laden.

What kind of integrity does the American media have for "reporting" (I use that word loosely) on nothing but Clinton's private sex life for two years while ignoring substantial evidence that terrorists were plotting to kill thousands of us? What kind of integrity did the Republican-controlled Congress have when they ignored national security to consume themselves with a petty partisan witch hunt?

Shame on them all. In the absence of an atrocity like Sept. 11, the American people, Congress, and the international community -- including the Europeans -- would not have supported a full-scale attack on Afghanistan. Nothing demonstrates this so graphically as the refusal by the Republican-controlled Congress to support the administration's attempts to eliminate al Quaeda and bin Laden, or to fund or support the Clinton administration's anti-terrorism legislation.

Clinton-bashers are so consumed by their hatred that they will not acknowledge the eight years of prosperity our nation enjoyed, his unprecedented success with the deficit, and his monumental contributions to peacekeeping efforts in the Mideast, Africa, Bosnia and Northern Ireland.

Meanwhile, Bush's biggest campaign contributors from Enron met secretly and illegally with Dick Cheney to mold federal energy policy and are enjoying quid pro quo political appointments to the Bush administration despite having scandalously bilked the public--consumers in California and deceived investors alike.

Bush has not been held accountable for his more than 1 1/2 years of AWOL from the Texas Air National Guard, his lies about his arrest record, lies about his insider trading, lies by omission about his drug use, or his apparent perjury in his testimony about his involvement in the Texas Funeralgate lawsuit.

Indeed, rather than hold the Saudis responsible for their complicity in funding al Quaeda, Bush arranged to have bin Laden's brothers safely and quickly escorted out of the country--no doubt repaying them for their family's generous investments in his failed oil company.

Lucky for Bush that the Independent Prosecutor law expired!