Saturday, September 09, 2006

The Path to 9-11

I recall watching a show about Bin Laden, probably on the History channel, a *long* time ago that was a documentary and did show how time after time (someone said 10?) the Clinton administration either had Bin Laden in their sights or else were offered him, and they didn't take action.

The "why" according to that documentary was essentially that they believed that either assasinating him or taking him prisoner would have been *illegal*.

In hindsight, of course, this was a mistake. Still, the idea that the threat from Al Qaida was less than it was was a pervasive idea, not limited to the Clinton administration. And I don't really think that most people support the notion that we ought to go about assasinating potential threats as a matter of policy.

The trailer says "why not" and quite frankly I think that a strong answer to "why not" can be made. The problem is that the only answer that will fly is that what is clear in hindsight was not clear at the time, and that it seemed like a good idea, at the time, to treat the terrorist threat as a law enforcement issue, in which case having a *legal* standing to capture or kill Bin Laden was necessary.

But that can't be said without *also* saying, "But now we know better. It's not a criminal, law-enforcement problem."

And the Democrats aren't willing to give that up.


Anonymous BillT said...

Makes Clinton's outburst that he "tried to get Bin Laden" on several occasions and "had contracted with people to get him (Bin Laden)" all the more interesting, doesn't it?

If his squawk is true, it means that the Clintonistas have been lying all along about not grabbing Ozzie because they couldn't figure out a legal justification for it.

If his squawk is false (and you can bet the ranch on it), it's just one more reason to wonder why half the country figures he's the sole human being alive capable of returning us to the Time When Everybody Loved Us.

But maybe I'm just not nuanced enough to perceive his good points...

10:14 PM  

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