who else thinks 9/11 is Bill Clintons fault

Since 9/11 and the preceeding war in Afghan, everything has become President Bushes fault. I mean the terror attacks, the falling economy, the detainees, u.s.a.'s growing hatred around the world etc. etc. etc. correct me if i’m wrong but bush was only in office 8 or 9 months when al-quida attacked the trade centers, killing thousands, hurting our nation and economy. Now let’s look back, Osama and Al-quida attacked us in oct, 2000. They attacked the u.s.s. cole while it was in harbor, killing 17 u.s. sailors and injuring over 30 more. Pres. Clinton had been in office for almost eight years at that point. He knew of osama and the jihad. After the Cole was attacked he retailiated by sending cruise missles to one of osama’s terror camp’s, even though knowing full well that al-quida had abandoned the camp a week earlier, and we didn’t kill anyone. So why didn’t pres. Clinton declare all out war then on al-quida. why didn’t he send out teams of rangers, navy seals, green berets and every resource we had to hunt down al-quida? End of story. We were attacked. If he would have actually gone after them, instead of shooting missle’s at a ghost camp to take the media’s attention off monica lewinsky and the fact that he lied to a grand jury under oath, 9/11 would not have happend, thousand wouldn’t have died and I doubt we’d be in the mess in Iraq. So really why didn’t Clinton do something then? Why is everything Bushes fault? Maybe i’m wrong but then why did Clinton’s camp almost immediatly start pushing the blame on bush? At least Bush didn’t sit ideally after americans.

Welcome to the Dope grego the desert rat. The fault of 9/11 does rest on Clinton more than Bush though Bush is far from blameless.

One major aspect where Clinton was at fault was moving our intelligence gathering to electronic and away from actual people. This critically hurt our ability to spy on groups like Al-Qaeda.

Just a note: You really do need to work on using a spell checker and the shift key in your posting by the way. Try breaking your post into sentences too. This board frowns on poor spelling and grammar as I know well being weak in both.


I feel the OP is poorly written and am not sure that this will generate a good debate.

That being said, I take the contrarian view that 9/11 is neither Clinton or Bush’s fault.

Obviously our intelligence agencies should have communicated better, we should have had better security on our commercial airliners et cetera et cetera. There were many things throughout the 1990s that should have made us more interested in Al Qaeda long before 9/11.

But the President daily deals with lots of “potential threats” to the United States. Generally speaking a lot of the needed changes that came after 9/11 (heightened security, attempts at better inter-governmental sharing of information et cetera) would have been difficult to push through prior to 9/11 due to the different political climate.

In retrospect everyone probably wishes we had security in place that could have stopped 9/11, but such security comes at a price and costs convenience. People generally won’t like that when they don’t see the need for it–even in the post 9/11 world there is nothing but endless bitching about airport security. That’s without even opening up the issue that said security still is pretty piss-poor.

What about my one concrete point. The shifting of intelligence money from traditional assets (humans) to electronic surveillance. I saw that complaint lodged against Clinton long before 9/11 happened.

I contrarian-ily agree. The evidence doesn’t support blaming any one person for letting the attacks happen. There were a large variety of mistakes and stupidities made or perpetuated by a lot of people.

I think the answer to the OP as to why it is perceived on Bush’s shoulders is because of a media that was a big fan of Clinton, and not a big fan of Bush. Keep in mind that Clinton’s impeachment had just happened prior to him leaving office and those on the left were not happy about that. I think this is why Clinton gets such high marks for the economy, as well. my opinion is that while he didn’t do anything to screw it up, his Presidency just happen to coincide with the explosion of the internet. But many want to give him credit for that, and at the same time ignore the fact that the bubble burst while he was in office.

As far as blame, I think there’s plenty of blame to go around for more than just Bush and Clinton. Between the two, I think that Clinton had more to do with what happened, based on his response to Al Qaeda attacks while he was in office. What certainly didn’t help was that these guys were able to float around in the U.S. with expired VISAs, and then get umpteen drivers licenses, allowing them to live in the U.S. unmolested.

Sure, in retrospect, the move away from human intelligence assets was probably a mistake. However, one can play the game of “original cause” almost indefinitely. For example, I could point out that Reagan’s support for the mujahadeen led to the rise of the Taliban, as well as Bin Laden, and that we really should have known at the time that these were bad guys. However, there were a lot of decisions made between the 1980s and 9/11, and so I don’t think any of us would find it terribly persuasive were I to say "9/11 was Reagan’s fault (or more his fault than Bush’s).

The more interesting question is: Who was the person who had, or should have had, the most information about the danger of an attack by hijacked airliner prior to 9/11? Who had the best opportunity to act to prevent that particular threat?

The answer is - George W. Bush, who received a Presidential Daily Briefing in August of 2001 warning of precisely the threat which struck on 9/11: hijacked airliners employed as improvised cruise missiles. Bush had the fullest picture of the impending attack, and still did absolutely nothing to prevent it. Thus, while there is plenty of blame to go around, the lion’s share must lie with W. (Actually, the lion’s share goes to the evil bastards in Al Queda, and then the Taliban - but you get my point.)

Good grief…

Bin Laden’s hatred for the West and the US in particular extends back to the 70’s. It could be said US policy in the Middle East over the course of numerous presidents from both parties contributed to who bin Laden became.

For Bush we know from Richard Clarke, the Bush administration’s anti-terrorism tsar, that Bush refused to talk to him till just barely before 9/11 (at which point it was far too late).

Here is a memo (PDF) Clarke sent to Condoleeza Rice requesting discussions on Al Qaeda. That was dated January 25, 2001.

At least Clinton tried to blow the guy up.

:confused: What the fuck are you talking about? Clinton was raked over the coals by the media. Remember back during the Lewinsky scandal when the press couldn’t stop talking about Clinton’s sex life, even when polls showed that nearly three-quarters of the public thought the coverage was excessive? “Big fan”, like hell.

This particular claim is true. The rest of your post is false, and you should be embarrassed to have posted it.

Completely wrong. Osama bin Laden and al Queda had existed long before that, long before Clinton even came into office. There were many attacks before the Cole attack.

President Clinton launched those cruise missile attacks after the embassy bombings in 1998, not in 2000. Your claim that he “knew full well that al Queda had abandoned the camp” is utter hogwash. It was the (ultraconservative) CIA that was responsible for screwing up the missile strikes.

First of all, war can only be declared against nations, not against ill-defined entities like al Queda. Secondly, only Congress has the right to declare war; the President cannot do so. (Check the Constitution if you don’t believe me.) If you wanted a war in 1998, then you should be putting the blame on Congressoinal Republicans, not on President Clinton.

Surely you can reread your own post and see that you’re answering your own question. Back in '98, Republicans loudly proclaimed that Clinton was being too tough on poor little Osame Bin Laden, and that he was only doing it to distract attention away from the impeachment issue. By doing so, they prevented Clinton from taking effective action, and thus helped al Queda grow stronger and bolder. All further actions by al Queda are thus partially the fault of the Republicans.

I concur with that last line. In fact, I’d assert that Bush has never done anything ideally. Consider that in August of '01, he got a security briefing saying that al Queda planned to hijack airplanes and attack buildings in Manhattan. His response was to do nothing. Not too ideal, wouldn’t you agree?

Clinton knew the crap was nearing the fan because he said terrorism would be the number one problem in the coming years. It sent chills up my spine when he said it because it seemed so out of context with the speech. It would be safe to say that Clinton blew an opportunity to take a leader/financier out of the terrorist gene pool. The 9/11 plot was a decade long project that would have probably been carried out by his replacement.

Slow down, slick. We’re talking about two different timeframes. Yes, the Lewinsky scandal and his lying under oath was a juicy story and they were all over it. That is true—while it was happening. But I’m talking about after 9/11. There was a general feeling outside of the Republican circles that Clinton was treated unfairly and overly harshly. And the (re)writing of history had begun.

Ah, there was a “general feeling.” There’s overwhelming evidence for you.

I think that’s very true. Plus, the plot could have been stopped without going outside our borders. As has been mentioned before, Bush didn’t treat the intelligence seriously, and showed no leadership. (Unlike Clinton in the Millennium Plot.) The FBI’s information systems were and are screwed up - but that isn’t something I blame either president for. I hear Obama is going to appoint a CIO - that will help.

Politically, I doubt if Clinton could have done a lot more. Remember Wag the Dog? If Bush had considered the terrorism problem urgent, and was working on it and had just run out of time, I’d blame Clinton a lot more. Since he and Ashcroft didn’t seem to care, I blame him.


They harped on the sex scandal while it seemed like harmless fun. When it actually seemed like something bad to Clinton could actually come of it - e.g., impeachment - suddenly, the media focus was on Ken Starr and Linda Tripp and how poor, poor Bill was entrapped into perjury and witness tampering by overzealous, hate-filled blue-noses.

I seem to remember reading that Clinton’s outgoing team stressed the terrorism angle and the incoming Bushies didn’t care. Have I been horribly mislead by the liberal media again?

Al Franken’s book, title The Truth, which I am sure every fact/statistic is researched before publication states:

"To me, the most infuriating passage deals with Bush’s nonreaction to the August 6 Presidential Daily Briefing, memorably titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike Inside U.S.” The brief warned, among other things, that “al Qaeda members-including some who are U.S. citizens- have resided in or traveled to the U.S. for years, and the group apparently maintains a support structure that could aid attacks.” Even worse, “FBI information . . . indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York” (Franken, 35).

Then . . . Franken goes on to say:

“It is my firm belief that President Bush never read the August 6 PDB” (Franken, 36).

I agree. This is Bush’s fault.

But before this took place, Franken points out

“During the [presidential] transition, Clinton personally told Bush that ‘by far your biggest threat is Bin Laden and al Qaeda,’ and Sandy Berger, (Clinton’s national security adviser) told Condi Rice that she would spend more time on Bid Laden and al Qaeda than on anything else. But despite these warnings, or maybe because of them, the Clinton-hating Bush team decided to shift its focus to missile defense”( Franken 41).

Wasn’t Clinton ridiculed by the right wingers for spending so much time and money on catching al Qaeda, particularly Osama Bin Laden.

Not Clinton’s fault.

Somehow, I get the feeling that even if President Clinton had gone after al-Qaeda in exactly the manner you suggest (Covert ops to completely wipe out the organization, killing bin-Laden and preventing 9/11) you’d probably still be here complaining that Clinton wagged-the-dog to get rid of some two-bit terrorist, wasted lots of money and dozens of American lives all in order to distract the public from his impeachment hearings.

Ding, ding, ding, ding! And we have a winner!

Lemme see how this works. Say I’m piloting a ship through Arctic waters. My shift ends and, before I go, I tell the next guy that there are icebergs in the vicinity. He ignores me and plows into an iceberg.

This my fault how, exactly?