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Terrorism -- fact and fiction

When President Clinton announced the missile strikes against
terrorist bases in Afghanistan and a chemical weapons plant in Sudan
last week, the issues seemed pretty clear cut.

Even for those of us who suspected the timing of these attacks had
more to do with Clinton’s personal scandals than real foreign policy
objectives, we had few doubts that bad guys had actually been targeted.

Remember what the president said? He claimed he stayed “up till 2:30
in the morning trying to make absolutely sure that at that chemical
plant there was no night shift.” Right out of Michael Douglas’ script in
“The American President,” Clinton added, “I didn’t want some person who
was a nobody to me, but who may have a family to feed and a life to
live, and probably had no earthly idea what else was going on there, to
die needlessly.”

Touching. But like so many well-rehearsed, contrived statements that
emanate from this president’s mouth, it had little basis in truth or

Remember, this is the same administration which informed us
immediately after the strike that the plant was a highly secretive,
tightly secured military-industrial site that produced no commercial
products. Whether or not it turns out the plant actually made nerve gas
at all, many other initial reports have proven to be lies, including the
charge that the plant was directly financed by Saudi millionaire
terrorist Osama bin Laden.

Now let’s keep in mind that President Clinton personally chose the
bombing site, a medicine factory with a United Nations contract, from
among a larger set of targets presented to him by military planners.
Sounds like he’s got some more explaining to do. Can he blame Kenneth
Starr for this, too?

Then there’s the matter of Osama. We’re certainly getting a different
picture of this terrorist than we got from the early reports by the
Clinton administration.

It turns out Osama bin Laden’s family is one of the richest of the
rich — worth an estimated $5 billion. It’s a pretty well-connected
family, too. His brother is a director of the U.S. telecommunications
giant Iridium, which is set to launch a revolutionary new global
satellite communications system. And guess who has launched Iridium’s
satellites into space? You guessed it. Clinton’s friends in China. And
who are the family’s partners on Iridium? Clinton’s friends at the Loral
Corp. and Hughes Electronics. The family also does millions of dollars
of business with the U.S. government, having built an Air Force base for
us in Saudi Arabia after Osama was blamed for blowing up the Khobar
Towers in 1996.

So let’s get this straight. Osama blows up our facilities, and his
family gets the contract for rebuilding them. Do you get the feeling
there is more going on here than meets the eye?

Then there are the questions concerning the other targets of our
cruise missile attacks — Osama’s terrorist bases in Afghanistan. Of
course, Osama survived the attacks, having, apparently, been tipped off
in advance.

Was he really the target? Or were these attacks one more example of
what the Clinton administration has become famous for — symbolism over
substance. If the U.S. really wanted Osama, he could have been picked up
any number of times in the past on his frequent visits to America, when
he has stayed at the finest hotels in New York.

It all sounds hauntingly like the catastrophic Waco raid also
conducted by this administration. David Koresh could have been served
with a warrant any time he ventured into town. The local sheriff would
have been happy to serve him personally. Instead, the ATF chose to turn
a minor affair into a massacre of men, women and children.

There are reports even from Afghanistan that more than terrorists
were hit. Normally, we could dismiss accounts that mosques were struck
as predictable political propaganda by anti-American extremists. But,
with the track record of the Clinton administration insofar as truth is
concerned … just whom are we to believe?