President Clinton had more than a dozen opportunities during his two terms to either capture or kill al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden but either refused or was too consumed by scandal to act, a new book claims.
Former Wall Street Journal editorial writer and author Richard Miniter also says in his book, “Losing Bin Laden: How Bill Clinton’s Failures Unleashed Global Terror,” that the former commander in chief was most responsible for the rise of the world’s foremost terrorist mastermind.
Besides being “distracted” by his sexual scandals, Miniter said Clinton was hampered by “ideology,” in that he didn’t believe assassinating bin Laden was morally right. U.S. intelligence has said bin Laden’s al-Qaida network was responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the U.S., which killed nearly 3,000 people.
“The Northern Alliance [in Afghanistan] tried to assassinate bin Laden three times,” Miniter, who conducted two years’ worth of research and interviews for his book, told WorldNetDaily. “But the Clinton administration was opposed to these … attempts.”
Miniter said although Clinton eventually signed an order approving bin Laden’s assassination, “there were so many bureaucratic restrictions on those orders they were, in fact, meaningless.”
“Here’s the Northern Alliance fighting the Taliban, fighting bin Laden, and seriously trying to get him,” he said, “but when it comes time for the CIA to brief Clinton [in Washington] about it, they get a scolding: ‘How dare you go after him.’”
The former Wall Street Journal scribe also maintains the appearance of U.S. weakness during the Clinton regime led to more terrorist attacks against American assets and, ultimately, more U.S. military and civilian casualties.
“Every perception of American weakness increases recruitment, funding and prestige for Osama bin Laden,” Miniter told WND. “When they attack and we retreat, you just embolden [your enemies]. When they get their way, they don’t stop bombing, they bomb more. It works, and they just continue the process.”
He likened Clinton’s behavior toward Muslim terror threats during his administration to British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement of Nazi Germany during the late 1930s.
“Clinton is responsible for bin Laden’s rein of terror in the same way [Chamberlain] is responsible for [Adolf] Hitler’s rein of terror,” Miniter said. “Bin Laden and Hitler are morally responsible for their own actions, but we’re responsible for actions we took opposite them.
“Perceptions of weakness, of vacillation, all these things simply encourage the bin Ladens and Hitlers of the world,” said Miniter.
In his book, Miniter also recounts how bin Laden was responsible for the shooting down of U.S. Black Hawk helicopters in Mogadishu, Somalia, in 1993, and how the nation of Sudan offered, on several occasions, to capture bin Laden, who was living in the country at the time.
Following a meeting with CIA officials in March 1996, Sudanese officials “offered to arrest bin Laden and turn him over to us,” Miniter said. But Clinton officials deemed the offer “not credible,” so no deal was ever reached.
Miniter’s book currently is No. 108 on Amazon.com’s best-seller list.