Clinton on Bush
Bill Clinton has also weighed in on the subject of the _real_ focus at the White House:
A Texas Democratic fundraiser, speaking not for attribution, told me about the lunch he recently had at the home of former President Clinton in the New York suburbs. Clinton recounted his last meeting with President Bush over coffee, just before the inauguration on Jan. 20, 2001.
The outgoing president counseled his successor that he would face five challenges in the international arena – the Israeli- Palestinian conflict, the Al Qaeda terrorist threat, a nuclear-armed North Korea, the India-Pakistan confrontation, and the Saddam Hussein dictatorship in Iraq.
Clinton was surprised at Bush’s response. He said he disagreed with Clinton’s order – that he considered Saddam Hussein to be the primary threat that he would have to deal with.
The drumbeat is steady and growing louder. Bob Woodward, Rand Beers, Paul O’Neill, Richard Clarke, Bill Clinton, Karen Kwiatkowski… All have come forward with a remarkably consistent story — That President George W. Bush and a coterie of others in his administration were fixated on getting rid of Saddam from before they came into office. They weren’t focused on al Qaeda or other Islamic terrorism.
There may well be “plenty of blame to go around,” as I was counseled yesterday. It’s probable that Bill Clinton _didn’t_ do enough to fight terrorism. But when the WTC was bombed in February 1993, mere days after Clinton took office, I don’t recall a bunch of Democrats running around blaming George H.W. Bush for the failure. And they certainly weren’t blaming George H.W. Bush _three years_ into Clinton’s first term for the failure.
Yesterday, Richard Clarke apologized to the families of the 9/11 victims for failing them. When will others in the Bush administration admit a similar failing and apologize?