Outrage

Ten years ago, I was working at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. Many of the airmen killed at Khobar Towers were deployed out of Eglin; their memorial was eventually built on the base grounds.

I doubt many of their survivors were comforted when they read this startling memoir by Louis Freeh in the WSJ:

It soon became clear that Mr. Clinton and his national security adviser, Sandy Berger, had no interest in confronting the fact that Iran had blown up the towers. This is astounding, considering that the Saudi Security Service had arrested six of the bombers after the attack. As FBI agents sifted through the remains of Building 131 in 115-degree heat, the bombers admitted they had been trained by the Iranian external security service (IRGC) in Lebanon’s Beka Valley and received their passports at the Iranian Embassy in Damascus, Syria, along with $250,000 cash for the operation from IRGC Gen. Ahmad Sharifi.

We later learned that senior members of the Iranian government, including Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Intelligence and Security and the Spiritual Leader’s office had selected Khobar as their target and commissioned the Saudi Hezbollah to carry out the operation. The Saudi police told us that FBI agents had to interview the bombers in custody in order to make our case. To make this happen, however, the U.S. president would need to make a personal request to Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah.

So for 30 months, I wrote and rewrote the same set of simple talking points for the president, Mr. Berger, and others to press the FBI’s request to go inside a Saudi prison and interview the Khobar bombers. And for 30 months nothing happened.

Meanwhile, then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Mr. Clinton ordered the FBI to stop photographing and fingerprinting Iranian wrestlers and cultural delegations entering the U.S. because the Iranians were complaining about the identification procedure. Of course they were complaining. It made it more difficult for their intelligence agents and terrorist coordinators to infiltrate into America. I was overruled by an “angry” president and Mr. Berger who said the FBI was interfering with their rapprochement with Iran.

Finally, frustrated in my attempts to execute Mr. Clinton’s “leave no stone unturned” order, I called former president George H.W. Bush. I had learned that he was about to meet Crown Prince Abdullah on another matter. After fully briefing Mr. Bush on the impasse and faxing him the talking points that I had now been working on for over two years, he personally asked the crown prince to allow FBI agents to interview the detained bombers.

Several weeks later, agents interviewed the co-conspirators. For the first time since the 1996 attack, we obtained direct evidence of Iran’s complicity. What Mr. Clinton failed to do for three years was accomplished in minutes by his predecessor. This was the breakthrough we had been waiting for, and the attorney general and I immediately went to Mr. Berger with news of the Saudi prison interviews.

Upon being advised that our investigation now had proof that Iran blew up Khobar Towers, Mr. Berger’s astounding response was: “Who knows about this?” His next, and wrong, comment was: “That’s just hearsay.” When I explained that under the Rules of Federal Evidence the detainees’ comments were indeed more than “hearsay,” for the first time ever he became interested–and alarmed–about the case. But this interest translated into nothing more than Washington “damage control” meetings held out of the fear that Congress, and ordinary Americans, would find out that Iran murdered our soldiers. After those meetings, neither the president, nor anyone else in the administration, was heard from again about Khobar.

That’s the meat, but read the whole thing. And try and tell me again why Berger and his infamous pants shouldn’t be locked up.

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21 Responses to “Outrage”

  1. Mikey NTH Says:

    Sweet mother of god…

  2. Julie (Synova) Says:

    What Mikey said.

  3. Mr. Lion Says:

    I believe Hewitt’s apt quote about Clinton is rather fitting: Perhaps not the worst President we’ve ever had, but certainly the worst man ever to be President.

  4. ErikZ Says:

    When in the military, serving your country, you’re the most vunerable to your leaders.

    This is one of the reasons why Bush is so popular among the troops and Clinton wasn’t.

  5. silvermine Says:

    Oh my god. I can’t believe how no matter how little my opinion of Clinton and Berger is, they manage to completely blow it out of the water and sink lower and lower and lower.

  6. Pursuit Says:

    I hate to say it, but this doesn’t surprise me at all. In fact, my guess is had W lost to Gore in 2000, we would have found some tidy way of making a few bombing runs in Afghanistan and then “moving on” afer 9/11 too.

  7. Julie (Synova) Says:

    That’s not what scares me about the thought of Gore winning in 2000. It’s that the “few bombing runs” in Afghanistan really and truely would have been motivated by vengence rather than considered necessity.

    When something is seen as a last resort only, or something to be avoided at all costs, it will still be used but when “war never *solves* anything” it is going to be used with that mindset and expectation. Without the anticipation of a good result can a good result even be possible?

  8. matt Says:

    If this was such a problem, why didn’t the current president fix it.

  9. Declan Says:

    He’s kinda busy with their neighbor, Matt.

  10. richard mcenroe Says:

    Someone explain to Matt the difference between moving the goalposts and lowering the bar. He seems confused.

    And screw Berger. Why isn’t Clinton in jail?

  11. richard mcenroe Says:

    Keep in mind, guys, Hillary had to be in the loop on this…

  12. rosignol Says:

    He’s kinda busy with their neighbor, Matt.

    Neighbors. Plural.

    Between Afghanistan, Iraq, and shutting down the Pakistani proliferation bazzar, I’d say Mr Clinton’s successor has had his hands full.

    IMO, one of the more important reasons to vote against the Democrat in 2008 is because the Democratic administratio’s national security/foreign policy staff is going to be drawn from people who served during the Clinton administration.

  13. Axel Kassel Says:

    This serves as a healthy reminder that not all fools and traitors work at the New York Times.

  14. mad bikini blogger Says:

    Matt,
    Read the whole article. You’ll find that W did do something about it. A hell of a lot more than that raggedy ass predecesor of his did:

    “The Khobar bombing case eventually led to indictments in 2001, thanks to the personal leadership of President George W. Bush and Condoleezza Rice. But justice has been a long time coming. Only so much can be done, after all, with arrest warrants and judicial process. Bin Laden and his two separate pre-9/11 arrest warrants are a case in point.”

    I say, no more discussion in regards to Iran… Let the bombs fall where they may!

  15. RPD Says:

    Ya know, I can forgive mistakes, misperceptions, and even failure.

    It’s not even trying that really drives me nuts.

  16. surf Says:

    Pretty soon, not necessarily within the next decade, but soon enough, former President Clinton is going to look into the mirror as an old man. I, for one, think that he is going to detest the man looking back at him. With the kind of clarity that can only be experienced when dealing with one’s mortality, the level of disgust he is going to feel will be crushing.

    I know that the comment could be made that with someone as narcissistic and neurotic as Clinton, it won’t happen. That he’ll look in that mirror and think he’s still the man, that he’ll keep fooling himself.

    Perhaps.

    But in those quiet moments alone, in the dark and silence, he won’t escape. He can’t.

    I pity him, but I wouldn’t want it any other way.

  17. Caliban Darklock Says:

    Every time I blame Clinton for 9/11, people think I’m crazy.

    https://www.darklock.com/blog/?p=5

    But you look at his track record, and you just have to ask: why *isn’t* this a perfectly reasonable accusation to lay at his feet?

  18. Mad Fiddler Says:

    The Left only accept that a Republican can be a bad person. It’s fundamental to their world view.

    “Liberals are people who want to do nice things and help everyone else. Therefor, when I accept the Leadership of the Liberals, I too become a good person. Anything a good person does must be a good thing, so Liberals can sometimes make mistakes, but they’re always good people that MEAN well.”

    Conversely,

    “If you’re not a Liberal, then you must be a BAD person, because only a BAD person would not recognize how good Liberals are. If you oppose the ideas of Liberals, this means you are a BAD person, and any action by a BAD person is a BAD thing.”

    See? It’s all so reasonable. So Clinton could never have done anything BAD…

  19. trentk269 Says:

    The Clinton Administration proved for 2 entire terms that they have no grasp of foreign policy, which derives from their leftist world view. Anyone who believes that the Democrats are capable of handling things as they stand today is fooling himself.

  20. JEM Says:

    The beauty of all of this – the SC decision handed down, and Pelosi’s reaction, and the left’s complete misread on Iraq – what I once thought as a down year for the GOP is looking more and more like a breakeven – or dare I say – even a winner in November. Just keep doing stupid stuff Dems. Why do you think Hillary is trying so hard to stay on the right of all the dingbats on the looney left?

  21. rosignol Says:

    Why do you think Hillary is trying so hard to stay on the right of all the dingbats on the looney left?

    Well, she’s got a very fine line to walk, because the dingbats are the ones motivated enough to get off their butts and vote in the primaries.

    So Hillary tries to stay to the right of the loonies, but not too far to the right.

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