However, the Clinton administration had eight years in which to shape the discussion about terrorism when they held the presidency, so why must we suffer their pitiful excuses and their political polarizing accusations regarding the sitting President now?
According to Michael Scheuer, who ran the CIA unit that hunted Usama bin Laden under President Clinton interviewed by Chris Wallace on Fox news Sunday things were not as President Clinton remembered:
WALLACE: Mr. Scheuer, as the man in charge of what was called "Alec Station," the CIA unit in charge of hunting down Usama bin Laden, you say the Clinton administration missed at least 10 chances to get him. I don't want to go into all 10, but what was the problem?
FORMER CIA UNIT CHIEF MICHAEL SCHEUER: Well, the president is correct, in that he got - President Clinton is correct that he got closer than anyone, but, of course, he always refused to pull the trigger. And in addition, we were never authorized, while I was the chief of operations, to kill Usama bin Laden. In fact, Mr. Richard Clarke definitely told us we had no authorization to kill bin Laden.
Why they didn't shoot, of course, is, at least from Mr. Tenet's viewpoint it was because one time they were afraid to have shrapnel hit a mosque when they killed bin Laden. And two other times I think they were afraid they actually would have to do something, so they warned the emirates on one occasion, the princes from the United Arab Emirates, to move so we couldn't attack bin Laden.
WALLACE: They were on a hunting trip with bin Laden.
SCHEUER: Yes, sir. And Richard Clarke called the emirates and warned them that they should get out of that area, which cost us the chance to kill him…
WALLACE: But, Mr. Scheuer, I can see you beginning to shake your head. I mean, whether or not they had certifiable proof about the Cole, they certainly knew that Al Qaeda had been involved in the 1998 bombing of the U.S. embassies in Africa.
In your opinion, as somebody who was up close and personal, why didn't the Clinton administration go after Al Qaeda after the USS Cole?
SCHEUER: Mr. Wallace, my opinion is not all that important. I went to a little Jesuit school in Buffalo called Canicius, and the priests taught us never to lie, but if you had to lie, never lie about facts. Mr. Richard Clarke, Mr. Sandy Berger, President Clinton are lying about the opportunities they had to kill Usama bin Laden. That's the plain truth, the exact truth.
Men and women at the CIA risked their lives to provide occasions to kill a man we knew had declared war and had attacked America four or five times before 1998. We had plans that had been approved by the Joint Operations Command at Fort Bragg. We had opportunities, many opportunities to kill him.
But that's the president's decision. That's absolutely the case. It's not a simple, dumb bureaucrat like me; that's not my decision. It's his. But for him to get on the television and say to the American people he did all he could is a flat lie, sir…
SCHEUER: ... saying this that what Mr. Benjamin, who I have a great deal of respect for, but what I say doesn't matter. What matters is the documents that back up what I have to say or what Mr. Benjamin has to say.
The 9/11 commission ignored those documents, didn't publish them to the American people, let no one involved with the effort to get bin Laden testify to the American people.
This is not a question of interpretation or judgment. This is a question of fact. And the documents will show the president had the opportunity.
WALLACE: Mr. Scheuer, you're very critical of President Clinton, as we've seen today, but you also are on the record as saying that President Bush was, quote, "absolutely negligent in his failure to do more in the first eight months."
SCHEUER: Oh, I think that's absolutely the case. And I think that this administration has led us into a tremendously difficult long-term problem, which will be very bloody and costly for Americans.
I think fair is fair, though. Mr. Clarke, Mr. Berger, Mr. Clinton did have opportunities that were delivered by the men and women of the CIA to kill Usama bin Laden. In the first eight months of the Bush administration, there were no such opportunities. Could Bush have done more?
BENJAMIN: He didn't create any either.
SCHEUER: There were no such opportunities.
BENJAMIN: There were no votes (ph)?
SCHEUER: Well, the agency was still in the field. We were still trying to collect information. We didn't know where he was. I'm not saying that what they did or not was right, but the fact is Bush didn't have eyes on target.
According to FORMER CIA UNIT CHIEF MICHAEL SCHEUER in the eight years of the Clinton presidency Clinton had 10 times which to kill bin Laden and did not. In the first eight months of the Bush administration the opportunity to kill bin Laden didn’t present itself even once.
So the former President’s “At least I tried” performance on the Fox News Sunday show was something that we have grown to expect from Bill Clinton and his waging finger… a lie!