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Jeffraham Prestonian

Agreed. He almost seemed Presidential, for a minute.


Yeah, unlike John Freakin' who had to run out and beat his chest and tell America how much of a tough guy he would be against bin Laden.

Jeez, you think he might have let slip the big secret of the Kerry Campaign: that Kerry was in Vietnam?

Oh. That's right. He's told us that already. Again, and again, and again.....

wasted potential

Tucker - the President is at his best when speaking of our country, its values and its defense.

wasted potential

How does it strike everyone that Bin Laden came out the way he did and criticized the President? Help Kerry, hurt kerry? Help Bush, hurt Bush? Non-issue?

I must confess that even though we are not to hate our neighbor, I can find nothing else in my heart for this man. God forgive me, but I can't.

Jeffraham Prestonian

wasted -- If words were actions, Bush would be the Best. Preznit. Evar.

Pierce Wetter

Here, Here.

Unfortunately, while at first I thought weasel-boy was going to respond with style for once, he had to make a campaign issue of it.


Kerry, too, said, "My reaction is that all of us in this city are completely united." But he criticized Bush for not capturing bin Laden earlier, and he added pointedly, "I believe I can run a more effective war on terror than George Bush."

Effing weasel. What's wrong with saying, "no matter who gets elected, we're coming for you!"? Why couldn't Kerry have just said that? Weasel.

Jeffraham Prestonian

Sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman isn't making videotapes.
Ali Mohamed isn't making videotapes.
Ramzi Yousef isn't making videotapes.
Abdul Hakim Murad isn't making videotapes.
Wali Khan Amin Shah isn't making videotapes.
Ahmed Ressam isn't making videotapes.

They're making license plates.

Henry Schlatman

It is never a "Good Thing" when our enemy tells America "Bush is still practicing distortion and misleading on you, and obscuring the main reasons" and "We didn't find difficulty dealing with Bush and his administration due to the similarity of his regime and the regims in our countries." Source: http://www.drudgereport.com/flash2.htm

No, it seems that UBL wants to start talking peace with the American People because he knows Kerry can capture UBL something Bush apparently doesn't even think of these days.

wasted potential

Jeffraham - we don't really need to talk about Clinton's "tough" stance on terrorism do we? He could have had this guy in custody on more than one occasion, but could not because his administration did not realize we were at war with these people, even though they were attacking our embassies and our navy's ships.

Now in fairness, 9/11 had not happened, but do you really believe that Bush has been too "soft" on terrorism?

Jeffraham Prestonian

wasted: "He could have had this guy in custody on more than one occasion"

Debunked completely by the 9/11 Commission's final report. Next.

wasted potential

Haven't read that part of the 9/11 commission, but I have read this:

President Clinton's first opportunity to defeat Osama bin Laden came late in the afternoon of March 3, 1996, in an Arlington, Virginia, hotel suite. It was the first attempt by the Clinton Administration to deal decisively with the arch-terrorist. It lasted less than 30 minutes.

Sudan's then-Minister of State for Defense Elfatih Erwa flew in for a secret meeting with Timothy M. Carney, the U.S. ambassador to Sudan, and David Shinn, Director of East African Affairs at the State Department. Both Carney and Shinn were State Department veterans. Also present was a middle-aged man who was a member of the CIA's Directorate of Operations (Africa division) at the time and is still active with the agency today. . . The CIA believed, and its representative told Erwa at the time, that some 200 al-Qaeda terrorists were holed up in Sudan. (The actual number, the author learned in Khartoum in 2002, was as high as 583. . . .)

Five days later, Erwa again met with the CIA operative. This time, the two State Department officials were not present. Erwa and the CIA officer were alone as they decided the fate of Osama bin Laden.

Sudan offered to arrest and turn over bin Laden at this meeting, according to Erwa. He brought up bin Laden directly. "Where should we send him?" he asked. This was the key question. When Sudan turned over the infamous Carlos the Jackal to French intelligence in 1994, the CIA covertly provided satellite intelligence that allowed Sudanese intelligence to capture him on a pretext and escort him to the VIP lounge at the Khartoum airport. There, he was met by armed members of French intelligence and flown to Paris in a special plane. Would the CIA pick up bin Laden in Khartoum and fly him back to Washington,D.C.? Or would bin Laden go to a third country?

The CIA officer was silent. It was obvious to Erwa that a decision had not yet been made. Or perhaps his offer was not quite believed. Yet, the Sudanese official was still hoping for a repeat of the French scenario. Finally, the CIA official spoke. "We have nothing we can hold him on," he carefully said. Erwa was surprised by this, but he didn't let on. He was still hoping for a repeat of the French scenario, a silent and quick operation to seize bin Laden and bring him to justice. . . .

Sudan's files on bin Laden and his network were extensive. Sudan had dossiers on all of bin Laden's financial transactions, every fax he sent (the Mukhabarat had even bugged his fax machines), and every one of bin Laden's terrorist associates and his dubious visitors. If Sudan's surveillance was as good as Erwa claimed, bin Laden's entire global terrorist network would be laid bare. And the CIA would be able to track the movements of his foot soldiers and lieutenants across the Middle East.

There were good reasons to believe that Sudan was serious about taking action against bin Laden. . . His terrorist activities had isolated Sudan from the United States and much of the developed world. Sudan's internal politics were moving against the terror master, too. President Bashir was in the midst of a power struggle against Hassan al-Turabi, the Islamist leader. Bin Laden supported Turabi with cash and a potential armed cadre of Muslim militants. If Bashir could rid himself of bin Laden, he could simultaneously restart Sudan's relationship with the United States and vanquish his chief internal political rival.

Over the next few months and years, Sudan would repeatedly try to provide its voluminous intelligence files on bin Laden to the CIA, the FBI, and senior Clinton Administration officials — and would be repeatedly rebuffed through both formal and informal channels. This was one of the greatest intelligence failures of the Clinton years — the result of orders that came from the Clinton White House.

As the Clinton Administration was weighing whether to seize bin Laden or take the opportunity to obtain valuable intelligence on his global network, the CIA's own intelligence on bin Laden was shockingly poor.

Human intelligence on al-Qaeda was virtually nonexistent. Washington Times investigative reporter Bill Gertz uncovered a memo written only a few months after Sudan offered its intelligence on bin Laden. The July 1, 1996, CIA memo was marked "TOP SECRET UMBRA," meaning only the case officers, analysts, and officials specifically cleared to read the documents marked "UMBRA" could have access to this sensitive document. The July 1996 memo reveals how ignorant America was about its emerging nemesis. "We have no unilateral sources close to bin Laden, nor any reliable way of intercepting his communications," the report said. "We must rely on foreign intelligence services to confirm his movements and activities."

This frank report reveals that as early as 1996 — five years before the September 11 attacks — the CIA and other senior policymakers knew about bin Laden-related intelligence failures. When it came to rectifying the cause of these failures, however, little was done.

Jeffraham Prestonian

wasted -- Source? Let me guess -- wingnutdaily.com?

You can download the full 9/11 Commission's final report in PDF format, and search for "Sudan." They specifically address your article above, and found no evidence of any such offers, ever.

Whitiker Chambers

I can't figure out why someone didn't go in & grab Hitler in the '30s - you can't tell me they didn't know he would try to conquer the world years later!

wasted potential

The source was a book written by Richard Miniter, called "Losing Bin Laden." I could give you my conspiracy buddies theories on the 9/11 report, but I'll spare you that.

I'll read the report and report back to you. If wrong, I will gladly admit that.

Mr. Nationalist

The 0-11 Commission report link:


wasted potential

I am having trouble with down loading the 9/11 commission PDF files, but found this on MSNBC.com

NBC News has obtained, exclusively, extraordinary secret video, shot by the U.S. government. It illustrates an enormous opportunity the Clinton administration had to kill or capture bin Laden. Critics call it a missed opportunity.

In the fall of 2000, in Afghanistan, unmanned, unarmed spy planes called Predators flew over known al-Qaida training camps. The pictures that were transmitted live to CIA headquarters show al-Qaida terrorists firing at targets, conducting military drills and then scattering on cue through the desert.

Also, that fall, the Predator captured even more extraordinary pictures — a tall figure in flowing white robes. Many intelligence analysts believed then and now it is bin Laden.

Why does U.S. intelligence believe it was bin Laden? NBC showed the video to William Arkin, a former intelligence officer and now military analyst for NBC. “You see a tall man…. You see him surrounded by or at least protected by a group of guards.”

Bin Laden is 6 foot 5. The man in the video clearly towers over those around him and seems to be treated with great deference.

‘It’s dynamite. It’s putting together all of the pieces, and that doesn’t happen every day.’

— William Arkin
NBC military analyst

Another clue: The video was shot at Tarnak Farm, the walled compound where bin Laden is known to live. The layout of the buildings in the Predator video perfectly matches secret U.S. intelligence photos and diagrams of Tarnak Farm obtained by NBC.

“It’s dynamite. It’s putting together all of the pieces, and that doesn’t happen every day.… I guess you could say we’ve done it once, and this is it,” Arkin added.

The tape proves the Clinton administration was aggressively tracking al-Qaida a year before 9/11. But that also raises one enormous question: If the U.S. government had bin Laden and the camps in its sights in real time, why was no action taken against them?

“We were not prepared to take the military action necessary,” said retired Gen. Wayne Downing, who ran counter-terror efforts for the current Bush administration and is now an NBC analyst.


• Global dragnet
Key figures and developments in the hunt for al-Qaida

“We should have had strike forces prepared to go in and react to this intelligence, certainly cruise missiles — either air- or sea-launched — very, very accurate, could have gone in and hit those targets,” Downing added.

Gary Schroen, a former CIA station chief in Pakistan, says the White House required the CIA to attempt to capture bin Laden alive, rather than kill him.

What impact did the wording of the orders have on the CIA’s ability to get bin Laden? “It reduced the odds from, say, a 50 percent chance down to, say, 25 percent chance that we were going to be able to get him,” said Schroen.

A Democratic member of the 9/11 commission says there was a larger issue: The Clinton administration treated bin Laden as a law enforcement problem.

Bob Kerry, a former senator and current 9/11 commission member, said, “The most important thing the Clinton administration could have done would have been for the president, either himself or by going to Congress, asking for a congressional declaration to declare war on al-Qaida, a military-political organization that had declared war on us.”

In reality, getting bin Laden would have been extraordinarily difficult. He was a moving target deep inside Afghanistan. Most military operations would have been high-risk. What’s more, Clinton was weakened by scandal, and there was no political consensus for bold action, especially with an election weeks away.

NBC News contacted the three top Clinton national security officials. None would do an on-camera interview. However, they vigorously defend their record and say they disrupted terrorist cells and made al-Qaida a top national security priority.

“We used military force, we used covert operations, we used all of the tools available to us because we realized what a serious threat this was,” said President Clinton’s former national security adviser James Steinberg.

One Clinton Cabinet official said, looking back, the military should have been more involved, “We did a lot, but we did not see the gathering storm that was out there.”

Jeffraham Prestonian

wasted -- You're describing exactly the same type of footage that Clinton's team used when they ordered cruise missile attacks on the training camps. What you might fail to appreciate is how long it takes for a cruise missile to get there. We had no "armed Predator" then.

T. Kosciusko

Was Osama dead or alive?

Henry Schlatman

Sorry no cookie, Clinton gave the order to Tenet which stated that UBL was to be captured or eliminated. The "Calling of the Ball" was in a General's hand not Clinton. Or are you going to play Giulaini and blame the troops?


Yes, Tucker, nice response.
Considering OBL is still alive, that is,
and turning out warnings on the eve of our election.

wasted potential

Well, per the 9/11 commission, I guess what I have always thought to be true is wrong. I assumed that since Clinton explained why he hadn't taken UBL when he got the chance, that he actually had a chance too.

Anyway, this whole thing really makes me sick. UBL turns my stomach like no other. I hope no one allows this evil man to affect their vote, either way.

Jeffraham Prestonian

wasted: "Well, per the 9/11 commission, I guess what I have always thought to be true is wrong."

Thanks. Very good of you to come back and say that.

"I hope no one allows this evil man to affect their vote, either way."

Amen, bro.


You guys jumped threads on me and left me all alone. :(

I'll ask again, does anyone have a link to a transcript of what Bin Laden was spewing?



I had the good luxury of early voting today and I thought I would give my report here from Orlando, Florida.

The line at the library went out of the building, down the parking lot and on to the sidewalk going down a major road here in Orlando. The whole process took most people about 3 hours. I am VERY happy to report that there were no problems with anyone that I could see. There were loads of Kerry people there and a few Bush people helping out the voters. All of them were very nice to everyone no matter their voting preference. It was a happy day of voting in my part of town. This turn-out is going to be mind blowing and I think we will all be proud.

WOW! Bush and Kerry volunteers were passing out stickers and buttons to the people in line. Out of the 500+ people waiting in line I would EASILY say the ratio was 5 to 1 in favor of Kerry. But the best part were the cars driving buy. Ever few minutes a car would start honking and screaming "GO KERRY" out of their windows. There wasn't a single car in 3 hours shouting for Bush which, in all honesty, surprised me. I don't get out much so I don't claim to have a beat on my neighborhood, but today made me feel really good about Kerry in Florida where I was previously just worried about voter fairness. I am pumped!! I even cleaned my kitchen, I have so much energy!! :)

That is my report!

Good luck to all of you at your voting places. May it go smoothly for everyone.

wasted potential

Jeffraham - Since I have been enlightened tonight by the 9/11 commission, why did Clinton say that he had had the chance?

"The Sudanese wanted America to start dealing with them again," Clinton confirmed during a February 2002 speech to a New York business group.

"They released him. At the time, 1996, he had committed no crime against America so I did not bring him here because we had no basis on which to hold him, though we knew he wanted to commit crimes against America."

This quote is why I assumed he had passed on it. What did the 9/11 commission find to contradict this quote?

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