Saturday, September 09, 2006

Clinton's Indecision WORSE Than ABC Portrays

According to a military aide to Clinton, the ex-Fellate-in-Chief was worse than ABC will portray:

Democrats have been particularly critical of a scene that depicts Berger refusing to authorize a mission to capture bin Laden after CIA operatives and Afghan fighters had the al-Qaida leader in their sights.

[the film's writer/producer] acknowledges this is a "conflation of events," but Berger, in a letter to Iger, said "no such episode ever occurred, nor did anything like it."

Patterson [the military aide] contended, however, the scene is similar to a plan the administration had with the CIA and the Afghan Northern Alliance to snatch bin Laden from a camp in Afghanistan.

The scene in "The Path to 9/11," as Patterson recalled from the preview version, unfolds with CIA operatives at the camp on the phone with Berger, who is expressing concern that an attack could result in innocent bystanders being killed. An agent says he sees swing sets and children's toys in the area. The scene ends with Berger hanging up the phone.

Patterson says his recollection is that Clinton was involved directly in several similar incidents in which Berger was pressing the president for a decision.

"Berger was very agitated, he couldn't get a decision from the president," Patterson said.
Patterson noted he wasn't sure what Berger wanted to do – whether the national security adviser wanted the answer to be yes or no – but the frustration, at the very least, was based on the president making himself unavailable to make a decision.

In "Dereliction of Duty," published by Regnery in 2003, Patterson recounts an event in the situation room of the White House in which Berger was told by a military watch officer, "Sir, we've located bin Laden. We have a two-hour window to strike."

Clinton, according to Patterson, did not return phone calls from Berger for more than an hour then said he wanted more time to study the situation.

Patterson writes: "We 'studied' the issues until it was too late-the window of opportunity closed."

In another "missed opportunity," Patterson writes, Clinton was watching a golf tournament when Berger placed an urgent call to the president. Clinton became irritated when Patterson approached him with the message. After the third attempt, Clinton coolly responded he would call Berger on his way back to the White House. By then, however, according to Patterson, the opportunity was lost.

Good ol' Bill.

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