Newsweek's Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball, weigh in on the scathing CIA Inspector's General Report the CIA didn't want us to see.
Buried on page three of the web exclusive is a passage which shows that Slick Willie lied during his September 2006 encounter with Fox News anchor Chris Wallace. As I'm sure you remember, during an interview, Clinton erupted in anger, became unhinged, pointed his finger at Wallace, and boldly asserted:
What did I do? What did I do? I worked hard to try to kill him. I authorized a finding for the CIA to kill him. We contracted with people to kill him. I got closer to killing him than anybody has gotten since.Isikoff and Hosenball write the IG report criticized intelligence problems when Clinton was president, "detailing political and legal 'constraints' agency officials felt in the late 1990s." Then they mention Clinton's 2006 temper tantrum and explain Clinton's prevarication:
Clinton appeared to have been referring to a December 1999 Memorandum of Notification (MON) he signed that authorized the CIA to use lethal force to capture, not kill, bin Laden. But the inspector general’s report made it clear that the agency never viewed the order as a license to “kill” bin Laden—one reason it never mounted more effective operations against him. “The restrictions in the authorities given the CIA with respect to bin Laden, while arguably, although ambiguously, relaxed for a period of time in late 1998 and early 1999, limited the range of permissible operations,” the report stated. (Scheuer agreed with the inspector general’s findings on this issue, but said if anything the report was overly diplomatic. “There was never any ambiguity,” he said. “None of those authorities ever allowed us to kill anyone. At least that’s what the CIA lawyers told us.” A spokesman for the former president had no immediate comment.)[Emphasis added]So now we can see why Clinton went nuts when asked if he did enough to get Osama bin Laden - he knows he did not do enough.
In case you want to review the whole sorry Clinton meltdown, a YouTube video of the Wallace interview can be watched below and the FoxNews transcript is available here. My post refuting Clinton's Clarke Defense is here. A post about Chris Wallace's reaction to Clinton's temper tantrum is here.
No matter how many times I watch that video, it always make me think of Clinton getting on national television, pointing his finger at the camera and saying "I did not have sexual relations with that woman..."
UPDATE: More at Captain's Quarters, Fausta's blog, and The Strata-Sphere