Liberal Grace

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Right's selective outrage

How many times have The Right been "outraged" that Clinton let bin Laden get away?

One of the more irritating charges I've hear from The Right is their indignation that Bill Clinton let bin Laden go.

US missed three chances to seize Bin Laden

The accounts vary and the main charge was debunked by the 911 Commission.

What I find irritating about these charges is that, even if true, they assume that Bill Clinton knew then what we know now.

It also assumes that the Republicans would have given Clinton the political backing he'd need for a (likely illegal) assassination or abduction instead of crying "Wag the Dog! Wag the Dog!" like they did when he tried to kill bin Laden in 1998.

We all remember when Bush and Rumsfeld let bin Laden slip away at Tora Bora because they thought it was a really nifty idea to outsource the capture of bin Laden to his former allies.

Well, it looks like there may have been a couple other times:

December 20, 2006 -- PARIS - A documentary says French special forces had Osama bin Laden in their sights twice about three years ago, but their U.S. superiors never ordered them to fire.

The French military, however, said that the incidents never happened and the report was based on "erroneous information."

The documentary, due to air next year, says the troops could have killed the al Qaeda leader in Afghanistan but the order to shoot never came, possibly because it took too long to request it.

"In 2003 and 2004, we had bin Laden in our sights. The sniper said, 'I have bin Laden,' " an anonymous French soldier is quoted as saying.

The documentary "Bin Laden: The Failings of a Manhunt" is by journalists Emmanuel Razavi and Eric de Lavarene, who have worked for several major French media outlets in Afghanistan.
U.S. Delay Let Osama Live

In this case, it's because of US incompetence and lack of urgency. That certainly is a familiar and credible theme about this administration, wether the claims are true or not. All denials aside, it perfectly fits the Bush pattern.

So, we've heard that claim about Clinton a zillion times, even after it was debunked by the 911 Commission. And, no doubt, we'll hear it a bunch more from the likes of Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter.

I ask, is this documentary going to receive anything but indifference from those same people?

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