Wednesday, April 20, 2005

What did Clinton do about Terrrorism?

President Clinton led the fight against terrorism over strong opposition from Republicans in Congress and the pro-Republican Media. Here's a partial - yet incredibly long - list of accomplishments against terrorism for which the Clinton Administration gets almost no credit or even recognition. President Clinton:

-- sent legislation to Congress to TIGHTEN AIRPORT SECURITY. (Remember, this is before 911) The legislation was defeated by the Republicans because of opposition from the airlines.

-- sent legislation to Congress to allow for BETTER TRACKING OF TERRORIST FUNDING. It was defeated by Republicans in the Senate because of opposition from banking interests.

-- sent legislation to Congress to add tagents to explosives, to allow for BETTER TRACKING OF EXPLOSIVES USED BY TERRORISTS. It was defeated by the Republicans because of opposition from the NRA.

When Republicans couldn't prevent executive action, President Clinton:

-- Developed the nation's first anti-terrorism policy, and appointed first national coordinator.

-- Stopped cold the planned attack to blow up 12 U.S. jetliners simultaneously.

-- Stopped cold the planned attack to blow up UN Headquarters.

-- Stopped cold the planned attack to blow up FBI Headquarters.

-- Stopped cold the planned attack to blow up the Israeli Embassy in Washington.

--Stopped cold the planned attack to blow up Boston airport.

-- Stopped cold the planned attack to blow up Lincoln and Holland Tunnels in NY.

-- Stopped cold the planned attack to blow up the George Washington Bridge.

-- Stopped cold the planned attack to blow up the US Embassy in Albania.

-- Tried to kill Osama bin Laden and disrupt Al Qaeda through preemptive strikes (efforts denounced by the G.O.P.).

-- Brought perpetrators of first World Trade Center bombing and CIA killings to justice.

-- Did not blame Bush I administration for first World Trade Center bombing even though it occurred 38 days after they had left office. Instead, worked hard, even obsessively -- and successfully -- to stop future terrorist attacks.

-- Named the Hart-Rudman commission to report on nature of terrorist threats and major steps to be taken to combat terrorism.

-- Tripled the budget of the FBI for counterterrorism and doubled overall funding for counterterrorism.

-- Detected and destroyed cells of Al Qaeda in over 20 countries

-- Created a national stockpile of drugs and vaccines including 40 million doses of smallpox vaccine.

-- Robert Oakley, Reagan Counterterrorism Czar says of Clinton's efforts "Overall, I give them very high marks" and "The only major criticism I have is the obsession with Osama"

-- Paul Bremer, Bush's Administrator of Iraq disagrees slightly with Robert Oakley saying he believed the Clinton Administration had "correctly focused on bin Laden. "

-- Barton Gellman of the Washington Post put it best, "By any measure available, Clinton left office having given greater priority to terrorism than any president before him" and was the "first administration to undertake a systematic anti-terrorist effort."

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