09 September 2006

9/11 Mini-Series Study Guide -- Know the Lies

...the New York Times' Alessandra Stanley's Clinton-is-more-to-blame-than-Bush review of ABC's "The Path to 9/11" includes an invented conclusion of the 9/11 Commission. Stanley writes: "The Sept. 11 commission concluded that the [Monica Lewinsky] sex scandal distracted the Clinton administration from the terrorist threat." What the 9/11 Commission actually said: While Clinton's aides were obviously aware of his problems, he "told them to ignore them ... All his aides testified to us that they based their advice solely on national security considerations. We have found no reason to question their statements."

It's actually worse than that. After Clinton ordered missile strikes on Osama bin Laden's training camps in 1998, he suffered "Wag the Dog" criticism from Republicans who claimed he was just trying to change the subject. "The failure of the strikes, the 'Wag the Dog' slur, the intense partisanship of the period, and the nature of the al Shifa evidence likely had a cumulative effect on future decisions about the use of force against bin Laden," the commission wrote. Translation: While the 9/11 Commission found no reason to believe that the Lewinsky scandal caused Clinton's aides to color their advice to him on terrorism, the Republicans' criticism of the steps Clinton did take against bin Laden may have made it harder for him to take more. To be fair to Stanley, she does acknowledge in her New York Times review that "the right-wing groups who drove for impeachment must look back at their partisan obsession with shame, like widows sickened by the memory of spats about dirty dishes and gambling debts."

And for something a little more accurate, something reality-based, click here.


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