The 9/11 commission …
The 9/11 commission is pretty much proving that the Bush administration’s way of dealing with terrorists beats Clinton’s and Europe’s methods hands down. Some excerpts from this AP story:

The independent commission reviewing the Sept. 11 attacks said in a preliminary report that the decision to use diplomatic rather than military options against al-Qaida allowed the Sept. 11 terrorists to elude capture years before the attacks.

Negotiating with terrorists doesn’t work. This is not news.

The Clinton administration turned to the Saudis for help. Clinton designated CIA Director George Tenet as his representative to work with the Saudis, who agreed to make an “all-out secret effort” to persuade the Taliban to expel bin Laden.

Saudi intelligence chief Prince Turki bin Faisal, using “a mixture of possible bribes and threats,” received a commitment from Taliban leader Mullah Omar that bin Laden would be handed over.

But Omar reneged on the agreement during a September 1998 meeting with Turki and Pakistan’s intelligence chief.

See above. Should we be surprised by this?

The Clinton administration had early indications of terrorist links to Osama bin Laden and future Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed as early as 1995, but let years pass as it pursued criminal indictments and diplomatic solutions to subduing them abroad, the commission’s report said.

This is the “law enforcement” solution that John Kerry thinks will solve the terrorism issue. It’s been tried and it failed. This is, again, not news.

“From the spring of 1997 to September 2001, the U.S. government tried to persuade the Taliban to expel bin Laden to a country where he could face justice,” the report said. “The efforts employed inducements, warnings and sanctions. All these efforts failed.”

I’ve said this before (2 years ago) and I’ll say it again: If there were failures in the intelligence or the handling of said intelligence leading up to 9/11, you have to lay blame on both administrations, Clinton and Bush. If you’re going to blame Bush for not being tough on terror in the 9 months prior to 9/11, then you have to lay it even thicker on Clinton for his 8 year watch, or at least back to the first WTC bombing in 1993. Negotiations didn’t work, but consider this: When Bush took his stance against terrorism post-9/11, the world community was still ready to label him a “cowboy”. Imagine what they would have said if Bush had adopted the “Bush doctrine” before 9/11! He continued some of the policies of the previous administration, but, as Condi noted yesterday, was asking for plans to defeat al Qaeda, not just keep them in check. That was progress.

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright told the commission that President Clinton and his team “did everything we could, everything we could think of, based on the knowledge we had, to protect our people and disrupt and defeat al-Qaida.”

No, I’m sorry Madam Secretary, but you did not. You don’t “defeat” terrorism by negotiation or secret deals or bribery or whatever. You defeat terrorism by, in fact, defeating it.

The preliminary report said the U.S. government had determined bin Laden was a key terrorist financier as early as 1995, but that efforts to expel him from Sudan stalled after Clinton officials determined he couldn’t be brought to the United States without an indictment. A year later, bin Laden left Sudan and set up his base in Afghanistan without resistance.

Remind me again; who was in the White House between 1995 and 2001?

The commission’s report Tuesday said Clarke pushed for immediate and secret military aid to the Taliban’s foe, the Northern Alliance. But Rice and her deputy, Stephen Hadley, proposed a broader review of the al Qaida response that would take more time. The proposal wasn’t approved for Bush’s review until just weeks before Sept. 11.

Had Clarke suggested that to Clinton, or did he just start the day Dubya was inaugurated? And, given the Cole, and the Khobar Towers, and the WTC, and the African embassies, isn’t it reasonable to assume that taking the advice of the guy on who’s watch they happened isn’t quite the way to prevent more of them?

The more I hear about what’s going on at the hearings, the more it shows that Bush had the right idea on dealing with terrorists. That’s not partisan, that’s just looking at history.

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