Item -- New York Post, Sept. 7, 2006:
Clinton pointedly refuted several fictionalized scenes that he claims insinuate he was too distracted by the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal to care about bin Laden and that a top adviser pulled the plug on CIA operatives who were just moments away from bagging the terror master, according to a letter to ABC boss Bob Iger obtained by The Post.
Item -- Philosophical sympathizer Cynthia Tucker of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in her June 2004 column evaluating the Clinton presidency:
And then there is the matter of Osama bin Laden and his network of jihadists, al-Qaida. In his autobiography, "My Life," Clinton writes of a difficult period in 1998 when he was trying to salvage his marriage while also confronting al-Qaida attacks on U.S. embassies. On vacation with Hillary, he said, "I spent the first couple of days alternating between begging forgiveness and planning the strikes on al-Qaida."
That about says it all, doesn't it? Even Clinton, with his legendary ability to "compartmentalize," couldn't possibly have concentrated fully on the threat. He was not only distracted, but he was also boxed in by the scandal. Any attempt to deal more harshly with bin Laden would have been derided by political foes accusing him of trying to divert the public's attention.
In "My Life," Clinton owns up to his sins, admitting that "what I had done with Monica Lewinsky was immoral and foolish." But he also spends a vast treasury of words to prove that a cabal of ultraconservatives was determined to wreck his presidency. He's right. They were.
But they weren't elected president. He was.
The fact that he WAS distracted would appear to be an historical fact, and in the autobiographer's own words. The only question appears to be the degree of the distraction.
So what exactly is ABC getting wrong in "The Path to 9/11"?
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.