I actually think this could be quite an important moment for Democrats to re-frame the national security debate. Wallace pushed Clinton into saying what Democrats should be saying — Bush was asleep on the job, did not take Osama Bin Laden seriously and his actions have not made us safer.
WJC: I authorized the CIA to get groups together to try to kill him. The CIA was run by George Tennet who President Bush gave the medal of freedom to and said he did a good job. The country never had a comprehensive anti terror operation until I came to office. If you can criticize me for one thing, you can criticize me for this, after the Cole I had battle plans drawn to go into Afghanistan, overthrow the Taliban, and launch a full scale attack search for Bin Laden. But we needed baseing rights in Uzbekistan which we got after 9/11. The CIA and the FBI refused to certify that Bin Laden was responsible while I was there. They refused to certify. So that meant I would have had to send a few hundred special forces in helicopters and refuel at night. Even the 9/11 comission didn’t do that. Now the 9/11 commission was a political document too. All I’m asking is if anybody wants to say I didn’t do enough, you read Richard Clarke’s book.
CW: Do you think you did enough sir?
WJC: No because I didn’t get him
WJC: But at least I tried. That’s the difference in me and some, including all the right wingers who are attacking me now. They ridiculed me for trying. They had eight months to try and they didn’t….. I tried. So I tried and failed. When I failed I left a comprehensive anti-terror strategy and the best guy in the country, Dick Clarke… So you did Fox’s bidding on this show. You did you nice little conservative hit job on me.
No prisoners, Bubba. No prisoners.