Blowing My Own Horn Department: Yesterday I wrote about Sandy berger’s pilfering in the National Archives….
“Probably Richard Clark had a strong ” get bin Laden ” recommendation in his after-action report that Bill Clinton personally nixed or something of that nature.”
Today, according to an editorial in the New York Sun, the 9-11 Commission Report states:
“On December 4, 1999, the National Security Council’s counterterrorism coordinator, Richard Clarke, sent Mr. Berger a memo suggesting a strike in the last week of 1999 against Al Qaeda camps in Afghanistan. Reports the commission: “In the margin next to Clarke’s suggestion to attack Al Qaeda facilities in the week before January 1, 2000, Berger wrote, ‘no.’ ” In August of 2000, Mr. Berger was presented with another possible plan for attacking Mr. bin Laden.This time, the plan would be based on aerial surveillance from a “Predator” drone. Reports the commission: “In the memo’s margin,Berger wrote that before considering action, ‘I will want more than verified location: we will need, at least, data on pattern of movements to provide some assurance he will remain in place.’ ” In other words, according to the commission report, Mr. Berger was presented with plans to take action against the threat of Al Qaeda four separate times — Spring 1998, June 1999, December 1999, and August 2000. Each time, Mr. Berger was an obstacle to action. Had he been a little less reluctant to act, a little more open to taking pre-emptive action, maybe the 2,973 killed in the September 11, 2001, attacks would be alive\ today. “
A career ruined to stupidly cover up a lapse in judgement on the importance of terrorism widely shared by the entire bipartisan foreign policy establishment stretching back to the 1970’s.