Global News: January 2007 Archives

On at least 10 occasions in the '90s, Osama bin Laden was within the grasp of U. S. operatives, but the Clinton White House (specifically Sandy "Padded Pants" Berger) refused to give the order to act. The situation was dramatized in a scene that was ultimately cut from the ABC mini-series, "The Path to 9/11":

(Video link via Danny Carlton.)

If you want to read what the 9/11 commission had to say about the Clinton administration's half-hearted pursuit of bin Laden, here's a link to Chapter 4, "Responses to Al Qaeda's Initial Assaults."

Policymakers in the Clinton administration, including the President and his national security advisor, told us that the President’s intent regarding covert action against Bin Ladin was clear: he wanted him dead.This intent was never well communicated or understood within the CIA.Tenet told the Commission that except in one specific case (discussed later), the CIA was authorized to kill Bin Ladin only in the context of a capture operation. CIA senior managers, operators, and lawyers confirmed this understanding.“We always talked about how much easier it would have been to kill him,” a former chief of the Bin Ladin unit said.

In February 1999, another draft Memorandum of Notification went to President Clinton. It asked him to allow the CIA to give exactly the same guidance to the Northern Alliance as had just been given to the tribals: they could kill Bin Ladin if a successful capture operation was not feasible. On this occasion, however, President Clinton crossed out key language he had approved in December and inserted more ambiguous language. No one we interviewed could shed light on why the President did this. President Clinton told the Commission that he had no recollection of why he rewrote the language.

It's a depressing read: Over and over again, you see the people on the ground reporting a solid opportunity to act, and the people at the upper echelons tell them to stand down. In May 1999, there were three opportunities in two days, but none of them were acted upon:

Replying to a frustrated colleague in the field, the Bin Ladin unit chief wrote:“having a chance to get [Bin Ladin] three times in 36 hours and foregoing the chance each time has made me a bit angry. . . . [T]he DCI finds himself alone at the table, with the other princip[als] basically saying ‘we’ll go along with your decision Mr.Director,’ and implicitly saying that the Agency will hang alone if the attack doesn’t get Bin Ladin.”

Evidently, Bill Clinton's motto -- "The Buck Never Even Got Here" -- was taken to heart by his cabinet and chief advisers.

The message board moderators on the BBC website are banning all entries that link to articles on Little Green Footballs, a blog that focuses on the activities of Islamic extremists and anti-Semitic groups around the world.

Here is the message that is replacing the deleted posts:

This posting has been temporarily hidden, because a member of our Moderation Team has referred it to the Hosts for a decision as to whether it contravenes the House rules in some way. We will do everything we can to ensure that a decision is made as quickly as possible.

The rule in question appears to be this one:

[We reserve the right to fail messages which] Contain links to other websites which break our Editorial Guidelines

The applicable guideline on unsuitable links:

A web page is unsuitable if it contains, or directly links to, anything which is... offensive... Hate sites (on grounds of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation)

Some of the anti-LGF members of the BBC board claim that if LGF were in print, it couldn't legally be published in the UK.

One poster sees this ban as part of a larger pattern at the BBC:

That the BBC does not allow a link to LGF will come as little surprise to those of us familiar with the BBCs output and editorial tone. What has come as a surprise to me, a relative newcomer to the 'blogosphere', is the degree to which the news the BBC chooses to present to us is filtered and censored. Whole stories that cause a sensation on the blogosphere and are of undoubted public interest are either mentioned in passing or not mentioned at all by the BBC.

Towards the end of last year I saw a BBC news report on the continuing anarchy in the Paris suburbs with protests by French police against the increasing number of attacks they were coming under. This was around three weeks after the same story first began circulating on the blogs.

By now all of us will have familiarised ourselves with the anodyne Mohammed cartoons that provoked such controversy last year - not through the MSM but through the blogosphere. Would any of us know about last years riots in Windsor, the Reuters fauxtography scandal or the home office ordering 12,000 nuclear protection suits for the Met over Christmas if it wasn't for the blogs? Do you know what one of the main uses of Polonium-210 is? Look it up on the internet because the recent Panorama programme didn't tell us.

And more recently have you heard about last week's conference in London hosted by the Mayor where Ken Livingstone was debating with Daniel Pipes on the topic of 'A World Civilisation or a Clash of Civilisations'? No? Didn't you hear about it on the BBC? Odd that, particularly since the debate was chaired by the Beebs own Gavin Esler.

However if you do rely on the BBC for your news coverage you will today know which Archbishop turned down an appearance on Celebrity Big Brother and that a photo of David Beckham slaying a dragon is on display at Disneyworld. You will also no doubt recall the story of motorists caught on CCTV driving into traffic bollards in Manchester and of the pelican that swallowed a pigeon.

Increasingly it isn't going to matter to the likes of Little Green Footballs whether or not the BBC links to them. The more pertinent question, in the not too distant future, is whether Little Green Footballs will allow links to the BBC.

Little Green Footballs was one of the blogs that inspired me to start my own. Blogger Charles Johnson has succeeded in calling attention to stories that are overlooked or deliberately ignored and in debunking stories that the mainstream media has gotten wrong. What's got Auntie Beeb's knickers in a twist is that the stories he posts interfere with their pro-radical-Islam, anti-Israel, anti-Western Civilization world view.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Global News category from January 2007.

Global News: December 2006 is the previous archive.

Global News: February 2007 is the next archive.

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