We have often said that the fundamental difference between President Bush’s anti-terror policy and the failed policy of President Clinton, to which John Kerry threatens to return us, is the difference between war and law enforcement. We and others have derided the Clintonites for trying to fight a war with subpoenas and indictments. Some may think this characterization of the pre-Bush era is unfair.
So consider this:
[The terrorism commission] found that the Clinton administration had indications of terrorist links between bin Laden and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, as early as 1995 but that intelligence officials played down the evidence, which “was tightly compartmented in order to prevent leaks.”
As a result, it said, years passed as the administration pursued diplomatic solutions. In 1995, for example, U.S. agents found Mohammed in Qatar, but he managed to escape while U.S. officials first sought a legal indictment, it said.
This pathetic failure to put one of al Qaeda’s most important operatives out of business has not been widely reported.