Friday, November 9, 2001

Some choice remarks by former President Bill Clinton have struck a nerve in those who frequent talk radio and cyberspace.
On Wednesday, Mr. Clinton told a large audience of Georgetown University students that terror had always been a part of American history and that the nation was “paying a price today” for a past that included slavery and looking “the other way when a significant number of native Americans were dispossessed and killed.”
When those words went public in The Washington Times yesterday, many interpreted them to mean that Mr. Clinton was blaming America for the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York, Pennsylvania and at the Pentagon.
“Bill Clinton is his same old self content to pass the buck blaming the Founders, the Crusaders, and anyone else in sight for the attacks of September 11. He is entirely unwilling to accept any responsibility for what occurred on his watch. Before, he has pardoned the unpardonable; now he has justified the unjustifiable,” noted the National Review at its Web site yesterday.
Syndicated radio host Rush Limbaugh spent an hour on the topic yesterday, fielding calls from some of his 20 million listeners who were irked by Mr. Clinton’s comments. G. Gordon Liddy also covered the story, as did Matt Drudge at his Web site,
Tennessee-based political observer Glenn Reynolds said he had been inundated with e-mails after posting the comments at his Web site,
“Funny, when Clinton was president, he said that when people criticized the government we should ‘raise our fist and shout them down.’” Mr. Reynolds wrote. “That was when he was president. America has retrospectively become a lot more unjust in the several months since, I guess.
“A few readers have emailed me to say that they don’t think Clinton is talking about consequences of September 11,” Mr. Reynolds continued. “Well, his talk was supposed to be about the world after September 11, and he’s saying things that sound exactly like what we hear from the ‘America had it coming’ folks. If he didn’t mean to say anything of the sort, then he showed such appalling judgment in speaking as he did that it calls into question whether it’s appropriate for him to be speaking in public as an ex-president right now.”
Over at Lucianne Goldberg’s Web site,, readers ranted with gusto and unchecked anger at times.
“Mr. Clinton knew all of these shortcomings in our government, and that all of these shortcomings did not occur overnight, why did he not, from his seat of all power knowledge and goodness, fix it himself,” wrote one visitor.
“His laxity towards terrorism during his administration is the reason terrorists are emboldened to do their evil deeds,” commented another.
Associated Press and CNN also covered Mr. Clinton’s speech but neither included the comments about slavery or American Indians, instead concentrating on global perspectives, diplomacy and the future.
Mr. Clinton “told foreign service students at Georgetown University Wednesday the world is in a ‘struggle for the soul of the 21st century’ and called for a great debate with the Muslim world over its values versus the values of the West,” noted a CNN account yesterday.
Calls placed to Mr. Clinton’s New York office for comment were not returned.

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