- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 18, 2001

As Clinton slept?
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is blasting former President Bill Clinton for all but ignoring, during his two presidential terms, hideous terrorist attacks believed to have been orchestrated against the United States by Saudi millionaire Osama bin Laden.
"You had the World Trade Center attack in 1993, the Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia in 1996, you had the U.S. Embassy bombings in [Kenya and Tanzania] Africa in 1998, and the attack against the USS Cole in 2000. So we had been at war for seven years," Mr. Gingrich tells Inside the Beltway. "And yet the Clinton administration insisted on treating this as a criminal justice operation, insisted on not funding the CIA adequately, not creating human intelligence capabilities, so we were crippled."
Bin Laden was put on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted list in 1999, with a $5 million reward for his capture.
Meanwhile, Mr. Gingrich says he cannot confirm a report this week that Sudan also had offered, during the Clinton years, to capture and turn bin Laden over to the United States, which reportedly declined the gesture for legal reasons.
"If true, that is phenomenal," said the former speaker. "Here we have a president who defended perjury, had the meaning of the word 'is' changed to fit his own definition, yet he couldn't find a lawyer to find a way to take out bin Laden?
"Instead, we fire 66 missiles in one day with no follow-up campaign, which weakened our prestige in the Middle East. It was a public relations agony," says Mr. Gingrich, who now heads the Gingrich Group in Washington. "When I look at what the Clinton administration said and did it was astounding. I felt very sad when the planes hit the [World Trade Center] towers and the Pentagon, because it was possible to hunt these people down over eight years."
Mr. Gingrich's guidance as the United States continues its five-week assault against terrorism?
"We now have to include [Iraqi President] Saddam Hussein [on our list of targets]," he says. "And I don't think this will be a one-way fight. We can expect to get hit, but we are now committed to winning."

September 11
The calendar date of Sept. 11 has been designated a national day of mourning and remembrance, according to a resolution introduced by Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott.
"We ask that each year on September 11 the flags be lowered to half-mast, and that America observe a moment of silence," says Mr. Daschle. "It is yet another guarantee that as years pass, and wounds heal, that we will never forget what happened on that day."
And what should Americans call this day of mourning?
"Every description has fallen short," says the majority leader. "And so we simply refer to the day: September 11."

Not-so-fun facts
It's a frightening fact, but the number of illegal aliens living in the United States is somewhere between 7 million and 13 million.
"Six out of 10 of these aliens crossed a U.S. border illegally, and therefore, were not subject to background checks by the INS [Immigration and Naturalization Service] or the State Department to determine if they had a terrorist or criminal history," we're told by former Senate Majority Leader Sen. Robert C. Byrd, West Virginia Democrat.
"In fact, exit/entry records are so incomplete that the INS has no record of six of the 19 suspected hijackers entering the United States," he says.

Give a little more
Promoters of this Sunday's all-star benefit "United We Stand" concert in Washington, to aid victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, have contacted several area hotels strongly urging free rooms for all the performers.
"Not unusual, necessarily, for a charitable fund-raiser," says our hotel insider who was among those approached, "but put it in context: The hospitality industry in this town is being pummeled, it's this area's biggest business, and nearly one-quarter of its workers have been laid off or fired since September 11.
The industry is still losing millions of dollars a day.
"Now here comes this [promotion company] practically demanding that we and other hotels give free rooms to performers who are each worth millions and millions of dollars. Why not ask each of the [performers] to pay for their hotel rooms? It would be completely tax-deductible, and they'd be helping their nation's capital recover, as well as raising money for the charities."
Among the bands performing at RFK Stadium are 'NSync, Backstreet Boys, Michael Jackson, Aerosmith, Aaron Carter, Ricky Martin, James Brown and Al Green.

Finding some humor
"Get him a phone book!"
Reporter to a Senate press aide, after the latter advised broadcasters to lower their microphones or they wouldn't be able to see 5-foot-6 Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle at yesterday's press conference on anthrax.

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