- The Washington Times - Monday, October 29, 2001

Don't blame Bubba
Former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright says the Clinton administration never had the public support it needed to root Osama bin Laden from his terrorist training grounds in Afghanistan.
"The [bombing] events that happened [at two U.S. embassies in Africa and against the USS Cole] were abroad," Mrs. Albright explained to reporters prior to a speaking engagement at Cherry Hill High School East in New Jersey. "This [Bush] administration has the support to go forward in a way we did not."
In addition, according to New Jersey's Courier Post, Mrs. Albright said the Clinton administration was never able to link bin Laden's repeated terrorist attacks against the United States because of intelligence deficit.
However, "we did everything we could based on the intelligence we had," Mrs. Albright insisted.

Afghan warning
"Long before the September 11th attacks, all Afghans in the United States and abroad and the Afghans inside Afghanistan raised their voices loudly and warned the world about the existence and threats of these non-Afghan terrorist groups inside Afghanistan."
So write some 100 Afghan families living in New England in a letter to Rep. Barney Frank, Massachusetts Democrat.
"Taliban do not represent the Afghan society," say the families, about 20 of which fled their country in the last two years to escape Taliban rule.
The letter goes so far as to charge: "It is unfortunate to say that the government of Pakistan [and] its military forces helped, funded, and created these terrorist groups along with the Taliban who rules Afghanistan right now."
Shortly after the September attacks, this very community in New England issued a statement condemning the terrorists, voicing solidarity and unity with President Bush and the U.S. government, and expressing sorrow and condolences for the families that lost their loved ones.

Communication is key
What's really tragic about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United states is that "a wanted terrorist and known [Osama] bin Laden associate walked up to an airline ticket counter and used his real name and real identification to board an airplane."
So says freshman Rep. Ric Keller, Florida Republican, who adds that the airplane the terrorist boarded later crashed into the Pentagon.
Now, an amendment introduced last week by Mr. Keller as a key component of the sweeping new anti-terrorism bill has received overwhelming support, because it would link via computer the FBI's terrorist watch list and airline passenger manifests.
In light of the amendment, the FBI is now required to study and report back to Congress within 120 days how it will go about linking the computers.
"I'm thrilled that it was passed," Mr. Keller tells Inside the Beltway in a telephone interview. "I think it is absolutely critical that we no longer have a situation where a known terrorist suspect gets onto an airplane, simply because of a lack of communication between airlines and government agencies."

Moscow training
The former U.S. ambassador to Russia, James F. Collins, has just joined the Washington firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld as senior international adviser.
Mr. Collins was the ambassador to Russia from 1997 until this year. He will be based in Washington.
Coincidentally, Akin Gump's founding partner, Robert S. Strauss, is himself a former U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union.

Jim's gardener
Despite the leadership he has displayed during the anthrax crisis on Capitol Hill, South Dakotans still can't forget how their state's senior senator, Tom Daschle, was suddenly thrust into the majority leader's chair.
"Many people in South Dakota think Daschle is back in D.C. mowing Jim Jefford's lawn," says Rep. John Thune, South Dakota Republican, alluding to the party-switching Vermont Republican who handed control of the Senate to Mr. Daschle.
Mr. Thune, serving his third term, is challenging South Dakota Democrat Sen. Tim Johnson for his seat in 2002.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide