- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 20, 2003

This month, Bill Clinton has been bouncing from one camera to the next, from one media forum to another revising history along the way, and preaching what his administration never practiced. We separate fact from Mr. Clinton's fiction.
On Iraq, with NBC's Katie Couric: "If we have to go without another U.N. resolution if we have to go and European powers or Russia or China are vocally opposed to this then there will always be the suggestion that this was, in effect, a pre-emptive strike. … We've never done that. And Democratic powers normally wait to get hit before they hit."
The facts: On Dec. 16, 1998, without U.N. approval indeed, in the face of pronounced objections from U.N. Security Council members France, Russia and China the United States joined Britain in a four-day strike against Iraq. At the time, Mr. Clinton justified the attack because a report by U.N. weapons inspectors determined that Iraq had failed to "provide the full cooperation it promised."
Nor did Mr. Clinton seek U.N. approval before the United States and its NATO partners began bombing to protect Bosnian Muslims in 1995.
Four years later, Mr. Clinton again ignored the United Nations when he persuaded NATO to embark on a sustained bombing campaign of Yugoslavia to protect Muslims in Kosovo.
On North Korea, with CNN's Larry King, Mr. Clinton says his administration succeeded in ending North Korea's nuclear-weapons program using plutonium. "It turns out they had this smaller laboratory program to develop a nuclear bomb with enriched uranium," he later told Mr. King, as if he had only learned about the uranium gambit when North Korea admitted it last fall.
The facts: 1998 newspaper accounts, citing Clinton administration intelligence sources, reported fears that the North Koreans were "pursuing nuclear-weapons activities" in a "huge underground construction complex." Moreover, the Clinton administration officially acknowledged these concerns in its fiscal 2001 budget, noting that energy assistance to North Korea would be forthcoming only if North Korea (1) "is not seeking to develop or acquire the capability to enrich uranium" and (2) "is complying with its obligations under the agreement regarding access to suspect underground construction."
On counterterrorism, Mrs. Couric asked Mr. Clinton if he ever kicked himself "for not doing more about al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden." Mr. Clinton incomprehensibly replied, "I don't know what else I could have done. I I did everything I thought I could."
The facts: In 2001, eight years after Islamic terrorists first tried to take down the World Trade Center, the Rudman-Hart report concluded: "America faces extraordinary new dangers for which we are not prepared."
Promoting self-serving revisionism, Mr. Clinton's media blitz has offered no worthwhile insights on the great issues of the day.


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