Wednesday, October 12


Michelle Malkin posts today a commemorative piece on the U.S.S. Cole bombing five years ago (October 12, 2000) and encourages other bloggers to do so.

The U.S.S. Cole was a guided missle destroyer and was refueling offshore in the Adem harbor of Yemen when it was struck by a small craft packed with explosives with two suicide bombers onboard. The resulting explosion caused 17 deaths and 39 injuries.

Two years later, two men were sentenced to death and another four men were given prison sentences ranging from 5 to 10 years for their participation in the attack -- an attack thought to be tied to Osama bin Laden's terrorist network.

What should be remembered most today, apart from paying tribute to the sailors killed and injured in the blast, was the indifference of the Clinton administration to the attack. As Byron York wrote for NRO in December, 2001:

So Clinton talked tough. But he did not act tough. Indeed, a review of his years in office shows that each time the president was confronted with a major terrorist attack — the February 26, 1993, bombing of the World Trade Center, the Khobar Towers attack, the August 7, 1998, bombing of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and the October 12, 2000, attack on the USS Cole — Clinton was preoccupied with his own political fortunes to an extent that precluded his giving serious and sustained attention to fighting terrorism.
That was the touchstone of the Bill Clinton response to a concatenation of terrorist attacks on his watch: patent inaction.

As NewsMax reported in December, 2001:

On Oct. 12, 2000, terrorists bombed the USS Cole as it sat in the Yemeni port of Aden. The bomb killed 17 U.S. sailors. American officials quickly linked the attack to bin Laden and al-Qaeda.

Global News Wire reported Clinton's response:

"If, as it now appears, it was an act of terrorism, it was a despicable and cowardly act," he said.

"We will find out who was responsible, and hold them accountable. If their intention was to deter us from our mission of promoting peace and security in the Middle East, they will fail, utterly."

Clinton ordered U.S. Navy ships into the Yemeni region and directed ground forces to step up their security measures.

"They spent a lot of money but it was always a symbolic gesture without the substantive approach," Johnson said.

However, it is Henry and Erika Holzer who capture "missing in action" Bill Clinton best :

In Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged the protagonist, John Galt, says: "Then I saw what was wrong with the world, I saw what destroyed men and nations, and where the battle for life had to be fought. I saw that the enemy was an inverted morality - and that my sanction was its only power. I saw that evil was impotent - that evil was the irrational, the blind, the anti-real - and that the only weapon of its triumph was the willingness of the good to serve it. * * * I saw that there comes a point, in the defeat of any man of virtue, when his own consent is needed for evil to win - and that no manner of injury done to him by others can succeed if he chooses to withhold his consent. I saw that I could put an end to your outrages by pronouncing a single word in my mind. I pronounced it. The word was 'No.'"

Unfortunately, for eight years the Clinton administration never said "No" - in word or deed.

While during this national tragedy our political leaders have admirably come together, putting aside partisanship and steadfastly avoiding the assessment of blame for last week's terrorist attacks, we are under no such restraint. We cannot afford to ignore the non-response to terrorism, and thus the sanction of it, seen during the Clinton years - when the word "No," and the appropriate action accompanying it, might have spared America what has now befallen us.

Clinton could no more say "NO!" to the terrorists than Monica could to him. That's the legacy. And today Bill Clinton has the unadulterated gall to posture as an international statesman and to turn on President Bush and castigate him over the war in Iraq -- a president who breathed new life into a man of irreversibly failed character.