Clinton: Now, wait a minute -- wait, wait, wait. (CROSS TALK)This was during an ambush interview which Chris Wallace lied about.
No, no -- I authorized the CIA to get groups together to try to kill him. The CIA was run by George Tenet that President (Bush) gave the medal of freedom to, and he said he did a good job setting up all these counter terrorism things. The country never had a comprehensive anti-terror operation until I came there.
Now if you want to criticize me for one thing, you can criticize me for this: after the Cole, I had battle plans drawn to go into Afghanistan, overthrow the Taliban and launch a full-scale attack search for bin Laden. But we needed basing rights in Uzbekistan -- which we got after 9/11. The CIA and the FBI refused to certify that bin Laden was responsible. While I was there, they refused to certify. So that meant I would have had to send a few hundred special forces in in helicopters, refuel at night. Even the 9/11 commission didn't do that.
Now, the 9/11 commission was a political document, too. All I'm asking is, anybody that wants to say I didn't do enough, you read Richard Clarke's book ...
Wallace: Do you think you did enough, sir?
Clinton: No, because I didn't get him.
Clinton: But at least I tried. That's the difference in me and some, including all of the right-wingers who are attacking me now. They ridiculed me for trying. They had eight months to try, they did not try. I tried. So I tried and failed. When I failed, I left a comprehensive anti-terror strategy and the best guy in the country, Dick Clark, who got demoted.
Wallace had promised that the first half of the interview would be about the Clinton Global Initiative, but he broke that promise and for his second question he said something along the lines of "what my viewers want to know most is why you didn't do more about terrorism and Osama Bin Laden."
Tags: Bill Clinton, Chris Wallace, Osama bin Laden
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