The Phoenix Memo: Trouble for Whom?
Since 9/11, the political attack dogs on both sides have been remarkably quiet. Early on, President Bush asked the Right to focus on the American future and not the Clinton past. But a recent revelation of an August, 2001 FBI memo from Phoenix about a large number of men of Middle Eastern extraction taking flight lessons has loosed the attack dogs of the Left.
This may upset the game plan of Senator Tom Daschle and Representative Dick Gephardt. The Demo-Duo know few people play attention to the news between the start of summer vacation and Labor Day. So, the Daschle-Gephardt plan was to hold hearings on who-knew-what-and-when between Labor Day and Election Day.
As would any good team of prosecutors, the Demo-Duo wanted to put the anti-Bush case before the public first and then, without giving the Bush side an opportunity to respond, recess the hearings right before Election Day. Now, the Phoenix Memo may have two unfortunate consequences for Daschle and Gephardt.
One: the hearings may likely be held during the summer doldrums. And two, the attack dogs of the Right are now free to counterattack.
The Right will want to know why, despite repeated attacks on the U.S. at home and abroad by bin Laden, that the Clinton Administration’s only retaliation was to bomb an aspirin factory in Africa and some deserted training camps in Afghanistan? They will want to know why these puny responses only occurred just before key events in the Monica-gate hearings? They will also want to know:
1. Why did the Clintons fail to detect and prevent the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center?
2. Why did the Clinton White House suppress the January 1994 “Terror 2000 Report” which described ethno-terrorist attacks against the U.S. using weapons of mass destruction for the purpose of inflicting mass casualties?
3. Why was nothing done in 1995, when Philippine Police Chief Avelino Razon uncovered a plan to plant bombs on U.S. airliners and crash them into CIA headquarters and other key government buildings? The name of the plan was “Operation Bojinka,” – the same plan used to fly airliners into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2002.
4. Why, when Sudanese President Omar Hassan Ahmed Bashir offered to arrest Osama bin Laden and let him be extradited to the U.S. for bin Laden’s role in the attack on the World Trade Center was President Bashir’s offer rejected by the Clinton White House?
5. Why, when the Sudanese offered to arrest bin Laden and extradite him to Saudi Arabia, was a plan to intercept bin Laden en route to Saudi Arabia rejected by Clinton?
6. Why was another offer by the Sudanese to turn bin Laden over to the U.S. rejected by Clinton? Mansoor Ijaz, a Clinton supporter and appointee, was in charge of the negotiations with the Sudanese. Since 9/11, Mr. Ijaz has gone public in disgust. Watch for the highly articulate Mr. Mansoor Ijaz at the hearings.
7. Why, in May 1996, when bin Laden left the Sudan for Afghanistan to plot the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya, was no attempt was made to intercept him?
8. Why, in September, 1999 when the Library of Congress published an open-source report that said, “Suicide bombers belonging to Al-Qaeda’s Martyrdom Battalion could crash land aircraft packed with high explosive into the Pentagon, the CIA and the White House,” was the Clinton response: “No comment”?
9. Why, by October 2002, was the U.S. Navy so short of oilers that the U.S.S. Cole could not be refueled at sea and had to go into Yemen where 17 American sailors were killed and 39 others were wounded?
10. And why, since the Demo-Duo had access to the Phoenix Memo, didn’t they demand that the airlines be grounded in August 2001?
(While Clinton was in office, terrorist attacks killed 225 Americans, wounded 902 and 47 Americans were kidnapped. Source: U.S. Department of State Document, October 2001.)
William Hamilton, a nationally syndicated columnist and featured commentator for USA Today is the co-author of The Grand Conspiracy by William Penn – a novel describing a terrorist attack on Colorado’s high country.
©2002. William Hamilton