Alexander's Column

Caves, Camps and Clinton Scandals

Mark Alexander · Jan. 18, 2002

Though our country’s war against Jihadistan is still in its early campaign and very dangerous, the Democrats and their Leftmedia sympathizers are eager to return to domestic “politics as usual” for this election year. President George W. Bush has earned high marks from the American people for his conduct as Commander-in-Chief, so the Democrats are very eager to change the subject, and sooner rather than later.

On the front in Afghanistan, neutralizing caves, camps and strongholds of terror head Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda continues. And we now know that al Qaeda has a presence in 68 countries, a financial presence the extent of which is illustrated by the anti-terror actions freezing funds of 168 entities, and a deadly potential Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld noted by saying, “We have found a number of things that show an appetite for weapons of mass destruction.”

Since shortly after 9-11, investigators at the Pentagon have secretly been collecting evidence of “linkage” between Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda organization and other international terror groups, to strengthen the case for including Iraq as a target in the war on terrorism. The study has scanned years of highly classified intelligence reports to find links between groups supported by Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and bin Laden’s worldwide al Qaeda network. Promising leads involve the likelihood that Iraqi business fronts for the country’s intelligence service are linked to bin Laden. We had better turn to confronting Iraqi links to terrorism before it’s too late!

Speaking of the efforts to roll up terrorism worldwide, such as new movements in concert with our allies in the Philippines, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Wednesday, “The United States is leaning forward, period. … We are interested in a lot more than al Qaeda…. If you think of the terrorist networks that exist in the world and their relationships with nations that are terrorist nations and nations that have weapons of mass destruction, we simply must, as a country, be attentive to those relationships and be attentive to the risks that are posed by nations that do have weapons of mass destruction programs and relationships with terrorist networks. So we’re interested in terrorism quite apart from whether or not there is a direct linkage to September 11th. That – that is not the litmus test for whether or not the United States of America is interested. … But if we have to go into 15 more countries, we ought to do it, to deal with the problem of terrorism, so we don’t allow [them to] kill tens of thousands more people.”

In other words, somebody has been asleep at the wheel for the last decade, and we have a lot of ground to cover in a critically short period of time.

An example of the remarkable success of our war on Jihadi terror: One American special forces team was credited with killing over 1,300 Taliban and al Qaeda fighters and destroying more than 50 tanks and other heavy weapons pieces. The so-called A-team, code-named Tiger 03, performed such warfront activities as directing American bombers to enemy positions. (A-teams are each composed of up to 18 lightly armed infantrymen and air controllers, which demonstrates we’ve been getting real bangs for our warrior bucks!)

On the home front, Attorney General John Ashcroft announced that al Qaeda John Walker Lindh will not face charges of treason, saying, “We may never know why he turned his back on our country and our values, but we cannot ignore that he did. …Youth is not absolution for treachery, and personal self-discovery is not an excuse to take up arms against your country.” So why, inquiring minds want to know, will he not be charged with treason? In the end, perhaps the federal courts are a better forum so that Americans can seek to understand the Leftculture that produced little Johnny.

And on the domestic politics war front, Sociocrats and Leftmedia scandal-mongers are salivating over any remote link that might be spun in such a way as to tie Enron’s financial collapse to the Bush administration. A sample: “The Enron debacle won’t be President Bush’s Whitewater. It will be much worse,” said CBS executive editor, David Callaway. The Left is now tossing their trusty “Heads We Win, Tails Republicans Lose” coin. Either the campaign donations to Mr. Bush influenced the administration to move policy to favor Enron, or paralyzed the administration and prevented necessary actions averting economic damage to the U.S. economy from Enron’s unwinding. Very adroit!

Even more dubious is the latest line of patter suggesting Enron’s troubles could have been avoided had campaign finance laws been enacted. What exactly is the point – that Enron’s donations to both political parties got them so much influence and favoritism that their stock is now at historic highs?

The only possible negative fallout for the Bush administration from its meager ties to Enron might come from faulty analogies with Clinton-era scandals. Vice President Dick Cheney’s holding back of documents about his consultations with energy executives including Enron’s may be compared to Hillary Clinton’s withholding of documents from secret meetings of her health care task force. And the American people might be misled by politicos saying all the Bush team’s defenses amount only to: “I did not have financial relations with that donor, Enron Corporation.” Best, then, for Team Bush to get all this information out as quickly as they can – as certainly the full story will amount to much less than the slobbering scandal-mongers dream!

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