Setting the Stage For 9/11
By Cliff Kincaid
April 14, 2004

Tim Russert devoted an hour to interviewing former White House counterterrorism official Richard Clarke. But some controversial claims that go to the heart of Clinton's so-called "war on terrorism" were unchallenged. One was Clarke's claim that Clinton didn't bomb al Qaeda camps in Afghanistan because "there were lots of other things going on in the world…" Clarke claimed that Clinton "had the Middle East peace process close to an agreement. He was bombing in Serbia. He was bombing in Iraq. In retrospect, with 20/20 hindsight, people now understand that he should have bombed the camps [in Afghanistan]. I said so at the time."

Clarke didn't mention that Clinton's bombing in Serbia benefited Islamic extremists in Kosovo allied with Osama bin Laden. So Clinton couldn't bomb Islamic terrorists but he could bomb Christian Serbs? And Clarke defends this nonsensical policy? Those Islamic extremists were active again in March when they went on their own "ethnic cleansing" campaign against Serbs that remain in Kosovo. Many Serbs were killed, hundreds fled, and more Christian churches were destroyed.

How could Clinton bomb al Qaeda in Afghanistan while serving their interests in Kosovo? That's the question Tim Russert should have asked. Clarke also mentioned other problems faced by Clinton, such as "attempts to take over Bosnia during the jihad in Bosnia." Clinton "thwarted" this and other problems, Clarke insisted.

Clinton facilitated the jihad by approving shipments from Islamic Iran to Islamic radicals in Bosnia in 1994. At a hearing on this matter conducted by the House International Relations Committee, chairman Rep. Benjamin Gilman noted that the Clinton administration implemented this policy secretly, permitting Iran, "the world's leading terrorist state, a rogue state, to ship arms to Bosnia and thus gain a major foothold in the Balkans."

Then-vice chairman, Democrat Lee Hamilton, noted in the same hearing that Iran was the first Muslim country to recognize Bosnia, and that Bosnian leaders had traveled to Iran in 1991 and 1992 for assistance. The U.S. Ambassador to Germany, Charles Redman, told the hearing that Iranian deliveries of arms into Bosnia actually began in the summer and fall of 1992, that Iranian revolutionary guards were deployed in Bosnia in late 1992 to begin a training program for the Bosnian army, and that by 1993, "hundreds of revolutionary guard personnel were in Bosnia…" Clinton then put his stamp of approval on the operation.

But because the Clinton administration crafted a peace agreement for Bosnia, and because Iranian influence and personnel were said to have been eventually reduced there, Hamilton said that the Clinton policy of approving Iranian arms to Bosnia was wise and proper. This is the same Lee Hamilton, now retired, who is serving as vice-chairman of the 9/11 commission. Under Clinton, the U.S. joined Iran as a patron of the Bosnian regime. Clinton set the stage for 9/11 by supporting Islamic extremists in Bosnia and then Kosovo. That's the incredible story that Richard Clarke, Lee Hamilton and the media don't want to talk about.

Cliff Kincaid is the Editor of the AIM Report and can be reached at