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Panel says clinton didnt wag the dog { July 25 2004 }

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9/11 panel: Clinton didn't 'wag the dog' in '98
July 25, 2004

WASHINGTON -- The Sept. 11 Commission's final report says there's no evidence suggesting President Bill Clinton ordered air strikes on Osama bin Laden targets to distract attention from his affair with Monica Lewinsky.

But the report says the affair, coupled with other issues, likely affected later discussions about using force against the terrorist leader.

After U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, Clinton launched cruise missile strikes on alleged terrorist assets of bin Laden in Sudan and Afghanistan. The report said reaction to the Aug. 20, 1998, strikes included ''scalding criticism'' that the action against camps in Afghanistan and a pharmaceutical plant in Sudan was ''too aggressive.''

''President Clinton was embroiled in the Lewinsky scandal, which continued to consume public attention for the rest of that year and the first months of 1999,'' the report said. ''As it happened, a popular 1997 movie, 'Wag the Dog,' features a president who fakes a war to distract public attention from a domestic scandal. Some Republicans in Congress raised questions about the timing of the strikes.''

In testimony, Clinton aides told the commissioners that their advice to Clinton about the air strikes was based solely on national security considerations. ''We have found no reason to question their statements,'' the commissioners said.

Intelligence reports said a Sudan plant was ''manufacturing a precursor ingredient for nerve gas with bin Laden's financial support,'' although the commission said no independent evidence has emerged to corroborate this assessment.

The panel stated: ''The failure of the strikes, the 'wag the dog' slur, the intense partisanship of the period and the nature of the [Sudan] evidence likely had a cumulative effect on future decisions about the use of force against bin Laden.'' AP

Cia says intelligence faulty on 1998 sudan strike { April 23 2006 }
Panel says clinton didnt wag the dog { July 25 2004 }
Questions on clinton sudan strike 1998
Sudan 1998 us bombing { January 21 2003 }
Sudan calls for evidence nerve gas allegations { August 25 1998 }
Sudan factory wrong attack
Sudan leader blames attack clinton { August 25 1998 }
Sudan restores links uk { June 25 1999 }

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