Tags: Boston | Globe: | Clinton-Lewinsky | Affair | Complicated | Attempts | Get

Boston Globe: Clinton-Lewinsky Affair Complicated Attempts to Get bin Laden

Friday, 21 September 2001 12:00 AM

The liberal sister paper of the New York Times also raised questions about whether the ex-president's reckless personal behavior ultimately contributed to the deaths of 6,700 Americans in last week's terrorist attacks on the U.S.

"He authorized the attack (on bin Laden) on the same August weekend in 1998 he confessed his affair with Lewinsky to his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton," the Globe said.

The paper called the confession of adultery an "added strain" for the president, noting that, "Some wonder whether he wasn't distracted by the legal and political quagmire of the Monica S. Lewinsky case" at the time he launched 75 cruise missiles into Sudan and Afghanistan.

"He met with national security and military advisers to plan the attacks between sessions with lawyers to prepare for his [Lewinsky] grand jury testimony," the Globe said.

"I think it is entirely possible that was a distraction," said Massachusett's Senator John Kerry, referring to Clinton's attempts to juggle his Lewinsky cover-up with military efforts to take out the terrorist who would later prove so deadly to U.S. civilians.

Others disagreed. Former Clinton national security official Nancy Soderberg insisted to the Globe that her ex-boss was able to "compartmentalize" the Lewinsky sex scandal while mapping out a strategy to get bin Laden.

She did not cite the best known example of Clinton's ability to compartmentalize sex and national security: a 1995 Oval Office phone call where he discussed troop deployment to Bosnia with Rep. Sonny Callahan.

The conversation was carried out while Ms. Lewinsky performed a sex act on the president.

As Clinton desperately tried to cover-up his affair with the young intern, the legal fight to preserve his presidency took up more and more of his time, staffers admitted. Meanwhile other issues like the war on terrorism were relegated to the back burner.

"Clearly, not enough was done," said Jamie Gorelick, a former deputy attorney general in the Clinton administration. "We should have caught this. Why this happened, I don't know. Responsibilities were given out. Resources were given. Authorities existed. We should have prevented this."

Even Soderberg, who declined to blame the Lewinsky scandal for the failure to get bin Laden, confessed that Clinton's war on terrorism was never the priority it should have been.

"In hindsight, it wasn't enough, and anyone involved in policy would have to admit that," she told the Globe.

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The liberal sister paper of the New York Times also raised questions about whether the ex-president's reckless personal behavior ultimately contributed to the deaths of 6,700 Americans in last week's terrorist attacks on the U.S. He authorized the attack (on bin Laden) on...
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2001-00-21
Friday, 21 September 2001 12:00 AM
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