McCain Criticized Bill Clinton When Clinton Attacked Osama Bin Laden; while Democrats and many Republicans praised Clinton, McCain said Clinton was ignoring Iraq !

For all of John McCain’s tough-talk on national security, it looks like the man was as clueless ten years ago as he is now.  I found this news article from August 21, 1998, the day after Bill Clinton ordered U.S. strikes against Osama bin Laden:


"President Clinton won warm support for ordering anti-terrorist bombing attacks in Afghanistan and Sudan yesterday from many of the same lawmakers who have criticized him harshly as a leader critically weakened by poor judgment and reckless behavior in the Monica S. Lewinsky scandal.

A few senators, however, noted that the timing of the attack raised the question of whether Clinton had ordered it to deflect attention from his personal affairs.  Others suggested the scandal may be preventing the president from paying attention to critical international problems ...

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) stressed the importance of a strong U.S. role in foreign affairs, and criticized the administration for ignoring problems OTHER THAN (emphasis added) bin Laden, including Iraq dragging its feet on arms inspections ...

‘This administration for the last seven months has neglected compelling national security threats BESIDES THIS (emphasis added),’ said McCain, a member of the Armed Services Committee.  ‘I cannot say that they've been neglected because of Monica Lewinsky, but I can say unequivocally that they have been neglected.’"

So back in 1998 this supposed "expert" on national security basically EQUATED the national security importance of trying to eradicate bin Laden with the situation in Iraq.  Needless to say, Democrats knew then, as we do now, what was of PRIMARY importance in terms of our country’s national security.  On the other hand, now almost seven years after 9-11, McCain still continues to stress Iraq, vowing that the U.S. may need to stay there for "100 Years".  In the meantime, bin Laden is still on the loose.  The question all Americans should ask ourselves is not whether McCain currently has "lost his bearings", but whether those bearings have been lost since at least 1998.

Originally posted to silver spring on Sat May 10, 2008 at 12:47 PM PDT.

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