Former President Bill Clinton lashed out at Fox News Channel, its reporter Chris Wallace, and the miniseries The Path to 9/11 Sunday. Asked by Wallace, "Do you think you did enough, sir [to respond to terrorist threats]?" Clinton at first answered, "No, because I didn't get him" -- to which Wallace remarked, "Right." That seemed to set off Clinton, who continued: "But at least I tried ... So I tried and failed. When I failed, I left a comprehensive anti-terror strategy and the best guy in the country, Dick Clarke, who got demoted [under Bush]. So you did Fox's bidding on this show. You did your nice little conservative hit job on me." A moment later, he continued: "I authorized a finding for the CIA to kill [Osama Bin Laden]. We contracted with people to kill him. I got closer to killing him than anybody has gotten since. And if I were still president, we'd have more than 20,000 troops there trying to kill him. Now, I've never criticized President Bush, and I don't think this is useful. But you know we do have a government that thinks Afghanistan [where Bin Laden is believed to be holed up] is only one-seventh as important as Iraq. ... And you've got that little smirk on your face and you think you're so clever. But I had responsibility for trying to protect this country. I tried and I failed to get bin Laden. I regret it. But I did try. And I did everything I thought I responsibly could." Later Wallace told Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post that he was surprised by Clinton's response. "I thought it was a fair, balanced and not especially inflammatory question," Wallace said. The TVNewser website reported Sunday that Fox had been posting its "trademark questions," including one that asked: "Clinton's outburst: Real anger, or coolly calculated?"




25/09/2006