Life in Pre-9/11 America

Ever notice how often the GOP justifies things by saying, “we’re not living in a pre-9/11 world” anymore? Well, let’s take a quick look back at the party that was 1999 to see what it looked like in the Oval Office:

Published: January 22, 1999

President Clinton said today that it is ”highly likely” that a terrorist group will launch or threaten a germ or chemical attack on American soil within the next few years.

In an interview in the Oval Office late in the day, Mr. Clinton said he had been persuaded by intelligence reports that the United States needs to bolster its defenses.

Interesting, the president was concerned about terrorist attacks BEFORE 9/11? Let’s go on:

Elaborating on some of the initiatives he intends to unveil on Friday, Mr. Clinton said he is weighing a proposal from the Defense Department to establish a commander in chief for the defense of the continental United States, a step that civil liberties groups strongly resist.

Sounds a lot like the Department of Homeland Security to me. Interesting. Did you think Bush really came up with that concept? What was the GOP working on at this time:

The President gave the interview as his lawyers ended their defense presentation at his impeachment trial in the Senate.

Can you imagine the following sentence being written about our current creationist shallow thinking president:

Despite the political pressures, Mr. Clinton appeared relaxed and deeply engaged in the complex scientific and policy issues raised by what the White House has called 21st-century threats.

I wonder if he ever thought about an anthrax attack:

Among other new considerations, Mr. Clinton said he was weighing a proposal to give anthrax vaccinations to police, fire, public health and other emergency officials in cities throughout the country.

Has Bush gotten to the bottom of the Anthrax attacks yet? The letters were sent from within the United States something like four years ago, but no one has every been charged.

Is it possible to prevent terrorism without preemptive attacks? It was in 1999:

He also vowed to forge ahead despite Congressional criticism with cooperative programs with Russia aimed at providing jobs to 8,000 former weapons scientists who might otherwise be tempted to work with rogue states or terrorist groups.

I wonder if Clinton ever worried about Osama bin Laden:

He noted that Osama bin Laden, a Saudi fugitive who is accused of masterminding the United States Embassy bombings in Africa in August, has ”made an effort to get chemical weapons” and ”may have” tried to get germ weapons. ”We don’t know that they have them,” Mr. Clinton said.

Ah, 1999, when vigilance in the Oval Office was considered part of the job. Good times.

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