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Senate; the list explicitly mentions the Attorney General. NSC email, Clarke to Berger, Aug. 19, 1998. Reno told
us she did not mention her concerns to the President but discussed them with Berger,Tenet,White House Coun-
sel Charles Ruff, and DOJ staff. Janet Reno interview (Dec. 16, 2003).
46. NSC email, Clarke to Kerrick,"Timeline,"Aug. 19, 1998; Samuel Berger interview (Jan. 14, 2004).We did
not find documentation on the after-action review mentioned by Berger. On Vice Chairman Joseph Ralston's mis-
sion in Pakistan, see William Cohen interview (Feb. 5, 2004). For speculation on tipping off the Taliban, see, e.g.,
Richard Clarke interview (Dec. 18, 2003).
47. NSC email, Clarke to Kerrick,"Timeline," Aug. 19, 1998.
48. For initial support by Gingrich and Lott, see, e.g., Steven Thomma and Richard Parker,"U.S. Strikes Afghan,
Sudan Sites, Retaliating for Embassy Attacks," Philadelphia Inquirer, Aug. 21, 1998, p. A1. For a reaction to the later
criticism by Gingrich's office, see NSC email, Simon to Berger, Sept. 10, 1998.
49. Editorial,"Punish and Be Damned," Economist,Aug. 29, 1998, p. 16. For a summary of skeptical public reac-
tion, see Benjamin and Simon, Age of Sacred Terror, pp. 354363.
50. See NSC memo, McCarthy and Clarke to Berger, Apr. 17, 2000, reporting that on balance, they think the
CIA claim was valid. See also President Clinton meeting (Apr. 8, 2004);Vice President Gore meeting (Apr. 9, 2004);
Samuel Berger interview (Jan. 14, 2004); George Tenet interview (Jan. 22, 2004); Richard Clarke interview (Dec.
19, 2003).
51. Samuel Berger interview (Jan. 22, 2004). President Clinton told us that he had directed his national secu-
rity team to focus exclusively on responding to the embassy bombings. President Clinton meeting (Apr. 8, 2004).
See also William Cohen testimony, Mar. 23, 2004. When "wag the dog" allegations were again raised during the
December 1998 Desert Fox campaign over Iraq, Defense Secretary Cohen, formerly a Republican senator, told
members of Congress that he would have resigned if he believed the President was using the military for any pur-
pose other than national security.William Cohen interview (Feb. 5, 2004).
52. Samuel Berger interview (Jan. 22, 2004).
53. CIA analytic report,"Foreign Terrorist Threat in the U.S.: Revisiting our 1995 Estimate," Apr. 1997.
54. Daniel Benjamin interview (Dec. 4, 2003).
55. On the Balkan crises, see Tim Judah, The Serbs: History, Myth and the Destruction of Yugoslavia (Yale Univ.
Press, 2000).
56. On Clarke's obsession with terrorism and Bin Ladin, see Richard Clarke interview (Feb. 3, 2004); Richard
A. Clarke, Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror (Free Press, 2004), p. 234. On the CSG and the Small
Group, see Samuel Berger interview (Jan. 11, 2004).
57. NSC memo, "Political Military Plan DELENDA," Sept. 1998 (attached to NSC memo, Clarke to Rice,
Jan. 25, 2001).
58. Ibid. See also NSC memo, Clarke to Berger, Sept. 7, 1998.
59. Handwritten note from Steinberg on NSC memo, Clarke to Berger,Apr. 14, 2000. For the views of Small
Group members, see William Cohen interview (Feb. 5, 2004); Hugh Shelton interview (Feb. 5, 2004); President
Clinton meeting (Apr. 8, 2004); Samuel Berger interview (Jan. 14, 2004); Madeleine Albright interview (Jan. 7,
2004); James Steinberg interview (Dec. 5, 2003).
60. Richard Clarke interview (Jan. 12, 2004); DOD memo, Slocombe to Cohen, Aug. 27, 1998.
61. DOD memo, "Towards a More Aggressive Counterterrorism Posture," undated, pp. 1, 7. The principal
author of this paper was Thomas Kuster, a career civil servant and former special forces officer. He told us that this
paper was drafted in September 1998. On this episode, see Thomas Kuster interviews (Dec. 9, 2003; Mar. 5, 2004);
Allen Holmes interview (Mar. 10, 2004); Jan Lodal interview (Mar. 5, 2004).
62. DOS cable, Islamabad 06863,"Afghanistan: Demarche to Taliban on New Bin Ladin Threat," Sept. 14, 1998.
See also NSC memo, Clarke to principals,"Possible New Attacks on US by UBL Network," Sept. 12, 1998, which
suggested language for the demarche, including a warning that future attacks would bring "severe consequences."
NSC email, Clarke to Berger, Sept. 19, 1998, indicates that the State Department used both its embassy in Islam-
abad and a direct call to Mullah Omar's office to deliver the warning.
63. DOS memo,"Mullah Omar's 8/22 Contact with State Department," Aug. 22, 1998.
64. DOS cable, Islamabad 007665,"High-Level Taliban Official Gives the Standard Line on Bin Ladin with a
Couple of Nuances," Oct. 12, 1998.
65. NSC memo, Sept. 24, 1998; Coll, Ghost Wars, p. 414.
66.The CIA in particular pressed the Saudis hard on intelligence sharing. DCI Tenet met with Crown Prince
Abdullah,Ambassador Bandar, the minister of defense and aviation, and other senior officials repeatedly and pressed
them on counterterrorism. See, e.g., CIA memo,Tenet to Berger,Tenet's meeting with Crown Prince Abdullah in
Jeddah, June 7, 1998. As late as July 3, 2001, the DCI was pressing Bandar, conveying the urgent need for informa-
tion. CIA cable, DCI meeting with Bandar, July 3, 2001.
67. See, e.g., Mike interview (Dec. 11, 2003).The Saudis, however, were reluctant to provide details of incom-
plete investigations and highly sensitive to any information related to Saudi nationals, particularly those in the King-
dom. See CIA memo, Saudi CT Cooperation, June 18, 1998.
68. CIA talking points,Vice President's meeting with Crown Prince Abdullah, Sept. 24, 1998; NSC memo,
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