Wednesday, September 27, 2006
PRINCETON, NJ -- The recent firestorm over former President Bill Clinton's culpability for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks was fueled on Tuesday when Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice contrasted President Bush's efforts to pursue al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden with Clinton's efforts. Clinton has strongly denied various suggestions that his administration missed key opportunities to kill bin Laden and left the Bush administration without a comprehensive anti-terrorism strategy. However, Bush -- whom Clinton says did nothing about al-Qaeda for the first eight months of his presidency -- has the bigger image problem with Americans on the issue.
According to a recent Gallup Panel survey, the American public puts the primary blame on Bush rather than Clinton for the fact that bin Laden has not been captured. A majority of Americans say Bush is more to blame (53%), compared with 36% blaming Clinton.
After framing their results as America holding President Bush more responsible for the attacks on 9/11 you see what they asked.
So they ask about who you blame more that Bin Laden hasn't yet been captured, but begin their analysis as if they had asked who you blamed more for the attacks. It's silly enough that Clinton restarted the finger pointing game, but this poll acting as if it bolsters his view is reprehensible. Of course Bush is more to blame that Bin Laden hasn't been captured yet. If Gallup asked "Who do you feel is more responsible for Bin Laden not being killed in the 1990's" you would see a different result, but you would never read the story.