It is shameful how some former members of the Clinton administration are pointing fingers at members of the Bush administration for not following up on their warnings about Al Qaeda in the eight months prior to 9/11. Many people are jumping all over them pointing out that Bush had eight months, Clinton had eight years.
Glenn Reynolds links to a number of sites on this topic, but he makes a point in the update that applies to me as well:
Well, I'd give Clinton a bit more of a pass on this than Hewitt does. I think a lot of people -- including me -- viewed Islamic terrorism in the 1990s as a minor threat that could be contained until it collapsed under the weight of its own stupidity. That was wrong, but I don't blame the Clinton people for getting it wrong.
The cruise missile attacks took place during the Lewinsky scandal. I recall my impression, as I was looking at a headline in a sidewalk newspaper machine, when I first read the name Osama bin Ladin. Here is a billionaire Saudi oilman using terrorism to take over the world. Out of what James Bond novel did Clinton find this guy? It was so transparently a ploy to take attention off of Lewinsky's grand jury testimony (or somesuch new event in the scandal) that bin Ladin just didn't merit my mental faculties.
Count me among those who didn't take the guy seriously enough.