Presidential Preface?

And now the most riveting two minutes in television, the latest from the wartime grapevine:

Presidential Preface?

Former President Bill Clinton (search) says that before he left office he warned President Bush (search) that, "the biggest security problem was Usama bin Laden (search)." But, he says, he was unable to convince Mr. Bush of the danger, calling it, "one of the...biggest disappointments that I had."

Speaking at a lunch Wednesday in New York, Mr. Clinton did not mention that, according to U.S. officials, he backed off a plan to go after bin Laden himself in October 2000, after the U.S.S. Cole bombing.

The Reuters dispatch on the Clinton speech notes that, "Al Gore...did not make the threat from Al Qaeda a major focus of the presidential campaign."

Online Terrorism

Al Qaeda (search) supporters in Saudi Arabia have launched a new online magazine, and in its first issue one of Saudi Arabia's most wanted terrorists, Abu Hajjer, admits his organization is, "investing efforts" in Iraq, which he says, "is a front that we want to utilize for fighting the Americans."

The magazine, called The Voice of Jihad, says Muslims should, "burn with desire for the blood of the infidel, to slaughter the enemy of Allah (search), and to cut him up into pieces." It also says President Bush, "has all the traits of a dog except for loyalty. Thus, he is a hyena." The magazine then urges its readers to fulfill Jihad before the next issue.

Reluctant Witness

Last night on the CBS Evening News, former state department intelligence officer turned critic Greg Thielmann (search) accused the Bush administration and Colin Powell in particular of using, "faith-based intelligence" on Iraq's weapons programs. Later in the evening, he was shown saying the same thing on 60 Minutes II.

If it sounded familiar, there's a reason. Thielmann first emerged as a critic on Iraq back on June 13 in an interview with Bill Moyers on PBS. He was then heard on the CBS Evening News on July 9th saying the same thing. Four days later, he made ABC's World News Tonight with his "faith-based intelligence" comment, which was also heard that night on Nightline." And a week ago tonight, there he was again on PBS's Frontline.

But when 60 Minutes II made him their lead story last night, anchor Scott Pelley said Thielmann, "told us he's a reluctant witness."

Left Turn Signal Blinking

Democratic Georgia Sen. Zell Miller has a new book called A National Party No More. In it he insists the biggest problem with Democratic leaders is they still see the South, "as a land of magnolias and mint juleps, with the pointy-headed KKK lurking in the background, waiting to burn a cross or lynch blacks and Jews."

As for the Democratic presidential candidates, Miller says, "they are good, smart and able folks, but if I decide to follow any of them down their road, I'd have to keep my left turn signal blinking."