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Profile: William Jefferson ("Bill") Clinton

 
  

Positions that William Jefferson ("Bill") Clinton has held:

  • US President


 

Quotes

 
  

No quotes or excerpts for this entity.


 

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William Jefferson ("Bill") Clinton actively participated in the following events:

 
  

January 20, 1993: Bill Clinton Inaugurated      Complete 911 Timeline

      
President Bill Clinton.
Bill Clinton replaces George H. W. Bush as US president. He remains president until January 2001.
People and organizations involved: George Herbert Walker Bush, William Jefferson ("Bill") Clinton
          

September 19, 1994-October 15, 1994      Haiti Coup, US-Haiti (1959-2005)

       US and UN military forces enter Haiti and restore Jean-Bertrand Aristide to the presidency. [Resource Center of the Americas, 2/24/2004] US conservatives, such as Senator Jesse Helms, are against the intervention and criticize President Bill Clinton for engaging in unnecessary “nation building” in Haiti. Helms falsely makes the claim on the Senate floor that Aristide is “Psychotic,” based on a CIA document later revealed to be a forgery. [Newsday, 3/1/2004; Taipei Times, 3/1/2004; Observer, 3/7/2004]
People and organizations involved: Jean-Bertrand Aristide, William Jefferson ("Bill") Clinton, Jesse Helms
          

January 24, 1995: Clinton Tries to Stop Terrorist Funding with Executive Order      Complete 911 Timeline

       President Clinton issues Executive Order No. 12947, making it a felony to raise or transfer funds to designated terrorist groups or their front organizations. [White House, 1/24/95; Clarke, 2004, pp 98]
People and organizations involved: William Jefferson ("Bill") Clinton
          

July 17, 1996-September 1996: TWA Flight 800 Crashes; Counterterrorism Funding Boosted in Response      Complete 911 Timeline

       TWA Flight 800 crashes off the coast of Long Island, New York, killing the 230 people on board. The cause of the crash is debated for a long time afterward, and terrorism is considered a possibility. With this accident in mind, President Clinton requests, and Congress approves, over $1 billion in counter-terrorism-related funding in September 1996. [Clarke, 2004, pp 130]
People and organizations involved: William Jefferson ("Bill") Clinton, US Congress
          

September 24, 1996      US Military

       President Bill Clinton is the first world leader to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). The treaty, which will ultimately be signed by 154 nations, will extend the international ban on above-ground tests to underground testing, resulting in a total ban on all nuclear explosions. In 1999, however, the Republican-controlled Congress will vote not to ratify the treaty (see October 13, 1999). [White House, 7/20/1999; CNN, 10/13/1999]
People and organizations involved: William Jefferson ("Bill") Clinton
          

January 20, 1997: Clinton Re-inaugurated; Atlanta Rules Applied at This and Other Events      Complete 911 Timeline

       Bill Clinton is re-inaugurated as president. An extensive set of security measures to prevent airplanes as weapons crashing into the inauguration is used. These measures, first used in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and thus referred to as the “Atlanta Rules,” include the closing of nearby airspace, the use of intercept helicopters, the basing of armed fighters nearby, and more. This plan will later be used for the 1999 North Atlantic Treaty Organization's 50th anniversary celebration in Washington, the 2000 Republican convention in Philadelphia, the 2000 Democratic convention in New York, and the George W. Bush inauguration in 2001. [Wall Street Journal, 4/1/04; Clarke, 2004, pp 110-11] At some point near the end of the Clinton administration, the Secret Service and Customs Service agree to create a permanent air defense unit to protect Washington. However, these agencies are part of the Treasury Department, and the leadership there refuses to fund the idea. The permanent unit is not created until after 9/11. [Wall Street Journal, 4/1/04]
People and organizations involved: William Jefferson ("Bill") Clinton, Clinton administration, Secret Service, George W. Bush
          

May 22, 1998: Clinton Creates Counterterrorism Post, Selects Richard Clarke      Complete 911 Timeline

       President Clinton creates the new post of National Coordinator for Counterterrorism. He names Richard Clarke for the job, and Clarke soon becomes known as the counterterrorism “tsar.” [Washington Post, 4/20/00] This is outlined in a new presidential directive on counterterrorism that also outlines goals of fighting terrorism and attempts to strengthen interagency coordination of counterterrorism efforts. [9/11 Commission Report, 3/24/04 (D)]
People and organizations involved: Richard A. Clarke, William Jefferson ("Bill") Clinton
          

Mid-August 1998: Clinton Authorizes Assassination of bin Laden      Complete 911 Timeline

       President Clinton signs a Memorandum of Notification, which authorizes the CIA to plan the capture of bin Laden using force. The CIA draws up detailed profiles of bin Laden's daily routines, where he sleeps, and his travel arrangements. The assassination never happens, supposedly because of inadequate intelligence. However, as one officer later says, “you can keep setting the bar higher and higher, so that nothing ever gets done.” An officer who helped draw up the plans says, “We were ready to move” but “we were not allowed to do it because of this stubborn policy of risk avoidance... It is a disgrace.” [Philadelphia Inquirer, 9/16/01] Additional memoranda quickly follow that authorize the assassination of up to ten other al-Qaeda leaders, and authorize the shooting down of private aircraft containing bin Laden. [Washington Post, 12/19/01] However, “These directives [lead] to nothing.” [New Yorker, 7/28/03]
People and organizations involved: Central Intelligence Agency, Osama bin Laden, William Jefferson ("Bill") Clinton
          

September 23, 1998: US Administration Officials Confirm No Direct bin Laden Link to Sudanese Factory      Complete 911 Timeline

       Senior Clinton administration officials admit they had no evidence directly linking bin Laden to the Al Shifa factory at the time of retaliatory strikes on August 20. However, intelligence officials assert that they found financial transactions between bin Laden and the Military Industrial Corporation—a company run by the Sudan's government. [New York Times, 9/23/98; PBS Frontline, 2001] A soil sample is said to show that the pharmaceutical factory was producing chemical weapons, but many doubts about the sample later arise. [New Yorker, 10/12/98; New York Times, 9/21/98] The US later unfreezes the bank accounts of the nominal factory owner and takes other conciliatory actions, but admits no wrongdoing. It is later learned that of the six camps targeted in Afghanistan, only four were hit, and of those, only one had definitive connections to bin Laden. Clinton declares that the missiles were aimed at a “gathering of key terrorist leaders,” but it is later revealed that the referenced meeting took place a month earlier, in Pakistan. [Observer, 8/23/98; New Yorker, 1/24/00]
People and organizations involved: Clinton administration, William Jefferson ("Bill") Clinton, Osama bin Laden, Military Industrial Corporation
          

October 31, 1998      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       President Clinton Signs the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 into law. The act, which passed with overwhelming support from Democrats and Republicans in both the House and Senate, was written by Trent Lott and other Republicans with significant input from Ahmed Chalabi and his aide, Francis Brooke. The act makes it “the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq and to promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime.” To that end, the act requires that the president designate one or more Iraqi opposition groups to receive up to $97 million in US military equipment and nonlethal training. The act authorizes another $43 million for humanitarian, broadcasting, and information-collection activities. To be eligible for US assistance, an organization must be “committed to democratic values, to respect for human rights, to peaceful relations with Iraq's neighbors, to maintaining Iraq's territorial integrity, and to fostering cooperation among democratic opponents of the Saddam Hussein regime.” [New Yorker, 6/7/2004; Washington Post, 1/25/2002 Sources: Iraq Liberation Act of 1998]
People and organizations involved: Ahmed Chalabi, Francis Brooke, Trent Lott, William Jefferson ("Bill") Clinton
          

December 1, 1998: Bin Laden Actively Planning Attacks Inside US      Complete 911 Timeline

       According to a US intelligence assessment, “[bin Laden] is actively planning against US targets and already may have positioned operatives for at least one operation. ... Multiple reports indicate [he] is keenly interested in striking the US on its own soil ... Al-Qaeda is recruiting operatives for attacks in the US but has not yet identified potential targets.” Later in the month, a classified document prepared by the CIA and signed by President Clinton states: “The intelligence community has strong indications that bin Laden intends to conduct or sponsor attacks inside the US” [9/11 Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03; 9/11 Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03 (B); Washington Post, 9/19/02 (B); 9/11 Congressional Inquiry, 9/18/02]
People and organizations involved: al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, William Jefferson ("Bill") Clinton, Central Intelligence Agency
          

December 5, 1998: Unocal Abandons Afghan Pipeline Project      Complete 911 Timeline

       Unocal announces it is withdrawing from the CentGas pipeline consortium, and closing three of its four offices in Central Asia. President Clinton refuses to extend diplomatic recognition to the Taliban, making business there legally problematic. A concern that Clinton will lose support among women voters for upholding the Taliban plays a role in the cancellation. [New York Times, 12/5/98]
People and organizations involved: Energy Information Agency, William Jefferson ("Bill") Clinton, Unocal, Taliban
          

Late 1998-2000: US Administration Officials Seek Ground-Based Plan to Kill bin Laden      Complete 911 Timeline

      
Henry Shelton.
National Security Adviser Sandy Berger and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright repeatedly seek consideration of a “boots on the ground” option to kill bin Laden, using the elite Delta Force. Clinton also supports the idea, telling Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Henry Shelton, “You know, it would scare the sh_t out of al-Qaeda if suddenly a bunch of black ninjas rappelled out of helicopters into the middle of their camp.” However, Shelton says he wants “nothing to do” with such an idea. He calls it naive, and ridicules it as “going Hollywood.” He says he would need a large force, not just a small team. [Washington Post, 12/19/01] US Central Command chief General Anthony Zinni is considered the chief opponent to the “boots on the ground” idea. [Washington Post, 10/2/02] Clinton orders “formal planning for a mission to capture the al-Qaeda leadership.” Reports are contradictory, but some claim Clinton was told such plans were drawn up when in fact they were not. [Washington Post, 10/2/02; Time, 8/4/02] In any event, no such plans are implemented.
People and organizations involved: Henry H. Shelton, William Jefferson ("Bill") Clinton, Madeleine Albright, Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda, Delta Force, Sandy Berger, Anthony Zinni
          

February 4, 1999      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       President Clinton signs Presidential Decision Directive (PDD) 99-13 designating seven Iraqi opposition groups as being eligible to receive US federal funds under the 1998 Iraq Liberation Act (see October 31, 1998). The act stated that the policy of the US should be to support regime change in Iraq. The seven groups include the Iraqi National Accord, the Iraqi National Congress, the Islamic Movement of Iraqi Kurdistan, the Kurdistan Democratic Party, the Movement for Constitutional Monarchy, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, and the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq. [White House, 2/4/1999]
People and organizations involved: Islamic Movement of Iraqi Kurdistan, Iraqi National Congress, Iraqi National Accord, Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, Kurdistan Democratic Party, Movement for Constitutional Monarchy, William Jefferson ("Bill") Clinton
          

March 1999      US-Guatemala (1901-2002)

       US President Bill Clinton apologizes to Guatemalans for decades of US policy in support of a murderous military that “engaged in violent and widespread repression,” costing the lives of some 100,000 civilians. That policy “was wrong,” the president declares, “and the United States must not repeat that mistake.” [The Washington Post, 3/11/1999; CNN, 3/10/1999; National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 11; BBC, 3/11/1999]
People and organizations involved: William Jefferson ("Bill") Clinton
          

July 4, 1999: Executive Order Issued Against Taliban      Complete 911 Timeline

       With the chances of a pipeline deal with the Taliban looking increasingly unlikely, President Clinton finally issues an executive order prohibiting commercial transactions with the Taliban. The order also freezes the Taliban's US assets. Clinton blames the Taliban for harboring bin Laden. [Executive Order, 7/4/99; CNN, 7/6/99]
People and organizations involved: William Jefferson ("Bill") Clinton, Taliban, Osama bin Laden
          

November 19, 1999      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       Congress allocates $10 million “to support efforts to bring about political transition in Iraq, of which not less than $8 million shall be made available only to Iraqi opposition groups designated under the ILA [Iraq Liberation Act of 1998] for political, economic humanitarian, and other activities of such groups, and not more than $2 million may be made available for groups and activities seeking the prosecution of Saddam Hussein and other Iraqi Government officials for war crimes.” President Clinton signs the appropriation bill into law on November 29. [The Library of Congress Thomas Database, n.d. Sources: Public Law 106-113] This $10 million dollars is the first allocation of funds to Iraqi opposition groups out of the total $97 million that was authorized by the 1998 Iraq Liberation Act (see October 31, 1998).
People and organizations involved: Iraqi National Congress, William Jefferson ("Bill") Clinton
          

Early December 1999: US Takes Action to Stop al-Qaeda Millennium Bombing Plot      Complete 911 Timeline

       The CIA learns from the Jordanian government about an al-Qaeda millennium bombing plot. Counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke is told of this, and he implements a plan to neutralize the threat. [Clarke, 2004, pp 205, 211] The plan, approved by President Clinton, focuses on harassing and disrupting al-Qaeda members throughout the world. The FBI is put on heightened alert, counterterrorism teams are dispatched overseas, a formal ultimatum is given to the Taliban to keep al-Qaeda under control, and friendly intelligence agencies are asked to help. There are Cabinet-level meetings nearly every day dealing with terrorism [Associated Press, 6/28/02; Washington Post, 4/20/00] All US embassies, military bases, police departments, and other agencies are given a warning to be on the lookout for signs of an al-Qaeda millennium attack. One alert border agent responds by arresting terrorist Ahmed Ressam (see December 14, 1999), which leads to the unraveling of several bombing plots (see December 14-31, 1999). No terror attacks occur. However, Clarke claims the FBI generally remains unhelpful. For example, around this time the FBI says there are no websites in the US soliciting volunteers for training in Afghanistan or money for terrorist front groups. Clarke has a private citizen check to see if this is true, and within days, he is given a long list of such websites. The FBI and Justice Department apparently fail to do anything with the information. [Newsweek, 3/31/04 (B)]
People and organizations involved: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Taliban, al-Qaeda, Ahmed Ressam, Central Intelligence Agency, Jordan, Richard A. Clarke, US Department of Justice, William Jefferson ("Bill") Clinton
          

March 25, 2000: Clinton Visits Pakistan Despite Fears of ISI Ties to Al-Qaeda      Complete 911 Timeline

       President Clinton visits Pakistan. It is later revealed that the US Secret Service believed that the ISI was so deeply infiltrated by Islamic militant organizations, that it begged Clinton to cancel his visit. Specifically, the US government determined that the ISI had long-standing ties with al-Qaeda. When Clinton decided to go over the Secret Service's protestations, his security took extraordinary and unprecedented precautions. For instance, an empty Air Force One was flown into the country, and the president made the trip in a small, unmarked plane. [New York Times, 10/29/01]
People and organizations involved: Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, al-Qaeda, Secret Service, William Jefferson ("Bill") Clinton
          

April 20, 2000: Some Complain Clinton Administration Focusing Too Much on Terrorism      Complete 911 Timeline

       The Washington Post writes, “With little fanfare, [President Clinton] has begun to articulate a new national security doctrine in which terrorists and other ‘enemies of the nation-state’ are coming to occupy the position once filled by a monolithic communist superpower.” In his January 2000 State of the Union address, President Clinton predicts that terrorists and organized criminals will pose “the major security threat” to the US in coming decades. However, some claim that a “preoccupation with bin Laden has caused errors in judgment.” National Security Adviser Sandy Berger counters that the threat of large-scale terrorist attacks on US soil is “a reality, not a perception. ... We would be irresponsible if we did not take this seriously.” Counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke predicts that the US's new enemies “will come after our weakness, our Achilles heel, which is largely here in the United States.” [Washington Post, 4/20/00]
People and organizations involved: William Jefferson ("Bill") Clinton, Osama bin Laden, Richard A. Clarke, Sandy Berger
          

September-October 2000: Predator Flights over Afghanistan Are Initiated Then Halted      Complete 911 Timeline

      
Footage from a Predator drone apparently shows bin Laden surrounded by security.
An unmanned spy plane called the Predator begins flying over Afghanistan, showing incomparably detailed real-time video and photographs of the movements of what appears to be bin Laden and his aides. It flies successfully over Afghanistan 16 times. [9/11 Commission Report, 3/24/04] President Clinton is impressed by a two-minute video of bin Laden crossing a street heading toward a mosque. Bin Laden is surrounded by a team of a dozen armed men creating a professional forward security perimeter as he moves. The Predator has been used since 1996, in the Balkans and Iraq. One Predator crashes on takeoff and another is chased by a fighter, but it apparently identifies bin Laden on three occasions. Its use is stopped in Afghanistan after a few trials, mostly because seasonal winds are picking up. It is agreed to resume the flights in the spring, but the Predator fails to fly over Afghanistan again until after 9/11. [Clarke, 2004, pp 220-21; Washington Post, 12/19/01] On September 15, 2001, CIA Director Tenet apparently inaccurately tells President Bush, “The unmanned Predator surveillance aircraft that was now armed with Hellfire missiles had been operating for more than a year out of Uzbekistan to provide real-time video of Afghanistan.” [Washington Post, 1/29/02]
People and organizations involved: William Jefferson ("Bill") Clinton, George W. Bush, Osama bin Laden, George Tenet, Central Intelligence Agency
          

October 25, 2000      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       Congress substantially increases its support for Iraqi opposition organizations, more than doubling the groups' funding to $25 million for 2001. Of this amount, $18 million is specifically designated for the Iraqi National Congress: $12 million for “food, medicine, and other humanitarian assistance,” and $6 million for the “production and broadcasting inside Iraq of radio and satellite television programming.” In addition, $2 million is allocated for groups and activities seeking the prosecution of Saddam Hussein, while the remaining $5 million is “to support efforts to bring about political transition in Iraq.” [The Library of Congress Thomas Database, n.d. Sources: Public Law 106-429]
People and organizations involved: William Jefferson ("Bill") Clinton, Iraqi National Congress
          

January 21, 2001: Bush Administration Takes Over; Many Have Oil Industry Connections      Complete 911 Timeline

      
The Chevron oil tanker named after National Security Advisor Rice.
George W. Bush is inaugurated as the 43rd US President, replacing Bill Clinton. The only Cabinet-level figure to remain permanently in office is CIA Director Tenet, appointed in 1997 and reputedly a long-time friend of George H. W. Bush. FBI Director Louis Freeh stays on until June 2001. Numerous figures in Bush's administration have been directly employed in the oil industry, including Bush, Vice President Cheney, and National Security Adviser Rice. Rice had been on Chevron's Board of Directors since 1991, and even had a Chevron oil tanker named after her. [Salon, 11/19/01] It is later revealed that Cheney is still being paid up to $1 million a year in “deferred payments” from Halliburton, the oil company he headed. [Guardian, 3/12/03] Enron's ties also reach deep into the administration. [Washington Post, 1/18/02]
People and organizations involved: William Jefferson ("Bill") Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, Louis J. Freeh, George W. Bush, Richard ("Dick") Cheney, Enron, George Tenet
          

January 27, 2001: Al-Qaeda's Role in USS Cole Bombing Triggers No Immediate Response      Complete 911 Timeline

       The Washington Post reports that the US has confirmed the link between al-Qaeda and the October 2000 USS Cole bombing (see October 12, 2000). [Washington Post, 1/27/01] This conclusion is stated without hedge in a February 9 briefing for Vice President Cheney. [Washington Post, 1/20/02] In the wake of that bombing, Bush stated on the campaign trail, “I hope that we can gather enough intelligence to figure out who did the act and take the necessary action. ... There must be a consequence.” [Washington Post, 1/20/02] Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz later complains that by the time the new administration is in place, the Cole bombing was “stale.” Defense Secretary Rumsfeld concurs, stating that too much time had passed to respond. [9/11 Commission Report, 3/24/04 (B)] The new Bush administration fails to resume the covert deployment of cruise missile submarines and gunships on six-hour alert near Afghanistan's borders that had begun under President Clinton. The standby force gave Clinton the option of an immediate strike against targets in Afghanistan harboring al-Qaeda's top leadership. This failure makes a possible assassination of bin Laden much more difficult. [Washington Post, 1/20/02]
People and organizations involved: William Jefferson ("Bill") Clinton, Richard ("Dick") Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, Bush administration, Paul Wolfowitz
          

'Passive' participant in the following events:

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