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THE MCLAUGHLIN GROUP


HOST: JOHN MCLAUGHLIN



JOINED BY: MICHAEL BARONE, TONY BLANKLEY,


ELEANOR CLIFT, AND FAREED ZAKARIA



TAPED FRIDAY, APRIL 9, 1999


AIRED THE WEEKEND OF APRIL 10-11, 1999



.STX



 


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MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue one: All Zhu Needs Is Love.



ZHU RONGJI (premier of the People's Republic of China): (From videotape.) I love Chinese people. I love American people. Thank you. (Applause.)



(The Beatles' song "All You Need Is Love" provides segue into the following segment.)



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji visited Washington this week, the first such visit by a Chinese premier in 15 years. Zhu is hoping to win U.S. intercession in gaining China's entry into the World Trade Organization, WTO. China really wants in badly.



Zhu has his work cut out for him, though. The major obstacle is China's closed-market system. China loves to impose tariffs. It's also the big reason why the U.S. trade deficit with China reached an all-time high of $57 billion last year.



Zhu also faces a U.S. Congress hostile to China over a host of other fractious issues:



One, airstrikes against Yugoslavia undermine Sino-U.S. relations. "Dangerous and illegal" is what China calls the American-led bombing campaign. China wonders whether NATO will try to resolve the Tibet-China problem or the Taiwan-China problem in the same fashion that NATO is addressing the Serbia-Kosovo crisis.



Two, espionage in U.S. nuclear labs, notably at Los Alamos, where incredibly valuable nuclear weapons secrets were stolen by scientists and Chinese mole Wen Ho Lee. Just this week it was reported that back in '96 NSC -- National Security Council -- official Sandy Berger was informed that China had stolen neutron bomb and warhead design data. Up until now Clinton officials have tried to downplay reports of Chinese spying as old story, occurring under Republican administrations.



Mr. Clinton, can you tell us whether there has been any espionage at the labs since you have been president?



PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: (From videotape.) I can tell you that no one has reported to me that they suspect such a thing has occurred.



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Question: Is President Clinton lying again, Michael Barone?



MR. BARONE: Well, John, I think he's avoiding the main question here, and to some extent your question avoids it, and that's what has the president and his chief advisers done about serious allegations of espionage in the nuclear labs. Whether they happened in this administration or in the 1980s, what have they done about it? And the answer appears to be that they did very little at all about it, that they were lax, that the national security adviser did not press this matter, that they did not pay attention to the whistle-blower in the Department of Energy that came on it, and not until this revelation was made in the New York Times a couple weeks ago -- Energy Secretary Bill Richardson, who had taken over newly in the post, I should add, then promptly got rid of this fellow that's the alleged spy.



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The New York Times reported on the 8th, April the 8th, that, quote, "Chinese atomic espionage" he briefs -- he, Berger -- briefs President Clinton. They reported that this past week.



Eleanor?



MS. CLIFT: Right. In this latest report of alleged espionage in the New York Times, they point out there's no suspect, there's not even any evidence that the Chinese actually gained anything.



And I must say we're awfully naive here; the story about this so-called espionage came from, quote, "our" spy in China. You know, other countries spy on the U.S. Our allies spy on us. If there's a problem, it's our problem. We shouldn't be taking -- out on the Chinese.



I agree with Michael that this administration has been slow in tightening security. But those warnings about lax security went back to 1988. A lot of people looked the other way.



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Tony Blankley?



MR. BLANKLEY: Well, I -- Eleanor, I don't understand a word you've just said. Because we have --



MS. CLIFT: Shall I repeat?



MR. BLANKLEY: No, please don't. (Laughter.) Not the same words.



Because we have spies in China, we shouldn't be concerned about their spies in Washington and Los Alamos? I mean, going back to your original question, this --



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is Clinton lying?



MR. BLANKLEY: -- this -- yeah, I mean, it almost goes without saying that the only time he tells the truth is when he knows that the evidence is there to prove it.



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay, let me lead you a little bit. How serious is it, this whole matter?



MR. BLANKLEY: Well, I think not -- look, two things are serious. One, that they lied to us about important national security issues is a fairly serious matter. More importantly, apparently they never adjusted their policy of technology exports when they became aware of the fact that they were stealing some key things. So they're combining bombs, which they stole, with missiles, which we sold them. And that, of course, is what the great tragedy has been.



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Fareed, welcome.



MR. ZAKARIA: Thank you.



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you care to comment on this subject?



MR. ZAKARIA: Well, I think that it raises the issue -- and the reason it resonates -- of Clinton's China policy. Clinton has done a pretty good job engaging the Chinese. He's done a very bad job on the deterrence angle, making sure they don't sell nuclear secrets to Pakistan, of reassuring Taiwan that we will be with them in case of trouble, making sure that they do not build a blue-water navy. And it's because of that --



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And not selling -- not conveying missiles to North Korea.



MR. ZAKARIA: And not conveying missiles to North Korea. It's because of these actions that we worry about all these things.



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay. Johnny Chung's Chinese laundry.



Against this Los Alamos backdrop is news that the head of the Chinese military intelligence, General Gee Shengti (sp), contributed $300,000 to major Democratic fund-raiser Johnny Chung, to be funneled by Chung into the '96 Clinton-Gore Campaign, prompting this question: "Did the revelation of this $300,000 contribution force Clinton to drop his support for China's WTO membership to head of speculation of a quid pro quo?" Eleanor Clift.



MS. CLIFT: No. I mean, the politics are not right now to get the Congress to normalize trade relations with China.



But the WTO membership will be promoted and approved by President Clinton before the end of this year because it is good for American business, it is good to bring the Chinese into the global society, and it forces them to eliminate a lot of the tariffs so that we can get that trade deficit down. It is good policy.



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Tony?



MR. BLANKLEY: Eleanor is largely correct on this. I think it is going to have to --



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: We'll get that in writing from you and have it notarized. (Laughter.)



MR. BLANKLEY: It is going to, I think, probably pass -- me put it -- we are going to accept WTO by the end of the year. Both parties are split on it, both Republicans and Democrats. Probably it is good policy, and it will probably get enough support.



But I disagree on the point that -- I do think the whole espionage story has made is harder for Clinton to move at this time.



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Can you imagine the equivalent of our CIA head, in China, giving $300,000 to Johnny Chung, as a launderer, to then feed it into the Clinton-Gore Campaign? That is pretty heavy stuff, isn't it?



MR. ZAKARIA: It is pretty heavy stuff, but it is not a reason to stop trading normally with them.



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I understand that. But in itself, independently, of what -- the trade-offs are, is it not something of great moment that should not have been buried by American newspapers?



(Cross talk.)



MR. BARONE: Well, it's part of a pattern, John. I mean, the fact is that the Clinton-Gore Campaign was in reckless disregard of its responsibilities to accept -- to avoid illegal foreign contributions that could be tainted by connections with the Chinese government. At worst, they were in connivance with the Chinese government. (Cross talk.) It was much more likely to reckless.



MS. CLIFT: (Inaudible) -- the Chinese --



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Hold on. What?



MR. BARONE: And they dismantled their verification procedures for contributors --



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Quickly on --



MR. BARONE: -- because they wanted illegal money more than they wanted to reassure themselves they weren't --



MS. CLIFT: The Chinese are just trying to play the game. They look to Washington, and they see Taiwan having extraordinary influence in the Congress and in the U.S. government. And they want to get in there, and they figure you do it with campaign contributions.



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You note that she says --



MS. CLIFT: They did it ham-handedly.



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Notice that she said the Congress and the U.S. government. I don't think they did it ham-handedly alone. What the Chinese focus on, to a great extent, is lobbyists. And they realize that lobbyists, with their financial contributions, are able to manipulate public policy in the Congress and in the White House.



MR. BLANKLEY: Eleanor is confusing legal lobbying with illegal bribery with foreign money. So the two aren't equivalent.



I want to make another point, though. I didn't like Premier Zhu's giggling approach to the scandal of Chinese money.



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well that was the charm offensive.



MR. BLANKLEY: Well, it was not charming from my take.



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think it was a childish --



MR. BLANKLEY: His charm eluded me.



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: It eluded you?



MR. BLANKLEY: Yeah.



MS. CLIFT: Yeah, some of his jokes fell flat. But the fact that he tried to relate to the American people I think is a positive thing. He's a new face for China and I think we should welcome him. And he's a reformer.



MR. BLANKLEY: A new 71-year-old face. (Chuckles.)



MR. ZAKARIA: Hey, 71 is young for them!



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: (Laughs.)



MS. CLIFT: And, Tony, since when do you get to grade me? I'm wrong, then I'm partly right, then I'm confused. Where do I go from here?



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, he also agreed with you.



MR. BLANKLEY: I agreed with you --



MS. CLIFT: Right. I got one right! (Laughs.)



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think that Zhu's mission is essentially manipulative?



MR. ZAKARIA: Well first, John, I want to congratulate you on bravely raising this issue that the American media, as you say, have ignored.



I think his mission is essentially to try to create a more friendly political climate because he recognizes, rightly, that WTO would have passed if not for the political friction in Washington right now. So he's trying to solve the problem where he sees it, which is in Washington, not in Beijing.



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Exit question: Zhu Rongji, visiting premier of China, says he knows nothing about Chinese nuclear espionage against the United States. Is he lying?



Michael Barone.



MR. BARONE: I don't know that he's lying, John, so maybe we'll just take him at his word. But somebody over there knows something about it.



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor Clift?



MS. CLIFT: Right. He's uttering the party line. I wouldn't expect anything different --



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You wouldn't describe that --



MS. CLIFT: -- and I'm not going to call him a liar. He's playing the political game.



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay. Now lying is saying something against what you know in your mind. So you don't think he's lying?



Do you think he's lying?



MR. BLANKLEY: Look, look. I think if it was important enough for the president of the United States to be briefed on it was probably important enough for the prime minister of China to be briefed on and, therefore, I assume that he was diplomatically lying.



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Diplomatically lying.



Lying?



MR. ZAKARIA: I think he was speaking as truthfully as the president of the United States on the subject. (Laughter.)



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I can't improve on that!



When we come back, is the military action by the U.S. in Kosovo predominantly and irreversibly a blunder?



(Announcements.)



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue two: A monumental blunder. Kosovo is not only a humanitarian catastrophe, it is a foreign policy catastrophe. The United States is now left with the choice of a risky further escalation or a no-win negotiation.



How did we get to this point? Well, Commander-in-Chief Clinton believed that air strikes would be enough to bring Slobodan Milosevic to the peace table. He was wrong, and since then for Mr. Clinton it has gotten very lonely at the top. Why? Because chief military and national security advisors are leaking to the press that they are not to blame. Clinton, they say, ignored their advice on Kosovo.



First, "U.S. diplomats predict bombing failure." Zero-point-zero percent -- those were the odds, bombs or no bombs, that Slobodon Milosevic would accept the Rambouillet agreement, so warned Christopher Hill, point man in the Balkan negotiations, speaking to President Clinton 11 days before the bombing began.



Second, "CIA predicts refugee disaster." CIA Director George Tenet warned President Clinton repeatedly that a U.S.-led NATO bombing campaign against Serbia would only accelerate the killing and expulsion of the Kosovar Albanians.



Third, "Military predicts bombs not enough." Before the bombing began, senior Pentagon officials told President Clinton that without U.S.-led NATO troops on the ground, bombs alone could do nothing to stop the violence in Kosovo.



Question: It should be noted that the president's chief diplomatic advisor, Secretary of State Albright, also ignored the chorus of official warnings and insisted that a few bombs would bring Milosevic to his knees. Accept for Albright, Clinton rejected the counsel of his key advisors. The rest is history, ugly history. Should President Clinton get the blame, I ask you, Fareed?



MR. ZAKARIA: John, yes, because this is actually part of a pattern. President Clinton is comfortable using force to do international social work. He does it nation-building in Somalia, democratization in Haiti, reintegration in Bosnia, and now this. He's uncomfortable using military force where our actual vital interests are involved, like Iraq. We did four days of tepid bombing in Iraq and then declared victory, which was really defeat, and left. President Clinton has the right strategy for the wrong country.



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Why is that?



MR. ZAKARIA: I think he genuinely is too uncomfortable using hard military force when American national interests are involved because our intentions are sullied by our interest. Here we are free of any self-interest and therefore he seems more comfortable, but he won't follow through for that very reason, because we don't really care enough.



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Have you heard the more conspiratorial theory of Wag the Dog in this connection?



MR. ZAKARIA: Yes, but I don't think it's true. I think good intentions are leading to -- (inaudible due to cross talk).



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You heard about Khartoum? Do you know what happened in Khartoum?



MR. ZAKARIA: When?



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, he bombed a factory --



MR. ZAKARIA: Oh, yes, yes, yes, yes.



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- a pharmaceutical factory. That horrible mistake, which occurred at a critical time during his tempestuous tumult.



MR. ZAKARIA: That one might have been "Wag the Dog," this one isn't. This is just dog.



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: He also did some bombing -- on the eve of his impeachment -- in Iraq, on the very night before.



MS. CLIFT: You know, you can criticize everything from every which way. If we had taken our bombing strategy to Iraq, we may be -- I don't know that Saddam Hussein would be brought to his knees by an air campaign. Second of all --



MR. ZAKARIA: Well, why didn't we try? Why didn't we try for 14 days instead of four?



MS. CLIFT: Well, because there are lots of people, I think, who advised against it. And second of all, you couldn't put a coalition together for that.



MR. BARONE: John?



MS. CLIFT: This is a NATO war. Tony Blair is way out there on this. This is 19 countries, it's not only Bill Clinton's war.



MR. BARONE: It's too bad -- it's too bad that Tony Blair --



MS. CLIFT: And this was a humanitarian catastrophe in the making that this country could not ignore.



MR. BARONE: At this point, it's too bad the United States doesn't have somebody with the steely nerve of Tony Blair in there. I mean, you see that not only was Bill Clinton ignoring most of the advice that he received from advisers, and when the Italian Prime Minister Massimo D'Alema said, "What are you going to do if the bombing doesn't work?" he just stood there mute and didn't have anything to say. But he also made a terrific mistake when he make this concession -- "Well, we won't use ground forces." Now why did he say that? The only possible rational reason I can see is to keep those overnight polls up. We are dealing, as former CIA Director James Woolsey has said, with a president and an administration which is interested in the overnight polls above and beyond anything else and does not see farther ahead than the 24-hour time frame.



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let me make this point to Tony and see whether he agrees. I believe that this is really a U.S. campaign, and it's a U.S. war. It is not a NATO war in any realistic sense because 84 percent of the airpower, and 84 percent, or even more, of the total military force being used is U.S. It's not Portugal, it's not Germany, it's not France and it's not Italy.



MR. BLANKLEY: I would make a point a slightly different way. I agree with you, obviously it's predominantly American forces being used. But unfortunately, he has turned it into a NATO operation, and the first time that NATO has gone offensively, even if justified, which I don't think it is, but even if justified I think it's a terrible breach of the NATO obligation to be a defensive force.



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: All right, let me -- we've got to get out. We've got to get out.



MS. CLIFT: Well this is the first time the Germans have been involved since World War II militarily. The French are there, the Italians are there. Tony Blair is way out front.



MR. BLANKLEY: Is this a good idea?



MS. CLIFT: Yes, it is a good idea. This is a good idea.



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: It should be pointed out to Eleanor that an interesting -- an interesting --



MS. CLIFT: And they're all watching their poll numbers. And you don't prosecute a war without public support.



MR. BLANKLEY: John -- Eleanor, as hard as it may be for a backer of the Clinton administration to understand, there are leaders in this world who hold that there are more -- things more important than the overnight poll numbers and look ahead to the long term --



MS. CLIFT: This is not --



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let's get out. Let's get out!~



Eleanor! Let's get out.



MS. CLIFT: Wait a second! I get to answer that.



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Exit: Is this military action by the United States predominantly and irreversibility a blunder? I ask you, Michael.



MR. BARONE: I think unless we prosecute through here to victory, which is going to be very hard to do, it is a blunder.



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor?



MS. CLIFT: Kosovo is cut off. The bombing is only 15 days in, and the steely resolve is holding. And every modern leader watches public opinion polls. You don't lead a country into war without your public. The public is there now.



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Tony?



MR. BLANKLEY: It is predominantly, but not yet irreversibly, a blunder.



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Not irreversibly?



MR. BLANKLEY: Not yet irreversibly.



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You mean he can make a silk purse out of this sow's ear?



MR. BLANKLEY: I think he can avoid -- it's a mistake, but it may not be a blunder if we pull back before we engage our Russian --



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What do you say, Fareed? Is it irreversibly and dominantly a blunder?



MR. ZAKARIA: Irreversibly. If we win, we get Kosovo for 30 years. I'd like to take second prize on that.



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Fareed, you took the words right out of my mouth. Sorry, Tony.



Issue three: Political crisis in Russia.



SERGEY LAVROV (Russian U.N. Ambassador): (From videotape.) We don't believe that this escalation is going to achieve any result. It certainly violates international law created with the full participation of the United States and other NATO members.



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: So says Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Sergey Lavrov, describing Russia's angry objections to NATO bombing in Yugoslavia. Those objections and Russia's response are leading to a fractious political split that has members of the Duma, Russia's parliament, fighting in the aisles. Ninety percent of Russians consider the U.S.-led NATO bombing an illegal aggression. Hard-liners, a majority of the Duma, 53 percent, mostly communist, are demanding munitions for Yugoslavia. Many Russians, including moderates, worry that NATO may decide to step in and solve Russia's Chechnya problem in the same way that NATO is addressing Serbia's Kosovo problem.



Serbia and Russia are close friends, a long-time unity bound by shared Eastern Orthodox and Slavic identity. Because of that solidarity, on Wednesday Russia dispatched -- get this -- 120 big lorries to Yugoslavia with 1,700 tons, 34 million pounds, of supplies. The convoys sent off included the Russian army's brass band. Are these trucks carrying more than food, medicine and clothing? Alexander Lebed, a former presidential candidate, urged shipping military hardware to the Serbs: just deliver the weapons by air, by land, immediately, the sooner the better. Thursday, Duma Speaker Gennady Silesnyov (sp), said in Belgrade that Russia would resume all exports to Serbia suspended following NATO's initial air attack. NATO's bombing of Serbia is the last straw for Russia.



Question: Could the hot war in Serbia spark a new Cold War -- or worse -- with Russia, Tony Blankley?



MR. BLANKLEY: It could. The mistake is, if you have a Balkan policy, it should always be designed in the context of your Russian policy, which is the bigger, more strategic issue. Clinton has not done that, and therefore we run the terrible risk that the Russian policy and relations could deteriorate seriously.



MR. ZAKARIA: Remember, this attack was meant to be done so that instability didn't spread and outside powers weren't drawn in. It's had exactly the opposite effect.



MS. CLIFT: The Russians are a basket case economically. They're going to act in their economic self-interest, and they're not going to send munitions to Serbia. They don't like pogroms either, and they're sensitive to people in sealed cattle trucks and railroad cars.



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let me just advance the --



MS. CLIFT: They're going to do the minimal.



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let me advance the voltage here. The Pentagon now believes that Serbia has the capacity to use sarin gas and mustard gas. If Serbia were to use these against the United States ground troops, say, in Kosovo, would the United States counterstrike with devastating force -- say, carpet-bomb Belgrade? Would that action in turn elicit a counterstrike by Russia of equal proportion, directly or via Serbia, against the United States? In other words, what's the probability of this war spinning out of control? Give me a scale zero-to-10 answer, 10 being high, high probability or certitude. Michael Barone, you have time for only one word.



MR. BARONE: I'd take down towards zero, John. The Russians couldn't intervene in Chechnya.



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What do you think?



MS. CLIFT: I'm with zero, too. I'm with Michael.



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Zero?



MS. CLIFT: Yeah.



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You don't think it'll spin that far out of control?



MS. CLIFT: It can spin, but not like you're spinning it. (Chuckles.)



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What do you think?



MR. BLANKLEY: About a two. Keep in mind that a failed great power, Austria-Hungary, got sucked into the Balkans once.



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What would you give that?



MR. ZAKARIA: I'd give it 1.33 of occurring.



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You would? I would say it would be a two or possibly a three.



We'll be right back with predictions.



(Announcements.)



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay, predictions. Michael? Be quick, please.



MR. BARONE: I think the Cox commission report on technology transfer to China's going to be held up by National Security Council bad-faith objections on -- on these grounds.



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor Clift?



MS. CLIFT: There will be congressional hearings into who said what to whom about inserting ground troops into Kosovo.



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah. Well deserved.



Tony?



MR. BLANKLEY: Sometime before the end of the Clinton presidency, Clinton will apologize in some way to the Serbian people.



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Fareed?



MR. ZAKARIA: In two weeks NATO leaders will be negotiating with Yugoslav leaders on Kosovo autonomy.



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You know that they're really going to divide Kosovo in two and give half to Milosevic and the Serbs, and the other half, as a fully sovereign state, to --



MR. ZAKARIA: Well, there are two options: partition or autonomy with non-NATO supervision.



MS. CLIFT: No independence.



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Victims of Hurricane Mitch will not see a penny of relief this year; Kosovo will steal the supplemental appropriations funding -- another victim of this sad and probably unnecessary war. Bye-bye!~



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MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue four: Sanctioning success.



PRESIDENT CLINTON: (From videotape.) Two suspects, accused of carrying out the bombing of Pan Am 103 in 1988, were delivered by the United Nations to the custody of Dutch authorities, to be tried before a Scottish court sitting in the Netherlands. This is a moment much awaited and long overdue.



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Just over a decade ago, a terrorist bomb ripped apart Pan Am flight 103 bound for New York's JFK Airport, over the village of Lockerbie, Scotland. The blast killed all 259 passengers on board, as well as 11 people on the ground.



Now, for the families and friends of the 270 victims, diplomacy has finally brought the first stage of what may be closure. For seven years, the international community punished Libya with harsh sanctions, for harboring the two suspects of the bombing.



While the U.S. pressed for extradition to an American court, South African President Nelson Mandela and U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan arranged a unique compromise; the accused terrorists will stand trial in a neutral country, Holland, but they will be tried before a Scottish court, where a guilty verdict could bring life in prison but not the death penalty.



In return for this extradition, sanctions against Libya were immediately suspended by the U.N. The U.S., however, will keep its sanctions against Libya until the rogue state addresses other issues related to international terrorism.



Questions: Were sanctions a successful diplomatic tool to use against Libya? But were they a seemingly useful tool against such nations as Cuba and Iraq? Eleanor Clift.



MS. CLIFT: Well, what is different is that Libya is easier to seal off, unlike Iraq, which can still get supplies from other countries. And we don't have a large population of Libyan Americans here, agitating one way or the other, as we do with Cuban Americans, who want the embargo to remain on Cuba.



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah. I think she fell right into that --



MS. CLIFT: So it's a very different situation.



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Don't you think she -- fell into mousetrap? The premise is wrong --



MR. BARONE: I don't want to judge Eleanor, but -- (laughter) --



MS. CLIFT: Thank you.



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- because sanctions did not affect this.



MR. BARONE: Exactly, because --



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What has affected it?



MR. BLANKLEY: Three things: First of all, the oil price has been so low and Libya relies on oil so much, that this had driven them.



But more importantly, we gave away a lot. We agreed that if he turned over his hit men, we wouldn't question them regarding their connection back to him and to the Libyan intelligence.



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You are an authority on Scottish law, right? We know that --



MR. BARONE: Scottish law -- well, I know --



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- from what you have said in the past. But isn't Scottish law so rigorous that the probability of a conviction is very low? So it is a win-win situation for Qadhafi?



MR. BARONE: Well, you would have been in Scottish law if it was tried in Scotland, as well, John, but you have got the Scottish verdict. It is not proven that it's available for a jury that is --



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What is the likelihood of a conviction?



MR. BARONE: I am not sure what the likelihood of a conviction --



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Quickly.



MR. BARONE: -- but I think that one of the things -- hey, 25 percent, 50 percent. I don't know.



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay. (Laughter.)



 


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