Monica Lewinsky Scandal Distracted President Clinton from Keeping Track of Osama bin Laden: Ex White House Adviser

Osama bin Laden was able to plan the 9/11 terrorist attacks that left nearly 3,000 Americans dead because former US president Bill Clinton (1993 – 2001) and his team were too distracted by the Monica Lewinsky scandal to keep track of the Al-Qaeda mastermind, claims Doug Schoen in a new memoir.

In his book "POWER: THE 50 TRUTHS, The Definitive Insider's Guide" the former White House adviser has blamed Clinton for losing track of the biggest threat that the United States has ever seen. He described the 42nd president the "Elvis Presley of American Politics" and "the most accomplished political operative he has ever met" and a "master of policy and a natural schmoozer on the stump".


Lack of Discipline

Schoen, who has been one of the most influential Democratic campaign consultants, was disturbed by Clinton's lack of discipline that led him to have sex with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. The scandal derailed his second term, triggered House impeachment and tarnished his reputation – forever. Schoen said he watched it unravel close up, in a painful slow motion. "I watched the White House surreptitiously mount a whispering campaign to discredit Lewinsky. There was also, I believe, a serious impact on national security."

Bill Clinton
Former US President Bill Clinton Twitter

He highlighted in the memoir that on August 20, 1998, Clinton ordered cruise missile strikes against al Qaeda in Sudan and Afghanistan in retaliation for the bombing of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. "The strikes named Operation Infinite Reach, missed Osama bin Laden. Beset by the Lewinsky affair, the Clinton Administration lost focus and leverage to pursue him aggressively and bin Laden struck again on 9/11."

Cost Hillary the 2016 Presidency

Schoen believes the Lewinsky scandal and Clinton's other sexual misdeeds cost wife Hillary Rodham Clinton the presidency to Donald Trump in 2016. He said Donald Trump and his campaign pointed to Bill Clinton's scandals, against Democratic nominee Hillary. "By the time of her presidential bid, after several sexual scandals, he hung like a millstone around her neck. When she lost, I'm told by people close to them, Hillary and Bill were for a time not even on speaking terms. She seemed to blame him for her narrow loss."

2016 Presidential Campaign

The former White House adviser highlighted that Bill not only ended up hurting himself, but also Hillary. Schoen said Clinton never understood the fundamental problem and always insisted that passive receipt of oral pleasure was not sex. "To this day, he appears befuddled by the Monica fuss. When she co-produced a TV miniseries about the saga in 2021 – the fact that he was unable to offer her the apology she is owed left me disappointed and saddened."

This article was first published on February 3, 2023