All the President's Missiles

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There'll be a big shadow cast over Bill Clinton's address to the U.N. Monday, and for once it won't belong to Monica Lewinsky. The President is expected to ask for international support in the fight against terrorism, but his request comes on the heels of former president Jimmy Carter's call for an investigation of the U.S. cruise missile attack on a Sudanese pharmaceutical factory -- and National Security Adviser Sandy Berger's rejection, on Friday, of Carter's suggestion.

Special Report Initially the U.S. claimed the Shifa factory manufactured ingredients for chemical weapons, not medicines, and that Bin Laden had a direct financial interest in it. "Since then, they've had to backtrack on a few of those claims and add others," says TIME national security correspondent Douglas Waller. The U.S. subsequently conceded that the factory did produce pharmaceuticals; scaled back its claim that chemical-weapon components were actually manufactured there, and conceded that the Bin Laden link was based on "strong indirect evidence."

Sudan, which had already managed to paint itself as the aggrieved party in this exchange, got a considerable boost from Carter's statements and is expected use this week's U.N. General Assembly session to press its case. Clinton might have picked a more benign setting to further his business-as-usual agenda. On the other hand, with the Clinton testimony tape released Monday, it's likely that not many Americans will spend the day watching speeches at the U.N.