Clinton says he's accountable!

Clinton, the master of missed opportunities and political cowardice [ok, there have been and will be worse, but few from whom we could have expected as much], said friday in Barcelona that he did not know how anyone could explain how the world had let a preventable disease infect 40 million people and threaten to infect nearly 100 million in a few more years.

We know William Jefferson Clinton is perfectly capable of explaining it all by himself. He had every opportunity to make a difference while he was the most powerful man on the planet.

It's not as if he wasn't warned, by myself personally in 1992 before he was even nominated, and thereafter by others more articulate and with far better credentials, by ACT UP of course and eventually by the entire AIDS establishment, continuously and sometimes loudly, thoughout his administration. He neglected AIDS issues in the U.S. and abroad as much as he could possibly could without incurring the condemnation of the commercial media he performed to. Nothing more was done than was absolutely necesssary for appearances, which is to say in that very complacent environment that almost nothing was done. Even talk, while certainly cheap enough, was regarded as too dear for Clinton's cynical team.

Mr. Clinton said in an interview on Thursday that he regretted not having done more about AIDS as president. Today, he said he is making AIDS his main interest as he seeks to raise money for the International AIDS Trust, of which he is cochairman with Mr. Mandela.

Mr. Clinton told the audience to "hold me accountable."

But Shaun Mellors of South Africa, a representative of people infected with H.I.V. and the vice president of the conference, said he was not sure how, now that Mr. Clinton is a private citizen, "we will hold him accountable."

Precisely. Pandora's box. While he's not the one who opened it, he could certainly have tried slamming it shut before now. Note to posterity: Don't let him off the hook.