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Clinton: It's All About Bill

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Bloviating Zeppelin: Clinton: It's All About Bill

Bloviating Zeppelin

(in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Clinton: It's All About Bill

On Fox News Sunday, former President William Jefferson Clinton lit off on Chris Wallace after he said:

WALLACE: When we announced that you were going to be on Fox News Sunday, I got a lot of e-mail from viewers. And I’ve got to say, I was surprised. Most of them wanted me to ask you this question: Why didn’t you do more to put bin Laden and Al Qaida out of business when you were president?

Clinton thought he was blindsided by this but, likely, he was tired of having to address the issue as terrorism has become such an incredibly serious topic. Clinton said:

CLINTON: OK, let’s talk about it. Now, I will answer all those things on the merits, but first I want to talk about the context in which this arises.

I’m being asked this on the Fox network. ABC just had a right-wing conservative run in their little Pathway to 9/11, falsely claiming it was based on the 9/11 Commission report, with three things asserted against me directly contradicted by the 9/11 Commission report.

And I think it’s very interesting that all the conservative Republicans, who now say I didn’t do enough, claimed that I was too obsessed with bin Laden. All of President Bush’s neo-cons thought I was too obsessed with bin Laden. They had no meetings on bin Laden for nine months after I left office. All the right-wingers who now say I didn’t do enough said I did too much — same people.

How odd. I've not yet met anyone or read anything that would indicate Clinton was even remotely "obsessed" with OBL. Anyone else know something about this or, as I wonder, is Clinton pulling a defense out of the proverbial thin air?

It is interesting to note that during the interview Clinton referred constantly to Richard Clarke's book Against All Enemies. But as Byron York of National Review writes:

But Clarke’s book does not, in fact, support Clinton’s claim. Judging by Clarke’s sympathetic account — as well as by the sympathetic accounts of other former Clinton aides like Daniel Benjamin and Steven Simon — it’s not quite accurate to say that Clinton tried to kill bin Laden. Rather, he tried to convince — as opposed to, say, order — U.S. military and intelligence agencies to kill bin Laden. And when, on a number of occasions, those agencies refused to act, Clinton, the commander-in-chief, gave up.

That is not to say there is not blame to throw around. Clarke's book documents the sorry state of the CIA, and their laissez-faire attitude to terrorism of the time.

This frightening paragraph from York regarding Clarke's book:

But neither the FBI nor the CIA would say that al Qaeda was behind the bombing, and there was little support for a retaliatory strike. Clarke quotes Mike Sheehan, a State Department official, saying in frustration, “What’s it going to take, Dick? Who the shit do they think attacked the Cole, fuckin’ Martians? The Pentagon brass won’t let Delta go get bin Laden. Hell they won’t even let the Air Force carpet bomb the place. Does al Qaeda have to attack the Pentagon to get their attention?”

The sad answer: well, yes, they would have to.

The World Trade Center 1993; the US embassies; Khobar Towers; the USS Cole. The writing was on the wall and we all put our heads in the sand -- Clinton, as the Commander In Chief, could have done more and clearly needed to.

Clarke, however, strays from the reservation when he ascribes Clinton's refusal to deal with the problem to the Republicans who were "going after the President" following the Lewinsky affair.

That's like my prior "cat in the glass post." No one put ol' Bill there but Bill.

Byron York hits to the core, however, when he summarizes:

But the bottom line is that Bill Clinton, the commander-in-chief, could not find the will to order the military into action against al Qaeda, and Bill Clinton, the head of the executive branch, could not find the will to order the CIA and FBI to act. No matter what the former president says on Fox, or anywhere else, that is his legacy in the war on terror.

Not only sad, but costly to our nation.

This is one more example of it being All About Bill Time. Wallace asks a reasonable question, one asked by many persons and, as a journalist, he decides it's time to pose it to the former president. Instead of taking the high road and using what he said as "yes, I failed" and then turning it around by indicating there is always more one can do -- Bill makes it all about that Evil Fox Network, the "making his bones" Chris Wallace, the nasty Republican Empire, and then lies once again by saying he's never criticized the President and then, in the very next sentence, criticizes the President. What manner and make of man is this who turns petulant, bratty and, in truth, into a bully with one question -- and who demanded that a full 50% of the questions be about his new "program?"

Bill: your legacy will never change. I didn't hate you, I felt sad for you; you even did one very important thing that I will always welcome, and that is put limitations on federal welfare. Score. But your legacy will always be a soiled dress, "that all depends on what the definition of is, is," a cigar, a fat book on cutout racks and "I did not have sex with that woman, Miss Lewinsky."

I'm sure Bill tried to pin the ears of Fox Network back and score points with his buddies. But he came off as a petulant, stamping little kid.



Blogger A Jacksonian said...

Luckily I found the transcript of the interview first, so could actually get through it... watching the excerpts, I have realized that it would be beyond me to actually follow anything that Clinton was saying... like Chris Wallace said last night, he was just in shock at what was going on...

The very evasive nature and defensiveness of his response points to the fact that Mr. Clinton cannot come to terms with what he did *not* do on his watch as President. Using flat-out falsehoods, misdirection, and other attempts to attack the questioner on something that should be a very, very basic question: why didn't he do more to *connect the dots*?

Mr. Clinton has had some number of years out of office to review his term and find an *answer* to that. He, most clearly, has not done so. Most ex-Presidents come to terms with their problems and failures in office and at least try to honestly approach them. Ex-Presidents get asked this sort of thing once out of office and it is *not* unexpected nor unfair to ask for a reply on how things were viewed and why they were viewed as they were.

President Clinton may have his own viewpoints, but he is *not* entitled to his own set of facts or reality.

If he shows up just once or twice more between now and '08, the Public will be so reminded of HIM that Hillary will get no traction.

Tue Sep 26, 06:44:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

I think, AJ, that is your most salient point: after having been out of office for lo, these many years, hasn't he had sufficient time to think of a more cogent and logical answer to that most logical of questions? I would submit the answer is yes though, of course, he would clearly beg to disagree.

It was re-direction, obfuscation and petulance at its finest.

Another excellent question: what is Hillary making of all this?


Tue Sep 26, 03:12:00 PM PDT  
Blogger BB-Idaho said...

Surprised Clinton got anything done, since his congress was led by Newt Gingerich.

Tue Sep 26, 04:31:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Kind of self-cancelling, huh?


Wed Sep 27, 09:07:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Gayle said...

It seems a bit obvious to state that Clinton lost it, but that's exactly what happened. Did you see his eyes? I've seen friendlier looking snakes! Goodness that man has a temper. He should have taken anger-management classes a long time ago. He certainly did leave the territory of "statesman" and became a "putulant, stamping little kid"! He could have... and should have... handled it with a lot more dignity. So what does he do? He turns around and blames it on the staff!

Wed Sep 27, 12:50:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Gayle: Clinton is the proverbial Poster Child for Baby Boomers: given everything and still expecting more --

After all, it's ALL ABOUT THEM and their SELF-ESTEEM.

I am so damnably tired of "self esteem." Sounds and reads like narcissism and megalomania to me.


Wed Sep 27, 08:01:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Dionne said...

Temper tantrum is the word for his behavior. And I am amazed that even Bill's friends would admit that it is always, "all about Bill". That is obvious to even the most casual observer.

Fri Sep 29, 07:27:00 PM PDT  

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