September 23, 2006

Clinton, he's red-faced and angry.

Bill Clinton has been injecting himself into the news a lot lately, and it inevitably gives his critics a new opportunity to go through the case against him. Criticisms that would seem stale and be ignored suddenly get the spotlight. (But some Clinton critics are tired of raking over the past.) Anyway, everyone's waiting to see the hot interview with Chris Wallace that airs tomorrow. Here's the transcript.

Clinton is trying to present himself as a wise and kindly philanthropist these days. From the beginning of the transcript, before Chris Wallace asks him about bin Laden:
So what you can do as a former president, you don’t have as wide a range of powers so you have to concentrate on fewer things. But you are less at the mercy of …events. If I say look we’re going to work on economic empowerment of poor people, on fighting aids and other diseases, on trying to bridge the religious and political differences between people and on trying to avoid the worst calamities of climate change and try to revitalize the economy in the process, I can actually do that. Because tomorrow when I get up and there’s a bad headline in the papers, it’s President Bush’s responsibility and not mine. That’s the joy of being a former potus. And it is true that if you live long enough and have discipline in the way you do it — like this [Clinton Global Initiative] — you might be able to effect as many lives as you did when president.
He said almost those exact words to the same question-prompt when he was on "The Daily Show" this week. He wants to be the mellow, above-the-fray ex-president, but he really can't control the presentation. And now that he's shown how raw and angry he is about the criticisms, it's not going to get any easier.

Actually, I don't mind seeing him angry. He should be angry about this. I'd like to think that when he was in office he had this kind of edge and was not good-natured and relaxed. Of course, he's pissed at his critics, and it's fine for him to be the kind of guy who gets pissed. That doesn't mean his critics aren't right about a lot of things, but there's nothing really wrong with him getting angry like this. I assume a good part of it is that he's angry at himself for the opportunities he can now see he missed.

It's just unusual, as Chris Wallace says at the end of the interview, for anyone -- anyone important -- to act like that on TV.

UPDATE: I'm just watching Chris Wallace on FoxNews talking about the interview. He says, "I've been in the business a long time, and I've never seen anything quite like this, certainly not involving a President or former President." He notes that this is the first time Clinton has given FoxNews a one-on-one interview and that it was subject to the requirement that half of it be about the CGI. After talking about the CGI, Wallace introduced the subject of going after bin Laden, which, Wallace says, you'd think he'd be prepared to talk about, but: "He went off." Wallace, "mindful of the 15 minute rule," tried to bring him back to the subject of the CGI, but he wanted to go into Somalia and the USS Cole. Brian Wilson, who's interviewing Wallace, says that the short clip from the interview reminded him of Clinton's oft-seen, finger-wagging about "that woman, Miss Lewinsky." Wallace responds that he didn't think he was badgering or baiting Clinton, but "he just seemed set off," perhaps because of the "Path to 9/11" documentary. "He just feels ill-used on the issue of how much he did to go after the war on terror, and he lets it all spill out on 'FoxNews Sunday."

ANOTHER UPDATE: I've changed the link for the transcript to the official Fox News transcript. And I wrote about watching the interview here.

117 comments:

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Persecution complex? Narcissist?

I really must set the recorder so I can watch it all.

He was reputed to go into "purple rages" with his staff.

Wallace must've tickled a nerve.

The Drill SGT said...

That Predator film circling OBL for what was implied was days on end was all the proof I need to be convinced that Clinton wasn't serious.

Implied in his solution that required hundreds of special forces based in a foreign land was the implication that we would have to go in on the ground and capture him for a trial.

alternately if they were interested in just "getting him" rather than "capturing him", 1 armed predator, or 1 BUFF dropping 50 500lb GPs, would solve the problem.

Zeb Quinn said...

If he's going to get red-faced and angry over the suggestion that he didn't take terrorism seriously and that he didn't seize bin Laden when he had the opportunity, then he's going to have to prove it. Just getting red-faced and angry about it isn't anywhere near enough. And besides, it just smacks way too much and is just way too reminiscent of the time when, while shaking his finger and emphatically stressing each word in front of the cameras he said, "I want to say one thing to the American people. I want you to listen to me. I'm going to say this again. I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky, I never told anybody to lie, not a single time, never. These allegations are false and I need to go back to work for the American people." Remember that red-faced and angry moment? So in that context, his getting red-faced and angry now just seems too contrived, for effect. To imbue it with a patina of verisimulitude. As if to say, "if I get real angry, maybe it'll be more believable."

Me, I was fully willing to give Clinton a pass on terrorism. He didn't take it seriously enough. Hey, nobody took it seriously enough. Not the Republicans. Not the Democrats. Not the first Bush. Not the second Bush. And not Clinton. But now that doesn't seem to be good enough for Clinton. No, he wants to revise history, rewriting it so that it says that he was the uber terror-fighting president. As usual he wants it both ways. And I don't think he should be able to make that quantum leap, at least not without a lot more proof.

George said...

Perhaps it's a myth, but I grew believing that former presidents strenuously avoiding making public comments about national politics (and especially those who succeeded them) out of respect for the Office of the President and the American people. They also refrained from public comment because they wanted to preserve their ability to quietly give advice to current Presidents.

How sad it is to read that Mr. Clinton (and, I think, also his former Chief of Staff Mr. Podesta) uses words like "bullsh*t" when discussing the current administration. Such a lack of decorum and restraint reflects poorly on both Mr. Clinton, our nation, and its people, and it may even embolden those who wish us harm.

And, poor Mrs. Clinton, how will she run for President, if her husband is constantly creating distractions such as this?

Alan said...

IIRC, Clinton tried to sell the ouster of Saddam. Remember the "Saddam, your time is up" speech? I even remember Albright and Cohen booed off a stage by Right Wingers when they were trying to sell the war. But none of that was about OBL. I didn't even know who OBL was until after 9/11.

BrianOfAtlanta said...

I, also, am quite willing to give Clinton a pass on terrorism. Not because he did anything about it, but because nobody was interested in doing anything about it back then. Just don't try to convince us that you took it seriously, Bill, because those of us who lived through those years with you know better.

Kyle said...

"Of course, he's pissed at his critics, and it's fine for him to be the kind of guy who gets pissed."

Your commenters don't seem to agree. They suggest Clinton must be in the wrong and psychologically flawed because he got angry on TV. Of course you don't really agree either. Actually you're being quite sly, in your heavy-footed way.

Of course no one would say that Clinton's angers prove his critics are wrong. But his facts and arguments go a long way toward doing so. You don't take them on, though I wouldn't suggest you're afraid to do so. Facts and arguments just aren't your thing.

Let's grant half your central point. It's unusual to get angry on TV. (Not "*unusual,* with emphasis, because that implies there's something off and strange about the behavior.) It's unusual to be blamed for a national tragedy. Of course it's not unusual for a Democrat to be smeared by Fox News. Quite the contrary. But after a while the repetition must be very tiresome.

Of course it's not unusual for a politician to be asked basic questions about his policies. But I must say that President Bush's recent behavior with Matt Lauer did seem, ahem, very *unusual.*

Kyle said...

"Of course, he's pissed at his critics, and it's fine for him to be the kind of guy who gets pissed."

Your commenters don't seem to agree. They suggest Clinton must be in the wrong and psychologically flawed because he got angry on TV. Of course you don't really agree either. Actually you're being quite sly, in your heavy-footed way.

Of course no one would say that Clinton's angers prove his critics are wrong. But his facts and arguments go a long way toward doing so. You don't take them on, though I wouldn't suggest you're afraid to do so. Facts and arguments just aren't your thing.

Let's grant half your central point. It's unusual to get angry on TV. (Not "*unusual,* with emphasis, because that implies there's something off and strange about the behavior.) It's unusual to be blamed for a national tragedy. Of course it's not unusual for a Democrat to be smeared by Fox News. Quite the contrary. But after a while the repetition must be very tiresome.

Of course it's not unusual for a politician to be asked basic questions about his policies. But I must say that President Bush's recent behavior with Matt Lauer did seem, ahem, very *unusual.*

Doyle said...

That doesn't mean his critics aren't right about a lot of things...

This is what people are talking about when they refer to your "passive aggressiveness," Ann, and I think you recognize it ("I'm afraid of the reaction.").

This post is virtually substance-free. Just some mealy-mouthed garbage about Clinton being angry, but that's okay, but it's just weird, that's all.

And brianfromatlanta, do you really not recall the airstrikes on terrorist camps in Afghanistan? Bin Laden was so far down our collective list of concerns that even I suspected it was done to deflect attention from Lewinsky-gate.

Meanwhile, OBL has survived five years after September 11, when not only was it possible that he would organize a massive strike inside the U.S., but he has done so.

Palladian said...

Not only are we going to New Hampshire, Tom Harkin, we're going to South Carolina and Oklahoma and Arizona and North Dakota and New Mexico, and we're going to California and Texas and New York … And we're going to South Dakota and Oregon and Washington and Michigan. And then we're going to Washington, D.C., to take back the White House! Yeaaaaagggggh!!!

Palladian said...

"This post is virtually substance-free. Just some mealy-mouthed garbage about Clinton being angry, but that's okay, but it's just weird, that's all."

From Doyle, resident expert in virtually substance-free, weird, mealy-mouthed garbage.

"Meanwhile, OBL has survived five years after September 11, when not only was it possible that he would organize a massive strike inside the U.S., but he has done so."

Really? Where was this massive strike, somewhere in the "reality-based community", next to the unionized unicorn farm?

AllenS said...

I seem to remember about 1996-97, Clinton explaining why he didn't accept OBL when the Sudan offered him to us. Something about not having the proper evidence to bring him to trial.

Doyle said...

Howard Dean: Right about Iraq.

Tim said...

That Predator film circling OBL for what was implied was days on end was all the proof I need to be convinced that Clinton wasn't serious.

Oh, he was serious all right - serious about his reputation, serious about his legacy, serious about not taking responsibility for his failures.

shergar said...

"As usual he wants it both ways."

Let's not go there, hmmmm, 10.13?

Doyle said...

Uh didn't he say in this very interview: "I tried and failed"?

Meanwhile, our Leader assures us he's never been more convinced in the decisions he's made. It's good to have sound leadership back in the White House. I know I'm much prouder to be an American today than back in the scandalous Clinton days.

knoxgirl said...

Wow, nothing gets people like criticizing Clinton, and he's not even in office anymore! I've said it before, I wanna know what kind of jedi mind trick he did on people to make them go into the same ranting rages he does when actually held accountable for his actions. I bet there's some spittle on some keyboards out here.

knoxgirl said...

Doyle, if you think the lame effort Clinton made was sufficient, I am not in the least surprised you don't like Bush. You're a fan of half-assed, symbolic gestures that are guaranteed not to make "the World" angry at America.

Doyle said...

Yes, knox, because even if Clinton was a problem, I think even Ann would concede he is no longer the problem.

He's mostly a subject conservatives gravitate to because it's much easier terrain than, well, current events.

Why do you think Ann is posting about him rather than the torture "compromise," where she might shed some light?

Tim said...

knoxgirl,

No point arguing with the Red Guards - their job, like a defense attorney with a guilty client - is to distract, deny and delay.

Doyle said...

You're a fan of half-assed, symbolic gestures

Like not invading countries without just cause? Guilty as charged.

And I wish I could delete just the part about Ann not tackling the torture issue sufficiently. She did send people to Lederman, even though she buried the lede (it legalizes violations of Geneva).

Fritz said...

Ann,
This is just another example of Clinton's inability to follow Presidential tradition, remember, the Sociopath in Chief, it's all about him. Rather than follow tradition and not trash your successor's Administration while in Office, he couldn't bring himself to support the United States, and sent out his minions to re-write history and use 9/11 as an opportunity to undermine President Bush for partisan domestic politics. All he had to do was acknowledge a different policy response to terrorism was necessary, and to wish President Bush in our national interest success. This guy thinks he was greater than the Office and it is why he has no positive legacy. Former Presidents talk in private. Clinton was paid that courtesy. This guy opened himself up to this scrutiny, history will not be kind. I don't blame the Clinton Administration for 9/11, but I will hold him accountable for all the partisan attempts to undermine the current Administration.

Doyle said...

Free Bubba!

Palladian said...

I'm still waiting for Doyle to tell us about the massive strike that OBL organized in the US after 9/11.

Garage Mahal said...

Clinton is trying to present himself as a wise and kindly philanthropist these days.

Ann, you clearly have an axe to grind, I wish you would just spell it out clearly for us.

Indeed, the gloves are clearly off, and apprarently sneaking up on Bill is dangerous. Bitch, meet slap of hand.

Did anyone notice Clinton had Wallace answering his questions?

The Bush Administration was warned Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in the US Did Wallace ask Condi Rice this when he interviewed her in 2004? Of course not.

In August 2001 Bush was briefed by the CIA personally in Crawford. According to Suskind, the CIA was in panic mode, they knew something was coming, but didn't know where or when. And Bush's response was "you've covered your ass now"

The fact is 9/11 happened on Bush's watch, he was clearly warned, and by all acounts did nothing. Hate Clinton all you want, but it is the truth.

JorgXMcKie said...

Bob Kerrey nailed it when he said that Clinton "is an exceptionally good liar." He has gotten so accustomed to people accepting his more-or-less constant 'deceptive statements' that being called on one seems to trigger an anger reflex.

Look, I'm with the Captain. I don't see what point it makes to keep going over Clinton's failures to do more on terrrorism when: 1) no one else took it very seriously (Despite Richard [Y2K) Clarke claiming differently) back to Mealymouth Carter; 2) practically no one in either party would have supported really strong action before 9/11 occurred.

However, it's not just Republicans who can't leave it alone. Democrats, and especially hard Lefties (which is funny, given that Clinton was never, IMHO, all that far Left) who just can't admit Clinton didn't walk on water.


And I just love the way any pointing out of even factual info (Swift Boat veterans, anyone) is translated by the patented Lefty Derrida Translator as a 'smear'. At least if it's a Dem being called to account.
As for attacking terrorist camps, to what effect? Did a couple of camels get blown up? Can doyle or any of the other apologists offer up some evidence of the effectiveness of the 'attack'?

JorgXMcKie said...

So, George, are you claiming that OBL wasn't 'determined to attack the US' prior to August of 2001 or so? The planning for 9/11 took about 30 days?

And when the CIA brings you panicky but non-specific info, should the Pres 'jump on his horse and ride madly in all directions'?

George, I have some great information for you. In your personal life, "something is coming" but I "don't know where or when". I do know that it'll be extreme and tragic. I highly recommend you commence fixing the problem now.

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tiggeril said...

It's not unusual to be loved by anyone
It's not unusual to have fun with anyone
but when I see you hanging about with anyone
It's not unusual to see me cry,
oh I wanna' die
It's not unusual to go out at any time
but when I see you out and about it's such a crime
if you should ever want to be loved by anyone,
It's not unusual it happens every day no matter what you say
you find it happens all the time
love will never do what you want it to
why can't this crazy love be mine
It's not unusual, to be mad with anyone
It's not unusual, to be sad with anyone

David said...

I guess now is not the appropriate time to discuss the pilferage that went on as the Clintons and staff moved out of the White House? Or the Mark Rich pardon?!

Clinton is a classless, clueless, putz!

Doyle said...

Derrida? Wow, you really do know your enemy :-).

I don't claim that Clinton walks on water. A lot of people on the "far left" are, believe it or not, cognizant of the fact that Clinton was very much a centrist, especially economically.

I also don't claim that Clinton did as much as could have reasonably been done, knowing even just what was known about the Al Qaeda threat at the time.

But smears are factually wrong or deliberately misleading statements about a person.

The Path to 9/11 fit the bill, so to speak, as did the Swift Boat Veterans for Bush.

It's just incredible to read about the measures that Clinton tried to enact to broader executive wiretapping powers. The same Republicans who would now let Bush order spot colonoscopies were outraged back then about the potential for abuse.

Of course, Clinton made the mistake of trying to get laws changed through the legislative process, rather than just breaking them and trying to fit legislation to his actions after the fact.

PatCA said...

"...translated by the patented Lefty Derrida Translator as a 'smear'."

Ha, love it! I can't wait for the wristband version to come out!

I think the tirade was actually political, not personal. The Dems want to deny the historical context of 9/11 so that Hillary can win on a campaign of fixing Bush's mistake, not the country's mistake. Every prez for the past 30 years blew it on terrorism; who wants to run on "we're in a long war"?

As the captain said, for most of us, it's a non-issue. For pols, it's the ball game.

Garage Mahal said...

George, I have some great information for you. In your personal life, "something is coming" but I "don't know where or when". I do know that it'll be extreme and tragic. I highly recommend you commence fixing the problem now.

For the record, I don't Bush anymore than I blame Clinton. But its just revisionist crap to shine the light on Bush's predecessor, and not shine that same light to Bush. Is that fair?

david rubien said...

Wow, it's so nice to see a blogger provide the opportunity for the Clinton haters to come out! What a disaster he was! And now, the philandering, sexually-harassing narcissist just wants to save the lives of poor people around the world! What a phony!

I'm so glad we have a president now who's cleaned out all the shit Clinton left behind and put us on the right path. Praise Jeeeeeesus!

HaloJonesFan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Gerry said...

It does not help when he acts like he acted when he wagged his finger during the Lewinski episode, and then says "he tried", like he said about the middle class tax cut on which he campaigned.

Look, the fault was not Clinton's. We as a country did not pay enough attention to terrorism. If we had, it would have been a campaign issue in 1992, 1996, or 2000. It wasn't, because that is not what the people cared about. That's our bad, and if we try to blame Clinton or Bush that is just us not taking responsibility.

And to me, that is the really despicable thing about Clinton's latest embarrassing display. It is not enough for him to say that he tried (but obviously, without him having to admit it, not enough). He had to go and try to say that Bush didn't try. Sorry, Bill, if you want to stay above the fray, stop trying to score cheap points. Especially when your administration was full of people who took a legalistic and lawyerly approach to the fight against terrorism.

Now, I do think it is fair to point out that the policies put in place by the Democrats to limit the power of the CIA and of our intelligence agencies were damaging-- not for partisan purposes, but to ensure we never do things like enact the Torricelli Amendment again, and that we roll back the excesses of the Church and Pike commissions. That said, when the Democrats continue to take the same basic stances that they took in the pre-9/11 world, then I do think that we have a moral obligation to make them pay a partisan price for not having learned the downside to trying to have a touchy-feely approach to a very dangerous world.

Ann Althouse said...

I love the way my cutting Clinton a lot of slack just fires people up to say I'm being devious about my criticism. You know you lefties are becoming too fun to tease. I can pretty much say anything now and it will drive you up the wall. If I say something sympathetic about Clinton, you'll be all why oh why won't just admit what a big right winger she is. I'm giggling as I write this. It must hurt to be so political.

Doyle said...

It is not enough for him to say that he tried (but obviously, without him having to admit it, not enough). He had to go and try to say that Bush didn't try. Sorry, Bill, if you want to stay above the fray, stop trying to score cheap points.

Obviously he did admit it wasn't enough! I've already quoted it once. "I tried and failed."

As for defending himself from Wallace's plainly accusatory question, why shouldn't the people behind that line of argument (Clinton should have stopped it) have to account for what Bush did in the 8 months between the oath of office and September 11?

As has also been pointed out in this thread, Bush got fairly specific warnings, and was sneeringly dismissive of them.

If Clinton is going to be asked why he failed to prevent 9/11, it's fair to point out that he did more than Bush.

As for Democrats advocating "pre-9/11" policies, that's bogus. They are just advocating policies which are different than what Bush's have been: invade Iraq, pull out of Afghanistan, kidnap and torture suspected terrorists without any due process, illegally spy on Americans without warrants, let Israel bomb Lebanon for weeks, etc.

More effective, and less morally repugnant, responses to 9/11 were possible.

Alan said...

Gerry, Clinton was too busy "triangulating" rather than leading. Unlike Bush, Clinton had the skills to lead. He chose to play politics instead. Sadly the GOP made it easy for him.

Doyle said...

Yes Ann, you're so devious. You make fun of Clinton (or those unfortunate enough to have their picture taken with him) without actually making any substantive argument against him, thus depriving the opposition of fodder!

It must be liberating to be so pointless.

Revenant said...

It must be liberating to be so pointless

Translation: "I know you are but what am I."

David said...

Halojonesfan;

For me the issue is summed up by the infamous Clinton dodge-and-weave defense when he asked what the definition of "IS" is.

He reminds me of the Governor in Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.

As far as the outburst of anger is concerned, he is in denial. He betrayed his wife, his daughter, his Country, and himself. Like Sisyphus, he is condemned to roll his guilt forever.

Garage Mahal said...

You know you lefties are becoming too fun to tease.

And surely this is your aim. Jab people with sticks, and sit back and play the victim. Why not just admit it? Both sides do it. It's fun sometimes. But it's getting old.

But why no substance? There was absolutely no substance from you the torture legislation if youre too busy, I can understand.

Fritz said...

Ann,
Leftists are over sensitive, just like third world Muslims. Everything pointed in their direction causes outrage! Lighten up. The barbs leftists throw at conservatives pales in comparison. I guess that is the difference, we are well grounded in our principles so their attacks are dismissed as nonsense. The sun rose everyday because Bill Clinton was President. They want to be treated as a separate class, considered infallible, and paid homage to as the absolute truth. Leftists=third world Muslim in need of enlightenment.

woof22 said...

Alan aluded to:::

"Albright and Cohen booed by right wingers...."

This is a very dishonest posting. This memorable event took place at Ohio State University. Please let me know if you really think that OSU is a hotbed of right wingers.

Here is a description::::

In a barely civil exchange a few minutes later, Albright and one questioner squared off over a question about why the United States might bomb Iraq while not using force against other countries that violate human rights. Hecklers, who primarily were in a group seated at a distance from the stage..."


Yet the Washington Post reveals that the discussion was BALANCED by this..

"But criticism came from both sides. At another point, an older man with a quavering voice and a Veterans of Foreign Wars cap rose to say he had lost a son and a nephew in Vietnam and had "stood in the gap" for 20 years in uniform himself. "If push comes to shove and Saddam will not back down," he said, "are we willing to send the troops in and finish the job or are we going to do it half-assed?"

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/inatl/longterm/iraq/stories/policy021998.htm

A little honesty from the left, please.

Fenrisulven said...

Clinton was too busy "triangulating" rather than leading. Unlike Bush, Clinton had the skills to lead. He chose to play politics instead.

Exactly. US weapons inspectors [Ritter] in Iraq, about to kick in the door on a suspected WMD lab. Clinton [via Albright] had them stand down, because he wanted to keep the Iraqi issue on standby, to distract from domestic issues when needed.

JSF said...

Living out here in L.A., I was subjected to a few years of Robert Scheer's writing in the Times. He kept on writing, prior to 9/11, why didn't the Feds take the Hijackers and misuse their civil rights to find the plot? It sounds wonderful, very kumbaya. Before 9/11, no one cared about terrorism . Anyone remember 1993 WTC bombing? If Clinton was the hero and savior of the Left then surely he would have used his executive branch powers to forstall 9/11! Never happened. And Scheer who calls on Bush to violate civil rights to stop 9/11 doesn't think the president should use 1) SWIFT 2) Profile 3)interrogation 4) Use the military. How, my dear Lefties and Cliton-supporters, are we supposed to find the terrorists then?

JSF said...

Sorry, I meant Clinton

Cedarford said...

I think we are all susceptable to the media and politican creation of the celebrity bad guy. This is The One, the Single "Evildoer" whose capture & conviction or death Will Change Everything!!

Clinton is unfairly blamed. But he was content to see all the Democrat attack dogs and media minions hound Bush with "Where is bin Laden so we can all return to happy 9/10/2001 lives - when Clinton knew it was a crock, that 9/11 was well underway before Bush, and whacking Binnie would have had no effect in stopping the Plot. So after years of standing by letting others say lies - some of those lies have blown back on Bill. And he's pissed. Fair enough, Clinton, but by letting the libels pass without much squawking from you - you are hoist on your friend's petard!

So Bill and Dubya are both victims of the celebrity-terror fighting meme. It follows the Laci Peterson and Natalie Holloway models somewhat..the person is missing, The Quest to Find Themis an ongoing storyline to pump up ratings....but with the Arch Evil Mastermind model, it supports journalistic and political laziness in avoiding informing the public about complex organizational, systems, and ideological matters that underlie the Celebrity.

We keep seeing the demise or capture of one of these celebrity creations come to naught in truly changing circumstances.

*Arafat.
*Quday&Usay.
*Saddam.
*For the other side, Sharon vegetative or in two years, Bush being gone...really mattering.
*Zarqawi.
*The Moussaoui conviction.
*Domestically, the idea that capture and trial of a single drug kingpin or serial killer will have amazing effects on the illegal drug trade or future serial killings.
*The two Hezbollah leaders Israel assassinated before Nasrallah.
*The two dozen Hamas leaders whacked.
*Assad's death


Isn't about time we learn?

"Getting" Binnie is just going to be satisfying revenge - killed, captured, or just dead of wilderness diseases while on the run. It won't matter much to the war with radical Islam unless he is captured and the ACLU gives him a global propaganda platform.

Remember Mullah Omar? The celebrity one-eyed, illiterate Arch=Evildoer of the Taliban? 10 million reward on his head? Seems he has been entirely a non-factor in the resurrection of the Taliban.

Anyone believe that the death of the Cuban exiles celebrity Fiend, Fidel, will end Cuban communism?

Best thing we can do to piss off Binnie, if he is still alive, is say that he and Al-Zawahiri are less dangerous than originally thought, made more ineffective, as they lay low and hide. And announce we are reducing their reward downwards from 25 million to 10 for Binnie and 12 million for Al-Zawahiri. And may drop it to 5 million apiece in a few years more if they stay hiding....

All the Mega-Awards did was tell the Muslims that these guys were prestigious celebrities that were worth as much as Tom Cruise's knees in an insurance policy producers take out to protect their financial stakes in a film if Tom gets hurt. The mega-millions clearly don't work in an honor culture where Someone might betray someone for a SUV full of heroin, a herd of goats, even a million - but mega-awards mean a betrayer, his family, his tribe would be guilty of a Mega-dishonor of rejecting Jihad for infidel money - that no good Muslim could ignore or fail to avenge.

I think the large rewards made because Binnie was a celebrity and object of media and politican fixation has actually kept him far safer than he and other high value targets would have been with more modest rewards.

The people who have been betrayed have been fingered not for money, but ideological differences or because they did something to personally piss off the betrayer. All the money seems to factor into it is the betrayer within the Muslim honor culture has higher confidence that he and his family will be safe, and will be set up elsewhere. Not that they will be set up with a McMansion on the beach and the wife gets to change a burqua for designer clothing.

We have to move past the "cebrity fixation" and seriously focus on the fact that radical Islam is a global ideology like Communism, with many leaders and players at work and we must not consider it a Quest to whack a single person, but something that we need to fight with Containment, Strategic Communications, Showing Other Paths are Better, and remember military action best has a minor role in a comprehensive strategy. We must avoid blaming our "celebrities" like Clinton for not smiting their "celebrities" - become more realistic. We must like with the Communists, root out enemies within, deal with radical Islams 5th Column in the Left and Media. And we must examine Islam and see if it even CAN co-exist in our culture in peace with us, or all the immigrants can only be certain to be delaying Jihad and conquest until they are stronger..which makes Muslim immigration itself a matter that must be questioned. Are the presumed civil liberties warranting mass immigration and RIGHT of Muslim refugees to come here based on Western Civ rights valid if they seek to eventually destroy that, by even peaceful means - and vote in Sharia and Dhimmitude??

OK, now my own Mega-vent on how I think we badly have botched our conflict with radical Islam in areas far more important than the Iraq missteps. That said, I will be one happy camper if I learn Binnie died bent up and cramping in agony in a pile of his own diarrhea as because some goatherder took a poop in the water he drank. And I'm glad that Clinton is upset about being smeared with the same brush Bush has been remorselessly smeared with.

woof22 said...

...pull out of Afghanistan...

Yet I have a classmate in Afghanistan right now. His unit and the other thousands of American and Nato forces have killed nearly a thousand Taliban. They apparently like to mass where its easy to hit them.


kidnap and torture suspected terrorists without any due process,

This precisely typifies the law enforcement mindset that allowed 9/11 to happen. That was the very point of the movie path to 9/11. It wasn't about Clinton, it was about the inability of legal action to address terrorism. Clinton was goin to arrest that bad Bin Ladin, just couldn't get all the evidence.

illegally spy on Americans without warrants

No documented instance of this has been put forward. You aren't speaking of the imminently lawful international surveillance of terrorist communication are you? Now to be sanctioned by the Spector bill?

let Israel bomb Lebanon for weeks

After Israel had been rocketed for months? Little one sided there aren't we. Does it have anything to do with the Hebraic origins of Israel?

Gerry said...

"Obviously he did admit it wasn't enough! I've already quoted it once. "I tried and failed.""

That is an assertion (and the first half of it is of questionable merit), not an admission that he should have tried harder.

And coming from the mouth of a man who had become famous for his inability to tell the truth unless absolutely cornered, his assertions should be taken with more than a grain of salt.

LoafingOaf said...

Alan said...
IIRC, Clinton tried to sell the ouster of Saddam. Remember the "Saddam, your time is up" speech? I even remember Albright and Cohen booed off a stage by Right Wingers when they were trying to sell the war. But none of that was about OBL. I didn't even know who OBL was until after 9/11.


Usama had been big news before 9/11...at least by 1998. Were you very young at the time? I remember discussions about him on talk radio shows, and seeing that footage of him with the satellite phone over and over.

As far as Alibright and Cohen getting booed off the stage by right wingers, are you referring to their infamous townhall event on CNN? I didn't know CNN had stacked their audience with right wingers. And a lot of the boos came when Albright sounded like a cold-hearted bitch when asked about the suffering of Iraqis under sanctions. Would've gotten booed by any audience I would think, just by the way in which she said it.

Paul Zrimsek said...

And it is true that if you live long enough and have discipline in the way you do it-- like this [Clinton Global Initiative]-- you might be able to effect as many lives as you did when president.

An inspired usage error on the part of the transcriber! We've heard all about Bill's romantic adventures but this is our first indication that any pregnancies resulted.

Supposing for the sake of argument that Israel bombing Lebanon was a bad thing, what reason is there to believe that the guy who bombed Serbia would have done anything to stop it?

DRJ said...

I'm struck by how President Clinton comes across as emotionally erratic. It's frightening to think that he once controlled America's nuclear arsenal.

Fenrisulven said...

One of my fondest political wishes is that his wife can be clearly separated from him and his "legacy" and evaluated for her own worth.

Well, if she's going to run for POTUS in 08, I'd ask her to provide guarantees that Bill will not be molesting subordinate employees in the White House.

Freder Frederson said...

And coming from the mouth of a man who had become famous for his inability to tell the truth unless absolutely cornered, his assertions should be taken with more than a grain of salt.

Sheesh, and if I cite specific examples where the current president has told a verifiiable lie (or if not a lie at least a statement that is factually untrue about something he should not be misinformed about) I get accused of BDS and called a traitor.

If we held Bush to the same standards that Clinton was held to, he would have been impeached on 9/12/2001, again when we discovered there were no WMDs, a third time after he claimed that "no one anticipated the breach of the levees" and Brownie was "doing a heckuva job" and then again for confirming that we do indeed torture people (after claiming for years we don't) and that he wanted Congress to "clarify" the rules, when of course, he wants no such thing.

And for all this hand wringing about Clinton not getting Bin Laden. You are bitching about Clinton not even trying. What the hell is Bush's excuse? Supposedly he has been trying "real hard" for over five years now, even resorting to barbaric methods to get Bin Laden, and he still hasn't gotten him. Seems like he is a much bigger failure than Clinton.

Freder Frederson said...

It's frightening to think that he once controlled America's nuclear arsenal.

As opposed to someone who acts like a petulent child every time someone disagrees with him?

DRJ said...

Freder,

Clearly you view Bush as petulant. Do you agree that Clinton is emotional?

Alan said...

Woof,

Thanks for letting me know where the event took place. My perspective was how the event was characterized on the forum FreeRepublic.com. There was a lot of celebration going on, including a small video of Cohen and Albright with that caught in the headlights stare at the howling and jeering from the audience.

I used "Right Wingers" because Clinton used it. I just assumed the jeering came from people opposed to the Administration and its plan. The whole effort to sell their plan sort of disappeared after that event.

BTW, I don't consider myself as coming from the left. Though it's all relative. For instance, Goldwater becomes more and more liberal as the years go by.

Alan said...

LoafingOaf,

I was around back in '98 but I just don't remember OBL being discussed by name. I do remember our lobbing missiles into Afghanistan and at the Aspirin factory in Africa.

LoafingOaf said...

Clinton's anger comes from having much to hide, which is how all the Clinton people sound.

And I remain confused as to why Clinton gave a total endorsement to Michael Moore's propaganda film, and said every American should see it and as far as he knows it's all true. How can he have said that about a film that encourages people to think about 9/11 with a combination of unseriousness and conspiratorial fantasies, and even implies we went into Afghanistan for Unocal?

I blame al Qaeda for 9/11, but I'm not down with this giving everyone in government a pass. What's that about? I'm not for giving the FBI, CIA, Clinton administration, or Bush administration a pass, and I can understand why all of the above and others would love if the people gave them passes every time they dropped the ball.

FBI agent John O'Neill seemed to know what was going on. I may not have been on top of things, but why would I have been? I didn't work for the CIA.

By 2001, I doubt anything but sheer luck could've prevented 9/11. The sleeper cell was already here, the intelligence agencies were what they were, and airport/airplane security was what it was. Actor James Woods spotted some of the terrorists on a trial run and John Walker Lindt was able to join al Qaeda and apparently meet Bin Laden. No one in our government could spot terrorists as well as an actor, or get inside al Qaeda as deeply as a hip hop fan from California? Yet George Tenet's first words on 9/11 were that he hopes it wasn't those Muslims who had taken flying lessons.

Bush should've focused more on killing bin Laden, but even if he had kill him in 2001, why does that make anyone think the sleeper cell would've aborted 9/11? The best thing that ever happened to Clinton was that Bush edged out Gore in 2000, and it was perhaps good for the country that the blame had to be spread around. It would not have been had Gore won. He should thank his lucky stars for this and take the damage to his legacy that he deserves. The frustration for him is probably that he can't do anything to improve his legacy anymore, while Bush still has two years to leave the country safer than it was when he took office. That's why Bush focuses on fighting terrorism while Clinton focuses on rewriting history and attacking others.

What's most important today is that lessons have been learned from 9/11. This is where many Democrats go down in flames. They tell us Bush should've been taking threats more seriously in 2001 (I agree) yet in 2006 they tell us Bush is hyping the threat. Every time an alert is issued, a thousand Democrats take to the media to say it's all manipulation and fear-mongering. Every time a higher up in the terror networks is killed or captured, a thousand Democrats tell us it means nothing.

They tell us something should've been done about Afghanistan before 9/11, then tell us dealing with IRaq was a mistake they want to bail from to leave Iraq a failed state for the insurgancy to take over.

In short, Democrats want me to give a total pass to everything that occurred in the 8 years before 9/11 and then want me to support letting them return to those 8 years. I have had empathy for how hard it would've been for Clinton to have done any better, but the way he's acting now tells me perhaps people have been too generous.

Fenrisulven said...

And for all this hand wringing about Clinton not getting Bin Laden. You are bitching about Clinton not even trying. What the hell is Bush's excuse? Supposedly he has been trying "real hard" for over five years now, even resorting to barbaric methods to get Bin Laden, and he still hasn't gotten him. Seems like he is a much bigger failure than Clinton.

There's a stark difference between driving Bin Laden into hiding and disrupting his ability to play offense VS being busy sodomizing interns while Al Queda plots 9-11.

Al Queda has been flocking to Iraq to attack US Marines, instead of stalking our families in the local shopping mall.

Murph said...

“Wallace responds that he didn't think he was badgering or bating Clinton, but "he just seemed set off," perhaps because of the "Path to 9/11" documentary.”

The documentary served to remind voters that neither party has a monopoly on virtue when it comes to fighting terrorist. Yet, for all his faults Bush has at least done something – critics and supporters can argue right and wrong. But the bottom line is plain – Clinton had numerous opportunities to strike back and did essentially nothing.

In 2000 when Hillary was running for the Senate, Bill was a fundraising prop and crowd magnet. Now comes 2006 and she’s running for reelection - and doing so in the physical and spiritual home to most of the horrific memories of 9/11. The ordinary folks of New York City maybe more liberal than their counterparts in the rest of the nation, but they witnessed first hand the destruction and mindlessness of terror.

The 9/11 docudrama reminded people of Clinton’s inaction concerning the threat. He and his minions waged a silly and counter-productive campaign to either cancel or change the show to portray his administration in a better light. All he really did was supply tons of free promo for ABC and convinced millions of people to watch something they wouldn’t have ordinarily watched.

Add to this the infamous Clinton thin-skin and you get meltdown when pressed about his failures.

As someone said a few post back – It’s all about Bill.

Fenrisulven said...

Yet George Tenet's first words on 9/11 were that he hopes it wasn't those Muslims who had taken flying lessons.

One of our Red Cell types passed along info that Logan was not secure in the Spring before 9-11. He jumped the chain of command b/c FFA bureaucrats were ignoring his report. Went straight to Sen Kerry with the warnings.

It was circular-filed.

"All of this was before the 9/11 attacks. Dzakovic had become so certain of impending disaster from a terrorist attack and so frustrated with the continued official denial and cover-up at FAA that he decided to try other channels. In May 2001, months before the fateful attacks, he personally delivered a copy of a videotape exposing incredible security lapses at Boston?s Logan International Airport to the office of Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry."

LoafingOaf said...

If we held Bush to the same standards that Clinton was held to, he would have been impeached on 9/12/2001

Oh, please.

Most of the steps that could've been taken that might've prevented 9/11 would've had to be done previous to Bush being sworn in. The idea that Bush was to have reorganized all the intelligence agencies and re-do airport and airplane security is rather asburd.

Bush inherited George Tenet, who's really the one who's getting way to much of a pass. If al Qaeda was gonna have been infiltrated in time they had to have begun that in the late 1990s. The sleeper cell was in America carrying out its plot when Clinton left office. That's a fact. Stick that in Clinton's legacy and stuff it.

As for Bush, I voted for him as a lesser evil. I made the right choice as it's now clear Kerry would've bailed on Iraq, and to everyone's astonishment there hasn't been a terrorist attack in America since 9/11.

knoxgirl said...

Like not invading countries without just cause? Guilty as charged.

So you were pretty outraged when Clinton bombed the aspirin factory? Oh, sorry, I forgot: he tried to get the bad guys, he just failed by blowing up a bunch of innocent people instead.

I understand intelligence gave him bad info, but that's enough for you to damn Bush outright. So...

SteveR said...

I might be able to give him a pass for inaction but seeing how he's failed to keep his mouth shut since, I think he's open to, and deserving of criticism.

His anger at any hint of criticism confirms his own knowledge of his failure.

JorgXMcKie said...

Freder has that oh-so-convenient Lefty Selective Memory. First, perhaps we should remember that a *Democratic* Senate (thanks to Jim Jeffords, may he roast) was busy holding up Bush appointments from Jan 20 well into late 2001 (and John Bolton now).

Second, until Lefties get off the "Bush lied about WMD" (which is an obvious lie in and of itself -- Bush may have been wrong [Saddam had been certified to have had WMD that he had not shown had been destroyed, etc, etc, and *some* WMD have been found]) why should anyone pay any attention to their other bleatings?

And, finally, until Lefties and Dems give up their 'petulance' about the 2000 election they may have a hard time regaining power. Who wants to be ruled by a bunch of cry-babies who can't let the past go long enough to look at the present and future in a realistic way. (And I'm looking at you, Freder, and you, Clinton.)

And, of course, one can always charge Ann with a lack of substantiveness while displaying the Total Clinton No Substance Posture.

Cedarford said...

Fenrisulven - There's a stark difference between driving Bin Laden into hiding and disrupting his ability to play offense VS being busy sodomizing interns while Al Queda plots 9-11.

It is important to recognize that Clinton's law enforcement mentality was shared by the Left and many other powerful groups on the Right that are obsessed with "Israeli ways of counter-terror' and universal civil liberties. 9/11 was needed so Americans could learn in blood - the only way Americans seem capable of learning these days - that terror is not a law enforcement matter as the Dems, Israelis, FBI, Libertarian right claimed it was. Until 9/11 Bush's only priorities were tax cuts for the wealthy, missile defense, rewarding his corporate cronies, doing away with pensions.

Counterterror was 16th on Ashcroft's list of priorities behind such pressing matters as mignight basketball sponsorship, faith-based anti-recidivism programs, and computer pornography.

No Bush Administration official is on record as claiming, pre-9/11, before the casualties became unacceptable - that we were in a war. Not one. No election material by any of the Republicans criticized the Clinton people for not launching war for past attacks. The only criticism was by Right Wing nuts when Clinton bombed an "innocent" aspirin factory without seeing the matter resolved through "proper legal channels". Many Repblicans criticized the missile attack as "destabilizing our relations in the region"

And Clinton's 5 minute encounters with some plump, eager, Jewish, of age woman who routinely gave out BJ's to all her "mentors" - were not a distraction. Two years of hyped-up persecution were. Each side wants to play "Gotcha!" since Watergate and the scandals concocted only derail Andimistrations from critical matters and screw the people.

Besides, given Clinton's wife, he is as blameless as FDR, Eisenhower, LBJ and reagan were for screwing around at some stage of their lives. (JFK excused for not wishing a steady diet of a wife that resembled a top-light chocolate cake that begged for more money with each morsel offered.)

It took the lessons of blood to jolt the Bushies awake. It would have woken Clinton up to being in a war if he was still President, I think. Definitely not Kerry, probably so Gore.

Remember, even Rudy was still so locked into the law enforcement mentality that he was insisting a month after 9/11 that the Pit was a crime scene, and only police-authorized personnel would go past the yellow tape to "ensure evidence" needed for future convictions of the "suspects" was kept pristine enough to punish them with "convictions".

Revenant said...

One of my fondest political wishes is that his wife can be clearly separated from him and his "legacy" and evaluated for her own worth

If people evaluated Hillary Clinton based on her own worth, she'd still be a lawyer back in Arkansas. You can't evaluate Hillary's political career independent of her husband -- she hasn't got one.

dklittl said...

I'm struck by how President Clinton comes across as emotionally erratic. It's frightening to think that he once controlled America's nuclear arsenal.

Not as frightening as a President sitting in his seat and pooping his pants as America is under attack. Our own spy agencies now say that America is less safe in the world because of a war that this President said was so vital.. blahblah to our nations security. Face it, Clinton at least tried to deal with a threat that almost no one saw as such while Bush has taken what is a serious threat and decided to just make it worse.

Fenrisulven said...

Cederford: It is important to recognize... pristine enough to punish them with "convictions".

Yes, thats a reasonable summary. Nothing in there I would disagree with.

Fenrisulven said...

dklittl: Clinton at least tried to deal with a threat that almost no one saw as such while Bush has taken what is a serious threat and decided to just make it worse.

I hope you guys can parse that down to a campaign slogan before November.

TmjUtah said...

"Tried and failed."

Anyone here, just off the top of your head, ever hear Bill Clinton accept responsibility for any adverse outcome?

Legacy equals history's judgement on past acts, and even though many of us would be deliriously happy for Clinton to disappear into the text books sooner rather than later, it's not to be.

Bill has to reengage the public (media, actually), now, on his administration's track record re terrorism in order to get the script going that his administration was really gangbusters on terror.

2008 is going to be about the war. The economy isn't going to fall apart, there won't be drastic increases in ocean levels, and if Howard Dean is still DNC chair after the 2006 democratic failure to win either house, Hillary will be positioned to be another "new" Democrat - positioned even better than Bill Clinton was with his years of grooming the DLC, the perceived "end of history", and a media battlefield owned by legacy media.

Sandy Berger accomplished his mission, obviously. There are no longer any (or they think not, at any rate) damning marginal notes on documents in the National Archive tying domestic political calculation to Clinton operative policy on apprehending or killing OBL. The media, though much diminished, is still a powerful force. And most important, the field of possible Republican candidates is looking pretty weak.

There will be a lot of new voters whose memories of 9/11 and the Clinton years will be academic at best. The nutroots will have bottomed out after this November; the Clintons will attempt to reform and rebrand them ala DLC lines. And what's left of the establishment democrats (and media) will be even more desperate (hard to believe) than they are now to find anyone they can line up with to stay nationally relevant.

So Clinton's act with Wallace was merely prologue. Bill is a lot of things, but one thing he is not is careless of time in front of a camera or a crowd.

I'd be more than happy to forget 92-00. That's not going to be possible for another few years, alas.

Fenrisulven said...

Cederford: And Clinton's 5 minute encounters with some plump, eager, Jewish, of age woman who routinely gave out BJ's to all her "mentors" - were not a distraction.

Oops, except for this. 5 minute encounters were the end game. You're not taking into account all the time & energy required to maintain these affairs, to keep them away from Hillary, his staff, and the media. Remember, Clinton's sexual enterprises were so robust that he had to delegate portions of it to his security detail and staff.

Anyone who's cheated on a spouse knows that the most time consuming and exhausting aspect is the deception. Juggling one woman is difficult enough. I can't imagine the amount of time & energy needed to rotate Monica Lewinksy, Mary Mahoney, and Eleanor Mondale. Hell, just keeping your mistresses from finding out about each other is enough to induce a heart attack.

vnjagvet said...

Amazing the heat this blog caused.

Who here believes that this display of anger was helpful to his legacy under the circumstances.

Demeanor is sometimes telling. That is one way juries assess credibility. Here you are the jury. I will be interested in how this group, a cross section of opinion it appears to me, assesses his credibility under examination.

Gerry said...

I just watched the clips of it that I could find, and I think this is Clinton's first slip-up in a public appearance since he gave the convention speech for Dukakis. That includes his finger wag; it may be mockable now but it worked when he did it.

This just made him look bad, and half of what he said just is laughable. Bush's Neo-cons said that Clinton was too fixated on getting Bin Laden? When!? In what universe?!

Clinton's gift was being, as Biden put it, an unusually good liar. Here, he comes across as being... off.

Thanks Bill! We appreciate your help in our comeback this fall!

Shanna said...

The only criticism was by Right Wing nuts when Clinton bombed an "innocent" aspirin factory without seeing the matter resolved through "proper legal channels". Many Repblicans criticized the missile attack as "destabilizing our relations in the region"

As I remember it, the problem people had with the aspirin factory bombing was that it seemed ineffectual and pointless. Which I think it proved to be. I don't think it was anything about "proper legal channels".

Everyone was somewhat unserious about terrorism before 9/11. I think Clinton is just ticked that his legacy is being tarnished. He doesn't want the history books to record him as the guy who slept on the job. Bush, whatever his faults, at least gets to have actually been there and done something, Clinton is forced to sit on the sidelines and watch people debate his role.

I can see why he's angry. He doesn't want his administration to be remembered as the Path to 9/11 showed them. I don't think it's wise to show such anger, though, unless it's righteous anger. And you don't like terribly righteous when you are just trying to make yourself look good.

Freder Frederson said...

Second, until Lefties get off the "Bush lied about WMD" (which is an obvious lie in and of itself -- Bush may have been wrong [Saddam had been certified to have had WMD that he had not shown had been destroyed, etc, etc, and *some* WMD have been found]) why should anyone pay any attention to their other bleatings?

What Bush lied about was the strength of the evidence. Remember, prior to the war, Saddam not only had stockpiles of weapons (and we "knew exactly" where the weapons were) but he had also reconstituted his WMD programs, including his nuclear programs. He had mobile biological weapons labs (heck, we even found those--oops never mind) and he was buying aluminum tubes that could "only" be used for centrifuges (when DOE, the expert agency in such matters, advised the administration that the tubes were actually patently unsuitable for uranium centrifuges).

None of this turned out to be true, but the administration touted all the evidence as though it was absolutely unimpeachable. At some point overselling weak evidence becomes a lie, and the Bush administration, especially the V.P. crossed well over that line in building the case for the war against Iraq.

Shanna said...

Ok, I just saw the video.

"At least I tried! In my eight years, I tried and Bush had eight WHOLE months and didn't do anything!"

This is his argument?

Fenrisulven said...

vnjagvet: Amazing the heat this blog caused.

Yeah we know. Senate Democrats put up a nasty comment [5:46 PM] demanding Ann edit or perish.

;)

vnjagvet said...

Freder:

You are straining at gnats, my friend.

Had 9/11 not occurred, I think such an argument might be somewhat persuasive. But in view of 9/11, prudence dictated taking all of this evidence in the light least favorable to Saddam and his kind. After all, his track record was not real good.

Freder Frederson said...

Bush's Neo-cons said that Clinton was too fixated on getting Bin Laden? When!? In what universe?!

You know if you are going to accuse someone of rewriting history you should avoid doing it yourself especially when the history you are rewriting is less a day old and won't even be broadcast til tomorrow morning!

Clinton did not accuse "Bush's neo-cons" of saying Clinton was too fixated on getting Bin Laden. The interview transcript clearly says "Conservative Republicans". It is undoubtedly true that every military action Clinton took in the late nineties an accusation of "wagging the dog" quickly followed.

Freder Frederson said...

And you're right, it was a bit harsh to say that if Bush had been judged by the standards of the Clinton administration the first calls for impeachment would have come on 9/12/2001. The first really inexcusable mistake was letting Bin Laden escape at Tora Bora and not committing more troops to Afghanistan from the start (and of course not actually calling for real sacrifice in the form of no more tax cuts and an actual plan to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels). So lets say early 2002 for the first impeachment.

Freder Frederson said...

Oh yeah, and by the way, why didn't Bush do anything about the Cole bombing?

Fenrisulven said...

The first really inexcusable mistake was letting Bin Laden escape at Tora Bora and not committing more troops to Afghanistan from the start (and of course not actually calling for real sacrifice in the form of no more tax cuts and an actual plan to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels). So lets say early 2002 for the first impeachment.

Monday morning quarterbacking the war effort for impeachable offenses? LOL. Yes, that was a mistake. Yes, we have made several more. The difference is, even if we took your advice, we would have made a host of new mistakes that you would nitpick us about. Ex:

It was a mistake to disband the Iraqi Army

VS

[after Shiite atrocities]: You should have disbanded the Iraqi Army. It was obvious that Shiite elements would massacre Sunni's. Bush should be charged with war crimes for such incompetence

Hindsight is easy. How about stepping up to the plate with a policy? For my October Surprise, I may "leak" a Democrat "policy plan" [withdraw to Okinawa?] just to force them into presenting their own.

ganzo azul said...

In David Remnick's recent profile of Bill Clinton in The New Yorker, he was perplexed when Bill Clinton went on a unexpected rant about Whitewater.

Bill Clinton appears to expressing his anger in public forums with increasing frequency. He did so again in an interview with the The Guardian. They write, "there are also flashes of what, the previous night, one supporter had called "a hideous indiscipline".

*An anecdote from The New Yorker article was recounted in the Weekly Standard. It describes a man whose aides, accomplished men in their own right, have stopped treating him like an adult. It's weird.

The man must be at once captivating and insufferable. From David Remnick's comments, "You may not like Bill Clinton, but one thing he is not is boring or inert. He can be tiring, in the sense that there is no unspoken thought."

Rob said...

Professor Althouse's blog is interesting to me because it ranges far and wide to address topics that interest HER. Doyle and Garage Mahal feel they can instruct Ms. Althouse concerning what she should write about. They also seem to think she is a right-wing nut case. Fellas, get a grip. Go to NRO and the Weekly Standard, and The American Spectator. While Professor Althouse's opinions would be repected at those locations, after you read for a while you will see that she is not a person of the right. By your standards Martin Peretz would be a right winger. C'mon, join the reality based community. Actual reality, I mean.

johnstodderinexile said...

What Clinton was really angry about was Ann Althouse insulting his new girlfriend's breasts. ;)

Revenant said...

Not as frightening as a President sitting in his seat and pooping his pants as America is under attack

I love this view that it is the President's job to immediately leap to his feet and micromanage a crisis. You people watch WAY too many action movies. Like all these firemen were sitting around saying "duh, should we put out these fires? The President hasn't said yet." And I can just picture all those Air Force generals standing around saying "are we supposed to defend Washington DC against attacks? I forget. I think someone has to say 'Simon says, defend Washington DC against attacks' first".

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Revenant said...

Oh yeah, and by the way, why didn't Bush do anything about the Cole bombing?

You mean, besides having the guy who planned it assassinated?

The word verification says it all: iyyyh.

Garage Mahal said...

You mean, besides having the guy who planned it assassinated?


Unfortunately not True.

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Freeman Hunt said...

Clinton comes off as having an absurd sense of self-entitlement in that transcript. Until now I'd only seen the video clip. I figured that he'd had one little outburst and that was it.

But all the screeching about Wallace daring to ask him the question--what was that all about? Of course Wallace had to ask him the question. People are talking about that. People want to know; they want to hear the answer. And ironically, it's mostly Clinton's fault that everyone is so curious about it now. It was his ruckus about "The Path to 9/11" that revived people's interest in his record on terrorism.

Why get indignant about being asked? Why not just answer the question reasonably? His outburst made it seem like he had something to hide or that he wasn't confident in what he was saying.

Getting mad about how his record has been characterized would have been fine (whether justified or not), but getting mad at Wallace for being a journalist was just weird.

dklittl said...

What do you mean just weird. This is FoxNews that we are talking about. Look at their interviews with Cheney or Bush. There are no tough questions for them. No "Where you being dishonest about the selling of the war?" or "Why haven't you caught Bin Laden?" questions. Clinton obviously came on there to promote global aid, a nobel cause, and he winds up having to go through the right-wing ringer. If he wanted that he would have just asked for an interview with Jeff Gannon.

Revenant said...

Unfortunately not True.

Well, I should have been more specific. One of the masterminds was killed, another is one of the guys lefties like to complain that we're holding without trial, and the third was tried and convicted. He has, as you noted, since escaped -- food for thought for those who favor a traditional law enforcement approach to this problem, I guess.

Freeman Hunt said...

he winds up having to go through the right-wing ringer

Are you kidding? He was asked a regular, run-of-the-mill question. Bush is asked the kind of questions you mention all time time; often in a much more accusatory way than you phrased them.

Anyway, has Wallace ever interviewed Bush? I can't find such a transcript. I can find his transcript with Laura Bush, and his questions don't come off differently with her.

Look at Bill O'Reilly going at Bush on immigration (near the end of the page). That questioning was quite a bit more intense than Wallace's questioning of Clinton and O'Reilly ended on that note.

The question wasn't out of line. It was a normal question that could have gotten a normal response.

Freeman Hunt said...

Bush is actually asked those questions all the time and not all of time time.

Pardon my typo.

Revenant said...

What do you mean just weird. This is FoxNews that we are talking about.

Which is exactly what makes it weird. If Clinton wanted the usual softball ego-stroke questions he typically gets in these interviews, he had five left-wing news networks to choose from. Instead he goes on Fox and starts ranting that the first and only tough question he's asked is a "conservative hit job" by a guy "doing Fox's bidding".

So yeah, that's weird. Clinton's a smart guy -- how was he not prepared for this? On Fox he gets asked "why didn’t you do more". On CNN it would have been "What do you say to those who have criticized your handling of terrorism", and he could have spent fifteen minutes wasting oxygen with a more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger rumination about how Republicans are ruining the 9/11 spirit of cooperation with these unfortunately partisan attacks, in spite of his attempts to build bridges and work together in defense of America and blah blah blah.

Maybe Clinton's just unstable, but personally I think he went on there hoping for something he could spin as a partisan attack. A lot of lefties are dumb enough to automatically think more highly of anyone who either attacks Fox or is attacked by it, and Clinton needs to rehabilitate his image with the left in preparation for his wife's run for President.

Cedarford said...

Gerry - Clinton's gift was being, as Biden put it, an unusually good liar. Here, he comes across as being... off.

That was Bob Kerrey. And frankly Bob may well have said it with a sense of envy. Natural politicians like Tip O'Neill, FDR, Clinton, LBJ, Ralph Reed find lying easy and productive and a clever way to get to an endpoint and manipulate others. Another natural liar - which may shock some - is Joe Lieberman, who excels at his long Hamlet speeches where he "agonizes over a decision, declares his conscience is beset, that it will take extraordibary courage for him to do the right thing and not fall prey to crass political expediencies" - then, 97% of the time, he votes liberal Left or as AIPAC wants. Which proves Lieberman "markets" his "agonized conscience" more than actually has one...The Hill buzz is Lieberman's set speech schtick - which is half devoted to condescention of telling the Senate where Joe's soul stands - is a joke.

Biden, BTW, was an unusually good liar himself, deftly lifting UK Labour MP Neil McKinnock's speeches and tailoring parts to American audiences without attribution. Got away with it for years.

**************
dklitti - Not as frightening as a President sitting in his seat and pooping his pants as America is under attack.

Revenent - I love this view that it is the President's job to immediately leap to his feet and micromanage a crisis.

Well, I voted for the guy, and I've always found his explaination of why he sat there "I didn't want to frighten the children" - lame. Very lame. Eventually, even if it was "All for the Children" a favorite dodge mostly used by the Left when they want new oppressive regulatory laws or more money - no matter what Bush did, the children would have found out and been "frightened". Good thing the Chinese didn't think of launching a missile attack on us while BUsh was hosting the children's Easter Egg Roll on the White House lawn.

At a minimum, IMO, most people would have stood up in Bush's place, announced an emergency, and excused themselves to get in communication with the JCS and White House. He is commander in chief, who has the job of establishing military DEFCON levels, assuring that the White HOuse is functioning if he is absent until he has a solid comm link/ But he sat there for 8 minutes. I've seen police auxiliary and volunteer firefighters excuse themselves in the middle of a "house emergency presentation to kids and parents" and say they had a bad multiple highway accident with fatalities they had to deal with, sorry, gotta go.

During the Cuban missile crisis, JFK was told while shaking hands with some kids group that new developments with the Soviets were happening. He immediately turned his heel and walked away from the kids with no word said.

Many of us who are emergency-trained found Bush's 8-minute inaction disconcerting.

Gerry said...

"You know if you are going to accuse someone of rewriting history you should avoid doing it yourself especially when the history you are rewriting is less a day old and won't even be broadcast til tomorrow morning!"

I appreciate the attempted slam on your part. But I was not re-writing history. For your entertainment and edification, I present the rough transcript as posted at ThinkProgress, a very liberal site. I quote:

"CLINTON: OK, let’s talk about it. I will answer all of those things on the merits but I want to talk about the context of which this…arises. I’m being asked this on the FOX network…ABC just had a right wing conservative on the Path to 9/11 falsely claim that it was based on the 911 commission report with three things asserted against me that are directly contradicted by the 9/11 commission report. I think it’s very interesting that all the conservative Republicans who now say that I didn’t do enough, claimed that I was obsessed with Bin Laden. All of President Bush’s neocons claimed that I was too obsessed with finding Bin Laden when they didn’t have a single meeting about Bin Laden for the nine months after I left office. All the right wingers who now say that I didn’t do enough said that I did too much. Same people."

The man is delusional. I think Tom Maguire's point sums it up perfectly:

"And I will take this opportunity to repeat what I think was my only original contribution to this sprawling brawl about Clinton's priorities - Pulitzer Prize winner David Halberstam delivered "War in a Time of Peace - Bush, Clinton, and the Generals" in May of 2001. Although he covered Iraq, Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, and Kosovo, there is not a hint of a mention of Al Qaeda or Osama Bin Laden. That suggests that, in all his digging and interviewing on the topic of Clinton at war, Halberstam never uncovered Clinton's war on terror, or did not experience Clinton's people pounding the table and emphasizing its importance."

Gerry said...

"That was Bob Kerrey. "

I stand corrected, thanks.

[The rest of this post is to a handful of others who are revisiting an old meme]

And as for those who are trying to slam Bush for taking some time to compose himself or whatever it was on the morning of 9/11, please remember that the man you guys ran against Bush, John Kerry, said "...And as I came in [to a meeting in Sen. Daschle’s office], Barbara Boxer and Harry Reid were standing there, and we watched the second plane come in to the building. And we shortly thereafter sat down at the table and then we just realized nobody could think, and then boom, right behind us, we saw the cloud of explosion at the Pentagon…"

The second tower was hit at 9:03. The Pentagon was hit at 9:43. So shortly after 9:03, Kerry and his Democratic colleagues sat down at a table because no one could think. And then, boom. They saw the explosion at the Pentagon. Forty minutes flies by, I guess, when no one can think.

But, hey, you know that whole line of attack did not work against Bush in 2004. Maybe it is just that the Democrats did not try hard enough with that line of attack-- so more power to ya for trying it again! If at first you don't succeed, and all...

Ann Althouse said...

dklittl said..."What do you mean just weird. This is FoxNews that we are talking about. Look at their interviews with Cheney or Bush. There are no tough questions for them. No "Where you being dishonest about the selling of the war?" or "Why haven't you caught Bin Laden?" questions. Clinton obviously came on there to promote global aid, a nobel cause, and he winds up having to go through the right-wing ringer. If he wanted that he would have just asked for an interview with Jeff Gannon."

Have you ever watched Fox News Sunday or are you just generally opinionated about Fox News? Did you read the update to this post? Chris Wallace said Clinton came on to promote his cause and the rule was that half of the interview would be about that and half could a regular interview with Wallace choosing the questions. Wallace didn't ask the questions in an overbearing "Where you being dishonest" way, so the comparison to interviews you imagine of the Bush administration people doesn't make sense. Wallace asked -- in a journalistic way -- the most obvious question, which was related to something Clinton himself had been talking about this month. If Clinton had tried in advance to predict questions that would be asked on the show -- and of course he did -- he would predict that question. So why didn't he have a solid answer? Either he weirdly lacked control or he thought being intimidatingly angry would cow Wallace and that would go well.

I'd really like you to quote some things Wallace said that constitute a "right-wing [w]ringer." Most of the time Wallace was hanging back and letting Clinton express himself or trying unsuccessfully to break in to guide the conversation back to Clinton's CGI program. Really, your comment does not seem to be based on the facts at all, but on your preconceived ideas about Fox.

Freder Frederson said...

Have you ever watched Fox News Sunday or are you just generally opinionated about Fox News? Did you read the update to this post?

Have you ever watched Fox News Sunday or do you just believe that Fox News is "Fair and Balanced". Clinton (and dklittl) is right, Wallace has never once asked anyone in the administration a tough question about the Cole. The final Cole report came out literally hours before Clinton left office, yet the incoming Bush administration never did anything about it. Cheney has been on Fox News Sunday 6 times; Rumsfeld, 9; Rice, 23; Hadley, 4. Not one of them has ever been asked about their lack of response to the Cole.

The point is that Wallace, although on the surface, much more "fair and balanced" than say Britt Hume or Hannity, is more insidious in his interviews. He simply doesn't ask the hard questions or follow up when he gets an evasive answer from interviewees from the side of the political spectrum whose view Fox News promotes.

AJ Lynch said...

I saw the show this morning and WJC is irate his legacy is being questioned.

Too bad- I am thinking about marketing T-shirts that say..."Bill Clinton- The First Pussy President (and We Don't Mean Ladies Man)". Mean spirited I know but it's accurate.

Ann Althouse said...

I watch "Fox News Sunday" nearly every week. I especially enjoy the panel that takes up the second half of the show. I also watch "Meet the Press" nearly every week. Look, all the news channels lean a little but also try to be journalistic. Deal with it.

Freder Frederson said...

Look, all the news channels lean a little but also try to be journalistic

Lean a little, that's an understatement. Even their token liberal, Juan Williams, is required to check his balls at the studio door every Sunday.

Clinton's point was dead on. Wallace asked Clinton a question he has never asked anyone in the administration. All the opportunities Wallace has had to question current administration officials about the Cole, he has never done it (At least he had the integrity not to contradict Clinton and lie and say "I have asked administration officials about the Cole", I'm sure Hume would have done just that). And to spring the question so early in the interview was unfair, as apparently the groundrules were that the first half was to have been devoted to the initiative.

As for Clinton being unprepared for the question, it seems to me that he not only expected the question, but knew exactly what he was going to say, including researching if Wallace had ever asked anyone in the current administration about the Cole. Clinton, like any good lawyer, knew the answer to that question before he asked it, and caught Wallace flatfooted.

Gerry said...

freder,

I notice that you never acknowledged that you were wrong in your assertion that I made up Clinton's 'neocon' whine.

As for your current back and forth with Ann, I'll just say that I hope, from this day forward, that all Democrats manage to catch reporters so flatfooted, and come as prepared as Clinton did. While you are happy with the way Clinton came across, I am downright thrilled about how he did!

Freeman Hunt said...

If several of you are going to assert that Wallace only asks softball questions of the administration, please link to a transcript of Wallace interviewing someone in the administration. Also, why do you think Clinton is entitled to softball questions?

PatCA said...

Actually, Freder, your allusion about smart attorneys is off kilter. A good attorney never asks a witness a question without knowing exactly what the witness will answer. IOW, a good lawyer never cedes control of the narrative. A good journalist like Wallace OTOH always tries to get an interview subject to open up and reveal something newsworthy about himself. It's good TV.

At least Wallace lets his subjects answer. I gave up watching George Steph's show after his continued shouting interruption of every Rep's answer.

Freder Frederson said...

I notice that you never acknowledged that you were wrong in your assertion that I made up Clinton's 'neocon' whine.

I still think you were being deceptive because the implication of your post was that the neo-cons were complaining during Clinton's term, while Clinton is clearly talking about the first eight months of the Bush Administration.

Are you really asserting that the Bush administration didn't drop the ball on Al Qaeda and all but ignore it until 9/11? That on that particular point Clinton is not absolutely correct?

Shanna said...

If Clinton had tried in advance to predict questions that would be asked on the show -- and of course he did -- he would predict that question. So why didn't he have a solid answer? Either he weirdly lacked control or he thought being intimidatingly angry would cow Wallace and that would go well.

You're right, of course. He wouldn't go on Fox looking for softball questions. Now I think he went on their looking for a fight, and he was going for righteous anger and possibly something he could spin in the dem's favor.

And of course all the news shows are somewhat biased. They try to make up for it with mixed panels at the end. I can't imagine how anybody has the nerve to get on their high horse about Fox's program when ABC's head guy was actually in the Clinton Administration!!!! Honestly.

JorgXMcKie said...

Boy, freder certainly demonstrates that being a Clinton apologist is a full-time endearvor. I'm begining to hope he's getting some of that sweet, sweet Soros money.

And now he's trying to spin this Pyrhhic victory to Clinton. (Dems) "one more such victory and we're undond." Although it may already be too late.

A month ago I was fairly confident that the Dems would win the House and maybe the Senate. Today I wonder if there'll be much of a Democratic party after the election.

Talk about snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Our Left respondents unfortunately typify the more rational part of the Left of Center in the US. It's just beyond sad.

Freder Frederson said...

Boy, freder certainly demonstrates that being a Clinton apologist is a full-time endearvor.

I am not a Clinton apologist. Didn't like him much as a president. Don't have much of an opinion about him either way now. Certainly don't want his wife to run for president.

What I am is a harsh critic of the Bush administration. And if you want to dodge Clinton's (and my) criticisms of the Bush administration or Fox News by criticizing what Clinton did or didn't do in getting Bin Laden or how strongly I defend Clinton, go right ahead.

But you of course are begging the question. I don't waste my time defending the Clinton administration. As far as you are concerned he was the most vile and evil man ever to occupy the office (although Jimmy Carter now appears to being gaining ground on that title).

My only concern is to constantly beat the drum that not only is the current administration anti-democratic and corrosive to our system of government, they are also incompetent. (I particularly don't like it when the president of the U.S. gets the Congress to go along with him in legitimating torture.) When Bill Clinton points this out, and also points out that Faux News is a patsy of the administration, I applaud him for it.

Revenant said...

A month ago I was fairly confident that the Dems would win the House and maybe the Senate. Today I wonder if there'll be much of a Democratic party after the election.

It'll be difficult for the Democrats to match the levels of electoral incompetence they achieved in 2000 and 2004, but I have great hopes that they'll think of something. When it comes to finding ways to throw what should have been an easy victory, nothing can match the Democratic Party.

michael a litscher said...

Freder Frederson: Oh yeah, and by the way, why didn't Bush do anything about the Cole bombing?

Revenant: You mean, besides having the guy who planned it assassinated?

Garage Mahal: Unfortunately not True.

Excerpted from: US missiles kill al Qaeda suspects

A missile fired by an unmanned American aircraft over Yemen has killed six suspected al Qaeda terrorists on the first occasion the Predator drone has been used outside Afghanistan.

A senior United States Government official said Yemeni officials had identified one of the men killed on Sunday as Abu Ali al-Harithi, an al Qaeda leader and one of the terrorist network's top figures in Yemen.

Al-Harithi is one of the suspected planners of the October, 2000, attack on the USS Cole in which 17 sailors were killed while the ship was berthed in Aden and has been linked to the October 7 bombing of a French oil tanker off the coast of Yemen.