Monday open thread (Bubba unleashed)

Our esteemed editor is traveling today and tomorrow to our nation’s capital. Use this post to add anything you’d like to our daily discussion. Let me start it off with this, a thing of beauty seeing the former perjurer-in-chief get so defensive about his failures.

Former President Bill Clinton Defends Handling of Usama bin Laden in Combative FNC Interview

Monday , September 25, 2006

NEW YORK — Former President Bill Clinton accused Chris Wallace of carrying out “a conservative hit job” on him after the “FOX News Sunday” host asked him about his administration’s handling of the growing Al Qaeda threat in an interview.

The interview, taped Friday during Clinton’s three-day Global Initiative conference in New York, got heated after Wallace asked why Clinton didn’t “do more to put Bin Laden and Al Qaeda out of business” when he was in office.

A visibly agitated Clinton chided Wallace for ambushing him with questions about his anti-terrorism policy when Clinton wanted to talk about the Global Initiative project, which looks to create movement on issues including poverty, disease and climate change.

“You set this meeting up because you were going to get a lot of criticism from your viewers because [News Corp. Chairman] Rupert Murdoch’s supporting my work on climate change,” Clinton said. “You said you’d spend half the time talking about what we did out there to raise $7-billion-plus in three days from 215 different commitments. And you don’t care.”

When Wallace offered to return the conversation to Clinton’s philanthropic efforts, the former president wanted to continue talking about terrorism and recent criticisms that his administration was weak on terror.

• Transcript: Former President Clinton on ‘FOX News Sunday’

“There’s a reason it’s on people’s minds: Because there’s been a serious disinformation campaign to create that impression,” Clinton said.

Clinton pointed the finger at Republican factions in Congress and Pentagon for stymieing his anti-terrorism efforts.

“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,” Clinton said. “All the right-wingers who now say I didn’t do enough, said I did too much — same people.”

Right-wing factions, Clinton said, are trying to rewrite history to cover up their failing to focus on Al Qaeda when President Bush took office in 2001.

“So I tried and failed. When I failed, I left a comprehensive anti-terror strategy and the best guy in the country, Dick Clarke, who got demoted,” Clinton said. “So you did FOX’s bidding on this show. You did your nice little conservative hit job on me.”

Clinton was referring to Richard Clarke, who provided national security advice to four presidents as a member of the Senior Executive Service from 1973 to 2003. Clarke is a vocal Bush administration critic whose 2004 book, “Against All Enemies,” blasted the White House’s focus on Iraq instead of Afghanistan in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Clinton vigorously defended his efforts to hunt down Al Qaeda leader Usama bin Laden after the October 2000 bombing of the USS Cole and 1998 attacks on U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, saying he authorized the CIA to assassinate him and even contracted with other parties to kill him.

“I got closer to killing him than anybody has gotten since. And if I were still president, we’d have more than 20,000 troops there trying to kill him,” Clinton said. “I tried and I failed to get bin Laden. I regret it, but I did try and I did everything I thought I responsibly could.”

Clinton’s combativeness fueled firestorms on liberal political blogs like The DailyKos and ThinkProgress. A clip promoting the segment from Friday night’s “Special Report” was viewed nearly 900,000 times on video-sharing Web site YouTube, making it the most viewed video of the weekend.

Wallace told the Associated Press in a telephone interview he was surprised by the former presidents strong reaction to his questions.

“All I did was ask him a question, and I think it was a legitimate news question. I was surprised that he would conjure up that this was a hit job,” Wallace said.

I saw the entire interview and the remaining commentary on Fox News Sunday. It is telling that he would get so prickly (an appropriate root word for Bill Clinton) about this. Read a partial transcript below the fold.

“FOX NEWS SUNDAY” CHRIS WALLACE: This week [President William Jefferson Clinton] hosted his second annual Global Initiative forum in New York. More than $7 billion was pledged to tackle some of the worst problems in developing countries, such as poverty, disease and climate change.

As part of the conference, Mr. Clinton agreed to his first one-on-one interview ever on “FOX News Sunday.” The ground rules were simple: 15 minutes for our sit-down, split evenly between the Global Initiative and anything else we wanted to ask. But as you’ll see now in the full, unedited interview, that’s not how it turned out.

WALLACE: Mr. President, welcome to “FOX News Sunday.”


WALLACE: In a recent issue of the New Yorker you say, quote, “I’m 60 years old and I damn near died, and I’m worried about how many lives I can save before I do die.”

Is that what drives you in your effort to help in these developing countries?

CLINTON: Yes, I really — but I don’t mean — that sounds sort of morbid when you say it like that. I mean, I actually …

WALLACE: That’s how you said it.

CLINTON: Yes, but the way I said it, the tone in which I said it was actually almost whimsical and humorous. That is, this is what I love to do. It is what I think I should do.

That is, I have had a wonderful life. I got to be president. I got to live the life of my dreams. I dodged a bullet with that heart problem. And I really think I should — I think I owe it to my fellow countrymen and people throughout the world to spend time saving lives, solving problems, helping people see the future.

But as it happens, I love it. I mean, I feel it’s a great gift. So, it’s a rewarding way to spend my life.

WALLACE: Someone asked you — and I don’t want to, again, be too morbid, but this is what you said. He asked you if you could wind up doing more good as a former president than as a president, and you said, “Only if I live a long time.”

CLINTON: Yes, that’s true.

WALLACE: How do you rate, compare the powers of being in office as president and what you can do out of office as a former president?

CLINTON: Well, when you are president, you can operate on a much broader scope. So, for example, you can simultaneously be trying to stop a genocide in Kosovo and, you know, make peace in the Middle East, pass a budget that gives millions of kids a chance to have afterschool programs and has a huge increase in college aid at home. In other words, you’ve got a lot of different moving parts, and you can move them all at once.

But you’re also more at the mercy of events. That is, President Bush did not run for president to deal with 9/11, but once it happened it wasn’t as if he had an option.

Once I looked at the economic — I’ll give you a much more mundane example. Once I looked at the economic data, the new data after I won the election, I realized that I would have to work much harder to reduce the deficit, and therefore I would have less money in my first year to invest in things I wanted to invest in.

WALLACE: So what is it that you can do as a former president?

CLINTON: So what you can do as a former president is — you don’t have the wide range of power, so you have to concentrate on fewer things. But you are less at the mercy of unfolding events.

So if I say, look, we’re going to work on the 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, you know, avoid the worst calamities of climate change and help to revitalize the economy in the process, I can actually do that.

I mean, because tomorrow when I get up, if there’s a bad headline in the paper, it’s President Bush’s responsibility, not mine. That’s the joy of being a former president. And it is true that if you live long enough and you really have great discipline in the way you do this, like this CGI, you might be able to affect as many lives, or more, for the good as you did as president.

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 Qaeda out of business when you were president?

There’s a new book out, I suspect you’ve already read, called “The Looming Tower.” And it talks about how the fact that when you pulled troops out of Somalia in 1993, bin Laden said, “I have seen the frailty and the weakness and the cowardice of U.S. troops.” Then there was the bombing of the embassies in Africa and the attack on the Cole.

CLINTON: OK, let’s just go through that.

WALLACE: Let me — let me — may I just finish the question, sir?

And after the attack, the book says that bin Laden separated his leaders, spread them around, because he expected an attack, and there was no response.

I understand that hindsight is always 20/20. …

CLINTON: No, let’s talk about it.

WALLACE: … but the question is, why didn’t you do more, connect the dots and put them out of business?

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.

They were all trying to get me to withdraw from Somalia in 1993 the next day after we were involved in “Black Hawk down,” and I refused to do it and stayed six months and had an orderly transfer to the United Nations.

OK, now let’s look at all the criticisms: Black Hawk down, Somalia. There is not a living soul in the world who thought that Usama bin Laden had anything to do with Black Hawk down or was paying any attention to it or even knew Al Qaeda was a growing concern in October of ’93.

WALLACE: I understand, and I …

CLINTON: No, wait. No, wait. Don’t tell me this — you asked me why didn’t I do more to bin Laden. There was not a living soul. All the people who now criticize me wanted to leave the next day.

You brought this up, so you’ll get an answer, but you can’t …

WALLACE: I’m perfectly happy to.

CLINTON: All right, secondly …

WALLACE: Bin Laden says …

CLINTON: Bin Laden may have said …

WALLACE: … bin Laden says that it showed the weakness of the United States.

CLINTON: But it would’ve shown the weakness if we’d left right away, but he wasn’t involved in that. That’s just a bunch of bull. That was about Mohammed Adid, a Muslim warlord, murdering 22 Pakistani Muslim troops. We were all there on a humanitarian mission. We had no mission, none, to establish a certain kind of Somali government or to keep anybody out.

He was not a religious fanatic …

WALLACE: But, Mr. President …

CLINTON: … there was no Al Qaeda …

WALLACE: … with respect, if I may, instead of going through ’93 and …

CLINTON: No, no. You asked it. You brought it up. You brought it up.

WALLACE: May I ask a general question and then you can answer?


WALLACE: The 9/11 Commission, which you’ve talk about — and this is what they did say, not what ABC pretended they said …

CLINTON: Yes, what did they say?

WALLACE: … they said about you and President Bush, and I quote, “The U.S. government took the threat seriously, but not in the sense of mustering anything like the kind of effort that would be gathered to confront an enemy of the first, second or even third rank.”

CLINTON: First of all, that’s not true with us and bin Laden.

WALLACE: Well, I’m telling you that’s what the 9/11 Commission says.

CLINTON: All right. Let’s look at what Richard Clarke said. Do you think Richard Clarke has a vigorous attitude about bin Laden?

WALLACE: Yes, I do.

CLINTON: You do, don’t you?

WALLACE: I think he has a variety of opinions and loyalties, but yes, he has a vigorous …

CLINTON: He has a variety of opinion and loyalties now, but let’s look at the facts: He worked for Ronald Reagan; he was loyal to him. He worked for George H. W. Bush; he was loyal to him. He worked for me, and he was loyal to me. He worked for President Bush; he was loyal to him.

They downgraded him and the terrorist operation.

Now, look what he said, read his book and read his factual assertions — not opinions — assertions. He said we took vigorous action after the African embassies. We probably nearly got bin Laden.


CLINTON: No, wait a minute.


WALLACE: … cruise missiles.

CLINTON: No, no. I authorized the CIA to get groups together to try to kill him.

The CIA, which was run by George Tenet, that President Bush gave the Medal of Freedom to, he said, “He did a good job setting up all these counterterrorism things.”

The country never had a comprehensive anti-terror operation until I came there.

Now, if you want to criticize me for one thing, you can criticize me for this: After the Cole, I had battle plans drawn to go into Afghanistan, overthrow the Taliban, and launch a full-scale attack search for bin Laden.

But we needed basing rights in Uzbekistan, which we got after 9/11.

The CIA and the FBI refused to certify that bin Laden was responsible while I was there. They refused to certify. So that meant I would’ve had to send a few hundred Special Forces in helicopters and refuel at night.

Even the 9/11 Commission didn’t do that. Now, the 9/11 Commission was a political document, too. All I’m asking is, anybody who wants to say I didn’t do enough, you read Richard Clarke’s book.

WALLACE: Do you think you did enough, sir?

CLINTON: No, because I didn’t get him.


CLINTON: But at least I tried. That’s the difference in me and some, including all the right-wingers who are attacking me now. They ridiculed me for trying. They had eight months to try. They did not try. I tried.

So I tried and failed. When I failed, I left a comprehensive anti-terror strategy and the best guy in the country, Dick Clarke, who got demoted.

So you did Fox’s bidding on this show. You did your nice little conservative hit job on me. What I want to know is …

WALLACE: Well, wait a minute, sir.

CLINTON: No, wait. No, no …

WALLACE: I want to ask a question. You don’t think that’s a legitimate question?

CLINTON: It was a perfectly legitimate question, but I want to know how many people in the Bush administration you asked this question of.

I want to know how many people in the Bush administration you asked, “Why didn’t you do anything about the Cole?”

I want to know how many you asked, “Why did you fire Dick Clarke?”

I want to know how many people you asked …

WALLACE: We asked — we asked …

CLINTON: I don’t …

WALLACE: Do you ever watch “FOX News Sunday,” sir?

CLINTON: I don’t believe you asked them that.

WALLACE: We ask plenty of questions of …

CLINTON: You didn’t ask that, did you? Tell the truth, Chris.

WALLACE: About the USS Cole?

CLINTON: Tell the truth, Chris.

WALLACE: With Iraq and Afghanistan, there’s plenty of stuff to ask.

CLINTON: Did you ever ask that?

You set this meeting up because you were going to get a lot of criticism from your viewers because Rupert Murdoch’s supporting my work on climate change.

And you came here under false pretenses and said that you’d spend half the time talking about — you said you’d spend half the time talking about what we did out there to raise $7-billion-plus in three days from 215 different commitments. And you don’t care.

WALLACE: But, President Clinton, if you look at the questions here, you’ll see half the questions are about that. I didn’t think this was going to set you off on such a tear.

CLINTON: You launched it — it set me off on a tear because you didn’t formulate it in an honest way and because you people ask me questions you don’t ask the other side.

WALLACE: That’s not true. Sir, that is not true.

CLINTON: And Richard Clarke made it clear in his testimony…

WALLACE: Would you like to talk about the Clinton Global Initiative?

CLINTON: No, I want to finish this now.

WALLACE: All right. Well, after you.

CLINTON: All I’m saying is, you falsely accused me of giving aid and comfort to bin Laden because of what happened in Somalia. No one knew Al Qaeda existed then. And …

WALLACE: But did they know in 1996 when he declared war on the U.S.? Did they know in 1998 …

CLINTON: Absolutely, they did.

WALLACE: … when he bombed the two embassies?

CLINTON: And who talked about …

WALLACE: Did they know in 2000 when he hit the Cole?

CLINTON: What did I do? What did I do? I worked hard to try to kill him. I authorized a finding for the CIA to kill him. We contracted with people to kill him. I got closer to killing him than anybody has gotten since. And if I were still president, we’d have more than 20,000 troops there trying to kill him.

Now, I’ve never criticized President Bush, and I don’t think this is useful. But you know we do have a government that thinks Afghanistan is only one-seventh as important as Iraq.

And you ask me about terror and Al Qaeda with that sort of dismissive thing? When all you have to do is read Richard Clarke’s book to look at what we did in a comprehensive, systematic way to try to protect the country against terror.

And you’ve got that little smirk on your face and you think you’re so clever. But I had responsibility for trying to protect this country. I tried and I failed to get bin Laden. I regret it. But I did try. And I did everything I thought I responsibly could.

The entire military was against sending Special Forces in to Afghanistan and refueling by helicopter. And no one thought we could do it otherwise, because we could not get the CIA and the FBI to certify that Al Qaeda was responsible while I was president.

And so, I left office. And yet, I get asked about this all the time. They had three times as much time to deal with it, and nobody ever asks them about it. I think that’s strange.

WALLACE: Can I ask you about the Clinton Global Initiative?

CLINTON: You can.

WALLACE: I always intended to, sir.

CLINTON: No, you intended, though, to move your bones by doing this first, which is perfectly fine. But I don’t mind people asking me — I actually talked to the 9/11 Commission for four hours, Chris, and I told them the mistakes I thought I made. And I urged them to make those mistakes public, because I thought none of us had been perfect.

But instead of anybody talking about those things, I always get these clever little political yields (ph), where they ask me one-sided questions. And the other guys notice that. And it always comes from one source. And so …


CLINTON: And so …

WALLACE: I just want to ask you about the Clinton Global Initiative, but what’s the source? I mean, you seem upset, and I …

CLINTON: I am upset because …

WALLACE: And all I can say is, I’m asking you this in good faith because it’s on people’s minds, sir. And I wasn’t …

CLINTON: Well, there’s a reason it’s on people’s minds. That’s the point I’m trying to make. There’s a reason it’s on people’s minds: Because there’s been a serious disinformation campaign to create that impression.

This country only has one person who’s worked on this terror. From the terrorist incidents under Reagan to the terrorist incidents from 9/11, only one: Richard Clarke.

And all I can say to anybody is, you want to know what we did wrong or right, or anybody else did? Read his book.

The people on my political right who say I didn’t do enough spent the whole time I was president saying, “Why is he so obsessed with bin Laden? That was “wag the dog” when he tried to kill him.”

My Republican secretary of defense — and I think I’m the only president since World War II to have a secretary of defense of the opposite party — Richard Clarke and all the intelligence people said that I ordered a vigorous attempt to get bin Laden and came closer, apparently, than anybody has since.

WALLACE: All right.

CLINTON: And you guys try to create the opposite impression, when all you have to do is read Richard Clarke’s findings and you know it’s not true. It’s just not true.

And all this business about Somalia — the same people who criticized me about Somalia were demanding I leave the next day. The same exact crowd.

WALLACE: One of the …

CLINTON: And so, if you’re going to do this, for God’s sake, follow the same standards for everybody …

WALLACE: I think we do, sir.

CLINTON: … and be flat — and fair.

WALLACE: I think we do. … One of the main parts of the Global Initiative this year is religion and reconciliation. President Bush says that the fight against Islamic extremism is the central conflict of this century. And his answer is promoting democracy and reform.

Do you think he has that right?

CLINTON: Sure. To advance — to advocate democracy and reform in the Muslim world? Absolutely.

I think the question is, what’s the best way to do it? I think also the question is, how do you educate people about democracy?

Democracy is about way more than majority rule. Democracy is about minority rights, individual rights, restraints on power. And there’s more than one way to advance democracy.

But do I think, on balance, that in the end, after several bouts with instability — look how long it took us to build a mature democracy. Do I think, on balance, it would be better if we had more freedom and democracy? Sure I do. And do I think specifically the president has a right to do it? Sure I do.

But I don’t think that’s all we can do in the Muslim world. I think they have to see us as trying to get a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. I think they have to see us as willing to talk to people who see the world differently than we do.

WALLACE: Last year at this conference, you got $2.5 billion in commitments, pledges. How’d you do this year?

CLINTON: Well, this year we had — we had $7.3 billion, as of this morning.

WALLACE: Excuse me?

CLINTON: $7.3 billion, as of this morning. But $3 billion of that is — now, this is over multi years. These are up to 10-year commitments.

But $3 billion of that came from Richard Branson’s commitment to give all of his transportation profits for a decade to clean energy investments. But still, that’s — the rest is over $4 billion.

And we will have another 100 commitments come in, maybe more, and we’ll probably raise another, I would say, at least another billion dollars, probably, before it’s over. We’ve got a lot of commitments still in process.

WALLACE: When you look at the $3 billion from Branson, plus the billions that Bill Gates is giving in his own program, and now Warren Buffet, what do you make of this new age of philanthropy?

CLINTON: I think that, for one thing, really rich people have always given money away. I mean, you know, they’ve endowed libraries and things like that.

The unique thing about this age is, first of all, you have a lot of people like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet who are interested in issues at home and around the world that grow out of the nature of the 21st century and its inequalities — the income inequalities, the health-care inequalities, the education inequalities.

And you get a guy like Gates, who built Microsoft, who actually believes that he can help overcome a lot of the health disparities in the world. And that’s the first thing.

The second thing that ought to be credited is that there are a lot of people with average incomes who are joining them because of the Internet. Like in the tsunami, for example, we had $1.2 billion given by Americans; 30 percent of our households gave money, over half of them over the Internet.

And then the third thing is you’ve got all these — in poor countries, you’ve got all these nongovernmental groups that you can — that a guy like Gates can partner with, along with the governments.

So all these things together mean that people with real money want to give it away in ways that help people that before would’ve been seen only as the object of government grants or loans.

WALLACE: Let’s talk some politics. In that same New Yorker article, you say that you are tired of Karl Rove’s B.S., although I’m cleaning up what you said.

CLINTON: But I do like the — but I also say I’m not tired of Karl Rove. I don’t blame Karl Rove. If you’ve got a deal that works, you just keep on doing it.

WALLACE: So what is the B.S.?

CLINTON: Well, every even-numbered year, right before an election, they come up with some security issue.

In 2002, our party supported them in undertaking weapons inspections in Iraq and was 100 percent for what happened in Afghanistan, and they didn’t have any way to make us look like we didn’t care about terror.

And so, they decided they would be for the homeland security bill that they had opposed. And they put a poison pill in it that we wouldn’t pass, like taking the job rights away from 170,000 people, and then say that we were weak on terror if we weren’t for it. They just ran that out.

This year, I think they wanted to make the questions of prisoner treatment and intercepted communications the same sort of issues, until John Warner and John McCain and Lindsey Graham got in there. And, as it turned out, there were some Republicans that believed in the Constitution and the Geneva Conventions and had some of their own ideas about how best to fight terror.

The Democrats — as long as the American people believe that we take this seriously and we have our own approaches — and we may have differences over Iraq — I think we’ll do fine in this election.

But even if they agree with us about the Iraq war, we could be hurt by Karl Rove’s new foray if we just don’t make it clear that we, too, care about the security of the country. But we want to implement the 9/11 Commission recommendations, which they haven’t for four years. We want to intensify our efforts in Afghanistan against bin Laden. We want to make America more energy-independent.

And then they can all, if they differ on Iraq, they can say whatever they want on Iraq.

But Rove is good. And I honor him. I mean, I will say that. I’ve always been amused about how good he is, in a way.

But on the other hand, this is perfectly predictable: We’re going to win a lot of seats if the American people aren’t afraid. If they’re afraid and we get divided again, then we may only win a few seats.

WALLACE: And the White House, the Republicans want to make the American people afraid?

CLINTON: Of course they do. Of course they do. They want us to be — they want another homeland security deal. And they want to make it about — not about Iraq but about some other security issue, where, if we disagree with them, we are, by definition, imperiling the security of the country.

And it’s a big load of hooey. We’ve got nine Iraq war veterans running for the House seats. We’ve got President Reagan’s secretary of the navy as the Democratic candidate for the Senate in Virginia. A three-star admiral, who was on my National Security Council staff, who also fought terror, by the way, is running for the seat of Kurt Weldon in Pennsylvania.

We’ve got a huge military presence here in this campaign. And we just can’t let them have some rhetorical device that puts us in a box we don’t belong in.

That’s their job. Their job is to beat us. I like that about Rove. But our job is not to let them get away with it. And if they don’t, then we’ll do fine.

WALLACE: Mr. President, thank you for one of the more unusual interviews.

CLINTON: Thanks.

55 thoughts on “Monday open thread (Bubba unleashed)”

  1. I can’t help but think about the phrase “lyin’ minds think alike”:

    reminds me of the incident reporter who provoked Kaggastro’s wrath in Argentina by asking a simple question.

  2. George,

    Since it’s open thread Monday, I would like to share this Jeep Compass Commercial (Urban-Hip Hop)with you all … please watch the “Phil” version … there’s a bobblehead character at the end looking out the gas station window … who does this character brings to mind? I don’t know … maybe it’s just me …
    I wish you well! Melek 🙂

    To watch the TV spot, CLICK on the highlighted name: “PHIL”

  3. Funny that Slick Willie would attack Chris Wallace for the same exact tactics that perky Katie used against Charleton Heston when he was promoting the DVD of “The Ten Commandments”.

  4. Watching Bubba going purple, I thought at one point he was going to pop a vein and … maybe we’d all get lucky.

    He’s possessed by his legacy gone to hell and totally obsessed by his quest to rewrite it. The only problem, there’s the Congressional Record and — well, facts.

    Perhaps the best thing we can do for the former Unhinged-in-Chief is to let him keep on talking and wag his …. finger. Ni el mismo se cree las guayabas esas.

  5. The right-thinking blogosphere has done a complete takedown of Clinton’s inaccuracies and mistatements of fact during his interview with Chris Wallace – see Michelle Malkin’s Hot Air, for example. It’s too bad Wallace didnt have time to ask him about Sandy Berger @ the National Archives theft- he could have asked whether he has any knowledge- prior to or after the fact- about what specific documents was Mr. Berger trying to cleanse the record of. Has any reporter questioned him about this matter? Rest assured, such a line of questioning would automatically be considered suspect and partisan if it emanated from a reporter at the eeeevil Fox News Channel. But it’s a valid question that the mainstream media hasn’t bothered to ask him, and Clinton is deftly focusing all attention away from serious questions like that, and onto his Clinton Global Initiative. By arrangement, half of the time Wallace had with Clinton had to be devoted to his CGI. Another way to insulate himself from a potentially tough set of questions.

    The reason why Clinton was so animated and defensive IMHO is because he cannot live with even the insinuation that he and his administration were in some part responsible for making the ground fertitle- inadventently, yet irresponsibly- for the 9-11 attacks- through both their deeds and inaction. His tortured rationalizations notwithstanding, that is the legacy of his administration- putting so many real security problems on the backburner, therby allowing the ensuing #*&^storm to manifest itself during the succeeding administration.

  6. Hi fellow bloggers:
    I made a promise to myself not to write in blogs anymore unless I was prepared to rant and rave along with the majority of those whose ideology was all the same but I find I just can’t.

    At the very least I will recommend to you some books which you will find incredibly interesting. They are CONSERVATIVES WITHOUT CONSCIENCE by John Dean. Also, one I am still in the middle of is THE ARCHITECT~Karl Rove and the Master Plan for Absolute Power~ by James Moore and Wayne Slater. Scary reading and one which I would love to get feedback on(of any kind) from readers here in the blog. Thanks for reading this.


  7. Jane,

    Here’s a couple for you:

    Bankrupt by David Limbaugh

    The Party of Death by Ramesh Ponnuru

    The Professors by David Horowitz.

    Unvanquished by Enrique Encinosa

    And of course Fidel by Humberto Fontova

    Do let us all know what you think when youve read them.

  8. Thanks, Jane. I’ll chill up a pitcher of Kool-Aid and snuggle up with those books (and Chomsky’s and Zinn’s as well) as soon as the mother ship leaves. I’m having my implant replaced with a better radio device…

  9. Ok, very funny and ohhhh so witty. I am trying to be serious here. What does this Kool-Aid stuff (drink) mean? You do not know me!!! What simpletons!!!! Just because I am from the west coast makes me a liberal??? PLEASE. If youREALLY must know I am an AGRAMONTE and MY family was fighting for Freedom before any of you were ever born!!!! I give up and I just hope and I pray you guys don’t give our country (
    Cuba) over to those creeps to rape and pillage just as they are doing in IRAQ. It will be your conscience not mine. ~Jane

  10. Ok, very funny and ohhhh so witty. I am trying to be serious here. What does this Kool-Aid stuff (drink) mean? You do not know me!!! What simpletons!!!! Just because I am from the west coast makes me a liberal??? PLEASE. If youREALLY must know I am an AGRAMONTE and MY family was fighting for Freedom before any of you were ever born!!!! I give up and I just hope and I pray you guys don’t give our country (
    Cuba) over to those creeps to rape and pillage just as they are doing in IRAQ. It will be your conscience not mine. ~Jane

  11. My dear and close friend George,
    I finaly decided to drink your Kool Aid and blog here. First time blogger, but with a thick skin, so I hope to spark a many interesting replies.

    Lets get to the generalizations.

    “In the wake of the House of Representatives’ approval of two articles of impeachment, Bill Clinton’s approval rating has jumped 10 points to 73 percent, the latest CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll shows.”

    I’ll spare the numbers from Georgie Boy for the ones who wish to look them up here, but they are not half of that of the cigar handling superhero.

    All I am implying is that there is a good chance that some of you bashers may have thought otherwise when the stock market was booming and your 401Ks looked good (yeah, the Clinton years).

    But enough fireworks. My observation of the American government radically changed when I was in a Taxi cab in Ireland and the driver described the American government in the same manner as big corporations are run.

    So let’s explore this a bit. The key to success in the corporate world is to drive profits and minimize operational costs, no matter what anyone says. You make money, the corporation, stock holders, investors, and the economy is happy, regardless of the dirty laundry.

    There is no Constitition or Bill of Rights (just ask the IRA) for the government. These were made for folks like you and me. The government will do what they feel is right for YOU, simple as that. And no matter how much you rant and rave, or blame presidents, actual or past, it will not change. We are nothing but small time stock holders in a big corporation.

    So even though I feel your pain for the situation in Cuba, or the oil prices, or N. Korea, or the Middle East, or terrorism, or the Democrats… the bottom line is that none of these are likely to change in the coming years.

    However, blogging sure makes me feel better.

    Respectfully yours,

  12. It might be appropriate to remember John F. Kennedy taking war against communism in his election campaign in 1960. And then afterwards at Playa Giron (Bay of Pigs for those not familiar with context) What promised fighter plane cover?

  13. Yep we all make money, even the poor in America are obese and own giant screen TV’s. Of course you left off the part where WE get to choose our president, and you also left out that only some of the presidents try to do what’s best for the country, while others are distracted power happy narcissistic attention getters left with their flies hanging open. Weren’t the 90’s just grand, too bad Clinton’s irresponsible foreign policy led us to 9/11 and ruined the party.

  14. Jane, lighten up. Your response proved my point. Get back to us when you read the list of books Val recommended and then we can have an intelligent discussion. Otherwise, Agramonte or not, you aren’t the Queen Bee that sets the rules, OK, honey?

  15. Sure wish Bush would have sex with some intern! Maybe it would keep his mind off other more evil endeavors! Any of you know Rove’s mother committed suicide? Yep, and his father was gay! HMMMMMMM… what evil lurks in the mind of some. Maybe lashing out about homosexuality is his way of facing inner demons.

  16. Andy, Andy, Andy. My dear, dear deluded friend.


    Your argument may convince the moonbats (and I know you’re not a moonbat despite what you wrote) but it won’t convince me. Here’s the simple reason your argument doesn’t fly: this is geopolitics, not business. The game is played with land, human lives, guns, blood, guts, tanks, nuclear warheads, depleted uranium shells, etc. Corporations pretend they are going off to battle after they read do Sun Tzu or Clausewitz. But it’s not so in the real world. Bubba DIDN’T DO JACK SHIT because he lacked the one thing you need in the real world of geopolitics that you can do without in the corporate world. Can you tell me what that one thing is?

  17. No George. Just telling it like it is! Why can’t you respond to my question about the books? Have you read them? Please no more ‘honey’ it is really degrading and condescending especially when coming from YOUR mouth. ~Jane

  18. I’m just like a fisherman: I throw the bait and they start bitin’… Jane, you have proven beyond a reasonable doubt that you are a moonbat. A moonbat first class.

  19. jane= i read zinns a peoples history of the united states, and i still think globalization is a good thing, i believe supply side economics works, i support the republican party for its foreign policy, between the democratic parties economic policies and the republicans i take the GOP.. try reading the way the world works, by jude wanniski.. to paraphrase matt damon in good will hunting (on zinns history), THAT is a book that will knock you on your ass…

  20. First of all. Thank you for your comments in the spirit of blogging.

    On a side note, being a newby, I would also like to get a cool nickname like George “El Pitbull” Moneo. Can you guys suggest one?

  21. Here’s the question I ask everybody re: Bubba.

    Other than the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 (the 1st bill signed by Clinton), what did he do in 8 years, i.e., what major legislation did he get passed into law (that was not in reality a GOP introduced bill, i.e., welfare reform). Let’s see, he also gave us “DOn’t Ask Don’t Tell.”

    The economy stupid? Anyone who’s studied history knows that the economy is cyclical. It peaks and valleys. If you’re the Pres. on a peak, you look good. If you’re a Pres. on a valley, you are SOL.

    The Fed controls monetary policy and the government is responsible for fiscal policy. All monetary bills originate in the House.

    Bush Sr. passed the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Civil Rights Act of 1991…two historic and major pieces of legislation which greatly increased civil rights protections for the disabled as well as vicitims of discrimination in employment, respectively. Bush Sr. also gave us the EPPA (Employee Polygraph Protection Act). He also put together the coalition to get saddamn out of Kuwait. THat’s just to name a few.

    Reagan gave us the Tax Reform Act of 1986, a major overhaul in the tax codes that reduced tax rates in this country from nearly 50% to more acceptable levels. Ronnie gave us the START treaty with the Soviets.

    Even Nixon gave us some of the most important legislation in this country’s history such as clean air and clean water acts; the EPA; the treaty with China; SALT I.

    Bubba is a great politician who frankly squandered an oppotunity to be a great president in substance rather than in collective imaginations of the media and uninformed public.

  22. How about welfare reform? We have that thanks to Newt and the Congress of 1994. Bubba didn’t accomplish jack-shit. Even his so-called balanced budget and “surplus” was accounting smoke and mirrors. How can you have a balanced budget when you have a national debt that then — not to mention now — was Jupiter-sized. All bullshit. He was the first Marketed President and he still is. All froth, no milk.

  23. I think Clinton is the most cynical person I have seen, he had plenty of opportunities to do something about Al Qaida and OBL but he was more interested on his legacy and knew a war was no going to be popular and he didn’t want to upset his party even if it meant weaking America

  24. I find it incredibly annoying when people (weather liberal or conservative) bring up their family background. I don’t care if your father was Jose Marti or the King of England…if that is the only argument that you can give for thinking yourself correct, then Jane, you have nothing of substance to offer. Sounds a lot like Clinton…respect me for my social position, not for my deeds…damn it!

    I love the way these people can be condescending and insulting; but when you treat them with the same disrespect,they get all huffy. Incredibly childish! Not to mention, elitist.

  25. Bubba lacks the one essential quality for a leader, and it’s something you don’t get handed with a degree. Character, the man has no character. He betrayed everyone.

  26. George,

    You can have surplus and a debt at the same time because they are two different things. The national debt is the accumulation of all the deficits of the past. You could conceivably have (as we did in the late 90s) a budget surplus and still have the debt. That’s not to say that Clinton gets the credit for the surplus. The incredible increase of revenues between the mid 80s and late 90s is responsible for that. The Reagan tax cuts spurred economic growth which in turn increased revenues much faster than spending increased.

    The Republicans were a good party as an opposition party (94-2000) but unfortunately they have shown that they like pork and big government almost as much as the Democrats when they have the white house too. That’s why if I had to pick an election to lose it would be 2008 and not 2006. With a Democrat in the white house we could go back to playing offense. Right now Republicans have to defend everything and this particular crop isn’t good at defending even their most principled positions.

    Returning to the issue of the debt and the defecit. Let’s say you have 20,000 in credit card bills and a $200,000 mortgage. You have a debt. And let’s say each month you spend $400 more than you take in, then you have a deficit. But let’s say you got a big raise of $800 a month and you don’t change your spending habits. You start paying down the credit card debt with the surplus but until it’s all paid (and the mortgage too) you have a debt. Well it’s the same thing with the government. Deficit spending and debt is not inherently bad. Nobody is going to argue that having a mortgage debt is bad. It’s when the amount is so large that you can no longer service it that problem arises.

    A $100,000 debt is not that much to someone who makes $100,000 a year whereas it’s a hell of a lot to someone who makes $20,000 a year.

    For this reason economists look at Debt as a % of GDP. The debt can actually grow in dollars but contract as a percentage of GDP.

    PS Clinton’s greatest legislative achievments were signing 7 of the 10 items in Newt Gingrich’s contract with America.

  27. Jane,

    You made the following statement:

    “If you REALLY must know I am an AGRAMONTE and MY family was fighting for Freedom before any of you were ever born!!!!”

    You should be very proud to be a descendant of Mayor General Ignacio Agramonte y Loynaz. Cubans will never forget the important part Mayor General Agramonte played in the “Ten Year’s War” (1868-1878). I’ve always had great respect for his great military achievements, valor and dedication to Cuba’s freedom.

    There are many Cubans in exile today that are direct descendants of the men who fought not only in the “Ten Year War” but also in the “War of Independence.” Let’s face it! Neither you, nor I, nor they were born (as you so vehemently stated) back in the late 1800s. I too have ancestors (and current family members) that have died for Cuba’s freedom, so please don’t wave Agramonte’s name in my face. It’s an insult to the memory of such a great man. Anyway, I really don’t see the relevance to your statement. Do you think that by being a blood relation to Agramonte makes you an EXPERT on Cuba? Or that because you carry his DNA somehow it gives you a better insight on what is best for Cuba? Please, stop reading all that liberal garbage and read up on Cuban history. Believe me, being a direct descendant of a hero doesn’t necessarily MAKE you one. Case in point: Benjamin Franklin and his son William… One a patriot, the other a traitor!

    As to the books you suggested “we read,” I’m afraid I’m going to have to turn down your offer. For you see, I’m very selective on what I read. I don’t need anyone to TELL me about the TRACK record of either Democrats or Republicans. I’ve lived long enough to experience it first hand.

    “I give up and I just hope and I pray you guys don’t give our country (Cuba) over to those creeps to rape and pillage just as they are doing in IRAQ. It will be your consciences not mine.”

    While you are catching up on Cuban history, do me a favor… read up on American history! You may not agree with the war in Iraq, but to blame ONLY the Republicans for this war is the height of IGNORANCE and irresponsibility. As to calling our troops “creeps” who “rape” and “pillage” goes beyond the pale… You are so out of it, on so many levels, that quite frankly I just don’t feel like wasting any more of my time with you.

  28. It’s not my purpose to turn my comment into any personal attack ~ there has been plenty of that on this thread. But I take hard issue with Jane, whoever you are, insulting the troops. I have friends in Iraq, who sleep in 100 degree weather and patrol the streets at 145 Farenheit. Some watch their buddies blown up while trying to pass out humanitarian aid to children et al.

    Since no one here can make you shut up, I must ask you to have the common decency to keep your anti-troop comments to yourself while you sleep under the safety they provide for you. Or come down to Ft. Hood so that you can call them names to their face.

    Dare ya.

  29. Thank you Gigi, you took the words right out of my mouth. Jane, My daughters best friend’s husband is in Iraq. His brother just returned from Afghanistan not long ago. And I know others, educated brave young men of impeccable moral standing. How dare you insult them, and by extension, all Americans. It’s their sacrifice that makes it possible for people like you to live in your fantasy world, what a vile treasonous thing to say, really. You can think whatever you like about this war, but if you believe that playing nice with the terrorists would have prevented this war you’re a fool. I have nothing else to say to you.

  30. Hi All

    The criticism should the be directed at our leaders that have put our troops in a hopeless situation.

    I the word of esteemed VP

    “As we say in Wyoming, you can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig,”


  31. that’s who I meant when I said ‘creeps’ the
    Bush Administration NOT the soldiers. They (the soldiers are just merely doing their job and following orders. ~Jane

  32. The Bush Administration! Now I see who you meant. We never would have guessed that you meant Bush was the raper and pillager. Thanks for clearing that up, Jane.

  33. Ok, I confess, I voted for Bush. You know he’s that kind of guy. A friend you want to invite over to your house have a few beers, a bbq type of guy. A regular guy.

    Well now the party is over, the beer is gone. No more meat in the bbq. He’s in your house, he’s getting, drunk and talking crap that makes no sense, Now is turned into the guest that won’t leave your house. How do you get this get rid of this guy?


  34. Ray, How do you get rid of him you ask? It’s called democracy, you wait until the next election and vote and hope that your choice wins and that you’re happy with your choice. Simple as that. I voted for him too, and while I have a number of issues I’m not happy about I’m not sorry. I shudder to think what the alternative would have wrought.

  35. Ziva

    I can’t disagree with you.

    “A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.” Thomas-Jeffeson

    “The men the American people admire most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth.” H.L.Menken



  36. First of all if we are going to have a pissing contest about our patriotic genes I have to remind everyone here that my grandfather’s grandmother was Isabel Rubio, a martyr of the war for Cuban independence. There is a museum dedicated to her in what used to be her home in the town that now bears her name.

    Secondly Ray, I’d rather have the guy that gets drunk and hangs around a little longer after the barveque than the guy who accuses his countrymen of being murderers simply because he didn’t agree with a war the country was engaged in. I’d rather have the drunk cowboy than the two-faced liberal. I’d rather have the guy that would cut taxes rather than raise them. But hey that’s just me.

  37. Thanks Ray-

    BTW, I love the H.L. Mencken quote! I voted for Bush also. But I made a mistake and I am the first to admit it. Does that mean I have to defend my choice even though I have changed my mind?? People fool people. It is not my fault that he is not who I thought he was.

    Hey all– You are right about something else- Who my ancestors were isn’t important. What is is what I do NOW in this situation and with the knowledge I have NOW. I wish you all well and am signing out for the last time. Thanks for the opportunity and hope to see you all in a FREE CUBA someday…


  38. See the beauty of living in this beatiful country is that even if disagree on everything we are still free to express our points of view without having the fear of being thrown in jail because we differ in ideology, if you don’t like Bush you can even going into the UN like that monkey of Chavez and scream it to the world. I hope one day we can be in a free CUBA and get together and have this kind of conversation, because that’s what makes a free country, the right to disagree on everything without having our rights as free thinking human takien away.

  39. To Jane, and all the other anti-iraq Bush bashers:

    I am not perfectly happy with the Iraq situation either. But lets look at the alternative. Would we be better off with Saddam in power? Some question his links with Al-Qaeda, but one thing is for sure – He was a terrorist, and he trained and harbored them, used chemical weapons against his own people (yet libs will claim this is America’s fault).
    Bush could have taken the easy way out and done nothing, just like Clinton. Yet, even though the beheadings continue from America’s enemies, Bush is called the murderer and rapist! Judy, this is where YOU need to look at reality.
    Al-Qaeda and other terrorist factions know Iraq is crucial and have made their feelings known confirming this.

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