I've been occupied today, and so it was left to more energetic go-getters to rip the shroud of truth from former President Clinton's interview on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace in order to expose the bodice of distortions and misrepresentations beneath. Have a look:
- Jake Tapper at ABC News finds Mr. Clinton's claim that right wingers shouted "Wag The Dog!" in 1998 unconvincing.
- Byron York at National Review Online actually reads Richard Clarke's book, and finds that Mr. Clinton's distillation of the content is self-serving.
- Patterico does a little research and discovers that Chris Wallace has, in fact, asked similar tough questions of Donald Rumsfeld.
- Allahpundit has some questions - backed up with facts - for Mr. Clinton. A sample:
6. The “entire military” was against using special forces to go in and get Bin Laden, thereby rendering Clinton powerless under the “Entire Military” exception to the Constitution’s commander-in-chief clause.
- Tigerhawk finds that Iraq is a problem distracting us from going after the real terrorists - 6 to 8 years ago.
- I'd like to point to this article from Mansoor Ijaz in the LA Times in December 2001. Mr. Ijaz was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
That's enough for now. I'm sure there'll be a slew of these showing up over the next several days. It's Mr. Clinton's misfortune that the dot com boom during his administration makes retrieving the information that contradicts him that much easier.
9/25/06 0640: Sure, they're popping up all over. The "Right Wing" Wall Street Journal reprints their editorial originally published after Mr. Clinton's one effort at Bin Laden, from August 1998:
Yet the typically American error has not been using force recklessly but using it indecisively--whether Eisenhower stopping at the Elbe, or Kennedy and Johnson with piecemeal escalation in Vietnam, or Bush stopping with Saddam Hussein still in place. As for our current President, he talked tough on Iraq and even dropped a few bombs there. But in recent weeks he has been urging U.N. inspectors to stand down before Saddam. So we're glad to see him now striking back at terrorists and those who harbor them.
We only hope that there is some follow-through. Our bombing of a terrorist installation in Afghanistan and a chemical weapons factory in Sudan were in retaliation for terrorist bombings of the American embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam two weeks ago. It appears that Osama bin Laden, the Saudi financier of terrorism believed to be behind the embassy bombings, survived the attack on his Afghan base. But wrecking some of his infrastructure is useful in itself. More important, the raids send a powerful signal to the world that the United States won't let attacks on its citizens go unpunished.
Actually, only if there had been follow-through would it have sent the message that the United States won't let attacks on its citizens go unpunished. But there wasn't follow through, and that message was never fully delivered.
In the same editorial Senator Jesse Helms is quoted giving advice that should have been heeded by the Democrats. "Sooner or later, terrorists will realize that America's differences end at the water's edge, and that the United States' political leadership always has, and always will, stand united in the face of international terrorism."
9/25/06 1255: Democratic Senator Bob Kerrey's jibe at Mr. Clinton just popped into my head.
9/25/06 2230: Wizbang's Kim Priestap rounds up the thoughts of some others on Mr. Clinton's tirade. For what it's worth, I suspect he came to the interview looking for an excuse to tar Chris Wallace and Fox as "right-wing propagandists." It's always political, isn't it?