Clinton Meltdown On Fox News

Discussion in 'Politics' started by AAAintheBeltway, Sep 25, 2006.

  1. Mild mannered Fox anchor Chris Wallace somehow ignited an embarrassing public meltdown by former President Bill Clinton in an interview Sunday. Clinton, no doubt used to softball questions from democrat cheerleaders like Tim Russert, went postal when Wallace ventured to ask if Clinton had done enough to fight terrorism. I didn't realize how badly Clinton lost it until I heard excerpts of the interview. Big surprise, the mainstream media is softpedalling it, covering Clinton's rear as usual.

    We've known for a long time that Clinton is a vicious bully, particularly with women, and that he is often economical with the truth. The sheer paranoia and juvenile tantrum aspects of the display he put on with Wallace were startling however. It's frightening to think that this man was president for eight years and that his wife might worm her way back into the White House, with someone so obviously obsessed with score settling in tow.

    Following today's buzz generating conversation with Bill Clinton, Chris Wallace shared some of his post-interview thoughts with FishbowlDC:

    I was delighted to get the chance to interview former President Clinton. This was the first one-on-one sitdown he's ever given "Fox News Sunday" during our 10 years on the air.

    The groundrules were simple--15 minutes--to be divided evenly between questions about the Clinton Global Initiative and anything else I wanted to ask.

    I intended to keep to the groundrules. In fact--I prepared 10 questions--5 on the CGI and 5 on other issues.

    I began the interview with 2 questions about Mr. Clinton's commitment to humanitarian causes. His answers were cogent and good-humored.

    Then--I asked him about his Administration's record in fighting terror--fully intending to come back to CGI later (as indeed I did).

    I asked what I thought was a non-confrontational question about whether he could have done more to "connect the dots and really go after al Qaeda."

    I was utterly surprised by the tidal wave of details--emotion--and political attacks that followed.

    The President was clearly stung by any suggestion that he had not done everything he could to get bin Laden. He attacked right-wingers--accused me of a "conservative hit job"--and even spun a theory I still don't understand that somehow Fox was trying to cover up the fact that NewsCorp. chief Rupert Murdoch was supporting his Global Initiative. I still have no idea what set him off.
    Former President Clinton is a very big man. As he leaned forward--wagging his finger in my face--and then poking the notes I was holding--I felt as if a mountain was coming down in front of me.

    The President said I had a smirk. Actually--it was sheer wonder at what I was witnessing.

    I tried repeatedly to adhere to the ground rules--to move the President along--and back to the CGI. But he wanted to keep talking about his record fighting terror.

    When it became clear he wanted to throw out the ground rules--then I just went with the flow of the interview.
  2. I think Clinton had this planned as an eventuallity. I am quite surprised he wasn't as poised as he's known to be. I'd call it a draw. imo.
  3. Wallace, working for the "Fair and Balanced" Network did not have an agenda anti-Clinton.

    Nope, now way...

    So CBS, ABC, CNN, NBC have political agendas, but not Fox News...

    Only Fox News 24/7 viewers would be that dumb...

    But we get proof of that daily, right?
  4. jem


    I watched the interview. Clinton went off, no way to tell if wallace had an agenda.

    when clinton said he had a smirk on his face, I felt sorry for him. clinton looked liked his meds were off.
  5. Lucrum


    Of course everyone will have their own perspective of the interview.
    Personally I thought the question Chris Wallace asked Mr. Clinton was really kind of silly if you think about it. I mean how is anyone supposed to chase after terrorists when they spend practically their entire presidency - with their pants down around their ankles?

  6. September 25, 2006

    Play it as it lies

    The most striking feature of Bill Clinton's bloviations on FOX News Sunday with Chris Wallace yesterday was the incredibly low ratio of facts to whoppers. If Chris Wallace could prompt that red-faced response with such an innocuous question, I wonder if a few minutes with Richard Miniter (author of Losing bin Laden, interviewed by NRO here), might not send him to intensive care. I would love to hear Miniter ask Clinton a few questions about Clinton's treatment of the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center -- an attack that Clinton shrugged off in a few paragraphs of his subsequent Saturday morning radio talk, never to return to the subject. (Miniter quotes the relevant paragraphs of the radio address at pages 28-30 of his book.)

    Our friends at RealClearPolitics have posted a tough column by Ronald Cass that begins to address Clinton's rewriting of the record. Reader and former Marine intelligence analyst Kevin Groenhagen has also taken a look at the assertion that the Bush administration demoted and fired Richard Clarke -- the man who apparently was the key to fighting terrorism in every administration since the Reagan administration. (See Miniter's comments on the Clinton administration's use of Clarke -- who was a significant source for Miniter's book -- at pages 78-80. How has the Bush administration succeeded so far in averting another terrorist attack on American ground without Clarke in the government?) Groenhagen contrasts Clinton's comments on the Bush administration's alleged mistreatment of Clarke with Clarke's comments in Against All Enemies:

    Clinton claimed that Richard Clarke had been demoted and then later said he was fired.

    On page 234 of "Against All Enemies," Clarke writes:

    "I had completed the review of the organizational options for homeland defense and critical infrastructure protection that Rice had asked me to conduct. There was agreement to create a separate, senior White House position for Critical Infrastructure Protection and Cyber Security, outside of the NSC Staff. Condi Rice and Steve Hadley assumed that I would continue on the NSC focusing on terrorism and asked whom I had in mind for the new job that would be created outside the NSC. I requested that I be given that assignment, to the apparent surprise of Condi Rice and Steve Hadley."

    If Clarke was demoted, he requested the demotion.

    Clinton also seems to imply that Clarke was "demoted" prior to 9/11. However, on page 239 of Against All Enemies, Clarke writes the following:

    "Roger Cressey, my deputy at the NSC Staff, came to me in early October, after the time that I had intended to switch from the terrorism job to Critical Infrastructure Protection and Cyber Security. The switch had been delayed by September 11."

    In other words, the Bush administration kept Clarke at NSC beyond the period Clarke had planned on being there.

    In a footnote on page 240, Clarke makes it clear that he left the administration under his own volition:

    "Cressey and I did spend over a year working on the cyber security problem, producing Bush's National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace, and then quit the Administration altogether."

    JOHN adds: One of Clinton's more bizarre claims was his assertion, repeated at least twice, that "all the right-wingers" who now criticize his performance on terrorism said, at the time, that he was obsessed with bin Laden. What on earth was he talking about? I don't recall a single person, left or right, criticizing Clinton at any time for being obsessed with bin Laden or doing too much to fight him, or terrorism in general. I suspect he may be referring to criticism of his 1998 decision to bomb an African facility that turned out, apparently, to be a pharmaceutical factory. That attack was criticized by some because its timing appeared to be linked to the Monica Lewinsky scandal, and because the strike turned out to be based on mistaken intelligence. But I don't believe anyone--certainly not anyone on the right--criticized the bombing on the ground that it showed too much interest in fighting terrorism. And, in any event, that attack was not an attempt to kill bin Laden, as Clinton seemed to imply.


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  7. Bill Clinton: Play It as It Lies

    By Ronald A. Cass

    Former President Bill Clinton, never one to let truth stand in the way of a good line, has decided to reincarnate himself as our tough, anti-terror President. The man who ran away from military service and displayed striking contempt for our armed forces has now announced that he did more - and would do more - to combat Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda than anyone else. In his view, he should be recognized as the best man to fight that enemy.

    Speaking to Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday, Clinton made a bevy of startlingly anti-factual remarks. He announced, for instance, that conservatives had criticized him for obsessing about bin Laden during his presidency - rather than the truth that he was roundly condemned for doing next to nothing about this serious threat to American security. Clinton blamed the Bush Administration for failing to stop the al-Qaeda terrorists before 9/11, saying that the Administration had eight months to get bin Laden and didn't. That conveniently overlooks that Clinton's Administration had eight years to do that job, with al-Qaeda using the last two of those years to plan 9/11.

    One of Clinton's bigger whoppers was this declaration about the fight against bin Laden: "I got closer to killing him than anybody has gotten since. And if I were still president, we'd have 20,000 more troops [in Afghanistan] trying to kill him."

    The man who was in the Soviet Union demonstrating against the American military during Vietnam, who as President left our armed forces short on so many fronts, now is - in his own 20/20 hindsight - The Defense President. Now he criticizes the Bush Administration for not doing enough, proclaims himself the champion of effective military action, and implies none too subtly that the fight against terrorism would go better if we had a Clinton in the White House instead of a Bush.

    This isn't mere spin. It's full-scale invention.


    Before anyone starts taking our most recent ex-President too seriously, let's review the bidding. Clinton wasn't the President who ordered the armed forces to go after bin Laden without reservation, to get him "dead or alive." He wasn't the one who sent thousands of troops after al-Qaeda and nations that harbor and support terrorists

    Instead, President Clinton responded to attacks on our troops in Somalia by withdrawing, and responded to attacks by al-Qaeda on our embassies in Tanzania and Kenya by bombing the aspirin factory of an innocent pharmaceutical firm in Sudan. He reacted to al-Qaeda's bombing of the USS Cole by lobbing a few cruise missiles at empty tents in the desert. He turned down Sudanese offers to cooperate in tracking down and capturing bin Laden.

    The bipartisan 9/11 Commission concluded that - far from doing more than anyone to kill the brutal murderer who now is the international face of terrorism - President Clinton had flatly refused to allow the military or CIA to kill Osama bin Laden. Clinton's instructions were that bin Laden should be taken, if at all, alive not dead. CIA officials reported that this instruction cut the chance of success in half.

    That is not to say that the Clinton Administration wasn't in a better position to eliminate bin Laden. Evidence before the Commission showed that the Clinton Administration had live footage of Osama bin Laden at a camp in Afghanistan in the Fall of 2000, a year before the 9/11 attacks, but didn't act. NBC's Tom Brokaw, playing the tape on-air in 2004, noted rightly that this was an enormous opportunity lost. Having gotten bin Laden in your sights isn't something to brag about if you weren't willing to pull the trigger.

    Clinton, like all presidents, had some top-notch advisers, including some thoughtful advisers on military and foreign affairs. But he is quintessentially a temporizer, one who always has had difficulty reaching a conclusion and sticking to it, and not someone who was terribly interested in either preserving our military power or using it effectively in world affairs. He'd much rather talk one on one with world leaders, persuaded he could convince them to do what he wanted by the concerted application of charm.

    Talk and compromise - not clear moral principles and the will to do whatever is needed to support them - were the hallmarks of the Clinton Administration, reflecting the person at the top. Nothing Clinton says now can change that, though he still evinces conviction that he can talk us into anything - just as he thought he could when he denied point blank having had anything to do with Monica Lewinsky. Clinton always has been the one who, caught in a compromising position, would disarmingly ask, as the parody has it, "what are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?" His instinct for lying, even under oath, earned him the second presidential impeachment in American history.

    Contrast Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Consider, for example, their different approaches to Yasser Arafat.

    The Clintons cozy relationship with the Arafats was symbolized by Mrs. Clinton's embrace of Mrs. Arafat - on stage immediately after a speech by Mrs. Arafat condemning Israel. President Clinton's relationship, though less picturesque, was no less close. Arafat was the world leader Clinton met with most often. Clinton was certain he could talk Arafat into making peace in the Middle East - and secure Clinton's legacy. Clinton invited Arafat and Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Barak to the now infamous Camp David summit meeting of 2000. He pressured Barak to offer heroic compromises, only to have Arafat at the last minute turn to Intifada to try to get more. In the end, Clinton's charm wasn't enough.

    President Bush, in sharp distinction, saw Arafat as a terrorist and refused to meet with him unless he renounced the destruction of Israel as a goal and terror against civilians as a means. Bush, not Clinton, assured Israel of our full support against terrorism - and meant it.


    Clinton realizes that history's judgments often are shaped as much by what is written in the aftermath of an event as they are by the facts of the event. The Kennedy family relentlessly spun the myth of Camelot to turn a failed presidency into the fantasy of an American Renaissance. Having long modeled himself after JFK (minus the fashionable, universally admired, classy wife), Clinton now seeks to redefine his presidency - and pave the way for his ultimate revenge: Hillary in office for "Clinton, Act Three."

    Presidents often find it hard to leave the stage. The day of Bush's first inauguration, Clinton lingered for hours at Andrews Air Force base trying to hang on to the attention he had so enjoyed as President. He still seeks the limelight.

    But desperation to be noticed after leaving office, to have the respect and affection Clinton craves, isn't a substitute for doing the right thing when in office - any more than lies are a substitute for honesty, or indecision a suitable alternative to moral courage.

    On the golf course, Bill Clinton is known for his dislike of playing his ball where it lies, scoring honestly, and taking his lumps as the rest of us duffers must. He makes his own score, always a good deal better than the real number.

    Someone else should be trusted to do the scoring when it comes to Clinton's time in office. In the history books, he deserves to be counted as the President who did not protect us against al-Qaeda, who left the impression they could attack us without penalty, whose wasted opportunities contributed to the travesty of 9/11.

    Tough talk now should not be allowed to obscure that fact. Lies now should not go unanswered.


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  8. The fruits of an unserious presidency

    Bill Clinton is desperate to be remembered by history for something other than the Lewinsky affair, perjury, and impeachment. And he will be. It's becoming clear that the Clinton legacy will also include eight years of inaction, broken by rare instances of ineffectual action, towards the mounting threat posed by Osama bin Laden and other Islamic terrorists that culminated in 9/11.

    That this prospect horrifies Clinton is evident from the rough transcript of the former president's interview with Chris Wallace. Clinton has no defense for his feckless response to the mounting terrorist threat other than the honest and very limited defense that he just didn't imagine these guys could successfully attack us on large-scale at home. Clearly that defense won't do, so instead he lashes out at Wallace, Fox News, ABC, and the "right-wing." Somehow, I don't think history will be very impressed with this sort of flailing, or with all of the meaningless inside baseball Clinton tosses around (e.g., "the CIA was run by George Tenet who President Bush gave the medal of freedom to and said he did a good job").

    Nor will the fact that President Bush was slow off the mark help Clinton. First, failures by one administration do not excuse failures by another (although they would help support the honest defense that Clinton is unwilling to make -- that it was difficult to comprehend the true extent of the threat). Second, Bush was in a position to create a post-9/11 legacy of fighting terrorism and he'll be remembered for that legacy. Clinton's effort to pull Bush down with him is a fool's errand.

    The inescapable fact is that Bill Clinton, for all of his strengths, gave the country an unserious presidency, and it turned out (not surprisingly) that we needed more. Clinton savored the popularity that came with that presidency, but now he must live with its unfortunate and unflattering legacy.

    JOHN AGREES: That's right. I'd go farther in defense of President Bush, too. The record is clear that he believed more effective, definitive action needed to be taken against al Qaeda and ordered a plan for such action to be prepared early in his Presidency. As I recall, such a plan was either just complete or almost so, when the terrorists struck first. Also, while one can argue that Bush didn't act aggressively enough soon enough, he didn't pass on an opportunity to collar bin Laden, as Clinton did. How do we know this? Clinton said so, and you can listen to him say it here.

    Clinton, addressing an audience on Long Island on February 15, 2002:

    We'd been hearing that the Sudanese wanted America to start dealing with them again.

    They released him. At the time, he had committed no crime against America so I did not bring him here because we had no basis on which to hold him, though we knew he wanted to commit crimes against America. So I pleaded with the Saudis to take him, 'cause they could have. But they thought it was a hot potato and they didn't and that's how he wound up in Afghanistan.

    The astonishing thing about this is that February 1996 was not only after the first World Trade Center bombing--which Clinton never responded to in any meaningful way--it was also after the "Bojinka" plot to blow up eleven American airliners simultaneously over the Pacific Ocean was discovered and, just barely, foiled. The idea that we had no basis on which to "hold" Osama bin Laden is ludicrous, but indicative of the legalistic mindset that hobbled the Clinton administration in its efforts, such as they were, to deal with the threat of Islamic terrorism.


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  9. Clinton's Counterterrorism Record [Andy McCarthy]

    President Clinton is claiming that his counterterrorism efforts have been misrepresented and deflated. One way to help get an accurate version of history — as Mark Levin and I have pointed out repeatedly over the last couple of years — goes back to the curious case of former National Security Adviser Sandy Berger.

    Berger, of course, was caught in 2004 removing classified documents out of the National Archives. His reason for being there was to review the paper record in preparation for both his own and President Clinton's testimony before the 9/11 Commission.

    Berger smuggled documents out of the archives, destroyed at least some of them, and apparently made false statements to investigators about what he'd done. For some reason, the Justice Department allowed him to plead guilty to a mere misdemeanor (Scooter Libby, eat your heart out!). Even more astoundingly, the public has never been fully apprised of the documents that were taken so we could evaluate why Berger might have done this. Not at all astoundingly, the mainstream press has been virtually silent and has never demanded disclosure.

    It has been publicly reported, by the Washington Post, for example, that what Berger removed were different drafts of the "after action review" written by Richard Clarke (on whom Clinton prominently relied in his diatribe yesterday) which judged how the administration had performed in response various terror plots at the turn of the Millennium.

    Did Clarke judge the administration harshly? Were there various drafts because Clarke was pressed to water down some of his original criticisms? We don't know. We've never been told.

    Part of the Justice Department's justification for the kit-gloves approach to Berger's prosecution was that no harm had really been done — there were copies of even the documents Berger destroyed, so the whole paper record could be reconstructed.

    Well fine. Let's see it. Sure, redact out anything that still constitutes sensitive intelligence (hard to believe there's much over five years later, but, of course, intel methods and sources shouldn't be exposed). But how come during the 9/11 Commission hearings the press agitated until the Bush White House finally gave in and disclosed all kinds of highly classified materials ... including a Presidential Daily Briefing memo — one of the most closely held intelligence products in the government — but we have still, to this day, never seen or had thoroughly explained to us what Sandy Berger took out of the National Archives?


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  10. Pabst


    I'm not AT ALL defending Sandy Berger or the Clinton administration. Only a creep like Clinton would even hire the Sandy Berger's of the world. There was however little reason for the 9/11 Commission to feel compelled to dig for speculative, after the fact responses to what Clinton or Bush didn't do vis a vis' Bin Laden. Much the same way if Castro had killed JFK I wouldn't expect the Warren Commission to critique the operation at the Bay of Pigs. The scope of the probe should have been 100% "on message." IOW, who, where, what, how. Why's are great but few understand nuance of motive. Why go there? LOL.

    The plethora of 9/11 moonbat sponsored media illustrates that the Commission should have concentrated more fully on the relevant issues at hand.
    #10     Sep 25, 2006