HNN Poll: Why Did So Many People Hate Bill Clinton?





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Why did Bill Clinton draw the hatred of millions of Americans? In his new book, The Clinton Wars, Sidney Blumenthal offers several reasons (outlined in the passage below).

What do you think?

From The Clinton Wars (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), pp. 49-50:

[Bill] Clinton had all sorts of natural opponents, whose differences with him were based on their interests, partisan attachments, and professional work. But his clashes with them summoned up irrational forces almost from the start. Clinton's triumph over the personal assaults made on him during the campaign--the ones centered on sex, class, and patriotism--hardly quelled the animosities; in fact, his electoral victory aroused them further. Each of his enemies had an individual interest in damaging him; unreason found many constituencies. Almost any incident in his presidency set off a cascade of vituperation. Endless apocryphal stories, tall tales, and legends were generated that supposedly revealed the true Clinton--or the true Mrs. Clinton.

If there is a law about progressive presidencies it is not that they run in recurring cycles like a regular alignment of the planets, but that in their efforts to create a new consensus they become the object of intense opposition. The opposition fails to distinguish between hatred of the man and hatred of his politics. And an attack on morals has always gone hand in hand with an attack on politics. Members of what became Thomas Jefferson's party were hounded, fined, and imprisoned under the Alien and Sedition Acts signed by President John Adams--"the reign of witches," Jefferson called it. Jefferson himself was assailed as a godless anarchist, a sexual mauler, an adulterer, a betrayer of friends, a chronic liar, and, lastly, a keeper of a black concubine. Andrew Jackson had an election stolen from him; in the next contest, he was painted as the son of a prostitute and a mulatto, a bigamist, crook, and murderer; in the next, as "King Andrew," trampling the Constitution. In office, in payment for his fiercely fought positions, he became the first president ever censured by the Senate, for having, it charged, "assumed upon himself authority and power not conferred by the Constitution and laws, but in derogation of both." Had his enemies had a majority in the House, he would undoubtedly have been the first president to be impeached. Lincoln was caricatured as a baboon, a primate from the frontier Midwest, a "black Republican," perhaps black himself, a trickster storyteller, Dishonest Abe. Franklin Roosevelt was despised as a traitor to his class, a dictator, habitually dishonest, a feebleminded playboy, and a warmonger. John F. Kennedy was loathed as a betrayer of national security, a communist sympathizer, a traitor, a Catholic Negro-lover, a libertine liberal, an illegitimate pretender, a fraud, and a calculating dissembler.

The pattern of these attacks cannot be dismissed as the usual cut and thrust of political combat, as mere name-calling or the customary jockeying for office. These presidents were castigated as they were because they represented new and broader forms of democracy. And there were essentially no built-in limits to the attacks on them. If the presidents could have been destroyed or removed from office, their enemies would have gladly done so. They were perceived as personifying dangerous threats to established order and morals. They stood for new rights for new constituencies, the breakup of established power, a new identity for the nation, and the aggressive use of the executive branch to achieve those aims. And since, given the very nature of their proposals for innovative programs, these presidents had to act politically, shifting and twisting, they were especially vulnerable to charges of disorder and dishonesty.



Excerpted from THE CLINTON WARS by Sidney Blumenthal, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC. Copyright (c) 2003 by Sidney Blumenthal. All rights reserved.


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Scott - 7/19/2004

If the attact was in any other form, you would have the same arument. The bottom line is, you're Democrat and you're looking for anything at all to bitch about. Case in point: if the terrorists launched a torpedo from an old sub they purchased from North Korea, you'd state that Bush didn't cover our water boundies adequately and you'd be off on a rant about that!

Why haven't there been any terrorist attacks against the mainland since 9/11? Is it because the terrorists don't want to? Absolutely not! It's because they can't! I'm not saying that it's impossible, but sure as Hell, if they could have, they would have!

Hind sight is 20/20, idiot! And if you continue to present the public with such ridiculous statements then I'm not reading them anymore!

Signed - "tired of the Bush-hating Demos"


Mike - 7/19/2004

Wow,
President Bill Clinton was hated only by jelous republicans that hated men of success. Those same confused folks love our current president since he poses no threat. He is not a success or a good father nor a good husband and certainly run our economy in the ground. Clintons success were monumental..remember who brought us out of that enormous deficit into prosperity...now were back in a deficit for the next 10 years or so to come thanks to our current cowboy.


bob birdsong - 1/20/2004

I will also not attempt to debunk anybody's beliefs line-by-line. Beliefs are funny, in that they are YOURS, kind of like your feelings. You can do whatever you want with them, just, please, don't make them a burden for the rest of us.
I also think that the ugliest stain on the Clinton presidency, and the only one I will personally remember, would have to be the disgusting display at Waco. Swaggering, jerk-off, smug would-be soldiers burning children alive is never a patriotic act, and everyone involved will have to answer for their actions someday, Clinton and Reno included.
I would, however, like to point something out that, sadly, most politicos never seem to get, and it is this:

HISTORY IS CYCLICAL

If the Portugese had not been allowed to rule the waves in the 1600's, they would never have subjugated the Gold Coast Kings of Africa through trickery and trinkets, which allowed unfettered access to the population of the continent, many of whom were already living in a state of slavery due to tribal wars. I'm not blaming the victims here, just bear with me. If these events had not happened, Africans might never have been enslaved and removed from their homes. If the English had flexed their naval muscles just fifty years earlier, there might not have been any international slave trade to assume control of, and then there would have been no slave trade in the New World. No slave trade, no prevailing attitude of racial superiority amongst white American, and therefore, no race problem in America, period. The nations of Africa would have industrialized at their own pace, since they would have been allowed to keep their adult male population, etc., etc.
Do you see what I'm getting at?
Here's another:
1. The US decides NOT to force the Empire of Japan to accept naval ports in the 1800's
2. The US DOESN'T maintain a presence in Asia for 100 years, raping and pillaging and removing resources.
3. Pearl Harbor DOESN'T happen
4. A strong and terrifying Japanese military joins the rest of the allies against the Evil that was fascism.
5. WWII ends much sooner
6. Truman DOESN'T become the only head of state in history to drop a nuclear device on civilians.

Okay, okay, you see how it goes.
My problem is the statement that "Clinton did more than any President to undermine national security." If I were a Southeast Asian man, the devil would be very real for me, and his name would be Uncle Sam. I'd say that, at least in that region, NIXON did more to "undermine" our national security than "any president in history?" Think about it, almost overnight, Cambodia, the most peaceful nation on the planet, is turned into a nation of slavering, murdering, torturing, ideologues, all because they trusted US.
Yes, Clinton was a bad President in a lot of ways, and I'm enormously grateful to be able say I didn't vote for him the second time (fool me once...), but instead wrote in the name Nader, but it is difficult for even the best orchard farmer to keep looking at the fruit without ever once looking at the roots.


John Andrews - 12/17/2003

103 people fled the country or took the 5th ammendment rather than testify against Clinton during the congressional hearings.

Clinton was impeached for obstruction of justice, campaign finance crimes and other high crimes. The only people who made a big deal out of the Monica episode were the Democrats because it was an effective smoke screen.

Clinton took huge amounts of cash from the Chineese. They in turn got nuclear weapon secrets, missle secrets, the navy base in Long Beach California and control of both ends of the Panama canal.


ms - 11/25/2003

"America's nationalism and work ethic is being watered down by immigrants." You can't be fucking serious. America is the home of the fat and lazy homegrown capitalists. Although there is nothing inherently wrong with these three traits, please don't try to place our shortcomings on others.


Andrew Criof - 11/19/2003

Bill Clinton is a douche. I hope bill rots in an eternal hell fire forever. He is also a gayass cheating son of a bitch.


Bon Bon - 11/17/2003

He is A ball screwer


Bob the Builder - 11/17/2003

He is fat


jim - 10/21/2003

Oh, come now, gentlemen, let's not be so squeamish. Just think of the windfalls for the OLD BOY NETWORK when they can take full advantage of our nation's national park and national forest treasures.

For instance, just picture a fat cat Wall Street lawyer ushering a new client into his sanctum sanctorum, remarking with pride on the visitor's compliment on the paneling. "Oh, it's something that Dub-yah was able to get us after the election of '04 when the national forests were privatized. The sequoyahs were clearcut immediately upon title to the timber rights being transferred to Halliburton. Just like Ronnie always said, "If you've seen one tree, you've seen them all."


jtc - 10/6/2003

Yeah, I saw that poll in the NY Post when it came out in 2000. Do you honestly believe that Clinton is more evil than Stalin (#3), Pol Pot (#4), or Mengele (#5)? Do you honestly believe that Hilary Clinton is more evil than Saddam Hussein (#7), Adolph Eichmann (#8), or the other 17 evil, crazed, or simply notorious murderers on the list?

The NY Post is known to be a right-wing rag here in NYC. (If you live here, you already know that.) I'm astounded that you actually brought up that poll in this discussion. Please tell me you were joking.


Joe Caramello - 9/14/2003

The reason for my distaste for Clinton was his "loathing" of the military. I served in Vietnam and lost friends there while he demonstrated against the war and planned his political career. Clinton was an anti-military, draft-dodging phoney then and he is an even bigger phoney today. The fact that somebody like him could be elected twice as President just proves that this once great nation in now in decline.


Eugene Schulte - 8/23/2003

Who were the U.S.diplomats sent to Somalia to calm the war lords about our assistance in Somalia? what did they do and say?

Whatever happened due to their efforts didn't work. or caused a great problem for us.

any help in this matter will be appreciated.

Thank you:

Gene


Trotter - 7/16/2003

A Poll showed Bill Clinton as the 2nd most evil man in history. He was a close 2nd to Adolph Hilter and finish ahead a Saddam Hussein. You may draw your on conclusions. Also, Hilary Clinton finished fairly high on the list.


Dave Livingston - 6/19/2003

Anyone goffy enough to ascribe the properity of the Bastard frpm Hope's years in office to actions taken by the White Tash we then had in office should go back to school. It takes more than a year or so to turn this huge economy of ours around. Think of a giant oil tanker or one of our aircraft carriers. They are not turned around on a dime. The properity of Chicken Willie's years in office was due to the policies laid out by Ronald Reagan. Fortunely Bush the Sr. didn't monkey much with the polices he inherited. The malise in our economy during Geo. W.'s first couple of years were due to the faulty polices of Chicken Willie, which Bush inherited.

No, I'm no Republican defending my party's standard bearer. Therefore although I despise the Bastard from Hope I have no Republican horse in this race. Nonetheless, as a Viet-Nam War veteran and Christian I'm much happier with Geo. W. in office than I was with Willie. Regardless, once a Peace Corps Volunteer(Liberia Group One, '62-4) I remain a strong fan of J.F.K. One of the reasons I so despise Willie is because he frequently attemped to drape the mantle of J.F.K. over his shoulders. He's not worth one of J.F.K.'s toenails and every time he liked himself to J.F.K. he besmirched J.F.K.'s name.
When Jack, Jackie,Caroline & John-John were in the White House there was dignity, elegance and class associated with the Presidency. In contrast, when Willie and Hillary were despoiling the White House we saw White Trash trashing the People's house.

If Geo. W. cannot bring the elegance to the White House that Jack did, at least he's restored dignity to the office.


James Thornton - 6/16/2003

Okay. It seems we have different worldviews on just about everything.

I support the Israelis. You seem to be lukewarm about them at best.

I support aggressive diplomacy and military force if necessary to compel state sponsors of terror to change their spots.

Waco was a tangent on Reno and Clinton, and you did more than just hold your own on that account. I am not conceding defeat, but a need to broaden my perspective on the evidence and reevaluate my conclusion about that awful incident.

What course of action do you propose to solve problems resulting from 30+ years of poor policy on terrorism and foreign affairs?


SKrause - 6/14/2003

You talk about using diplomacy to resolve the issues of Kashmir and the Palestinian territories. It's very hard for diplomacy to work when our stated policy is as subtle as, "you're either with us or against us." It's very hard for diplomacy to work when we mindlessly toss around epithets like "evildoers" and "axis of evil" and are perceived to be making blatant military threats. I won't even get into the lack of trust created by the use of forged or inaccurate evidence to justify such threats.

It's very hard for diplomacy to work when we refuse to even try to practice it. The current administration ignored the Israeli-Palestinian crisis for most of the last two and a half years. If it took a position at all, it appeared to closely align itself with the Sharon government. The current "road map" plan is supposed to be a major step forward. But it's at best superficial.

You say that your current outlook stems from the attacks of September 11. I don't get this "September 11 changed everything" attitude. We knew for years that such a catastrophe could happen. We had heard of plans to hit theCIA building, the White House, the Pentagon, the Congress building. We'd heard of plans to hit major, signature skyscraper buildings in large cities: the TransAmerica Tower, the Sears Tower. The World Trade Center had already been attacked. Several attempts at terrorist attacks on U.S. domestic targets had been made (and foiled) in the preceding several years--on New York bridges and tunnels, the Los Angeles airport, U.S. trans-Pacific airliners. And our military and foreign service people overseas had been getting hit for years. What, other than foolish self-delusion, could explain the outraged and indignant shock and lack of comprehension that greeted those attacks and continues to this day?

If one is to be angry about something, why not this: we were getting word of planned highjackings and spectacular attacks from the intelligence services of several countries throughout the summer of 2001. Where was our air defense? Just the easiest and most obvious example: why should a plane have been able to turn around over Ohio and fly all the way back to Northern Virginia for the better part of half an hour without being intercepted, particularly after two similarly highjacked planes had already been flown into buildings in New York? Were terrorists responsible for that lapse in security? Why did the FAA issue nothing but routine warnings to airlines throughout that summer? But we don't seem to want to criticize ourselves or closely examine what we did wrong this time. No, we think we can just wipe out all terrorists and that will solve everything.

How do you plan to "utterly destroy" a tactic that can be easily employed by any number of people and is driven by a perception of reality? Will a heavy-handed approach change the perception? And as long as the perception exists, what will stop even more people from adopting the tactic? The potential population of those who might employ the tactic numbers in the hundreds of millions. Terrorism has been around for centuries. Al-Qaeda is just a name. A huge number of individuals and organizations, in dozens of countries, with diverse sources of funding, can continue to harass us indefinitely. We can't bomb the world.

I don't want to go into specifics about my work other than to say I've had the opportunity to work with different services at several different levels. I would say that you should be very grateful to have "overcautious" generals and admirals. They might protect you from politicians who would gladly use the military to promote their own reelection. It's funny that you should say that the military has had poor leadership "since Tailhook." It would seem to many outside observers that the leadership which created the attitudes that were on display there didn't exactly cover themselves in glory. And as for "warrior" leaders vs. "politician" career officers, the bottom line is that, since the Vietnam era, the military has not been engaged in sustained war, sustained police actions, or sustained combat. There have been long term missions to sustain a status quo, and short bursts of activity--even the first Gulf War falls into this category--but I don't see any situations which would have allowed a large number of officers to obtain extended experience of the kind you describe.

Your other assertions are just more than I want to go into. They are not realistic. What, exactly, do you think that this country can do to make the Iranians or the North Koreans stop their nuclear programs? Have we shown a willingness to support non-proliferation, to truly reduce the number of our weapons, to stop making threats about using tactical weapons or pre-emptive war?

There's only so much that heavy diplomatic pressure can do, just like there's only so much that dropping bombs can do.

If a country considers support for a "national liberation" group a vital interest, how are you going to make it stop supporting that group, particularly if you're doing nothing to contribute to its vital interests in other ways?

We've done more for the Israelis than they have any right to expect from us, and I don't consider "what Israel is subjected to" a part of our national security calculations. They're every bit as guilty of bad faith as the Palestinians. They have continued to build settlements in Gaza and the West Bank even as negotiations proceeded. The Barak plan presented at Camp David was unworkable for any Palestinian leader, with the settlements left in place, the proposed Palestinian state intersected by roads that would be off limits to Palestinians, and no control over borders or airspace. Would you accept such an agreement?


SKrause - 6/14/2003

Envy of U.S. power and affluence? This is wishful thinking. Why would anyone attempt to provoke the most powerful country in the world out of mere envy? Canada, Europe, and Japan are wealthy, and you don't see them facing the kind of threats that we have increasingly faced in recent years. For that matter, the United States has been affluent and powerful throughout the post-World War II era. Why has a terrorist threat developed since the 1970s?

Certainly there is major frustration with modern sociocultural trends and economic underdevelopment in the Muslim world, which writers like Bernard Lewis have covered in depth.

But that's a convenient abstraction which allows us to overlook the more immediate cause of the anger that is directed specifically and pointedly at us.

We are seen as unfair and biased in our handling of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. No other country so closely aligns itself with the government of Israel as the United States. We give billions of dollars of aid to Israel every year. While we insisted that Iraq obey U.N. resolutions, we have not made the same demands on the Israelis. We do not criticize Israel when it violates the Geneva Convention on responsibilities of occupying powers (for example, no settlements allowed). I'm not going to say that Arab Muslims haven't been hypocritical in their treatment of the Palestinians, but Muslims in general believe what they believe, and we've given them no reason to believe otherwise.

However unfairly, we are seen as meddlers who intervene at will in Muslim countries' affairs (U.S.-backed coups in Syria, Iran, Iraq, etc.; our recruitment of radical fundamentalists from Arab and other Muslim countries to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980s, contributing to the destabilization of that country; our handling of the financial crisis in Indonesia in the 1990s) and prop up corrupt, often despotic regimes (in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan). Again, we have to acknowledge how things look from others' perspectives.

Interestingly, we have considered Saudi Arabia to be our close ally in the region and have uncritically and unquestioningly stood by the Saudi regime. Meanwhile, it has been the Saudi regime which has encouraged the teaching of Wahhabism, a particularly puritanical version of Islam that calls for jihad against non-believers. This has been gaining ground in the Arab world and has been exported to Pakistan and Afghanistan. The Russians have justified their actions against the Chechens on the basis of alleged Wahhabi influence in the Caucasus.

The Saudis funded the madrassah schools in Pakistan that were largely responsible for the creation of the Taliban. We supported the regime of General Zia ul-Haq in Pakistan, who encouraged the development of the religious schools and pursued a policy of state-sponsored Islamicization, establishing shariat courts to try cases under Islamic law, and attempting to Islamicize the financial system. It was the Pakistani intelligence service which led us to support some of the most radical elements among the mujaheddin in Afghanistan, including Gulbuddin Hekmatyar (who has since declared jihad against us).


SKrause - 6/13/2003

It is possible to weigh the value, reliability, and bias of any source. The perspective of sites like "Worldnet Daily" is not a secret. "Worldnet Daily" is geared toward a libertarian, fundamentalist Christian audience. Its founder and editor, Joseph Farah, is an Arab-American who is a columnist for the Jerusalem Post and was formerly the editor of a Richard Mellon Scaife-owned newspaper, the Sacramento Union (now closed). He collaborated with Rush Limbaugh on the book, "See, I Told You So."

You want an idea of Joseph Farah's perspective? The Washington Post had him online earlier this year to talk about his book, "Taking America Back: A Radical Plan to Revive Freedom Morality and Justice." They described his views as follows:

"Joseph Farah describes the United States as a moral wasteland and calls on Americans to embrace God. His proposal for change includes abolishing the income tax and the IRS, withdrawing from all international treaties and institutions, repealing all gun laws and ending federal funding for schools, the arts, conservation, housing and agriculture while simultaneously expanding the role of the church in national life, including actively censoring the entertainment industry and having a direct role in education and family life."

Although I already knew what "Worldnet Daily" is, I did two Google searches to get that information. One for "Worldnet Daily" and one for "Joseph Farah."

If you put your trust in sources like "Worldnet Daily" and don't read any further, I'm afraid that you're not only going to be poorly informed, you're going to be far outside the mainstream of this country.

I am no expert on what happened at Waco. I was working overseas in 1993. The article you've linked focuses primarily on comments made by the independent filmmaker Michael McNulty about an article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. It's impossible to link to the Post-Dispatch article, so it's kind of hard to make an informed judgment about what it all means.

However, it is possible to confirm this: Not only did Senator Danforth's independent investigation find that the government was not responsible for the fire that caused the deaths at the Branch Davidian compound, but an advisory jury in a wrongful-death lawsuit brought by survivors of the Branch Davidians reached the same conclusion. This was a $675 million lawsuit, representing nine consolidated civil cases.

According to ABC News and the Associated Press, "a report by the [U.S. District] court’s infrared expert, Vector Data Systems, concluded in May [2000] that the flashes came from sunlight reflecting off debris, including a helicopter canopy — not gunfire. The report supports the findings a previous court-ordered re-enactment in March also conducted by Vector Data Systems. That simulation found the flashes were most likely sunlight reflecting off debris, not government gunfire as plaintiffs claim." ABC's report was written at a time when all issues in the case had been addressed by the jury except for the question of whether government agents fired on the compound on April 19. Do you challenge the findings of the District Court's chosen expert?

You ask about Bill Johnston, the assistant U.S. Attorney who was charged with obstruction of justice. Ironically, ABC reported that he was the one who brought the documentary filmmaker Michael McNulty into the picture, and the person who advised Attorney General Reno that SHE and the public were being misled and there might be a coverup in the Justice Department. (Note-Reno called for the investigation and Senator Danforth was appointed as special counsel when Johnston told her about the incendiary tear gas cannisters, and the plaintiffs in the lawsuit contended that the FBI violated the plan for the final raid that Reno authorized.)

As I understand it, in his dealings with Danforth's investigation, Johnston withheld some of his notes that had been taken at planning meetings that took place before the raid because he thought that he might be held responsible for what had been discussed.

CNN reported:
"A congressional report issued last week praised Johnston for helping reveal the use of pyrotechnics but condemned his failure to surrender the notes, which indicated he was told in 1993 that FBI agents fired several incendiary military tear gas grenades."

http://www.cnn.com/2000/US/11/09/waco.investigation.ap/

This links to several articles by ABC News:

http://abcnews.go.com/sections/us/DailyNews/waco000901.html

And this is a Houston Chronicle article about the disposition of Johnston's case:

http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/story.hts/nation/934895

Obstruction charges were dropped. Johnston pled guilty to a "misprision of felony" charge and was given two years of probation and 200 hours of community service.

Danforth continued to investigate the use of incendiary tear gas cannisters after he released his report, because he wanted to know why it had been concealed. But in his report, he found that "The devices...did not cause the fatal fire. The rounds were fired at the compound four hours before the blaze began and were not a factor...."

http://abcnews.go.com/sections/us/DailyNews/waco000721.html


Gregory Dehler - 6/13/2003

I think most politics is based on faith. So much of what goes into politics and political identification is based on beliefes taken on faith. For example, if you think the Republican Party acts only on the interest of the wealthy, then you are simply going to write off everything they do as being motivated to benefit the rich, despite what they say or what might prove to the contrary. Same thing goes for what the right feels about the Clintons. Bill and Hillary are so identified with "their team" that the other team and the beliefes behind them has to hate them. The same could be said of Richard Nixon.


James Thornton - 6/13/2003

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=13135

The above URL is a link to a story by Worldnet Daily that refutes the Danforth inquiry. I myself do not know how much stock to place in it. It only illustrates that data to support any side in any argument is readily available. To summarize: it is apparent that air footage of the raid is contested as to whether flashes on the infra-red film is gunfire or debris. Those challenging Danforth also state that in their tests the CAR-15 as used by the FBI was misidentified as the M-16A2, thus causing a discrepancy as to muzzle flash and type of ammunition used. The former US Attorney that prosecuted the surviving Branch Davidians was himself indicted for obstruction of the investigation. What did he have to hide? Former FBI Special Agent Whitehurst testifies that the FBI did in fact fire upon the Davidians.


James Thornton - 6/12/2003

I have pondered why we are so hated and I came to the conclusion that it jealousy of our affluence and power combined with frustration with their (Arab) own governments. We are not at war with Islam. A majority of our enemies are militant Arabs who have twisted and distorted Islam to justify their sick philosophy of hatred for Jews and Christians. Diplomacy and the use of influence should be used to reach solutions in Palestine and Kashmir. Once this is done a major victory against terrorism will have been won.

That said, I didn't have a "kill them all and let God sort them out" outlook until September 11, 2001. I pray our nation does not rest until Al Qaida, other groups like them, and their sponsors are utterly destroyed. I am curious if your experience with the military was with senior officers. I can assure you that field grade officers and certainly NCO's have no reservations about the War on Terror or Operation Iraqi Freedom. Generals and Admirals tend to be overcautious. Perhaps it is because of their age. My observation is since Tailhook we have been stuck with very poor leadership in the military because bold and innovative "warrior" officers were denied promotion in favor of "politician" career officers.

If anything, and I can only speak for myself, the Administration has not been aggressive enough regarding Iran, Syria and North Korea. Extreme diplomatic pressure should be applied to convince these nations to abandon their weapons programs and to immediately halt all assistance to terrorists (including national liberation movements).

I recognize that we will always live with terrorism to some degree, but we don't have to tolerate another 9/11 or what Israel is currently subjected too. Without financial support from Iran, Syria and perhaps even the EU, Hamas would not have the means to purchase weapons or provide financial support to the families of so called "martyrs" (aka terrorists).

You have alluded to anti-Israeli leanings in comments about the liqudation of Hamas leaders. While it was stupid on the part of Israel to attempt to colonize the West Bank and Gaza and to invade Lebanon I have very little sympathy for the Palestinians because they rejected a two state solution in 1948. Also they rewarded Clinton and Barak's efforts with the second Intifada. If anything, Israel has shown remarkeable restraint in my opinion. Were I in Sharon's position Arafat and all of Hamas and PIJ would be room temperature.


SKrause - 6/12/2003

And your point would be...?


SKrause - 6/12/2003

Mr. Thornton, I appreciate your comments, but I had one purpose in what I was writing: For some years now, I have seen people make the same arguments that you have been making in various on-line fora. They repeat the same assertions, they base their judgments on the same misrepresentations of history, lack of perspective, and inadequate context, and they jump to the same conclusions. All I was trying to say was that many of the excessively harsh judgments against the Clinton administration are not justified. The Clinton administration is held to a quite different standard than the Reagan administration or either of the Bush administrations. It has been attacked for problems that were created by the actions of previous administrations, and expected to act on knowledge that in reality only became available later. I am in no way denying that the Clinton administration made policy errors or absolving the Clinton administration of its errors. I'm just tired of seeing people repeat right-wing myths and nonsense.

I needed no special preparation for what I wrote. I have worked in foreign affairs for nearly twenty years and I read widely. I quoted outside sources merely to back up what I argued so that I didn't appear to be arguing solely from opinion, something that far too many people do unabashedly. My sources included mainstream publications like the Washington Post and Newsday. I also quoted a study of the Rand Corporation written by a former U.S. ambassador and mentioned an investigation of the Waco incident headed by a former Republican senator. I could mention many other sources. You say that you don't have time to do research. A Google search takes seconds. You question the "bias" of the sources I mentioned. These are not fringe or ideological sources.

History may sometimes show that might makes right, but it's not something to count on. Did might make right when the Ottoman Empire took over southeastern Europe? When the Mongols conquered Asia? When the Nazis or the Soviets dominated east-central Europe? Displays of might are exceedingly common and I could give you a whole list of them that you would be hard pressed to justify. Just one of the most recent: Was this week's assassination attempt by the Israelis against a Hamas leader a case of might making right, or has it only succeeded in provoking more suicide bombings?

I would rather see the United States admired for its humanitarian efforts to promote health, education, peace, and economic advancement in the world than feared for its military.
In the last forty years, we have become notoriously parsimonious at the former. Our foreign aid expenditures per capita are among the lowest among developed nations. Of the aid that we do give, a large percentage goes to subsidies for arms sales. (And you can check several sites for that, from the Federation of American Scientists to the libertarian Cato Institute to the arguably somewhat "leftish" World Policy Institute at the New School.)

You claim to hold certain views about the use of force because you are in the military. My experience with people in the military has been that they do not approach the use of force lightly because they know firsthand the unintended consequences and the potential chaos and disruption that it can actually unleash. There is a place for military force, but there are also other ways of wielding influence. These are often more precise, more effective, and less destructive.

Contrary to your assertion that my arguments "border on excusing" the behavior of terrorists, I'm merely being realistic. If there are people who "wish harm upon this nation," then we need to be honest with ourselves about why that is. Relying on brute strength to lash out at anyone who challenges us is not going to produce a final resolution.

Terror tactics have been around for centuries. They have been (and are) employed by many besides Muslims, and not all Muslims subscribe to the tactics of terror. Until recently, the majority of Muslims had relatively positive views of the United States. Ask yourself: why has that changed? As I've said before: your kill-them-all-and-let-God-sort-them-out views are a sure recipe for multiplying the numbers who consider us hypocrites or worse, and for increasing sympathy and tolerance for such views among the people in those societies who have historically been friendly to us.


dan - 6/12/2003

In 1998, PNAC unsuccessfully lobbied President Clinton to attack Iraq and remove Saddam Hussein from power. The January letter from PNAC (http://www.newamericancentury.org/iraqclintonletter.htm) urged America to initiate that war even if the U.S. could not muster full support from the Security Council at the United Nations. Sound familiar? (President Clinton replied that he was focusing on dealing with al-Qaida terrorist cells.)

From: Bush World Control: A PNAC Primer

By Bernard Weiner, The Crisis Papers
May 27, 2003


NYGuy - 6/12/2003

Hepatitus,

What is the double standard you are talking about? In the current generation of "anything goes" and their is no right or wrong I guess you can defend Clinton. There are however others who have families, fought for this country, etc. and believe they deserve better. You could actually argue that Clinton and his philosophy on BJ's even saved lives, since 10-14 year children can engage in this activity and not have sex and don't face the prospect of getting an abortion. Of course the more liberal types find this as a big step forward for our society.

Bush, however, was not engaging in extra curricular activities but was doing his job of protection our country. You may remember a little thing like the Twin Towers which no longer exists. The question of "what happened to WMD" had not been answered so you are only expressing an opinion of something that is not factual at this time.

There is a difference, and most of are happier with GW's view of the Presidency, and this country, than the views of Bill and Hill.


NYGuy - 6/12/2003

Hepatitus,

What is the double standard you are talking about? In the current generation of "anything goes" and their is no right or wrong I guess you can defend Clinton. There are however others who have families, fought for this country, etc. and believe they deserve better. You could actually argue that Clinton and his philosophy on BJ's even saved lives, since 10-14 year children can engage in this activity and not have sex and don't face the prospect of getting an abortion. Of course the more liberal types find this as a big step forward for our society.

Bush, however, was not engaging in extra curricular activities but was doing his job of protection our country. You may remember a little thing like the Twin Towers which no longer exists. The question of "what happened to WMD" had not been answered so you are only expressing an opinion of something that is not factual at this time.

There is a difference, and most of are happier with GW's view of the Presidency, and this country, than the views of Bill and Hill.


NYGuy - 6/12/2003

Hepatitus,

What is the double standard you are talking about? In the current generation of "anything goes" and their is no right or wrong I guess you can defend Clinton. There are however others who have families, fought for this country, etc. and believe they deserve better. You could actually argue that Clinton and his philosophy on BJ's even saved lives, since 10-14 year children can engage in this activity and not have sex and don't face the prospect of getting an abortion. Of course the more liberal types find this as a big step forward for our society.

Bush, however, was not engaging in extra curricular activities but was doing his job of protection our country. You may remember a little thing like the Twin Towers which no longer exists. The question of "what happened to WMD" had not been answered so you are only expressing an opinion of something that is not factual at this time.

There is a difference, and most of are happier with GW's view of the Presidency, and this country, than the views of Bill and Hill.


James Thornton - 6/11/2003

You are a very formidable opponent and I have enjoyed this engagement immensely. I am most impressed with your logic ability for rhetoric. I have carefully considered your thoughts and come to the conclusion that you are very intelligent and your eductational background is most likely vastly more extensive than my own. Kudos to you. However, we have diametrically opposed worldviews and sharp differences of opinion on recent history. I concede you have made some excellent points and I regret I do not have the time to do adequate research in order to counter your arguments. You cite numerous reports and articles. I question the bias of your sources and I am suspicous with the speed and detail with which you furnish your information. That therefore leads me to the conclusion that I am either battling a think tank or someone that was forearmed with an impressive arsenal of information. In short, I was ambushed and got my butt kicked. You did very little to absolve Clinton of his past sins, but you did much to discredit the policies of Reagan and Bush 41 as well. I agree with you that we are suffering from the result of at least 30 years of poor policy.

History has shown time and again that might does make right. I am biased because of my military background, but it is undeniable that those that employ force most effectively are usually the ones calling the shots. I don't necessarily agree with it, but that seems to be how the world operates. Idealistically, people would get along and live in peace together, but I think it is in our genetic code to kill each other. I would rather it them then you or I. You may not agree with Daniel Pipes. I don't agree with him on much either. I do know that there are many who wish harm upon this nation, and it is my duty to do my utmost to defeat them on the battlefield when my commander-in-chief (Democrat or Republican) orders me to do so. When it comes to terrorists we truly are dealing with barbarians. I hope you realize that they would as soon as kill you as they would me because despite your noble arguments that borders on excusing their behavior, you are their enemy as well. Unless of course you are a Muslim content to submit to the Koran and their Fatwas.

Finally. If you continue to frequent this forum we will most likely cross paths again. I look forward to doing so. I promise to come better prepared the next time. I make it a point to never get personal or name call. I hope you resist such temptations as well.


Hepatitus - 6/11/2003

Clearly Clinton was a man of dubious character--though frankly, I don't expect a man with enogh ego to think he should be president to have a particualrly good character--I expect him to be a very odd guy with an overweening ego and sense of his own entitlement. I don't need the president to be a guide to my morality.

But here's an odd fact

Clinton's lies--about getting BJ's from an intern--required impeachment, even though it actually hurt only three people, and killed none.

Bush's lies--about Iraq's WMD, for example--seem not to matter, even thought they cost 100s of American lives, 1000s of Iraqi lives, and billions of dollars


NYGuy - 6/11/2003

Another threat of violence from a "peace dove". Evidently you are a disciple of Tim Robbins. I am afraid of being hurt for my opinions, as happened during Hitler's reign. That is why I use my NYGuy name, I can't stand up to bullies.

It was what I read into your threat that "I should get off this board" that bothered me. I have a right to an opinion and those who want to stop free speech and threaten those they don't agree with are no better than Hitler's black shirts.

You were talking about looking for a better country and leaving the U.S in one of your posts. Seems you could not find anything better. You made a good choice.

That is good and I am sure you are happy about this great land where you can express yourself freely. Since you hate both the Republicans and Democrats you are a minority viewpoint, but still a different and important viewpoint in political debate.

Keep up the good work

Cheers


SKrause - 6/11/2003

The MONROE doctrine? You've said some truly laughable things, but this may be the most laughable yet. Which European colonial power were we driving out of the Western Hemisphere when we went after Bush's former buddy and CIA asset in Panama?

How nice that, sometime in the future, the people of Iraq will be glad that, for a second time in less than fifteen years, we bombed their country and killed thousands of innocents to remove Saddam Hussein from power--after we helped him gain power in the 1960s and 1970s, financed his acquisition of chemical and biological weapons, played him and the Iranians off of each other in a particularly destructive war throughout the 1980s, and then kept the country under ruinous economic sanctions for twelve years.

International law is essential in a global economy, and if you had any sense you'd see how it has served the interests of the United States in the post-World War II era. I don't think any one country should be "running the world," and I don't think that the United States really DOES "run the world" right now. If we did, we wouldn't be cowering in fear with color-coded panic attacks every few weeks, destroying our own best values and traditions in the delusion that we're increasing our "security," and begging for international support to help us subdue a pathetic little desert backwater. Yes, the United States, spending more on its military than all of its allies or all of its potential adversaries combined, is strong. But views like yours would lead us to exercise our power in a destructive and foolish way.


SKrause - 6/11/2003

You don't have to tell me that "it takes time to pacify a hostile nation." But tell that to our current military planners and our right-wing politicians who seem to think that the United States, which engaged in decades of "nation-building" after World War II, no longer is responsible for such activities.

Your expectations for what would happen in Iran, Syria, and North Korea would quickly run into the reality that we are finding in Iraq: yes, the military "victory" seems to come quickly, but the peace is lost as a low-level war of attrition develops. This is what happened to the Soviets in Afghanistan, you know: they also were quickly successful at the start. And then, over the course of years, they were worn down. What does a country gain with such a drain on its resources and morale? Not much, and definitely not security.

Your comments about Clinton and terrorism show an obdurate unwillingness to look at the facts, so what's the point in even trying to discuss the topic with you? Your solution to a sensitive and complicated problem is to blow things up and "kill in a grotesque manner." I think that's pathetic.

I was not the person who posted about then-Vice President Gore's post-TWA Flight 800 commission and the proposed regulations for improved airline security. As I said to another poster, you can do a simple Google search and find it for yourself. However, I'm feeling charitable so here's a start from Public Citizen:

"The Gore Commission recommended reasonable, affordable improvements, but the FAA significantly diluted the proposed and final rules that have been made public. Moreover, the FAA failed to meet deadlines mandated by Congress on two of the three rules Public Citizen examined.

"The Gore Commission recommended several measures to improve screening company performance, including a national job grade structure for screeners and meaningful measures to reward employees. It also called for airlines to hire screening companies on the basis of performance, not the lowest bidder. The proposed FAA rule, however, did not require any of these measures and would still allow airlines to hire the lowest bidder regardless of their track record.

"The Gore Commission called for criminal background and FBI fingerprint checks for all airport and airline workers who screen passengers for weapons or have access to secure areas. The industry has long opposed mandatory criminal checks, and the FAA s final rule did not require criminal checks for screeners (the only group addressed by the rule) it instituted only job history checks. These job history checks, the FAA estimated, would lead to criminal/fingerprint checks of only 63 of the 16,996 new screeners in 1999.

"The Gore Commission called for greater scrutiny of checked baggage, including a system to make sure checked bags "match" passengers on board. The industry objected, and the FAA scuttled the Gore proposal after deeming it too costly, even though the Gore Commission said cost should not be the determining factor in rulemaking. An FAA-funded study showed that bag-matching would cause an average delay of only seven minutes on 14 percent of flights and cost 25-52 cents per passenger.

"Critics complain that the FAA is too cozy with the airline industry. The top job at the FAA, the agency s administrator, has been filled in recent years by three people who previously had worked for the airline industry (although the current administrator has not)."

Pressure from the airline industry succeeded in keeping much from happening.


SKrause - 6/11/2003

I think that there was nothing "Machiavellian" about the Bush policy leading up to the first Gulf war. I think it was abject, utter, absolute incompetence. If you remember, Bush only went to war with Saddam Hussein after Margaret Thatcher advised him not to "go wobbly." That wouldn't have played too well with what he and his boy Lee Atwater referred to as the "extra-chromosome crowd" on the right.

Your "strategy," to loosely quote Turgenev, is the strategy of a Kalmyk tent. It certainly is not the strategy that I associate with this country's approach to the world. Your ability to say that you are not bloodthirsty but that you think adversaries should be "killed in a grotesque manner" would be amusing if it weren't so revolting. I don't subscribe to this Daniel Pipes nonsense about "militant Islam" and as I said before, the experience of the Israelis should demonstrate quite clearly to us that a militaristic approach will solve nothing. We are suffering for thirty years of poor policy. I don't want to go into the details of our unbalanced handling of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, our foolish refusal to deal with our oil dependency over several decades and how that has led us to meddle in the region, our support for authoritarian regimes, etc., but there is much that we could do to improve our relations in the Muslim world without dropping bombs and sending in occupying forces.

Reagan did indeed change the mission in Lebanon, and I explained how. You can deny it, but it doesn't make your denial true. Consider this comment from the Newsday correspondent Patrick Sloyan, "Reagan transformed the U.S. Marine role in Lebanon from that of peacekeeping into combat over the bitter objections of his chief military adviser, Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger."
And then read his article:

http://www.aliciapatterson.org/APF2002/Sloyan/Sloyan.html

The U.S. mission was to "save the Palestinians" and "restore the Lebanese government"? In part, at first, and as part of a multinational peacekeeping force. Consider the following Rand Corporation report by a former U.S. ambassador to Lebanon, describing the deal negotiated by envoy Philip Habib:

"An essential part of the deal would be the deployment of a Multinational Force (MNF) to facilitate the process. The MNF was to include 800 U.S., 800 French, and 400 Italian troops (the United Kingdom joined the force some months later). The mission of the MNF was described in the August 18 and August 20 Exchange of Diplomatic Notes[18] which constituted an agreement between the governments of Lebanon and the United States for the deployment of 800 military personnel to join the MNF in Beirut. The deployment was to be for 30 days or less."

Yes, the MNF (and not just the United States) was to help the Lebanese army evacuate the PLO, protect Palestinian non-combatants, and help restore the authority of the Lebanese government in the Beirut area. However, the diplomatic note stated: "the American force will not engage in combat. It may, however, exercise the right of self-defense..." You can read this report yourself to see how Reagan changed the mission. At the recommendation of Robert McFarlane, Reagan approved a change from authorization to fire in self-defense to active support for the Lebanese Army:

"McFarlane sent a flash cable to Washington stating that 'there is a serious threat of a decisive military defeat which could involve the fall of the Government of Lebanon within twenty-four hours.' McFarlane urged that the rules of engagement for U.S. forces be modified 'to allow our forces to fire in support of the Lebanese Army.'[41] Despite Weinberger's opposition (he described the message as 'McFarlane's "sky is falling" cable')[42] President Reagan approved the recommendation. The Americans began to fire in support of the Lebanese Army. Some of the naval gunfire was directed at Druze emplacements. This was widely and correctly viewed in Lebanon as U.S. intervention on the side of the Christians and the government. In mid-September the battleship New Jersey was dispatched to Lebanese waters to bring its sixteen-inch guns into play."

http://www.rand.org/publications/CF/CF129/CF-129.chapter6.html

The mistakes of Reagan and his administration in Lebanon do not compare favorably to Clinton's mistakes in Somalia.








SKrause - 6/11/2003

"The mission" in UNOSOM II was impossible as it was first laid out by the Bush administration. That's why I am so critical of the Bush administration for presuming to take it on without properly thinking out its implications and then dumping it on an incoming administration.

As for Waco: it was tragic. And it was directly attributable to the actions of Vernon Howell. Frankly, I just don't understand why so many people are so keenly obsessed with this incident, singling it out to condemn a newly-sworn in attorney general in a way that is absolutely unparalleled. The situation in Waco was certainly not the only example of police overreaction resulting in the use of strong-arm tactics in standoffs with obnoxious groups, resulting in significant casualties. Why, for example, should the Waco situation offend you more than the clash between Philadelphia police and the group known as MOVE in 1985? The police dropped a bomb in a residential neighborhood and destroyed 61 rowhouses. 250 people were left homeless. Eleven were killed, five of them children.


James Thornton - 6/10/2003

The implication of your first point was that the Bush Administration was playing the Iraqis and Kuwaitis and I think you give them too much credit for being Machiavellian.

I am not bloodthirsty. As a matter of fact I hate violence and war and if I didn't have family to support would have left military service for good a long time ago. However, I also know that the ONLY way to win a war is to KILL the enemy. We are at war with militant Islam and we should isolate them and kill them in such a grotesque manner that none will dare follow their example. That is strategy, not bloodlust. I hope you could see the difference.

Reagan did not change the mission. The mission in Lebanon was to save the Palestinians and restore the Lebanese government.

It takes time to pacify a hostile nation. Once the economic conditions improve so will security. That is up to the civilian leadership to handle, not the military. I lose no sleep over North Korea, Syria, or Iran. War on the Korean peninsula would result in tremendous collateral damage, but we would occupy Pyongyang in a matter of months. Syria and Iran would fall easier than that.

Reagan, Bush 41, and Clinton all pursued failed policies of treating terrorism as a crime rather than as a casus belli. I am not making excuses for any of them, but the rapidity and brashness accelerated under Clinton, whom I hold to greater account.

Please provide me with the information regarding the Gore Commission.


ian august - 6/10/2003

if you aske me dan i would say 2 or 3 of our nations presidents had the "right stuff", its all who you know and who you would suck off>> cause thats all they do when they get in office


ian august - 6/10/2003

ny guy , lets try to have a decent debate hear, if it is in your scope,, first you start right off the bat with name calling, all of a sudden i am a pro hitler fascist because i think your nuts for blindly idolizing george W bush.

second who is crying tears, not I my friend, i am a starch opponent of open boarders because the amount of illegals flooding our nation is almost like and invasion, and it is watering down our nationalism and work ethic. how would you come to a conclusion of this nature? I think it is deeper than anything anyone has said on this board, you need to resolve them before attacking your fellow countrymen for disagreeing with your opinions.

i equate opposition with hitler huh?? sounds like you went out on a lim here, if you forgot i am the opposition by disagreeing with our president so, by your logic i see myself as adolf? righhhhhhhhhhhht..and i want to recreate his terror, than how come bush has attacked our nations civil liberties like no other president, and he happened to do it right after a huge attack against our nation, how convenient, who else did something just like that..hmm. oh yea adolf.

I was born here, love it ,love my countrymen, even you, might move because of bush,

the only reason i open my mouth and bitch is to hopefully open a few people up to the reality today, that is our nation is being raped and pillaged by the republican and democratic party, and it is people like you who show blind support for one while claiming to others are like hitler, that are ruining this nation and perpetuating the fear to keep quite and agree with all that occurs. well i will not sit down and continue to be pissed upon by people that want to label me hitler, or anti american.. if you called me anti american to my face you would not be a happy camper my friend.. i await your name calling response


James Thornton - 6/10/2003

Bush 41 was exercising the Monroe Doctrine in Panama, which is better off today without Noriega as Iraq will be better off in the near future without Saddam.

International law is a farce and only military force or the credible threat of military force can enforce peace and impose order. If the US wasn't running the world someone else would be. Would you prefer China or Russia fulfill the role we now play?

Not getting involved in World War 2 sooner or excepting the Jews fleeing Germany was immoral and I condemn both.


James Thornton - 6/10/2003

Thanks for the correction on the ATF.

I think the US should have never been involved in Somalia in the first place, but once we were there we should have been given the tools needed to accomplish the mission. That includes the AC-130 gunship and the armor. I further contend that we should have sent AH-64 and A-10's as well.

I disagree with the Senator's assessment of Waco.


dan - 6/10/2003

"I stated that the only effect the president could have on the economy is to raise or lower taxes."

And you were wrong, as I showed in a prior post.

"...combined with the fed’s increases..."

The Fed both increased and decreased rates during Clinton's tenure, as it does for most multi-term Presidents.

If we allow the phrase "tax and spend Democrats" (not stated by Corevan, though it appears he desperately wanted to, but was restrained by the knowledge, also unstated, that fiscal decisions are generated in the House) then we must also allow for the alternative description, also true, of "spend but don't tax Republicans" who push their bills onto my children. Good "work," if you can get it, eh?

"Now its very un-PC to make fun of people with disabilities like Alzheimer’s, unless..."

...that person is in charge of the United States and has his finger on the button, while believing in gremlins under his bed (i. e., the "Evil Empire").

"But a 70% tax rate is detrimental to growth..."

The last 70% tax rate was when?
The top 50% of the taxpayers pay 90+% of the taxes, while "earning" 80+% of the (reported) income. The Federal budget WAS balanced and even in surplus (i. e., the Government was making more than minimum payments) at one time. To be sure, the economy is not entirely Bush's fault, but I fail to see how giving money to people with excess disposable income already is supposed to spark up the economy. At least Reagan made a pretense at putting a small portion of the largess into the hands of people who would actually spend it...

"You can’t seem to get it through your head it’s not about what he did but the fact he lied to us."

Like George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson, etc. Every President lies. Some Presidents have to face partisanship gone wild, and each does as he sees fit. Most Presidents operate under gentleman's rules, and non-essential problems are not aired. The days of excessive partisanship do not benefit the country, but do sometimes benefit one party or the other, thus its continuance. Unfortunate, but to be expected - can't make your case, change the subject. The Democrats have much to learn...

" Need I remind you about Mogadishu? Where US Soldiers died because the Clinton government did not want to give them the firepower they need to confront the situation he put them in."

Might I suggest you read up a bit more. This situation was quite a bit more complex than you make out. Clinton inherited this mess from Bush, but the outcome was different than anyone could have imagined, based on then-recent events.

Clinton does not come out blameless, to be sure, but neither is he a villain. The book, Black Hawk Down (as opposed to the rah rah movie) is an excellent chronicle, but doesn't delve enough into the lead in. Mistakes were made at all levels, soldiers and commanders got cocky, intelligence broke down, and external political and military events coincided that were unanticipated. Kind of like Viet Nam, on a micro-scale. Politics and warfare are inextricably intertwined.

Let's face it, Democrats get away with things domestically that Republicans can't, and Republicans get away with things militarily that Democrats can't. A Republican would have been able to send in more troops. Whether that was the correct thing to do is another story. Now, who you calling a coward. There are a few good men who might just want your home address right now, if they had read that!

"You fail to mention the people who died at the end of our missile strikes on Iraq, ordered by Clinton, conspicuously coinciding with Monica gate news? "

Again, deplorable, but different scales. You might not want to bring up timing issues...

"Are we to take Bill Clinton’s assertions about Saddam’s WMD’s as lies as well?"

What lies? Bush tells more lies in an average day than Clinton told in 8 years. Bush's assertion was that, despite knowledge that he was misstating, Saddam HAD (i.e., there was indisputable PROOF) WOTs. We all thought he MIGHT have them, which is a tad different than the President's bald-faced lies, before, during, and continuing to today.

"Those WMD are out there..."

So now you are an arms expert, too! Try actually reading... Try getting past the color section with the dialog in baloons.

"... lets just hope..."

While we are at it, let's just hope aliens from a planet orbiting Betelgeuse will not sell WOTs to some American Indian tribe...

...republicans covering up Bush killing children..."

Yeah, it must have been the Democrats. Silly us...

"And the number of eligible Sr. officers who retired early or did not renew their terms of service, sighting the Commander in Briefs as the main factor behind the militaries decline."

A number and a cite, and details how it was excessive, would seem to be in order.

"Lets not forget Mogadishu, where he let our boy hang out to die."

Which boy was that?

"It was GW who raised their pay and spoke to them with respect and how gave them a mission and the tools to complete it. "

As did Hitler.

"I don’t shoot from the hip."

Then what is that part of the body called, in your language?


dan - 6/10/2003

A couple of things, to Corevan, for everybody:

Clinton's effect on the economy was his "foolhardy" gamble that the OPEC-generated stagflation era had ended resulting in his retiring long term debt and continually rolling them over with short term paper at hugely lower and steadily falling interest rates (despite Greenspan's somewhat overplayed inflation watch). That, coupled with a resonable tax increase, did FAR more than the piddling of the Republican Congresses during his tenure in reducing the defcit and producing a surplus. The environment did help fuel the dot.com bubble, which hurt many people at the expense of others. So, it was mainly his accession to Republican values that led to this failure, as with most of his failures.

It was Clinton's naivete WRT Republicans that led to his trusting the on-the-ground staff at Waco, and we all know how well that turned out. (Or are you now allowing that Clinton's military did a good job in the ME?)

The law WRT diddling subordinates has to do with abuse of power, sometimes presumed, but does not preclude (even one-sided) romances. Clinton was a bad person, in at least this one regard, but not a bad President thereby. Now lying to Congress in order to kill innocent civilians and gain military bases that you lost because you caved in to Osama Bin Laden... OH! I'm sorry, this President is a REPUBLICAN. That makes all the difference in the world!!!

But it is doubtful Corevan will actually READ this. I can't wait to see how he mangles this post...


dan - 6/10/2003

"Subject: My reason
Posted By: chuck heisler
Date Posted: June 5, 2003, 3:41 PM
If the best any of you can do is whine "Yes, but..." then I guess I struck a nerve indeed. Let's not make comparisons here, the point I make is that Clinton had the intelligence to realize he was not personally qualified to be Govenor of Arkansas (imagine that!), let alone the leader of the free world and chose to run anyway. If you could make a list of all the qualities necessary to be President, I suspect that Clinton did not match many in 1991-1992 and he certainly did not grow into the parameters while on the job!"

So put up (or shut up).

Make a list of the required (objective or subjective) attributes, and show, even generally, why Clinton was not qualified. You will need to show that his actions in office, as well as prior to the Presidency, were insufficient.

Then tell us, oh guru, which of the past Presidents actually were qualified...

I can guess, but I'd like for you to show us your scholarship.


dan - 6/10/2003

"...folks that celebrated in self-righteous fervor the trials of Supreme Court Nominee Thomas and Senator Packwood now turn their ire from the perp to the victims?"

Funny, I thought the tribulations of Thomas and Packwood centered on substantive and supported issues.

But if you know better...

The usual posting includes Bork. Did you just forget?

And, golly gee, even being totally unqualified for the job, and demonstrating that fact every time "the boys in dresses" let him scribe for them, I believe Justice Thomas HAS a lifetime sinecure. Who says affirmative action is opposed by the extreme right?


Peter Sean Bradley - 6/10/2003

I was being ironic. I thoroughly expected such an interest and would appreciate a discussion that included that kind of information.

As for a bibliography, that's actually a good idea. What I've seen are references to various stock schemes in text books and articles on Ponzi's post WWI mail fraud scheme, which is a fascinating subject. I don't offhand know of any books on the subject. Actually, a history of securities fraud might be worthwhile to read, or for someone to write.


Josh Greenland - 6/9/2003

"Not that I'd expect any kind of interest in the history of securities schemes on this website."

Why not? Do you have some rigid stereotype in mind for the people on this website that you think we all fit into?

If not, why not post an article or at least a bibliography on the subject? I'd be interested and I'm sure others would be as well.


PS Bradley - 6/8/2003

Now that Mr. Kriz has left his final bit of smelly sludge on the floor and huffed off to have high-five the rest of the Clinton "dissent control" team in some "war-room," which operates 7 by 24 as part of the "permanent campaign," let me offer some information for those who might wander by and have some interest in secutities law and history other than as a counter in a debate.

A "reverse pyramid" scheme is a scheme which starts with a certain number of people - let's say, 100 - it then picks 50 stocks to rise, 50 to fall. With the 50 who were succesful, the process is repeated. When you get to the last 5 or 10, those people think the con is a genius and give him all their money. He then walks away with it. I'm not making this up and if you have any actual experience in business litigation, you quickly learn that there is no scheme so inane that it isn't being practiced. With Hillary, the odds are that what happened was that she was awarded the wins, and someone without political connections took the losses.

Now, does it sound like I'm just making this all up? I have actually litigated Ponzi schemes and other security fraud cases, which informs my assessment of Hillary's deal. But, hey, I don't shamelessly swallow every improbable position disgorged by the Clintons, so to a certain segment of the population, so everything I say is a lie, an evil, evil lie and I am a Bad Person Filled With Hate(TM).

The device by which Hillary most probably made $99,000 incidentally violates 10b5. Although Mr. Kriz, with his "degree in law and business" may have missed class that week, 10b5 doesn't simply cover insider trading, it covers any securities scheme or device - most of which have more colorful names than "reverse pyramid scheme" and harken back to the era before the SEC. Heck, they probably harken back to Babylon and Sumeria. Not that I'd expect any kind of interest in the history of securities schemes on this website.

As for Kriz's defense that he didn't call these women "whores" - he argues that he merely said they would do anything for money, which he then defined as being a "whore" - here's the trick with debate: if all you talk to is people who are in your corner, they will buy that kind of meaningless semantic legerdemain. ["It depends on what your definition of "is" is."] If you are talking to neutrals who you want to persuade, take a leaf from the principles of rhetoric going back to Aristotle [again, more history] - no ad hominem attacks, no illogical arguments, no tendentious definitions. "Attack the argument, not the man" is something that you learn in your first outings at debate, where you are actually judged by neutrals, unlike an internet thread, or you simply lose and quit. At least that's what I learned when I was racking up first place finishes in college Lincoln/Douglas debate.

I'll say it again, I think a large portion of the emotions against Clinton is generated by the very arguments - ad hominem, tendentious definitions, incoherent logic - that we have seen in this thread. I know that being called names, accused baselessly of fabrication and having intemperate prose spewed at me have cemented my generally unfavorable impression of the Clinton project. I don't personally object to the tone. It's unfortunate and unproductive, but it did let me frame my argument.


NYGuy - 6/8/2003

Ian,

You said:

"NY GUY STOP TURNING THIS BOARD INTO ADVERTISING FOR little george's re-election, he has no vision and has restored nothing except contept for the political system."

You sound like all the other facists on this board. You cry tears to give all illegal aliens all the rights of this wonderful country so they can destroy it, while trying to stamp out any opinions from veterans who express their opinions with which you disagree.

No wonder people of your ilk say: Bush = Hitler. You equate opposition with Adolph your savoir, and want to recreate his beer hall terrorism. How long have you lived in this country. When did you immigrate? Where you able to express such anti-american comments in the coutry you were born in?


Maybe you should read about the history of this country and what it stands for which is not available in any other country and which gives you a right to show your hatred of this country. You don't even appreciate this wonderful quality of American.

Remember, people like you were defeated 60 years ago, but the vigilant Americans know your type continues to try to undermine this country. Actually it is people like you that makes this country such an attractive country to come too because it shows how free we are.

At the same time we have to appreciate the threat that people lie you present to our country.

Heil to a loyal party follower,


ian august - 6/7/2003

PLEASE dont get me started on dybya, cause i do hate him more than clinton, i have made a pact with myself to never vote for a democrat or a republican again, unless they show me they truly care about the people of this country, because most over the years have not shown we the people, the respect we deserve


ian august - 6/7/2003

PLEASE dont get me started on dybya, cause i do hate him more than clinton, i have made a pact with myself to never vote for a democrat or a republican again, unless they show me they truly care about the people of this country, because most over the years have not shown we the people, the respect we deserve


ian august - 6/7/2003

stephen you forgot that he campaigned to be the commissioner of majorleague baseball but they decided to not let him run baseball, so instead they bump him down a notch and he tried to be president of the country.


ian august - 6/7/2003

NY GUY STOP TURNING THIS BOARD INTO ADVERTISING FOR little george's re-election, he has no vision and has restored nothing except contept for the political system


NYGuy - 6/7/2003

For you history buffs, do you know what happened on this day. If not, ask your parents and grandparents. You probably will find some great Americans who you can be proud of.

Thank you GI's. We appreciate your efforts and sacrifice.


NYGuy - 6/6/2003

Kriz,

Wake up the world is passing you by. Read the papers or listen to the TV. You might learn something. Get out or the library with your obsession on Florida and join the real world. Also stop reading Carpenter he does not know what is going on either.


GW's is an economic genius and he is proving it. Come back in 6 months and I will accept your apology.


Stephen Kriz - 6/6/2003


Man! What are you smokin' out there in New York? You must have some high-powered crack or ganja or something.....

Dubya a genius?!?! Whew! You are worse off than I thought....


NYGuy - 6/6/2003

Rearview Mirror Kriz,

Your comments show why historians can't predict the future. Remember the predictions of a quagmire in Iraq. Ugh.

Anyway, GW's brillant economic plan is working. First you restore confidence in Americans and investors so the market rises sharply as it is doing this year, (the wealth effect) and than you come in with an econmic stimulus like the tax cuts. This one two punch is getting us out of the Clinton recession.

GW is a genius, i.e. someone who sees a target no one else can see and hits it.

He has character to stay the course, is courageous and bright.

Thank God for the Florida Supreme Court.

Cheers

Click here to go back to the article


V.A. - 6/6/2003

This is very impressive, thank you for your posting.


V.A. - 6/6/2003

This is very impressive, thank you for your posting.


Stephen Kriz - 6/6/2003


Ms. Krause:

Again, well done. You have successfully refuted a number of the right-wing's time-worn nostrums about conservatives being more focused on "national security", whatever that means, than liberals. I might add that the Gore Commission recommended several enhancements to aviation security in 1996, but the Republican-controlled House was too interested in finding something, anything, to bring impeachment charges against Clinton. Thanks to their obsession with getting "even" for Watergate and its consequences, they let 9-11 occur, in my estimation.

Regards,

Steve Kriz


akra - 6/6/2003

well, quite frankly, I think at the very least public lands shouldn't be put to uses that damage the land and make it unusable for others.


SKrause - 6/6/2003

Your comments about the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union are more of the same: sweeping generalizations, cliches, and unsupported assertions. As far as U.S. policy goes, if you want to make the case that Nixon's opening to China had the greatest impact, you should keep in mind that it probably couldn't have happened if it weren't for the Sino-Soviet split that had developed in the late 60s. (And Nixon's policy toward China can't be separated from Carter's diplomatic recognition of the PRC and efforts to establish military ties.) Whether this did anything more than add fuel to the fire of slow-motion economic implosion that started in the Soviet Union in the Brezhnev period, or the political crisis that was initiated by Mikhail Gorbachev, is debatable. There was a whole world of things going on in the Soviet Union that had nothing to do with the United States.

One additional comment about Carter. It was the Carter administration's National Security Advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, who proposed using Islamic insurgents against the Soviets in Afghanistan and Central Asia. The Reagan administration continued that policy.

As for your view that Reagan's military spending did the Soviet Union in, consider this from Frances Fitzgerald's book about Star Wars, "Way Out There in the Blue": "From 1983 to 1987 the Strategic Defense Initiative alarmed Soviet leaders because it threatened to reverse what they saw as the trend toward strategic stability and stable costs. Nonetheless, they did not respond to it by creating their own SDI program. That is, they continued their existing research programs on lasers and other advanced technologies, plus their existing design-work on space weaponry, but they did not mount an effort to test or develop SDI-type weapons. In addition they studied counter-measures to space-based weaponry, but since the SDIO never designed a plausible system, they had nothing specific to study, and their military spending was not affected. Between 1985 and 1987 Gorbachev spent a great deal of effort trying to convince the Reagan administration to restrain the program, presumably because he thought his own military-industrial complex would eventually force him to adopt a program of some sort to counter SDI, but by the end of 1987 the Soviet leadership no longer regarded SDI as a threat. Then, too, the Soviets did not respond to the Reagan administration's military buildup. As CIA analysts discovered in 1983, Soviet military spending had leveled off in 1975 to a growth rate of 1.3 percent [per year], with spending for weapons procurements virtually flat. It remained that way for a decade. According to later CIA estimates, Soviet military spending rose in 1985 as a result of decisions taken earlier, and grew at a rate of 4.3 percent per year through 1987. Spending for procurements of offensive strategic weapons, however, increased by only 1.4 percent a year in that period. In 1988 Gorbachev began a round of budget cuts, bringing the defense budget back down to its 1980 level. In other words, while the U.S. military budget was growing at an average of 8 percent per year, the Soviets did not attempt to keep up, and their military spending did not rise even as might have been expected given the war they were fighting in Afghanistan....At the beginning of Reagan's first term, some conservative enthusiasts in the administration might have believed that the U.S. could spend the Soviets under the table in an all-out strategic arms race. But the Joint Chiefs of Staff never thought this, nor did the CIA, for the simple reason that Soviet spending on strategic weapons was a very small fraction of the overall Soviet military budget. According to one MIT expert, Soviet spending for the procurement, operations, and maintenance of its strategic offensive forces amounted to only 8 percent of its entire defense budget. In other words, had Gorbachev achieved the 50 percent reductions he was seeking at Reykjavik, he would not have made savings of any significance in terms of the Soviet economy. What happened during the 1980s was that the Soviet economy continued to deteriorate as it had during the 1970s. The economic decline, of course, resulted from the failures of the system created by Lenin and Stalin--not from any effort on the part of the Reagan administration. Without Gorbachev, however, the Soviet Union might have survived for many more years, for the system, thought on the decline, was nowhere near collapse. It was Gorbachev's efforts to reverse the decline and to modernize his country that knocked the props out from under the system. The revolution was in essence a series of decisions made by one man, and it came as a surprise precisely because it did not follow from a systemic breakdown."

So, in other words, Reagan did more harm to the U.S. national debt than he did to the Soviet Union.

I'm sorry, but your views are ill-informed and many of your statements are indeed misrepresentations. You have not refuted any specific fact that I have written, many of which I have backed up with outside sources.

While you're pondering September 11, ask yourself a few questions like this: Why didn't the current Bush administration do something about airline security and strengthening air defense when it received briefings throughout summer of 2001 that hijackings and "spectacular" terrorist attacks on the territory of the United States were planned? Why have they covered up their own actions for going on two years?


chuck heisler - 6/5/2003

Hypocrite, pompous, ambulance chaser, piss poor, whores, etc., etc., etc. All of the above goes to support the claim made by P.S. Bradley that "Clinton supporters fuel antipathy for Clinton".
Rarely is a claim made that is followed by such overwhelming evidence that the claiment is correct in every respect. Thank you so very much Kriz for making Bradley's point.
I have to agree that the very next notch down the Clinton outrage chain is made by the apologists for the ex-President.
How can the very folks that celebrated in self-righteous fervor the trials of Supreme Court Nominee Thomas and Senator Packwood now turn their ire from the perp to the victims? Only political zealotry can explain how this blinding of such great moral outrage concerning sexual harrassement can occur.
Clinton has indeed pimped up the Democratic Party, making prostitutes of formerly straight laced protectors of a woman's right not to be molested in the work place!


SKrause - 6/5/2003

Sorry that I forgot to respond on this earlier, but with all due respect, you're just as capable of doing a Google search as I:

http://courttv-web1.courttv.com/archive/legaldocs/government/clintoncrisis/starr_report/suppb_blumenthal0226.pdf


Corevan - 6/5/2003

This is just a typical response from an angry and over emotional liberal who resorts to name calling and exaggeration when having limited fact to deal with. Since thoughtful dialog and details tax your cognitive abilities I’ll try keep my responses short, but you are all over the place

1) You clearly did not read my response closely as I stated that the only effect the president could have on the economy is to raise or lower taxes. Reagan was not responsible for our prosperity; his tax cut unleashed demand that was filled the American entrepreneurial drive to make money.

Reagan’s tax cut did not immediately boost the economy it took several years, just as the (and again read closely) Clinton’s tax increase combined with the fed’s increases killed the economy.

Now its very un-PC to make fun of people with disabilities like Alzheimer’s, unless of course you’re a liberal and the person with the disability has a different opinion than you.

I never stated that taxes should go to zero, nor do I disagree with the government priming the pump. But a 70% tax rate is detrimental to growth, and we see how successful central planning was, comrade.

2) Gladly, before met my wonderful wife I was male slut. Hell, I had two girl friends on a regular basis, and it was a sad day for womanhood when I crossed the threshold of marriage. My beautiful bride and recently had a son, so not only is it big, but it works too.

You can’t seem to get it through your head it’s not about what he did but the fact he lied to us. Like Gary Hart or Tricky Dick or Sadaam Husssian , when you lie and dodge the facts you pay a price. Jack Welch may have been banging everything in his office, but I don’t recall him being asked about it in public and lying about it.

Let us not count bodies please; if we do we’ll have to remember that our president during most of booth world wars was a democrat. Need I remind you about Mogadishu? Where US Soldiers died because the Clinton government did not want to give them the firepower they need to confront the situation he put them in. (Something you may think is a good thing, maybe you are sorry more did not die?) Don’t forget the fact that Osam bin Laddin used the example of our cowardice in Mogadishu to bolster his troops if he attacked us.

You fail to mention the people who died at the end of our missile strikes on Iraq, ordered by Clinton, conspicuously coinciding with Monica gate news? Are we to take Bill Clinton’s assertions about Saddam’s WMD’s as lies as well? That may be one of the only things about which he told the truth. Those WMD are out there, and lets just hope that because we had to stall our attack to appease the French and UN that we do not find that Sadaam had time to sell those WMD (we did find a lot of US cash) and that those WMD show up blowing thorough our cities killing our people.

Your assertion about the republicans covering up Bush killing children is disingenuous, but typical of thinkers of your ilk.

3) Well, we agree on something! Political parties are the bane of politics! And I really hope the Dems can get it together, because rampant republicans are a dangerous breed.

4) We have to agree to disagree, Welfare reform was necessary and seems to have worked.

5) Wrong again! Clinton’s military budget cuts put lives in danger. And the number of eligible Sr. officers who retired early or did not renew their terms of service, sighting the Commander in Briefs as the main factor behind the militaries decline. Lets not forget Mogadishu, where he let our boy hang out to die. He hurt the military single handedly.

It was GW who raised their pay and spoke to them with respect and how gave them a mission and the tools to complete it.

Thanks for the article, I will have to dig into it before I comment. I don’t shoot from the hip.


SKrause - 6/5/2003

You say that Bush the elder "strongly respected the concept of national sovereignty." Was that what he was doing when he sent the U.S. military into Panama to capture Manuel Noriega? And while it may not have been realistic to expect a tiny word of criticism from Bush against Slobodan Milosevic's nationalist bullying in 1989, what happened in the last half of 1991 and all through 1992, when the Bush administration only fueled the fire in Yugoslavia or sat on its hands and did nothing?

"Only the U.S. military is capable of imposing peace and order on the world?" This is impossible, and it is becoming clearer with each bungle of the current administration. The United States was instrumental in creating international organizations geared toward promoting peace and order, and drafting a number of treaties with the same purpose. But this administration is intent on tearing all of that down, creating a Social Darwinist world where might makes right. When John Brady Kiesling resigned from the Foreign Service to protest the current administration's policy in Iraq, he asked, "Is 'oderint dum metuant' now our policy?" Good question.

Being against war in Iraq or other countries of the Middle East, South Asia, and East Asia does not equate automatically to being isolationist. Your question about Pearl Harbor and World War II is a straw-man argument. We DID sit out the first two years of World War II, only getting involved when we were attacked by the Japanese and Hitler declared war on us. Although we knew about the Nuremberg Laws, we did little to help the Jews, pretty much refusing even to accept Jewish refugees.


SKrause - 6/5/2003

Bush the Elder did much more than "disregard intelligence" about Iraq and Kuwait. The dispute between Iraq and Kuwait was well known and longstanding. The border dispute dated back to World War I, and Saddam Hussein had long accused Kuwait of economic warfare in the form of slant-drilling into Iraqi oilfields and undercutting OPEC production agreements. April Glaspie (not "Gilllispie") did what ambassadors do: She carried instructions from the Secretary of State and the President. "I have direct instructions from President Bush to improve our relations with Iraq. We have considerable sympathy for your quest for higher oil prices, the immediate cause of your confrontation with Kuwait. As you know, I lived here for years and admire your extraordinary efforts to rebuild your country. We know you need funds. We understand that, and our opinion is that you should have the opportunity to rebuild your country." She then asked why Saddam had massed troops on the Kuwaiti border and what he wanted. He said the following: "If we could keep the whole of the Shatt al Arab - our strategic goal in our war with Iran - we will make concessions [to the Kuwaitis]. But, if we are forced to choose between keeping half of the Shatt and the whole of Iraq (i.e., in Saddam's view, including Kuwait, a province in Ottoman times) then we will give up all of the Shatt to defend our claims on Kuwait to keep the whole of Iraq in the shape we wish it to be. (pause) What is the United States' opinion on this?" Ambassador Glaspie responded: "We have no opinion on your Arab - Arab conflicts, such as your dispute with Kuwait. Secretary (of State James) Baker has directed me to emphasize the instruction, first given to Iraq in the 1960's, that the Kuwait issue is not associated with America."
You may think that this was "By no means an 'official' green light," but it doesn't get much clearer. Meanwhile, the Emir of Kuwait, having been promised U.S. protection by Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney, was in no hurry to negotiate. All that was missing were a few lies about Iraqi troops massed on the Saudi border and babies ripped from incubators.

The U.N. resolution which authorized the 1991 Gulf War did not authorize the removal of Saddam Hussein from power. The Bush administration also quickly came to the realization that his removal would create a vacuum that they were unprepared to fill. (Strange--still true even now.)

As far as Lebanon is concerned, your comment demonstrates exactly the kind of ignorant bull-in-a-china-shop bloodthirst that I mentioned in my previous post. Flatten all of Teheran for the acts of Hizbollah? Do you realize that there are many Iranians in the United States with family still in Iran? That many Iranians are not at all hostile to the United States?

We went in to Lebanon as part of a multinational peacekeeping force. The Reagan administration changed the mission, and ultimately we were supporting the Maronite Christian Gemayel government while the U.S.S. New Jersey was shelling the Shouf Mountains. Terrorists hit us in direct response to our policies.

Terrorism is not war. Terrorism is a tactic, and it's used when a relatively weak party confronts a relatively strong party. If heavy-handed militarized responses worked against terrorism, the Israelis wouldn't have any problems. Terrorism, like drug trafficking and organized crime, is a borderless problem feeding on globalization and requires improved international cooperation that we will not get by bullying other countries. What you propose would not do anything whatsoever to contribute to the safety and security of the United States. I can think of no better way to galvanize thousands of new terrorists.

You talk big about going out and invading multiple countries in response to terrorist acts. For a "professional soldier" you seem oblivious to how overstretched the U.S. military already is, with the Bush administration running around in Colombia, the Caucasus, Central Asia, Afghanistan, and Iraq in addition to the commitments we'd already made in the Balkans, Korea, Europe, Japan, and elsewhere.

In the last year, we've fought two relatively small countries that had already been reduced to crumbling wrecks, and both are now on the verge of anarchy because we are unable to impose order. Do you really think that our relatively small volunteer military is prepared to take on armies in North Korea, Syria, and Iran, or to try to impose new regimes in Saudi Arabia or Pakistan?

It's amusing that you hold Clinton responsible for a terrorist act that happened eight months into the current Bush administration when you don't hold the elder Bush responsible for the first World Trade Center bombing, also an attack "on U.S. soil," which happened only five weeks after Clinton took office. After all, didn't you say that "Islamic fundamentalists declared war on us 24 years ago"? What did Bush do to stop them? Trade arms for hostages?


chuck heisler - 6/5/2003

Here is a nail hit squarely on the head by P.S. Bradley! Yeah, why don't you Clinton apologizers take on the harrassement argument without some deflection to "good economies" and Bush's record on AIDs research funding. I think sexual harrassement in the work place can stand on its own as an issue that could benefit from you enablers' opinions.


SKrause - 6/5/2003

Well, you exaggerate the extent to which we agree. Your arguments suggest that Clinton made mistakes that were unprecedented and therefore deserving of particular enmity, or that if only Clinton had done x, then y would not have happened. What I have written was intended to show that this is just not true, that actions taken by the Clinton administration were very much in keeping with those of other administrations, that many problems that Clinton confronted were the result of extremely stupid decisions by his predecessors, whom you judge much less harshly, and that your assumptions about what he could or should have prevented are unrealistic, unfounded, or based on information that wasn't available at the time that relevant decisions were made.

What I said about Somalia was that I thought the incoming Clinton administration was handed an unnecessary and poorly-planned commitment which the outgoing Bush administration should not have assumed. Yes, mistakes were made in Somalia. They always are in such operations. But you grotesquely oversimplify.
Much of the impetus to expand U.S. involvement in Somalia came from Jonathan Howe, a National Security Agency official who had been involved in the planning of the mission in the Bush administration and was held over as special envoy to the U.N. Secretary General for continuity.

Consider just these points: Secretary of Defense Les Aspin took responsibility for the failure to supply the ground commander in Mogadishu with tanks and armored personnel carriers. But the ground commander did not advise Aspin that he wanted armor for use in raids. Aspin was told that the armor was to be used for escorting convoys and for general force protection. At that time, the policy was to reduce the U.S. presence in Somalia. Even Colin Powell had reservations about approving the request for armor. He had already refused requests for AC-130 gunships, which ordinarily would have been part of such a task force, because he considered these inappropriate for urban operations and an escalation of U.S. involvement.

Much of the reaction to the loss of eighteen in the raid reflects three things: the emotional response of the American public to film of the body of a U.S. soldier being dragged through the streets of Mogadishu by a mob, the fact that the American public, while ever-so-proud of all things military and surprisingly bloodthirsty sometimes, is ever more unrealistic in its demand for risk-free combat, and the fact that certain people on the right have a problem with Clinton's draft record and therefore hold him to a much higher standard than, for example, George W. Bush. While I don't mean to be blase about the human costs of military operations, it has to be noted that the mission in Somalia was dangerous. The Bush administration plan sent a Ranger task force to protect a U.N. peacekeeping force in a zone contested by multiple warlords. We were there for the better part of a year. Several such raids were staged. The casualties in Somalia would not have been considered excessively high in the Vietnam, Korean War, or World War II eras.

Your concern for dead Somalis is touching, but it's hard to believe that it reflects anything more than your animus toward Clinton.

I did not say and do not believe that Janet Reno "grossly mishandled" Waco. As a matter of fact, I believe that former Senator Danforth's inquiry showed exactly the opposite.

For the record, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms was part of the Treasury Department, not the Justice Department.


chuck heisler - 6/5/2003

What makes you think that those of us that had to live thru both "Camelot" and Clinton don't regard both Presidents with the same distain?


chuck heisler - 6/5/2003

If the best any of you can do is whine "Yes, but..." then I guess I struck a nerve indeed. Let's not make comparisons here, the point I make is that Clinton had the intelligence to realize he was not personally qualified to be Govenor of Arkansas (imagine that!), let alone the leader of the free world and chose to run anyway. If you could make a list of all the qualities necessary to be President, I suspect that Clinton did not match many in 1991-1992 and he certainly did not grow into the parameters while on the job!
That he and you seem to feel he was qualified tells everything about how he and you view the Office and the American people.
I think I will pass on the Jerry Springer attitude of public service if you all don't mind!


Stephen Kriz - 6/5/2003


Mr. or Mrs. Corevan:

Your responses really are tedious. You are long on platitude and short on facts. Maybe you should stick to listening to your Toby Keith CDs and stay off bulletin boards that require some intellectual heft. May I suggest Freerepublic.com to hook up with others of your ilk?

As my last response to you, let me begin by saying that I really like the way that you first assert that presidents have no effect on the economy and then in the next breath, credit Ronald Reagan for 12 or 18 (which is it?) years of peace and prosperity. I could point out that we were involved in numerous conflicts during the reign of Bonzo, and that far more U.S. servicemen died during Reagan's two terms than during Clinton's, but I am guessing it would do little good. Conservatives worship Saint Ronald, despite the fact that the Alzheimer's-riddled old fool was out to lunch for most of his two terms. You are also going to have to educate me regarding how Clinton's tax increases in 1993 took seven full years to "kill the economy", as you put it, while Reagan's tax cuts caused immediate prosperity? That really is delightfully wishful thinking on your part. Too bad it is so horribly detached from reality. News Flash: Trickle-down economics is an abject failure and always has been. No country can tax cut it's way to prosperity. If that were true, why not set all taxes at zero and watch the manna from heaven magically flow into the coffers of the U.S. Treasury? Man, are you deluded…….

To address LL2, as you put it, I really don't want to talk any more about Bill Clinton's sex life, as it truly is a private matter, unless you want to tell us about yours. But I do like your quip, " It is a shame that we the taxpayer had to spend million to expose the truth." The point is, WE DIDN'T HAVE TO SPEND ANYTHING!!! Ken Starr veered off into Clinton's sex life because there was nothing to any of the other mock scandals that the Republicans tried to manufacture. It will be one of the most enduringly shameful footnotes in America's history that a partisan investigation ended up spending millions of taxpayer dollars to look into a sitting president's sex life. I also have news for you about CEOs doing what Clinton did: IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME! Look at Jack Welch at GE. He was banging some tart the whole time he was CEO and got generous raises and stock options all the while. If you live in some sort of dream world where CEOs are held accountable for marital indiscretions, don't let me wake you up. I certainly don't condone lying under oath, which Clinton clearly did. However, here is a platitude for you: BUSH LIED - PEOPLE DIED. As I have asked on this bulletin board before, "How many people died as the result of Bill Clinton's prevarications"? Look, I am not a huge Bill Clinton fan - never have been. But, Clinton lying about sex is far less worrisome than Dubya lying about WMDs and 150 of our soldiers dying as a result! When will Dubya's impeachment proceedings begin? I think that this Republican Congress wouldn't impeach Bush if he were killing children and piling them up on the White House lawn like cordwood. They are so blind to partisan corruption, it is disgusting.

LL3 - Trust me, I am not going to defend Tom Daschle. He has been a pathetic leader for the Democrats. His lack of leadership has hurt the Party immensely. If the Democrats can't expose a bungling, incompetent idiot like Dubya for the worthless pawn of corporations and the wealthy that he is, then they probably don't deserve to be in power. Believe it or not, I also can agree that neither party seems to be interested in the good of common people.

LL4 - The manner in which welfare was reformed was a mistake, regardless of which iteration was ultimately passed. I blame Clinton for capitulating to the Republican jihadis, who would rather give welfare to people in Iraq, than the citizens of their own country, many of which are military veterans.

LL5 - Actually, it was Clinton's military that won the wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq. They did a great job didn't they? Bush has made little change, personnel-wise, since Clinton was in office. Next years budget cycle is where Dubya and Rummie get their little toys. Your comment about Clinton "decimating the military and destroying it's moral [sic]" Wow, one man single-handedly decimates the military and destroys its morale? He must be like Superman? What a crock of shit!

I am also amused by so-called conservatives who have a fit if one black woman on welfare gets double her allotment in food stamps, but shrug their shoulders when Lockheed overbills the Pentagon by $500 million. There is absolutely no doubt that the Pentagon is the most wasteful bureaucracy in the federal government. If you doubt me, I offer you Exhibit A:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2003/05/18/MN251738.DTL&type=printable

Tell me, Corevan, how many government agencies misplace $1 TRILLION?!?! That is not chump change, my friend. How many bridges, high schools and hospitals could have been built with that money? You may not care that your tax dollars were pissed away like this, but I sure do!

I echo your sentiment, and that I thank God for the US of A where even people like you, who want to throw money down a rathole like the Pentagon and think that militarism equals patriotism, can live freely.

P.S. It's A-d-o-l-f Hitler, not A-d-o-l-p-h. He was a rather famous historical figure in the mid-20th century.



Corevan - 6/5/2003

I laid out some solid facts for you. Whats the matter, you can't handle the truth?


James Thornton - 6/5/2003

With an even and moderate tone of voice I say to you, "This is an "A" and "B" conversation so "C" your way out."


James Thornton - 6/5/2003

Ma'am. I apologize for not correctly guessing your gender. The odds were 50-50 on being correct and since the site is dominated by males I erred on the side of what I thought to be a logical conclusion. However, your gender makes no difference whatsoever.

I am suprised to find that we agree on many points. We agree that Clinton made a "mistake" in Somalia. A mistake that cost 19 American lives and the lives of hundreds if not thousands of Somalis. We agree that Janet Reno, as the Attorney General, and responsible for both the ATF and FBI, grossly mishandled Waco. I also think we agree that Bush 41 and Reagan made mistakes regarding China, as well as Clinton.

On the Middle East and Terrorism, Bush and Reagan made other mistakes that I am quick to condemn. Bush disregarded intelligence indicating that Iraq was preparing to invade Kuwait. Ambassador Gilllispie was also grossly negligent in her remarks, but it was by no means an official "green light" of American acquiecence to an invasion. Once engaged in combat, our forces should have removed Saddam from power, making this current operation unnecessary. As far as Reagan is concerned, the Beruit bombing was an act of war, and at the time I felt strongly that Tehran should have been flattened. Islamic fundamentalists declared war on us twenty-four years ago, and we only really started fighting back in 2001.

This brings us to where we may disagree. I have always rejected reacting to acts of terrorism as a criminal matter. However, in the more distant past the attacks were committed on foreign soil. That changed in 1993 with the firts WTC bombing. The US should have made it clear along time ago that any attack on the US would result in immediate military action against ALL of the states listed as state sponsors of terrorism. When I say military action I mean total war with regime change and not a half dozen cruise missiles launched in the dead of night. As grave as Reagan and Bush 41's mistakes may have been they did not lead to the deadliest act of terror against the US as Clinton's failure to attack terrorism more aggressively than he should have. I strongly support the Bush Doctrine and I hope that it is enforced against Syria, Iran, and North Korea sooner rather than later. I am no Right-Winger, however, but a professional soldier with only one concern; the safety and security of the United States. I will not criticize the current Commander-in-Chief, but when he leaves office I will be quick to point out policies with which I disagree and there are many.

I think we disagree on the question of intervention in foreign affairs as well. Bush 41 strongly respected the concept of national sovreignty. That is why he did not react to Milosevic's speech in Kosovo. From Bush's point of view he had no right to censure the speech of a foreign head of state given from within his own nation. Clearly, I support intervention on moral grounds and because I believe we should nix a problem before it balloons out of control. Bush and Clinton both tried to let the Europeans handle the Balkans and Central Africa and this was a mistake as well. Only the US military is capable of imposing peace and order on the world, and I would have gladly served in Rwanda to halt the genocide there. I always like to ask the anti-war and Isolationist crowd if it would have been justifiable for the US to sit out of the Second World War, before Pearl Harbor, if knowledge of the Holocaust had been disclosed.

Finally, the debate on victory in the Cold War is a topic upon itself. Kennedy, Johnson and Carter were foreign policy failures as well and did not contribute much to the struggle against the Soviets. Nixon's repproachment with China is probably the landmark that signals the fall of the USSR, but after Clinton, Nixon did more to damage the US than anyother President due to Watergate. Truman and Eisenhower were significant, but I credit Reagan with standing up to the Soviets and basically outspending them.

We do live on other planets. That explains why you perceive my point of view as a misperception and my statements as misrepresentations. You do an excellent job of pointing out the mistakes of Clinton's predecessors and my own grammatical and spelling errors, but you never directly engage the issue of cupability of 9/11 and Clinton's dismal foreign policy. We will not settle this argument here. History will, and I think history will remember Clinton as the president whose policies encouraged the terrorists to attack us, and Bush 43 as the Presient that won the war on terror.


J. Merrett - 6/5/2003

Does this mean you're not willing or able to defend your assertion that you are somehow entitled to dictate the uses to which public lands may be put?


Stephen Kriz - 6/5/2003


Mr. Bradley:

Debate was not your forte in law school, was it? I didn't call all women whores - review my post. I simply said that the women that the right-wing dragged out of the woodwork against Clinton were women who would do anything for money, which to me, equates to whoredom. Paula Jones, far from being a dainty flower, was a slut whose reputation was known throughout Little Rock. Does that absolve Clinton? Absolutely not. Keep in mind that Richard Mellon-Scaife's operatives trolled the entire state of Arkansas with $100 bills, looking for women to say they had sex with Bill CLinton. At one time, the hotline they set up had 1,500 responses from women who were willing to say they had sex with Clinton. Now, he may have been a serial groper, as you put it, but I kinda doubt that he was that prolific.

Your nonsenical assertion about a "reverse pyramid scheme" is off the wall. I have degrees in law and business and have heard of no such thing. You are bullshitting, sir. Any more discussion with you about law or Bill Clinton is pointless. This dialogue is ended.

Steve Kriz


PS Bradley - 6/5/2003

Good lord. Is it your silly belief that if you have the last word, you win? In the words of a judge I heard addressing a singularly mendacious attorney in law and motion, you need to take a step back and listen to yourself.

A couple of educational points:

Re: anyone can sue anybody. First, contingency fee plaintiff lawyers stake their own money and time on cases. No one stakes $100,000 plus without a reason. Get a clue. I know that I wouldn't be able to financially survive if I funded cases that I believed in, and I don't know of any plaintiff's attorney who would. Second, normally, Democrats are supportive of plaintiff cases for all the normal reasons. Why aren't you? Probably because you wish to subordinate reason to ideology. That fact alone proves my point, which was that Clinton apologists, with their tendentious ad hominem arguments, further the generalized ill-will to the Clintons. Again, thanks for proving my point.

Second. My God, did you accuse women of being "whores?" As a plaintiff's attorney who represents women in sexual harassment cases, and in sexual and age and racial discrimination cases, that is exactly the narrow minded, bigoted prejudice I have to overcome. Blaming the victim, we call it. And this from a Clinton supporter. This proves my point that there is a misogynistic undercurrent that supports the Clinton agenda. Who cares about women so long as they support the Clinton agenda? Not you and not the Clintons, apparently. Thanks again for proving my point that Clinton supporters can only engage in ad hominem, illogical attacks that progressively undercut any desire to support the Clintons.

Last, you made some sort of stupid point earlier about "insider trading." If you ever have the desire to learn anything truthful, research the fact that 10b6 makes all kind of devices other than insider trading illegal. What Hillary was involved in was a "reverse pyramid scheme," which is illegal under 10b6 without being insider trading. I know that it is unfair to burden you with actual knowledge when you are ever so busy creating your myths and outrages against the "right wingers" but you will be a better person if you actually try to learn something.

Go ahead and post your last silly comment. I rather doubt that I will spend any effort in rebutting a person who refers to women as "whores." People like you should be ignored, rather than encouraged. I'm suprised that this kind of hate speech is tolerated in a civil forum. May I humbly suggest that you not embarass yourself with such women-hating trype?


Rushmore Moose - 6/5/2003


Theodore Roosevelt, who did more than any other president to preserve America's public land, acted in order to prevent its destruction by the greedy, the selfish, and the ignorant. If you disagree, you can go drive your snowmobile to the tribal drug-lord terrorities of Afghanistan, and take your barbaric ideas with you. Otherwise read a history book about Roosevelt and educate yourself.

By the way, nothing against whole grains, but I do enjoy a big juicy steak myself, from time to time, from a cow that grazed on land not trashed by junveniles with noisy toys.


SKrause - 6/5/2003

Thanks. (And thanks for asking--I am a female.) I've found your comments interesting to read. While I suppose that a topic like this brings them out, there sure are a lot of unbending, blinkered, indoctrinated right-wingers on this site...


SKrause - 6/5/2003

You may be upset about Iran-Contra, a true affront to the Constitution by any reasonable standard. But your arguments are straight right-wing spin points. I am merely demonstrating that your assertion that Clinton's presidency had done more damage to national security than any other is transparent nonsense. I pointed out concrete examples of damage done in previous administrations and how did you react? Those don't "let Clinton off the hook?" Please. Surely you can do better than that.

Your assertion that Clinton allowed terrorists to operate with impunity is transparent nonsense. Try reading:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&node=&contentId=A62725-2001Dec18¬Found=true


Your assertion that "Ronald Reagan won the Cold War" is transparent nonsense and would come as a big surprise to Presidents Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, and Carter.

Your assertion that Janet Reno was somehow worse as attorney general than, for example, the disgraced John Mitchell and Ed Meese, is transparent nonsense.

For your information, I am not a "sir." (Perhaps you assume that only men can argue such issues?) I also have no particular brief for Clinton and can criticize many things that he did (although in comparison to the current occupant of the White House, he looks better and better all the time). The comments that I responded to just happened to be inaccurate, hackneyed criticisms. For a supposed "independent" who claims to be able to "acknowledge the shortcomings of Republican and Democrat administrations," you certainly hold views that would warm the heart of any right-wing Republican.


Stephen Kriz - 6/5/2003


Dear Mr. Krause (or is it Ms.?):

Excellent rebuttal. While you may be non-partisan, your facts shut up the right-wing loudmouths hereabouts. They usually have a hard time with historical truth. Well done.

Steve Kriz


SKrause - 6/5/2003

Reno took office on March 12, 1993, about two weeks after the Waco standoff began. The ATF had bungled the initial raid, and as the standoff continued to drag on, it became harder to secure the perimeter. Reno did make the decision to force an end, but entirely on the advice she received from the FBI and the ATF. To her credit, she took full responsibility and offered to resign.

You've apparently read Louis Freeh's New Yorker spin on the Khobar investigation and repeated it faithfully. The Clinton administration did complicate the investigation by attempting to maintain its efforts to strengthen relationships with Iranian moderates, but it was the sanctimonious Freeh who was repeatedly manipulated by the Saudi government. That assertion comes from the FBI's former counterterrorism chief Robert Blitzer and John O'Neill, the former FBI official in charge of international counterterrorism.

I don't see why you're concerned with whether I "want to credit" the first Bush administration for reductions in military spending. My purpose here is not partisan. I am only attempting to correct your misrepresentations and to point out the ridiculousness of your assertion that the Clinton administration did more damage to national security than other previous administrations. I have no problem with giving the first Bush administration credit for its accomplishments. Of course, with the sudden collapse of our great adversary of the previous forty years, it would have been difficult for them to justify not reducing military spending.

As for Afghanistan and Iraq: actually, the case could be made that the Reagan-Bush administration, having assembled, funded, and trained a collection of Islamic extremists for the purpose of draining the Soviets, walked away from Afghanistan in 1988, leaving the country to fall into chaos, warlordism, and ultimately authoritarian rule by religious fundamentalists. That the country became a sanctuary for terrorists is no surprise. But, if as you say we had no responsibility for anything that went on there after we were finished with the Cold War, then so what? Right? And you're confused about Iraq. What I was saying was that Mr. Bush the Elder supported the New Hitler Saddam right up to the point that he sent his ambassador to say that we had no interest in disputes between Arab countries. Then, suddenly, it became very pressing business to protect the non-existent democracy of Kuwait and attack the New Hitler Saddam. What were the results of the first Gulf War, other than the ego boost that it gave to Bush? Placement of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia, one of the primary grievances of Osama bin Laden. Betrayal of the Iraqi Shiite majority who now feel no great warmth toward us. Economic sanctions which impoverished the Iraqi middle class and became a permanent irritant with the Arab world. And no coherent solution for what to do about the Saddam Hussein regime.

You think that there was some other solution to leaving Saddam Hussein in power? Who would have taken over a country that is an artificial creation, with the majority of the population one sect of Islam and the minority ruling elite another? How would you deal with the Kurdish issue to the satisfaction of the Iranians and the Turks?

I believe that you are trying to refer to Loral Space and Communications, not "Lorraine" in your comments about technology transfer to the Chinese.

It was the Reagan administration that instituted the policy of involving the Chinese in the space program after the Challenger disaster. Both parties bear considerable blame for any mishandling of technology over the last fifteen years, because both parties are in the pocket of defense contractors and both parties have continued to chase the elusive holy grail of trade with China. If you think that only the Clinton administration was a problem, consider the current case of alleged spy and GOP contributor Katrina Leung.

The following comments were made by Rep. John Spratt about the Cox Committee report:

"Mr. Spratt detailed key allegations that were shot down during the committee's investigation:

That U.S. encryption technology had been compromised when the three satellites went down with their launches.
That Motorola had helped China design a platform for offloading Iridium satellites that was a precursor to a post-boost vehicle for offloading MIRVs.
That Hughes Electronics and Loral Space & Communications Ltd. had helped China improve the accuracy, range and payload of its rockets and missiles. The report concludes only that China's rockets and missiles may have gained reliability, but not range, payload, or accuracy.
Mr. Spratt said the most devastating of all the security lapses occurred in 1988, when the Bush administration allowed U.S. satellites to be launched on Chinese rockets.

"In taking this step, we effectively decided to underwrite the development of Chinese rockets," he said.

Mr. Spratt said that the intelligence community estimates that the PRC obtained design information on the W-70 in the late 1970s; design information on the W-88 warhead in the mid-'80s; and classified information on re-entry vehicles and weight-to-yield ratios of the W-62, W-78 and W-87 in the 1990s.


SKrause - 6/5/2003

The situation in Waco started two weeks before Janet Reno was sworn in as Attorney General. The ATF bungled its initial action, and that set up the standoff. Yes, Janet Reno gave the order to end the standoff, for a variety of reasons and based on the information that she was given by the FBI and the ATF. And to her credit, she took responsibility and offered to resign.

The Khobar Towers investigation was certainly complicated by the Clinton administration's efforts to strengthen ties to Iranian moderates. But Louis Freeh pathetically mishandled his dealings with the Saudis and was repeatedly manipulated. You might consider this article about FBI failures from Vernon Loeb, the Post's intelligence reporter: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A61024-2002Dec16?language=printer


SKrause - 6/5/2003

At Pearl Harbor, we knew that we had been attacked by Japan, a sovereign nation. The first U.S. response was the Doolittle raid five months later. What country would you have had Clinton attack in his remaining three months in office in response to the Cole incident? (Incidently--the word is "elicit." "Illicit" means either illegal or contrary to accepted morality.) As I recall, a bomb was exploded by terrorists in a U.S. Marine barracks in Lebanon in 1983. Was that not by your definition an act of war? What did President Reagan do in response? Attack Grenada? Withdraw?

The "successful humanitarian operation" was only the first phase of the plan for Somalia implemented under the Bush administration and had ended by the time that Clinton took office. Clinton was faced with trying to implement the second phase, an unworkable plan for a small U.S. rapid reaction force to support a multinational U.N. task force under the command of a Turkish general, in a deteriorating situation. The U.N. task force mandate included disarming the Somali clans, rehabilitating political institutions, and establishing a secure environment to make sure that food could be distributed. This is a lot easier said than done in a place that is under dispute by multiple warlords. The problems with what Clinton inherited in Somalia are just too numerous to go into here and there is much blame to go around, including to decisions made by U.S. military commanders in the field and to the U.S. special envoy to the Secretary General, who was a Bush administration holdover. The "mission creep" was spurred in part by the slaughter of Pakistani peacekeepers by the Aidid militia. I have not said and do not say that the Clinton administration did not make mistakes in Somalia. But I don't think that a lame duck administration should have made such commitments as the Bush administration did in this case.

There's nothing like 20/20 hindsight where terrorism is concerned. When the first attack on the World Trade Center happened in February 1993 (five weeks after Clinton took office), not only was it not known that Osama bin Laden was involved, his general role in supporting terrorism was not well understood. He was seen as one of several individual financiers of terrorist groups. It wasn't until Ramzi Yousef was arrested in 1995 that there was any realization of bin Laden's involvement in the first Trade Center bombing. It was only later, between 1996 and the embassy bombings of 1998, that the full significance of his activities became evident.

Yes, the Gellman article won a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting...
http://www.pulitzer.org/year/2002/national-reporting/works/100301a.html

...but it's only spin, appearing in a profoundly anti-Clinton paper. Then there's the New York Times, an article partly reported by Jeff Gerth, who was the lead reporter on Whitewater and hardly a Clinton sympathizer:

"In the Middle East, American diplomats pressed the hard-line Islamic regime of Sudan to expel Mr. bin Laden, even if that pushed him back into Afghanistan. To build support for this effort among Middle Eastern governments, the State Department circulated a dossier that accused Mr. bin Laden of financing radical Islamic causes around the world. The document implicated him in several attacks on Americans, including the 1992 bombing of a hotel in Aden, Yemen, where American troops had stayed on their way to Somalia. It also said Mr. bin Laden's associates had trained the Somalis who killed 18 American servicemen in Mogadishu in 1993. Sudanese officials met with their C.I.A. and State Department counterparts and signaled that they might turn Mr. bin Laden over to another country. Saudi Arabia and Egypt were possibilities. State Department and C.I.A. officials urged both Egypt and Saudi Arabia to accept him, according to former Clinton officials. 'But both were afraid of the domestic reaction and refused,' one recalled. Critics of the administration's effort said this was an early missed opportunity to destroy Al Qaeda. Mr. Clinton himself would have had to lean hard on the Saudi and Egyptian governments. The White House believed no amount of pressure would change the outcome, and Mr. Clinton risked spending valuable capital on a losing cause. "We were not about to have the president make a call and be told no," one official explained. Sudan obliquely hinted that it might turn Mr. bin Laden over to the United States, a former official said. But the Justice Department reviewed the case and concluded in the spring of 1996 that it did not have enough evidence to charge him with the attacks on American troops in Yemen and Somalia."

http://www.nytimes.com/2001/12/30/national/30TERR.html?ex=1054872000&en=9fd088537d30fa35&ei=5070


Can you produce any evidence whatsoever--that isn't self-serving backside covering from the Saudi government and its former intelligence service head, Prince Turki al-Faisal--that it was the Saudi government that approached the Clinton administration about getting bin Laden from Sudan? A simple web search reveals multiple sources that discuss the complexity of the discussions between the Clinton administration and the government of Sudan.


Corevan - 6/4/2003

Thank you my friend for 2 things, one coherently addressing the issues at hand, two proving my point. Let me take you points one at a time and answer them factually.

Lefty Lie 1) "eight years of prosperity and relative peace" try 12 or 18 yrs of peace and prosperity. Any economist worth his calculator will tell that there is very little the Government or a president can do to effect the economy except raise or lower taxes. Thus the roaring 90's had much more to do with, dare I speak the name, Ronald Reagan’s Tax cuts which unleashed the entrepreneurial power of American ingenuity to leverage new technology. It was Bill Clinton's promised tax cuts which were really tax increases, along with the federal reserves interest rate hikes that killed the economy.

Lefty Lie 2) "Bill Clinton's sex life is an entirely private matter, that had no place being dragged into the public domain and was only done so to embarrass Clinton and his wife and to achieve political gain" Another attempt to divert from the issue. It is a shame that we the taxpayer had to spend million to expose the truth. But we deserve more from our first citizen, who should be held to the same standards as you or I. Were this the CEO of some company, who had taken an intern into his office for a blow job, the likes of you would be calling for his head, no pun intended. You would boycott their products and rail against the evils of Capitalism. As a tax payer the White House is my property, and the president is my employee, and I expect more from my employee than "It depends on what the meaning of is is" And please don’t try to tell me that everything Billary did was not for political gain, you are more blind than I thought.

Lefty lie 3)"Republicans cannot win an election honestly or by openly discussing issues" Have you heard the dribble coming from the likely Dem. candidates; the most coherent one of them is Al Sharpton for god sake! Tom dumb shit Daschel’s approval ratings are in the high teens. The American people are no fools. While I am not a Republican, I don’t think either party is good for the county, I think even you can not refute that G.W. has been straight forward with us from day one.

Lefty lie 4) "He caved on "welfare reform" " Did you forget that he vetoed 2 or 3 previous reform bills crafted by the Republicans and only signed the last one because he was backed into a political corner?

Lefty lie 5)"constantly sucking up to the military, which is the most wasteful, inefficient bureaucracy in American government." This is the most laughable of all the lies you espouse. PLEASE, he decimated the military and destroyed it's moral. Before G.W. military experts were ringing alarm bells about the condition of our armed forces. While anything run by the government is wasteful and inefficient please remember that it is the military that protects the like of you and I to have this kind of discussion. It is the military not the report that protects our first amendment, it is the solider that fights for, and is buried under, the flag that allows the protester to burn the flag. With out a strong military and the willingness to use it the likes of Adolph Hitler, Osam bin Ladin and Sadaam Hussain would infest this country with a hatred and tyranny that would put free thinkers like you and I in jail or the grave.

Thank God for the US of A where even people who think (though I question how much you really think about the issues) like you can live freely.


SKrause - 6/4/2003

On what planet do you live? The problem with most knee-jerk critics of Clinton is that they have a one-dimensional view of reality. Do you seriously think that any president could have mobilized support for a foray into an African anarchy zone in summer 1994 after the problems of Somalia in 1993? And contrary to what you say about Somalia, the problem primarily lay in the first Bush administration's flawed original conceptualization of the mission. The Bush administration did indeed plan a humanitarian assistance mission (which dealt only with the famine problem and not with the underlying political issues) as the first phase of the intervention, but the second phase was a much more complicated and risky gamble which relied on a considerably reduced U.S. presence and active involvement of the U.N. This was unceremoniously dumped on the incoming Clinton administration, which, not surprisingly, made mistakes in its execution.

Contrary to what you believe, the situation in Kosovo had been building for over twenty years and would not have been prevented by intervention in Bosnia in 1994. But why start with 1994? As far as the crisis in the Balkans was concerned, Clinton did not operate in a vacuum. The ineptitude of the first Bush administration is legend. It was former secretary of state James Baker's 1991 remark that Yugoslavia should retain its territorial integrity which was perceived by Milosevic as tacit approval of policies that he had pursued, at that point, for over four years. Did the Bush administration object when Milosevic gave his speech emphasizing Serbian nationalism on the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Kosovo Polje in 1989, or when Milosevic deployed the army to Kosovo in 1989? The Bush administration left the problem of Yugoslavia's breakup to the Europeans, even when it became obvious that World War I-era divisions were reappearing and blocking constructive action. It was the Bush administration that followed Germany's lead and leapt into the ill-advised recognition of Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina in April 1992, before any real effort had been made to resolve the disputes among the Yugoslav republics, and particularly the concerns of their minority populations. And it was former secretary of state Lawrence Eagleburger who resolutely refused to get involved throughout 1992, incorrectly asserting that the problem was "ancient ethnic rivalries" and claiming that nothing could be done as long as the different sides wanted to kill each other. It was the first Bush administration that "drew a line in the sand" and committed the U.S. to protection of the Albanians in Kosovo, despite the fact that parts of the Albanian population had also engaged in provocations against the Serbian minority, and Kosovar secession was a very sensitive issue. As for Srebrenica (not "Sberjnica"), the U.N. was in control of that area and failed in its peacekeeping mission. Perhaps you also forget the complications created by the need to protect U.N. peacekeepers, when the U.S. was not willing to make a larger commitment of its own forces on the ground?

Your comments are shockingly ignorant and ill-informed. Continued...


Stephen Kriz - 6/4/2003


Do we all regret it now? Regret eight years of prosperity and relative peace? Who is this we? Speak for yourself, pilgrim.

Impeaching a president over a blowjob to me is more of a statement about the pettiness and viciousness of the Dirty Tricks, excuse me, the Republican Party, than it is about "the utopian feel-good ideals of the left". Bill Clinton's sex life is an entirely private matter, that had no place being dragged into the public domain and was only done so to embarass Clinton and his wife and to achieve political gain, as Republicans cannot win an election honestly or by openly discussing issues.

I would also point out that Clinton was one of the most conservative Democrats in some time. He caved on "welfare reform" and was constantly sucking up to the military, which is the most wasteful, inefficient bureaucracy in American government. It is you that I plead with to open your eyes and not be fooled by right-wing rhetoric.


Stephen Kriz - 6/4/2003


Are you referring to the "character traits" of sloth, drug addiction, alcoholism, fecklessness, habitual business failure, being a poor father, and self-righteousness that Dubya has exhibited over the years?

You are correct that the Clinton prosperity is over. The Bush malaise has set in, big time, as Dickless Cheney would say.

A picture is worth a thousand words and here are a few for you:


http://www.academycomputerservice.com/economics/charts.htm


Stephen Kriz - 6/4/2003


Mr. Bradley:

Ha to you, too! Your pomposity and self-righteousness are only exceeded by your hubris. It is you that did not address a single point in my post, but instead launched into a tirade about what you presume to know about "Clinton apologists". Like most generalizations, there is not much truth there. You also did not attempt to defend the smirking chimp who currently illegally occupies the Oval Office. However, I will grant you that he is indefensible.

As you and I both know, in today's litigious society and with a glut of ambulance chasers like yourself trying to filch something from the system: anybody can sue anybody at anytime for any reason. That sure doesn't make it morally right, though. I don't dispute that Clinton could have been sued for his actions. The hard right wing tried to bankrupt the Clintons (and nearly succeeded) by suing them over what color socks they wore on a particular day, for Gods sakes. The King Of Frivilous Litigation, Larry Klayman, still has 20 or more frivilous lawsuits pending against them. I find it annoyingly amusing how the hypocritical right rails against frivilous lawsuits, then uses the judicial system to try to achieve political ends. One more indication of how morally bankrupt they are.

I agree that there is no right to lie under oath and Clinton should have been, and in fact, was punished for doing so. One of the biggest mistakes of his presidency was agreeing to testify in the Paula Jones case (which by the way, was not a sexual harrassment case - it was brought as a cause of action under federal employee civil rights law). Clinton should have refused to testify and forced a constitutional crisis, which I believe he would have won. Sitting presidents should not be compelled to testify in bullshit lawsuits like the one filed by "the elves" on Paula Jones behalf. The woman is a whore and that fact became clear when, in pre-trial discovery, Bob Bennett learned that the lovely Ms. Jones had given five guys blowjobs at a keg party a year before Clinton asked her to "kiss it". I don't think Ms. Jones was unfamiliar with the request. As it relates to "leftists" like myself, I thoroughly support women who are sexually harassed seeking redress through legal action. I just have my doubts about the moral purity, not to mention the underlying political motivations of Jones, Broadrrick, Flowers or Willey. I suspect they are all whores who the right wing used to try to bring down a legitimately elected president, unlike the one currently serving. That doesn't make what Clinton did right, of course. I simply invoke "the clean hands doctrine".

Peace,

Steve Kriz


NYGuy - 6/4/2003

Saddled with the Clinton Recession two months after he took office and the the World Trade Center six months later, GW had more on his plate than any President before him. But, as was stated by King Abdullah II of Jordan,

"Mr. President, you have stayed the course. Your presence here today to witness the two leaders meeting together, agreeing on common grounds to solve this conflict, provides a great impetus to move forward and a clear answer to all the skeptics."

I thank you, sir, for your leadership and your courage."

This are the same character traits that are getting us through these trying times. He helped to restore the confidence in investors this year which resulted in the market rising sharply and increasing the "wealth effect" for nearly all Americans. Now with his tax cut policy beginning to take effect, we are well on the road to greater confidence by the American people in our future, and the prospect of strong economic growth.

Unlike Clinton, he did it on his own and not as an inheritance from his father, as our former President got.

Thanks GW. Better days are here again. I thank you, sir, for your leadership and your courage."


dan - 6/4/2003

"I would point out that Bill Clinton said that Iraq had WMDs, too. He even used the departure of the UN weapons inspectors to preemptively attack Iraq, launching four days of air strikes called "Operation Desert Fox". "

Clinton always was naive about Republican politics. Look at Waco, to name just one example.


Corevan - 6/4/2003

Mr. Kriz,

I have been reading some of your responses to the below messages and I would like to advice you to open your eyes to the truth, don’t be afraid to admit you have been fooled and blinded by left logic. You do an excellent job of dodging the facts and issues with well-worn lines and retorts that we all know are used to divert the conversation from the truth.

While the utopian feel good ideals of the left are admirable they are unattainable.

Bill Clinton’s Presidency can be summed up by the Monica episode. It may have felt good at the time, but we all regret it now.


PS Bradley - 6/4/2003

Hah! I was waiting for you to make your appearance. Are you the on the "dissent control" detail for the Clinton Apologistas assigned to this sector?

Your response is classic Clinton apologetics. First, there is the classic uninformed ad hominem attack. Thus, you remark that I must be a "piss poor attorney." Well, I'd reckon that I have won more cases involving fraud or fiduciary breaches than you. I'd also reckon that I have taught more classes on insider trading than you, as well, unless, of course, you are also a Corporation law professor at a law school. One of the knacks you pick up as a practicing contingency fee plaintiff's attorney is reading the gestalt of facts to infer the most likely explanation. If you don't develope that skill, you starve. I'd have gone after Hillary on that basis. You, on the other hand, are in pathetic denial.

Second,there is pathetic hair splitting. Your argument about committing perjury is equally pathetic. I also do plaintiff's sexual harassment work. You Leftists used to be concerned about sexual harassment. A few truths: there is no right to lie under oath, all sexual harassers think they are justified, they all think the questions involve privacy, harassers always are serial offenders. Learn something about your subjects before you spout off.

Lastly, there is the pathetic attempt to divert attention by blaming everyone else. Your last paragraph.

All of which results in illogical, incoherent, obnoxious and unpersuasive argument which actually cements opposition to Clinton.

Nicely done. I could never have proven my thesis without you.


Stephen Kriz - 6/4/2003


Dear Mr. Bradley:

You must be a piss-poor attorney, if you can't differentiate between trading cattle futures and "securities fraud". Futures are contracts, not securities that can be transferred freely among parties. A review of the facts in the Hillary/cattle futures case should lead one to conclude that while she made a small amount of money, there is no evidence that she traded on inside information (any more than Dubya did with Harken Energy) and certainly had no ability to "move the market" with her $1,000 trade positions. Or are you privy to evidence that I have not seen or read? Or do you, as a member of the bar, not subscribe to the premise that a person is innocent until proven guilty?

As to Clinton apologists being tendentious, I think most people recognize Bill Clinton as a very flawed man, as I do. However, they recognize that trying to impeach a president over lying about thier sex life is excessive, destructive and over-the-top. What's next, impeaching a president over lying about thier golf score? I know you will respond that he lied under oath, which I also feel is wrong. However, what most "reasonable" people believe, yourself excluded apparently, is that lying about something that is not in itself illegal is a different matter than lying about illegal matters, which Nixon did. In other words, perjury about something that is not illegal is not as egregious as lying about something that is illegal.

Finally, I find your comments about Clinton apologists to be equally true of George W. Bush apologists. The Bush family is the most corrupt family in American political history, and much of their wealth has been garnered by illegal or immoral means. Dubya's grandfather was Hitler's financier, his old man was chairman of the RNC during Watergate (bet he knew nothing about the Watergate break-in, huh?) and also lied his ass off about the Iran-Contra affair. Dubya himself has the longest criminal record of any president in American history, his past is littered with sloth, drug abuse, alcoholism, insider trading, child molestation, secretive abortions, and on and on, yet conservatives act like he is some kind of God or something. Talk about hypocrisy and being blind to the log in your eye while criticizing the mote in your neighbors!

Mr. Bradley, your arguments are false, empty and hollow.

Peace,

Steve Kriz


Alec Lloyd - 6/4/2003

I wasn't old enough to vote for Kennedy, indeed he died before I was born. Nixon was driven from office in my infancy, and I never had a particular liking for him, either.

People like me must perplex Sid Blumenthal and the Clinton loyalists.

I voted for Clinton in 1992, had a campaign sign on my wall and played at one of his rallies.

Clinton, through his own actions, turned me against him. By 1996, I was ready to support anyone but Clinton.

The Democratic Party, which had worn the mantle of good government since Watergate, refused the honorable course: throwing Clinton overboard and standing on its principles. Instead it became (and remains) his praetorian guard, dedicated to the defense of its leader at all costs, regardless of his transgressions or offenses.

To their everlasting credit, Republicans turned on Nixon at the end. Democrats took the opposite course: they circled the wagons fought to the last. They may have won the day, but they did so by abdicating their moral authority.

I notice that many on this page (and in my former party) have a habit of defending Clinton by throwing rocks at others. That is PRECISELY why I quit.

I can defend George W. Bush's policies and actions on their own merits.

You may not accept my reasons or arguments, but they boil down to something more substantial than a combination of "everybody does it," and "the other party is worse."

In the need to exonerate Bill Clinton, every US president before him was smeared with mud; every possible infidelity was examined, every shortcoming broadcast.

Great men do not need the bar lowered to showcase their greatness; their actions speak for themselves.

The inability of leading Democrats to understand that not all of their party members shared their blind obedience and pathological hatred of Republicans is why their party stands at the brink of irrelevance.


Richard Henry Morgan - 6/4/2003

And I'm still waiting for the link to the "substance" -- the grand jury transcripts. Any help would be appreciated.


James Thornton - 6/4/2003

You never mention his failure to intervene Rwanda yet many call him "America's first black president". I guess you only need to be an African-American Democrat to get Mr. Clinton's affection.

If the Bosnian Serbs had been dealt with in 1994, then Milosevic would have given up on Greater Serbia and ethnic cleansing in Kosovo would have likewise been averted. At the very least the massacres in Sberjnica and Sarajevo would have been prevented thus saving thousands of lives.

The timing of the Cole bombing should have illicited an immediate response from our government because an attack on a United States warship is an act of war. Remember Pearl Harbor?

Clinton turned a successful humanitarian operation in Somalia into a exercise in nation building to include the disarmament of Somali warlords. Had his Defense Secretary permitted heavy armor and more troops like the commanding officer had requested Black Hawk Down would have had an entirely different ending.

Had Clinton reacted to the 1993 WTC bombing more aggresively like invading Sudan and getting Bin Laden we wouldn't even be talking about Al Qaida today.

The Saudis approached the US about getting Bin Laden from Sudan and the Clinton administration was lackadaisacal. The story you quote is spin.

Janet Reno gave the order to storm Waco not Freeh, and the investigation of Khobar was frustrated by a lack of Administration support to convince the Saudi's to allow access to the suspects. This was all done to suppress the truth of Iran's culpability out of fear of undermining the so called reformists in that country.

Bush 41 did commence the draw down, but Clinton accelerated it all the while increasing operations tempo, but it was his policies on foreign policy I take issue with and not the drawdown in forces, which incidently resulted in a peace dividend and allowed for greater social spending. Are you sure you want to credit Bush 41 with this?

We may have supported Iraq and the Mujahedeen during the Cold War, but we are not culpable for their actions after we withdrew that support upon the end of the Cold War. They turned on us, and now they are paying the price for that. Iraq served it's purpose in countering Iran, but when Saddam went too far by invading Kuwait, the US did the right thing. I disagree with ending Desert Storm with Saddam still in power.

Technology to China was much worse during the Clinton administration (1996-Lorraine) and I am glad you brought that point up as I had left it out earlier.

I am very upset about Iran-Contra, and think that that was a flawed policy. However, pointing out the shortcomings of the Reagan Administration does not let Clinton off the hook. Reagan won the Cold War. Clinton allowed the terrorists to operate with impunity and we all paid the price for that on September 11.

You see sir, I am an Independent and I call them as I see them. I acknowledge the shortcomings of Republican and Democrat administrations alike. You, however, seem to be grasping at straws to defend Clinton, which is impossible. I am afraid history will portray him for what he is; a failed president who was fortunate enough to be in office during the greatest period of prosperity our nation had ever seen.


"Our" Land? - 6/4/2003

Are you suggesting that you - or your particular tribe of whole grain root-eaters - is somehow the entirety of the public, or is somehow entitled to dictate the uses to which public lands may be put? Who elected you?


Herodotus - 6/4/2003

whoops I've been spun by the spinners. Rereading my records, I mistakenly included the oral sex question in there too. _That_ wasn't asked either.


Herodotus - 6/4/2003

I refer, in the matter of Blumenthal lying, to his standing on the steps of the courthouse and claiming that the prosecutors asked him, "Does the President's religion include sexual intercourse."

The transcripts show that no such question was asked, even remotely. [there was a question relating to whether the President believed oral sex was sex, but that does not go to religion and can be answered with one word].

Blumenthal lied on the steps of the courthouse, in a manner above and beyond the need to spin, and was rebuked later by the grand jury for this.

Such behavior leads me to conclude that we should believe very little of what Blumenthal says or does, least of all in this memoir.


SKrause - 6/4/2003

My mistake--I originally typed grand jury testimony, then went back and changed it to deposition. But it is in fact the grand jury testimony, because that is where the matter of Blumenthal's distribution of information about the OIC was addressed.

I see that you don't have anything to say about the substance.


Richard Henry Morgan - 6/4/2003

I ask you for a reference to the grand jury transcript, and you end up quoting Blumenthal's deposition transcript. I thought we were discussing what he said in the grand jury.


SKrause - 6/4/2003

You can't possibly know very much about Kosovo if you think that a different handling of the situation in Bosnia would have prevented conflict there.

As for the Cole incident, does it register with you at all that this happened three months before Clinton left office? Do you really think that he was going to go to war? Having been stuck with a poorly designed U.N. operation in Somalia when he himself came into office (and having seen Kennedy's experience with the Bay of Pigs, which was also largely planned by the preceding administration), he did Bush a favor by approaching the situation as he did--continuing the intelligence, diplomacy, and law enforcement activity that had resulted in convictions of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers and the 1998 embassy bombers. Perhaps it also has not registered with you that the Yemeni government had arrested several people in connection with the Cole incident, but these somehow "escaped" around the time that Bush began his ill-advised little war in Iraq.

As for the eternally mangled story of the Clinton administration and the Sudanese offer on bin Laden, the facts are simple: Sudan offered to turn bin Laden over to the Saudis. The Clinton administration tried to get the Saudi government to take him, but they would not. There was insufficient evidence at the time to indict bin Laden in the U.S. Don't want to take my word for it? Look here: http://www.library.cornell.edu/colldev/mideast/ladnsudx.htm

I really don't want to waste time debunking all of your comments, but on the matter of Waco and the Khobar Tower bombing, you really should look into the incompetence of Louis Freeh and the FBI. Seems to have been an issue even after Clinton and Reno were gone....

As for your last comment, that Clinton did more damage to national security than any president in history, you might consider that many of the reductions in the military for which he is criticized were proposed by the first Bush administration--why, Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney and Joint Chiefs chairman Colin Powell, to be exact. Who funded the mujaheddin in Afghanistan who ultimately became the basis for al-Qaeda and other terror organizations, if not the Reagan administration? Who made sure that Saddam Hussein continued to get financing right up to 1990, if not the first Bush administration? When did the most damaging transfer of missile technology to the Chinese take place, if not in the Reagan administration? Who traded arms for hostages with the government of Iran, largely seen as the greatest state supporter of terrorism? Is it really necessary to go on to show that you're being a little disingenuous?


SKrause - 6/4/2003

What was in the talking points?

According to Joe Conason of The New York Observer, the talking points included "articles that appeared in various newspapers [in 1998] about the checkered careers of certain Starr deputies. The Daily News had been harshly critical of Starr's investigation in its editorial pages and had looked into the past of Michael Emmick, the Starr deputy who questioned Lewinsky when she was first apprehended at the Ritz-Carlton hotel by FBI agents. Blumenthal was questioned closely about the Emmick stories when he testified in the grand jury on Feb. 26, 1998 (although Emmick's name is curiously redacted from the transcript in the volumes of testimony released to the public), and forthrightly said that he had related information about Emmick to various journalists.

"And what was your purpose in disseminating this information [about Emmick] to members of the news media?" asked Robert Bittman, the deputy independent counsel who questioned Blumenthal that day.

"I believe that the public has the right to know about the character and records of public officials," Blumenthal answered.

Oh, horrors! What an evil man.


SKrause - 6/4/2003

Hmmm...Let's see. From the deposition transcript, regarding the talking points, the following questions were asked:

QUESTION: Did you distribute [the talking points] to anyone outside the White House?
QUESTION: Would you cause the talking points to be distributed to any of these news organizations?
QUESTION: [Did] you disseminate the talking points that you received from the Democratic National Committee to any news organization?
QUESTION: Did you discuss with any members of the news media the contents, that is, the material that was in the talking points that you received from the Democratic National Committee?
QUESTION: Have you heard about the White House disseminating to any news organizations any type of document like that, any talking points, factual summaries or anything like that to any member of the news media?

And the gist of Blumenthal's comments outside the courthouse:
"Ken Starr’s prosecutors demanded to know what I had told reporters and what reporters had told me about Ken Starr’s prosecutors."

What did the New York Times say on its editorial page about this episode? The independent counsel "has failed in his obligation to the law itself. The effort to collect the name of every journalist who talked with a White House communications specialist amounts to a perverse use of the prosecutorial mandate to learn what the Nixon White House attempted to determine through wiretaps."

And the Washington Post? "A grand jury investigation is supposed to focus on allegations of criminal conduct, and a subpoena is not meant to be used as a retaliatory gesture. There is, at this stage, no public evidence suggesting that Mr. Blumenthal's media campaign or his documents related to Mr. Starr are germane to any criminal allegations. Mr. Starr's explanation yesterday -- that the 'misinformation' spread about prosecutors may be 'intended to intimidate prosecutors and investigators, impede the work of the grand jury, or otherwise obstruct justice' -- seems pretty thin."

These were hardly pro-Clinton papers.

You're a fountain of right-wing conventional wisdom. Try reading more widely.


What was in the "talking points"?


Rushmore Bull Moose - 6/3/2003


National parks belong to current and future generations of the American people. They are not a race track for lazy, fat-assed bigots. If you want to pollute the air with your noisy snowmobiles, drive them on your own land.


James Thornton - 6/3/2003

Where was this coherence and eloquence during the impeachment?

I have issues with Clinton because of his foreign policy and he appointed Janet Reno who should be regarded as the worst Attorney General in the history of the United States. The debacle at Waco was especially damaging.

Regarding foreign policy, Clinton failed to take Sudan's offer for UBL and had he done so 9-11 probably would have been averted. His foreign policy failures are numerous; Somalia, Bosnia (should have gone sooner), Khobar towers and USS Cole (act of war not a criminal investigation), the failed North Korea nuclear deal, Rwanda (should have intervened), and coddling Yasser Arafat (led to second intifada). His intervention in Kosovo would have not been necessary if he had handled Milosevic and the Bosnian Serb thugs correctly in 1994, and it was Gore and Albright who had to put calcium in his spine to get Operation Allied Force executed. OAF by the way was done outside the purview of the UN Security Council to avoid a Russian and Chinese veto and began the process of weakening that body before Bush even considered Iraq. Clinton did handle Russian nuclear weapons well so I will credit him with that, but other than that his presidency damaged national security more than any other president in history.


The Grappler - 6/3/2003


And they would be, if the president and his sleazy secretary of the interior weren't in bed with every anti-environmentalist who wants to ravage our national parks and forests for fun and profit.


Richard Henry Morgan - 6/3/2003

I've read the Daily Howler of 2/5/99. The OIC did not ask about Blumenthal's conversations with each and every news organization listed by Blumenthal -- according to the Daily Howler thay asked the blanket question whether he had distributed talking points to news organizations that he had received from the DNC. This concerns derogatory info, perhaps even invasions of privacy, intended to obstruct the investigation. The Daily Howler lists nothing beyond that concerning Blumenthal and news organizations. Perhaps you have another Daily Howler entry in mind. Please let me know, so I can check it out. Nor was he asked about his conversations, in general. As usual, Sidney the Melodramatic had his moment, and had to embroider upon it. Grassy Knoll also seems to think that he was something of a key in Clinton getting to know Blair, and when asked an innocuous question in the grand jury, answered by giving his entire resume. Blumenthal was such a joke at the New Yorker (so much in Clinton's pocket) that he was eventually shown the door. I refer you to his article on Somalia. Bush had a food mission. Clinton cut back the troops, and then instituted a hunt for a warlord (while denying armor to the troops). Blumenthal's finesse? It was Clinton's mission, but Bush's war, and thus Bush's responsibility. Just what that means is beyond me.

I perused the Blumenthal paperweight at the bookstore, and found it laughable. I'll have to go back and check claims about what Blumenthal said, versus what he says in his book, versus what the records say -- I'm trying to find the relevant materials at the Jurist website. Do you know what site has the relevant original materials, so I don't have to rely on the claims of others?


P S Bradley - 6/3/2003

"The media-fueled, and conservative-sponsored frenzy over Clinton's sex life was a mystery to me then and it's a mystery to me still today. It's my personal opinion that the personal life of a politician is of less importance than his stated positions and voting record."

I'm sure this is not going to get through, but perhaps you can reflect on the following points and offer a principled response. Let me first preface this by pointing out that one of my specialties is suing people for sexual harassment. If Paula Jones or Monica Lewinski walked in with a non-time barred claim against, say, the head of a corporation, I would have taken it in a second.

Clinton's sex issues have a singularly public dimension. Paula Jones was escorted by Arkansas troopers to a hotel room where her boss - the Governor - dropped trouser. If a person can't see the abuse of public power, the false imprisonment, the exercise of official duress and coercion in those facts, then she just isn't trying. Gennifer Flowers gets paid for silence with a state job. Again, there's a public dimension that's obvious. Lewinski happens on public time, in public offices and then public officials and semi-public operatives fleet her up with first a government job and then a private job with Revlon. Again, public issues dominate.

By the way, please don't argue Lewinski consented. If I were a shareholder in a corporation where the same conduct occurred, I would demand the firing of the CEO. I've paid a few bills based on women who have had consensual relations, even their boss's child, were promised a portion of the business, and then when love grows cold, realize that they were harassed, duped, and coerced. They didn't really consent, you see, because of the power differences. If Clinton was running someone else's business, instead of serving as President, he would have been canned for exposing the business to that kind of liability.

As for Clinton's perjury, no one has a right to lie under oath. Every harasser believes that they have a right to privacy. Every harasser feels they are the victim. There was nothing in the defense of Clinton that I have not seen argued time and again in other sexual harassment cases.

Last point, in my experience harassers are serial harassers. It is not a one time deal. They develop and practice a modus operandi. Clinton, unfortunately, based upon the statements of various women, one of whom made a credible claim of rape complete to Clinton's propensity for lip biting, appears to have had a tendency to violence and the misuse of official power.
It was never about sex; it was always about the use of public office.


P S Bradley - 6/3/2003

Sometimes, I think my antipathy toward the Clintons is fueled by the tendentious and outrageious apologies offered by his supporters. This last response is a case in point. A fair reading of the relevant facts is that Hillary was engaging in a securities fraud scheme. Somebody lost money so that she could win. That is not the model of capitalism in my book, and I am an attorney who sues people for, inter alia, unfair business practices so I'm kind of in the capitalistic rule enforcement business. "White male Republicans" are sent to prison or held civilly liable for these kind of devices all the time. Own up to it - Tyson, or at the very least somebody who wanted favors, was directing money to the Clintons for obvious reason. If it was Richard Nixon, everyone would see it in a flash.

I might be willing to accept a "everybody does it" argument, but the Clinton apologist's name-calling, ad hominem attacks and logical fallacies are enough to evoke a visceral reaction in anyone who takes reason seriously.

Actually, Clinton supporters remind me of the mindset of people who subscribe to a totalitarian system insofar as they seem to have to demonstrate their fealty by voicing all kinds of silly and demeaning positions.


Dave Tabaska - 6/3/2003

I would point out that Bill Clinton said that Iraq had WMDs, too. He even used the departure of the UN weapons inspectors to preemptively attack Iraq, launching four days of air strikes called "Operation Desert Fox".

So, if Dubya lied, he wasn't alone.


John Powers - 6/3/2003

Soooo, does the shrub have a "rep" at the UN that can intervene in stopping current genocides in Africa?


John Powers - 6/3/2003

Are you serious? If all of us followed this line of reasoning, we wouldn't have, nor have had, ANY Bush serving in a public office.


dan - 6/3/2003

"Intelligent people that don't do the right thing at the right time on matters of great importance deserve all our condemnation."

So THAT'S why Bush gets a pass! All Clinton needed to do was pretend to be stupid... What a concept.


Homer Simpson - 6/3/2003

Yes, this is the answer.

Something to keep Kriz busy. Clearly a man with a lot of time on his hands. Maybe even one of those mail order brides from Asia.

Remember the Simpson's episode where Homer falls in love with a country and western singer? He even becomes her manager.

So, Kriz, find yourself a girl... preferably one with a big butt. Clinton likes them with a wide rear end. I even met the wife, Hillary, once. Walking down the street I walked right into her as she addressed a little sidewalk rally. The Secret Service didn't even cut me off.

She's got a big butt, too, and fat legs. She's a lot shorter than you might think... barely 5 foot. She tried to shake my hand and ask for my vote.

I said: "No thanks, I'm voting for Rudy."

Several weeks later Rudy dropped out. The fate of the State of New York was sealed that day.

An affair with a girl with a big butt is the answer, Kriz. Remember to give credit to Homer when it finally happens.


dan - 6/3/2003

So, tell us how you feel about GW Bush, who makes Clinton look like a Boy Scout?


Herodotus - 6/3/2003

I don't think anyone really remembers what the truth is anymore.


SKrause - 6/3/2003

Correction: make that, "outside the courthouse."


SKrause - 6/3/2003

You are both quite mistaken. Check out thedailyhowler.com for a thorough discussion of both of these matters. On the question of whether Clinton lied to Blumenthal: Blumenthal does discuss this. He says that what Clinton told him was essentially in keeping with what Clinton had told his wife, and he assumed that this was because he (Blumenthal) had been closer to Hillary Clinton.

On the matter of the testimony and the alleged "rebuke" by the grand jury forewoman, Blumenthal appeared before the grand jury three times: once in February, and twice in June. At the February appearance, he was repeatedly asked by the independent counsel to reveal the names of individuals to whom he'd given information about members of the independent counsel's staff. He correctly interpreted this to mean that he was being asked to reveal the names of journalists with whom he'd spoken, and he complained of this outside the departure when the questioning was finished. At Blumenthal's second appearance, months later, he did not make a statement but his lawyer did. It was at the third appearance that the forewoman made her comments, but these were not directed at Blumenthal because he had made no statement.


NYGuy - 6/3/2003

Kriz,

Based upon the type of stuff you throw around, most on this board don't believed you were ever potty-trained. Maybe that is the problem.

I read the CJR article you referenced and noted the new standard of "historical research" you and Conason and his ilk use. Applying the same standards you and they use we can conclude that your man was a rapist, a liar, a cheat and a person of low character.

Your insights have been profound and valuable to all on this board.

Keep up your good work. It is what makes me proud to be an American.


Stephen Kriz - 6/3/2003


Why, thank you. At first I thought you wrote that I was "Desitined for history". I think my Mom stopped using Desitin on me when I was potty-trained at age 2 or so. But thanks for the kudos.


NYGuy - 6/3/2003

Kriz,

Your are destined for history based upon your logic.

"Journalists a hundred years from now will be studying this case to see how a smear campaign really works and the damage it can do."

You are certainly an expert in this area.


Richard Henry Morgan - 6/3/2003

"Why is it illegal for one attorney to give another attorney investing advice?"

I don't believe it is illegal, or that I said it was -- but you do have a talent for changing the subject. As I understand it, Blair was chief outside counsel to Tyson, having represented him, and continuing on retainer. That is indeed a "connection" to Tyson.


Steve Lowe - 6/3/2003

So, do your reasons include the current "president," by whose lack of qualifications Clinton's pale in comparison?


John Kipper - 6/3/2003

Who says that we don't see the same problems with Kennedy?


Charles V. Mutschler - 6/3/2003

Perhaps a more interesting comparison would be the people who hate W. J. Clinton and the people who hate R. M. Nixon.

CVM


Stephen Kriz - 6/3/2003


Brilliant, Mel. I think you have been inhaling too many snowmobile exhaust fumes......


Stephen Kriz - 6/3/2003


George H.W. Bush carried on an extramarital affair for years with a woman named Jennifer Fitzgerald, even when he was serving as Reagan's vice-president (with the emphasis on "vice"). Bush even took his mistress with him to China at taxpayer expense, when he was envoy to China in the late 1970's. Bar stayed home with her miscreant sons.

Of course, not a word of this got into the mainstream media, as Republicans are not questioned about private matters such as this, while the media explores every aspect of a Democrat's personal life, including the curvature of their penis, as they did with Bill Clinton.

For more on Bush's harlot, read:

http://www.cjr.org/year/92/6/jennifer.asp

Or other articles in the Columbia Journalism Review.


Richard Henry Morgan - 6/3/2003

I can't disagree that Congress has a large measure of responsibility (including Democrats, including Maxine Waters, whose silence was purchased with an ambassadorship for her husband). Unfortunately, Congress didn't have a rep at the UN, and Clinton did.


Stephen Kriz - 6/3/2003


I'd say the Republican Congress is equally culpable, using your "logic", but they were too busy investigating Clinton's sex life to worry about human rights atrocities.


Stephen Kriz - 6/3/2003


Sounds like she was being a good capitalist. Isn't that what you conservatives are always crowing about? Had she been a white male and Republican, you would have been praising her business acumen and investing expertise.

By the way, at the time of these trades, James Blair was a lawyer in private practice, with no connection to Tyson. Why is it illegal for one attorney to give another attorney investing advice?


Richard Henry Morgan - 6/3/2003

"Or about Blumenthal's standing on the steps of the courthouse and making false statements about the questions he answered before the grand jury...statements so outrageous that the chairwoman of the grand jury rebuked him at the next session for lying."

A big whopper which he apparently repeated to Anthony Lewis of the New York Times. Give credit where credit is due -- the truth-challenged know their own.


Richard Henry Morgan - 6/3/2003

"Joe Conanson and Gene Lyons have done an excellent job of cataloging the smears and their sources in their book "The Hunting of the President"..

I found their treatment of the cattle futures question particularly intriguing. In their book you will find no mention that the trader with which Hillary turned $1000 into $100,000 in under a year, was set up in business by the chicken-magnate Tyson, having been his bodyguard. No mention that there were incomplete records kept by the trader, and that he was fined the largest amount in the history of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (with the suspicion noted that he had merely distributed winnig trades to favored clients). No mention that a large number of Hillary's trades captured the day's high. No mention that margin calls were never executed on her account. No mention that trades were made on her account by others though she did not have a discretionary account. No mention that she lied when she said she had made the trades on the basis of Wall Street Journal articles. No mention that she hid the identity of the source of her windfall when reporting it on financial disclosure forms. No mention that she originally claimed that she had executed the trades herself, then admitted that some were executed by James Blair, chief outside counsel for Tyson. I could go on, but you get the picture. Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean you don't have enemies. On the other hand, just because you have enemies doesn't mean you're not a crook.


Richard Henry Morgan - 6/3/2003

"How many men died as a result of Bill Clinton's lies?"

Interpreting "men" loosely, to mean "persons", I'd say 800,000. That's the number of Rwandans killed not just by Clinton's indifference, and not just by his active steps tp prevent UN action, but by his lies.


Ralph E. Luker - 6/3/2003

I'd be interested in hearing from those afflicted with Clinton hate or Clinton disgust what, if anything, they see in him that is so worthy of contempt that they do not also see in John F. Kennedy.


Stephen Kriz - 6/3/2003


Wow, Ian. You talk about Clinton having no morals and end with a masturbatory fantasy about banging his daughter. Real smooth.

Although I do not condone Clinton's serial cheating, that is a matter between he and his wife. I personally prefer a president who lies about his sex life than one who lies about the reasons for preemptively attacking a sovereign nation, and those lies result in the deaths of 150 brave American soldiers.

How many men died as a result of Bill Clinton's lies?


Stephen Kriz - 6/3/2003

The same holds true for the cocaine-sniffing, alcoholic child molester who didn't hold a job for the first forty years of his life, named George W. Bush. If anyone should have looked at how little they have accomplished in life and realized how unqualified they were for the office of President of the United States, it is this incompetent little failure.


chuck heisler - 6/2/2003

I have this reoccuring vision of the day after it became apparent to Clinton that he had a shot of getting seriously involved in the nomination process for the presidency. I see him standing in front of the mirror in the Little Rock statehouse shaving, being fully aware of how woefully inadequate he was in terms of his judgement, desires, self-absorption, and history and still looking at himself deciding that he would go for it. If Clinton would have simply laughed off the opportunity of the nomination, knowing full well that he had none of the personal qualities to be a leader of the United States, all would have been square. In that moment of of choosing to pursue the nomination, knowing full well how unqualified he was to be President, Clinton earned my full measure of enmity. Intelligent people that don't do the right thing at the right time on matters of great importance deserve all our condemnation.


Stephen Kriz - 6/2/2003

Bill and Hillary Clinton were the victims of a multi-million dollar, ten year smear campaign that goes on even to this day. Never in American history has so much money, legal effort and pure vitriol been aimed at one individual and his wife.

Joe Conanson and Gene Lyons have done an excellent job of cataloging the smears and their sources in their book "The Hunting of the President", starting with Justice Jim Johnson in Arkansas in the 1970's, through Cliff Roberts in the 1980s to David Bossie, Floyd Brown, Lucianne Goldberg, the "elves" and a host of others in the 1990s, many of whom were underwritten by the paranoid alcoholic pervert, Richard Mellon-Scaife.

Don't forget the massive right-wing media machine of Rush Limbaugh's Excellence in Broadcasting (ha-ha) radio network, the Rupert Murdoch-owned FOX News and New York Post, Sun Myung Moon's Washington Times, Emmit Tyrell's American Spectator and a host of others. Many tens of millions of dollars were used to smear and defame this couple, mainly without merit.

While Clinton's sex life was disreputable, the other faux scandals were so much piffle: Travelgate - much ado about nothing, Vince Foster - driven to suicide by the Wall Street Journal editorial writers, Whitewater - a bad real estate investment that didn't cost the American taxpayer a nickel, and on and on and on.

Journalists a hundred years from now will be studying this case to see how a smear campaign really works and the damage it can do. As Mark Twain once said, "A lie can get halfway around the world before the truth gets it's boots on."

If George W. Bush were subjected to have the media attention and lawsuits that Clinton was, he would already have been impeached and would be doing hard time in Fort Leavenworth......


ian august - 6/2/2003

homer hit it right on, only one sentence is needed to some up how one feels about bill, if he was working for me i would fire him, and i would fire bush, and for that matter i think i would fire 90% of all our nations presidents, what about you homer? have i lost it?


ian august - 6/2/2003

i do not hate bill clinton because he cheated on his wife, i do not hate bill clinton because he is a democrat, i do hate bill because he lied under oath to our elected leaders about something very very insignificant, so that tells me he would lie in almost any other scenario. He pushed the envelope of what a president could do and actually get away with. A man like this has no morals and get's no respect from me.
and on top of it he pardons known drug dealers, as well as a man named marc rich who pillaged so much from my great nation that he had to leave and throw away his citizenship. Bill is no patiot of this nation. i would hook up with his daughter though


Herodotus - 6/2/2003

Many reviewers of Blumenthal's book noted that there is preciously little about Clinton's direct lie to Blumenthal about the relationship with Lewinsky.

Or about Blumenthal's standing on the steps of the courthouse and making false statements about the questions he answered before the grand jury...statements so outrageous that the chairwoman of the grand jury rebuked him at the next session for lying.


Herodotus - 6/2/2003

Dear Anne,

Perhaps you're new to the budgetary process and the Washington world in general. You'll find that it is hard to make anyone fit any clear cut labels such as pro-this or anti-that.

With regard to the environmental matters, you may be under the misconception that the Bush administration's rejection of the Kyoto Treaty is just the tip of the iceberg on environmental matters. If you looked more closely, you'll find that, as in all matters, these things are a lot hazier. Well established environmental groups have, for example, praised the administration's handling of the Hudson river valley cleanup. Since it's more complicated than you'd like it to be, and as any historian can tell you, it's hard to make clear cut slams of the sort you have made.

As for the AIDS initiative, the money is there in the way that most people who see these pronouncements see it to be there. Is there a single line notation in the budget that reads "AIDS global fund....$15 billion" ? Of course not. It's a FIVE YEAR initiative. That means its a pledge by Congress to augment the future budgets to reach that amount. So take your screaming elsewhere.


Homer Simpson - 6/2/2003

Every once in a while, it's necessary for a Homer to intrude in the idiocy of this forum.

Repeat after me, silly people. Bill and Hillary Clinton were the vanguard of the sexual abuse and harassment hysterias. It was their issue. Neither seemed to mind much when other men lost their jobs or went to prison for their actions.

If the CEO of my firm behaved as Clinton did in the Oval Office, he would be summarily fired. So, Anne Z, quit pretending. What nonsense you write. Are you sentient? Clinton's morals are not at issue. Fairness before the law was the issue. The Clintons should have been hung from the nearest lampost according to the dictates of their own ideology. Clinton was a harasser. That serves to condemn other men in the Clintonian ideology.

What a crock you people write. Anne, save yourself the embarassment in the future. Attempt to achieve sentience and coherence. Or else, maybe you should consult a Homer. He's got more sense than you.


Anne Z - 6/2/2003

Neither Hubert Humphrey nor Paul Wellstone were presidents, were they? There's always a special level of dissection directed at the man in office so I don't find that comparison appropriate.

While many of the allegations against Bush are unproven (a foe of personal freedoms, an imperialist, and a corporate-owned shill to name three I've heard frequently), it's also true that the conservative-controlled Congress is making sure no concerted investigation of Bush is taking place.

Compare that to the immediate screams of outrage over reports that Clinton had had extramarital sex. And then there was Whitewater. In exactly whose demented imagination is investing and losing money sufficient reason to bring on a special prosecutor to look for fraud? And why didn't the much more sinister indications of Bush's pre-Presidential fraud merit some official investigation? (http://www.campaignwatch.org/more1.htm)

In spite of years of investigation and millions upon millions of dollars thrown into the Starr machine, the only thing Clinton was found guilty of was lying about having an affair and then trying to cover up the lie.

The media-fueled, and conservative-sponsored frenzy over Clinton's sex life was a mystery to me then and it's a mystery to me still today. It's my personal opinion that the personal life of a politician is of less importance than his stated positions and voting record.

I don't deny the media's (and the public's) fascination with other people's sex lives, but I do feel, and quite strongly, that the old-fashioned, unspoken agreement that a politician's political activities were the only fair (non-criminal) investigative targets provided us with far superior political coverage than today's tabloid-style sensationalism.

Now let's turn to Bush's well-documented public behavior. Leaving aside the divisive issue of the invasion, look only at Bush's disastrous domestic policies to see how he proclaims himself an "environmentalist" while dismantling environmental protections, or makes mealy-mouthed speeches about "leave no child behind" while he slashes funding for education. He promises $15B to fight AIDS but I defy anyone to look at the budget and find that $15B. I defy anyone to produce written proof that he made any serious attempt to find this $15B and get it into the budget. It was empty rhetoric. It was a lie.

As I said before, I consider someone's public record of speeches, votes, and actions a much better guide to what their behavior in office will be. Having checked Bush's record while in office in Texas and compared it to what he's done in this country so far, it seems to me that the level of anger Bush's proposals and policies inspire is qualitatively different than that of Clinton's detractors.

I don't deny that Clinton seems to have been "hated" by the Right, but I just don't see that as comparable to the situation Bush is in.


Richard Henry Morgan - 6/2/2003

"Clinton's triumph over the personal assaults made on him during the campaign--the ones centered on sex, class, and patriotism--hardly quelled the animosities; in fact, his electoral victory aroused them further."

Sidney Blumenthal (AKA, Grassy Knoll) has left out one big issue -- dishonesty. Then again, he doesn't say that Clinton triumphed over the charge of dishonesty, does he? Clinton has, has had, and apparently always will have, a casual relationship to the truth. To put it bluntly, Clinton is an habitual liar.


J. Merrett - 6/1/2003

How, exactly, is G.W. Bush assailed by his opponents? Leaving aside charges of adulterous carryings-on, he is calumniated in much the same way the writer says progressives have been attacked. He is attacked as enemy of personal freedoms, an imperialist, a "dry drunk," a would-be dictator, an ignoramus, et c. et c. In one of the most bizarre anti-tautologies I have ever seen, people who suffer nothing more than ridicule for their attacks on him accuse him of stifling and punishing dissent and engaging in witch hunts. I see, constantly, cartoons and opinion pieces expressly claiming that gulags await those who confront his supposedly totalitarian plans -- but I see those same self-styled courageous dissenters publishing their silliness again the following week.

Turning to Clinton, I preface my remarks by saying that I ran for the state legislature in 1996, finding myself toward the bottom of a Democratic ticket headed by Bill Clinton. At the time, I thought it was pretty cool. My disenchantment with him was slow in coming, and probably derived from what I perceive as a peculiar and peculiarly smug personal dishonesty. I am a gun owner. He got my vote in 1992 because I liked his stated views on economic fairness, and despite what I had heard about his gun-control views, he was on the front page of the paper a few days before the election with a shotgun in one hand and a dead duck in the other. I figured "How bad could he be?" I eventually found out. He chose to handle the whole Lewinsky business in a grossly inappropriate way. He should have said "I have been married for X years. I will not answer any questions about my personal behavior. If the District Court wants a constitutional crisis, bring it on." Instead, he chose to lie and dissimulate, and to insist that because he was somehow special he should be either believed or given a pass. "It depends on what the meaning of the word "is" is." How in the hell can a man who would say that show his face in public?

By his egotism, gag-inducing fraudulent emotionalism (the on-demand lip-biting, his "feeling our pain," the bathetic "impromptu" cross-laying at Normandy, et c), bitter personal attacks on his opponents, smug sense of entitlement, ready defenestration of friends, the cynical "triangulations" by which he proved that he stood for nothing greater than his own political viability, and his valedictory issuance of bales of unsavory pardons, Clinton proved himself the only man in America who could make the odious Kenneth Starr look like the combatant to cheer for.

It wasn't his policies that made him so much a target of viciousness. Nobody (so far as I know)went after Paul Wellstone or Hubert Humphrey like that; It was Clinton's bizarre character, coupled with the fact that (a)he gave no indication of possessing any principle of more gravity than his own aggrandizement and (b) he seemed to believe sincerely that we should love and follow him anyway.

I am not by avocation a Clinton-hater. I didn't buy any of those National Enquirer - style "exposes" of the Clinton Whitehouse. Other than his character, the worst I can say about him is that we disagree on many political issues which are important to me, which is apparently true of just under 50% of the voters. It's not political (there are lots of politicians with whom I disagree), and it's obviously not personal in the sense that he ever did anything to me as an individual (I met him before the '92 election, and he seemed OK). It's just that every time I hear him speak, I feel the need to shower and brush my teeth.


mel - 6/1/2003

That's enough for me. He is also a lying cheat.

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