Chris Wallace interviews Clinton

Wallace repeats Path to 9/11 misinformation, Clinton fights back:

WALLACE: When we announced that you were going to be on Fox News Sunday, I got a lot of email from viewers, and I got to say I was surprised most of them wanted me to ask you this question. Why didn’t you do more to put Bin Laden and al Qaeda out of business when you were President? There’s a new book out which I suspect you’ve read called the Looming Tower. And it talks about how the fact that when you pulled troops out of Somalia in 1993, Bin Laden said “I have seen the frailty and the weakness and the cowardice of US troops.” Then there was the bombing of the embassies in Africa and the attack on the USS Cole.


WALLACE: …may I just finish the question sir. And after the attack, the book says, Bin Laden separated his leaders because he expected an attack and there was no response. I understand that hindsight is 20/20.

CLINTON: No let’s talk about…

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

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

Clinton takes on Fox News bias:

WALLACE: Do you think you did enough sir?

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


CLINTON: But at least I tried. That’s the difference in me and some, including all the right wingers who are attacking me now. They ridiculed me for trying. They had eight months to try and they didn’t…I tried. So I tried and failed. When I failed I left a comprehensive anti-terror strategy and the best guy in the country, Dick Clarke… So you did FOX’s bidding on this show. You did you nice little conservative hit job on me. But what I want to know..

WALLACE: Now wait a minute sir…


WALLACE: I asked a question. You don’t think that’s a legitimate question?

CLINTON: It was a perfectly legitimate question but I want to know how many people in the Bush administration you asked this question of. I want to know how many people in the Bush administration you asked: Why didn’t you do anything about the Cole? I want to know how many you asked: Why did you fire Dick Clarke? I want to know…

WALLACE: We asked…


WALLACE: Do you ever watch Fox News Sunday sir?

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

WALLACE: We ask plenty of questions of…

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

WALLACE: About the USS Cole?

CLINTON: Tell the truth.

WALLACE: I…with Iraq and Afghanistan there’s plenty of stuff to ask.

CLINTON: Did you ever ask that? You set this meeting up because you were going to get a lot of criticism from your viewers because Rupert Murdoch is going to get a lot of criticism from your viewers for supporting my work on climate change. And you came here under false pretenses and said that you’d spend half the time talking about…

WALLACE: [laughs]

CLINTON: You said you’d spend half the time talking about what we did out there to raise $7 billion dollars plus over three days from 215 different commitments. And you don’t care.

Clinton on his priorities and the Bush administration priorities:

CLINTON: What did I do? I worked hard to try and kill him. I authorized a finding for the CIA to kill him. We contracted with people to kill him. I got closer to killing him than anybody has gotten since. And if I were still president we’d have more than 20,000 troops there trying to kill him. Now I never criticized President Bush and I don’t think this is useful. But you know we do have a government that thinks Afghanistan is 1/7 as important as Iraq. And you ask me about terror and Al Qaeda with that sort of dismissive theme when all you have to do is read Richard Clarke’s book to look at what we did in a comprehensive systematic way to try to protect the country against terror. And you’ve got that little smirk on your face. It looks like you’re so clever…

WALLACE: [Laughs]

CLINTON: I had responsibility for trying to protect this country. I tried and I failed to get Bin Laden. I regret it but I did try. And I did everything I thought I responsibly could. The entire military was against sending special forces into Afghanistan and refueling by helicopter and no one thought we could do it otherwise…We could not get the CIA and the FBI to certify that Al Qaeda was responsible while I was President. Until I left office. And yet I get asked about this all the time and they had three times as much time to get him as I did and no one ever asks them about this. I think that’s strange.
I think not
This isn't even about Bill Clinton. It's about his wife potentially running for office. The problem is, and the Republicans don't even realize it, they are digging themselves deeper with this crap. God forbid Bush takes ANY responsibility.
Actually it is a rebuttal from Clinton regarding that movie ABC put out
a week ago...

He is fuming because his handlers could not get all the edits from ABC they wanted to and the movie was broadcast with some repercussions.

Chris Wallace is an ex-ABC newsperson - I guess Clinton thought it would be easy going to work with Chris on the interview for his "Global Money Initiative" or whatever "charity and good works" he is dabbling in now....
at least it offers an excuse to hobnob with rock stars and actors.

Sort of a mea culpa at Fox for the ABC fiasco erringly called a documentary - then docudrama - then a depiction - then called a flop....

Wallace brought up the possibility of what many wonder. If Clinton knew of binLaden and after 1993 when the first WTC were bombed - why didn't he go after the guy then with more force? He had the Embassy bombing and the Cole on his watch - and still did nothing....

He admits failure but one lobbed bomb at a terrorist is like chasing a rat with a truck.

Then he has the stupidity to start blaming Bush which was his weakest comeback - Bush had been in office 9 months when it happened and he left Clark to over see intel? WOW!

He also claims he left specific plans for the capture of binLaden - if so he had plenty of time between 1993 and 2000 to get the guy..... but guess what the blue dress surfaced and Clinton it seems can't multi-task but can easily blame Bush for not getting binLaden...

Ah the Charismatic Clinton. He can obfuscate with the best of em.

Don't blame him for getting mad - but getting mad at Wallace showed us he is unable to focus on real root causes of events - showed his very frail temper out of control.

Instead of fingerpointing Clinton and Bush should get down to some talks and first try to mend the split both parties are experiencing and work out a sensible solution to the middle east problem, then take it to the military advisors for application....but primarily mend the country.

The terrorists are winning in that they have pitted the people of the U.S. against each other. That is a lose lose situation.
wallace had the perfect come-back all the time but just didn't have the balls. all he had to do was shout "monica!"
I think not
Tell you what, put Bush in front of a reporter without him knowing which questions will be asked, and see how "well" he does.

There are plenty of interviewers at Fox who would have done just that - Chris Wallace is one of their more balanced and introspective interviewers and of importance he is an ex-ABC newsman.

ABC network was sitting right there at the table with those two men.... it all started with the 9/11 "documentary".
I think not
This is nonsense. Clinton didn't do enough to catch Bin Laden? Maybe not. Someone tell me how Bush unleashing chaos has caught him?
Bush would not have done well at all - he knows he is failing on a far larger scale than Clinton.

Hey I could give a rats ass what happens in the ME now - I've personally withdrawn and would like our military withdrawn and let them have at it along with whatever their Mullahs want.

I want to see the United States people "united" again.

I would like that to be the last project Bush has a success with - uniting Congress, finding a path that the two parties can work with, taking care of the problems at home and screw binLaden, close Gitmo, get the forces out of the ME and the DMZ, close the borders for a year and do some much needed
repair to the country. Working with Clinton would be one way to go.

It might buy Hillary a place on the throne.

Edit: Oh yes and kick the U.N. out.
Reality check here....

The problems with terrorism and the middle east and Israel cannot be solved by either president of the United States, or any one man in
power in one country - in the Pentagon, Senate, Congress or Religious Leader....

The problem is a global one and until all nations decide they want to
lock into solving the problem, the U.S. and the President's task should be
part of a team - not running the show.

Our world should not be programmed by any one man - especially the president of the U.S. And a good president would be the first one to acknowledge it.
I think not
Quote: Originally Posted by Wednesday's Child

Edit: Oh yes and kick the U.N. out.

That's good, we can use the parking space.
For those Iraqis who risked their necks for
a secular democratic federal republic, time is running

I still think a majority of Iraqis want that, as evidenced
by the purple blue fingers and the bravery in voting
under threat.

But it takes only 1 or 2 violent bastards to subdue
one city block.

Even Bill Clinton continues to say we should not leave
Quote: Originally Posted by Wednesday's Child

Bush would not have done well at all - he knows he is failing on a far larger scale than Clinton.

give the girl with the crazy lipstick a round of applause. And a makeup removing swab
ITN - even a good pizza place would be more beneficial with condos on top.... call Trump will ya?

JimMoyer - Clinton can't know because he has never been an aggressor except with the one wag the dog incident

I think this is global mess and cannot be solved by two men alone - but all leaders of all countries - because terrorism is "IN" all countries now and we are playing into the game of terrorism though the fear they generate. Let some other countries take the bait for a while and pay some of the expenses.

Another failure of the United Nations doing its work.
Hermann....gee I guess I don't get to kiss ya!
Clinton can't know because he has never been an aggressor except with the one wag the dog incident
---------------------------Wednesday's Child-------------

But ...


Clinton said we should stay a little longer...

As long as Bush gets the blame - :P

Clinton also said: "I did not tell a lie.....I did not have sexual relations....."
At least Clinton went on Faux News. Will W be interviewed by Slate or go on Air America?
Toro - ever watched his press conferences?

Blood bath central - piranha feeding time. He does not get along with the media at all at all and treats them like little doggies chewing his ankle.

Either Bush is more confident or stupid than he emotes to the public....

Dunno - but while his liguistics skills are bad, I think he would answer
questions directly without pounding a finger into poor old Chris' knee....

Clinton got pretty close to spitting on least the drool was directed by gravity and not velocity.
I don't think Clinton can ever win. When he did authorize military action, it was cries of "wag the dog". The CIA tried and failed to kill Bin Laden under Clinton. That sucks. They have failed to kill him since. Is it really about Bush or Clinton?

No one wants to admit that before 9/11 Clinton was seriously limited in what he could do to get Bin Laden. Americans would NEVER have supported the kind of commitments that Bush has been given to fight terrorism back then. Can you imagine the US people supporting Clinton invading the Sudan or Afghanistan in the 90s? Other politicians certainly wouldn't have. A few soldiers killed in Somalia was all it took to ensure that. Part of Bush's campaigning included statements against using troops for nation building. 9/11 is the only thing that changed all that.
So then why are you then fighting with everyone who tries to portray the actual reality, slamming them with statements similar to, “You do know we are at war, right?”

Then you come out here and say...

Quote: Originally Posted by Wednesday's Child

Hey I could give a rats ass what happens in the ME now - I've personally withdrawn and would like our military withdrawn and let them have at it along with whatever their Mullahs want.

You should be your own worst critic. I’ve been personally slammed by you for saying less than this. And some people have received a lot of abuse from you when having dialogue about these issues.

Hey, one thing about this Afghan mission that really kills me, and I will admit to it, is that it breaks me to think of abandoning anyone and it’s one thing I can’t seem to wrap my head around with what we can do about it. Men, woman and children caught in oppression.

I am just of the belief, and it’s an old rule at that, that you don’t make promises to people that you can’t keep.

You don’t make a promise you can’t keep or are not 100% sure you can keep.

We could have at least tried to make a difference in Afghanistan without sprouting absolutes in what we will accomplish. To not throw out the door any sense of flexibility, and therefore not risk losing our soldier’s pride so that we can say...

“we can’t just focus on this with military solutions. While our troops have done a very admirable job at various tasks they’ve been asked to perform, and they’ve completed every one of those tasks, we are now going to concentrate more with humanitarian efforts, or we will have to let the Afghan society take greater responsibility for their own determined future. The occupational standards by which one can force change do not fit into our own core values as a society. We will however do what we can to contribute to any progress that can be hoped for the people of Afghanistan and contain any threat that could ever be pose outside her borders.”

Instead we talk about defeating an enemy rather than just putting it in the context of aiming for a climate of security until a few well defined goals are completed. Meanwhile, British intelligence is leaking that it isn't likely, change in Afghanistan can be won through militarily means.

I hope everyone can see the difference. One puts us in a win or lose situation with our military’s pride on the line against a resistance that has to be existent or completely not existent. The other utilizes our soldiers with an attitude that they simply do their part, take care of their various roles and then come back with honour for doing it, recognizing change might have to always be part of the strategy.


If I can I'll try to get the moderator to move this to a more appropriate forum. This forum should be about Clinton as I think about it now, but there was just something I had to respond to and now I don't see the option for me to delete this and repost elsewhere. If anyone wishes to continue with this, pick another forum and I'll reply there.
I think FOX news did Bill Clinton a favour by changing the topic on him. I think they didn't expect him to fight back so strongly and they just gave him the perfect place to do it. It really makes FOX look stupid.

Have they forgot that US presidents can articulate themselves?
I think that interview is a Rorshack Ink Blot test.

Each bias sees it differently.

Liberals will see the right of Clinton to fight back and
take verbatim the plausibility of his arguments which
do sound strong and powerful.

Conservatives will see all sorts of holes in Clinton's
arguments, thus contemplating his pathos.

Middle of the Roaders ?
Clinton is right and wrong during that interview.
Too boring to delineate, however.

Ink blot test.

I hope you feel better now.
LOL !!!
No Party Affiliation
I would say Chris Wallace got his ass kicked by one of the best, if not the best ad lib speaker the U.S. presidency has had since FDR. If Bush got his pages in reverse order he wouldn't know it.
Depends on your bias.

Some say Clinton lost his cool and got unglued
and feels guilty and still lies about it.
Underneath was a philosophical difference of treating
terrorism as a military problem or as a police problem.

After all the finger wagging and extreme reaction to a legitimate
question, it almost seemed like Clinton with wagging pointed
finger was saying, I DID NOT HAVE SEX WITH BIN LADEN.

Shades of a yesteryear.

Others say Clinton has a right to be pissed off.
Because it appears Bush did not put as high a priority on bin laden
for the next 9 months.

Depends on your standing prejudice prior
to this interview.
Quote: Originally Posted by jimmoyer

I think that interview is a Rorshack Ink Blot test.

Each bias sees it differently.

Liberals will see the right of Clinton to fight back and
take verbatim the plausibility of his arguments which
do sound strong and powerful.

Conservatives will see all sorts of holes in Clinton's
arguments, thus contemplating his pathos.

Middle of the Roaders ?
Clinton is right and wrong during that interview.
Too boring to delineate, however.

Ink blot test.

I honestly don’t think it was the intention of FOX news to create a interview where people could then walk away to make up their own minds or bias on the issue. And is good journalism suppose to be a kind of Rorschach inkblot test?

Good journalism is suppose to be getting at the bottom of ‘truth’ to a matter. To create ‘more clarity’ and make the audience ‘more informed’. This was a format of throwing speculation from the platform of the media.

(eg. Who killed Jon Bonett?! Who, was it him?! Was it her!? Everyone getting swayed and nothing being really known. A wasting of any real journalistic quality media time)

Remember, they cornered Clinton on the premise they were giving him an interview over the issue of his humanitarian work.

The whole thing was setup to create a question of fault on this ex-President. Not to present a heavy weighted argument of facts against him, or to give him an opportunity to make a full case of defense for himself. It was not setup that way and this was not good journalism.
No Party Affiliation
I have never been able to understand why Clinton's sex life was anybody's business but his and Monika's. Or why a BJ was worse than killing a hundred thousand people, or a couple million people for that matter.
I loved watching that. Clinton knows how to handle himself on fox news. He has the guts to tell it like it is. The democrats are affraid to rock the boat for fear of attack by the republican smear campaign. Clinton has nothing to loose. The can learn a few things from him.


Why Clinton "Lost His Temper"
The former president knew what he was doing.

by William Kristol
09/25/2006 11:16:00 AM

LET'S DO A THOUGHT experiment: Perhaps Bill Clinton, an experienced and sophisticated politician, knew what he was doing when he made big news by "losing his temper" in his interview with Chris Wallace. Perhaps Clinton's aides knew what they were doing when they publicized the interview by providing their own transcript to a left-wing website as soon as possible Friday evening, and then pre-spun reporters late Friday and Saturday. Maybe it was just damage control. Or maybe Clinton did what he wanted to do when he indignantly defended himself, blasted the Bush administration, and attacked Fox News. What could Clinton have been seeking to accomplish? Three things.

1. Helping Democrats in 2006.

In the Fox interview, and in other recent interviews (Meet the Press, the New Yorker), Clinton has shown himself well aware of Republican efforts (engineered by the dastardly Karl Rove) to paint Democrats as unreliable in the war on terror. Clinton would have known that these were doing some damage to Democrats, and that Bush and Rove have had a few good weeks on this issue. And he would know that the Democrats haven't fought back well (e.g., they're now in a difficult position on the Bush-McCain detainees legislation).

In this interview, Clinton rallied Democrats. He reminded them of their talking points on Bush's alleged passivity in his first eight months in office (remember Richard Clarke!), and on the alleged distraction posed by Iraq from the more worthwhile war in Afghanistan. He nicely laid the predicate for the leaked portions of
the National Intelligence Estimate that appeared in the press the next day. If the Bush-Rove war-on-terror offensive stalls out this week (and much of the media is committed to making this happen), and Democrats do well in November, Bill Clinton can take credit, at a crucial moment, for discrediting the terror issue as a mere political ploy, and showing Democrats how "to fight back" and how "to stand up to the right-wing propaganda machine" (in the words of Howard Dean).

2. Helping Hillary in 2008.

Hillary Clinton has been having problems with the left wing of the Democratic party. With this interview, Bill Clinton has the entire left wing of the Democratic party rallying to him. Some of this solidarity can presumably be transferred to Hillary. And the dangerous move of the left-wing of the party toward Gore and Edwards, and their rise in national and Iowa polls respectively, can perhaps be stopped.

3. Intimidating Critics.

Clinton wants to make it incorrect, or at least impolite, to criticize his record on terror. Chris Wallace stood up to him. Will others? Will his next interviewer raise the same set of questions? Will they be willing to take the criticism of being "conservative hit men" or part of the vast, Fox-centered right-wing conspiracy? Bullying and intimidation sometimes work. Clinton has used both effectively in the past. Now he wants to put out of bounds certain perfectly legitimate and straight-forward questions. Can we debate which party--based on their practice when in power--can better deal with the jihadist/terror threat? No, according to Clinton. That's illegitimate right-wing propaganda. Whose personal reputation benefits from putting such issues out of bounds? Which political party benefits? Which 2008 presidential candidate?

Bill Clinton is a smart (and calculating) politician.

--William Kristol


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