Skip to comments.Bill Clinton Angrily Defends bin Laden Handling (Clinton's Paranoid and Obsessive Rant)
Posted on 09/24/2006 5:22:39 PM PDT by MikeA
Clinton to Chris Wallace: 'You Got That Little Smirk on Your Face and You Think You're So Clever'
WASHINGTON (Sept. 24) - In a combative interview on "Fox News Sunday," former President Clinton defended his handling of the threat posed by Osama bin Laden, saying he tried to have bin Laden killed and was attacked for his efforts by the same people who now criticize him for not doing enough.
"That's the difference in me and some, including all of the right-wingers who are attacking me now," Clinton said in the interview. "They ridiculed me for trying. They had eight months to try, they did not try."
Clinton accused host Chris Wallace of a "conservative hit job" and asked: "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 people you asked, 'Why did you fire Dick Clarke?"'
He was referring to the USS Cole, attacked by terrorists in Yemen in 2000, and former White House anti-terrorism chief Richard A. Clarke.
Wallace said Sunday he was surprised by Clinton's "conspiratorial view" of "a very non-confrontational question, 'Did you do enough to connect the dots and go after Al Qaida?"'
"All I did was ask him a question, and I think it was a legitimate news question. I was surprised that he would conjure up that this was a hit job," Wallace said in a telephone interview.
Clinton said he "worked hard" to try to kill bin Laden.
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"We contracted with people to kill him. I got closer to killing him than anybody's gotten since," he said.
He told Wallace, "And you got that little smirk on your face and you think you're so clever, but I had responsibility for trying to protect this country. I tried and I failed to get bin Laden. I regret it, but I did try and I did everything I thought I responsibly could."
The interview was taped Friday during Clinton's three-day Global Initiative conference.
On NBC's "Meet the Press," also taped Friday and aired Sunday, Clinton told interviewer Tim Russert that the biggest problem confronting the world today is "the illusion that our differences matter more than our common humanity."
"That's what's driving the terrorism," he said. "It's not just that there's an unresolved Arab-Israeli conflict. Osama Bin Laden and Dr. al-Zawahiri can convince young Sunni Arab men, who have - and some women - who have despairing conditions in their lives, that they get a one-way ticket to heaven in a hurry if they kill a lot of innocent people who don't share their reality."
09-24-06 18:35 EDT
This interview is vintage Clinton. He obsesses about "the right wing" being out to get him even still, blames conservatives or some imagined right wing bias on the part of Chris Wallace the attempt to conduct a thorough and vigorous interview with him in contrast to the fawning softball interviews he use to from Larry King and the other dupes in the media he normally gets, he hypocritically accuses Chris Wallace of lying about the interview that half of it would be devoted to his global warming vomit, but then spends over 10 minutes filibustering and ranting to one question put forward by Chris Wallace while attacking Wallace for half the interview not being devoted to his ego trip disguised as a global warming initiative. Wallace tries at least twice to move on to what Clinton claims he wants to be asked about, but then Clinton continues to rant about being accused, rightly, of failing to get Bin Laden and STILL accuses Wallace of conducting the interview on "false pretenses" even as Wallace tries to get Clinton off his obsessive ranting.
Then also in vintage Clinton style, he blames the US military, the FBI and the CIA for his many failures to get Bin Laden as if he wasn't their commander in chief and he takes orders from them rather than the other way around, claims he didn't strike back after the bombing of the Cole because the FBI and CIA somehow prevented him by not certifying it was Bin Laden, but mind you even a 4 year old could have made that connection, and on and on Clinton's usual mental illness and delusional blathering goes.
I hope this serves to FINALLY wake up the American public to what a sick and depraved soul this amoral low life is and that they cease from their silly delusions about him somehow having been a good president or a good anything else. This interview reveals Clinton for what he truly is. A supreme narcissist unable to accept blame or to see himself as anything other than flawless (even when he admits he failed to get Bin Laden it's with the lie that it wasn't for a lack of trying), a hypocrite, a paranoid delusionist, someone mired in an endless persecution complex as a means of escaping any serious self-assessments of his abundant failings of character and judgement, someone not in control of his temper and emotions sufficiently to thoughtfully consider views that do not square with his own, a shameless self-promoter completely intolerant of criticism devoid of any ability to hear contrary views of himself and his policies, a man accutely stunted in terms of maturity as evidenced from his inability to hear alternative views of his presidency without angrily attributing some sinister motive or conspiracy as spawning them and most of all a master liar who accuses others of lying even as he spews forth the most bald-faced of prevarications (i.e. claiming Chris Wallace accused him of "giving aid and comfort to Bin Laden," calling ABC's movie "right wing" or that it wasn't based on the 9-11 Commission report, that Richard Clarke was "demoted" prior to 9-11, and on and on.)
In short, this much emotion being displayed in answer to one question shows Clinton knows he's guilty of having failed the nation on Bin Laden and Al Qaeda and that Chris Wallace had him dead to rights, as do the rest of us who recognize that far from being such an excellent and hyper-competent president, his was one of the worst, most feckless and amoral presidencies known to the history of the Republic and a nearly completely failed presidency.
Wasn't that YOUR job, Billyboy?
If he felt he did it right, after all these years he wold not feel the need to defend hisself.
I gotta go see this when there is more time........love it when billy boy goes banananananananananas
Anyone doubting Clinton's incompetence needs only read this New Age greeting card approach to humanity's ills. As with all libs, he believes that if you just confront a terrorist with open arms and say, like Robin Williams in Good Will Hunting, "It's not your fault," the terrorists will dissolve in tears, put down their rifles, and embrace Americans.
I always thought he was overrated intellectually, but now I realize that even my incredibly low estimation of Clinton's mental faculties was way too high.
Thank you doctor I feel so much better now......
Is there a transcript yet?
Clinton made a fool of himself today. Had me LOL!
You are right. It was planned but it went overboard. If he were confident of being right, he could say the same things with a smile on his face. He tried that later with his fear factor comments, Bush using fear. Smiling, it worked before, etc.
His poking and raging will always be remembered. His accusations against Chris Wallace will hurt him forever and ever. Journalists do not forgive, do not forget. They are the high priests now. Bow before them.
Bottom Line: It is all about BC.....nothing else matters, but him.
You know that when he gets red faced, starts shaking his finger, and denying..."I did not have...", he's lying.
The transcript just doesn't convey Bill Clinton's meaning. There's a thread running through FR about Howard dean which has a link to the youtube.com copy of the first 9 minutes 50 seconds of the interview. The parts that will not get to the Clinton Library come in about 6 minutes into the video.
You make an excellent point. How do you think other journalists (the few professional ones) have reacted (in private, of course) to the Comrade Clintoon rant?
Fox News Sunday, Interview With President Bill Clinton, 9/22/06 (Rough Transcript)
WALLACE: In a recent issue of the New Yorker you say youre sixty years old and youre worried about how many lives you can save Is that what drives you in your effort to help?
CLINTON: Yes. That sounds sort of morbid. The tone in which I said was almost whimsical and humorous. This is what I love to do its what I think I should do. Ive had a wonderful. I got to be president. Ive lived the life of my dreams. I dodged a bullet with that health thing. I think I owe it to my fellow countrymen and people around the world to help save lives and help people see the future. But as it happens I love it. I feel its a great gift. I feel its a rewarding way to spend my life.
WALLACE: Someone asked you he asked you if you could do more good as a former president than as a president and you said only if I live a long time.
CLINTON: Yea thats true.
WALLACE: how do you compare the powers of being in office and what you can do out of office?
CLINTON: When youre president you can operate on broader scope. You can simultaneously work to stop the genocide in Kosovo, bring peace to the middle east, pass a budget that gives millions of kids a chance to have after school programs So in other words youve got a lot of different moving parts and you can move them all at once.
But youre also more at the mercy of events. That is 43 did not run for President to deal with the events of 9/11 but once it happened it wasn'tt as if he had an option. Once I looked at the economic data after I won the election, I realized I would have to work harder to reduce the deficit and therefore have less money in my first year to invest in things I wanted to invest in.
WALLACE: So what is it that you can do as a former president.
CLINTON: So what you can do as a former president, you dont have as wide a range of powers so you have to concentrate on fewer things. But you are less at the mercy of events. If I say look were going to work on economic empowerment of poor people, on fighting aids and other diseases, on trying to bridge the religious and political differences between people and on trying to avoid the worst calamities of climate change and try to revitalize the economy in the process, I can actually do that. Because tomorrow when I get up and theres a bad headline in the papers, its President Bushs responsibility and not mine. Thats the joy of being a former potus. And it is true that if you live long enough and have discipline in the way you do it like this CGI you might be able to effect as many lives as you did when president.
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'tt you do more to put Bin Laden and al Qaeda out of business when you were President. Theres a new book out which I suspect youve 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 lets talk about
WALLACE: but the question is why didn'tt you do more, connect the dots and put them out of business?
CLINTON: OK, lets 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. Im 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 911 commission report with three things asserted against me that are directly contradicted by the 9/11 commission report. I think its very interesting that all the conservative Republicans who now say that I didn'tt do enough, claimed that I was obsessed with Bin Laden. All of President Bushs neocons claimed that I was too obsessed with finding Bin Laden when they didn'tt 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'tt do enough said that I did too much. Same people.
They were all trying to get me to withdraw from Somalia in 1993 the next day after we were involved in black hawk down and I refused to do it and stayed 6 months and had an orderly transfer to the UN.
OK, now lets look at all the criticisms: Black hawk down, Somalia. There is not a living soul in the world who thought that Bin laden had anything to do with black hawk down or was paying any attention to it or even knew al Qaeda was a growing concern in October of 1993.
WALLACE: I understand
CLINTON: No wait no wait Dont tell me. You asked me why I didn'tt do more to Bin Laden. There was not a living soul all the people who criticized me wanted to leave the next day. You brought this up so you get an answer.
WALLACE: Im perfectly happy to. Bin Laden says
CLINTON: And secondly
WALLACE: Bin Laden says
CLINTON: Bin laden may have said that
WALLACE: Bin Laden says it showed the weakness of the US
CLINTON: It would have shown the weakness if we left right away but he wasn'tt involved in that. Thats just a bunch of bull. That was about Mohammed Adid, a Muslim war lord murdering..thousands of Pakistani Muslim troops. We were all there on a humanitarian mission. We had not one mission none to establish a certain kind of Somali government or to keep anybody out. He was not a religious fanatic.
WALLACE: But Mr. President
CLINTON: There was no Al Qaeda
WALLACE: with respect if I may. Instead of going through 93.
CLINTON: You asked you. It you brought it up.
WALLACE: May I ask a general question that you can answer. The 9/11 Commission, which you talk about, and this is what they did say, not what ABC pretended they said
CLINTON: Wait, Wait
WALLACE: they said about you and 43 and I quote, The US government took the threat seriously, not in the sense of mustering anything like that would be .to confront an enemy of the first, second or third rank
CLINTON: Thats not true with us and Bin Laden
WALLACE: the 9/11 commission says
CLINTON: Lets look at what Richard Clarke says. You think Richard Clarke has a vigorous attitude about Bin Laden?
WALLACE: Yes I do
CLINTON: You do?
WALLACE: I think he has a variety of opinions and loyalties but yes.
CLINTON: He has a variety of opinion and loyalties now but lets look at the facts. He worked for Ronald Regan. He was loyal to him. He worked for George Herbert Walker Bush and he was loyal to him. He worked for me and he was loyal to me. He worked for President Bush; he was loyal to him. They downgraded him and the terrorist operation. Now, look what he said, read his book and read his factual assertions not opinions, assertions. He said we took vigorous action after the African embassies. We probably nearly got Bin Laden.
CLINTON: Now wait a minute
WALLACE: ..cruise missiles..
CLINTON: I authorized the CIA to get groups together to try to kill him. The CIA was run by George Tenet who President Bush gave the medal of freedom to and said he did a good job.. The country never had a comprehensive anti terror operation until I came to office. If you can criticize me for one thing, you can criticize me for this, after the Cole I had battle plans drawn to go into Afghanistan, overthrow the Taliban, and launch a full scale attack search for Bin Laden. But we needed basing rights in Uzbekistan which we got after 9/11. The CIA and the FBI refused to certify that Bin Laden was responsible while I was there. They refused to certify. So that meant I would have had to send a few hundred special forces in helicopters and refuel at night. Even the 9/11 Commission didn'tt do that. Now the 9/11 Commission was a political document too. All Im asking is if anybody wants to say I didn'tt do enough, you read Richard Clarkes book.
WALLACE: Do you think you did enough sir?
CLINTON: No, because I didn'tt get him
CLINTON: But at least I tried. Thats 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'tt .. I tired. 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 FOXs 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 dont think thats 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'tt 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 dont believe you ask them that.
WALLACE: We ask plenty of questions of
CLINTON: You didn'tt ask that did you? Tell the truth
WALLACE: About the USS Cole?
CLINTON: tell the truth.
WALLACE: I with Iraq and Afghanistan theres 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 youd spend half the time talking about
CLINTON: You said youd 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 dont care.
WALLACE: But President Clinton
WALLACE: We were going to ask half the question about it. I didn'tt think this was going to set you off on such a tear .
CLINTON: It set me off on such a tear because you didn'tt formulate it in an honest way and you people ask me questions you dont ask the other side.
WALLACE: Sir that is not true
CLINTON: and Richard Clarke
WALLACE: That is not true
CLINTON: Richard Clarke made it clear in his testimony
WALLACE: Would you like to talk about the Clinton Global Initiative?
CLINTON: No I want to finish this.
CLINTON: All Im saying is you falsely accuse me of giving aid and comfort to Bin Laden because of what happened in Somalia. No one knew al Qaeda existed then
WALLACE: Did they know in 1996 when he declared war on the US? Did no one know in 1998
CLINTON: Absolutely they did
WALLACE: When they bombed the two embassies
WALLACE: Or in 2000 when they hit the Cole.
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 wed have more than 20,000 troops there trying to kill him. Now I never criticized President Bush and I dont think this is useful. But you know we do have a government that think 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 Clarkes book to look at what we did in a comprehensive systematic way to try to protect the country against terror. And youve got that little smirk on your face. It looks like youre so clever
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 in to 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 thats strange.
WALLACE: Can I ask you about the Clinton Global Initiative?
CLINTON: You can.
WALLACE: I always intended to sir.
CLINTON: No you intended to move your bones by doing this first. But I dont mind people asking me. I actually talked of the 9/11 commission for four hours and I told them the mistakes I thought I made. And I urged them to make those mistakes public because I thought none of us had been perfect. But instead of anybody talking about those things. I always get these clever little political where they ask me one sided questions It always comes from one source. And so
CLINTON: And so
WALLACE: I just want to ask you about the Clinton Global Initiative but whats the source? You seem upset?
CLINTON: I am upset because..
WALLACE: and all I can say is Im asking you in good faith because its on peoples minds sir. And I wasn'tt
CLINTON: Theres a reason its on peoples minds. Thats the point Im trying to make. Theres a reason its on peoples minds because theyve done a serious disinformation campaign to create that impression. This country only has one person who has worked against terror under Regan only one, Richard Clarke. And all Id say anybody who wonders whether we did wrong or right. Anybody who wants to see what everybody else did, read his book. The people on my political right who say I didn'tt do enough spent the whole time I was president saying why is he so obsessed with Bin Laden. And that was wag the dog when he tried to kill him. My Republican sec of defense and I think Im the only person since World War II to have a Secretary of Defense from the opposite party Richard Clarke, and all the intelligence people said that I ordered a vigorous attempt to get Osama Bin Laden and came closer apparently than anybody has since.
CLINTON: And you guys try to create the opposite impression when all you have to do is read Richard Clarkes findings and you know its not true. Its just not true. And all this business about Somalia the same people who criticized me about Somalia were demanding I leave the next day. Same exact crowd..
WALLACE: one of the
CLINTON: So if youre going to do this for gods sake follow the same standards for everybody.
WALLACE: I think we do sir
CLINTON: be fair.
WALLACE: I think we do. One of the main parts of the global initiative this year is religious reconciliation. President Bush says that the fight against Islamic extremism is the central conflict of the century and his answer is promoting democracy and reform. Do you think he has that right?
CLINTON: Sure. To advocate democracy and reform in the Muslim world? Absolutely. I think the question is whats the best way to do it. I think also the question is how do you educate people about democracy. Democracy is about way more than majority rule. Democracy is about minority rights, individual rights, restraints on power. And theres more than one way to advance democracy but do I think on balance that in the end after several bouts of instability do I think it would be better if we had more freedom and democracy? Sure I do. The president has a right to do it? Sure I do. But I dont think thats all we can do in the Muslim world. I think they have to see us try to get a just and righteous peace in the Middle East. They have to see us as willing to talk to people who see the world differently than we do.
WALLACE: Last year at this conference you got 2.5 billion in commitments, pledges, how did you do this year?
CLINTON: Well this year we had 7.3 billion as of this morning.
WALLACE: 7..excuse me
CLINTON: 7.3 billion as of this morning. 3 billion of that is. Thats over a multi-year. These are at most 10 year commitments. That came from Richard Bransons commitment to give all his transportation profits to clean energy investments. But still thats over 4 billion. And we will have another 100 commitments and probably raise another billion dollars. We have a lot of commitments still in process.
WALLACE: When you look at the 3 billion from Branson plus billions that Gates is giving and Warren Buffet, what do you make of this age of philanthropy?
CLINTON: I think that for one thing really rich people have always given money away. Theyve endowed libraries and things like that. The unique thing about this age is first of all you have a lot of people like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet who are interested in issues around the world that grow out of the nature of the 21st century and its inequalities the income inequalities, the education inequalities, the health care inequalities. You get a guy like Gates who built Microsoft and he actually believes that he can help overcome all of the health disparities in the world. Thats the first thing. Second thing there are a lot of people with average incomes who are joining me because of the Internet. Take the tsunami for example we had 1.3 billion dollars given .by households. The third things you have all these NGO that you can partner with along with the government. So all these things together mean that people with real money in ways that help people that before would have been only the object of government grants and loans.
WALLACE: I know were over but can I ask you two political questions. Lets talk some politics. In that same New Yorker article you say youre tired of Karl Roves BS. I m cleaning up what you said.
CLINTON: I also say Im not tired of Karl Rove. I dont blame Karl Rove. If youve got a deal that works you just keep on doing it.
WALLACE: So what is the BS?
CLINTON: well every even number year right before an election they come up with some security issue. In 2000 right before the election In 2002 our party supported them in undertaking weapon inspections in Iraq and were 100% behind them in Afghanistan and they didn'tt have any way to make us look like we didn'tt care about terror. And so they decided they would the homeland security bill that they opposed and they put some pill in it that we wouldn'tt pass like taking the job rights away from 170,000 people and then say that we were weak on terror if we weren'tt for it This year I think they wanted to make the question of prisoner treatment and intercepted communications the same sort of issue until John Warner came and Lindsey Graham got in there and it turns out there were some Republicans who believe in the constitution and their convictions some ideas about how best to fight terror.
As long as the American people believe that we take this seriously and we may have our differences over Iraq but I think well do fine this election. Even if they agree with us about the Iraq war we could be hurt by Karl Roves new foray if we dont make it clear that we care about the security of this country. We want to implement the 9/11 commission recommendations which they havent in four years. We want to Afghanistan against Bin Laden. We want to make America more energy independent. If they want to talk about Iraq say what they really want about Iraq.
But Rove is good and why I honor him Ive always been amused by how good he is. But on the other hand this is perfectly predictable. Were going to win a lot of seats if the American people aren'tt afraid. If theyre afraid and we get divided again then well only win a few seats.
WALLACE: Do you think the White House and the Republicans want to make the American people afraid.
CLINTON: Of course they do. They want another homeland security bill and they want to make it not about Iraq but some other security issue. Where if we disagree with them we are by definition endangering the security of the country. And its a big load of huey. Weve got 9 Iraq war veterans running for House Seats. President Reagans Secretary of the Navy is the democratic candidate for Senate in Virginia. A three star admiral who was on my NSC staff who also fought terror by the way is running for the seat of Kurt Weldons in Pennsylvania. Weve got a huge military presence in this campaign and you cant let them have some rhetorical device that puts us in a box that we dont belong in. Thats their job. Their job is to beat us. But our job is to not let them get away with it and if we don;t well be fine.
WALLACE: Mr. President thank you for one of the more unusual interviews
Exactly! There's seldom been a guy who was more dilusional, the members of his party, excluded.
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