Bill Clinton indicts FOX—on FOX

September 23, 2006 | By | 4 Replies More

Check out this extraordinary transcript posted at Think Progress.  Chris Wallace tried to set up Bill Clinton, but gets more than he knows how to deal with.  Clinton puts on a clinic: how to deal with the underhanded “swift boat” style tactics of FOX.

Here’s a sampling.  FOX had promised that the interview would focus on Clinton’s efforts to raise $7 Billion in humanitarian aid.  At this point in the interview Clinton is being asked about  his priorities and the Bush administration priorities regarding terrorism:

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.


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Category: Media, Politics, The Middle East

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (4)

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  1. Erika Price says:

    Notice that Clinton uses the word "regret". You would never hear anyone on the Bush Administration admit that they had actually done something wrong. Off topic, but Clinton admitted he regretted the Don't Ask/Don't Tell Policy in a Diane Rehm interview last year. Realization of one's mistakes indicates a leader who can learn, and a leader with at least a degree of humility.

  2. Erich Vieth says:

    Now . . . notice how FOX is spinning the Clinton-Wallace interview by clicking here.  I'd say this is conscious deception.

  3. Erich Vieth says:

    Here's what Richard Clarke really wrote about Bill Clinton's approach to handling terrorism (as opposed to talking points now being bandied about by the conservatives):

  4. grumpypilgrim says:

    All of this would be a moot point if Bush & Company had gone after bin Laden and al Qaeda the way they went after Saddam. With bin Laden dead or captured, nobody would care what happened during the Clinton administration — because, indeed, it's irrelevant. The WTC attack occurred because Bush & Company were not paying attention: Bush was too busy clearing brush on his Crawford ranch and reading books to schoolchildren, and his administration was (and still is) utterly incompetent. Their policies — before, during and after 9/11 — have been disasters. Why? One reason is that their ONLY metric of performance — "We're safer with Saddam in prison" — is an idiotic measure of success. We can make that claim about anyone: we'd be "safer" with my aunt Martha in prison, or half the players in the NFL, or Girl Scout troup 37, but that doesn't mean we should make it our nation's top priority.

    Another reason Bush's policies have been disasters is that there is no rational cost/benefit analysis being applied to their actions. "We're safer with Saddam in prison," doesn't explain why it's worth spending US$1 trillion, and killing hundreds of thousands of people, to make it happen.

    Unfortunately for all concerned, Bush & Company care far more about evading responsibility than about doing what is right. Indeed, their best exit strategy right now would be to say, "We're sorry everyone, we've totally screwed up everything. We've screwed up Afganistan, we've screwed up Iraq, we've screwed up Katrina, we've screwed up the war on terror, and we've screwed up everything else we've touched. Please help us fix this huge mess." Admitting they are clueless would shift the burden to their opponents to come forward with solutions, rather than just criticisms. It would be their first step forward since they took office…which is why they'll never take it.

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