can’t see the forest

Bill Clinton: Remember 9/11, But Don’t Forget 2001 Up to 9/10

Those of you who read this blog with any regularity will know that I have something approaching a deep, seething hatred for the bipartisan political system in the United States. And while Bill Clinton plays the partisan game as fervently and as myopically as anyone else, I have to give this ex-President credit for so articulately attacking one of the things I detest most about partisan politics.

Because and solely because of the impending Congressional elections, Karl Rove and Crewe have been ratcheting up a tirelessly shameful self-promotional campaign designed to place the blame for the events of September 11, 2001 and for most of its aftermath squarely on the shoulders of Bill Clinton. As usual, the strategy is to avoid meaningful debate by mudslinging and by rewriting recent history faster than it can be told.

Everyone’s talking about the recent FOX News interview by Chris Wallace, in which Clinton essentially said the following: that he feels he did not do enough as President to thwart Binladen because he wasn’t able to kill him, but that his administration did coordinate extensive efforts to do so, all the while facing intense criticism from the very same slobbering neocons who are now seeking to blame him for the atrocities of 9/11 (for which, I might add as an aside, the FBI has yet to officially indict Binladen.)

The Bush crowd, in other words, would have us believe that the Clinton administration slept its way through the USS Cole and African embassy bombings, and that Bush’s great messianic ‘War on Terror’ began the day Bush took office, but that Clintonian complacency had already meant the battle would be begun too late. What a disgusting crock of lies.

The fact is that from January through August of 2001, the Bush administration ignored—or at least failed to competently act upon, for reasons which seem all too clear to me now that those Iraq profits are rolling in—numerous warnings from domestic and foreign intelligence that could have prevented that black day. So, while Clinton is able to admit his responsibility even in the grip of the most fallacious and belligerent news network on Earth, admitting its own pre-September culpability does not seem to be something of which the Crawford regime is capable.

“B-b-but, there was just too much intelligence,” they have whined. “We couldn’t possibly have gotten to it all.”

So while non-journalist Wallace insisted on smirking about Binladen’s statements that Somalian withdrawal showed US weakness, Clinton patiently explained that he commited a US presence in that continually unravelling country far beyond what had been acceptable to neoconservatives at the time. And it’s mighty funny how FOX cherrypicks which Binladen statements are worth what, as the need arises.

I just hope everyone remembers that this is all nothing more than part of Rove’s perfunctory, repetitive biennial strategy for shoring up support for his grossly corrupt and cynically burgeois party based on the flimsiest, most emotionally charged and logically groundless of pretexts. I never thought I’d say this: but thank you, Bill Clinton. More of us should be so “crazed.”


11 Responses

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  1. nomdebplume said, on 9/26/06 at 6:45 pm

    Do you really believe that Karl Rove used Chris Wallace as his puppet to ignite Clinton into that frenzy? There is certainly enough blame to go around, but Clinton seems to be doing the “cherry picking” when it comes to admitting his part (and attempting to cast some sort of honorable glow on it at the same time).

    I neither witnessed a smirk from Wallace (disbelief, perhaps), nor patience from Clinton. And none of the other, non-Fox, networks have accused Wallace of being unfair in their assessment of the exchange.

    Both presidents screwed up, but eight years is a lot longer to hone skills of ineptitude than eight months.

    ~ a humble slobbering neocon :-)

  2. tellitlikeitis said, on 9/26/06 at 6:53 pm

    No, I don’t believe that Rove used Wallace as a “puppet.” I don’t believe the control and spin mechanisms work that simply. If they did they wouldn’t be as effective as they are.

    As to your assertion that none of the other news networks have criticized Wallace of being unfair in his treatment, perhaps you missed Olbermann’s commentary on MSNBC (it’s in the same timeslot as O’Reilly), or would you take this opportunity to selectively state that Olbermann does not speak for his network in the same way that Wallace speaks for his?

    Both Presidents screwed up, I agree. But what are “skills of ineptitude?” This argument is not over who screwed up when, it’s about slobbering neoconservatives taking every political opportunity to detract from their own failures, such as Bush’s failure to capture Binladen while bogging down wholly incommensurate amounts of manpower and resources in a State which the Senate Intelligence Committee now says had very little, if anything, to do with September 11, 2001.

  3. nomdebplume said, on 9/26/06 at 7:30 pm

    Keith Olbermann? Sorry, I think of him as a bitter, self-serving, former sportscaster – not a journalist. I was talking about Chris Matthews, Tucker Carlson – yes, a debate between a conservative and a liberal on O’Reilly (where neither accused Wallace of doing anything wrong) – and just a short while ago, CNN’s John Roberts saying, “Chris Wallace asked a legitimate question,” while talking to Anderson Cooper.

    To me, the argument is more about Clinton having the ability to answer a direct question honestly without shifting the subject to another administration’s faults in order to diffuse the blame. He always makes me think of an illusionist: if he gets us all to focus on his left hand, we’ll never notice what’s going on in his right. And if someone should catch him at his game – bam – you get that nasty “in your face” guy we saw Sunday morning.

  4. tellitlikeitis said, on 9/26/06 at 8:03 pm

    Thanks, I just wanted to confirm my suspicions.
    Deb, you know I appreciate your comments and that I take them very seriously. But I have to say I find it truly hilarious that you could see this as an issue of Clinton “sliding around,” that that would be the major context in which you’d choose to view the situation. I made it clear that I’m no big fan of Clinton, and I know he’s done an awful lot of sliding around. You’re preaching to the choir on that one.
    But Clinton is not the one who stands to lose control of Congress right now. That’s all I’m saying. So instead of trying to keep control by winning hearts and minds (maybe even mine) by admitting their mistakes and coming up with a comprehensive plan to try to remedy them, the Republicans are doing their mudslinging thing, at which Democrats are also adept if the need arises. This is all designed to obscure the findings of the Intelligence Committee so that it won’t look bad for Republicans in November, and if you can’t see that then I can’t talk to you about it, although I’m willing to keep trying.
    The reason it’s particularly gruesome to me that this is going on right now isn’t just because Republicans are doing it. Partisan politics isn’t my game. It’s because there are so many lives on the line, American lives that he sent into harm’s way, Afghani lives, and Iraqi lives. You’ll remind me of the terrorist threats, and that’s valid. But I’m talking about thousands of Americans and thousands of foreigners dying yesterday, today, and tomorrow because Bush has forgotten his promises in favor of lining the pockets of his friends, and refuses to admit it.
    So you keep pointing out Clinton’s slidearounds, and I’ll keep pointing out Bush’s corruption and callous carelessness for the lives of others.
    ~the slobbering anti-neocon

  5. tellitlikeitis said, on 9/26/06 at 8:59 pm

    I might also add that I can see what you mean about Clinton’s illusionism, and I’ve seen it since 1992, when I was about 12 years old.

    But if I’m going to call Clinton as I see him, it’s only fair I do the same for Bush: a barely conscious, poorly spoken but well-groomed apprentice in the hands of dark sorcerers of death and destruction for profit, masquerading as the right hand of God.

  6. nomdebplume said, on 9/27/06 at 9:06 am

    The “anti-neocons” hold President Bush to account 24/7 via the media, bloggers, and those sitting across dining room tables. Certainly his low approval rating reflects that many are unhappy with his performance, as well. My only point is Clinton’s (and the left’s) shifting the focus to Bush whenever one attempts to confront him about his part in the events leading up to September 11th.

    I would think you, of all people, would recognize Clinton’s fury for what it is: a desperate endeavor to preserve his legacy. To me, this is disgusting… especially when we’re talking bloodshed now and not just lies about interns.

    It would seem this event has elicited passions for you about issues broader than those I am addressing, so I think I’ll bow out on this one for now.

    – Debi

  7. nomdebplume said, on 9/27/06 at 8:07 pm

    [tried to leave a comment about 12 hours ago, but I see it still hasn’t posted, so here I go again…]

    President Bush is held to account 24/7 by the media, bloggers and even people gathered around dinner tables all over the country. Indeed, his approval rating is also an indicator of people holding him to account. The only point I was trying to make was that when anyone tries to hold Clinton to account, they are confronted with his shifting the blame back to Bush – as if it is blasphemous to dare to accuse a Clinton of being anything less than they say they are.

    And I’m surprised that you, of all people, did not see what former President Clinton was really up to with his “Me thinks he doth protest too much” display Sunday morning; his behavior was much more in line with preserving his legacy than any noble “I tried so hard to prevent 9/11” discourse. What *I* find disgusting is that this time we’re talking about bloodshed and lies, not just interns and lies.

    I get the impression this subject incites passions for you on a broader scale than I am addressing, so in the interest of keeping things amicable, I’m thinking I should bow out now.


  8. tellitlikeitis said, on 9/28/06 at 12:50 am

    I wasn’t ignoring you, Deb, I’m sorry. I was out for a while.

  9. nomdebplume said, on 9/28/06 at 6:00 am

    No, no… I meant I’d tried to leave a comment and when I noticed “the site” hadn’t posted it about 12 hours later, left the same comment again (from memory). Naturally both comments posted at the same time upon my leaving the second comment… :-/
    (making me look ridiculous, I might add :-)


  10. tellitlikeitis said, on 9/28/06 at 6:09 am

    I am the only one that’s allowed to look ridiculous around here. Everyone else is free to try, but it’s futile.

  11. nomdebplume said, on 9/28/06 at 7:03 am

    I will debate you on that as well… :-)

    (man, you get up early)

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