Monday, September 25, 2006

Clinton V. Wallace, A bit of History and some Updates

Unclaimed Territory - by Glenn Greenwald: Who wanted to "cut and run" from Somalia?

The facts, as they were.
"President Clinton's response was refreshingly aggressive because the premise of the question is so patently and outrageously false. Clinton responded: '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 six months and had an orderly transfer to the United Nations.'President Clinton's response was refreshingly aggressive because the premise of the question is so patently and outrageously false. Clinton responded: '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 six months and had an orderly transfer to the United Nations.'"
The rest of the post is quotes from Senate Republicans, and others, indicating that pundit Chris Wallace's questions during the Bill Clinton invterview (watch it here), were false and misleading.

The funny part about this story is how quickly it is spreading. On the one hand (the right one) we see an attempt to portray Chris Wallace as even-handed. This fails utterly when you look at a question Wallace asked Rumsfeld.
MR. WALLACE: I think a lot of people in Washington are trying to figure out, to understand, Richard Clarke; to make sense of what he has said and of apparent contradictions in his story. Is he telling the truth or is he pushing an agenda? What do you make of his basic charge that pre-9/11 that this government, the Bush administration largely ignored the threat from al Qaeda?
That, boys and girls, is what is called a "softball". There are any number of ways Rumsfeld could have spun it...and he did.

Now let's look at Wallace's history. Here's a "tough question" he asked Condi Rice a while back.
MR. WALLACE: The Democrats' number two man in the Senate, Dick Durbin, created quite a stir this week when he compared U.S. treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo to Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia, and the killing fields of Cambodia. Does it make it harder for you to do your job as you travel through the Mideast and push U.S. policy on human rights and democracy when a top American official says we are part of the problem?
Now, one might think that Abu Grahib, Guantanamo, and the massacre at Haditha would have made her job more difficult...but's not our actions, it's Democrat reactions to those actions that are the real problem.

Next, on Iran.
TEHRAN - In a sign of both historical de ja vu and Chomskyian "manufacturing consensus", the US media is nowadays filled with news on Iran's nuclear threat, thus preparing the American public for yet another Middle East conflict without, however, maintaining a modicum of balance by reflecting the Iranian point of view.

This much is clear in a Fox News special, titled "Iran: The Nuclear Threat", that aired on Sunday, May 8. Hosted by Chris Wallace (with whom this author worked as an Iran expert at Wallace's previous home, ABC News), this program lacked the minutest evidence of objectivity, displaying instead piles of prejudice on top of prejudice reminding one of the Iraq weapons of mass destruction threat played up by the right-wing, sensationalist, network during 2002 and early 2003, duping millions of American viewers about the authenticity of the Bush administration's allegations against the regime of Saddam Hussain.

The Fox program on Iran is simply the latest example of how the US media has traded political favoritism to the White House, and its fierce demonization of Iran, for objective news.
[full story]

More from Greenwald

Chris Wallace has forgotten the face of his father. [breaking a commandment, that's a paddling]

Chris Wallace lied during the interview.

UPDATE: The White House per...with obfuscations and outright falsehood.
"That's the difference in me and some, including all of the right-wingers who are attacking me now," Mr Clinton said.

"They ridiculed me for trying. They had eight months to try, they did not try."

'Battle plans'

Ms Rice responded: "What we did in the eight months was at least as aggressive as what the Clinton administration did in the preceding years.

"The notion somehow for eight months the Bush administration sat there and didn't do that is just flatly false - and I think the 9/11 commission understood that."
[full story] Umm...Ms. Rice? Clinton shot cruise missiles at those folks. If what you did was "at least as aggressive"...why the massive cover-up? I mean, you would have told us if you fired cruise missiles at someone, right? I really don't recall the pre-9/11 invasion of Afghanistan...WTF, eh?

Then it gets worse.
She also disputed Mr Clinton's statement that he "left a comprehensive anti-terror strategy" for incoming officials when he left office, including "battle plans" to go into Afghanistan, overthrow the Taleban regime and launch a full-scale search for Bin Laden.

"We were not left a comprehensive strategy to fight al-Qaeda," she said.

"For instance, big pieces were missing, like an approach to Pakistan that might work, because without Pakistan you weren't going to get Afghanistan."
You know...I have to think it's pretty funny that they didn't give a plan for Pakistan (sorry, a "comprehensive", Ms. Rice, told the 9/11 commision they gave you ideas and "action items", i.e. the definition of "plan")...sorry, err, it's funny you blame Clinton for not having a Pakistan plan, only days after it has surfaced that the plan ya'll came up with for Pakistan was "do what we say or we bomb you back to the stone age".

You know, maybe it all was Clinton's fault. And I mean the whole debacle that has been the Bush Years. If only he'd left a comprehensive plan on how to be President, maybe we could have avoided all this crap, and Bush could have gotten busted for blowing a reporter, rather than blowing up Iraq.

UPDATE: Rice bust lying about her statement.
JIDDA, Saudi Arabia, Oct. 2 — A review of White House records has determined that George J. Tenet, then the director of central intelligence, did brief Condoleezza Rice and other top officials on July 10, 2001, about the looming threat from Al Qaeda, a State Department spokesman said Monday.
The account by Sean McCormack came hours after Ms. Rice, the secretary of state, told reporters aboard her airplane that she did not recall the specific meeting on July 10, 2001, noting that she had met repeatedly with Mr. Tenet that summer about terrorist threats. Ms. Rice, the national security adviser at the time, said it was “incomprehensible” she ignored dire terrorist threats two months before the Sept. 11 attacks.
Officials now agree that on July 10, 2001, Mr. Tenet and his counterterrorism deputy, J. Cofer Black, were so alarmed about an impending Al Qaeda attack that they demanded an emergency meeting at the White House with Ms. Rice and her National Security Council staff.

According to two former intelligence officials, Mr. Tenet told those assembled at the White House about the growing body of intelligence the Central Intelligence Agency had collected pointing to an impending Al Qaeda attack.
[full story]

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