It's just like old times. Bill Clinton delivers an impassioned speech, and within 24 hours the Web is bristling with documentation establishing that nearly every sentence was a lie.
The glassy-eyed Clinton cultists are insisting their idol's on-air breakdown during a "Fox News Sunday" interview with Chris Wallace was a calculated performance, which is a bit like describing Hurricane Katrina as a "planned demolition." Like an Osama tape, they claim he was sending a signal to Democrats to show them how to treat Republicans. Listen up, Democrats: Let's energize the undecideds by throwing a hissy fit on national television!
The Clintonian plan for action apparently entails inventing lunatic conspiracy theories, telling lots of lies, shouting, sneering, interrupting and telling your interlocutor, "(Y)ou've got that little smirk on your face and you think you're so clever" – all for asking a simple question. To wit: "Why didn't you do more to put bin Laden and al-Qaida out of business when you were president?" The only thing Clinton forgot to say to Wallace was, "You'd better put some ice on that."
Let me be the first to welcome Chris Wallace to the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy! If the son of Mike Wallace is a member, can Chelsea be far behind?
According to Wallace, Clinton's aide, Jay Carson, demanded that the interview be stopped a few minutes into Clinton's tantrum – just before the part where he threw the lamp at Wallace. The last time Clinton got that red in the face, the encounter ended with a stained dress. Even Muslims thought Clinton overreacted. But the Clinton Kool-Aid drinkers tell us this was a masterfully planned set-piece by their leader.
I also think Jessica Savitch's slurred, incoherent broadcast on "NBC Nightly News" in October 1983 was intentional. Others say it was drug-addled breakdown that ended her career, but obviously Savitch intended to speak in garbled gibberish on air as a brilliantly executed prelude to her death in a ditch weeks later.
And when Stephen Colbert did a routine at the White House Correspondents Dinner that bombed, I think he planned it that way.
Then there was Capt. Joseph Hazelwood's meticulously planned off-loading of 11 million gallons of crude oil off the Exxon Valdez.
Clinton shouted so many lies during his televised meltdown, only the World Wide Web can capture them all. These are just a few.
Clinton yelled at Wallace: "What did I do? What did I do? I worked hard to try to 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."
This is so crazy it's worthy of an Air America caller. Clinton has consistently misrepresented the presidential directive about political assassinations. Clinton did not order bin Laden assassinated. He did not even lift the ban on intelligence agencies attempting to assassinate bin Laden.
What he did was lift the ban on political assassinations – provided that assassinating bin Laden was not the purpose of the mission. So if U.S. forces were engaged in an operation to capture bin Laden, but accidentally killed him, they would not be court-martialed.
Clinton said, "All the right-wingers who now say I didn't do enough said I did too much – same people." As proof, he cites his humiliating withdrawal from Somalia, claiming, "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."
He added, as if it mattered, "There is not a living soul in the world who thought that Osama bin Laden had anything to do with 'Black Hawk down.'"
In fact, what Republicans objected to was Clinton's transforming a U.N. mission in Somalia to prevent mass starvation into a much grander "nation building" exercise – something the Democrats now hysterically support in Darfur and oppose in Iraq.
Democrats long to see American mothers weeping for their sons lost in a foreign war, but only if the mission serves absolutely no national security objectives of the United States. If we are building a democracy in a country while also making America safer – such as in Iraq – Democrats oppose it with every fiber of their being.
When Clinton's "nation building" in Somalia led to the brutal killing of 18 Americans, some of whose corpses were then dragged through the streets, Clinton did what the Democrats are currently demanding we do in Iraq: He cut and ran.
Republicans didn't like that either, and it had nothing to do with whether it was al-Qaida we were running from. It could have been Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, al-Dawa or the Viet Cong. We ran, and the terrorists noticed.
Osama bin Laden told "ABC News" in 1998 that America's humiliating retreat from Somalia emboldened his jihadists: "The youth were surprised at the low morale of the American soldiers and realized more than before that the American soldier was a paper tiger and after a few blows ran in defeat."
If this is the message that Clinton is hoping to telegraph to the American people, I hope the voters are listening.
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