The Big Dog Bites

Be sure to read the transcript of President Clinton’s Fox News interview with Chris Wallace. Wallace tried to hang “aren’t you really responsible for September 11” on Clinton, and Clinton wasn’t having it.

WALLACE: …but the question is why didn’t you do more, connect the dots and put them [al Qaeda] out of business?

CLINTON: OK, let’s 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. I’m 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 9/11 Commission report with three things asserted against me that are directly contradicted by the 9/11 Commission report. I think it’s very interesting that all the conservative Republicans who now say that I didn’t do enough, claimed that I was obsessed with Bin Laden. All of President Bush’s neocons claimed that I was too obsessed with finding Bin Laden when they didn’t 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’t do enough said that I did too much. Same people. …

…WALLACE: Do you think you did enough sir?

CLINTON: No, because I didn’t get him.


CLINTON: But at least I tried. That’s 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’t…I tried. 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 FOX’s 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 don’t think that’s 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’t you do anything about the Cole? I want to know how many you asked: Why did you fire Dick Clarke? I want to know…

Exactly the same stuff I was saying here. No one has yet held the Bush Administration accountable for their terrible lapses in judgment about al Qaeda and terrorism in the eight months before 9/11. The nation literally was less protected from al Qaeda by September 2001 than it had been in September 2000, when Bill Clinton was still president. Then the scum had the nerve to claim they are somehow uniquely suited to guard the nation’s security. And they got away with it.

The whole nation needs an intervention.

21 thoughts on “The Big Dog Bites

  1. I’ve waited since 1992 for Bill to quit being polite. Since no Party of Bush ( I refuse to call them republicans- that implies representative govt) people will do or say anything to stop their own worst impulses and let the country go straight to Stalinism, I hope Big Dog Bill finally gets mad and turns the table on these scum. The continual blaming of Clinton reminds me of a Soviet purge. They may not have a show trial but they don’t have to. Putting the wrong story line up on TV in living color and beating the drum continually does it for you- Clinton is blamed in the court of public opinion and historical fact be damned. Go check out the story of the former Soviet prisoner tortured- get a clue people. The road forked a while back and we took the wrong way.

  2. I would expect nothing less of Fox “News,” but if, contextually speaking, intervention is the same as an enema then I wholeheartedly agree with you. Furthermore, I think what we need in this country is some leverage over our government. I think that we, both individually and collectively (i.e., states) need to be able to short the desires and dictates of the Federal government. As I recall, the South was defeated in many ways by the North, but some of the major issues were never really resolved. I still believe that the right to secede remains an unresolved issue and one that the states have inherently. I also think that states should have nullification rights as well. This is, more than anything, to stymie a congress that has lost touch with its constituents–very much like the one we have now. These incomplete thoughts may not be appropriate solutions, but the idea is that we need something to hold over Washington to make it do the people’s bidding.

  3. This was delightful reading. I liked how, halfway through the interview, Wallace tried to get back to talking about the GCI because he was clearly getting (deservedly) pummeled in the exchange, but Clinton insisted on making his point. He then went on to make a very pointed & important point about the current administration treating Afghanistan as 1/7th the financial priority of Iraq. I was particularly happy to see Clinton call Wallace out on his insipid smirking smile.

    But Clinton’s direct engagement with the right’s smear and the confident way he prevented Wallace from defining the terrain of the discussion contrasts sharply with Senate Dem’s silent capitulation in allowing McCain/Graham/Warner and Bush to define a narrow range of equally hideous and un-American options in the “torture debate.”

  4. I really miss having smart Democrats who can give simple answers to stupid questions. Clinton leaves me longing for the days when there was an implicit assumption that public discourse was about objective reality and not just manipulation, fantasy and spin. Sigh.

  5. The problem today is that there is practically no opposition to the Bush Administration and whatever it chooses to do.The media cheerleads them on and the Democrats are so lost in what they believe, that they get cut down very easily. The people in the country are the real losers.
    My feeling is that the country is irrevocably moving towards fascism, unless something drastic happens. This is personofied by the attachment to big-business and the financial-oligarchs by both the parties. The “democratic-election” process is all directly linked to how much money a candidate can spend and practicallly really nothing else. (Is that the democracy we talk about proudly and want to impose on the rest of the world?)
    Hugo Chavez has been denounced by all relevant politicians on both sides. (maybe his choice of words were not the most articulate. But then “eveil-doers” and “axis-of-evil” terminology seems to be okay for the Democrats to accept. ) But his socialist ideas and humanitarian help do ring a tone with the Democratic base, but not its leaders. Inwardly they should all feel ashamed that Venenzula has to give cheap energy to the US, where they, its elected leaders are all millionaires and have sold their souls to big money,oil and business.
    The outlook for the country is bleak. Who wins in November is going to make no difference as the wealthy will still dominate the landscape with their lapdog media to propagate our own form of fascism. But the rest of the world is not going to remain idle and take it and we know how they are reacting …
    BTW an interesting fact, Chavez seems to have put Chomsky’s book to the top at Amazon. Maybe Americans can really start appreciating ideals which have been blocked from the countries conscience for decades.
    The Democratic Party, as it is today is all but dissolved as a governing party any more. Frankly, in my opinion they do not want to win, as then they would be responsible for doing something. Being the minority gives all the privilages of the lobbyists and Washington, they can pass the laws as BushoCo wants and when it seems politically suitable cry-wolf. The permanent lapdog opposition, the dream of Carl Rove on the path to “anti-fascism” as Huey Long would say …

  6. One more comment if I may: This is the fall campaign: ” Dems can’t keep you safe” and It doesn’t take binoculars to see the media collusion in this. ABC movies 5 hr commercial free propaganda, Fox News drum beating and baiting Clinton by evidently inviting him to talk about something else, Couric is showcasing Condi’s piano playing on 60 minutes and “speaking freely” is a right wing only sho. The corporate nature of this pusch is quite evident ,they must be afraid of losing their tax cuts to a Dem Congress.The torture show is just that- it is all about retroactive absolution and expanding and legalizing presidential power. The wiretapping legislation will be the same enabling dance just watch.

  7. Well, my link didn’t work as expected, so here’s what I intended:
    In the empire of the senses
    You’re the queen of all you survey
    all the cities all the nations
    everything that falls your way
    there is a deeper wave than this
    that you don’t understand
    there is a deeper wave than this tugging at your hand

    every ripple on the ocean
    every leaf on every tree
    every sand dune in the desert
    every power we never see
    there is a deeper wave than this
    swelling in the world
    There is a deeper wave than this
    Listen to me girl

    Feel it rising in the cities Feel it sweeping over the land
    Over borders, over frontiers
    nothing will its power withstand
    There is a deeper wave than this
    rising in the world
    there is a deeper wave than this
    Listen to me girl

    All the bloodshed all the anger
    All the weapons, all the greed
    All the armies, all the missiles
    All the symbols of our fear
    There is a deeper wave than this
    Rising in the world
    There is a deeper wave than this Listen to me girl

    At the still poilt of destruction
    At the center of the fury
    All the angles, all the devils
    All around us can’t you see
    There is a deeper wave than this
    Rising in the land
    There is a deeper wave than this
    Nothing will withstand
    I say love is the seventh wave

    October 5 is very near………

  8. “I am sick of Karl Rove’s bullshit.” –Bill Clinton to David Remnick of the New Yorker, earlier this year.

    Can’t wait for the bumpersticker, poster and T-shirt!

    Faux News will have to edit the hell out of that exchange if they still plan to air it. Chris Wallace had his clock cleaned, oiled, and recalibrated by the “reality-based” ex-President.

  9. keep trashing democrats and we play right into rove’s hands. if the dems are bad then i guess the rpugs are okay? instead of trashing dems give some WORKABLE solutions, keeping in mind that you have no national media access. there are days when i think we should quit and shove this bush country down every righties throat. let them have it!!! it is the way to let them see they are pieces of excrement just like us. without the fight the righties might look around and see how they have been treated. some of my right wing customers really have it in their minds that they will some how be treated, fair better then the democrats under bush, that they are immune to his policies, that the policies are for dems.

    maha, where is our hoppalong clinton picture?? now would be a good time!!!

  10. Rove has understood the Dems in Washington a long time back and has been playing them perfectly to the Republicans advantage. It is we who have been hapless in trying to believe that they could save the country. In ’02 and ’04 we have seen his machiavelic powers and now in ’06 when everything seems to point to a Dem win, they are going to turn out their base like nothing before. We have done nothing in this period to see that the 40% who do not vote do turn out. This lot feels thoroughly defranchised and really does not see anything to encorage them for vote for the Dem politicians we do have. Frankly, unless the Dems do get about rediscovering themselves or a third-force comes, we are doomed for long-term one-party dominant rule; which has been the Rove ideology all along …

  11. The whole nation needs an intervention.

    Well, I wouldn’t say the whole nation, maybe just a large portion.

    I’m waiting to see how they perform their latest feat of magic called the we don’t torture bill( the program). Being a black and white thinker like I am, it poses quite a challenge to my limited ability to reason in trying to anticipate how they overcame the obvious dilemma..either you’re torturing or you’re not torturing. For now, I can only draw on the logic expressed in the novel Catch-22 when speaking about the character Major Major..when he’s in, he’s out, and when he’s out, he’s in. What can be clearer than that, huh?

    I’m feeling in a declaration sort of mood tonight..So. I hold these truths to be self evident..the War on Terror is a joke, and we’ve already lost the war in Iraq..

  12. Gee, I musta gotten the holy ghost. You know, the one who brings into remembrance all things. I just remembered the big round up of the thousands of terrorist suspects shortly after 9/11. Maybe it didn’t pan out except for snagging a few over extended visas violations, but I remember being in awe at the efficiency of the FBI to find terrorists. I never felt so safe and secure..not even when I was nursing as a babe. Thanks, George Bush.

  13. What did the Big Dog expect. Did he think his being a former President would make him equal to a charter member of America’s political aristocracy like Bush? Did he think hangin’ wit Poppy was gonna make him acceptable.

    I guess so.

    Dude is not as smart as folks would like to think or maybe….

    just maybe….

    He does think of himself like most politicians in America now do.

    Not accountable to the people.

    Not a citizen but rather a member of the ‘ruling class’.

    Nasty shock for the dude to find out, again, that he ain’t.

    Slow learner.

  14. A Citizen: You are an idiot. After watching Bill Clinton for three days during the Clinton Global Inisiative conference, I assure you he’s doing the planet more good than your tiny little brain can imagine.

    Yes, he has flaws. Yes, he screws up. Yes, I disagreed with a lot of his administration’s policies. I still disagree with ’em. But you seem to have an infantile idea that people are either heroes or villains. The possibility of “imperfect, but not evil” doesn’t exist for you.

    Grow up.

  15. Bill Clinton shows a rare combination of political skill and an intelligence that transcends politics. If a player as dynamic arises in the next 12 months or so, we may get good government once more. Unfortunately, I have no names in mind at the moment.

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