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Secretary Rice Responds to Bill Clinton

***Updated***

Secretary Rice is not pleased with Bill Clinton right now. She is refuting his accusation that the Bush Administration didn't do anything regarding terrorism prior to 9/11:

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice yesterday accused Bill Clinton of making "flatly false" claims that the Bush administration didn't lift a finger to stop terrorism before the 9/11 attacks.


Rice hammered Clinton, who leveled his charges in a contentious weekend interview with Chris Wallace of Fox News Channel, for his claims that the Bush administration "did not try" to kill Osama bin Laden in the eight months they controlled the White House before the Sept. 11 attacks.

"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," Rice said during a wide-ranging meeting with Post editors and reporters.

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

The secretary of state also sharply disputed Clinton's claim that he "left a comprehensive anti-terror strategy" for the incoming Bush team during the presidential transition in 2001.

"We were not left a comprehensive strategy to fight al Qaeda," Rice responded during the hourlong session.

[snip]

In her pointed rebuttal of Clinton's inflammatory claims about the war on terror, Rice maintained the Bush White House did the best it could to defend against an attack - and expanded on the tools and intelligence it inherited.

"I would just suggest that you go back and read the 9/11 commission report on the efforts of the Bush administration in the eight months - things like working to get an armed Predator [drone] that actually turned out to be extraordinarily important," Rice added.

She also said Clinton's claims that Richard Clarke - the White House anti-terror guru hyped by Clinton as the country's "best guy" - had been demoted by Bush were bogus.

"Richard Clarke was the counterterrorism czar when 9/11 happened. And he left when he did not become deputy director of homeland security, some several months later," she said.

In the alternate world in which the nutroots live, Bill Clinton is the paragon of virtue and truth, and Secretary Rice does nothing but lie.

Bill Clinton, as he accused Chris Wallace of a right wing hit job, demanded to know to which Bush Administration officials Chris posed the same question. Patterico has all the details.

Update: Dick Morris writes today in The Hill that the real Clinton appeared at Chris Wallace's interview:

From behind the benign fa�ade and the tranquilizing smile, the real Bill Clinton emerged Sunday during Chris Wallace's interview on Fox News Channel. There he was on live television, the man those who have worked for him have come to know - the angry, sarcastic, snarling, self-righteous, bombastic bully, roused to a fever pitch. The truer the accusation, the greater the feigned indignation. Clinton jabbed his finger in Wallace's face, poking his knee, and invading the commentator's space.

Read the rest of Dick's article.


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Comments (34)

You mean we should belive "... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

You mean we should belive "Mushroom Cloud" Condi who is trying to "save" her "legacy." Give me a break. Clinton lied. She lied. Cheyney lied and Bush wouldn't know the difference.

""What we did in the eig... (Below threshold)
Lee:

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

Wait a minute -- Clinton and the Democrats have been pounded on for months here and on conservative blogs everywhere for "doing nothing to get bin Laden", and here Rice confirms that those were just more Republican lies.

I love it when conservative leaders confirm that the conservative bloggers and commenters are flat-out lying....

Lee,It's a moot po... (Below threshold)
Fordrill:

Lee,

It's a moot point, but people here don't want to debate based on any form of truth. Truth is a gray area for these people. In fact, debate isn't even part of the order here. It's nasty, name-calling tirades.

The great difference between a Democrat and a Neocon is that we gain our strength from the truth, right or wrong. We'd rather go into a discussion armed with 1 truth rather than padding a larger argument with 20 questionables.

And we're not adverse to admitting we're wrong.

Neocons look at admissions of mistakes as weakness. They look at qualified information as a threat - and they actually believe the crap their fed by Fox News, WizBangBlog, etc.

That's what happens when you're a concrete thinker.

And as far as Former President Clinton is concerned (that's right, Former President Clinton. I'll afford him the honor of that moniker where the right will not) he has been, as history will meter out, one of the finest Presidents of the 20th Century. No matter of name calling or revising histories will change that.

President Bush, on the other hand, will be listed as the pariah, a liar, an imbecile and the greatest danger our country has faced since Bin Laden.

""What we did in ... (Below threshold)
Jumpinjoe:
""What we did in the eight months was at least as aggressive as what the Clinton administration did in the preceding years," Rice added."

Wait a minute -- Clinton and the Democrats have been pounded on for months here and on conservative blogs everywhere for "doing nothing to get bin Laden", and here Rice confirms that those were just more Republican lies

Posted by: Lee

Huh? How is that a lie? I missed the news where the Bush administration was offered OBL on a silver platter.

Only a true lefty could be proud that their eights years of work is equal to eights months of others.

Sounds like a union job site.

Come on Lee, even a 7th gra... (Below threshold)
comeonsense:

Come on Lee, even a 7th grader knows that Condi was saying:

Bush's actions were = or > than Clinton.

And that satement holds water even though Clinton did nothing.

Two comments in, Kim, and t... (Below threshold)
langtry:

Two comments in, Kim, and the conversation you were trying to have has already disintegrated. I'll endeavor to try to steer it back on track.

Eight years and eight months aren't equal. Period. No mateer how hard the nutroots try to spin this, no one is buying this argument. Even people I know who disagree with Bush's prosecution of the W.O.T. are flabbergasted by this assertion. If the Dems are smart, they'll drop this patently facetious argument.

I'm also going to throw an heretofore unmentioned point that I think has been underestmiated by those who have sought to comment on the first several months of the Bush administration, and that is ...

"Never underestimate the distraction Al Gore's battle to gain the Presidency was to the beginning of Bush's 1st term."

In the months of any new administration, the President and his team of advisers are usually busy focusing on setting the adminsitrations's agenda and deciding what priorities will be the focus of it's first year in office. Bush didn't have that luxury, as Gore's protracted legal battle to become President via the courts had rendered the American public weary and in need of reassurance. Starting off having to quell public uncertainty inre legitimacy and capability shifted the focus away from anything other than domestic issues. Any Presdient in this situation would be unable to act on foreign policy and issues of terrorism until the public's confidence (normally a given to a new President) was regained.

Add this to what I believe to be an specious Clinton assertion regarding his having left a "comprehensive anti-terrorism plan" in place and you have an administration that was caught behind the proverbial 8-ball.

"What we did in the eigh... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

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

Which is another way of saying "not enough". As bewildering and slightly bizarre as Condi's statement is it does not mean she is lying; it only proves that Republicans as well as Democrats, especially the administration prior to Bush, did not take the threat seriously enough or respond appropriately. They both failed us. But I'm sorry to say that I hold Clinton, a man I voted for twice, with the greater responsibility for not connecting the dots and for not responding after repeated attacks agaisnt American interests and with repeated opportunities to kill OBL. To attempt to deny these facts or to deflect the greater responsibility onto Bush 2, is sheer folly.

Continuing the Clinton, Bush 1, Reagan approach in responding to terrorism was a grave mistake in foreign policy.

Once again the idiots got h... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

Once again the idiots got here first. Only a fool believes a proven liar. Good thing old Bill doesn't sell cars. You all would be driving lemons. Beside the five Cray Super Computers, what else did Bill give the Chinese communists for campaign contributions? Results speak loud. Bush has two more years to oversee the demise of OBL. We know what Clinton did not do. In spite of his childish tantrum OBL had free reign in Afghanistan. Bush didn't kill or capture him, that is true, but he sure changed the comfort level of his surroundings. Clinton lobbed expensive cruise missles into empty spaces and calls that an attack on Bin Ladin. Why don't you true believers leave your wives and daughters with that rapist SOB overnight?

"Come on Lee, even a 7th... (Below threshold)
Lee:

"Come on Lee, even a 7th grader knows that Condi was saying:

Bush's actions were = or > than Clinton.

Which proves that the many conservatives claiming Clinton did nothing were lying - or that Clinton did nothing and Bush did nothing also - take your pick.

If I had told Chris Wallace... (Below threshold)

If I had told Chris Wallace a couple of years ago that someday Bill Clinton would accuse him of being a member of the "right winged media" I wonder how he would have reacted.

I wonder what Thanksgiving is like in the Wallace household when father and son sit down for turkey?

Lee,I'll tell you ... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

Lee,

I'll tell you Clinton did nothing and still contend that Rice isn't lying.

How? Well, half-hearted attempts that amount to nothing are...well, nothing, in my opinion. (Go ahead and twist away here, I'm sure I'll be seeing this turned back on me.)

I've never attempted to exonerate the Bush administration's share of responsibility in the 9-11 attacks, but I do believe he has been shouldering an unfair amount of the blame.

As to Fordrill's remarks:

You are mistaken in your judgements. You'll find with even a cursory look through the site, that hazy assertions don't stand up around here...people are called on them, and the counter-debates are backed up with facts. A part of the anti-Bush mind that makes their arguments so poor is that they refuse to look before 2001 and just resort to blaming the current administration for everything.

If, as you claim, Democrats gain their strength from truth, you are weakened beyond repair, because many of your personal attacks against the right and the president are completely devoid of your heralded "truth".

Learn to separate emotion from logic and it could go a long way to making your arguments less laughable.

Speaking of laughable, could you perhaps tell us of what would make Clinton "one of the finest Presidents of the 20th Century."?


Condi,She's so fun... (Below threshold)
muirgeo:

Condi,

She's so funny...she keeps stepping in poop.

""We were not left a comprehensive strategy to fight al Qaeda," Rice responded during the hourlong session.

eh- em!! Beotch!!

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB147/index.htm

I think poor Lee is having ... (Below threshold)
Darwin:

I think poor Lee is having a little trouble with the ">" sign. Hang in there, you'll get it.

Bush was distracted by Gore, Clinton was distracted by Lewinsky. The difference? Lewinsky was Clinton's creation, his choice, his own foolishness. And please, stop. Without the underlying stupidity by Clinton, none of the rest would have happened. He may even have gone down in history as a much better president than he was. He did it himself no matter what the Democrats might believe.

Which is sort of the essence here, isn't it? Taking responsibility for your actions or in-actions? Not surprising that Clinton throws a tantrum over this.

For the record, I don't blame Clinton for 911. Nor do I blame Bush. I blame OSB. I also blame Hitler for WWII, Stalin for the Gulag, and Japan for Pearl Harbor. Why does that seem so odd in this day and age? Blaming anyone on our side for such an event is simply politics. Cheap politics at that. Both sides engauge in it.

Fordrill, what exactly is a "Neocon" in your vocabulary? Anyone you disagree with? Republicans in general? Perhaps dirty sneaky Jews? Do you even know what it means, or is it just a buzzword you heard somewhere? I find it quite humorous that someone who deplores name calling resorts to exactly that, generalizing and over characterizing everyone else.

She (Rice) also said Middle... (Below threshold)
muirgeo:

She (Rice) also said Middle East countries like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have a "major educational reform" effort under way to root out propaganda literature and extremist brainwashing.


Oh goody goody...can we start doing that here in the USof A too!!!

Why was Sandy Berger (from ... (Below threshold)
George:

Why was Sandy Berger (from the Clinton administration) stuffing terror-related documents in his pants and later destroying them? Was it because Bill Clinton, "one of the finest Presidents of the 20th Century," did such a great job protecting the United States from terror?

Bush was distracted by Gore... (Below threshold)
muirgeo:

Bush was distracted by Gore, Clinton was distracted by Lewinsky. The difference? Lewinsky was Clinton's creation, his choice, his own foolishness.

Posted by: Darwin

Senatorial subpoenas to the administration from 1995 to 2000;

1050

Senatorial subpoenas to the administration from 2000 to 2005;

0 (ZERO)

Darwin who was distracting who now????

This little known fact is immensely telling.

Muirego, you are an idiot i... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

Muirego, you are an idiot if you call that a comprehensive plan. Do you actually read what is posted at the links you provide? A warning that terrorist or al-Qaeda may attack U.S. interests. What? Who could make that claim after eight years of inaction to attack after attack from terrorist organizations? If Bill Clinton had an operational plan to fight terrorism, why did he not implement it during his two terms in office. They had a plan to depose Saddam as well, but it took another President to implement that.

muirego:<block... (Below threshold)
Heralder:


muirego:

She (Rice) also said Middle East countries like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have a "major educational reform" effort under way to root out propaganda literature and extremist brainwashing. Oh goody goody...can we start doing that here in the USof A too!!!

that would mean you'd have to be deprogrammed...you ok with that muirego?

Point of order"f I h... (Below threshold)
drlloyd11:

Point of order
"f I had told Chris Wallace a couple of years ago that someday Bill Clinton would accuse him of being a member of the "right winged media" I wonder how he would have reacted.

I wonder what Thanksgiving is like in the Wallace household when father and son sit down for turkey?"

Chris is semi-estranged from his father ..accusing him of dementia.
Chris Wallace also is rather proud of his right wing bonafides in interviews and writings.

muriego, I wish we would im... (Below threshold)
D-Hoggs:

muriego, I wish we would implement that strategy of rooting out propaganda in our schools. Maybe then you could gain the reading comprehension you so sorely lack.

"Lewinsky was Clinton's creation, his choice, his own foolishness."

However many senatorial subpoenas there were, they were a result of CLINTON'S OWN ACTIONS. This means that he brought them upon himself. I don't think you're going to be too happy with a major educational reform, as it could only mean rooting out the liberal propaganda that has so thoroughly taken over in our country's schools.

I must point out muriego th... (Below threshold)
D-Hoggs:

I must point out muriego that it is quite amusing how you make an ass out of yourself on one thread and when called out you just pop over to another. How convenient, never having to admit you were wrong, just like your hero.

drlloyd11,Now wait j... (Below threshold)
Live@9:

drlloyd11,
Now wait just a minute! There is no way Chris Wallace could have stated publicly that he is "proud of right wing bonafides" and still be an Anchor man at a fair and balanced news outfit. That would destroy years of careful marketing by Fox and cause the ratings to drop. Not going to happen.
(sarcasm now off)

However many senatorial sub... (Below threshold)
muirgeo:

However many senatorial subpoenas there were, they were a result of CLINTON'S OWN ACTIONS.

Posted by: D-Hoggs

1050 to 0???????? STHeckU idiot.

Adultery, perjury, made his... (Below threshold)
D-Hoggs:

Adultery, perjury, made his own bed.

I see Kim is preventing lin... (Below threshold)
mantis:

I see Kim is preventing links in the comments (or rather restricting them pending approval, which never comes), so I'll have to post the ugly html:

2001 memo to Rice contradicts statements about Clinton, Pakistan

http://www.rawstory.com/news/2006/2001_memo_to_Rice_contradicts_statements_0926.html

If certainties such as the ... (Below threshold)
markie:

If certainties such as the war in Iraq and the axis of evil are based on a religious belief that God is on our side - versus we should be on God's side as Lincoln said - then certitude creates foreign policy problems," Ms Albright said.

langtry,Specious?<... (Below threshold)
Robert:

langtry,

Specious?
Condi (I know she IS a serial liar) told the 911 Commission that the Clinton Administration didn't leave a plan. They left some ideas and some actions the new administration could act on.

BTW, that's what they call a plan.

Nothing specious there.

I'm not here to defend Clin... (Below threshold)
Robert:

I'm not here to defend Clinton's Presidency (roving wiretaps?), but really D-Hoggs. Are you saying adultery and perjury are unique to Clinton (and not the Senate)?

Adultery, perjury, made his... (Below threshold)
muirgeo:

Adultery, perjury, made his own bed.

Posted by: D-Hogg

Ignored Intel
9-11
No WMD
Taliban resurgence
OBL roams free
IRAQ quagmire
Record Debt

Hey ...he made our own bed.

And yet, robert, Lee, muirg... (Below threshold)
Martin A. Knight:

And yet, robert, Lee, muirgeo, et al. this is the supposedly sainted Richard Clarke:

    RICHARD CLARKE: Actually, I've got about seven points, let me just go through them quickly. Um, the first point, I think the overall point is, there was no plan on Al Qaeda that was passed from the Clinton administration to the Bush administration.

    Second point is that the Clinton administration had a strategy in place, effectively dating from 1998. And there were a number of issues on the table since 1998. And they remained on the table when that administration went out of office -- issues like aiding the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan, changing our Pakistan policy -- uh, changing our policy toward Uzbekistan. And in January 2001, the incoming Bush administration was briefed on the existing strategy. They were also briefed on these series of issues that had not been decided on in a couple of years.

    And the third point is the Bush administration decided then, you know, in late January, to do two things. One, vigorously pursue the existing policy, including all of the lethal covert action findings, which we've now made public to some extent....

    QUESTION: Had the Clinton administration in any of its work on this issue, in any of the findings or anything else, prepared for a call for the use of ground forces, special operations forces in any way? What did the Bush administration do with that if they had?

    CLARKE: There was never a plan in the Clinton administration to use ground forces. The military was asked at a couple of points in the Clinton administration to think about it. Um, and they always came back and said it was not a good idea. There was never a plan to do that.

    ...

    ANGLE: So, just to finish up if we could then, so what you're saying is that there was no -- one, there was no plan; two, there was no delay; and that actually the first changes since October of '98 were made in the spring months just after the administration came into office?

    CLARKE: You got it. That's right.

Reality has a habit of biting the Left in the rear end.

Seems the only person who... (Below threshold)
G A Anderson:

Seems the only person who has got this right is our "Evil, neocon, stupid" President who states that he doesn't have the time engage in finger-pointing. As fas as Clinton is concerned any good intentions he appeared to have last week now seem self serving.
The terrorists have won as they watch us fighting among ourselves. Bin Laden, despite exaggerated rumors, is still alive unless he died from hysteria.

Geeze, Condi. If not Sun Tz... (Below threshold)
mojo:

Geeze, Condi. If not Sun Tzu, how about Napoleon?

"Never interrupt an opponent while he's in the midst of making a mistake."

She also said Clinton's ... (Below threshold)
astigafa:

She also said Clinton's claims that Richard Clarke - the White House anti-terror guru hyped by Clinton as the country's "best guy" - had been demoted by Bush were bogus. "Richard Clarke was the counterterrorism czar when 9/11 happened. And he left when he did not become deputy director of homeland security, some several months later," she said.

The suggestion that Clarke became a whistle blower only because he didn't get the job is both specious and irresponsible. He didn't say anything that Bush WH insiders would later be quoted as saying, e.g. future Iraq ambassador L. Paul Bremer said in a memo dated 2/26/01 that, "The new administration seems to be paying no attention to the problem of terrorism."

In my opinion, Clarke's only real sin is that he was a registered Republican; you can't trust anybody that stupid.

Gee mantis, thanks for that... (Below threshold)

Gee mantis, thanks for that link. Do you mean Condi actually lied when she said Bubba's administration did not leave her a plan?

Noooooo! I can't believe someone in frat boy's administration would actually tell a lie?





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