Sunday, February 11, 2007

HILLARY CLINTON ASKED HARD QUESTIONS ABOUT HER IRAQ RECORD IN NEW HAMPSHIRE

"I have taken responsibility for my vote."
--Sen. Hillary Clinton refusing to take responsibility for her 2002 vote authorizing the use of force in Iraq.

CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE--Laying-out her weathered, lame excuse that "knowing now what I know, ...", the presidential candidate continued to insult the intelligence of ten-year-olds everywhere at a Berlin, N.H. town hall meeting. Senator Clinton, you knew that the run-up to the war in Iraq was a sham, it was obvious to anyone with a smidgen of sense. You are a liar. You knew, we all knew. Quit insulting all of us. I was proud of this man's comments directed at this contradiction in your statements, behavior and voting-record in the Senate:

Roger Tilton, 46, a financial adviser from Nashua, N.H., told Clinton that unless she recanted her vote, he was not in the mood to listen to her other policy ideas. "I want to know if right here, right now, once and for all and without nuance, you can say that war authorization was a mistake," Tilton said. "I, and I think a lot of other primary voters — until we hear you say it, we're not going to hear all the other great things you are saying." (AP, 02.11.2007)

That was when she dropped the aforementioned insult. This was an honest, intelligent question that deserved a direct-answer. All candidates need to be able to answer this question respectfully and truthfully. Otherwise, they're going to have an uphill battle for a campaign. Hillary Clinton is making-it-plain that she has contempt for the public will (or even the common good). She even dropped the hint that Edwards also voted to authorize the war in an offhand-comment. Indeed he did, Mrs. Clinton, and it's likely that anyone who voted for said authorization is going to pay a political-price--especially those who cling so tenaciously to the assumptions that got us into Iraq in the first place.

While people like Robert Byrd, Ted Kennedy, Barack Obama, Patrick Leahy, and a few others, used their heads and saw the long-term picture. You, the former GOP-majority, and other conservative Democrats backed this war without much pressuring. Like the mainstream media, you were too-credulous.But there's a punchline to the AP-missive: Tilton told Clinton he "wasn't satisfied" with here answer, and that he would be voting for Edwards or Obama. This is a bad omen for the rest of Senator Clinton's campaign, and a point of extreme vulnerability that she created for herself back in late-2002:

Tilton was unmoved. "Until she says it was a mistake she won't get my vote," he insisted.The exchange highlighted the challenge Clinton faces in the early-days of her candidacy for president. She must convince Democratic primary voters, who tend to be strongly opposed to the war in Iraq, that her pragmatic approach to ending the conflict is the right one. (Washington Post, 02.11.2007)

Obama, and all the other dissenting-votes for the the authorization to use force in Iraq might just have the long-term vision America needs. People like Tilton will be their ticket to victory, but they have some recanting to do. She won't admit it was a mistake, just like President George W. Bush. Meanwhile, Republican incumbents, and some of those who were washed-out of Congress are saying the opposite. This puts her to the far-right of the public. At least the other two Democratic candidates get it.

Voters should ask themselves why Senator Clinton clings-to the same assumptions about the conflict as the Bush administration. She's hardly alone in Congress. There's another comment she made that's troubling: "I gave him [President George W. Bush] the authority to send [UN] inspectors back in to determine the truth. I said this is not a vote to authorize pre-emptive war." Why are you the only one saying this Hillary? It's true that you expressed "severe reservations" at the time (to cover yourself), but you voted for the resolution anyway. Now, it's law, but maybe this will jog the Senator's memory:

SEC. 3. AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES.
(a) Authorization.--The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to--
(1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and
(2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq.

(GPO.GOV, Sec. 3 of Public law 107-243, 116 Stat. 1497-1502)

The legislation allows the President a lot of latitude, but you decide. The bill's text is in the final link below this piece. You tell me if she's lying, or merely twisting a minor-provision in the bill (it appears she does actually read most legislation).


AP: "Clinton parries Iraq questions in New Hampshire": http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070211/ap_on_el_pr/clinton2008

Washington Post: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0702110336feb11,1,5595777.story?coll=chi-newsnationworld-hed

Reuters: http://www.abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory?id=2866066

CNN 2004: "Hillary Clinton: No Regret on Iraq Vote": http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/04/21/iraq.hillary/

AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF MILITARY FORCE AGAINST IRAQ RESOLUTION OF 2002: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=107_cong_public_laws&docid=f:publ243.107