Patterico's Pontifications


Bill Clinton, Then and Now

Filed under: General,Scum,War — Patterico @ 12:28 am

Power Line tells us that, according to an AFP report, Bill Clinton has been criticizing President Bush about Iraq:

Breaking with tradition under which US presidents mute criticisms of their successors, Clinton said the Bush administration had decided to invade Iraq “virtually alone and before UN inspections were completed, with no real urgency, no evidence that there were weapons of mass destruction.”

A Power Line reader notes this contradictory Clinton quote from July 2003: “[I]t is incontestable that on the day I left office, there were unaccounted for stocks of biological and chemical weapons.”

That quote is from an extensive interview Clinton did with Larry King, which I quoted at length in July 2003. I encourage you to go back and read everything I quoted, but I do want to highlight here some of the surrounding context to the quote supplied by the Power Line reader. I think it makes it even clearer that Clinton’s current criticism is cynical politics. Here’s what he said then:

Let me tell you what I know. When I left office, there was a substantial amount of biological and chemical material unaccounted for. That is, at the end of the first Gulf War, we knew what he had. We knew what was destroyed in all the inspection processes and that was a lot. And then we bombed with the British for four days in 1998. We might have gotten it all; we might have gotten half of it; we might have gotten none of it. But we didn’t know. So I thought it was prudent for the president to go to the U.N. and for the U.N. to say you got to let these inspectors in, and this time if you don’t cooperate the penalty could be regime change, not just continued sanctions.

I mean, we’re all more sensitive to any possible stocks of chemical and biological weapons.

. . . .

KING: What do you do, Mr. President, with what’s put in front of you?

CLINTON: Well, here’s what happens: every day the president gets a daily brief from the CIA. And then, if it’s some important issue — and believe me, you know, anything having to do with chemical, biological or nuclear weapons became much more important to everybody in the White House after September the 11 — then they probably told the president, certainly Condoleezza Rice, that this is what the British intelligence thought. . . .

I think the main thing I want to say to you is, people can quarrel with whether we should have more troops in Afghanistan or internationalize Iraq or whatever, but it is incontestable that on the day I left office, there were unaccounted for stocks…

… of biological and chemical weapons. We might have destroyed them in ‘98. We tried to, but we sure as heck didn’t know it because we never got to go back in there.

And what I think — again, I would say the most important thing is we should focus on what’s the best way to build Iraq as a democracy? How is the president going to do that and deal with continuing problems in Afghanistan and North Korea?

We should be pulling for America on this. We should be pulling for the people of Iraq. We can have honest disagreements about where we go from here, and we have space now to discuss that in what I hope will be a nonpartisan and open way. . . . You know, everybody makes mistakes when they are president. I mean, you can’t make as many calls as you have to make without messing up once in awhile. The thing we ought to be focused on is what is the right thing to do now. That’s what I think.

That’s what you thought. But there’s nothing “nonpartisan” about the way you’re framing your criticism now, Mr. Clinton.

So: what’s the difference between July 2003 and now, hmmm?

I hope I don’t have to insult your intelligence by spelling it out for you.

7 Responses to “Bill Clinton, Then and Now”

  1. John At Power Line Loses It, part Deux!

    In my previous post, John At Power Line Loses It!, I called your attention to John Hinderaker’s excellent (if scorching) chastisement of Bill Clinton for attacking the current president… during which Clinton lied (there’s a shock!) not only about t…

    Big Lizards (fe7c9d)

  2. Patterico:

    How’s come you don’t list trackbacks? I sent you one; I hope you got it!


    Dafydd (f8a7be)

  3. Clinton is shameless. You never know what that guy is going to say.

    Dwilkers (a1687a)

  4. “You never know what that guy is going to say.”

    But, you do know that it will include a revised history of events which casts him in the best possible light no matter his actual failures, you can be sure it will also include an underhanded smear of someone else for Clinton’s own misdeeds.

    Such are the constant delusions of an angry little boy who never grew to become a man, the false Prophet of Progressivism, and a flaming narcissist on public display.

    Black Jack (ee9fe2)

  5. The Antichrist is preparing for Hillary’s ’08 campaign. She has a chance.

    RJN (c3a4a3)

  6. The other incredible – in my mind at least – statement this redneck made during the same interview, dealt with the failure of the Government (based on context – the Federal Govt.) to put the poor folk with their “kin” on buses and get them out of harms way.

    HELLO – wouldn’t that be something the LOCAL government would be better equipped and situated to do?

    Why does Bush 43 allow this guy to trumpet himself out on his watch and then incorrectly and improperly bite the hand that’s feeding him. Cut him off and let him get his press fix off of his wife’s crumbs.

    MOG (c73ee5)

  7. Blech

    Today’s dose of NIF – News, Interesting & Funny … It’s a TJ-is-sick + Kerry-180 Tuesday

    NIF (59ce3a)

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