Hi there; remember me? I've actually had my new system up and running for a couple of days, but had other priorities.
I haven't had too much to say about the slate of candidates--both Democrat and Republican--who are running for president in 2008, but I read something today--from last month--allegedly said by one of them; something which made my nappy hair straighten spontaneously.
During a Town Hall Meeting in Hampton, NH, Senator Hillary Clinton responded to a less-than-polite questioner about the former's role in authorizing Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Clinton said she had been briefed on the report, and the woman screamed back, "Did you read it?!" Notably uncomfortable, the Senator repeated that she had been briefed. [SNIP]
Clinton also said she believed she was giving the President the authority to send U.N. inspectors to Iraq.(Emphasis mine.)
Here's the bill in question, ambiguously titled Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against Iraq. There are two versions of the bill, but both have the same title and the opening line is likewise identical:
To authorize the use of United States Armed Forces against Iraq.Additionally, here is the first paragraph of the senator's floor speech on the prior related bill, retrieved from her own site:
Today we are asked whether to give the President of the United States authority to use force in Iraq should diplomatic efforts fail to dismantle Saddam Hussein's chemical and biological weapons and his nuclear program.So I have a question; it's of the multiple-choice variety. Is the senator:
c. calculating that most observers are stupid? or
d. b. and c.?
The senate floor speech certainly rules out a., though if a. were true, the thought that such a moron could be president--one who voted for troop combat deployment when she thought she was voting for "authorization" to deploy UN inspectors--is hair-straightening in and of itself. But, as you can guess, I'm going with d.
Now, of course, I realize that our legislators don't necessarily read every single piece of legislation that comes up for a vote. That's what House/Senate staff members are for. But the AUMF of 2002 wasn't some innocuous senate snoozer of a bill composed in bureaucrat-ese. It was a clear-cut consent to send US troops into battle. Simply, the senator is calculating that many citizens who may be inclined to put her in the Oval Office don't know that and that such people also aren't aware that the US government has no control over the UN.
If the senator believes that she made a mistake when she voted to authorize OIF, why can't she just say it? Here's why: because of the questions and public observations that will result from such an admission. From such, the public will be reminded that she, those senators and representatives who voted "yea" on S.J.RES.46 of the 107th Congress, President Bush and, last but not least, the senator's own husband were all relying on the same intelligence reports of Saddam Hussein's WMD capabilities when coming to conclusions and making decisions regarding Hussein's Iraq. (Was the senator paying attention to something other than her husband's infidelities during the vaunted co-presidency? Apparently not.)
Would such an admission put Senator Clinton in the same opinion-dog house where President Bush has resided for some time now--the one designated for those who rely on faulty intelligence and are called liars because of it? Probably not. That singular dungeon seems to be reserved for Republicans in general and the president in particular, but Senator Clinton probably isn't willing to take that chance. Also there's an important and related reason for the senator to make such a blatantly ridiculous assertion about senate "authorization" for deployment of UN inspectors into Iraq: Senator Obama.
The "never was for it; but she was" Senator Obama, that is. The same guy who is cutting into the black and anti-war voting blocks which Senator Clinton thought belonged to her.
She's scared, but she did not do herself any favors in that town hall meeting. On the contrary, she merely confirmed something that her detractors have asserted about her and Former President Clinton for some time now: that the two will brazenly lie about nearly anything to gain and/or retain power.
(Thanks to Clarice Feldman)