OxBlog

Saturday, September 23, 2006

# Posted 10:31 AM by Taylor Owen  

SUNDAY MORNING SCRAP (A PREVIEW): Clinton vs. Wallace on Fox News. Wallace asks about Clinton's failure to kill Bin Laden, and well, Clinton starts swinging:
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 911 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.
This is interesting though:
CLINTON: I authorized the CIA to get groups together to try to kill him. The CIA was run by George Tenet who President Bush gave the medal of freedom to and said he did a good job.. The country never had a comprehensive anti terror operation until I came to office. If you can criticize me for one thing, you can criticize me for this, after the Cole I had battle plans drawn to go into Afghanistan, overthrow the Taliban, and launch a full scale attack search for Bin Laden. But we needed baseing rights in Uzbekistan which we got after 9/11. The CIA and the FBI refused to certify that Bin Laden was responsible while I was there. They refused to certify. So that meant I would have had to send a few hundred special forces in helicopters and refuel at night. Even the 9/11 Commission didn’t do that. Now the 9/11 Commission was a political document too. All I’m asking is if anybody wants to say I didn’t do enough, you read Richard Clarke’s book.
Then it's back on the attack:

WALLACE: Do you think you did enough sir?

CLINTON: No, because I didn’t get him

WALLACE: Right…

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 tired. 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.
Ok, one more:
CLINTON: What did I do? I worked hard to try and kill him. I authorized a finding for the CIA to kill him. We contracted with people to kill him. I got closer to killing him than anybody has gotten since. And if I were still president we’d have more than 20,000 troops there trying to kill him. Now I never criticized President Bush and I don’t think this is useful. But you know we do have a government that think Afghanistan is 1/7 as important as Iraq. And you ask me about terror and Al Qaeda with that sort of dismissive theme when all you have to do is read Richard Clarke’s book to look at what we did in a comprehensive systematic way to try to protect the country against terror. And you’ve got that little smirk on your face. It looks like you’re so clever…
Check out the whole thing, if you're into Clinton porn, it's really quite something.
(11) opinions -- Add your opinion

Comments:
Dorian Grey looking in the mirror......
 
Having watched it, Clinton just took Wallace apart, like a young Roberto Duran taking apart Carlos Palomino. It was never in doubt after the initial circling. Clinton knocked Wallace down with the setting of the Fox context. And after a while, you sort of expected that someone from Fox would have thrown a white towel onto the set.

"Tell the truth, Chris."

[My apologies to fans of the sweet science in giving Wallace as much credit as Palamino, a great champion in his waning days when he fought Duran. It seems that all boxers end their careers badly. Duran certainly did.]
 
Having watched it, Clinton just took Wallace apart, like a young Roberto Duran taking apart Carlos Palomino. It was never in doubt after the initial circling. Clinton knocked Wallace down with the setting of the Fox context.

So, I see, apparently ad hominem is an effective style of argument to you? Glad you're not on my side, whatever that means. It's not as though Richard Clarke's book actually lets Clinton's Administration off, either. The classic "Why didn't they listen to me?" Washington book, he bashes both Administrations for not listening to the Guy Who Knew What Was Going On, Richard Clarke. Heck, a lot of the Path to 9/11 stuff came from his very book.
 
Can you provide any quotes that you think are ad hominem? Maybe you just didn't like your boy getting roughed up; Republicans do like to play the victim card a lot.
 
Anon, here are a few:
"I’m being asked this on the Fox network." - that's the very definition of ad hominem. Later,
"So you did Fox’s bidding on this show. You did your nice little conservative hit job on me. "
"And you’ve got that little smirk on your face and you think you’re so clever."
"And I think it’s very interesting that all the conservative Republicans, who now say I didn’t do enough, claimed that I was too obsessed with bin Laden."
-that last is a tiny bit less ad hominem as it purports to be a factual claim, but it's wrong. See transcript of noted rightwing news outlet PBS quoting Republican reaction to the 1998 bombing of Afghanistan and Sudan coincident with the Lewinsky scandal:
JIM LEHRER: Sen. Kyl, the right thing to do?

SEN. JOHN KYL, (R) Arizona: Yes, I support the president's action, both because of the connection of Osama bin Laden to past terrorist activities, as well as the threats that he has made against Americans around the world in the future.
JIM LEHRER: Sen. Grams, how do you feel about it?

SEN. ROD GRAMS, (R) Minnesota: Well, I agree as well, and I think we needed to send a very strong and very clear message to terrorists around the world that Americans will not stand for this type of terrorist activity or terrorist threats, either the ones on the embassies in Africa recently, or any planned threats in the future. So I very strongly support this, and I think these raids were carried out, I hope, very successfully.

Likewise cnn reported that
House Speaker Newt Gingrich quickly sided with the adminstration, saying the president "did the right thing" by ordering the simultaneous attacks against facilities believed linked to terrorists suspected in the Aug. 7 bombings of U.S. embassies in east Africa. (416K wav sound)

"Just a few days ago in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, we saw what happens when people who hate America and hate freedom decide to kill Americans," Gingrich said. "They did so in a way in which we have to respond.

"We have every reason to believe that this terrorist organization will try to hurt other Americans," Gingrich said.

Other key members of Congress also quickly voiced their approval for the decisive military action, including Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.), House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas), House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.), and Sens. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.), Wayne Allard (R-Colo.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).
...
Clinton's 2006 claim about Somalia was "They [all the conservative Republicans] were all trying to get me to withdraw from Somalia in 1993 the next day after we were involved in Black Hawk down, and I refused to do it and stayed six months and had an orderly transfer to the United Nations."
The truth reported by hack winger RW Apple of the New York Times was
"On Capitol Hill, such senior figures as Senator Richard G. Lugar, Republican of Indiana, expressed support for the President's policy ['in the aftermath of heavy American losses in a United Nations military operation in Mogadishu']. But there was also sharp criticism, with Senator Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia, the chairman of the Appropriations Committee, calling for an immediate end to "these fatal cops-and-robbers operations," and Senator John McCain, an Arizona Republican who sits on the Armed Services Committee, stating bluntly, "Clinton's got to bring them home."

Is McCain the winger, or is it Byrd?

It's late, and hardly worth my time to keep arguing against such a bad-faith hack as this anon.
 
"I’m being asked this on the Fox network." - that's the very definition of ad hominem.

ad networkem?

This was Clinton's first knockdown, and it isn't an ad hominem. An ad hominem would be 'you're a Republican and therefore you can't be trusted' as opposed to 'you're a Republican.'

"So you did Fox’s bidding on this show. You did your nice little conservative hit job on me. "
"And you’ve got that little smirk on your face and you think you’re so clever."

Since this isn't part of Clinton's argument it isn't a logical fallacy. But I'll grant that it is personal; it's sort of like calling someone a 'bad-faith hack.'
 
Anon, here are a few:
"I’m being asked this on the Fox network." - that's the very definition of ad hominem. Later,
"So you did Fox’s bidding on this show. You did your nice little conservative hit job on me. "
"And you’ve got that little smirk on your face and you think you’re so clever."
"And I think it’s very interesting that all the conservative Republicans, who now say I didn’t do enough, claimed that I was too obsessed with bin Laden."

"-that last is a tiny bit less ad hominem as it purports to be a factual claim, but it's wrong.

Uh, excuse me, fool? But he spoke that in the context of what the FOX network and the ABC network was accusing him of. Now, maybe you have different information swirling around in that heavily medicated mass of nebulae that we'll generously call a brain, but last I checked... (hold tight, here it comes)... FOX NEWS AND ABC ARE NOT ELECTED OFFICIALS. Right?

He said nothing about conservative politicians. He was speaking - only one to two breaths previously - about those in the media. Not politicians. I don't see any reference to politicians. Just Fox News and ABC, a mere sentence ago. I mean, you even have part of the context quoted in your post! How could someone with more than two digits in their IQ number not make the connection. Unless maybe you... hmmm, is it possibile? No, I dare not say it.

And then he goes on to say "All of President Bush's neocons." Wow, John Kyl is President Bush's neocon? Newt Gingrich is? Orrin Hatch? Jesse Helms? Um.... no. I don't see a single quote from one of President Bush's neocons from 1998 supporting Clinton's attack. And nothing from Fox News or ABC. Just a ragtag gallery of pols that have nothing to do with what Clinton was talking about. So, if you have nothing to counter those statements, why must you bore us?

Why is it so many who call Clinton a liar end up being the very thing they accuse others of?
 
I'll assume there are two different anons here, and admit that the one who objected to my use of 'bad faith hack' had a point, while noting that the next one...well, I'm not apologizing to that one.

Anon 1: Clinton doesn't just mention he's on Fox, he practically accuses Wallace of it. He clearly meant it as an attack. You saw it that way. That's ad hominem. To say the other statements can't be part of a bad faith argument because they don't make sense as good arguments seems a bit desperate.

Speaking of desperate, anon 2 I think is claiming that when Clinton says 'conservative Republicans' he's talking about ABC.
 
I actually thought the other anon was one of yours. I couldn't figure out what he was saying.

Clinton doesn't just mention he's on Fox, he practically accuses Wallace of it.

The actual quote is I’m being asked this on the Fox network.

He later says You set this meeting up because you were going to get a lot of criticism from your viewers because Rupert Murdoch's supporting my work on climate change.

This is setting context. This is breaking the fourth wall. It's almost Brechtian.

Now let's get back to the actual first non-retirement question that Wallace had just asked:

but the question is, why didn't you do more, connect the dots and put them out of business?

Is this a real question or is it an attempt at a sucker punch? I thought Clinton answered the question rather well, but if there is the intent in the question to do damage rather than to elicit information in an interview, then Clinton is well within his rights to counterpunch. Which he did. Rather well.

Wallace's question strikes me as a "Have you stopped beating your wife" type of question.
 
Nice cherry-picking of quotes, bgates.

Did you purposely decide not to post the quotes of Republicans who DID chastise Clinton for going after Bin Laden, like Ashcroft and Specter?
 
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