August 24, 2007

Politicizing Terror

One of the accusations commonly tossed at the Bush administration is that they politicize the war on terror. Critics use every warning from the White House about elevated threat levels to claim that the administration wants to get some sort of political boost from the announcement. It reached its nadir when Madeline Albright and Teresa Kerry both claimed six weeks before the 2004 election (see update below) that Bush had Osama bin Laden locked up and would announce it as an October Surprise, the dumbest and least-realized political meme ever.

Now Hillary Clinton has decided to play the same game, with a silly analysis of who would benefit from a terrorist attack on the US (via Memeorandum):

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton yesterday raised the prospect of a terror attack before next year's election, warning that it could boost the GOP's efforts to hold on to the White House.

Discussing the possibility of a new nightmare assault while campaigning in New Hampshire, Clinton also insisted she is the Democratic candidate best equipped to deal with it.

"It's a horrible prospect to ask yourself, 'What if? What if?' But if certain things happen between now and the election, particularly with respect to terrorism, that will automatically give the Republicans an advantage again, no matter how badly they have mishandled it, no matter how much more dangerous they have made the world," Clinton told supporters in Concord.

"So I think I'm the best of the Democrats to deal with that," she added.

Obviously not.

No one would benefit from a terrorist attack on the US. The net results for the political establishment, including the leadership of both parties, would be all bad. The executive branch would have to answer many of the same questions asked after 9/11 about how an attack could get past our defenses. The legislative branch would have to answer for its reluctance to give more power to the intel and military for early detection and prevention. Neither would have the "it was inconceivable" excuse they had on 9/12.

From a purely political point of view, the question demeans the audience to which it was asked and exposes the poser as the poseur she is. Most hilariously, she used this hypothetical to explain how she deals with negative attacks from Republicans. It's hard to get more negative -- and more foolish -- than to speculate that a terrorist attack would give the GOP an advantage, and that she's prepared to take political advantage of the situation should it arise.

It's an asinine statement. It shows what happens when Hillary gets away from her handlers and starts talking on her own. The only relation she has to her husband's political sense is her last name.

UPDATE: Teresa Kerry did it in September 2004. Madeline Albright did it in December 2003:

Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said that she was just kidding when she wondered aloud whether the Bush administration is holding Osama bin Laden captive, waiting to break him out at the best political moment. ...

But witnesses to Albright's comment said the ambassador did not appear to be joking Tuesday when she suggested U.S. President Bush may reveal bin Laden's capture as an "October (2004) surprise" before next November's presidential election.

Albright was in the Fox News studio's green room waiting to appear on an evening program when she made the remark.

"She said, 'Do you suppose that the Bush administration has Osama bin Laden hidden away somewhere and will bring him out before the election?'" said Fox News analyst and Roll Call executive editor Mort Kondracke. "She was not smiling."


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Politicizing Terror:

» And Why Do You Think That Is, Hillary? from Liberty Pundit
Hillary Clinton said this in New Hampshire: Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton yesterday raised the p… ... [Read More]

» Clinton Upsets Many Raising Issue Of Future Terrorist Attack from The Moderate Voice
So a Democratic candidate finally said what some Republicans suggested– a “water cooler” comment that comes up now and then: Senator Hillary Clinton said she believes a pre-election terrorist attack would help the GOP (but that she... [Read More]

Comments (43)

Posted by FedUp | August 24, 2007 4:48 PM

Stupid is... as stupid does.... Where does she get her material? Mad Magazine?

Posted by Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] | August 24, 2007 4:58 PM

Remember Katrina? Did the Republicans benefit from that?

hell, the media could not even bring themselves to give the Coast Guard the credit they deserved for the outstanding work they did rescuing people for fear some of it might rub off on the wrong people.

A terrorist attack would be a nightmare.

Posted by Fight4TheRight | August 24, 2007 5:06 PM

I think what Hillary is trying to say is:

(A) If there is a terrorist attack on the U.S. prior to the election, it will have been orchestrated by the Republicans so we should vote for Hillary


(B) If there is NOT a terrorist attack on the U.S. prior to the election, it will mean that there is no terrorist threat in the World and we should vote for Hillary so we can all get free healthcare

Posted by Neo | August 24, 2007 5:13 PM

The conspiracy nuts will have a field day with this red meat.

Posted by Shoprat | August 24, 2007 5:13 PM

It sort of reminds me of Bill Clinton after 9/11. I don't recall the exact quote but it was words to the effect of "this would give Bush the opportunity to be a great president, an opportunity I never had."

Posted by Labamigo | August 24, 2007 5:28 PM

If this woman wasn't such a sociopath she'd be funny.

Posted by Del Dolemonte | August 24, 2007 5:43 PM

This would be interesting, except for the fact that the Hillary-loving mainstream media will probably do their best to bury or ignore her saying this.

So far, only CNN has a small story about it, and that one is dishonestly listed on Google "News" as being from Sports Illustrated!

The NY Times and WaPo have brief mentions of it on their blogs. It should be interesting to see if it makes their print editions.

Posted by filistro | August 24, 2007 5:48 PM

She may be doing well in the debates, but she has the same old tin ear she always did. As the Captain observes, it's asinine to say this in public.

Chris Dodd called it "tasteless" and I think that's a good description. It's as tacky as sitting around at the family reunion and musing aloud about who will "benefit" the most if Gramps and Nana's plane should crash while they're on vacation.

Posted by patrick neid | August 24, 2007 6:36 PM

Let's not forget this was the same compulsive liar that was telling reporters, including Sir Edmund Hillary himself on a chance meeting in Nepal in 1995, that she was named after Sir Edmund who climbed Everest. Later when told he did it six years after she was born, she tried to blame it on her mother. Bill Clinton, showing his own brand of stupidity told the same lie about his "wonderful" wife when he repeated it in his biography.

Yes by all means lets bring these people back to the White House! Actually the scary part are the mental midgets who support them. The good news is we may finally get back the flatware they took when leaving. White trash, you gotta love em!

Posted by Flappy | August 24, 2007 6:37 PM

If you grant that another attack would prejudice the electorate more towards Republicans than Democrats, Hillary's statement has some validity. But I don't believe it benefits Hillary to talk about politicizing terror. Because, which party is it that is doing it's best to prevent an attack even it they would benefit politically? I think the answer is obvious. And on the other hand, which party is it that seeks political gain by doing it's best to make sure we lose a war? Again, you don't have to think hard to find the answer.

Posted by Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] | August 24, 2007 6:47 PM

When I sold real estate I worked with a woman who would peruse the obituaries to look for potential clients..then she would show up at the funeral home, card in hand with flowers and so concerned it was nauseating. She never did see what was wrong with that. Hillary is like that. I swear the woman just does not have it in her to know better.

Posted by Scrapiron | August 24, 2007 7:16 PM

I think she said it for a different reason. She knows the democrats from top to bottom have provided aide and comfort to the enemy, and provided (through the NYSlimes) them with top secret intel program they (democrat leakers) can get their hands on. That makes it fairly sure we will be attacked and the attack will be successful because she and other democrats in unison with the enemy (CAIR) have killed or limited every intel program that anyone could use to detect an attack before it happens. They truly want an attack so they can spin it as Bush's fault and they don't care how many Americans die. I read that 48,000 Americans have died at the hands of criminal aliens since 9-11 and the democrats fight to keep every one of the killers in this country to gain, what? a couple of thousand votes. Tell me what a democrat is interested in, besides power.

Posted by Michael Del Camp | August 24, 2007 7:19 PM

Sometimes you have to show the world at large, and enemies both actual and potential, that you mean business. It is just unfortunate that we have so much corrupt leadership and elitism at home and abroad in the world as we know it today. Corporations who sell out the American citizenry to make a few bucks in China, for example. How many toys have you bought at your local Big Box Wally World store lately?

Posted by Edward Cropper | August 24, 2007 7:28 PM

Every time Hillary opens her mouth and says something unscripted she shows just how intellectually deficient she really is.
This was never more clearly illustrated than when she tried to explain why she originally crawfished on the question did she think homosexual behavior was immoral.
She rambled on and on speaking words that were total mish mash. To a thinking person it was embarrassing.
But you know something? It doesn't really matter because the average voter is lacking more than she is.
The "MOB" as Frank Lloyd Wright referred to the masses will buy anything that comes down the pike as long as they do not have to think or get involved and the product is being hawked by some "Personality".
The media tells the Mob what to think and they buy it.
The DemocRATS hand out a line of BS and the Mob buys it.
Some movie star endorses something and the Mob buys it.
Can you hear the sheep bleating?

Posted by AT | August 24, 2007 7:29 PM

Quite frankly I think she's communicating to the terrorists via this message - "if you want the status quo of the previous Clinton years, where you can have what you want and we will "negotiate" with you (basically give you everything you want with no guarantees on your part)then don't do anything before the next election. Remember the AQ video that came out just before the 2004 presidential election that was a warning against re-electing Bush? Well this time she wants them to keep their mouths shut and their plots in storage. So after the election (which she has wet dreams about winning)they can blow us to hell and she can have the opportunity to be what Bill wanted to be - "The Savior" in the midst of a mind-blowing tragedy.

Posted by Bennett | August 24, 2007 7:31 PM

Shouldn't we give the Senator credit for being honest? If we get hit again, the Republican candidate will have a definite advantage because not too many people are going to look at the Senator (the likely Dem nominee) and say, oh Hillary's the one to kick some serious jihadi a**, let's all vote for her.

We don't need a President to stand tall but we are going to want one that will at least stand up. Perhaps it's not fair to see the Democrats as weak and spineless when it comes to terrorism but they really only have themselves to blame. They don't need to wear war paint or anything but they could at least act as if they understand how much we all eally don't like being attacked by terrorists. It p*sses us off.

Posted by J | August 24, 2007 7:33 PM

Politicizing terror - the Dems and their mouthpiece, the MSM have done everything they can to politicize terror here in the US. They have ignored the group that wants all of us destroyed. If they ever wake up, we'll be lucky.

As for Mrs. Clinton, once a liar, always a liar. She learned from the best, hubby Mr. Clinton. She does not have his "aura," his brains, or his self-confidence. He would stop at nothing to get more power. If he has to act as the spouse of a potential president, he will. But a Dennis Thatcher he will not be. Mrs. Clinton may be wise to consider what she will do with him if she wins!

As for

Posted by Otter | August 24, 2007 7:53 PM

OT~ castro may be dead, Finally!

Posted by Jim,MtnViewCA,USA | August 24, 2007 8:03 PM

Scott Ott of Scrappleface is all over it...

Posted by Ken | August 24, 2007 8:04 PM

There are two possibilities.

She's telling the truth. If I were a Democrat and thought she were telling the truth, I would ask myself why a terrorist attack on US soil while Republicans were in charge of Congress for the majority of the time would be a boon for the Republicans. She raises the right questions in that quote, but fails to answer why the other party would benefit. Again, if she's telling the truth, it ain't a pretty picture for the Democrats.

If I were a Republican and thought she was telling the truth, I would want to position myself as taking responsible care of the people while keeping an eye on rights. This includes fiduciary care as well. Something they have clearly lacked for the past decade and were soundly punished recently.

She's not telling the truth and is just pandering. If I were a Democrat, I guess I'd inwardly laugh at the lies and know the party was superior despite how the people voted. If I were a Republican, I'd ask myself why (even though there were limited follow up attacks) that the institutions, departments, funds spent, etc. failed to stop another attack and lobby for wholesale changes in what has been instituted since 9/11. In that case, what has been set up is ineffectual.

*shrug* I have no horse in that race other than I don't want an attack on our soil. And preferably not on anyone else's either. But the assumptions behind her premise should cause both parties to question what the hell is going on with their approach to this global war.

Posted by Joe | August 24, 2007 8:41 PM

hey neo-nuts, she said it because everytime Kerry was climbing in the polls the Bush Whitehouse would raise the terror alert color and Bush would gain traction. Maybe you neo-cons should pull your head out of Rush Limbaughs butt and think for yourself.

Posted by Shaprshooter | August 24, 2007 9:43 PM

Someone left the door unlocked at the Funny Farm again.

Posted by Shaprshooter | August 24, 2007 9:52 PM

Someone left the door unlocked at the Funny Farm again.

Posted by Joe Cool | August 24, 2007 10:20 PM

Joe, to Ken's point, why would that be a benefit to the Republican party? I have yet to see a serious analysis of that from the Democratic Party other than a conspiracy of some kind. But why would that benefit the Republicans? Even if they have been in charge? I would love to see someone from the frontrunning Dems explain that other than to hurl invectives. To Ken's point, it doesn't paint a nice picture between the public and the Dems.

Not saying it should or shouldn't, but without delving into it I don't think the Dems will EVER recover the security vote.

Posted by ck | August 24, 2007 10:38 PM

Ed - So I was rather astounded to see that Kerry and Albright "claimed six weeks before the 2004 election that Bush had Osama bin Laden locked up and would announce it as an October Surprise..."

That's a pretty bold statement for two people of their stature to make. So, naturally, I went to the link you provided (which was a link to an older post of yours) and read up on what the quote was.

I found it rather disheartening to discover that neither of them said what you attributed to them. I believe the link you provided said that Kerry said: "I wouldn't be surprised if he appeared in the next month..." Nowhere did I see her say that they already caught him and were waiting for the elections to publicly announce it.

I also did not see anything about Albright. Is there another link you can please post with the story of Albright?

If you decided this was important enough to post about, I would assume you would think it's important enough to correct. I understand that this is a conservative site with a slant, but you flat out lied (or at the very least mislead) to your audience in this post.

Really, I'm struggling on this one... Where in the article that you linked to does it ever even come close to saying Kerry believed the U.S. was holding Osama for an election time release? Aren't there enough people spouting off conspiracy theories for you not to have to make it up?

In this post I called you a liar, and that is a big statement. So, if I missed something somewhere, I apologize; So far, though, I just can't seem to find where you got that from.

Posted by Captain Ed | August 24, 2007 10:54 PM

I was wrong about Albright. That was in December 2003:

Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said that she was just kidding when she wondered aloud whether the Bush administration is holding Osama bin Laden captive, waiting to break him out at the best political moment.

It was a "tongue-in-cheek comment and was not intended in any other way," Albright told Fox News.

But witnesses to Albright's comment said the ambassador did not appear to be joking Tuesday when she suggested U.S. President Bush may reveal bin Laden's capture as an "October (2004) surprise" before next November's presidential election.

Albright was in the Fox News studio's green room waiting to appear on an evening program when she made the remark.

"She said, 'Do you suppose that the Bush administration has Osama bin Laden hidden away somewhere and will bring him out before the election?'" said Fox News analyst and Roll Call executive editor Mort Kondracke. "She was not smiling."

Two makeup artists who prep the guests before their appearances also reported that Albright did not ask her question in a joking manner.

Just took a 5-second Google search to find that report ...

Posted by ck | August 24, 2007 11:30 PM

Ed - I have to say, you are one blogger who gets things done pretty quickly. I'm glad to say that. I like the blog (maybe just because it gets my blood boiling, but nonetheless I like it).

Now that both stories are linked to, I don't suppose there's any room to actually debate?

On the possibility there is, I would just like to point out that neither of the two you mentioned actually said what you say they said.

Kerry merely said that she wouldn't be surprised if Osama appeared in the next month. You somehow took from that, that she meant the U.S. government was holding Osama until the elections when they would announce it for political benefit. Don't you think you took that a little bit farther than she did?

Albright is quoted by Fox employees in a Fox station asking a question of the variety your conspiracy theory could encompass. The fact is, though, that she asked a question. There is a huge difference between a question mark and a period. Do you think it's wrong to even be curious about conspiracy theories? ---that's a question, I don't truly believe it's wrong to be curious about conspiracy theories.

Posted by docjim505 | August 24, 2007 11:31 PM

The Hilldabeast meant what she said and said what she meant... but is counting on her buddies in the MSM to make sure that only the target audience hears it.

Who's the target audience, you ask? The nutcases (like Joe) who hate Bush with a visceral passion and believe him capable of any evil. Yep, the man they deride as an idiot is also capable of putting together the most elaborate plots to sucker the American public. So, when the Hilldabeast talks about conspiracies that will benefit Republicans, she's speaking to the paranoid delusions of her base, the people she MUST have to win the nomination. The rest of the American public certainly doesn't need to know that she said anything so patently loopy.

She'll get away with it, too. After all, who's going to rat her out? The MSM? They're her willing accomplices; they'll do anything to ensure that a dem gets into the Oval Office come January '09. The other dem candidates? They're too busy feeding the nutcases their own outrageous red meat to criticize the Hilldabeast. The GOP candidates? Oh, they might try... and immediately be assaulted for "politics of hate" and attacking the Hilldabeast because she's (allegedly) a woman. Yeah, the Hilldabeast is tough and competent, thank you... Until it becomes useful for her to be the poor widdle defensewess woman being picked on by a mean ol' man. Ask Rick Lazio.

The Hilldabeast knows what motivates this segment of her base and she's playing the game. Perhaps at another campaign stop she can accuse the GOP of inventing AIDS, or accuse Bush of fostering genocide in Darfur, or of stealing elections. Nothing's too outrageous for people who don't spend all their time on planet Earth.

Posted by brooklyn | August 25, 2007 1:01 AM

Well said Captain...

It really is ugly...

But then again, this is the Clintons.

Posted by Eric E. Coe | August 25, 2007 1:20 AM

"There is a huge difference between a question mark and a period."

Not all that large, actually. The difference is plausible deniability. The meme is still being pushed, just with an additional layer of ass covering (as is normal for political types).

If this was something said by someone on the right, would Glenn Greenwald accept a question mark as significantly different than a period? Remember, his celebrated (on the left) standard is that anything on the right that even vaguely resembles (or can be contorted into a resemblence of) the hated monsters of their imagination is that other. (i.e. Bush == Hitler)

If you applied those leftoid standards of judgement to these statements by Hillary, Kerry and M. Albright, what do you get, hmmmmm???

Posted by kreiz | August 25, 2007 5:34 AM

Sen. Clinton indulged in a bit of political speculation, but hardly conceded GOP superiority in the homeland security area. She restated conventional wisdom- which holds that many would reflexively coalesce around the Presidency in the event of another major attack. She added that such an showing of support would be independent of the merits of the administration’s actions or inactions- as it would likely be an emotional and instinctive outpouring, ala 9/11. These were not the ramblings of a madwoman, and are hardly freakshow statements. The story is a yawner.

Posted by swabjockey05 | August 25, 2007 6:02 AM

Good to hear we will NOT have an attack before the next election. That was the "code" Hildabeast sent to the lunatics.

AT is probably close except she doesn’t necessarily want to be a war president. She doesn’t need to have a war. President will suffice. She knows she will be able to "deal" with the lunatics. That's the kind of thing they teach at Law Shyster University.

The ME Lunatics have been crushed for several years now....they will welcome a chance to rest up and consolidate their "victory" in Iraq. After she negotiates our pull-out of Iraq, it will be many years before the Lunatics will again be ready, willing and feel the “need” to conduct a major operation here. In the short term, we probably will be safer with the Hildabeast in office.

Posted by docjim505 | August 25, 2007 7:18 AM


Since there's a huge difference between a question mark and a period, and I'm simply being "curious"...

Is it true that Hillary is a lesbian?

Is it true that Bill suffers from an (ahem) social disease?

Is it true that Chelsea is not really his child?

Is it true that Pat Leahy is a homosexual pedophile?

I hope you grasp my point: a lot of ugliness can be "explained away" by simply claiming, "But I was only asking a question!"

Posted by Rich Casebolt | August 25, 2007 8:30 AM

I see this a little differently than most of you ... I see this as an indictment of her competition for the Democrat nomination.

Would this be what Ms. Clinton is really saying?

If there is another attack on American soil, the American people will gravitate towards supporting the GOP candidates.

You know it, and I know it ... because our party is perceived as supporting the position of the knee-jerk antiwar nutroots.

And there is good reason for that perception ... our Congressional leadership and many of my competitors for the Democratic nomination have covered themselves in the mud of the nutroots' fever swamp.

I, on the other hand, have only stuck a few toes-in-the-fever-swamp ... and still have a high probability of washing it off and appearing clean to the people of America.




Their only hope, that is, until the New Media put all her previous statements on display.

We won't be fooled again ...

Posted by Shaprshooter | August 25, 2007 8:53 AM

Docjim505, here's another (aimed at "ck"):

Are you nuts?

Posted by filistro | August 25, 2007 10:53 AM

...or my personal favorite:

"If you knew John Mccain had fathered an illegitimate black baby, would you be less likely to vote for him?"

Posted by dhunter | August 25, 2007 4:04 PM

Docjim is right after all Monica's boyfiend told us all it depends on what the meaning of "is" is.
And Hitlery of all people should know full well the consequences of early withdrawl after all she had Monica ready to be hauled off to a looney bin out of site out of mind, totally discredited, until a certain blue dress showed up. If there is no terrorist attack between now and 08 it will be because W has taken the war to the enemy rather than blast a couple of camels and an aspirin factory in the middle of the night to get the headlines off his 19 year-old intern/girlfriend. W. is fighting the enemy abroad with get success and the enemy within with not so get success. After all it has been said that great nations succumb to the enemy within more often than the external variety. For that reason the dems must be defeated.

Posted by ck | August 25, 2007 7:30 PM

If you are being intellectually honest, there is no way you can attribute an off hand question someone makes in the back of a newsroom to that person's view of the situation. That's all there is to it.

Posted by docjim505 | August 25, 2007 8:07 PM


Sorry, but I saw Mort Kondracke discuss this incident. He was pretty sure that Halfbright was dead serious. I would also add that even a moron like she is probably exercizes some additional control over her mouth when on-camera; it is therefore likely that her "off-camera" remarks are much closer to her honest beliefs.

Posted by flicka47 | August 25, 2007 11:26 PM

From The Washington Post version of the story-

"At a small gathering in New Hampshire on Thursday, Clinton raised the possibility of another terrorist strike, saying she would be the best Democrat to confront the Republicans in the wake of such an event."

The best Democrat to confront....

Well, I would guess that I am not the only one that sees the problem here.

No suprise,the Democrats think they are at war with the Republicans........

Posted by Frank Luke | August 26, 2007 9:35 AM

How do you pinheaded wingnuts alibi this? -

Vice President Shooter (DickHead Cheney), four weeks before the 2004 election:

A November win by Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry would put the United States at risk of another "devastating" terrorist attack, Vice President Dick Cheney told supporters Tuesday.


Cheney told Republican supporters at a town hall meeting in Des Moines that they needed to make "the right choice" in the November 2 election.

"If we make the wrong choice, then the danger is that we'll get hit again -- that we'll be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the United States," Cheney said.

"And then we'll fall back into the pre-9/11 mindset, if you will, that in fact these terrorist attacks are just criminal acts and that we're not really at war. I think that would be a terrible mistake for us."

Posted by Rich Casebolt | August 26, 2007 10:33 AM

Frank Luke:

The difference is, Albright et. al. were implying Republicans were/are actively manipulating the conduct of the war for political gain.

Cheney, OTOH, was referring to the consequences of choosing leaders who would revert to the 10 September 2001 mindset, once elected.

Anyone who is not infected with BDS ... and you are showing symptoms of that disease, when you strain gnats and fling them like monkey-poo to see if any sticks ... can perceive the difference.

Methinks that you, like those the VP was talking about, keeps on straining at every gnat ... while swallowing the camels of terror and tyranny in one gulp.

Posted by swabjockey05 | August 26, 2007 12:29 PM

This pinhead knows what an alibi is...looks like some of the lefties don't. Or is it that they want to sound "clever" as the shill for the Hildabeast?

Post a comment