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January 14, 2008

Another Little Fib From The Clintons On Iraq

The Clinton campaign has been trying to sell Democrats on the notion that Hillary voted for a more restrictive authorization for the Iraq war, one written by Chuck Hagel that only pertained to WMDs. The New York Times calls shenanigans on Hillary and Bill, pointing out that Hillary supported and voted for the White House version of the AUMF:

In interviews and at a recent campaign event, they have said that Mr. Hagel, Republican of Nebraska, helped draft the resolution, which they said was proof that the measure was more about urging Saddam Hussein to comply with weapons inspections, instead of authorizing combat.

Mrs. Clinton repeated the claim Sunday during an interview on “Meet the Press,” saying “Chuck Hagel, who helped to draft the resolution, said it was not a vote for war.”

“It was a vote to use the threat of force against Saddam Hussein, who never did anything without being made to do so,” Mrs. Clinton said.

But the talking point appears to misconstrue the facts.

Just a bit, anyway. Hagel did manage to get the White House to narrow the AUMF to only Iraq, which forced them to come back to Congress if the administration wanted to expand military action to Iran or anywhere else. However, Hagel's attempt to narrow the scope of the Iraq mission failed well before Hillary stood on the floor of the Senate in support of the Bush administration's version, declaring that Saddam had to "disarm or be disarmed.”

How did she think Saddam would "be disarmed" except through combat? Did she consider what it meant to authorize the use of military force, as the AUMF is entitled? Hillary cannot argue that she voted for and endorsed an AUMF and at the same time say that it envisioned no combat -- not unless she wants to show a complete inability to comprehend military policy and strategy, hardly a commendable quality in a presidential candidate.

The Clintons have begun to stage an excellent revival of their honesty-challenged politics again for 2008, after almost a decade had begun to drive the memory of their prevarications from public memory. If the Democrats are foolish enough to nominate her, the entire general election will consist of all the Clintonian dishonesty from Hillary with none of the charm that allowed Bill to win two terms as President.


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