Thursday, December 04, 2008

Lying at State

There'll be lots of it from the Tuzla survivor.

By R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. on 12.4.08 @ 6:08AM
The American Spectator

WASHINGTON -- President-elect Barack Obama campaigned intoning the mantra that Washington's political system is "broken." Now with most of his appointments either named or leaked he has proved it. There is indeed something broken in a political system whose electorate rejects Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Democratic primaries and nonetheless finds itself saddled with a third Clinton Administration at year's end.

Of all the Clintonistas that Mr. Obama has appointed, the most bizarre is the appointment of Senator Clinton as secretary of state. He himself during the campaign remarked on her lack of foreign policy credentials. "What exactly is [her] foreign policy expertise?" he asked. Mr. Obama's incoming White House counsel, Greg Craig, was blunter still. In a detailed memo last March, Craig explained why, as he put it, "There is no reason to believe… she was a key player in foreign policy at any time during the Clinton Administration." The memo led Oliver Willis, the progressive blogger, to note, "This malarkey about Sen. Clinton having all this foreign policy experience strikes me as a serial fabrication on the level of Stephen Glass and Jayson Blair" -- two infamous journalistic frauds.

Those words were chosen wisely. It was in March that at least two of Senator Clinton's claims to foreign policy credentials were exposed as the sheerest poppycock. She had been presenting herself as having been an indispensable instrument in effecting the Irish peace settlement during her husband's administration. "I was deeply involved in the Irish peace process," she would boast on the campaign trail. Unfortunately for her, Judicial Watch forced the Clintons to release Hillary's heavily redacted White House schedules, from which it was apparent that she had nothing to do with the peace process other than appearing in public with her husband sporting her famous forced smile.

The charge that Hillary was engaged in "serial fabrication" was validated again when one of the participants in the Irish peace negotiations, Noble Peace Prize winner David Trimble, exclaimed, "I don't know there was much she did apart from accompanying Bill going around." Trimble characterized her empty boasts as a "wee bit silly." Two months earlier she had fibbed that "I actually went to Northern Ireland more often than my husband did," and on one occasion "pulled together in Belfast, in the town hall" Catholic and Protestant women whom she persuaded to bury the hatchet so "the hard work of peace-making could move forward." That whopper provoked London's Daily Telegraph to report, "There is no record of a meeting at Belfast City Hall, though Mrs. Clinton attended a ceremony there when her husband turned on Christmas tree lights in November 1995."

It was in last March, too, that our next secretary of state was caught B.S.-ing that twelve years before while traveling through Bosnia as First Lady she had to dodge "sniper fire." This was a tall tale that she had been uttering repeatedly in her campaign to present herself as more experienced than Mr. Obama. According to it, the snipers attacked at a planned "greeting ceremony" in Tuzla, which had to be canceled as the sniper fire rained down and, said Hillary, "we just raan with our heads down to get into our vehicles to go to our base." Actually the ceremony was held at the base. It was not canceled and with scores of journalists and dignitaries standing by it was taped. CBS played the tape. Once again a brazen and artless lie by Hillary was her undoing. Said one member of the military, obviously peeved by Hillary's deprecation of the military's security measures, "Getting shot at by snipers is not something you forget -- or make light of."

Well, Hillary trivializes a lot of serious things and is often caught B.S.-ing. In fact, except for her husband I cannot think of another public figure of her stature caught so often in her own lies. About this time in the primary season she was also caught lying that "I negotiated open borders to let fleeing refugees into safety from Kosovo." She was caught in fibs about advice she offered her husband during the Rwanda genocide.

Now all of the above were lies deployed by Hillary to convince the electorate that she is vastly experienced in foreign policy. Apparently she failed to convince voters, but she seems to have convinced her erstwhile adversary, the President-elect. He should have taken note of her discrepancies and one other thing. He should by now be aware that both Clintons cause trouble for themselves and for others nearby when there is no apparent reason for the trouble other than the Clintons' bad character. Frankly, Mr. Obama, it is not wise to be too close to these two. You are going to be sitting with Mrs. Clinton in cabinet meetings. Watch out for sniper fire.

- R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. is the founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator and an adjunct scholar at the Hudson Institute.

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