The Reinvention of Hillary Clinton: Vote For The Iraq War Now A “Mistake” And The Clintons Faced Hard Economic Times After Leaving The White House

225px-Hillary_Clinton_official_Secretary_of_State_portrait_cropAdvance copies of Hillary Clinton’s new book have been distributed and the book has already created a buzz over her statements about the Iraq War, Bergdahl, and other subjects. In a statement that will be viewed as many as “too little and too late,” Clinton now says that her support for the Iraq war (and vote for the war as a Senator) was a mistake. At the time of the Iraq war, many of us opposed the vote and called on Clinton and her colleagues to hold real, substantive hearings on the war. With the exception of Russ Feingold, the members refused and eagerly jumped on the band wagon for war. After all, the war was popular and the polls were with Clinton. Then the war became unpopular, the reasons for the war exposed as untrue, and Clinton’s position began to change. She tried to offer a nuanced answer while running for President in 2008, but avoided an admission of fault or mistake on her part (as opposed to others). Now, she is coming out and offering a type of “oops, my bad.” At the same time, she has moved to separate herself from the backlash over the Bergdahl trade. With some 44 percent of Americans opposed to the trade (and only around 29 percent supporting the trade), Clinton wants no part of the scandal and insists that she was steadfastly opposed to any trade for Taliban. At the same time, Clinton has publicly stated that she and Bill also faced hard times after leaving office. It seems that when they were “dead broke” while living in the large home in New York and worried (like so many families) of how to cover tuition costs and the mortgage.

The logic on Capitol Hill has long been that votes for wars like Iraq are the safe choice for politicians since the costs of appearing unpatriotic would have greater costs. Moreover, the view in Washington is that Americans have a short attention span and you can always express regret later or blame the prior administration. While thousands of Americans are dead or severely wounded, the war can be treated as something in the past when we need to look to the future.

For those families, Clinton’s new admission is unlikely to erase the anger:

“Many senators came to wish they had voted against the resolution. I was one of them. As the war dragged on, with every letter I sent to a family in New York who had lost a son or daughter, a father or mother, my mistake (became) more painful. . . . I thought I had acted in good faith and made the best decision I could with the information I had. And I wasn’t alone in getting it wrong. But I still got it wrong. Plain and simple.”

Of course, it ignores the objections at the time that Clinton and others were unwilling to even listen to objections over the failure to address constitutional problems over another undeclared war. She also ignored demands for substantive hearings that might have revealed that there was no real evidence of weapons of mass destruction. These calls were ignored because the members did not want to hear anything that would make it difficult for them to vote for a popular war. It was at best willful blindness and can only be defined as “good faith” if one ignores the concerted effort to avoid countervailing information in the rush for war.

For those of us who opposed the war, the revision of history by those responsible for it is not short of maddening. In September 2005, Clinton began to re-position herself and blamed the Bush Administration for her vote. That was three years into the war when the polls were falling. She continued this theme in 2008 in her presidential run. She did not however come clean about being mistaken. She however adds “I wasn’t alone in getting it wrong.” That is not exactly the “buck stops here” attitude when it comes over a decade too late and shares blame with others.

Having offered the admission on Iraq, Clinton proceeds to throw Obama under a bus on Bergdahl. She makes clear that she was against the now unpopular trade and that she made clear “that opening the door to negotiations with the Taliban would be hard to swallow for many Americans after so many years of war.” She also said that Obama ignored her call to arm the Syrian rebels and that they might have been able to overthrow the regime. She wanted action and portrays Obama as timid: “[T]he risks of both action and inaction were high. Both choices would bring unintended consequences. The President’s inclination was to stay the present course and not take the significant further step of arming rebels. No one likes to lose a debate, including me. But this was the President’s call and I respected his deliberations and decision.”

So there you have it. She was “wrong” on the war but not alone but do not blame me for Bergdahl or Syria. It is called a political pivot.

If that reinvention is does not take, Hillary also appears to be making a pitch to struggling American families that she knows their pain because she and Bill were “dead broke” after leaving the White House. In an interview with ABC, Hillary details the harrowing reality that followed their departure from the White House: “We came out of the White House not only dead broke, but in debt. We had no money when we got there, and we struggled to, you know, piece together the resources for mortgages, for houses, for Chelsea’s education. You know, it was not easy.” For a candidate who has had persistent problems with authenticity, this is not going to help.

Of course, unlike most Americans, Bill Clinton immediately started a speaking tour that brought in millions, including some fees from questionable associations. Also the Clintons were able to call upon fundraiser Terry McAuliffe (now, the governor of Virginia) to secure a loan for a $1.7 million home in Chappaqua, N.Y. Hillary Clinton has pulled in the same huge fees after leaving office as we previously discussed. This includes half of a million dollars from Goldman Sachs in less than a week. The weird math that allows the Clintons to claim to be “dead broke” is that they had legal fees from their time in the White House. However, no one seriously expected these Democratic firms to pursue the Clintons for payment and donors quickly worked to pay off that debt. Those bills were entirely paid off by 2004 by donors eager to help the Clintons.

It is not clear if this will remake Clinton into a new image of a struggling mother and peace advocate, but many in Washington believe that American voters have the memory of a golden retriever puppy. They will have to. The Democrats have been pushing Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton to a public that is calling for an end to the duopoly of the two parties and a break from the Washington establishment. It will be interesting to see if the next book paints Biden as an outsider in Washington. In any case, the campaign has clearly begun and, despite even liberals wanting to see Hillary face a primary challenge, the Democratic Party appears to be treating her nomination as a done deal.

Source: Politico

239 thoughts on “The Reinvention of Hillary Clinton: Vote For The Iraq War Now A “Mistake” And The Clintons Faced Hard Economic Times After Leaving The White House”

  1. The old hag has constantly circled the white house on her broomstick now for 22 years with her eyeballs set squarely on the presidency. She will lie and connive and stab people in the back to get what she wants. But she will never be president. When she loses the 2016 election, we will fortunately be rid of her for good because she will be finished in politics forever. Thank God!

  2. Despite a few here trying to provide obfuscation and cover up for U.S. War Crimes

    The Irag War is a War of Aggression
    All the U.S. Invasions are Illegal as were the Nazi Invasions
    Washington, DC = Nazi Berlin

    Obama, Bush, Zionist Jews, Congress, U.S. Gov’t / Military / Media, et al are Guilty of War Crimes / Mass Murder

    Americans have been made into hated torturous War Criminals to the world

    OBAMA is a black Hitler, Mass Murderer / Maimer, Torturer, Baby Killer, Warmonger, Supreme War Criminal, Forger, Fraud, Thief, Pathological Liar, Psychopath, Wall Street Stooge, Zionist Lickspittle, Fascist, Nazi.

    ARREST THE U.S. WAR CRIMINALS!
    IS THERE ONE HONEST JUDGE IN THIS COUNTRY?

    http://www.BuenaVistaMall.com/PressRelease.htm

  3. Do you think helicopters will be sent in to evacuate the US embassy in Baghdad? From the roof, of course.

    Actually, cynicism aside, it seems that Iraq is headed towards the type of tripartite or more division predicted by some writers in 2003-2005.

  4. Eric,

    Just one of the things standing between history as you desperately want to remember it and history as it actually happened is…

    50 USC 1541

  5. From Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq (2002):

    (a) AUTHORIZATION. The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to

    (1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and
    (2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions regarding Iraq.

  6. Bob,Esq,

    Saddam was obligated under the UNSC resolutions. The US law authorized Bush, Clinton, and Bush to use the military to enforce Iraq’s compliance with those obligations.

    From http://learning-curve.blogspot.com/2014/05/operation-iraqi-freedom-faq.html#wasOIFlegal

    P.L. 102-1, passed on January 12, 1991, stated, “The President is authorized, subject to subsection (b), to use United States Armed Forces pursuant to United Nations Security Council Resolution 678.”

    UNSC Resolution 678, adopted on November 29, 1990, stated, “[a]cting under Chapter VII of the Charter . . . [a]uthorizes Member States co-operating with the Government of Kuwait, unless Iraq on or before 15 January 1991 fully implements, as set forth in paragraph 1 above, the above-mentioned resolutions, to use all necessary means to uphold and implement resolution 660 (1990) and all subsequent relevant resolutions and to restore international peace and security in the area.”

    From http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/crs/rl31641.pdf

    [The] Clinton Administration cited the original authorization enacted by Congress before the Gulf war in 1991 (P.L. 102-1) as a legislative basis for using force against Iraq as the crisis over U.N. weapons inspection heated up in 1998.34

    34 P.L. 102-1 has no expiration date, and according to the press, some specialists in international law have expressed the view that it provides sufficient authority to use force against Iraq. Philip Shenon, “U.S. To Use ‘91 Law to Justify Air Strikes on Iraq,” The New York Times, February 4, 1998.

  7. Eric: “OIF was legal, grounded in multiple statutes, precedent, and the national interest.”

    Your buddy Paul backed away from this statement:

    Paul: “Saddam tripped a series of UN resolutions which then gave the United States and others the right to go into Iraq and finish the first Iraq War. There was no lying going on, Prof. Turley. You have to go back to the UN resolutions and the US actions regarding those resolutions.”

    See why

    http://jonathanturley.org/2014/06/13/u-s-shipping-more-weapons-and-preparing-more-military-aid-to-iraq/#comment-1177275

  8. Personanongrata,

    See UNSC Resolution 1511 (16 Oct 2003) http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N03/563/91/PDF/N0356391.pdf?OpenElement

    Excerpt:

    13. Determines that the provision of security and stability is essential to the successful completion of the political process as outlined in paragraph 7 above and to the ability of the United Nations to contribute effectively to that process and the implementation of resolution 1483 (2003), and authorizes a multinational force under unified command to take all necessary measures to contribute to the maintenance of security and stability in Iraq, including for the purpose of ensuring necessary conditions for the implementation of the timetable and programme as well as to contribute to the security of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, the Governing Council of Iraq and other institutions of the Iraqi interim administration, and key humanitarian and economic infrastructure;

    Smell better now?

  9. Eric on 1, June 13, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    In addition, there is no international legal controversy over the 2003-2011 US-led peace operations in Iraq. That was conducted with both bilateral agreement and UN authority.

    Your statement is the largest and stinkiest pile of diaper fillings I have happened across in some time.

    PU.

    I call your attention to the following:

    Feb. 24–
    Mar. 14, 2003

    The U.S. and Britain’s intense lobbying efforts among the other UN Security Council members yield only four supporters (in addition to the U.S. and Britain, Spain and Bulgaria); nine votes (and no vetoes from the five permanent members) out of fifteen are required for the resolution’s passage. The U.S. decides not to call for a vote on the resolution.

    http://www.infoplease.com/spot/iraqtimeline2.html

  10. In addition, there is no international legal controversy over the 2003-2011 US-led peace operations in Iraq. That was conducted with both bilateral agreement and UN authority.

  11. I’ve looked at lawsuits claiming Operation Iraqi Freedom was illegal. They’ve been dismissed because there’s no controversy under American law.

    OIF was legal, grounded in multiple statutes, precedent, and the national interest.

    The question is less clear in International law because of the murkier nature of enforcing international law, which relies on sovereign authority, especially American sovereign authority. Clinton established the precedent of military enforcement with Iraq without applying for new authorities by citing to the Gulf War authorities for enforcing the Gulf War ceasefire, which Bush followed as well. An argument can be made both ways, but on balance, OIF has a stronger argument.

    Suffice to say, the Russians are correct that OIF was more legal than the US-led Balkans intervention since the US relied on prior and de facto authority for military action with Iraq which we did not have for the Balkans intervention.

  12. Source: http://learning-curve.blogspot.com/2014/05/operation-iraqi-freedom-faq.html#wasOIFlegal

    Q: Was Operation Iraqi Freedom legal?

    A1: There is no domestic legal controversy. Under American law, OIF was legal.

    The lawsuits claiming Public Law 107-243 did not rise to a declaration of war by Congress or that Congress improperly delegated the power to declare war to President Bush have been dismissed as a ‘political question’, meaning President Bush’s decision on OIF was within the Constitutional scope of the Executive.

    Under Presidents Bush (the father) and Clinton, Congress had repetitively made clear the President was authorized to use military action to bring Iraq into compliance with the Gulf War ceasefire and UNSC resolutions. OIF was well grounded in the national interest, multiple statutes, and modern foreign-policy precedent.

    For example, P.L. 107-243 and UNSC resolution 1441 included strong humanitarian grounds. In 1999, while still bombing Iraq in the wake of ODF, President Clinton used humanitarian grounds to bypass Congress and the UNSC altogether when he deployed airpower and ground forces against Serbia. (Over a decade later, President Obama cited humanitarian grounds, specifically Responsibility to Protect, to deploy airpower in Libya without Congressional authorization.)

    A2: While there is no domestic legal controversy over OIF, there is an international legal controversy, i.e., the episodic view that UN authorization was required for each US military action and erased (for some critics) Iraq’s presumption of guilt, versus the American progressive view that longstanding a priori and de facto authority for the US-led enforcement of the UNSC resolutions carried over the legal authority of the original Gulf War authorization to enforcement of the Gulf War ceasefire and subsequent UNSC resolutions.

    International law is murky on the question of OIF due to the loosely ‘gray’ legal character and ad hoc nature of UN enforcement.

    There is no dispute that in Spring 2003, Iraq was established to be in breach of its obligations. At the decision point for OIF, the disagreement was whether the US President or the UNSC held ultimate authority to order the enforcement of the credible threat of regime change.

    The claim that OIF was illegal under international law is based on language in UNSC resolution 1441 that the UNSC was “seized” on the issue, which opponents interpret as requiring UN authorization for each US military action with Iraq. However, the UNSC permanent members that led the opposition to a strict standard for Iraq were also implicated in the Oil for Food scandal.

    President Clinton solved the impasse in the UNSC by setting the precedent for US military enforcement of the Gulf War ceasefire and UNSC resolutions without new UN authorization. According to Clinton, the sovereign and ultimate authority to deploy US forces for the Iraq enforcement was vested in the US President by the US law and UNSC resolution in the original Gulf War authorization:

    P.L. 102-1, passed on January 12, 1991, stated, “The President is authorized, subject to subsection (b), to use United States Armed Forces pursuant to United Nations Security Council Resolution 678.”

    UNSC Resolution 678, adopted on November 29, 1990, stated, “[a]cting under Chapter VII of the Charter . . . [a]uthorizes Member States co-operating with the Government of Kuwait, unless Iraq on or before 15 January 1991 fully implements, as set forth in paragraph 1 above, the above-mentioned resolutions, to use all necessary means to uphold and implement resolution 660 (1990) and all subsequent relevant resolutions and to restore international peace and security in the area.”

    The legal basis for military enforcement with Iraq that Clinton inherited from President Bush (the father) was also inherited by Bush from Clinton. Technically, OIF was not a new war at all, but rather a resumption of the Gulf War due to Iraq’s failure to satisfy the terms of the Gulf War ceasefire.

    On balance, I believe the American progressive view wins out over the episodic view due to the over-decade-long precedent set by the US-led Iraq enforcement and the UN’s reliance on sovereign authorities, especially American sovereign authority, for military enforcement.

    For over a decade with Iraq and in other international enforcements, the US had deployed the military with sovereign authority, and only at times with concurrent UN authority. The multilateral coalitions that conducted international enforcements had been galvanized by and organized around American leadership rather than UN imprimatur, a norm that continued with the US-led multilateral coalition in OIF.

    The 1999 US-led Balkans intervention under Clinton was the nearest precedent for OIF. Like OIF, the Balkans intervention, which included a Serbian regime change, was not green-lit by the UNSC. Like OIF, the Balkans intervention had a humanitarian component. Unlike OIF, the Balkans intervention did not have a priori or de facto legal authority.

    There is no international legal controversy over the 2003-2011 US-led occupation of post-war Iraq. Like the Balkans intervention, the peace operations following regime change in Iraq were conducted with UN authorization.

  13. Kofi Annan is a crooked politician who stole millions of dollars. We don’t need a lecture from him.

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