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. Iraq is an Illegal War – War of Aggression

    “The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder”


    The mainstream media has blackballed this bestselling book.

    Prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi, in his book, “The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder” lays out the legal case for prosecuting George W. Bush in a U.S. courtroom. He presents what he says is an “airtight legal case” against Bush on charges of first-degree murder. He further states, “Any of the 50 state attorneys general, as well as any district attorney in the United States, has ample grounds to indict Bush for the murder of any soldier or soldiers who lived in their state or county.”

  2. Hilary’s resume enhancer: Terror Group Rampages Through Iraq.

    Great job, Hill.

  3. jonathanturley: “the reasons for the war exposed as untrue … constitutional problems over another undeclared war.”

    First, the triggering reason for OIF was true: Saddam’s noncompliance.

    Second, while there wasn’t a ‘declaration of war’ in the 19th century style, OIF more than fulfilled the 20th/21st century standard of legislative authority for military enforcement. Saddam’s compliance was the reason for US military action with Iraq from 1991 onward. Remember, Saddam’s noncompliance violated the terms of the ceasefire for the Gulf War, which means the original legal authority for the Gulf War controlled. As such, from 1991 to 2003, Bush, Clinton, and Bush cited to P.L. 102-1.

    Third, the issue stayed hot. The issue Saddam’s noncompliance escalated through the Clinton administration, despite that the suspension of the Gulf War in 1991 was contingent upon Saddam’s full compliance.

    Fourth, the Duelfer Report shows the regime change happened none too soon.

    By 2000-2001, Saddam had managed to mitigate many of the effects of sanctions and undermine their international support. Iraq was within striking distance of a de facto end to the sanctions regime, both in terms of oil exports and the trade embargo, by the end of 1999. . . . In addition to preserved capability, we have clear evidence of his intent to resume WMD as soon as sanctions were lifted.

    Rather than Saddam complying, the CIA reports that Saddam had officially invalidated the UNSC resolutions within domestic Iraqi policy and was reactivating his WMD capability.

    Saddam had direct command of the Iraqi intelligence services and the armed forces, including direct authority over plans and operations of both. . . . The IIS also ran a large covert procurement program, undeclared chemical laboratories, and supported denial and deception operations . . . There is an extensive, yet fragmentary and circumstantial, body of evidence suggesting that Saddam pursued a strategy to maintain a capability to return to WMD after sanctions were lifted by preserving assets and expertise. . . . Huwaysh instructed MIC [military-industrial complex] general directors to conceal sensitive material and documents from UN inspectors. This was done to prevent inspectors from discovering numerous purchases of illicit conventional weapons and military equipment from firms in Russia, Belarus, and the Former Republic of Yugoslavia.

    The reasons for the war were exposed as true with Saddam’s noncompliance with UNMOVIC and corroborated by the Duelfer Report.

    From the outset of the Gulf War, Saddam’s compliance was the central issue and trigger for military enforcement. That didn’t suddenly change with Bush. For example, this is a Congressional reinforcement from 1997 for the President to use the military – unilaterally, if necessary – to enforce Iraq’s “full compliance”. Bush inherited it with P.L 102-1. Note the diverse, bipartisan group of Congressmen who submitted the bill, including Illinois congressman Sidney Yates whom you worked for as a Congressional page.

    105th CONGRESS
    1st Session

    H. RES. 322

    Expressing the sense of the House that the United States should act to resolve the crisis with Iraq in a manner that assures full Iraqi compliance with United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding the destruction of Iraq’s capability to produce and deliver weapons of mass destruction, and that peaceful and diplomatic efforts should be pursued, but that if such efforts fail, multilateral military action or unilateral United States military action should be taken.


    November 12, 1997

    Mr. LANTOS (for himself, Mr. GILMAN, Mr. GOSS, Mr. YATES, Mr. HUNTER, Mr. SKELTON, Mr. SISISKY, Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts, Mr. ACKERMAN, Mr. SPRATT, Mr. HORN, Mr. KING, Mr. WEXLER, Mr. ROTHMAN, and Mr. SHERMAN) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on International Relations

    Resolved, That it is the sense of the United States House of Representatives–

    (1) that the current crisis regarding Iraq should be resolved peacefully through diplomatic means but in a manner which assures full Iraqi compliance with United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding the destruction of Iraq’s capability to produce and deliver weapons of mass destruction;

    (2) that in the event that military means are necessary to compel Iraqi compliance with United Nations Council resolutions, such military action should be undertaken with the broadest feasible multi-national support, preferably pursuant to a resolution of the United Nations Security Council; and

    (3) but that if it is necessary, the United States should take military action unilaterally to compel Iraqi compliance with United Nations Security Council resolutions.

  4. Hillary may have Ted Cruz running against her. Ted Cruz’s problem is the same as Obama’s, however. Both of them didn’t have two parents that were citizens. Natural born citizen status requires two parents who are citizens. The “evolution” of the Constitution continues at this writing…or not. Every person in the world is an American-In-Waiting; waiting to be President of a country their parents weren’t citizens of. What’ll they think of next?

  5. “On these admissions alone of their rank self-interest and parochial partisanship trumping the grave stakes in Iraq, Secretary Clinton and President Obama should be pilloried and disqualified from Commander in Chief.”

    Very well said!

  6. We have moved a long, long way from President Kennedy’s pledge (1961), “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty,” and President Clinton’s counsel (1998, specifically regarding the US-led enforcement with Iraq) that “In the century we’re leaving, America has often made the difference between chaos and community; fear and hope. Now, in a new century, we’ll have a remarkable opportunity to shape a future more peaceful than the past — but only if we stand strong against the enemies of peace.”

    In July 2003, former President Clinton urged:

    I would say the most important thing is we should focus on what’s the best way to build Iraq as a democracy? . . . We should be pulling for America on this. We should be pulling for the people of Iraq.

    Instead, the Democrats chose to sacrifice America’s liberal leadership heritage and life-or-death responsibility to the people of Iraq for partisan gain. From Robert Gates, former defense secretary, offers harsh critique of Obama’s leadership in ‘Duty’, by Bob Woodward, in the Washington Post:

    Gates offers a catalogue of various meetings, based in part on notes that he and his aides made at the time, including an exchange between Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton that he calls “remarkable.”

    He writes: “Hillary told the president that her opposition to the [2007] surge in Iraq had been political because she was facing him in the Iowa primary. . . . The president conceded vaguely that opposition to the Iraq surge had been political. To hear the two of them making these admissions, and in front of me, was as surprising as it was dismaying.”

    On these admissions alone of their rank self-interest and parochial partisanship trumping the grave stakes in Iraq, Secretary Clinton and President Obama should be pilloried and disqualified from Commander in Chief.

  7. Again, Hillary Clinton’s support for Bush on Iraq was entirely consistent with Bill Clinton’s support for Bush on Iraq, which was entirely consistent with Bill Clinton’s own immediately prior presidential experience struggling with Saddam.

    For example, Bill Clinton, July 22, 2003:

    Let me tell you what I know. When I left office, there was a substantial amount of biological and chemical material unaccounted for. That is, at the end of the first Gulf War, we knew what he had. We knew what was destroyed in all the inspection processes and that was a lot. And then we bombed with the British for four days in 1998. We might have gotten it all; we might have gotten half of it; we might have gotten none of it. But we didn’t know. So I thought it was prudent for the president to go to the U.N. and for the U.N. to say you got to let these inspectors in, and this time if you don’t cooperate the penalty could be regime change, not just continued sanctions. I mean, we’re all more sensitive to any possible stocks of chemical and biological weapons.
    . . .
    I think the main thing I want to say to you is, people can quarrel with whether we should have more troops in Afghanistan or internationalize Iraq or whatever, but it is incontestable that on the day I left office, there were unaccounted for stocks of biological and chemical weapons. We might have destroyed them in ’98. We tried to, but we sure as heck didn’t know it because we never got to go back in there. And what I think — again, I would say the most important thing is we should focus on what’s the best way to build Iraq as a democracy? How is the president going to do that and deal with continuing problems in Afghanistan and North Korea? We should be pulling for America on this. We should be pulling for the people of Iraq.

    As Saddam triggered the penultimate military enforcement step of Operation Desert Fox when Iraq failed to account for its proscribed weapons with UNSCOM, Saddam repeated his fault by triggering the ultimate military enforcement step of Operation Iraqi Freedom when Iraq failed to account for its proscribed weapons with UNMOVIC, along with other violations.

  8. Nick Spinelli

    “They are beheading people in Mosul as we speak. I know a guy who fought to take Mosul. He is livid.”

    I was speaking with someone who lost 11 men from his unit taking Mosul. I’d say 90%+ who fought in Iraq are livid. The majority agree it would have taken very few troops to prevent this from happening.

    The US Military’s collective disliking of this administration is quickly morphing into hatred. Why wouldn’t it? Why shouldn’t it?

  9. Al Qaeda is now more powerful and has more territory than they did in 2001. We are going to pay dearly for Obamas incompetence. Probably shortly after he leaves office.

  10. Hillary Clinton voted for P.L. 107-243 (the 2002 Congressional Resolution Authorizing US Armed Forces Against Iraq) because of her insight gained as First Lady during Bill Clinton’s whole-presidency escalating struggle with Saddam. She understood that Bush was carrying forward Bill Clinton’s enforcement of the Gulf War ceasefire and UNSC resolutions. PL 107-243 restated the existing body of US law on Iraq. The statute was a symbolic (political) act more than anything else, since legally, military enforcement on Iraq was already in effect and fully authorized by statutes enacted under Bush (father) and Clinton.

    The 1991-2003 enforcement over Iraq was a continuous progressive course, yet some people – such as Bob, Esq, and apparently, Professor Turley – insist on the false premise that the operative fact record and procedure – with the presumption of guilt and entire burden of proof on Saddam – that controlled the Iraq enforcement were wiped out (even reversed!) when Clinton handed off the Iraq enforcement to Bush.

    See . Excerpt:

    “We will never lower our heads as long as we live, even if we have to destroy everybody.”
    — Saddam Husayn [sic], January 1991 1


    President Bush erred by deviating from President Clinton’s carefully hewn strategy on Iraq. Substantively, Bush’s Iraq policy was grounded in the same legal bases for military action that had been developed and utilized by Clinton. Indeed, the circumstances within Iraq that had compelled President Clinton to green-light Operation Desert Fox in December 1998 were not substantially different than the circumstances that compelled President Bush to green-light Operation Iraqi Freedom in March 2003. Iraq defied the ultimatums of both American presidents in the same manner, thus twice failing its “final chance” to comply with multiple United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions with verification by UNSCOM inspectors in 1998 and UNMOVIC inspectors in 2002-03.

    The Duelfer report findings of 2004, largely ignored within a toxic political discourse, corroborated President Clinton’s contentions that Saddam Hussein intended to rebuild his proscribed weapons programs once the sanctions had been defeated, retained his long-term interest in a nuclear program in order to make Iraq a great regional power and to protect Iraq’s interests from foreign interference, and had continued to develop long-range delivery systems. 2

    However, President Bush, while relying on the same legal framework for military action used by President Clinton, presented to the public a different case for military action against Iraq than President Clinton had used in 1998. President Clinton, notwithstanding his failure to resolve the Iraq problem, deserves credit for resting his public case for military action on Iraq’s failure to meet its burden of proof, irrespective of Iraq’s store of weaponry, thus ensuring his Iraq policy matched the legal framework of the UNSC resolutions and the matching Congressional acts. Under President Clinton, the burden of proof stayed with the intended and proper party: Iraq.

    The foundational premises of the UNSC resolutions were Iraq’s unconditional cooperation and the burden of proof belonged solely to Iraq – not to the United Nations, nor to the United States and her allies. Iraq’s regular failure to cooperate unconditionally was, by itself, an ongoing material breach of the UNSC resolutions. President Bush, however, shifted the burden of proof in the political discourse to the United States with his warnings about existing stockpiles and active programs in Iraq when he should have followed President Clinton’s lead and rested his case for military action on Iraq’s demonstrated noncompliance with the UNSC resolutions. 3

    President Bush may have believed the argument was politically necessary to rally the international community (for example, since the late 1990s, UNSC permanent members France, Russia, and China, possibly influenced by the Oil-for-Food scandal, had protested the U.S.-led enforcement of the UNSC resolutions) 4, and he may have sincerely believed Iraq had used the unsupervised years in between inspections to rebuild its proscribed weapons programs, but Bush’s decision was legally imprudent.

    In the political discourse, President Bush’s claim of affirmative knowledge of stockpiles and active programs allowed critics to relieve Iraq’s burden to prove compliance and shifted the burden onto the United States to prove the existence of those stockpiles and active programs in Iraq.

    If President Bush had simply followed President Clinton’s case for military action and added the weight of the broad mandate provided by the Authorization of the Use of Military Forces of September 25, 2001 (Public Law 107-40), Bush could have achieved the same result without losing the essential thread of the legal case for military action. 5 President Bush’s historic error in judgment notwithstanding, the legal tripwire to start Operation Iraqi Freedom remained unchanged from the trigger for President Clinton to order Operation Desert Fox: Iraq’s material breach of the UNSC resolutions on multiple fronts.

  11. John,

    ISIS not only took Mosul, they also Tikrit and the largest oil field in Iraq. (320,000 of the total 800,000 barrel/day output.)
    Now Samarra, then Baghdad.
    ISIS captured a huge weapons cache and they are flooding into Syria.
    500,000+ have fled Mosul alone.
    The majority of Iraqi Military are taking off their uniforms and abandoning their posts.
    Turkey is loving Article IV and has requested a NATO emergency meeting.

    If we had left a small number of forces this would not have happened.

    We’re doing the same as Iraq; we’re just announcing it 18+ months in advance and refilling the Taliban top leadership.

    90% of Gazprom customers have agreed to move from the US Dollar to the Euro.

    Those “resets” are working wonders all over the world. If you can redraw the map of Europe these days, the Middle East is be wide open.

    Of course not all of this falls on Hillary, but her ineptitude played a big role.

    Kerry was the perfect backfill for our Democratic initiative to undermine 65 years of US Foreign Policy.

    Also know as; “Dreams from my President”

    Welcome to the post-American world. Enjoy every bit of it.

  12. That’s an impressive resume, HILLARY.

    NEWSFLASH – Mosul overtaken by Al Qaeda.

    That well reset Russian, Rootin Tootin Putin, annexed Crimea and looms over Ukraine, the Chinese communist thugs are intimidating Asia, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria lost in civil wars, Boko Haram steals little girls, Obama and the HILLARY RESIDUE at the State Department have returned the Taliban General Staff, the Taliban allies, Al Qaeda, have just taken over the second largest city in Iraq, Mosul.

    Looks like HILLARY used that RESET BUTTON all over the world.

    HILLARY REALLY RESET BENGHAZI (what was Hillary doing as a presidential level ambassador, his staff and security team were fighting for their lives? Were Hillary and Huma having some wine and brie?).

    HILLARY’S RESET BUTTON is working in Iraq as we speak…or not.

    Mass Murderers / Maimers in World History

    The following War Criminals have murdered and maimed millions of men, women and children.

    Obama – Bush – Hitler – Stalin

    Joseph Biden – Dick Cheney – Hillary Clinton – Harry Reid – John Boehner – John Kerry – Mitch McConnell – John McCain – Lindsey Graham – Darrell Issa – Peter King – Bob Goodlatte – Diane Feinstein – Joseph Lieberman – Susan Collins – Fred Thompson – Charles Schumer – Paul Ryan – Eric Cantor – Many Co-Conspirators of the U.S. Government / Corporations & Mainstream Media
    U.S. Governments, Courts and Media are Corrupt

    All the U.S. Invasions are Illegal as were the Nazi Invasions
    Washington, DC = Nazi Berlin

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