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« Hegemony or Survival: Noam Chomsky is alive, but he is one sick man | Main | Clinton boil-over boils down to this: Fox News can’t talk to Democrats, and CNN can’t talk to Republicans »

September 25, 2006



You have to be kidding. You think this is a "tough" question?

MR. WALLACE: I think a lot of people in Washington are trying to figure out, to understand, Richard Clarke; to make sense of what he has said and of apparent contradictions in his story. Is he telling the truth or is he pushing an agenda? What do you make of his basic charge that pre-9/11 that this government, the Bush administration largely ignored the threat from al Qaeda?

That's a softball covered in frosting.

But to be honest, it was probably Wallace's lies about Somalia that set Clinton off.

What I find pretty funny is how many neocon apologists are now quoting Bin Laden in order to stay in Iraq, and don't realize that for years, the same dude has been rallying extremists around the idea of western countries invading Islamic ones.

The irony is nearly beyond comprehension.


Where’s the ‘hit’?

The fourth question.

But let’s assume Wallace always presents only the Bush side of everything, never challenges Republican actions and blocks out everything the Democrats say.

O.k. let's assume the truth.

At which point in the interview did Wallace go too far?

When he asked a rambling, loaded question that included false assumptions.

At exactly which point did the interview become a "conservative hit job"?

The 4th question, the loaded, false assumptions one. The one from Fox News viewers (allegedly).

If he's your example of even-handed, I'm curious what you think a biased guy would sound like.

Frank Warner

Much seems beyond your comprehension, wah. Quoting bin Laden from a book doesn't mean Wallace agrees with him. Wallace was asking for Clinton's response.

You seem to think this was the first time in history a reporter asked a politician a rambling, loaded question.

Reporters ask loaded questions in the hope of an interesting answer.

You hear more heavily loaded questions every day, but because they're seldom asked of Democrats, it's a jolt when a Democrat has to try answering one.



I've answered your questions. You don't seem to have a response to those answers, so they are considered answered.

Instead you attack me. Pretty standard logical fallacy, but there ya go.

You seem to think this was the first time in history a reporter asked a politician a rambling, loaded question.

Not at all, you were wondering, with (I guess) false pretenses about what caused Clinton to answer the question in the manner he did. I have answered that question, and linked to other sources indicating Wallace's obvious bias and obvious lack of historical knowledge (regarding Somalia, for starters).

Quoting bin Laden from a book doesn't mean Wallace agrees with him.

Well, this interview with Mr. Bush indicates the irony I was referring to. Mr. Bush most certainly seems to agree with Bin Laden.
COURIC: You have said we can't cut and run on more than one occasion. We have to stay until we win. Otherwise, we'll be fighting the terrorists here at home on our own streets. So what do you mean exactly by that, Mr. President?

BUSH: Well, I mean that a defeat in Iraq will embolden the enemy and will provide the enemy – more opportunity to train, plan, to attack us. That's what I mean. There – it's – you know, one of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror. I believe it. As I told you, Osama bin Laden believes it. But the American people – have gotta understand that a defeat in Iraq – in other words, if this government there fails - the terrorists will be emboldened, the radicals will topple moderate governments.

I'm worried, Katie, strongly worried about a world if we – if – if we lose, you know, our confidence and don't help – defeat this ideology, I'm worried that 50 years from now they'll look back and say, "How come – Bush and everybody else didn't see the fact that these – this group of people would use oil to affect our economy?"

Curious, eh? Not only does Bush acknowledge that tying Iraq and the War on Overwhelming Fear together is fact, it's so difficult he has to use Bin Laden's own concepts to do so, but Bush also mentions how the Iraq war is for oil.

Bin Laden believes Iraq is central because it helps his cause (and confirms his prediction regarding the new crusdae). Bush believes Iraq is central because of the oil, and because Bin Laden is still talking.

The irony? The guy who led the group that attacked us on 9/11 (who weren't tied to Iraq) is still talking, and Iraq is a monumental screw-up that is now aiding the terrorist cause.

That's over-the-top irony. Even my poor comprehension skills can see that plainly.

Frank Warner

You still haven't answered my questions, wah.

Wallace quoted a book and asked a question. You inferred a bias, "lies" and a lack of historical knowledge, but your link shows nothing of the kind.

It shows that the Republicans wanted troops out of Somalia even faster than Clinton did. But that doesn't matter to Wallace's question. Was bin Laden right? That's not such a tough question. Clinton simply had to answer it, not attack the interviewer.

What set Clinton off?


Wallace quoted a book and asked a question.

Wallace asked four questions in one, and cut-off Clinton when he tried to answer the first two. The first one probably being the one that made him mad.
Let me — let me — may I just finish the question, sir?
If Wallace had asked one question, instead of four, he would have gotten a more simple answer. However, the question was very much a "when you did you stop beating your wife"-style question (literally, "Why didn’t you do more to put bin Laden and Al Qaida out of business when you were president?")

The Answer: I did quite a bit, we only knew it was him (confirmed by CIA/FBI) a few months before I left office.

You inferred a bias, "lies" and a lack of historical knowledge, but your link shows nothing of the kind.

Umm, did you read the Rumsfled question I posted? That's a softball that attack Richard Clarke. It doesn't infer an attack on ther interviewee, as his questions for Clinton did.

His questions for Condi also exhibit the same level of b.s. The one regarding Durbin is the same type as the Clarke one mentioned above. Huge bias. Plain as day.

Was bin Laden right?

Who cares what bin Laden thinks? Was he right about U.S. hegmemonic fantasies? Why is he even still alive is the question Wallace should be, and isn't, asking the current administration.

The fact that the Administration is now using Bin Laden quotes as an excuse to stay in Iraq is, again, beyond irony. Bin Laden wants us to stay in Iraq. He knows how much it helps his cause....and he's still alive to appreciate it.

What set Clinton off?

For the...what..third time now...a string of biased leading questions built of false assumptions.

The most obvious one being that pulling out of Somalia caused 9/11 by emboldening the terrorist cause. You (and Wallace) are taking a propaganda ploy by Bin Laden (claiming credit for Mogadishu) and calling it the honest truth.

I'm glad you can see how the real story behind Somalia shows most Republicans to be cowards and cut and runners (in the "post 9-11" parlance). The sad part (it would seem) for you, is that the real story shows Clinton to be quite the opposite.


What set Clinton off? How about a bullshit question from a right-wing water-carrier, on the heels of the disaster that is the Bush administration, which followed eight years of unrelenting, vicious, personal attacks on Clinton? What about just one more attempt at insinuating a fallacious, self-serving revisionist version of history, on behalf of a morally, intellectually, and politically bankrupt regime? What about a stupid, disingenuous question? I thought Clinton showed remarkable restraint.

Frank Warner

I think you're reading me wrong, wah, which might be why you seem to be reading Chris Wallace wrong.

First, the inferring is on your part. You're inferring (guessing, that is) that Wallace believes what bin Laden said, so you call it a false assumption. It is a quote. Clinton was asked to respond to a quote, among other things.

Considering that Clinton was asked to respond to bin Laden, of all people, it was unlikely Clinton would have had an unsympathetic ear in the American public. That made his answer all the easier.

The assumption you see in Wallace's question is that "Somalia caused 9-11." Wallace didn't say that. You even say that Wallace and I call bin Laden's words "the honest truth." Where did either of us say that?

If you noticed, I said Clinton answered all the questions fairly well. That's his task as a former president and guest on an interview show.

Unfortunately, his paranoid tirade will rank with Nixon's deranged utterings in the Presidential Hall of the Insane.

And ironies work both ways. Here's Glenn Greenwald's quote of Clinton on Oct. 8, 1993:

So, now, we face a choice. Do we leave when the job gets tough or when the job is well done? Do we invite the return of mass suffering or do we leave in a way that gives the Somalis a decent chance to survive? Recently, Gen. Colin Powell said this about our choices in Somalia: "Because things get difficult, you don't cut and run. You work the problem and try to find a correct solution." . . .

So let us finish the work we set out to do. Let us demonstrate to the world, as generations of Americans have done before us, that when Americans take on a challenge, they do the job right.

Christopher Taylor

I'm amused to see the way some people want to defend President Clinton at all costs, especially attacking anyone who dared ask him a question in a manner he's paid to do in a forum clearly designed for such activity. Wallace does the same thing to politicians every time he has a show on, whatever party they happen to be from.

But he dares to ask a question of President Clinton and he's the devil incarnate, sulfur smell fills the air. That kind of mindless partisan loyalty is pretty sad.

If President Clinton is the guy you think and protest he is, he shouldn't have any problem with tough questions.


The questioning of Wallace quoting bin Laden has a "pope" feel to it.


The answer is the first of the series of 4 Why didn’t you do more to put bin Laden and Al Qaida out of business when you were president?.

Clinton was a landmine after the "Path to 9/11" and Chris Wallace happened to trigger it.




Why is it that anybody defending a Democrat or berating a Republican always inserts the word "lie" at least three times per sentence with no supporting evidence?

"That word... I do not think it means what you think it means..."


Democrats can't handle real questions. They've grown complacent after years of being coddled by the media.

I wanted to hear Wallace ask Clinton who hired Sandy Berger during his administration and why was he stealing and destroying documents when the 9/11 Commission sent him to the National Archives to obtain them.

Clinton has no complaint but Democrats will use this as a bogus excuse to avoid Fox News and the real questions. Why put yourself up to scrutiny when you can just go to CNN or CBS where they ask hard hitting questions like "boxers or briefs?"


Why is it that anybody defending a Democrat or berating a Republican always inserts the word "lie" at least three times per sentence with no supporting evidence?

Becasue 'lie' is shorter than 'hyperbole' and is actually understood by the majority of Republicans. Your statement regarding the use of the word "lie" is itself dishonest (there are no examples of that which you protest).
Wallace saying that he had asked other officials the same type of questions was a lie.
Unfortunately, his paranoid tirade will rank with Nixon's deranged utterings in the Presidential Hall of the Insane.

Riiight, because Fox News/Limbaugh/etc. haven't been attacking him relentlessly for...what...14 years now? And because ABC didn't run a "docudrama" that made up a bunch of b.s....and because the Bush Administration actually did something about OBL before 9/11.

Also, we found WMD in Iraq, Bin Laden and Hussein are brothers, and liberal democracy is just about to bloom in the Middle East...we just need to kill a few hundred thousand more people.

It's true. I heard it on the FNC, who only report, I decide.

Christopher Taylor

Did you watch the ABC show? I just wonder because I didn't, but I wouldn't declare it to be BS without at least watching and researching it.

Is it simply BS because it was critical of President Clinton? Is that not possible without lying, is the man beyond criticism, is he pure and saintly in all possible ways?

God save us from mindless, kneejerk loyalty and partisan idiocy.


wah claimed "Wallace saying that he had asked other officials the same type of questions was a lie."

Bzzzzt. Wrong.

A good roundup exposing wah's lie can be found here:

"...mindless, kneejerk loyalty and partisan idiocy."

Ding, ding, ding! Correct!


George....I've seen that "grilling".

I included an exmaple "grilling" question at the top of this thread.

Softballs covered in frosting are not part of any "grilling".

Not to mention the "tone" of the questions, and attitude of the interviewer. To think he's taken the same tone to the Bush folks is ridiculous.

Pointing out stuff I've already addressed in only going in circles.

Not to mention the fact that Clinton said "officials" (plural) and your link has since had to edit his post, as the Rumsfeld chat was a singular event.

Not to mention that he didn't ask the stuff Clinton mentioned directly (i.e. "Why no response to the Cole?" and "What, precisely, did ya'll do from January '01 until September '01 that targeted OBL and Al Qeada.")

Rice is running around saying they did more aggressive things than Clinton...which means there has been a massive cover-up of the cruise missiles they shot into Afghanistan in, what...March or April of '01?


Oh boy, you are full of rationalizations. You seem to think you can redeem yourself by twisting the context of the exchange but you are dead wrong.

Clinton never said "officials" in the interview and it wouldn't have been relevant if he did.

Clinton said "It was a perfectly legitimate question, but I want to know how many people in the Bush administration you asked this question of." He implied that Fox wouldn't ask that sort of question of the Bush administration.

Wallace said, "We asked — we asked ..."

Wallace is clearly correct. And I've backed it up (no BS).

Clinton also said "I want to know how many you asked why did you fire Dick Clarke."

Richard Clarke wasn't fired. The premise of the question was false. Clinton's hissy fit was based on multiple false contentions.

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