Well, I was going to link to videos of the Bill Clinton interview from Fox News Sunday yesterday, but Fox News has already ordered YouTube to delete all the videos for being used without permission. I don’t blame Fox News, really. It’s not every day one of your anchors gets verbally bitch-slapped by a former President of the United States.
For any of you who didn’t see it, what happened was this: Chris Wallace (I thought Biggie was dead?) interviewed Clinton on Friday, taped to air on Sunday, under the pretense of letting him talk about his Clinton Global Initiative, which is this new activist organization Clinton has started in an effort to make the world a better place and keep his name in the papers. Before they got into any of the Global Initiative stuff, though, Wallace dropped this bomb on Clinton: “Why didn’t you do more to capture Osama bin Laden?” And it was at this point, roughly, that Clinton . . . I believe the term is, “went the fuck off.” He said Wallace was perpetrating a “conservative Republican hit-job,” and (rightly) accused Fox News of never asking that question to anyone in the current Bush administration, who have had five years to capture bin Laden and gave up after a few months to pursue an unrelated war in Iraq.
Did Clinton come off as defensive? Sure he did, and maybe he did overreact a bit. But he also made some good points. I remember Clinton being heavily criticized every time he so much as cocked an eyebrow at the military, so I cannot imagine the shit storm that would have kicked up had he sent troops into Afghanistan in 1998 to hunt down bin Laden after the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole, which he told Wallace he very nearly did. The same people who criticized Clinton for military action ten years ago are now straining to pin as much blame as possible on Clinton for September 11, 2001. I was never Clinton’s biggest fan. I didn’t like the guy at all when he was in office, actually. But here are some good things I can tell you about Bill Clinton in comparison to our current Chief Executive: he lied about far less important things, he started fewer wars, and he got way fewer people killed as a result.
“I tried for years to kill him,” Clinton told Chris Wallace about bin Laden. “I contracted with people to kill him, and if I were President today, I guarantee we’d have more than 20,000 troops in Afghanistan trying to kill him.” Compare that to some of the things George W. Bush has said regarding bin Laden post-9/11: “He’s not important,” “I don’t spend that much time on him,” “If we knew where he was, we’d go get him.”
That’s two Presidents of the United States talking about the man who orchestrated the murder of 3,000 people. You tell me who’s more fit to lead.