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Despite The Spin, Hillary Claim Is Not New

From the DNC’s Associated Press:


Clinton Made ‘Mistake’ On Sniper Fire Claim

Clinton’s Speech At Odds With Others’ Accounts

March 25, 2008

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said Tuesday she made a mistake in claiming that she came under hostile fire in Bosnia 12 years ago, as rival Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign continued to challenge her credibility.

In a recent speech and interviews, the New York senator described a harrowing scene in Tuzla, Bosnia, in which she and her daughter, Chelsea, had to run for cover as soon as they landed for a visit in 1996. But video footage of the day showed a peaceful reception in which a young girl greeted the first lady on the tarmac.

Clinton told reporters in Pennsylvania on Tuesday that she erred in describing the scene, which she now realizes after talking with aides and others.

"So I made a mistake," she said. "That happens. It proves I’m human, which you know, for some people, is a revelation."

The more important issue, she said, is whether she would be a better commander in chief than Obama or Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, of Arizona. Clinton and Obama are competing for votes in Pennsylvania’s April 22 primary.

Clinton’s aides had tried to control the Bosnia flap Monday, saying the New York senator "misspoke."

But Clinton had to address the issue herself Tuesday, after repeated airings of the 1996 video clips caused critics to ridicule her.

Reminded that she had said it was the first time she had misspoken in 12 years, Clinton told reporters: "I was joking. Lighten up, guys."

In a March 17 speech in Washington, Clinton said of the Bosnia trip: "I remember landing under sniper fire. There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base."

That account was still posted on her campaign Web site Tuesday.

Clinton told CNN last week, "There was no greeting ceremony, and we basically were told to run to our cars. Now, that is what happened."

Several news outlets disputed the claims.

Clinton began retracting the remarks in a series of private interviews Monday and Tuesday before addressing about two dozen reporters here after a speech.

She told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "I was sleep-deprived, and I misspoke."

She told KDKA radio in Pittsburgh: "You know, I have written about this and described it in many different settings, and I did misspeak the other day. This has been a very long campaign."

The Obama campaign fueled the Bosnia brouhaha Tuesday, sponsoring a conference call with Pennsylvania reporters that featured retired Maj. Gen. Walter Stewart of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. Stewart said he was assigned to the Army’s European headquarters when Clinton visited Bosnia as first lady in 1996. He said her claim that she landed under enemy fire insulted U.S. soldiers charged with her security.

Clinton’s explanation that she misspoke was "really astonishing," said Stewart, who supports Obama.

"She has no sense of what a statement like that does to soldiers," Stewart said. "She is insulting the command in its entirety."

"Believe me, heads would have rolled all over" if the military put the first lady and her daughter in a position of "unacceptable risk."

At her news conference, Clinton said, "The military and the Secret Service did a terrific job" of handling the situation in Bosnia. "We did take precautions," she said, noting that she was the first president’s wife to enter a war zone since Eleanor Roosevelt…

The Associated Press, CNN and her other press minions are echoing the New York Times’ spin that Mrs. Clinton has only made these remarks about Bosnia in recent weeks.

But as we have previously demonstrated, that is simply not true.

For Mrs. Clinton told the very same lies about her trip to Bosnia — in practically the same words — way back on December 30, 2007.

From the Des Moines Register:

Clinton touts electability, readiness for ‘unexpected’

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Dubuque, Ia. – Democrat Hillary Clinton on Saturday tried to drive home her belief that she is electable – and that she is best person to deal with “the unexpected.”

“We look at all of the problems that await,” she said in the town of Clinton. “And yet even with all of that, we do not know all of the difficulties the next president will face. It’s the unpredictable. It’s the unexpected as well as what we believe will happen.”

In a rare move, Clinton took questions from reporters in Eldridge.

A reporter told her that rival Democrat Barack Obama has suggested that her foreign policy experience amounts to having tea with foreign leaders and that Democrat Christopher Dodd said her experience is akin to first lady Laura Bush’s: witnessing experience, not having it.

Clinton responded that she’s happy to talk about her experience in 80 countries, from working for peace in Northern Ireland to standing up for women’s rights in Beijing.

Later in Dubuque, Clinton told a crowd of about 600 that as first lady, she represented America in “places that oftentimes were not necessarily a place a president could go.”

“We used to say in the White House that if a place was too dangerous, too small or too poor, send the first lady,” she said.

She said she was the first high-profile American to go into Bosnia after the peace accord was signed.

“We landed in one of those corkscrew landings and ran out because they said there might be sniper fire. I don’t remember anyone offering me tea on the tarmac there.”

And of course we pointed out the lie the very next day — using her own words.

But the media is still trying to do their best for her by claiming that this was merely a slip of the tongue, and a one or two time accident.

It was neither.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Tuesday, March 25th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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