More headlines: Hillary Clinton on Homeland Security

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Led criticism about what Bush knew prior to 9/11

The brief period of bipartisan peace initiated by 9/11 ended for good in May 2002. CBS News reported that the president had received an intelligence briefing in early Aug. 2001 that "specifically alerted him of a possible airliner attack in the US."

Th CBS report left much open to question, but that mattered little to Democratic leaders in Congress. They saw an opportunity to attack the president's strong suit--his leadership in the war on terrorism.

The Democrat who most aroused the ire of the White House was Hillary Clinton. She declared, "Bush had been informed last year, before 9/11, of a possible al Qaeda plot to hijack a US airliner." She held up a newspaper headline, "BUSH KNEW." "The president knew what?" Clinton asked.

To the White House, Clinton's remarks seemed calculated to manipulate the narrative concerning who should be blamed for 9/11, trying to shield the legacy of her husband's presidency by shifting blame for overlooking available intelligence away from him & onto his successor.

Source: What Happened, by Scott McClellan, p.113-115 May 28, 2008

FactCheck: Only BETTER health coverage for SOME Reservists

Clinton’s ad, called “Guard,” began airing statewide in NH on Dec. 17. We find the ad misleading. Clinton says in the ad: “You would think that after all the sacrifices and service of the National Guard and Reserve protecting our country, they would have had health insurance. But they didn’t.”

That’s not exactly true. First of all, members of the National Guard and Reserve were long covered by federal health insurance while on active duty. As for those not on active duty, 4 out of 5 were covered by their civilian employers

Clinton was among those pushing to expand & improve federal coverage for reservists off active duty. Clinton would have been correct to say “some didn’t” have health insurance. She even would be justified in saying that, before her efforts, guardsmen and reservists “didn’t have adequate health insurance.” That’s an opinion with which many would agree. But by falsely claiming that “they didn’t” have health insurance, she gives herself more credit than the facts support.

Source: FactCheck's AdWatch of 2007 campaign ad, “Guard” Dec 20, 2007

1999: overturn don’t-ask-don’t-tell so gays can serve openly

Hillary told a group of gay contributors that the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy enacted by her husband with the intent of making it easier for gay men and lesbians to serve in the armed forces, had been a failure. In her first public statement on the issue, the Senate candidate said that if elected, she would work to overturn the policy, insisting that homosexuals be allowed to serve openly in the military. Stating that it was politically unrealistic to expect Congress to make a change at the current moment, the first lady maintained that the Department of Defense should take immediate steps to reduce the number of instances of homosexuals being discharged from the military. “Gays and lesbians already serve with distinction in our nation’s armed forces and should not face discrimination. Fitness to serve should be based on an individual’s conduct, not their sexual orientation.”
Source: God and Hillary Clinton, by Paul Kengor, p.188-189 Jul 18, 2007

Big disconnect between rhetoric and reality on security

Q: How has this label come that the Republicans will protect America best?

A: I have worked very hard to try to convince the administration to do those things that would make us safer. And I think there’s a big disconnect between the rhetoric and the reality. We haven’t secured our borders, our ports, our mass transit systems. You can go across this country and see so much that has not been done. The resources haven’t gotten to the front lines where decisions are made in local government the way that they need to. And I think that this administration has consistently tried to hype the fear without delivering on the promise of making America safer. And its foreign policy around the world has also made the world less stable, which, of course, has a ripple effect with respect to what we’re going to face in the future. So I hope that we can put that myth to rest. It is certainly something I will try to do during the campaign.

Source: 2007 South Carolina Democratic primary debate, on MSNBC Apr 26, 2007

Change our Secretary of Defense: he’s not credible

In the middle of our Civil War, the bloodiest war our nation ever fought, Abraham Lincoln did not hesitate to change generals. We have a Secretary of Defense who is not credible any longer. We need to change the Secretary of Defense to send a signal to our troops, and to the rest of the world, that we can do better than what we’re doing.
Source: NY 2006 Senate Debate, at University of Rochester Oct 20, 2006

2000: sought and got spot on Armed Services Committee

In chronicling Hillary's freshman rise to the front ranks of the Senate minority leadership, no act does more to illuminate Hillary's presidential aspirations than her lunge for a spot on the Armed Services Committee. Hillary is the first New Yorker to be appointed to the committee since it was formed in 1947.

Visiting upstate New York's Fort Drum with President Bush to personally thank the 10th Mountain Division for its service to Afghanistan is hardly what one expects of someone schooled on the ramparts of the anti-war movement. It is less incongruous when you remember that as a young woman who had just moved to Arkansas, Hillary had tried to join the U.S. Marine Corps, a killer political credential for a woman in the era of so-called Chicken Hawk men.

Hillary steers clear of the classic liberal agenda on defense--arms control test bans and opposition to missile defense.

Source: Madame Hillary, by R. Emmett Tyrrell, p. 46-47 Feb 25, 2004

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