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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

AdWatch: Ensured health coverage for Guard & Reserve

Clinton TV ad in NH:
Clinton: 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.

So I reached across the aisle and worked for three years to change that. Now every member of the Guard and Reserve has access to the health coverage they need.

I’ve learned if you want to get things done, you have to know when to stand your ground and when to find common ground.

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

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

Should have criticized JCC for calling homosexuality immoral

Q: The Joint Chiefs Chair called homosexuality immoral. And when you were first asked about it, you said, “I’m going to leave that to others to conclude.” The next day, after much criticism, you finally said you did not think that homosexuality was immoral. Why didn’t you say that the first time?

A: Well, it was a mistake. Because what I went on to say after what you quoted was to launch an attack on “don’t ask, don’t tell.” You know, because my view was that the chairman of the Joint Chiefs had absolutely no right to say what he said. I disagreed with him profoundly. But what was really offensive is that he was in a position of responsibility that had a direct impact on the lives of hundreds of thousands of these young people in the military. So I went right at him on “don’t ask, don’t tell.” And you say these things when somebody sticks a microphone in front of you; I thought that was pretty good. It wasn’t. So I immediately got the first opportunity I could to say the whole thing.

Source: 2007 HRC/LOGO debate on gay issues Aug 9, 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

Administration secrecy shreds the Constitution

Our Constitution is being shredded. We know about the secret wiretaps, the secret military tribunals, the secret White House e-mail accounts. We’ve seen U.S. attorneys fired to silence them because they didn’t bring bogus lawsuits against Democrats during election years. We’ve seen information taken off of government websites. It is a stunning record of secrecy and corruption, of cronyism run amok. It is everything our founders were afraid of, everything our Constitution was designed to prevent.
Source: Take Back America 2007 Conference Jun 20, 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

Homeland security not simply about reorganizing bureaucracy

In a 2003 speech at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Hillary ridiculed the Department of Homeland Security and criticized President Bush for his weakness on defense. “We have relied on the myth of homeland security--a myth written in rhetoric, inadequate resources, and is a new bureaucracy instead of relying on good old-fashioned American ingenuity, might, and muscle. Homeland Security is not simply about reorganizing existing bureaucracies, but rather about having the right attitude, focus, policy, and resources.“

Hillary’s introduced the Provide for the Common Defense Act that would increase spending and size of government as well as help pay for state-run programs that NY was not funding. The bill called for two additional security coordinators dedicated to NY, a $3 billion counter-technology fund to pay for city-based security measures, more security regulations for certain industries, and money to track medical records of first responders.

Source: Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy, by Amanda Carpenter, p.148-149 Oct 11, 2006

Hillary hugs hawkish line on terrorism

On terrorism, Hillary hugs the hawkish line. She voted for the Iraq War, and though she criticizes the Bush administration for the way it is fighting the conflict, she constantly backs the war and votes for all the supplies, money, and troops Bush requests. In fact, she has called for the recruitment of 80,000 new soldiers.

In staking out new ground for herself on national defense issues, Hillary has found a big ally: former House speaker Newt Gingrich. Hillary actively uses Newt as a prop to demonstrate her newfound political centrism. Serving together on an advisory panel on defense priorities, Gingrich and Hillary have gone out of their way to indicate a shared commitment to a strong defense. According to the New York Times, “Gingrich says he has been struck by how pro-defense Hillary Clinton has turned out to be at a time when other Democrats have criticized President Bush’s decision to go to war. He chalked that up to her experience in the White House.”

Source: Condi vs. Hillary, by Dick Morris, p.145 Oct 11, 2005

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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Page last updated: Dec 02, 2014