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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Hillary Clinton: Misstatement About Bosnia is a "Minor Blip"

Recently Hillary Clinton made statements about a 1996 trip to Bosnia when she was First Lady, which were shown to be false, via video. In an interview afterwards, she admits to making a "misstatement" and says she thinks it is just a "minor blip".

The video above (YouTube URL) also shown on another Wake up America article and it is being shown again so people can see for themselves, Hillary Clinton's exact words, with actual film footage from the time in question, showing her words to be false.

Clinton's words:

"I certainly do remember that trip to Bosnia. 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 was said last week, but she had also recounted a version of the same story back in late February when she was rolling out her "red phone, 3 am ad" and this account of hers was made to show she had the credentials and the experience in handling a security crisis.

Reporters came to suspect her story about her March 1996 Bosnia trip because Sinbad, the comedian, was on that trip with her as well as the popular singer Sheryl Crow, and after hearing Hillary Clinton's statement in February, Sinbad publicly recounted a different version of what had happened on that trip.

That led to the comments quoted above where she embellished a little more in describing the harrowing experience.

That is when the film footage was dug up and placed on YouTube as well as being run in the US media, showing that her memory, her account, was not exactly truthful.

In an attempt to limit the damage to her credibility, Hillary Clinton agreed to an interview with Daily News Attywood, when she went to the Daily News and Inquirer building in Philideplphia to seek their endorsement.

In that interview, Clinton revised her Bosnia story and recounted a third version of what happened:

"Now let me tell you what I can remember, OK -- because what I was told was that we had to land a certain way and move quickly because of the threat of sniper fire. So I misspoke -- I didn't say that in my book or other times but if I said something that made it seem as though there was actual fire -- that's not what I was told. I was told we had to land a certain way, we had to have our bulletproof stuff on because of the threat of sniper fire. I was also told that the greeting ceremony had been moved away from the tarmac but that there was this 8-year-old girl and, I can't, I can't rush by her, I've got to at least greet her -- so I greeted her, I took her stuff and then I left, Now that's my memory of it.

When the interviewer asked Clinton a follow up questions as well as pointed out that the whole episode had raised questions about Clinton's credibility on foreign policy, Clinton responded by saying, "No, I went to 80 countries, you know. I gave contemporaneous accounts, I wrote about a lot of this in my book. you know, I think that, a minor blip, you know, if I said something that, you know, I say a lot of things -- millions of words a day -- so if I misspoke, that was just a misstatement."

If this had been the only time that Clinton's credibility had come up as an issue in this campaign, the "minor blip" might have been a little easier to explain, but the Chicago Tribune has also documented other instances where her foreign policy claims have been exaggerated, in some instances, quite a bit.

Barack Obama's campaign spokesman, Tommy Vietor, issued a comment about the Bosnia blip, where he says that her story "joins a growing list of instances in which Senator Clinton has exaggerated her role in foreign and domestic policy-making."

Sinbad, a known Obama supporter, brings a little levity to the whole situation by saying that the scariest part of the trip for him was wondering where the next meal would come from.

[Update] Clinton camp in lockdown mode about the Bosnia lies? Looks like they have said all they intend to....which isn't a bad idea because the more she speaks, the more lies she gets caught in, so staying quiet might just be her best decision in years.