January 30, 2008
There Is No End To Bill Clinton's Hilarious Scumbaggery
I'd never seen before a October 21, 2002 interview of Bill Clinton by James Fallows. There's lots of good stuff, but I particularly enjoyed this:
I'm neither fish nor fowl. That is, I believe that he [Saddam Hussein] is very bad. We have a lot to answer for, and he is basically partly our creature. I'm not criticizing President Bush on this because I did the same thing. I've sat there and pontificated about how [Saddam] is the only guy to use chemical weapons on his own people. Yeah he did it, and the Reagan Administration was for him when he did it. Nobody raised a peep then, because he was against Iran. We now know that he got his anthrax strain from an American company while we looked the other way. We also know that, or at least a British journalist has alleged, that Casey [the head of the CIA under Reagan] tried to give him cluster bombs. I don't know if that's true or not 'cause I read it in the British press and you never can tell. I wouldn't give it the same credence I would if I read it there [points at The Atlantic].
This is the kind of thing only obsessives care about here in 2008...but there was no need for Bill Clinton to read the British press if he wanted to "know if that's true or not." The press accounts were based on the 1995 court affidavit of Howard Teicher, who was on the Reagan-Bush National Security Council. The U.S. company Teledyne was being prosecuted by the Clinton administration for illegally selling a Chilean arms dealer parts for cluster bombs, which were then sold to Iraq. Teicher said this was all part of U.S. strategy, run by Casey.
So, if Clinton wanted to know about this, he could have just read the affidavit.
Instead, his administration simultaneously (1) declared that Teicher was lying, and (2) declared the affidavit a state secret and sealed it. Then Clinton's prosecutors pressured Teicher to retract it. (Copies later leaked out to the internet.) This is from a 1996 story about that:
Friday, the CIA said it was "pleased" that Teicher "corrected the record."
"Mr. Teicher's statements served as a basis for a number of media stories that wrongly suggested the CIA was involved in illegal arms transfers to Iraq," said spokesman Mark Mansfield.
Just when I think I've plumbed the depths of Bill Clinton's scumbagginess, he managed to come up with a new angle. In his own way, he's truly a genius.
AND: The most important thing Clinton said in that excerpt is this: "I'm not criticizing President Bush on this because I did the same thing."
That is why nothing is ever investigated and no one is ever held accountable for anything in American politics. As in Murder on the Orient Express, all the suspects are guilty.
ALSO: Buy Secrecy and Privilege by Robert Parry, which covers the Teicher affair in detail.
Posted at January 30, 2008 08:55 PM
CASEY AND ALL being scumbags, one and all, are still FOLLOWING PRESIDENTAL ORDERS, they don't do it on their own, Congress would prosecute. There fore OUTING A CIA AGENT, is all the more TREASON AGAINST THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, who are covert agents, spys, in the employ of THE PEOPLE, to serve the PRESIDENT AS SPYS, especially in TIME OF WAR.
* Unrelated comment *
Jon! I heard today that AG Mukasey has two portraits in his office - one of them of George Orwell. Are you two buddies?
Democracy Now recently replayed an exchange Allan Nairn had with Clinton in 2002. What a dirtbag. Clinton acknowledged that not everything the US had done wrt East Timor was defensible, but went on to say that Nairn was dealing with the past and he along with the Timorese leaders want to look towards the future. Of course the Timorese leaders know full well they need US friendship. I love this notion that it's wrong to look at the past, at least when we're looking at those portions of the past that might make Clinton look bad.
"The most important thing Clinton said in that excerpt is this: "I'm not criticizing President Bush on this because I did the same thing."
That is why nothing is ever investigated and no one is ever held accountable for anything in American politics. As in Murder on the Orient Express, all the suspects are guilty."
That's the sort of fundamental truth that needs a name, like your Iron Law of Institutions. It's also a truth that the moderate liberal crowd doesn't like to hear very much, because they think you're saying that everyone is equally bad.
Mike, three words: fuck the CIA
I'm with ran on this. If you oppose the war, the empire, the whole criminal enterprise, oppose the CIA that helps run it and the agents that work to further its ends. The "time of war" is bullshit: it's always a time of war, and it's always for empire. When all the CIA agents are outed, whether they're "investigating terrorism" or doing anything else, the world will be a safer place. Until then, the worse you can say about the people who outed Valerie "machine gun" Plame is that they're hypocrites, (apparently) undermining their own designs. As Jon would say, an accusation of "treason" inevitably corresponds to someone managing to speak the truth. It even applies here. An exposed CIA agent is nothing to cry about.
It seems to be kind of a first-person inversion of the tu quoque argument; because I've not acted consistently with this moral maxim, no one else should be criticized for failing to observe it. Is there some term for this, other than "argument from complicity"?
Jonathan does need a term for this. One of the things I like about ATR, that instead of just a running list of news outrages there are always these themes to refer back to, whether it's the Iron Law or the ideas in that John Cleese book or any number of other things. I actually think he should compile a brief list describing his conceptual framework. "Welcome to the site! Here's a collection of ideas describing how the world works."
As in Murder on the Orient Express, all the suspects are guilty.
Geez, you forgot to put in the spoiler alert!
Isn't it wonderful how it takes the Chimperor to bring out left-wing defense of the CIA?
He IS a "Uniter" after all...
Let's go with the Big Dog on this.
Stop the criticism and indict them both.
Pvt Keepout: EX-FUCKING-ACTLY.
ran: Well, YOU PAY them. Pised 'cause You get your money's worth?
Who said anything about being against indictment?
Just noticed !:34 post is mine.
we knew Mike.
in answer to your query, it does piss me off that I have to help fund the CIA, the Dept. of Aggressive War, the NSA, etc...
if I were in charge they'd all have to make honest livings that didn't involve war crimes, murder, torture, coups, kidnapping, warrantless spying, and various other despicable activities.
and no, I'm not wasting my time calling that worthless functionary Nancy Pelosi. what good could it possibly do?
ran: Well, what else YOU got going? Sit and wait, don't YOU have SOMETHING YOU WANT to say to Madam Speaker? She's only worthless if YOU DON"T use her.
One time, this woman testified against me in court. She gave sworn testimony. What she said was a lie.
This affidavit - I hope there is more evidence for these crimes than one man's affidavit.
God help me if I ever defend the CIA, but just take a look at what you've posted. There's no evidence, other than the affidavit. From your post, I can offer an equally plausible scenario that completely exonerates Clinton:
You say "The U.S. company Teledyne was being prosecuted by the Clinton administration for illegally selling a Chilean arms dealer parts for cluster bombs."
If Teicher did in fact lie in his affidavit, and if the affidavit exposed intelligence assets vital to the prosecution of the case or other state activities, then it would have been right and proper to pull and seal it.
After all, it doesn't make much sense to be prosecuting a case, then cover up and seal your best evidence. Or are you suggesting the entire Teledyne investigation was a sham?
My theory is as valid as yours. I offer it merely as counterpoint, to illustrate how your Clinton hatred has your looking for reds under the beds. Surely Clinton has some greater example of scumbaggery than this, because this is just weak.