Hillary 'Embellished' Bosnia Sniper Story
Update: Tuesday 10:51am EST - Hillary responded this morning, saying she 'misspoke' about her recollections of Bosnia. Now her story has changed a bit, apparently.
This story is already the #1 or #2 story on all the major news outlets, and is ranked twice in the top 50 google search trends. I don't see it going away or being a 'minor blip' as one Clinton advisor hopefully suggested.
Both Sinbad and a CBS news crew, who were there with Hillary during the trip, say it was safe and easy. The CBS video is on the right.
It will be interesting to see what Obama and McCain have to say about it.
During Monday's editorial meeting -- in which Clinton was seeking the
Daily News' endorsement ahead of Pennsylvania's April 22 primary -- she
was asked about the apparent discrepancy. The newspaper reported her
"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,"
she told the newspaper.
"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
Her daughter was asked about Tuzla in Indiana and backed up Clinton's recollection.
"I support what she said," Chelsea Clinton said. "Yes, I was there as
well and so honored I was there and had the opportunity to travel with
Clinton was asked about it too -- by the editorial boards of the two Philadelphia newspapers Tuesday.
Clinton revised her Bosnia story, admitting there was a
"misstatement" in her account describing running with her head down to
get into the vehicles. Today, she said that she "had to meet this
8-year-old girl," so, "I took her stuff and left."
This is going to be devastating to the Clinton campaign. Many reports are surfacing regarding a story Hillary Clinton has been often quoted as telling, regarding a trip to Bosnia in 1996.
You can check the video on the right. In it, Clinton tells of landing under sniper fire, having no greeting and 'running to our cars with our heads down'.
Unfortunately, the video quite clearly shows a large welcome, with press and the president of Bosnia. There's even an 8 year old girl!
This girl is also on the official itinerary that was released of Hillary's time as first lady, and is the only airstrip that could land that particular type of plane.
Someone's been doing their homework, and has found some pretty interesting bits of info here:[q
url="http://wwwwakeupamericans-spree.blogspot.com/2008/03/hillary-clinton-busted-on-bosnia-and.html"]The Video you are about to watch is different though... Hillary claims, publicly that a trip to Bosnia in 1996, was so rife with danger that they had to land "under sniper fire" and "no greeting ceremony", she also says, they "ran with our heads down and was basically told to run to our cars".[/q][q
url="http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/3/22/161812/428/776/482309?"]You see, Senator Clinton has made much of her time as First Lady, suggesting that her experience in the White House gives her a foreign policy edge. No matter that her argument makes as much sense, as one Kossack put it, as Yoko Ono claiming she was a Beatle, Clinton has stuck to this argument and for some people, it seems to have worked.
This week, however, Senator Clinton put a pistol to the head of her own
campaign and put it out of its mathematical misery. Matthew Yglesias quotes Hillary saying in a speech earlier this week:
"I certainly do remember that trip to Bosnia, and as Togo said, there was a saying around the White House that if a place was too small, too poor, or too dangerous, the president couldn't go, so send the First Lady. That’s where we went. 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 sounds terrible. (If you'd like, you can read the original speech at Senator Clinton's campaign site)
But join me as we flashback 1996 and then return to this week.[/q]Meanwhile, Obama's party goes on the offensive, attacking Hillary's credibility relating not only to the sniper story, but her positions on NAFTA, her foreign policy resume and more.
Greg Craig, a State Department official in the Clinton administration who is now a top foreign policy adviser to Obama, said the records do not back up Clinton's assertions, including that she helped broker the Northern Ireland peace process and resolve ethnic conflict in the Balkans.
"Her claim to be the nominee is based on experience, and she argues that she is ready to be the commander-in-chief," said Craig, dubbing Clinton's trips abroad "largely ceremonial." "And yet, I think the evidence does not support her claims."
Obama's campaign also sent reporters a fact-checking analysis from the Washington Post yesterday that described as "simply not credible" Clinton's oft-told story about landing in Bosnia in March 1996 amid sniper fire. The paper posted on its website a photo of Clinton and her daughter, Chelsea, at a peaceful greeting ceremony at Tuzla military airport.
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. But it was a moment of great pride for me to visit our troops, not only in our main base as Tuzla, but also at two outposts where they were serving in so many capacities to deactivate and remove landmines, to hunt and seek out those who had not complied with the Dayton Accords and put down their arms, and to build relationships with the people that might lead to a peace for them and their children.
As first lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton traveled to Bosnia in March 1996 with her daughter and several celebrities to boost troop morale and thank soldiers stationed there.
Clinton cites the goodwill trip as a part of her foreign policy experience, describing a dangerous landing where she was ordered to the armored front of the plane because of possible ground fire. She also now reports landing under sniper fire and contradicts her previous written account of a shortened welcoming ceremony at the airport.
But according to accounts at the time, she was placed under no extraordinary risks on that trip. And one of her companions on it said he has no recollection either of the threat or reality of gunfire.