Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Clinton didn't try to kill Obama Osama lie has been enlisted by the defenders of torture.

comment on Steve M at No More Mr Nice Blog who already demolishes David Frum and James Taranto,

I note that Frum wrote "President Clinton's decision not to kill bin Laden when he had the chance,...." Of course Clinton attempted to kill Bin Laden (remember the cruise missiles). Bush did not. The assertion that Clinton could have killed bin Laden but chose not to has no basis in fact.

It is clear from the 9/11 commission report (which I have read in full) that the Clinton administration was focused on al Qaeda and the Bush administration wasn't. Frum and Taranto turn history on its head in an effort to come up with an alleged parallel, no matter how absurd.

It is also absurd to claim that Democrats may face investigation and prosecution only if Obama investigates Republicans (actually that means only if Obama refrains from improperly interfering with DOJ investigations). In fact Democrats have been investigated ad nauseum already (remember Whitewater) and prosecuted on absurd grounds.

That happened during the Clinton Presidency.

The Frum and Taranto position is that investigating torture would violate an implicit rule while investigating admitting to the FBI that you paid your mistress money but not saying how much (Henry Cisneros) *must* be investigated.

In 2001 Republicans insisted on investigating the Mark Rich pardon (definitely a policy decision not a crime) and alleged vandalism at the White House (didn't happen).

Of course they are threatening to just make up crimes. The threat is plausible. This is what they do. The hint that they might refrain from such abuse of the justice system out of gratitude if Obama protects Bush era criminals from investigation is clearly made in bad faith. Republicans will use every weapon to hand no matter what Obama does.

update: I did it again ! Steve Waldman pointed this out in an e-mail.

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