The Case for Clinton

This is the argument as it's being made by the Clinton camp to donors.

Both Clintons have made the case to potential fund-raisers that the U.S. will probably suffer a terrorist attack on the scale of 9/11 after the next President is sworn in -- and that Hillary is the only Democratic candidate capable of handling such a crisis because of her Senate Armed Services Committee tenure and her years in the White House.

I hadn't heard this before, and it's a new wrinkle in the debate.  They are probably right we'll suffer another massive terrorist attack, and it's very useful to have the argument about what to do before it happens.  Certainly any Democrat would be far superior to any Republican in this kind of event.  There seems to be a number of possibilities in thinking through this kind of question.  What would you do immediately?  What would your goals be medium-term, and how would you use such an event to change the country to better prepare for the 21st century?  I'm interested to know that someone will retaliate with force, for instance, but that strikes me as an obvious answer that any leader would give.  I can only imagine how Gore could have used the crisis to push through a different energy state instead of saying 'go shopping'.

It's a useful question to think through.  Why would your candidate be the best leader in the event of a massive terrorist attack?

Tags: Hillary Clinton, Iraq (all tags)



Don't count on another terrorist attack

The terrorists aren't stupid; they see how paper-tiger America panicked and has been fucking itself up quite nicely the past 6 years with no help from the terrorists.

by hillhouse 2007-04-29 11:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Don't count on another terrorist attack

I am not sure that I agree such an attack will be like 9/11. The assumption of the Clinton people is that AlQueda is the one who will be attacking like 9/11

Remember we had the Oklahoma bomber who was an ex military person from some right wing fringe group.

Responding to such a hypothetical attack depends on many factors:

1. Would it be a nation attacking the US,


3. Would it be an internal Group like the Oklahoma bomber either individual or group.

I don't think we need to do some massive retaliation in 24 hours unless the military had detected a missle launch or some bomber, which I assume they could detect where it was coming from and respond appropriately.

Each of the avbove would require different responses.

It seems to me the Clinton campaign is using a fear campaign out of the Republican play book for political purposes.

by BDM 2007-04-29 11:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Don't count on another terrorist attack

It seems to me the Clinton campaign is using a fear campaign out of the Republican play book for political purposes.

That is just what I was thinking.  Now this is sounding like the "scare you to death" tactics of the Republicans.  "If you don't vote for me, you won't be safe".  What a crock!!

You can not predict what is going to happen these days, period.  We have crazy people walking around here, all over.  Look at Oklaholma City and what happened at VT?  And look at all these work place shooting?  If that isn't terrorist tactics, then what am I missing?

If Hillary is using this as her walking piece, then she needs to get something else.  What she NEED to do is engage the base and independents.  Make them EXCITED about her running.  Get engage with the younger crowd.  The Clinton Camp thought this was just going to be a "gemme" and it ain't.  She has to work for the nomination, just as everyone else, she is not annoited or appointed, quite YET.

by icebergslim 2007-04-29 12:52PM | 0 recs
Not 1992

Unlike Bill's get of the 1992 nomination, at this stage in 2008 very qualified, charismatic, and attractive Dems want the Preznom of their party.  No coasting, and it's unclear the Clinton team knows how to be anything but frontrunners disparaging others running.

The fear-mongering must stop -- this is on the same bandwidth as Rudy's statement Hill took a pass at during the debate.

by TeddySanFran 2007-04-29 01:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Not 1992

How come the Clinton's get a free pass on fear mongering?   I am so sick of the Clintons.  We have all these manipulating, power mad politicians being self-annointed for sainthood.  First up is the surge is working Saint John.  Next is Saint Willie who single handedly went after welfare babies while protecting his corporate welfare donors.  In the shadows, we have Saint Hillary, standing by her man.  The Clintons are playing the fear card plain and simple.

by dkmich 2007-04-29 01:41PM | 0 recs
Re: The Case for Clinton

I do not buy the premise that there will be "another massive terrorist attack."  That's the problem.  And I ain't no Kucinich dove, either.  If one happens, there should be massive retaliation.  The war in Afghanistan was the right thing to do and we have been neglecting it.

FDR didn't run around saying we were going to have another Pearl Harbor and scaring the shit out of everyone.  

I am sorry, but, to me, terrorism is not the number one issue.  Scared out of their minds soccer moms who otherwise are pro-choice voted for Bush based on that issue.  And abortion may be one of the major consequences of that vote.

I am NOT going to vote for Mrs. Clinton if her campaign is based on terrorism.  Yes, it's important, but I want to also hear about health care (in a FIRST term), jobs, civil liberties, education, environment, alternative energy, and fair trade.  All these come before some abstract fear-mongering in my opinion.

by jgarcia 2007-04-29 11:38AM | 0 recs
Re: The Case for Clinton

I agree.  Why would there necessarily be another attack by foreign terrorists?  What if the winning candidate had campaigned on getting out of Iraq and getting more troops out of the ME mainland, reorienting our foreign policy to rely more on diplomacy and less on force, having a more balanced ME policy, and generally not demonizing the Muslim world?  What if the new Pres were someone who had actually lived in Muslim lands and more than an intellectual understanding of their culture?

More likely in that event is an attack by a die-hard band of deadenders eggged on by the tough guys of the Corner and Weekly Standard.  So the new Pres should begin quietly to beef up the FBI and start taking internal counterterrorism seriously.

by Mimikatz 2007-04-29 11:53AM | 0 recs
Re: The Case for Clinton

You assume too much rationality on behalf of OBL, the sort of "if only the Americans weren't suck dicks, they'd leave us alone" line of logic that ignores the fact that this started during the Clinton years.  Remember Khobar Towers?  The embassy bombings?

by Adam B 2007-04-29 02:14PM | 0 recs
Re: The Case for Clinton

You are right Adam B.  This runs much deeper than who is President and what are our policies of the administration.  OBL and his ilk don't like, America struck American embassies, barracks and ships prior to 9/11 and no doubt will strike again at some point.  

by John Mills 2007-04-29 07:49PM | 0 recs
edit: "SUCH dicks" NT


by Adam B 2007-04-29 08:00PM | 0 recs
Re: The Case for Clinton

It's very Rovian of them to revive this bit. Which makes sense, given that Rove certainly took plenty from the Clinton playbook. Still, ew!

by sb 2007-04-29 12:01PM | 0 recs
Re: The Case for Clinton

I wonder if all the Clinton supporters who accused me of hysteria for my diary, "Hillary's Rovian Smear of Obama," wish to revise or retract any of their comments?  It didn't take a rocket scientist to see the sub-text in yesterday's Wa Po story.  It is clear that this is Hillary's next big gambit: parrot Giuliani's frame, except to argue that she has even bigger, badder cajones.

I hate to say I told you so, but I told you so....

Any of the HRC supporters want to take me up on my offer?

by upper left 2007-04-29 01:03PM | 0 recs
Re: The Case for Clinton

I absolutely agree - I think the threat of terrorism at home isn't as great as it's generally believed to be.

Due to past history, Britain has a relatively large community of Pakistani, Indian and Ugandan Muslims and smaller communities from other areas. Many of these are from the poorest areas of the country, in which areas there are often mosques of an ultra-fundamentalist persuasion. You'd think they'd be ripe for radicalisation, especially since we went into Iraq.

Instead the only successful attacks we've had were the 7/7 bombings. Those killed more than 50 people, yet I've seen the stations where they went off. Macabre as this may sound, with 4 bombs you ought to be able to kill many more people than that on the London Underground.

Sure, there have been many cases of alleged terrorist plots. We've had tanks at airports, an innocent Brazilian electrician gunned down by police, another man shot by police breaking in to his home and god alone knows how many dire mutterings from John Reid about the threat to our security. Yet we've seen nothing of this, those arrested tend to be released quietly a few weeks later on lack of evidence and major raids on suspected networks tend to coincide with bad news for the government.

So we've got a set of terrorists who the security services seem to have under control, when they aren't invented by the same group and their political masters. In France, where there's a large minority of North African origin (with a lot of radical imams, generally refugees from the military in Morocco and Algeria without any real education) who are more or less locked out of political or economic power, they have even fewer problems.

With this in mind, I don't see America as being particularly vulnerable, nor terrorist networks in the west as being particularly competent - 9/11, their one big success against innumerable failures, was largely made possible because of security measures that would be considered unthinkably lax in Europe.

by Englishlefty 2007-04-29 01:20PM | 0 recs
Re: The Case for Clinton

Great post.  I agree with everything you wrote.  I am not that big a fan of Bill Maher (though I do watch faithfully), but he said the so-called 'war on terra', is, first and foremost, a LAW ENFORCEMENT issue.

The militarilistic assholes in the US need to shut the fuck up and put their bloodlust away because terrorism is not going to ever be solved with some high-tech toys on a battlefield controlled by guys playing GI Joe in the desert.

by jgarcia 2007-04-29 03:55PM | 0 recs
Re: The Case for Clinton

You can't stop terrorism completely - there's just no way to stop every attack whatsoever. But one interesting statistic I read recently is that in Barcelona in 1936, at the height of anarchist bomb-throwing campaigns, the Spanish police dedicated only a hundred officers to dealing with them. Yet a few months later when the Spanish generals mutinied and the people rose against them in defence of the government the anarchist militias, though largely dominant in Catalonia, were far from influential in securing Barcelona for the Republicans.

by Englishlefty 2007-04-29 04:03PM | 0 recs
Re: The Case

Who will you bomb J? The problem with retaliation is that you're going to make people who had nothing to do with what some terrorist group do to us pay the consequences. If that sounds familiar, it's because that's the Bush-cheney doctrine. Now, I find it shameful that Clinton is using scare tactics in order to get herself elected.  By the way, what was the clintons' response after the WTC was bombed in 1993?

That's what I thought.

by AnthonyMason2k6 2007-04-29 07:38PM | 0 recs
Re: The Case

So you wouldn't have gone into Afghanistan?

Cool, great winning strategy, man.  That'll get us about ten percent of the vote in a national election.

by jgarcia 2007-04-30 12:22PM | 0 recs
Re: The Case for Clinton

Hillary Clinton COULDNT handle the Monica Lewinsky crisis, without looking like a fool.  Clinton was IMPEACHED, how is she going to handle a terrorist attack when she couldnt even stop her husband from cheating on her.

by vamonticello 2007-04-29 11:42AM | 0 recs
Re: The Case for Clinton

I am not a fan of HRC, but your post is stupid.  We lose all credibility if we parrot rightwing attacks based on Clinton's penis.  Stop.  it.

by jgarcia 2007-04-29 11:48AM | 0 recs
Re: The Case for Clinton

"We lose all credibility if we parrot rightwing attacks based on Clinton's penis."

I agree.  Doesn't it also stand to reason that we lose credibility when we parrot right-wing attacks based on things that truly matter like national security?  There is real irony in your statement .... :-)

by upper left 2007-04-29 12:51PM | 0 recs
Re: The Case for Clinton

Ditto.  No Clinton fan here, but that is sexist and stupid.  Edwards couldn't keep his wife from getting breast cancer?  C'mon.

by Mimikatz 2007-04-29 11:55AM | 0 recs
You can't stop someone from cheating...

Hillary Clinton COULDNT handle the Monica Lewinsky crisis, without looking like a fool.  Clinton was IMPEACHED, how is she going to handle a terrorist attack when she couldnt even stop her husband from cheating on her.

First of all he was acquitted from being impeached.  Impeached means thrown out of office, and that did not happen.

Secondly, I am not going to throw the Monica thing on Hillary.  That was not her fault.  Whatever was/is going on in their marriage is theire business, not ours.

Lastly, how can you stop someone from cheating?  Put a steelcup on his penis?  Give me a break?  That statement is stupid and petty.  Hopefully, this is REALLY over for them and they have moved PAST IT, but again this will be fodder in the campaign if she gets the nomination.

And do we want to rehash all that bullshit?  I know, I don't.

by icebergslim 2007-04-29 12:58PM | 0 recs
Re: You can't stop someone from cheating...

Actually, Clinton was impeached IIRC.  Impeached is like being indicted.  The HoR impreached him, but the Senate did not vote to follow though.  Or something to that effect.

by areucrazy 2007-04-29 01:24PM | 0 recs
Re: The Case for Clinton

What a crock of shit from the Clinton camp.  Dick Cheneny and Richard Nixon had all kinds of experience and huge resumes; does that mean we'd like either one of them to be President if indeed there is another terrorist attack?

The "experience" thing is way overblown.  I'll take a smart person of good character over someone whose chief attribute is 'experience.'

by global yokel 2007-04-29 11:43AM | 0 recs
Re: The Case for Clinton

I agree with the premis, but doesnt it bother you Matt that the Clintons are saying that HRC IS THE ONLY Democrat that can handle this??  Not the best.  The only.

by Andy Katz 2007-04-29 11:43AM | 0 recs
Re: The Case for Clinton

Matt's not saying that HRC is the only one who can handle it.  He is saying that it is an issue being raised and Pres candidates are going to need to be able to answer the question and how would the candidate you support do so.  Big difference.

by John Mills 2007-04-29 07:52PM | 0 recs
Re: The Case for Clinton

I don't care much for this fear tactic. It is the first I have heard of it. And frankly, I would prefer to see the quote from Hillary making the statement. If it is true that she is using terrorism to bolster her credentials I don't think it is much better than the Bush bullshit.

by Rob Joseph 2007-04-29 11:44AM | 0 recs
Re: The Case for Clinton

Nobody knows what type of attack would come if one did come.

I want a president that has good judgement and considers all options and the consequences of what ever option is chosen.

by BDM 2007-04-29 11:51AM | 0 recs
Yep, it's fear mongering

And, it's beneath the integrity of any Democrat to contemplate this cheap, low-minded tactic to scare-up votes.

While any one of the Democratic candidates, would "retaliate" in a "prudent" manner and complete the job should an attack occur, the relevant question, however, is what would each candidate do to discover the threat and prevent the attack in the first place.

by fafnir 2007-04-29 12:21PM | 0 recs
Re: The Case for Clinton

I really hope this doesn't turn into a repeat of the 2004 primary where we have too many Dems falling all over themselves trying to show how "tough" they are.

Fundamentally, I think this is a miscalculation on the part of the Clintons.  Terrorism is not as salient an issue as it was in 2004.  Furthermore, a lot of Democratic activists will notice that this line of reasoning is very similar to what Republicans have been doing to Democrats for years.  I think any self-respecting Democrat will reject these sorts of ridiculous tactics if they recognize what is going on.  

by LPMandrake 2007-04-29 11:51AM | 0 recs
Re: The Case for Clinton

Oh my gosh. If ONLY Gore had been president then. Can you imagine what might have been accomplished.

Stupid butterfly ballots.

by adamterando 2007-04-29 11:52AM | 0 recs
Re: The Case for Clinton

Sen. Clinton 'handled' the 9/11 attacks by voting for the Iraq War. She's also the most divisive figure in American politics (thru no fault of her own) - she's not likely to be a uniter in the face of tragedy to the lizard brains who dominate the GOP base.

Being on the Armed Services Committee isn't the plum Sen. Clinton suggests. Does she bear any responsibility for the conditions at Walter Reed above and beyond her other colleages in the Senate? How about the delays in getting the best equipment in theatre in Iraq? A fundraising letter doesn't contain the bad and good but a political campaign sure does. The more Clinton uses her seat on the Armed Services Committee as a resume stuffer the more scrutiny she's going to undergo for the behavior of the same committee. After all, then Ranking Member (now Chairman) Carl Levin voted AGAINST the AUMF/Iraq.

by joejoejoe 2007-04-29 11:55AM | 0 recs
Dead Right

And it makes the case for those that opposed the War from the start particularly persuasive.

by fladem 2007-04-29 12:07PM | 0 recs
As was pointed out by Bill Maher,

9/11 happened in New York under the noses of a Republican Mayor, Governor, President, Congress and Senate.  So what is the Clinton's point?  The terrorists can't tell them apart from a NY Republican?

by dkmich 2007-04-29 01:45PM | 0 recs
Re: The Case for Clinton

Isn't that more or less endorsing a Cheney/Rumsfeld ticket?

Anyways, I like Edwards because he completely muffed the largest single judgement in recent US security history (the War on Iraq) and appears to now fully comprehend that.  I think he'd make good decisions moving forward.

I like Obama because despite his waffliness, he has been a fairly consistent opponent of the Iraq War since the beginning.

I don't like Senator Clinton because she got it wrong and continues to get it wrong, so I don't think she has good judgement.

by Kimmitt 2007-04-29 11:55AM | 0 recs
Re: The Case for Clinton

I think Edwards was playing politics then, and is playing politics now. Stupid edwards co-sponsored the damn war bill that's gotten us into this mess.  he should come out and tell us just what exactly was it that made him sponsor such bill. Saying that it was a mistake aint enough. After all, why was it a mistake? because iraq turned out to be a crappy deal?

Come clean edwards!

by AnthonyMason2k6 2007-04-29 07:42PM | 0 recs
Fear for sale.

Vote for me, or the terrorists will get you.

Sorry, this is just more of the same.

Will there be another terrorist attack?


Just like there will be another car accident, another child molested, another woman raped, another (fill in the blank.)

Violent crime is a law enforcement matter. When it takes the form of international terrorism, it's both a matter of law and diplomacy.

I'll take the candidate who shows me he/she understands that, not the candidate pandering with fear.

by zic 2007-04-29 12:11PM | 0 recs
Clinton is fearmongering like Giuliani

Vote for me, or the terrorists will get you.

Sorry, this is just more of the same.

Indeed. Note that, in virtually every speech and every interview, Giuliani
now uses some version of the phrase "come over here and kill us" to
describe the actions and aims of terrorists.

by horizonr 2007-04-29 12:40PM | 0 recs
Re: The Case for Clinton

This argument is based on a fairly clever premise.  To dispute that a future terrorist attack is likely one either has to claim there never was a threat of a large scale terrorist attack following 9/11 or the threat has dissipated DURING W's presidency.  Of course, there could be lots of reasons that the threat has declined that have nothing to do with W but that argument starts to get complex.

The conclusion is wrong though.  There is very little evidence of the Senate ever preparing anyone for the Presidency.  The Senate is a slow moving, deliberative body and the skills necessary to succeed there have very little in common with the skills necessary for success executive leadership.

by Monkey In Chief 2007-04-29 12:11PM | 0 recs
Are you fucking kidding me?

The Clinton camp is seeking to perpetuate the bedwetting state?

You can look at this in dry terms and say, yes, we should think through a Democratic response to potential attacks, but that's not what the Clintons are doing.

They're doing neocon fearmongering to slash the other primary candidates under their neoliberal banner, which, not coincidentally, openly supported the neocons until very recently.

This just shows how the Clintons do not get it and are not willing to bring needed change to the country.  I'm sorry a lot of people find Senator Clinton to be a very nice and kind person.  I rather expect she is.  But this Rupert Murdoch friendly fundraising appeal is immoral and she should be called on it.  It does not belong in Democratic politics.

by Pachacutec 2007-04-29 12:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Are you fucking kidding me?


by Matt Stoller 2007-04-29 12:42PM | 0 recs
Re: The Case for Clinton

I actually agree that another attack is likely at some point, and possibly fairly early in 2009, before a new Dem president has gotten his/her bearings; Al Qaeda needs Republicans as much as they need AQ, and disrupting that symbiotic balance could force AQ's hand so they can keep America anxious and properly reactive.  But I see no reason for it to follow that HRC is better equipped than anyone else to handle it-- for one thing, it would be much better to prevent an attack than 'handle' it after the fact, and for another, who cares what Senate committee she was on?- give me a break.

Gore would be the best IMO for this reason (and several others, mostly to do with rooting out the thousand booby traps & mines that Bush has strewn throughout our government), but the truth is that anyone who's not a total nutjob would do a better job than GWB after an attack, because any evidence that we're regaining our senses would be such a relief to the rest of the world that we'd have plenty of support in really going after AQ.  And this time, we'd take the help.

by latts 2007-04-29 12:26PM | 0 recs
Interesting Question

I don't like the way Clinton is framing the question, but I think Matt is absolutely right to ask how the various candidates would handle such an occurence.  Not b/c we should use the possibility of a future attack to scare people but because...there will be another one.  It's just inevitable, no matter how much better we get in actually protecting ourselves once GWB is ousted.

Mayve it's overly optimistic of me, but I'm actually pretty confident in all of the leading candidates ability to competently work through that kind of a crisis.  Clinton is my least favorite candidate, but I don't doubt that she would make sober decisions if we're attacked again.  More specifically, even though she's probably the biggest "hawk" of the group, I actually don't think she'd act like an irrational neoconservative and rush into attacking someone for no reason.

The reason I'd nonetheless favor an Obama or Edwards administration is for the exact same reason I wish to god that Al Gore had been president on 9/11; both would be able to really bring the entire country together to deal with the inevitable challenges that would follow such an attack.  B/c of the irrational hate many have for Hillary, I don't think she'd be able to succeed in that task to the same extent as Obama or Edwards.  

Finally, I think Richardson would probably be great in handling such a crisis as well given the experience he has.  After his recent debate performance, however, I no longer consider him a strong contender for the nomination.

by HSTruman 2007-04-29 12:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Interesting Question

I'm not sure any Democrat could bring the country together in the event of an attack. For all the enthusiasm on the right for accusing opponents of the president of treason, I still think it'd take only three days before O'Reilly and Limbaugh accused the Democrats of helping to plan the attack.

by Englishlefty 2007-04-29 01:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Interesting Question

I don't doubt that you're right about what the right would do, I just tend to think that if we have the right person in the WH that type of strategy will only damage the GOP more.  

Perhaps I'm being too generous with the general population, but I honestly believe that if Al Gore was president on 9/11 we'd live in a completely different country that was both safer and more united.  

by HSTruman 2007-04-29 01:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Interesting Question html provides an interesting alternative viewpoint. Some of it's perhaps less relevant now that it's 2007 rather than 2003 and it's altogether more defeatist than blogosphere norms, but it's well worth a read.

by Englishlefty 2007-04-29 04:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Interesting Question

Agreed.  I am not sure I like the framing from HRC but it is a question that candidates need to be able to answer.  It is one of those things that is always in a little compartment in mind probably b/c I now live in NYC, lived a 1/2 mile from the Pentagon until 2000 and have friends who thankfully escaped alive from WTC on 9/11.

I think the morons who inhabit the White House have done a horrible job handling the terrorism threat having made Iraq the new Afghanistan.  However, I do want to know how the candidates will handle the inevitable attack.  I think it is important.  I am also interested in what policies they will pursue so we can stop funding both ends of this threat through our dependence on foreign oil.

And finally, I really wish Al Gore had been President on 9/11 b/c you know he would have used it as a way to get us to start becoming energy independent, the major thing I think we can do to reduce the threat of future terrorism.

by John Mills 2007-04-29 08:04PM | 0 recs
Armed Services is the WRONG experience

Terrorism needs to be handled with police activity, not with a war. Al Qaida isn't a government and doesn't have any government closely affiliated with it now. The approaches should be diplomatic (working with nations with active cells) economic (cut our energy dependence, dangit!) and sociological (cooperation with moderate, sensible Muslims and seeking peace even with fundamentalists). IMO any Democrat should be able to do this, although if Hillary really thinks armed services is an asset maybe she wouldn't do the right thing. I can't propose an overall best Dem, but I'd pick Robertson for diplomacy, Gore for energy independence, and Obama for conciliation.

by curtadams 2007-04-29 12:45PM | 0 recs
Re: The Case for Clinton

Non Clinton supporters (that's the best moniker I can come up with) are such micro managers. If HIllary's campaign is silly enough to advance the-best-in-show-on-terrorism argument, then let her suffer the fate of the donor market place. If donors buy the argument they will fork over the dough. If not then they'll probably bang down the phone or throw the pitch in the bin. This need to regulate the voter marketplace and its response to Hillary at all times is a bit strange. Its a bit too heavy handed and therefore transparent.

Perhaps its just me, but there seem to be more than the usual round of negative Clinton stories both in liberal blogs and in the Washington Post and other MSM outlets. Is this all to counter her percieved "win" in the debates? In the era of new media I guess we are all campaign managers now, each with our own cleverly concealed agendas.

by superetendar 2007-04-29 12:47PM | 0 recs
Re: The Case for Clinton

I gotta hand it to you for having the guts to post in this thread.  I believe you are the only HRC supporter I have noticed here.  After your smug, dismissive post in my diary, I'm curious if you still think I am crazy for thinking that Hillary is picking up Giuliani's CIC frame and running with it?

by upper left 2007-04-29 02:04PM | 0 recs
Save this argument for the general - against R's

If HRC goes this way, she's lost any chance of getting my support.  

The theme for the general election is that we're gonna put the adults back in charge.  ANY Dem will be better than any of these incompetents that have been in charge for the past 6 years. Trot this argument out against the Rep nominee.

HRC's argument (if she pushes this one) is echoing Rep arguments - that Dems are weak on defense.  This might work for HRC against fellow Democrats, but what does it do to the Dem brand?  How does it help elect a substantial Dem majority in Congress?  (Answer - it helps Reps.)

I hate to invoke Reagan, but his 11th commandment comes to mind, updated to 2008 - Thou Shalt Not Attack Your Fellow Democrats.  

by cheesehead 2007-04-29 12:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Save this

What has she done to deserve your support now?

by AnthonyMason2k6 2007-04-29 07:44PM | 0 recs
Where are the terrorist attacks?

I actually have been wondering why there haven't been any domestic terrorist attacks in the U.S. since 9/11. With all our manifest vulnerabilities, it's pretty clear that at least a low-grade attack--i.e. a car bomb, gun spree, etc.--would not be out of reach for sufficiently determined terrorists.

There are a couple related possibilities that I can think of:

1. Organized, Islamic terrorists simply aren't interested in low-grade attacks. They are focused on highly spectacular terrorism ala 9/11.

2. The U.S. is more secure than we might have imagined. It is extremely difficult for Islamic terrorists to get into the domestic United States, and once in it is difficult to operate without being tracked by internal counterterrorism forces. This applies to internal domestic terrorism as well, organized or in networks.

3. Islamic terrorists have been distracted by the U.S. invasion of Iraq. They are concentrating their operations in Iraq/Afghanistan instead of attempting to attack the U.S. domestically.

4. Islamic terrorists are in the U.S. and plotting various spectacular terrorist attacks, but these attacks take time to execute. Expect a catastrophic terrorist attack soon.

Just throwing some of these out there.

by Korha 2007-04-29 12:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Where are the terrorist attacks?

I am going with 4.  I live in NYC and a lot of us have noticed the police drills to deal with major emergencies are up big time.  Hope I am wrong but....

by John Mills 2007-04-29 08:09PM | 0 recs
Re: The Case for Clinton

The possiblity of another horrific terrorist attack is real.  The thought of having a President who isn't strong in the face of another attack like 9/11 (or worse) is frightening to me and to my family.  We function as normal human beings, dont' get me wrong, but we carry that fear with us all the time.

We observed the attack on the WTC from a 14 block vantage point, on a rooftop.  I saw things I still can't discuss openly, and maybe never will be able to do so.

Nobody in my family has been on a NYC subway since.  We believe it is too dangerous and a very likely target for a future attack.  

Hillary Clinton has been campaigning against the Republicans for years.  She is very smart.  She knows the extent to which the GOP will focus the upcoming general election on terror and fear and national security. She has to be able to face that and not be swiftboated as a weakling unable to protect the country and it's citizens - this pressure on her is intensified because she is a woman.  She is trying to stay one step ahead of the GOP all the time.  

I predict that within 48 hours, the Obama camp will issue a similar statement as the one issued by Clinton and referenced in this diary header. It IS time for a new type of politics not based on cynicism, but even Obama is discovering this is not the time to focus on that.   We have to actually defeat the Republicans to get to the point where that is possible.  Horse first, then the cart. If we have not learned that when it comes to the GOP we have to fight fire with fire, then we haven't learned enough and we will end up with President Giuliani for 8 years.  

by samueldem 2007-04-29 01:12PM | 0 recs
Re: The Case for Clinton

So you think it will help the election chances of the Dem party as a whole to have one of our candidates repeating Repub smears on the rest of our candidates?

What happens if HRC is not the nominee?  Obama or Edwards will have to deal with the damage that HRC has done by questioning their CIC cred.

Don't defend the indefensible.  If you are an HRC supporter, I suggest you e-mail her campaign and suggest that this tactic is highly questionable and will likely result in significant blowback.

by upper left 2007-04-29 02:13PM | 0 recs
Re: The Case for Clinton

There does not seem to be much concern on the netroots of the savaging of Clinton. My personal opinion is all of the candidates and their supporters should be competitive but not try to destroy each other and along with it the chances Democrats have in 2008 to win.

What happens if HRC is not the nominee?  Obama or Edwards will have to deal with the damage that HRC has done by questioning their CIC cred.

by robliberal 2007-04-29 02:38PM | 0 recs
This is a reason to vote against Clinton!

Any campaign that wants to use the fear wedge, should be cancelled out. It's a crock and it's divisive, and using fear of Arabs should not be a campaign issue.

by cmpnwtr 2007-04-29 01:16PM | 0 recs
Re: The Case for Clinton

Both Clintons have made the case to potential fund-raisers that the U.S. will probably suffer a terrorist attack on the scale of 9/11 after the next President is sworn in -- and that Hillary is the only Democratic candidate capable of handling such a crisis because of her Senate Armed Services Committee tenure and her years in the White House.

It would be interesting to find Mrs. Clinton's exact words on this subject, and compare them to the words with which she denounced Giuliani's highly similar comments...

by mcc 2007-04-29 01:17PM | 0 recs
Re: The Case for Clinton

My biggest concern is that this may be the political move that garners the most votes. I suspect that the average voter thinks only about revenge, and gives very little thought to what happened in New Orleans, the after*math* of 911, and consequences of war.

It is my hope that Democratic primary voters gives this matter careful consideration when choosing our next leader.

by Bucky 2007-04-29 01:18PM | 0 recs
Re: The Case for Clinton

hmm.  So apparently the really big donors aren't bright enough to see through such a ridiculous argument?   Or is that why Obama has been pulling in so much money?

she's also the only candidate with the experience to protect us from video games.  

Personally I find this whole line of thinking to be assbackwards.   If I worried about terrorist attacks (can't say that I do) I would be looking for a president who could PREVENT them, not just respond to them.  

by onemadson 2007-04-29 01:22PM | 0 recs
Re: The Case for Clinton

That's a tough question with many answers. Here's one: We learned from 9/11 and its aftermath that the White House shouldn't be swayed by special interests when  responding to a major crisis. So in that regard, one could make the argument that Obama is the best-suited to handle another 9/11.

by nstrauss 2007-04-29 01:56PM | 0 recs
Re: The Case for Clinton

To understand this way of understanding who is better equipped to combat terrorism, one has to look at the question itself and deconstruct its implications.

When Brian Williams asks "if terrorists attack two cities tonight, how would you change our military stance in the middle east", the "immidiate retaliation" answer is the politically smart one but in fact the most dangerous and irresponsible. What Democrats are doing by giving this answer is in fact subconsiously portraying the Bush response to 9/11 by attacking iraq as legitimate.

1. it is most likely that the next (islamic jihadist) terrorist attack will be undertaken by a domestic group with no links or training in any middle eastern country, ala the UK subway attack. Therefor, to claim you would ABSOLUTELY order a military response against states, without the first step being one of intelligence gathering and emergency response, makes absolutely no sense. In the case of such an attack, the response would obviously have to be law enforcement and intelligence based, as well as centered around emergency response.

2. In the case of an osama bin laden linked terrorist attack, beyond an intelligence, fact finding, preventative  and emergency response type reaction by the government, what MORE is there to do aside from re-doubling efforts in afghanistan. For example, say it was found that the attack was planned in Pakistan, with hijackers from Jordan, Saudi Arabi, and other US friendly countries. Is A democratic presidential candidate who responds to the question by saying they would NECESSARILY use military force actualyl saying they are willing to classify such states as state sponsors of terror and move in to attack Pakistan (most likely where AL qaeda is), saudi arabia, jordan , and so on? Of course not - such an attack would immidiately destabalize the middle east and all US friendly governments in the region.

So what is the implication of such a "strong" answer then? well the implication is in fact that someone such as Clinton, saying they would undertake a "swift" military response, would proceed to match a Bush response - one of implicating states which are convenient for targetting ( I.E IRAN, staying in IRAQ).

The really GOOD and GENUINE answer to this question should be something along the lines of what Obama did: focusing on understanding the attack, making sure another isn't being planned, and an emergency response to help the victims. Then, redoubling efforts in afghanistan and other legitimate "war on terror" areas - thus implicating the irresponsibility of the bush admin and their failure to infact truly prosecute the war on terror, and at the same time showing a forceful response. Because any other response, such as the Clinton or even Edwards response of "immidiate military action", without saying it would be on al qaeda strongholds, implies 1. where we are now and what we are doing is ok until there is another attack 2. the bush response in 2003 was the right response 3. we are willing to invade nation states such as pakistan and saudi arabia. This is all entirely deceptive and obviously said only to play into republican frames and fear politics. It is in fact a not so subtle endorsement of iraq policy and the current poor execution of the afghanistan war and the operations in pakistan.

by jed 2007-04-29 02:18PM | 0 recs
Re: The Case for Clinton

WaPo this morning ( tent/article/2007/04/27/AR2007042702162. html) dissed Obama for failing to respond with an "immediate military attack" answer and suggested he seemed wimpy. I haven't decided on a candidate yet, but Obama's rivals are trying hard to cross themselves off my list.

So I wrote to WaPo:

After all these years of the Bush administration, we are weary of a loose-cannon president who is always unprepared and always on the attack. We're not looking for another penthouse cowboy who "demonstrates toughness and resolve," and I'm disappointed by the retaliate-first posture emphasized by candidates Clinton, Edwards, and Richardson.

by joyful alternative 2007-04-29 02:43PM | 0 recs
Re: The Case for Clinton

right. what i meant to convey really is that retaliate first (militarily) answer is in fact purely deceptive, pure politics, and not so subtly endorses the bush reaction as the ideal. It sees all reactions as relative to the bush reaction, as trying to live up to that reaction.

the reason for this is because any logical direct military retaliation would either be

1. hitting targets inside countries we cannot hit, i.e pakistan, and then the pro-US countries such as saudi and so on. the attacks would most likely NOT, paradoxically, come out of "anti-US" states , namely iran

2. Going back into iraq or hitting iran

thus, an honest and strong answer would be to actually execute the war on terror, which means going into afghanistan and actually winning the war, and so on. But this answer is not politically flashy or does not hit the button on the FEAR emotion.

by jed 2007-04-29 03:07PM | 0 recs
Re: The Case for Clinton

Here's the part of the Time article that Matt left out:

Bill has "verged on feckless in this respect," grumbles a leading Democratic fund raiser who has defected from the Clinton camp to Obama's. Both Clintons have made the case to potential fund-raisers that the U.S. will probably suffer a terrorist attack on the scale of 9/11 after the next President is sworn in -- and that Hillary is the only Democratic candidate capable of handling such a crisis because of her Senate Armed Services Committee tenure and her years in the White House.

In other words, this entire thread is based on one of Obama's fundraisers. (David Geffen perhaps?) Do you think there's a chance that Bill Clinton has said that Hillary would be best in this regard, rather than only, and the Obama fundraiser, who heard about this himself through a second hand source, interpreted as he wished.  In any case, it's kind of odd to use somebody in an opposing candidate's camp as a reliable source for this kind of thing.

That being said, the question is a fair one.  And I happen to think that Hillary would do a much better job than Obama or Edwards in responding to terrorist threats and attacks.  That's one of the reasons I plan to vote for her.

by markjay 2007-04-29 02:19PM | 0 recs
Re: The Case for Clinton

Insofar as I could tell there is not even any direct quote attributed to either Clinton in the article. I would like to see some evidence.

by robliberal 2007-04-29 02:35PM | 0 recs
Re: The Case for Clinton

We had the WaPo story yesterday saying HRC had sent out a memo titled "Hillary Clinton Commander in Chief."  In the same story we had an anonymous staffer suggesting that Obama had mishadled the question at the debate.  Today you have Time reporting that people who have gotten the fundraising spiel from Bill and Hillary say that they are arguing that she is the only Dem who can handle the CIC job.

Add it up, this is a pretty convincing case that Hillary has decided that this is her next gambit: to argue that she is the best or only Dem for CIC.  I doubt if Hillary is going to hold a press conference and announce that Obama is a wimp and Edwards is weany.  I doubt that they are going to get much more overt.  But I don't think it takes X-ray vision to see what is going on. It would certainly help her if she can get the chattering class going on this topic.  My guess is that we will see more media pieces but few if any direct quotes.

by upper left 2007-04-29 06:24PM | 0 recs
Re: The Case for Clinton

If it's not sourced, it's not proof.  It's conjecture.  

Further, that Clinton's campaign is arguing that Clinton is the best person for the job should come as no surprise to anyone.  That's the very purpose of a campaign, be it Clinton's or any other candidate.

by ChicagoDude 2007-04-29 07:12PM | 0 recs
Re: The Case for Clinton

So by your logic we should withhold all judgement on Bush scandal stories unless they are fully sourced?  I doubt that you demand the same level of "proof" when it comes to issues other than protecting the virtue of your candidate.  

by upper left 2007-04-29 11:16PM | 0 recs
Clinton's security philosophy

The Clinton adminsitration had their sights on Al-Qaeda long before the most of America even knew who Al-Qaeda was.  

When the Clinton administration gave their initial briefing to the incoming Bush gang, they told Bush that Al-Qaeda was the biggest terrorist threat to the US, and that they should anticipate it taking up much of their intelligence resources.  It was Cheney who demanded that they stop the briefing and that the only thing they wanted to hear about was Saddam Hussein.

From what one can reasonably glean from Senator Clinton's speeches about a comprehensive security philosophy including her desire to implement The 9/11 Commission's recommendations, I don't doubt that her approach would be much different from her husbands.

by ChicagoDude 2007-04-29 02:22PM | 0 recs
The Nature of Terrrorism Is Weakness

FDR's motto that we have nothing to fear but fear itself is ideal in the face of terrorism for terrorists cannot win unless we allow them to provoke us.

I am not sure that Clinton has the courage to respond deliberately.  Being subject to savage Republican attacks and having a history of a problematic relationship with the military, I am concerned that Clinton might be goaded into a too aggressive approach.

The terrorists cannot win unless we lose our cool.  Edwards gives some encouraging indications that he will neither be provoked by terrorists nor by Republicans.  As a successful trial lawyer, he understands that you cannot allow your opponent to dictate your reaction.

Barack Obama's biography empowers him to understand the world better than any of the other candidates.  Not only did Obama live abroad but he stayed in Indonesia, the country withs the biggest Muslim population.  Thus he will be more sensitive to Muslim cultures and ideas, which is critical in the war against Al Quaeda.

by Hellmut 2007-04-29 02:32PM | 0 recs
Re: The Case for Clinton

At this point in time, and until I have valid evidence that the quote by Clinton was not fabricated, I will not comment on this issue again.

A least twice in the past, people who apparently defected from the Clinton camp to the Obama camp have issued rather bizarre "hearsay" allegations about the Clintons.  

I also know that Robert Gibbs has a lot of power on Obama's team and Gibbs is not to be trusted on issues of "fear" and scare tactics.  As Matt Stoller surely knows.

by samueldem 2007-04-29 02:48PM | 0 recs

It is a unanimous decision of The 9/11 Commission as well as the domestic and international intelligence communities that there will indeed be additional terrorist attacks.

"We shouldn't need another wake-up call.  We (The 9/11 Commission) believe that the terrorists will strike again, so does every responsible expert that we have talked to." -Thomas Kean, Co-Chairman, The 9/11 Commission

by ChicagoDude 2007-04-29 03:34PM | 0 recs
Re: The Case for Clinton

Bushlite?  Neocon claptrap scare-a-thon. (shakes head in dismay)  How pathetically weak.

by Oilfieldguy 2007-04-29 04:53PM | 0 recs
Re: The Case for Clinton

It's about preventing terrorism and rebuilding our image in the world, it's about allies, it shouldn't be about fear.

by howardpark 2007-04-29 05:02PM | 0 recs
Re: The Case for Clinton

Why would your candidate be the best leader in the event of a massive terrorist attack?

Read what Wes Clark wrote September 15, 2001.

Decisive Force orce.html

I don't believe it's too late, and I do believe he'll run. He said he has preconditions that must be met, that he's not at liberty to talk about, before he can declare on way or the other. He's not a game-player -- if he had no intention of running, he'd have told us. He also said he wants to run, thinks about it every single day and to trust him. I do.

by jen 2007-04-29 07:57PM | 0 recs
Re: The Case for Clinton

further up on the thread several people commented that Hillary has borrowed from the Bush campaign and political playbook among other things - fear mongering; signs, cues and signals where do you think this will lead to?

by dearreader 2007-04-29 08:04PM | 0 recs
Re: The Case for Clinton

Wow, are they trying to go out of their way to make it impossible for me to vote for her if she is the nominee???????

The best candidate in case of any potential terror attack is the one that is most able to unite the country behind a far reaching platform that will transform the country ala the New Deal, the New Frontier, or the Great Society.  Something that creates a common goal for all Americans and speaks to the best in us not the beast.  Hillary continues to show that she isn't that person.  Edwards seems to be working to be that person and I believe a lot of people want Obama to be that person.  I do no that no Republican running is that person.

So, cut it out Clintons, you are going nowhere with this kind of campaigning.  Should Hillary get the nomination and then get the Presidency I have no doubt that once again Democrats will lose Congress.

by msstaley 2007-04-29 08:31PM | 0 recs
Hillary channels her inner Rudy?

Well if this doesn't top all for invoking a tired old GOP talking point to score points among terrorist-fearing indies--and make those who have stopped fearing fear once again. This is truly beyond reprehensible. Vote for me or you'll die? And she dares call herself a Democrat?

This woman has either lost all sense of decency in her clearly feverish obsession to restore a Clinton to the White House, or else has simply lost her mind.

And btw, the point is to PREVENT another attack, and not not merely be the best as reacting to one. Both of which, I believe, she is in no way fit to claim to be most qualified to do. Merely sitting on a committee and rubber-stamping a war based on what she KNEW to be lies does NOT qualify her for any of these vital tasks.

What the HELL is going on with this cipher? Who IS this person?

by kovie 2007-04-29 10:22PM | 0 recs


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