THE DAILY BLADE: To Tell The Truth

When Hillary lies, does she know she is lying? Is she a reflexive liar, a compulsive liar, or a pathological liar? Does the staggering number of lies she has told during this campaign make her morally unfit for the office she seeks? Do the things about which she lied make her psychologically unfit?


Consider these questions while reading excerpts from recent columns by political consultant Dick Morris and his wife Eileen McGann detailing Hillary’s lying lies throughout the years:

† At a 1997 race-relations forum
for teenagers in Boston, Hillary recalled the “pain” of a “childhood encounter” that helped her to grasp the injury suffered by the victims of bigotry. … “During a junior high school soccer game” on a cold day, Hillary claimed “a goalee told her ‘I wish people like you would freeze.’” Stunned, the future first lady asked how she could feel that way when she did not even know her. “I don’t have to know you,” the goalee shot back, “to know I hate you.”  Nice story, but it never happened.

Admitted Lies
: Chelsea was jogging around the Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. (She was in bed watching it on TV.); Hillary was named after Sir Edmund Hillary. (She admitted she was wrong. He climbed Mt. Everest five years after her birth.) ; She was under sniper fire in Bosnia. (A girl presented her with flowers at the foot of the ramp.); and She learned in The Wall Street Journal how to make a killing in the futures market. (It didn't cover the market back then.)

Hillary and Bill Clinton have both boldly - and falsely - claimed that she played an important role in the Irish peace process
.   But now her recently released White House schedules show that Hillary’s assertions are one big fantasy. Hillary’s role in all of the Irish visits were no different than any other first ladies … The daily schedules show that Hillary visited Ireland on numerous occasions with the President. For the most part, her role was to stand next to him, shake hands, and occasionally introduce him before he gave a speech. Sometimes, she met with women’s and children’s groups.

Now that Hillary Clinton's schedule as first lady
has been released, her near-total lack of serious involvement in the real inner workings of the government is bluntly apparent. There are few, if any, meetings with Cabinet members, congressional leaders, the National Security Council, the National Economic Council, leaders of the Irish peace process, players in the Bosnian crisis or representatives from Rwanda. … This near-total paucity of participation in policy-making dovetails with our recollection of her White House role. In 1995 and 1996, she largely toured the country, speaking at ceremonial events, wrote a book ("It Takes A Village") and toured the world. During her international travels, there was no serious diplomacy, just a virtually endless round of meetings with women, visiting arts-and-crafts centers, watching native industries and photo opportunities for the local media.

And consider this explanation
of Hillary’s lying eyes – that is, the phenomenon of false memory - by columnist Paul Greenberg:

Just how that false memory forms and is reinforced over the years can be left to the psychologists to explain in detail. Maybe first we exaggerate what happened, then elaborate the imagined memory with each retelling, especially to ourselves. And before we know it, we've fully incorporated the event into our dramatic life story. Our ever-absorbent psyches could put any ordinary screenplay to shame.


Maybe that's what happened with Hillary Clinton and her exciting tale about landing under sniper fire at Tuzla Air Base in Bosnia back in '96, and how she and her brave platoon "ran with our heads down" to take cover. Exciting stuff. She told the story, not for the first time, in a speech at George Washington University to back up her credentials as the kind of leader you'd want answering that red telephone at 3 a.m. …


To lift a phrase from the immortal Gilbert of Gilbert-and-Sullivan comic-opera fame, Sen. Clinton was adding "merely corroborative detail, intended to give artistic verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative." …


Hey, we all make mistakes. Call it the Walter Mitty syndrome. For who isn't the daring hero of his own life story, or in this case the heroine of hers? We just hope hubby's tendency to prevaricate hasn't proved contagious. Remember all those churches in Hot Springs that were being set afire by the Ku Klux Klan when Bill Clinton was growing up there?


And the biggest whopper of them all: “For the first time in twelve years or so I misspoke.” And not just about Bosnia.

When not attacking Barack Obama, Hillary has tried to get voters to believe that John McCain is running for George W. Bush’s third term. Instead she convinced them that she is running for Bill Clinton’s third term.


Meanwhile, Obama himself is not lying down on the job when it comes to fudging facts – proving that when it comes to politics nothing changes.


On what Obama remembers he “heard at church over the past 20 years” Boston Globe columnist Joan Vennochi writes:


In the speech on race he delivered on March 18, Obama said: "Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes.” Yet, in a March 14 posting on Huffington Post, Obama wrote: ‘"The statements that Rev. Wright made that are the cause of this controversy were not statements I personally heard him preach.”


Note the Clintonian phrasing: Obama was addressing only the statements "that are the cause of this controversy," referring to specific video clips of Wright's inflammatory remarks.


In his interview with Barbara Walters and the gang on “The View” (video link), Obama also said: “Had the reverend not retired, and had he not acknowledged that what he had said had deeply offended people and were inappropriate and mischaracterized what I believe is the greatness of this country, for all its flaws, then I wouldn’t have felt comfortable staying at the church.” In other words, instead of actively protesting Wright’s hate speech by leaving the church Obama passively waited until Wright resigned and then began referring to his as his “ex-pastor.” Not exactly a profile in courage.


So rather than being Kennedyesque, as Caroline Kennedy imagines him, Obama’s handling of the Wright controversy has shown him to be [Bill] Clintonian. But he’s also [Hillary] Clintonian when embellishing his life story.


Washington Post campaign fact checker Michael Dobbs parses a story that Obama has told in a speech at American University earlier this year, and in a speech in Selma last year commemorating the 42nd anniversary of the civil rights march:


Sen. Barack Obama traced his “very existence” to the generosity of the Kennedy family, which he said paid for his Kenyan father to travel to America on a student scholarship and thus meet his Kansan mother.


The Camelot connection has become part of the mythology surrounding Obama's bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. …


It is a touching story - but the key details are either untrue or grossly oversimplified.

Contrary to Obama's claims … the Kennedy family did not provide the funding for a September 1959 airlift of 81 Kenyan students to the United States that included Obama's father. …


A more accurate version of the story would begin not with the Kennedys but with a Kenyan nationalist leader named Tom Mboya, who traveled to the United States in 1959 and 1960 to persuade thousands of Americans to support his efforts to educate a new African elite. Mboya did not approach the Kennedys for financial support until Obama Sr. was already studying in Hawaii. …


Obama's Selma speech offers a very confused chronology of both the Kenya student program and the civil rights movement. Relating the story of how his parents met, Obama said: "There was something stirring across the country because of what happened in Selma, Alabama, because some folks are willing to march across a bridge. So they got together and Barack Obama Junior was born. So don't tell me I don't have a claim on Selma, Alabama."


After bloggers pointed out that the Selma bridge protest occurred four years after Obama's birth, a spokesman explained that the senator was referring to the civil rights movement in general, rather than any one event.


Hillary “misremembered” and “misspoke” about being under sniper fire during a visit to Bosnia a dozen years ago and provided vivid – but false – details about events that never happened. Obama “erred” about his parents meeting at the Selma civil rights march and about the Kenyan student airlift. So why was Scooter Libby prosecuted for not remembering precisely who said what to whom and when during dozens of meetings, briefings and phone conversations several years prior to being questioned by investigators? Just asking.


Editorial Note:  On Thursday of last week The Heel, an Ivy-educated attorney with a prestigious New York firm, had a Not-Too-Close Encounter with Obama while walking in the vicinity of Sixth Avenue and 19th Street in Manhattan. Some time after Obama had delivered a speech on the economy at Cooper Union, The Heel spied a caravan of black SUVs stopped at a red light, one of which was occupied by the presidential candidate. Though not inclined to vote for him, The Heel is a friendly fellow and amiably waved at Obama, who waved back. That’s it. Slow news night. But in recounting the incident, The Heel added that if Obama had rolled down the window wanting change he would have fallen down laughing.



Turkey Is Devolving

The Los Angeles Times has been running a series of op-eds in which Turkish and non-Turkish experts on that country’s history and current social/political trends (second item) have been duking it out over the Islamization of Turkey – which has significant ramifications for U.S. military and foreign policy goals. The series is extraordinary because the usual practice is to publish objections to op-eds as a letter to the editor rather than to publish another op-ed – much less three others - on the same subject.

It all started on March 15th with this op-ed by Soner Cagaptay, director of the Turkish Research Program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, which used charts to explain the case filed by Turkey's chief prosecutor, Abdurrahman Yalcinkaya, in the Constitutional Court to “shut down the Justice and Development Party [AKP], which controls the national government …  accused of threatening Turkey's secular democracy, among other things, by using religion as a criterion in making appointments to top bureaucratic posts.” Cagaptay warns:


[S]ince the AKP took power [in 2002], the country has undergone a dramatic transformation. …


Turks' attitudes toward the United States and the European Union have soured significantly, and voters have turned away from secular politics.


Nine days later, The Times published this rebuttal by Turkish MP Egemen Bagis, who is also the AKP vice chairman:


Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party … won about half the total electorate's votes in the general election only seven months ago on a progressive, liberal, democratic, pro-market and pro-European Union platform. Our legitimacy and our democratic credentials are as solid as the Statue of Liberty. …


We are only upgrading the country's democratic standards against those who believe that the nation does not deserve an advanced democracy. The parliament's vote for allowing head scarves at universities is nothing but securing basic individual freedoms for female students who have been treated as third-class citizens and banned from universities for their religious garb.


This rebuttal was rebutted on March 28th by an American scientist of Turkish descent, Cüneyt M. Serdar, who wrote this: 


One does not need statistics or surveys to know that the AKP is bad for freedom and women's rights. Its origins are deeply Islamist …


In a disturbing trend, secular Turkish women feel growing pressure to cover up, even facing intimidation or discrimination if they don't. In one case, Turkish President Abdullah Gül, who has the authority to appoint university rectors, bypassed highly recommended female professor of medicine Gaye Usluer for a man, who was recommended second to her and received far fewer votes from their colleagues at Eskisehir Osmangazi University. …


In recent years, some U.S. officials have described Turkey as a country of "moderate Islam." Unfortunately the U.S. - with its compelling need to see a successful democracy in a Muslim nation - has been supporting Erdogan and the AKP, and is unwittingly watching one of the few successful secular democracies in the Middle East slowly disintegrate.


The Times published a second op-ed alongside Serdar’s by Robert Ellis, who writes about Turkish affairs in the Danish press and in the Turkish Daily News:


The AKP is replacing the top echelons of the educational system - along with state administration and the judiciary - with its own followers. It intends to give religious school graduates the same access to universities as state high school graduates as part of this process, so that students primarily trained to be imams can replace secular leaders in the bureaucracy.

As far as Turkish foreign policy is concerned, the last word still belongs to "Bearded Celal," a little-known Turkish philosopher who wrote 50 years ago that "Turkey is a ship heading for the East. Those aboard think they are heading for the West. In fact, they are just running westwards in a ship sailing eastwards." …


Michael Rubin, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, has researched the influx of money into Turkey from wealthy Islamist businessmen and Middle Eastern states and concludes that this is "an engine for Islamist parties to whittle away at Turkey's secular traditions."


One marvels at how a “progressive” paper like The New York Times can take the position that, the case against the AKP “gravely threatens political and economic stability and Ankara’s international reputation.” Clearly, if the rights of women and religious minorities are relentlessly whittled away as a result of Turkey’s ever-tightening embrace of Sharia law it’s the other way around.


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