Clinton Remains Dishonest on Iraq Position

One major difference between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama is that on the biggest foreign policy question of recent years Clinton got it wrong and Obama got it right. Throughout the campaign Clinton and her supporters have tried to obfuscate this fact, realizing that it totally undermines her claims of being the more experienced candidate on foreign policy. Experience doesn’t count for much when you get it wrong.

Jake Tapper reports that Clinton is up to it again. First she plays a game similar to her attempts to claim certain states don’t count in the nomination battle as she tries to limit what should be considered with regards to Iraq:

In Eugene, Ore., Saturday. Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., attempted to change the measure by which anyone might assess who criticized the Iraq war first, her or Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., by saying those keeping records should start in January 2005, when Obama joined the Senate. (A measure that conveniently avoids her October 2002 vote to authorize use of force against Iraq at a time that Obama was speaking out against the war.) She claimed that using that measure, she criticized the war in Iraq before Obama did.

But Clinton’s claim was false.

Clinton on Saturday told Oregonians, “when Sen. Obama came to the Senate he and I have voted exactly the same except for one vote. And that happens to be the facts. We both voted against early deadlines. I actually starting criticizing the war in Iraq before he did.”

It’s an odd way to measure opposition to the war — comparing who gave the first criticism of the war in Iraq starting in January 2005, ignoring Obama’s opposition to the war throughout 2003 and 2004. (And Clinton’s vote for it.)

This is a bit more flagrant, but is essentially what we have been hearing all along. Clinton has tried to downplay Obama’s opposition to the war and creat a false equivalence between support for the war before it began and votes on funding measures once the war was underway. However it gets worse for Clinton. Just as her earlier argument that the nomination battle is about delegates worked against her, this argument on Iraq also favors Obama:

But even if one were to employ this “Start Counting in January 2005” measurement, Clinton did not criticize the war in Iraq first.

Scrambling to support their boss’s claim, Clinton campaign officials pointed to a paper statement Clinton issued on Jan. 26, 2005, explaining her vote to confirm Condoleezza Rice as Secretary of State.

“The Administration and Defense Department’s Iraq policy has been, by any reasonable measure, riddled with errors, misstatements and misjudgments,” the January 2005 Clinton statement said. “From the beginning of the Iraqi war, we were inadequately prepared for the aftermath of the invasion with too few troops and an inadequate plan to stabilize Iraq.”

But Obama offered criticisms of the war in Iraq eight days before that, directly to Rice, in his very first meeting as a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Jan. 18.

Obama pushed Rice on her answers to previous questioners regarding the effectiveness of Iraqi troops, and he criticized the administration for conveying a never-ending commitment to a US troop presence in Iraq.

Tapper provides more information on Obama’s criticism of the war and argues, “The misrepresentation of the record is symbolic of the re-writing of history Clinton has attempted on her record regarding the war in Iraq.” He argues further that this episode of dishonesty form Clinton is part of a larger trend.

SciFi Friday (Sunday Edition): Battlestar Galactica and Doctor Who Premiers; Torchwood Finale

I held off until Sunday once again in order to catch the season premier of Battlestar Galactica, the season (series?) finale of Torchwood, and the season premier of Doctor Who.

Battlestar Galactica started right where the previous season left off with Starbuck returning. Starbuck thinks her trip to Earth and back took six hours when she’s really been gone for about two months. Many are suspicious about her return, and their feelings about her won’t be helped by the manner in which she decided to convince President Roslin to go in the direction she believes Earth is in by gun point, setting up the cliff hanger for the next episode.

Another story line which will probably continue throughout the season is the response of Saul Tigh, Galen Tyrol, Sam Anders, and Tory Foster after finding they are Cylons. They appear to be are a different type of Cylon, and at present are capable of continuing their loyalties towards humans. It is puzzling why the Cylons stopped their attack after identifying Anders. After all, they had previously tired to wipe out all life on all human colonies. That might become clearer as we learn the significance of the five remaining Cylons, including the one whose identity remains a mystery. I suspect that this will end with finding some type of continuing cycle of humans building machines which ultimately become indistinguishable from humans, only to be fated to repeat the cycle when the the joined humans and machine race build intelligent machines of their own.

If I am correct we will see an earlier point in this cycle with the spin off Caprica. TV Squad presents some spoilers as to what the show will be like with casting information which outlines the major characters.

Exit Wounds, The Torchwood finale aired in the U.K. during the past week and works well as both a season finale and, if it comes to this, a series finale. I won’t say very much for the benefit of those watching the series a few weeks behind on BBC America. The show does include the return of Captain John and resolves some continuing plot threads including the story of Jack’s brother. Jack’s personal time line also becomes even more complicated than it has been. Not everyone survives and Torchwood will be different should the show return.

BBC America aired Adrift which was one of the better episodes of the season. We see more of what Torchwood has been up to, and learn that the rift takes as well as gives. I was surprised by the ending. It was stronger leaving Jonah’s mother living with the knowledge of what happened to her son, but based upon past behavior I would have expected Torchwood to have slipped her some Retcon.

Doctor Who also returned in the U.K. and will be resuming soon on the SciFi Channel, along with The Sarah Jane Adventures. Partners in Crime won’t go down as one of the greats but it served its purpose well. It was done as a light episode to bring The Doctor and Donna (Catherine Tate) back together. Donna is less abrasive than she was in The Runaway Bride but is still a far different type of companion than Rose and Martha. After those experiences The Doctor is cautious about another taking on another female companion, setting up a brief misunderstanding:

Doctor: I want a mate
Donna: You want to mate?? You’re not mating with me sunshine!

Donna wasn’t the only familiar face seen in the episode but I’ll leave that as a surprise for those who are waiting to watch on the SciFi Channel. Next week they go to Pompeii on Volcano Day.