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I've been thinking this for a long time, but it was a link to Bill O'Reilly's interview with Madeline Albright:

that jumpstarted this post...

Before you think I'm jumping back to the past to beat a dead horse, please know that I am doing this to tie together what many of us were saying during the Clinton administration with the terrorist events that have happened.

In short, this post will explain why I believe that character and integrity matter in the President of the United States. It will explain why I was so disgusted at the Democrats for rallying behind Clinton back in his scandal days rather than taking the stand that lying under oath is an impeachable offense and walking down to 1600 to force Clinton to either resign or be fired.

The interview with Madeline Albright linked to above was glaring in the omission of context with regard to the Clinton administration's feeble attempts to get Bin Laden after he had been linked to the Embassy bombings:

ALBRIGHT: And this is a terrible thing to say, but the bombings in Kenya and Tanzania actually were -- we didn't have the support in order to do a larger operation the way this administration has now...

O'REILLY: The support of whom?

ALBRIGHT: The American people and Congress, in order to go further in terms of our attempts to deal with Usama bin Laden...

Could it be, perhaps, that it is hard to rally people behind you when you send cruise missles to Sudan and Afghanistan only three days apart from when you lied to a grand jury and say that it all depends on what the definition of "is" is?

When I did this search in Google: August 1998 Clinton Grand Jury testimony Afghanistan

I came up with two links that are most interesting, one Jewish and one Arab American site...

"When a reporter responded to major American military action last week by asking Defense Secretary William Cohen if he had seen the movie "Wag the Dog," the holes in President Clinton's credibility were exposed like the underwear of a clown who had just split his pants.

A year ago it would have been hard to imagine a reporter as respectable as Newsday's Gaylord Shaw raising such a tacky question in a Pentagon news conference.

But, less than 72 hours earlier, the president had confessed to lying about his tacky relationship with former intern Monica Lewinsky, so anything goes.

As soon as Clinton announced missile strikes against suspected terrorist installations in Afghanistan and Sudan, there were those who, as Shaw said, were "going to say this bears a striking resemblance to 'Wag the Dog.'....

....But the skeptical reaction to his military action shows just how wounded his presidency has become. Hardly anyone raised such questions about his actions in Haiti, Bosnia or other places until the Monica story popped into view. Now any time he seeks public support for some pet project, foreign or domestic, even his supporters are likely to wonder whose tail he's wagging"

and the Arab American Institute page from 8/31/1998:

"Even the support that many in the press gave to the President for having bombed Sudan and Afghanistan didn't stop the protest. The fact that most commentators questioned the timing of the attacks and wondered aloud whether it had to do with the scandal, reinforced their conviction that the President, having lied for seven months about the Lewinsky affair, could no longer be immediately believed."

You know you have something going for your point of view when both Jewish and Arab organizations agree with you!

While there's nothing we can do about the past, I do think we need to understand that the character of our (the United States') President matters a lot and we cannot afford to have a person that has looked the American people in the eye and lied to them be in charge of operations such as the Bush administration are currently performing.

Madeline Albright's lame attempts to throw blame somewhere else remind me of why I was sickened by her tenure as Secretary of State, as well.

nole1, who believes that character really does matter because you never know when something will happen in which the President will need to rely on the trust of the American people...
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