Friday, June 25, 2004

A Clinton Interview that doesn't Rehash Lewinsky has posted an interview they did with President Clinton that talks, among other things, about Rwanda, Iraq, North Korea, the federal government's move to the right since 1994, and the 2000 election.

Some highlights:

On Iraq:
[T]hey morphed the attack by al-Qaida into the war on Iraq, which is something they wanted to do beforehand. Paul Wolfowitz tried to get me to depose Saddam ...

On Rwanda:
And I think even though there were a lot of indications that Rwanda was going to be quite bad, I'm not sure anybody focused on the fact that 10 percent of a country, 700,000 or 800,000 people, could be killed in 90 days with machetes ...

If we'd moved right away, we might have been able to save a couple of hundred thousand people.

On the 2000 election:
I believe Al lost Arkansas because of the National Rifle Association ... and maybe Missouri, and maybe Tennessee, and maybe New Hampshire (in addition to the Nader vote) ... I don't think the NRA got near as much credit as they deserve for Bush's election. They hurt us bad.

There is a lot more good stuff there. As I read the interview, it strikes me as odd that I would look back on Bill Clinton and pine for an honest president. Based on President Bush's (mostly forgotten now) decision to block the release of records from his father's administration, I don't expect the same degree of post-administration candor. Yes, President Clinton is vain and concerned about his legacy, but he is open and vain and concerned about his legacy.


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