"HILLARY, "Under Fire," Caught In An Egregious LIE!"
And this time, it's not going away!
"Dodging sniper fire" in Bosnia in 1996, Hillary lies, she was in the
thick of things during that time of Balkans unrest. To hear her tell
it, she was sent to Bosnia because her husband, the president,
couldn't safely visit such a dangerous place.
But of course it turns out that as a liar, Hil is at least as good as
Bill, as she tosses out shreds of absolute crap along her wallowing
campaign's rocky route.
Maybe, she hopes, enough mis- and uninformed voters will actually
believe her shit.
But if not, as Dickie might say, "So?"
"The Fact Checker"
By Michael Dobbs
"Hillary's Balkan Adventures, Part II"
"Greeting ceremony, Tuzla military airport, Bosnia, March 25, 1996"
"I remember landing under sniper fire. There was supposed to be some
kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran
with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base."
--Hillary Clinton, speech at George Washington University, March 17,
Hillary Clinton has been regaling supporters on the campaign trail
with hair-raising tales of a trip she made to Bosnia in March 1996. In
her retelling, she was sent to places that her husband, President
Clinton, could not go because they were "too dangerous." When her
account was challenged by one of her traveling companions, the
comedian Sinbad, she upped the ante and injected even more drama into
the story. In a speech earlier this week, she talked about "landing
under sniper fire" and running for safety with "our heads down."
There are numerous problems with Clinton's version of events.
As a reporter who visited Bosnia soon after the December 1995 Dayton
Peace agreement, I can attest that the physical risks were minimal
during this period, particularly at a heavily fortified U.S. Air Force
base, such as Tuzla. Contrary to the claims of Hillary Clinton and
former Army secretary Togo West, Bosnia was not "too dangerous" a
place for President Clinton to visit in early 1996. In fact, the first
Clinton to visit the Tuzla Air Force base was not Hillary, but Bill,
on January 13, 1996.
Had Hillary Clinton's plane come "under sniper fire" in March 1996, we
would certainly have heard about it long before now. Numerous
reporters, including the Washington Post's John Pomfret, covered her
trip. A review of nearly 100 news accounts of her visit shows that not
a single newspaper or television station reported any security threat
to the First Lady. "As a former AP wire service hack, I can safely say
that it would have been in my lead had anything like that happened,"
According to Pomfret, the Tuzla airport was "one of the safest places
in Bosnia" in March 1996, and "firmly under the control" of the 1st
Far from running to an airport building with their heads down, Clinton
and her party were greeted on the tarmac by smiling U.S. and Bosnian
officials. An eight-year-old Moslem girl, Emina Bicakcic, read a poem
in English. An Associated Press photograph of the greeting ceremony,
above, shows a smiling Clinton bending down to receive a kiss.
"There is peace now," Emina told Clinton, according to Pomfret's
report in the Washington Post the following day, "because Mr. Clinton
signed it. All this peace. I love it."
The First Lady's schedule, released on Wednesday and available here,
confirms that she arrived in Tuzla at 8.45 a.m. and was greeted by
various dignitaries, including Emina Bicakcic, (whose name has
mysteriously been redacted from the document.)
You can see CBS News footage of the arrival ceremony here. The footage
shows Clinton walking calmly out of the back of the C-17 military
transport plane that brought her from Ramstein Air Force Base in
Among the U.S. officials on hand to greet Clinton at the airport was
Maj. Gen. William Nash, the commander of U.S. troops in Bosnia. Nash
told me that he was unaware of any security threat to Clinton during
her eight-hour stay in Tuzla. He said, however, that Clinton had a
"busy schedule" and may have got the impression that she was being
hurried on her way. See clarification below.
According to Sinbad, who provided entertainment on the trip along with
the singer Sheryl Crow, the "scariest" part was deciding where to eat.
As he told Mary Ann Akers of The Post, "I think the only 'red-phone'
moment was: 'Do we eat here or at the next place.'" Sinbad questioned
the premise behind the Clinton version of events. "What kind of
president would say 'Hey man, I can't go 'cause I might get shot so
I'm going to send my wife. Oh, and take a guitar player and a comedian
Replying to Sinbad earlier this week, Clinton dismissed him as "a
comedian." Her campaign referred me to Togo West, who was also on the
trip and is a staunch Hillary supporter. West could not remember
"sniper fire" himself, but said there was no reason to doubt the First
Lady's version of events. "Everybody's perceptions are different," he
Clinton made no mention of "sniper fire" in her autobiography "Living
History," published in 2003, although she did say there were "reports
of snipers" in the hills around the airport.
UPDATE Friday 6:45 p.m.
Lissa Muscatine, who served as Hilary Clinton's chief speechwriter in
1996 and accompanied her on the Bosnia trip, feels that I have failed
to provide a full picture of what took place. She gave me her "vivid
recollections" of the arrival in Tuzla, which I quote below:
I was on the plane with then First Lady Hillary Clinton for the trip
from Germany into Bosnia in 1996. We were put on a C17-- a plane
capable of steep ascents and descents -- precisely because we were
flying into what was considered a combat zone. We were issued flak
jackets for the final leg because of possible sniper fire near Tuzla.
As an additional precaution, the First Lady and Chelsea were moved to
the armored cockpit for the descent into Tuzla. We were told that a
welcoming ceremony on the tarmac might be canceled because of sniper
fire in the hills surrounding the air strip. From Tuzla, Hillary flew
to two outposts in Bosnia with gunships escorting her helicopter.
UPDATE Saturday 8:45 a.m.
Gen. Nash says that I misquoted him in saying he was unaware of any
"security threat" to the First Lady. While he was unaware of any
"sniper threat," he now tells me there were a couple of "security
concerns" that day, which he found out about after returning to his
headquarters after greeting Clinton at the airport. There was a "non-
specific report" of a possible truck bomb in the area. The military
also had information that "some of the communications associated with
the First Lady's visit were being monitored."
"In both cases, we took appropriate security action," said Nash,
adding that Clinton's visit was not disrupted.
Anybody else with first-hand memories of Clinton's Tuzla trip, please
send them along.
The Pinocchio Test
Clinton's tale of landing at Tuzla airport "under sniper fire" and
then running for cover is simply not credible. Photographs and video
of the arrival ceremony, combined with contemporaneous news reports,
tell a very different story.