When Is No Experience, Experience? With Hillary of Course

Hillary Clinton casts herself as the Democratic candidate with the most experience, at least more than Obama.  Yet on close examination, as Patrick Healy writes in the article below, this is a case of no experience that is equal to experience.  As Healy points out, Hillary held no security clearance, thus could not and did not attend any classified briefings related to foreign affairs.  With no security clearance, she could not receive daily briefings, nor could she read any classified reports, even those classified as “Confidential”, one of the lowest levels.  A typical Army private would have a “Confidential” clearance, and many have access to Secret documents.  An National Security Information would never be allowed in her hands.  How, without this vital access to top level classified information did she form any informed opinions regarding international affairs, military planning, even the most mundane communications to and from a US embassy?  How, during the times when she was not speaking to Bill Clinton did she influence his policy decisions?  The answers are very simple, she didn’t acquire the level of experience she now touts.  The sous chef in the White House had a higher clearance than Hillary.As first lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton jawboned the president of Uzbekistan to leave his car and shake hands with people. She argued with the Czech prime minister about democracy. She cajoled Catholic and Protestant women to talk to one another in Northern Ireland. She traveled to 79 countries in total, little of it leisure; one meeting with mutilated Rwandan refugees so unsettled her that she threw up afterward.But during those two terms in the White House, Clinton did not hold a security clearance. She did not attend National Security Council meetings. She was not given a copy of the president’s daily intelligence briefing. She did not assert herself on the crises in Somalia, Haiti or Rwanda. And during one of President Bill Clinton’s major tests on terrorism, whether to bomb Afghanistan and Sudan in 1998, Clinton was barely speaking to her husband, let alone advising him, as the Lewinsky scandal dragged on.In seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, Clinton lays claim to two traits nearly every day: strength and experience. But as the junior senator from New York, she has few significant legislative accomplishments to her name. She has cast herself, instead, as a first lady like no other: a full partner to her husband in his administration, and, she says, all the stronger and more experienced for her “eight years with a front-row seat on history.”http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/12/25/america/clinton.php

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