Is Hillary Clinton ‘Honest’?

Exclusive: Hillary Clinton’s defenders object to the widespread public view that she is a liar by noting she scores reasonably well on the accuracy of her policy statements, but that is missing the point, says Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof has offered a curious defense of Hillary Clinton’s “honesty,” refuting the public’s widespread view that she is a liar by narrowly defining what it means to be “honest” and arguing that she is less dishonest than she is a calculating and corner-cutting politician.

Kristof writes, “as we head toward the general election showdown, by all means denounce Hillary Clinton’s judgment and policy positions, but let’s focus on the real issues. She’s not a saint but a politician, and to me this notion that she’s fundamentally dishonest is a bogus narrative.”

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Kristof cites, for instance, that half of her campaign statements, as evaluated by PolitiFact, were rated either true or mostly true, comparable to how the group assessed statements by Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Ted Cruz and much better than Donald Trump’s 22 percent. Leaving aside the “conventional wisdom” bias of this mainstream media organization, Kristof does seem to have a point. In a narrow definition of “honesty,” former Secretary of State Clinton may be “truthful” or kind of truthful half the time.

But Kristof misses the larger point that the American people are making when 56 percent of them rate her negatively and many call “crooked” and “dishonest.” They seem to be commenting on her lack of authenticity and perhaps her resistance to sincerely acknowledging major errors in judgment. She only grudgingly apologized for her pro-Iraq War vote and still insists that her bloody “regime change” scheme for Libya was a good idea, even as the once-prosperous North African nation slides into anarchy and deprivation – with the chief beneficiary the head-choppers of the Islamic State.

A Nixonian Quality

Many Americans sense that there is a Nixonian quality to Hillary Clinton – her excessive secrecy, her defensiveness, her rigidity, her unwillingness to acknowledge or learn from mistakes. Even when she is forced into admitting a “mistake,” such as her violation of State Department rules when she maintained a private email server for official correspondence, she acts as if she’s just “apologizing” to close off further debate or examination. As with Richard Nixon, there’s a feeling that Clinton’s apologies and rationales are self-serving, not forthcoming.

Yet, while it’s true that Nixon was a deceitful character – his most famous lie being when he declared “I am not a crook” – I would argue that he had some clear advantages over Clinton as President. He was a much more strategic thinker than she is – and sometimes went against the grain of expectations as encapsulated in the phrase “Nixon goes to China,” meaning that Nixon could open up to communist China precisely because he was viewed as such a hardliner who would never do such a thing but who finally judged that the move was in America’s interests.

New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof.

New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof.

While it’s impossible to say whether Clinton would seize unexpected openings as President, she showed none of that creativity, subtlety and courage as Secretary of State. She marched down a straightforward neocon line, doing precisely what Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wanted in the Middle East.

Clinton tried to sabotage President Barack Obama’s diplomatic outreach to Iran and favored military solutions to Afghanistan, Libya and Syria. She also followed a rightist approach in backing the 2009 coup in Honduras that ousted an elected progressive president who had offended some of the Honduran oligarchs and outside corporate interests.

Lack of Self-Criticism

In addition, Clinton appears to have learned nothing from her support for the catastrophic Iraq War and has argued against “conflating” her Iraq decision with her Libya decision. But that suggests that she is incapable of learning a lesson from one mistake and applying it to a similar situation, an almost disqualifying characteristic for someone who hopes to become President.

Being a successful President requires extracting painful lessons from one mistake and making sure you don’t make the same mistake again. But Clinton’s personal arrogance or defensiveness (it’s hard to figure out which is dominant) prevents her from that sort of self-criticism.

Indeed, her ritualistic (and politically timed) apology for her Iraq War vote in 2006 came across less as an honest recognition that she had done something horribly wrong than that she had to say something to appease a furious Democratic electorate as she mounted her first run for President against anti-Iraq War candidate Obama.gates-duty

After losing to Obama and becoming his Secretary of State, she privately hedged her Iraq War apology by saying privately that she thought that President George W. Bush’s “surge” in Iraq was successful and admitting that she had only opposed it in 2007 for political reasons, according to former Defense Secretary Robert Gates in his memoir, Duty.

On Oct. 26, 2009, as Gates — a holdover from the Bush administration — and Clinton joined forces to pressure Obama into approving a similar “surge” for Afghanistan, Gates recalled a meeting in which Clinton made what he regarded as a stunning admission, writing:

“The exchange that followed was remarkable. In strongly supporting the surge in Afghanistan, Hillary told the president that her opposition to the surge in Iraq had been political because she was facing him in the Iowa primary [in 2008]. She went on to say, ‘The Iraq surge worked.’

“The president conceded vaguely that opposition to the Iraq surge had been political. To hear the two of them making these admissions, and in front of me, was as surprising as it was dismaying.” (Obama’s aides disputed Gates’s suggestion that the President indicated that his opposition to the Iraq “surge” was political, noting that he had always opposed the Iraq War. The Clinton team has not challenged Gates’s account.)

But the exchange, as recounted by Gates, indicates that Clinton not only let her political needs dictate her position on an important national security issue, but that she accepts as true the superficial conventional wisdom about the “successful surge” in Iraq, which claimed the lives of about 1,000 American soldiers and a much larger number of Iraqis but failed its principal mission of buying time for the Iraqis to resolve their sectarian differences.

So, when one considers Hillary Clinton’s “honesty” more should be in play than simply whether she accurately describes her policy positions half the time. Honesty, as most people would perceive it, relates to a person’s fundamental integrity, strength of character, readiness to acknowledge mistakes and ability to learn from them. On that measure, the American people seem to have sized up Hillary Clinton pretty well.

[For more on this topic, see Consortiumnews.com’s “Yes, Hillary Clinton Is a Neocon.“]

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com).

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69 comments for “Is Hillary Clinton ‘Honest’?

  1. Michael S Goodman
    April 24, 2016 at 11:56 am

    Is Hillary honest?

    Is the Pope Jewish?

    lol

    • Matthew Takim
      April 24, 2016 at 1:12 pm

      Hahaha, Thank you, she is the biggest CROOK in American politics

      • Larry
        April 24, 2016 at 1:38 pm

        B.S., Matthew. B. friggin’ S. Your hyperbole is grossly excessive and without any rationality. It’s stupid hype.

        • Larry
          April 25, 2016 at 3:52 pm

          Oops! I’m sorry for posting grossly excessive stupid hype and attacking people who rightfully call Hillary dishonest.

    • Phil Dennany
      April 24, 2016 at 9:56 pm

      Does poop smell good?

  2. April 24, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    Brilliant! Diogenes went around with a lantern, looking for an honest man, he said.
    “Or woman,” he would have added these days. The point is that honesty is not easy
    to find or recognize. Thanks to Robert Parry for shining a light on the question.

  3. Bart
    April 24, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    Kristof already stipulated criticism of her judgement, which is chiefly what you have done, and rightfully so.

    As for HRC being crooked and dishonest, I’ll bet that 56 percent of Americans listen mostly if not only to talk radio and Fox News. And to some extent that narrative has been echoed by the MSM ever since Little Rock and Whitewater.

    • Bob in Portland
      April 24, 2016 at 1:15 pm

      Clinton supporters can’t tell the difference between criticism of Hillary from the left and from the right. Fox News doesn’t talk about her foreign policy except Benghazi, which is a fake scandal that avoids the real problems with her Libya policy. The five hundred people who drowned last week didn’t die because of Benghazi. They died because their country was made a hell by Clinton’s “we came, we saw, he died” foreign policy.

      • Abbybwood
        April 24, 2016 at 7:56 pm

        I believe, according to the facts that have come out by Seymour Hersh, that Mrs. Clinton lied to Rep. Trey Gowdy’s committee when they asked her if she was aware of any transfer of weapons out of Libya to the Syrian rebels (the “rat line”) and she said she knew nothing of it and would have to “look into it”.

        Gowdy is going to have another round with Mrs. Clinton prior to the November election and maybe this time they will have the needed discovery they lacked last time to nail her for perjury or, if indeed the CIA was funneling weapons through Benghazi for the Syrian rebels and she knew nothing of it, what would that indicate? The Secretary of State telling the CIA with fingers in her ears while saying, “la, la, la, la, la…I don’t want to know about this!”?

  4. Matthew Takim
    April 24, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    NO SHE IS NOT SHE IS A CROOK<No STOPPING ,Bernie Sanders / (Elizabeth WARREN for VP) is going on like this for last 32 Years, Defending and going against bad policies in this country, now this race gave him a voice and lets echo that VOICE and do you really think, he will quit right now? Neither him or we will NOT STOP . This idea and issues facing America will live on forever, IDEAS ARE BULLET PROOF, Bernie Sanders Changed American politic for ever if not of the World. He needs our Help ,anything you can effort. $10-$20-$30 anything, have your contribution in this agenda at least this way. send him few dollars, He fought and spent allot in New York against all odds and lowered the odds and Hillary did not win that much more delegates,((CLICK in her ADDS and deplete her money)) BERNIE SENDERS is IN THIS UNTILL THE END. AND not until the FAT LADY CALIFORNIA SINGS( 548 DELEGATES FAT).if NOT Maybe 3rd PARTY run?Lets help him ,all of us, lets Help him,BERNIE / WARREN 2016:)and FIRE – Debbie Wasserman Schultz as DNC Chair

    • Larry
      April 24, 2016 at 1:41 pm

      I love Sanders, and have for 30 years, but you’re an overcaffeinated fantasist when it comes to politics. And your way overthetop attack language about Hillary is very puerile and as ridiculous as any of Trump’s exaggeration and character attacks.

      • Larry
        April 25, 2016 at 3:55 pm

        Oops! Sorry for posting overcaffeinated, fantastist, overthetop character attack against people who rightfully call Hillary dishonest. I was being ridiculous.

    • Dan Johnston
      April 25, 2016 at 11:01 am

      Matthew Takim – My God man, proofread before posting. It is hard to make sense of that paragraph with the all the spelling errors, strange capitals and grammatical errors. I’m all for Sanders too so it is embarrassing to read this sloppily done message of support.

      • J'hon Doe II
        April 26, 2016 at 12:17 pm

        As per:
        “IDEAS ARE BULLET PROOF…”

  5. jpteschke
    April 24, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    Your commentary on this website is a refreshingly realistic in contrast to the bogus excuses put forward by establishment lackeys such as Kristof. Even your contrasting of Nixon’s flawed, cynical but often realistic foreign policy with Hillary’s war crimes based foreign policy is illuminating. It is obvious that she can’t be trusted and is even a significant threat to our continued survival. The fact that members of the supposedly less regressive party are supporting her is profoundly depressing. Even Gates, (pictured in the article) though not mentioned, probably quit as war minister based on Clinton’s foolhardy destruction of Libya. Her election would signify the triumph of barbarism.

    • April 24, 2016 at 1:54 pm

      It’s a small thing, perhaps, but I do believe our nations participation in Vietnam, under the guidance of Nixon, Kissinger, et al, would tend to place Nixon in the war crime tribe.

      • April 24, 2016 at 6:33 pm

        Being a VN war veteran and student of history, I must comment: our participation in the serial atrocity called the Vietnam war did not begin under Nixon – it began right after the French military / government violated the peace agreement with the Viet Minh in 1946 and continued through the Truman Administration, the Eisenhower Administration, JFK’s abbreviated administration as well as LBJ’s reign, followed by Nixon. The U. S.policy itself was illegal and immoral from the very beginning. Don’t lay the blame solely on Nixon – they were all war criminals at the policy-making level, with all too many lesser war criminals on the ground.

      • jpteschke
        April 24, 2016 at 7:31 pm

        Although as I indicated Nixon-Kissinger et. al. did do some good things, you are correct. They were indisputably war criminals in perpetuating the Viet-Nam war, and treason was involved in their gaining power with the help of Thieu, the puppet South Viet-Nam president who went off the reservation to help tricky Dick. Also, Cambodia is the biggest Nixon war crime. Nixon and Kissinger were responsible for Pol Pot just like the fascist Harpy is largely responsible for Libya.
        Actually, Hillary’s whole campaign mode can be analogized to Nixon’s reaction to Watergate, which he described as a “modified limited hangout” partly disclosing facts but trying to keep secret the more significant elements of his crime.

  6. Cheryl
    April 24, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    You know a poster would be nice with Hillary on it saying I am not a crook or a liar

  7. Abbybwood
    April 24, 2016 at 2:54 pm

    I found it interesting that in the NYT article mentioned Kristoff actually said, “Hillary designed her home brewer server to avoid Freedom of Information Act requests” (paraphrasing).

    Is he kidding here??

    IF Hillary Clinton’s prime reason for keeping her Secretary of State documents away from the prying eyes of “We the People” and in doing so jeopardized national security (Guccifer’s hack!) then how could all of this possibly not be considered a FELONY by FBI Director Comey?

    If Comey does not recommend an indictment against her that will be it for me. I will absolutely give up on paying any attention to the political process as any opinions I may have will forever be completely ignored by my members of Congress and any president in the future.

    No more trying to stop unnecessary wars, no more complaining about all the issues Sanders has been railing against.

    It’s time to write my memoirs anyhow.

    The other day I came upon this little story related to Hillary Clinton and what she and her aides (according to this source from inside The State Department) were up to:

    CLINTON’S COVER-UP TEAM

    Ray Maxwell, a former assistant secretary of state for North Africa, has told reporters that Cheryl Mills was one of several Clinton aides who on a Sunday afternoon “separated” out Benghazi-related documents that might put Clinton or her team in a “bad light.”

    These documents were kept out of the pile that the State Department turned over to the Accountability Review Board that was investigating Benghazi.

    When Maxwell stumbled upon the operation, which was taking place in a “basement operations-type center at State Department headquarters in Washington,” he questioned whether it was above-board. “Isn’t that unethical?” he asking the office director in charge of the weeding-out process. “Ray, those are our orders,” she answered. A few minutes later, Cheryl Mills entered the room and challenged Maxwell over his presence, asking him, “Who are you?”

    Had enough?

    • Charles
      April 24, 2016 at 3:57 pm

      Considering that the Bush White House used non-government servers routinely, it would be very difficult to charge Clinton for doing the same.

      • Kevin Schmidt
        April 25, 2016 at 3:58 pm

        If it is illegal, then they both should be charged. Claiming, “other people do it too,” is not a legitimate defense. Try to use it in court and the judge will probably try to disbar the attorney.

        • John XYZ
          April 27, 2016 at 4:55 pm

          I am not a lawyer by any means, nor do I claim to know much about any particular kinds of legal proceedings, but I’d have guessed that you could build a legitimate defense out of it. At the least you’d be saying that there’s no uniformly applied standard of law, so maybe that would lead to the charges being refined. And if you’re really ambitious, maybe you could use it to argue that the court shouldn’t even have jurisdiction.

          However, I haven’t heard of anyone else doing anything comparable to Clinton. Perhaps it just isn’t being reported enough?

      • dfnslblty
        April 25, 2016 at 11:15 pm

        Charge each and all – do not let them freely defy The Public Citizens.

      • J'hon Doe II
        April 26, 2016 at 12:48 pm

        Is that anything like no charges against police who murder under cloud of authority?

        or, closer to recognizing the numbers of peoples whom’ve been killed under Obama?

        … these numbers keep rising.

  8. John A
    April 24, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    When is Hillary going to appear on camera with a dog and made a Checkers speech?

  9. Zachary Smith
    April 24, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    So neocon lite Nicholas Kristof has climbed aboard the Hillary Bandwagon. Or more likely, has been for a long while and is merely publicizing it more. This gentleman favored the Libyan no-fly zone. He wants to whack Assad. Who else but Hillary?

    hXXp://www.salon.com/2013/09/12/nicholas_kristof_knows_better_a_shameful_addition_to_the_syria_hawk_club/

    I had to go to page ten of the archives here to dig out another ‘heavyweight’ neocon who essentially endorsed Hillary.

    hXXps://consortiumnews.com/2016/02/25/neocon-kagan-endorses-hillary-clinton/

    Today on Google News I found a couple of items about the Kochs and their recent thoughts on the election. Charles basically called Trump a Nazi in one of them. I suspect he’s afraid that the very well-off Trump might consider ‘pulling a Roosevelt’ and betray the top .01% in an effort to look good in the history books – but of course that’s just a guess.

    In the other one was this:

    Then when asked if Hillary Clinton would be a better president than the Republicans currently running, he {Charles Koch} said, “It’s possible, it’s possible.”

    Whatever else you say about the dreadful Kochs, they understand their own interests, and they can see what too many Democratic Primary voters cannot – the true Hillary.

    http://grrrgraphics.com/cartoons/im-not-a-whore

    It begins to look as if we’d better prepare for one of the worst episodes in US history after the coronation of Hillary. The filthy rich want her. The endless-wars-for-Israel folks want her. And the less-informed US electorate wants her. It’s getting difficult to see how we’ll avoid the looming tragedy.

    hXXp://www.businessinsider.com/charles-koch-says-its-possible-hillary-clinton-might-be-a-better-president-2016-4

    • jpteschke
      April 24, 2016 at 7:32 pm

      Trump’s foreign policy is actually not as bad as Hillary’s if you examine it.

      • Wm. Boyce
        April 25, 2016 at 12:27 am

        He doesn’t have any as of yet. If we’re lucky, he won’t.

  10. Charles
    April 24, 2016 at 3:54 pm

    I am concerned that Clinton seems to be unaware of how perceptions about her honesty are seriously undercutting her chances in the general and her chances for governing effectively. There are worse people than Clinton vying for the presidency. Even if she’s elected, if there is no public pushback against what the Republican Congress will inevitably do to her, things could get very bad in a hurry. The country could be paralyzed in the midst of trying to cope with recession, for example. If this happens under a Democratic president, it’s more likely to lead to a conservative takeover than anything else.

    Clinton is a lawyer. The answers she gives are usually technically accurate, but misleading. She needs to understand that the American people are sick of this. They want to know where candidates stand. They will take Donald Trump, who they really hate, over her, believing that they at least know where Trump stands. But Trump is a dangerous demagogue, the kind of person who might not just do rotten things, but destroy even the modest reparative mechanisms this ailing country has.

    • April 24, 2016 at 7:02 pm

      I think you misread Mrs. Willian Clinton. She is well aware of her flaws and works with, not against them. Her Presidency could spark many more wars and massacres than either the globe or the US can withstand, considering her background in US political life and the length of time spent becoming part of it’s most powerful lobbies. The money and approval she has amassed for her war enthusiasm is stunning and deeply dangerous.Also, the world is changing basically, Mrs. William Clinton is not and, she may never be able to do so.
      Not from some character flaw, that just may be her actual reality. True of Ronald Reagan too.

    • Abbybwood
      April 24, 2016 at 8:04 pm

      I refuse to ever vote for Clinton and along the Susan Sarandon lines I will “wait and see” about Trump when the November Election comes around.

      If I believe he is sincere about indicting her with his new Attorney General (and obviously if Lynch/Obama refuse to indict her for political reasons), I will vote for Trump in the hopes that he will be a “law and order” kind of guy with regards to Hillary’s “above the law” arrogance of power.

      And I know many California Democrats are thinking exactly the same way.

      Honestly, after all the pathological lying from Hillary Clinton over DECADES (the Bosnian “sniper fire” as just one tiny example), I will continue supporting anyone who can bring Hillary Clinton down to where she belongs and that will NOT be sitting in the Oval Office planning her next regime changes.

    • Kiza
      April 24, 2016 at 11:33 pm

      It is funny how Hitlary defenders say that calling her the biggest liar ever in US politics is an exaguration, that there are other bigger liars among politicians, but never give any examples (I always thought that only Billy-pants-around-ankles compares). Also, which top secret messages did the Bush officials keep on insecure personal servers? Or as Kristof unbelievably says – there is no secret correspondence in the US administration – the Russians have penetrated all US Government systems, so it makes no difference what Hitlary did.

      I guess, you are like the one you support – small time liars support a big liar, it is a packing order of liars and truth manipulators.

  11. Brad Owen
    April 24, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    There is nothing anyone can say to me that would make me trust HRC. She is too close to the moneyed elite, the Oligarchs. Her husband is a (Cecil) Rhodes scholar, personally mentored by Prof. Carroll Quigley in college( a prof. who wrote in approving detail about the Cecil Rhodes operation), and Governor of a southern state who had Winthrop “ROCKEFELLER” (another word for “Oligarch”, or even “Emperor”, or perhaps “Viceroy” to a Rothschild Emperor) as a Governor. This is too close to Oligarchs for comfort, and of no use in blocking a Trump Presidency (essentially getting the same thing in both candidates; a millionaire servant to the billionaire Oligarchs). I’ll vote for Bernie in the primary, when it comes my turn to do so, but IF Bernie falls to HRC in the end, the “Tribe of the Bernites” should migrate to Jill Stein and the Greens. That’s what I plan on doing, anyway.

  12. ltr
    April 24, 2016 at 4:59 pm

    Perfectly measuring the authenticity of Hillary Clinton.

  13. Mark Anderson
    April 24, 2016 at 5:29 pm

    Sized her up by giving her more votes than any of the other candidates.

  14. Cal
    April 24, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    I don’t know how to label Hillary….a egomaniac maybe ?
    I cant listen her, she talks in ‘circles” . When confronted on something she said or did in the past she responses with …’uh ‘this and ‘uh’ that and ‘uh , uh, uh’ —-droning on with the uhs in every other sentence, spinning circle after circle till no one can pin her down .
    Shes a horrible speaker—all the ‘uh,uh uh’ s she does in every other sentence is irritating—maybe she thinks it makes her sound like a ‘serious, cautious thinker—
    I wont vote for her anyway so no point in subjecting myself to the frustration of listening to her.

  15. Ladislav Din
    April 24, 2016 at 6:38 pm

    Applause. Applause. Standing Ovation. Robert Perry has insightfully captured an important public sentiment, supported it with specifics, and given it a compelling voice.

    An astonishing 67 percent of Americans (Quinnipiac) just don’t believe Hillary Clinton is honest or trustworthy for good reasons over decades. In my opinion, that should be disqualifying for a presidential candidate.

    As Perry has said so eloquently and memorably: “Honesty, as most people would perceive it, relates to a person’s fundamental integrity, strength of character, readiness to acknowledge mistakes and ability to learn from them.”

  16. April 24, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    Kristol is not known for honesty himself. Hilary is a serial liar, she is a pathological liar. She has been openly, provably this way since she entered the life of high level politics with her husband. The documented instances of the pathological lying are too numerous to ignore or hide. This indicates it is an ingrained character flaw that at some point enabled her to survive something massive. As to her open use of the flaw, that too is evident in spades and centers around her use of her husband’s sexual obsession with having a daily abnormal amount sexual encounters. Instead of helping her husband retrain his sexual needs to normal ones, she became his enabler, attempting to destroy or actually destroying as many of his “conquests” as she could reach. Bought assassinations may have started then as they reached greater and greater wealth and power. As his obsession grew, the need to hide it grew more vital too. In the Governor’s mansion Mrs. William Clinton never hid her screaming rage finding him gone for the evening. Never repeated in the White House one guesses.Both marriage partners became deadly captives of one another. As a couple today they seem at peace with one another. But there is a great danger in placing them once again, in the White House. The stability of the relationship could turn toxic in an instant.

  17. onno
    April 24, 2016 at 7:16 pm

    Hillary Clinton brings a new meaning to the word ‘LYING’ , the question does she ever speaks the truth? Let’s look at her track record or that of her husband Bill while in the White House. Did he ever spoke the truth even when he said on TV regarding his affair with Monica Lewinsky: Oral Sex is NO Sex ! Both Hillary and Bill bring a NEW MEANING to the word LYING = pathological liars. And Hillary in the White House will be a worse experience than USA already had with the first Black president OBAMA. It will be catastrophically for the USA and this Planet and for World Peace because it will mean WW III

  18. Abbybwood
    April 24, 2016 at 8:09 pm

    A video compilation of Hillary Clinton lying:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dY77j6uBHI

  19. Jay
    April 24, 2016 at 10:13 pm

    Kristof lies about Libya, the US destruction thereof.

    And Hillary lies about having prevented a genocide there.

    So he’s covering his failures by citing Politifact–not an organization worth trusting anymore.

  20. JWalters
    April 24, 2016 at 10:17 pm

    Hillary has demonstrated her corruption conclusively in her perfect parroting of Netanyahu’s “blame the victims” account of his massacre in Gaza. While Hillary claims to be extremely caring in the case of the Sandy Hook massacre, with 20 children and 6 adults killed, in the NY debate she showed zero compassion for the 500+ children massacred in Gaza, nor for their 1000+ mothers and fathers massacred, nor for their 10,000+ neighbors wounded and maimed.

    One possibility is that she actually has no compassion for either, and only brings up Sandy Hook in her effort to convince voters Bernie’s NRA rating of D- was actually A+. Or, she is willing to suppress her compassion for the Gaza children because she needs the campaign money of the “Israel right or wrong” crowd, from whom she has accepted millions. Either way, she’s being dishonest on a very fundamental and important issue.

    The establishment media supports the “blame the victim” account of Netanyahu’s massacre in Gaza. But some of them let the truth slip when they praised Bernie’s courage for telling the truth about Gaza. This fact reveals how suppressed the men and women of the establishment media are on this topic. What percent of them realize the truth is being suppressed? In this internet age, no curious and informed person could believe Netanyahu’s fairytale. Therefore virtually 100% of them realize they are being tyrannized. And that Hillary has bowed to this tyranny. I’ll take the candidate with courage to stand up for truth and justice. What if all the reporters rebelled at once? The tyranny of Israel could be severed before Hillary gets the nomination.

  21. Jay
    April 24, 2016 at 10:33 pm

    I see Kristof approvingly cites Jill Abramson, in the Guardian, calling Hillary honest: The problem is that Ms Abramson was deeply involved in the Times’ sales pitch for the Iraq war, and then once elevated to executive editor of the Times, allowed all sorts of lies about the reasons for invading Iraq to be published as established fact, she’s not one to comment on honesty.

    But hey Kristof was one of those liberals at the Times who was just fine with having the US invade Iraq and depose Saddam Hussein–as long as it was going to be cheap and didn’t caucus regional trouble. Yes, seriously, Kristof wrote this in the Times in late Aug 2002.

    • bobbi brone
      May 1, 2016 at 10:35 pm

      I believe you misread the article. In fact, Mr. Kristof proposed a set of five ‘concerns’ which you can read in the original publication:

      1. Can we overthrow Saddam swiftly and at a reasonable cost in lives? Saddam will be smart enough this time not to send his 350,000 troops out into the desert where they are obvious targets. Instead he may keep them in the cities, surrounded by civilians, where the U.S. cannot easily bomb them.

      2. Will an invasion trigger chemical attacks instead of preventing them? It’s hard to see why Saddam, if left in power, would risk his future by using anthrax or smallpox for terrorism. But if we invade, he has every incentive to use ’em or lose ’em. In particular, military planners worry that he could send nerve gas raining down on Tel Aviv, in hopes of turning an invasion of Iraq into an Arab-Israeli war. There is force in the contrary argument that it’s better to face a modest threat today than a nuclear-armed Saddam tomorrow; but hey, Saddam is 65 years old. Tomorrow he may fall into a coffin on his own.

      3. Do we have a plan for a post-Saddam Iraq? We must not simply hand the country over to another general who comes from the 20 percent Sunni minority. Yet is the Bush administration really prepared, given its concerns about Shiite Iran, to hand power democratically to the 60 percent Shiite majority?

      4. Is the Iraqi desert the best place to spend $55 billion? Fighting a war will cost perhaps $35 billion, and it will take $20 billion more to rebuild Iraq. That’s more than the federal government spends in a year on elementary and secondary education and health research combined.

      5. Will a war on Iraq set back the war on terror? Outrage around the Arab world at our invasion of Iraq could lead to a surge of anti-Americanism, growing support for Al Qaeda and the collapse of governments in Cairo and Riyadh. What if we won in Iraq but lost in Saudi Arabia?

      http://www.nytimes.com/2002/08/27/opinion/27KRIS.html

      His final remarks on these ‘concerns’ are summarized in this closing remark:

      ” So if Mr. Bush were really addressing these concerns, weighing them and then concluding that on balance it’s worth an invasion, I’d be reassured. But instead it looks as if the president, intoxicated by moral clarity, has decided that whatever the cost, whatever the risks, he will invade Iraq.

      And that’s not policy, but obsession.”

  22. Joe Tedesky
    April 24, 2016 at 11:22 pm

    Considering that the Clintons have been on the national stage for some twenty four years, and for the simple fact that we are all having a discussion about Hillary’s honesty, says a lot in and of it self. Any other politician having four deaths (Benghazi) attributed to their foreign policy would be either too afraid to run for office, or maybe even ashamed, but not a Clinton. Any other person with a government security clearance who would be caught using their own private server would certainly not be in a position to run for president, but not a Clinton. Why, before the Clintons even spent their first night in the White House, they were dealing with the Gennifer Flowers scandal. For the love of Mike, they rode in on a scandal, but yet the Clintons kept on going. The better question is, what in the hell is wrong with us Americans? Have Hillary supporters all been held up in a cave somewhere? Should the truth about Hillary be broadcasted on TMZ, or what about ESPN? Talk about while America slept, it’s more like America is in a coma. Surely anyone with an ounce of sense, could read how Kristof was spinning in circles, especially towards the end of his piece when he does some silly worldsmithing explaining away Hillary’s email security breach. Someone please tell Mr Kristof that Hillary may have caused some real irreparable harm to some government employee, by comprising their security while attempting to carry out their mission. Could there be a link between Benghazi, and Hillary’s private server use? And oh BTW if The Bush administration is guilty of this kind of security breach, then by all means investigate them as well.

  23. David G
    April 24, 2016 at 11:59 pm

    Although I read the Times every day, this is the first Kristof column I’ve read in a long time. My main reaction to it is surprise at its weakness as a piece of opinion journalism: slackly argued, barely researched, and lazily written—it could be the work of a motivated, but not very promising journalism student.

    As for his down-the-middle position, I just see a generic attempt to show the disaffected that the establishment has heard their complaints, and now expects their support regardless.

    Considering Kristof’s own role as part of the disinformation campaign leading up to the West’s devastation of Libya, we shouldn’t look for a very rigorous evaluation by him of that little blot on Clinton’s record.

  24. Wm. Boyce
    April 25, 2016 at 12:30 am

    Ms. Clinton is a far better choice for president than the egocentric megalomaniacs that the Repubs offer up. Come on people. it’s “lesser of evils” time, as usual.

    • jpteschke
      April 25, 2016 at 10:53 am

      Her role in instigating the war crimes of the destruction of Libya and her advocacy of a “no-fly” zone on behalf of el qaeda thugs in Syria (however they are labelled) renders her level of evil beyond the pale for any person of good will.

  25. Realist
    April 25, 2016 at 1:56 am

    Kristof ceased having any credibility to me when he embraced the neocon-driven debacle in Ukraine. Krugman lost all respect from me when he took a hatchet to the strategy and motives of Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary. Roger Cohen exposed himself as just a hack Zionist when he jumped on the neocon anti-Assad bandwagon. The entire stable of supposedly “liberal” New York Times opinion columnists have become completely unbelievable administration propagandists over the course of Obama’s second term and are no longer worth reading. Even Charles Blow seems with the program.

    • Bob Van Noy
      April 25, 2016 at 8:29 am

      Excellent assessment Realist, and quite discouraging too. I had to end my subscription to the Times after making a similar evaluation. It is beyond comprehension that the whole editorial department could be so clueless. I’m a skeptic, but I’ve never experienced anything like this…

  26. April 25, 2016 at 3:03 am

    Any one who has followed Hillary Clinton from her days as First Lady of Arkansas is aware of her limitations as one who ponders whether she has done the right thing. Her hubris and narcissism demand that any apology only be for a political reason, denying she has actually done anything wrong. None of us is perfect, and most of us are willing to admit our failures. It should be a big red flag when someone of her stature is incapable of conceiving that she might be wrong. Her shading of the truth has always been problematical, and is not a great indicator of success as a president.

  27. Pablo Diablo
    April 25, 2016 at 5:13 am

    The lying is secondary to what we perceive as “bad judgement”, which the Neoconservatives perceive as making money.

  28. dave
    April 25, 2016 at 7:20 am

    Shes a lying fascist that is opposed to freedom and the rights of individuals.

  29. Jay
    April 25, 2016 at 9:28 am

    Here’s the Guardian on the Clintons hiding some kind of income in Delaware. The details are thin, but if the Clinton Foundation is a real non-profit, it has no business being registered in Delaware. This leaves some kind of company set up for taking in the speech monies earned by Bill and Hillary, thereby cutting tax revenue to New York State.

    Trump also has a Delaware company, but since he’s supposed to be running a for profit company that makes much more sense.

    http://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/apr/25/delaware-tax-loophole-1209-north-orange-trump-clinton#comment-73039609

    • SFOMARCO
      April 26, 2016 at 12:50 am

      Hillary and Billary must report their speaking fees on the tax returns of the states in which the speeches were given. No tax savings here.

  30. Joe L.
    April 25, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    On Friday, I watched a video from the Young Turks who seem to be fervent Bernie Sanders supporters and against Hillary Clinton. I believe that Cenk said that it is likely Bernie will not get the nomination and in that case he would vote for “Hillary”. I though to myself, “What”? I have seen so many videos from the Young Turks about why they dislike Hillary Clinton so I admit that I was surprised. Then I thought to myself does Cenk’s reasoning for voting for Hillary Clinton, an establishment candidate, line-up with Einstein’s definition of insanity – doing the same thing over and over again yet expecting different results? With Hillary Clinton clearly representing the two party dictatorship, as Jesse Ventura puts it, then wouldn’t it make more sense to vote for “Jill Stein” or someone of that ilk instead?

    • Kevin Schmidt
      April 25, 2016 at 4:02 pm

      It makes more sense for Bernie to run as an independent. He would attract half of the Democratic voters. Plus, there are now more independent voters than either Democrats or Republicans. Sanders could easily win the presidency against Hillary and any of the three Republican clowns left standing.

      • Joe L.
        April 25, 2016 at 4:20 pm

        Kevin Schmidt… It would be nice if Bernie Sanders did that but if he does not then I really hope that Bernie Sanders supporters overwhelmingly support Jill Stein instead of automatically voting for the establishment candidate Hillary Clinton.

  31. Gozo
    April 25, 2016 at 6:40 pm

    PROGRESSIVES NOW SHOVEL CONSERVATIVES’ ANTI-CLINTON MUD:

    Progressives should know better than to succumb to decades of the baseless political garbage persistently slung at the Clintons by the ideological Right.

    We’ve seen more than 25 years of this stuff from the Right. And now, Senator Sanders supporters on the Left are joining in.

    If you will “just say anything,” to undermine Secretary Clinton in hopes of a Sanders nomination, please take responsibility for your mudslinging when a President Cruz or Trump gets to appoint the next three Supreme Court Justices.
    ____________________

    Historically, the Right’s greatest failure has been its determined efforts to“let the Perfect be the enemy of any Good” that they might accidentally achieve. Now (as seen here and elsewhere) many Progressives are joining in that counter-productive style of politics. What a revolting development this is!

    May the souls of the Founding Fathers have mercy on us all.

    Regards,
    (($; -)}
    Gozo!

    • zman
      April 28, 2016 at 3:02 pm

      I hate to tell you this, but HRC is no friend to America. I’m from Arkansas and have to admit that at first, Bill did a lot of good here. Then came Mena…and all the speculation, which turned out to be true. Bill had crawled in bed with Bush and the CIA. That’s when the trail of bodies began. Then, when GHWB couldn’t get NAFTA passed, good ole Bill did. Arkansas then went into the toilet and was overrun with a new round of neocon carpetbaggers. Now, solidly a red state, we are continually screwed, witness Tom ‘the whore’ Cotton, not to mention every one of our senators, liars and scum all. Good ole Bill started the ‘regime change’ shtick in the Balkans, the forerunner of the ‘Arab spring’ fiascoes. Killery, of course never met a war she didn’t like. Her involvement in Libya is a look into her real psyche (we came, we saw, he died). And NOBODY kisses Israeli ass better than she does. HRC is strictly a neolib, the flip side of the neocon coin, she is no progressive and anyone that believes she is, is seriously deluded. If she is elected (forced on us),the entire world will suffer. I have no use for Trump, but if I had to choose between him and Killery…well. If she does become our next puppet, then your last line is even more called for.

  32. Bruce
    April 25, 2016 at 10:39 pm

    There ISIS NO Debate; the Despicable she’s a ConGenital LIAR.

  33. HillaryIsMyWingman
    April 26, 2016 at 12:06 am

    First time in the commodities market and drop $1,000 into cattle futures.
    Ten months later take out $100,000.
    And say “I was lucky.”

    This happened in ’78. No apparent change in honesty since.

  34. John
    April 26, 2016 at 1:27 am

    I think you are talking about self-honesty and you are right that it’s an extremely important quality to have. People lacking self honesty often don’t learn from their mistakes. However, self honesty is a difficult characteristic for many politicians to have because it is often erroneously perceived as weakness to admit errors.

    Hillary Clinton appears to have the character defect of having to appear ‘strong’ ( perhaps as compensation against the stereotype that woman are weak) so it is particularly difficult for her to admit error.

  35. bfearn
    April 26, 2016 at 11:51 am

    Two kinds of liars.

    “When the President does it , that means that it is not illegal.”
    Richard M. Nixon

    “I love California; I practically grew up in Phoenix.”
    Dan C. Quayle

  36. Drew Hunkins
    April 26, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    Gore Vidal had the best line: “by the time a person gets to be Presidential material, they’ve been bought ten times over.”

  37. O. Swartz
    April 28, 2016 at 2:22 am

    Gozo: They won’t. And NO.

  38. zman
    April 28, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    Is Hillary Clinton ‘Honest’? LOL is the first thing I did after reading that.

  39. sulphurdunn
    May 1, 2016 at 10:46 am

    If you earn millions of dollars as a public servant you are a crook. It is that simple.

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