By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Hillary Clinton’s Bosnia lie

In my latest for the Guardian, I predict a renewed media assault on Hillary Clinton following revelations that she lied — not misspoke — about her 1996 trip to Bosnia.

Shameless update: I just did an interview with ABC radio in Australia about this. When’s the Australian primary, anyway? Also, I’m leading Real Clear Politics at the moment.

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  1. ron

    Actually Clinton first told the “under sniper fire” lie in the leadup to the Iowa caucus. It was in response to a comment the Obama campaign made about her foreign trips were mainly coffee and tea events. Her sniper fire retort was broadcast by one or more news channels, but obviously noone followed it up at the time

  2. A Red Mind in a Blue State

    To my grave disappointment, Hillary and her disbarred hubby have been lying with less and less style as their campaign slips into panic.I once wrote :In my lifetime I’ve had the privilege of watching Magic Johnson and Larry Bird and Michael Jordan play basketball, Wayne Gretzky play hockey, Muhammed Ali box, Tom Seaver pitch, Tiger Woods golf.And I’ve heard the Clintons lie.Greatness comes in many forms.I guess, like aging boxers who stay in the ring after their skills are gone, the Clintons are sliding into pugsville.It’s so sad.

  3. Peter Porcupine

    DK – Zowie!Play your cards right, and you MAY get an INSTALANCHE!(Oh, good article…)

  4. Anonymous

    I’ve always heard Dan is “big down under.”

  5. MeTheSheeple

    All this criticism about Snipergate purports to correct the factual error but actually promulgates another outright lie.Why do the media keep getting this wrong? Have we no standards?

  6. O-FISH-L

    Dan, you couldn’t complete an otherwise decent column on Hillary Clinton without taking a gratuitous swipe at Fox News and the Republicans, could you? GOP-TV? Is that because unlike MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, nobody on FNC gets a “thrill going up my leg” when Obama speaks? Or because nobody at FNC has come close to NBC’s Lee Cowan, “…there is a sense of trying especially hard not to drink the Kool-Aid. It’s so rapturous, everything around him [Barack Obama]. All these huge rallies.”?Dan, it’s the other networks, not FNC, that deserve your derision.

  7. jvwalt

    Frankly, it’s about time the media — those alleged Clinton haters — started seriously examining all her claims of experience. Start with the “35 years” bit, which kitchen-sinked her entire life into preparation for the Presidency. Then go to her numerous overstatements of her role in the Bill Presidency. Then there are the most recent whoppers about Bosnia, Northern Ireland, etc. When you recall how a mild comment about the Internet practically sunk Al Gore, it’s amazing she’s gotten away with so much for so long. It’s really a shame that she’s put herself in this position. She didn’t HAVE to. In her time in the US Senate, she’s carved out her own image as a political figure and gained quite a bit of respect on both sides of the aisle. If she’d run on her own record, downplaying the “First Lady” part of her resume — and the unspoken reminders of cigars and blue dresses that come with it — she could have emerged as the Candidate of Change. Instead, she ceded that ground to Obama, while setting the stage for a general campaign fought on McCain’s turf. It’s sad, really, and she only has herself (and Mark Penn, Billy boy, et al) to blame for it.

  8. Anonymous

    Dan I think you’re being too tough here. Are we really to believe that Hillary and staff scripted this heavily embellished story knowing that the usual contingent of press were present (at the time), and that they would undoubtedly counter these bogus claims of snipers? I think it’s more of a ‘I think it, therefore it was,’ pipedream. She’s probably worn a bullet-proof vest dozens of times and just assumes she did it for good reason. It was a very stupid thing to say but I don’t believe it was done on purpose.

  9. MeTheSheeple

    This whole issue is bizarre. It sounds as if there were three rounds of lying — the initial lie (which may have gone on for months, if ron is correct); the expanded lie on a direct follow-up question, which came after Clinton’s credibility was thrown into question and she was put on notice; and then the lie about not having lied.So, why? She’s building her campaign based on some ill-defined concept of “experience.” Does she think getting shot at gives her legitimate foreign policy experience? If so, a couple hundred thousand soldiers can’t wait until they hit 35 to run for office. If you’re building your campaign on the experience, getting caught lying about your experience isn’t going to help; but I’m not really sure how the claim, if it were true, would really speak to her experience to begin with.Did she really think she wouldn’t get caught in the lie, that no one would notice initially, and that no one would do some checking, that no records or memories exist from 1996?And then she presumably gets her daughter onboard to say she supports the mother’s view. What the heck does that mean?Tough questions, and she’s apparently lying so much we can’t tell the motivation. It’s hard to see how any of this speaks well to her experience or judgment, which is what she’s campaigning with.

  10. Dan Kennedy

    Fish: I devoted an entire Guardian column to Matthews, his hatred of the Clintons and his crush on Obama. Fox is what it is, and there’s no sense denying it. That’s why MSNBC has gone with counter-programming.

  11. jvwalt

    Regarding Ron’s comment: CBS ran a report that showed Hillary Clinton repeating the Bosnia story on three separate occasions over three months’ time. If anything, the story seemed to get more dramatic with each retelling. Perhaps she was guilty of serial embellishment: goosing the story a bit with each retelling. That would explain why she exaggerated something that could be easily fact-checked: she was effectively playing “telephone” with herself. It still amounts to a lie, and a lie repeated on multiple occasions — not just a simple mistake.

  12. Savo

    Unlike Hillary, I experienced snipers firing at me in Bosnia during the war. It is impossible to forget the difference between a quiet day and a day when bullets are flying around your head.You freeze, shake in fear, drop on the ground when snipers or any other guns fire at you. The experience stays with you forever. This is a big lie. Nothing else. I hope this lie about the Bosnia visit will cost her the candidacy! SAVO HELETAAuthor of “Not My Turn to Die: Memoirs of a Broken Childhood in Bosnia”

  13. Neil

    83% * of what comes out of anybody’s mouth is bullshit. Pick a person, any person, to follow around and record their every dumb utterance for a few months, and see what you get.What’s the point here–let’s only elect people to office who don’t lie? Great idea!*Courtesy of

  14. O-FISH-L

    Do these false statements by Hillary about sniper fire also call into question the claim, “Chelsea was jogging near the twin towers when the planes hit”?

  15. Anonymous

    Can we finally dispense with the “hands off” treatment of Chelsea? Either she’s part of the campaign or she isn’t. Her smug, arrogant rejoinder yesterday to an honest question from a Hillary supporter was the topper.(Think she’s still being paid by the “hedge fund” while on the campaign trail?) Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

  16. betsy784

    Do you remember this? Hillary Clinton planted a question while campaigning in Iowa.See this video the Bosnian sniper fire controversyDoes it suggest a pattern?

  17. Z999

    The question that comes to my mind is, was there ever a situation in which Hillary came under sniper fire which she mistakenly attributed to having occurred in Bosnia? If she has never had to dodge sniper fire that would put her statement in a completely different category.

  18. Rachel

    Which Australian primary, Dan? If you mean, when did American expats vote for the Democratic primary, that already happened with the Democrats Abroad global primary, held Feb. 5-12 and featured online voting (Casting a ballot from the comfort of my study armchair in downtown Melbourne? Novel, to say the least.)

  19. Revin Floyd

    The illusion of democracy is strong in the U.S. This video demonstrates, in my opinion, that the 2008 presidential elections are rigged and media collusion in making the process appear realistic is apparent. Watch this video of Hillary Clinton telling blatant lies for no apparent reason and ask yourself… Why?Why would Hillary Clinton tell such an outrageous lie that she and all of her political advisers surely would know would be exposed within hours? CBS News recorded and reported the story when Hillary was in Bosnia, she knows this, and she tells this fabricated story at a key point in a close race for the Democratic Party nomination… Why? What could Hillary possibly have thought she had to gain by making up a fictitious story about her trip to Bosnia? Nothing from what I can see except that she either did not want to become president or she was instructed to stage this public portrayal of herself as a pathological liar who cannot be trusted in order to send supporters and potential voters to Obama. Why?This was my first indication that the 2008 Presidential Elections are a sham. The fix is in. And Hillary Clinton took a dive for the party or whatever. I don’t know why she did it, but the timing of these events, the lack of any apparent motivation or potential benefit, and the quickness with which it was exposed make it appear to me like a boxer taking a dive… “In the fifth, your ass goes down” Say it. “In the fifth my ass goes down.” And that’s the way it happened.

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