Caught by two videos of her visit to Tuzla, Bosnia in March 1996, Hillary Clinton’s campaign has the unenviable task of acknowledging that Hillary lied about the danger she faced in flying into one of the most secure facilities in the Balkans. The walk-back of the Tuzla Dash began today, with Howard Wolfson trying to point out the danger in other portions of her trip:
The Clinton campaign says Senator Hillary Clinton may have “misspoke” recently when she said she had to evade sniper fire when she was visiting Bosnia in 1996 as first lady.
She has been using the episode as an example of her foreign policy bona fides.
“I certainly do remember that trip to Bosnia,” she said last week. “There was a saying around the White House that if a place was too small, too poor, or too dangerous, the president couldn’t go, so send the First Lady.
“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.”
But her account has been challenged, first by Sinbad, the comedian, who traveled with her, and then by news organizations, most notably the Washington Post, which awarded her four “Pinnochios” [sic] which it gives for major “whoppers.”
I don’t envy Wolfson his job at the moment. Not only did she “misspeak”, but she almost outright called Sinbad a liar when he corrected her. Hillary apparently figured she could bluff her way out of the lie she constructed in Tuzla, even though Sinbad was on the same plane and provided eyewitness testimony. That bluff got called by the Washington Post and by Newsbusters, when contemporaneous video showed Hillary strolling off the plane, with her 15-year-old daughter in tow, and no sense of anxiety on anyone’s face.
Still, Wolfson gave it his best shot, claiming that she only exaggerated the danger a little. He produced some startling eyewitness testimony on Hillary’s behalf …. well, OK, it was Hillary’s own memoirs. Wolfson read aloud from Living History to argue that Hillary really did find herself in danger on the Tuzla landing strip, even if the First Lady still got a truncated greeting ceremony that she emphatically denied receiving just days ago.
Take another look at this video. Does anyone seem worried about sniper fire or any other attacks here?
No one is moving quickly. The media follows dutifully behind, and her bodyguards look smilingly down on the little girl reading the poem to Hillary.
Now, if she really felt like she was in danger, why would she leave her daughter out in the open on the tarmac, let alone that little girl? That’s the question Wolfson can’t answer, and why he’s probably buying Rolaids by the case this week.