As I mentioned on September 25, CBS News terror analyst Michael Scheuer pounced on President Clinton and asserted the Clinton administration did not try to get Osama bin Laden, as Clinton had claimed on "Fox News Sunday" with Chris Wallace. That sentiment was echoed by MSNBC analyst and Congressional Medal of Honor winner, Colonel Jack Jacobs on Wednesday’s "Imus in the Morning." Jacobs maintained Clinton’s response to Chris Wallace was "pure fiction;" he accused the Clinton administration of not even trying to kill bin Laden, and described President Clinton as "...basically a junk yard dog with a little bit of polish and a lot of hair."
Colonel Jacobs first discussed the erosion of the nation’s intelligence capabilities and described it as having been broken for "a very long time. Decades as a matter of fact," and was critical of the way intelligence funds are spent now because it’s not "in an organized fashion, before airing his criticisms of President Clinton. Jacobs declared:
" Clinton's response to Chris Wallace was both pure fiction, and he used a very common technique of those who don't know what they're talking about, and that is the ad homonym argument. When you don't have any facts that support you, what you do is you attack the other guy and always talk louder. It was great theater, and I think Wallace should have called him out on it; he was far too pusillanimous in responding to him. He should have struck his finger in his nose and told him he didn't know what he was talking about."
Imus interjected that he didn’t know how he would have handled the situation if he had been in Chris Wallace’s position, which led to Colonel Jacobs colorful description of President Clinton:
"Yeah, exactly right. But Clinton was just responding the best way he knew. I mean, he's basically a junkyard dog with a little bit of polish and a lot of hair. His response, Clinton's response, is pure fiction. I mean, he didn't do anything
Mr. Imus, attempted to clarify Jacobs’ position and inquired about Clinton’s statements to Chris Wallace. The exchange between Imus and Jacobs on this topic follows:
Imus: "Bill Clinton says that he at least tried to kill bin Laden. He's lying or what?"
Jacobs: "Yeah, he didn't try very -- I mean, I tried to do a lot of things."
Imus: "Did he try at all?"
Jacobs: "Well, to be honest with you, no, he didn’t try..."
However, Jacobs is not a partisan hack and had some choice words for the Bush administration as well. Jacobs described both President Clinton and President Bush as "lousy presidents:"
"Well, he did, except that, as I said before, we focus our attention on the president, and he was a lousy president, so is this one, and there have been plenty other lousy presidents, too."
Jacobs continued, and proceeded to describe key figures of the Iraq war as "enemies of the people" and bemoaned the fact that Paul Bremer, General Tommy Franks, and former CIA Director George Tenet were awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom:
Jacobs: "...I think giving George Tenet, the Presidential Medal of Freedom is one of the more ludicrous events in modern history."
Imus: "That was a disgrace, you're right."
Jacobs: "All three of those guys, by the way, who got the award on the same day, Bremer, Tommy Franks and George Tenet are, in my judgment, enemies of the people. They all failed this country. And their malfeasance, their malfeasance is one of the reasons we're in the pickle that we are today."
President Clinton’s interview on the September 24 edition of "Fox News Sunday" has set off a war of words between members of the Clinton administration and members of the Bush administration that has kept the media’s attention. As Hannah Storm noted to Senator Joe Biden on Wednesday’s "Early Show" on CBS:
"And, meanwhile, we're looking backwards though; it's so interesting, Senator Biden, this war of words that has ensued this week about the hunt for Osama bin Laden..."
The media may be interested in the partisan war of words, but what is more interesting are the nonpartisan talking heads, like Michael Scheuer and Colonel Jack Jacobs who are critical of both the Clinton and Bush administrations, and what they have to say about Mr. Clinton’s performance and statements on "Fox News Sunday."