Notable Quotables - 07/06/2004

Another Bush Lie Exposed

"It is one of President Bush's last surviving justifications for war in Iraq and today it took a devastating hit when the 9/11 Commission declared there was no 'collaborative relationship' between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden....The report is yet another blow to the Presidents credibility."
-John Roberts on the June 16 CBS Evening News.

Peter Jennings: "One of the Bush administration's most controversial assertions in its argument for war in Iraq was that Saddam Hussein had links to al-Qaeda. Today the 9/11 Commission said, unequivocally, not so...."
Terry Moran: "After the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq undermined President Bush's main argument for going to war, this new finding by the 9/11 Commission challenges his case on another front."
-ABC's World News Tonight, June 16.

"The 9/11 Commission also has come to some conclusions about the link, or the absence of it, between Iraq and al-Qaeda....The Commission is sharply at odds with what leading members of the administration continue to claim."
-Tom Brokaw on the June 16 NBC Nightly News.

"Memo to the Vice President: 9/11 Commission finds, quote, 'no credible evidence,' unquote, of any link between al-Qaeda and Iraq."
-MSNBC's Keith Olbermann on Countdown, June 16.

"Panel Finds No Qaeda-Iraq Tie."
-Front-page headline in the New York Times, June 17.

"Al Qaeda-Hussein Link is Dismissed."
Headline in the June 17 Washington Post.

Reality Check:
Chairman Thomas Kean: "Were there contacts between al-Qaeda and Iraq? Yes. Some of them are shadowy, but theres no question they were there...."
Vice Chairman Lee Hamilton: "I have trouble understanding the flap over this. The Vice President is saying, I think, that there were connections between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein's government. We don't disagree with that....It seems to me that the sharp differences that the press has drawn, the media has drawn, are not that apparent to me."
-The two top members of the 9/11 Commission at a June 17 press conference.


Lies, Lies Everywhere!

"Everything's been built on lies. Everything! I mean, the entire pre-text for war."
-Former 60 Minutes correspondent Meredith Vieira, now a co-host of ABC's The View, June 17.


Handover Timed to Moore Movie

Andrea Mitchell: "Howard, [what was] the strategy behind this surprise handover?"
Newsweek's Howard Fineman: "Well, they wanted to get ahead of the insurgents, they wanted to get ahead of the American network anchors and they wanted to stay ahead of Michael Moore, the director of 9/11, Fahrenheit 9/11 who's stoking resentment about the war."
-Exchange on MSNBC's Hardball, June 28.


Sovereign Iraq = Fall of Saigon

"Does anybody fear that in Iraq, where symbolism is so important...that the nature of the handover today, just the behind-the-doors kind of thing and the immediate exit of Ambassador Bremer today, might look a little like the helicopters taking off out of Vietnam in 1975?"
-MSNBC's Keith Olbermann to Washington Post reporter Robin Wright on Countdown, June 28. Wright said no.

Scolded for Connecting the Dots

"In Washington today the Attorney General said that al-Qaeda has been planning to blow up a shopping mall in Ohio....Over the last three years Mr. Ashcroft has made several dramatic announcements about terrorist plots in the U.S., and it is hard to verify them because the evidence is held in such secrecy."
-Peter Jennings on the June 14 World News Tonight.


Economy Is Booming, But...

NBC's Carl Quintanilla: "They're calling it the middle class blues....the feeling that happy days aren't quite here yet... "
Woman: "I've never been in a, like, depression, but I think this is pretty close to it."
Quintanilla: "The numbers, of course, say different. A million new jobs added since February, gas prices back below $2, the cheapest in a month. Enough to give comfort to some....But overall, the price of life in America is up from last year. Everything from hospital visits to tuition. Last month alone, milk prices made their single biggest jump since World War II."
-Report aired on NBC's Today, June 16.


Celebrating "Very Candid" Clinton

"It was very candid, theres no question about it, a lot of personal revelation there."
-ABC's George Stephanopoulos, a former Clinton White House aide, discussing Bill Clinton's new book on the June 21 Good Morning America.

"True confessions. A candid President Clinton talks about his political accomplishments and personal demons."
-NBC's Katie Couric opening the June 21 Today.

"Many people have remarked how open and candid you've been in the book."
-Katie Couric interviewing Clinton on Today, June 23.

Most Reporters Probably Agree

"I'm a big supporter of President Clinton. And if there wasn't such a thing as the Constitution, I'd vote for him a third time."
-Former NBC News reporter Star Jones, now a co-host of ABC's The View, at a June 21 party promoting Bill Clinton's book, as quoted in the June 22 USA Today.

Joe's Campaign to Puff Up Clinton

"My feeling is that in the end on all this stuff he's [Clinton] more sinned against than sinner."
-Time's Joe Klein on NBC's Meet the Press, June 20.

"In retrospect, it is clear that there was no substance to the Whitewater allegations and the other White House scandalettes...except, of course, Lewinsky. It seems clear that Starr conducted an unseemly and irresponsible investigation filled with 'abuses of power,' as Clinton contends, illegal leaks to the press and barely legal coercive tactics against prospective witnesses. And it also seems clear that the press was way too credulous about Starr's allegations and didn't pay nearly enough attention to his methods."
-Klein in the June 28 edition of Time.

"One of the other things that Clinton told us was that he would have fired Louis Freeh as FBI Director if it hadn't been for the media and for the fact that we would have associated that firing with the investigation of the Lewinsky scandal. Now, that is incredibly damning because from what I can understand, the FBI was entirely incompetent, not doing anything in terms of counter-terrorism over those years. And so in some ways, you could say that we might have had a better shot at rolling up those al-Qaeda cells if Bill Clinton had been free to fire Freeh."
-Klein on NBC's Meet the Press, June 20.


Pitts Agrees with Teresa's Fable

Byron Pitts: "Teresa Heinz Kerry....only recently started using Senator Kerry's last name and was prompted more by anger than ambition to change her party affiliation."
Teresa Heinz Kerry: "I was very upset at the way the party dealt with Max Cleland of Georgia."
Pitts: "Cleland's the Democratic Senator who lost re-election in a bitter campaign when Republicans attacked his patriotism."
Heinz Kerry: "I thought it was disgusting."
Pitts: "A man who lost three limbs in Vietnam."
Heinz Kerry: "Three limbs and all I could think was, 'Does the Republican Party need a fourth limb to make a person a hero?' And this coming from people who have not served. I was really offended by that. Unscrupulous and disgusting."
-From a June 15 CBS Evening News profile of Democratic candidate John Kerry's wife. In 2002, the GOP ran commercials critical of Cleland's votes, not his "patriotism."


Cap'n Dan, the Book Review Man

"My Life by Bill Clinton] completely. And I think it compares very favorably with Ulysses S. Grant's gold standard of presidential autobiographies."
-Dan Rather on CNN's Larry King Live, June 18.



"While Dan Rather, who interviewed Mr. Clinton for 60 Minutes, has already compared the book to the memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant, arguably the most richly satisfying autobiography by an American President, My Life has little of that classic's unsparing candor or historical perspective. Instead, it devolves into a hodgepodge of jottings: part policy primer, part 12-step confessional, part stump speech and part presidential archive, all, it seems, hurriedly written and even more hurriedly edited."
-New York Times book reviewer Michiko Kakutani in a June 20 front-page critique of My Life.


Both Into Oil & Domination

"They [President Bush and Saddam Hussein] are very different people serving very different purposes. They both have very equally narrow views about how to solve problems and it is all about power, the struggle for oil and the struggle for world domination, and at the end of the day, are they that different?...I don't want to equate George Bush with Saddam Hussein. I believe that George Bush and Saddam Hussein are both behaving in an irresponsible manner, so in that respect, they're alike."
-Madonna (the singer who now calls herself Esther) in an interview shown on ABC's 20/20, June 18.