Hillary Clinton Didn't Have to Lie About Bosnia:
You know how it goes. You have a pretty good one-night stand - the kind that doesn't change your life but gets your rocks off enough so that you can go for a little while without thinking, "Fuck, I haven't had sex in [insert amount] months." You had fun, cocks were sucked, they were sheathed, they were rammed into orifices - no, it didn't cause you to ululate with glee, but a couple of spooge squirts later, it was kiss-kiss good-bye, maybe see ya around. And then a whole Sunday to yourself, feeling pretty fine. Now let's say that the [insert amount] months have passed, and you've hit one helluva sexual dry spell. When you hang with friends, you may begin to think about that one night X months ago, remembering it as far hotter than you did at the time. In fact, if asked about the last time you fucked around, you may begin to embellish the story, talking about how huge a cock the guy had, how your hard-on lasted for hours, how you came with the force of a pressure relief valve on an overburdened boiler. Oh, goddamn, that was incredible fucking, you may say, with a dude whose abs could shred carrots. If you go down hyperbole road, though, you better be sure that Johnny One-Night ain't gonna show up, soft-bellied, average-dicked, with the real story of that good-but-not-great night, a tale that ends with you looking like a pathetic tool who, well, needs to get laid.
See, the lesson here is less about talking about what you did than it is about taking something that's decent and trying to lie your way into revising the past and making it incredible.
'Cause, like, all in all, when Hillary Clinton was First Lady, her trip to Bosnia was not an insignificant thing. According to USA Today on March 26, 1996, "Soldiers said she was the first dignitary to visit them since the deployment began about three months ago. And though the military isn't always a hotbed of support for either Clinton, these men and women were clearly delighted to see the first lady. Said Secretary of the Army Togo West Jr., who accompanied the first lady throughout the day: 'This has been a big boost for our soldiers' morale.' In helicopter hops between the main U.S. base in Tuzla and the outposts, the effects of the war were vividly, unforgettably clear to the Clinton party. House after house was either roofless or in rubble. Fields had been ravaged; whole areas were stripped to the soil." Sure, yeah, there was a USO show with Sheryl Crow and Sinbad, and, yeah, soldiers being soldiers, some couldn't give a shit if she was there, but she also visited with people who went through the hell of the war there, soldiers and Bosnians and others.
So why exaggerate the story? Why add the sniper fire and death-defying landing? Hmmm - probably because, as the same article by Bill Nichols points out, "The first lady was very careful not to appear as a policymaker on this trip... She referred any policy statements to her husband." In other words, Clinton's Bosnia junket wasn't hardcore enough for her presidential aspirations. It wasn't ballsy enough. It wasn't macho enough. How pathetic is it gonna look if Clinton achieves the impossible and rips the Democratic Party apart in order to be the nominee? The candidate who lied about being shot at while on a plane with her daughter and Sinbad versus the Hanoi Hilton candidate?
It's sad, because Clinton didn't have to lie (and it ain't a "misspoke" - unless one is shot at by Serbian snipers on a regular basis, one tends to remember whether or not that actually occurred). No, a glorified tour ain't the same thing as a bullet-dodging charge on the front lines, and meeting with workers at nongovernmental organizations ain't the same as negotiating a peace treaty. But it is the kind of shit that people praised Princess Diana and do praise Bono for. It might not be the greatest foreign policy experience, but the facts of the trip at least point to a curiosity and to Clinton giving a good goddamn (at least in distracting Americans from Whitewater bullshit and the health care debacle, not to be cynical about Clinton's motives back in 1996).
Still, in this time of Obama people shouting, "McCarthy" and Clinton people yelling, "Judas," it's kind of comforting to be able to address a fuck-up from one of the actual candidates instead of some worthless adviser, associate, or lackey. What's extra funny is that Clinton's Bosnia jaunt is getting more press coverage now than it did back then. In fact, Clinton's people were frustrated in 1996 that the media was not paying much attention to her journey. Maybe, at the end of the day, that's why Clinton thought she could get away with the lie now.