Via TPM's "Election Central," a story that gives a little more context to Hillary's apparent lie. In her interview with New Hampshire Union Leader, Hilary explains:
“I have taken responsibility for that vote. It was based on the best assessment that I could make at the time, and it was clearly intended to demonstrate support for going to the United Nations to put inspectors into Iraq.
“When I set forth my reasons for giving the President that authority, I said that it was not a vote for pre-emptive war,” the former first lady said.
A Clinton campaign spokesman later noted that on the Senate floor on Oct. 10, 2002, Clinton stated that her vote for the resolution “is not, however, a vote for any new doctrine of pre-emption, or for unilateralism, or for the arrogance of American power or purpose – all of which carry grave dangers for our nation, for the rule of international law and for the peace and security of people the throughout the world.”
She said the Bush administration forced an end to the final round of weapons inspections and invaded prematurely. The administration is responsible for the status of the war, she said, and for being “grossly misinformed” or for having “twisted the intelligence to satisfy a pre-conceived version of the facts. [emphases mine]
I was mistaken. Hillary was not lying to Olbermann. Everything she's said was factually accurate, but it makes her neither a good Senator, nor a good Presidential candidate. Nor has she demonstrated remotely that she has taken "responsibility."
In his self-described "polemic," "Worse than Watergate," John Dean explains in detail how the authorization granted by Congress to wage war in Iraq, was no "blank check." Rather the President subverted the will of Congress by dispensing with key conditions of that authorization.
The heart of Dean’s argument is that the congressional authorization — far from being the "blank check" that war critics such as former Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean have claimed — actually had some stringent and important conditions attached to it, and that Bush simply cast them aside.
According to John Dean, the resolution required Bush to certify that diplomacy had failed, and that there was no longer any way other than war to resolve the "continuing threat" posed by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. Bush also had to certify that war against Iraq was consistent with the ongoing struggle against terrorism, specifically "the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001." Needless to say, it was Bush who walked away from the diplomatic efforts that the UN was still engaged in over Iraq’s alleged WMD. As for ties between Iraq and the terrorists of 9/11, there weren’t any, despite Bush and Cheney’s numerous insinuations to the contrary.
So how did Bush get around these conditions? The tack he took was so cynical that Dean seems scarcely able to believe it. Included in the original authorization were a few "whereas" clauses specifying that Iraq had WMD and ties to international terrorism; the language had been inserted at the suggestion of the White House. Then, when the time came for Bush to certify that the conditions for war had been met, he simply regurgitated that same language. "Bush, like a dog chasing his tail who gets ahold of it, relied on information the White House provided Congress for its draft resolution; then he turned around and claimed that this information (his information) came from Congress," Dean writes incredulously. [emphases mine]
So the so called "blank check" actually required good faith diplomatic efforts and proof of the key arguments the White House was using to justify war. And the White House's response was to play what Dean describes as an "absurd game" with Congress.
Dean concludes that this is one of many egregious offenses, meriting impeachment. All that was missing was the political will to apply the law. Even with the Democrats back in control of Congress, that political will is still MIA. To Hillary, this subversion of the Constitutional process merits a tut-tut-tutting that sounds more like a mother scolding her teenager for failing to clean up his room, than an epically undermined Senator calling a criminal President to account.
As of this writing, we have lost 3,123 troops, US, since the inception of this nightmare. The thousands of dead Iraqis will never be properly accounted for. And we appear to be careening towards yet another unjustified, illegal, military action. We need Senators and Presidential candidates who understand the seriousness of the stakes. Not politicians mouthing weaselly justifications of a vote that, fairly or not, has landed this nation in the greatest military blunder in our nation's history.
Hillary joked recently that she's had experience dealing with "evil" and "bad" men. She has. From the vast right wing conspirators to an entire administration of audacious criminals. The punchline is that her track record on confronting that evil isn't good.