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The Real Clinton Body Count

July 10, 2013
Big Dog

“I once had a body count list thiiiis loooong.”

If you listened to our recent microsode about the email chain listing all the folks President Bill Clinton “murdered” to preserve his position and political legacy, you know that we pretty much dismissed the whole thing as a combination of shoddy research and a willful hatred of Democratic policies. Although the list is pretty dodgy and uses menacing language to suggest darker forces at work, it could feasibly be populated with a list of people for whose deaths Clinton is responsible, in his role as commander-in-chief and chief executive of the United States. Let’s take a look at some of the blood that might actually be on BC’s hands…

Three Chinese Nationals

Chinese Embassy

The Chinese Embassy in Belgrade, post-bombing.

During Operation Allied Force, when the United States and its NATO allies intervened in then-Yugoslavia during the Kosovo War, a lot of bombs fell on the patchwork of nations that border the Adriatic Sea. And I mean A LOT. According to a 2010 round-up report from Amnesty International, NATO forces engaged in “38,000 combat sorties, including 10,484 strike sorties, against targets in” various parts of Yugoslavia. Yugoslav media reported thousands of dead civilians, but official estimates place the number of civilians dead between 400 to 600 civilians. As AI points out, dropping bombs from planes onto civilians is, well, wildly illegal, even if you claim your strikes were “surgical” or “targeted” and that “collateral damage is unfortunate.”

But we can’t pinpoint which deaths were caused by American bombs vs., say, French bombs, so Clinton can claim plausible deniability, if it depends on what the meaning of the word “plausible” is.

Dead Chinese

The victims of the Belgrade bombing: Shau Yunhuan of Xinhua News Agency; Xu Xinghu and Zhu Ying of Guangming Daily.

But American bombs definitely blew the shit out of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, wounding 20 and killing 3 Chinese nationals. This particular bombing was run by George Tenet’s CIA, which reported directly to, you guessed it, The Big Dog himself. Although the accident did not ascribe legal responsibility to the U.S. or NATO, we’re gonna judge this as a moral responsibility, especially considering Clinton was only bombing Yugoslavia to take the pressure off the Lewinsky scandal. So we have at least three folks on the list.

BODY COUNT: 3

One Sudanese Janitor… and some sick folks…

Al Shifa Plant

A Sudanese civilian points to the dangerous nerve toxin Clinton FAILED to destroy at the Al Shifa pharmaceutical plant.

On August 7, 1998, operatives of what we later learned was al Qaeda attacked the U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, exploding truck bombs mere hours apart and killing hundreds of civilians in a very tragic day. This kind of thing typically gets the United States’s ire up, and within two weeks, Clinton ordered a cruise missile strike on a Sudanese pharmaceutical building. The Al-Shifa pharmaceutical factory in Khartoum North, Sudan, was chosen as it was believe to be a front for producing VX nerve agent and having connections to Osama bin Laden, who had recently left Sudan for greener, Afghanistaner pastures.

Clean up begins at the site of the Nairobi embassy bombing.

Unfortunately, the intelligence about the factory was either faulty or willfully disregarded. The subsequent reports have been he-said, she-said affairs, but the story is either that the CIA had faulty information about the nature of bin Laden’s connections to the factory, or the Administration disregarded evidence the CIA produced that claimed the factory, despite initial reports, had no connection to al Qaida. Regardless, the bombing went ahead and killed one late night worker at the factory, and wounded several others.

During the operation, known as Operation Infinite Reach (good name), cruise missiles were also launched at Afghanistan, the site of OBL’s new bases. Bin Laden was not at the camp, and we remain unsure how many, if any, people died in this bombing. A Pakistani journalist claims many people died, while bin Laden denied it.

So that’s one… oh, what? What about the factory?

Well, according to independent reports, the Al-Shifa pharmaceutical plant was producing actual pharmaceuticals, and was the primary supplier of medicine to Sudan, one of the poorest and most war-torn countries on the planet. Independent estimates, such as the one cited in this Bangor Daily News article, claim that “tens of thousands” to “hundreds of thousands” of patients relied on medicine produced by the Al-Shifa plant. So, um, this actually ended up killing a dozen or so thousand people. We’ll say 10,000, just to be safe.

Of course, you could play a bit more of a “butterfly effect” game and say that not getting bin Laden and al Qaeda in 1998 caused 9/11, and resulted in the war in Afghanistan, and the war in Iraq, and ascribe to the Big Dog a body count of, like, a million, but that’s a bit of a hit job.

BODY COUNT: 10,004

Like 500,000 Iraqi Children

Hussein

Saddam is thinking about taking a long dump on a gold toilet later.

After George H.W. Bush invaded Iraq, he and his military advisers agreed the job had been done, abandoning the objective of ousting Saddam Hussein from power and leaving those who rose up against the Baathists to torture and death. Great! Great job!

But further, they implemented a series of sanctions in order to corral Hussein’s more outrageous activities, like gassing his own civilians and invading other countries. Earlier sanctions like “invoking the right to refuse service to any customer” when dealing arms that the U.S. had tried proved to be less than ideal.

The sanctions continued during the Clinton administration, focusing on tightening the screws on the Husseini ruling class, but it turned out they were only hurting civilians, and how, because as outside expenditures on Iraqi oil dwindled, the money continued to flow to Hussein, it just stopped flowing to regular folks who needed to eat and get dialysis. Dozens of NGOs decried the policy, pointing out the hundreds of thousands of child victims of the faulty policy. But surely, with all those sanctions at such a high cost to human lives, good would come of it, right?

Well, remember when Hussein realized the error of his ways and relinquished power to a democratic government in Iraq? No? Right.

Iraqi women protest sanctions they said hurt their children.

Iraqi women protest sanctions they said hurt their children.

A famous interview with the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Madeleine Albright, featured an admittedly loaded question put to her by interviewer Lesley Stahl.

Stahl: “We have heard that half a million children have died [due to these sanctions]…is the price worth it?”

Albright: “I think this is a very hard choice, but we think the price is worth it.”

So let’s confirm: the price (500,000+ dead children) is worth “it” (Saddam Hussein continuing to live in fabulous wealth).

BODY COUNT: 510,004

I was gonna go into the fact that Clinton basically threw up his hands over the Rwandan genocide and subsequent Congo Wars, which resulted in millions of deaths, but it is hard to fault someone for negative action — the moral calculus becomes too abstract. But in three entries here, we’ve displayed a huge number of bodies Clinton is, in some way — if not legally — responsible. His decisions helped bring about these folks’ deaths. Whether the policy was flawed or the wrong people were carrying them out is another story, but the fact that the email chain of “Clinton Murders” does not include any people that the Big Dog actually killed goes a way toward casting it in a poor light, at the very least.

Who loves ya, baby!

Who loves ya, baby!

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–Brian

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