It was twelve years ago – March 1996 – when first lady Hillary Clinton made a trip to Bosnia. Now, of course, 12 years later she’s on the campaign trial.
Recently she was quoted as saying, “I remember landing under sniper fire. There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base.”
Now, her campaign said she “misspoke” when she discussed or referenced her 1996 trip to Bosnia. The comments were characterized as a “misstatement” and a “minor blip.”
According to an Associated Press story at the time, Clinton was placed under no extraordinary risks on the trip. And one of her companions, comedian Sinbad, told The Washington Post he has no recollection either of the threat or reality of gunfire.
Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson pointed to Clinton’s written account when asked about Clinton’s remarks of her trip. In her book, “Living History,” she described a shortened welcoming ceremony at Tuzla Air Base, Bosnia-Herzegovina.
“Due to reports of snipers in the hills around the airstrip, we were forced to cut short an event on the tarmac with local children, though we did have time to meet them and their teachers and to learn how hard they had worked during the war to continue classes in any safe spot they could find,” Clinton wrote.
“That is what she wrote in her book,” Wolfson said. “That is what she has said many, many times and on one occasion she misspoke.”
- Is it possible that Senator Clinton – after so many years – has a failed memory of those events on her trip to Bosnia?
- Was her misstatement done to enhance her credibility as a presidential candidate on the world stage?
- Should a person be given the opportunity to correct a “misstatement?”
- Should there be concern about Clinton’s written account being contradicted by others including video footage of the event?
- Is this all – nothing more than political posturing – making a mountain out of a mole hill?
Bigger Question: What are the ethical ramifications of “misstatements?” Certainly there has been much said about books written as if true only later to be found out to be fiction. Is this such an event? As an ethics speaker, one thing is for sure – Every choice has a consequence. I can’t imagine the pressure that any candidate for president is under when every word will be scoured for accuracy. God bless anyone who will take on the responsibility and endure what it takes.
COMMENTS ARE WELCOME!