Richard H. Collins

What is more surprising, the brazen hypocrisy of Hillary Clinton or the fact that she continues to get away with it? This week brought yet another shining example: the issue of government surveillance.

Earlier this week, it was revealed that in 1992 Hillary personally “listened to a secretly recorded audiotape of a phone conversation of Clinton critics plotting their next attack.” The details are found in the recent Hillary biography, Her Way: The Hopes and Ambitions of Hillary Rodham Clinton, by investigative journalists Don Van Natta Jr. and Jeff Gerth.

According to Gerth and Natta, during the 1992 campaign Bill’s supporters would monitor frequencies used by cell phones and then record conversations. As part of her detailed involvement in the campaign Hillary listened to at least one such recording.

Yet, again Bill Clinton’s chances were being jeopardized by rumors of his womanizing. And yet again, it was up to Hillary to minimize the threat – and if that meant listening to a tape that had been obtained under questionable circumstances, then she would just have to deal with it.

This could have been excused as another example of the Clinton’s disregard for the law, however, government surveillance of suspected terrorists has become a hotly debated topic both on the campaign trail and in Congress. Hillary is usually quick to take a tough stance on issues related to foreign policy and terrorism - appearing tough enough to serve as Commander-in-Chief - but in an effort to appeal to the leftist base of the Democratic Party Hillary has suddenly become an opponent of critical tools necessary to fight the war on terror.

This summer Hillary voted against an update to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and is supporting legislation that will hamper efforts to gather important intelligence information and monitor suspected terrorists.

It seems it is fine for Hillary to monitor and record the phone calls of her political opponents but it is wrong for the government to do the same to terrorists. As with so many issues, Hillary likes to offer nice sounding platitudes. In a speech in July, Hillary told the American Constitutional Society:

Every president should save those powers for limited, critical situations, and when it comes to a regular program of searching for information that touches the privacy of ordinary Americans, those programs need to be monitored and reviewed as set out by Congress in cooperation with the Judiciary. That is the essence of the compact we have with each other and with our government, and we cannot ignore it.

For Hillary a “critical situation” means preventing her husband’s political career from catastrophe. But today we are dealing with terrorists plotting to harm Americans using the latest technology to stay one step ahead of law enforcement.

The pacifist left that makes up a vocal part of her party’s base and is venomous in its opposition to giving the administration these critical tools. And so in order to gain their support – or at least mitigate their opposition – she has repeatedly attacked President Bush and supported efforts to undermine his ability to operate these programs effectively.

This is standard operating procedure for Hillary. On issue after issue she has said one thing and done another. She publicly refused to specify whether she would support raising social security taxes in order to make the fund solvent. But in a discussion with a voter in Iowa she admitted that tax increases are in fact being considered.

When President Bush proposed using private investment accounts to provide younger workers with greater retirement security Hillary castigated it as risky and promised that “privatization” would never be the answer. But when forced to find a cost effective way to address the issue, she proposed a 401(k) program that is remarkably similar to Bush’s proposals.

And these are just two recent examples. The fact is that, like her husband, Hillary has one standard for herself and another for everyone else. She has a long standing habit of saying one thing for public consumption and doing or saying another when she doesn’t think anyone is paying attention.

It is hard to escape the conclusion that Hillary’s positions and actions are based not on principle and firm beliefs, but on political expediency. In an age of terrorism, however, this is not just a character flaw but a question of national security.

Given her history and the dangers we face, electing Hillary is clearly not a risk we can afford to take.


Richard H. Collins

Richard H. Collins is the founder of StopHerNow.com, a website dedicated to educating the public about Hillary Clinton’s liberal record.

Be the first to read Richard H. Collins’s column.
Sign up today and receive Townhall.com delivered each morning to your inbox.
Sign up today