# When Clinton lied, no one died

Mercator
RunDMC said:
Some UN officials actually named the incident as an example of state-sponsored terrorism. But who cares about the labels? The results are the worst part.
Actually my question was academic. I don't care so much about what the UN officials think. Nobody seems to make the effort to empathize with the Sudanese. Why? Why was the whole world schocked with 9/11 and did not give a damn about the Khartoum terror act?

TheStatutoryApe said:
On whether or not any one had the right to investigate the president's sex life...
At my current job I work with several atractive females whom I have authority over. It is considered both unethical and a firable offense for me to "fraternize" with them let alone "get a BJ" from one. Why there would be any difference with regard to the president and someone working under him I have no clue.
On lying about the "BJ"... Lying is not considered an ethical practice in most situations and most especially when you are guilty of an unethical act. If receiving a "BJ" from a subordinate is generally considered unethical then lying about it is also unethical.
Ethicality $\ne$ morality $\ne$ legality. I think when people get that one fact straight, world peace will ensue.

On the bumber sticker focusing on lies and not deaths...
It is a very common practice to imply something in a statement such as this by throwing around information you want the listener/reader to pay attention to while supposedly talking about something else. This often avoids direct inquiry into information you don't want being brought up. So the underlying impression given by the staement being discussed is that Bush is responsable for deaths and Clinton is not. It does not directly state this but it is implied by the manner in which the statement is made.
So, I guess my question is this: what is your point? The same thing could be said about any political statement made by anyone.

By the way, Russ, you never addressed my inquiry about how my analogy was a bit of a stretch. The way I see it, unless you do so, the whole topic is moot.

Last edited:
Skyhunter
When in doubt, invoke Clinton

With everything going on in current politics, you are still hung up an Clinton?

Get over it russ.

Informal Logic
TheStatutoryApe said:
On whether or not any one had the right to investigate the president's sex life...
At my current job I work with several atractive females whom I have authority over. It is considered both unethical and a firable offense for me to "fraternize" with them let alone "get a BJ" from one. Why there would be any difference with regard to the president and someone working under him I have no clue.
On lying about the "BJ"... Lying is not considered an ethical practice in most situations and most especially when you are guilty of an unethical act. If receiving a "BJ" from a subordinate is generally considered unethical then lying about it is also unethical.
On the bumber sticker focusing on lies and not deaths...
It is a very common practice to imply something in a statement such as this by throwing around information you want the listener/reader to pay attention to while supposedly talking about something else. This often avoids direct inquiry into information you don't want being brought up. So the underlying impression given by the staement being discussed is that Bush is responsable for deaths and Clinton is not. It does not directly state this but it is implied by the manner in which the statement is made.
It could be "that woman" was the aggressor--not an uncommon occurrence for men in power--or the possibility of being framed. Regardless, it appears it was consensual, so no sympathy for Monica from me. Unprofessional behavior per company policy could result in the company taking action, or the offended employee taking action, but this remains a civil matter and certainly not the basis for impeachment proceedings.

BTW, the slogan has been used on signs at protests for some time, so I think it originated in the anti war movement. It stands for more than just being a bumper sticker.

Lisa!
Gold Member
russ_watters said:
By request, a debunking of this rhetorical-nonsensical bumper sticker. For clarity, the complete thought that it is meant to imply would read:
'When Clinton lied about sex, no one died as a result, but when Bush lied about the WMD in Iraq, 2000+ American soldiers and countless Iraqis died as a result'
There are several glaring problems with this bumper sticker:
First, yes, it is trivially obviously true that no one died as a result of Clinton's lie about sex - but so what? Is lying the key or is it the blood that matters?
I admit I can never understand you. Once you say "there are more important things to do in this country than argue about an issue that changes very little..., but now you're blaming a president for telling lies about his sex life. I agree that there's a difference btw this 2. (since Bush isn't get involved in abortion issue personaly) But anyway both of them are as trivial as each other. In fact I was always surprised how on the earth the US judical system allowed themselves to investigate in this case!
Seriously can't you see the differences btw these 2 lies? I don't think so.
I don't know what you're going to say by bringing up this argument. It's like I ask X about what he's done wrong. And he'd talk to me about what Y had done wrong in the past!

Anyway, Clinton isn't the president of US now and it's not so important what the hell he did during his presidency. I mean it's important but only for learning lessons. The important thing is ,what Bush is going to do in the future.

PS If you ask me to choose btw bad and worse, I'd choose bad=(clinton). For me Clinton was a dangerous and clever politician, but Bush is only a terrible joke.(I don't mean what he's doing sounnds funny to me, I mean I always ask myself how he got to become the president of the US for the second time! )

"When Clinton lied, no one died" - is factually true, but logically flawed and pointless and therefore just mindless, useless rhetoric.
You don't want to say Bush's a good present because the death are less during his presidency?

edit: Some may note that there are no links in this thread. The Somalia and Rwanda debacles are well-documented pieces of history and if people don't know what happened in those two incidents, you should be ashamed of yourself - but I'll provide some documentation if you need it.
For sure US troops and administration wouldn't be ashmed of themselves for what you said, because they fine know what they've done.

Mentor
Skyhunter said:
With everything going on in current politics, you are still hung up an Clinton?
Get over it russ.
Though I started the thread, I didn't bring this up, Skyhunter. I'd be prefecly happy to let Clinton go if he and the Democrats who idolize him would do so.

This thread is an offshoot of https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=97329&page=3" thread, started by a democrat and mentioning Clinton in the OP and the "when clinton lied no one died" was brought up by another democrat. This thread is a response to that.

I'll respond to more later....

Last edited by a moderator:
Skyhunter
russ_watters said:
'When Clinton lied about sex, no one died as a result, but when Bush lied about the WMD in Iraq, 2000+ American soldiers and countless Iraqis died as a result'
There are several glaring problems with this bumper sticker:
First, yes, it is trivially obviously true that no one died as a result of Clinton's lie about sex - but so what?
There are no problems, it is accurate.

So turn it into something else so you can use it for an argument.
Is lying the key or is it the blood that matters? Clinton did cause the deaths of a great many people, so if that's the point of the bumper sticker (the deaths, not the lies), it misses its own point: Whether directly caused by a lie or just due to incompetence/failure to act shouldn't be relevant. Clinton's list is a healthy one. Off the top of my head: Somalia, Iraq, Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Sudan, Afghanistan, the Cole, Khobar towers, WTC 1, 9/11. I'm sure I missed some.
Irrelevant, and you are using a double standard. Damning him for taking action, damning him for not taking action.
We can debate the depths of his screwups or compare body counts if you guys want, but the best example, to me, is probably Somalia. 18 soldiers and several thousand Somalians died as a result of a botched snatch-and-grab job. In the aftermath, the Secretary of Defense resigned because he personally denied a request for armor. But that was part of Clinton's policy on minimalistic warfare, and is absolutely his fault.
Though they aren't Americans (does that matter?), I consider the Rwanda thing worse. Upwards of a million people were hacked to death with machettes while military analysts figured we could have stopped it with 10,000 troops, in a matter of days. This failure to act (other countries hold some blame, but as always, we are the most capable of acting in that type of situation) was cited by numerous international investigations into the genocide. But even worse, many of those investigations concluded that mere international pressure could have had a big impact. Clinton failed to even denounce the genocide, or even label it as such, until long afterwards.
Your opinion intersprersed with a few facts.
Obvious, but less important is the assumption on which the slogan is based: that Bush lied.
Why when Bush lied is it less important than when Clinton lied?
Now the case for that is far from clear-cut, and while I have no desire to argue the case itself, I will say that it is irrelevant.
What is not clear cut about it?

He was told that Niger/Iraq/uranium connection was false.

He made the accusation in his State of the Union address knowing it was untrue.

What is lying, if not making statements you know to be false?
What matters is whether we were right or wrong to go into Iraq
Was invading Iraq the right thing to do?
- and no, even if it was based on a lie, that doesn't automatically make the actions wrong. Again, we can debate the right-ness or wrong-ness of the war till the cows come home, but that doesn't change the fact that the slogan is based on that logical fallacy (lie automatically equals wrong). I can hear the huffing already, but let me repeat that a little more directly: deception is not always wrong. And before you reply, stop and think about it: you already know that it's true. If not, search our philosophy forums for discussions about it before replying.
So from the jist of what you are saying Bush may have lied but that is irrelevant because we needed to attack Iraq anyway.
To sum-up:
"When Clinton lied, no one died" - is factually true, but logically flawed and pointless and therefore just mindless, useless rhetoric.
edit: Some may note that there are no links in this thread. The Somalia and Rwanda debacles are well-documented pieces of history and if people don't know what happened in those two incidents, you should be ashamed of yourself - but I'll provide some documentation if you need it.
Again I must ask, why are you so all charged up about Clinton?

And bumper stickers are rhetorical. However it isn't mindless or useless.

 I would also add that lying is wrong, whether about sex or war. Clinton's lie did not constitute a high crime IMO. Bush's on the other hand is treason. IMO.

Last edited by a moderator:
Art
russ_watters said:
Though they aren't Americans (does that matter?), I consider the Rwanda thing worse. Upwards of a million people were hacked to death with machettes while military analysts figured we could have stopped it with 10,000 troops, in a matter of days. This failure to act (other countries hold some blame, but as always, we are the most capable of acting in that type of situation) was cited by numerous international investigations into the genocide. But even worse, many of those investigations concluded that mere international pressure could have had a big impact. Clinton failed to even denounce the genocide, or even label it as such, until long afterwards.
Out of interest Russ, what do you think Clinton should have done?

Intervening in other people's civil wars rarely gains the gratitude of either side and although the Tutsis suffered by far the most casualties they weren't exactly the good guys either.

They had recently initiated a civil war in neighbouring Burundi (which still continues) by assassinating the newly elected president because he was a Hutu and they didn't want to relinguish power. They were also marching on the capital of Rwanda and did indeed take it thus ending the massacre of Tutsis and (starting the massacre of Hutus).

It is also worth noting that the vast majority of the killing was done in a matter of a few days so it is unlikely that any country could have assembled a force quickly enough to prevent the massacre.

Although the massacres were utterly deplorable it is hard to see how you can prevent two groups, each hell bent on exterminating the other side, from doing so and if you pick a side to support then you are aiding and abetting genocide yourself as both sides were guilty of the practice..

As for international pressure stopping the slaughter. I don't think so. The Hutu gov't started the slaughter because they were about to be arrested and charged for war crimes under a peace agreement and so had nothing to lose.

Last edited by a moderator:
Manchot said:
Ethicality $\ne$ morality $\ne$ legality. I think when people get that one fact straight, world peace will ensue.
One, I did not mention morality. Though dictionary definitions may not exactly argee with me I consider "morals" to be predominantly faith based and "ethics" to be based purely on logic.
Secondly, the law, and hence legality, is based on "ethics" or rather logical conclusions about the proper manner by which to interact in an orderly and functional society. Or at least it should be.
The day people get a clue world peace should ensue.

Manchot said:
So, I guess my question is this: what is your point? The same thing could be said about any political statement made by anyone.
Hence my statement including the words "common practice".
I bring this up in response to those that say the statement is about lies and not about deaths. The matter of deaths is obviously implied.
And just to be clear I am not implying that Clinton was ever responsable for any deaths in this statement.

Informal Logic said:
It could be "that woman" was the aggressor--not an uncommon occurrence for men in power--or the possibility of being framed. Regardless, it appears it was consensual, so no sympathy for Monica from me. Unprofessional behavior per company policy could result in the company taking action, or the offended employee taking action, but this remains a civil matter and certainly not the basis for impeachment proceedings.
Largely irrelevant. If someone subordinate to my authority were to make sexual advances towards me and we had consentual "sexual relations" I would still be dismissed from my position. Again I see no reason why this should differ with regard to the president especially considering that his position is of vastly greater importance than mine and as such should demand a higher standard of professionalism.
Considering the basis for impeachment, how else would you go about dimissing the president of the United States of America for misconduct? Would you just hand him his walking papers and tell him to clear out of the oval office?

TheStatutoryApe said:
One, I did not mention morality. Though dictionary definitions may not exactly argee with me I consider "morals" to be predominantly faith based and "ethics" to be based purely on logic.
Secondly, the law, and hence legality, is based on "ethics" or rather logical conclusions about the proper manner by which to interact in an orderly and functional society. Or at least it should be.
The day people get a clue world peace should ensue.
Hence my statement including the words "common practice".
I bring this up in response to those that say the statement is about lies and not about deaths. The matter of deaths is obviously implied.
And just to be clear I am not implying that Clinton was ever responsable for any deaths in this statement.
Largely irrelevant. If someone subordinate to my authority were to make sexual advances towards me and we had consentual "sexual relations" I would still be dismissed from my position. Again I see no reason why this should differ with regard to the president especially considering that his position is of vastly greater importance than mine and as such should demand a higher standard of professionalism.
Considering the basis for impeachment, how else would you go about dimissing the president of the United States of America for misconduct? Would you just hand him his walking papers and tell him to clear out of the oval office?
Okay, since you are talking about 'world' peace, who's 'ethics' shall we judge by? Who's version of 'justice'?

Shall we go by the 'open commune' model where sexuality is largely irellevent or Arabian law where the woman would be stoned?

As far as I know, levels of morality are a problem even within the USA. What's good in Salt Lake City and Boston may not be the same as the standards in Long Beach or Las Vegas.

So, will you enjoy the 'extreme' Mormon attitude of having sex through a hole in a sheet?

One, I did not mention morality. Though dictionary definitions may not exactly argee with me I consider "morals" to be predominantly faith based and "ethics" to be based purely on logic.
Yeah, I just threw in morality for good measure. It was not specifically targeted at you.
Secondly, the law, and hence legality, is based on "ethics" or rather logical conclusions about the proper manner by which to interact in an orderly and functional society. Or at least it should be.
Well, the law shouldn't always follow ethics (except perhaps with regards to professionals such as lawyers and doctors). Is it ethical for someone to cheat on his wife with his secretary/intern? Certainly not. Should it be made illegal? Certainly not.

Okay, since you are talking about 'world' peace, who's 'ethics' shall we judge by?
To be fair, I was the one who first mentioned "world peace."

The Smoking Man said:
Okay, since you are talking about 'world' peace, who's 'ethics' shall we judge by? Who's version of 'justice'?
Shall we go by the 'open commune' model where sexuality is largely irellevent or Arabian law where the woman would be stoned?
As far as I know, levels of morality are a problem even within the USA. What's good in Salt Lake City and Boston may not be the same as the standards in Long Beach or Las Vegas.
So, will you enjoy the 'extreme' Mormon attitude of having sex through a hole in a sheet?
Considering these things via logic we must take into account that the majority may not agree with the conclusions of the minority(i.e. the majority did not agree that Clinton should have been dismissed for getting a "BJ" from a chubby intern.). Due to this, in deciding what is most conducive to a functional society, we need also consider that what looks good on paper may not work out so well in practice. If a piece of legislation is likely to produce more dysfunction than the "problem" it is meant to fix it should then be deemed illogical to pass and inforce it.
The matter of differing "ethical models" is taken care of by virtue of seperate legislative powers in the higherarchy(international, federal, state, county, city) and the representation of these models via elected officials. At least this takes care of that matter in theory and so far seems to work relatively well. Perhaps there is a better way, and if we find it I would support it.

Manchot said:
Well, the law shouldn't always follow ethics (except perhaps with regards to professionals such as lawyers and doctors). Is it ethical for someone to cheat on his wife with his secretary/intern? Certainly not. Should it be made illegal? Certainly not.
Thinking about it it would probably be more appropriate for me to have said that laws should be based on what is logically shown to be detrimental to a functional society. The other way seems to imply forcing a concept of propriety on someone rather than keeping them from acting out in an improper manner. There is a bit of difference there I think. I also think we are getting a bit off topic.

Les Sleeth
Gold Member
People lie all the time. Even sweet, innocent children lie when they think the truth will hurt themselves or others. Do we judge them forever evil for that?

I saw an episode of "America's Funniest Home Videos" where a little girl was caught by her mother putting on mom's makeup. The mom asked "have you been using mommy's makeup," and the mom asked it clearly amused with and feeling love for her daughter. Still the little girl lied, her face quite obviously painted to the hilt for mom to see.

Now, would anyone seriously equate that lie to the lie a kidnapper tells a child to get her in his car so he can rape and murder her?

The law itself distinguishes between acts done maliciously and acts done carelessly or innocently that result in harm. Intent is far more important than the technical act of a lie.

If I tell you a lie purposely intended to harm you, or make to selfishly myself billions of dollars at the expense of others, etc. . . . is that equal to the lie told to avoid embarrassment? You can decide this easily by asking yourself what lie you would prefer to be told, and if you are perfect in this respect.

Having said all that, I am not sure President Bush didn't have good intentions with his lies. I am just as unwilling to judge Clinton for wanting to avoid the huge embarrassment and pain he was going to cause his wife, family, friends and constituents.

Political opportunism is quite the spectacle isn't it?

TheStatutoryApe said:
The matter of differing "ethical models" is taken care of by virtue of seperate legislative powers in the higherarchy(international, federal, state, county, city) and the representation of these models via elected officials. At least this takes care of that matter in theory and so far seems to work relatively well. Perhaps there is a better way, and if we find it I would support it.
But wasn't WORLD peace the bone of contention?

America is actually in the minority when put beside China and India.

We're looking at an international standard when we judge leaders for 'world peace'.

Maybe the Vatican sees a problem negotiating with a man who gets BJs?

The Smoking Man said:
Maybe the Vatican sees a problem negotiating with a man who gets BJs?
To my knowledge, the Pope did not once mention Bill Clinton's affair publicly. If he did, it was probably only once or twice. Furthermore, the Catholic Church does not cut its ties to nations because its leader had an affair. On the other hand, both John Paul II and Benedict have denounced the Iraq war over and over again.

Point is, the BJ did not decrease our status in the world's eyes. (If anything did, it was the circus that ensued.) However, the Iraq war most certainly has.

The Smoking Man said:
But wasn't WORLD peace the bone of contention?
America is actually in the minority when put beside China and India.
We're looking at an international standard when we judge leaders for 'world peace'.
Maybe the Vatican sees a problem negotiating with a man who gets BJs?
I think the "World Peace" comments were just quips that we weren't really taking very seriously.
I'm quite sure that by the "world peace" measure Clinton would undoubtedly outstripe Bush.
I'm considering starting a thread regarding Ethics & Government so we don't side track this one any more but I think we've already had one not that long ago.

More on topic.
Does anyone here believe that Clinton lied when he said he was not properly informed about the Rawanda situation?
How comparable would this lie be to the lie about WMD in your opinion?
*note I have not said it is just as bad nor would I. I do how ever think that such a comparison would be more appropriate than comparing BJs to bombs.

Manchot said:
To my knowledge, the Pope did not once mention Bill Clinton's affair publicly. If he did, it was probably only once or twice. Furthermore, the Catholic Church does not cut its ties to nations because its leader had an affair. On the other hand, both John Paul II and Benedict have denounced the Iraq war over and over again.
Point is, the BJ did not decrease our status in the world's eyes. (If anything did, it was the circus that ensued.) However, the Iraq war most certainly has.
However, wasn' tKerry denied the sacraments because he came out pro-abortion in his platform?

TheStatutoryApe said:
I think the "World Peace" comments were just quips that we weren't really taking very seriously.
I'm quite sure that by the "world peace" measure Clinton would undoubtedly outstripe Bush.
I'm considering starting a thread regarding Ethics & Government so we don't side track this one any more but I think we've already had one not that long ago.
More on topic.
Does anyone here believe that Clinton lied when he said he was not properly informed about the Rawanda situation?
How comparable would this lie be to the lie about WMD in your opinion?
*note I have not said it is just as bad nor would I. I do how ever think that such a comparison would be more appropriate than comparing BJs to bombs.
But then, the Republicans didn't try to impeech him over that though, did they?

THAT's the true aim of the sticker.

First they hit him with Whitewater and then that morphed into the 'affair' when they went on the fishing expedition. I don't seem to remember Ken Star pointing out anything to do with Rawanda.

Heck he even presided over the bombing of the Chinese embassy and got away with saying 'ooooops'.

Mercator
The Smoking Man said:
But then, the Republicans didn't try to impeech him over that though, did they?
THAT's the true aim of the sticker.
First they hit him with Whitewater and then that morphed into the 'affair' when they went on the fishing expedition. I don't seem to remember Ken Star pointing out anything to do with Rawanda.
Heck he even presided over the bombing of the Chinese embassy and got away with saying 'ooooops'.
Yes, while we had to avoid walking alone on the streets in Shanghai for fear of being mistaken for an American.

The Smoking Man said:
However, wasn' tKerry denied the sacraments because he came out pro-abortion in his platform?
Not officially. Only a few individuals did so.

lahaut said:
Things will only get better when Bush decides it's time for Iran. The Chinese will really like that.
Lahaut ... DUUUUDE!!! Glad to see ya joined us ... Welcome.

Mercator said:
Yes, while we had to avoid walking alone on the streets in Shanghai for fear of being mistaken for an American.
Very wise, these days I don't even want to show people the way if I suspect they are some bloody Americans.:grumpy:

"We are Americans. Americans!":grumpy:

Okay, I just read all through this thread, and if I have learned something, it is the following:

1. "When Clinton lied, no-one died" is refuted by the fact that Clinton lied, and on some other occassions some people died, mostly not directly due to any decision Clinton made, or for better reasons than Iraq, despite these things not being related in anyway. (Surely a better argument would be to show that at the very moment Clinton lied, someone somewhere died. Someone dies somewhere every second or so. Makes more sense.)

2. Not intervening in internal conflict in another country makes you the direct cause of that conflict.

3. Having a private sex life is comparable to
Rape, incest, child abuse, drug abuse (heck - speeding!)
4. Extra-marital sex always has a victim. Guess the crime rate must have shot up in the late 60s, early 70s.

5. Taking things out of context makes a reasonable argument.

6. Russ said:

I have a particular sexual interest in 8 year old boys.
7. Having sex in your own home is:
disgraceful and disrespectful to the American people
As always, grateful for my education.

El Hombre Invisible: LMAO... Nice summary!