CBS Video Contradicts Clinton's Memories

CBS News' Sharyl Attkisson speaks to then-First Lady Hillary Clinton on a military cargo plane during a trip to war-torn Bosnia in 1996.
White House Photo
It's bound to go down as one of the more unfortunate gaffes of Sen. Hillary Clinton's Presidential campaign:

"I remember landing under sniper fire," Clinton said.

It started when, in a recent speech, Mrs. Clinton spoke of her visit to Bosnia in 1996 as First Lady.

The brutal war was over, but hostilities continued. And though the trip was exactly 12 years ago tomorrow, the memories seemed etched in Clinton's mind.

"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," she said.


Watch Clinton's Remarks.
Problem is: that's not how it happened at all. And we should know: CBS News investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson and a CBS News crew accompanied the First Lady on that Bosnia trip.

A photograph shows Clinton talking to Attkisson on the military flight into Tuzla.

And pictures CBS News recorded show the greeting ceremony when the plane landed.


Couric & Co.: Read Attkisson's Full Account Of The Clinton Bosnia Trip.
Watch Attkisson's Original Report
Compare that to Mrs. Clinton's account...

"I remember landing under sniper fire," she said. "There was no greeting ceremony. We were basically told to run to our cars. That is what happened."

But there was no sniper fire either when Clinton visited two army outposts, where she posed for photos. And no sniper fire back at the base where she enjoyed a USO show starring Sinbad and Sheryl Crowe.

Referring to the CBS News video, an aide today acknowledged Mrs. Clinton probably "misspoke."

"As we have all seen in the video, the arrival was not quite as dramatic as Clinton put it," the aide said.

Mike Allen of Politico said: "Who knows if she misremembered, misspoke, exaggerated, whatever. It makes the case for Sen. Obama that all this experience that she's been talking about is at least partly in her imagination."

Hundreds of thousands have viewed the video online in just the past few days.

There's a saying: Never let your memories be greater than your dreams.

When you're running for president maybe it should be: never let your memories be greater than the video.

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    Sharyl Attkisson is a CBS News investigative correspondent based in Washington.