In a funny aside to Hill's Bosnia fantasy, the Washington Post says Clinton shouldn't have relied on one of its articles about travel by First Ladies because the information was factually incorrect:
The Clinton campaign has cited newspaper accounts, including one in The Washington Post, to bolster the senator's claim that her now-famous March 1996 trip to Bosnia was the first visit to a "war zone" by a first lady since World War II. She is overlooking a trip to Saigon by Pat Nixon at the height of the Vietnam War as well as a trip by Barbara Bush to Saudi Arabia two months before the Persian Gulf War began.
Just because something has appeared in a newspaper does not mean that is entirely accurate. [Emphasis Supplied.] The Clinton camp has circulated a March 26, 1996, quote from a Post article describing Clinton's Bosnia trip as "the first time since Roosevelt that a first lady has voyaged to a potential combat zone." The article went on to say that "other first ladies have visited troops abroad but never in front-line positions," citing the examples of Bush and Nixon.
How these factoids got into the Post story is unclear, but they offer a somewhat misleading picture of the relative risks being run by the three first ladies. By almost any measure, the Nixon trip to Saigon in July 1969 should surely count as the most dangerous of the three visits. Unlike Bosnia in March 1996 and Saudi Arabia in November 1990, South Vietnam was an actual, not "potential," war zone in the aftermath of the 1968 Tet offensive, according to retired Army Lt. Col. Gene Boyer, the Nixons' chief helicopter pilot.
"This was a combat mission," Boyer said yesterday, noting that more than 2,000 U.S. helicopter pilots were shot down and killed in Vietnam. "There were no front lines. Everything outside of Saigon was a war zone."