Hillary participated in a forum sponsored by the Center for American Progress
today.  She told participants that pay equity and women’s economic security should be campaign issues for November.

7 Actions that Could Shrink the Gender Wage Gap

By Sarah Jane Glynn, Milia Fisher, and Emily Baxter | September 18, 2014

The Census Bureau reported this week that the gender wage gap between full-time, year-round working men and women in 2013 remained virtually unchanged, with women earning 78 percent of what men earn. The 1 percent increase from 2012 is not statistically significant, and there has been no real movement in the gender wage gap since 2007. While working women have made great strides since 1967, when they earned only 58 percent of what men earned for full-time, year-round work, there is still a long way to go before true pay equity is achieved.

This means that, although women are the primary, sole, or co-breadwinners in nearly two-thirds of families, dollar for dollar they continue to earn, on average, 22 percent less than their male counterparts, with Latinas and African American women experiencing the sharpest pay disparities compared to white men. There are a number of factors that contribute to the pay gap, including where women work, differences in hours worked, and education differences. But there is also a portion of the pay gap that is unexplained; researchers have estimated that as much as 10 percent to 40 percent of the gender wage gap cannot be explained even when taking into account gendered differences between the occupations, educations, and work histories of men and women.

Read more >>>>

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 Center for American Progress of Facebook: Full Video >>>>


Hillary introduces this chapter with a June 2012 meeting called by Special Envoy Kofi Annan to try to recruit international political backing for his plan for peaceful transition in Syria.  Protests had been going on for a year-and-a-half and had been met with brutal assaults by government forces.

Hillary Clinton: Press Conference Following Syria Action Group Meeting

Hillary Clinton: Interviews from Geneva


The Syrian revolution had begun in early 2011 as peaceful protests inspired by those in Tunisia and Egypt and had evolved into a civil war as rebel groups first took up arms to defend themselves and then resolved to overthrow Bashar Al-Assad.

Hillary explains that she recommended Robert Ford to serve as ambassador to Syria and that he was just settled in when the protests escalated in March.

She provides some background as to who Assad is, how he came to power and why Russia stalwartly backed up Assad’s regime.  She delves into the sects in this very diverse country.  Sunnis were overwhelmingly (about 70%) the majority population.  Assad’s Alawites, the ruling class and a small minority (about 12%) , are a Shite sect.  About 10% were Druze – a Christian branch with Shite, and other, roots.

Secretaries Clinton and Gates on Meet The Press

QUESTION: First, as we look at the Broader Middle East, we look at Syria – deadly protests because of a government crackdown that have been occurring over the past few days. Is it the position of the government that we would like to see the Asad regime fall?

SECRETARY CLINTON: What we have said is what we’ve said throughout this extraordinary period of transformation in North Africa and the Middle East. We want to see no violence, we want to see peaceful protest that enables people to express their universal human rights, and we want to see economic and political reform. That’s what we’ve called on in Syria, that’s what we’ve called on other governments across the region to do.

Secretaries Clinton and Gates on Face The Nation

QUESTION: Good morning again. And we are joined in the studio by the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense.

Madam Secretary, let me start with you. Tens of thousands of people have turned out protesting in Syria, which has been under the iron grip of the Asad for so many years now, one of the most repressive regimes in the world, I suppose. And when the demonstrators turned out, the regime opened fire and killed a number of civilians. Can we expect the United States to enter the conflict in the way we have entered the conflict in Libya?

SECRETARY CLINTON: No. Each of these situations is unique, Bob. Certainly, we deplore the violence in Syria. We call, as we have on all of these governments during this period of the Arab Awakening, as some have called it, to be responding to their people’s needs, not to engage in violence, permit peaceful protests, and begin a process of economic and political reform.

The situation in Libya, which engendered so much concern from around the international community, had a leader who used military force against the protestors from one end of his country to the other, who publically said things like, “We’ll show no mercy. We’ll go house to house.” And the international community moved with great speed, in part because there’s a history here. This is someone who has behaved in a way that caused grave concern in the past 40 plus years in the Arab world, the African world, Europe, and the United States.

QUESTION: But, I mean, how can that be worse than what has happened in Syria over the years, where Bashar Asad’s father killed 25,000 people at a lick? I mean, they open fire with live ammunition on these civilians. Why is that different from Libya?


QUESTION: This is a friend of Iran, an enemy of Israel.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, if there were a coalition of the international community, if there were the passage of Security Council resolution, if there were a call by the Arab League, if there was a condemnation that was universal – but that is not going to happen, because I don’t think that it’s yet clear what will occur, what will unfold.

There’s a different leader in Syria now. Many of the members of Congress of both parties who have gone to Syria in recent months have said they believe he’s a reformer. What’s been happening there the last few weeks is deeply concerning, but there’s a difference between calling out aircraft and indiscriminately strafing and bombing your own cities and then police actions, which, frankly, have exceeded the use of force that any of us would want to see.

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks at the U.S.-Islamic World Forum

And as President Obama has said, we strongly condemn the violence committed against peaceful protesters by the Syrian Government over the past few weeks. President Asad and the Syrian Government must respect the rights of the Syrian people, who are demanding the freedoms that they have long been denied.

Hillary Clinton to Human Rights Council: Reject Syria’s Candidacy

Today the UN Human Rights Council took urgent action to shine a light on the deteriorating human rights situation in Syria and condemn the continued human rights abuses by the Syrian government. Today’s resolution – passed with an overwhelming majority by members from all regions of the globe – unequivocally indicates that the use of force by the Syrian government to quell peaceful political demonstrators is unacceptable. The international community has spoken and expressed its outrage at the violence used by the Syrian government to deny its population their universal human rights, including the freedoms of expression and assembly…

The findings of this Special Session further reinforce the crucial need for Council members to reject Syria’s hypocritical candidacy for membership on the Human Rights Council. No country engaged in such horrific and ongoing human rights abuses should be considered for membership on this important body.

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks on the Violence in Syria

The Syrian people, like people everywhere, have the inherent right to exercise their universal freedoms, including peaceful assembly, expression, and speech. The Syrian Government must respond to the Syrian people’s call for change. It must realize that violence and intimidation will not answer their call.

The Syrian Government’s actions are neither those of a responsible government nor a credible member of the international community. We will continue to hold to account senior Syrian officials and others responsible for the reprehensible human rights abuses against the Syrian people. We welcome the European Union’s decision to join us in these efforts with similar steps. We will also continue to work both unilaterally and with our international partners to determine the most effective next steps if the Syrian Government chooses not to abandon its current path.

Hillary Clinton on the Shutdown of the Internet in Syria

Two weeks ago, the White House released the International Strategy for Cyberspace, which noted that “States should not arbitrarily deprive or disrupt individuals’ access to the Internet or other networked technologies.” We condemn such shutdowns in the strongest terms.

The Syrian government has a history of restricting the Internet in an attempt to prevent the Syrian people from accessing and sharing information. The Syrian government must understand that attempting to silence its population cannot prevent the transition currently taking place.

Hillary Rodham Clinton: IAEA Resolution on Syria

Today in Vienna, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors adopted a resolution, co-sponsored by fourteen nations, finding Syria in noncompliance with its international nuclear obligations. This is an important step given the troubling findings in the IAEA’s latest report — including Syria’s demonstrated refusal to cooperate with the IAEA investigation and its attempts to construct a secret nuclear reactor with the assistance of North Korea. We fully welcome the IAEA’s actions today to address this issue with the seriousness it deserves.

Secretary Clinton’s Statement: Repression in Iran and Syria

… today in Syria, Iran is supporting the Asad regime’s vicious assaults on peaceful protesters and military actions against its own cities. The world was shocked by images of a 13-year-old Syrian boy, tortured and mutilated by Syrian security forces. It reminded us of a young Iranian woman, killed in the street two years ago for all to see.

Secretary Clinton Supports Syrian People in Op-Ed

In an op-ed in the Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton condemns the violent crackdown in Syria and calls for a transition to democracy. The full text of the Secretary’s op-ed follows.

“There Is No Going Back in Syria”

By Hillary Clinton

As the violent crackdown in Syria continues, President Assad has shown that he is more interested in his own power than his people.

Secretary Clinton’s Statement on Continuing Violence in Syria

The Syrian regime’s violent assault on civilians continued today, even as Ramadan began, highlighting again the brutality and viciousness of the Assad regime. Yesterday, President Obama said that President Assad has shown that he is incapable and unwilling to respond to the legitimate grievances of the Syrian people. Today, as the campaign of violence continues, President Assad is further ensuring that he and his regime will be left in the past, and that the Syrian people themselves will be the ones to determine its future.

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks After Meeting With Syrian Activists

Our view remains that strong action by the Security Council on the targeting of innocent civilians in Syria is long overdue. Some members of the Security Council continue to oppose any action that would call on President Assad to stop the killing, and we urge them to reconsider their positions.

Video: Secretary Clinton’s Statement on Syria

We are heartened that, later today, the UN Security Council will meet again to discuss this ongoing threat to international peace and stability. We are also working to schedule a special session of the United Nations Human Rights Council that will examine the regime’s widespread abuses. Earlier this week, I explained how the United States has been engaged in a relentless and systematic effort with the international community, pursuing a set of actions and statements that make crystal clear where we all stand, and generating broader and deeper pressure on the Asad regime.

Hillary Clinton’s Statement on The Human Rights Council’s Special Session on Syria & State Department Update on Libya

I congratulate the Human Rights Council for its work to create an international independent Commission of Inquiry to investigate the deteriorating human rights situation in Syria and to make clear the world’s concern for the Syrian people.

In October 2011, the Russian-Chinese coalition in the Security Council first exerted veto power against what Hillary terms a modest resolution condemning Assad’s human rights abuses and supporting peaceful protests.

The Arab League demanded a cease-fire.  When the attacks on rebels continued, Syria was suspended from the league.

Hillary Clinton: Arab League Suspends Syria

In December, the Arab League sent monitors in.

Secretary Clinton’s Meeting with Syrian National Council

… let me begin by saying that it’s an honor to meet with all of you, the president and senior members of the Syrian National Council. I look forward to our discussion and hearing from each of you. I am particularly interested in the work you are doing about how a democratic transition would proceed. Fred Hof, my special coordinator, has told me that you’ve put a lot of work into that paper, and there are many very constructive ideas in it, because obviously, a democratic transition includes more than removing the Asad regime. It means setting Syria on the path of the rule of law and protecting the universal rights of all citizens regardless of sect or ethnicity or gender.

Second, we will discuss the work that the Council is doing to ensure that their plan is to reach out to all minorities, to counter the regime’s divide-and-conquer approach, which pits ethnic and religious groups against one another. The Syrian opposition, as represented here, recognizes that Syria’s minorities have legitimate questions and concerns about their future, and that they need to be assured that Syria will be better off under a regime of tolerance and freedom that provides opportunity and respect and dignity on the basis of the consent rather than on the whims of a dictator.

Frustrated, in late January the Arab League withdrew the monitors and asked  the Security Council to step in.

Secretary Clinton: Escalation of Regime Violence in Syria

Hillary attended a special session of the Security Council.

Secretary Clinton at the U.N. Security Council

So why is the Arab League here before this Security Council?  Because they are seeking the support of the international community for a negotiated, peaceful political solution to this crisis and a responsible, democratic transition in Syria.  And we all have a choice:  Stand with the people of Syria and the region or become complicit in the continuing violence there…

Now, I know that some members here may be concerned that the Security Council could be headed toward another Libya.  That is a false analogy.  Syria is a unique situation that requires its own approach, tailored to the specific circumstances occurring there.

Hillary Clinton: Remarks to the Press at the U.N.

While this Munich Conference was going on there was a surge in violence in Syria as regime forces attacked the city of Homs.  While Hillary was in Europe, the Security Council voted and Russia and China blocked the resolution.

Secretary Clinton at the Munich Security Conference

Robert Ford was an intrepid ambassador amid chaos and routinely faced down danger in order to maintain friendly ties with the Syrian people.

Ambassador Ford Carries Forth In Absentia

Hillary Clinton: Press Availability After G-20 Los Cabos

I think, like the UN General Assembly resolution that passed overwhelmingly last week, the upcoming meeting will demonstrate that Assad’s regime is increasingly isolated and that the brave Syrian people need our support and solidarity. Their suffering has to be addressed, so we have to focus on humanitarian issues and think of the best ways to deliver the necessary humanitarian aid. We have to work toward an inclusive, democratic process to lead a transition. Every group of Syrians needs to feel that they are represented, that their interests will be respected. We have to prepare for the likelihood that the Syrian regime is going to be under increasing pressure, which will create perhaps more space for all of us to push hard on a transition. And we will intensify our diplomatic outreach to those countries that are still supporting the Assad regime.

This is a challenging process, but mostly for the people of Syria, who every day are living with the results of this brutal crackdown that they are suffering under. So I don’t want to get ahead of the meeting that will be a very large gathering that will demonstrate, once again, the international unity in the face of the Assad regime. We’ll send a clear message to Russia, China, and others, who are still unsure about how to handle the increasing violence, but are, up until now, unfortunately, making the wrong choices. And I think we’ll have more to say as we go through this week and after the meeting.

Hillary Clinton at Friends of Syria in Tunisia

… we are firmly committed to the sovereignty, independence, national unity, and territorial integrity of Syria.

In support of these principles, this group should take concrete action along three lines: provide emergency humanitarian relief, ratchet up pressure on the regime, and prepare for a democratic transition.

Hillary Clinton’s Press Availability on Friends of Syria

Hillary Clinton at the U.N. Security Council

Five weeks ago, this council was unable to stand united against the horrific campaign of violence that has shocked the conscience of the world, one that continues unabated as we meet. We were blocked from even condemning the violence and endorsing a peaceful plan developed by Syria’s own neighbors.

Now the United States believes firmly in the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all member-states, but we do not believe that sovereignty demands that this council stand silent when governments massacre their own people, threatening regional peace and security in the process. And we reject any equivalence between premeditated murders by a government’s military machine and the actions of civilians under siege driven to self-defense. How cynical that even as Assad was receiving former Secretary General Kofi Annan, the Syrian army was conducting a fresh assault on Idlib and continuing its aggression in Hama, Homs, and Rastan.

Hillary Clinton’s Presser at the U.N.

Now is the time for all nations, even those who have previously blocked our efforts, to stand behind the humanitarian and political approach spelled out by the Arab League. We should say with one voice as an international community that the killing of innocent Syrians must stop, and a political transition begin.

Secretary Clinton: Intervention to the Friends of the Syrian People

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks Following Meeting with Syrian National Council


Secretary Clinton’s Remarks at the Ad Hoc Ministerial on Syria

  I think we are all here out of a sense of great frustration and outrage over what we see occurring in Syria. We also are hopeful that, despite the evidence thus far, the mission of Kofi Annan can begin to take root, starting with monitors being sent, but remembering that it’s a six-point plan and that it’s not a menu of options. It has to be a complete acceptance by the Syrian government of all six points.

Clinton Condemns Haoula Massacre in Strongest Possible Terms

We stand in solidarity with the Syrian people and the peaceful marchers in cities across Syria who have taken to the streets to denounce the massacre in Haoula.

Syria Violence Could Have Domino Effect In Lebanon, Clinton Warns

Video: Secretary Clinton Remarks on Syria

Hillary Clinton: Friends of the Syrian People

Sanctions are having an impact: businesses and organizations are cutting their ties with the regime, senior officials responsible for human rights violations have had their funds frozen and their travel curtailed, and we are disrupting the ability of the regime to receive weapons and other supplies. These sanctions are specifically pointed at members of the regime and its war machine; they do not target the Syrian people and do not apply to supplies of critical goods. It is the regime that is causing Syrians to suffer from economic hardship, to deprive them of fuel, cooking oil, and other essentials.

Hillary Clinton Condemns Syrian Downing of Turkish F-4 in the Strongest Possible Terms

I spoke with Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu yesterday to convey our grave concern about the downing of a Turkish F-4 fighter jet by Syrian forces on June 22. I also told him that our thoughts and prayers are with the missing pilots and their loved ones…  The United States condemns this brazen and unacceptable act in the strongest possible terms. It is yet another reflection of the Syrian authorities’ callous disregard for international norms, human life, and peace and security.

We did not receive any transcripts of the public portion of this summit nor any video.  Hillary notes that the public portion is scripted and can be boring.  The action starts when the cameras leave.  That is what happened at this summit.  They left the ceremonial hall for a conference chamber  – each party plus a single aide with Ban Ki-Moon and Kofi Annan heading a long rectangular table.  Hillary reports high emotions and even table-pounding (!) that eventually settled into a face-off between her and Lavrov which, she says, was where it was always headed.  Finally it all boiled down to wordsmithing.  (Doesn’t everything?)

An agreement was crafted and everyone signed.  Then it was time to face the press who picked up the wrong message.

Hillary Clinton: Press Conference Following Syria Action Group Meeting

Kofi Annan called this meeting to mobilize the political will needed to implement his six-point plan. And after a long day of intense discussions, the next steps are clear…

No one has any illusions about the difficulties ahead. We are dealing with not only a murderous regime in a combustible region, but the potential for that region to be gravely affected by the continuance of this violence. But the stakes of inaction by the international community are just too high…

Kofi Annan has offered a plan to avoid that path, and we should spare no effort to support him….

QUESTION: Madam Secretary – I don’t know – I’ll just speak really loudly. Oh, it’s working? Okay. Listen, for all intents and purposes, it looks like the Russians have won here. There is no exclusionary language in the document that has been agreed to, whereas the draft contained language that would exclude people deemed to be bad for the transition. This speaks only of mutual consent, which would seem to give both sides – the Assad government and the opposition – veto power, which seems to be a recipe for continued stalemate.

Can you address why you think this calls for – in your own words, what you said, lays the way – paves the way for a post-Assad future, when in fact, it doesn’t require him to leave and leaves open – and it leaves the open – it leaves open the – leaves the question open entirely? Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I disagree with your premise, obviously, because as I’ve made clear all week, we supported the Joint Special Envoy’s original text, but we agreed to some changes that we did not believe affected the substance, because frankly, we read the results to be the same. Assad will still have to go. He will never pass the mutual consent test, given the blood on his hands. I think you already heard Kofi Annan basically say the very same thing. The text also makes clear that the power to govern is vested fully in the transitional governing body, which strips him and his regime of all authority if he and they refuse to step down and leave.

Now, every day that has gone by without unity on the Security Council and among the states gathered here has been a day that has given comfort to Assad and his cronies and supporters. What we have done here is to strip away the fiction that he and those with blood on their hands can stay in power. The plan calls for the Assad regime to give way to a new transitional governing body that will have full governance powers.

Hillary Clinton: Saddened and Outraged by Massacre in Traymseh

I was deeply saddened and outraged to learn of reports of yet another massacre committed by the Syrian regime that has claimed the lives of over 200 men, women, and children in the village of Traymseh…

As long as the Assad regime continues to wage war against the Syrian people, the international community must keep increasing the pressure on the regime to halt the violence and allow for a political solution to go forward. The Security Council should put its full weight behind the Annan plan for an immediate ceasefire and a political transition and make clear to the Syrian regime that there will be consequences for non-compliance. History will judge this Council.

Hillary Clinton at the Friends of the Syrian People Ministerial Meeting

What was accomplished in Geneva by the action group was, for the very first time, to enlist not only all five permanent members of the Security Council including Russia and China, but also important leaders in the region and in the Arab League in support of such a transition. The issue now is to determine how best to put into action what was accomplished there and is continuing here…

Under the Geneva communique, the opposition is for the first time put on an even basis with the government. They are given equal power in constituting the transition governing entity that will have, as we just heard, full executive authority. That could not have been imagined three months ago, let alone a year ago.

So although none of us here is satisfied or comfortable with what is still going on inside of Syria, because it is against every norm of international law and human decency for a government to be murdering its own people, there has been in the last several months, starting in Tunisia, a steady, inexorable march toward ending this regime. What we need to do is to follow through on what each of us can contribute to the end of the Assad regime and the beginning of a new day for Syria.

Hillary Clinton’s Press Conference Following the Friends of the Syrian People Meeting

Then, of course, sadly, came this.  Poor Kofi Annan was like Sysphus pushing that infernal rock uphill.  Hillary assured him that he had done his best.

Hillary Clinton on the Resignation of Kofi Annan as Joint Special Envoy for Syria

He worked tirelessly to try to build consensus in the international community, end the bloodshed, and usher in a government that would meet the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people. Unfortunately, the Security Council was blocked from giving him key tools to advance his efforts.


In Turkey Hillary Clinton Talks No Fly Zones Over Syria

Hillary Clinton’s Remarks On Syria With Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu

Hillary and David Petraeus worked on a plan to arm a very small very well-vetted segment of the rebel population with very specific goals on paper.  The president rejected the plan that Hillary called the least bad option among many even worse alternatives.  (Reminding me of Ben Affleck in ‘Argo” saying his bad movie was the best bad idea that they had.)  Hillary did not like losing the debate but felt she had been given a fair hearing.

Hillary Clinton on the Appointment of Lakhdar Brahimi to Replace Kofi Annan

Hillary Clinton at the U.N. Security Council Session On Peace And Security in the Middle East

Unfortunately, in Syria, Bashar al-Assad clings to power, and his campaign of brutality has sparked a humanitarian crisis. The United States has committed more than $100 million to help the Syrian people. And we continue to insist that the violence must end and a political transition without Assad must move forward.

The Arab League suspended Syria from its activities and has strongly condemned the Assad regime’s brutal violence against its own people. And the Arab League created a plan for peaceful political transition that was endorsed by an overwhelming majority in the General Assembly resolution that launched Arab League-UN mediation efforts, led first by Kofi Annan and now by Lakhdar Brahimi.

Yet the atrocities mount while the Security Council remains paralyzed.


Hillary Clinton at the Ad Hoc Friends of the Syrian People Ministerial

Now, it is no secret that our attempts to move forward at the UN Security Council have been blocked repeatedly. On Tuesday, I met with Joint Special Representative Brahimi to discuss alternative strategies, and I look forward to hearing all of your views today. But the United States is not waiting. We are taking new steps to meet the growing humanitarian needs of the Syrian people, to support the opposition as it moves toward an inclusive, democratic transition, and to further pressure and isolate the regime.


Hillary Clinton’s Remarks on Syria

Hillary Clinton’s Last Press Availability From NATO HQ As SOS

American Leadership: Hillary Clinton’s Final Address as Secretary of State

In Syria, the Assad regime continues to slaughter its people and incite intercommunal conflict. Iran is pursuing its nuclear ambitions and sponsoring violent extremists across the globe. And we continue to face real terrorist threats from Yemen and North Africa.

So I will not stand here and pretend that the United States has all the solutions to these problems. We do not. But we are clear about the future we seek for the region and its peoples. We want to see a region at peace with itself and the world – where people live in dignity, not dictatorships, where entrepreneurship thrives, not extremism. And there is no doubt that getting to that future will be difficult and will require every single tool in our toolkit.

As Hillary is closing out this chapter you get the impression you are seeing Yogi Berra’s “deja vue all over again.”  A year ago, she relates, in August 2013 we were all horrified to see evidence of Assad having used chemical weapons on civilian populations and air strikes were an option President Obama was strongly considering but wanted Congressional approval.

Congress was in recess (like now) and Hillary figured out a clever way to get a vote of approval. Since that idea worked so well, POTUS wanted Hillary’s input going forward as she is immensely creative (my words).

As it happened she was due at the White House shortly and did lend her unfailingly wise advice.  Although the event was about wildlife trafficking, Hillary spoke about Syria as well. Unlike the State Department, the White House was not so generous in sharing transcripts so I never did find one from this event, but the video is here.

Hillary Clinton’s Remarks at the White House on Syria and the Security Dangers of Wildlife Trafficking


Chemical weapons destruction did commence and has been successful. But by February of this year, Hillary reports, CIA Director Brennan warned about Al Qaeda’s ability to recruit and to use Syria as a launching pad for attacks  – perhaps even on the homeland – on us.

Hillary’s prediction at the point when she was writing this was that the danger would only grow (obviously it has).

What more can any of us say?



Hillary Clinton’s ‘Hard Choices’ Retrospective: Introduction

Access other chapters of this retrospective here >>>>



As New York senator, and even as secretary of state, one group of people Hillary Clinton has steadfastly kept at her side are the families and first responders of 9/11.

New York Governor George Pataki (L), New

This evening Hillary appeared at an event dedicated to renewing healthcare for the 9/11 responders who continue developing serious health conditions and dying at an alarming rate.

She described ‘the pile,’  which she visited on 9/12/01, as ” a scene from Dante’s Inferno” and told the audience,  “Last week,  we mourned.  This week, we mobilize.”   She called organized labor her principal ally in the struggle for healthcare for these workers. A few Images and quotes here thanks to Emily Ngo of Newsday on Twitter.

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‘The pile,’ you may remember,  burned from 9/11/01 until 2/12/02 when it was finally extinguished.   Those who worked there went every single day without thought for their own health or welfare.  We should remember them in those days as what they were, soldiers on a battlefield.  It was, after all,  the site of an attack on the homeland.

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Continuing healthcare for first responders was not the only health issue Hillary has addressed  so far this week.   Yesterday, in D.C. she told cardiologists at a Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) that the fee-for-service model in medical care may be on its way out.

Hillary to TCT: Fee-for-Service Days Are Numbered

Published: Sep 16, 2014

WASHINGTON — Hillary Clinton says fee-for-service medicine is probably an idea whose time has passed.

Read more >>>>

Yesterday she tweeted her congratulations to California for winning paid sick days.

In 1979,  Hillary Clinton served as the first female chair of the Legal Services Corporation, established by Congress in 1974 to provide legal services to low-income Americans.  Yesterday, at the Omni Shoreham in D.C. she joined Justice Antonin Scalia in celebrating LSC’s 40th anniversary.

WASHINGTON – Vice President Joe Biden, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, U.S. Supreme Court Justices Elena Kagan and Antonin Scalia, and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will join more than 100 leaders of the legal community, government, and the private sector September 14-16 at a wide-ranging legal aid conference in Washington to mark the 40th anniversary of the Legal Services Corporation.

Read more >>>>

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Congratulations California on winning , which will help 6.5 million workers.

Nearly 7 Million Californians to Receive Access to Paid Sick Days

California Work & Family Coalition Joins Advocates Across State in Celebrating Historic Act

Los Angeles—Today, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 (AB 1522), making California the second state in the country to provide paid sick days to its residents. The new law – authored by Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) – will provide up to three paid sick days a year to approximately 6.5 million working Californians. The legislation builds on national momentum and expands access to more people than any other state or locality, and by requiring compliance from employers regardless of their size.

According to research highlighted in an issue brief by Next Generation, sick day laws improve productivity, protect vulnerable employees in low-income industries, and support public health by preventing the spread of disease.

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Paraphrasing JFK, Bill Clinton introduced himself as, “the man who accompanied Hillary Clinton to Iowa.”   It was his fourth appearance at the Tom Harkin Steak Fry where, Harkin noted, a steak has never been fried.  WJC said that the gingham shirt he was wearing, very trendy right now, was his birthday gift from Hillary.  She, in turn, on her first visit to Iowa since 2007, told the audience that Bill calls the steak fry “the stir fry,” and warned that she is on “grandma alert” in case they happened to see the two Clintons suddenly run off stage.

For his part, Tom Harkin, saying that after 40 years it was time to step aside,  introduced his family: daughters Amy with son-in-law and grandchildren,  and Jenny with his “granddog” Ollie who received a little grandfatherly stroke under the chin.  Retiring from the Senate and speaking at the last of these annual events,  he said he and wife Ruth are looking forward to being back home in Iowa.  People in the audience held signs thanking him for his years of service.

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In Oman with Sultan Qaboos,  January 12, 2011,  when strategies to limit Iran’s nuclear expansion were failing, the sultan suggested secret talks. “I can help,” he said. She liked his style. Monarch, yes, but a true reformer with a great human rights record and possibly our best chance at that moment.

Hillary provides a brief history of U.S.-Iranian relations from the coup in 1953 that installed the Shah through his overthrow in 1979 and the seizure of Embassy Tehran that year in which 52 Americans were taken hostage and held for 444 days until after Ronald Reagan took the oath of office on January 20, 1980.  (OK – Hillary doesn’t say that, but I will never forget it.)

She enumerates terrorist attacks originating in or connected to the new Iranian revolution over the decades that indicate the global danger posed by a nuclear Iran which refused to abide by the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (which it had signed) and denied inspection access to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Hillary began advocating for sanctions against Iran as Senator from New York. During the 2008 primaries she took issue with Obama’s plan to engage directly with Iran without preconditions.  She also threatened nuclear retaliation if Iran were to launch a nuclear attack on Israel and Iran filed a formal protest against her at the U.N.

New York Senator Hillary Clinton (L) lis

After she accepted secretary of state, they had to craft an effective approach.


They settled on a dual strategy:  engagement and pressure.   Compliance with treaty obligations would result in improved relations.  Refusal would lead to increased isolation and worse.

The first gesture was two letters from President Obama to the Ayatollah Khameini and a video message to the people of Iran.  The tactic was meant to show our open hand.  Hillary emphasized this posture by inviting Iran to the U.N. Conference on Afghanistan at The Hague in March 2009.   They sent a deputy foreign minister.   Hillary did not meet with him, but reciprocated by sending a deputy of hers to make contact.

The Hague Afghanistan Conference

 Hillary’s proxy, Jake Sullivan,  hand delivered a letter requesting the release of three hostages: Robert Levinson, Esha Momeni, and Roxana Saberi.  Levinson remains in custody.  Momeni was released in August of that year, and Roxana Saberi was released in May 2009 and can be seen daily on Al Jazeera America.   Richard Holbrooke also had an encounter with the Iranian representative that the Iranian later denied. (After all you have read about Holbrooke in this book, the air of mystery, forever to remain unsolved, is tantalizing.)

June of that year brought deeply flawed Iranian elections.  The protests and subsequent government crackdown played out for several weeks, particularly on Twitter.  It was called The Green Revolution.

The mainstream media was perpetually several days behind.  Many of us were busily retweeting tweets from the streets of Tehran and other Iranian cities.  Our profile pictures and backgrounds were shaded green.  This was a wallpaper many of us used.  It was made of a collage of hundreds of our green-shaded profile pictures.  The first night we did this, the whole left side of my Twitter feed turned to a green stripe within two hours.


These were visual signals, instantly recognizable, that what followed was information from Iran.  You could scan your feed and rapidly locate the tweets that could mean everything to someone on the other side of the globe.

Tweets consisted of life-and-death information.  What hospitals were safe?  Which ones had Revolutionary Guards posted?  What streets were safe to navigate?  Which embassies were accepting people?  Which were not?  Which had Revolutionary Guards stationed at entrances?  We had all set our Twitter accounts to Tehran time and deleted every RT as soon as we sent it to protect the original senders.  The senders did the same thing in case their phones were confiscated.  Continually retweeting the information was the only way to keep it alive, available, and moving.

We did this particularly on Friday and Saturday nights –  frantically.   It was like a part-time job.  We all saw almost immediately when this young woman, Neda Soltani,  was killed in the street.  She died in her father’s arms. and her sister tweeted the horrific video she had posted on Facebook with the heartbreaking words. “I saw my sister die today.”   The video at this link is no longer available in this country, but Hillary writes of this and knew about it.

It had been on Twitter and Facebook for three days before the mainstream media finally picked up the story.

Neda Soltani

I have no words. Yesterday I watched as this lovely young woman, looking for a better life in her own country was killed on the street. I know I was not alone, and I also know I was not the only one who cried.


We all know by now what Hillary relates in the book – that smack in the middle of this revolution and all of this activity on Twitter, the social media site was to go down for maintenance.   Her department prevailed upon Twitter to delay the maintenance in order to leave the lines of communication open.  It was crucial, and even though we who were retweeting did not and do not know what night that was to have been and what terrible  things were happening just then, I know we were still there retweeting critical information back to Iran because Hillary made sure we could.

We don’t know how many lives might have been saved as a result.  We never knew.  I think we did help.  I pray we did.

Hillary says in the book that she remains uncertain that staying on the sidelines was our best move during that terrible time as this popular uprising was crushed.

She writes that by September Khameini and Ahmedinejad, the quirkily comic yet dangerous President (who reminded some of us of a certain Twin Peaks character) had solidified their stronghold and UNGA was imminent.  President Obama was scheduled to chair a Security Council meeting on nuclear security,  and recent news of a secret enrichment facility near Qom was an issue to be provided some international daylight.

Hillary foreshadowed what was to be unveiled in this speech about a week earlier.

Hillary Clinton at Brookings Institution in Advance of UN General Assembly

… let me take a moment to say a few words about Iran, which will be another key topic on the President’s and my agenda next week.
To begin, it is important to recall what’s really at issue, and what’s really at stake.
Iran has refused for years to address the international community’s deep concerns about its nuclear program. Those concerns have been underscored repeatedly by the International Atomic Energy Agency and the UN Security Council.
Iran’s continued failure to live up to its obligations carries profound consequences – for the security of the United States and our allies; for progress on global nonproliferation and progress toward disarmament; for the credibility of the IAEA and the Security Council and the Nonproliferation Treaty; and of course, for stability in the Persian Gulf, the Middle East, and beyond.
Our concern is not Iran’s right to develop peaceful nuclear energy, but its responsibility to demonstrate that its program is intended exclusively for peaceful purposes. This is not hard to do. Iran’s continued refusal to cooperate has damaged the credibility of its claim that it does not seek a nuclear weapon.
So Iran faces a choice. The international community has made abundantly clear what is possible for all Iranians if Iran lives up to its responsibilities on the nuclear issue – the benefits of economic connections to the rest of the world, cooperation on peaceful nuclear energy, and partnership in education and science.
But there will be accompanying costs for Iran’s continued defiance – more isolation and economic pressure, less possibility of progress for the people of Iran.

Outing the Qom facility in the Security Council was ditched.  The alternative was to use private meetings.

US President Barack Obama (R), US Secret

The Russians were visibly shocked.  Here is how it began to roll out.

Video: Secretary Clinton’s Remarks on Iran

Secretary Clinton: Further Remarks on Iran

… as President Obama, President Sarkozy, and Minister Brown said in their statement today, Iran’s efforts over a number of years to build a covert enrichment facility near Qom deepens our already deep concern, and the growing international understanding about the scope and intent of Iran’s nuclear program…

This is further evidence of Iran’s continued defiance of IAEA and the United Nations obligations. Iran is breaking rules that all nations are expected to follow, and we fully support an immediate IAEA investigation…

This is an unfolding narrative. As more and more information is shared with the world, as the comments made by Ahmadinejad during his recent appearance, and both before and since illustrate attitudes and approaches that are really at variance with almost universal principles and understanding of historical reality…

I’m not going to prejudge it, but clearly, this is an incredibly important disclosure that the world needs to digest.

The “Geneva Agreement” became the effort into the fall.

Hillary Clinton and Robert Gates: Power and Persuasion

 … there were three agreements. One, that there would be inspections, and those inspections are going forward and they’re going forward quickly, of the undisclosed site that the President and Prime Minister Brown and President Sarkozy announced a little over a week ago in Pittsburgh. They agreed that, in principle, the Iranians would ship out their LEU for reprocessing to be returned for their research reactor. There will be a team of experts meeting to determine exactly how that will be carried out within 10 days. And they agreed that there will be another meeting, which means that this process doesn’t just drag on without any continuity.
So we think that on those three big issues, this was a worthwhile meeting. But as the President has said and I and others have also made clear, this is not by any means a stopping point. There is much more to be done. We expect much more.


Hillary Clinton in England with David Miliband

… we have also reviewed our position on Iran, where our countries work so closely together, including on the most recent revelation of the covert Iranian uranium enrichment site. My point on this is very, very simple, that Iran will never have a better opportunity to establish normal relations with the international community. And it will never have a better opportunity than to show that the peaceful intent that marks its words about its nuclear program is matched by its deeds.

Hillary Clinton with Sergei Lavrov in Moscow

We obviously discussed some of the broader foreign policy issues that we both face. Iran’s nuclear program remains a matter of serious concern, and we’re working closely with Russia through the P-5+1 process. We had a constructive meeting in Geneva on October 1st. And we are working to ensure that Iran moves forward with us on this engagement track and demonstrates unequivocally that it is seeking only the peaceful use of nuclear weapons.

We had a long discussion and brought in some of our technical experts to review where we stand on missile defense. We explained that our assessment of the evolving threat from Iran led President Obama to adopt a new, different approach to missile defense. We are very interested in working with Russia to develop cooperation, including a joint threat assessment and intensified efforts to establish a joint data exchange center, as our presidents agreed to in July, as a means of making missile defense a common enterprise against what we believe are increasingly common threats.


Secretary Clinton: Back at Foggy Bottom after an extended trip

The United States is also grateful for Germany’s participation and leadership in the P-5+1 and the E-3+3 processes to ensure Iran’s full compliance with UN Security Council resolutions and IAEA directives on its nuclear program. We are speaking with one voice on this critical issue, and it is a voice that is amplified by our friends from Britain and France, from Russia, China and the European Union. We are pressing Iran together in our support of the recent proposal to provide new fuel for the Tehran research reactor in exchange for Iran shipping out its low-enriched uranium. We both support the IAEA’s efforts to inspect the recently disclosed uranium enrichment facility near Qom. And we both remain ready, along with our partners, to meet with Iranian representatives to discuss further steps to build confidence and transparency in its nuclear program. As I have said, this is a pivotal moment for Iran, and we urge Iran to accept the agreement as proposed. We will not alter it, and we will not wait forever.

Hillary Clinton’s Remarks with French Foreign Minister Kouchner

The work on Iran is (inaudible) greater intensity and France’s leadership is especially important. The international community is united in its resolve regarding Iran’s nuclear program and in its condemnation of the serious escalating assault on human rights. The recent executions that have taken place in Iran of demonstrators, the creation of new crimes to try to imprison and execute protestors and opposition leaders is deplorable.

Video & Text: Secretary Clinton’s Remarks Before Senate Foreign Relations Committee

We are fighting two wars that call on the skill and sacrifice of our civilians as well as our troops. We have pursued a dual-track approach to Iran that has exposed its refusal to live up to its responsibilities and helped us achieve a new unity with our international partners. Iran has left the international community with little choice but to impose greater costs for its provocative steps. And we are now working actively with our partners to prepare and implement new measures to pressure Iran to change its course.

Video & Text: Secretary Clinton Before House Foreign Affairs Committee

The figures in the budget are more than numbers on a page. They tell the story of the challenges we face and the resources we need to overcome them. We are fighting two wars that call for the skill and sacrifice of our civilians as well as our troops. We have pursued a dual-track approach to Iran that has exposed for the world to see its refusal to live up to its responsibility, and it has helped us achieve a new unity with our international partners. Iran has left the international community little choice but to impose greater costs for its provocative steps. And we are now working actively with other countries to prepare and implement new measures to pressure Iran to change course.

Brazil was, at the time, occupying one of the rotating seats on the Security Council.  Cooperation was essential to the success of the resolution for sanctions.

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks With Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Luiz Nunes Amorim

… both the United States and Brazil are committed to the core goal of nonproliferation. And the foreign minister and I discussed our mutual commitment to ensuring that Iran does not acquire a nuclear weapon. And the United States looks forward to continuing that conversation with Brazil in the weeks ahead.

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks With Russian FM Lavrov

We discussed at length Iran’s nuclear program, which remains an issue of grave concern for the international community. We are still committed, as we have been, to a diplomatic solution, but there must be a solution. Iran is not living up to its international obligations and, therefore, we’re working together with our other partners in the P-5+1 to bring together a very clear international consensus in the Security Council that gives Iran the message it needs to hear that its behavior does have consequences and that its pursuit of nuclear weapons poses a direct threat both to regional and global security.

Hillary Rodham Clinton Secretary of State: Remarks at the Review Conference of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty

We know there are some countries who will choose not to be constructive. This morning, Iran’s president offered the same tired, false, and sometimes wild accusations against the United States and other parties at this conference. But that’s not surprising. As you all heard this morning, Iran will do whatever it can to divert attention away from its own record and to attempt to evade accountability. Ultimately, however, we will all be judged not for our words but for our actions. And we will all be measured not by how assertively we claim our rights but by how faithfully we uphold our responsibilities. And as the Secretary General said, in this regard the onus is on Iran. So far, it has failed to meet its burden. Iran is the only country represented in this hall that has been found by the IAEA Board of Governors to be currently in noncompliance with its nuclear safeguards obligations – the only one. It has defied the UN Security Council and the IAEA, and placed the future of the nonproliferation regime in jeopardy. And that is why it is facing increasing isolation and pressure from the international community.

Secretary Clinton’s Address at the Strategic and Economic Dialogue Opening Session

… on international security challenges, the United States and China have consulted closely on the challenge posed by Iran’s nuclear program. The prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran concerns us all. And to address that threat, together we have pursued a dual-track approach of engagement and pressure, aimed at encouraging Iran’s leaders to change course. The draft resolution agreed to by all of our P-5+1 partners and circulated at the Security Council sends a clear message to the Iranian leadership: Live up to your obligation, or face growing isolation and consequences. As we continue to cooperate in New York, the burden is on Iran to demonstrate through its actions that it will uphold its responsibility.

Secretary Clinton: Concluding Joint Statements at the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue

… we had very frank and detailed conversations about international security challenges and regional hot spots, including Iran and North Korea. We stressed the importance of reaching a conclusion on resolution of the United Nations Security Council to send a message to Iran to, “Live up to your international responsibilities or face growing isolation and consequences.”

Hillary mentions an OAS meeting in Peru where she had cocktails with Chinese ambassador the the U.S. Zhang Yesui and they worked out some fine points on the sanctions while the press at the bar had no idea high-level negotiations were going on.  Mark Landler of the New York Times brought them a couple of drinks, and there was a final agreement.  Thank you Mark!

Assistant Secretary Arturo Valenzuela: Briefing on Secretary Clinton’s Upcoming Travel to Latin America and the Caribbean

This trip this week will begin on Sunday and it’s to Lima, Peru, for the General Assembly of the Organization of American States. So the Secretary will lead the U.S. delegation to the Organization of American States annual meeting in Lima. And in Lima, she will also have a bilateral meeting with President Garcia, who, as you know, was in Washington last week to meet with the President as well.
From – so will be arriving on Sunday in Lima, Peru – Sunday evening. She will spend the entire day in Peru on Monday in the meetings of the OASGA.

Hillary Clinton: Statements and Remarks on the Security Council Vote

I commend the United Nations Security Council for its adoption today of UN Security Council Resolution 1929, aimed at addressing the international community’s concerns regarding Iran’s nuclear program. Despite consistent and longstanding demands by the Council, Iran has not suspended its uranium enrichment and other proliferation-related activities that are in direct violation of its commitments to the IAEA and its obligations under the NPT.

This resolution sends an unambiguous signal to Iran that the international community holds it accountable for its actions. The measures in this resolution go well beyond the pre-existing sanctions on Iran.

Secretary Clinton’s Statement on Passage of Iran Sanctions Legislation

I join President Obama in welcoming Congressional passage of legislation to strengthen sanctions against Iran. We support the broad aims of HR 2194, the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010 — constraining Iran’s nuclear program, changing the calculus of Iran’s leaders, and demonstrating that Iran’s policies decrease its standing, and further isolate it in the international community. We are committed to fully implementing this legislation in a manner that advances our multilateral dual-track strategy of engagement and pressure. These new measures, along with action by the European Union and Australia, build on United Nations Security Council Resolution 1929 and underscore the resolve of the international community to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons and to hold it accountable for its international obligations. The United States will work with our partners to maximize the impact of these efforts and to continue pursuing a diplomatic resolution to the international community’s concerns regarding Iran’s nuclear program.‪

December 2010, she recounts her first face-to-face encounter with her Iranian counterpart at this function where she extended her open hand and was twice rebuffed.

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks at the Manama Dialogue Opening Dinner

At this time, I would like to address directly the delegation at this conference from the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

I am pleased to have this opportunity for your government and mine to gather here with representatives from other nations to discuss problems of mutual concern and interest…

Nearly two years ago, President Obama extended your government a sincere offer of dialogue. We are still committed to this offer.

The next month, Sultan Qaboos made his offer to help.  He had helped get the release of three American hikers, Joshua Fattal, Shane Bauer, and Sarah Shourd who had been arrested in July 2009.  This, of course, was bigger and very sensitive.  Complications were sure to arise and they did.

The news she mentions about the assassination plot against the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. broke while she was about to be interviewed at the State Department.

Secretary Clinton’s Interviews with AP and Reuters

QUESTION: And that is – presumably you are up to speed, you’re aware of this?


QUESTION: And I know that it’s a Justice Department thing and that –


QUESTION: But what does it say about – I mean, about Iran and any attempt to try and get them to be reasonable?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first let me start with what it says about our whole-of-government efforts. I mean, this was a really important achievement by our law enforcement and our intel community to disrupt this plot. And you’ll be able to get the – you all were up here, but the news conference that the Attorney General and the FBI director and the U.S. Attorney from the Southern District and the Assistant AG for National Security just finished giving made it very clear that this was conceived by and directed by elements within the Iranian Government. The complaint has more detail than that. It’s something that we’ve been aware of and working on, led by the Justice Department and the FBI and the DEA.

So I think that the fact that the plot was disrupted and that, thankfully, the worst consequences that might have resulted from this kind of state-sponsored act of terror against a diplomat who, under the Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes Against Internationally Protected Persons, is a breach of international norms, and Iran happens to be a signatory to that convention, I think creates a potential for international reaction that will further isolate Iran, that will raise questions about what they’re up to, not only inside the United States or Mexico, but elsewhere in the world. More details will, of course, come out in the course of the case being processed.

But as you may know, Matt, there are two named defendants, one the holder of American and Iranian passports and one who is in Iran who was involved. And I’m going to let the details kind of be up to the Justice Department because it’s really within their bailiwick. But it will not, I think, surprise you to know that we are actively engaged in a very concerted diplomatic outreach to many capitals, to the UN in New York, to not only explain what happened so that we try to preempt any efforts by Iran to be successful in what will be their denial and their efforts to try to deflect responsibility, but that we also enlist more countries in working together against what is becoming a clearer and clearer threat by Iran within many nations.

Secretary Clinton: Measures to Increase Pressure on Iran

Recent days have brought new evidence that Iran’s leaders continue to defy their international obligations and violate international norms, including the recent plot to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador here in the United States and as verified by the new report from the International Atomic Energy Agency that further documents Iran’s conduct of activities directly related to the development of nuclear weapons. Now, this report from the IAEA is not the United States or our European partners making accusations; this is the result of an independent review and it reflects the judgment of the international community.

Secretary Clinton with Indian External Affairs Minister S M Krishna

 MINISTER KRISHNA:  Since you asked a specific question about Iran, it remains an important source of oil for us, although its share in our imports are declining, which is well known. Ultimately, it reflects the decision that refineries make based on commercial, financial, and technical considerations. We have discussed our position and our perspectives on energy security, and these discussions will continue. As far as India is concerned, we subscribe to and rigorously implement the UN Security Council resolutions. This issue, however, is not a source of discord between our two countries.

Hillary states that this was good enough for her.  Iran’s oil market suffered as our partners decreased their dependence on that market and migrated to other sources – often suggested by us.  Hillary’s mantra of “crippling sanctions” was becoming realized.  She made sure, however, that the people of Iran were not deprived of necessities as a result, always clarifying that our argument was with the government, not with the people.

Meanwhile, Iran was propping up Bashar Al-Assad in Syria with weapons, trainers, fighters, and money.

As Hillary’s term at State was drawing to a close, the secret talks began to yield some results, and Iranian elections were just around the corner.  True debates ensued.   Hassan Rouhani was elected.  Hillary was no longer in office when the agreements were reached, and she harbored (and still does) a healthy skepticism born of experience.  Yet five years of hard work and back-channel negotiations had produced fruit.

Once again, if anyone tries to disparage or diminish Hillary Clinton’s legacy at the State Department show them this page.   Better yet, they should just read the book.  The final few pages of this chapter read as grippingly as Michael Crichton or John le Carré.   Hillary was not involved in those operations, but it was she who set the ball rolling.  It wasn’t a strike, but I think eight pins fell.


Hillary Clinton’s ‘Hard Choices’ Retrospective: Introduction

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