Posts Tagged ‘ABC’

Hillary held a live town hall on Good Morning America today. The Coffee with the Candidates spot was occupied by the Dem frontrunner and questions came from the panel, the studio audience, a few outside locations, and from social media.

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Asked about Donald Trump’s latest nickname for her, she said she is not going to respond to his personal attacks.

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Regarding Bernie Sanders, she will leave it up to him to decide what his campaign will do.  Even though Bernie’s supporters do not support her now she will continue to support them.  She will keep talking about her agenda.

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Speech transcripts: This is a new standard. When everybody releases theirs,  she will release hers.  Meanwhile, it is the tax returns that are the standard, and Sanders should release his.


1994 Crime bill: She pointed out that Sanders voted for that bill. She will divert people away from the criminal justice system; provide second chance opportunities; restore voting rights.


What would she say to people who don’t trust her?  When she gets a job everyone says she does it well.  President Obama trusted her. Stephanopoulos asked where she thinks this comes from, and Hillary said it’s a long term thing. People are fine with her and praise her when she is doing a job, but as soon as she runs for a job, they attack.

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Greatest political regret.  Iraq War vote.


Marijuana question.  She would have to study a bill before signing on but is interested in what is happening where it is legal. Recommends acquire evidence and make decisions based on that.


Pay gap: Laws permit people to be fired when they try to get information about their comparative pay.  Those need to be addressed. Young women start out in parity and the disparity grows over years.


Which Hillary came closest?  There’s a little bit of truth in all of them and the history of the hairstyle is like an archeological dig.


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Learning from the skits:  She is not a natural politician and it doesn’t make good TV but gets good feedback from the impressions. Loved playing Val the Bartender and may bring her back.


#TBT: 1988 GMA appearance: Was about fighting sexism and pay inequality in law practice. Is campaigning on breaking barriers – so many barriers.

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Has been using hot sauce since 1992 to boost her immune system.  Has a collection.


Bill’s most annoying habit. Reading himself to sleep.  Since he’s asleep bed, she has to get up and turn out his light.

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My take: The audiences at these events are politically active. That is clear. (Did I not see Jennifer McCann there?  She is everywhere!) Also, questions are screened. That’s how the questions get up on the screen so quickly.  So have these people simply not been paying attention? She has answered these same questions ad infinitum and really never gets a new question.

Every audience, full of activists, comes up with the same questions. I bet Jennifer submitted a question.  I bet it was about plans for disabilities in the workplace – something like that.  Why do the producers keep pulling the same old questions out of the hat and not give Hillary a chance to answer new ones? I have a feeling there were better questions in that audience. Questions with answers a lot of voters have not heard her answer before. How the heck is Hillary supposed to explain the people who do not find her “trustworthy?”  That is a question for them, not for her. Why does that one keep coming up?  That’s just me.



phone calls

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Hillary popped in for a a visit with the ladies of The View on ABC today.  She talked Trump, the primaries, and what she thinks the job entails:

  1. Make a difference;
  2. Keep us safe;
  3. Bring us together.

Discussing the mean side of campaigning, she said that over the years she has grown a tough skin and joked that she has a great cream for anyone who is interested.

She suggested a contest to decide WJC’s official title should she prevail, and the ladies brought up grandmotherhood which she is enjoying immensely.  They gave her a pair of pantsuits:  one for Charlotte and one for the new little one coming soon.

It was a lovely visit that concluded with the obligatory selfie.

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Reminder:  Look for Hillary on BET tonight at the Black Girls Rock event and again later ABC will rebroadcast Hillary’s last visit to Jimmy Kimmel in case you missed it or want to see it again.



phone calls

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With Jake Tapper on CNN’s State of the Union, Hillary discussed, among other things, the water crisis in Flint, Michigan (where she is going today), the Sanders campaign allegations on banking influences, and the “shout out” from male pundits.


  1. She is very well-informed on the subject of lead poisoning from both a medical and an infrastructure point of view.  She knows what needs to be done, medically, for the children exposed to the toxic water, and she also knows what needs to be done to the water lines. Do any other candidates from either party have the battery of information on this subject that Hillary has?DSCN2808 DSCN2809
  2. She explained, once again, how her financial plan is broader than Bernie Sanders’s plan as she also is going after giant corporations that gouge the public and evade taxes. She said she doesn’t understand why he doesn’t join her in this battle. DSCN2820
  3. As to the shouting, she said we all know that we are still dealing with a double standard and that sexism is not a thing of the past. By the way, anyone who listened to her at her Portsmouth event last night must admit that her normal tone at rallies is conversational not the full-volume blast that Bernie continually puts out.DSCN2822 DSCN2823 DSCN2824


Great quote: “Anger’s not a plan and venting’s not a strategy.”

On This Week with George Stephanopoulos, she voiced her appreciation of Bernie’s SNL stint. She also took on the extreme remarks of Marco Rubio on abortion in last night’s GOP debate. There, too,  she took on the spin about the bankruptcy bill – specifically with regard to the effect of the proposals on separated and divorced women and their children. She said she is not going to take the Sanders smears anymore, but largely, she was arguing against comments by Elizabeth Warren there.  As to the Goldman Sachs speeches, she said everyone who has given speeches to private organizations should then release their transcripts and the standard, if this is going to be the new standard, should apply to all.


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She also discussed the Flint situation on Meet the Press.  (That repeats later on MSNBC.)  She was on Face the Nation as well.  That repeats later on CBSN.




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Hillary spent part of her morning today with Kelly and Michael.  She talked about her campaign and her experience. On the lighter side, she sat in the ‘hot seat’  where she admitted to a weakness for chocolate,  thinking she is a pretty good singer, and being a worrier.  She also had advice to parents about how to talk to children about recent terror threats.  We should be honest, but not instill fear.  Her advice is to answer questions as they come up at a level the child can understand.

Shortly, she will deliver an address at the Council on Foreign Relations regarding her plans to combat terrorism.  The speech will be carried on C-SPAN.org.

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Back home in New York, Hillary will visit with Kelly and Michael tomorrow morning, and then she will outline her plan for defeating ISIS.

Hillary Clinton to outline plan for defeating ISIS


On Friday, she will be in Tennessee and speak at Fisk University.

Hillary Clinton to speak at Fisk University this Friday

Hillary Clinton
(Courtesy: HillaryClinton.com)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton will be in Nashville Friday to speak at Fisk University.

Ahead of the Tennessee primary on March 1, Clinton hopes to build support and a grassroots organization.

She’s expected to speak on why she’s running for president as well as who and what she will fight for if elected.

Read more and RSVP >>>>

Hillary Clinton To Make Memphis Campaign Stop

By Austin Lewis | alewis@localmemphis.com

Published 11/18 2015

A presidential candidate is making a campaign stop in the Mid-South. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will be at the historically black LeMoyne-Owen College Friday.

The campaign stop is open to the public but you must RSVP.

It will start at 2:15 pm at C. Arthur Bruce-Jerry C. Johnson Hall.

Read more and RSVP  >>>>





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Jimmy Kimmel, who joined the Clintons at the CGI 2014 Closing Plenary, will host Hillary Thursday night marking her third appearance on the late night big three since launching her campaign.  She is in  southern California for some heavy-duty fundraising.

Friday night, Rachel Maddow will moderate a Democratic Forum from South Carolina.

Rachel Maddow to moderate Democratic candidates forum

Rachel Maddow announces that she has been selected to moderate the First in the South Candidates Forum with Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O’Malley, to be held in South Carolina on November 6th, co-sponsored by the Democratic Parties of 13 southern states.

So set your DVRs!



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We know the upcoming release of Hillary’s memoir will be accompanied by TV appearances in addition to the anticipated book tour.  Now we know who got the first word with her.

Hillary Clinton to sit down with ABC’s Diane Sawyer, Robin Roberts

FILE - This May 14, 2014 file photo shows former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaking in Washington. Clinton said Friday, the dream of upward mobility feels further and further out of reach for many Americans struggling in the economy. The potential 2016 Democratic presidential candidate offered her most extensive remarks on promoting economic growth since leaving the State Department. She pointed to the need to promote policies to help struggling workers and young Americans find jobs and get training.(AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)

File: This May 14, 2014 file photo shows former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaking in Washington. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)

The media blitz surrounding Hillary Rodham Clinton’s forthcoming memoir is coming into view, with ABC News scheduling a one-hour primetime television special featuring Clinton on the eve of her book’s release.

The network announced Tuesday that the former secretary of state and potential 2016 Democratic presidential candidate will sit down for her first interview with Diane Sawyer, anchor of ABC’s “World News,” to air during a primetime special at 9 p.m. on June 9.

Read more >>>>



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Barbara said this more than once, and Whoopi said that when she does that she means it.

Barbara Walters: “I want her to take my place”

TV In No Time
Barbara Walters: "I want her to take my place"

After 50 years on television Barbara Walters is hanging up her teleprompter and calling quits. How do you replace such an icon? That remains to be known but if it were up to Barbara she says she’d pass the torch to Hillary Clinton. But since Hillary may be busy for the next four to eight years we explore some other options.

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Set your DVR, your alarm clock, or whatever.  Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will appear on several Sunday morning news shows.  So far she is lined up to appear on Meet the Press (NBC), This Week (ABC), State of the Union (CNN), and Fox News Sunday (FOX).  It is possible that CBS might ring in here.   If so, I will update.

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Hillary Clinton is the most energetic person I have ever seen.  While in Afghanistan, she did all of these interviews.  Jill Dougherty reported from Kabul this morning that they were setting up for these when the news about Gadhafi came through.

Here are the interviews.

Interview With Abdul Merzee of Ariana Television


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Kabul, Afghanistan
October 20, 2011

QUESTION: For my first question, as you know, the role of the U.S. in Afghanistan is very important. The people of Afghanistan worry about their future. Would you please describe the United States military exit strategy in 2014? What is your message to the Afghan people?

SECRETARY CLINTON: My first message is that the United States stands firmly on behalf of the people of Afghanistan to build a future of peace and prosperity. We have invested a great deal over the last 10 years. We intend to be part of Afghanistan’s future as well.

But we know that there has to be a transition from a military role that is the dominant relationship to a political assistance supportive role. So there will be a transition, something that the Afghan Government asked for and something which the international community agreed to. But the transition as we move from international military control to Afghan military control, and the security presence throughout Afghanistan led by Afghans themselves, will be accompanied by a commitment embodied in a strategic partnership document that will outline the enduring presence of the United States, because we want to be part of helping Afghanistan for many years to come.

QUESTION: Okay. Do you support President Karzai’s initiative to talk Pakistani state, not to militants? What is the role of the United States as an important party in the region in peace talk with Pakistan?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I think there are three things we have to do all at the same time. We do have to fight, because there are a lot of Taliban and their sympathizers who do not want to see a new Afghanistan. They want to turn the clock back on the people here. We have to talk because we know there is no military solution; there has to be a negotiated political solution eventually. And we have to build. We have to continue to build the institutions of democracy. We have to continue to provide services to the people of Afghanistan, education for the young, healthcare for people. So I think fight, talk, build is our motto. We need to do all three at once.

And we do have to go after the sanctuaries, whether they are in Afghanistan or in Pakistan. And to do that, we have to enlist the support of the Pakistanis, who must recognize that the extremists on their soil are a threat to them as much as they are to Afghanistan.

QUESTION: Okay, the third question. The strategy (inaudible) the United States one of many element of debates in the Afghan society. How confident you are that the Afghan state become a strategic partner that United States (inaudible)?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I’m very confident, because I think both of us want to continue our strong relationship. And we know that it will change. As we draw down our military forces, which has been part of the agreement between the United States and Afghanistan, we will transition to Afghan security but we will not be abandoning Afghanistan. We want a strategic partnership that looks at all the ways that the United States will support the people and a new future for them.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) my last very short question. Afghanistan has election on June 2014. As I said, international forces, including United States military, exits on July 2014. Now the Afghanistan people can be confident to have free and fair election?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I think there will be a great commitment on the part of the international community to help Afghanistan have free and fair elections. We’ve learned a lot about how to conduct elections in conflict zones, in very difficult geographic areas.

And I want the people of Afghanistan to just take a moment to reflect on how much progress has been made. It is not easy to hold elections for the first time, especially when people are shooting at you as you try to cast your vote. I think it’s only fair to say that a lot of the progress which has been made should be recognized. And yes, much more needs to be made. We all know that. But we intend to do everything we can to ensure that the next elections and the elections after that will reflect the will of the people of Afghanistan.

QUESTION: Thank you very much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. My pleasure.

# # #

Interview With Nick Schifrin of ABC News


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Kabul, Afghanistan
October 20, 2011

Please attribute the following content to an interview with ABC News

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, thank you very much for coming.


QUESTION: I’ve worked in this in this region, in Afghanistan and Pakistan, for three years. I listened to your press conference today. What is it that you want Pakistan to do? Pakistan says that they cannot or will not take militarily on Haqqani Network. Are you going to propose taking them on yourself?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Nick, I think there are three things that we want Pakistan to work with us on. And as I said earlier today, we believe that we have to continue fighting, we have to start talking, and we have to keep building. And so what can they do to assist us and the Afghans in following both – all three of those approaches?

Well, first of all, when it comes to the fighting, there’s a lot they can do. There is no doubt, if there ever were, that there are sanctuaries in Pakistan that are the sites of the planning and operationalizing of attacks against Afghans, Americans, and others.

They’re also the sites of attacks against Pakistanis. Thirty thousand Pakistanis have died from terrorist attacks in the last 10 years. So this is an area that should be one of mutual cooperation. You can squeeze these sanctuaries. Maybe not everyone is susceptible of a military action, although the Pakistanis have taken action against the Pakistani Taliban in the past two and a half years, which we were very encouraged by.

You can do a lot to help us in making sure that they don’t cross the border. You can help us find them when we are looking for them. You can cut off all connections between elements of the military or the intelligence service who provide information and give advance notice – we know for a fact – to certain elements of these terrorist groups. So in the fighting category, there’s a lot they could do.

In the talking category, they can unequivocally state publicly that they want to see the Afghan Taliban and those associated with them, which would include the Haqqani Network, to begin negotiating toward a resolution with the Afghans themselves, and that they will, with us, stand behind that kind of negotiation.

And then when it comes to building, they can be part of helping to create the regional architecture that we’re looking for at the conference in Istanbul in early November and the conference at Bonn in early December, so that they’re part of the international community that promotes economic integration in the region, that understands there has to be security for there to be prosperity.

So I think there’s a lot that we’re going to be discussing when I’m there later tonight and tomorrow.

QUESTION: The Haqqani Network has killed more than a thousand U.S. and allied troops. Why is the U.S. going to negotiate with them?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, the sad and painful truth is you don’t make peace with your friends. You don’t sit down across the table from people who you already have some kind of an agreement with. We’ve done it in previous conflicts. This now has reached the point, in our opinion, where it’s appropriate to begin talking. But that doesn’t mean we stop fighting. We do both. They certainly are doing both.

And it may be that there are some elements in these groups – the Taliban and the Haqqani – that are not reconcilable, that do not seek anything resolving this conflict that we would accept or that the Afghans should accept. But we won’t know till we try. So part of this is to keep pushing as hard as we can on the peace and reconciliation track to see what comes up, to see whether there is a willingness on the part of any of the leadership of these groups to have a serious discussion.

QUESTION: U.S. troops in eastern Afghanistan have said that they have received fire from areas of Pakistan’s – right next to Pakistani military bases or small outposts. They even say that they have received fire from the outposts themselves. Is the Pakistani military an ally of the U.S. army?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I’ve heard those. They deeply concern me. And of course, the Pakistanis claim that they receive fire from the Afghan side of the border. Now, I am sure that that happens, that there is fire from Pakistan positions, there’s fire from Afghanistan positions. How much of it is intentional, how much of it is to send a message, how much of it is in support of the insurgents or in retaliation to what they are doing – we’re trying to sort all that out.

And I know that General Allen has made it a point to talk directly with General Kiyani in Pakistan to say, look, if this is happening, and we have reason to believe it is happening from both sides of the border, it needs to end. And so we need to get to the bottom of it. We have enough problems without having some kind of incident that may be sparked by a mistake. You have friendly fire in conflicts, you have other kinds of miscalculations.

So I think that is manageable. What is not manageable or acceptable are the safe havens. I mean, it’s one thing for a rogue group of Frontier Corps or Afghan police to be shooting back and forth across the border. It is something entirely different for there to be, in settled areas of Pakistan, the headquarters of groups that are directing actions against our troops, that are running operations against our troops, that are killing Americans and Afghans. And that’s what has to stop.

QUESTION: How can you trust the Pakistani military when they have allowed or at least known about those sanctuaries for 10 years or more?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, when I became Secretary of State, the Pakistanis were not even confronting the Pakistan Taliban. I remember very well calling them out on that, because they were ceding territory to terrorists, which I don’t ever think is a good idea. And they began to take that territory back and to confront the Pakistani Taliban.

They have some concerns about their ability to go into settled areas, which our military planners understand. But what we want is a meeting of the minds that this threat is not just a threat across their border, it’s also a threat internally to them. And if they allow it to continue and fester, it’s going to come back against them as well.

So what we are working on – and I’ll have with me General Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and General Petraeus, who of course now is Director Petraeus of the CIA, and other top officials. But we just want to get some clarity. Are they going to share cooperation with us or not? Because our actions will depend upon whether they intend to cooperate or not.

QUESTION: And do you – sorry. And do you trust them (inaudible)?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think that goes back to actions speak louder than words. I mean, if we see actions – and we have. I have to hasten to add that we have made specific demands and requests on them regarding certain al-Qaida members and other associated terrorists. We have conducted joint counterterrorism operations.

QUESTION: But not against the Haqqani Network.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Not against the Haqqani Network. And so part of this is to build on what we already do together and expand our understanding of what is necessary for us to do together.

QUESTION: One last question, because I think I’m out of time. For an American viewer right now, how long should he or she who is sitting in America right now help support the Pakistani Government, the Pakistani military, with his or her taxpayer dollars if, in fact, the Pakistani military has been supporting or at least been knowing about these safe havens in Pakistan that attack you in Afghanistan?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I take that question very seriously, because clearly our support – both our military support and our civilian support for any nation – depends upon whether we think it’s productive, whether we think it is in the interest of our goals and our values. And for a long time we’ve had – to put it, I think, charitably – an inconsistent relationship with Pakistan, which they remind us of every time I meet with them. They believe that we have abandoned them on several occasions when they thought their security was at risk.

So this is a complicated relationship. And therefore, I think we have to be aware of and even sensitive to how we are viewed, and they need to be aware of and sensitive to how they are viewed. Both of our publics right now are quite hostile to the other nation. Yet at the same time, I make the argument that it would be far better for us to work together, because I believe it will benefit Pakistan and the United States to do so. At the end of the day, that’s a choice that the Pakistanis have to make. And we’re going to see what choice they intend to make.

QUESTION: And if I could, just – I know I’ve got no time, but just one last question. It’s not only about militants crossing the border. Are the materials of the bombs that are killing U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan also coming from Pakistan? And if so, what are you going to ask them to do about it?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think some of them are. I think the so-called IEDs, the improvised explosive devices, are coming in large measure from Pakistan. And I had a very long conversation about this back in July when I was in Pakistan. And I had to explain – and I really think that to some of the leadership of Pakistan, it was something that they hadn’t quite put together before – that an ingredient of fertilizer is a key chemical ingredient in explosives. And we had to learn the hard way after the Oklahoma City bombing and we had to take steps in the United States to be able to regulate and control ammonium nitrate and related chemicals. We even had to figure out how to tag it so that we could follow the trail.

That was all new to the Pakistanis. And so I think they are beginning to take action on that. We just are going to press for even more.

QUESTION: Thank you very much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. Good to talk to you.

# # #

Interview With Mujahid Kakar of Tolo TV


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
U.S. Embassy Kabul
Kabul, Afghanistan
October 20, 2011

QUESTION: First of all, Madam Secretary, welcome to Afghanistan.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. I’m very happy to be back here.

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, you’re trying to advance something, which Afghanistan is in a very critical state. On one hand, the Afghanistan (inaudible) Pakistan is in trouble. (Inaudible) also we have some difficulties. What do you think, somehow the – how much it might be make difficult problem for the United States, or how much impact it have for the U.S. mission in Afghanistan?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well first, I think what I believe is that progress has been made in Afghanistan. We’re sitting here talking in a way that was unthinkable 10 years ago. There have been great advances on behalf of women and human rights, education, health care, so much else. But there’s also a very clear need to continue fighting those who would undermine this progress. At the same time though, we know that there is no military solution to bringing peace and stability to Afghanistan.

So we have to do three things simultaneously: We have to fight, we have to talk, and we have to build. And I’m here to assess all three of those and how we can do better in each. We need to send a very clear message to the Taliban and those who support them in sanctuaries and safe havens and funding sources that we will not give an inch to them and their desire to turn the progress in Afghanistan backwards. Yet we also need to reach out and talk with those who are willing to reconcile on the three terms that have been laid out: Renounce violence, break with al-Qaida, and respect the laws and constitution of Afghanistan, including protecting the rights of minorities and women. And we need to continue to build a new Afghanistan.

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, the U.S. was carry out type of attacks like in (inaudible). Do you think because most people in Afghanistan think that after the attack on the U.S. Embassy, especially the statements that which was made in the United States that the Haqqani Network is close to the (inaudible), do you think the U.S. will clear out these type of attacks?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think if you look at the news in the last several days, there has been a very effective joint operation by Afghan and coalition international forces to go after Haqqani operatives inside of Afghanistan. And there’s also been efforts to target those who are leaders inside the safe havens in Pakistan. This is not an either or problem. There are problems, yes, in Pakistan that contribute to the conflict in Afghanistan. But there are also problems in Afghanistan that we have to address. So we are taking a comprehensive approach and going after the problems where we see them.

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, with pressure on Iran, especially after the arranged assassination plan against the Saudi ambassador in Washington, people think that Iran might retaliate or somehow fight back. Do you think Iran will choose Afghanistan to fight back against the U.S.?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think Iran is trying to cause trouble everywhere. I don’t think that Afghanistan is immune. I don’t think any place in the region is immune, and they tried to bring that state-sponsored terrorism to our shores with their planned attack on the Saudi ambassador. Iran is just in a trouble-making mood. I think that’s fair to say. So we all have to be on alert to make sure that they’re not causing trouble here or elsewhere in the world.

QUESTION: Madam, about the Strategic Partnership between Afghanistan and the United States, there were some differences, especially Afghan Government had some issues over the (inaudible). So do you think there is any progress on these issues?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, I think we are making progress, because the Strategic Partnership document covers a wide range of issues that are important to the enduring partnership between the United States and Afghanistan. There are some issues that are more challenging than others, and we are addressing them in a very thorough way. Our ambassador and representatives of the Afghan Government are working through all of those issues. But I’m quite confident we’re going to reach a resolution, because we want to demonstrate clearly to the people of Afghanistan, to the wider region, and the world, that the United States will not abandon Afghanistan.

QUESTION: Thank you very much, Mrs. Secretary.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. Good to talk to you.

# # #

Interview With Whit Johnson of CBS


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Kabul, Afghanistan
October 20, 2011

Please attribute the following content to an interview with CBS News

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, thank you very much for granting this interview. We have some breaking news happening right now. Several reports coming out of Tripoli that Qadhafi has either been captured or killed; can you confirm any of this?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Whit, I can’t confirm it. I know that this was a subject of a lot of conversation when I was in Tripoli, but I will wait to comment on it until we know whether it’s true and which is true, if either.

QUESTION: Could you at least comment on what that would mean for the NTC for something like this to happen?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Right. I think it would mean a lot to them. They were fighting so hard to get Sirte, which is Qadhafi’s hometown, and to try to end the fighting phase of their revolution and begin the building phase. And they knew that if Qadhafi remains at large, he will continue to buy mercenaries, to cause problems for them, and if they know that he is no longer a threat to them, I think that will actually ease the transition process into a new government.

QUESTION: Do you believe that the end of Qadhafi would mean the end of fighting altogether? And do you think there could be some pockets of resistance?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I do, and they do too. They know that there will be. I mean, the fighters who streamed out of Sirte, the families of the fighters, there is going to be a population of people – a small one, but nevertheless one that has to be contended with – who believe they were better off because of Qadhafi.

If you were from Sirte, where he just put money everywhere he could to make his hometown feel better, you’re going to be more concerned about a non-Qadhafi regime than if you are from Bengazi, which he totally neglected and really did everything he could to break. So yes, there will be some, but I think it will be limited if Qadhafi is not active. I think a lot of people will find a reason to reconcile and move forward in a new Libya.

There’s also a concern as to how we disarm – or how the Libyans disarm everybody who has weapons, because most of the people who were doing the fighting had never even fired a gun before. They were doctors and businesspeople and dentists and lawyers and students. And so they’re now awash with weapons in Libya, and a lot of the warehouses of all the weapons that Qadhafi had stocked have either gone missing or are in hands of those who need to be disarmed.

So that’s a big concern. It’s a big concern for the United States, it’s a big concern for the Libyans.

QUESTION: I want to shift gears a little bit. We’re here in Afghanistan 10 years after the war began. Once again, you’re promoting this idea of a political solution, peace negotiations between the Afghans, the Pakistanis and the Taliban. President Karzai recently has been resistant to this idea. The Pakistanis, the Taliban seem uninterested. What is it about now, the timing right now, the developments on the ground that leads you to believe that this could actually happen?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think with – this is probably the first time in 10 years that it’s realistic, and I think in large measure because of the decision of President Obama made to surge forces into Afghanistan that was matched to an extent by our international partners so that the momentum of the Taliban was reversed. And they are very much at a disadvantage now in many parts of Afghanistan. Now they can still pull off the suicide mission; unfortunately that’s all too common in many places in the world today. But they don’t control territory the way they once did. The Afghan security forces have much improved.

So it seems to us that now is the time to say, “Okay, we can keep fighting you and we intend to, because if you’re going to fight us, we’re not going to give you an inch, but we’re ready to talk if you’re ready to talk.” And you’re right that President Karzai was deeply distressed by the murder of Professor Rabbani, but I think he too believes that there is no military solution. We can keep fighting, we can keep killing them, they can kill a few Afghans and unfortunately Americans and others, but if we’re really going to try to resolve this, then we should at least explore whether talking is possible, and that’s what we intend to do.

QUESTION: How do you get the Pakistanis on board, though? They’ve said that they’re not interested. They deny their connections to some of these militant groups and their safe havens in Pakistan. How do you bring them into the fold after 10 years and convince them, especially with some of the mixed messages that have been coming from Washington, that now is the time?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, that’s what we’re going to be discussing tonight. I think it is in their interests to make it clear that they want to see a peace process. I don’t know that they would ever say that they have any control over or even any knowledge of the activities of these Taliban groups and the Haqqani Network. But if they publicly say it’s time for there to be a peace process, that sends a really powerful message to the Pakistani establishment and to the Taliban that there is a change coming, that there needs to be a concerted effort to explore this.

QUESTION: Do you think you can get them to publicly say that on this trip?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I don’t know. I don’t – well, probably not on this trip, because they wouldn’t want to look like they were, but I think that this has got to be something they consider, because what are their alternatives? There is going to be an Afghan security force, there’s going to be an enduring American presence, there’s going to be an enduring NATO presence. Even as we draw down our combat troops, there will still be troops in Afghanistan to support Afghan security.

I mean, what is their alternative? Do they want to keep this up or would they like to turn their attention to developing their own countries, to dealing with their economic problems which are so immense? So, I mean, this is a turning point for them to make some serious choices.

QUESTION: I want to talk more about those safe havens. President Obama ordered U.S. troops on the ground in Pakistan kill Usama bin Ladin because he killed thousands of Americans. We know that these safe havens are producing fighters who are killing Americans as well. I mean, how far is the U.S. willing to go in crushing those safe havens? And could that include someday putting American troops on the ground in Pakistan?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Whit, let me put it this way. The Pakistanis were very helpful to us in our pursuit of al-Qaida in Pakistan. They too had sought safe haven in Pakistan. And our goal, our primary goal in Afghanistan and Pakistan was to dismantle and defeat al-Qaida. And we could not have done it without the support of the Pakistanis. Until recently, these other groups – in particular, the Haqqani Network – were not targeting Americans. We were certainly in the line of fire because we were fighting alongside the Afghans and we were taking the fight to the Afghan Taliban.

But something has changed. The Haqqani Network is now targeting Americans. They attacked this embassy that we’re sitting in today. That changes our calculation. And the Pakistanis need to understand that – that what was acceptable before may no longer be acceptable. Now how we work together, how we create new modes of cooperation, that’s what we have to discuss, and we will, starting tonight.

QUESTION: I have to get your response on Admiral Mullen’s statements that the Haqqani Network is a veritable arm of the Pakistanis’ – Pakistan’s intelligence agency. Is that something that you agree with or disagree with? There have been some mixed messages, so to speak. Some people in the Administration have kind of walked that back. We, CBS News, interviewed Leon Panetta recently and he said that he stands behind Admiral Mullen. What’s your message when you go to Pakistan tomorrow?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think what we do know is that there are elements within the Pakistani military and the ISI who support the militants. We have known that for a long time. My first trip to Pakistan, I said publicly that I found it hard to believe that there were not people in the Pakistani Government who did not know where Usama bin Ladin was.

And I think the same goes for the Haqqani Network; they know where they are, they know their address, they know their activities. Now whether that is a leadership decision, a policy decision or down the ranks, we cannot with any certainty say that, which is why sometimes you hear people say, “Well, we’re not so sure,” because the exact facts we cannot verify.

But the point that Admiral Mullen was making is the right point, that there are connections between the military and ISI and the Haqqani Network. Those connections may not have been as much of a concern in the past because they were, frankly, not as focused on Americans in the past. They are now.

QUESTION: So to a degree, you agree with those statements?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes, but again, I want to be careful in saying that we try to get as much evidence as possible. We are comfortable saying there are connections; whether we can characterize it further, that’s not so clear. But the connections are provable.

QUESTION: How would you characterize our relationship with Pakistan after those statements?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, it’s complicated. I mean, look, there are people in the Pakistani Government who can, with an absolute clear conscience, deny that. They do not believe it. And they do not think we are being fair to them when we say it. There are others who know something, but for a combination of reasons are not about to share that with us. And there are others who are complicitous.

So it runs the gamut, and probably the best way of describing it is that the Pakistanis look at us and they say, “Come on. Give me a break. You’re the one who introduced the idea of organized Jihadi groups in Pakistan and Afghanistan when you used them to defeat the Soviet Union. You came to us, you said, ‘Use these groups, we will help fund you, we will help train them’ and we did. And then you left us when the Soviet Union fell and we had to cope with it. And we’re not as strong a nation as the United States is, and so did we hedge? Yeah, we hedged. Did we make some alliances for our own benefit? Yeah, we did. Okay, so now you’re here saying, ‘Forget the past. Help us defeat these guys.’”

So it’s not a totally one-sided story, and I always like to remind our American colleagues of that. The Pakistanis have an argument that they make as well. So my hope is we can say, “Look, each of us bear responsibility for where we are today. But now let’s figure out and be smart enough to chart a new way forward.”

QUESTION: Okay. They cut me off. Thank you very much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: (Laughter.) Nice to talk to you. Good luck to you.

QUESTION: Nice to talk to you. Thank you very much.


Interview With Jill Dougherty of CNN


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Kabul, Afghanistan
October 20, 2011

Please attribute the following content to an interview with CNN News.

QUESTION: Secretary Clinton, thank you very much for talking with CNN. You’ve seen these reports coming out of Libya about Qadhafi. He could be captured. What do you know about that?

SECRETARY CLINTON: We cannot confirm it yet, Jill. We have seen the reports, and we want to wait until there is evidence, because we’ve had reports in the past. But certainly, the concerted effort that the Libyans made to liberate Sirte, which was Qadhafi’s hometown, seems to have gone very well, and we’ll wait and see whether it included the capture or killing of Qadhafi.

QUESTION: If it is true, what would it mean?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Jill, I think it would add a lot of legitimacy and validation and relief to the formation of the new government. The TNC made it very clear when I was in Tripoli that they wanted to wait until Sirte fell before they declared Libya liberated and then started forming a new government.

But they knew that if Qadhafi were – or still is – at large, they would have continuing security problems that were deeply concerning to them, which they shared with me, because they had every reason to believe that he would try to marshal support, that he would pay for mercenaries, that he would engage and affect guerrilla warfare. So if he’s removed from the scene, there may still be those who would do so, but without the organizing figure of Qadhafi, and that makes a big difference.

QUESTION: Okay. So on to Pakistan, in more ways than one. On Pakistan, your comments were extraordinarily strong. We’ve never heard you say exactly that. What is your level of frustration right now?

SECRETARY CLINTON: It’s not frustration; it’s resolve. I mean, we have a job to do. And the job consists of fighting, talking, and building. And Pakistan can either be part of the solution on all three of those tracks or part of the problem, and we want to pose the choice as clearly as we can. We also believe, and have always believed, that what we are seeking in terms of cooperation from Pakistan is very much in Pakistan’s self interest and national security.

Up until recently, the primary focus of our efforts in Pakistan were the dismantling and defeat of al-Qaida, and the Pakistanis were helpful. They were cooperative and have continued to be as we have been successful in not only removing Usama bin Ladin but others that were principal leaders of al-Qaida. So we do think we’ve severely damaged al-Qaida.

And then in recent months, we’ve seen the Haqqani Network turn from being a fighting force to one that is deliberately targeting American targets, like this embassy that we’re sitting in. We cannot tolerate that. And the safe haven in Pakistan from which they launch these attacks has nothing to do with the Taliban coming back into Afghanistan. It has nothing to do with Pakistan hedging against India or whatever the explanation is. It has to do with this group that has a safe haven in Pakistan targeting Americans. And that changes the calculation for us, and it should change the calculation for the Pakistanis.

QUESTION: Could the strategy be a dangerous one? Because, I mean, in essence you are saying it’s up to them, it’s up to the Pakistanis. It was very much you were pinning this on the Pakistanis. And if they don’t cooperate, if they don’t do more, does that mean that the Afghan strategy goes down the tubes?

SECRETARY CLINTON: No, not at all. I think we’ve made it very clear that we cannot tolerate safe havens on either side of the border. There has been a concerted, successful effort against Haqqani fighters carried out by American and Afghan troops over the last several days. There has been an effort to target Haqqani Network leaders. That will continue, because it is intolerable for us to stand aside and allow these attacks against anyone, but in particular, speaking as the Secretary of State of the United States, against Americans.

Now, but remember there are two other elements here. We want to start talking. We believe that the time has come. I personally attribute the timing to President Obama’s decision to put more troops on the ground and to have our allies also add more troops. We have reversed the momentum of the Taliban. So how do we take advantage of that? It is now time to see whether there is an appetite for any kind of negotiations that would lead to a reconciliation.

The Pakistanis should be publicly in favor of that. So far, they have not yet been. But we are seeking a public statement of support for Taliban reconciliation, because that will send a message to those Taliban who wish to reconcile that they can do so without fear of retaliation inside Pakistan from either their fellow Taliban or other extremist groups.

So this is like a multidimensional chess game, Jill, and there are many moving parts to it. But one piece that is non-negotiable is you cannot target Americans and expect there to be no change in our approach.

QUESTION: Do you understand President Karzai’s decision or these recent comments about talking with the Taliban? He seemed at one point to be saying, “This is it. I’m not doing it.” Today he said, “I want an address. I want to know where their – their controlled.” Do you understand what he’s saying?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes, I do. I mean, first of all, the assassination of Professor Rabbani was intended to be, and certainly was, a great blow to the hopes of reconciliation. He was a widely respected figure who represented all of Afghanistan. And it’s only understandable that President Karzai and other Afghans would be shocked and horrified and not wanting to talk about any kind of peace or reconciliation for some time.

Having thought about it, President Karzai, I think, has taken the right position, which is fine. I’m willing to talk, but only if there’s an address, because remember, Rabbani was killed by someone pretending to be a peace emissary from the Quetta Shura, and instead was an assassin, a suicide assassin. So I think President Karzai is being quite sensible. He’s saying we want to pursue this, but no more of this one-off kind of activity. You give us an address, give us a formal, proper process, and we will be there.

QUESTION: There was a moment in which, today, you were talking to President Karzai about Cain – (laughter) – Cain and the comments. When you are traveling around the world, how hard is it when other leaders, leaders of other countries, say, “What’s going on in your country with this election?”

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I have to say that was the very first thing President Karzai said to me, was, “I saw this news report, and there is a man running for president who says he doesn’t care what the names of the people in this area are.” (Laughter.) And then he said, “And I saw you on TV with President Karimov,” the president of Uzbekistan, and I said, “Yeah. That was when I was there before. I’m on the way again.” But I’m not going to get involved in the Republican primary, but President Karzai has an opinion, I must tell you.

QUESTION: But it does affect foreign policy, doesn’t it? I mean, they’re asking you to explain this.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think it’s good to be reminded in American politics from time to time that everything we do is now seen everywhere in the world, and it really matters to people how people in the public eye in America are viewing them.

QUESTION: Secretary Clinton, thank you very much.


Interview With Kim Ghattas of BBC


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Kabul, Afghanistan
October 20, 2011

Please attribute the following content to an interview with BBC News.

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, thank you very much for talking to the BBC. We’re in Afghanistan, but you’re about to travel to Pakistan with a very high-profile delegation of American officials – the head of the CIA, the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – and you are going to push Pakistan very hard; these are your words. Tell us more.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Kim, as you know because you have followed this for quite some time, we have gotten cooperation from Pakistan on some very key counterterrorism objectives, but we cannot any longer tolerate the safe havens that are run out of Pakistan. Now, there are also safe havens on the other side of the border in Afghanistan, but of course, they are more susceptible to Afghan-U.S. coalition efforts. And we want to make it very clear to the Pakistani Government that the time has come for them to make a fundamental choice. They have taken courageous action against the Pakistani Taliban, and they’ve lost 30,000 Pakistanis to terrorism in just 10 years, which is an extraordinary sacrifice. But in our assessment, they can and must do more.

So we want to have a very open, serious conversation about what they are able to do, what they are willing to do, so that there is no misunderstanding between us because we need to simultaneously, as I said at the press conference, be fighting, talking, and building. And in each of those categories, the Pakistanis have a role to play. They can either be helpful, or indifferent, or harmful. And we’re hoping that we can convince them to be helpful in our efforts.

QUESTION: During the press conference, you said it was time for people to declare themselves. Are you going to ask the Pakistanis to clarify whether they’re with you or against you or exactly on whose side they’re on?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we are going to ask them publicly to support the process of reconciliation and peace negotiations. We think it’s a very important signal to be sent from the Pakistani Government. We’re going to ask them to squeeze the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network to make it very clear to those groups that there is not going to be continuing acquiescence and maybe even assistance to them coming from Pakistan, and in doing so to send a message not only to Afghanistan but to the larger region that we need to get beyond this conflict. We need to get into a new period of cooperation where we can be engaging in more economic activity, for example. So yes, we’re going to ask them to declare themselves.

QUESTION: But why would you think that they would suddenly see the world through your eyes? They have their own calculations, they have their own long-term objectives, and even President Obama said the Pakistanis are hedging their bets.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we know they are, and they have been, and what we want to do is point out that it’s a bad bet to hedge on, that there are better bets to make, and there are better bets that will more directly benefit the government and people of Pakistan. Now, they’re a sovereign nation; they can make whatever decisions they choose. But they need to know that we are not going to tolerate these safe havens; we cannot afford to do so. We are trying to bring the international operation in Afghanistan to a resolution. I think the timetable helps focus everyone’s attention, and therefore, it is now imperative that people support a peaceful resolution, a negotiation. And those of the Taliban and other groups who are willing to negotiate should be encouraged to do so, and those who are not should be told they’re going to be captured or killed, and that that is the choice to them. So that’s what we’re looking for.

QUESTION: You indeed said in the press conference as well that you will seek the militants, wherever they are, on both sides of the border. What is the U.S. preparing to – what is the U.S. prepared to do to make that happen without a confrontation with the Pakistanis?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we have made it clear to the Pakistanis, as we have sought out al-Qaida operatives who directly threaten us, we see a growing threat from these other groups. Historically, that wasn’t the case. They were focused on Afghanistan, some were focused on Pakistan, but now we see as the recent attacks right here on our Embassy certainly convinced us of, that these groups pose a threat to the United States. No country can tolerate that, and we’re going to make that very clear.

QUESTION: You call the Pakistanis your allies and your friends, but you really are at war with them.


QUESTION: Perhaps their proxy, but you are war with them.

SECRETARY CLINTON: No, no. I think that’s an overstatement, and it is not reflective of reality. They are our partners. They have been very useful partners to us in our struggle against al-Qaida. There’s no doubt about that. That was our highest priority. Remember that our primary goal was the dismantling and eventual defeat of al-Qaida. We are on the path to do that right here in this region. So I want to make it very clear that the Pakistanis have been good partners and very helpful. They also went after the Pakistani Taliban who were connected with the Afghan Taliban, again, at great sacrifice. So yes, they’ve done a lot to protect themselves, and by extension, to assist us.

But now the environment is changing in two important ways. On the one hand, because of the troops that President Obama ordered into Afghanistan, we have reversed the momentum of the Taliban in Afghanistan, which is why they’re at all interested in perhaps pursuing peace. But they’re under tremendous pressure from other elements within Pakistan itself not to do so. That needs to change. And secondly, because of the increasing threat from these groups that did not used to target American targets, we have to defend ourselves. And so that must be made very clear to the Pakistanis, and we think that calls for a new level of cooperation, which is what we’re seeking.

QUESTION: And if not, if you don’t get that cooperation, will that visit have been a last-stitch effort at engagement with the Pakistanis?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I’d never want to predict what is or isn’t going to happen. I think we have a lot to discuss, and we have a lot of common objectives. We just have to try to get better aligned and make common cause on getting these sanctuaries removed as a threat either to them or to us.

QUESTION: I want to move away or back to where we were when we started this trip to Libya. There are reports that Colonel Muammar Qadhafi may have been captured. I don’t know if you can confirm those.

SECRETARY CLINTON: I cannot confirm. I literally got the same reports as you were walking in. I cannot confirm them at this time.

QUESTION: Regardless of whether he has been captured or not, the Transitional National Council has expressed concern about the instability that Colonel Qadhafi could be sowing in the country. He has apparently hired or recruited fighters to lead a counterrevolution in the country, and that could lead to instability in the country, whether he gets captured or not. We all saw what happened in Iraq after the fall of Baghdad. How concerned are you about this for Libya, and how – to what extent did the Libyan officials that you met with in Tripoli express that same concern?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we discussed it at length because of course it’s a concern. The Libyans know that they have to finish the job, which is why the fall of Sirte, if that is confirmed, is so important. But even with the fall of Sirte and the ability of the TNC to control much of Libya going forward, Qadhafi and his associates pose a threat. So we discussed about the need for there to continue to be vigilance and attention paid to where he is, where his sons are, where other of his associates are. So it’s too soon to tell whether this unconfirmed report might be true, but it’s important that we stay with the Libyans while they try to eliminate those direct threats to their security.

QUESTION: But do you think that he has laid the ground for instability, perhaps for an insurgency in the country regardless of what happens to him?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Unclear. Unclear. I think that he would be the rallying point. Perhaps one of his sons or another associate could as well. It depends upon how much money or gold he has left, because that would be important to those whom he hired, because he clearly would have to rely primarily on mercenary force. So I don’t want to speculate because we are taking this as it goes, trying to get the information and verify it, but I certainly assured the Libyans, as I know the rest of the international coalition that worked to enforce the Security Council resolutions did, that we would remain vigilant and we would remain supportive with respect to their security.

QUESTION: Just a question on North Korea. You’ve announced that there will be face-to-face exploratory talks between American and North Korean officials in Geneva, and American officials have said that’s because it’s important to keep the door open to engagement. Why? I mean, that door has been pretty closed over the last two years. What’s changed?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, as you know, we’ve had some preliminary discussions over the last several months, and there has always been a willingness on our part to meet with the North Koreans so long as they met certain conditions. And it had to be closely coordinated with our South Korean ally, it needed to be considered as part of the Six-Party framework. So I think this next meeting demonstrates that there’s a continuing interest and a continuing commitment on both sides to continue the conversation.

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, thank you very much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Always good to see you, Kim. Thank you.

Interview With Mike Viqueira of NBC News


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Kabul, Afghanistan
October 20, 2011

Please attribute the following content to an interview with NBC News

QUESTION: Thank you for sitting down with us. First, I’m sure you’re aware there’s some breaking news. What can you tell us about the reported capture of Colonel Qadhafi?

SECRETARY CLINTON: We cannot confirm it yet. We have obviously a great interest in knowing whether it is accurate not, because it would be a real turning point for Libya if true.

QUESTION: You spoke when you were there just the other day of the militias and the need to unify them, of the fact that sort of a clock starts when and if Colonel Qadhafi is accounted for. Can you describe the importance of getting this – not this – well, him out of the way, literally?

SECRETARY CLINTON: In my conversations with the TNC leadership, they made very clear that they recognize they have a lot of work ahead of them. They have to try to unify the country, unify all the militias under a unitary command. They have to disarm a lot of people who have acquired the thousands of weapons that Qadhafi had stockpiled. And that they worried that if Qadhafi were still at large, he would be waging guerilla war against them, that he would be recruiting mercenaries, paying with the gold that they believe he had absconded with.

So if he is removed from the picture, I think there’s a big sigh of relief. The job is still daunting, but they won’t be quite as worried that they have to be constantly looking over their shoulder at him. Now, there still maybe be remnants of Qadhafi loyalists and they’ll have to contend with them, but I think removing him as the kind of organizing figure of a resistance is a very positive step if indeed it’s true.

QUESTION: I’d like to move on to Afghanistan, where we are today. Your appearance with President Karzai today – very tough on Pakistan – some of the language that you used with regard to the safe havens (inaudible) the Haqqani Network. My question is this relationship that various officials have described, from you yourself to Admiral Mullen, that the Pakistanis have, I mean, certain elements of the Pakistani military and the ISI have with the Haqqani Network, has existed for a long time. I mean, we can assume that the Pakistanis have this relationship because it’s in their self-interest. Why, with the United States having a definite timetable (inaudible) draw down beginning this year, why should the Pakistanis listen to these pleas or these demands, or however you want to phrase it, for them to cut these relations?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think that there are a couple of reasons why this has become more urgent. As I said at the press conference, we think we have to fight, talk, and build all at the same time. And we are on a timetable, although the United States and our NATO allies have pledged an enduring commitment to Afghanistan. And the Afghan security forces are becoming much more able.

So what does that mean? It means that we have to fight effectively, and it’s very hard to do with the safe havens. Part of what has happened the last two and a half years, I would argue, is that we reversed the momentum of the Taliban. They do not have the kind of reach in the country that they did before. But the Haqqani Network has become even more active. They’ve always been on the battlefield, but they didn’t target the American Embassy before. I consider that a very important change in their emphasis and one that we cannot ignore and we cannot let the Pakistanis ignore. If their embassy had been targeted somewhere, I’m sure they would also take it personally, which I do, with the hundreds and hundreds of Americans and Afghans who work out of this Embassy.

So our point is very simple: The safe havens on both sides of the border pose a threat to both sides of the border. And the Pakistanis, whatever calculation they made in the past may no longer hold true. They may think it does, but in fact, they are allowing the extremists to gain even greater reach and lethality in their country, which is a threat to them.

So we want to go through the fighting issues with them. We want to go through the talking issues. We want to see them support Afghan peace and reconciliation publicly. And we want to talk about building, because there’s a vision, which we call the New Silk Road vision, that would have Pakistan and Afghanistan trading economically in ways that would benefit both of their people tremendously, and opening up markets all the way into Central Asia and down to the coast.

So our case to them is whatever worked in the past, we do not believe can be permitted to continue. And equally importantly, we don’t think it works for you or for us, and we cannot tolerate it.

QUESTION: The reaction of many of the Afghans – we saw pictures in the previous couple of hours since the press conference – is we’ve all been seeing congressional delegations come here and they talk very tough about the Haqqani Network, and even the Pakistanis, the ISI and that linkage that you outlined, but then they go to Pakistan and they sing a different tune. Will you be tough on the Pakistanis publicly and privately as you were today when you are there?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think if you look at what I’ve said in Pakistan in the last two and a half years, that is pretty much what I’ve tried to do. I try to be as straightforward as I can. It was my first visit to Pakistan when I said I found it hard to believe that nobody in the Pakistani Government knew where Usama bin Ladin was. They were all shocked and surprised, and I was very clear that at some point al-Qaida is our primary target and we are going to seek out and find them. And if they’re here, you need to understand that. And indeed, that is what happened.

Well, similarly now that we’ve got the Haqqani Network trying to assault our Embassy, we cannot act as though that is not a direct threat to the United States. Of course, they have on the battlefield killed Americans in combat, but this is a threat to a symbol of our country in a way that I think elevates the real imperative for us to tell the Pakistanis we have to take joint action, they have to step up and move on these sanctuaries.

QUESTION: I just have – the way you construct that – they’ve attacked the Embassy and therefore we have to go against them – but they’ve existed for a long time.


QUESTION: We’re here to get bad guys who attacked us to begin with. So why now the escalation?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, but I mean, first of all, al-Qaida was our primary target. I mean, we all said that. And when President Obama announced his Afghanistan-Pakistan policy, it was focused on dismantling and defeating al-Qaida.

With the killing of Usama bin Ladin, with the killing of the top members with the exception of Zawahiri of al-Qaida, we see that we’ve made real progress on that goal. Now, you would think that the Pakistanis would say to themselves, “The Americans have really done a good job on al-Qaida and we’ve actually helped them,” which they have. So now Haqqani, who we have some contact with, even if it’s only just to figure out what they’re doing, are not only on the battlefield where they’ve been for years, but they conduct this brazen attack on the American Embassy? And we’re going to act like it’s business as usual? I don’t think so.

QUESTION: Earlier today, you had an interesting discussion with President Karzai about American politics, and I’m wondering if I could – (laughter). I wonder if I could pursue that a little bit, because there was a debate last night in the United States in Las Vegas. Every candidate, every Republican candidate on that stage, says they want to cut foreign aid. One of them, Rick Perry I believe it was, wants us to get out of the United Nations, cut foreign aid to everyone but – Israel is one of them. What’s your reaction to that kind of attitude, and are they speaking to a desire on the part of Americans?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I don’t know. It’s the heat of a campaign. There are debates going on. A lot of things are said. I’m not going to get involved in the Republican primary. I have every reason to believe and actually —

QUESTION: But does it undercut you as you travel the world and —

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, no, because I think President Obama is going to be reelected and therefore we’re going to maintain what I consider to be a robust and effective foreign policy, which includes defense, diplomacy, and development.

QUESTION: We’re out of time, but I just want to – just the fact that President Karzai brought it up —


QUESTION: — people are paying attention to that. People think that’s a reflection of some sentiment in the United States. Doesn’t that get in the way of what you’re trying to accomplish?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think it’s a good reminder to all of us back home that the world is watching what we say and they do take it seriously. But I am not going to comment on the Republican primary. I’ll leave that to Republicans.

QUESTION: I knew you’d say that. (Laughter.) Thank you, Madam Secretary.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Good to talk to you. Thank you.

# # #

Interview With Wendell Goler of Fox


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Kabul, Afghanistan
October 20, 2011

Please attribute the following content to an interview with FOX News

QUESTION: With respect, if I could ask you, a source has confirmed to Fox that Muammar Qadhafi has been captured, injured in Sirte. What does that mean for the Libyan people?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first, we can’t confirm yet what exactly has happened. But I think it would bring a sigh of relief to a lot of Libyans. Because they expressed to me their concern when I was in Tripoli, two days ago, that if he remained at large, even after they liberated Sirte and declared that the entire country was liberated, that he would wage a guerrilla war against them, that he would recruit mercenaries and pay out of the stocks of gold that they think he has secreted.

So if it is true, then that is one more obstacle removed from being able to get on with the business of announcing a government and trying to unify the country. They have a very steep climb ahead of them, as you know, to try to bring together Libya, build institutions, start on a new path to the future. Having him out of the picture, I think, will give them more breathing space.

QUESTION: Now (inaudible) this region, you today articulated a new formulation of your Afghan/Pakistan strategy: fight, talk, and build. President Karzai has broken off talks with the Taliban. The Pakistanis haven’t mounted the fight that you want them to wage in the tribal areas. How do you get to build?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yeah. I think that we have to do all three simultaneously. We do have to keep fighting, and we are. We are seeking an end to the sanctuaries on both sides of the border. We have to do more on this side, and we expect to do more and see the Pakistanis step up and do more on their side.

On the talking path, President Karzai has made clear that he’s not going to respond to offers, as unfortunately was the case with the suicide bomber who killed Professor Rabbani. He’s going to want a proper process. He’s going to want, as he says, an address where the negotiations can be held and where we know who it is that’s negotiating. I think that’s absolutely appropriate. So we intend to work with him for an Afghan-led process to try to put together talks that will lead to either determining whether there are some Taliban who wish to abide by the red lines – cease violence, break off with al-Qaida, respect the laws and constitution of Afghanistan, including the rights of minorities and women – or not. So we want to test that, and so does he.

And on the building side, there’s a lot of good work that has been and is going on here in Afghanistan. But the security problems, as they would be in any country, interfere with and undermine what could be the potential of that work being realized. So we have to continue to build while we try to fight and talk in order to increase the environment’s susceptibility to moving toward the outcome we seek.

QUESTION: Pakistan’s Army chief says Afghans should look inward to solve their problems. Is he telling you that, or is he only saying it for domestic consumption?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think that he is saying it because, to some extent, Pakistan does believe that Afghanistan has to deal with its own problems and that they have problems. I mean, if you’re sitting on the Pakistani side of the border, you say, “Look, we’ve lost 30,000 people to terrorism in the last 10 years, so we know what it’s like. We’re trying to deal with the many different forces at work in our society, so don’t blame us for all your problems.”

Nobody would be fair to say that all of either problems are anybody else’s fault. There do have to be decisions made in both Pakistan and Afghanistan to strengthen democracy and democratic institutions to deal with the security challenges. But what we are asking the Pakistanis to do is to step up their cooperation in shutting down the safe havens. Because it’s very hard to have a successful military campaign if the people you are seeking are constantly moving back across the border or if the operations that you are defending against are being planned and executed from safe havens across the border. You saw the news today. I mean, the Turks are chasing after the PKK, who killed 24 of their soldiers, and they’re doing it by going into northern Iraq, because that’s where the safe havens are.

So we have to come to a meeting of the minds about how we are going to resolve what I see as mutual threats to both countries arising from the same kind of extremism and violence that these groups propagate.

QUESTION: Former Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Mullen said the Haqqani Net is a veritable arm of Pakistan’s main intelligence agency. The Pakistanis deny that. Do you need to show them proof? Do you intend to?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we believe we do have evidence that elements within the Pakistani Government are certainly in contact with, know about, turning a blind eye to, at the very least, the Haqqani Network’s operations out of Pakistan. And this is a source of discussion, because as in any government, there are members of the Pakistani Government who, sitting here today, could pass a lie detector test that they know nothing and they do not believe it and they reject it out of hand. And then there are those who we believe are actively involved, and various levels of involvement and knowledge along the spectrum.

So we want to make it clear that the fact they are operating out of Pakistan, whether or not anybody is involved with them, is reason enough for us to be concerned, and therefore we need to join forces to end their safe haven.

QUESTION: Do you intend to show them proof of that?

SECRETARY CLINTON: We have shared information with them, and we will continue to do so.

QUESTION: Next week, the U.S. – on another subject – will meet with (inaudible) with North Korea. What do you want to hear from them? What do you expect to hear from them?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, as you know, we have had some preliminary conversations with the North Koreans over the last several months, in conjunction with closely collaborating with our South Korean friends, to determine whether they are serious about resuming negotiations on a range of issues, and most particularly from our perspective the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

They seem to be open to continuing the discussions, so we are pursuing those. We also know that there’s an interest in returning to the Six-Party Talks, to the framework that was put in place several years ago. We would like to see the agreement that was reached through the Six-Party Talks in 2005 actually implemented, so that’s one of the issues that we’ll be discussing with them.

But I think that it’s always important for us to hold the North Koreans accountable. There are certain steps we expect them to take, but if they are willing to be open to conversation with us and with the South Koreans, that we respond.

QUESTION: Do you expect to see measurable progress in this next meeting that —

SECRETARY CLINTON: Too soon to tell. Too soon to tell. But we – it’s the kind of situation where I think we’re willing to go and listen. But we have to see steps taken to go much further.

QUESTION: Thank you.



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