Posts Tagged ‘Inside the State Department’

Hillary Clinton is gifted above and beyond the rest of us.  Those of us who hang out here know that.  It is why we are here!  So when stories crop up about gifts she has received, we are all eyes and ears. Some people have sewed gifts for her using their best sewing machine.  As Secretary of State, she brought gifts with her to present to personages she was visiting.  This documentary from National Geographic has a segment about that.

If you have never seen this video, I hope you can see it here.  Here Inside the State Department from National Geographic.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

or here.

We see that, prior to trips, the Secretary of State chose and brought gifts along for those she was about to visit.

In turn, she received gifts.  These were not personal gifts, however.  They belonged, from the start, to us.  Hillary did not keep them.  She could not.  They were property of the U.S. government from the moment they were given.

Nonetheless, when I see stories like these, I think  – well, yes.  If I were a Saudi Sheikh, I would give her jewels too!  I would want to bedeck her in gems.  Hillary is so beautiful inside and out.  Yes, I would shower her with precious crystals, metals, and stones – carefully.

If I were a Chinese official, though, I would give her a panda cub.  I think she would love that!  This little ball of fur is one on the Atlanta Twins.  So far so good with them, thank God and the great vets there!  I think Hillary would have been thrilled for us actually to have one not owned by China (alas that was not to happen), and I am sure she would have let us rotate as babysitters.  (Well, it’s still vacation time.  Daydreams are permitted.)

I have to say that I love the picture the New York Daily News chose for this story.

State Department reveals Hillary Clinton received $500K worth of jewelry from Saudi king

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden received expensive gifts from Saudi Arabia, Russia and China, among others.

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 31: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks about women's issues during an event at the State Department, January 31, 2013 in Washington DC. Secretary Clinton is an Ambassador at large for Global Women's Issues and helped the group launch four new initiatives valued at up to 86.5 million dollars.  (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton received expensive jewelry from Saudi Arabia and Brunei.

Foreign diplomacy doesn’t always resolve world-class problems, but it sure does rake in the swag.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was given a half-million bucks worth of diamond and ruby jewelry by Saudi Arabian King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz and received $58,000 worth of bling from Brunei. Imagine all the gold teeth she can get grafted on her teeth, she would intimidate all, if she doesnt already…

The lavish gifts were among a treasure trove of keepsakes bestowed upon U.S. leaders in 2012, the State Department disclosed Thursday.

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Here is another take on the same story.

$500K diamond-encrusted jewels, Cognac and a 41-inch saber: The lavish gifts given to President Obama, Hillary Clinton and others from foreign leaders

  • Saudi Arabian King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz gave Hillary Clinton diamond-and-ruby-encrusted jewels worth half a million dollars last year

  • The gift was disclosed by the State Department, which has released a complete list of items given to U.S. officials in 2012

By Hayley Peterson

Foreign leaders gave lavish gifts to a number of U.S. officials last year, including the Saudi Arabian king, who gave Hillary Clinton diamond-and-ruby-encrusted jewels worth half a million dollars.

Clinton’s gifts from King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz – which included a necklace, bracelet, earrings and a ring – were by far the most expensive items among the hundreds of gifts given to U.S. officials in 2012.

A complete list of the gifts received last year, as well as a couple dozen from previous years, were disclosed by the State Department on Thursday.

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, right, meets with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Friday, March 30, 201

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, right, meets with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

So, as summer wraps up and vacations end, it’s fun to speculate about the gifts she got for us by being so awesome, and what we might have had if China would only let us actually keep just one little panda. Nonetheless, we watch and hold our collective breath hoping these two little babies make it to day 100 and finally receive names – in the Chinese tradition.

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YAY!!!!! Finally!!!! THIS is what we have been waiting for!  I will post additional reminders later in the weekend.

Secretary Clinton to Deliver Remarks at National Geographic’s World Premiere of “Inside the State Department” on Monday, October 25, 2010

Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
October 22, 2010

WHAT:  World premiere screening of the National Geographic Channel special Inside the State Department.WHEN: Monday, October 25, 2010 

6:00 p.m. – Reception (CLOSED PRESS)

7:30 p.m. – Screening, Including Remarks from Secretary Clinton (OPEN PRESS); PHOTO CALL with Secretary Clinton will take place at 7:25 p.m.
About Inside the State Department
In a world of conflict, the United States faces challenges like never before. Confronting these challenges head-on are the dedicated and hardworking 60,000+ U.S. State Department employees in over 190 countries with an annual budget of more than $16 billion. International diplomacy knows no rest, so they are in constant motion. The State Department’s role on the world stage has never been more important and the stakes have never been higher. Its leader is arguably the most famous woman in the world, with a traveling staff providing 24/7 support. Now, the National Geographic Channel goes Inside the State Department to open a window into the efforts of the men and women representing critical U.S. interests abroad.
Inside the State Department premieres Monday, November 8, 2010, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on the National Geographic Channel (NGC). The special provides a behind-the-scenes perspective on the mission of the U.S. Department of State, its leader Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton and a staff of 60,000+ professionals engaged in operations spanning the globe, including hot spots like Pakistan and Afghanistan. Nat Geo cameras capture the moments behind closed doors with world leaders and top officials as Secretary Clinton and other key U.S. diplomats juggle pressing global issues facing the United States, pressuring and persuading allies and adversaries alike.
“This job is both a great privilege and an extraordinary challenge. We live on the balance beam of war and peace, of terrorism and stability, of poverty and prosperity,” Secretary Clinton tells National Geographic Channel in a one-hour interview for this documentary.
A top-notch State Department team works with Secretary Clinton to ensure the success of her trips to some of the most embattled regions on earth. We embark on a 20,000+ mile journey with the secretary as she makes stops around the globe, meeting with citizens and leaders face-to-face, including in New York City, Pakistan, Abu Dhabi, Jerusalem, Morocco, Egypt and Afghanistan.
“I am fortunate that at the State Department — with these more than 60,000 people — there’s a wealth of talent,” Secretary Clinton tells National Geographic Channel. “There are so many people who have the cultural understanding, the language skills, who know the history, and who are ready at a moment’s notice to drop anything in order to serve.”
We begin on U.S. soil in New York as Secretary Clinton and her team prepare for the U.N. General Assembly meeting. Our cameras follow the intense efforts of Diplomatic Security as agents transform two floors of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel into a secure facility and test-drive her route looking for potential choke points and ambush sites. Back in the hotel — temporary headquarters for the State Department staff — we take you inside as Clinton’s team prepares her for meetings with foreign leaders.
Next, we board the secretary’s military plane — nicknamed SAM for Special Air Mission — for a high-priority international journey. The first stop is Pakistan, where Clinton spends three days speaking directly to Pakistanis and holding formal meetings with the country’s leading officials. We follow along as Clinton visits an Islamic holy site, and then appears on an unscripted talk show with a live Pakistani audience. Watch as Clinton fields tough questions from Pakistani journalists in a candid exchange intended to help break barriers and move public opinion.
Next on the itinerary, Secretary Clinton visits Abu Dhabi for peace discussions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Clinton meets with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to persuade him to resume direct peace negotiations with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with whom Secretary Clinton meets during the next stop in Jerusalem. Secretary Clinton ends her trip with an unexpected stop in Cairo, Egypt, where she visits President Hosni Mubarak, a key player in Middle East peace.
“I believe strongly that the United States has to play the leading role in the world today on behalf of peace, prosperity and progress,” Secretary Clinton tells Nat Geo. “It’s not easy and there’s no magic formula for it, but I have seen the benefits of our engagement and our investments in other countries.”
We hear insight from members of the press corps who travel with Secretary Clinton on each trip. The New York Times’ Mark Landler comments, “Secretary Clinton, for starters, is not just a celebrity, but she’s a sort of mega-celebrity. She’s arguably the most famous woman in the world and it puts her on a different level when she meets with foreign leaders because they remember her when she was first lady and they recognize her as a political powerhouse in her own right.”
Back in Washington, D.C., we tour the “gift vault,” where items presented to foreign dignitaries on behalf of the president and secretary of state are stored, and meet one State Department staffer who handles the gifts. Containing some of the most intriguing and unique presents, the gift vault’s contents range from unique jewelry designed for princesses to sports memorabilia including personally autographed Shaquille O’Neal basketball shoes and Derek Jeter baseball bats.
Just days after returning to the U.S., Clinton’s staff prepares for their next trip abroad, including a stop in Kabul, Afghanistan, for the inauguration of President Hamid Karzai. With tens of thousands of active troops in Afghanistan, the U.S. needs a reliable strategic partner in Kabul. Spending only one night in Kabul, Secretary Clinton speaks directly with President Karzai about stability in Afghanistan, and how the government can deliver services and build confidence and loyalty among the citizens of Afghanistan.

“It is astounding to witness the brutal 16- to 20-hour days worked by Secretary Clinton and her team,” said Steve Hoggard, executive producer, who filmed Clinton on her trips abroad. “They only get a few hours of sleep and are constantly working at a rapid pace traveling from one destination to the next. I have truly been in awe of what they do to represent our county across the globe.”
Following Afghanistan, Secretary Clinton and her team prepare to depart again into a world of increasing complexity. Feverishly planning the next round of international travel and crucial diplomatic meetings, who knows what next week will bring?
Inside the State Department is produced by Hoggard Films for the National Geographic Channel (NGC). For Hoggard Films, director and executive producer is Steven Hoggard and producer is Daphna Rubin. For NGC, executive producer and executive vice president of content is Steve Burns.
Please visit natgeotv.com/state for more information.

National Geographic Channel
Based at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., the National Geographic Channel (NGC) is a joint venture between National Geographic Ventures (NGV) and Fox Cable Networks (FCN). Since launching in January 2001, NGC initially earned some of the fastest distribution growth in the history of cable and more recently the fastest ratings growth in television. The network celebrated its fifth anniversary January 2006 with the launch of NGC HD, which provides the spectacular imagery that National Geographic is known for in stunning high definition. NGC has carriage with all of the nation’s major cable and satellite television providers, making it currently available in more than 70 million homes. For more information, please visit www.natgeotv.com.

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