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Hillary published this in Medium last night.

 

 

My plan to defeat ISIS

These past few days, all of us have tried to make sense of yet another senseless terrorist attack. I know that Americans are anxious and fearful, and we have reason to be. The threat is real. The need for action is urgent.

Our intelligence and law enforcement agencies will continue learning about what led to the massacre in San Bernardino just as French and Belgian authorities are doing so in Paris and Brussels. But this much we do know: The threat from radical jihadism has metastasized and become more complex and challenging. We’re seeing the results of radicalization not just in far-off lands but right here at home fueled by the internet. It’s the nexus of terrorism and technology, and we have a lot of work to do to end it.

As hard as this is, Americans now have to move from fear to resolve. America has beaten bigger threats before, and we will defeat this one as well.

Resolve means depriving jihadists of virtual territory just as we work to deprive them of actual territory. They are using websites, social media, chat rooms, and other platforms to celebrate beheadings, recruit future terrorists, and call for attacks. We should work with host companies to shut them down.

Resolve means supporting also our first responders, like the officer in San Bernardino who said he would take a bullet for the civilians he was rescuing. We owe them our support and gratitude and whatever help they need. Local law enforcement should get the support, training, and coordination they need in their communities from counterterrorism experts in Washington. It also means taking a close look at safeguards in visa programs and working more effectively with our European allies on intelligence and information sharing. And yes, Congress must act to ensure that no one who is a suspected terrorist can buy guns anywhere in America.

If you’re too dangerous to fly in America, you are too dangerous to buy a gun in America.

Resolve means going after the threat at its source in Iraq and Syria and beyond. Our goal must not be to deter or contain ISIS; our goal must be to defeat ISIS. And I have put forth a three-prong plan to do that.

First, deny ISIS territory in Iraq and Syria by leading an intensified air campaign and working with local and regional forces on the ground. Second, dismantle the global infrastructure of terror, the networks that supply radical jihadists with money, weapons, and fighters, and stop them from recruiting and inspiring. And third, toughen our defenses at home and those of our partners against external and homegrown threats.

An effective fight on the ground against ISIS is essential, but that does not mean deploying tens of thousands of American combat troops.

It does mean stepping up efforts to get more Arabs and Kurdish fighters into the fight against ISIS on both sides of the Iraq-Syria border, supporting the Iraqi Security Forces while pressuring Baghdad to pursue a more inclusive and effective approach, and immediately deploying the Special Operations Forces that President Obama has already authorized, with more to follow as more Syrians get into the fight. We also have to demand that our Arab and Turkish partners carry their share of the burden with military, financial, and diplomatic contributions. We will do our part, but it’s their fight too, and they need to act like it is.

Dealing with the conflict in Syria with respect to Assad is central to this whole effort. We need to continue Secretary Kerry’s efforts to move toward a diplomatic solution to the civil war in Syria that paves the way for new leadership and enables Syrians from every community to take on ISIS. Investing the Russians in this outcome and getting them to step up and do their part will be difficult but essential. And we have to pursue a transition away from Assad and an intensified fight against ISIS simultaneously. We’re not going to get Syrian opposition forces to fight ISIS in earnest without the credible prospect of a transition, and that’s going to take more pressure and leverage. It’s one of the reasons why I have proposed creating a no-fly zone as well as safe havens and more robust support for opposition forces.

And finally, it’s crucial that we embed our mission to defeat ISIS within a broader struggle against radical jihadism.

Extremist groups like ISIS feed off instability and conflict, and there is no shortage of that in the Middle East today. Decades of repression, poverty, corruption, a lack of pluralism and tolerance turn the region into a powder keg. That’s why we have to keep working with our friends and partners to support economic and political modernization; train effective and accountable local intelligence, law enforcement, and counterterrorism services. And once and for all, the Saudis, the Qataris, the Kuwaitis, and others must stop their citizens from funding extremist organizations and stop supporting radical schools and mosques around the world that have set too many young people on a path toward extremism.

So across the board, we must act with courage and clarity. And it’s important to remind ourselves that Islam itself is not our adversary. This is not and we should not let it become a clash of civilizations. It is a clash between hate and hope — and the vast majority of Muslims are on our side of the battle unless we drive them away. We can’t buy into the very narrative that radical jihadists use to recruit new followers or alienate partners we want and need at home and abroad with reckless rhetoric.

Declaring war on Islam or demonizing the Muslim American community is not only counter to our values; it plays right into the hands of terrorists.

Muslim Americans are our neighbors, our co-workers, loved ones, friends. Many are working every day all over our country to prevent radicalization. We should be supporting them, not scapegoating them. But, at the same time, none of us can close our eyes to the fact that we do face enemies who use Islam to justify slaughtering innocent people. We have to stop them and we will. Radical jihadists, like so many adversaries in our history, underestimate the strength of our national character. Americans will not cower or cave, and we will not turn on each other or turn on our principles. We will defeat those who threaten us. We will keep our country safe and strong, free and tolerant.

Go to the profile of Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

Wife, mom, grandma, women+kids advocate, FLOTUS, Senator, SecState, hair icon, pantsuit aficionado, 2016 presidential candidate.

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In her interview with Andrea Mitchell today on MSNBC, the humanitarian crisis in Hungary arose.  Many, perhaps most of these refugees are from Syria.  Hillary mentioned in the interview that she had addressed the critical situation faced by the Syrian people time and again as Secretary of State.

Two years ago exactly, the media was hounding her (as always).  Then, it was that they wanted her to speak out on Syria.  At that time, I posted this retrospective of her efforts to help the Syrian people.

Now might be a good time to review this material while bearing in mind that Hillary is very clear that the response must be international, not unilateral, and not just the US and Europe.

I am posting that response in full here.  I know it is long, but if you take the time simply to skim this, you will see that Hillary, back in Spring 2012, predicted what is happening now in Lebanon. If the government does not do its job, you can bet ISIS will step in. Hillary knows this and said it more than three years ago.  That is the vision we need in a president.

Hillary Clinton: Hardly Silent on Syria … but Who Listened?

September 3, 2013
Some in the media apparently think it is incumbent upon Hillary Clinton to speak out on Syria despite the fact that she is no longer a government official.  As she wraps up her well-deserved vacation and gets back on her schedule of speaking appearances, including the upcoming Clinton Global Initiative, it is perhaps a good time to look back at some of what she said while she served as Secretary of State beginning with this op-ed reposted in full.

Media Note

Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
June 17, 2011

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.

The world has joined Syrians in mourning the deaths of many innocent people, including a 13-year old boy who was brutally tortured and mutilated. Approximately thirteen hundred Syrians have been killed since protests began. Many thousands more have been jailed and abused. Syrian security forces have surrounded communities and cut off electricity, communications and the Internet. Economic activity has slowed, the country is increasingly isolated and its citizens are growing more frustrated every day.

In his May 19 speech, President Obama echoed demonstrators’ basic and legitimate demands: the Assad government must stop shooting demonstrators, allow peaceful protest, release political prisoners, stop unjust arrests, give access to human rights monitors, and start an inclusive dialogue to advance a democratic transition. President Assad, he said, could either lead that transition or get out of the way.

It is increasingly clear that President Assad has made his choice. But while continued brutality may allow him to delay the change that is underway in Syria, it will not reverse it.

As Syria’s neighbors and the international community respond to this crisis, we should be guided by the answers to several key questions: Why has it erupted? What does the crackdown reveal about President Assad and his regime? And where does Syria go from here?

First, there should be no doubt about the nature of the protests in Syria.

Like Tunisians, Egyptians, Libyans and others across the Middle East and North Africa, the Syrian people are demanding their long-denied universal rights and rejecting a government that rules through fear, squanders their talents through corruption, and denies them the dignity of having a voice in their own future. They are organizing themselves, including the local coordinating committees, and they are refusing to back down even in the face of revolting violence.

If President Assad believes that the protests are the work of foreign instigators – as his government has claimed – he is wrong. It is true that some Syrian soldiers have been killed, and we regret the loss of those lives too. But the vast majority of casualties have been unarmed civilians. By continuing to ban foreign journalists and observers, the regime seeks to hide these facts.

Second, President Assad is showing his true colors by embracing the repressive tactics of his ally Iran and putting Syria onto the path of a pariah state.

By following Iran’s lead, President Assad is placing himself and his regime on the wrong side of history. He will learn that legitimacy flows from the consent of the people and cannot be forged through bullets and billyclubs.

President Assad’s violent crackdown has shattered his claims to be a reformer. For years, he has offered pledges and promises, but all that matters are his actions. A speech, no matter how dutifully applauded by regime apologists, will not change the reality that the Syrian people, despite being told they live in a republic, have never had the opportunity to freely elect their leaders. These citizens want to see a real transition to democracy and a government that honors their universal rights and aspirations.

If President Assad believes he can act with impunity because the international community hopes for his cooperation on other issues, he is wrong about this as well. He and his regime are certainly not indispensable.

A Syria that is unified, pluralistic, and democratic could play a positive and leading role in the region, but under President Assad the country is increasingly becoming a source of instability. The refugees streaming into Turkey and Lebanon, and the tensions being stoked on the Golan, should dispel the notion that the regime is a bulwark of regional stability that must be protected.

Finally, the answer to the most important question of all – what does this mean for Syria’s future? – is increasingly clear: There is no going back.

Syrians have recognized the violence as a sign of weakness from a regime that rules by coercion, not consent. They have overcome their fears and have shaken the foundations of this authoritarian system.

Syria is headed toward a new political order — and the Syrian people should be the ones to shape it. They should insist on accountability, but resist any temptation to exact revenge or reprisals that might split the country, and instead join together to build a democratic, peaceful and tolerant Syria.

Considering the answers to all these questions, the United States chooses to stand with the Syrian people and their universal rights. We condemn the Assad regime’s disregard for the will of its citizens and Iran’s insidious interference.

The United States has already imposed sanctions on senior Syrian officials, including President Assad. We are carefully targeting leaders of the crackdown, not the Syrian people. We welcomed the decisions by the European Union to impose its own sanctions and by the UN Human Rights Council to launch an investigation into abuses. The United States will continue coordinating closely with our partners in the region and around world to increase pressure on and further isolate the Assad regime.

The Syrian people will not cease their demands for dignity and a future free from intimidation and fear. They deserve a government that respects its people, works to build a more stable and prosperous country, and doesn’t have to rely on repression at home and antagonism abroad to maintain its grip on power. They deserve a nation that is unified, democratic and a force for stability and progress. That would be good for Syria, good for the region and good for the world.

http://aawsat.com/leader.asp?section=3&article=627159&issueno=11890

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Below are links to a compendium of her remarks on the deteriorating situation as she met with a variety of action groups on Syria.  This is,  by no means,  a comprehensive collection since she also gave a great many interviews and press briefings following bilaterals over the past two years where she addressed the issues at hand and sought solutions that would permit democracy to take hold.

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

April 30, 2011

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks on the Violence in Syria

May 6, 2011

Secretary Clinton’s Statement: Repression in Iran and Syria

June 14, 2011

Secretary Clinton’s Statement on Continuing Violence in Syria

August 1, 2011

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks After Meeting With Syrian Activists

August 2, 2011

Video: Secretary Clinton’s Statement on Syria

August 18, 2011

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

August 23, 2011

Hillary Clinton in the D.R. Part II: Remarks at Pathways to Prosperity, on UNESCO, and on Syria

October 7, 2011

Hillary Clinton: Arab League Suspends Syria

November 12, 2011

Secretary Clinton’s Meeting with Syrian National Council

December 6, 2011

Secretary Clinton: Escalation of Regime Violence in Syria

January 30, 2012

Hillary Clinton at Friends of Syria in Tunisia: Remarks and Pictures

February 24, 2012

Hillary Clinton’s Press Availability on Friends of Syria

February 24, 2012

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks Following Meeting with Syrian National Council

April 1, 2012

Secretary Clinton: Intervention to the Friends of the Syrian People

April 2, 2012

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

April 19, 2012

Syria Violence Could Have Domino Effect In Lebanon, Clinton Warns

May 25, 2012

Clinton Condemns Haoula Massacre in Strongest Possible Terms

May 26, 2012

Video: Secretary Clinton Remarks on Syria

May 31, 2012

Hillary Clinton: Friends of the Syrian People

June 6, 2012

Hillary Clinton: Press Conference Following Syria Action Group Meeting

June 30, 2012

Hillary Clinton at the Friends of the Syrian People Ministerial Meeting

July 6, 2012

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

July 6, 2012

Hillary Clinton: Saddened and Outraged by Massacre in Traymseh

July 13, 2012

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

August 2, 2012

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I must interrupt here to correct a rewrite of history.  A few days ago, on CNN, Fouad Ajami said that Hillary Clinton “stopping off to cut a rug” in South Africa on her way to a meeting in Turkey about Syria was bad optics.  His story is upside down.   Hillary had long been scheduled to stop in South Africa and attend a conference there.  Here is her original itinerary which was supposed to be for an 11-day trip – her farewell tour of Africa as Secretary of State.

Hillary Clinton’s Itinerary in Africa

July 30, 2012

Well, the Africa trip is official, and we can see why it took awhile for the State Department to post the itinerary – it’s another long one, and arranging it must have been very complex since it does not coincide with earlier reports.  More than a week,  it’s another killer – six countries/11 days.  Ghana and Nigeria are not mentioned, but Kenya and South Sudan are.  I think I speak for everyone here in wishing her a safe and successful trip and hoping she manages to sneak in a little vacation time when she gets back home.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to Travel to Africa

Press Statement

Victoria Nuland
Department Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
July 30, 2012

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will travel to Africa July 31 through August 10, 2012. During this trip, the Secretary will emphasize U.S. policy commitments outlined in the Presidential Policy Directive – to strengthen democratic institutions, spur economic growth, advance peace and security as well as promote opportunity and development for all citizens

The Secretary’s first stop will be Senegal, where she will meet President Sall and other national leaders and deliver a speech applauding the resilience of Senegal’s democratic institutions and highlighting America’s approach to partnership.

Next, Secretary Clinton travels to South Sudan where she meets with President Kiir to reaffirm U.S. support and to encourage progress in negotiations with Sudan to reach agreement on issues related to security, oil and citizenship.

In Uganda, the Secretary meets with President Museveni to encourage strengthening of democratic institutions and human rights, while also reinforcing Uganda as a key U.S. partner in promoting regional security, particularly in regard to Somalia and in regional efforts to counter the Lord’s Resistance Army. She will also highlight U.S. support in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

The Secretary will then travel to Kenya where she plans to meet President Kibaki, Prime Minister Odinga, and other government officials to emphasize her support for transparent, credible, nonviolent national elections in 2013. To underscore U.S. support for completing the political transition in Somalia by August 20th, Secretary Clinton will also meet with President Sheikh Sharif and other signatories to the Roadmap to End the Transition.

The Secretary continues her trip in Malawi, visiting President Banda to discuss economic and political governance and reform.

In South Africa, Secretary Clinton will pay her respects to ex-President Mandela, and to participate in the U.S.-South Africa Strategic Dialogue focusing on the partnership between our two countries in addressing issues of mutual concern and our shared challenges on the African and world stage. Secretary Clinton will be accompanied by a U.S. business delegation.

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While the trip was in progress, additional stops were scheduled.  Many countries wanted Hillary to stop during this tour.  Some were added late, e.g. Nigeria, because security issues needed to be resolved and Ghana for the sadly unpredictable funeral of the late John Atta Mills.   Turkey was also added because the meeting was scheduled after she was already on tour.

Professor Ajami, we do not appreciate men with white whiskers trying to rewrite history.  She did not “stop by” South Africa on her way to Turkey.  South Africa was long-scheduled, Turkey was tacked on when the meeting was scheduled.  If FM Mashabane wanted to throw a farewell party for her friend and partner with whom she had worked for four years,  you, Professor Ajami,  should be grateful that someone in our government understood that the next battleground with China is Africa,  that the battlefield is economic,  and that Hillary Clinton made strong friends there, often while putting herself in grave personal danger.   Your smirky, snarky, and untrue comment is shameful, insulting, and disgusting.

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Confirmed: Hillary Clinton’s Africa Itinerary Extended

August 5, 2012

U.S Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) reacts during here visit to Malawi August 5, 2012. Clinton paid a lightning visit to Malawi on Sunday to congratulate its new president, Joyce Banda, one of only two female heads of state in Africa, for pulling her impoverished country back from the economic brink after a political crisis. REUTERS/Eldson Chagara (MALAWI – Tags: SOCIETY POLITICS)

The rumor mill has been whizzing out of control all weekend with stories of additional countries to be added to the already packed schedule for this trip.  Originally arranged as an 11-day trip,  the addition of  Turkey next Saturday for talks on Syria extends that by at least one day.  Within the African leg of the trip, Voice of America reports the inclusion of Ghana, Nigeria, and Benin.  The first was expected since the purpose is to attend the funeral of  Ghana’s late President John Atta Mills who passed away unexpectedly on July 24.  Sources for that early story appeared credible.  The Nigerian leg was announced by local sources last night.  Benin comes as a complete surprise since neither very early reports nor the buzzing rumor mill had ever mentioned a stop there.  VOA reports:

Clinton is due to fly to South Africa Sunday, and later on to Nigeria, Ghana and Benin.

In Ghana, she is expected to attend the state funeral of the country’s late president John Atta Mills.

In Turkey Hillary Clinton Talks No Fly Zones Over Syria

August 11, 2012

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

August 11, 2012

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

August 17, 2012

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

September 28, 2012

Video: Hillary Clinton’s Remarks on Syria

December 4, 2012

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It was during this final trip as Secretary of State that she fell so ill that she fainted and sustained a concussion.  Later tests detected a blood clot, and she could not return to her duties until January when she did her best to wrap up her stay at the State Department and put the transition into place for Secretary Kerry’s assumption of command.

So for those who would have Hillary Clinton comment at this critical time on a crucial issue, let you be reminded that neither have Bill Clinton nor George W. Bush commented on Syria for excellent reasons.  They are no longer in office and do not have access to the latest intel.  Neither does Hillary Clinton.  The situation is in the hands of the present, second Obama administration.  Live with the history you were so instrumental in making.

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Updated to add:  Of course, as soon as I had this all put together, she decided to come out and say something anyway.   Then again, what would anyone expect her to say?

(CNN) – Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton backs President Barack Obama’s proposal to take military action in Syria, an aide told CNN’s Jessica Yellin on Tuesday.

“Secretary Clinton supports the President’s effort to enlist the Congress in pursuing a strong and targeted response to the Assad regime’s horrific use of chemical weapons,” the aide said.

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Actually, CNN got this wrong.  She did not back the military action.  She backed taking it to Congress.
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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

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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?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I –

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

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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?

 

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Hillary Clinton’s ‘Hard Choices’ Retrospective: Introduction

Access other chapters of this retrospective here >>>>

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Hillary Clinton and Chelsea represented the Clinton Foundation at the Wildlife Trafficking Forum at the White House today.  It has been reported that she met with President Obama prior to the event.  She was scheduled to make some comments on Syria before today’s developments which included Secretary of State John Kerry remarking that one option for a solution would be that Syria turn over its chemical weapons to an international body.  Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, shortly afterward, made that formal suggestion to Syria.  Hillary included these developments in her remarks.

It is always helpful to have a written transcripts of remarks like these, so I hope they will become available.  I will add them here if they do.  Meanwhile here is a video of Hillary Clinton’s comments from today as former Secretary of State on Syria as as representative of the Clinton Foundation on wildlife trafficking.

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Hillary Clinton is returning to Washington D.C. on Monday, and her visit is generating the predictable storm of media attention and speculation.  As the main attraction at the Carlyle Group investor conference, she is expected to conduct a question and answer session rather than deliver a formal speech.  Also on Monday, she and Chelsea Clinton, who is active in wildlife conservation efforts,  will be  participating in a wildlife trafficking event at the White House.

Reportedly, Hillary will meet with President Obama prior to this forum and will make a brief statement about the situation in Syria prior to the event.

Monday evening, all three Clintons will host a Clinton Foundation fundraiser at their D.C. home and at the Italian Embassy across the street.

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Some may think,  given the grave mood in the capital, with Congress deliberating the president’s request for approval of military action in Syria during the week of national remembrance of the September 11 attacks,  that a wildlife trafficking event at the White House might better have been scheduled at some other time.  That line of thinking could not be more incorrect.

Hillary Clinton,  the unrivaled master of connecting dots and weaving seemingly disparate issues into a cloth, clarified the relevance of this issue to national and international security last November when, at a  State Department event,  she joined the battle against wildlife trafficking and poaching.  Here are some of her remarks on the subject.

Now, some of you might be wondering why a Secretary of State is keynoting an event about wildlife trafficking and conservation, or why we are hosting this event at the State Department in the first place. Well, I think it’s because, as Bob Hormats has just pointed out, and as the public service announcements reinforce, over the past few years wildlife trafficking has become more organized, more lucrative, more widespread, and more dangerous than ever before.

As the middle class grows, which we all welcome and support, in many nations items like ivory or rhinoceros horn become symbols of wealth and social status. And so the demand for these goods rises. By some estimates, the black market in wildlife is rivaled in size only by trade in illegal arms and drugs. Today, ivory sells for nearly $1,000 per pound. Rhino horns are literally worth their weight in gold, $30,000 per pound.

What’s more, we are increasingly seeing wildlife trafficking has serious implications for the security and prosperity of people around the world. Local populations that depend on wildlife, either for tourism or sustenance, are finding it harder and harder to maintain their livelihoods. Diseases are spreading to new corners of the globe through wildlife that is not properly inspected at border crossings. Park rangers are being killed. And we have good reason to believe that rebel militias are players in a worldwide ivory market worth millions and millions of dollars a year.

So yes, I think many of us are here because protecting wildlife is a matter of protecting our planet’s natural beauty. We see it’s a stewardship responsibility for us and this generation and future generations to come. But it is also a national security issue, a public health issue, and an economic security issue that is critical to each and every country represented here.

Read more and see the video >>>>

On Tuesday, at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, she will receive the 2013 Liberty Medal for her lifelong public service career as secretary of state, presidential candidate, senator, and first lady.   Jeb Bush will make the presentation.  Hillary was expected to deliver the second of the policy speeches she announced upon receipt of the American Bar Association Medal last month addressing  transparency and national security.

According to late-breaking news from Politico, however, plans for her Philadelphia remarks have been altered due to events of the past two weeks.

Hillary Clinton to speak on Syria

Hillary Clinton will make her first public remarks about Syria on Monday when she makes a visit to the White House for an unrelated event, a Clinton aide told POLITICO.

The comments, the first since an unidentified aide said last week that the former secretary of state supports President Barack Obama in going before Congress to get support for a limited strike against Syria, will come after she meets privately with Obama at the White House, the aide said.

But they also come as part of a revamped effort to approach a pre-planned policy speech scheduled for Tuesday, which has been overtaken by events in Syria and efforts by the White House to secure support in Congress. Obama himself is planning to address the nation on Tuesday evening, an hour after Clinton speaks in Pennsylvania, to sell his case for a military strike in Syria.

Read more >>>>

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Congratulations, Mme. Secretary!  We hope you had a restful vacation, are delighted to have you back, and are joyful at the recognition you are receiving.

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N.B. This post has been revised from an earlier version that stated that  the Tuesday evening speech would be the planned major policy event.

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When Hillary Clinton accepted the prestigious American Bar Association Medal last month, she spoke out on the Supreme Court decision that gutted the Voting Rights Act and announced a series of policy speeches the next of which she will deliver in Philadelphia this coming Tuesday upon acceptance of the Liberty Medal from Jeb Bush.

Tea Partiers, of course, are in meltdown mode over the coincidence of this presentation with the upcoming anniversary of the attack on the outpost in Benghazi which, in the interim, has come to be known to have been a CIA operation (thanks to Jason Chaffetz’s public announcement on live TV).

The policy speeches Mme. Secretary has announced are to address transparency and national security.  In an op-ed, published in yesterday’s New York Times, Representative Alan Grayson also addressed these issues as they relate to the classified information available to members of Congress regarding the proposed attacks on Syria that President Obama has referred to Congress for approval.

Grayson has some issues with the available data and documentation to back up an attack on Syria that he addresses in this article.  Most interestingly,   he compares that availability with the documents Hillary Clinton’s State Department provided on Benghazi.

Grayson in the NY Times on Syria Intel: “Trust, But Verify”


On Syria, “Trust, but Verify”

This op-ed written by Congressman Alan Grayson appeared in The New York Times today. Read it, share it with your friends and family, and join more than 75,000 others who oppose U.S. military intervention in Syria by signing on at DontAttackSyria.com.

WASHINGTON — THE documentary record regarding an attack on Syria consists of just two papers: a four-page unclassified summary and a 12-page classified summary. The first enumerates only the evidence in favor of an attack. I’m not allowed to tell you what’s in the classified summary, but you can draw your own conclusion.

On Thursday I asked the House Intelligence Committee staff whether there was any other documentation available, classified or unclassified. Their answer was “no.”

The Syria chemical weapons summaries are based on several hundred underlying elements of intelligence information. The unclassified summary cites intercepted telephone calls, “social media” postings and the like, but not one of these is actually quoted or attached — not even clips from YouTube. (As to whether the classified summary is the same, I couldn’t possibly comment, but again, draw your own conclusion.)

SNIP


Compare this lack of transparency with the administration’s treatment of the Benghazi attack. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, to her credit, made every single relevant classified e-mail, cable and intelligence report available to every member of Congress. (I know this, because I read them all.) Secretary Clinton had nothing to hide.

Her successor, John Kerry, has said repeatedly that this administration isn’t trying to manipulate the intelligence reports the way that the Bush administration did to rationalize its invasion of Iraq.

But by refusing to disclose the underlying data even to members of Congress, the administration is making it impossible for anyone to judge, independently, whether that statement is correct. Perhaps the edict of an earlier administration applies: “Trust, but verify.”
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Most ironic is the statement of sources of the intel – sources that are being withheld.   Social media is cited.  Last October, in the wake of the Benghazi attack,  there was a great deal of hand-wringing over the issue of some leaked emails that Hillary Clinton addressed directly.

Hillary Clinton, those emails, and the truth

In the dust up around the leaked emails and among the events of her busy day, Hillary Clinton made the following remarks regarding the emails and the attack on the Benghazi consulate in a press availability today.

Now finally, on Benghazi, look, I’ve said it and I’ll say it one more time. No one wants to find out what happened more than I do. We are holding ourselves accountable to the American people, because not only they, but our brave diplomats and development experts serving in dangerous places around the world, deserve no less. The independent Accountability Review Board is already hard at work looking at everything – not cherry-picking one story here or one document there – but looking at everything, which I highly recommend as the appropriate approach to something as complex as an attack like this.

Posting something on Facebook is not in and of itself evidence, and I think it just underscores how fluid the reporting was at the time and continued for some time to be. What I keep in mind is that four brave Americans were killed, and we will find out what happened, we will take whatever measures are necessary to fix anything that needs to be fixed, and we will bring those to justice who committed these murders. And I think that that is what we have said, that is what we are doing, and I’m very confident that we will achieve those goals.

Read more >>>>

There are two major takeaways here: 1) Attestation from a member of Congress, who is in a position to make the comparison,  that Hillary Clinton provided Congress with every scrap of relevant documentation on Benghazi all of which he read. 2) Hillary Clinton does not consider postings on social media to be evidence – in her own words.

Thank you, Representative Grayson, for defending our girl prior to a week that is guaranteed, on every front, to be hell on wheels, and thank you and our Hillary for your dedicated service.  It is satisfying to know that some members of Congress read everything she sent since, during her testimony in January,  she was obliged regularly to refer some members to the ARB Report that they seemed to have neglected to read.   The unclassified ARB report is available in the sidebar on the right for anyone who would like to see it.

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