Count Down To Pardons: Will President Obama Pardon The Clinton Criminal Conspirators? Yes — Will The Clinton Criminal Conspirators Accept The Pardons? Yes — Why? Mutually Assured Destruction Of Obama and Clinton If They Do Not! — Videos

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Now, THEREFORE, I, BARACK H. OBAMA, President of the United States, pursuant to the pardon power conferred upon me by Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution, have granted and by these presents do grant a full, free, and absolute pardon unto Hillary Clinton for all offenses against the United States which she, Hillary Clinton, has committed or may have committed or taken part in during the period from January 21, 2009 through February 1, 2013.

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Image result for cartoon obama and clinton benghazi liesWould President Obama pardon Clinton?

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Will Obama pardon Clinton? And if he does, will she accept?

Executive orders barring offshore drilling in most U.S. Arctic waters; an abstention at the U.N. permitting the Security Council to declare all Israeli settlement activity to be illegal and an obstacle to peace; the possibility of further action at the U.N. to formalize the administration’s comprehensive vision of a two-state solution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict — President Obama is sprinting, not jogging, to the finish line.

In dashing through his last few weeks in office, will one of Obama’s final acts be to pardon Hillary Clinton for any violations of federal law she might have committed while she was secretary of State?

It’s an interesting and complex question.

We should first note that the Obama administration’s decision not to prosecute Clinton would not bind the Trump administration. Until relevant statutes of limitations have expired, she could still be prosecuted by the new administration. It is possible, in my opinion, for Clinton to be prosecuted for either her improper handling of classified information on her “home brew” email server or allegations of “pay to play” arrangements between the secretary of State and donors to the Clinton Foundation, which could constitute bribery.

The statute of limitations for most federal crimes is five years from the commission of the offense; that would apply to the two categories relevant to Clinton. Her tenure as secretary of State ended Feb. 1, 2013, so it is possible that the statute of limitations will not run until Feb. 1, 2018, more than a year after Donald Trump takes office.

What looks like one question — will the president pardon Clinton? — turns out, on analysis, to be two. The first question is: Would Clinton wish to receive a pardon?

That question seems to be a proverbial no-brainer. Surely, any person who had been in federal government would be eager to receive a presidential pardon, because it eliminates even the possibility of federal prosecution. That looks like all upside and no downside.

But there is a downside, and it isn’t trivial. A pardon must be accepted by the person who is pardoned if it is to effectively stymie any prosecution.

Furthermore, there is solid legal precedent that acceptance of a pardon is equivalent to confession of guilt. A U.S. Supreme Court case from 1915 called Burdick v. U.S. establishes that principle; it has never been overturned.

If acceptance of a pardon by Clinton would amount to confession of guilt, would she nevertheless accept it? A multitude of factors would go into her decision.

She, together with her attorneys, would have to decide how likely it is that the Trump administration would prosecute her, and, if it did decide to prosecute, how likely the administration would be able to prove she had committed crimes.

Since being elected, Trump has been remarkably warm towards the person he used to call “Crooked Hillary.” But how confident could Clinton be that the Justice Department, under a Trump administration, would not prosecute?

Prosecutorial decisions are supposed to be independent of political considerations, so Trump’s recent friendliness should not be controlling once the new attorney general is in office.

If Clinton believes prosecutors might be able to make a strong case against her, the value to her of a pardon increases. If she is confident that any case against her would be weak or even futile, the pardon has less value.

If Clinton decides that, everything considered, she would prefer to receive a pardon, she would no doubt be able to convey that message to Obama, and then the ball would be in his court. Thus, the second question is: Would Obama grant Clinton’s request for a pardon?

From Obama’s perspective, the decision to grant or withhold a pardon is a political and a personal one. Legal considerations do not directly arise.

Like all presidents at the end of their terms, he is concerned about the legacy he leaves for history. Does he want his legacy to include a pardon of the secretary of State who served under him during the entirety of his first term in office?

Because acceptance of a pardon amounts to a confession of guilt, the acceptance by Clinton would, to a degree, besmirch both Clinton and also Obama. After all, Clinton was Obama’s secretary of State. If she was committing illegal acts as secretary, it happened literally on his watch.

On the other hand, if the new administration were to prosecute and convict Clinton of crimes committed while she was secretary, that might be an even greater embarrassment for Obama post-presidency.

In addition to calculations regarding his legacy, Obama and Clinton surely have developed over many years, both as opponents and as teammates, a personal relationship. If Clinton were to ask Obama for a pardon, how would that personal relationship play into his response? I cannot say.

Days after Trump won the election, the White House press secretary was asked by Jordan Fabian of The Hill whether Obama would consider pardoning Clinton. He carefully avoided a direct answer.

Instead, the press secretary said that, in cases where Obama had granted pardons, “[w]e didn’t talk in advance about those decisions.” He also expressed hope that the new administration would follow “a long tradition in this country of people in power not using the criminal justice system to exact political revenge.”

Of course, there is also a long tradition in this country that no one is above the law, no matter how high a position in government he or she might have formerly occupied.

So, those are the main considerations that would go into deciding a very complex question. It’s time for all of us to show our hands.

I’m saying yes, he will pardon her. Can you beat that?

David E. Weisberg is a semi-retired attorney and a member of the New York state bar. He currently resides in Cary, North Carolina, and has published pieces on the Social Science Research Network and in The Times of Israel.

Would Obama consider pardoning Clinton?

Trump has promised to put her in jail, but Obama could forestall that possibility with the stroke of a pen.

11/09/16 12:29 PM EST

Updated 11/09/16 02:41 PM EST

President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign was energized by calls to prosecute Hillary Clinton over her use of a private email server containing classified information, but one man now has a unique power to frustrate the Trump partisans’ cries of “Lock her up!”: President Barack Obama.

Experts agree that Obama has the authority to foreclose that possibility by pardoning Clinton for any federal offenses she may have committed or could ever be prosecuted for. And he could do it whether she asks or not.

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“The president here will, I’m sure, consider using what tools he has in his last couple of weeks, including a pardon, to do what he can before Trump takes over,” said Harold Krent, dean of the Chicago-Kent College of Law. “There’s a window and presidents have used those windows to accomplish a variety of goals.”

“What he’s going to do with this power in the next two months is really a good question,” said a close observer of the pardon process who asked not be named. “There are so many things on the table….This whole event is going to cause us to think even more about: what is this power?”

But such an act of clemency for Clinton is fraught with danger to Obama’s reputation and to hers, as any move to protect the failed Democratic presidential nominee would surely trigger charges of unfairness and political favoritism, while seeming to some to be an admission of guilt.

While Trump’s campaign-rhetoric about subjecting Clinton to a special prosecutor who would put her “in jail” was stark and fired up his crowds, he seems likely to softpedal that kind of talk in the coming weeks as he looks to bridge the stark divide in the country and build legitimacy.

Indeed, Wednesday morning, Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway suggested the issue of prosecuting Clinton has moved to the back burner for now.

“We did not discuss that last night since his victory. And he certainly didn’t address it with Mrs. Clinton on the phone,” Conway said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

“I think you heard his own words last night — to the extent that one man can as president, certainly Vice President Pence who’s phenomenal, they’re looking to unify the country. But we haven’t discussed that in recent days. And I think that it’s all in good time,” she added.

Still, a pardon would offer the only foolproof way to head off such a prosecution. And the window for Clinton’s best shot at clemency closes on Jan. 20.

Such a move by Obama could also be a boon of sorts for Trump. It would provide a convenient way for the incoming president not to follow through with a renewed investigation that could breed further resentment from Democrats.

When it comes to considering a pardon for Clinton, however, one of the biggest obstacles could be Obama’s own words.

At a press conference in August, Obama pledged to handle last-minute pardons by the book, distancing himself from the chaotic situation that played out in the final days of Bill Clinton’s presidency and tarnished his legacy.

“The process that I put in place is not going to vary depending on how close I get to the election. So it’s going to be reviewed by the pardon attorney, it will be reviewed by my White House counsel, and I’m going to, as best as I can, make these decisions based on the merits, as opposed to political considerations,” Obama said.

The White House on Wednesday refused to say whether Obama would consider pardoning Clinton , but appeared to issue a warning to Trump, saying powerful people should not exploit the criminal justice system for “political revenge.”

“As you know the president has offered clemency to a substantial number of Americans who were previously serving time in federal prisons,”, Earnest told reporters during the daily briefing. “And we didn’t talk in advance about the president’s plans to offer clemency to any of those individuals and that is because we don’t talk about the president’s thinking, particularly with respect to any specific cases that may apply to pardons or commutations.”

He added, “We have a long tradition in this country of people in power not using the criminal justice system to enact political revenge. In fact we go a long way to insulate the criminal justice system from partisan politics.”

Longtime Clinton lawyer David Kendall did not respond to a request for comment.

The legacy questions seem certain to be at the top of Obama’s mind. Ford’s pardon of Nixon was highly controversial and the time and helped cost Ford the 1976 election. Bill Clinton’s late-term pardons of financier Marc Rich and others unleashed a controversy that still mars Clinton’s image.

There are numerous precedents for a pre-trial pardon, including one in a high-profile case of mishandling classified information.

In one of his late term pardons in 2001, Clinton granted clemency to former CIA Director John Deutch, who had agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor for storing classified information on his home computer. Deutch had actually signed a plea agreement, but the paperwork had never been filed in court.

Ford’s pardon of Nixon also came before any charges had been filed against him. The broadly-worded decree absolved Nixon of guilt “for all offenses against the United States which he…has committed or may have committed or taken part in during the period from January 20, 1969 through August 9, 1974.”

Nixon never asked for or accepted the pardon, but that didn’t affect its validity. (A 1927 Supreme Court case says an unconditional pardon is valid whether or not it’s accepted by the recipient.)

Part of the fairness consideration in Clinton’s case would involve her own aides. How could Obama block a prosecution of Clinton but leave her aides and others caught up in the email fiasco without any protection?

It seems doubtful that a prosecutor would charge one or more Clinton aides or allies if she was off the hook, but it’s far from impossible. Oftentimes in such cases, aides wind up in prosecutors’ crosshairs even when higher-ranking officials escape charges.

A good example of that is Lewis (Scooter) Libby, former Chief of Staff to Vice President Cheney, who was charged with lying and obstruction of justice in an investigation into who leaked the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame.

In 2007, Libby was convicted by a jury and sentenced to two and a half years in prison. President George W. Bush commuted the sentence, sparing Libby jail time. However, Bush turned down repeated pleas from Cheney to clear Libby with a full pardon.

Wording a Clinton pardon might not be easy, lawyers say.

If Obama is fully intent on closing the book on a Clinton prosecution, he could try to sweep in not only her conduct as secretary of state, but also her statements since and anything she might have done in connection with the Clinton Foundation. Moving in that direction would again raise questions of whether Obama would excuse others or just his former secretary of state.

While pre-trial, pre-charge pardons have been uncommon in recent years, there are many examples throughout American history.

In 1974, Ford issued an amnesty for Vietnam War draft dodgers and deserters, conditioned on two years of public service in U.S.

In 1977, President Jimmy Carter issued a blanket, unconditional pardon to hundreds of thousands of men who dodged the draft during the Vietnam War era. Many had been charged, but most had not.

And in 1894, President Grover Cleveland pardoned an unnamed and uncounted number of Mormons in Utah, excusing them from prosecution for bigamy and related crimes.

The pardon power “is unlimited and unreviewable,” former House counsel Stan Brand said. “Constitutionally, certainly [Obama] could do that.”

Brand said he doubts Trump will follow through on his threats of a special prosecutor, but the former Congressional attorney acknowledged that’s a political judgment, so Clinton’s lawyers seem certain to consider the pardon option.

“If he wants to be president, he’s the president-elect now, he truly has to switch from campaign mode to governing mode,” Brand added. “I’d say good luck to them politically, if [Trump’s team] thinks that’s going to advance their agenda.”

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/11/would-obama-pardon-clinton-231120

BIG SURPRISE: Media Betting Obama Will Pardon Hillary Clinton Before He Leaves The White House

A lot of us figured this was coming, but now the mainstream media is predicting the obvious in print.

In a piece by contributor David Weisberg over at The Hill, he declares that Obama will make sure to pardon Hillary Clinton “for any violations of federal law she might have committed while she was secretary of state.”

Weisberg writes:

We should first note that the Obama administration’s decision not to prosecute Mrs. Clinton would not bind the Trump administration. Until relevant statutes of limitations have expired, she could still be prosecuted by the new administration. It is possible in my opinion for Clinton to be prosecuted for either her improper handling of classified information on “home brew,” or allegations of “pay to play” arrangements between the secretary of state and donors to the Clinton Foundation, which could constitute bribery.

The statute of limitations for most federal crimes is five years from the commission of the offense; that would apply to the two categories relevant to Mrs. Clinton. Her tenure as secretary of state ended Feb. 1, 2013, so it is possible that the statute of limitations will not run until Feb. 1, 2018, more than a year after Mr. Trump takes office.

Apparently, however, there is legal precedent for the acceptance of a pardon being equal to an admission of guilt. It was established by a 1915 U.S. Supreme Court case, Burdick v. U.S. which has never been overturned. In other words, if Hillary takes the pardon, she’s admitting she committed at least one crime she committed and needs to be pardoned for.

Then again, is it even likely Trump is actually going to prosecute Hillary anyway? Pretty much as soon as he won, he announced that he no longer planned to. Even Weisberg points out, “Since being elected, Mr. Trump has been remarkably warm towards the person he used to call ‘crooked Hillary’.” It’s been speculated Trump’s promise not to prosecute was part of the phone call ensuring Hillary would concede. Then again, they’d been pretty good friends for the two decades leading up to the election.

Weisberg goes on to say he thinks Obama’s pardon for Hillary is forthcoming. Why not. The White House won’t deny the option is being considered, even though, again, Trump has come out to say he does not plan to prosecute Hillary anyway.

Obama’s pardon of Hillary will probably be worded a lot like (if not exactlylike) Ford’s Pardon of Richard Nixon:

Now, THEREFORE, I, GERALD R. FORD, President of the United States, pursuant to the pardon power conferred upon me by Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution, have granted and by these presents do grant a full, free, and absolute pardon unto Richard Nixon for all offenses against the United States which he, Richard Nixon, has committed or may have committed or taken part in during the period from January 20, 1969 through August 9, 1974.

Hillary’s pardon will be just as ambiguously worded, to make sure and cover anything and everything (and there’s a lot to cover).

As projected, it’ll likely be dated for her entire tenure as Secretary of State, too.

This story was written by Melissa Dykes and published at The Daily Sheeple

Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State

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Clinton takes the oath of office as Secretary of State, administered by Associate Judge Kathryn Oberly as Bill Clinton holds the Bible.

Hillary Clinton served as the 67th United States Secretary of State, under President Barack Obama, from 2009 to 2013, overseeing the department that conducted the Foreign policy of Barack Obama.

She was preceded in office by Condoleezza Rice, and succeeded by John Kerry. She is also the only former First Lady of the United States to become a member of the United States Cabinet.

 

Nomination and confirmation

Within a week after the November 4, 2008, presidential election, President-elect Obama and Clinton discussed over telephone the possibility of her serving as U.S. Secretary of State in his administration.[1][2] Clinton later related, “He said I want you to be my secretary of state. And I said, ‘Oh, no, you don’t.’ I said, ‘Oh, please, there’s so many other people who could do this.'”[2] Clinton initially turned Obama down, but he persisted.[3][4] Some Democratic senators welcomed the idea of her leaving, having been allied with Obama during the campaign, and believing that Clinton had risked party disunity by keeping her candidacy going for so long.[5]

Obama and Clinton held a meeting on the subject on November 11.[6] When the possibility became public on November 14, it came as a surprising and dramatic move, especially given the long, sometimes bitter battle the two had waged during the 2008 Democratic Party presidential primaries.[1][7] Obama had specifically criticized Clinton’s foreign policy credentials during the contests, and the initial idea of him appointing her had been so unexpected that she had told one of her own aides, “Not in a million years.”[4] However, it has been reported that Obama had been thinking of the idea as far back as the 2008 Democratic National Convention.[8] Despite the aggressiveness of the campaign and the still-lingering animosities between the two campaign staffs,[9] as with many primary battles, the political differences between the candidates were never that great,[10] the two rivals had reportedly developed a respect for one another,[8] and she had campaigned for him in the general election.[4]

Consideration of Clinton was seen as Obama wanting to assemble a “team of rivals” in his administration, à la Abraham Lincoln.[4][11][12] The notion of rivals successfully working together also found applicability in other fields, such as George Marshall and Dwight Eisenhower in relation to Operation Overlord during World War II and Indra Nooyi keeping on her top rival for CEO at Pepsico.[10] At the same time, the choice gave Obama an image of being self-assured.[13]

Clinton was conflicted whether she wanted to take the position or remain in the Senate, and agonized over her decision.[4][6][14] While the Senate leadership had discussed possible leadership positions or other promotions in rank with her even before the cabinet position became a possibility, nothing concrete had been offered.[15] The prospect of her ever becoming Senate Majority Leader seemed dim.[5] A different complication was Bill Clinton; she told Obama: “There’s one last thing that’s a problem, which is my husband. You’ve seen what this is like; it will be a circus if I take this job”, making reference to the volatile effect Bill Clinton had had during the primaries.[3] In addition, there was a specific concern whether the financial and other involvements of Bill Clinton’s post-presidential activities would violate any conflict-of-interest rules for serving cabinet members.[14] There was as well considerable media speculation about what effect taking the position would have on her political career and any possible future presidential aspirations.[14][16] Clinton wavered over the offer, but as she later related, “But, you know, we kept talking. I finally began thinking, look, if I had won and I had called him, I would have wanted him to say yes. And, you know, I’m pretty old-fashioned, and it’s just who I am. So at the end of the day, when your president asks you to serve, you say yes, if you can.”[2] Chief of Protocol of the United States Capricia Penavic Marshall, who had known Clinton since her First Lady days, later confirmed the same rationale: “When asked to serve, she does. And her president asked.”[4]

On November 21, reports indicated that Clinton had accepted the position.[17] On December 1, President-elect Obama formally announced that Clinton would be his nominee for Secretary of State.[18] Clinton said she was reluctant to leave the Senate, but that the new position represented a “difficult and exciting adventure”.[18] As part of the nomination, Bill Clinton agreed to accept a number of conditions and restrictions regarding his ongoing activities and fundraising efforts for the Clinton Presidential Center and Clinton Global Initiative.[19]

The appointment required a Saxbe fix,[20] which was passed and signed into law in December 2008 before confirmation hearings began.[21] Confirmation hearings before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee began on January 13, 2009, a week before the Obama inauguration. Clinton stated during her confirmation hearings that she believed that “the best way to advance America’s interests in reducing global threats and seizing global opportunities is to design and implement global solutions” and “We must use what has been called ‘smart power‘, the full range of tools at our disposal — diplomatic, economic, military, political, legal and cultural — picking the right tool or combination of tools for each situation. With smart power, diplomacy will be the vanguard of our foreign policy.”[22]

On January 15, the Committee voted 16–1 to approve Clinton.[23] Republican Senator David Vitter of Louisiana was the lone dissenting vote in the committee.[23] By this time, Clinton’s public favorable/unfavorable rating had reached 65 percent, the highest point in her public career since the Lewinsky scandal during her time as First Lady,[24] and 71 percent of the public approved of the nomination to the cabinet.[20]

Even before taking office, Clinton was working together with Bush administration officials in assessing national security issues. The night before the inauguration of the new president, contingency plans against a purported plot by Somali extremists against Obama and the inauguration was being discussed. Clinton argued that typical security responses were not tenable: “Is the Secret Service going to whisk him off the podium so the American people see their incoming president disappear in the middle of the inaugural address? I don’t think so.”[25] (The threat turned out to not exist.)

On January 21, 2009, Clinton was confirmed in the full Senate by a vote of 94–2.[26] Vitter and Republican Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina voted against the confirmation.[26]

Clinton took the oath of office of Secretary of State and resigned from the Senate that same day.[27] She became the first former First Lady to serve in the United States Cabinet.[28] She also became the first Secretary of State to have previously been an elected official since Edmund Muskie‘s less-than-a-year stint in 1980,[29] with Christian Herter during the Eisenhower administration being the last one before that. In being selected by her formal rival Obama, she became only the fourth person in the preceding hundred years to join the cabinet of someone they had run against for their party’s presidential nomination that election year (Jack Kemp ran against and was later chosen by George H. W. Bush to be Secretary of HUD in 1988, George W. Romney by Richard Nixon for Secretary of HUD in 1968, and Philander Knox by William Howard Taft for Secretary of State in 1908 preceded her; Obama’s pick of Tom Vilsack for Secretary of Agriculture followed her a couple of weeks later to be the next such person).

(On January 29, 2009, the constitutionality of her Saxbe fix was challenged in court by Judicial Watch;[30] on October 30, 2009, the courts dismissed the case.[31])

Staff

During the Obama presidential transition, Clinton described her own transition as “difficult … in some respects, because [she] never even dreamed of it.”[12] Then, and in the early days of her tenure, there was considerable jockeying for jobs within the department among those in “Hillaryland“, her longtime circle of advisors and staff aides, as well as others who had worked with her in the past, with not as many jobs as those desiring of them.[32][33] Obama gave Clinton more freedom to choose her staff than he did to any other cabinet member.[5][10]

Clinton’s former campaign manager, Maggie Williams, handled the staff hiring process.[32] Longtime counsel to both Clintons Cheryl Mills served as the secretary’s Counselor and Chief of Staff.[33] James B. Steinberg was named Deputy Secretary of State.[33] Jacob “Jack” Lew, once Bill Clinton’s Director of the Office of Management and Budget, was named Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, a new position.[34] This was an unusual step intended by Hillary Clinton to push to the forefront the emphasis on getting higher budget allocations from Congress and overlooking internal workings.[33][34] Anne-Marie Slaughter was appointed Director of Policy Planning with a view towards long-term policy towards Asia.[33] Huma Abedin, Clinton’s longtime personal assistant, was Deputy Chief of Staff for the secretary and remained a key member of Clinton’s operation.[32][35]

Much like she did at the beginning of her Senate career, Clinton kept a low profile during her early months and worked hard to familiarize herself with the culture and institutional history of the department.[33] She met or spoke with all of the living former secretaries, and especially relied upon her close friendship with Madeleine Albright.[33]

At the start of her tenure, Obama and Clinton announced several high-profile special envoys to trouble spots in the world, including former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell as Mideast envoy and Richard Holbrooke as envoy to South Asia and Afghanistan.[36] On January 27, 2009, Secretary of State Clinton appointed Todd Stern as the department’s Special Envoy for Climate Change.[37]

By May 2009, Clinton and the Obama administration intended to nominate Paul Farmer, co-founder of Partners in Health, as Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID),[38] but by August 2009 his nomination was reportedly scotched by the White House for reasons unknown.[39][40] This caused Clinton, while visiting USAID, to publicly criticize the long vetting process for administration appointments[39] calling it a “nightmare” and “frustrating beyond words.”[40] In November 2009, an unconventional choice was nominated instead, Rajiv Shah, a young Under Secretary of Agriculture for Research, Education, and Economics.[40] Clinton said, “He has a record of delivering results in both the private and public sectors, forging partnerships around the world, especially in Africa and Asia, and developing innovative solutions in global health, agriculture, and financial services for the poor.”[40]

Despite some early press predictions,[33] in general Clinton’s departmental staff has avoided the kind of leaks and infighting that troubled her 2008 presidential campaign.[35] One possibly lingering line of internal tension was resolved in early 2011 when State Department spokesperson P. J. Crowley resigned after making personal comments about in-captivity leaker Chelsea Manning (then known as Bradley Manning) and her treatment by the Department of Defense.[41] In other changes, Jacob Lew left in late 2010 to join the White House as Office of Management and Budget and was replaced as Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources by Thomas R. Nides (Lew would eventually become White House Chief of Staff and then the pick for U.S. Treasury Secretary for Obama’s second term),[34] and Steinberg left in mid-2011 and was replaced as Deputy Secretary by career diplomat William J. Burns.

Early themes and structural initiatives

During the transition period, Clinton sought to build a more powerful State Department.[42] She began a push for a larger international affairs budget and an expanded role in global economic issues.[42] She cited the need for an increased U.S. diplomatic presence, especially in Iraq where the U.S. Defense Department had conducted diplomatic missions.[42] U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates agreed with her, and also advocated larger State Department budgets.[29] Indeed, the two, and their respective departments, would have a productive relationship, unlike the often fraught relations between State and Defense and their secretaries seen in prior administrations.[43]

In the Obama administration’s proposed 2010 United States federal budget of February 2009, there was a proposed 9.5 percent budget increase for the State Department and other international programs, from $47.2 billion in fiscal year 2009 to $51.7 billion in fiscal year 2010.[44][45] By the time of Clinton’s May 2009 testimony before the United States Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs, numbers had been restated following rounds of general federal budget cuts,[46] and the proposed fiscal year 2010 budget request for the State Department and USAID was $48.6 billion, a 7 percent increase.[47] That became the amount of increase that was obtained.[48]

Clinton also brought a message of departmental reform to the position, especially in regarding foreign aid programs as something that deserves the same status and level of scrutiny as diplomatic initiatives.[29]

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton arrives at the State Department on her first day greeted by a standing room only crowd of Department employees.

Clinton spent her initial days as Secretary of State telephoning dozens of world leaders.[49] She said the world was eager to see a new American foreign policy and that, “There is a great exhalation of breath going on around the world. We’ve got a lot of damage to repair.”[49] She did indicate that not every past policy would be repudiated, and specifically said it was essential that the six-party talks over the North Korean nuclear weapons program continue.[50][51] Clinton re-emphasized her views during her first speech to State Department employees when she said, “There are three legs to the stool of American foreign policy: defense, diplomacy, and development. And we are responsible for two of the three legs. And we will make clear, as we go forward, that diplomacy and development are essential tools in achieving the long-term objectives of the United States. And I will do all that I can, working with you, to make it abundantly clear that robust diplomacy and effective development are the best long-term tools for securing America’s future.”[52] Clinton also soon visited the United States Agency for International Development, where she met employees and said they would be getting extra funds and attention during the new administration.[50]

She kept a low profile when diplomatic necessity or Obama’s involvement required it, but maintained an influential relationship with the president and in foreign policy decisions.[53][54] Her first 100 days found her travelling over 70,000 miles (110,000 km), having no trouble adapting to being a team player subordinate to Obama, and gaining skills as an executive.[54][55] Nevertheless, she remained an international celebrity with a much higher profile than most Secretaries of State.[29] Her background as an elected official gave her insight into the needs and fears of elected officials of other countries.[29]

By the summer of 2009, there was considerable analysis and speculation in the media of what kind of role and level of influence Clinton had within the Obama administration, with a variety of assessments being produced.[12][56][57][58] A prominent mid-July speech to the Council on Foreign Relations reasserted her role;[56] she said, “We cannot be afraid or unwilling to engage. Our focus on diplomacy and development is not an alternative to our national security arsenal.”[59]

In July 2009, Clinton announced a new State Department initiative, the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, to establish specific objectives for the State Department’s diplomatic missions abroad.[60] The most ambitious of Clinton’s departmental reforms, it is modeled after the Defense Department’s Quadrennial Defense Review, which Clinton was familiar with from her days on the Senate Armed Services Committee.[61] The first such Review came out in December 2010. Entitled Leading Through Civilian Power, its 220 pages centered on the notion of elevating “civilian power” as a cost-effective way of responding to international challenges and defusing crises.[62][63][64] It also sought the elevation of U.S. ambassadors in coordinating work of all abroad-tasked U.S. agencies.[62] Clinton said of the underlying message, “Leading with civilians saves lives and money.”[63] She also resolved to get Congress to approve the QDDR as a required part of the State Department planning process, saying, “I am determined that this report will not merely gather dust, like so many others.”[63] Another theme of the report was the goal of empowering the female population in developing countries around the world; the QDDR mentioned women and girls some 133 times.[64] In part this reflected incorporation into the QDDR of the Hillary Doctrine, which stipulates that women’s rights and violence against women around the world should be considered issues of national security to the United States.[65] In addition, by attempting to institutionalize her goals in this area, Clinton – along with Anne-Marie Slaughter and Melanne Verveer, who also worked heavily in these efforts – were hoping that her initiatives and concerns towards the empowerment of women would persist past Clinton’s time in office as well as break a past pattern of chauvinism in the department.[64]

In September, Clinton unveiled the Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative at the annual meeting of her husband’s Clinton Global Initiative.[66][67] The goal of the new initiative is to battle hunger worldwide on a strategic basis as a key part of U.S. foreign policy, rather than just react to food shortage emergencies as they occur.[67] The secretary said that “Food security is not just about food. But it is all about security: economic security, environmental security, even national security. Massive hunger poses a threat to the stability of governments, societies and borders.”[66][67] The initiative seeks to develop agricultural economies, counter malnourishment, increase productivity, expand trade, and spur innovation in developing nations. Clinton said that women would be placed at the center of the effort, as they constitute a majority of the world’s farmers.[67] The next month, to mark World Food Day, Clinton said, “Fighting hunger and poverty through sustainable agricultural development, making sure that enough food is available and that people have the resources to purchase it, is a key foreign policy objective of the Obama administration.”[68]

During October 2009, Clinton said, “this is a great job. It is a 24/7 job”[69] and “this job is incredibly all-encompassing.”[2] She said she never thought about if she were making the same foreign policy decisions as president, and had no intention of ever running for that office again.[2][69] While some friends and former advisers thought she was primarily saying that to focus attention on her current role and that she might change her mind about running for president in the future, others felt that she was genuinely content with the direction her career and life had taken and no longer had presidential ambitions.[70]

By the close of 2009 there were 25 female ambassadors posted by other nations to Washington; this was the highest number ever.[71] This was dubbed the “Hillary effect” by some observers: “Hillary Clinton is so visible” as secretary of state, said Amelia Matos Sumbana, the Mozambique Ambassador to the United States, “she makes it easier for presidents to pick a woman for Washington.”[71] An added fact, of course, was that two other recent U.S. Secretaries of State were women, but Clinton’s international fame from her days as First Lady of the United States made her impact in this respect the greatest of the group.[71]

Clinton also included in the State Department budget for the first time a breakdown of programs that specifically concerned themselves with the well-being of women and girls around the world.[64] By fiscal 2012, the department’s budget request for such work was $1.2 billion, of which $832 million was for global health programs.[64] Additionally, she initiated the Women in Public Service Project, a joint venture between the State Department and the Seven Sisters colleges. The goal was to entice more women into entering public service, such that within four decades an equal number of men and women would be working in the field.[72]

One specific cause Clinton advocated almost from the start of her tenure was the adoption of cookstoves in the developing world, to foster cleaner and more environmentally sound food preparation and reduce smoke dangers to women. In September 2010, she announced a partnership with the United Nations Foundation to provide some 100 million such stoves around the world within the next ten years, and in subsequent travels she urged foreign leaders to adopt policies encouraging their use.[4]

In February 2010 testimony before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs, Secretary Clinton complained about the slow pace of Senate confirmations of Obama’s nominations to diplomatic positions, a number of which were delayed for political reasons and had been subject to holds by individual Republican senators.[73] Clinton said the problem damaged America’s image abroad: “It became harder and harder to explain to countries, particularly countries of significance, why we had nobody in position for them to interact with.”[73]

In 2009, and again in 2010 and 2011, Clinton stated that she was committed to serving out her full term as secretary, but would not commit to serving a second term should Obama be re-elected.[74]

She later used U.S. allies and what she called “convening power” to help keep the Libyan rebels unified as they eventually overthrew the Gaddafi regime.[75]

Throughout her tenure, Clinton has looked towards “smart power” as the strategy for asserting U.S. leadership and values, combining military strength with U.S. capacities in global economics, development aid, and technology.[75] In late 2011 she said, “All power has limits. In a much more networked and multipolar world we can’t wave a magic wand and say to China or Brazil or India, ‘Quit growing. Quit using your economies to assert power’ … It’s up to us to figure out how we position ourselves to be as effective as possible at different times in the face of different threats and opportunities.”[75]

Clinton has also greatly expanded the State Department’s use of social media, including Facebook and Twitter, both to get its message out and to help empower people vis à via their rulers. Clinton said, “We are in the age of participation, and the challenge … is to figure out how to be responsive, to help catalyze, unleash, channel the kind of participatory eagerness that is there.” She has tried to institutionalize this change, by making social media a focus for foreign service officers and up to the ambassadorial level. (Other Clinton initiatives were run solely out of her office and were at risk of disappearing after she left office.) By late 2011, the department had 288 Facebook accounts and 192 Twitter feeds. The change was enough for daughter Chelsea Clinton to refer to the secretary as “TechnoMom”.[75]

Regional issues and travels: 2009

Obama and Clinton speaking with one another at the 21st NATO summit in April 2009

In February 2009, Clinton made her first trip as secretary to Asia, visiting Japan, Indonesia, South Korea, and China on what she described as a “listening tour” that was “intended to really find a path forward.”[76] She continued to travel heavily in her first months in office, often getting very enthusiastic responses by engaging with the local populace.[53][77]

In early March 2009, Clinton made her first trip as secretary to Israel.[78] During this time, Clinton announced that the US government will dispatch two officials to the Syrian capital to explore Washington’s relationship with Damascus.[79] On March 5, Clinton attended the NATO foreign ministers meeting in Brussels.[80] At this meeting, Clinton proposed including Iran at a conference on Afghanistan. Clinton said the proposed conference could be held on March 31 in the Netherlands.[81] On March 6, a photo-op with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov intended to demonstrate the U.S. and Russia pressing the “reset button” on their relationship, in an effort to mend frayed ties, went a bit awry due to a mistranslation.[82] (The word the Americans chose, “peregruzka”, meant “overloaded” or “overcharged”, rather than “reset”.) The episode became known as the Russian reset.[83]

During March 2009, Clinton prevailed over Vice President Joe Biden on an internal debate to send an additional 20,000 troops to Afghanistan.[84]

In June 2009, Clinton had surgery to repair a right elbow fracture caused by a fall in the State Department basement.[85] The painful injury and recuperation caused her to miss two foreign trips.[56][86] Nevertheless, during President Obama’s trip without her to Russia, Clinton was named as co-coordinator, along with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, of a newly created U.S.-Russian Presidential Commission to discuss nuclear, economic, and energy and environmental policies relating to the two countries.[87]

Clinton returned to the diplomatic scene and responded to the ongoing 2009 Honduran constitutional crisis, in which plans for the Honduran fourth ballot box referendum had led to the 2009 Honduran coup d’état, and which was becoming Latin America’s worst political crisis in some years.[88] In early July, she sat down with ousted President of Honduras Manuel Zelaya, who agreed on a U.S.-backed proposal to begin talks with the de facto Roberto Micheletti government.[89] Later, in September, Zelaya returned to the country, and President of Costa Rica Óscar Arias, who had become a mediator in the matter, as well as Clinton expressed hope that Zelaya’s return could break the impasse with the Micheletti government. In particular, Clinton said, “Now that President Zelaya is back it would be opportune to restore him to his position under appropriate circumstances – get on with the election that is currently scheduled for November, have a peaceful transition of presidential authority and get Honduras back to constitutional and democratic order.”[90] At the end of October, Clinton took a leading role in convincing Micheletti to accept a deal – which she termed an “historic agreement” – in which Zelaya would return to power in advance of general elections in which neither figure was running.[88] Micheletti said that Clinton had been insistent on this point: “I kept trying to explain our position to her, but all she kept saying was, ‘Restitution, restitution, restitution.'”[88] That agreement broke down, despite efforts of the State Department to revive it,[91] and Clinton and the U.S. ended up supporting the winner of the 2009 Honduran general election, Porfirio Lobo Sosa, with Clinton characterizing the elections as “free and fair” and Lobo as holding a strong commitment to democracy and the rule of constitutional law.[92]

Clinton meets with President Hugo Chávez at the Summit of the Americas on April 19, 2009

Clinton co-chaired the high-level U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue in Washington, D.C. on July 27–28, 2009 and led the Strategic Track for the United States.

In August 2009, Clinton embarked on her longest trip yet, to a number of stops in Africa.[93] On August 10, 2009, at a public event in Kinshasa, a Congolese student asked her what her husband, “Mr Clinton”, thought of a Chinese trade deal with the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Clinton looked irritated at the question and replied, “Wait, you want me to tell you what my husband thinks? My husband is not the secretary of state, I am. So you ask my opinion, I will tell you my opinion. I am not going to be channeling my husband.” The incident was played in newsrooms around the world. Clinton aides suggested there might have been a mistranslation, but that was not the case; however the student had later apologized to her, saying he had meant to ask what “Mr Obama” thought.[94]

In October 2009, Clinton’s intervention – including juggling conversations on two mobile phones while sitting in a limousine[95] – overcame last-minute snags and saved the signing of an historic Turkish–Armenian accord that established diplomatic relations and opened the border between the two long-hostile nations.[96][97]

Clinton with Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani during an October 2009 visit to Islamabad.

In late October 2009, Clinton travelled to Pakistan, where she had staged a memorable visit in 1995 while First Lady.[29] Her arrival was followed within hours by the 28 October 2009 Peshawar bombing; in response, Clinton said of those responsible, “They know they are on the losing side of history but they are determined to take as many lives with them as their movement is finally exposed for the nihilistic, empty effort that it is.”[98] In addition to meeting with Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani, she also staged numerous public appearances.[29][35] In those, she let students, talk show hosts, and tribal elders repeatedly complain about and criticize American foreign policy and American actions.[29][35] Occasionally, she pushed back in a more blunt fashion than usual for diplomats, explicitly wondering why Pakistan had not been more successful in combating al Qaeda “if they wanted to.”[35] Member of Parliament and government spokesperson Farahnaz Ispahani said, “In the past, when the Americans came, they would talk to the generals and go home. Clinton’s willingness to meet with everyone, hostile or not, has made a big impression – and because she’s Hillary Clinton, with a real history of affinity for this country, it means so much more.”[29]

On the same trip, Clinton visited the Middle East, in an effort to restart the Israeli–Palestinian peace process.

In November 2009, Secretary Clinton led the U.S. delegation at the 20th anniversary celebrations of the fall of the Berlin Wall.[99] There, she said: “Our history did not end the night the wall came down, it began anew. … To expand freedom to more people, we cannot accept that freedom does not belong to all people. We cannot allow oppression defined and justified by religion or tribe to replace that of ideology.”[100]

In December 2009, Clinton attended the Copenhagen United Nations Climate Change Conference, where she pushed forward a last-minute proposal of significant new amounts of foreign aid to help developing countries deal with the effects of global warming, in an attempt to unstick stuck negotiations and salvage some sort of agreement at the conference.[101][102] The secretary said, “We’re running out of time. Without the accord, the opportunity to mobilize significant resources to assist developing countries with mitigation and adaptation will be lost.”[101] The amount of aid she proposed, $100 billion, was in the modest terms of the Copenhagen Accord that was agreed to by the summit.[103]

Secretary Clinton finished the year with very high approval ratings.[104] She also narrowly edged out former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin in being America’s most-admired woman, per a Gallup finding.[105]

Regional issues and travels: 2010

Secretary Clinton met with Celso Amorim, Foreign Minister of Brazil, in March 2010 at the Palácio do Itamaraty in Brasília

In January 2010, Secretary Clinton cut short a trip to the Asia-Pacific region in order to see firsthand the destructive effects of the 2010 Haiti earthquake and to meet with President of Haiti René Préval.[106] Clinton said she would also evaluate the relief effort and help evacuate some Americans. She stressed that her visit was designed not to interfere with ongoing efforts: “It’s a race against time. Everybody is pushing as hard as they can.”[106] The Clintons had a special interest in Haiti going back decades, to their delayed honeymoon there[107] up to Bill Clinton being the United Nations Special Envoy to Haiti at the time of the earthquake.

In a major speech on January 21, 2010, Clinton, speaking on behalf of the U.S., declared that “We stand for a single Internet where all of humanity has equal access to knowledge and ideas”, while highlighting how “even in authoritarian countries, information networks are helping people discover new facts and making governments more accountable.”[108] She also drew analogies between the Iron Curtain and the free and unfree Internet.[109] Her speech, which followed a controversy surrounding Google‘s changed policy toward China and censorship, appears to mark a split between authoritarian capitalism and the Western model of free capitalism and Internet access.[109][110] Chinese officials responded strongly, saying Clinton’s remarks were “harmful to Sino-American relations” and demanded that U.S. officials “respect the truth”, and some foreign policy observers thought that Clinton had been too provocative.[109] But the White House stood behind Clinton, and demanded that China provide better answers regarding the recent Chinese cyberattack against Google.[111] Clinton’s speech garnered marked attention among diplomats, as it was the first time a senior American official had clearly put forth a vision in which the Internet was a key element of American foreign policy.[111]

By early 2010, the Obama administration’s efforts towards forging a new relationship with Iran had failed to gain headway, and the U.S. adopted a policy of adopting international sanctions against it and isolating it diplomatically in order to curtail the that country’s nuclear program.[112] This was a policy more in line with Clinton’s thinking and went back to disagreements she and Obama had had during the 2008 presidential campaign.[112] Clinton was put in charge of rallying support in the United Nations for these sanctions[112] and spent considerable time over the following months and years doing so.[4][113] At times Clinton suggested the possibility of military action against Iran should economic and diplomatic actions fail to deter it from its nuclear ambitions.[113]

In February 2010, Clinton made her first visit to Latin America as secretary. The tour would take her to Uruguay, Chile, Brazil, Costa Rica and Guatemala and Argentina. She first visited Buenos Aires and talked to Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. They discussed Falkland Islands sovereignty and the issue of oil in the Falklands.[114] Clinton said that “We would like to see Argentina and the United Kingdom sit down and resolve the issues between them across the table in a peaceful, productive way.”[114] Clinton offered to help facilitate such discussions, but did not agree to an Argentinian request that she mediate such talks.[114][115] Within 12 hours of Clinton’s remarks, Downing Street categorically rejected a U.S. role: “We welcome the support of the secretary of state in terms of ensuring that we continue to keep diplomatic channels open but there is no need for [direct involvement].”[115] Clinton then went on to Santiago, Chile to witness the aftereffects of the 2010 Chile earthquake and to bring some telecommunications equipment to aid in the rescue and recovery efforts.[116]

In April 2010, there was a flurry of speculation that Clinton would be nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court to fill the vacancy created by Justice John Paul Stevens‘ retirement, including a plug from ranking Senate Judiciary Committee member Orrin Hatch.[117][118] The notion was quickly quashed by the White House, which said, “The president thinks Secretary Clinton is doing an excellent job as secretary of state and wants her to remain in that position.”[117] A State Department spokesperson said that Clinton “loves her present job and is not looking for another one.”[118]

By mid-2010, Clinton and Obama had clearly forged a good working relationship without power struggles; she was a team player within the administration and a defender of it to the outside, and was careful to make sure that neither she nor her husband would upstage him.[72][119] He in turn was accommodating to her viewpoints and in some cases adopted some of her more hawkish approaches.[119] She met with him weekly, but did not have the close, daily relationship that some of her predecessors had had with their presidents, such as Condoleezza Rice with George W. Bush, James Baker with George H. W. Bush, or Henry Kissinger with Richard Nixon.[119] Nevertheless, he had trust in her actions.[4]

During an early June 2010 visit to Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, Clinton dealt with questions at every stop about the recently passed and widely controversial Arizona SB 1070 anti-illegal immigration law, which had damaged the image of the U.S. in Latin America.[120] When answering a question from local television reporters in Quito about it, she said that President Obama was opposed to it and that “The Justice Department, under his direction, will be bringing a lawsuit against the act.”[120] This was the first public confirmation that the Justice Department would act against the law;[120] a month later, it became official as the lawsuit United States of America v. Arizona. While at a hotel bar in Lima, she completed an agreement with a representative of China over which companies could be specified in a UN resolution sanctioning the nuclear program of Iran.[95] Returning to SB 1070, in August 2010 she included the dispute over it in a report to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, as an example to other countries of how fractious issues can be resolved under the rule of law.[121]

Clinton and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates tour the DMZ on July 21, 2010.

In July 2010, Clinton visited Pakistan for the second time as secretary, announcing a large new U.S. economic assistance package to that country as well as a U.S.-led bilateral trade agreement between Pakistan and Afghanistan.[122] She then traveled to Afghanistan for the Kabul Conference on the situation there, during which President Hamid Karzai vowed to implement much-promised legal, political, and economic reforms in exchange for a continued Western commitment there.[123] Clinton said that despite the scheduled U.S. drawdown there in 2011, the U.S. has “no intention of abandoning our long-term mission of achieving a stable, secure, peaceful Afghanistan. Too many nations – especially Afghanistan – have suffered too many losses to see this country slide backward.”[123] She then went on to Seoul and the Korean Demilitarized Zone where she and Defense Secretary Robert Gates met with South Korean Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan and Minister of National Defense Kim Tae-young in a ‘2+2 meeting’ to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Korean War. There she said that the U.S. experience in staying in Korea for decades had led to a successful result, which might also be applicable to Afghanistan.[124] Finally, she went to Hanoi, Vietnam, for the ASEAN Regional Forum, wrapping up what The New York Times termed “a grueling trip that amounted to a tour of American wars, past and present”.[124] There she injected the U.S. into the long-running disputes over the sovereignty of the Paracel Islands and Spratly Islands, much to the displeasure of the Chinese who view the South China Sea as part of their core interests, by saying “The United States has a national interest in freedom of navigation, open access to Asia’s maritime commons and respect for international law in the South China Sea.”[124]

By this time, Secretary Clinton was quite busy with another role of a kind, “M.O.T.B.” as she wrote in State Department memos, making reference to her being the mother of the bride in daughter Chelsea Clinton‘s July 31, 2010, wedding to Marc Mezvinsky.[125] She confessed in an interview in Islamabad less than two weeks before the wedding that she and her husband were both nervous wrecks, and that “You should assume that if he makes it down the aisle in one piece it’s going to be a major accomplishment. He is going to be so emotional, as am I.”[126] The event itself gained a large amount of media attention.[125]

In a September 2010 speech before the Council on Foreign Relations, Clinton emphasized the continuing primacy of American power and involvement in the world, declaring a “new American moment”.[127] Making reference to actions from reviving the Middle East talks to U.S. aid following the 2010 Pakistan floods, Clinton said that “The world is counting on us” and that “After years of war and uncertainty, people are wondering what the future holds, at home and abroad. So let me say it clearly: The United States can, must, and will lead in this new century.”[127]

With Democrats facing possible large losses in the 2010 midterm elections and President Obama struggling in opinion polls, idle speculation in Washington media circles concerning Obama’s chances in the 2012 presidential election led to the notion that Clinton would take over as Obama’s vice-presidential running mate in 2012 to add to his electoral appeal.[128] Some versions of this idea had Vice President Biden replacing her as Secretary of State if Obama won.[127][129] That it would ever happen was unlikely,[130] but did not stop the chatter; when the job swap idea was mentioned in public to Clinton, she smiled and shook her head.[127] A couple of months later, Obama shot down the idea, saying the notion was “completely unfounded” and that “they are both doing outstanding jobs where they are.”[131] (In late 2011, however, with Obama’s popularity on the decline, White House Chief of Staff William M. Daley did conduct some research into the idea of Clinton replacing Biden, but the notion was dropped when the results showed no appreciable improvement for Obama.[132])

Clinton at the Department of State building with President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, and U.S. Special Envoy George J. Mitchell, at the start of direct talks on September 2, 2010

Over the summer of 2010, the stalled peace process in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict was potentially revived when the various parties involved agreed to direct talks for the first time in a while.[133] While President Obama was the orchestrator of the movement, Secretary Clinton had gone through months of cajoling just to get the parties to the table, and helped convince the reluctant Palestinians by getting support for direct talks from Egypt and Jordan.[95][133] She then assumed a prominent role in the talks; Speaking at a September 2 meeting at the State Department between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, she acknowledged that, “We’ve been here before, and we know how difficult the road ahead will be.”[134] Her role in the ongoing talks would be to take over from U.S. Special Envoy for Middle East Peace George J. Mitchell when discussions threatened to break down.[95] The talks were generally given little chance to succeed, and Clinton faced the history of many such past failures, including the near miss of her husband at the 2000 Camp David Summit.[95] Nevertheless, her prominent role in them thrust her further into the international spotlight and had the potential to affect her legacy as secretary.[95][135]

In October, Clinton embarked on a seven-nation tour of Asia and Oceania. In New Zealand she signed the “Wellington Declaration”, which normalized the diplomatic and military relationship between it and the United States.[136] The signing marked twenty-five years after the United States suspended ANZUS treaty obligations with New Zealand in the wake of the USS Buchanan incident.

Clinton maintained her high approval ratings during 2010.[137] An aggregation of polls taken during the late portion or all of 2010 showed that Clinton (and her husband as well) had by far the best favorable-unfavorable ratings of any key contemporary American political figure.[138]

In late November, WikiLeaks released confidential State Department cables, selections of which were then published by several major newspapers around the world. The leak of the cables led to a crisis atmosphere in the State Department, as blunt statements and assessments by U.S. and foreign diplomats became public.[139] Clinton led the damage control effort for the U.S. abroad, and also sought to bolster the morale of shocked Foreign Service officers.[139] In the days leading up to the publication of the cables, Clinton called officials in Germany, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Britain, France, Afghanistan, Canada, and China to alert them to the pending disclosures.[139] She did note that some foreign leaders were accepting of the frank language of the cables, with one telling her, “Don’t worry about it. You should see what we say about you.”[139][140] She harshly criticized WikiLeaks, saying: “Let’s be clear: This disclosure is not just an attack on America’s foreign policy interests. It is an attack on the international community – the alliances and partnerships, the conversations and negotiations that safeguard global security and advance economic prosperity.”[139] The State Department went into immediate “war room” mode in order to deal with the effects of the disclosures, and began implementing measures to try to prevent another such leak from happening in the future.[140]

A few of the cables released by WikiLeaks concerned Clinton directly: they revealed that directions to members of the foreign service had gone out in 2009 under Clinton’s name to gather biometric details on foreign diplomats, including officials of the United Nations and U.S. allies.[141] These included Internet and intranet usernames, e-mail addresses, web site URLs useful for identification, credit card numbers, frequent flier account numbers, work schedules, and other targeted biographical information in a process known as the National Humint Collection Directive.[142][143] State Department spokesman Philip J. Crowley said that Clinton had not drafted the directive and that the Secretary of State’s name is systematically attached to the bottom of cables originating from Washington;[144] it was unclear whether Clinton had actually seen them.[145] The guidance in the cables was actually written by the CIA before being sent out under Clinton’s name, as the CIA cannot directly instruct State Department personnel.[146][147] The disclosed cables on the more aggressive intelligence gathering went back to 2008 when they went out under Condoleezza Rice‘s name during her tenure as Secretary of State.[143] The practice of the U.S. and the State Department gathering intelligence on the U.N. or on friendly nations was not new,[145] but the surprise in this case was that it was done by other diplomats rather than intelligence agencies, and that the specific types of information being asked for went beyond past practice and was not the kind of information diplomats would normally be expected to gather.[143][146][147][148] In any case, the instructions given in these cables may have been largely ignored by American diplomats as ill-advised.[147] Responding to calls from WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and a few others that Clinton possibly step down from her post due to the revelation, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said, “I think that is absurd and ridiculous. I think Secretary of State Clinton is doing a wonderful job.”[149]

At this early December 2010 summit in Kazakhstan, Clinton dealt with the fallout from the United States diplomatic cables leak.

On December 1, Clinton flew to a summit of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe in Astana, Kazakhstan.[140][150] There she would encounter some fifty leaders who were subjects of embarrassing comments in the leaks, including President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev.[140] A Kazakh official said that during such encounters, Clinton “kept her face. She didn’t run away from difficult questions.”[140] During the encounters she emphasized that the leaked cables did not reflect official U.S. policy but rather were just instances of individual diplomats giving unfiltered feedback to Washington about what they saw happening in other countries.[140] The situation led to some leaders turning her strong remarks about Internet freedom earlier in the year back against her.[140] The OSCE summit also featured a meeting between Secretary Clinton and Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations.[150] In an attempt to repair the strain caused by the Humint spying relevations, Clinton expressed regret to Ban for the disclosures, but did not make an apology per se.[148][150] A U.N. statement relayed that Ban thanked Clinton “for clarifying the matter and for expressing her concern about the difficulties created.”[148]

Upon the December 13 death of veteran U.S. diplomat Richard Holbrooke (who had initially fallen ill during a meeting with her), Clinton presided over a spontaneous gathering of some forty senior State Department personnel and Holbrooke aides at George Washington University Hospital, reminiscing about him.[151] At a memorial service for him days later, both Clinton and her husband praised Holbrooke’s work, and she said, “Everything that we have accomplished that is working in Afghanistan and Pakistan is largely because of Richard.”[152] As it happened, however, Holbrooke had developed poor relations with the White House during his time as Afghanistan envoy, and Clinton’s vision of him forging an agreement in that country that modeled the success of his prior Dayton Accords (that resolved the Bosnian War) were unrealized.[153]

On December 22, 2010, Secretary Clinton returned to the floor of the Senate during the lame-duck session of the 111th Congress to witness the ratification, by a 71–26 margin, of the New START treaty.[154] Clinton had spent the several days beforehand repeatedly calling wavering senators and seeking to gain their support.[155]

As the year closed, Clinton was again named by Americans in Gallup’s most admired man and woman poll as the woman around the world they most admired; it was her ninth win in a row and fifteenth overall.[156]

Regional issues and travels: 2011

Clinton and President of Brazil Dilma Rousseff on Inauguration of Dilma Rousseff, January 1, 2011

Secretary Clinton began the year 2011 abroad, attending the Inauguration of Dilma Rousseff in Brazil, having been sent by President Obama to represent the U.S.[157][158] Rousseff was the first woman to rule that country. While there, she ran into Venezuelan ruler and U.S. antagonist Hugo Chávez, but the two had a pleasant exchange; Chávez said “She had a very spontaneous smile and I greeted her with the same effusiveness.”[159]

Secretary Clinton conversing with United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan prior to a Gulf Cooperation Council meeting in Doha in January 2011.

In mid-January, Clinton made a four-country trip to the Middle East, visiting Yemen, Oman, The United Arab Emirates, and Qatar.[160] Speaking at a conference in Doha, she criticized Arab governments’ failure to move more rapidly vis à vis reform in unusually blunt language, saying, “In too many places, in too many ways, the region’s foundations are sinking into the sand. The new and dynamic Middle East that I have seen needs firmer ground if it is to take root and grow everywhere.”[160] Her visit to Yemen, the first such visit by a Secretary of State in 20 years, found her focusing on the dangers of terrorism emanating from that country.[161] An impromptu tour around the walled old city of Sana’a found Clinton being cheered by onlooking schoolchildren.[161] A trip and fall while boarding the departing airplane left Clinton unhurt but news services making predictable witticisms.[162]

When the 2011 Egyptian protests began, Clinton was in the forefront of the administration’s response.[163] Her initial public assessment on January 25 that the government of President Hosni Mubarak was “stable” and “looking for ways to respond to the legitimate needs and interests of the Egyptian people”[164] soon came under criticism for being tepid and behind the curve of developing events, although others agreed that the U.S. could not be out front in undermining the government of a long-term ally.[163] By the next day, Clinton was criticizing the Egyptian government’s blocking of social media sites.[164] By January 29, Obama had put Clinton in charge of sorting out the administration’s so-far confused response to developments.[165] During the frenetic day of January 30, she combined appearances on all five Sunday morning talk shows – where she stated publicly for the first time the U.S.’s view that there needed to be an “orderly transition” to a “democratic participatory government”[164] and a “peaceful transition to real democracy”, not Mubarak’s “faux democracy”[166] – with a flight to Haiti and back to mark the anniversary of its terrible earthquake, all the while engaging in conference calls again regarding Egypt.[167]

The Egyptian protests became the most critical foreign policy crisis so far for the Obama administration, and Obama came to increasingly rely upon Clinton for advice and connections.[165] Clinton had known Mubarak for some twenty years, and had formed a close relationship with Egyptian First Lady Suzanne Mubarak by supporting the latter’s human rights work.[165] Clinton originated the idea of sending Frank G. Wisner as an emissary to Cairo, to tell Mubarak not to seek another term as the country’s leader.[165] As Mubarak’s response to the protests became violent in early February, Clinton strongly condemned the actions taking place, especially those against journalists covering the events, and urged new Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman to conduct an official investigation to hold those responsible for the violence accountable.[168][169] When Wisner baldly stated that Mubarak’s departure should be delayed to accommodate an orderly transition to another government, Clinton rebuked him, but shared a bit of the same sentiment.[170] Mubarak did finally step down on February 11 as the protests became the 2011 Egyptian revolution. Clinton said that the U.S. realized that Egypt still had much work and some difficult times ahead of it.[171] In mid-March, Clinton visited Egypt and indicated support for an Egyptian move towards democracy, but she avoided specific issues of U.S. aid and when elections should take place.[172]

President Obama was reportedly unhappy with U.S. intelligence agencies following their failure to foresee the 2010–2011 Tunisian uprising and the downfall of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali as well as the Egyptian protests.[173] Responding to criticism that the State Department had failed to see the developments in Egypt coming, Clinton defended the U.S. in an interview on Al-Arabiya, saying “I don’t think anybody could have predicted we’d be sitting here talking about the end of the Mubarak presidency at the time that this all started.”[171]

Reflecting on not just the situation in Tunisia and Egypt but also on the, the 2011 Yemeni protests, and the 2011 Jordanian protests, Clinton said at a February 5 meeting of the Quartet on the Middle East, “The region is being battered by a perfect storm of powerful trends. … This is what has driven demonstrators into the streets of … cities throughout the region. The status quo is simply not sustainable.” She said that while transition to democracy could be chaotic – and free elections had to be accompanied by free speech, a free judiciary, and the rule of law in order to be effective – in the end “free people govern themselves best”.[174] The transformations highlighted that traditional U.S. foreign policy in the region had sided with rulers who suppressed internal dissent but provided stability and generally supported U.S. goals in the region.[175] When the monarchy’s response to the 2011 Bahraini protests turned violent, Clinton urged a return to the path of reform, saying that violence against the protesters “is absolutely unacceptable … We very much want to see the human rights of the people protected, including right to assemble, right to express themselves, and we want to see reform.”[175] At the same time, she said that the U.S. “cannot tell countries what they are going to do [and] cannot dictate the outcomes.”[175] As the situation in Bahrain lingered on and continued to have episodes of violence against protesters, Clinton said in mid-March, “Our goal is a credible political process that can address the legitimate aspirations of all the people of Bahrain … Violence is not and cannot be the answer. A political process is. We have raised our concerns about the current measures directly with Bahraini officials and will continue to do so.”[176]

When the 2011 Libyan civil war began in mid-February and intensified into armed conflict with rebel successes in early March 2011, Clinton stated the administration’s position that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi “must go now, without further violence or delay”.[177] As Gaddafi conducted counterattacks against the rebels, Clinton was initially reluctant, as was Obama, to back calls being made in various quarters for imposition of a Libyan no-fly zone.[178][179] However, as the prospects of a Gaddafi victory and possible subsequent bloodbath that would kill many thousands emerged, and as Clinton travelled Europe and North Africa and found support for military intervention increasing among European and Arab leaders, she had a change of view.[178][179] Together with Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice and National Security Council figure Samantha Power, who were already supporting military intervention, Clinton overcame opposition from Defense Secretary Robert Gates, security advisor Thomas Donilon, and counterterrorism advisor John Brennan, and the administration backed U.N. action to impose the no-fly zone and authorize other military actions as necessary.[178][180] Clinton helped gained the financial and political support of several Arab countries,[178][181] in particular convincing Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Jordan that a no-fly zone urged by the Arab League would not be sufficient and that air-to-ground attacks would be necessary.[75] Clinton then persuaded Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov that his country should abstain on the UN resolution authorizing force against Gaddafi,[75] and Rice and Clinton played major roles in getting the rest of the United Nations Security Council to approve United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973.[178][181] Regarding whether the U.S. or some other ally would send arms to the anti-Gaddafi forces, Clinton said that this would be permissible under the resolution, but that no decision had yet been made on doing so.[182]

Clinton testified to Congress in March that the administration did not need congressional authorization for its military intervention in Libya or for further decisions about it, despite congressional objections from members of both parties that the administration was violating the War Powers Resolution.[183][184] During that classified briefing to Congress, she allegedly indicated that the administration would sidestep the Resolution’s provision regarding a 60-day limit on unauthorized military actions.[185] Months later, she stated that, with respect to the military operation in Libya, the United States was still flying a quarter of the sorties, and the New York Times reported that, while many presidents had bypassed other sections of the War Powers Resolution, there was little precedent for exceeding the 60-day statutory limit on unauthorized military actions – a limit which the Justice Department had said in 1980 was constitutional.[186][187] The State Department publicly took the position in June 2011 that there was no “hostility” in Libya within the meaning of the War Powers Resolution, contrary to legal interpretations by the Department of Defense and the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel.[188][189] The State Department requested (but never received) express Congressional authorization.[189][190] The US House of Representatives voted to rebuke the administration for maintaining an American presence with the NATO operations in Libya, which they considered a violation of the War Powers Resolution.[191][192]

Secretary Clinton appearing on Nessma TV in Tunis in March 2011

While Clinton recognized some of the contradictions of U.S. policy towards turmoil in the Mideast countries, which involving backing some regimes while supporting protesters against others,[178] she was nevertheless passionate on the subject, enough so that Obama joked at the annual Gridiron Dinner that “I’ve dispatched Hillary to the Middle East to talk about how these countries can transition to new leaders — though, I’ve got to be honest, she’s gotten a little passionate about the subject. These past few weeks it’s been tough falling asleep with Hillary out there on Pennsylvania Avenue shouting, throwing rocks at the window.”[193] In any case, Obama’s reference to Clinton travelling a lot was true enough; by now she had logged 465,000 miles (748,000 km) in her Boeing 757, more than any other Secretary of State for a comparable period of time, and had visited 79 countries while in the office.[64] Time magazine wrote that “Clinton’s endurance is legendary” and that she would still be going at the end of long work days even as her staff members were glazing out.[75] The key was her ability to fall asleep on demand, at any time and place, for power naps.[72]

Clinton also saw the potential political changes in the Mideast as an opportunity for an even more fundamental change to take place, that being the empowerment of women (something Newsweek magazine saw as Clinton’s categorical imperative).[64] She made remarks to this effect in countries such as Egypt – “If a country doesn’t recognize minority rights and human rights, including women’s rights, you will not have the kind of stability and prosperity that is possible” – as well as in Yemen, where she spoke of the story of the present Nujood Ali and her campaign against forced marriage at a young age.[64] At home, Clinton was even more expansive, looking on a worldwide basis: “I believe that the rights of women and girls is the unfinished business of the 21st century. We see women and girls across the world who are oppressed and violated and demeaned and degraded and denied so much of what they are entitled to as our fellow human beings.”[64] She also maintained that the well-being of women in other countries was a direct factor in American self-interest: “This is a big deal for American values and for American foreign policy and our interests, but it is also a big deal for our security. Because where women are disempowered and dehumanized, you are more likely to see not just antidemocratic forces, but extremism that leads to security challenges for us.”[64] She subsequently elaborated upon this theme, saying “A lot of the work I do here in the State Department on women’s or human-rights issues is not just because I care passionately – which I do – but because I see it as [a way] to increase security to fulfill American interests. These are foreign-policy and national-security priorities for me.”[72]

In the midst of this turmoil, which also included Clinton pledging government-level support to Japan in the wake of the devastating 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami,[194] Clinton reiterated in a mid-March CNN interview with Wolf Blitzer during her post-revolution visit to Cairo’s Tahrir Square that she had no interest in becoming Secretary of Defense or vice president or of running for president again.[195] She also explicitly said for the first time that she did not want to serve a second term as Secretary of State if President Obama is re-elected in 2012.[180][196] She stressed how much she regarded her current position: “Because I have the best job I could ever have. This is a moment in history where it is almost hard to catch your breath. There are both the tragedies and disasters that we have seen from Haiti to Japan and there are the extraordinary opportunities and challenges that we see right here in Egypt and in the rest of the region.”[196] But reportedly she was weary at times from constant travelling, still not part of Obama’s inner circle, and looking forward to a time of less stress and the chances to write, teach, or work for international women’s rights.[180] She was not bound by her statements, and Blitzer for one suspected she would change her mind.[195] In any case, she remained popular with the American public; her Gallup Poll favorability rating rose to 66 percent (against 31 percent unfavorable), her highest mark ever save for a period during the Lewinsky scandal thirteen years earlier.[197] Her favorability was 10 to 20 percentage points higher than those for Obama, Biden, or Gates, and reflected in part the high ratings that secretaries of state sometimes get.[197]

Secretary Clinton was among those in the White House Situation Room getting real-time updates on the May 2011 mission to kill Osama bin Laden.

Throughout early 2011, the CIA thought there was a good chance it had discovered the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden, and the White House held a final high-level discussion on April 28 about whether to go ahead with a raid to get him, and if so, what kind of mission to undertake. Clinton supported the option to send Navy SEALs in, believing that the U.S. could not afford to ignore this chance and that getting bin Laden was so important that it outweighed any risks.[198] Following the successful May 1–2, 2011, U.S. mission to kill Osama bin Laden at his hideout compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, and the resulting criticism from various Americans that Pakistan had not found, or had let, bin Laden hide in near plain sight, Clinton made a point of praising Pakistan’s past record of helping the U.S. hunt down terrorists: “Our counter-terrorism cooperation over a number of years now, with Pakistan, has contributed greatly to our efforts to dismantle al-Qaeda. And in fact, cooperation with Pakistan helped lead us to bin Laden and the compound in which he was hiding. Going forward, we are absolutely committed to continuing that cooperation.”[199] Clinton then played a key role in the administration’s decision not to release photographs of the dead bin Laden, reporting that U.S. allies in the Middle East did not favor the release and agreeing with Secretary Gates that such a release might cause an anti-U.S. backlash overseas.[200]

A June 2011 trip to Africa found Clinton consoling longtime aide Huma Abedin after the Anthony Weiner sexting scandal broke.[201] She also emphatically denied published reports that she was interested in becoming the next president of the World Bank, which would need a successor to follow Robert Zoellick after the end of his term in mid-2012.[202][203] A different suggestion, from wanting-to-depart U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner that Clinton replace him at that position, gained some traction in parts of the White House before economic and budget issues intensified and President Obama convinced Geithner to stay on.[204]

By July, Clinton was assuring China and other foreign governments that the ongoing U.S. debt ceiling crisis would not end with the U.S. going into sovereign default[205] (a prediction that turned true when the Budget Control Act of 2011 was passed and signed the day before default loomed). She spent much of that summer in an eventually unsuccessful attempt to persuade the Palestinian National Authority not to attempt to gain membership in the United Nations at its September 2011 General Assembly meeting.[206]

Clinton continued to poll high, with a September 2011 Bloomberg News poll finding her with a 64 percent favorable rating, the highest of any political figure in the nation.[207] A third of those polls said that Clinton would have been a better president than Obama, but when asked the likelihood she would stage a campaign against the president, she said, “It’s below zero. One of the great things about being secretary of state is I am out of politics. I am not interested in being drawn back into it by anybody.”[208]

Following the October 2011 announcement by Obama that the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq would complete by the close of that same year, Clinton forcefully defended the decision as emanating from an agreement originally signed with Iraq under the Bush administration and as evidence that Iraq’s sovereignty was real, and said that despite the absence of military forces, the U.S. was still committed to strengthening Iraq’s democracy with “robust” diplomatic measures.[209] She also praised the effectiveness of Obama’s foreign policy in general, implicitly pushing back on criticism from those running for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.[209]

Clinton specifically pointed to the death of Muammar Gaddafi and the conclusion of the Libyan intervention.[209] She had been active during the final stages of the Libyan rebellion, and via Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, had urged the rebels forces to unify and avoid factional conflicts with each other.[75] She visited Tripoli in October 2011 and, in private, was somewhat guarded about Libya’s future following the rebel success.[75] (A video of her exclaiming “Wow” upon first reading on her BlackBerry of Gaddafi’s capture achieved wide circulation.[210]) Over the next few years, the aftermath of the Libyan Civil War became characterized by instability, two rival governments, and a slide into status as a failed state; it became a refuge for extremists and terrorist groups, such as ISIL, and spurred a massive refugee crisis as immigrants crossed the Mediterranean to southern Europe.[211] The wisdom of the intervention would continue to be debated, with President Obama maintaining that the intervention had been worthwhile but that the United States and Europe underestimated the ongoing effort needed to rebuild Libyan society afterward;[212] former U.S. Representative to NATO Ivo Daalder stating that the limited goals of the intervention had all been met but that the Libyan people had not seized their opportunity to form a better future and that post-intervention military involvement by the West would have been counterproductive;[213] and scholar Alan J. Kuperman (along with some other scholars and human rights groups) writing that the intervention had been based on the faulty notion that Libya had been headed towards humanitarian disaster when in fact it was not and was thus the intervention was “an abject failure, judged even by its own standards”.[214][215] Kuperman’s view that Gaddafi son Saif al-Islam Gaddafi held promise as a Western-style political reformer was in turn disputed by former Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Derek Chollet, who stated that such faith was misplaced and that Libyans were resistant to any post-intervention security mechanism and to many rebuilding programs.[216] Clinton said in her 2014 memoir that she had been “worried that the challenges ahead would prove overwhelming for even the most well-meaning transitional leaders. If the new government could consolidate its authority, provide security, use oil revenues to rebuild, disarm the militias, and keep extremists out, then Libya would have a fighting chance at building a stable democracy. If not, then the country would face very difficult challenges translating the hopes of a revolution into a free, secure, and prosperous future.”[211]

Secretary Clinton cancelled a planned trip to the United Kingdom and Turkey to be with her mother, Dorothy Rodham, who died in Washington on November 1, 2011.[217]

In November 2011, Clinton declared, in both a speech at the East–West Center and in an article published in Foreign Policy magazine, that the 21st century would be “America’s Pacific century”.[218][219] The term played on the notion of the “Pacific Century“. Clinton said, “It is becoming increasingly clear that, in the 21st century, the world’s strategic and economic center of gravity will be the Asia-Pacific, from the Indian subcontinent to western shores of the Americas.”[218] The declaration was part of the Obama administration’s “pivot to Asia” after the focus of the decade of the 2000s on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.[218][219]

When the 2011–2012 Russian protests had begun in late 2011, in response to the Russian legislative election, 2011, Clinton had been outspoken about the need for legitimate democratic processes there, saying in December 2011: “The Russian people, like people everywhere, deserve the right to have their voices heard and their votes counted. And that means they deserve free, fair, transparent elections and leaders who are accountable to them.”[220] She added that “Russian voters deserve a full investigation of electoral fraud and manipulation.” In return, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin denounced Clinton, accusing her of backing Russian protesters financially and in fact precipitating their actions: “They heard this signal and with the support of the U.S. State Department began their active work.”[221] When Putin won the Russian presidential election, 2012 in March 2012, some in the State Department wanted to denounce Russian process again, but they were overruled by the White House, and Clinton stated simply that “The election had a clear winner, and we are ready to work with President-elect Putin.”[4]

Secretary Clinton met with Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi on December 2, 2011, as part of her historic visit to that country.

In early December 2011, Clinton made the first visit to Burma by a U.S. secretary of state since John Foster Dulles‘s in 1955, as she met with Burmese leaders as well as opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and sought to support the 2011 Burmese democratic reforms.[222] Clinton said that due to the direct and indirect communications she had had with Suu Kyi over the years, “it was like seeing a friend you hadn’t seen for a very long time even though it was our first meeting.”[223] The outreach to Burma attracted both praise and criticism, with Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen saying it “sends the wrong signal to the Burmese military thugs” but others saying the visit combined idealism with respect to reform and realpolitik with respect to keeping Burma out of the direct Chinese sphere of influence.[224] Clinton had had to overcome internal administration opposition from the White House and Pentagon, as well as from Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, to make the move, eventually making a personal appeal to Obama and gaining his approval.[153] Regarding whether the Burmese regime would follow up on reform pledges, Clinton said, “I can’t predict what’s going to happen, but I think it certainly is important for the United States to be on the side of democratic reform … This is a first date, not a marriage, and we’ll see where it leads.”[223] She continued to address rights concerns in a December 2011 speech a few days later before the United Nations Human Rights Council, saying that the U.S. would advocate for gay rights abroad and that “Gay rights are human rights” and that “It should never be a crime to be gay.”[225] This itself drew criticism from some American social conservatives.[224]

As the year closed, Clinton was again named by Americans in Gallup’s most admired man and woman poll as the woman around the world they most admired; it was her tenth win in a row and sixteenth overall.[226]

Regional issues and travels: 2012

Secretary Clinton and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu following their bilateral meeting at the Department of State, February 13, 2012.

In a State Department town hall meeting on January 26, 2012, Clinton indicated her desire to remove herself from “the high wire of American politics” after twenty tiring years of being on it and added, “I have made it clear that I will certainly stay on until the president nominates someone and that transition can occur.”[227] She also indicated that she had not watched any of the 2012 Republican Party presidential debates.[227]

As the Syrian Civil War continued and intensified with the February 2012 bombardment of Homs, the U.S. sought a UN Security Council resolution that backed an Arab League plan that would urge Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to relinquish powers to the vice presidential level and permit a unity government to form.[228] However, Russia and China vetoed the resolution, an action that Clinton characterized as a “travesty”.[228] After the failure of the effort, Clinton warned that Syria could degenerate into “a brutal civil war” and called for a “friends of democratic Syria” group of like-minded nations to promote a peaceful and democratic solution to the situation and pressure Syria accordingly.[228][229] At a meeting in Tunis of the consequent Friends of Syria Group, Clinton again criticized the actions of Russia and China as “distressing” and “despicable”, and predicted that the Assad regime would meet its end via a military coup.[230] Later, during the summer of 2012, she repeated her criticism of those two countries.[231] At that time, Clinton developed a plan with CIA Director David H. Petraeus to send arms to, and perform training of, vetted groups of Syrian rebels, using the assistance of a neighboring state.[153] The plan also had the support of Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Joint Chiefs chair General Martin E. Dempsey.[232] Reluctant to become entangled in the Syrian situation and in an election campaign, Obama rejected the idea.[153]

Clinton has visited 112 countries during her tenure, the most of any Secretary of State in U.S. history.[233][234][235]

In February 2012, a spokesman for Clinton denied again that Clinton wanted the President of the World Bank job, saying, “She has said this is not happening. Her view has not changed.”[236]

At a keynote speech before the International Crisis Group, the secretary brought her view regarding the empowerment of women specifically into the area of peacemaking, saying that women’s multifaceted ties with a community make them more compelled to concern about social and quality of life issues that prosper under peacetime conditions. Furthermore, women identify more with minority groups, being discriminated against themselves. Thus, “Women are the largest untapped reservoir of talent in the world. It is past time for women to take their rightful place, side by side with men, in the rooms where the fates of peoples, where their children’s and grandchildren’s fates, are decided.”[72] She also continued to believe that empowerment of women would continue to grow as people saw that it would lead to economic growth.[237]

In April 2012, an Internet meme “Texts from Hillary”, hosted on Tumblr and based around a photograph of Clinton sitting on a military plane wearing sunglasses and using a mobile phone, imagined the recipients and contents of her text messages. It became suddenly popular and earned the endorsement of Clinton herself, before being brought to an end by its creators.[238][239] Obama himself took note of the meme’s popularity, in a humorous exchange that revealed the ease the two now had around one another.[240] Around the same time, a photograph taken during the 6th Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia, showed Clinton with a group of colleagues relaxing, drinking Águila beer from a bottle and dancing, at a local nightclub.[241] The episode gained front-page attention from the New York Post and illustrated how Clinton was enjoying the job. [4] Regarding her ongoing popularity, Clinton said, “There’s a certain consistency to who I am and what I do, and I think people have finally said, ‘Well, you know, I kinda get her now.'”[72] One long-time Washington figure summarized the situation by simply saying, “There’s no coin in criticizing her anymore.”[72] At the same time, her fashion choices gained renewed attention, with her hair grown long and sometimes pulled back with scrunchies.[72] Public commentary on Clinton’s hair was now a tradition across twenty years, but as one female State Department traveller said, “As a chick, it’s a big pain in the butt. The weather is different, and you’re in and out of the plane. [The staff] gets off that plane looking like garbage most days, but she has to look camera ready. She said the reason she grew her hair long was that it’s easier. She has options.”[72] Clinton professed she was past the point of concern on the matter: “I feel so relieved to be at the stage I’m at in my life right now, […] because if I want to wear my glasses, I’m wearing my glasses. If I want to pull my hair back, I’m pulling my hair back.”[242] In any case, Clinton showed a much more relaxed attitude vis a vis the press than in past eras.[72]

A late April/early May 2012 trip to China found Clinton in the middle of a drama involving blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng. He had escaped house arrest and, after finding his way to the Embassy of the United States, Beijing, requested an arrangement whereby he could stay in China with guarantees for his safety. After a deal towards that end fell through, he requested a seat on Clinton’s plane when she flew back to the U.S. After further negotiations in parallel with the existing agenda of Clinton’s trip, Chen left for the U.S. after Clinton’s departure.[243] Clinton had negotiated personally with senior Chinese diplomat Dai Bingguo in order to get the deal back in place.[153] Despite an environment that had, as one aide said, “exploded into an absolute circus”, Clinton managed to find a path for the U.S. that kept China from losing face and kept the overall agenda of the meetings intact.[4]

Following the June 2012 killing of high-ranking al Qaeda figure Abu Yahya al-Libi in one of the U.S. drone attacks in Pakistan, Clinton defended the action, saying “We will always maintain our right to use force against groups such as al Qaeda that have attacked us and still threaten us with imminent attack. In doing so, we will comply with the applicable law, including the laws of war, and go to extraordinary lengths to ensure precision and avoid the loss of innocent life.”[244] Indeed, beginning with her 2009 trip to Pakistan, Clinton had faced questions about U.S. drone strikes, which she refused to comment much upon at the time.[245] Behind the scenes, Clinton was in fact one of the leading administration proponents of continuing and expanding the strikes there and elsewhere.[246] She did, however, side with U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter in 2011 when he requested more input into, and control over, the U.S. “kill list” selections for that country.[247]

In June 2012, Clinton set down in Riga, Latvia, which represented the 100th country she had visited during her tenure, setting a mark for secretaries of state; the record had been Madeleine Albright with 96.[248] In July 2012, Clinton became the first U.S. Secretary of State to visit Laos since John Foster Dulles in 1955.[249] She held talks with Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong and Foreign Minister Thongloun Sisoulith in Vientiane.[250]

Also in July 2012, Clinton visited Egypt for the first time since Mohammed Morsi became the first democratically elected president of the country.[251] As she arrived in the country, her convoy was met with a protest and had shoes, tomatoes and bottled water thrown at it, although nothing hit either Clinton or her vehicle.[250] Protesters also chanted “Monica, Monica”, in reference to the Lewinsky scandal.[252][253] She also faced conspiracy theories (in a country that tended towards them) that the U.S. was secretly aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood.[254]

An advocate of ending Somalia’s transitional phase on time,[255] Clinton showed support in August for the new Federal Government of Somalia, which took over as the permanent government.[256][257]

President Obama and Secretary Clinton honor the Benghazi victims at the Transfer of Remains Ceremony held at Andrews Air Force Base on September 14, 2012.

On September 11, 2012, an attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi took place, resulting in the death of U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. The next day, Clinton also made a statement describing the perpetrators as “heavily armed militants” and “a small and savage group – not the people or government of Libya.”[258] Clinton also responded to the notion that the attack had been related to the reactions in Egypt and elsewhere to the anti-Islamic online video known as Innocence of Muslims, saying: “Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the internet. The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. But let me be clear: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind.”[259] She and President Obama appearing together in the White House Rose Garden the same day and vowed to bring the attackers to justice.[260][261] On September 14 the remains of the slain Americans were returned to the U.S. Obama and Clinton attended the ceremony; in her remarks, Clinton said, “One young woman, her head covered and her eyes haunted with sadness, held up a handwritten sign that said ‘Thugs and killers don’t represent Benghazi nor Islam.'”[262]

The attack, and questions surrounding the U.S. Government’s preparedness for it, and explanations for what had happened afterward, became a political firestorm in the U.S., especially in the context of the ongoing presidential election.[263] The State Department had previously identified embassy and personnel security as a major challenge in its budget and priorities report.[264] On the September 20, Clinton gave a classified briefing to U.S. Senators,[265] which several Republican attendees criticized, angry at the Obama administration’s rebuff of their attempts to learn details of the Benghazi attack, only to see that information published the next day in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.[266] She did announce the formation of an Accountability Review Board panel, chaired by longtime diplomat Thomas R. Pickering and vice-chaired by retired Admiral and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Michael Mullen, to investigate the attack from the State Department’s viewpoint.[267]

On October 15, regarding the question of preparedness, Clinton said she was accountable: “I take responsibility. I’m in charge of the State Department’s 60,000-plus people all over the world, 275 posts. … I take this very personally. So we’re going to get to the bottom of it, and then we’re going to do everything we can to work to prevent it from happening again.”[263] Regarding the different explanations afterward for what had happened, she said, “In the wake of an attack like this, in the fog of war, there’s always going to be confusion. And I think it is absolutely fair to say that everyone had the same intelligence. Everyone who spoke tried to give the information that they had. As time has gone on, that information has changed. We’ve gotten more detail, but that’s not surprising. That always happens.”[263]

On November 6, 2012, Obama was re-elected for a second term as president. Clinton said shortly before the election that she would stay on until her successor was confirmed, but that “this is not an open-ended kind of time frame.”[268] Despite her continuing to express a lack of interest, speculation continued about Clinton as a possible candidate in the 2016 presidential election.[237][268] A poll taken in Iowa, the first state in the nomination process, showed that in a hypothetical 2016 caucuses contest, Clinton would have 58 percent support, with Vice President Biden coming in next at 17 percent.[269]

Later in November, Clinton traveled to Jersusalem, the West Bank, and Cairo, meeting with leaders Benjamin Netanyahu, Mahmoud Abbas and Mohamed Morsi respectively, in an effort to stop the 2012 Gaza conflict. On November 21, she participated in a joint appearance with Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr to announce that a cease-fire agreement had been reached between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.[270] When the 2012 Egyptian protests against Morsi broke out shortly thereafter, Clinton said that it showed how a dialogue between both sides was immediately needed on how to reshape that nation’s constitution.[271]

In mid-December, Clinton fell victim to a stomach virus contracted on a trip to Europe. She subsequently became very dehydrated and then fainted, suffering a mild concussion. As a result, she cancelled another trip and scratched an appearance at scheduled Congressional hearings on the Benghazi matter.[234][272] A few conservative figures, including Congressman Allen West and Ambassador to the UN John R. Bolton, accused Clinton of fabricating her illness to avoid testifying, but a State Department spokesperson said that was “completely untrue” and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham denounced the allegations.[273][274]

On December 19, the Pickering–Mullen Accountability Review Board report on the Benghazi matter was released.[275] It was sharply critical of State Department officials in Washington for ignoring requests for more guards and safety upgrades, and for failing to adapt security procedures to a deteriorating security environment.[276] It explicitly criticized the Bureau of Diplomatic Security and the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs:[277] “Systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies at senior levels within two bureaus of the State Department … resulted in a special mission security posture that was inadequate for Benghazi and grossly inadequate to deal with the attack that took place.”[275] Four State Department officials were removed from their posts as a consequence, including Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security Eric J. Boswell (who resigned completely), a deputy assistant secretary for embassy security, Charlene R. Lamb, and a deputy assistant secretary for North Africa, Raymond Maxwell.[277] The report did not criticize more senior officials in the department; Pickering said: “We fixed it at the assistant secretary level, which is, in our view, the appropriate place to look, where the decision-making in fact takes place, where, if you like, the rubber hits the road.”[277] Clinton said in a letter to Congress that she accepted the conclusions of the Pickering–Mullen report,[276] and a State Department task force was formed to implement some sixty action items recommended by the report.[278] On December 20, the Deputy Secretary of State, William J. Burns, and the Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, Thomas R. Nides, testified in her place before two Congressional committees, and said that many of the report’s recommendations would be in place before year-end.[278] Clinton planned to testify herself in January.[274]

The Benghazi matter also had an effect on Clinton’s successor as Secretary of State. Obama’s first choice was Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice,[279] but she came under heavy criticism from Congressional Republicans for what they felt were incorrect or deceptive statements in the aftermath of the attack, and by mid-December she withdrew her name from consideration.[280] Obama then nominated Senator John Kerry for the position instead.[281] By one report, Clinton had preferred Kerry over Rice all along anyway.[282] Although still not well enough to attend the December 21 announcement of Kerry’s nomination, Clinton was described by Obama as being “in good spirits” and, in a statement, praised Kerry as being of the “highest caliber”.[281]

Clinton was scheduled to return to work the week of December 31,[283] but then on December 30 was admitted to New York-Presbyterian Hospital for treatment and observation after a blood clot related to the concussion was discovered.[284] On December 31 it was announced that the clot was behind her ear near her brain, specifically a right transverse sinus venous thrombosis, that she was being treated with anticoagulants, that she had not suffered any neurological damage, and that she was expected to make a full recovery.[285]

Final days of tenure

Secretary Clinton is welcomed back to work at the State Department on January 7, 2013

On January 2, 2013, Clinton was released from the hospital.[286] She returned to work at the State Department on January 7, when co-workers welcomed her back with a standing ovation and a joke gift of a football helmet featuring the department’s seal.[287] It was her first normal public appearance in a month.[287]

Secretary Clinton receives a football jersey with 112, the number of countries she visited during her tenure

The illness did, however, put an end to her days of travel in the job.[288][289] She finished with 112 countries visited, making her the most widely traveled secretary of state in history.[288] Her total of 956,733 air miles ended up falling short of Condoleezza Rice‘s record for total mileage.[288] That total, 1,059,207, was bolstered late in Rice’s tenure by repeated trips to the Middle East.[235][290] Clinton traveled during 401 days, with 306 of those spent in actual diplomatic meetings, and spent the equivalent of 87 full days on airplanes.[288][289] Compared to other recent secretaries, Clinton traveled more broadly, with fewer repeat visits to certain countries.[289]

Secretary Clinton gives her farewell remarks to State Department employees on her last day in office, February 1, 2013

On January 23, Clinton finally gave more than five hours of testimony on the Benghazi matter before hearings of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee.[291] She said with a choking voice, “For me, this is not just a matter of policy, it’s personal. I stood next to President Obama as the Marines carried those flag-draped caskets off the plane at Andrews. I put my arms around the mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, sons and daughters.”[292] She again accepted formal responsibility for the departmental security lapses that led to the attack and deaths, but in explanation did not accept personal blame for them.[293] She said, “I feel responsible for the nearly 70,000 people who work for the State Department. But the specific security requests pertaining to Benghazi, you know, were handled by the security professionals in the department. I didn’t see those requests. They didn’t come to me. I didn’t approve them. I didn’t deny them.”[293] She did acknowledge that she had supported keeping the Benghazi consulate open after an earlier debate about its deteriorating security, but said she had assumed the security personnel involved would address any issues with it.[293]

Senator Ron Johnson, a Republican associated with the Tea Party movement, questioned her repeatedly on a different aspect, whether Ambassador to the UN Rice had misled the public after the attacks. This line drew the fieriest response from Clinton, who with voice raised and fists shaking, responded, “With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night decided they’d go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, senator.”[291] Other Republicans also attacked Clinton, with Representative Jeff Duncan accusing her of “national security malpractice” and Senator Rand Paul saying that the president should have dismissed her from her job for having failed to read security-related cables coming into the State Department[291] (she had said there are over a million cables that come into the department and they are all formally addressed to her). Senator John McCain said that while “It’s wonderful to see you in good health and as combative as ever”, he was unsatisfied with her answers.[293]

Clinton also took the opportunity to address the ongoing conflict in Mali and the rest of Northern Africa, saying “this Pandora’s Box if you will” of side effects from the Arab Spring had opened a new security challenge for the U.S.[291] Specifically, she said “we cannot permit northern Mali to become a safe haven.”[291]

The next day, January 24, Clinton introduced John Kerry before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as hearings were held on his nomination to succeed her. She called him “the right choice to carry forward the Obama Administration’s foreign policy”, and called out his testimony before the same committee in 1971 in opposition to the Vietnam War as “speaking hard truths about a war that had gone badly off track.”[294]

At both public appearances, as well as at the second inauguration of Barack Obama, Clinton wore glasses (instead of her usual contact lens), which upon closer examination were seen to have Fresnel prisms attached to them, likely to counteract lingering blurred or double vision from her concussion.[295] Use of special glasses was confirmed by the State Department, which said, “She’ll be wearing these glasses instead of her contacts for a period of time because of lingering issues stemming from her concussion.”[292]

On January 27, 60 Minutes aired a joint interview with Obama and Clinton. The interview was Obama’s idea and was the first he had done with a member of his administration.[296] In it, Obama consistently praised Clinton’s performance in the position, saying “I think Hillary will go down as one of the finest secretary of states we’ve had.”[297] Both said the relationship between them had been very comfortable, and that getting past their 2008 primary campaign battles had not been difficult for them personally.[296] Regarding her health, Clinton said, “I still have some lingering effects from falling on my head and having the blood clot. But the doctors tell me that will all recede. And so, thankfully, I’m looking forward to being at full speed.”[297]

On January 29, Clinton held a global and final town hall meeting, the 59th of her tenure.[298] Also on January 29, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved Kerry’s nomination unanimously and the full Senate confirmed the nomination by a 94–3 vote.[299] In her final public speech, on January 31 before the Council on Foreign Relations, Clinton returned to the themes of “smart power”.[300] She suggested that a new architecture was needed for relations within the world, giving an analogy of Frank Gehry compared to ancient Greek architecture: “Some of his work at first might appear haphazard, but in fact, it’s highly intentional and sophisticated. Where once a few strong columns could hold up the weight of the world, today we need a dynamic mix of materials and structures.”[301] She added, echoing Madeleine Albright,[302] “… we are truly the indispensable nation, it’s not meant as a boast or an empty slogan. It’s a recognition of our role and our responsibilities. That’s why all the declinists are dead wrong. It’s why the United States must and will continue to lead in this century even as we lead in new ways.”[300][303]

Clinton’s final day as secretary was February 1, 2013, when she met with Obama to hand in her letter of resignation and later gave farewell remarks in a meeting with employees at State Department headquarters.[304]

Overall themes and legacy

While Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State was popular at the time among the public and praised by President Obama, observers have noted that there was no signature diplomatic breakthrough during it nor any transformative domination of major issues in the nature of Dean Acheson, George Marshall, or Henry Kissinger.[305][306] The intractable issues when she entered office, such as Iran, Pakistan, Arab-Israeli relations, and North Korea, were still that way when she left.[305] Many of Clinton’s initiatives in the “smart power” realm will take much more time to evaluate as to their effect.[305] Aaron David Miller, a vice president at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, said that “She’s coming away with a stellar reputation that seems to have put her almost above criticism. But you can’t say that she’s really led on any of the big issues for this administration or made a major mark on high strategy.”[305] Michael E. O’Hanlon, a Brookings Institution analyst, said that, “Even an admirer, such as myself, must acknowledge that few big problems were solved on her watch, few victories achieved. [She has been] more solid than spectacular.”[305] Others have been more highly critical of her tenure as Secretary; in a 2015 book entitled Exceptional: Why the World Needs a Powerful America, former Vice President Dick Cheney and his daughter, Liz Cheney argue that Clinton’s tenure, and the Obama administration‘s foreign policy generally, weakened U.S. standing in its international relations and deviated sharply from 70 years of well-established, bipartisan U.S. foreign and defense policy that the United States had generally adhered to since World War II.[307] Others, however, such as Eric Schmidt disagree, and have argued that Clinton was “perhaps the most significant secretary of state since” Acheson.[4] All agreed on her celebrity; as one unnamed official said, “She’s the first secretary who’s also been a global rock star. It’s allowed her to raise issues on the global agenda in a way that no one before her has been able to do.”[305]

Secretary of State Clinton and President Obama discuss matters in 2009, at a picnic table on the grounds of the White House

The divisions between Obama and Clinton that many observers had originally predicted, never happened.[4] Indeed, a writer for The New York Times Magazine declared that “Obama and Clinton have instead led the least discordant national-security team in decades, despite enormous challenges on almost every front.”[4] In part, this was because Obama and Clinton both approached foreign policy as a largely non-ideological, pragmatic exercise.[4] Nevertheless, there were limitations to her influence: Much of the handling of the Middle East, Iraq, and Iran was done by the White House or Pentagon during her tenure,[153] and on some other issues as well, policy-making was kept inside the White House among Obama’s inner circle of advisors.[306] There were also differences of opinion. Clinton failed to persuade Obama to arm and train Syrian rebels in 2012, but overcame initial opposition to gain approval of her visit to Burma in 2011.[153] Clinton’s initial idea of having special envoys under her handling key trouble spots fell apart due to various circumstances.[305] Clinton did find bureaucratic success in edging out the U.S. Commerce Department, by having the State Department take a lead role in sales pitches in favor of U.S. companies.[308] In doing so, she helped negotiate international deals for the likes of Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Westinghouse Electric Company.[308] Clinton believed, more than most prior secretaries, that the commercial aspects of diplomacy and the promotion of international trade were vital to American foreign policy goals.[308]

Obama later referred to the Libya intervention when questioned about his worst mistake.[309] Obama asserted that he had been reluctant to intervene but that intervention had been championed by Clinton and Susan Rice.[309] Obama cited the lack of preparation the Administration had made for a post-Gaddafi Libya, lack of followup by European countries and greater-than-expected intertribal divisions in Libya. [310] However, Clinton’s stance is that the intervention was beneficial because it avoided another Syria-like scenario.[310]

Clinton’s background as an elected politician showed in her touch for dealing with people, in remembering personal connections, in visiting State Department staff when overseas, and in sympathizing with the dilemmas of elected foreign leaders.[4] At least until the Benghazi matter, she retained personal support among a number of Republicans; in mid-2012, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said, “I think she’s represented our nation well. She is extremely well respected throughout the world, handles herself in a very classy way and has a work ethic second to none.”[4]

Especially in the Mideast turmoil but elsewhere as well, Clinton saw an opportunity to advance one of the central themes of her tenure, the empowerment and welfare of women and girls worldwide.[64] Moreover, she viewed women’s rights and human rights as critical for U.S. security interests,[72] as part of what has become known as the “Hillary Doctrine“.[311] Former State Department director and coordinator Theresa Loar said in 2011 that, “I honestly think Hillary Clinton wakes up every day thinking about how to improve the lives of women and girls. And I don’t know another world leader who is doing that.”[312] In turn, there was a trend of women around the world finding more opportunities, and in some cases feeling safer, as the result of her actions and visibility.[313]

A mid-2012 Pew Research study of public opinions found that Clinton was viewed positively in Japan and most European countries in terms of people having confidence that she would do the right thing in world affairs.[314] She received mixed marks in China, Russia, and some Central and South American countries, and low marks in Muslim countries, on this question.[314] Overall, Clinton’s attempts to improve the image of America in Muslim countries did not find any immediate success due to many factors, including the unpopularity of drone strikes in Pakistan and elsewhere.[314] Perceptions of the U.S. in those countries declined during her tenure according to a Pew Research, which found that only 15 percent of Muslims had a favorable impression of the U.S. in 2012, compared to 25 percent in 2009.[314] Specifically in Pakistan, only 12 percent of Pakistanis had a favorable impression of the U.S. in 2012, compared to 16 percent in 2009,[315] and only 3 percent had confidence in Clinton compared to 37 percent not.[314]

The first secretary of state to visit countries such as Togo and East Timor, Clinton believed that in-person visits were more important than ever in the digital age. As she said in remarks shortly before leaving office, “I have found it highly ironic that, in today’s world, when we can be anywhere virtually, more than ever people want us to show up, actually. Somebody said to me the other day, ‘I look at your travel schedule. Why Togo? Why the Cook Islands?’ No secretary of state had ever been to Togo before. Togo happens to be on the U.N. Security Council. Going there, making the personal investment, has a real strategic purpose.”[316]

Post-tenure issues

Financial accounting, document requests, Clinton Foundation

According to the Office of the Inspector General report made in 2014, the State Department’s records failed to properly account for some $6 billion in contracts over the prior six years, including around $2 billion for the department’s mission in Iraq. The report said, “The failure to maintain contract files adequately creates significant financial risk and demonstrates a lack of internal control over the Department’s contract actions,” and added that investigators and auditors had found “repeated examples of poor contract file administration” which it had characterized as having been one of the department’s “major management challenges” for several years.[317]

During 2014, the State Department failed to turn over documents to the Associated Press that it had asked for through a Freedom of Information Act request based on the possibility of Clinton running for president in 2016. The department said it “does its best to meet its FOIA responsibilities” but that it was under a heavy administrative load for such requests.[318]

The ethics agreement between the State Department and Bill Clinton and the Clinton Foundation that was put into force at the beginning of the secretary’s tenure came under scrutiny from the news media during early 2015. A Wall Street Journal report found that the Clinton Foundation had resumed accepting donations from foreign governments once Secretary Clinton’s tenure had ended.[319] A Washington Post inquiry into donations by foreign governments to the Clinton Foundation during the secretary’s tenure found a six cases where such governments continued making donations at the same level they had before Clinton became secretary, which was permissible under the agreement, and also one instance of a new donation, $500,000 from Algeria in January 2010 for earthquake relief in Haiti, that was outside the bounds of the continuation provision and should have received a special ethics review but did not. The Post noted that the donation “coincided with a spike” in lobbying efforts by Algeria of the State Department regarding their human rights record but that during 2010 and 2011 the Department still issued human rights reports critical of Algeria’s restrictions on freedom of assembly, women’s rights and labor rights that also pointed to instances of extrajudicial killings, corruption, and lack of transparency in the government.[320] A Politico analysis of State Department documents found that the department approved virtually all of Bill Clinton’s proposed speaking engagements, even when they lacked sufficient information about the valuation of those talks or links between them and possible subsequent donations to the Clinton Foundation.[321]

From 2009 to 2013, the Russian atomic energy agency Rosatom acquired Uranium One, a Canadian company with global uranium mining stakes including 20 percent of the uranium production capacity in the United States. The strategically sensitive acquisition required the approval of the Canadian government as well as a number of U.S. governmental bodies including the State Department. In April 2015, the New York Times reported that, during the acquisition, the family foundation of Uranium One’s chairman made $2.35 million in donations to the Clinton Foundation. Also during this time, Bill Clinton received a $500,000 payment from Renaissance Capital, a Russian investment bank whose analysts were praising Uranium One stock, for making speech in Moscow.[322] The Foundation donations were not publicly disclosed by the Clinton Foundation or the State Department, despite a prior agreement to do so, in part due to taking advantage of the donations going through a Canadian affiliate of the Foundation.[323] A FactCheck.org analysis stated that while the reports raised “legitimate questions about the Clinton Foundation and its donations,” the reports “presented no evidence that the donations influenced Clinton’s official actions.”[324] Asked about the issue in June 2015, the former secretary said of the State Department’s role in the approval, “There were nine government agencies that that had to sign off on that deal. I was not personally involved because that’s not something [the] Secretary of State did.”[325]

Use of private email server

In early March 2015, a New York Times report revealed that throughout her time as Secretary of State, Clinton used her own private email server, rather than government-issued departmental ones[326] Further investigation revealed that the day of her first Senate hearing to become Secretary of State, Clinton, or an associate, purchased a private email server under the pseudonym “Eric Hoteham”.[327][328] The server was set up in her home in Chappaqua, New York.[329] The matter gained widespread public attention due to concerns about the security of the mails she sent and received and whether they were exposed to hacking and surveillance; the availability and preservation of the mails for Freedom of Information Act requests and the archival historical record; and whether her action had violated any federal laws, regulations, or guidelines.[330][331] Also in question was whether the use of the private email server violated State Department transparency protocols.[332]

In response to the attention, Clinton said she had in December 2014 turned over 55,000 pages of e-mails to the State Department following their request and that she now wanted them made public.[331] These 55,000 printed pages accounted for 30,490, or slightly less than half, of the 62,320 emails that Clinton had sent or received on her private email account during her time as secretary.[333] At a press conference Clinton said she had set up the separate server as a matter of convenience so that she could carry one device and not two, but that in retrospect “it would have been better if I’d simply used a second email account and carried a second phone”.[334] She said that she had sent mails to State Department employees on their government accounts, ensuring such mails would be preserved, but it then turned out that the department did not automatically or routinely save such mails.[335] After the revelations, questions were raised about whether Clinton, when she resigned in February 2013, had signed Form OF-109, a standard document declaring that she had turned over all work-related records. After searching, the State Department said it had “no record” that Clinton had signed the form, were “fairly certain” that she had not, and that it appeared neither of her two immediate predecessors as secretary had either.[336] According to the text of the form, it warns individuals signing it that falsification is subject to criminal penalties under Section 1001 of Title 18.[337]

A portion of the emails on Clinton’s private server were emails sent in 2011 and 2012 by Sidney Blumenthal, a political supporter and campaign staffer who worked for the Clinton Foundation. Blumenthal prepared, from public and other sources, about 25 memos which he sent to Clinton during 2011 and 2012 which she shared through her aide, Jake Sullivan, with senior State Department personnel. In the form of intelligence briefings, the memos sometimes touted his business associates and, at times contained inaccurate information.[338][339]

In August 2015, it was reported that Clinton had personally paid a State Department staffer, Bryan Pagliano, who had previously served as IT director for Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, to maintain her private server while she was Secretary of State.[340][341] According to a Clinton campaign official, this ensured that taxpayer dollars would not be spent on a private server that was shared by Clinton, her husband and their daughter, as well as several aides to the former president.[340] On September 1, 2015, Pagliano’s attorney sent letters to the House Select Committee on Benghazi, which had subpoenaed Pagliano, and to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which was inquiring about Pagliano’s outside employment while a Federal employee, informing the committees that his client would invoke his constitutional Fifth Amendment rights not to answer any questions from the committees,[340][341] and on September 10, in a closed-door session before the Benghazi Committee, Pagliano personally appeared to invoke his Fifth Amendment right not to testify before the committee.[342]

Potential mis-handling of classified information

On July 23, 2015, The New York Times reported the existence of a June 2015, memorandum to the Justice Department from the Inspectors General of the Intelligence Community and the State Department regarding the presence of classified government information in emails from the personal email account Hillary Clinton used as Secretary of State.[343] A transmittal memorandum, written by State Dept. official Patrick F. Kennedy, said that, based on an assessment of a small sample of the contents of Mrs. Clinton’s private account by the two Inspectors General, it was likely that the entire body of emails contained hundreds of instances of classified information.[343][344] In their joint statement, the inspectors general said that classified information in the emails had originated from U.S. intelligence agencies, such as the CIA and the NSA, and that it is illegal anyone to receive a classified document, or briefing, and then summarize or otherwise transmit that information in an unclassified email.[343][345]

Clinton and her campaign have reiterated that the information transmitted was not classified “at the time”, but the inspectors general, as well as reporting by the New York Times and others, said that it, in fact, was classified at the time.[343][344][345] Information is considered classified if its disclosure would likely harm national security, and government procedures and protocols require that such information be sent or stored only on government computer networks with government safeguards.[343][345]

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1,600 Classified Emails With Dozens Designated “Secret” or “Top Secret/SAP.” — Obama Will Never Let Clinton Be Indicted or Charged Will Pardon Her — Trust — Issues — Turnout (TITs) — Will Determine Who Becomes Next President — Videos

Posted on February 20, 2016. Filed under: American History, Articles, Blogroll, Business, Communications, Computers, Crime, Crisis, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), Elections, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, Foreign Policy, government spending, history, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, National Security Agency (NSA), National Security Agency (NSA_, Newspapers, People, Philosophy, Photos, Political Correctness, Politics, Press, Radio, Rants, Raves, Talk Radio, Television, Terrorism, Video, War, Wealth, Weapons, Wisdom, Work, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Pronk Pops Show 617: February 4, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 616: February 3, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 615: February 1, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 614: January 29, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 613: January 28, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 612: January 27, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 611: January 26, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 610: January 25, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 609: January 22, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 608: January 21, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 607: January 20, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 606: January 19, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 605: January 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 604: January 14, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 603: January 13, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 602: January 12, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 601: January 11, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 600: January 8, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 599: January 6, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 598: January 5, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 597: December 21, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 596: December 18, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 595: December 17, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 594: December 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 593: December 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 592: December 14, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 591: December 11, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 590: December 10, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 589: December 9, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 588: December 7, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 587: December 4, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 586: December 3, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 585: December 2, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 584: December 1, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 583: November 30, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 582: November 25, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 581: November 24, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 580: November 23, 2015  

Pronk Pops Show 579: November 20, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 578: November 19, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 577: November 18, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 576: November 17, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 575: November 16, 2015  (more…)

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Is President Obama Sabotaging The Federal Bureau of Investigation Of Hillary Clinton’s Handling of Classified Documents? American People Want To Know — Will Hillary Clinton Be Indicted or Nominated? Yes Hillary Will Be Indicted For Violation of 18 U.S. Code § 793 and §798 and §1924 — Biden Backup to Replace Hillary Clinton — California Governor Jerry Brown To Enter Race? — Videos

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Pronk Pops Show 555: October 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 554: October 15, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 553: October 14, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 552: October 13, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 551: October 12, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 550: October 9, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 549: October 8, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 548: October 7, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 547: October 5, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 546: October 2, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 545: October 1, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 544: September 30, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 543: September 29, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 542: September 28, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 541: September 25, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 540: September 24, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 539: September 23, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 538: September 22, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 537: September 21, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 536: September 18, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 535: September 17, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 534: September 16, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 533: September 15, 2015  

Pronk Pops Show 532: September 14, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 531: September 11, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 530: September 10, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 529: September 9, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 528: September 8, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 527: September 4, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 526: September 3, 2015  

Pronk Pops Show 525: September 2, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 524: August 31, 2015  

Pronk Pops Show 523: August 27, 2015  

Pronk Pops Show 522: August 26, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 521: August 25, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 520: August 24, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 519: August 21, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 518: August 20, 2015  

Pronk Pops Show 517: August 19, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 516: August 18, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 515: August 17, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 514: August 14, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 513: August 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 512: August 12, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 511: August 11, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 510: August 10, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 509: July 24, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 508: July 20, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 507: July 17, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 506: July 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 505: July 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 504: July 14, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 503: July 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 502: July 10, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 501: July 9, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 500: July 8, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 499: July 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 498: July 2, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 497: July 1, 2015

 

Story 1: Is President Obama Sabotaging The Federal Bureau of Investigation Of Hillary Clinton’s Handling of Classified Documents? American People Want To Know — Will Hillary Clinton Be Indicted or Nominated? Yes Hillary Will Be Indicted For Violation of 18 U.S. Code § 793 and  §798 and  §1924 — Biden Backup to Replace Hillary Clinton — California Governor Jerry Brown To Enter Race? — Videos

bill and hillary clinton Clinton snowden

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton meets with local residents at the Jones St. Java House, Tuesday, April 14, 2015, in LeClaire, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Hillary-Clinton-Young-Cons Hillary-FBI

FBI Probe: Hillary Clinton Could Face 10 Years In Prison

Obama Calls Clinton Secret Server A “Mistake,” Says Questions About Her Actions “Legitimate”

Firebrand Trey Gowdy Dismantles Ex-Staffer’s Claim That Benghazi Committee Is Partisan

MSNBC Panel: Even The President Says Hillary Clinton’s Emails Are A Legitimate Issue

Top Republican: Hillary Clinton still withholding Benghazi emails

Hillary Clinton’s Favorability Numbers at the Lowest Since 1992

Obama: Criticism Of Hillary Clinton’s Private Email ‘Ginned Up’ Because Of Politics

FBI FURY: OBAMA SABOTAGING HILLARY INVESTIGATION

Rand Paul: Clinton Fired an ambassador for using a private email server; 10-16-2015

Obama Tells ‘60 Minutes’ Hillary Clinton Made Email ‘Mistake’

MSNBC: CIA’s Most Closely Guarded Information Passed Through Clinton Email

Wife of Imprisoned CIA Whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling Speaks Out October 15, 2015

Unprecedented News Conference: Thursday, October 15, 2015, National Press Club, Washington

Jeffrey Sterling was convicted under the Espionage Act as a source for New York Times reporter James Risen’s book State of War. He began serving his three-and-a-half year prison sentence in June. His wife’s news conference was the first time the spouse of a CIA whistleblower has made such an appearance.
National Press Club President John Hughes opened the conference, which featured:
* Thomas Drake
* Delphine Halgand
* Ray McGovern
* Jesselyn Radack

Clinton’s Deleted Emails On ‘Cloud’ Server

The saga over Hillary Clinton’s private use of an email server continues. The FBI is now investigating deleted emails from a “cloud” storage system. On Friday October 2, 2015 Platte River and Clinton’s officials gave written consent for Datto Inc. (a Connecticut-based tech company) to release Clinton’s emails to the FBI. Deputy Press Secretary at the Republican National Committee, Raffi Williams, discusses what this means for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. OANN’s Matt Schuck has this story.

Uh Oh! Hillary’s Emailgate Just Got Worse! MUCH WORSE! FBI Expands…

FBI’s Hillary email net expands

Judge Says Hillary Clinton’s Private Emails Were Classified, Violated Policy – America’s Newsroom

Could Hillary Clinton face prosecution over email scandal?

Minute Memo #174 – Clinton Hiding Benghazi Emails

Newly released emails of Hillary Clinton show new legal trouble up ahead.
According to investigative reporter Sharyl Attkinsson, Clinton deliberately hid information on the Benghazi terror attack in blatant violation of Freedom of Information Act requests.
According to Attkinsson:
“The newly-released batch of Hillary Clinton emails provides further proof that Freedom of Information (FOI) law has been blatantly violated.
The documents include material directly responsive to a FOI request I made back in 2012 after the Benghazi terrorist attacks on the U.S. compounds.
However, the material was not produced at the time, as required by law.
Once again, there appears to be nobody who holds government officials and agencies accountable for their routine violation of this law. So the infractions occur frequently and with impunity.
If nobody polices our government officials and agencies–if they are above the law–then how does a lawful society function?”

Judge Napolitano: FBI Will Recommend Hillary Clinton Be Indicted

Mark Levin: Hillary Clinton in Violation of Espionage Act • Hannity • 9/2/15 •

Newsmax Prime | Alan Dershowitz talks about the FBI investigating Hillary Clinton’s email server

Hillary Jokes About FBI Investigation

September 24, 2015: Sen. Tom Cotton questions NSA Director about Clinton Emails

 

‘Under Penalty of Perjury’: Judge Nap on Latest Twist in Hillary’s Email Scandal

Judge Andrew Napolitano appeared on “The Kelly File” tonight to weigh in on the latest developments in the Hillary Clinton email scandal.

A federal judge has demanded that Clinton and two of her most trusted aides go on the record “under penalty of perjury” regarding the private email server Clinton used during her time as Secretary of State.

Judge Napolitano noted that when the government suspected that Gen. Petraeus kept secure documents in his home, they raided it.

In Clinton’s case, Judge Napolitano pointed out, the government doesn’t suspect she has secure documents. It’s a known fact.

Not only that, but she gave a thumb drive with that secure information to her lawyer, Judge Napolitano added.

“Mrs. Clinton should be treated like anybody else who is obviously violating the law by failing to secure classified documents and keeping them in insecure venues not approved by the government,” Judge Napolitano stated.

He said that the federal judge’s use of the phrase “under penalty of perjury” is extremely significant, because it reminds Clinton that for the first time, she will be under oath.

Morrell confirms at least one foreign country have what was on Hillary’s email server.

Hillary Emails – Trey Gowdy Lays It Out

13 hours in Benghazi FULL VERSION INTERVIEW 5 parts combined

White House Covers Up Benghazi Terrorist Attack (INCLUDING NEW REPORTS)

CIA Contractor: I Told State Department Rep. Benghazi Was Terrorist Attack

White House Covers Up Benghazi Terrorist Attack – New BBC Science Documentary HD

Obama LIED About Benghazi Attack!!! (Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer Interview)

CIA Gun Runner: Hillary’s Benghazi Crimes Confirmed

SYRIA Retired General Suspects A US Covert Operation For Running Libya Arms To Syria

Treason Exposed! Obama Used Benghazi Attack to Cover Up Arms Shipments to Muslim Brotherhood

Source: FBI probe of Clinton email focused on ‘gross negligence’ provision

By Catherine Herridge, Pamela Browne

Three months after Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email address and server while secretary of state was referred to the FBI, an intelligence source familiar with the investigation tells Fox News that the team is now focused on whether there were violations of an Espionage Act subsection pertaining to “gross negligence” in the safekeeping of national defense information.

Under 18 USC 793 subsection F, the information does not have to be classified to count as a violation. The intelligence source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity citing the sensitivity of the ongoing probe, said the subsection requires the “lawful possession” of national defense information by a security clearance holder who “through gross negligence,” such as the use of an unsecure computer network, permits the material to be removed or abstracted from its proper, secure location.

Subsection F also requires the clearance holder “to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer. “A failure to do so “shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.”

The source said investigators are also focused on possible obstruction of justice. “If someone knows there is an ongoing investigation and takes action to impede an investigation, for example destruction of documents or threatening of witnesses, that could be a separate charge but still remain under a single case,” the source said. Currently, the ongoing investigation is led by the Washington Field Office of the FBI.

A former FBI agent, who is not involved in the case, said the inconsistent release of emails, with new documents coming to light from outside accounts, such as that of adviser Sidney Blumenthal, could constitute obstruction. In addition, Clinton’s March statement that there was no classified material on her private server has proven false, after more than 400 emails containing classified information were documented.

Clinton and her team maintain the use of a private account was allowed, and the intelligence was not classified at the time, but later upgraded. The latter claim is disputed by the intelligence community Inspector General, who represents the agencies involved, which concluded the information was classified from the start.

One of Clinton’s primary defenses is that the emails containing classified information, did not carry classification markings, but a leading national security defense attorney says that is no excuse under the law.

“The fact that something’s not marked or that the person may not know that it was classified would not be relevant at all in a prosecution under the Espionage Act,” defense attorney Edward MacMahon Jr. recently told Fox.

It is not known what relevant evidence, if any, has been uncovered by the FBI, or whether any charges will ultimately be brought, but Director James Comey told reporters in Washington D.C. on Oct. 1, “If you know my folks… they don’t give a rip about politics.”

On Thursday, a group of national security whistleblowers held a news conference in Washington at the National Press Club to highlight what they characterized as a double standard in these types of cases.

NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake was indicted in 2010 under the Espionage Act for sharing unclassified material with a Baltimore Sun reporter. Drake, who also went to Congress with his concerns about the NSA, said his goal was to expose government misconduct.

“This is the secretary of state, one of the most targeted individuals by other intelligence entities and agencies in the world using a private server to traffic highly sensitive information and no doubt including classified information and no doubt including info about sources and methods,”Drake said at Thursday’s event.

He added the whistleblowers’ treatment shows there is a law for the average citizen, and apparently a different set of rules for the powerful.

“But hey, I’m secretary of state,” Drake said in a sarcastic tone. ”Even Obama gave her cover.”

The charges against Drake were eventually dropped. He pled guilty to a misdemeanor, but in the process lost his ability to work in national security and depleted his life savings to mount a defense.

Former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling also went to Congress with his complaints, but was sentenced in May to three-and-a-half years in prison for violating the Espionage Act by giving classified information to a New York Times reporter. Sterling, who is appealing the case, was also convicted on obstruction of justice charges because a single email was missing from his account, even though the government could not show he was responsible for that.

Clinton has acknowledged deleting some 30,000 emails she considered personal.

In 2015, former CIA Director General David Petraeus pled guilty to a misdemeanor admitting he mishandled classified materials by sharing notebooks with his former mistress and biographer, Paula Broadwell.

He also was ordered to pay a $100,000 fine. Sterling’s supporters said he shared far less classified information with the New York Times.

“Powerful and politically connected individuals accused of the same and much worse conduct receive, at most, a slap on the wrist. Like General David Petraeus who gave away more secret information, classified at a much higher level, to his mistress and received a sweetheart plea deal for a minor misdemeanor,”Jesselyn Radack, a whistleblower and former ethics adviser to the Department of Justice, said Thursday.

“Or Hillary Clinton – she got a primetime TV apologist political spin interview from President Obama himself,” Radack added.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/10/15/source-fbi-probe-clinton-email-focused-on-gross-negligence-provision/

Eight Laws Hillary Clinton Could Be Indicted For Breaking

Kenneth P. Bergquist

Brigadier General, U.S. Army (Ret)

As a former Justice Department official, I have, of late, been asked by both Democratic and Republican friends whether Hillary Clinton could be indicted for her email related actions. The simple answer is yes — she, and perhaps some of her senior staff, could be indicted for violating a number of federal criminal statutes. But for reasons that will be discussed later, it is unlikely that she will be.

Nevertheless, it is well worth discussing the various criminal provisions of federal law that she and others may have been violated based on mainstream news reports. Remember that news reporting can be incorrect or incomplete — and that Hillary Clinton, and anyone else involved, deserves every presumption of innocence. Also keep in mind that an indictment is not a conviction but rather the informed opinion of a grand jury that probable cause exists to believe one or more violations of federal criminal statutes have transpired.

This intellectual and legal research exercise should commence with a brief review of the basics of criminal jurisprudence: There are two elements of a criminal offense: the prohibited conduct as defined in statute; and the mens rea or mental intent of the individual or individuals engaging in the prohibited conduct. Thus, to gain a conviction on a criminal count in an indictment, a prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that: (1) the prohibited conduct occurred, (2) the prohibited conduct was undertaken by the defendant, and (3) the defendant had the requisite mens rea or intent at the time.

1.) 18 U.S. Code § 793 – Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information
18 U.S. Code § 798 – Disclosure of classified information

A federal prosecutor would naturally focus first on the most serious allegations: willfully transmitting or willfully retaining Top Secret and Compartmented (TS/SCI) material using a private server system. The individual who transmits and the individual who receives and retains TS/SCI information on a private server jointly share the culpability for risking the compromise and exploitation of the information by hostile intelligence services. The prosecutor’s charging document would likely include felony counts under 18 U.S. Code § 793 and under 18 U.S. Code § 798 against each transmitting individual as well as separate counts against each receiving and retaining individual. Violation of either provision of the U.S. Code cited above is a felony with a maximum prison term of ten years.

The prohibited conduct is the insecure transmission of highly classified information, as well as the receipt and retention of highly classified information in an unapproved manner. The requisite mens rea is the willful commission of the prohibited conduct and the knowledge that compromised information could result in prejudice or injury to the United States or advantage to any foreign nation. Proof of intent to disclose the classified information is not required.

2.) U.S. Code § 1924 – Unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or material

If the federal prosecutors are of a charitable disposition and an accused person has been cooperative, the felony charges under 18 U.S. Code § 793 and 18 U.S. Code § 798 may be “pled-down” to a single or to multiple misdemeanor counts under 18 U.S. Code § 1924. A misdemeanor conviction would probably result in a period of probation and a less significant fine. The prohibited conduct is the unauthorized removal of classified information from government control or its retention in an unauthorized location. The mens rea required is the intent to remove from government control or the intent to store the classified information in an unauthorized location.
3.) 18 U.S. Code § 2071(b) — Concealment, removal, or mutilation generally

To sustain a charge under 18 U.S. Code § 2071(b), a federal prosecutor need only prove that the accused transferred and held the only copies of official government records (whether classified or not), the very existence of which was concealed from government records custodians. The mens rea required is that an accused knows that official government records were transferred or removed from the control of government records custodians. Violation of 18 U.S. Code § 2071(b) is a felony with a maximum prison term of three years.

4.) 18 U.S. Code § 641 – Public money, property or records

Again, if the federal prosecutors are of a charitable disposition and accused has been cooperative, the felony charges under 18 U.S. Code § 2071(b) can be “pled down” to a misdemeanor under 18 U.S. Code § 641. The prohibited conduct is the conversion of official records (whether classified or not) to the accused’s exclusive use and the mens rea is simply the intent to do so. Conviction on the lesser misdemeanor charge would likely result in a period of probation and the imposition of a fine.

5.) 18 U.S. Code § 1505 – Obstruction of proceedings before departments, agencies, and committees

If it can be proven that an accused destroyed, withheld, or concealed the existence of official records being sought under subpoena by a committee of Congress, the accused can be convicted of obstruction under 18 U.S. Code § 1505. The prohibited conduct includes destruction, concealment and withholding of documents, thereby impeding or obstructing the committee’s rightful pursuit of information. The mens rea is knowledge of the committee’s interest in obtaining the official records in the accused’s custody or control. Violation of 18 U.S. Code § 1505 is a felony with a maximum prison term of five years.

6.) 18 U.S. Code § 1519 — Destruction, alteration, or falsification of records in federal investigations

If it can be proven that an accused knowingly concealed the existence of official records being sought by the Department of State Inspector General (DOS/IG) or by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), such accused can be convicted of obstruction. The prohibited conduct is the concealment and withholding of documents that impede or obstruct an investigation. The mens rea is the intent to conceal or withhold. Violation of 18 U.S. Code § 1519 is a felony with a maximum prison term of twenty years.

7.) 18 U.S. Code § 1031 — Fraud against the United States
18 U.S. Code § 1343 – Fraud by wire, radio or television
18 U.S. Code § 1346 — Definition of “scheme or artifice to defraud”
18 U.S. Code § 371 – Conspiracy to defraud the United States

If it can be proven that an accused arranged for the Department of State to hire an Information Technology (IT) specialist to primarily administer and maintain a private server system owned by the accused, then the accused can be convicted of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud and probably wire fraud. The prohibited conduct is having the United States pay an employee salary and/or official travel funds for performing private services on behalf of accused. The mens rea is simply the knowledge of the employee’s status as a public servant and that the government was not fully reimbursed for the costs to the government of such services. The wire fraud conviction can be sought if it can be proven that accused used electronic means of communication in undertaking such scheme or artifice to defraud.

8.) 18 U.S. Code § 371 – Conspiracy to commit a federal offense

If any accused and any third party can be proven to have colluded in any violation of federal, criminal law, then all involved can be charged with criminal conspiracy as well as being charged with the underlying offense.

Indictment?

The old adage, that a good prosecutor can get a ham sandwich indicted, is bad news for any public servant who risks the compromise of classified information or otherwise violates any of the other federal criminal statutes listed above. Specifically, this Administration has a history of vigorously prosecuting and winning convictions in the mishandling of classified information and other criminal violations of the public trust.

However, Hillary Clinton is anything but a ham sandwich; and she knows it. She and her senior aides will not even be formally investigated by this Justice Department, much less indicted. The president will allow Hillary Clinton and her aides to “tough it out” for as long it is politically possible. However, if and when the political and public opinion costs of a “tough it out” tactic become too great, President Obama will simply use that famous pen of his to issue a succinct pardon and make formal mockery of the concept of equal justice.

Kenneth Bergquist served as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the United States Department of Justice during the Reagan Administration and serves now as pro bono legal counsel to the Special Operations Education Fund (OPSEC).

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2015/09/21/eight-laws-hillary-clinton-could-be-indicted-for-breaking/#ixzz3omBYzjeq

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Plan A (Awful) Hillary Clinton, Plan B (Bad): Joe Biden, Plan C (California): Jerry Brown, Plan D (Dumb): Bernie Sanders — Obama’s Legacy: The Destruction of Democratic Party — Rupert Murdoch Says Biden Very Likely To Win Nomination and Hard To Beat — Videos

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Pronk Pops Show 528: September 8, 2015 

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Plan A (Awful) Hillary Clinton, Plan B (Bad): Joe Biden, Plan C (California): Jerry Brown, Plan D (Dumb): Bernie Sanders — Obama’s Legacy: The Destruction of Democratic Party — Rupert Murdoch Says Biden Very Likely To Win Nomination and Hard To Beat — Videos

Plan A (Awful) Hillary Clinton

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Judge Napolitano: Gut feeling is that Hillary Clinton will be charged over private emails.

• Clinton Insiders Altered Top Secret Emails • Kelly File • 8/12/15 •

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Rep. Gowdy: “About damn time” Clinton emails tu..

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Plan B (Bad) Joe Biden

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Plan C (California) Jerry Brown

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Plan D (Dumb) Bernie Sanders

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Rupert Murdoch On Why He Supports Immigration Reform

Rupert Murdoch: Donald Trump ‘wrong’ on immigration

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‘Run, Joe, run!’ Adoring Pittsburgh crowd enthusiastically encourages Joe Biden to run for president

  • Joe Biden given a rapturous welcome by Pittsburgh steelworkers at rally
  • The Vice President gave a rousing speech blaming America’s ills on stagnant wages and an unfair tax code that favors the wealthy
  • Biden, who is still grieving his son, Beau, jogged through the crowd 
  • Biden’s popularity numbers are on par with Trump’s 

Hearing chants of ‘run Joe, run,’ Vice President Joe Biden marched in Pittsburgh’s annual Labor Day parade on Monday as speculation swirled about a potential entry into the Democratic presidential campaign.

The vice president donned a black-and-gold United Steelworkers union hat and told hundreds of union members that the gap between the wealthy and poor was hurting the nation.

The 72-year-old exuberantly jogged through the crowd of supportive well-wishers, who were urging him to join the race for president.

‘Give it a go, Joe!’ shouted one woman.

Scroll down for video 

Joe Biden rouses crowd at Pittsburgh rally

Vice President Joe Biden revved up the crowd at a steelworkers union event in Pittsburgh on Sunday

Joe Biden rouses crowd at Pittsburgh rally
Joe Biden rouses crowd at Pittsburgh rally

Biden was greeted with shouts of ‘Run, Joe, run!’ encouraging him to run for president

Recent polls suggest that those who are abandoning Hillary Clinton back Biden for president, according to CNN.

But Biden deflected questions as to whether or not he would enter the fray, only saying ‘I am definitely going to run part of this parade, I feel like I am home right now.’

But he had much more to say in his speech in front of the union.

‘It used to be when productivity went up in America, everybody got a chance to share,’ said Biden. ‘They got a piece of the action… Why in God’s name should a man or a woman working in a steel mill make $50,000 a year when someone on Wall Street makes millions of dollars a year?’

In introducing Biden for his speech, Trumka and United Steelworkers union chief Leo Gerard gave strong praise to Biden, who was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Biden praises unions as he addressees crowds on Labor Day

Joe Biden rouses crowd at Pittsburgh rally

Joe Biden rouses crowd at Pittsburgh rally

The adoring crowd flocked around the sprightly 72-year-old, who is still reeling from his son Beau’s death in May, but who looked happy and healthy at the rally

Fans clamored for selfies with the VP, who tends to be known for his verbal gaffes

Fans clamored for selfies with the VP, who tends to be known for his verbal gaffes

‘He has never let us down,’ said Gerard.

Biden, in his speech, said the tax code is to blame for the rich getting a bigger piece of the economic pie.

‘The tax code’s not fair. It’s simply not fair,’ Biden said in a city long associated with organized labor. ‘The wealthy aren’t paying their fair share. There used to be one America.’

Biden greeted United Steelworkers President Leo Gerard (right) who said Biden has never let steelworkers down

Biden greeted United Steelworkers President Leo Gerard (right) who said Biden has never let steelworkers down

Biden was cagey about whether he would run for POTUS but he had no issue with jogging through the streets of Pittsburgh 

Biden was cagey about whether he would run for POTUS but he had no issue with jogging through the streets of Pittsburgh

When asked point-blank by young local business owner Chris Fuget asked whether he would announce a 2016 run, the Vice President coyly said, ‘I haven’t made that decision yet,’ according to CNN.

There was some disappointment in the crowd that he didn’t throw his hat into the ring.

‘We thought today might have been the day,’ said Pittsburgh union worker Jack Gaffrey.

'It's hope,' the VP said about the enthusiastic response the crowd gave him 

‘It’s hope,’ the VP said about the enthusiastic response the crowd gave him

His entry could jumble a Democratic contest that has seen front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton’s lead diminish in early states against Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent who describes himself as a democratic socialist.

Biden, however, said last week he wasn’t certain if he and his family had the ’emotional energy’ for another campaign. Biden’s eldest son, Beau, died of brain cancer in May.

Biden blamed America's ills on the tax code which favors the wealthy as well as low and stagnant wages

Biden blamed America’s ills on the tax code which favors the wealthy as well as low and stagnant wages

But AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, who walked the parade route with Biden, said the vice president got a strong response from the city’s workers.

‘If you’re looking for energy, this is a great place to get energy today,’ the labor leader said.

Asked what he made of the overwhelmingly warm response Pittsburgh gave him, he replied, ‘It’s hope.’

'I am definitely going to run part of this parade,' Biden said and then made good his promise

‘I am definitely going to run part of this parade,’ Biden said and then made good his promise

In a new NBC/Marist poll of New Hampshire primary voters released on Sunday, Biden had support from 16 percent of Democratic voters.

That’s half the total of Clinton, who herself trailed front runner Sanders by nine points in New Hampshire, a state where Bill and Hillary Clinton have deep ties.

In Iowa, Clinton saw her lead over Sanders decline by half and now leads him by 37 percent to 20 precent with Biden at 20 percent.

But Biden still isn’t as quite popular as GOP frontrunner Donald Trump.

The reality star billionaire beats him by a narrow margin in a new national poll 44 percent to 42 percent, according to SurveyUSA.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3225543/Run-Joe-run-Pittsburgh-crowd-enthusiastically-encourages-Joe-Biden-run-president.html

The Best Second Choice

Forget Sanders and Biden, the Democrats’ best 2016 backup is California Gov. Jerry Brown.

Gov. Jerry Brown speaks at a news conference about transportation in Oakland, Calif., Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015.

The best bet.

By Aug. 21, 2015 | 10:40 a.m. EDT+ MoreIn assessing Hillary Clinton’s chances of being the 2016 Democratic nominee, Sean Trende hits the nail squarely on the head: “Absent an indictment, she remains the solid favorite for the nomination.” Yes, you read that correctly: “absent an indictment.”

In any other year, with any other candidate, that phrase would be ludicrous. How could a party be so solidly behind a person who is so publicly balancing on a razor’s edge between shady practices andillegal dealings? While there are many reasons for this, three stand out and are worth remembering before asking the next logical question: If not her, then who?

First, two large “anti-in-party” midterm elections decimated the Democrats’ bench. Surviving Democratic statewide elected officials are few and far between. And those who are there need more time to acquire political experience and develop a national reputation.

Second, Clinton has been perceived by her fellow partisans as the next in line for the nomination since the day she conceded the 2008 nomination contest to then-Sen. Barack Obama. That year’s epic contest ended with an unspoken but widely understood deal between the two warring factions of Democratic activists: Support for Obama in 2008 will lead to support for Clinton as his successor. This was a tough pill for Clinton’s backers to take because they had been expecting Clinton to become the party’s next nominee since the day John Kerry lost in 2004. But they accepted the trade because they had no choice.

Third, Clinton is not only unique because her gender combines with the Democratic Party’s sincere desire to follow the first African-American president with the first female one (a right time, right place confluence of dynamics, if you will), but also because the country experienced tremendous economic prosperity during her husband’s tenure in the White House and Democrats largely believe that fact will redound favorably on her candidacy.

Of course, her being a Clinton is also a challenge for her campaign. Aside from the dynasty knock, the Clintons have long rankled the feathers of other Democrats, and it was this “anti-Clinton” sentiment thatObama exploited to full benefit in 2008.

Nevertheless, it’s this strange brew of partisan expectations and political realities that have likely kept Clinton’s (older, but no less ambitious) Democratic opponents on the sidelines. If she were indicted, though, all bets are off and the problem of surfeit ambition would likely arise.

Setting aside the unknown probability of an indictment and the known likelihood of Clinton securing the Democratic presidential nomination before next spring, the question of who could possibly replace her is an interesting one to consider.

At the moment, progressive Democrats are increasingly rallying around one of her few declared opponents, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. But his far-left policy stances and past voting record make him a weak general election candidate. Democrats know this; it’s highly unlikely that the party establishment would support him to become the nominee.

There’s also the undeclared, but publicly ruminating Vice President Joe Biden. Despite his gaffe-pronereputation, most reports suggest that he is the party’s preferred second choice.

Still, if Clinton’s candidacy were to implode, I don’t imagine Biden would be on a glide path to the nomination (unless Obama were to endorse him). Secretary of State John Kerry might decide his time is now. As he lost the 2004 election by fewer than 120,000 votes from Ohio, he can legitimately argue he’s been a better candidate than Biden in past presidential races.

But by far, the Democrats’ strongest septuagenarian is California Gov. Jerry Brown. He has vast political experience. He’s well-liked across the Democratic Party. He continues to enjoy high approval ratings and has widely been perceived as an effective governor.

He’d also offer the Democrats two key talking points Sanders, Biden and Kerry can’t: He’s a Washington outsider and he knows how to make government work because he’s served four terms in the top executive office in California. Further, he has a more than two-decade long reputation of being the “anti-Clinton,” which would not only likely endear him to Sanders’ supporters, but would also place him in good stead were the party needing to wash its hands of all things Clinton in the wake of an indictment.

So while Brown’s candidacy may be a far-fetched possibility, from my view, he’s the best “second choice” for Democrats to mount a competitive general election campaign. But then, all of us Brownsfrom California tend to view politics rather unconventionally.

http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/lara-brown/2015/08/21/jerry-brown-is-the-democrats-best-choice-to-replace-clinton

GINGRICH: JERRY BROWN COULD ENTER PRESIDENTIAL RACE

Former Speaker of the House and 2012 presidential candidate Newt Gingrich told CNN on Monday that California Gov. Jerry Brown could enter the presidential race.

“If Hillary starts to implode you will see a vacuum that you have not seen in many, many years,” Gingrich told Fox News’ Greta van Susteren on her show, On the Record, speculating that Clinton’s mounting scandals could cost her the race.

“[Former New York mayor Michael] Bloomberg, if he shifts, Jerry Brown–I mean, you just don’t know. [Senator]

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) 15% …” Gingrich suggested.Gingrich also suggested that Secretary of State John Kerry might run, along with Vice President Joe Biden.

Brown has run for president three times before. He would be 78 years old in 2016, and has suggested that age might be an obstacle to a run, though he has not entirely ruled out a fourth attempt at the Oval Office.

He is, however, among the most popular and successful Democratic governors in the United States, and has more experience than anyone else in the field, currently or potentially.

Gingrich said that Hillary’s main worry will be socialist

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) 16%, who is running for the Democratic Party nomination.

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Billionaires For Bush and Clinton — American People For Anyone Else — Nurse Ratchet Is Back — Money Cannot Buy You Love — It’s My Turn — Videos

Posted on June 20, 2015. Filed under: American History, Articles, Banking, Blogroll, Books, British History, Business, College, Comedy, Communications, Constitution, Corruption, Crime, Crisis, Culture, Documentary, Economics, Education, Employment, Energy, European History, Faith, Family, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Fraud, Freedom, government, government spending, history, Homicide, Illegal, Immigration, Inflation, Investments, Islam, Law, Legal, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, media, Middle East, Monetary Policy, Money, Money, Music, National Security Agency (NSA_, Natural Gas, Non-Fiction, Nuclear Power, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Police, Politics, Press, Radio, Radio, Raves, Regulations, Religious, Speech, Talk Radio, Taxation, Taxes, Terrorism, Unemployment, Video, War, Wealth, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Story 1: Billionaires For Bush and Clinton — American People For Anyone Else — Nurse Ratchet Is Back — Money Cannot Buy You Love — It’s My Turn — Videos

Be it or be it not true that Man is shapen in iniquity and conceived in sin, it is unquestionably true that Government is begotten of aggression, and by aggression.

~Herbert Spencer, 1850

This is the gravest danger that today threatens civilization: State intervention, the absorption of all spontaneous social effort by the State; that is to say, of spontaneous historical action, which in the long-run sustains, nourishes and impels human destinies.

~Jose Ortega y Gasset, 1922

It [the State] has taken on a vast mass of new duties and responsibilities; it has spread out its powers until they penetrate to every act of the citizen, however secret; it has begun to throw around its operations the high dignity and impeccability of a State religion; its agents become a separate and superior caste, with authority to bind and loose, and their thumbs in every pot. But it still remains, as it was in the beginning, the common enemy of all well-disposed, industrious and decent men.

~Henry L. Mencken, 1926

 

Election 2016 Presidential Polls

Monday, June 15
Race/Topic   (Click to Sort) Poll Results Spread
Iowa Republican Presidential Caucus Morning Consult Walker 18, Rubio 7, Huckabee 10, Paul 10, Bush 10, Carson 5, Cruz 4, Santorum, Trump 5, Christie 6, Perry, Fiorina 2, Kasich, Jindal Walker +8
Iowa Democratic Presidential Caucus Morning Consult Clinton 54, Sanders 12, Biden 9, O’Malley 1, Webb 1, Chafee Clinton +42
New Hampshire Republican Presidential Primary Morning Consult Bush 14, Walker 10, Paul 9, Rubio 8, Trump 8, Christie 7, Cruz 4, Carson 6, Huckabee 6, Fiorina 5, Perry, Jindal, Santorum, Kasich Bush +4
New Hampshire 2016 Democratic Primary Morning Consult Clinton 44, Sanders 32, Biden 8, O’Malley 2, Webb 1, Chafee Clinton +12
South Carolina Republican Presidential Primary Morning Consult Bush 11, Walker 10, Graham 14, Cruz 6, Carson 12, Huckabee 7, Rubio 8, Paul 5, Christie 5, Trump 2, Perry, Santorum Graham +2
South Carolina Democratic Presidential Primary Morning Consult Clinton 56, Biden 15, Sanders 10, O’Malley 3, Webb 2, Chafee 1 Clinton +41
2016 Republican Presidential Nomination Monmouth Bush 9, Walker 10, Rubio 9, Carson 11, Huckabee 8, Paul 6, Cruz 5, Christie 4, Trump 2, Perry 4, Santorum 3, Fiorina 2, Kasich 1, Graham 2, Jindal 1 Carson +1

 

Wednesday, June 10
Race/Topic   (Click to Sort) Poll Results Spread
Ohio Republican Presidential Primary PPP (D) Kasich 19, Walker 13, Carson 13, Bush 12, Rubio 12, Paul 9, Huckabee 6, Cruz 5, Christie 4, Jindal, Perry Kasich +6
Ohio Democratic Presidential Primary PPP (D) Clinton 61, Biden, Sanders 13, Chafee 2, O’Malley 2, Webb 1 Clinton +48
Ohio: Bush vs. Clinton PPP (D) Clinton 45, Bush 43 Clinton +2
Ohio: Walker vs. Clinton PPP (D) Clinton 44, Walker 43 Clinton +1
Ohio: Rubio vs. Clinton PPP (D) Clinton 44, Rubio 44 Tie
Ohio: Carson vs. Clinton PPP (D) Clinton 44, Carson 43 Clinton +1
Ohio: Paul vs. Clinton PPP (D) Clinton 41, Paul 44 Paul +3
Ohio: Huckabee vs. Clinton PPP (D) Clinton 45, Huckabee 42 Clinton +3
Ohio: Cruz vs. Clinton PPP (D) Clinton 44, Cruz 43 Clinton +1
Ohio: Christie vs. Clinton PPP (D) Clinton 44, Christie 41 Clinton +3
Ohio: Kasich vs. Clinton PPP (D) Clinton 40, Kasich 47 Kasich +7

 

APRIL 7, 2015

Trends in Party Identification, 1939-2014

For more than 70 years, with few exceptions, more Americans have identified as Democrats than Republicans. But the share of independents, which surpassed the percentages of either Democrats or Republicans several years ago, continues to increase. Currently, 39% Americans identify as independents, 32% as Democrats and 23% as Republicans. This is the highest percentage of independents in more than 75 years of public opinion polling. Report: A Deep Dive Into Party Affiliation

% of Americans who say they are …

Note: 1939-1989 yearly averages from the Gallup Organization interactive website. 1990-2014 yearly totals from Pew Research Center aggregate files. Based on the general public. Data unavailable for 1941. Independent data unavailable for 1951-1956.

presidents-budget Tax-foundation-Distribution-of-Federal-TaxesTaxes-and-the-Poor-updated-graph1-Average-Effective-July-2011

Historical_Mariginal_Tax_Rate_for_Highest_and_Lowest_Income_Earners

 

One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest – Randal back in action scene

i want my cigarettes

The Beatles – Can’t Buy Me Love (Live)

Hillary Clinton Announces Her Bid For President. Again.

This Aug. 24, 2012 photo provided by FDR Four Freedoms Park LLC, shows the New York City memorial park, honoring President Franklin D. Roosevelt, that has been completed 40 years after the original design was created. The Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park on the southern tip of 2-mile-long Roosevelt Island  - between Manhattan and Queens -  is being dedicated Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012, in a ceremony to be attended by dignitaries including former President Bill Clinton and Mayor Michael Bloomberg. (AP Photo/FDR Four Freedoms Park LLC, Paul Warchol)

This Aug. 24, 2012 photo provided by FDR Four Freedoms Park LLC, shows the New York City memorial park, honoring President Franklin D. Roosevelt, that has been completed 40 years after the original design was created. The Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park on the southern tip of 2-mile-long Roosevelt Island – between Manhattan and Queens – is being dedicated Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012, in a ceremony to be attended by dignitaries including former President Bill Clinton and Mayor Michael Bloomberg. (AP Photo/FDR Four Freedoms Park LLC, Paul Warchol)

roosevelt-island

roosevelt island

hillary logo 2

roosevelt island hillary launchhillary clinton

hillary speech

Clinton touts shared prosperity in campaign kick-off speech

Hillary Clinton’s 2016 Candidacy Announcement Expected on Sunday

Hillary Clinton’s 2016 Presidential Campaign Announcement (OFFICIAL)

Malzberg | Raffi Williams discusses Hillary Clinton’s Saturday “Re-Launch” of her Campaign

Hillary Clinton Launches Presidential Campaign In Nyc FULL SPEECH

Hillary the Scandals

Exposed: Hillary Clinton’s Sex Scandals

THE CLINTON CONSPIRACY – MUST WATCH

Google “Bill Clinton rape”

The Alex Jones Show (1st HOUR-VIDEO Commercial Free) Sunday June 14 2015: News

CNN Poll Shows Hillary Clinton “Shine Has Tarnished” And She Is Losing Support Of Independents

FNC: Hillary Clinton’s Favorability Down 11 Among Independents

jeb bush 2 jeb bush runs
jeb-bush

jeb logo

Jeb LET’S-JUST-LEAVE-LAST-NAMES-OUT-OF-THIS Bush 2016 Presidential Campaign Announcement

Immigration Protesters Disrupt Jeb Bush Campaign Announcement – June 15, 2015

Conservative Heads Explode Over Jeb Bush Immigration Comments

Mark Levin comments on Jeb Bush’s statements about legal and illegal immigration

PJTV: No Jeb Bush and No Third Parties

Glenn Beck – “Jeb Bush is Hillary Clinton LITE”

Immigration by the Numbers — Off the Charts

America’s Immigration History

Top 10 Immigrant Countries

Immigration, World Poverty and Gumballs – Updated 2010

01_apprehensionsArrests of Illegal Aliens Declines 75 Percentborder-map3-01-01Deportations TableDHS-Statsreturna and removalsus_border_apprehensions_1976_2013

How Many Illegal Aliens Are in the US? – Walsh – 1

How Many Illegal Aliens Are in the United States? Presentation by James H. Walsh, Associate General Counsel of the former INS – part 1.

Census Bureau estimates of the number of illegals in the U.S. are suspect and may represent significant undercounts. The studies presented by these authors show that the numbers of illegal aliens in the U.S. could range from 20 to 38 million.

On October 3, 2007, a press conference and panel discussion was hosted by Californians for Population Stabilization (http://www.CAPSweb.org) and The Social Contract (http://www.TheSocialContract.com) to discuss alternative methodologies for estimating the true numbers of illegal aliens residing in the United States.

This is a presentation of five panelists presenting at the National Press Club, Washington, D.C. on October 3, 2007. The presentations are broken into a series of video segments:

Wayne Lutton, Introduction: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5KHQR…

Diana Hull, part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6WvFW…

Diana Hull, part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYuRNY…

James H Walsh, part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MB0RkV…

James H. Walsh, part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbmdun…

Phil Romero: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_ohvJ…

Fred Elbel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNTJGf…

How Many Illegal Aliens Are in the US? – Walsh – 2

Jeb Bush Urges ‘Earned Legal Status’ For 11 Million Illegal Aliens

Did Ann Coulter Save USA with funny & brilliant Immigration CPAC Speech?

Laura Ingraham slams Jeb Bush at CPAC

Jeb Bush to officially announce 2016 presidential run

Jeb Bush Finally Announces He Will Run for President

Jeb Bush – Just Another W?

Raw video: Jeb Bush speaks at Politics and Eggs

Diana Ross – Do You Know Where You’re Going To ( Theme From Soundtrack Mahogany )

Diana Ross It’s My Turn

JEB BUSH HAS OPTIMISTIC MESSAGE, FACES CHALLENGES IN ’16 BID
BY STEVE PEOPLES AND BRENDAN FARRINGTON
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Jeb Bush is launching a Republican presidential bid months in the making Monday with a vow to get Washington “out of the business of causing problems” and to stay true to his beliefs – easier said than done in a bristling primary contest where his conservative credentials will be sharply challenged.

“I will campaign as I would serve, going everywhere, speaking to everyone, keeping my word, facing the issues without flinching,” Bush said in excerpts of a speech released by his campaign before his afternoon announcement. Bush was opening his campaign at a rally near his south Florida home at Miami Dade College, where the institution’s large and diverse student body symbolizes the nation he seeks to lead.

In an unusual twist for a political speech aimed at a national audience, Bush, who is bilingual, planned to speak partly in Spanish. The former Florida governor has made minority outreach a priority.

“In any language,” his speech said, “my message will be an optimistic one because I am certain that we can make the decades just ahead in America the greatest time ever to be alive in this world.”

In a video for the event, showing women, minorities and a disabled child, Bush says “the most vulnerable in our society should be in the front of the line and not the back.” This calls for “new leadership that takes conservative principles and applies them so that people can rise up.”

Neither his father, former President George H.W. Bush, nor his brother, former President George W. Bush, was expected to attend. The family was to be represented instead by Jeb Bush’s mother and former first lady, Barbara Bush, who once said that the country didn’t need yet another Bush as president, and by his son George P. Bush, recently elected Texas land commissioner.

Before the event, the Bush campaign came out with a new logo – Jeb! – that conspicuously leaves out the Bush surname.

Bush joins the race in progress in some ways in a commanding position. Bush has probably raised a record amount of money to support his candidacy and conceived of a new approach on how to structure his campaign, both aimed at allowing him to make a deep run into the GOP primaries.

But on other measures, early public opinion polls among them, he has yet to break out. While unquestionably one of the top-tier candidates in the GOP race, he is also only one of several in a large and capable Republican field that does not have a true front-runner.

In the past six months, Bush has made clear he will remain committed to his core beliefs in the campaign to come – even if his positions on immigration and education standards are deeply unpopular among the conservative base of the party that plays an outsized role in the GOP primaries.

Tea party leader Mark Meckler on Monday said Bush’s positions on education and immigration are “a nonstarter with many conservatives.”

“There are two political dynasties eyeing 2016,” said Meckler, a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, one of the movement’s largest organizations, and now leader of Citizens for Self-Governance. “And before conservatives try to beat Hillary, they first need to beat Bush.”

Yet a defiant Bush has showed little willingness to placate his party’s right wing.

“I’m not going to change who I am,” Bush said as he wrapped up a European trip on the weekend. “I respect people who may not agree with me, but I’m not going to change my views because today someone has a view that’s different.”

Bush is one of 11 major Republicans in the hunt for the nomination. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Ohio Gov. John Kasich are among those still deciding whether to join a field that could end up just shy of 20.

After touring four early-voting states, Bush quickly launches a private fundraising tour with stops in at least 11 cities before the end of the month. Two events alone – a reception at Union Station in Washington on Friday and a breakfast the following week on Seventh Avenue in New York – will account for almost $2 million in new campaign cash, according to invitations that list more than 75 already committed donors.

Jeb Bush Announces GOP Presidential Campaign

Enters crowded Republican field with the party faithful divided over the GOP’s direction

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush formally announces his campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination on Monday, June 15, 2015 in Miami.ENLARGE
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush formally announces his campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination on Monday, June 15, 2015 in Miami. PHOTO:REUTERS

“Here’s what it comes down to. Our country is on a very bad course. And the question is: What are we going to do about it? The question for me is: What am I going to do about it?” he said. “And I have decided. I am a candidate for president of the United States.”

Mr. Bush, who becomes the third member of his family to seek the nation’s highest office, spoke while delivering his official campaign speech at Miami-Dade College.

Earlier, he officially kicked off his candidacy by filing paperwork to run for president with the Federal Election Commission.

The son and brother of two U.S. presidents, Mr. Bush enters a presidential field crowded with young up-and-coming Republican talent and an electorate deeply divided about the future direction of both the Republican Party and the nation.

In laying out the case for his candidacy, Mr. Bush promised an uplifting message about the direction and future of the country.

“In any language, my message will be an optimistic one because I am certain that we can make the decades just ahead in America the greatest time ever to be alive in this world,” Mr. Bush said.

And the former Florida governor boasted about job and economic growth and tax cuts in the state over his tenure.

Jeb Bush is not that far off politically from brother George W., but the two have very different personalities and backgrounds. Photo: AP

Though Mr. Bush has built a sizable campaign war chest and attracted veteran operatives for both his campaign and his independent super PAC—polls show him barely registering above 10% in a crowded primary field.

He’ll also face a Republican primary electorate that has grown more conservative since his brother George W. Bush ran for election in 2000 on a platform of what he called compassionate conservatism.

On two issues in particular—immigration andeducation—Mr. Bush finds himself on the opposite side from many grassroots activists in the Republican Party. Mr. Bush has long supported changes to the nation’s immigration system that would allow illegal immigrants a path to legal status. He also has expressed support for national education standards opposed by many conservative activists.

Mr. Bush also faces the challenge of distancing himself in the voters’ eyes from his family name and legacy. His brother, George W. Bush, left office with sagging approval ratings due in part to his role as the architect of a divisive and unpopular war in Iraq.

Jeb Bush has spent months planning his entrance into the 2016 presidential campaign and he will enter with the most name recognition and money of his GOP field. WSJ’s Jerry Seib explains. Photo: AP

Mr. Bush unveiled a campaign logo on Monday that downplays his family’s last name. The stylized red logo contains only Mr. Bush’s first name with an exclamation point. His father, George H.W. Bush, and brother, George W. Bush, aren’t expected to attend his campaign kickoff.

Mr. Bush has been traveling the country in the past few months banking campaign cash for an independent group that is expected to support his efforts. With his deep ties to the Republican donor class and the business community, Mr. Bush has built a formidable operation and a major war chest.

Once he becomes an official candidate, he won’t be able to coordinate with the super PAC, which will be run out of Los Angeles. Mr. Bush’s official campaign is based in Florida.

His announcement comes on his return from a five-day, three-nation European tour aimed at shoring up Mr. Bush’s foreign policy credentials.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/jeb-bush-formally-announces-hell-seek-gop-presidential-nomination-1434388382

Jeb Bush: I cry, I’m introverted, but I want to be president

Third member of the Bush dynasty finally to announce candidacy for Republican nomination

Jeb Bush, former Florida governor, departs from the e-Estonia Showroom during his visit to Tallinn, Estonia, on Saturday, June 13, 2015.

Jeb Bush, former Florida governor, in Tallinn, Estonia, on Saturday Photo: Bloomberg

Jeb Bush will finally end months of speculation and announce he is running for the American presidency on Monday, in a campaign carefully calibrated to portray himself as a natural heir to the family dynasty and at the same time distance himself from his brother George W.

In a key-note interview, he described his father, the first President George Bush, as the “greatest man alive” and said the mere thought of him might make him cry.

But by contrast he was careful to differentiate himself from his brother. “Jeb is different from George,” he told CNN. “Jeb is who he is and his life story is different.”

Mr Bush plans to announce he is running for the White House in Miami on Monday, after months of unofficial campaigning.

He unveiled his campaign logo via social media site Twitter on Sunday, and immediately ran into teasing from the public that it is almost identical to the logo he used when he ran, successfully, for the governorship of Florida in 1998.

The logo is simply his first name in bright red with an exclamation mark and 2016 underneath. His governor’s campaign logo was also ‘Jeb!’

In a jab at both President Barack Obama and, seemingly, some of hisyounger Republican rivals such as Marco Rubio, he was keen to project a statesmanlike appearance, touting his “life experience” as a state governor and overseas businessman.

“It’s something that’s been lacking in the presidency, to have someone who’s been tempered by life, and along the way I will get to share that,” said Mr Bush, who at 62 is eighteen years older than Mr Rubio and eight years older even than the departing president.

Polls show the two men, along with Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin, as the current front-runners for the Republican nomination.

• Which Republicans are running for US president in 2016?

Mr Bush will make his campaign announcement in his hometown of Miami and will be joined by his wife Columba, a Mexican-born woman who has largely shied away from the public spotlight.

The story of how they met as teenagers featured prominently in a video Mr Bush released shortly before the announcement.

“I need to share my heart to show a little bit about my life experience,” Mr Bush said in the video.

While it has been clear for months that Mr Bush intended to run he has used the time ahead of his formal announcement to raise funds for a superPAC, a nominally independent group that will support his candidacy.

Mr Bush is said to have already amassed a campaign war chest of more than $100 million, according to the website Politico.

He also travelled to Germany, Poland and Estonia to showcase his foreign policy credentials and has been dieting based on the eating habits of a caveman to shed weight before getting into the race.

Mr Bush will run with a traditionally hawkish Republican approach to foreign policy, arguing for a stronger line against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

But he is among the most moderate of the Republican contenders when it comes to domestic policy. Unlike others in his party he has not lashed out at national education standards and has taken a more measured tone on immigration.

• US election 2016: What you need to know

Mr Bush, who speaks fluent Spanish, may be able to attract the votes of Hispanic voters who are an increasingly crucial voting group in US elections.

However, the conservative activists who play a major role in determining the Republican nominee may pressure Mr Bush to take a harsher line on immigration.

He has already backed away from his previous support for a “path to citizenship” for illegal immigrants who have lived and worked in the US for a long time. Mrs Clinton supports such a path, as does President Barack Obama.

Mr Bush has denied he was trying to cut himself off from his famous name, but admitted he had a difficult task to show the man beneath the family.

• Does Jeb Bush even really want to be president?

“I don’t have to dissociate myself from my family, you know, I love them but I know that for me to be successful I’m going to have to share my heart, tell my story,” he added.

“It’s important. It’s something that took a little bit of getting used to for me, personally, to be able to show my heart, because I’m kind of introverted, but it’s important to do,” he said.

He was asked about his father, who turned 91 on June 12 and whether he would be on his mind when he announces his own candidacy to follow in the family footsteps.

“I’m not going to think about that because Bushes are known to cry once in a while. It’s very emotional for me,” he said. “I love my dad. He’s just the greatest man alive,” he said.

Mr Bush said he was looking forward to telling a life story that was “full of warts and full of successes”, where he had had to make “tough decisions”.Most startling is that it completely leaves out the famous family name that has given him a head start in the 2016 presidential race.

Clinton formally launches 2016 campaign with focus on economic equality

Hillary Clinton on Saturday officially launched her 2016 presidential campaign, calling for a return to shared prosperity and asking American workers, students and others to trust her to fight for them.

Clinton made the announcement at an outdoor rally on New York City’s Roosevelt Island, two months after announcing her campaign with an online video.

“You have to wonder: When do I get ahead? I say now,” Clinton told the crowd in a roughly 46-minute speech. “You brought the country back. Now it’s your time to enjoy the prosperity. That is why I’m running for president of the United States.”

The former first lady, U.S. senator from New York and secretary of state is the Democratic frontrunner in the 2016 White House race.

Also in the race are Sen. Bernie Sanders, of Vermont, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chaffe.

She lost her 2008 bid for the Democratic presidential nomination to then-Sen. Obama.

Clinton, wearing her signature blue pantsuit, walked through the crowd en route to the stage for her speech.

She remarked that Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms are a “testament to our nation’s unmatched aspirations and a reminder of our unfinished work at home and abroad.”

Clinton also drew into focus what will likely be the key themes of her campaign including support for same-sex marriage, wage equality for women and all Americans, affordable college tuition and free child-care and pre-kindergarten.

“The top-25 hedge fund managers make more than all kindergarten teachers combined,” she said. “And they’re paying lower taxes.”

Clinton attempted to portray herself as a fierce advocate for those left behind in the post-recession economy, detailing a lifetime of work on behalf of struggling families. She said her mother’s difficult childhood inspired what she considers a calling.

“I have been called many things by many people,” Clinton said.” Quitter is not one of them.”

She said that attribute came from her late mother, Dorothy Rodham, in whom she would confide after hard days in the Senate and at the State Department.

“I wish my mother could have been with us longer,” Clinton said. “I wish she could have seen the America we are going to build together … where we don’t leave any one out or any one behind.”

Clinton was joined by her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and their daughter, Chelsea.

She also was critical in her speech of Republicans, suggesting they have reserved economic prosperity for the wealthy, in large part by cutting taxes for the country’s highest wage-earners.

She also accused them of trying to “wipe out tough rules on Wall Street,” take away health insurance from more than 16 million Americans without offering any “credible alternative” and turning their backs on “gay people who love each other.”

The Republican National Committee said in response that Clinton’s campaign was full of hypocritical attacks, partisan rhetoric and ideas from the past.

“Next year, Americans will reject the failed policies of the past and elect a Republican president,” RNC Press Secretary Allison Moore said.

Republicans also argued Clinton devoted only about five minutes of her speech to foreign policy.

Clinton now heads to four early-primary states, starting Saturday night in Iowa where she will talk with volunteers and others about grassroots-campaign efforts for the first-in-the-nation caucus state.

The organizational meeting will be simulcast to Clinton camps across the country and serve as a blueprint for them all 435 congressional districts.

She then travels to New Hampshire on June 15, South Carolina on June 17 and in Nevada on June 18.

Clinton vowed Saturday to roll out specific policy proposals in the coming weeks, including ones on rewriting the tax code and sustainable energy.

In what was her first major speech of her campaign, she also cited President Obama, Roosevelt and her husband, saying they embraced the idea that “real and lasting prosperity must be built by all and shared by all.”

Holding the event on an island between Queens and Manhattan raised some criticism about its accessibility by vehicle and public transportation.

The campaign estimated the event crowd, whose members needed a ticket, at 5,500. However, the number appeared smaller, and the overflow section was empty.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/06/13/clinton-formally-launches-2016-campaign-with-focus-on-economic-equality/

Hillary Clinton, in Roosevelt Island Speech, Pledges to Close Income Gap

Who Is Running for President (and Who’s Not)?

Mrs. Clinton specified policies she would push for, including universal prekindergarten, paid family leave, equal pay for women, college affordability and incentives for companies that provide profit-sharing to employees. She also spoke of rewriting the tax code “so it rewards hard work at home” rather than corporations “stashing profits overseas.” She did not detail how she would achieve those policies or address their costs.

Mrs. Clinton spoke to the criticism that her wealth makes her out of touch with middle-class Americans, saying her candidacy is for “factory workers and food servers who stand on their feet all day, for the nurses who work the night shift, for the truckers who drive for hours.”

Uncomfortable with the fiery rhetoric of Senator Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts Democrat, Mrs. Clinton offered some stark statistics to address the concerns of the Democratic Party’s restless left. “The top 25 hedge fund managers make more than all of America’s kindergarten teachers combined, often paying a lower tax rate,” she said.

Mrs. Clinton said many Americans must be asking, “When does my family get ahead?” She added: “When? I say now.”

In a campaign in which Republicans have emphasized the growing threat of Islamic terrorism and an unstable Middle East, Mrs. Clinton hardly mentioned foreign policy. She did speak of her experience as a senator from New York after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

“As your president, I’ll do whatever it takes to keep Americans safe,” she said, weaving the skyline and a view of the newly built One World Trade Center into her remarks.

For as much as the content of the speech mattered, the theater of it was equally important. For a campaign criticized for lacking passion, the event gave Mrs. Clinton the ability to create a camera-ready tableau of excitement.

The Brooklyn Express Drumline revved up the crowd assembled on a narrow stretch at the southern tip of the island. And Marlon Marshall, the campaign’s director of political engagement, rattled off statistics about the number of volunteers who have signed up and house parties held in the early nominating states. A section with giant screens set up for an overflow crowd stood nearly empty.

But a crowd of supporters and volunteers from the staunchly Democratic New York area does not exactly represent the electorate writ large. The real test for Mrs. Clinton and how the speech was perceived will be in Iowa, where she was to travel on Saturday evening for several events. Iowa, the first nominating state, shunned her the last time she sought the presidency, in 2008.

“I was disappointed she didn’t challenge Obama four years ago,” said Dominique Pettinato, a 24-year-old parole officer who lives in Brooklyn.

For some members of the skeptical liberal wing of the Democratic Party still concerned that Mrs. Clinton will embrace her husband’s centrist approach, the speech went only so far in convincing them otherwise.

“This was mostly a typical Democratic speech — much better than the direction Republicans offer America,” said Adam Green, a co-founder of Progressive Change Campaign Committee, a liberal advocacy group. But he said the speech had not offered “the bold economic vision that most Americans want and need.”

Mrs. Clinton did not broach one issue that liberals are increasingly frustrated by: trade. On Thursday, Senator Bernie Sanders, a socialist from Vermont who is also seeking the Democratic nomination, pointedly criticized Mrs. Clinton for not taking a position on a controversial trade bill Mr. Obama is pushing, as well as other contentious issues like the proposedKeystone XL oil pipeline and the renewal of the Patriot Act. “What is the secretary’s point of view on that?” Mr. Sanders asked of the act, which he voted against.

Mrs. Clinton had hardly stopped speaking Saturday when Bill Hyers, a senior strategist for Martin O’Malley, the former governor of Maryland, who is also seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, criticized her as vague on trade and other issues. Mr. O’Malley, he said, “has been fearless and specific in the progressive agenda we need.”

If there is one demographic Mrs. Clinton’s campaign is hoping to excite it is young women. It is an obvious connection that her 2008 campaign played down as it tried to present the former first lady as a strong commander in chief.

But on Saturday it was clear that Mrs. Clinton will make gender more central to her campaign this time. In her closing remarks, she called for a country “where a father can tell his daughter yes, you can be anything you want to be, even president of the United States.”

Correction: June 13, 2015
An earlier version of this article misspelled the surname of a woman who attended Hillary Rodham Clinton’s speech. She is Dominique Pettinato, not Pettin. An earlier version also misstated part of a quote by Allison Moore, a spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee. She said Mrs. Clinton’s speech was “chock-full of hypocritical attacks,” not hypothetical attacks.http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/14/us/hillary-clinton-attacks-republican-economic-policies-in-roosevelt-island-speech.html

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Queen Hillary Is Just Another Corrupt Lying Bought and Paid For Phony Politician — Clinton Cash Bribe Laundering — Democratic Party Can Do A Lot Better — Run Jerry Run — Videos

Posted on April 20, 2015. Filed under: Blogroll, Books, Communications, Documentary, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), government spending, Law, Life, Links, media, Money, Non-Fiction, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Press, Rants, Raves, Strategy, Talk Radio, Taxes, Video, War, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Story 1: Queen Hillary Is Just Another Corrupt Lying Bought and Paid For Phony Politician — Clinton Cash Bribe Laundering — Democratic Party Can Do A Lot Better — Run Jerry Run — Videos

Hillary-Clinton-Black_0clinton-1clinton-cashapril fools photoHillary Rodham ClintonQuid pro quo

(“something for something” in Latin) means an exchange of goods or services, where one transfer is contingent upon the other.

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FOX NEWS: Hillary’s Private E-Mail Server

Hillary the Scandals

Brown vs. Clinton in Illinois Primary Debate

Jerry Brown on Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton Endorses Jerry!

New Book, ‘Clinton Cash,’ Questions Foreign Donations to Foundation

NEW YORK TIMES: CLINTON CASH ‘MOST ANTICIPATED AND FEARED BOOK OF A PRESIDENTIAL CYCLE’

The New York Times reported Sunday evening that a forthcoming investigative bombshell book on Hillary and Bill Clinton will soon be the focus of major feature stories and is regarded as “the most anticipated and feared book of a presidential cycle.”

For weeks, news outlets from the Washington Post to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer have alluded that the highly-anticipated May 5 release of Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich by three-time New York Times bestselling investigative journalist Peter Schweizer could be a presidential game-changer. Schweizer is President of the non-partisan Government Accountability Institute (GAI) and a Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News.  

The New York Times revealed that Clinton Cash describes how the Clintons’ income from 2001 to 2012 was at least $136.5 million, how Mr. Clinton would routinely fetch half-a-million dollar honorariums for speeches while Mrs. Clinton was Secretary of State, and much more.

Despite the Clinton campaign’s ability to dismiss “critical books as conservative propaganda,” the Times says “Clinton Cash is potentially more unsettling, both because of its focused reporting and because major news organizations are expected to pursue the story lines found in the book.”

The Times adds, “Members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee have been briefed about the book’s findings.”

Publishing giant HarperCollins said in a press release that the book represents the culmination of a one-year deep dive investigation by Schweizer’s GAI investigative unit. The GAI, which has quickly established itself as one of the nation’s most respected—and feared—Washington watchdog organizations, has gained notoriety for vigorously investigating both Republicans and Democrats, as well as releasing its investigative findings through major national mainstream media partners, such as CBS News’ 60 MinutesNew York Times, Politico, ABC News, and Fox News. 

Indeed, GAI and Schweizer have already left their investigative mark on Capitol Hill. Schweizer, whom Newsweek dubbed “The Wonk Who Slays Washington,” was responsible for the ouster of former Republican Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL), then-chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, after his book, Throw Them All Out, exposed insider trading by members of Congress. 

The driving force behind the only significant bipartisan reform legislation to pass during the Obama presidency—the STOCK (Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge) Act—Schweizer is, as David Weigel (then of Slate) put it, the “author of the book that started the STOCK Act stampede.” Schweizer partnered with veteran CBS News 60 Minutes reporter Steve Kroft for an insider trading report based on the book that resulted in CBS winning the coveted Joan Shorenstein Barone Award for excellence in Washington-based reporting on congressional political affairs. 

Former Rep. Rob Andrews (D-NJ) also knows the sting of a Schweizer book investigation. In October 2013, Schweizer once again partnered with CBS 60 Minutesand Steve Kroft to report the revelations of his book, Extortion, which exposed how Republicans and Democrats use leadership PAC “slush funds” to bankroll lavish lifestyles. The Sunday before the book’s release, CBS 60 Minutes did a story titled “Washington’s Open Secret” based on Schweizer’s book revelations that led to Andrews’ resignation from Congress.

Whether Schweizer’s soon-to-be-released book will spell the same political fate for Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential aspirations remains to be seen. The Washington Post has already done two major stories based off the Clinton Cash press release’s revelation that Hillary’s brother, Tony Rodham, sat on the board of a mining company that in 2012 received one of only two “gold exploitation permits” from the Haitian government—a coveted concession that was the first of its kind issued in over 50 years. 

Now, with major media all preparing feature reports on Clinton Cash’s myriad revelations, Hillary Clinton’s defenders are already in damage control mode. “The newly assembled Clinton campaign team is planning a full-court press to diminish the book as yet another conservative hit job,” reports the Times

That will be difficult, however, says the New York Times, because “Mr. Schweizer writes mainly in the voice of a neutral journalist and meticulously documents his sources, including tax records and government documents, while leaving little doubt about his view of the Clintons.”

http://www.breitbart.com/big-journalism/2015/04/19/new-york-times-clinton-cash-most-anticipated-and-feared-book-of-a-presidential-cycle/

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The Democratic Party War on The Central Intelligence Agency Will Lead To Blow-back and Payback When CIA Agents Reveal What They Were Really Doing in Benghazi — Shipping Arms To Syrian Rebels Including Al-Qaeda — Impeachable Offenses — The Genie Is Out of The Bottle and The CIA Knows Where The Bodies Are Buried — Do The Ends Ever Justify The Means? — Remembering September 11, 2001 and 2012 –Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 386: December 10, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 385: December 9, 2014

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Pronk Pops Show 380: December 1, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 379: November 26, 2014

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Pronk Pops Show 340: September 30, 2014

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Pronk Pops Show 329: September 15, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 328: September 12, 2014

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 Story 1: The Democratic Party War on The Central Intelligence Agency Will Lead To Blow-back and Payback When CIA Agents Reveal What They Were Really Doing in Benghazi — Shipping Arms To Syrian Rebels Including Al-Qaeda — Impeachable Offenses — The Genie Is Out of The Bottle and The CIA Knows Where The Bodies Are Buried — Do The Ends Ever Justify The Means? — Remembering September 11, 2001 and 2012 –Videos

obama-arming-al-qaeda-syria-battaile-politics-13526874571

CIA Special Operator

Covert Action

“The term “covert action” means an activity or activities of the United States Government to influence political, economic, or military conditions abroad, where it is intended that the role of the United States Government will not be apparent or acknowledged publicly, but does not include . . . (2) traditional . . . military activities or routine support to such activities.

People Falling from the World Trade Center

9/11 – The Falling Man

Breaking News December 2014 Dick Cheney CIA interrogation techniques I’d do it again in a minute

Cheney Accuses Chuck Todd of Taking a Cheap Shot

Dick Cheney Says CIA Torture Report ‘ FULL OF CRAP ‘ (Full VIDEO)

John Brennan CIA Director Responds To Torture Report in Press Conference ( FULL VIDEO)

Conversation: Putting the CIA Interrogation Report Into Context

Former CIA Officer Defends Torture Programme He Designed

Ex-CIA defends CIA torture (09Dec14)

CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia: Changes to Interrogation Policy for the United States (2009)

Paul on Benghazi: Hillary Was ‘Most Eager’ to Get Arms From Libya to Syria

CNN CIA Pressuring Agents With Knowledge Of Benghazi To Keep Silent ‘You Jeopardize Your Family’

Obama Approves CIA Covert Actions In Libya 3/30/11 – CNN

 

Treason Exposed! Obama Used Benghazi Attack to Cover Up Arms Shipments to Muslim Brotherhood

What roles Turkey play in Syria’s insurgency?

NY Times says CIA supplying arms to Syria insurgents

WW3 in ACTION: US LAUNCH covert OPERATION to ARM militants in Syria with HEAVY WEAPONS!

Retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin suspects US Was Running Guns To Syrian Rebels Via Benghazi

Retired Army Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin—who is the former commander of the U.S. Special Forces Command, the former deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence and who, in the 1990s, worked with the CIA—told CNSNews.com in a video interview last week that he believes it is a reasonable supposition that the U.S. was supporting or planning to support the Syrian rebels via Benghazi, Libya.

Trey Gowdy Opening Statement Benghazi Hearing 9.17.14

Robert David Steele: Former CIA Spy Benghazi Was CIA Operation

The Benghazi Select Committee: Many Questions Remain Unanswered

G. Edward Griffin – The Collectivist Conspiracy

G. Edward Griffin- On Individualism v Collectivism #1

G. Edward Griffin- On Individualism v Collectivism #2

CNBC: BENGAHZI IS NOT ABOUT LIBYA! “It’s An NSC Operation Moving Arms & Fighters Into Syria”

Ron Paul on Covert U.S. Support of Terrorist Insurrection in Syria

June 27, 2012 – Ron Paul warns of the ongoing U.S. government’s covert support of the terrorist insurrection against the Syrian government and offers a short history of the quagmires and blowback that U.S. interventions abroad have brought about.

Glenn Beck – Benghazi: Truth coming out

Soros, Obama & ‘Responsibility to Protect’

END WAR: Scheuer On CIA In Libya To Arm Islamist And May Be US Ground Invasion In Another Arab State

The truth about SYRIA by Westerns

Syrian Rebels Capture City Near Jordanian Border – Libya Vs Syria Where’s The Obama Admin?

Gaffney on Benghazi » Not Just About Cover Up « About Administration Embracing Muslim Brotherhood

ADM Lyons, “Muslim Brotherhood has penetrated every government agency”

ADM “Ace” Lyons, Former Commander in Chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, the largest single military command in the world, states, “The Muslim Brotherhood has penetrated every level of the US government.”

End the Coverup: Rep. Frank Wolf Urges New Benghazi Investigation

Rep. Frank Wolf called a press conference outside the capitol to discuss his sponsorship of H. Res. 36, which would create a special congressional committee to investigate the failures that contributed to the deadly jihadist attack in Benghazi, Libya last year. He was joined by Family Research Council’s Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence and former member of Delta Force. Boykin represented Special Operations Speaks, a group of ex-special forces operators who came together to write a letter to Members of Congress, urging them to commit to getting to the bottom of what happened in Benghazi, and to end the administration’s cover-up. Finally, the Center for Security Policy’s Frank Gaffney spoke about the implications of the attack in Libya on America’s national security and foreign policy in the Middle East/North Africa region.

Write a letter to your congressman at Http://www.endthecoverup.com

Gen. Jerry Boykin: “Get accountability and get the truth out” on Benghazi

Rand Paul: I Believe Part of Cause for Benghazi Attack Was Gun-Running Operation Going

Syrian rebel group Al-Nusra allies itself to al-Qaeda

Nusra Front and al-Qaeda in Iraq are joining forces to bring back the Caliphate.

A Caliphate Is Coming – GBTV

Obama Hiding Arms Shipments To Syrian Jihadists

Lebanon seizes 150 tons of Libyan arms en route to Syrian rebels

Treason: Benghazi Revelations Could Sink Obama

Benghazi-Gate: Connection between CIA and al-Qaeda in Libya and Syria, with Turkey’s Help

Benghazi-Gate: Connection between CIA and al-Qaeda in Libya and Syria, with Turkey’s Help

Syrian Rebel Group Joins Branch Of Al Qaeda

West Intervenes to Stop Islamist Rebels in Mali but Supports Them to Destroy Syria

Presidential Finding

A presidential finding is an executive directive issued by the head of the executive branch of a government, similar to the more well-known executive order. The term is mostly used by the United States Government, and in other countries may be identified by different terms. Such findings and other executive decrees are usually protocols which have evolved through the course of government and not typically established by law.

Use and history in the United States

“US President Barack Obama has signed a secret order allowing the CIA and other American agencies to support rebels seeking to overthrow the Assad regime, a US government source told Reuters. Obama reportedly gave the order, known as an intelligence “finding”, earlier this year. The presidential finding also provides for US collaboration with a secret command center operated by Turkey and its allies. The full extent of the assistance the “finding” allows the CIA to give the Syrian rebels is unclear. It is also unknown precisely when Obama signed the order.” The report of Obama’s authorization for covert rebel support comes amidst continued fighting between Syrian government troops and rebels over control of Aleppo, the country’s economic capital. Thousands of people have fled the city, while the government and rebels continue to release conflicting reports on the extent of their control over the city. Asia Times Online correspondent Pepe Escobar told RT that the leak’s timing was intended to distort the true nature of Washington’s covert operations on the ground in Syria.

“This intelligence finding signed by Obama – that’s the code for a secret order – this was signed six months ago. So the fact that Reuters has only been allowed now to report about it proves that there have been high deliberations in Washington: ‘should we let people know about what they already know?’”

“In fact, the Washington Post two weeks ago had already reported about it, and when the CIA wants to leak something in the US, they usually go to the Washington Post. The CIA and Mossad, on the ground [in Syria], side by side working with the Qataris, the Turks, the Saudis and a swarm of jihadis coming from everywhere, but especially from across the border in Iraq,” he argues.

Escobar says the leak was intended to make it look as though Washington was leading the Syrian campaign from behind the scenes, when in fact the US is “leading from the front lines alongside al-Qaeda-style Jihadists, Qatari intelligence, and Turkish logistics.” [1]

The first specific use of presidential findings was precipitated by the Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act of 1954, in which the findings indicated that certain conditions of that act had be satisfied and, therefore, sales of agricultural commodities could proceed. In their use under this act, such findings were published in the Federal Register and the CFR Title 3 compilations. In contrast, presidential findings in their modern use are not published in these or other governmental publications.

Current use of the presidential finding stems from the so-called Hughes-Ryan amendment to the Foreign Assistance Act of 1974, which prohibited the expenditure of appropriated funds by or on behalf of the Central Intelligence Agency for intelligence activities “unless and until the President finds that each such operation is important to the national security of the United States and reports, in a timely fashion, a description and scope of such operation to the appropriate committees of Congress” (section 662). This was intended to ensure that clear responsibility for such action was attributable to the President and that Congress was always made aware of such activities. Due to the sensitivity of their content, presidential findings are almost always classified.

The most recent change to exercise of findings occurred in the Intelligence Authorization Act of 1991, which introduced increased flexibility in the reporting requirement: findings are to be “reported to the intelligence committees as soon as possible” after being approved “and before the initiation of the covert action authorized by the finding.” As such, presidential findings are one of the primary means through which the intelligence committees exercise their oversight of the government’s intelligence operations.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presidential_finding

Covert Action: Title 10, Title 50, and the Chain of Command

By Joseph B. Berger III

Abstract

America champions the rule of law and must maintain that moral stance in its international dealings and retain the clarity of an unambiguous chain of command. The Abbottabad raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound highlighted the dangers and vagaries of departing from the traditional military chain of command. The Secretary of Defense was taken out of the chain and the CID Director was inserted. In contrast, the rescue of a U.S. citizen in Somalia was carried out secretively but not covertly by joint forces under military command, maintaining individual Servicemember protections that may be forfeit in the gray zone of questionable legality. National authorities should reconsider the rejection of the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation that DOD be responsible for paramilitary covert actions, and when DOD acts in that capacity, the operation should be carried out as a traditional military operation with a military chain of command.

Recent media reports have Pentagon officials considering “putting elite special operations troops under CIA [Central Intelligence Agency] control in Afghanistan after 2014, just as they were during last year’s raid on [Osama bin Laden’s] compound.”1 This shell game would allow Afghan and U.S. officials to deny the presence of American troops in Afghanistan because once “assigned to CIA control, even temporarily, they become spies.”2 Nearly simultaneously, Department of Defense (DOD) leaders were warned to “be vigilant in ensuring military personnel are not inappropriately utilized” in performing “new, expanding, or existing missions,” ensuring the force is aligned against strategic choices “supported by rigorous analysis.”3 Placing Servicemembers—uniformed members of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force—under CIA control demands such rigorous analysis. The raid on bin Laden’s compound provides a framework.

n his May 1, 2011, televised address, President Barack Obama reported “to the American people and to the world that the United States ha[d] conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden.”4 President Obama initially detailed little beyond noting that he had directed “the[n] Director of the CIA [Leon Panetta], to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against al Qaeda” and that the operation, carried out by a “small team of Americans” was done “at [his] direction [as President].” In the following days, senior executive branch officials garrulously provided explicit details, from the now-iconic White House Situation Room photograph to intricate diagrams of the Abbottabad compound and the assault force’s composition. Most noteworthy was Panetta’s unequivocal assertion the raid was a covert action:

Since this was what’s called a “Title 50” operation, which is a covert operation, and it comes directly from the president of the United States who made the decision to conduct this operation in a covert way, that direction goes to me. And then, I am, you know, the person who then commands the mission. But having said that, I have to tell you that the real commander was Admiral [William] McRaven because he was on site, and he was actually in charge of the military operation that went in and got bin Laden.5

Despite his self-effacing trumpeting of Vice Admiral McRaven’s role, Panetta’s comment highlights that critical confusion exists among even the most senior U.S. leaders about the chain of command and the appropriate classification of such operations.

Openly describing the raid as both a “covert operation” and “military operation,” Panetta asserted he was the “commander,” describing a chain of “command” that went from the President to Panetta to McRaven. Panetta’s public comments are problematic, as is describing a chain of command that excludes the Secretary of Defense and purports to route command authority through the CIA director. Title 50 is clear:

The term “covert action” means an activity or activities of the United States Government to influence political, economic, or military conditions abroad, where it is intended that the role of the United States Government will not be apparent or acknowledged publicly, but does not include . . . (2) traditional . . . military activities or routine support to such activities.6

The administration did the opposite, making patently clear the raid’s nature and, in exhaustive detail, the precise role of the United States. Instead of categorizing it as a covert action under the director’s “command,” the President could have conducted the raid as a covert action under the Secretary of Defense instead of the CIA director, or under his own constitutional authority as Commander in Chief and the Secretary’s statutory authorities, classifying it as a traditional military activity and excepting it from the statute’s coverage. As a traditional military activity, there would have been no legal limits on subsequent public discussion. Alternatively, conducting the raid as a covert action within a military chain of command removes the issues the director raised in asserting command authority over Servicemembers. The decisionmaking process remains shrouded, but conducting a raid into a sovereign country targeting a nonstate actor using military personnel and equipment under the “command” of the CIA director and classifying it as a covert action raises significant legal and policy questions. Such decisions threaten the legitimacy and moral authority of future U.S. actions and demand a rigorous examination of those associated risks.

The Abbottabad raid illustrates the post-9/11 security environment convergence of DOD military and CIA intelligence operations.7 While dead terrorists attest to this arrangement’s efficacy, many directly challenge the legal and policy framework behind current DOD-CIA cooperation. The discourse focuses largely on distinctions between Title 10 and Title 50 and the legal basis for conducting apparently overlapping military and intelligence operations beyond the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan. Notwithstanding the potentially misleadingly simple labels of Title 10 and Title 50, these complex issues lack clear answers. Many argue the legacy structure ill equips the President to effectively combat the threat. But tweaking that structure carries risk. Thus, correctly classifying and structuring our actions within that framework are critical. The law of war is designed to protect our nation’s military forces when they are engaged in traditional military activities under a military chain of command; spies conducting intelligence activities under executive authority have no such protections. This distinction rests on a constitutional, statutory, treaty, and doctrinal framework underpinning the military concept of command authority.

U.S. power relies on moral and legal legitimacy. Exclusive state control over the legitimate use of armed force remains viable domestically and internationally only where exercised within an accepted framework. Thus, employing DOD forces in a nontraditional manner entails significant risk. The policy implications of classification and structure are neither semantic nor inconsequential, and must be understood by senior decisionmakers; likewise, individual Servicemembers must understand the practical effects. A rigorous risk analysis should therefore inform any deviation, however permissible under domestic law.

This article focuses on the risks associated with both using military personnel to conduct kinetic covert action and using them without a military chain of command. Those risks inform the recommendation to change practice, but not the law. Specifically, the author rejects melding distinct operational military (Title 10) and intelligence (Title 50) authorities into the often mentioned Title 60. Properly classifying actions—either under the statute as a covert action or exempted from the statute as a traditional military activity—ensures the correct command structure is in place.8 Ultimately, the analysis argues for revisiting the previously rejected 9/11 Commission recommendation to place paramilitary covert action under DOD control.9

This article first outlines current and likely future threats and then explains the critical terms of art related to covert action and, against that lingua franca, examines why kinetic military operations should be either classified as traditional military activities or kept under a military chain of command. Analyzing the relevant constitutional, statutory, treaty, and doctrinal elements of command, this article illustrates that a raid conducted like the Abbottabad raid, while legally permissible, is best conducted as a traditional military activity.

Changed Character of the Battlefield and Enemy

In the decade since 9/11, DOD and CIA elements have become “operationally synthesi[zed].”10 A senior intelligence official recently noted that “the two proud groups of American secret warriors had been ‘deconflicted and basically integrated’—finally—10 years after 9/11.”11 The direct outgrowth is the increased reliance on special operations forces (SOF) to achieve national objectives against a “nimble and determined” enemy who “cannot be underestimated.”12 While the United States fought wars on geographically defined battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan and beyond, the underlying legal structure remained constant. In the wars’ background, leaders, advisors, academics, and others argued about the structure of the appropriate legal and policy framework. Post-Iraq and post-Afghanistan, the United States must still address other threats, including those that al Qaeda and their associated forces present.

The threats have migrated beyond a battlefield defined by sovereign nations’ borders. When asked recently in “how many countries we are currently engaged in a shooting war,” Secretary of Defense Panetta laughed, responding, “That’s a good question. I have to stop and think about that . . . we’re going after al Qaeda wherever they’re at. . . clearly, we’re confronting al Qaeda in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, [and] North Africa.”13 The unresolved legal and policy challenges will likely increase in complexity on this geographically unconstrained battlefield. Remaining rooted in enduring principles is critical. DOD conduct of kinetic operations beyond traditionally recognized battlefields raises significant legal and policy concerns, especially where the U.S. Government conducts them without knowledge or consent of the host nation, as apparently happened with the Abbottabad operation.14 Properly categorizing and structuring these operations, while vexing for policymakers and their lawyers, carries much greater stakes for the Servicemembers executing them.

The Need for a Lingua Franca

Colloquial usage refers to DOD authorities as Title 10, and the CIA’s as Title 50. That is technically inaccurate and misleading since DOD routinely operates under both Titles 10 and 50.15 Instead of Title 10, this article uses the term military operations; instead of Title 50, it uses CIA operations or the more specific covert action. All three terms require clarification.

CIA operations are all CIA activities except covert action. Covert action is the narrow, statutory subset of Presidentially approved, CIA-led activities.16 Unfortunately, colloquially, covert action “is frequently used to describe any activity the government wants concealed from the public.”17 That common usage ignores the fact that a traditional military activity, notwithstanding how “secretly” it is executed, is by statute not a covert action. DOD defines a covert operation as one “planned and executed as to conceal the identity of or permit plausible denial by the sponsor,” where “emphasis is placed on concealment of the identity of the sponsor rather than on concealment of the operation.”18 While not in conflict with the statutory definition, the DOD definition is incomplete; it fails to recognize the President’s role and ignores the exception of traditional military activities.19 Practitioners should use the statutory definition.

The concept of clandestine operations further blurs colloquial and doctrinal imprecision.20 DOD activities “may be both covert and clandestine . . . focus[ing] equally on operational considerations and intelligencerelated activities.”21 Appropriately, DOD officials assert that, absent a Presidential covert action finding, they “conduct only ‘clandestine activities.’” 22 They characterize clandestine activities as those “conducted in secret but which constitute ‘passive’ intelligence information gathering.”23 Interchanging the terms and mixing them with intelligence functions is inaccurate and dangerous; practitioners must draw clear distinctions. The sponsorship of a covert action is hidden, not the act itself. The specific acts of the U.S. Government in influencing a foreign election (for example, posters, marches, election results, and so forth) would be visible, but not the covert sponsorship of those acts. For clandestine acts, the act itself (for example, intercepting a phone call) must remain hidden. The CIA and DOD can conduct clandestine operations without Presidential approval, whereas covert action triggers statutory requirements for a Presidential finding and congressional notification. Some have argued DOD’s “activities should be limited to clandestine” activities, as this would ensure military personnel are protected by the law of war,24 a critical point examined in detail later.

Military operations are DOD activities conducted under Title 10, including activities intended or likely to involve kinetic action. Pursuant to an order issued by the Secretary of Defense, they are conducted by military personnel under DOD command and in accordance with the law of war. They specifically exclude DOD’s intelligence activities (for example, the Joint Military Intelligence Program); like the CIA’s, those intelligence activities are conducted pursuant to Title 50.

Statutorily assigned responsibility helps distinguish between CIA operations and military operations. Although the President can designate which department, agency, or entity of the U.S. Government will participate in the covert action, the statute implicitly tasks the CIA as the default lead agency: “Any employee . . . of the [U.S.] Government other than the [CIA] directed to participate in any way in a covert action shall be subject either to the policies and regulations of the [CIA], or to written policies or regulations adopted . . . to govern such participation.25

Executive order 12333 (EO 12333) makes that default tasking explicit:

The Director of the [CIA] shall . . . conduct covert action activities approved by the President. No agency except the [CIA] (or the Armed Forces of the United States in time of war declared by the Congress or during any period covered by a report from the President to the Congress consistent with the War Powers Resolution. . . .) may conduct any covert action activity unless the President determines that another agency is more likely to achieve a particular objective.26

The statute, coupled with EO 12333, unequivocally places all covert action squarely under the CIA’s control; the narrow exception for DOD is currently inapplicable. While the Executive order expressly tasks
the director with conducting covert action, it does not task the Secretary of Defense.27
Default CIA primacy and the absence of statutory specificity in defining traditional military activities create risk when DOD conducts kinetic covert action.

The Unique Nature of Traditional Military Activities

One practitioner described traditional military activities’ exclusion from covert action’s definition as “the exception that swallows the rule.”28 But while DOD-CIA operational convergence blurs the issue, the exception need not swallow the rule. Functionally, anything done by a uniformed member of a nation’s armed forces is a “military” activity; the nuanced requirement is to understand which are traditional military activities. That definition can be consequential, functional, or historical—or a combination of some or all three approaches. The statute’s legislative history provides the best clarification, noting the conferees intended that:

“Traditional military activities” include activities by military personnel under the direction and control of a United States military commander (whether or not the U.S. sponsorship of such activities is apparent or later to be acknowledged) . . . where the fact of the U.S. role in the overall operation is apparent or to be acknowledged publicly.

In this regard, the conferees intend to draw a line between activities that are and are not under the direction and control of the military commander. Activities that are not under the direction and control of a military commander should not be considered as “traditional military activities.”29

That nonstatutory definition frames the follow-on analysis. That functional and historical definition turns on who is in charge.

Activities under the “direction and control of a military commander” meet the requirement to be excepted from the statute; those with a different command and control arrangement are not traditional military activities. “Command” is unique to the military and the definition appears to draw a bright line rule; but the CIA director blurred the line by asserting “command” over a DOD element.30 The confusion questions the necessary nature and scope of leadership by a “military commander.” What level or rank of command is required? Must the chain of command from that military commander run directly back to the Commander in Chief solely through military channels? Must it run through the Secretary of Defense? Can it run through the director if there is a military commander below him? Given Goldwater-Nichols,31 what about the geographic combatant commander? In short, what does the wiring diagram look like? These questions highlight three baseline possibilities as depicted in the figure below.

Chain of Command Possibilities

chani_of_command_possibilites

Part 1A of the figure reflects DOD’s Title 10 chain of command, illustrating the broadest historical, functional, and consequential definition of traditional military activity. The clear chain is rooted in the uniquely military concept of command and the President’s constitutionally defined role as Commander in Chief. It clarifies congressional oversight responsibility, results in unquestioned jurisdiction, and forms the basis of the strongest legal argument for combatant immunity. Part 1B represents the President as chief executive, exercising oversight and control of the CIA under Title 50. This hierarchy lacks the legal command authority exercised over military personnel in 1A. Finally, part 1C represents the paradox created by the covert action statute’s attempts to overlap the parallel structures of 1A and 1B; it is often described as Title 60.

The current Congressional Authorization for the Use of Military Force allows the President to “use all necessary and appropriate force” to prevent “future acts of international terrorism against the United States.”32 This statutory grant of power creates the paradox: here, where the Senate vote was 98 to 0 and the House vote was 420 to 1, the President’s executive authority (as Commander in Chief and chief executive) is greatest,33 the exercise of those powers blurs the clear lines of parts 1A and 1B of the illustration. Merging the two, although permissible under the covert action statute, creates risk.

Consequently, questions about the nature and structure of the chain of command demand rigorous scrutiny and cannot be left to ad hoc arrangements. Defining military command determines whether or not the activity is a traditional military activity and therefore not under the ambit of the statute. The criticality of this categorization is twofold: it is the core of the state’s monopoly on the legitimate use of force and cloaks Servicemembers in the legal armor of combatant immunity.

Chain of Command, or Control?

Since George Washington’s Presidency, the Secretary of War (later Defense) has served without interruption as a Cabinet member. The President’s role, enshrined in the Constitution, is clear: “The President shall be Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States.”34 With the Secretary of Defense, this embodies the Founders’ vision of civilian control of the military. The Secretary of Defense’s appointment requires the “Advice and Consent of the Senate.”35 While the President can relieve him and replace him with an inferior officer (that is, the Deputy Secretary of Defense), Senateconfirmed executive branch officials are not fungible. He cannot interchange officials individually confirmed to fulfill separate and unique duties—something James Madison warned about in Federalist 51.36

Longstanding U.S. practice is an unbroken chain of command from the President, through his Secretary of Defense, to a subordinate uniformed commander. Even GoldwaterNichols’s37 streamlining the military warfighting chain of command to run from the President through the Secretary and directly to the unified combatant commanders did not alter that fundamental practice.38 Combatant commanders simply replace Service chiefs. The civilian leader between the Commander in Chief and his senior uniformed commander remains unchanged—a specific individual confirmed by the Senate to execute statutory duties. The inviolate concept of civilian control of the military and the Senate’s Advice and Consent requirement make assertion of any executive authority to “trade out” duties between Cabinet officials implausible. The President can place military personnel under CIA control, but control is not command.

Command is the inherently military “privilege” that is “exercised by virtue of office and the special assignment of members of the US Armed Forces holding military grade.”39 In fact, under the Army regulation, “A civilian, other than the President as Commander-in-Chief . . . may not exercise command.”40 Goldwater-Nichols allows the President to exercise command through his Secretary of Defense. Command rests on constitutional and statutory authority (including the Uniform Code of Military Justice) and the customs and practices of the Service. Removing military personnel from that hierarchy— illustrated in part 1C of the figure—changes their fundamental nature. This is Panetta’s assertion: he was in “command” 41 of the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound.

itles 10 and 50 define the specific duties of the Secretary of Defense42 and Title 50 the CIA director’s.43 The duties are neither identical nor interchangeable. In Title 50, Congress explicitly states that DOD shall function “under the direction, authority, and control of the Secretary of Defense” in order to “provide for their unified direction under civilian control.”44 Placing the Services under the Secretary of Defense is necessary to “provide for the establishment of [a] clear and direct line of command.”45 Congress is equally clear in Title 10, granting the Secretary complete authority over DOD: “there shall be a Secretary of Defense, who is the head of the [Department], appointed . . . by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.”46 The statute allows the Secretary to “perform any of his functions or duties, or [to] exercise any of his powers through” other persons, but only persons from within DOD.47

Two caveats exist to the Secretary of Defense’s “authority, direction, and control”: the Secretary’s authority is “subject to the direction of the President” and the 1947 National Security Act.48 The latter covers DOD personnel within the National Foreign Intelligence Program (NFIP). The former appears to be an exception that swallows the rule. But even in empowering the President to limit his Secretary’s authority, Congress did not specifically authorize any change to the fundamental command of military forces. Likewise, in defining the director’s limited authorities over military personnel, Congress maintained the military command structure over military operations.

Congress neither allows the director command nor control of DOD operational assets, nor did it grant the President a caveat like that with the Secretary of Defense’s authority.49 Although the director’s duties include the transfer of “personnel within the NFIP,” which includes DOD personnel, such transfers are limited to personnel within DOD’s Joint Military Intelligence Program (JMIP).50 SOF are not part of the JMIP. When DOD does transfer any JMIP personnel to the CIA, the director must “promptly” report that transfer to both the intelligence oversight and Armed Services Committees of both houses.51 Transfers between other executive branch elements trigger no such requirements. Congress only intended CIA control over DOD intelligence assets and was clearly concerned about even that. Goldwater-Nichols reinforces this analysis.

Goldwater-Nichols codifies geographic combatant commanders’ nearly inviolable command authority: “all forces operating within the geographic area assigned to a unified combatant command shall be assigned to, and under” his command.52 Two exceptions supplant that authority. Servicemembers assigned to U.S. Embassies (for example, the Defense Attaché) are under the Ambassador’s control and the Defense Intelligence Agency’s command. For those Servicemembers, diplomatic protections have replaced law of war protections, but the Secretary of Defense remains in the chain of command. The second exception, carved from GoldwaterNichols’s “unless otherwise directed by the President” language, covers DOD participation in covert action.53 Goldwater-Nichols’s silence on the Secretary of Defense remaining in the chain of command indicates Congress did not intend to change the default hierarchy. DOD recognized that point by defining combatant command as being “under a single commander” and running “through the Secretary of Defense.”54 All these say nothing about covert action.

The statute and EO 12333 put the director “in charge” of the conduct of covert actions.55 CIA “ownership” means any non-CIA employee supporting a covert action “belongs” to the CIA. However, the CIA lacks DOD’s legal command structure and no CIA official possesses the command authority inherent in an officer’s commission.56 The CIA can only be in charge, not in command. The director cannot give a lawful order that would be legally binding on Servicemembers. The Constitution unequivocally grants Congress the authority to “make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces.”57 Those rules, the Uniform Code of Military Justice, never contemplated CIA personnel exercising command authority over Servicemembers. The CIA’s ownership of covert action is limited. Exclusive CIA control fails elsewhere; the statute authorizes the President to task “departments, agencies, or entities”58 to conduct covert action. The implication is that DOD can conduct a covert action exclusively. EO 12333 specifically envisions that.59 Placing DOD elements under CIA control to conduct a kinetic operation is arguably unnecessary.

This chain of command is constitutionally enshrined, codified, and ratified through longstanding practice; even if Congress had explicitly authorized the President to reroute it, doing so creates risk. First, it removes the law of war’s protections upon which Servicemembers conducting kinetic operations rely. In such an event, Servicemembers must be made aware they are no longer protected. Second, as a state practice, realigning military personnel under a nonmilitary framework to conduct kinetic activities creates precedential risk for U.S. allies. Such a decision must be fully informed at all levels.

Chain of Command: International Law Context