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A Legacy Of Failure

- January 20, 2016

Seven Years Ago Today, Clinton Was Sworn In As Secretary Of State And Since That Time, Our Nation's Security Has Suffered


TOP TAKEAWAYS

  • In the seven years since Clinton was sworn in as Secretary of State, global crises worsened "on her watch" and the years since her departure have only highlighted her failed legacy.
  • Clinton supports Obama's failed ISIS strategy and has even claimed that we are "where we need to be" in the fight.
  • Clinton cannot be trusted to protect the homeland as she refuses to face facts about the terror threat our country faces.
  • Clinton's reset policy has failed and according to Obama's top defense officials, Russia is now our greatest national security threat.

IN THE SEVEN YEARS SINCE CLINTON WAS SWORN IN AS SECRETARY OF STATE, GLOBAL CRISES WORSENED "ON HER WATCH" AND SHE IS LEFT WITHOUT A LEGACY TO STAND ON

Seven Years Ago Today, Clinton Was Sworn In As Secretary Of State. "Hillary Clinton was sworn in as the 67th U.S. secretary of state Wednesday afternoon after the Senate approved her nomination by a vote of 94-2. Former President Clinton and her Senate staff looked on as Clinton's childhood friend and D.C. Court of Appeals Associate Judge Kathryn Oberly swore her in on a Bible belonging to the former first lady's late father in a ceremony in her Senate office." ("Hillary Clinton Sworn In As Secretary Of State," CNN, 1/22/09)

NBC's Andrea Mitchell On Clinton: All Of The Foreign Policy Crises "Got Worse On Her Watch…So Why Is She Qualified To Be Commander-In-Chief?" ANDREA MITCHELL: "You support her, but all of these problems that we've just talked about got worse on her watch, as well as on your watch; the growth of ISIS, the Syrian civil war, the withdrawal from Iraq. So why is she qualified to be commander-in-chief?" (MSNBC's " Andrea Mitchell Reports," 1/7/16)

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  • Former Secretary Of State Madeline Albright: "The World's A Mess. That Is A Diplomatic Term Of Art. I Am Sorry, But It Is True." MADELINE ALBRIGHT: "And we see how many of the assumptions of my generation, and your parents' generation, about the 21st century have been proven wrong. To put it another way: the world's a mess. That is a diplomatic term of art. I am sorry, but it is true." (Madeline Albright, Commencement Address At Tufts University, Medford, MA, 5/17/15)

"One Of The Central Complications" Facing Clinton's Campaign Is "The Fact That She Must Own A Record At The State Department That Lacks Clear-Cut Diplomatic Triumphs." "Gathering questions over Libya also point to one of the central complications of Clinton's campaign for the Democratic nomination, due to formally launch on Saturday: the fact that she must own a record at the State Department that lacks clear-cut diplomatic triumphs. She'll also have to answer for misfires in the Obama administration's wider foreign policy as GOP candidates who have not faced the same tough choices can nitpick her record with the advantage of hindsight." (Stephen Collinson, "Hillary Clinton's Real Libya Problem," CNN, 6/8/15)

  • The Question Of What She Has Accomplished As Secretary Of State Is "A Question That Even, At Times, Has Tripped Up Clinton Herself." "After nearly forty years in public life, what exactly has she accomplished? It's a question that even, at times, has tripped up Clinton herself: During her 2014 book tour, when ABC's Diane Sawyer asked her about her 'marquee achievement,' Clinton changed the subject and she fumbled over a similar question during a women's forum in Manhattan last year." ("What Is Hillary's Greatest Accomplishment?" Politico Magazine , 9/17/15)

CLINTON SUPPORTS OBAMA'S FAILED ISIS STRATEGY AND EVEN MADE THE LUDICROUS CLAIM THAT WE ARE "WHERE WE NEED TO BE" IN THE FIGHT

Clinton On ISIS: "We Now Finally Are Where We Need To Be." HILLARY CLINTON: "Look at these Complex problems. I wish it could be either or; I wish we could say yes, let's go destroy ISIS and let's let Assad continue to destroy Syria which creates more terrorist, more extremist by the minute. No. We now finally are where we need to be. We have a strategy and a commitment to go after ISIS which is a danger to us as well as the region and we finally have a UN Security Council resolution bringing the world together to go after a political transition in Syria. If the United States does not lead there is not another leader, there is a vacuum and we have to lead if we're going to be successful." (Hillary Clinton, Democratic Primary Debate, Manchester, NH, 12/19/15)

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In December 2015, Clinton Said That Obama's ISIS Strategy "Is Close To Mine." QUESTION: "Anything you would have said differently or disagreed with respect to President Obama's address [inaudible]?" CLINTON: "I was really happy that he made the address. I thought it was very important for him to address the nation. And you know, I think his take on what needs to be done is close to mine." (Hillary Clinton, Remarks With The Concord Monitor Editorial Board, 12/8/15)

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Clinton Has Said She "Could Not Have Predicted" The Strength Of ISIS, But In Fact, The Obama Administration Downplayed Early Warnings For Political Gain

In June 2014, Clinton Deflected The Responsibility She Carried As Secretary And Said, "I Could Not Have Predicted … The Extent To Which ISIS Could Be Effective In Seizing Cities In Iraq And Trying To Erase Boundaries To Create An Islamic State." HILLARY CLINTON: "So this is not just a Syrian problem anymore. I never thought it was just a Syrian problem. I thought it was a regional problem. I could not have predicted, however, the extent to which ISIS could be effective in seizing cities in Iraq and trying to erase boundaries to create an Islamic state." (Hillary Clinton, Remarks At The Council On Foreign Relations, New York, NY, 6/12/14)

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  • "There Were, In Fact, More Than Hints Of [ISIS'] Plans And Potential." "And there were, in fact, more than hints of the group's plans and potential. A 2012 report by the United States Defense Intelligence Agency was direct: The growing chaos in Syria's civil war was giving Islamic militants there and in Iraq the space to spread and flourish." (Ian Fisher, "In Rise Of ISIS, No Single Missed Key But Many Strands Of Blame," The New York Times , 11/18/15)

Former Obama Defense Secretary Robert Gates: Obama And His Advisors "Have Underestimated ISIS All Along." ROBERT GATES: "So I think this is a very long term problem. I think that the President and his advisors have underestimated ISIS all along." ( Yahoo News Interview With Robert Gates, 1/19/16)

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Gen. Michael Flynn, Obama's Former Defense Intelligence Agency Chief: The White House Dismissed Early ISIS Warnings Over Reelection "Narrative." JAKE TAPPER: "It was not long after you issued that report that President Obama referred to ISIS as the jayvee team. Do you feel your warnings were ignored?" MICHAEL FLYNN: "You know, I think they did not meet a particular narrative that the White House needed, and I'll be very candid with you. I have said, and I believe, that people that were around the president, his sort of inner circle that were advising him, I think advised him incorrectly." TAPPER: "What was the narrative?" FLYNN: "I think the narrative was that al Qaeda was on the run, and bin Laden was dead and he was --" TAPPER: "The election narrative." (CNN's "The Lead With Jake Tapper," 12/1/15)

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CLINTON CANNOT BE TRUSTED TO PROTECT THE HOMELAND

Clinton Wants To "Empathize" With Our Enemies While Refusing To Call The Threat By Name Or Even Admit That We Are At War With ISIS

Clinton Refuses To Categorize Terror As "Radical Islam." ABC NEWS' GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: "You've also been reluctant to say we're fighting radical Islam. I wonder why not. Isn't it a mistake to not say it plain that the violence is being pushed by radical elements in that faith?" CLINTON: "Well, that's a different thing. Radical elements who use a dangerous and distorted view of Islam to promote their jihadist ambitions, I'm fine with that. I say it all the time. And I go after Islamists, too." STEPHANOPOULOS: "So what's the problem with radical Islam?" CLINTON: "Well, the problem is that that sounds like we are declaring a war against religion. And that, to me, is number one, wrong." (ABC's "This Week," 12/6/15)

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Clinton Refuses To Say That The United States Is At War Against ISIS. STEPHANOPOULOS: "Is it time to declare war on ISIS?" CLINTON:"Look, we are definitely in conflict with ISIS and I think we need a new update of military authorization, the AUMF, which was passed after the attack after 9/11, should be brought up to..." STEPHANOPOULOS: "Why not declare war?" CLINTON: "Well, declare war is a very legal term as you know so well. I think what we want to do is make sure we have every tool at our disposable to, number one, destroy their would-be caliphate in Syria and in Iraq. Number two, do everything we can to dismantle this very effective virtual jihadist network that they're using on the internet. And number three, do whatever necessary to protect us here at home." STEPHANOPOULOS: "What are you concerned about in the declaration in war?" CLINTON: "Well, I think that the legal experts say, that if we, there are a lot who say that we already have the authority we need to go after ISIS or any international terrorist network, including Al Qaeda and anybody else in the AUMF. I think it is important, though, for the Congress to vote on behalf of the American people and to make sure that we are updating it to take into account the new authorities at risk." (ABC's " This Week," 12/6/15)

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Instead, Clinton Argues That We Must "Empathize" With Enemies Of The United States. CLINTON: "This is what we call smart power, using every possible tool and partner to advance peace and security, leaving no one on the sidelines, showing respect even for one's enemies. Trying to understand, and in so far as psychologically possible, empathize with their perspective and point of view. Helping to define the problems, determine the solutions. That is what we believe in the 21st century will change -- change the prospects for peace." (Hillary Clinton, Remarks, Washington, D.C., 12/3/14)

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Clinton Fought To Bring Gitmo Terrorists To The United States

In A January 2013 Memo To Obama, Clinton Said "She Worried That Support For Closing Guantanamo Would Further Erode Unless The Administration Took Action." "Weeks before she stepped down as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton wrote a memo urging President Barack Obama to step up his administration's efforts to close the military detention facility in Guantanamo Bay in his second term. In the confidential January 2013 memo obtained by The Huffington Post, Clinton told Obama she worried that support for closing Guantanamo would further erode unless the administration took action." (Ryan J. Reilly, "We Obtained Hillary Clinton's Confidential Memo To Obama. Read It Here.," The Huffington Post, 11/29/15)

  • Clinton Told Obama She Remained "A Strong Advocate" Of His Policy To Close Guantanamo Bay Prison . "I remain a strong advocate of your policy to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility (GTMO) responsibility and to ensure U.S. detention policy and practice for terrorism suspects are consist with U.S. values and do not strengthen our enemies." (Hillary Clinton, Memo To Barack Obama, 1/15/13, p. 1, Accessed 11/30/15)

In The Memo, Clinton "Advocated For Moving Guantanamo Detainees From The Cuban Prison Into The United States So They Could Face Trial." "She also advocated for moving Guantanamo detainees from the Cuban prison into the United States so they could face trial." (Rebecca Kaplan, "Hillary Clinton Urged Obama To Close Guantanamo Bay," CBS News, 11/30/15)

  • Clinton: "If The Law Permits, I Recommend That You Consider Transfers To The United States For Pre-Trial Detention, Trial, And Sentences." "I recommend that, in a coordinated legislative strategy, you direct efforts to prevent Congress from reenacting the current restriction in FY 2014. … (If the law permits, I recommend that you consider transfers to the United States for pre-trial detention, trial, and sentences.)." (Hillary Clinton, Memo To Barack Obama, 1/15/13, p. 2, Accessed 11/30/15)

Clinton's State Department Online Counterterrorism Program Has Failed To Stop The Flow Of ISIS Recruits

The State Department "Is Considering Scaling Back" Its Efforts To Discredit ISIS Online After A Review "Cast New Doubt" On The U.S. Ability To Fight ISIS Propaganda. "The State Department is considering scaling back its direct involvement in online campaigns to discredit the Islamic State after a review by outside experts cast new doubt on the U.S. government's ability to serve as a credible voice against the terrorist group's propaganda, current and former U.S. officials said." (Greg Miller, "Panel Casts Doubt On U.S. Propaganda Efforts Against ISIS," The Washington Post , 12/2/15)

There Is "Scant Evidence That The State Department Program Has Diminished The Flow Of Recruits To The Islamic State." "But the team 'had serious questions about whether the U.S. government should be involved in overt messaging at all,' said a U.S. official briefed on the group's findings. The group's skepticism reflected concern about U.S. credibility with Muslim audiences overseas as well as the scant evidence that the State program has diminished the flow of recruits to the Islamic State, also known as ISIS and ISIL." (Greg Miller, "Panel Casts Doubt On U.S. Propaganda Efforts Against ISIS," The Washington Post , 12/2/15)

  • "The U.S. Counter-Messaging Operation 'Is In Disarray,' Said Will McCants, An Expert On The Islamic State At The Brookings Institution And A Former Adviser To The State Department." "The U.S. counter-messaging operation 'is in disarray,' said Will McCants, an expert on the Islamic State at the Brookings Institution and a former adviser to the State Department. Among those involved in messaging efforts, McCants said, 'morale is low, and they're not getting any clarity from the top about what they're supposed to be doing.'" (Greg Miller, "Panel Casts Doubt On U.S. Propaganda Efforts Against ISIS," The Washington Post , 12/2/15)

"State Department Officials Acknowledged That Aspects Of The Program's Strategy Are Again Being Reevaluated…" "State Department officials acknowledged that aspects of the program's strategy are again being reevaluated, and that the number of positions devoted to producing content and posting items on Twitter and other platforms could be scaled back. But officials cited what they described as major progress on other fronts over the past year, including the addition of foreign partners to an expanding network of messaging centers overseas." (Greg Miller, "Panel Casts Doubt On U.S. Propaganda Efforts Against ISIS," The Washington Post , 12/2/15)

In A Testy Exchange, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest Explained That It Was A "Matter Of Commonsense" Clinton's Online Counterterrorism Program Was Doomed From The Start. QUESTION: "You know there is a report today that the State Department has determined that its social media effort is unsuccessful, should not be continued, because it is not considered a trusted origination of a message. So my question related to what Laura is asking is, you just described the vulnerabilities and the President's frustration, you know if you abandon a US government effort on social media, what fills that gap?" EARNEST: "Again Alexis, we've acknowledged for some time, we approach this from the standpoint of understanding just as a matter of commonsense, that trying to counter messages from ISIL, who are attempting to radicalize for example vulnerable members of the Muslim population that the United States government may not be the most effective voice in countering that strategy. What we need to do is look for other voices that can be lifted up; that can be engaged in this effort. Leaders across the country, in some cases maybe their faith leaders and in some cases their political leaders. But in any event they are people who can be effective in countering or at least providing an alternative vision and that's important work. It's hard to get your arms around it but it's critically important to our efforts and as I just acknowledged to Mara, there is important work that's being done and important progress that's being made but there surely room for improvement." (Josh Earnest, White House Press Briefing, Washington, D.C., 12/3/15)

  • Earnest: "The United States Government May Not Be The Most Effective Voice In Countering That Strategy." EARNEST: "Again Alexis, we've acknowledged for some time, we approach this from the standpoint of understanding just as a matter of commonsense, that trying to counter messages from ISIL, who are attempting to radicalize for example vulnerable members of the Muslim population that the United States government may not be the most effective voice in countering that strategy. What we need to do is look for other voices that can be lifted up; that can be engaged in this effort." (Josh Earnest, White House Press Briefing, Washington, D.C., 12/3/15)

CLINTON'S RUSSIA RESET "LIES IN TATTERS" AND EVEN BILL CLINTON HAS SLAMMED HER POLICY ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL

Clinton On The Russia Reset, June 2014: "I Thought It Was A Brilliant Stroke, Which In Retrospect Appears Even More So, Because Look At What We Accomplished." BBC HOST: "You famously pressed the reset button. Are you embarrassed by that now, that gesture?" HILLARY CLINTON: "No I thought it was a brilliant stroke, which in retrospect appears even more so, because look at what we accomplished." ( Interview With BBC, 6/13/14)

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As Relations Continue To Deteriorate And Russia Continues To Show Its Might On The World Stage, Clinton's Reset Policy "Lies In Tatters"

At A January Campaign Rally, Bill Clinton Knocked Hillary's Russia Reset Policy, Conceding It Had Few Accomplishments And Went From "Our Attempt To Do Better" To "Estrangement." BILL CLINTON: "The only thing that has survived the estrangement of the United States and Russia from our attempt to do better is something called the New START Treaty, negotiated by Hillary's State Department, which makes us much safer from this prospect from an accidental or intentional nuclear exchange. In a dangerous world, I think that's a pretty good deal." (Bill Clinton, Remarks At A Hillary Clinton Campaign Rally, Nashua, NH, 1/4/16)

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Clinton's Russia Reset Policy "Now Lies In Tatters." "But most experts agree that the policy now lies in tatters, with Russian President Vladimir Putin openly fueling anti-American sentiment at home and pursuing confrontational policies abroad, such as the invasion of Ukraine and the annexation of its Crimea region." (Olivier Knox, "Russia 'Reset' Architect To Next President: Don't Try That Again," Yahoo, 5/27/15)

This Month, Putin Named The United States As A National Security Threat To Russia. "A new appraisal names the United States as one of the threats to Russia's national security for the first time, a sign of how relations with the west have deteriorated in recent years. The document, 'About the Strategy of National Security of Russian Federation', was signed by President Vladimir Putin on New Year's Eve. It replaces a 2009 version, endorsed by then- President Dmitry Medvedev, the current prime minister, which mentioned neither the United States not NATO." (Vladimir Soldatkin, "Putin Names United States Among Threats In New Russian Security Strategy," Reuters, 1/2/16)

  • The New Designation Is "A Sign Of How Relations With The West Have Deteriorated In Recent Years." "A new appraisal names the United States as one of the threats to Russia's national security for the first time, a sign of how relations with the west have deteriorated in recent years. The document, 'About the Strategy of National Security of Russian Federation', was signed by President Vladimir Putin on New Year's Eve. It replaces a 2009 version, endorsed by then- President Dmitry Medvedev, the current prime minister, which mentioned neither the United States not NATO." (Vladimir Soldatkin, "Putin Names United States Among Threats In New Russian Security Strategy," Reuters, 1/2/16)

Obama's Top Defense Officials Point To Russia As "The Greatest Threat" To The United States

Chairman Of The Joint Chiefs Of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford: "Russia Presents The Greatest Threat To Our National Security." JOE MANCHIN: "And sir, I'm sure you've had the opportunity to form opinions on what our threats have been and what our threats are today. What would you consider the greatest threat to our national security?" GENERAL JOSEPH DUNFORD: "My assessment today is that Russia presents the greatest threat to our national security." (Committee On Armed Services, U.S. Senate, Hearing, 7/9/15)

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Marine Corps Chief Lt. Gen. Robert Neller Pointed To Russia As Posing "The Greatest Threat" To The United States. JOE MANCHIN: "Sir, with that being said, I've asked this question to everyone who's come to this committee for their approval, and that would be, what do you assess as the greatest risk or threat the United States of America faces from another country?" LT. GEN. ROBERT NELLER: "If you are asking me about a country, Senator, who poses the greatest threat, I would say another nation-state, I would agree with General Dunford that Russia has the most increasing capable force, and their actions and the fact that they have strategic forces make them the greatest potential threat, although I don't think they want to fight us. Right now I don't think they want to kill Americans. I think violent extremists want to kill us. And their capability is not that great but their intent is high." (Committee On Armed Services, U.S. Senate, Hearing, 7/23/15)

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Army Chief Of Staff Gen. Mark Milley: Russia Is The Greatest National Security Threat To The United States. JOE MANCHIN: "What do you consider the greatest threat the United States of America faces, national security, as far as the country?" GENERAL MARK MILLEY: "As a soldier, as a military officer, I'd have to say that it's Russia." (Committee On Armed Services, U.S. Senate, Hearing, 7/21/15)

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