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Clinton Will Not Keep Us Safe

- December 14, 2015

As Clinton Unveils Her Counterterrorism Strategy, Her Long Record Of Failure Shows She Cannot Be Trusted To Protect America From The Growing Terrorist Threat

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TOP TAKEAWAYS

  • Today, Clinton will unveil her counterterrorism strategy, a plan she says will protect the homeland from the enemies she refuses to name and once said we must show empathy.
  • Clinton's online counterterrorism program has been deemed a failure by the State Department and the White House.
  • Clinton shares Obama's unpopular, failed strategy to combat ISIS.
  • As Secretary, Clinton fought to bring Gitmo terrorists to the United States.

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Today, Clinton Will Unveil Her Counterterrorism Strategy That She Claims Will Protect "The U.S. Homeland From Terrorist Attacks." "Hillary Clinton will outline her counterterrorism strategy next week in Minnesota, with a particular focus on combating 'domestic radicalization,' her campaign announced Thursday. Clinton on Tuesday will 'lay out a counterterrorism strategy that protects the U.S. homeland from terrorist attacks,' her campaign said in an announcement." (Dan Merica, "Hillary Clinton To Outline Counterterrorism Plan," CNN, 12/10/15)

FOR YEARS, IN THE INTEREST OF PURSUING A POLITICALLY EXPEDIENT NARRATIVE, CLINTON IGNORED THE ISIS THREAT AS IT GREW ON HER WATCH

In March 2011, Clinton Said Her State Department's Actions In Afghanistan "Put Al Qaeda On The Run." CLINTON: "In Iraq, almost 100,000 troops have come home and civilians are poised to keep the peace. In Afghanistan, integrated military and civilian surges have helped set the stage for our diplomatic surge to support Afghan-led reconciliation that can end the conflict and put al Qaeda on the run. We have imposed the toughest sanctions yet to rein in Iran's nuclear ambitions." (Hillary Clinton, Appropriations Subcommittee On State, Foreign Operations, And Related Hearings, U.S. Senate, Hearing, 3/2/11)

  • In October 2014, Clinton Said That The Obama Administration Was Able To Undermine Al Qaeda's "Capacity To, As An Organization, Continue To Threaten The West." CLINTON: "But I think the evidence, at least to me, that this is a group that will try to pick up where Al Qaeda in Afghanistan left off. What we were able to do, at great cost, to ferret out and decapitate the leadership of Al Qaeda severely undermined their capacity to, as an organization, continue to threaten the West." (Hillary Clinton, Remarks At Canada 2020, Ottawa, Canada, 10/6/14)

"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. The group, it said, could 'declare an Islamic state through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria.' 'This particular report, this was one of those nobody wanted to see,' said Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, who ran the defense agency at the time. 'It was disregarded by the White House,' he said. 'It was disregarded by other elements in the intelligence community as a one-off report. Frankly, at the White House, it didn't meet the narrative.'" (Ian Fisher, "In Rise Of ISIS, No Single Missed Key But Many Strands Of Blame," The New York Times , 11/18/15)

"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." "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. The group, it said, could 'declare an Islamic state through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria.' 'This particular report, this was one of those nobody wanted to see,' said Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, who ran the defense agency at the time. 'It was disregarded by the White House,' he said. 'It was disregarded by other elements in the intelligence community as a one-off report. Frankly, at the White House, it didn't meet the narrative.'" (Ian Fisher, "In Rise Of ISIS, No Single Missed Key But Many Strands Of Blame," The New York Times , 11/18/15)

  • "The Group, It Said, Could 'Declare An Islamic State Through Its Union With Other Terrorist Organizations In Iraq And Syria.'" (Ian Fisher, "In Rise Of ISIS, No Single Missed Key But Many Strands Of Blame," The New York Times , 11/18/15)
  • Gen. Michael Flynn, Then-Head Of The Defense Intelligence Agency, On The 2012 Report: "It Was Disregarded By The White House… Frankly, At The White House, It Didn't Meet The Narrative." "'This particular report, this was one of those nobody wanted to see,' said Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, who ran the defense agency at the time. 'It was disregarded by the White House,' he said. 'It was disregarded by other elements in the intelligence community as a one-off report. Frankly, at the White House, it didn't meet the narrative.'" (Ian Fisher, "In Rise Of ISIS, No Single Missed Key But Many Strands Of Blame," The New York Times , 11/18/15)

TODAY, CLINTON SHARES OBAMA'S FAILED STRATEGY TO DEFEAT ISIS-A PLAN THAT HAS BEEN REJECTED BY TOP MEMBERS OF THEIR OWN PARTY AND IS RIDDLED WITH WEAK RHETORIC

Last Week, 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)

Click To Watch

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)

Click To Watch

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)

Click To Watch

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)

Click To Watch

Yesterday, Two Of Obama's Top Defense Officials Contradicted Clinton's Weak Rhetoric And Declared We Are At War With "Islamist Extremists," "Radical Islam"

Obama's Army Chief Of Staff Mark Milley Discussed The Challenges The U.S. Faces From "Radical Islam," "Militant Islam." MILLEY: "If you look at the Middle East writ large, there's a broader challenge facing the United States, I think. And that's the challenge of radicals within the Muslim ulama, all the way from Morocco, all the way to Indonesia, from the Caucasus, to the Blue Nile sort of thing. So that entire area of the world, which has got a billion plus Muslims in it, the vast majority of which are hardworking folk who just want to make a better living for their family. But there's been a movement out there for going on 100 years now, that posits an alternative way to organize your society. And that fundamentally is what we think of as radical Islam or militant Islam, it's got different names. The current manifestation of that, the most violent one, is ISIS and Al Qaeda. But there's a whole string of organizations out there, maybe 50 to 100 of these things, some are small, some are big, some have greater or lesser capability, that are all part of this broader movement." (Mark Milley, Remarks At The Center For A New American Security, Washington, D.C., 12/14/15)

Click To Watch

Obama's Deputy Secretary Of Defense Robert Work Said We Are At War With "Islamist Extremists." WORK: "And for the last, the second is, for the last 14 years, we've been really focused down on this really hard problem in the Middle East and fighting a war against Islamist extremists. And as a result our program, our program, has been slow to adapt as these high end threats have started to re-emerge." (Robert Work, Remarks At The Center For A New American Security, Washington, D.C., 12/14/15)

Click To Watch

CLINTON'S ONLINE COUNTERTERRORISM PROGRAM, WHICH SHE TOUTED JUST DAYS AGO, HAS BEEN DEEMED A FAILURE BY THE STATE DEPARTMENT AND THE WHITE HOUSE

Clinton, November 2015: "I Built Up A Unit Of Communications Specialists Fluent In Urdu, Arabic, Somali, And Other Languages To Battle With Extremists Online." CLINTON: "Radicalization and recruitment also is happening online. There's no doubt we have to do a better job contesting online space, including websites and chat rooms, where jihadists communicate with followers. We must deny them virtual territory just as we deny them actual territory. At the State Department, I built up a unit of communications specialists fluent in Urdu, Arabic, Somali, and other languages to battle with extremists online. We need more of that, including from the private sector. Social media companies can also do their part by swiftly shutting down terrorist accounts so they're not used to plan, provoke, or celebrate violence." (Hillary Clinton, Remarks, New York, NY, 11/19/15)

  • Clinton: "We Need More Of That." CLINTON: "We need more of that, including from the private sector. Social media companies can also do their part by swiftly shutting down terrorist accounts so they're not used to plan, provoke, or celebrate violence." (Hillary Clinton, Remarks, New York, NY, 11/19/15)

Click To Watch

The State Department Is Considering "Scaling Back" Its Online Efforts To Discredit ISIS Following A Review That Cast Doubt On Its Ability To Fight ISIS Propaganda

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)

  • The Washington Post Headline: "Panel Casts Doubt On U.S. Propaganda Efforts Against ISIS" (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)

  • Former Senior Counterterrorism Official: "Why The State Department And Homeland Security Department Have Not Leveraged The Power Of Social Media Is Beyond Me." "A former senior counter-terrorism official, who participated in the 2014 discussion, said, 'Why the State Department and Homeland Security Department have not leveraged the power of social media is beyond me.'" (Brian Ross, Rhonda Schwartz, James Gordon Meek, And Josh Margolin, "Secret US Policy Blocks Agents From Looking At Social Media Of Visa Applicants, Former Official Says," ABC News, 12/14/15)
  • "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)

Recent ISIS Threats Have "Added To The Urgency Surrounding A State Department Team That Was Set Up To Serve As An Information War Room Against Terrorist Networks." "The terrorist assaults that killed more than 130 people in Paris last month were seen by counterterrorism officials as a demonstration of the Islamic State's expanding reach. …The threats added to the urgency surrounding a State Department team that was set up to serve as an information war room against terrorist networks. Over the past two years, the unit has mounted campaigns on Twitter, Facebook and other social-media platforms to sow doubt among those who may be enticed to join the Islamic State." (Greg Miller, "Panel Casts Doubt On U.S. Propaganda Efforts Against ISIS," The Washington Post , 12/2/15)

According To A U.S. Official, The Review Team "Had Serious Questions About Whether The U.S. Government Should Be Involved In Overt Messaging At All." "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 White House Said It Was A "Matter Of Common Sense" That Clinton's Program Was Doomed From The Start

In A Testy Exchange, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest Explained To Reporters Why Clinton's Online Counterterrorism Program Was Doomed From The Start, Calling It A "Matter Of Commonsense." 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)

Click To Watch

AND AS SECRETARY, 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)

Clinton Advocated For Moving Gitmo Detainees To The U.S. So They Could Face A Trial

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: "Federal Courts Are Time-Tested And Credible To Our Allies." (Hillary Clinton, Memo To Barack Obama, 1/15/13, p. 2, Accessed 11/30/15)

 


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