3:18 PM, Jun 17, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
Hillary Clinton raised eyebrows recently with her assertion that the five Taliban commanders transferred to Qatar in exchange for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl are "not a threat to the United States." John Kerry, in remarks Thursday to the U.S. Embassy staff in London, seemed to take issue with Clinton's assessment on the relative danger posed to the United States by terrorists in foreign lands [emphasis added]:
[W]e’re living in an era – a tectonic shift, a moment of extraordinary change. And our interests are at stake everywhere.
That’s what I want to reinforce in you. There’s no us and them, over there, over here, and you’re safe. We’re all connected to what’s going on. Terrorists in Syria today, in Iraq today are thinking about how they can hurt people in London or Paris or Berlin or even in the United States. And they don’t offer anything else to their people. They’re not offering an education plan, they’re not offering – well, actually, it’s do what we tell you. Read one book and that’s it, and you live by it. But they’re not offering a broad-based set of opportunities and education. They don’t talk about building their country, they don’t have healthcare, nothing. That’s what we’re struggling with.
In an interview at The Hague in 2009, Clinton herself seemed more concerned about the direct threat posed to the United States by the Taliban than her recent remarks would indicate:
QUESTION: President Obama just last week was talking about the Taliban and al-Qaida. He said that they are regenerating and they’re a threat to the United States and to its allies. And just today we had the head of the Pakistan Taliban making a threat against directly the United States, in fact, Washington, D.C. – Baitullah Mehsud saying he’s planning a terrorist attack that would “amaze the world.” What can you tell us about that? Do you know how serious it is and could the Taliban actually mount such a threat?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, remember that leaders of the Taliban are in a syndicate relationship with al-Qaida. They are allies, they depend upon one another. Al-Qaida provides planning, logistical, financial support. The Taliban provides a safe haven. So it’s a totally interconnected relationship. So what we respond to something like that is to make clear that threats like that will be dealt with. We will be obviously vigilant and prepared. But it illustrates exactly why we’re doing what we’re doing. Anybody who thinks we can walk away from Afghanistan and Pakistan and the border area is forgetting it happened on September 11th, 2001. I was a Senator from New York. I don’t forget. I know what these people are capable of doing. And we’ve kept them at bay and we’re going to dismantle them, disrupt and defeat them.
10:19 PM, Jun 11, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
In a statement released just now, the White House press secretary says that the U.S. government will "increase" assistance to the government of Iraq "as required." The White House also "strongly condemns the recent attacks in Iraq by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)."
6:16 PM, Jun 9, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
In an interview that will air tonight, Hillary Clinton will tell Diane Sawyer that the Benghazi terrorist attack that left four Americans dead is "more of a reason to run" for president of the United States.
5:35 PM, Jun 7, 2014 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
There is a concerted push to sanitize the records of four of the five Taliban leaders transferred from Guantanamo to Qatar. But before delving into some of the specifics, let us recount the basic facts.
1:54 PM, Jun 5, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Harry Reid on when the White House notified Congress of the Bergdahl-Taliban swap: "What difference does it make?"
A reporter asked, "How come it seems that you were the only one who got a heads-up the day before?"
Senate majority leader Reid answered, "I'm not sure I'm the only one. I mean, this is making a big deal over nothing. The whole deal, is it Friday or Saturday? What difference does it make? What difference does it make?"
9:10 AM, May 30, 2014 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
Hillary Clinton is right about Benghazi—or at least she's right about one thing.
According to a story by Maggie Haberman about the Benghazi chapter in Clinton's forthcoming book Hard Choices, the former secretary of state contends that some of her critics have badly mischaracterized the now infamous question she asked at a January 23, 2012, congressional hearing: "What difference, at this point, does it make?"
11:03 AM, May 29, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Steve Hayes, with Mara Liasson and Charles Krauthammer, last night on Fox News:
And here's the Internet-only aftershow:
4:34 PM, Mar 27, 2014 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
On Wednesday, the House Homeland Security Committee released a report summarizing its investigation into the April 15, 2013, terrorist attack at the Boston Marathon. Among the report’s key findings: Nearly one year after twin backpack bombs killed three people and wounded more than 260 others, U.S. officials are still unsure about the extent of the terrorists’ foreign ties.
7:07 AM, Mar 6, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
The semi-annual report on "Re-engagement of Detainees Formerly Held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba" was released on Wednesday
7:36 AM, Feb 26, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
News broke this week that under a plan released by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, the United States Army will be reduced to its smallest force since before World War II. Though not directly related to that plan, another announcement this week by the Defense Department gives, perhaps, a taste of what those cuts may look like. Plans are underway for massive cuts to the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO), the organization that has led military's efforts to combat a weapon of choice among insurgents and terrorists in Iraq, Afghanistan, and around the world. JIEDDO's current staff of 3,000 will be reduced to 1,000 by the end of this fiscal year, and further plans could see the number fall as low as 400 down the road.
1:35 PM, Feb 5, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
A lawmaker at a Benghazi hearing stumped U.S. intelligence officials yesterday with this question:
1:16 AM, Jan 29, 2014 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
President Barack Obama delivered a State of the Union Address on Tuesday that was important less for what he said than for what it says about him.
Writes 'Isreal.'9:12 AM, Jan 15, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
The office of the Director of National Intelligence released its interactive 2014 Counterterrorism Calendar this week on the website of the National Counterterrorism Center. The map provided with the calendar contains an embarrassing error, misspelling the name of the U.S.'s closest ally in the Middle East, Israel, as "Isreal." The error can be seen by hovering over the tiny country with a computer mouse:
10:07 AM, Dec 31, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Steve Hayes, with Kirsten Powers and Charles Krauthammer, last night on Fox News: