Hillary Clinton thinks the war on terror led to "some very unfortunate, un-American actions." But in excerpts released of a recent interview with NPR, the former secretary of state doesn't name the "un-American actions" that she appears to blame on the Bush administration.
"The most important thing I did was to help restore America's leadership in the world. And I think that was a very important accomplishment. We were flat on our back when I walked in there the first time," Hillary says when talking about her accomplishments at the State Department.
"We were viewed as being untrustworthy, as violating our moral rules and values, as being economically hobbled. And we had to get out there and once again, promote American values and pursue our interests and protect national security. Because of the eight years that preceded us. It was the economic collapse, it was two wars, it was the war on terror that led to some very unfortunate, un-American actions being taken. That was my biggest challenge. It was why the president asked me to be secretary of state."
In the same interview, Clinton also defends the Bergdahl-Taliban swap. "During the time that I was there, we were trying to put together a much bigger deal, a deal that would get the Afghan government talking face to face with the Taliban, to try to resolve some of the points of controversy that exists between them. Whether the Taliban would forswear violence. Whether they would be integrated into Afghan society. Whether they would renounce their relationship with al Qaeda, which is what got them into this mess in the first place...It was a tougher deal and it was a very difficult preliminary discussion. All through the calculations we were making, we had to get Bergdahl back. That was an absolute condition for us.
"Of course, they're not just going to sit there and say, 'Okay, we'll do all this.' They wanted their five prisoners back from Guantanamo. And we had a lot of conditions we wanted met before we could even approach that. Timing and what were called confidence building measures... I left and I'm not going to second guess the decision that was made. As I understand, it was a decision backed by the State Department, the Defense Department and the intelligence community."