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Hillary Clinton on Homeland Security

Democratic Jr Senator (NY); Secretary of State-Designee


Led criticism about what Bush knew prior to 9/11

The brief period of bipartisan peace initiated by 9/11 ended for good in May 2002. CBS News reported that the president had received an intelligence briefing in early Aug. 2001 that "specifically alerted him of a possible airliner attack in the US."

Th CBS report left much open to question, but that mattered little to Democratic leaders in Congress. They saw an opportunity to attack the president's strong suit--his leadership in the war on terrorism.

The Democrat who most aroused the ire of the White House was Hillary Clinton. She declared, "Bush had been informed last year, before 9/11, of a possible al Qaeda plot to hijack a US airliner." She held up a newspaper headline, "BUSH KNEW." "The president knew what?" Clinton asked.

To the White House, Clinton's remarks seemed calculated to manipulate the narrative concerning who should be blamed for 9/11, trying to shield the legacy of her husband's presidency by shifting blame for overlooking available intelligence away from him & onto his successor.

Source: What Happened, by Scott McClellan, p.113-115 May 28, 2008

Long-held pro-defense spending stance; not a move to center

As long as she has been in public life, Clinton has held many positions that are ordinarily associated with Republicans, supporting the death penalty, numerous free-trade agreements, and high defense spending, to name a few. She was also a strong and early supporter of the Iraq war (though she became a critic as the war dragged on). Yet these positions are not only not taken as evidence that she is in fact a centrist, they are used as evidence of insincere political calculation. She has often been characterized as MOVING to the center in preparation for a presidential run, even when her position on the issue in question has remained unchanged.

For Clinton, long-held positions, like a hawkish approach to military affairs, are taken as evidence of a shift. And the prevailing assumption is that when she breaks with some in her party (or even when she sticks with her party) it is for crass political purposes and not an outgrowth of genuine conviction.

Source: Free Ride, by David Brock and Paul Waldman, p.134-135 Mar 25, 2008

Passed legislation to treat veterans’ traumatic brain injury

We have to do everything necessary to help returning veterans get the health care and the support that they need. This new signature wound called traumatic brain injury is something that I am really upset about, because we’ve only begun to recognize it and diagnose it. I was able to pass legislation to begin to provide the physical and mental evaluations so we could treat this. They’re now getting these exams because we’ve got to track what happens to the veterans and provide the services for them.
Source: 2008 Democratic debate in Las Vegas Jan 15, 2008

AdWatch: Ensured health coverage for Guard & Reserve

Clinton TV ad in NH:
Clinton: You would think that after all the sacrifices and service of the National Guard and Reserve protecting our country, they would have had health insurance. But they didn’t.

So I reached across the aisle and worked for three years to change that. Now every member of the Guard and Reserve has access to the health coverage they need.

I’ve learned if you want to get things done, you have to know when to stand your ground and when to find common ground.

Source: FactCheck.org: AdWatch of 2007 campaign ad, “Guard” Dec 20, 2007

FactCheck: Only BETTER health coverage for SOME Reservists

Clinton’s ad, called “Guard,” began airing statewide in NH on Dec. 17. We find the ad misleading. Clinton says in the ad: “You would think that after all the sacrifices and service of the National Guard and Reserve protecting our country, they would have had health insurance. But they didn’t.”

That’s not exactly true. First of all, members of the National Guard and Reserve were long covered by federal health insurance while on active duty. As for those not on active duty, 4 out of 5 were covered by their civilian employers

Clinton was among those pushing to expand & improve federal coverage for reservists off active duty. Clinton would have been correct to say “some didn’t” have health insurance. She even would be justified in saying that, before her efforts, guardsmen and reservists “didn’t have adequate health insurance.” That’s an opinion with which many would agree. But by falsely claiming that “they didn’t” have health insurance, she gives herself more credit than the facts support.

Source: FactCheck.org: AdWatch of 2007 campaign ad, “Guard” Dec 20, 2007

Examine registering 18-year-old women for selective service

Q: Teenage boys must register for selective service at age 18, but not girls. I’m wondering whether this sends the right message about national service?

DODD: I don’t see a need for the draft. I don’t believe that is necessary. But if you are going to have one I think it ought to be gender neutral.

Q: If it did not necessarily mean military service, should the country examine registering women at 18?

CLINTON: Yes.

EDWARDS: Yes. But it’s absolutely crucial that we ask Americans to be patriotic about something other than war. As with John Kennedy’s call to action, I think we need a president who asks Americans to sacrifice.

KUCINICH: We have to say no to a draft.

BIDEN: Yes ,and there should be universal service.

OBAMA: Yes. Every young person should have that opportunity to serve and do something that is bigger than themselves.

RICHARDSON: Yes. And I outlined a plan two years of college tuition paid off by the government, one year of national service

Source: [Xref Obama] 2007 Iowa Brown & Black Presidential Forum Dec 1, 2007

National security is more important than human rights

Q: What is more important, human rights or national security?

A: The first obligation of the president of the US is to protect and defend the US. That doesn’t mean that it is to the exclusion of other interests. After 9/11, Bush had a chance to chart a different course, both in Pakistan and in Afghanistan, and could have been very clear about what our expectations were. We are now in a bind. It is not completely, but partly, a result of the failed policies of the Bush administration. Where we are today means that we have to say to Musharraf, “Look, this is not in your interest either; this is not in the interest of the US. It is not in your interest to either stay in power or stay alive.” When I was meeting with him earlier this year I asked him if he would accept a high-level presidential envoy to begin to negotiate some of these issues. He said yes. I called the White House, I asked them to send such a high-level envoy. They did not do it. They’re going to send one now.

Source: 2007 Democratic debate in Las Vegas, Nevada Nov 15, 2007

2001: Called for wrath on those who attacked America on 9/11

Within hours of two planes crashing into two New York towers on 9/11/2001, Hillary Clinton’s closest advisor, Bill, urged her to come out strong. It was he who encouraged her to show that she had the requisite boldness and guts to lead the nation and protect her people. The very next day, Hillary delivered a call to arms that hailed “wrath” on those who harbored terrorists. While others were modeling a different style of leadership by holding firm for global cooperation, criminal prosecution, and a reassertion, rather than a shedding of international jurisprudence, Clinton channeled Thatcher, Britain’s “Iron Lady,” and delivered a bombastic speech in which she described the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon as an “attack on America.” Clinton called for punishment for those responsible, the hijackers, and their ilk and vowed that any country that chose to harbor terrorists and “in any way aid or comfort them whatsoever will now face the wrath of our country.”
Source: The Contenders, by Laura Flanders, p. 18-19 Nov 11, 2007

FactCheck: Yes, in 2006 condoned exceptions on torture

Barack Obama accused Clinton of flip-flops on torture: Obama is right. In an interview with the New York Daily News in October 2006, Clinton condoned torture, saying, “In the event we were ever confronted with having to interrogate a detainee with knowledge of an imminent threat to millions of Americans, then the decision to depart from standard international practices must be made by the President. That very, very narrow exception within very, very limited circumstances is better than blasting a big hole in our entire law.“

But in a debate in New Hampshire last month, Sen. Clinton shifted her position, when offered a similar ticking time bomb case, responding, ”As a matter of policy, torture cannot be American policy, period.“ To our ears, that sounds like a reversal.

Source: FactCheck.org on 2007 Democratic debate at Drexel University Oct 30, 2007

Torture cannot be American policy, period

Q: Let’s say we were to capture the #3 man in Al Qaida, and we know there’s a bomb about to go off, and we have 3 days, and we know this guy knows where it is. Should there be a presidential exception to allow torture in that kind of situation?

A: As a matter of policy it cannot be American policy, period. There is very little evidence that it works. Now, there are a lot of other things that we need to be doing that I wish we were: better intelligence; working to have more allies. But these hypotheticals are very dangerous because they open a great big hole in what should be an attitude that our country and our president takes toward the appropriate treatment of everyone. And I think it’s dangerous to go down this path.

Q: The guest who laid out this scenario for me with that proposed solution was William Jefferson Clinton last year. So he disagrees with you.

A: Well, he’s not standing here right now.

Q: So there is a disagreement?

A: Well, I’ll talk to him later.

Source: 2007 Democratic primary debate at Dartmouth College Sep 6, 2007

Wants to repeal don’t-ask-don’t-tell, but not until 2009

Q: You’ve said that you would like to repeal “Don’t ask, don’t tell.” Now, since 2003, you’ve sat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, the committee that would decide this issue. Why haven’t you introduced legislation to repeal this policy?

A: The very simple answer is we didn’t have a chance with the Republican Congress and George Bush as president. And I want to get it done when I’m president. I want to do it and have it be successful. I don’t want to try, in a Republican Congress, with a very negative president, and have it defeated. We’re talking, now that we have a Democratic Congress, about what steps we can take to sort of lay the groundwork so that when we do have a change in the White House, we will be able to move on that. But I just want to sort of put it into a broader context, because it’s one of my highest priorities. I came out against don’t-ask-don’t-tell in 1999. It was a transitional action that was taken back at the beginning of my husband’s administration.

Source: 2007 HRC/LOGO debate on gay issues Aug 9, 2007

Should have criticized JCC for calling homosexuality immoral

Q: The Joint Chiefs Chair called homosexuality immoral. And when you were first asked about it, you said, “I’m going to leave that to others to conclude.” The next day, after much criticism, you finally said you did not think that homosexuality was immoral. Why didn’t you say that the first time?

A: Well, it was a mistake. Because what I went on to say after what you quoted was to launch an attack on “don’t ask, don’t tell.” You know, because my view was that the chairman of the Joint Chiefs had absolutely no right to say what he said. I disagreed with him profoundly. But what was really offensive is that he was in a position of responsibility that had a direct impact on the lives of hundreds of thousands of these young people in the military. So I went right at him on “don’t ask, don’t tell.” And you say these things when somebody sticks a microphone in front of you; I thought that was pretty good. It wasn’t. So I immediately got the first opportunity I could to say the whole thing.

Source: 2007 HRC/LOGO debate on gay issues Aug 9, 2007

Opposed to draft, but register women for draft

Q: Do you think women should register for selective service when they turn 18 like men do currently?

A: I do. I don’t support a draft. I think our all- volunteer military has performed superbly. But we’ve had women die in Iraq. We’ve had combat deaths of women in Iraq and Afghanistan. And I do think that women should register. I doubt very much that we’ll ever have to go back to a draft. But I think it is fair to call upon every young American.

Source: 2007 YouTube Democratic Primary debate, Charleston SC Jul 23, 2007

Forgive student loans for universal national service

I don’t support a draft. But we’ve got to look for more ways for universal national service. I’ve introduced legislation for a public service academy that would be patterned on great institutions like The Citadel and our military academies. Because we’ve got to get young people back into public service. We have a provision in our bill to have people who go into public service have their student loans deferred and even forgiven. We need to do more to support public service.
Source: 2007 YouTube Democratic Primary debate, Charleston SC Jul 23, 2007

1999: overturn don’t-ask-don’t-tell so gays can serve openly

Hillary told a group of gay contributors that the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy enacted by her husband with the intent of making it easier for gay men and lesbians to serve in the armed forces, had been a failure. In her first public statement on the issue, the Senate candidate said that if elected, she would work to overturn the policy, insisting that homosexuals be allowed to serve openly in the military. Stating that it was politically unrealistic to expect Congress to make a change at the current moment, the first lady maintained that the Department of Defense should take immediate steps to reduce the number of instances of homosexuals being discharged from the military. “Gays and lesbians already serve with distinction in our nation’s armed forces and should not face discrimination. Fitness to serve should be based on an individual’s conduct, not their sexual orientation.”
Source: God and Hillary Clinton, by Paul Kengor, p.188-189 Jul 18, 2007

Administration secrecy shreds the Constitution

Our Constitution is being shredded. We know about the secret wiretaps, the secret military tribunals, the secret White House e-mail accounts. We’ve seen U.S. attorneys fired to silence them because they didn’t bring bogus lawsuits against Democrats during election years. We’ve seen information taken off of government websites. It is a stunning record of secrecy and corruption, of cronyism run amok. It is everything our founders were afraid of, everything our Constitution was designed to prevent.
Source: Take Back America 2007 Conference Jun 20, 2007

9/11: Got $20B to rebuild lower Manhattan

After the 9/11 memorial service in Washington, Hillary went to New York, as did Bush. At Ground Zero, Bush made his iconic appearance, rallying rescue workers and telling the crowd through a bullhorn, “I can hear you. The rest of the world hears you. And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.” Hillary stood nearby and cheered the president’s vow.

With each passing day that week, Hillary seemed to grow more comfortable in her role as an energized street fighter for a shattered city. She was inevitable overshadowed by Mayor Giuliani, who would be acclaimed as “America’s Mayor” for his resolve in lower Manhattan. And yet, for many New Yorkers, the images of Hillary fighting for the $20 billion in federal assistance for lower Manhattan, and standing atop the rubble with the president and Mayor Giuliani, dispelled any lingering doubts that she was a carpetbagger celebrity politician with few authentic toes to her new home state.

Source: Her Way, by Jeff Gerth & Don Van Natta, p.235 Jun 8, 2007

Served on Armed Services Committee & was always prepared

She came into the Senate under the most intensive scrutiny of any senator in recent history, McCain said, and “she has conducted herself very admirably.” McCain added that Hillary was “always well prepared” at hearings on the Armed Services Committee.

Hillary sits on three Senate committees--Armed Services, Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, and Environment and Public Works.

Hillary landed her most important post, a slot on the Armed Services Committee, after the 2002 midterm elections. It was a conscious decision to burnish her national-security resume after September 11.

Hillary had previously impressed the army’s vice chief of staff, Gen. John Keene, one of the architects of the invasion of Iraq, with her grasp of military culture. Hillary learned how to fit into a community that had long harbored hostility toward her husband.

Hillary’s service on the Armed Services Committee enabled her to reach out to the military. It also allowed her to travel on official business to war zones

Source: Her Way, by Jeff Gerth & Don Van Natta, p.254-256 Jun 8, 2007

Big disconnect between rhetoric and reality on security

Q: How has this label come that the Republicans will protect America best?

A: I have worked very hard to try to convince the administration to do those things that would make us safer. And I think there’s a big disconnect between the rhetoric and the reality. We haven’t secured our borders, our ports, our mass transit systems. You can go across this country and see so much that has not been done. The resources haven’t gotten to the front lines where decisions are made in local government the way that they need to. And I think that this administration has consistently tried to hype the fear without delivering on the promise of making America safer. And its foreign policy around the world has also made the world less stable, which, of course, has a ripple effect with respect to what we’re going to face in the future. So I hope that we can put that myth to rest. It is certainly something I will try to do during the campaign.

Source: 2007 South Carolina Democratic primary debate, on MSNBC Apr 26, 2007

Fund first responders with extra $1.7 billion

[We need to] get smart about homeland security. We confront a new enemy & a new kind of warfare. It’s really the warfare of cowards. It’s people who sneak around and blow themselves up or place bombs in cars, who have a philosophy of nihilism. You know, they may dress it up in a kind of perverse version of religion, but it’s really about destruction and death. And it is imperative that we stand against them. Their warfare is not conducted by armies or navies but by criminals, by insurgents, by militias driven by this twisted hate.

We can’t get the resources to match the rhetoric. In this latest budget, the president is proposing to cut funds for first responders to the tune of $1.7 billion. The way I see it, saying you believe in homeland security without funding first responders is like saying you believe in building a hospital without doctors and nurses. If we don’t fund you, we’re not funding our first line of defense, and we’re going to need to work together to make that happen.

Source: 2007 IAFF Presidential Forum in Washington DC Mar 14, 2007

Change our Secretary of Defense: he’s not credible

In the middle of our Civil War, the bloodiest war our nation ever fought, Abraham Lincoln did not hesitate to change generals. We have a Secretary of Defense who is not credible any longer. We need to change the Secretary of Defense to send a signal to our troops, and to the rest of the world, that we can do better than what we’re doing.
Source: NY 2006 Senate Debate, at University of Rochester Oct 20, 2006

Homeland security not simply about reorganizing bureaucracy

In a 2003 speech at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Hillary ridiculed the Department of Homeland Security and criticized President Bush for his weakness on defense. “We have relied on the myth of homeland security--a myth written in rhetoric, inadequate resources, and is a new bureaucracy instead of relying on good old-fashioned American ingenuity, might, and muscle. Homeland Security is not simply about reorganizing existing bureaucracies, but rather about having the right attitude, focus, policy, and resources.“

Hillary’s introduced the Provide for the Common Defense Act that would increase spending and size of government as well as help pay for state-run programs that NY was not funding. The bill called for two additional security coordinators dedicated to NY, a $3 billion counter-technology fund to pay for city-based security measures, more security regulations for certain industries, and money to track medical records of first responders.

Source: Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy, by Amanda Carpenter, p.148-149 Oct 11, 2006

Marshal resources against proliferation of nuclear weapons

We should have a very high level of commitment from the White House, including a person responsible in our government for marshaling our resources against the proliferation of nuclear weapons. There has to be a better organizing effort to make sure that every part of the government is working together. I don’t think we’ve done what we need to do on homeland defense. We haven’t done enough on port security. We have not made the kind of commitment necessary to protect us.
Source: 2008 Facebook/WMUR-NH Democratic primary debate Jan 6, 2006

There is no safe haven for the terrorists

The stateless terrorists will operate from somewhere. Part of our message has to be there is no safe haven. If we can demonstrate that the people responsible for planning the nuclear attack on our country may not themselves be in a government or associated with a state, but have a haven within one, then every state in the world must know we will retaliate against those states. There cannot be safe havens for stateless terrorists who are in these networks that are plotting to have the proliferation of nuclear weapons and be smuggling into our country or elsewhere the kind of suitcase device that could cause such havoc. Deterrence worked during the Cold War in large measure because the US made it clear to the Soviet Union that there would be massive retaliation. We have to make it clear to those states that would give safe haven to stateless terrorists, that would launch a nuclear attack against America that they would also face a very heavy retaliation.
Source: 2008 Facebook/WMUR-NH Democratic primary debate Jan 6, 2006

Consistently supported tough anti-terrorism measures

The only exception to Hillary’s party-line voting were her support for the Iraq War & her votes for appropriations to fund it, her uniform support for tough anti-terrorism measures, and--in an attempt to curry favor with the media--her opposition to nullification of the FCC rules making media consolidation easier.

Hillary has amassed a good legislative record on fighting terrorism. She has pushed hard for threat assessments on bioterrorism, to protect the food supply, promote benefits to children of terror victims, increase homeland security grants, investigate securing radioactive materials, require annual inspections of high-risk sites, identify potential terror sites, encourage bomb-scanning technology, and improve protection at our embassies. But none of these bills has passed.

[On spending bills], Hillary has proposed additional spending to improve military housing, keep open facilities on closed defense bases, upgrade armed forces medical readiness, and increase aid to blind veterans.

Source: Condi vs. Hillary, by Dick Morris, p. 86-88 Oct 11, 2005

Hillary hugs hawkish line on terrorism

On terrorism, Hillary hugs the hawkish line. She voted for the Iraq War, and though she criticizes the Bush administration for the way it is fighting the conflict, she constantly backs the war and votes for all the supplies, money, and troops Bush requests. In fact, she has called for the recruitment of 80,000 new soldiers.

In staking out new ground for herself on national defense issues, Hillary has found a big ally: former House speaker Newt Gingrich. Hillary actively uses Newt as a prop to demonstrate her newfound political centrism. Serving together on an advisory panel on defense priorities, Gingrich and Hillary have gone out of their way to indicate a shared commitment to a strong defense. According to the New York Times, “Gingrich says he has been struck by how pro-defense Hillary Clinton has turned out to be at a time when other Democrats have criticized President Bush’s decision to go to war. He chalked that up to her experience in the White House.”

Source: Condi vs. Hillary, by Dick Morris, p.145 Oct 11, 2005

Our troops are stretched; so increase size of military

Recommends a bigger Army in 2004: “We have to face the fact we need a larger active-duty military. We cannot continue to stretch our troops, both active-duty, Guard and Reserve, to the breaking point, which is what we’re doing now... I’m supporting an effort to increase the end strength of the Army, increase the size of the military. This is a big decision for our country to make. It is expensive, but I don’t think we have any alternatives.”
Source: What Every American Should Know, by the ACU, p. 74 Sep 30, 2005

Muscle, not rhetoric, leads to strong homeland security

Muscle, not rhetoric, leads to strong homeland security: “We have relied on a myth of homeland security--a myth written in rhetoric, inadequate resources, and a new bureaucracy instead of relying on good, old-fashioned American ingenuity, might, and muscle.”
Source: What Every American Should Know, by the ACU, p. 76 Sep 30, 2005

Leadership role on Senate Armed Services Committee

No act does more to illuminate Hillarys presidential aspirations than her lunge for a top spot on the Armed Services Committee. Hillary is the first New Yorker to be appointed to the Committee since it was formed in 1947.
Source: Madame Hillary, by R. Emmett Tyrell, p. 46 Feb 25, 2004

At age 27, tried and failed to enlist in Marines

Her first year in Little Rock, she tried to enlist in the US Marine Corps. At the time, it was considered a preposterous thing for a young woman to do. Here is Hillary's story, in her own words.

"So I walked into our local recruiting office, and I think it was just my bad luck that the person who happened to be there on duty could not have been older than 21. He was in perfect physical shape. So I sat down and I said I didn't know whether I thought active duty would be a good idea; reserve, mayb National Guard, something along those lines.

"This young man looked at me and he said , 'How old are you?' I said, 'Well, 27.' I had these really thick glasses on. He said, "How bad's your eyesight?" I said, 'It's pretty bad.' And he said, 'How bad?' So I told him. He said, 'That's pretty bad.'

"And he finally said to me, he said, 'You're too old. You can't see. And you're a woman.' This young man was a Marine. He said, 'But maybe the dogs [the Army] would take you.' "

Source: Madame Hillary, by R. Emmett Tyrrell, p. 3 Feb 25, 2004

2000: sought and got spot on Armed Services Committee

In chronicling Hillary's freshman rise to the front ranks of the Senate minority leadership, no act does more to illuminate Hillary's presidential aspirations than her lunge for a spot on the Armed Services Committee. Hillary is the first New Yorker to be appointed to the committee since it was formed in 1947.

Visiting upstate New York's Fort Drum with President Bush to personally thank the 10th Mountain Division for its service to Afghanistan is hardly what one expects of someone schooled on the ramparts of the anti-war movement. It is less incongruous when you remember that as a young woman who had just moved to Arkansas, Hillary had tried to join the U.S. Marine Corps, a killer political credential for a woman in the era of so-called Chicken Hawk men.

Hillary steers clear of the classic liberal agenda on defense--arms control test bans and opposition to missile defense.

Source: Madame Hillary, by R. Emmett Tyrrell, p. 46-47 Feb 25, 2004

Send 70% of homeland security funding to cities & counties

In Hillary's rhetoric, the Bush administration is sleeping as soundly as a sailor dozing in the hold of the USS Arizona on the morning of December 7, 1941. "We have relied on a myth of homeland security--a myth written in rhetoric, inadequate resources, and a new bureaucracy, instead of relying on good, old-fashioned American ingenuity, might, and muscle," she says.

What would constitute a good, old-fashioned American solution to the danger of a chemical, nuclear, or biological attack? A document from her office explains that the senator "introduced the Homeland Security Block Grant Act, which provides that 70% of homeland security funding should go directly to mare than 1,000 cities and counties across the US. The remaining 30% will be sent to the States, which will serve as a pass-through directed to smaller communities.

Thus the bulk of homeland security spending would go to local funding for police, fire, and other local first providers in homeland defense.

Source: Madame Hillary, by R. Emmett Tyrrell, p. 54-55 Feb 25, 2004

I despise terrorism and the nihilism it represents

On Oct. 11, the USS Cole was attacked by terrorists in Yemen. The explosion killed 17 US sailors and ripped a hole in the destroyer’s hull. This attack, like the embassy bombings, was later traced to al Qaeda.

I despise terrorism and the nihilism it represents, and I was incredulous when the NY Republican Party and Lazio campaign insinuated that I was somehow involved with the terrorists who blew up the Cole. They made this charge in a TV ad and an automatic telephone message directed to NY voters 12 days before the election. The story they concocted was that I had received a donation from somebody who belonged to a group that they said supported terrorists--“the same kind of terrorism that killed our sailors on the USS Cole.” The phone script told people to call me and tell me to “stop supporting terrorism.” This last-minute desperation tactic blew up, however, thanks to a vigorous response by my campaign and with help from former NYC mayor Ed Koch, who cut a TV commercial scolding Lazio.

Source: Living History, by Hillary Clinton, p.521-522 Nov 1, 2003

Supports funding research on missile defense

Hillary Clinton said she would vote for a nuclear test ban treaty and to fund research for a missile defense system, she said.
Source: Dean Murphy, NY Times Oct 20, 2000

Nixon should have been impeached for bombing Cambodia

In Hillary’s opinion, Nixon was “evil.” [An office-mate during her time on the Watergate Committee] says that she believed that Nixon should be prosecuted or impeached not just over Watergate but over his conduct during the Vietnam War, specifically his order for the secret bombing in Cambodia, which she saw as immoral and even criminal. She argued forcefully for a broader definition of the legal justification for impeachment--a position that would come back to haunt her [with Bill Clinton].
Source: Hillary’s Choice by Gail Sheehy, p. 90 Dec 9, 1999

A safe world needs the nuclear test ban treaty

Signing [the nuclear test ban] treaty would have been taking a giant step to creating a world of peace. New York has a long a proud tradition of senators from both parties realizing that our fight against nuclear proliferation, nuclear testing, nuclear weaponry and an attempt to have a comprehensive test ban treaty is not a partisan issue. New York’s next Senator must not turn away from the world by saying no to a treaty that is so critical to our future.
Source: Remarks at the Antioch Baptist Church, Hempstead Sep 16, 1999


Hillary Clinton on Voting Record

Proposed Federal Interoperable Communication & Safety Act

Hillary scheduled a day-long security summit to unveil her own plan to enhance national security. The conference was ostensibly organized to help the party refine its agenda on national security, but Clinton used the occasion to promote a new piece of legislation she had crafted.

She proposed the Federal Interoperable Communications and Safety Act (FICS). She would create a new undersecretary for emergency communications and an “interoperability czar” to lead an Office of Emergency Communications. Her bill would require all state and local governments to implement statewide communications programs in order to be eligible for some Department of Homeland Security grants.

Source: Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy, by Amanda Carpenter, p.150-151 Oct 11, 2006

Voted NO on cutting $221M in benefits to Filipinos who served in WWII US Army.

Opponents argument for voting NAY:Sen. INOUYE. From the Spanish-American War in 1898, until the end of World War II, we exercised jurisdiction over the Philippines like a colonial power. In July 1941, we called upon the Filipinos to volunteer to serve the US under American command, and 470,000 Filipinos volunteered. An Executive Order in 1941 promised Filipinos if they fought for us, they could become citizens of the US and get all of the veterans' benefits. But in 1946, the Congress rescinded the 1941 act. Well, this veterans bill has a provision in it--a provision of honor--in which, finally, after six decades, we will restore our honor and tell the Filipinos: It is late, but please forgive us. Proponents argument for voting YEA:Sen. BURR. This bill is so much more than just a pension for Philippine veterans. It is $332 million in Philippine benefits, of which $221 million is devoted to a new special pension that does not exist [previously. Only that $221M would be cut]. Regardless of the outcome of my amendment, I support final passage of this bill. But we do have a difference as it relates to the pensions. I believe that there was not a promise made. We did not imply it. Those who made the decision on the 1946 Rescissions Act, they looked at the history very well.

Sen. CORNYN. The problem I have with this bill is that the US Treasury is not bottomless, and the funding that is being provided to create this new pension would literally be at the expense of US veterans. The $221 million that is addressed by Sen. Burr's amendment would actually go back in to supplement benefits for US veterans. And while we appreciate and honor all of our allies who fought alongside of us in WWII, certainly that doesn't mean we are going to grant pension benefits to all of our allies, [like] the British or the Australians. Vote for the Burr Amendment because certainly our American veterans should be our priority.

Reference: Burr Amendment; Bill S.Amdt. 4572 to S. 1315 ; vote number 2008-111 on Apr 24, 2008

Voted NO on removing need for FISA warrant for wiretapping abroad.

Vote on passage of S.1927, the Protect America Act: Amends the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to state that nothing under its definition of "electronic surveillance" should encompass surveillance directed at any person reasonably believed to be located outside the US.

A modified version, S.2011, failed; it called for amending FISA to provide that a court order is not required for the electronic surveillance of communication between foreign persons who are not located within the US for collecting foreign intelligence information, without respect to whether the communication passes through the US or the surveillance device is located within the US.

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

Sen. LEVIN: Both bills cure the problem that exists: Our intelligence agencies must obtain a court order to monitor the communications of foreigners suspected of terrorist activities who are physically located in foreign countries. Now, what are the major differences? Our bill (S2011) is limited to foreign targets limited overseas, unlike the Bond bill (S1927), which does not have that key limitation and which very clearly applies to US citizens overseas. Our bill does not. Now, if there is an incidental access to US citizens, we obviously will permit that. But the Bond bill goes beyond that, citing "any person." It does not say a "foreign person." We avoid getting to the communications of Americans. There you have to go for a warrant.

Proponents support voting YES because:

Sen. LIEBERMAN: I will vote for the Bond proposal (S1927) because we are at war, & there is increased terrorist activity. We have a crisis. This proposal will allow us to gather intelligence information on that enemy we otherwise would not gather. This is not the time for striving for legislative perfection. Let us not strive for perfection. Let us put national security first. We are going to have 6 months to reason together to find something better.

Reference: Protect America Act; Bill S.1927 ; vote number 2007-309 on Aug 3, 2007

Voted YES on limiting soldiers' deployment to 12 months.

Vote on an amendment, SA2032, which amends HR1585, the Defense Authorization bill: To limit the deployment of a unit or individual of the Armed Forces for Operation Iraqi Freedom to no more than 12 consecutive months; and to limit Marine Corps deployment to no more than 7 consecutive months; except in time of national emergency.

Proponents support voting YES because:

Sen. HAGEL: The war in Iraq has pushed the US Army to the breaking point. When we deploy our military, we have an obligation to ensure that our troops are rested, ready, prepared, fully trained, and fully equipped. Today's Armed Forces are being deployed repeatedly for increasing periods of time. This is quickly wearing down the troops and their families, impacting the mental and physical health of our troops. Further, these deployments are affecting the recruiting and retention rates of the military. For example, the Army reached only a little over 80% of its recruiting goal for June. This is the second month in a row that the Army has failed to recruit the number of new soldiers needed to fill the ranks. And this is with $1 billion in large cash bonus incentives.

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

Sen. KYL: Time in theater and dwell times should be a goal, rather than an absolute fixed requirement that becomes the policy of the US military determined by congressional action. By mandating a certain policy for deployment time or dwell time, the Congress is engaged in the most explicit micromanaging of what is obviously a function for the Commander in Chief and military commanders to perform. This is not something Members of Congress are knowledgeable about or would have the ability to dictate in any responsible fashion. It also would be unconstitutional. Clearly, the dwell times of troops or the amount of time in theater is an obligation of the Commander in Chief, not something for the Congress to determine.

Reference: Hagel Amendment to Defense Authorization Bill; Bill SA2032 to HR1585 ; vote number 2007-243 on Jul 11, 2007

Voted YES on implementing the 9/11 Commission report.

Vote on passage of a bill to implement unfinished recommendations of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (9/11 Commission) to fight the war on terror more effectively:

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

One of the authors of the 9/11 Commission report said, the President's announced strategy should be given a chance to succeed. That is what I think we should do, give this plan a chance to succeed. Our troops in theater, our commanders, and the Iraqi leaders all believe they can see early signs of success in this program, even though it has just begun, and they are cautiously optimistic that it can succeed. I think it would be unconscionable for the Congress, seeing the beginnings of success here, to then act in any way that would pull the rug out from under our troops and make it impossible for them to achieve their mission.

Reference: Improving America's Security Act; Bill S. 4 ; vote number 2007-073 on Mar 13, 2007

Voted YES on preserving habeas corpus for Guantanamo detainees.

Sen. Specter's amendment would strike the provision regarding habeas review. The underlying bill authorizes trial by military commission for violations of the law of war. Excerpts from the Senate floor debate:

Sen. GRAHAM [recommending NO]: The fundamental question for the Senate to answer when it comes to determining enemy combatant status is, Who should make that determination? Should that be a military decision or should it be a judicial decision? That is something our military should do.

Sen. SPECTER [recommending YES]: My amendment would retain the constitutional right of habeas corpus for people detained at Guantanamo. The right of habeas corpus was established in the Magna Carta in 1215 when, in England, there was action taken against King John to establish a procedure to prevent illegal detention. What the bill seeks to do is to set back basic rights by some 900 years. This amendment would strike that provision and make certain that the constitutional right of habeas corpus is maintained.

GRAHAM: Do we really want enemy prisoners to bring every lawsuit known to man against the people fighting the war and protecting us? No enemy prisoner should have access to Federal courts--a noncitizen, enemy combatant terrorist--to bring a lawsuit against those fighting on our behalf. No judge should have the ability to make a decision that has been historically reserved to the military. That does not make us safer.

SPECTER: The US Constitution states that "Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it." We do not have either rebellion or invasion, so it is a little hard for me to see, as a basic principle of constitutional law, how the Congress can suspend the writ of habeas corpus.

GRAHAM: If the Supreme Court does say in the next round of legal appeals there is a constitutional right to habeas corpus by those detained at Guantanamo Bay, then Sen. Specter is absolutely right.

Reference: Specter Amendment; Bill S.AMDT.5087 to S.3930 ; vote number 2006-255 on Sep 28, 2006

Voted YES on requiring CIA reports on detainees & interrogation methods.

Amendment to provide for congressional oversight of certain Central Intelligence Agency programs. The underlying bill S. 3930 authorizes trial by military commission for violations of the law of war. The amendment requires quarterly reports describing all CIA detention facilities; the name of each detainee; their suspected activities; & each interrogation technique authorized for use and guidelines on the use of each such technique.

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

I question the need for a very lengthy, detailed report every 3 months. We will probably see those reports leaked to the press.

This amendment would spread out for the world--and especially for al-Qaida and its related organizations--precisely what interrogation techniques are going to be used.

If we lay out, in an unclassified version, a description of the techniques by the Attorney General, that description will be in al-Qaida and Hezbollah and all of the other terrorist organizations' playbook. They will train their assets that: This is what you must be expected to do, and Allah wants you to resist these techniques.

We are passing this bill so that we can detain people. If we catch someone like Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, we have no way to hold him, no way to ask him the questions and get the information we need, because the uncertainty has brought the program to a close. It is vitally important to our security, and unfortunately this amendment would imperil it.

Reference: Rockefeller Amendment; Bill S.AMDT.5095 to S.3930 ; vote number 2006-256 on Sep 28, 2006

Voted YES on reauthorizing the PATRIOT Act.

This vote reauthorizes the PATRIOT Act with some modifications (amendments). Voting YEA extends the PATRIOT Act, and voting NAY would phase it out. The official summary of the bill is:
A bill to clarify that individuals who receive FISA orders can challenge nondisclosure requirements, that individuals who receive national security letters are not required to disclose the name of their attorney, that libraries are not wire or electronic communication service providers unless they provide specific services, and for other purposes.