Hillary Clinton on Homeland Security

Secretary of State; previously Democratic Senator (NY)


Move V.A. into 21st century, but not by privatizing

TRUMP: Hillary Clinton six months ago said the vets are being treated essentially just fine, there's no real problem, it's over-exaggerated. She said she was satisfied with what was going on in the Veterans Administration.

Q [to Clinton]: Last October you said that surveys of veterans show that they're overall satisfied with their treatment and that the problems with the V.A. aren't as widespread as they're made out to be.

CLINTON: Look, I was outraged by the stories that came out about the V.A. And I have been very clear about the necessity for doing whatever is required to move the V.A. into the 21st century, to provide the kind of treatment options that our veterans today desperately need and deserve. And that's what I will do as president. But I will not let the V.A. be privatized. And I do think there is an agenda out there, supported by my opponent, to do just that. I think that would be very disastrous for our military veterans.

Source: NBC News 2016 Commander-in-Chief forum , Sep 7, 2016

Support our NATO allies and take vetted Syrian refugees

SANDERS: I went to a Turkish refugee camp on the border of Syria. What a sad sight: Men, women, children forced out of their homes. Turkey did a decent thing, providing reasonable housing and conditions for people. Given our history as a nation that has been a beacon of hope for the oppressed, for the downtrodden, that I very strongly disagree with those Republican candidates who say we've got to turn our backs on women and children who left their home with nothing. That is not what America is supposed to be about. I think that the entire world needs to come together to deal with this horrific refugee crisis.

CLINTON: This is a humanitarian catastrophe. The US has to support our allies in Europe. We have to provide financial support. We have to provide the NATO support to back up the mission that is going on. And we have to take properly vetted refugees ourselves.

Source: 2016 PBS Democratic debate in Wisconsin on Syrian Refugees , Feb 11, 2016

Haters should realize that American Muslims can help us

After 9/11, one of the efforts we did in New York was if you see or hear something suspicious, report it. We need to do that throughout the country. We need to understand that American Muslims are on the front line of our defense. They are more likely to know what's happening in their communities, and they need to welcomed in American society. When somebody like Donald Trump stirs up the demagoguery against American Muslims, that hurts us at home. It's not only offensive; it's dangerous.
Source: 2016 PBS Democratic debate in Wisconsin , Feb 11, 2016

Fight the idea of privatizing the V.A.

Q: You will likely face a Republican opponent who wants to privatize or even abolish big parts of the V.A. It's a newly popular idea in conservative politics.

CLINTON: First of all, I'm absolutely against privatizing the V.A. I am going do everything I can to build on the reforms that Senator Sanders and others in Congress have passed to try to fix what's wrong with the V.A. There are a lot of issues about wait times & services that have to be fixed because our veterans deserve nothing but the best. Yes, let's fix the V.A., but we will never let it be privatized, and that is a promise.

SANDERS: Republicans give a lot of speeches about how much they love veterans. But when it came to put money on the line [in my comprehensive veterans bill], to protect our veterans, frankly, they were not there. Secretary Clinton is absolutely right, there are people, a group called Concerned Veterans of America, funded by the Koch brothers, yes, there are people out there who want to privatize it.

Source: MSNBC Democratic primary debate in New Hampshire , Feb 4, 2016

Promise to never privatize V.A.

Q: You will likely face a Republican opponent who wants to privatize or even abolish big parts of the V.A. It's a newly popular idea in conservative politics.

CLINTON: I'm absolutely against privatizing the V.A. And I am going do everything I can to build on the reforms that Senator Sanders and others in Congress have passed to try to fix what's wrong with the V.A. There are a lot of issues about wait times and services that have to be fixed because our veterans deserve nothing but the best. Yes, let's fix the V.A., but we will never let it be privatized, and that is a promise.

SANDERS: Republicans give a lot of speeches about how much they love veterans. But when it came to put money on the line [in my comprehensive veterans bill], to protect our veterans, frankly, they were not there. Secretary Clinton is absolutely right, there are people, Koch brothers among others, who have a group called Concerned Veterans of America, who want to privatize.

Source: MSNBC Democratic primary debate in New Hampshire , Feb 4, 2016

Keep Syrian refugees; we're a nation of resolve, not of fear

Q: You have said that it would undermine who we are as Americans, shutting our doors. But you supporter, Gov. Maggie Hassan (D-NH), says, "we should halt acceptance of Syrian refugees until U.S. authorities can assure the vetting process." Is she wrong?

CLINTON: Well, I agree that we have to have the toughest screening and vetting.

Q: But a halt?

CLINTON: I don't think a halt is necessary. Now, [screening and vetting] takes 18 to 24 months. So everything that can be done should be done. But the process should move forward while we are also taking on ISIS. I do believe that we have a history and a tradition, that is part of our values system and we don't want to sacrifice our values. We don't want to make it seem as though we are turning into a nation of fear instead of a nation of resolve. I would prioritize widows, and orphans, and the elderly, people who may have relatives, families, or have nowhere else to go. I would prioritize them.

Source: 2015 ABC/WMUR Dem. debate in N.H. on Syrian Refugee crisis , Dec 19, 2015

Reach out to Muslims, like George W. Bush did

Mr. Trump has a great capacity to use bluster and bigotry to inflame people and to make think there are easy answers to complex questions. I was a senator from New York after 9/11, and we spent hours trying to figure out how to protect the city. One of the best things that was done, and George W. Bush did this and I give him credit, was to reach out to Muslim Americans and say, we're in this together. You are not our adversary, you are our partner.
Source: 2015 ABC/WMUR Democratic primary debate in N.H. , Dec 19, 2015

PATRIOT Act was needed, but Bush chipped away at warrants

Q [to Senator CHAFEE]: You and Hillary Clinton both voted for the PATRIOT Act. Do you regret that vote?

CHAFEE: No, no. As long as you're getting a warrant, I believe that under the Fourth Amendment, you should be able to do surveillance. In the PATRIOT Act, section 215 started to get broadened too far, so I would be in favor of addressing and reforming section 215 of the Patriot Act.

Q: Secretary Clinton, do you regret your vote on the Patriot Act?

CLINTON: No, I don't. I think that it was necessary to make sure that we were able after 9/11 to put in place the security that we needed. And it is true that it did require that there be a process. What happened, however, is that the Bush administration began to chip away at that process. And I began to speak out about their use of warrantless surveillance and the other behavior that they engaged in. We always have to keep the balance of civil liberties, privacy and security. It's not easy in a democracy, but we have to keep it in mind.

Source: 2015 CNN Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas , Oct 13, 2015

Snowden should face the music; he broke the law

Q: Is Edward Snowden [the federal employee who released thousands of NSA documents] a traitor or a hero?

CHAFEE: The courts have ruled that what he did was say the American government was acting illegally.

CLINTON: He broke the laws of the United States. He could have been a whistleblower. He could have gotten all of the protections of being a whistleblower. He could have raised all the issues that he has raised. And I think there would have been a positive response to that.

Q: Should he do jail time?

CLINTON: He stole very important information that has unfortunately fallen into a lot of the wrong hands. So I don't think he should be brought home without facing the music.

O'MALLEY: Snowden put a lot of Americans' lives at risk.

SANDERS: I think Snowden played a very important role in educating the American people to the degree in which our civil liberties and our constitutional rights are being undermined.

Source: 2015 CNN Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas , Oct 13, 2015

OpEd: More aggressive than most Dems on foreign policy

Republicans have traditionally staked out a more muscular platform on national security issues than Democrats, but that script could flip if the Democrats nominate Hillary Clinton for president in 2016, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) predicted in a clip released Friday by NBC News: "If you wanna see a transformational election, let the Democrats put forward a war hawk like Hillary Clinton," Paul said in the interview, which will air in full on Sunday's "Meet the Press." "You'll see a transformation like you've never seen."

Clinton, the likely front-runner for the Democratic nomination if she runs, has built a reputation for being more aggressive on defense issues than some in her party. She supported the 2003 invasion of Iraq, though she now says it was a mistake, and she recently criticized President Obama for not moving more quickly to arm moderate rebel groups in Syria, saying the decision created a vacuum that allowed extremists to thrive.

Source: Jake Miller on CBS News, "Bring on war hawk Hillary" , Aug 23, 2014

NATO essential for evolving threats of the 21st century

The long war in Afghanistan had taxed NATO's capacities. Some allies were slashing their defense budgets, leavings others (mostly the US) to pick up the slack. Everyone was suffering from the economic crisis. There were voices on both sides of the Atlantic asking whether NATO was still relevant 20 years after the end of the Cold War.

I thought NATO remained essential for meeting the evolving threats of the 21st century. America can't and shouldn't do everything by ourselves; that's why building partnerships around common interests and goals was so important. NATO was still our most capable partner.

In 2011 we were able to show what a relevant 21st-century NATO looks like as the Alliance led the military intervention to protect civilians in Libya. The US provided unique capabilities but our allies--not us--flew 75% of the sorties. That was a reversal of the distribution of labor a decade before, during NATO's intervention in Kosovo, when the US was responsible for 90% of the bombing.

Source: Hard Choices, by Hillary Clinton, p.225 , Jun 10, 2014

Balance lower military & higher diplomacy budget

[Defense Secretary Bob Gates] believed it was time for balance among what I was calling the 3Ds of defense, diplomacy, and development. The easiest place to see the imbalance was in the budget. For every dollar spent by the federal government, just one penny went to diplomacy and development. Bob said the foreign affairs budget was "disproportionately small relative to what we spend on the military." There were as many Americans serving in military marching bands as in the diplomatic corps. We became allies, tag-teaming Congress for a smarter national security budget.
Source: Hard Choices, by Hillary Clinton, p. 24 , Jun 10, 2014

Smart Power: blend of military power and soft power

The Democrats were eager to show that they were not somehow soft on national security: they needed to overcome their "peacenik-y" image.

The Republicans had been preoccupied with military power. Democrats' intellectual leaders wrote about the importance of America's "soft power"--the influence of its intangible values, ideas, mass culture and educational institutions. In 2005 the Center for American Progress put together a proposed new national security strategy for the US that was given the name "Integrated Power": it called for a blend of military power and soft power. Eventually, the Democrats came up with another phrase, "smart power," that convened well their convictions that the Bush Republicans had been dumb. Hillary Clinton would eventually make "smart power" the catchphrase for her first major speech as secretary of state.

Whatever the right adjective was, Democrats' established leaders were still in favor of American power and they wanted to preserve it.

Source: The Obamians, by James Mann, p. 55 , Jun 14, 2012

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

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?


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

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 on 2007 Democratic debate at Drexel University , Oct 30, 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

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

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 inevitably 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

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

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

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

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

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 Benghazi

Libyans refused much of what US offered as help

The president decided we would protect civilians on the ground and that led to the overthrow of Gadhafi. What Libya did by having a free election was an indication of their desire to get on the right path. The whole region has been rendered unstable, in part because of the Arab Spring, in part because of the propagandizing that ISIS and other terrorist groups do. This is not easy work. We did as much as we could because the Libyans had strong feelings about what they wished to accept.
Source: 2015 ABC/WMUR Democratic primary debate in N.H. , Dec 19, 2015

FactCheck: 7 official reports on Benghazi over 3-year period

Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said about Benghazi, "Many questions remain unanswered and I applaud the Select Committee's continued diligent efforts to find the truth." Have there been sufficient investigations to answer questions, or, as Democrats contend, is this issue being politicized? We found seven published reports: Whether questions "remain unanswered" is opinion; but the fact is, there has been plenty of OPPORTUNITY to "find the truth.
Source: OnTheIssues FactCheck on Benghazi , Jul 2, 2015

FactCheck: Dozens of U.S. diplomats killed during Bush terms

Jeb Bush said that Benghazi was "the first deadly assault on a U.S. diplomat since 1979." Is that true? We checked and found that assertion to be entirely false. Following is the list of fatalities from such attacks just during the George W. Bush presidency, excluding many attacks on the US Embassy in Baghdad:
Source: OnTheIssues FactCheck on Benghazi , Jul 2, 2015

More Benghazi hearings ok only to learn what to do better

Q: There is bipartisan concern about how you handled the Benghazi attacks the killed four Americans: 13 hearings, 25,000 documents turned over. There's going to be another hearing in the House. Are you going to testify?

CLINTON: Well, that's going to be up to the people running the hearing.

Q: If they ask you, you'll go?

CLINTON: Well, we'll see what they decide to do, how they conduct themselves, whether or not this is one more travesty about the loss of four Americans or whether this is in the best tradition of the Congress, an effort to try to figure out what we can do better.

Source: ABC This Week 2014 series of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Jun 8, 2014

Dozens of Benghazi attackers had dozens of motives

On the Benghazi attack: "There were scores of attackers that night, almost certainly with differing motives. It is inaccurate to state that every single one of them was influenced by this hateful video. It is equally inaccurate to state that none of them were. Both assertions defy not only the evidence but logic as well."

On the President's actions during the Benghazi attack: Obama "gave the order to do whatever was necessary to support our people in Libya. It was imperative that all possible resources be mobilized immediately. When Americans are under fire, that is not an order the Commander in Chief has to give twice. Our military does everything humanly possible to save American lives--and would do more if they could. That anyone has ever suggested otherwise is something I will never understand."

Source: Hard Choices, by Hillary Clinton, Politico.com excerpts , May 30, 2014

Benghazi security was simply inadequate in a dangerous city

On the Accountability Review Board investigation into the Benghazi attacks: Clinton writes that the security upgrades to the Benghazi compound were "simply inadequate in an increasingly dangerous city." She notes that Benghazi compound personnel felt their requests for additional security were not given adequate weight by the US Embassy in Tripoli, a point Republicans have argued does not absolve Clinton since those officials report to her. Clinton reiterates that she never saw cables requesting additional security. The cables were addressed to her as a "procedural quirk" given her position, but didn't actually land on her desk, she writes: "That's not how it works. It shouldn't. And it didn't."

On the claim that the investigation of the attack was rigged since Clinton appointed some of the Board members and she was not interviewed, she writes that they "had unfettered access to anyone and anything they thought relevant to their investigation, including me if they had chosen to do so."

Source: Hard Choices, by Hillary Clinton, Politico.com excerpts , May 30, 2014

Benghazi talking points were written by CIA for Congress

[Hillary] defends UN Ambassador UN Susan Rice for describing the Benghazi attack as a "copycat" of the video-spurred Cairo protests. Rice, Clinton writes, was relying on existing intelligence. The talking points she used were written by CIA officials to help members of Congress address the attacks. CIA officials didn't know Rice would use them, Clinton writes.

The talking points have been a focus of Republican critics, who insist they stemmed from the White House [as spin on] a terrorist attack on the eve of Obama's reelection. "Susan stated what the intelligence community believed, rightly or wrongly, at the time," Clinton writes. "That was the best she or anyone could do. Every step of the way, whenever something new was learned, it was quickly shared with Congress and the American people. There is a difference between getting something wrong, and committing wrong. A big difference that some have blurred to the point of casting those who made a mistake as intentionally deceitful."

Source: Hard Choices, by Hillary Clinton, Politico.com excerpts , May 30, 2014

Benghazi: focused on rescue & prevention, not retrospection

[Writing about Benghazi in her book, Hillary] addresses her much-seized-upon remark before a congressional committee in January 2013, when she used the phrase "what difference at this point does it make." Republicans have claimed it betrayed Clinton's lack of interest in getting to the bottom of the attack. Clinton writes that her words were blatantly twisted.

"In yet another example of the terrible politicization of this tragedy, many have conveniently chosen to interpret" that phrase "to mean that I was somehow minimizing the tragedy of Benghazi. Of course that's not what I said," she writes. "Nothing could be further from the truth. And many of those trying to make hay of it know that, but don't care."

She adds, "My point was simple: If someone breaks into your home and takes your family hostage, how much time are you going to spend focused on how the intruder spent his day as opposed to how best to rescue your loved ones and then prevent it from happening again?"

Source: Hard Choices, by Hillary Clinton, Politico.com excerpts , May 30, 2014

Benghazi: Figure out what happened to prevent repeating

The NATO intervention in Libya was the most important foreign intervention of her tenure, and a seemingly successful one, but the lack of security in Benghazi and the confusion over how the incident occurred set off a heated Republican attack on Clinton's handling of the disaster, and she was roasted on the cable-news spit for weeks. In January, she took responsibility for the deaths of the four Americans before Congress--while also questioning her inquisition, snapping at a Republican congressman, "What difference at this point does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again."

Benghazi will be the go-to bludgeon for Republicans if and when Clinton tries using her experience at State to run for president. Republicans are liable to use Benghazi as a wedge to pry back her stately exterior, goading her into an outburst, once again revealing the polarizing figure who saw vast right-wing conspiracies.

Source: New York Magazine interview, "Hillary in Midair" , Sep 22, 2013

Congress' tight security money partly caused Benghazi

Q: On Benghazi: Are we moving to secure all our consulates and embassies for our diplomats overseas?

A: The accountability review board made a set of recommendations. We are embracing and implementing all of them. Now, it's not all a question of money. You have to have the right people making the right decisions. But money is a factor. And ever since the Bush administration, our requests for security monies from Congress have not been met. So you've had to make priority decisions. I am determined to leave the State Department safer and stronger.

Q: Do we go back to Benghazi?

A: This was the heart of the Libyan revolution. We knew that there were dangerous people in and around Benghazi. So there were very important reasons why we were there, not just the State Department, but other government agencies. Whether or when we go back will depend upon the security situation. But I hasten to add that I have dangerous posts all over the world. We have people in incredibly high-threat environments.

Source: Fox News "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren" , Jan 29, 2013

Benghazi was a tragedy, but we get it right 99% of the time

Any clear-eyed examination of this matter must begin with this sobering fact: Since 1988, there have been 19 Accountability Review Boards investigating attacks on American diplomats and their facilities. Benghazi joins a long list of tragedies. Of course, the list of attacks foiled, crises averted, and lives saved is even longer. We should never forget that our security professionals get it right 99% of the time. That's why, like my predecessors, I trust them with my life.

Let's also remember that administrations of both parties, in partnership with Congress, have made concerted and good faith efforts to learn from the tragedies that have occurred, to implement recommendations from the Review Boards, to seek necessary resources, and to better protect our people from constantly evolving threats. And it's what we are doing again now. I take responsibility. Nobody is more committed to getting this right. I am determined to leave the State Department and our country safer, stronger, & more secure

Source: Benghazi Hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee , Jan 23, 2013

Described Benghazi as "armed militants" in "act of terror"

On the night of September 11 itself, the Accountability Review Board said our response saved American lives in real time--and it did. The very next morning, I told the American people that "heavily armed militants assaulted our compound" and vowed to bring them to justice. And I stood with President Obama as he spoke of "an act of terror."

You may recall that in that same period, we also saw violent attacks on our embassies in Cairo, Sanaa, Tunis, and Khartoum, as well as large protests outside many other posts where thousands of our diplomats serve. So I immediately ordered a review of our security posture around the world, with particular scrutiny for high-threat posts. I also appointed the Accountability Review Board led by Ambassador Pickering and Admiral Mullen so that we could more fully understand what went wrong and how to fix it. I have accepted every one of their recommendations. Because of the effort we began in the days after the attacks, work is already well underway.

Source: Benghazi Hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee , Jan 23, 2013

We responded to Benghazi immediately, and for the long run

Let me share some of the lessons we learned [about Benghazi]. Let's start on the night of Sept. 11 itself and those difficult early days. I directed our response from the State Department, stayed in close contact with officials from across our government and the Libyan government. No delays in decision making, no denials of support from Washington or from our military. The Review Board said the response saved American lives in real time and it did.

The very next morning, I told the American people that heavily armed militants assaulted our compound. I vowed to bring them to justice, and I stood with President Obama in the Rose Garden as he spoke of an act of terror.

It's also important to recall that in that same period, we were seeing violent attacks in our embassies, as well as large protests outside many other posts where our thousands of our diplomats serve. So, I immediately ordered a review of our security posture around the world with particularly scrutiny for high threat posts.

Source: Testimony at Senate Hearing on 9/11/2012 Benghazi attack , Jan 23, 2013

Worked with Libya before Benghazi, but they had no capacity

Sen. RUBIO: Were there any interagency meetings--before this attack--with regard to deteriorating security situation in Libya?

CLINTON: I had no knowledge of specific security requests. With regard to the situation in Libya, there were a number of meetings about this transition to elections.

RUBIO: At the Oct. 2011 & March 2012 meetings, did this issue come up with regards to the inability of the Libyan government to protect our diplomatic institutions?

CLINTON: We talked a great deal about th deteriorating threat environment in Libya.

RUBIO: Was there a specific conversation with regards to the inability of Libya to meet their obligations to provide security?

CLINTON: Oh, absolutely--a constant conversation. And what I found with the Libyans was willingness, but not capacity.

RUBIO: Before the attack, what had we done to help them build their security capacity?

CLINTON: Well, there's a long list, filled with training, with equipment, with planning that they had not done before.

Source: Testimony at Senate Hearing on 9/11/2012 Benghazi attack , Jan 23, 2013

Hillary Clinton on Terrorism

If you are on no-fly list, you shouldn't have a gun

CLINTON: We need to keep our eye on ISIS. That's why I want to have an intelligence surge that protects us here at home, why we have to go after them from the air, on the ground, online, why we have to make sure here at home we don't let terrorists buy weapons. If you're too dangerous to fly, you're too dangerous to buy a gun.
Source: Third 2016 Presidential Debate moderated by Fox News , Oct 19, 2016

Work with Muslim countries against ISIS; not against Islam

Q: With Islamophobia on the rise, how will you help Muslims deal with the consequences of being labeled as a threat to the country after the election?

A: I've heard this question from a lot of Muslim-Americans because there's been a lot of very divisive, dark things said about Muslims. It's very short-sighted and dangerous to be engaging in the kind of demagogic rhetoric of Trump. We need American Muslims to be part of our eyes and ears on our front lines. I've worked with a lot of different Muslim groups around America. I've heard how important it is for them to feel that they are wanted and included and part of our country, part of our homeland security, and that's what I want to see. I intend to defeat ISIS, to do so in a coalition with majority Muslim nations. Right now, a lot of those nations are hearing what Trump says and wondering, "why should we cooperate with the Americans?" This is a gift to ISIS and the terrorists, violent jihadist terrorists. We are not at war with Islam.

Source: Second 2016 Presidential Debate at WUSTL in St. Louis MO , Oct 9, 2016

My priorities are to deport criminals and terrorists

If you are asking about undocumented immigrants, the 11-12 million who are living here, my priorities are to deport violent criminals, terrorists, and anyone who threatens our safety. So I do not have the same policy as the current administration does. I think it's important that we move to comprehensive immigration reform, but at the same time, stop the raids.
Source: 2016 PBS Democratic primary debate in Miami , Mar 9, 2016

Close Guantanamo detention center

Hillary Clinton said that she backed President Obama's effort to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center but stressed the terrorist suspects would not necessarily be transferred to a military jail: "The president hasn't made any decisions about where the transfers will go," Clinton said in South Carolina.

Clinton was put on the spot when the president announced a new plan to shut down the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and transfer dozens of high-risk terrorist detainees to maximum security prisons in the United States, which could include the military facility in South Carolina. The plan immediately hit opposition from Republicans in Congress, who cited longstanding bipartisan opposition to bringing captured terrorists to the US.

"The president is trying to figure out what to do with people who are too dangerous to be released," Clinton said. "All I can hope is that the Congress will work with him."

Source: Washington Times, "Clinton backs GITMO closure" , Feb 23, 2016

FactCheck: No, ISIL doesn't cite Trump in recruitment videos

Hillary Clinton said, "We need to make sure that the really discriminatory messages that Trump is sending around the world don't fall on receptive ears. He is becoming ISIS's best recruiter. They are going to people showing videos of Donald Trump insulting Islam and Muslims in order to recruit more radical jihadists." Is that true?

We checked, and it is not. ABC News reports that neither the White House nor National Security Council would back up Clinton's assertion.

According to Business Insider, "The Clinton campaign has since˙backpedaled slightly on its candidate's˙comments.˙A campaign˙spokesman˙pointed˙to a comment from˙an expert on ISIS propaganda that ISIS˙follows 'everything Donald Trump says' and˙points to Trump's˙proposed Muslim ban as proof that America hates Muslims. Clinton 'didn't have a particular video in mind' when she made the comment, said another campaign spokesman; Trump is being used by ISIS in social-media propaganda.

Source: OnTheIssues FactCheck on 2015 ABC/WMUR Dem. debate in N.H. , Dec 19, 2015

Adversaries of the future: terrorists as well as drone subs

Sen. SANDERS: We're spending over $600 billion a year on the military and yet, significantly less than 10% of that money is used to be fighting international terrorism.

Gov. O'MALLEY: This is a new era of conflict where traditional ways of huge standing armies do not serve our purposes as well as special ops, better intelligence and being more proactive.

Secretary CLINTON: We do have to take a hard look at the defense budget and we do have to figure out how we get ready to fight the adversaries of the future, not the past. But we have to also be very clear that we do have some continuing challenges. We've got challenges in the South China Sea because of what China is doing in building up military installations. We have problems with Russia: they allowed a TV camera to see the plans for a drone submarine that could carry a tactical nuclear weapon. So we've got to look at the full range and then come to some smart decisions about having more streamlined and focused approach.

Source: 2015 CBS Democratic primary debate in Iowa , Nov 14, 2015

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

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

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

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

Hillary Clinton on Voting Record

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

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.
Reference: USA PATRIOT Act Additional Reauthorizing Amendments; Bill S. 2271 ; vote number 2006-025 on Mar 1, 2006

Voted NO on extending the PATRIOT Act's wiretap provision.

Vote to invoke cloture on a conference report that extends the authority of the FBI to conduct "roving wiretaps" and access business records. Voting YES would recommend, in effect, that the PATRIOT Act be extended through December 31, 2009, and would makes the provisions of the PATRIOT Act permanent. Voting NO would extend debate further, which would have the effect of NOT extending the PATRIOT Act's wiretap provision.
Reference: Motion for Cloture of PATRIOT Act; Bill HR 3199 ; vote number 2005-358 on Dec 16, 2005

Voted YES on restricting business with entities linked to terrorism.

Vote to adopt an amendment that makes US businesses and their subsidiaries liable to prosecution for dealing with foreign businesses which have links to terrorism or whose parent country supports terrorism. Voting YES would:
Reference: Stop Business with Terrorists Act of 2005; Bill S AMDT 1351 to S 1042 ; vote number 2005-203 on Jul 26, 2005

Voted YES on restoring $565M for states' and ports' first responders.

Amendment intended to protect the American people from terrorist attacks by restoring $565 million in cuts to vital first-responder programs in the Department of Homeland Security, including the State Homeland Security Grant program, by providing $150 million for port security grants and by providing $140 million for 1,000 new border patrol agents.
Reference: State Homeland Security Grant Program Amendment; Bill S AMDT 220 to S Con Res 18 ; vote number 2005-64 on Mar 17, 2005

Federalize aviation security.

Clinton co-sponsored the Aviation Security Act

H.R. 2951 is the corresponding House bill. Became Public Law No: 107-71.
Source: Bill sponsored by 31 Senators and 25 Reps 01-S1447 on Sep 21, 2001

Rated 100% by SANE, indicating a pro-peace voting record.

Clinton scores 100% by SANE on peace issues

Peace Action, the merger of The Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy (SANE) and The Freeze, has effectively mobilized for peace and disarmament for over forty years. As the nation's largest grassroots peace group we get results: from the 1963 treaty to ban above ground nuclear testing, to the 1996 signing of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, from ending the war in Vietnam, to blocking weapons sales to human rights abusing countries. We are proof that ordinary people can change the world. At Peace Action we believe...

As the Pentagon’s budget soars to $400 billion, 17% of American children live in poverty. For what the US will spend on Missile Defense in one year we could: put over a million children through Head Start OR provide healthcare for over 3.5 million children OR create over 100,000 units of affordable housing OR hire over 160,000 elementary school teachers. At Peace Action our priorities are clear.

The ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.

Source: SANE website 03n-SANE on Dec 31, 2003

Sponsored bill maintaining role of women in armed forces.

Clinton sponsored maintaining role of women in armed forces in Iraq


    Expresses the sense of Congress that:
  1. women play a critical role in accomplishing the mission of the Armed Forces; and
  2. there should be no change to existing statutes, regulations, or policy that would have the effect of decreasing the roles or positions available to women in the Armed Forces.
EXCERPTS OF RESOLUTION: Congress makes the following findings:
  1. Women have a prominent role in American military history, with involvement as far back as the American Revolution.
  2. Opportunities for servicewomen have increased dramatically since 1948, when the Women's Armed Services Integration Act of 1948 gave women a permanent place in the Armed Forces.
  3. The Department of Defense began to expand its programs on women in the Armed Forces in earnest in 1973.
  4. From 1973 to 2005, the number of women as a percentage of the total force of the Armed Forces increased from only 2.5% to approximately 17%, with more than 200,000 women currently serving in the Armed Forces.
  5. The admission of women to the service academies began in Autumn 1976 and has increased steadily so that women currently comprise approximately 16% to 19% of the incoming class each year at the service academies.
  6. The current policy excludes women units whose primary mission is to engage in direct combat on the ground.
    It is the sense of Congress that--
  1. women play a critical role in the accomplishment of the mission of the Armed Forces; and
  2. there should be no change to existing statutes, regulations, or policy that would have the effect of decreasing the roles or positions available to women in the Armed Forces.

LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Referred to Senate Committee

Source: Sense of Congress on Women in Combat (S.1134) 05-S1134 on May 26, 2005

Sponsored bill for increased security of radiation sources.

Clinton sponsored preventing "dirty bombs" via security of radiation sources


SPONSOR'S INTRODUCTORY REMARKS: Sen. CLINTON: Since Sept. 11, we have increased our focus on "dirty bombs," and rightly so. Most Americans are not aware of how common radioactive material is in our country. Often we think of warheads or rods used in nuclear reactors. However, we use less-radioactive materials in positive ways in our hospitals, research laboratories, food irradiation plants, and even in smoke detectors. And although these materials have beneficial uses, the fact is that some of them, in the hands of a terrorist, could be used to make a dirty bomb that could be used to contaminate a wide area in NYC or in many other places across the country. This legislation fills in remaining gaps to enable the U.S. to more effectively control radiation sources.

  1. The bill would give the Nuclear Regulatory Commission the authority and the mandate to control Radium-226 and other naturally occurring radioactive materials that for historical reasons have remained outside of federal control.
  2. The bill develops a "cradle-to-grave" tracking system to ensure that we know where radiation sources of concern are at all times.
  3. The bill requires the establishment of import and export controls for radiation sources.

LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Referred to Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works; never came to a vote.

Source: Dirty Bomb Prevention Act (S.1150/H.R.2689) 05-S1150 on May 26, 2005

Extend reserve retirement pay parity back to 9/11.

Clinton co-sponsored extending reserve retirement pay parity back to 9/11

    Congress makes the following findings:
  1. Since September 11, 2001, members of the reserve components of the Armed Forces have been sent into harm's way and fought alongside members of the regular components of the Armed Forces.
  2. Between September 11, 2001, and December 7, 2007, more than 600,000 members of the reserve components have been mobilized in support of military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and for other contingency operations.
  3. More than 142,000 members of the reserve components have been mobilized more than once during this same period.
  4. On December 7, 2007, the conference report for H. R. 1585 offered an earlier retirement benefit for members of the reserve components who are mobilized in support of contingency operations.
  5. The House of Representatives and the Senate agreed to the conference report on December 14, 2007.
  6. However, the conference report only considers service performed after the date of the enactment, and this effective date fails to recognize the service and sacrifice made by members of the reserve components since September 11, 2001.
Source: Reservists Parity for Patriots Act (S.2836/H.R.4930) 07-S2836 on Dec 19, 2007

Improve mental health care benefits for returning veterans.

Clinton co-sponsored improving mental health care benefits for returning veterans

Honoring Our Nation's Obligation to Returning Warriors Act (HONOR Warriors Act): House version is H.R.6268; Senate versions are S.2963 and S.3008. Legislative Summary:

  1. To improve and enhance the mental health care benefits available to members of the Armed Forces and veterans, to enhance counseling and other benefits available to survivors of members of the Armed Forces and veterans, and for other purposes.
  2. Scholarship program for education and training of behavioral health care specialists for vet centers.
  3. Eligibility of members of the armed forces who serve in operation Iraqi freedom or operation enduring freedom for counseling and services through vets centers.
  4. Restoration of authority of vets centers to provide referral and other assistance upon request to former members of the armed forces not authorized counseling.
  5. Treatment of suicides of certain former members of the armed forces as deaths in line of duty for purposes of eligibility of survivors for certain benefits.
  6. Grants for non-profit organizations for the provision of emotional support services to survivors of members of the armed forces and veterans.
  7. Pilot programs on awareness enhancement for members of the army regarding post traumatic stress disorder.
Source: HONOR Warriors Act (H.R.6268) 08-H6268 on Jun 12, 2008

Restore habeas corpus for detainees in the War on Terror.

Clinton co-sponsored restoring habeas corpus for detainees in the War on Terror

A bill to restore habeas corpus for those detained by the United States; to the Committee on the Judiciary.

Sen. SPECTER. "I introduce this legislation, denominated the Habeas Corpus Restoration Act. Last year, in the Military Commissions Act, the constitutional right of habeas corpus was attempted to be abrogated. I say "attempted to be abrogated" because, in my legal judgment, that provision in the Act is unconstitutional.

"It is hard to see how there can be legislation to eliminate the constitutional right to habeas corpus when the Constitution is explicit that habeas corpus may not be suspended except in time of invasion or rebellion, and we do not have either of those circumstances present, as was conceded by the advocates of the legislation last year to take away the right of habeas corpus.

"We have had Supreme Court decisions which have made it plain that habeas corpus is available to non-citizens and that habeas corpus applies to territory controlled by the US, specifically, including Guantanamo. More recently, however, we had a decision in the US District Court applying the habeas corpus jurisdiction stripping provision of the Military Commissions Act, but I believe we will see the appellate courts strike down this legislative provision.

"The New York Times had an extensive article on this subject, starting on the front page, last Sunday, and continuing on a full page on the back page about what is happening at Guantanamo. It is hard to see how in America, or in a jurisdiction controlled by the United States, these proceedings could substitute for even rudimentary due process of law."

Source: Habeas Corpus Restoration Act (S.185/H.R.2826) 2007-S185 on Jun 22, 2007

Establish global strategy to defeat al Qaeda.

Clinton co-sponsored establishing global strategy to defeat al Qaeda

A bill to require a report setting forth the global strategy of the United States to combat and defeat al Qaeda and its affiliates. Directs the Secretaries of Defense, State, and Homeland Security to jointly submit to Congress a report setting forth U.S. global strategy to defeat al Qaeda and its affiliates.

Source: S.2634 2008-S2634 on Feb 13, 2008

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