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Entries in Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (6)

Thursday
Dec272012

Secretary of State Clinton Returns to Work Next Week

Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is hoping to return back to work next week, after three weeks of reportedly recovering from a concussion.

Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines said, “She looks forward to getting back to the office next week and resuming her schedule."

Clinton originally fell ill from a stomach virus following a whirlwind trip to Europe at the beginning of December, which caused such severe dehydration that she fainted and fell at home, said the State Department.

Due to her illness, Clinton had to cancel an overseas trip and skipped her scheduled testimony before Congress about the attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya that left four Americans dead, including U.S. ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens.

Some of her critics, including former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton, accused Mrs. Clinton of trying to dodge the inquest into the attack, which at one point the Obama administration repeatedly blamed on an anti-Islam video on YouTube, despite overwhelming evidence the incident was an al Qaeda-linked attack.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Dec232012

Departing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Leaves Behind a Legacy of Firsts

AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- After 31 years of public service, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leaves the limelight behind.

On Friday, President Obama nominated Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., to take her place as secretary of state, leaving Clinton to help him move in and then bow out.

Over the past three decades, Clinton has served her country in one way or another, a tenure that was full of firsts.

She was the only first lady to refuse the traditional cookie bake off and the first secretary of state to visit more than 100 countries. She served under the first black president and was the first first lady to have an office in the West Wing of the White House. Clinton was the first secretary of state to visit East Timor, and the first first lady to later win elective office. And long before she ever appeared on a ballot, Clinton was the first child born to Hugh and Dorothy Rodham.

Her departure from the State Department does not come as a surprise. For the past year, she has made clear her intentions to step down and said her goodbyes at outposts all over the world.

"It's important for me to step off this incredibly high wire I've been on," Clinton said after casting her ballot in November's presidential election, "to take stock of the rest of my life."

Recently, she told ABC's Barbara Walters she's looking forward to taking a step back, "maybe do some reading and writing and speaking and teaching."

In October, she took the blame for State Department security failures that led to the death of four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, in Benghazi, Libya. It was a move that signaled a willingness to put politics aside and embrace responsibility.

I take responsibility," Clinton said a month after the attack in an interview in Lima, Peru. "I'm in charge of the State Department's 60,000-plus people all over the world, 275 posts.

"The president and the vice president wouldn't be knowledgeable about specific decisions that are made by security professionals," Clinton said, a clear attempt to absolve a president who was up for re-election of blame with little regard for her own popularity.

At the end of November, Clinton reflected on her accomplishments as secretary of state over the past four years in two wide-ranging speeches on foreign policy.

Her four years of work focused on advancing rights for women and religious minorities across the globe, helping to maintain the tenuous peace between Israelis and Palestinians, discouraging Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and, in her own words, "advancing a new approach to development that puts human dignity and self-sufficiency at the heart of our efforts."

Clinton reflected on her travels to more than 112 countries, calling it "shoe-leather diplomacy," and emphasizing the importance of being on the ground.

"I have found it highly ironic that, in today's world, when we can be anywhere virtually, more than ever people want us to show up, actually," she said at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. "Somebody said to me the other day, 'I look at your travel schedule.  Why Togo?  Why the Cook Islands?'  No secretary of state had ever been to Togo before.  Togo happens to be on the U.N. Security Council.  Going there, making the personal investment, has a real strategic purpose."

Though Clinton took political heat this year for her role in the Benghazi attack, her global colleagues joked and prodded her about a second presidential run at each increment of her long-term farewell. The popular Democrat continues to deny she'll run.

Clinton leaves office on a new high in personal popularity and broad approval of her work as secretary of state.

A Washington Post/ABC News poll released Dec. 6 shows 57 percent of participants saying they'd back a run by Clinton to succeed President Obama.

Asked about his wife's Oval Office ambitions last April, Bill Clinton said he would be happy either way.

"If she comes home and we do this foundation stuff the rest of our lives, I'll be happy.  If she changes her mind and decides to run, I'll be happy," the former president said. "But that's light-years away."

He said he thought Hillary was being honest when she said she would not run again, but "it's entirely up to her."

"I want her to do what she wants to do," Clinton said. "I'm glad she's comin' home, I miss her.  We have fun together."

Clinton has traveled almost 1 million miles and spent 401 days of her four years traveling, according to the State Department.

Her last weeks in office have not reflected the prolific nature of her travels throughout her tenure. A case of the flu and a bad concussion kept Secretary Clinton ground-bound, forcing her to cancel a trip to the Middle East and preventing her from testifying about a report to Congress about the State Department's failure to provide adequate security in Benghazi.

Clinton released a statement on Friday thanking her staff and congratulating Sen. John Kerry.

"The men and women of the State Department and USAID represent the best traditions of a bold and generous nation.  They serve and sacrifice every day, often in dangerous circumstances. It has been one of the great honors of my life to serve with such fine public servants over the past four years. I could not be prouder of all we have achieved together," Clinton wrote in the statement. "They deserve the highest caliber leadership, and that is exactly what they'll get in John Kerry."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jul072011

Ryan Crocker Sworn in as New Ambassador to Afghanistan

U.S. Department of State(WASHINGTON) -- Veteran diplomat Ryan Crocker was sworn in by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as the new U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Thursday. Crocker is expected to arrive in Kabul sometime in the next week where he will have a public initiation ceremony.
 
With Crocker at her side, Clinton placed a call to the American civilians working in Afghanistan to endorse him as the ambassador and to thank them for their work.
 
“Her intention going into that was to thank them for all they are doing and to encourage them to continue all the good work that they are engaged in, and to lay hands on Ambassador Crocker and make it clear that he will be their leader and their partner as they go forward,” State Dept spokesperson Victoria Nuland said.
 
Crocker will oversee a larger civilian corps in Afghanistan, which has nearly quadrupled in size since the civilian surge, and significantly expanded its presence outside of the embassy in Kabul.
 
His most famous posting was in Iraq, where he teamed up with General Petraeus and was credited for stabilizing the U.S. relationship with the Iraqi government and participating in negotiations on the Status of Forces Agreement.

The Obama administration hopes Crocker will be able to bring that same diplomatic touch to the notoriously volatile relationship with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
 
Crocker left Iraq and retired from the Foreign Service in February 2009 to take over as the Dean of Texas A&M’s George Bush School of Government and Public Service.

Petraeus is expected leave the country in July before taking over as CIA Director in September.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Feb172011

Hillary Clinton, Administration Officials to Call Bahraini Counterparts

Photo Courtesy - Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other senior administration officials will be calling their Bahraini counterparts Thursday to urge restraint and to advise the U.S. ally on how best to proceed, ABC News has learned.

"The United States strongly opposes the use of violence in Bahrain," an administration official told ABC News.  "Wherever they are, people have certain universal rights -- including the right to peaceful assembly.  We continue to urge the government of Bahrain to show restraint in responding to peaceful protests."

On Wednesday, at least four people were killed and hundreds more injured after police swept through Pearl Square in Bahrain's capital of Manama to disperse protesters who were camped out.  Police came down on the demonstrators with rubber bullets, tear gas and billy clubs.

The protesters have occupied Pearl Square since early this week, demanding jobs, the release of political prisoners and constitutional reforms with hopes to end the monarchy that has ruled the island nation for 200 years.

Aside from being an ally, Bahrain is home to the 5th Fleet, a major U.S. Naval Base that shares a commander and headquarters with U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, a component part of CENTCOM, and roughly 2,300 U.S. military personnel.  The base is essentially a port at the mouth of the Persian Gulf.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Feb152011

Clinton to Promote 'Freedom to Connect' in Internet Freedom Speech

Photo Courtesy - Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be at George Washington University on Tuesday to deliver what’s billed as a major address on Internet freedom, promoting what she calls the “freedom to connect.”

Clinton's address will follow a similar speech last year, and comes just days after Egypt, Iran and other countries in that region have tried to manipulate Internet access to quell uprisings.

A top aide to Clinton says she will “reaffirm U.S. support for a free and open Internet and underscore the importance of safeguarding both liberty and security, transparency and confidentiality, and freedom of expression and tolerance.”

According to excerpts made available from her remarks, Clinton will defend an open Internet.

"We are convinced that an open Internet fosters long-term peace, progress and prosperity.  The reverse is also true.  An Internet that is closed and fractured, where different governments can block activity or change the rules on a whim -- where speech is censored or punished, and privacy does not exist -- that is an Internet that can cut off opportunities for peace and progress and discourage innovation and entrepreneurship,” she will say.

“History has shown us that repression often sows the seeds for revolution down the road.  Those who clamp down on Internet freedom may be able to hold back the full impact of their people’s yearnings for a while, but not forever… Leaders worldwide have a choice to make.  They can let the Internet in their countries flourish, and take the risk that the freedoms it enables will lead to a greater demand for political rights.  Or they can constrict the Internet, choke the freedoms it naturally sustains -- and risk losing all the economic and social benefits that come from a networked society,” Secretary Clinton will declare.

Clinton will also reference the important role the Internet has played in recent Mideast uprisings.

“There is a debate underway in some circles about whether the Internet is a force for liberation or repression.  But as the events in Iran, Egypt and elsewhere have shown, that debate is largely beside the point.  The Internet isn’t good or bad.  It is both.  It is neither.  What matters is what people who go online do there, and what principles should guide us as we come together in cyberspace.  That question becomes more urgent every day,” she plans to say.

Secretary Clinton will also proclaim the “freedom to connect,” saying “the freedoms of expression, assembly, and association online comprise what I have called the freedom to connect.  The United States supports this freedom for people everywhere, and we have called on other nations to do the same.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Jan302011

Hillary Clinton on the Crisis in Cairo: 'We Want to See Reforms'

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the Obama administration is trying to send a clear message to the Egyptian government as tens of thousands of demonstrators have flooded the streets of Cairo demanding change: "We want to see reforms."

"We are monitoring Egypt's military," Clinton told ABC News on Sunday. "They are demonstrating restraint, trying to differentiate between peaceful protestors -- who we support -- and potential looters and other criminal elements who are a danger to the Egyptian people."

"There is no discussion of cutting off aid and we are trying to convey a message that is clear -- no violence, no provocation that results in violence, and that we want to see these reforms so that the people of Egypt can see their legitimate grievances addressed," she added.

On the topic of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's appointment of intelligence chief Omar Suleiman as his first vice president, Clinton said that this has been on a list of reforms the administration wanted to see in Egypt for some time. She said that it is the first of several concrete steps necessary for the country to achieve democratic reform.

"I'm hoping that the government will be able to maintain a peaceful relationship with peaceful protesters," she said. "We can see a national dialogue begin, where the government of Egypt must take concrete steps for democratic and economic reform. That is the best way to navigate through this."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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