Normally, U.S. officials and politicians want American companies to create jobs in the United States and keep jobs at home, but today, Secretary Clinton encouraged U.S. business executives to create jobs across the ocean in Northern Ireland. Doing so might sound counterintuitive to many Americans, but creating jobs in Northern Ireland serves a good cause -- peace.
At a U.S.-Northern Ireland economic conference she hosted in Washington today, Clinton praised the 1,000 new jobs that American companies have created recently in Northern Ireland and explained, "[A] stronger economy in Northern Ireland will help secure a lasting peace. And peace in Northern Ireland is a bedrock foreign-policy priority for the United States."
In her remarks, she went on to add:
[E]conomic opportunities are what we are focusing on today because we know that to survive, peace must be visible beyond the halls of government or even the meeting places where former adversaries come together to work out their differences. It must be seen in daily improvements in people's lives, not just in the absence of violence, but the presence of good jobs, business starts, skills learned, communities recovered from decline.
Essentially, Clinton understands that for there to be long-lasting peace, people must have jobs and some sense of economic security. She acknowledged that when many Americans, particularly American business executives, have heard the words "Northern Ireland," they haven't exactly thought "investment opportunities." But Clinton said that mentality has been changing recently, and more people are associating Northern Ireland with "reconciliation, hope, and opportunity."
Of the 1,000 new jobs created by American companies in Northern Ireland, Clinton mentioned 100 positions established by GE Energy and over 300 in the New York Stock Exchange's Belfast office. She also hailed Dow Chemical's announcement that it was starting a supply-chain consulting service in Belfast.
The video of her complete remarks is below:
U.S. State Dept., video screen shot
Secretary Clinton is hosting a U.S.-Northern Ireland economic conference today in Washington that brings together American business leaders currently or potentially invested in Northern Ireland with political leaders from that area. "This conference will allow us to sell the Northern Ireland product directly to some of America's most successful and best-known companies," Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson said, as reported in the Irish Times.
It's all part of Clinton's effort to support the Northern Ireland peace process through promotion of economic development, something she touched upon when visiting Northern Ireland last October, as seen in the photo above with Robinson (left) and Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness outside Belfast's Stormont Castle.
PETER MUHLY/AFP/Getty Images
To everybody in Germany, happy 20 years of reunification! Secretary Clinton congratulates the people of Germany and says, "Today, Germany is a global champion for human liberty and economic freedom -- values that form the foundation for the enduring friendship between our nations."
She made the remark in a statement issued Oct. 1, two days before today's Oct. 3 anniversary:
On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of Germany as you celebrate the 20th anniversary of German unification.
A year ago, I travelled to Berlin to commemorate the moment in 1989 when history pierced concrete and concertina wire, and Germans tore down the Berlin Wall. It was an hour when the hopes and prayers and sacrifices of millions came together in an unwavering exclamation of freedom. On October 3, 1990, the German people embraced that freedom again. They proclaimed their desire to live as one nation. And they began building a new Germany that would become an anchor of democracy, stability, and prosperity. The progress of the last two decades was not inevitable, and it stands as a monument to the all those who worked for generations to realize the goal of a Germany whole and free.
Today, Germany is a global champion for human liberty and economic freedom - values that form the foundation for the enduring friendship between our nations. The United States joins Germany in honoring this day of national unity. And I look forward to our continuing cooperation to advance the values we celebrate on this anniversary.
In the photo above from Berlin, the Reichstag, the meeting place of Germany's parliament, is illuminated in the colors of the German flag on Oct. 3 as part of celebrations marking the 20th anniversary of reunification.
Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Last Friday, June 4, I was confused by a birthday message Secretary Clinton made to Britain's Queen Elizabeth II that said, "I am pleased to wish Queen Elizabeth II a happy birthday."
The queen was born on April 21, 1926, according to the British monarchy's website. Had someone at the State Department made a blooper?
Turns out the answer is yes, though the blooper wasn't as bad as I thought. The queen actually has two birthdays! The second one, recognized as her official birthday, is celebrated with a ceremony by British troops on a Saturday in June, and this year it'll be celebrated on June 12. So, Clinton erred in sending her message a week early, but an early message is at least better than a belated birthday message.
An Associated Press article states, "The tradition of celebrating two birthdays began under King Edward VII, who was born in November but wanted his birthday parade to take place in summer weather."
(In the photo above, Clinton meets Queen Elizabeth II at a reception at Buckingham Palace on April 1, 2009.)
Anwar Hussein/Getty Images
Secretary Clinton made the following remarks on June 1:
On the Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound ship (made in a news conference after meeting with Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Baconschi, as seen in the video above):
The United States supports the Security Council's condemnation of the acts leading to this tragedy.… We support in the strongest terms the Security Council's call for a prompt, impartial, credible, and transparent investigation.
… Iraq's electoral commission and security forces successfully organized and carried out a credible and competitive election. Since then, the electoral commission has worked in a careful, professional way to bring the process to this concluding point. This experience demonstrates that Iraqis want to use the political process to choose their leaders and settle differences.
On Italy's Republic Day (June 2):
… I congratulate the people of Italy as you celebrate your 64th Republic Day.…
Today we are NATO allies working side by side to seize the opportunities and meet the challenges of the 21st century. From supporting the refocused mission in Afghanistan to curbing nuclear proliferation, combating climate change, and spurring global economic recovery, we are working together as partners to advance peace, security, and prosperity around the world.
Yesterday and today, Secretary Clinton attended the NATO foreign ministers meeting in Tallinn, Estonia (the volanic ash cloud from Eyjafjallajokull doesn't seem to have stopped her). Among the topics of discussion: nuclear weapons, Afghanistan, Iran, the Eastern bloc countries, and relations with Russia. Remarks Clinton made today about the meeting are here.
The meeting comes at a time when NATO's very purpose is being debated. The alliance was established to protect against the Soviet threat, but with the fall of communism, what's its purpose now? In fact, the United States should just withdraw from NATO, argues Andrew Bacevich in his recent FP article, "Let Europe Be Europe."
Above, it's woman power with Britain's permanent representative to NATO, Mariot Leslie, at left, Clinton, and an unidentified woman (who I should probably know, but don't) at right on April 22.
The NATO foreign ministers meeting is under way on April 22. Clinton is on the left, in purple.
What's up? Clinton chats with Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet on April 22. (Oops, her second button has come undone, but no big deal -- Clinton has more important things to worry about.) Clinton made these remarks with Paet. After her meeting with Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves on April 23, she made these remarks.
The meeting participants prepare for a "family photo" on April 22.
NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, center, speaks with Clinton and Paet after the "family photo."
Clinton listens intently to Lithuanian Foreign Minister Audronius Azubalis at the beginning of the meeting with non-NATO ISAF contributors on April 23. NATO foreign ministers worked on a plan for international troops and civilian staff in Afghanistan to hand over responsibility to the Afghan military and government.
Clinton is probably glad to be back home in the United States now, as she told Esquire magazine that traveling internationally "wears you out." Still, we know that Clinton has far more stamina and resilience than the typical person -- she bounced back so fast from her broken elbow last year.
Photos: RAIGO PAJULA/AFP/Getty Images
Last Thursday, Clinton took the time to make a statement for International Roma Day that included:
Most importantly, International Roma Day is an opportunity to call attention to the challenges that continue to face Europe's ten million Roma. Protecting and promoting the human rights of Roma everywhere has long been a personal commitment for me, and under the Obama Administration it is a priority of the United States.
Her comments were prescient indeed. Preliminary results from this weekend's election in Hungary are showing that a far-right, anti-Roma party, Movement for a Better Hungary, or Jobbik, came in third with 16.7 percent of the vote (more than three times any other far-right party since Romania's return to democracy in 1990) and will enter parliament. And philanthropist George Soros said last week that Roma are being scapegoated for Europe's economic crisis. Thank goodness Clinton is standing up for the rights of Roma.
(In the photo above, a Romanian Roma family casts their ballots in the village of Sintesti on Dec. 6, 2009.)
DANIEL MIHAILESCU/AFP/Getty Images
Today, on St. Patrick's Day, Secretary Clinton had two more Ireland-related meetings. This morning, before departing for Moscow, she attended President Obama's meeting with Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen and National Security Advisor James L. Jones's meeting with Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness. (For the story behind why the Irish prime minister -- the taoiseach -- is always in Washington on St. Patrick's Day, read this week's FP Explainer.)
Yesterday, as seen in the photo above, Clinton had a bilateral meeting with Robinson (left) and McGuinness. Their remarks after the meeting are here.
Other Ireland-related remarks from Clinton:
•Clinton's keynote address at the gala dinner of the American Ireland Fund
•Clinton's St. Patrick's Day message for the people of Ireland
MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images
Secretary Clinton said today, during remarks with Irish Foreign Minister Micheál Martin (above), that she might be in Shannon, Ireland, for an hour on St. Patrick's Day, when she is en route to Moscow. She said:
And I'll actually spend, we hope, about an hour in Shannon tomorrow night celebrating St. Patrick's Day en route to Moscow. That's our goal. I believe that may be a first for me, which I will proudly claim."
Moving on to more serious matters, she praised the Northern Ireland peace process, saying:
[T]his year's [St. Patrick's Day] commemoration and celebration comes at a particularly auspicious time. On March 9th, the Northern Ireland Assembly voted to complete the process of devolution, an important step toward realizing the promise of the Good Friday Agreement and the St. Andrews Agreement, and achieving a full and lasting peace for the people of Northern Ireland. Foreign Minister Martin and his government played a vital role in helping the parties come together to take this step. I know for a fact that he was there for long days and sleepless nights during the Hillsborough negotiations because I spoke to him during the 2 -to-3-hour a.m. period during one of those nights."
(Note that Clinton does take those 3 a.m. calls!)
She also praised Ireland on security issues:
Ireland is a valued partner. Ireland was among the first nations to accept and resettle detainees from Guantánamo Bay, which was an important step and vote of confidence in President Obama's policy to close Guantánamo. We continue to honor the service of Irish troops in Afghanistan and the very considerable role that Ireland has played in helping move our policy there forward."
MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images
On the eve St. Patrick's Day, Secretary Clinton has six Ireland-related items on her busy schedule. (In the photo above, then-presidential candidate Clinton waves at onlookers during the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Pittsburgh on March 15, 2008.)
a.m. Bilateral meeting with Irish
Foreign Minister Micheál Martin
12:30 p.m. Bilateral meeting with Northern Ireland Secretary of State Shaun Woodward
2:30 p.m. Meeting with Gerry Adams, president of Sinn Fein
4:30 p.m. Bilateral meeting with Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness
7:15 p.m. Meeting with Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Brian Cowen
7:30 p.m. Delivers keynote address at the American Ireland Fund dinner, where she'll be honored for her role in the peace process in Northern Ireland.
Jeff Swensen/Getty Images
During a speech yesterday at the NATO Strategic Concept Seminar, Secretary Clinton said she wants "a cooperative NATO-Russia relationship that … draws NATO and Russia closer together."
Russia is worried that NATO is creeping eastward and that the former Soviet republics of Ukraine and Georgia might join. Thus, Russian leaders probably weren't too happy when Clinton said, "We were glad to see the Alliance welcome Albania and Croatia last year. And there can be no question that NATO will continue to keep its doors open to new members."
Clinton also said that Russia has nothing to worry about. She declared: "Let me state this clearly and unambiguously: While Russia faces challenges to its security, NATO is not among them."
She also said:
And we intend to use the NATO-Russia Council as a forum for frank discussions about areas where we disagree.… We will use it to challenge the assertion put forward in Russia's new military doctrine that NATO's enlargement and its global actions constitute a military danger to Russia."
On a more humorous note, when asked whether she could imagine Russia ever being a NATO member, she generated laughter from the audience when she replied, "Well, I can imagine it. I'm not sure the Russians can imagine it."
Below, former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright greets Clinton as she steps to the stage to give her speech.
Photos: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images
MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images
Remember how there might have been a plot to assassinate Secretary Clinton when she was in Kenya last August? Well, the Somali man allegedly involved in that supposed plot is possibly the same one who on Friday attacked the Danish cartoonist who drew the controversial 2005 illustrations of the Prophet Muhammad. I'm qualifying everthing with "allegedly," "supposed," and "possibly" because so much seems unconfirmed at this point and it's difficult to determine how much of this is true.
If all this is true, though, it appears that better information-sharing is needed, both within and between countries.If some man planned to kill Clinton, then why wasn't he taken into custody, and why was he allowed into Denmark? Was there inadequate sharing of information between Kenya, Denmark, and the United States?
I assume Clinton is taking all this very seriously during her meeting with Obama in the Situation Room, which should be happening as I write this post. It's her very life that was at stake in Kenya. Regarding the Christmas Day "underwear bomber" who own father reported him to the U.S. Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria, Clinton said Monday, "Based on what we know now, the State Department fully complied with the requirements set forth in the interagency process as to what should be done when information about a potential threat is known."
Maybe the State Department did indeed fully comply with the requirements, but that clearly wasn't good enough. Clinton's clearly going have to get requirements both toughened and enforced.
SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images
Last Sunday on ABC's This Week, Secretary Clinton said she was so "immersed" with Afghanistan policy that she hasn't had the time to develop an opinion on the Amanda Knox case. Not to be insensitive toward Knox, but Clinton really does need to focus on Afghanistan policy at this crucial time. Clinton's exchange with This Week's George Stephanopoulos:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: "Do you share her [Sen. Maria Cantwell's (D-Wash.)] concerns about this trial?"
SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY CLINTON: "George I honestly haven't had time to even examine that. I've been immersed in what we're doing in Afghanistan. Of course I'll meet with Sen. Cantwell or anyone who has a concern but I can't offer any opinion about that at this time."
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: "So you have not expressed any concerns to the Italian government?"SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY CLINTON: "I have not, no."
And Knox's lawyer, Luciano Ghirga, seems to want it that way. Ghirga said, as reported in the Daily Mail:
That's all we need, Hillary Clinton involved. I have the same political sympathies as Hillary but this sort of thing does not help us in any way."
Prosecutor Giuliano Mignini may want Clinton out, too, based on his comments about Sen. Cantwell, as reported in the Daily Mail
This senator should not interfere in something she has no idea about. I am happy with how the trial went.
Note (Dec. 15, 2009): The sentence before Mignini's quote was revised to make it clearer that he was referring to Sen. Cantwell, not Secretary Clinton.
British politician Harriet Harman, deputy leader of Britain's Labour Party and minister for women and equality, wants Secretary Clinton and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to join her in group of women leaders who will meet regularly to advance gender equality. In a speech to EU leaders, Harman said, "'There is, as yet, no international architecture which serves effectively to bring together women leaders who are working for progress along the same lines in each of our own countries. We need to look at how this could be done."
Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
Yesterday evening at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Secretary Clinton once again declared that the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall should serve as a "call to action" to "advance freedom" for the millions of people around the world who still face obstacles and lack opportunity. In her remarks, she said:
Two decades later, we remember. But it is also a call to action. There are still millions across our world who are separated -- maybe not by walls, maybe not by barbed wire, although that still exists -- but who are separated from loved ones, who are kept down and behind, unable to fulfill their own destinies. So as beneficiaries of this great bequest we inherited in 1989, those of us gathered here tonight, leaders and citizens alike, we must pledge ourselves to work together to advance freedom beyond its current frontiers so that people everywhere are afforded the opportunities to pursue their dreams and live up to their God-given potential.
Above: Clinton reviews an honor guard carrying torches at Bellevue Palace -- the home of the German president -- in Berlin.
Below: Clinton appears on the big screens that flanked the Brandenburg Gate yesterday. In front are some of the 1,000 giant dominoes that were toppled to symbolize the fall of the Berlin Wall. (Check out this cool video of the dominoes falling.)
Photos, top to bottom: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images, WOLFGANG RATTAY/AFP/Getty Images
It looks cold and rainy in Berlin right now, but Clinton is there in full force:
Clinton delivers a speech in front of the Brandenburg Gate during celebrations marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown (left), French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, German President Horst Köhler, Berlin's Mayor Klaus Wowereit, and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attend celebrations near the Brandenburg Gate for the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Approximately 1,000 giant foam dominoes, painted by children and artists from around the world, are meant to symbolically represent the fall of communism across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of the celebrations.
Photos, top to bottom: WOLFGANG RATTAY/AFP/Getty Images, Hennig Schacht-Pool/Getty Images, MICHAEL KAPPELER/AFP/Getty Images
Last night at a gala banquet in Berlin, Secretary Clinton received an Atlantic Council Freedom Award on behalf of the American people. Above, she holds the award while posing with former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, an Atlantic Council board member who introduced Clinton.
In delivering the evening's keynote address, Clinton said the festivities surrounding the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall "should be a call to action, not just a commemoration of past actions. That call should spur us to continue our cooperation and to look for new ways that we can meet the challenges that freedom faces now."
She went on to say:
We need to form an even stronger partnership to bring down the walls of the 21st century and to confront those who hide behind them: the suicide bombers, those who murder and maim girls whose only wish is to go to school, leaders who choose their own fortunes over the fortunes of their people."
Very inspiring words indeed -- calling for people to use the spirit that animated the wall's fall to fight terrorism and authoritarian regimes. Hopefully it will move people to action, but Thomas Carothers, of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, is skeptical that Europeans will buy into the Bush-era "trope" of linking the Cold War and extremism. He told Agence France-Presse via e-mail:
Facing difficult pressures on Afghanistan, the Obama administration marked the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall by revving up a rhetorical trope that President Bush favored. … Europeans and others never found it very convincing under Bush. … I suspect they won't like it much better now."
But between Clinton's star power and President Obama's hope-oriented charisma, the new U.S. administration has an inspiring and influential presence that Bush never had. Sometimes you just need the right messenger for your message.
Photo: JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images
Just for fun, here's an edibly sweet version of Bill Clinton, who was in Pristina, Kosovo, yesterday for the unveiling of a larger-than-life statue of himself on a boulevard named after himself. Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority holds Clinton in high esteem for his role in the 1999 NATO bombing campaign against Yugoslavia, which helped stop the Serbian forces' crackdown on ethnic Albanians.
Photo: Armend Nimani/AFP/Getty Images
In a speech in Northern Ireland last week, Clinton said, "When Bill and I first came to Belfast, we stayed at the Europa Hotel, as I have again this time, even though then there were sections boarded up because of damage from bombs."
The article states that the last successful bomb attack on the Europa Hotel was in 1993 and that renovations to the hotel, seen at left, were completed in January 1994, 22 months before the Clinton's 1995 visit. Hotel sources told the Telegraph that there's "no way" any boards were visible during the Clintons' stay at the hotel, which has been described as the "most-bombed hotel in Europe."
Clinton's spokesman Ian Kelly told the Telegraph:
I think what Secretary Clinton was trying to do was draw contrasts between contemporary Belfast, which I know has changed hugely from the Belfast of 1995.
"We [are] not talking about the same thing [as misspeaking about Bosnia]. Secretary Clinton was simply contrasting."
There might be clarifying information we don't know about -- maybe Clinton confused the hotel with another boarded building -- but it sounds like she got carried away and embellished during her speech. I'm willing to forgive her, but I hope it doesn't happen again.
Photo: thumbnail by Joe Fox/Getty Images
Secretary Clinton, whose husband Bill helped broker the 1998 Good Friday agreement, continued the peace process today with a talk to the Northern Ireland Assembly. She encouraged the Catholic and Protestant lawmakers to strengthen their power-sharing partnership, stating that it shows that even the most acrimonious conflicts can be reconciled through patient compromise.
She also met today with Northern Ireland's first minister, Peter Robinson, above left, and Martin McGuinness, the deputy first minister.
In an editorial titled, "Mrs Clinton's Visit Very Welcome," the Belfast Telegraph lauded Clinton's involvement in the peace process -- dating back to her time as first lady -- and stated, "Hillary Clinton deserves our thanks for all she has done, and is still doing, to make a permanent peace possible."
(Sounds like Clinton's been doing a lot more to broker peace lately than the Nobel-winning Obama.)
Photo: Paul Faith - WPA Pool/Getty Images
Later today, Clinton heads to Europe, where she'll visit the following places and do the following things:
Zurich, Switzerland: She will attend the signing of two protocols between Turkey and Armenia that pave the way toward normalization of their relations.
London: Clinton will meet with senior British officials to discuss important issues such as Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.
Dublin, Ireland: She will reaffirm the United States' commitment to Ireland during meetings with senior Irish officials.
Belfast, Northern Ireland: Clinton will emphasize the United States' support for political progress and economic recovery in the area.
Moscow: As part of her efforts to reset relations with Russia, she'll meet with President Dmitry Medvedev and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to discuss a successor agreement to START, the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. They'll also discuss Afghanistan, Iran, the Middle East, and North Korea.
Kazan, Russia: Clinton will visit Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan, to talk with local officials and religious leaders about promoting tolerance and interfaith dialogue. The city has a large Muslim population, and yesterday, in this clumsy exchange, State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said Kazan "really shows that the Russian Federation is a multiethnic country."
Bon voyage, Secretary Clinton!
Photo: BAY ISMOYO/AFP/Getty Images
Secretary Clinton will travel to London, Dublin, Belfast, and Moscow between Oct. 9 and 15, the State Department has announced. In Belfast, Clinton will reaffirm "unwavering U.S. support for Northern Ireland's peace proces," a peace process that husband Bill played a great role in when he was U.S. president.
Mitchell Reiss, a U.S. special envoy to Northern Ireland during the Bush administration, told the Belfast Telegraph that the people of Northern Ireland should stop looking to outsiders to solve their problems, but also said:
The secretary is very talented, and wherever she goes there’s news."
I think that she’ll probably lift people’s spirits by her visit."
And if she lifts people's spirits and inspires them to make peace, then it'll be another feather in Clinton's cap.
Last week, Secretary Clinton was promoting a U.N. resolution to protect girls from sexual violence. Yesterday, she received a letter from the French and Polish foreign ministers requesting that the United States drop its extradition demand for Oscar-winning filmmaker Roman Polanski, who was detained in Switzerland Saturday for sexually molesting a 13-year-old girl in Los Angeles in 1977 (a crime to which he pleaded guilty back in the 1970s).
Clinton must protect the interests of girls (and children, more generally) and do all she can to bring this child molester to justice.
The legal process for extraditing Polanski is primarily in the hands of the state of California, where the crime occurred, and the U.S. Justice Department, said State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley at yesterday's press briefing. The State Department's role will simply be to ensure that California's formal extradition request meets the terms of the United States' extradition treaty with Switzerland, Crowley added.
For more about why Polanski must be brought to justice, check out Eugene Robinson's op-ed in today's Washington Post.
Photo: SEBASTIEN BOZON/AFP/Getty Images
Here are a couple of wild headlines from the British press.
From The Guardian:
From the Daily Mail:
Basically, lawyers for Binyam Mohamed, a British resident and former terrorism detainee, want the High Court to disclose a seven-paragraph summary of CIA documents that allegedly support Mohamed's claim that British intelligence agents were complicit in his torture in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Morocco.
In a written statement, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband claims that Secretary Clinton "indicated" to him in May that if the court disclosed the CIA material, it would adversely "affect intelligence sharing." Clinton and the CIA are also said to have written letters stating that the United States would review its intelligence-sharing practices with Britain if the court discloses the CIA material.
Human rights activists say Miliband is just using the U.S. threat to avoid having to reveal the "ugly truth" about British complicity in torture. Lord Justice Thomas was doubtful about the threat to limit intelligence sharing, saying: "So the U.S. has taken the position that this is so serious that it is prepared to reassess its relationship with the UK and put lives at risk?"
So what did Clinton say or write? It's hard to believe that she would threaten a complete cut of intelligence sharing if the material is disclosed. Yesterday, while meeting with Miliband, above, she even said, "The issue of intelligence sharing is one that is critically important to our two countries, and we have both a stake in ensuring that it continues to the fullest extent possible."
Photo: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images
Yesterday, among other things, Secretary Clinton, as shown above, attended President Obama's speech on closing the Guantánamo Bay detention facility. (Sitting with her are U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), far left, and CIA Director Leon Panetta.)
Today, she moves on to accepting an award from the National Coordinated Effort of Hellenes. One of the main issues the group appears to tackle is the highly sensitive "FYROM"/"Republic of Macedonia" name issue. Greece wants the "Republic of Macedonia" to instead be called the "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" (or "FYROM" for short). The U.S. State Department currently states on its background note for the country that the "official name" is "Republic of Macedonia." To people not familiar with the centuries of history behind the name dispute, it might sound like a trivial issue, but actually it's sensitive enough that it caused rioting last year and is affecting "FYROM"/"Republic of Macedonia"'s ability to enter NATO and the European Union.
The official schedule for today:
9:30 a.m. Receive Award from the National Coordinated Effort of Hellenes in the Treaty Room.
11:30 a.m. Bilateral with His Excellency Karel De Gucht, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belgium.
Update: When asked about the name issue at the award presentation, Clinton said:
Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images
Well, we have been very committed to that. I have spoken out about the need to resolve the name issue in a way that is acceptable to both parties. And Deputy Secretary [James] Steinberg was recently in the region making that case. We have picked up this issue with a lot of commitment early on in our administration. Obviously, this has to be resolved by the parties themselves, but we are urging that resolution. We think it is in everyone's best interest. As you said, it would open the way for movement toward another nation joining the European Union, which we think promotes stability in the region, so we are very committed to doing what the United States can to facilitate that.
Of course, no day on Madam Secretary would be complete without posting Secretary Clinton's official schedule. As we can see, she's back in the United States, doing the bilateral thing:
10:45 a.m. Bilateral with His Excellency Maxime Verhagen, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of The Netherlands. [Clinton met with him last month at the conference on Afghanistan at The Hague.]
2:15 p.m. Bilateral with His Excellency Marcos Kyprianou, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus. [I think his first name is actually spelled "Markos," based on the link above.]
Here's a photo summary of Secretary Clinton at this weekend's 60th-anniversary NATO summit in Strasbourg, France, and the German cities of Baden-Baden and Kehl:
Check out those shades! U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her German counterpart, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, greet one another in Baden-Baden at the start of the NATO summit on April 3.
Pink power: Clinton talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel after U.S. President Barack Obama and Merkel reviewed a guard of honor upon Obama's arrival for bilateral talks on April 3 in Baden-Baden.
She's earned her stripes: Clinton arrives at the opening of the NATO summit at the Kurhaus on April 3 in Baden-Baden. Heads of state, foreign ministers, and defense ministers of the 28 NATO member countries participated in the summit from April 3 to 4 to mark the 60th anniversary of the transatlantic military and political organization.
Clinton attends the opening of the NATO summit at the Kurhaus on April 3 in Baden-Baden.
Clinton and Obama appear to be sharing an inside joke while attending the North Atlantic Council meeting on April 4 in Strasbourg during the NATO summit. Next to them are British Foreign Minister David Miliband (far left) and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
Clinton and Obama speak during a meeting at the NATO summit on April 4 in Strasbourg.
NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer intently listens to Clinton at the North Atlantic Council meeting on April 4.
This photo isn't from the NATO summit, but I threw it in because it's from Clinton's European visit: European foreign ministers pose with Clinton for a group picture on April 5 during the EU-U.S. summit in Prague, Czech Republic.
Photos, top to bottom: MICHAEL KAPPELER/AFP/Getty Images, Ralph Orlowski/Getty Images, Sean Gallup/Getty Images, Joerg Eberl/action press-Pool/Getty Images, SEBASTIEN BOZON/AFP/Getty Images, Sascha Schuermann-Pool/Getty Images, SASCHA SCHUERMANN/AFP/Getty Images, OLIVERIO IMAGO ECONOMICA/AFP/Getty Images
Secretary Clinton has moved from Britain to the European mainland for the 60th-anniversary NATO summit. Above, she strides to her car after attending a U.S.-French meeting earlier today at the Palais Rohan in Strasbourg, in eastern France. The summit takes place today and Saturday in Strasbourg and the neighboring German cities of Baden-Baden and Kehl.
Meanwhile, husband Bill has been on his own European visit. Yesterday, he was in Brussels, speaking at the opening of the Global Progressive Forum. The conference aims to "gather worldwide key international players to elaborate progressive ways of tackling the negative outcomes of globalization while engaging in a new vision of a globalised world from which we can all benefit."
Photos, top to bottom: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images, JOHN THYS/AFP/Getty Images
Much has been made about Michelle Obama's hug with Queen Elizabeth II, but let's not forget Secretary Clinton. Yesterday, she too met the queen during the Buckingham Palace reception for world leaders attending today's G-20 summit. Above, it looks like the queen and French President Nicolas Sarkozy are attentively listening to Clinton's wise words.
Some touching did go on, however, though it didn't involve the queen. Below, Sarkozy appears to be sharing a gripping moment with Clinton during the reception.
Madam Secretary is an obsessive blog about all things Hillary Clinton. From her policies to her pantsuits, Madam Secretary delivers up-to-the-minute news, analysis, and gossip about America's top diplomat.