Last week, this unequivocal declaration sounded like a micalculation and misread of the situation:
“These five guys are not a threat to the United States,” says Clinton. “They are a threat to the safety and security of Afghanistan and Pakistan. It’s up to those two countries to make the decision once and for all that these are threats to them. So I think we may be kind of missing the bigger picture here. We want to get an American home, whether they fell off the ship because they were drunk or they were pushed or they jumped, we try to rescue everybody.”
Tonight, talking to Greta Van Susteren and Bret Baier on Fox News, Clinton expanded on her thoughts:
“In Qatar with an agreement that has been entered into, they are supposed to be constrained from what they can do, and certainly they are not supposed to be permitted to travel,” Clinton explained. “In that situation, they are not a threat.”
“Those five men they are, right now, not a danger if they are kept where they are supposed to be kept, but we still have to worry about the Taliban and everything they could be doing,” she added.
I feel like there was someone who had concerns about Qatar’s willingness and ability to secure such prisoners in 2009. Ahh, yes, it was Hillary’s State Department:
The State Department’s concerns about Qatar’s supervision of released militants were detailed in a diplomatic cable dated February 2009 by the U.S. embassy in Doha, Qatar’s capital, citing the case of Jarallah al-Marri, a former Guantanamo detainee released to Qatar in July 2008.
In the cable, the U.S. embassy criticized Qatar for failing to follow through on promises to bar al Marri from leaving Qatar, noting he made two trips to Britain since his release from Guantanamo, and that during his second visit, in early 2009, British authorities arrested him.
I, for one, think Hillary did a fabulous job with Greta tonight.
Programming note: I’ll be guest-hosting the Chris Plante Show in Washington, D.C. this week while Plante is on a cruise. We’ll have Bret Baier to help us recap the Hillary interview. You can stream live from 9-noon EST, here!