by Ralph Nader
February 8-10, 2013
Ralph Nader is a consumer
advocate, lawyer and author of 'Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!'
is a contributor to
'Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of
published by AK Press.
Hopeless is also available in a
Hillary Clinton has completed her four-year tenure as Secretary of State to
the accolades of both Democratic and Republican Congressional champions of
the budget-busting “military-industrial complex,” that President
Eisenhower warned about
in his farewell address.
Behind the public relations sheen, the
photo-opportunities with groups of poor people in the developing world, an
ever more militarized State Department operated under Clinton’s leadership.
A militarized State Department is more than a repudiation of the
Department’s basic charter of 1789, for the then-named Department of Foreign
Affairs, which envisioned diplomacy as its mission. Secretary Clinton
reveled in tough, belligerent talk and action on her many trips to more than
a hundred countries.
She would warn or threaten “consequences” on a
She supported soldiers in Afghanistan, the use of secret
Special Forces in other places and “force projection” in East Asia to
contain China. She aggressively supported or attacked resistance movements
in dictatorships, depending on whether a regime played to Washington’s tune.
Because Defense Secretary Robert Gates was openly cool to the drum
war on Libya, Clinton took over and choreographed the NATO ouster
of the dictator, Muammar al-Gaddafi, long after he had given up his mass
destruction weaponry and was working to re-kindle relations with the U.S.
government and global energy corporations.
Libya is now in a disastrous warlord
state-of-chaos. Many fleeing fighters have moved into Mali, making that vast
country into another battlefield drawing U.S. involvement. Blowback!
Time and again, Hillary Clinton’s belligerence exceeded that of Obama’s
Secretaries of Defense. From her seat on the Senate Armed Services Committee
to her tenure at the State Department, Hillary Clinton sought to prove that
she could be just as tough as the militaristic civilian men whose circle she
Throughout her four years it was
Generalissima Clinton, expanding the American Empire at large.
Here is some of what the candid camera of history will show about her
A Yale Law School graduate, she shared
with President Obama, a former Harvard Law Review President, a
shocking disregard for the law and separation of powers be it the
Constitution, federal statues or international treaties.
Her legal advisor, former Yale Law Dean
Harold Koh, provided cover for her and Obama’s “drone ranger” (to
use Bill Moyer’s words), John Brennan, Obama’s counterterrorism
Brennan gave the president weekly
opportunities (White House aides called decision day “Terror
Tuesdays”) to become secret prosecutor, judge, jury, and
executioner. Imagine thousands of push-button deaths and injuries of
internal resisters and civilian bystanders in Pakistan, Afghanistan,
Yemen and elsewhere who presented no threat to the U.S.
The war on Libya, which Clinton spearheaded for Obama, was conducted
without a Congressional Declaration of War, without even a War
Resolution or a Congressional authorization or appropriation.
She and her boss outdid Cheney and Bush
on that score.
Although touting “diplomacy” as a
priority, Clinton made little attempt to bring the United States
into the community of nations by signing or ratifying international
treaties already having as signatories over a hundred nations.
As a former senator with bi-partisan
support, Clinton didn’t use much of her capital on climate change
Human Rights Watch reports that chief among the unratified treaties
“international conventions relating to children, women, persons
with disabilities, torture, enforced disappearance, and the use of
anti-personal landmines and cluster munitions.”
The last two treaties are designed to
save thousands of lives and limbs of the children and their parents
who are major victims of these concealed, atrocious weapons.
has not gone to bat against the advocates for those “blowback”
explosives that the Pentagon still uses.
When the Senate recently failed to ratify the treaty on
disabilities, Clinton, with former senator and injured veteran,
Robert Dole on her side, still didn’t make the maximum effort of
which she is capable.
Secretary Clinton had problems heralding
A 24-year-Foreign Service Officer, Peter
Van Buren spent a year in Iraq running two State Department
Reconstruction Teams. He exposed State Department waste and
mismanagement along with the Pentagon’s “reconstruction” efforts
using corporate contractors.
Unlistened to, Van Buren, true to his
civil service oath of office, went public. Clinton fired him. (WeMeantWell.com.)
Possibly the most revealing of Clinton’s
character was ordering U.S. officials to spy on top UN diplomats,
including those from our ally, the United Kingdom.
Shockingly, she even ordered her
emissaries to obtain DNA data, iris scans (known as biometric data)
and fingerprints along with credit card and frequent flier numbers.
disclosure of secret State Department cables proved this to be a
clear violation of the 1946 UN convention. Clinton included in this
crude boomeranging personal espionage, the Secretary General of the
UN, Ban Ki-Moon and his top officials all around the world.
As befits these lawless times, there
were no Congressional hearings, no accountabilities, and no
resignation by the self-styled civil libertarian Secretary of State,
not even a public apology.
Clinton led a dangerous expansion of the
Department’s mission in Iraq.
As reported in the Wall Street Journal
on December 10, 2011,
“In place of the military, the State
Department will assume a new role of unprecedented scale,
overseeing a massive diplomatic mission through a network of
fortified, self-sufficient installations.”
To call this a diplomatic mission is a stretch.
The State Department has hired thousands of
private security contractors for armed details and transportation of
personnel. Simply guarding the huge U.S. embassy in Iraq and its personnel
costs more than $650 million a year - larger than the entire budget of the
Occupational Health and Safety Agency (OSHA), which is responsible for
reducing the yearly loss of about 58,000 lives in workplace-related traumas
Another State Department undertaking is to improve the training and
capability of Iraq’s police and armed forces.
Countless active and retired Foreign Service
officers believe expanded militarization of the State Department both
sidelines them, their experience and knowledge, in favor of contractors and
military people, and endangers them overseas.
Blurring the distinction between the Pentagon and the State Department in
words and deeds seriously compromises Americans engaged in development and
diplomatic endeavors. When people in the developing countries see Americans
working to advance public health or clean drinking water systems within
their countries, they now wonder if these are front activities for spying or
Violent actions, fueled by this suspicion, are
already jeopardizing public health efforts on the border areas of Pakistan
and Afghanistan. Clinton’s successor, former Senator and war veteran, John
Kerry, says he wants to emphasize peace, human rights, and anti-poverty
He doesn’t have to prove his machismo should he
strive to de-militarize the State Department and promote peaceful,
deliberative missions in the world, from which true security flows.