Fear Of Hillary Clinton Leads Conservatives To Illogically Blame Her For Boko Haram

hillary clinton


On April 16th, in Nigeria, about 250 schoolgirls were kidnapped by the Islamist militant group Boko Haram. The story didn’t become widely known in the US for a while. However, now that efforts are being made by the United States government to assist in recovering these girls, conservatives have decided to use this time to play the blame game. Over the past couple of days, the right-wing media has focused their attentions solely on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Based on the logic they are presenting, Clinton is to blame for Boko Haram’s actions due to her not designating them as a terrorist organization during her tenure as Secretary of State.

First off, for the record, since Clinton left her post, the State Department HAS designated Boko Haram as a terrorist organization. Under John Kerry, Boko Haram was named to the terror watch list in November 2013. Therefore, it seems silly to claim that Boko Haram felt emboldened to act in this manner, or that the United States ignored the group, simply because Clinton decided not to list them as a terrorist organization back then. The fact is, THEY ARE ON THE LIST. This kidnapping didn’t occur on Hillary Clinton’s watch. It happened less than a month ago. She hasn’t been Secretary of State for over a year.

However, that is the basic crux of the conservative argument. It doesn’t matter what has happened since. Hillary Clinton didn’t label the group Boko Haram as a terrorist organization in her last couple years as SoS, therefore she is solely to blame. Below is an excerpt from an article Andrew McCarthy of National Review wrote on Thursday saying just that:

What happened here is obvious, although the commentariat is loath to connect the dots. Boko Haram is an Islamic-supremacist organization. Mrs. Clinton, like the Obama administration more broadly, believes that appeasing Islamists — avoiding actions that might give them offense, slamming Americans who provoke them — promotes peace and stability. (See Egypt for a good example of how well this approach is working.) Furthermore, if you are claiming to have “decimated” al-Qaeda, as the Obama administration was claiming to have done in the run-up to the 2012 election, the last thing you want to do is add jihadists to the terror list (or beef up security at diplomatic posts in jihadist hot spots, or acknowledge that jihadist rioting in Cairo or jihadist attacks in Benghazi are something other than “protests” inspired by “an Internet video” . . .)

Former Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, who is now a pundit for CNN, wrote something similar on Friday:

It is so clearly and vividly a terrorist organization that it seems indefensible that the State Department would have refused to designate it as such. A thorough investigation of the decision process that protected Boko Haram from 2011 until late 2013 could be devastating.

Now that Boko Haram has attracted worldwide attention for its vicious assault on young girls, political leaders, including the former secretary of state, are rushing to issue emotionally powerful but practically meaningless statements.

Hillary Clinton tweeted: “Access to education is a basic right & an unconscionable reason to target innocent girls. We must stand up to terrorism. #BringBackOurGirls”

Clinton’s tweet contrasts vividly with her failure to stand up to terrorism in 2011 by calling Boko Haram what it was.

I am sure that Gingrich’s longtime hatred of the Clintons didn’t cloud his judgment one bit with how he is seeing this. Not one bit.

And so it goes on the right. Everybody who writes for a conservative site, appears on Fox News or hosts a right-wing radio show is jumping on this train. It doesn’t matter to them how illogical it is to blame Clinton for what has occurred. Worse, they aren’t even really looking at the reasons why Sec. Clinton didn’t list Boko Haram as a terrorist organization during her tenure. Howard LaFranchi at the Christian Science Monitor said the following in his article on Saturday:

Boko Haram was not seen as a direct threat yet to the US and its interests – although some members of Congress pressing for the designation noted that other local or regional groups had evolved into threats to the US. That was especially true of groups that grew to become affiliates of Al Qaeda. Boko Haram was considered by some experts to be “linked” to Al Qaeda because of its known contacts with groups such as Al Qaeda in the Maghreb.

So the argument to list was largely one in favor of preventive action. But opposed to that position were two dozen Africa and terrorism experts who advocated for not listing Boko Haram, saying a designation by the US risked raising the group’s international profile and prestige – and therefore might accomplish for the group exactly what those seeking designation said they sought to prevent.

In a letter to Clinton, the 24 specialists – including a former US ambassador to Nigeria – argued that designating Boko Haram might encourage the group to redirect its focus and start targeting US and Western interests. Listing Boko Haram also entailed risks for the US, the scholars argued, because it would have the effect of associating the US more closely with the counterterrorism campaign of the Nigerian government, which international human rights groups had faulted for being carried out with summary executions and little regard for civilian rights.

Complicating the question of the pros and cons of associating more closely with the Nigerian government was the fact that the government of Nigeria, a US partner in a sea of African instability and conflict, was strongly opposed to a US listing of Boko Haram.


To add, the State Department may not have added Boko Haram as a terrorist organization at that time, but three leaders of the organization were added to the list of terrorist individuals while Clinton was at State. This wasn’t an issue of appeasement of an Islamist terrorist group. This was more about trying to make the right decision at the time while taking into consideration numerous other factors. It is obvious that Clinton, as Secretary of State, took her job very seriously and didn’t want to rash decisions. She wanted to take everything into account.

The only reason conservatives are grabbing on to this narrative is the fear of Hillary in 2016. They are hoping that this can piggyback on to Benghazi and hopefully smear Clinton enough in the eyes of the average American voter. The fact is that Hillary Clinton’s dominating in the polls right now, and that scares the bejesus out of the right. This will not be the last attempt by Republicans to bash, insult and defame Clinton before 2016.

22 Replies to “Fear Of Hillary Clinton Leads Conservatives To Illogically Blame Her For Boko Haram”

  1. I learned to cook a few decades back. Early in that process, a friend’s mother demonstrated how to cook spaghetti. “Throw it against the wall..if it sticks, it’s done.”

    The parade of GOP “scandals” is a duplicate copy of that spaghetti cook tip. Pick up any handful of processed steaming bovine garden fertilizer, throw it at Mrs Clinton….and see if anything sticks.

    Sadly for those driving the GOP Clown Car, more and more of the public are beginning to recognize those heaves for exactly what they are …. absolutely desperate attempts to keep Mrs Clinton out of the White House….again.

    In some ways you can’t blame them. Mrs. Clinton, after her tour as Senator and Sec. of State, is likely to enter the White House with a hit list that will make Nixon’s enemies list look like a Sunday School roll call. Unfortunately for the GOP, her coat tails are likely enough to carry weight in Congress to make many of them shudder!

  2. Can’t wait until Hillary becomes President, Bill will be the first First Man, and let me tell you he’ll be one heck of an adviser. Let’s put it this way, while Hillary busy being President, Bill be the best Head Coach that’s ever been and just think how they’ll out trick those dumb ole republicans.

  3. So whats new. These folks are always in a state of grabbing at straws it’s a wonder they have time to do their job. Oh wait… They don’t.

  4. They truly are scared of Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is the very type of strong woman that they only WISH Sarah Heath Palin was. Just when I think they can’t get any dumber, they manage to surprise even me!! The only people who could possibly believe them are the gullible fools who keep returning them to office in spite of getting little to nothing for voting in good faith. Apparently, it’s lost on them that events occur in other countries that have nothing whatsoever to do with this one. Their hatred of this woman is every bit as pathological as their hatred for President Obama but for different reasons.

  5. So long story short, since Republicans have done nothing to improve the economy and have not done anything lately for anyone except the 1% (tax cuts w/no job creation), their election talking points will be on repealing Obamacare and Bengazi.

    Note the same exact talking points when each puppet/person speaks – they are working on a boiler plate format created again by Koch Brother types.

    I see they are also re-visiting the IRS scandal which scandal SHOULD be one for all the 100% political organizations that receive tax exempt status when they shouldn’t have.

    People, this should be an easy win in 2014 with all these obvious lies and extreme waste of time and taxpayer money – courtesy of extreme right Republicans. Unemploy these high end dead beats.


  6. The GOP wants to accuse Hillary Clinton of not being psychic in failing to declare Boko Haram a terrorist organization.

    Yet, under the watch of HRC’s predecessor, Condi Rice, there were even clearer indications of a possible terrorist attack in the US that were ignored. And then, to make matters worse, Rice’s boss has us start a war in a country that that his administration falsely blamed for the terrorist attacks (Iraq).

    Besides, the last time I checked, Hillary has never been under suspicion for being a war criminal. Can the same be said about her predecessor?

    Look, I’m not HRC’s biggest fan, but this is yet more crazy BS coming from the right-wing.

  7. If the GOP cared HALF as much (too much to ask for?) about the 350 million LIVING Americans back home TODAY, as they do 4 dead Americans from a few years ago, we would all be a lot better off.

    Meet the New Inve$tigation, same as the old Inve$tigations. Number 9, Number 9, Number 9, Number 9 (in Ringo’s voice of course).

  8. So now the brigade of psychotic flying mammals banged the belfry on their way to the cave and are coming out with the illogical, nonsensical word scramble.

    Strap in, kids. The year is not even half over yet.

  9. A lot of water has to flow under bridge before the convention in 2016. Hillary is the top canidate at this point but ya never now she was also 2 cycles ago and alone came Obama.

    I personally don’t trust her, she is qualified but is way to close to the .01%. You don’t pal around with them with out some of their beliefs rubbing off on to you. Bill gave us the end of banking regulation (Glass-Steagal) and the end of welfare as we knew it.

    I would much prefer a more progressive person. If Hillary gets in the people she surrounds herself with will tell the story. If we are going to see a progressive administration Elizabeth Warren should be sitting at Treasury, or commerce.

  10. Sarah Palin’s accomplishments: an unwed pregnant daughter at sixteen vs daughter with post graduate degree working for a non profit organization to give back to those less fortunate. The lesson here is not Sarah Palin vs Hillary Clinton? They are not in the same league! The thought of Clinton in 2016 is a nightmare for the GOP. Hillary is smart to stay focused on her personal life and the Clinton Foundation at this time, let the games begin as the GOP search for anything to stop her momentum, before she has thrown her hat in the ring? Hillary and Bill…two great minds this country needs at this time!

  11. These recent “attacks” against Hillary are just the latest example of the Republican’s shotgun approach that they tried and failed with against Obama in 2008 and again in 2012. These type of contorted connections to some obscure issue that most voters haven’t heard of or care about (even voters that are paying attention right now couldn’t tell the difference between Boko Haram and Procol Harum) always seem to have a shelf-life of 3-4 days, then dies out.

    The big problem the Republicans are going to have in the spring and summer of 2016 is that there is a still under-reported “brokered convention” issue looming for them that will drive media coverage for months, all the way through their messy and contentious convention. With this issue dominating the news, there won’t be much chance of any of these type mini-scandals to bubble up to the front page.

  12. Since other posts have outlined the many accomplishments of former Secretary of State Clinton in comparison with the “accomplishments” of Sarah Palin, I don’t need to add anything. I AM having a laugh at your expense because your comment to the effect that Sarah Palin has accomplished more than Hillary Clinton is as dumb as the one about Sarah Palin having more experience than President Obama, long after it became obvious that his presidency was an event-filled, tumultuous one that was and is keeping him on his toes 24/7.

  13. “Based on the logic they are presenting…”

    There’s no logic there and if you try to figure them out, it’ll just give you a headache.

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