Former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton aggressively attacked former secretary of State Hillary Clinton, saying that her tenure at that post “demonstrates that she is not fit to be president of the United States.”
“She will run on the basis of her record as secretary of State – hard as that is to believe,” Bolton told the conservative crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at its annual convention outside of Washington.
The American Conservative Union posted video of his address onto YouTube.
“On national security issues, Hillary’s record is indistinguishable from [President] Barack Obama’s,” he explained.
“Let’s consider the evidence,” Bolton said.
“On international terrorism, she supported Obama’s withdrawal of American forces from Iraq in 2011 – that is the single most significant decision to explain the chaos in the Middle East, the rise of ISIS, the creation of a new state from what used to be Syria and Iraq,” Bolton told the crowd.
“That was her policy, not just Barack Obama’s,” he said.
“She is responsible for the State Department’s consistent mishandling of the Arab Spring – misunderstanding that this was not a new flowering of democracy, but the onset of a new wave of international terrorism, the fruits of which we’re seeing right now,” the former Ambassador to the U.N. said.
“She failed to see that ISIS would rise not only in Iraq and Syria but also in Libya, where they just beheaded 21 Coptic Christians.
“She advocated the overthrow of Moammar Gadhafi, she leaked it to the press, it was published everywhere and then she failed to follow up,” Bolton explained. “Gadhafi was overthrown and chaos descended across Libya.
“She is the one that has said that America must devote more attention to Africa, and yet Boko Haram is now sweeping across the African continent, killing thousands of people and enslaving many others,” he explained.
According to Bolton, “she is the one who said, even many years after leaving the State Department, that the swap of Bowe Bergdahl for five al-Qaida terrorists at Gitmo was a positive step,” and then described the five detainees as “‘no threat to us.'”
Bolton then moved onto the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012.
“Let’s not ever forget Benghazi,” he said.
“She says in her memoir . . . ‘That it was the fog of war, that things were confused, that they didn’t know what had happened’ but she knew quickly enough to blame the famous Mohammad video, and she stuck with that story despite contrary evidence that emerged,” he explained.
“She is the one that so callously testified in the United States Senate when she said, ‘What difference at this point does it make what the cause of that attack is.’
“That is a demonstration of her fundamental inability to understand what’s at stake in the war on terrorism,” Bolton said.
“The fundamental reality is that she didn’t prepare for the attack. She didn’t anticipate it. She wasn’t doing her job to protect Americans who were sent to dangerous posts overseas,” knowing that the United States had to evacuate personnel from Libya in February 2011, he explained.
“Our people were left to die in a terrorist attack. And we had no way of getting to rescue them,” he added.
“Even worse, under her tenure, in the time since Sept. 11, 2012, the entire administration’s response has been to arrest one person to bring them to the United States for a full due process criminal trial. No retribution. No retaliation,” Bolton said.
“The terrorists and their state sponsors around the world have learned that under Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, you can kill an American ambassador and do it with impunity,” he concluded.
“That’s Hillary Clinton’s lesson.”
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