Updated: HRC remarks on Pakistan; response 2 Obama attacks
by ademption, Fri Dec 28, 2007 at 09:04:16 AM EST
Just wanted to give people, particularly Clinton supporters the heads up about future interview with Hillary today on CNN's Situation Room and Sunday on This Week with George S.
I just saw a brief excerpt of an interview that Wolf Blitzer conducted with Hillary today on CNN. The full interview will air at 4 pm EST for the Situation Room. The focus of the interview is on Bhutto's death. Hillary called on the Musharef regime to allow an international group like Interpol etc to investigate who was responsible for Bhutto's death. She didn't believe that Musharef had any credibility at all to conduct an investigation of Bhutto's death on their own. She said that the investigation needs to be led by an international taskforce, not American and that it needs credibility. Hillary proposed that the investigation should look like the UN's investigation of the death of the Lebanon leader Hahari's (sic?).
Wolf Blitzer asked her to clarify whether the investigation should be led by the UN. She said that the investigation didn't have to be UN-led, but reiterated that it should be internationally-led. She made clear that she was reluctant to call on American task force to investigate Bhutto's death b/c it would lack credibility. She felt that Pakistanis, even non-Bhutto supporters needed answers about Bhutto's death and that the country would not become stable without Pakistanis getting those answers. She said that it was in the interest of Musharef and in the interests of Pakistan to have this commission investigate Bhutto's death.
Hillary did not call for Musharef's ouster like Bill Richardson, when asked. But she did say that he needed to do 2 things. First, Musharef must move to conduct free and fair elections as quickly as possible. She recognized that Bhutto's party had a leadership vacuum without Bhutto, but that her death shouldn't be used as an excuse to not conduct elections. Secondly, she called on Musharef to resume toward having an independent judiciary. She said that these 2 items were in the interests of the United States but more importantly in the interests of the Pakistani people.Wolf Blitzer also asked Hillary to respond to Obama's remarks that her authorization vote indirectly was responsible for Bhutto's assassination. Here's her response: --
Clinton: First, Wolf, I really regret that anybody would try to politicize this tragedy. I personally knew Benazir Bhutto. She was Prime Minister when I visited Pakistan on behalf of our government. I stayed in touch with her over the years. I dont think politics should be playing a role in how our country responds, both on the personal level to the tragedy of this assassination.
But furthermore, Pakistan has been unstable for a long time. Benazir Bhuttos father was deposed and killed. Obviously, we know that President Musharraf came to power in a military coup. So the instability in Pakistan has long pre-dated any of the recent events. Therefore, I think you need to have an historic understanding. You need to look at Pakistan as a country that still today - the best information that we have - wants to have a better standard of living, wants to have a democracy and the United States should be doing more to promote that. I regret that President Bushs policies have failed to create that kind of environment. I hope its not too late. I really do. And thats why Im calling on the President now to begin to make some of the changes. If he has a good relationship with President Musharraf, which he claims to have, then lets have an envoy. Lets have this international investigation. Lets do what we know will work to try to stabilize Pakistan at this time.
Blitzer: What about the specific criticism of your foreign policy judgment that we heard from Senator Obama, we heard earlier in the day from his chief strategist, David Axelrod. What about that, that implied criticism that some of your decisions on these national security, foreign policy issues raise questions about whether or not you should be president?
Clinton: I just regret that both of them would be politicizing this tragedy and especially at a time when do we need to figure out a way forward. Thats what Im focused on. Im focused on extending my sympathy to Benazir Bhuttos family. Im focused on doing everything I can as a Senator, as someone with a platform running for president, to try to be both positive and effective in helping to set a course. We have a year to go with President Bush as our president. A year is a long time. We know the threats that could be posed with a nuclear armed country like Pakistan becoming more and more unstable.
I have found that President Musharraf is someone that needs, in my opinion, to have a very consistent message and then frankly the help that would come with helping him and those who are in leadership positions understanding that this is not just about the United States - obviously, we have a very important national security interest. This is about what happens to Pakistan. President Musharraf could become as important to the future of Pakistan if he changed course and began to act in a way that would create more confidence to have these free and fair elections, to restore an independent judiciary, to take the shackles off the press, to say that he trusted the Pakistani people. Thats what Im hoping will happen over the next weeks.http://www.prnewschannel.com/absolutenm/templates/?a=246&z=4