Monday, October 29, 2012

Hillary Clinton With Staff and Families of Embassy Algiers

The photos are not from the embassy meet-and-greet but rather from an event with FM Medelci when they inspected an honor guard.

Remarks at the Meeting With Staff and Families of Embassy Algiers

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Embassy Algiers
Algiers, Algeria
October 29, 2012

 AMBASSADOR ENSHER: Good afternoon. Thanks very much, and we are just so honored again to have the Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton with us again, the second time in a year. It’s only a very small number of countries who have the privilege of hosting the Secretary twice in a year, and it’s a reflection on all of you that she chose to come back here again, and because you’ve done such a splendid job and we’ve made a lot of progress.
I’m going to take one more second to say something that I hope will not embarrass you unduly, ma’am, but I’ve been in this business for 30 years. It’s more than half my life. And I can tell you that this is the best Secretary of State I’ve ever worked for or hope to work for – thought about that a lot – stands as a peer with the great predecessors of the past, including at least one who has gone on to higher office; I can say that. But it’s a privilege and a historical moment to have the Secretary of State with us here today. Thank you, ma’am. (Applause.)
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. Well, I have to say it is wonderful to be back here, and it is because of this relationship and how critically important it is, and because of you, starting with the Ambassador who has worked so hard, and all of you, every single one of you, because it’s clear to me that we are building a stronger and deeper relationship.
I seem to have a habit of visiting at busy times, and the last time I was here you had just weathered a blizzard. I had to rush out of Washington before the hurricane came, so we were both struggling with weather. And later this week, you will have the privilege to help celebrate the 58th anniversary of Algeria’s independence movement, an anniversary that reminds us of how important freedom is and how significant the progress that Algeria has made as a nation, and the extraordinary aspirations and hard work of the Algerian people to achieve that.
I understand from the Ambassador that, next week, you’ll be hosting an election-watching party for people as we have our presidential elections. And I know, too, that it’s not just what you do here in Algiers; it’s what you do across the country. In fact, I think that you’ve been personally to all 48 provinces.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Working on it, good. And I think that none of us goes alone. We all go because of the support that we receive from such a great team.
I’d like to also thank you for the work that went into the first-ever U.S.-Algeria Strategic Dialogue in Washington last week. The Algerians were extremely happy, all of the officials that we met with, and we were extremely happy. We thought it was an important exchange of views on a range of issues, and it’s impressive how much you’ve done to help advance our bilateral relationship in such a short period of time.
I think that there is no limit to what this relationship can become, and it’s one that we particularly value. Just over lunch now with the President and others, we were talking about how our relationship actually goes back to 1795. There have been some differences along the road, but that is a long time back, at the very beginning of our nation, when the then-leadership and people of Algeria recognized us and we reciprocated.
I also want to recognize our Algerian staff. Will all of our Algerian staff please raise your hands so we can give you a round of applause that is very, very (inaudible) deserved? (Applause.) Because I have to confess, that despite the very nice comments by the Ambassador, secretaries of State come and go, and ambassadors come and go, and DCMs and political officers and economic officers and consular affairs – really, it’s our locally employed staff, our Foreign Service Nationals, who form the heart of any mission anywhere, and that is particularly true here. You are the memory banks, the nerve center, of what we do year after year.
You also know that diplomacy is inherently risky in today’s world. There are so many – unfortunately, so many people and organizations and forces that don’t want people to learn to understand each other better, who don’t want people to live peacefully together, who just don’t understand that we’re all here doing the best we can, and we need to help each other. And I think that what you do in diplomacy and outreach sends that message every single day.
So I thank you all. And to the Americans who are here, I thank you and I thank your families. Being posted far from home, whether you are civilian or military, whether you are Foreign Service or Civil Service, whatever agency or department you represent, I am extremely proud of you and very grateful. And what I’d like to do now is, starting down there, shake as many of your hands as I possibly can to express my appreciation personally.
And you also have an RSO who I know very well. (Laughter.) Nicole was one of my (inaudible) Diplomatic Security people. (Applause.) I was very sorry to lose her to Algeria. She was very happy to go. (Laughter.) She had been looking forward to it, and I’m delighted to see her here. Thank you.
Thank you all very much. (Applause.)

Hillary Clinton With Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika

Remarks Following the Meeting With President Abdelaziz Bouteflika

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
El Mouradia Palace
Algiers, Algeria
October 29, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON: First, let me say how pleased I am to be back in Algeria and to have this chance to consult in depth with the President and (inaudible). I want to thank the President for his hospitality in the time that he has spent talking with me and that we will continue over lunch. We reviewed our strong bilateral relationship, including the fact we had an excellent Strategic Dialogue on a number of issues just last week in Washington.
And we had an in-depth discussion of the region, particularly the situation in Mali. I very much appreciated the President’s analysis, based on his long experience, as to the many complicated factors that have to be addressed to deal with the internal insecurity in Mali and the terrorist and drug trafficking threat that is posed to the region and beyond. And we have agreed to continue with in-depth expert discussions, to work together bilaterally and with the region – along with the United Nations, and the African Union, and ECOWAS – to determine the most effective approaches that we should be taking.
So again, I thank the President for his time and very helpful observations, and I look forward to continuing our discussion on a matter that is of particular interest to us both.
Thank you very much.

SECRETARY HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON: Public Schedule for October 29, 2012

Algerian FM Medelci greets US Secretary of State Clinton in Algiers
Reuters via Yahoo! News - Oct 29 03:16am

Public Schedule for October 29, 2012

Public Schedule
Washington, DC
October 29, 2012



Secretary Clinton is on foreign travel to Algiers, Algeria. Secretary Clinton is accompanied by Assistant Secretary Gordon, Assistant Secretary Jones, Ambassador Benjamin, Ambassador Marshall, Spokesperson Nuland, Director Sullivan, and Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and Senior Director for European Affairs Liz Sherwood Randall. Please click here for more information.

1:00 p.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton meets with Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, in Algiers, Algeria.

2:30 p.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton participates in a working lunch with Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, in Algiers, Algeria.

4:20 p.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton meets with the staff and families of Embassy Algiers, in Algiers, Algeria.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Upcoming on Hillary Clinton's Agenda: Travel to Algeria and the Balkans

On the heels of her birthday weekend, and with a nasty storm heading in, Mme. Secretary is scheduled to travel early this week.  As always, we wish her a safe journey.

Secretary Clinton to Travel to Algeria and the Balkans

Press Statement
Victoria Nuland
Department Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
October 24, 2012

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will travel to Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo, Albania, and Croatia from October 29 to November 2.
On October 30 in Algeria, the Secretary will consult with President Bouteflika on issues of bilateral and regional concern and will follow up the productive discussions on economic and security cooperation at the U.S-Algeria Strategic Dialogue held in Washington on October 19.
The Secretary will then travel to the Balkans to demonstrate the enduring U.S. interest, commitment and support for its future in the European and Euro-Atlantic community.  She will be joined by Baroness Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Kosovo.
In Sarajevo, the Secretary and High Representative Ashton will underline the urgent need for party leaders to serve the interests of the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina and accomplish necessary reforms, and will stress the immutability of the international community’s commitment to the Dayton Peace Accords.
In both Belgrade and Pristina, in addition to discussing issues of bilateral interest, Secretary Clinton and High Representative Ashton will reiterate U.S.-EU resolve for Serbia and Kosovo to build on previous agreements and advance their dialogue, as well as to encourage concrete steps that will allow those countries to progress on their respective paths to EU membership.
In Tirana, the Secretary will highlight solidarity with NATO ally Albania and help mark the 100th anniversary of Albanian independence with an address to the Parliament, while marking the critical need for greater political cooperation and the rule of law.
In Zagreb, Secretary Clinton will discuss Croatia’s role as a NATO ally, its upcoming entry to the European Union in 2013, and its economic situation.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Media Birthday Cards: To Hillary Rodham Clinton On Her 65th

As you all know, Hillary Clinton celebrated her 65th birthday today, and while she was closed to the press according to her official daily schedule, the media found some very creative and entertaining ways to celebrate this milestone. Here are a few of the very lovely "birthday cards" the media sent her today. This is birthday tribute from CBS News is sweet and contains a little more footage from Haiti that we never got to see.
Not to be outdone, ABC News offered this.

Instant Index: Hillary Clinton Celebrates Birthday; Arnold Reprises ‘Conan'

The Christian Science Monitor offered quotations - always handy for Hillary loyalists to have.

Hillary Clinton: 10 quotes on her birthday

Fashion took the front seat  as Today paid tribute to her fashion sense.

Happy 65th birthday to fearless fashion maven Hillary Clinton!

John Moore / Getty Images
Looking good: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who turns 65 Friday, speaks to participants of the Clinton Global Initiative meeting on Sept. 24 in New York City.
By Rina Raphael, TODAY
She's a serious, well-respected and beloved U.S. Secretary of State, but that doesn't mean Hillary Clinton doesn't know how to cut loose and hit the dance floor.
Apart from the success and talent, one reason many adore Hillary, who turns 65 Friday, is that she isn't afraid to show her fun, feminine side to the public. She's also a fearless fashion risk-taker, having braved headbands, scrunchies and neon accessories in the last few years.
Read more >>>>
Celebuzz celebrated those luscious pantsuits we love on her so much with a great photo gallery.

Happy Birthday, Hillary Clinton: Celebrate the Secretary of State’s Colorful Style (GALLERY)

Hillary Clinton turns 65 today, and to celebrate, we’re taking a look back at her much talked-about style over the years.
Though Clinton has stepped up her style since her headband-wearing White House days, she’s remained loyal to her signature standby: the pantsuit.
Not that she’s been afraid to mix it up — she’s done the power suit in just about every color.
Read more and view the gallery!
HuffPo Style paid tribute to her fashions over her years in the public eye with a wonderful slideshow of 65 pictures for her 65 years.

Hillary Clinton's Fashion: 65 Looks For 65 Years! (PHOTOS)

There's no denying that 2012 was Hillary Clinton's Year Of Cool. There was the epic photo of the secretary of state fiddling with her Blackberry while wearing sunglasses and the subsequent "Texts from Hillary" meme. Then Hillary upped the ante by participating in the meme itself (she knows what "LOLZ" means!)... then went out partying in Colombia, dancing and taking swigs from a bottle of beer.
And she did it all in style. Hillary, who celebrates her 65th on Friday, has always had a distinct fashion sense, one that both incorporates trends (hello, giant glasses) and stays true to who she is (what up, pantsuits). Even when naysayers diss her scrunchies or critics question her no-makeup look, Hillz sticks to what works: tailored pants, structured jackets, statement jewelry, hair accessories and stunna shades.
Read more and see the great slideshow!
The SanFrancisco Chronicle offered this lovely retrospective.
  • A fixture in American politics for 20 years, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton on Friday turned 65. Take a look back at one of the most influential politicians of her generation. Photo: Getty Images / SL
    A fixture in American politics for 20 years, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton on Friday turned 65. Take a look back at one of the most influential politicians of her generation. Photo: Getty Images /

Foreign Policy offered their 14 favorite images.

Happy Birthday, Madam Secretary

Fourteen of the best images of Hillary Clinton as she celebrates her 65th birthday.

OCTOBER 26, 2012 
Friday, Oct. 26, is Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's 65th birthday, and she's certainly earned the right to celebrate. It's been a busy year, from working on the crisis in Syria to whirlwind talks with world leaders at this year's United Nations General Assembly. To celebrate Hill's big day, here's a look at some of our favorite photos of Clinton, from meme-sprouting snapshots to memories of times past. 
Read more and see the slideshow.
I hope Mme. Secretary thoroughly enjoyed her birthday and will continue to over the weekend.  Meanwhile, I hope visitors here enjoy all the wonderful pictures and quotes these news outlets gathered in tribute to our magnificent Hillary Rodham Clinton.

SECRETARY HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON: Happy Birthday Public Schedule for October 26, 2012

Public Schedule for October 26, 2012

Public Schedule
Washington, DC
October 26, 2012



12:00:00 a.m. to 11:59:59 p.m. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton Celebrates Her Birthday.

Happy Birthday ,Hillary!

Dear Mme. Secretary,

I know you will be missing your mom this year.  Every time your birthday rolls around I have always been thankful that she gave you to us. 

Thank you for all the hard work and long hours you dedicate to your job.   You deserve a perfectly lovely birthday.  Have a wonderful 65th and many, many more.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Video: Hillary Clinton's Remarks to the Inauguration of the 2012 National Work-Life and Family Month Event

Remarks to the Inauguration of the 2012 National Work-Life and Family Month Event

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
George C. Marshall Conference Center
Washington, DC
October 25, 2012

Thank you all very much. Thank you. Thank you. I’m actually trying to overlook that, but – (laughter). But thank you for that warm welcome.
I’m very pleased to be here today and see so many of you from across the State Department who are committed to helping to make this a better workplace for all of us. In particular, I want to thank the Work-Life Division in Employee Relations and the members of Balancing Act and Executive Women at State for their important leadership.
I think that this is an issue that is not a woman’s issue. It is a human issue, and a family issue. After all, there is little doubt that balancing work and family responsibilities is done in one way or another by people everywhere, every day. And I believe strongly that we need to open this issue up for discussion, to assist in solving problems, to help build a strong workforce and strong families. And as Melanne has said, I’ve been fighting for such policies for a very long time.
Before I had my daughter, it was theoretical, you know? (Laughter.) After I had my daughter, it was urgent. (Laughter.) And it’s also similarly gone from an afterthought in policy discussions to the centerpiece of debates. And we are committed to elevating discussion about this issue and making sure it is taken seriously at the highest levels of both the public and the private sector.
Now, there is no question we have certainly made progress during the course of my lifetime because I do remember how things used to be. Many years ago when I was pregnant, I was in a law firm. I was the only female partner. And they’d never had a female partner, and certainly not a pregnant female partner. And they literally just were not sure what to do with me. I would walk down the corridor, getting more and more pregnant. (Laughter.) And the men in the firm would, like, look away – (laughter) – never say a word, and I just kind of thought I’m just going to wait to see if anybody says anything to me – (laughter) – about the fact that I’m going to have a baby.
So, nobody ever did. And eventually, February 27th, 1980, I gave birth to my daughter. And I was in the hospital when one of my partners called to say congratulations, and then in the course of it asked, “Well, when are you coming back to work?” (Laughter.) And I said, “Oh, I don’t know. Maybe in four months.” And that’s how I created the firm’s first-ever maternity leave policy. (Laughter and applause.)
And a lot has changed since then, but we still have work to do. And sometimes conversations about balancing family and work lead to arguments instead of a search for agreement. And it is absolutely clear there is no right or wrong way to have a family, or even whether you do have a family. There is no right or wrong way to build a career, or even if you do have a career. Women and men need to find approaches that work for them, and that approach may change over the course of your life. What seems possible and doable in your 20s may not be so clear as you get older, and vice versa.
I have friends who had their first child at 17, and friends who had their first child at 45. Those are very different life experiences. But what is so great about especially being a woman in the United States of America in the 21st century is you have so many more choices and decisions that you can make that are right for you, whether anybody else would make the same choice. And you have to construct that life. Now, some people get nervous by all that choice because it seems somewhat daunting. But I think it’s a great advantage.
It’s also true, as Melanne said, that it’s no longer enough to talk about balancing family and work and only look at the challenges of parenting because so many of us will have the privilege and responsibility of caring for aging relatives. It might be a grandparent or a parent or an aunt or uncle, someone who is aging. My mother lived with me until her death a year ago. And it was wonderful that she was in good health, but it was also something I had to consciously think about to ensure that we were getting a step ahead of what her health needs were and her physical challenges. And it took time, which I was happy to give, but it’s something that more and more of us are going to be having to do.
We all have complicated lives, men and women, parents and non-parents. And in addition to thinking through the choices that are right for you, we should all be able to count on our workplaces and our country to give us more support as we balance these important responsibilities. So there is no question that this is a subject of interest for every manager here at the State Department. When the Department provides options that help our employees lead more balanced lives, I don’t think it takes a leap of logic to conclude that people are less stressed and therefore healthier and happier.
Probably the most stressed people outside of the military field or occupations that are physically dangerous are people who are caregivers. It is an enormously stressful life experience, and I’ve known many people who have taken it on gladly, but whose health has suffered, whose life has become more circumscribed, and whose work often makes absolutely no accommodation for the responsibilities that have to be met.
We want people who are productive and dedicated here at the State Department. And research indicates that people who work in more flexible offices are over 20 percent more likely to stay with that employer over time, and that’s an important thing for us to remember as we work to keep talented people here at the State Department.
In the QDDR, we call for the establishment of a real 21st century workforce, because if we want to succeed in recruiting, retaining, and motivating our work force, we have to address the issues that are being discussed today. So over the last few years, we’ve identified new ways to help you maintain and achieve a better balance. We’ve expanded options for childcare through Diplotots and the FSI daycare center. We’ve installed lactation rooms for new mothers throughout the Department. We’re starting to think differently about how we manage our staff recognizing that what you do may be important than where and when you do it, so we are becoming more open to options like telework.
Additionally, HR, the Office of Medical Services, and the A Bureau are building a holistic Wellness Program for employees that will examine the effects of stress and of work-life conflict on our health. And we’re looking into additional resources for emergency childcare so parents will have a safe place to leave their kids during a crisis.
I remember so well when we had what I think is still called “Snowmageddon” a few years ago, and there was some very important work that needed to get done, because the rest of the world was not under two feet of snow, and one of our dedicated employees in the operations center was a single mom, had nowhere to leave her son, and called and asked her supervisor, and the supervisor asked somebody on my staff, and somebody on my staff asked me if I would have any problem with her bringing her son to work if we sent the four-wheel vehicles out to pick them up. I said, “Of course not.” I mean, how could we expect this person to do this work under a time pressure that is very intense when she has to leave her son at home alone? I don’t think so.
So I think we’ve got to be smart about how we keep people productive and engaged. And speaking personally, there is nothing you can say to me that makes me happier than say something nice about my daughter. And there was nothing when I was a practicing lawyer and trying to balance everything together that made me less stressed than knowing that if I couldn’t be there, somebody trustworthy was or we could work out some like-minded arrangement.
Now, much of the responsibility for building a workplace that is supportive of work-life balance does fall on senior leadership. And my team and I have committed to doing our part. But we all play a critical role in supporting a more flexible workplace. So it is truly heartening to see groups like this come together to put on events like this.
Now, I also know that sometimes there are concerns surfaced that people who don’t have children, or people who don’t have aging parents, become a little put out because people who have either and have to fulfill those responsibilities may be getting to leave work early or doing something from home or whatever it might be. And obviously no one should ever take advantage of the flexibility that is provided to help support all of us in getting the right balance going.
But at the same time, I think it is important always to put yourself in the other person’s shoes because there are a lot of things that I’ve never experienced but that I have to think about when I meet people who have. And if I have over the course of my long career had employees who were having mental health challenges and needed time off, or who had physical illnesses – serious physical illnesses – and even after they were released by their doctors were not quite up to full speed yet, I haven’t thankfully had those problems, but I thought what it would be like, having gone through that, if all of a sudden coworkers and bosses began to write you off because you were no longer able to perhaps stay as late as you once did.
So I think there is an importance to focusing on work, to being as productive as possible, to doing what is expected and, whenever possible, going beyond what is expected, but also to be very clear that you have other responsibilities and you want to be able to fulfill them as well.
So this is a conversation that has gone on for years. I expect it will continue to go on for years more, and everyone has to set their own goals and their own boundaries, but the workplace and government can help make it easier. Melanne referenced the Family and Medical Leave Act, which was the first bill that my husband signed. And before he was President, I worked on that back in the 1980s with a coalition of women’s groups and other groups that were committed to trying to avoid the loss of a job when something serious, particularly an accident or an illness, happened to you.
We didn’t cover everybody, but we laid down an important marker for our country that people work to live, even though we love our work, and that we as a nation, as a society, have to try to be more supportive of that. And someone who has been on the forefront of talking about and advocating for these kinds of changes for many years now is Ellen Galinsky.
I first worked with Ellen on the White House Conference on Child Care that Melanne mentioned. She truly is a pioneer in this area, having spent her entire career advocating for more flexible workplaces. She is the president and co-founder of the Families and Work Institute, which is one of the foremost organizations in the world in this field. And she’s an expert at the balancing act herself, having led this illustrious career while raising two children of her own. So I know you are in for a real treat to hear from not only an expert but a practitioner. So please join me in welcoming Ellen to the podium. (Applause.)

# # #

SECRETARY HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON: Public Schedule for October 25, 2012

Public Schedule for October 25, 2012

Public Schedule
Washington, DC
October 25, 2012



9:15 a.m. Secretary Clinton meets with the regional bureau secretaries, at the Department of State.

11:00 a.m. Secretary Clinton delivers remarks at the Inauguration of the 2012 National Work-Life and Family Month event, at the Department of State.

4:10 p.m. Secretary Clinton meets with Special Representative Grossman, at the Department of State.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Hillary Clinton, those emails, and the truth

In the dust up around the leaked emails and among the events of her busy day, Hillary Clinton made the following remarks regarding the emails and the attack on the Benghazi consulate in a press availability today.

Now finally, on Benghazi, look, I’ve said it and I’ll say it one more time. No one wants to find out what happened more than I do. We are holding ourselves accountable to the American people, because not only they, but our brave diplomats and development experts serving in dangerous places around the world, deserve no less. The independent Accountability Review Board is already hard at work looking at everything – not cherry-picking one story here or one document there – but looking at everything, which I highly recommend as the appropriate approach to something as complex as an attack like this.
Posting something on Facebook is not in and of itself evidence, and I think it just underscores how fluid the reporting was at the time and continued for some time to be. What I keep in mind is that four brave Americans were killed, and we will find out what happened, we will take whatever measures are necessary to fix anything that needs to be fixed, and we will bring those to justice who committed these murders. And I think that that is what we have said, that is what we are doing, and I’m very confident that we will achieve those goals.
This was in partial response to a complex series of questions from CNN's Elise Labott.

Later in the day, at the daily press briefing,  AP's Matthew Lee further pursued the story of the emails.  In response, Victoria Nuland shed a great deal of light on the nature of those emails.  What kind of emails they were and from where provides perspective on their significance and much needed context. Here is the exchange.

MS. NULAND: All right. Happy Wednesday, everyone. The Secretary did all they work this morning, so we can handle this with dispatch, I hope. I have nothing at the top.
QUESTION: She did all of the work this morning?
MS. NULAND: She did a lot of the work, yeah.
QUESTION: Well, let’s just start with something that she did say, which was about these emails that have been – that are being reported on now. Do you have anything to add to what she said about them? And can you explain – these were emails sent by this building to various other agencies, including the White House. Do you know, was it people in this building who noticed the claim of responsibility on Facebook and Twitter, or was it people in Tripoli or somewhere else?
MS. NULAND: Well, first of all, in terms of where this piece fits into the general effort to gather information before, during, and after the events in Benghazi, I think the Secretary’s spoken to that, Jay Carney’s spoken to that. The reason you have an ARB is so that you can look at all of the information that we had, not only unclassified information and information --
QUESTION: Fair enough, but I --
MS. NULAND: -- that appeared on Facebook.
QUESTION: But considering these things are now out there, can you --
MS. NULAND: So just to give some context, as you know, our Operations Center is responsible for providing fast-breaking news to principals in this Department. We obviously share with other national security agencies. So on the unclassified side, they will collect information that they are seeing in real time, whether it’s from Facebook, Twitter, press reporting, all of your fine work, that kind of thing, and make sure that people see it if it’s a breaking story. So what --
QUESTION: Sorry. So it was the Ops Center specifically that noticed this claim of responsibility?
MS. NULAND: I think the --
QUESTION: Or was it the Crisis – the Rapid Response Team or – I’m just looking for – or was it someone out in the field?
MS. NULAND: That particular piece was disseminated --
QUESTION: I know where it was disseminated from.
MS. NULAND: -- by our Operations Center. Whether it was --
QUESTION: Where did they get it from?
MS. NULAND: Whether they saw it themselves or whether it was highlighted by our people in the field, I can’t speak to that. I, frankly, don’t know. It can happen any of a number of ways.
QUESTION: In instances such as this, is it standard practice to relay all claims of responsibility sort of no matter --
QUESTION: -- where they come from, who they might be?
QUESTION: So I mean, it could be somebody waving a flag in the air and saying, “I’m responsible,” and that would also be reported?
QUESTION: So there’s no sort of value judgment on the reliability of the claim implied by having it relayed through this system that you have?
MS. NULAND: And in fact, there are instances where the Ops Center might send out messages that three different groups are claiming responsibility for the same event. But it’s standard practice for them, when we have breaking news, for them to inform all of the principals in this building so that everybody knows what’s moving.
QUESTION: Well, fair enough. But I mean, if a claim is ludicrously unbelievable – I don’t know, I mean, like if someone forged the Quaker Church or something and said that they were – that would be passed on as well?
MS. NULAND: Well, they obviously use their judgment as to whether they think it’s important for principals in this building to be aware of what’s out there, particularly what’s out there in the public domain.
QUESTION: Okay. So it was deemed important enough – and I’m going to assume that important enough means that it was presumably credible to pass on to other – to pass on to the principals in other agencies, correct?
MS. NULAND: Again --
QUESTION: I’m just – I mean, if I had said that I take responsibility for this, would that have gone up the chain?
MS. NULAND: They definitely would not have passed on your personal claim of responsibility, Matt.
QUESTION: Okay. All right. Fine. So – because it wouldn’t have been credible. Now maybe – I mean, it wouldn’t – what I’m getting at is that if it wasn’t a claim that had the possibility of credibility, it wouldn’t have been passed on, correct?
MS. NULAND: What I’d like to say here is that in keeping folks informed, the Ops Center obviously is looking at the totality of what’s out there in the public domain. When things begin to become picked up, when they become something that people are talking about, they obviously have a responsibility to inform principals. But it is not the job of the Operations Center in passing these things on to analyze them, to weight them in any way, shape, or form. They’re just --
QUESTION: Well, but in fact, they are weighting – had there been a hundred claims of responsibility that night and 99 of them had been from a group or a person that couldn’t possibly have done it, they wouldn’t have passed those on, correct?
MS. NULAND: In all likelihood, if there had been a hundred claims of responsibility that night, they would have done a summary which said more than a hundred groups, including Matt Lee, have claimed responsibility for this attack, is what they would have reported.
QUESTION: And then said that --
MS. NULAND: And not evaluated them one way or the other.
QUESTION: Really? So they would have given my alleged claim of responsibility equal weight with that of a known terrorist group in Libya?
MS. NULAND: Again, Matt, you’re – we’re getting into crazy land here. My point is simply that if the environment is saturated with claims of responsibility, they’re going to make sure that principals know that we’ve got competing claims. That’s my only point here.
QUESTION: And again, just while we’re on this sort of procedure, while we’re in crazy land – (laughter) – what’s the --
QUESTION: Who’s the ambassador here?
QUESTION: Exactly. That’s what I was wondering. (Laughter.)
The objective – I realize that they go to all the principals, but is it then that the analysis comes from the intel community?
MS. NULAND: Correct.
QUESTION: And so they’re really the ones who are charged with assessing the reliability or the plausibility of any of these claims in that case? But the principals are kept informed just so that they know what’s out there, or what --
MS. NULAND: For example – let me just give you an example. My BlackBerry, on any given day, will have between 6 and 60 alerts from the Ops Center about what you all are writing, about what other things are moving in the press from around the world, about unclassified information that we’re receiving from our embassies, about things of interest that might be moving in the public domain around the world. These are to keep people informed of what’s out there in public. They are not designed to be intelligence products. They’re not designed to be finished analysis. They are simply to keep folks informed, particularly on the unclassified side.
QUESTION: One more on this. And I don’t know if this is in crazy land or not, but do you – it’s on they specifics of this email in question. Do you have any reason to believe that it could actually have just been wrong, that there was not a Facebook posting at all, or --
MS. NULAND: Again --
QUESTION: Does that happen? I mean --
MS. NULAND: Does it – I mean, it --
QUESTION: That occasionally these emails come around when there’s a developing situation and they’re not accurate?
MS. NULAND: Again, these are designed to keep people informed of what’s moving. I didn’t actually look at it to see whether it was a press report about a Facebook posting or whether it was the Operations Center itself saying that there was a Facebook posting, so I can’t evaluate one way or the other. But --
QUESTION: It was the Embassy in Tripoli.
MS. NULAND: Is that – was that what it says? Anyway, I’d have to look at it. But again, they report what they get. So if they reported Embassy in Tripoli says, then it is based on something that Embassy in Tripoli said. Whether that can be right or that can be wrong is something to be evaluated later.
QUESTION: Why didn’t you have the tape?
MS. NULAND: Again, back to the sort of overall question of what was happening that night, who is responsible, what do we learn from it, all of these things are being looked at by the Accountability Review Board. They are not simply looking at classified, they are looking at unclassified as well. So as the Secretary said today, this piece has to be put into the larger mosaic.
QUESTION: That’s actually my second question. Are you concerned at this point that the integrity of this ARB investigation is being slaughtered by a climate of all these leaks of emails and – it seems like every couple of days, there’s potentially classified or unclassified, recently unclassified information that’s getting leaked to the media. Is that jeopardizing the integrity of this ARB?
MS. NULAND: Well with due respect to the Fourth Estate and all of you, the ARB’s job is to sit back away from the press swirl, the public swirl, the political swirl, and try to look at what actually happened before, during, and after; what we knew, when we knew it, and what lessons we can draw from it. So they are responsible for standing back from all of this news environment, et cetera.
QUESTION: So you don’t think that people are pushing these things out to smear the – for political reasons? That’s what I’m asking.
MS. NULAND: Well, obviously I’m not --
QUESTION: I’m trying to ask it in a way that doesn’t immediately get into politics, because I know you don’t like to talk about politics.
MS. NULAND: I sure don’t like to talk about politics, and I’m not going to get into the motivations of various folks here. But you can think about the way the ARB operates much as you think about a sequestered jury, if you will. They are separated from the larger process and they look at everything that we knew at the time and during and after, and they are – their process is designed to have integrity in and of itself without reference to the current climate now.
So! While everyone is bouncing off the walls, pointing fingers, and playing the blame game, the truth about the emails is that they were a product of a quotidian process to alert officials of stories that are circulating with no evaluation made at that point regarding the validity of the story.  The story itself goes out as is unvalidated. 

Now if everyone would just settle down and let the ARB do its work we might actually get to the truth of the matter.

Video: Hillary Clinton Cuts Ribbon at the New Department of State Modernized Nuclear Risk Reduction Center

Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony for the New Department of State Modernized Nuclear Risk Reduction Center


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
October 24, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first of all, let me say how proud I am to be here, and to thank all of you for what you do every day on behalf of our important mission and how essential this work is, and being part of the inauguration of our newly modernized NRRC.
It is also a great honor to have the DCM from the Russian Embassy. This has been a partnership for many years now, and it’s very fitting that you would be here with us. And I appreciate it greatly.
This is a little bit like cutting the ribbon on a piece of diplomatic history. There is a lot behind where we are today that has stood the test of time. Despite all the tensions during the Cold War, our two governments – then the Soviet Union and the United States – were able to agree to come together to set up these centers. And we knew that we had to do that to keep faith with the future of our own people and the world. And so indeed, we determined that we had to have better systems in place when it came to our nuclear arsenals because the consequences of getting something wrong, of misreading some kind of signal, would have potentially catastrophic consequences.
So on April 1st 1988, we opened NRRCs in both Moscow and Washington. And from that day until today, they have been manned 24/7. And that has kept open the lines of communication. It’s also built trust between our two governments.
Over the past now nearly 25 years, the habits of communication between our teams formed around nuclear threats have expanded to promote transparency across the broad spectrum of arms control. And today, the NRRCs report on 13 different agreements and confidence-building measures. This new center will enhance our notification and communication structures with the benefit of modern technology, so we can keep evolving to meet the arms control needs of the future.
So I’d like to thank everyone, past and present, and I suppose even future, on the NRRC staff here in the United States and their counterparts in Moscow, to really express our deep gratitude for your commitment to peace and diplomacy in the 20th and now the 21st century.
So I’m excited to take these gigantic scissors – (laughter) --
PARTICIPANT: I’ve been assured that they are sharp. They’ve been using them for haircuts. (Laughter.)
SECRETARY CLINTON: I think I see (inaudible). (Laughter.)
PARTICIPANT: During the night shift.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Okay. So, are we ready?
SECRETARY CLINTON: All right. Shall we do a countdown? Oh, no. Wrong – (laughter).
All right, well. All right, here we go – official. (Applause.)

Video: Hillary Clinton Swears In U.S. Ambassador to Poland Steve Mull

Remarks at Swearing-in Ceremony for U.S. Ambassador to Poland Steve Mull

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Benjamin Franklin Room
Washington, DC
October 24, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we have put this off about as long as we could. We’ve dragged our feet, we did some private diplomacy with the Senate saying, "You know, you really don’t want to confirm him." (Laughter.) But unfortunately, here we are. And it could not be for a more deserving professional – someone who has in every way represented the United States so well for so many years. And I’m delighted that Steve’s wife, Cheri, and his son Ryan, and his extended family can be here because we know that behind all that hard work, Steve, were a lot of people cheering you on and supporting you as you undertook your various assignments. And to Poland’s new ambassador, we welcome you, and I can say I welcome you to the neighborhood. And we look forward to working with you.
I am a little concerned about one thing that has been making the rounds of the State Department. Ryan is by all accounts pretty tech-savvy – (laughter) – and when we saw a recently Photoshopped depiction of Steve’s head on Captain America’s body, we at first were hardly affected because that is how we think about Steve. The superhero Executive Secretary – and Captain America has nothing on you, Steve.
But think about it: Forty-nine trips. One hundred and one countries. Five thousand memos and documents last year alone, which he made me read. Spur-of-the-moment missions to far-flung places around the world. And yet Steve, at least in my experience with him, never broke a sweat. Okay, we need to leave tomorrow. We have to clear the following a hundred obstacles, we have to get then to a next place that is about 20,000 miles away. No worry. No worry.  It just always got done. And it was just another day’s work for Captain America. (Laughter.) And I know that because Steve was running a tremendous operation, it was easier for everyone in the building to do the jobs we were expected to do.
But that was just the day-to-day. Then crises would erupt. And they have occurred, unfortunately, all too frequently. Steve was always the first to spring into action, standing up task forces, managing rapid response personnel. Whether it was after the earthquake in Haiti, the terrible natural and nuclear crisis in Japan, or, most recently, the awful assault on our post in Benghazi and other diplomatic posts that were threatened, we never doubted we’d get the best response, the most professional response because of Steve’s leadership and hard work.
Now he learned that, I’m told, from his parents, who themselves have worked hard all of your lives. And no one comes here on his or her own. You are here because you were someone who wanted to make a difference in the world and instilled with values that have stayed with you to this day. And I’m sure that when you were a young Foreign Service Officer stationed in Warsaw, and you were literally carrying messages from President Reagan to Lech Walesa, you were someone who remembered where you came from and where you hoped the Polish people would be going, the opportunities that they would have, ending oppression and tyranny, and making clear the United States would be their partner and friend.
Now, full disclosure: a long time ago when Steve was much younger and I had a different hairstyle – (laughter) – I visited Poland as First Lady. Steve Mull was my Control Officer –  (laughter)  –  showing me around the country with a deep understanding of how far things had come, but also what challenges lay ahead. And during his prior service and in the years since, he has built a deep connection with Poland and with the Polish people. He has been a champion and advocate of their freedom and the future that they are so successfully charting for themselves.
And as sorry as we are – and you heard Cheryl really speak on behalf of all of us -- to see Steve go, we cannot think of a better person to represent the United States at this point in our relationship with Poland. We have a lot of work to do on everything from energy diversification to missile defense to democracy promotion to security in Afghanistan. So Steve was there seeing firsthand Poland emerge from Soviet domination and grow into a model of a young democracy, a vital free market economy, a leader on the global stage. And I’m thrilled that he’ll be going back to continue building that essential relationship. So if you are ready, Steve, I am now ready to swear you in. (Laughter and applause.)
(Whereupon, Steve Mull was sworn in as Ambassador to Poland.)
Congratulations. (Applause.)
AMBASSADOR MULL: Well, thank you all for coming. My voice is, unfortunately, broken, so my son Ryan has agreed to read my comments for you. So Ryan, over to you. (Laughter and applause.)
MR. MULL: Secretary Clinton, Ambassador Schnepf, and beloved family, friends, and colleagues. Today is a dream come true. And I am so happy to be able to celebrate it with the people who mean so much to me. I especially want to thank you, Secretary Clinton – laughter – for your support for this job, for the extraordinary honor of swearing me in today with such kind words, and for the amazing opportunity to serve on your team these last few years.
Your leadership of and loyalty to this institution and its people have enriched us beyond measure. And I know I speak for all of us with these three heartfelt words: Please don’t go. (Laughter and applause.)
Poland has been such an important part of Cheri’s and my life over the years. That’s where we spent the first years of our marriage in the 1980s and that’s where, in 1995, we became parents of our son, Ryan – (laughter) – of whom we are so proud. (Applause.)
We have only the happiest memories of this amazing land and its people. A people who know and live every day the true values of freedom, loyalty, and friendship. When Cheri and I left Poland the first time in 1986, no one – least of all me – would have predicted that someday I would return as ambassador. Just before our departure, Poland’s communist government accused me of running a NATO spy ring, probably as a means of embarrassing my contacts in Poland’s democratic community.
It was a difficult time for my family. My hometown newspaper that day led with a banner headline reading: Local Man Accused of Spying. (Laughter.) When my mother was in line at the local supermarket, the shopper in front of her gestured angrily at the newspaper and said, "Look at that. That boy should be shot." (Laughter.)  "Hey," my mother yelled out. "That boy’s my son, and I’ll shoot you if you don’t watch out." (Laughter and applause.)
In the 23 years since it regained independence, Poland has proven itself as an unshakable ally of the United States standing shoulder to shoulder with us on the front lines from Iraq to Afghanistan, shining the light of democracy on those dark corners of the world that have not yet won their freedom, and volunteering to be among the first in helping the NATO alliance defend against the threat of ballistic missiles. 
While our ties of blood and common values have endured for centuries, I am convinced the greatest rewards of America’s friendship with Poland are yet to come. As Ambassador in Warsaw, I will work hard to build new friendships between Americans and Poles in academia, business, culture, and diplomacy. Together, we will tighten our cooperation to expand opportunities for energy independence, drawing on the vast reservoirs of talent and innovation that our people possess. We will expand and intensify our two-way trade and investment bringing economic benefits to us both. And we will work even harder to promote democratic values and respect for basic human rights in parts of the world that are still shaking off the bonds of oppression, even as we rededicate ourselves to the principles of justice and fair play in our own societies.
Madam Secretary, I pledge to pursue this agenda with all the tools that you’ve given us through the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review. I’ve got a head start on engaging with the Polish people on a more personal level, by opening a Twitter account just a few weeks ago. (Laughter.) One of my first tweets asks about what bike paths are like in Warsaw these days. A few days later, I asked what beers are now the most popular. One of my newfound followers was skeptical. "Wait a minute," he said. "This ambassador is going to be riding around our country on a bicycle drinking beer?" (Laughter.) "He must be a fake."
Before we finish, I want to say a special thanks to those who made today possible, including the extraordinary Sharon Hardy and Heather Samuelson and our terrific colleagues in the Bureau for Legislative Affairs, Josh Blumenfeld and Rob Fallon, all of whom worked together to pilot through this nomination in almost record time. I want to thank my outstanding team of colleagues in the Executive Secretariat, including Pam Quanrud, Julieta Noyes, Ted Allegra, Tuli Mushingi, Paco Palmieri, and Marcella Hembry, Darlene Namahoe, Diane McBride, Nancy Walker, Robin Hartle, and Ned Filipovic for being such rocks of support.
Thanks also to my new colleagues in the European Bureau, including Mike Morrow, Kate McGeary, Mara Vento, and Eleanor Chamberlin, all of whom have been enormously helpful in preparing for this assignment. A special thanks to John Dowd for his selfless and decisive friendship over the years. And to my Friday lunch crew, Ruth, Rich, Liz, and Dick, your laughs and support were enough to power me through every crisis. You don’t know the half of how much I will miss you.
I also want to take a moment to recognize two very special colleagues who have had such an enormous impact on me over the past years: Deputy Secretary Bill Burns is already so well-known as the most gifted, professional American diplomat of our generation. And working with him closely over the past four years has benefited me in ways I realize every day on the job. And then there’s Counselor Cheryl Mills, who inspired me every day with her razor sharp mind, unshakable commitment to justice, and amazing fighting spirit. If you’re ever in a fight, you need to make sure Cheryl is on your side . (Laughter.) Cheryl, thank you for making today possible.
I also want to mention the people who mean so much who are not here with us – my high school teacher Mrs. Jess Cwiklinski, the daughter of Polish immigrants herself, whose health did not allow her to travel today; my friend Peter Gazda, who fled Poland with his wife Kasia in the 1980s when their friendship with Cheri and me brought the communist secret police to their door. Peter tragically passed away much too early three years ago, but I am so glad that his wife Kasia and son Michael can be here with us today from Toronto. Ambassador Nick Rey, who also was taken from us too early three years ago, was such an influential mentor and friend for me when we worked together in Poland in the ’90s, and I am so glad his beloved wife Lisa can be here with us today. And finally, my stepfather Frank Spracklin, whom we lost just over a year ago. He would be so proud to be here today to hold your hand, mom, and to give us all hugs.
And finally, a word of thanks to the two people who bring all meaning to my life, Ryan – (laughter) – you grew up too fast – (laughter) – and I’ll miss you so much – (laughter) – as you get ready to move away to college. But don’t forget, it will be just as easy to harass you about finishing your homework from Poland – (laughter) – as it is in the dining room. And to my beautiful bride Cheri, who vowed to her parents after growing up in the Foreign Service that when she was an adult, she would never move again – (laughter) – forgive me for making you break that vow once again. I will be waiting for you in Poland with a heart full of love and open arms, so grateful that you said yes.
Thank you all for coming to share this day with us. As the Poles say, "May you all live 100 years." Thank you.  (Applause.)

Secretary Clinton Delivers a Video Message to the Partnership for Change: Empowering Women of Kosovo

Video Remarks for Empowering Women

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Pristina, Kosovo
October 5, 2012

I’m sorry I can’t be with you in person, but I am delighted to be able to send greetings to so many of you who are working to open up opportunities for women in the Balkans and around the world. Madam President, you have made a career out of building bridges to promote peace, progress, and prosperity. As the first female head of state in the region, you are a natural leader for women’s empowerment issues. Any young girl who’s wondering just how far her talents can take her, need only look to you for the answer. I look forward to continuing our work together in Kosovo and beyond.
I also want to congratulate the people of Kosovo on the end of supervised independence, which marks another tangible step forward in the history of your country. Since independence, you have worked hard to build a modern, multi-ethnic, inclusive, and democratic state. The United States will remain a strong partner and friend as you navigate the many challenges ahead. Around the world, women are blazing new trails. They are removing long-entrenched obstacles and standing up for their rights and opportunities. This conference represents a growing understanding that to create economic opportunity, political progress, and social equality, we need women’s ideas, their energy and their perspective.
More women than ever are taking a leading role in politics and government—and that’s great news. But we still have a long way to go. We know that when women thrive, societies thrive. There is a mountain of research that shows that investing in women and gender equality is smart economics.  And it’s not just the bottom line that we should be concerned about. Women are also agents of change and peace; they act as mediators and foster compromise. Time and again, especially in this region, we have seen women build partnerships and networks across ethnic and sectarian lines where men often could not. When women organize in large numbers, they can galvanize opinion and change the course of history.
I have seen firsthand—in places from Kosovo to Northern Ireland--that women can help develop sound ideas and policies. We just need to remove the barriers that prevent them from fully participating in their communities.  So we must harness opportunities like this event to build partnerships that will unleash their potential.  I can’t wait to hear from Ambassador Verveer and Secretary Albright about the new commitments, ideas, and initiatives you come up with. Your unwavering dedication is helping all people – women and men – realize a brighter future. Thank you all.