Hillary Clinton: Released Taliban leaders 'are not a threat to the United States'

By JC Sevcik  |  June 11, 2014 at 6:46 PM
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WASHINGTON, June 11 (UPI) -- Hillary Clinton told NBC News correspondent Cynthia McFadden that the prisoners released from Guantanamo Bay in exchange for Bowe Bergdahl are not a danger to America despite President Obama admitting last week there is a chance the prisoners could return to activities hostile to the United States. The former secretary of state, who is promoting her new book, was interviewed by McFadden on the Today show Wednesday.

"Clinton writes in her book, the U.S. was involved in negotiations with the Taliban while she was Secretary of State, and even then, getting Bowe Bergdahl back was part of the equation," McFadden leads with, telling Clinton. "I think an awful lot of people think that we're less safe today than we were a week ago because these five guys are out."

"These five guys are not a threat to the United States," Clinton replied. "They are a threat to the safety and security of Afghanistan and Pakistan. It's up to those two countries to make the decision once and for all that these are threats to them," ominously implying that any return to terrorist activities on the part of the Taliban five would be more detrimental to those countries harboring or aiding terrorists than to the United States.

In response to Clinton's claim, Vice president for the Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy at The Heritage Foundation, James Carafano, said, "The Taliban harbors al-Qaeda and knowingly created conditions that allowed 9/11 to happen. How can you claim its leaders aren't a threat to us?"

"Is there a possibility of some of them trying to return to activities that are detrimental to us? Absolutely," President Obama said during a press conference in Warsaw last week. "That's been true of all the prisoners that were released from Guantanamo. There's a certain recidivism rate that takes place."

"So I think we may be kind of missing the bigger picture here," Clinton added to McFadden during their interview. "We want to get an American home, whether they fell off the ship because they were drunk or they were pushed or they jumped, we try to rescue everybody."

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