GPNY Calls the Appointment of Sen. Clinton as Secretary of State "Four More Years Without Change!"

The Green Party of New York State strongly condemns the decision of President-elect Barack Obama to appoint New York Senator Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State in his incoming administration.

By choosing Clinton, Obama either has failed to understand or, more likely, has simply decided to ignore the will of his constituents, who overwhelmingly oppose the war. In every respect, this appointment, as well as the fact that not one Senator or House member who voted against the war has been considered worthy to join his foreign policy team, appears to suggest that the new president's policies will, in substance, continue the bellicose policies of previous administrations which have brought such turmoil to our county, and particularly to the people of the Middle East, resulting in a world outraged over American foreign policy.

"When Senator Obama launched his campaign, much of his appeal to voters in the primaries was his initial opposition to the invasion of Iraq during his time as an Illinois state senator," said Howie Hawkins, Green Party nominee for US Senator from New York in 2006. "During those primaries, Obama positioned himself as a peace candidate, despite his consistent votes in the Senate to fund the war, in contrast to antiwar legislators during Vietnam, many of whom voted to cut off funding for that earlier war. And now he has appointed to head the State Department a politician who has refused ever to admit that her support for the Iraq War was wrong."

The following history makes clear that Clinton's views represent the antithesis of the peace movement and of the Green Party, the political arm of that movement:

  • Clinton voted for the Iraq war with enthusiasm (though without, as columnist Maureen Dowd has noted, bothering to read the intelligence estimate), thus contributing her prestige within the Senate and among the general public in support of an internationally illegal and unconstitutional policy of aggressor nation preventive war.

  • She was a passionate cheerleader for the invasion as late as May 2005, when, in an infamous speech, she praised the war as a glorious struggle for Iraq's liberation, not as an act of national self-defense as it was originally sold to Americans, and she remarked that the troops themselves were on "freedom's frontlines." (Curiously, Donald Rumsfeld would use that exact phrase while speaking to a veterans' group at the Lincoln Memorial just five days later.)

  • In a frightening interview on Good Morning America, she coolly maintained that as president she would "totally obliterate" Iran if that nation attacked Israel with a nuclear weapon, should it "foolishly" decide to develop and use such a weapon within "ten years." This position ignores the fact that a) there is no consensus among experts that Iran desires to develop such a weapon, or b) that Iran is capable, within ten years (or more, for that matter), of developing one even if it wanted to do so, or c) that Iran would launch a first strike against Israel if it did develop one, and d) that the official with the power to launch such a strike is not Iran's controversial President Ahmadinejad, but the Ayatollah Khamenei, who has issued a fatwa (applicable not only to Iranians, but to all Shiite Muslims) against the development and use of all nuclear weapons.

  • In 2006, she gave unconditional support to the bombings and attacks on civilians in Lebanon by the State of Israel.

  • She has consistently opposed any efforts to end the illegal occupation of Palestine, including the recent brutal blockade of Gaza.

The choice of Clinton is just one of a series of disturbing appointments by Obama to key positions in his administration that make a mockery of Obama's campaign mantra of "change" for the nation. These include the choice of Iraq hawk Rahm Emanuel as White House chief of staff, the reappointment of Robert Gates as Defense Secretary and the selection of John Brennan (who played a major role in Bush's practice of extraordinary rendition, torture at Guantanamo and warrantless wiretapping) to lead the review of intelligence agencies.

In addition to its inappropriateness to Obama's image as a "transformative" president, the selection of Clinton also raises serious conflict-of-interest issues. Clinton has raised enormous sums for both her senatorial and presidential campaigns from a slew of corporate interests, that have their own foreign policy agendas. Her husband, former President Bill Clinton, poses even more disturbing problems. For example, sometime in 2006, the ex-president received a $31 million donation to his presidential library from a Canadian financier named Frank Giusta. This would be unremarkable, except for the fact that Giusta several months earlier had accompanied the former president to Kazakhstan to meet its President, Nursultan Nazarbayev, while in the process of trying to win a contract that would give him, Giusta, access to much of Kazakhstan's rich uranium resources. Within a few weeks, Giusta's totally unknown shell company was granted the contract. Furthermore, at that very meeting, Clinton publicly praised Nazarbayev for his progress on human rights (President Bush, many legislators and even Hillary Clinton herself insist there has been no such progress) and proclaimed his support for Nazarbayev's plan to get himself appointed head of the international election-monitoring organization, the OSCEā€¦ the very organization that had ruled several of Nazarbayev's own elections fraudulent. Two years later, Nazarbayev was appointed to head the OSCE for one year.

With Obama's nomination of Hillary Clinton not representing any believable nor needed change. With Obama's nomination of Hillary Clinton not representing any believable nor needed change, the Green Party calls for her appointment to be the Secretary of State to be rejected... her being unsuitable to fulfill the advertised Obama mandate.