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Hillary Clinton visits Stanford, addresses counterterrorism
(KYLIE JUE/The Stanford Daily)

Hillary Clinton visits Stanford, addresses counterterrorism

Presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave a speech on counterterrorism at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) on Wednesday morning.

Clinton was in the area for a private event in Atherton and decided to make a public address after the attacks in Brussels on Tuesday.

According to Hyma Moore, press lead for Clinton’s campaign, over 130 people attended the invite-only event, including Stanford faculty members, students and friends of Clinton. Distinguished guests George Shultz, former Secretary of State and Thomas W. and Susan B. Ford Distinguished Fellow at the Hoover Institution, and William Perry, former Secretary of Defense and Michael and Barbara Berberian Professor Emeritus at FSI and the School of Engineering, were also in the audience.

Director of FSI Michael McFaul, who first met Clinton when she “delivered her daughter to The Farm as a freshman,” introduced her to the audience at around 11:40 a.m.

Three main points

Clinton’s speech highlighted three main points about counterterrorism efforts: the constantly adapting adversary, the need to strengthen existing alliances and the importance of relying on what actually works.

In tackling the constantly adapting enemy of ISIS, Clinton highlighted the importance of addressing the issues of network security and privacy.

“The tech community and the government have to stop seeing each other as adversaries and start working together to protect our safety and our privacy,” Clinton said.

“A national commission on encryption like [what] Senator Mark Warner and Congressmen Mike McCaul are proposing could help,” she added.

Clinton also emphasized her own political experience as a New York senator during 9/11 and also as former Secretary of State.

“It would be a serious mistake to stumble into another costly ground war in the Middle East,” she said.

Instead, she said, the United States should focus on reinforcing existing foreign alliances, particularly with European countries. Again referencing 9/11, Clinton argued that there was a huge outpouring of support for the U.S. following the 2001 attacks in New York and that it is now “our turn to stand with Europe.”

In addressing what concrete steps can be taken, Clinton critiqued the plans of GOP presidential contenders as well as outlining her own proposals.

“ISIS is attempting a genocide of religious and ethnic minorities… Walls will not protect us from this threat,” Clinton said, in reference to Donald Trump’s proposal to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border to curtail illegal immigration. “We cannot contain ISIS. We must defeat ISIS.”

The former Secretary of State also called out Republican candidates for inflammatory rhetoric against all Muslims, arguing that insulting allies is a method that “does not work” in building coalitions in the fight against terrorism. According to Clinton, dismantling the global network of terror will necessarily include steps to address propaganda and online extremists that might be fueled by such language.

While criticizing current GOP candidates, Clinton also showed a more bipartisan side, citing Senator John McCain in her denouncement of torture. According to Clinton, experts agree about the ineffectiveness of torture.

“I’m proud to have been part of the administration that banned torture,” Clinton said. “If I am president, the United States will not practice or condone torture, even when we are up against opponents that don’t respect human life or human rights.”

Clinton concluded her address with a focus on the importance of American leadership.

“If we can forge a bipartisan consensus, if we can bring our people to understand what this struggle means to us, if we can maintain our alliances and our partnerships, we will be successful,” she said. “And that will benefit not only our country but the world. And that, when you boil it down, is what American leadership has to be about.”

A 24-hour planning period

According to Chaney Kourouniotis, communications manager for FSI, the event came together in about 24 hours when the Clinton campaign reached out to Stanford following the bombings in Brussels.

“The campaign contacted Stanford wanting to have the opportunity to participate here, since it’s been our practice here at FSI to host a number of world leaders, U.S. leaders, former diplomats, people from all parts of the political spectrum,” Kourouniotis said.

Because FSI has hosted high-level diplomats before, it was more accustomed to accommodating the security required for such an event. Nevertheless, Clinton’s address had an unusually short planning period.

“This is probably one of the quickest times we’ve pulled it together for someone at this level,” Kourouniotis said.

According to Kourouniotis, FSI felt honored to host the former Secretary of State. While none of the other current presidential candidates have spoken at Stanford during their campaigns, FSI remains nonpartisan and is open to more guests.

“We’re happy to host other candidates, and we’re proud to continue to have a role in this type of discussion and this type of dialogue,” Kourouniotis said.

Student reactions

Kourouniotis explained that due to the international affairs focus of Clinton’s speech, student invitations were sent primarily to FSI affiliates. Despite the fact that many were away for spring break, attendees included students from FSI’s Center for International Security and Cooperation and the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law, as well as members of related student organizations such as Stanford in Government (SIG) and Stanford Debate Society.

Jake Dow ’19 leveraged his membership in SIG in order to attend the invite-only talk. Dow, already a Clinton supporter, spoke highly of the event, saying that he “had to go.”

“I thought she knocked it out of the park today,” Dow said. “My favorite part was that she unveiled a new line against Donald Trump that ‘loose cannons tend to misfire.’ I thought that was a great and catchy way to say that we can’t elect a man who doesn’t have a steady hand on the issues.”

Another SIG member, Chiamaka Ogwuegbu ’18, also noted the references to the GOP frontrunner.

“There was [a lot] of Trump shade thrown in there,” Ogwuegbu said.

Although Ogwuegbu said he supports Bernie Sanders over Clinton in the primary election, he generally agreed with Clinton’s message on terrorism, calling it a “safe speech, but eloquent.”

Ogwuegbu also noted how Clinton addressed terrorist attacks less publicized than the recent bombing in Brussels, including attacks on hotels in West Africa, beaches in Tunisia and markets in Lebanon.

“I appreciated her initial mention of the non-European terrorist attacks, but after that, it kind of faded and focused more on the European-American connection,” Ogwuegbu said.

Other students attending the event were less decided on a candidate to support in the primaries. Jimmy Zhou ’18, who received an invitation as part of the Stanford Debate Society, said he remains torn between supporting Sanders and Clinton but found getting to hear the former Secretary of State helpful.

“I think that there is something unique about being able to see a presidential candidate in person and helps you evaluate them,” Zhou said. “There is something about having a presidential persona that is important… and I came out more confident in her foreign policy abilities.”


Contact Kylie Jue at kyliej ‘at’ stanford.edu and Ada Statler-Throckmorton at adastat ‘at’ stanford.edu.

About Kylie Jue

Kylie Jue '17 was the Editor-in-Chief for Vol. 250. She first became involved with The Daily as a high school intern and now is a CS+English major at Stanford. A senior from Cupertino, California, she has also worked a CS 106 section leader. To contact Kylie, email her at kyliej ‘at’ stanford.edu.
  • Synoptic12

    Let us not forget who Hillary is adjoined with, Bill Clinton which is trying to substantiate her lies as being justified. Bill Clinton pretends to be someone of significance, relying upon diatribe which has been polluted by his past exploits. More so, when Bill Clinton traveled to India, he paid homage to Buddha (The God of the Dead), and received a red mark on his forehead while riding an elephant in India. Have any noticed the health issues which encompass Clinton’s body now?

    Extra marital affairs accompanied his resume, namely Monica Lewinsky: along with being identified in a lawsuit against his former friend Jeffrey Epstein who had ‘regular’ orgies at his Caribbean compound that the former president visited “multiple” times. Gennifer Flowers, a model and actress who claimed to have had a 12-year affair with then-Arkansas Governor Clinton, nearly derailed his 1992 bid for the presidency. In 1998, Clinton acknowledged under oath that he had a sexual encounter with Flowers despite initially denying the allegations. How can any believe someone which walks in the world, while continuing to spread falsehood and lies?

    Let us also remember Benghazi where four Americans were left to die:

    To neglect a listening post, watch four U.S. Americans fall to the hands of our enemies, clearly portrays a needed change in U.S. administration. To the Secretary of Defense; Hillary Clinton, not to consider a call for help from the front lines, could only be viewed in one of two ways. The facts were hidden intentionally under the authority of the U.S President, or “the messages were bypassed”.

    Hillary Clinton states she had knowledge of classified emails over ten years ago which were part of Colin Powell’s objection as to classification, allegedly after the fact. If Hillary acknowledges the fact on certain, or similar circumstances regarding classified documentation, why did she continue to flaunt, or not recognize the scope of current classified emails as Secretary of State? In having prior knowledge, this would only dictate that Hillary was well informed on all aspects relating to classified intrusions as being sent electronically.

    * As taken from the New York Post:

    “This really raises serious questions about this whole process. I think Colin Powell summed it up well,” Clinton said. “When he was told that some of his emails from more than ten years ago were going to be retroactively classified, he called it an absurdity. So I’m hoping that, you know, we’ll get through this and then everybody can take a hard look at the inter-agency disputes and the arguments over retroactive classification.”

    Clearly the testimony of the law has been breached; in which Hillary is trying to equate prior instances of fallibility relating to again, similar issues being conjoined as a means to relinquish the ongoing investigative process by the F.B.I. More so, Hillary Clinton makes mention of her email staffer (State Department) Bryan Pagliano as being granted immunity in cooperating with the FB.I. She believes retroactive classification is symptom of an absurd over-classification process wrought with inter-agency disputes, relating to Colin Powell’s ‘objection’. Yet, as Hillary having full knowledge of the facts prior to her exploits; surely portrays a person with little regard for the law.

  • Tuiasina S. Laumoli

    She is still the most qualified to be president; Bill is not running for president again this time, it’s Hillary.

  • Chris Mullen

    If voters care to see how Hillary compares to Bernie in foreign policy listen what each said about invading Iraq. I know Hillary spins it as ancient history. It has been a while and every thing Bernie predicted would happen came true. Vote for Bernie so she cant do her Margret Thatcher act. Time to let the folks who have a dog in the fight settle it

  • Daniel Polar

    She did a great job as Secretary of State, sitting back, sipping wine while watching those in Benghazi get brutally tortured, but than again, what does it matter ??

  • Daniel Polar

    and your most qualified for a brain transplant

  • Daniel Polar

    I am going to list all her accomplishments :

  • Viking.

    ,Paris and Brussels.

    The tactic; though stupid and illogical; that Muslims use to excuse Islam, is that those Muslims that behave badly are not real Muslims. The typical response by the alleged innocent Muslim-in-the-street to terrorist attacks is “They are not Muslims they are terrorists”. The tragedy is that this tactic works, Islam is declared innocent by the liberal-do-gooders. The truth is though that they are Muslims and terrorists, and they are terrorists because they are Muslims.

  • Alan

    As a Rhodes Scholar, Governor, and two term President of the United States, Bill Clinton is indisputably a person of significance. Regardless, Bill is not the one currently running for political office and his libido has absolutely nothing to do with his wife’s qualifications to be President of the United States. That said, I can’t wait to see him back in the White House as First Dude.

    ‘Benghazi’, tragic as it was, has been tossed around as vulgarity aimed at Secretary Clinton so often it’s ludicrous. As substantiated by multiple Republican Senators and Congressman, the Benghazi “hearings” were pure political theater lit up with the red, white, and blue, consisting of unsubstantiated innuendo thrown at Secretary Clinton, clearly and eloquently refuted by her throughout multiple hearings from close to a dozen committees that included 13 hours of continuous, viciously rude attacks sounding like they were scripted by FOX News for 24/7 coverage. The so called “email scandal” continues to receive the same inordinate amount of coverage dripping with false accusations from the “fair and balanced” folks too. The Republican spin rambles on attempting to ‘swift boat’ Hillary yet nothing has been presented that represents a clear breach of the law. At the end of the day, the FBI will put it all to bed hopefully ending the baseless inquisition.

    So if you’re going to attempt to refute her qualifications to be the leader of the free world as President of the United States you better do a lot better what you have thrown against the wall here and present an opponent with far better qualifications than the likes of “Lying Ted”, who obviously doesn’t play well with others, or the other guy, you know, the one being heartily promoted by David Duke and the KKK.

  • mxm123

    Hillary Clinton is the Kardashian of politics. Famous for being famous. What has she ever achieved ?

    If she can’t speak the truth about the Israeli Palestinian dispute, how do you think she’ll have any credibility in the Arab world. The alliances she seeks/promotes in the Middle East are the same old dictators and bullies who’ve lost any credibility with their people. A vote for Hillary Clinton means its an extension of the same old, same old which solve nothing.

  • ron

    Thank you Chelsea Clinton for being the next ambassador to Benghazi!

  • ron

    Yup Bill is great.

    This is the story of Danny, thought by many to be Chelsea Clinton’s half brother.

    Bobbie Ann Williams was a prostitute in Little Rock who claims she became pregnant by Bill Clinton. Unlike Suzanne Coleman, whose 7 month pregnancy ended wth a gunshot to the back of her head, Bobbie finished her pregnancy, certain that it was Bill’s child since he had been her only white customer that month!

    Both Bobbie and her sister passed polygraph tests regarding Bobbie’ relationship to Clinton and their belief that Danny is his child. The British press, amazingly enough, got Buddy Young, then a trooper, now #2 at FEMA, to admit he had driven Bill Clinton and Bobbie Ann Williams to one of their “sex orgies”.

  • ron

    Yes most qualified.

    ‘I never trusted a polygraph again’: Hillary Clinton LAUGHS in 30-year-old interview as she recalls how she helped a suspected child rapist walk free after the prosecution lost crucial evidence

    Recordings throw into question Clinton’s claim to be a champion of women and children’s causes

    Taylor died in 1992 and his alleged victim is now a drug addict still in Fayettville, Arkansas

  • rugcrazy

    I smell cat piss

  • Jerry Parker

    Hillary Clinton is synonymous with corruption and scandal. She proved to be inept as Secretary of State and one obly needs to look at her Blackberry to see how she handles national security issues. C’mon Loretta Lynch – stop protecting her.

  • Michael Mullarkey

    Visit HillaryClinton.com to read more about the issues that matter to people.

  • Hillary Clinton giving a speech about counter-terrorism is like President Obama talking about how to save money on healthcare. Neither knows what the eff they’re talking about.

    Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens was killed on her watch. He was the first American ambassador to be killed since 1988, and only the 8th overall while serving. Hillary is a disgrace and is entirely unfit for any public office.

  • Candid One

    Envy rots the soul.

  • Candid One

    Almost as evil as “Christians”.

  • Joshua Loftus

    Not all Stanford students were tripping over themselves to hero-worship an empty suit celebrity politician. Some of us were outside drawing attention to the inconvenient truths about her foreign policy https://www.instagram.com/p/BDUfbzyDbKF/

  • rw

    you and Obeme should be wearing YELLOW

  • The Wickerman

    Double up on your medication and stop posting your senseless babble. Go home. You are depriving your village of its’ idiot.

  • marcus

    Hillary weak and clueless on terror. Trump 2016

  • Jenny

    Benghazi, top secret emails on personal server, White Water, disparreging all the women Bill raped and harassed.


  • Jenny

    Do you have a school, a job, or a life? You need a therapist for your Israel obsession that pops up on every college newspaper discussion section. Sad.

  • mxm123

    Dumb ass, look on this very site, i comment on a lot of things. However it seems to bother you that i bring up Apartheid Israel. However I do notice that Islamophobic comments don’t seem to bother you. Why?

  • skullbreathe

    Generally they deserve it.

  • skullbreathe

    With a 150 FBI agents working to prepare a criminal referral to the DOJ; two separate Federal judges have now ruled there is suspicion of Hillary’s compliance for records to allow additional discovery in FOIA manipulation by Hillary’s of her State Dept. emails and Clinton Global Initiative work. She’s got half the assets of the FBI tied up with her criminal referrals.

    Plus; did the Mother of ISIS talk about her crack up job in Libya and Syria?

  • jenny

    you still sad!

  • mxm123

    And you still dumb!