Since the kidnapping of nearly 300 girls, Hillary Clinton has risen to the fore of those demanding international action and calling Nigerian group Boko Haram terrorists.
But during her tenure at the head of the U.S. Department of State, Clinton resisted numerous calls from the CIA, the FBI, the Department of Justice and a number of U.S. senators and congressmen to do just that.
On Sunday, Clinton tweeted:
Access to education is a basic right & an unconscionable reason to target innocent girls. We must stand up to terrorism. #BringBackOurGirls
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) May 4, 2014
And on Wednesday, Clinton called the kidnappings and threat to sell the girls for $12 each, “an act of terrorism and it really merits the fullest response possible, first and foremost from the government of Nigeria.”
The government of Nigeria, itself a human right abuser, may be somewhat behind Clinton’s refusal to designate the church-bombing, anti-education, al-Qaida-harboring terror group on the official list, The Daily Beast Reports: “Several officials said that the Nigerian government was opposed to the designation and [Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie] Carson was focused on preserving the relationship between Washington and Abuja,” Josh Rogin writes.
Early urging from the intelligence community and Congress to designate the group came after the 2011 bombing of the United Nations HQ in Abuja.
Carson was the most vocal critic of placing Boko Haram on the list. Being placed on the list expands the U.S.’s ability to thwart the group through Patriot Act powers, and by cutting off dealings with all U.S. businesses, thereby making it toxic for other countries’ businesses to deal with the group. Designation is not, however, the only means of fighting organizations.
When Clinton was still in charge, the State Department went so far as to lobby against the Boko Haram Terrorist Designation Act of 2013, introduced by a number of senators to force a designation of explanation, The Daily Beast reports.
Carson stood by the previous decision to not designate Boko Haram a terror group in a Wednesday press call, saying, ““There was a concern that putting Boko Haram on the foreign terrorist list would in fact raise its profile, give it greater publicity, give it greater credibility, help in its recruitment, and also probably drive more assistance in its direction.”
Ten months into his tenure at the helm of the State Department, John Kerry added the group to the list. The designation cited murderous campaigns against civilians, the bombing of the U.N. building, and ties to al-Qaida — all things recognized by the U.S. government during Clinton’s time as secretary of state.
Clinton allegedly made women’s rights, including access to education, a priority for her State Department.