Hillary Clinton, Top Presidential Contender, Saw Nothing Wrong With Boko Haram
Published May 12th, 2014
When politicians make the decision, or even contemplate, running for President of the United States they had better be prepared to have their every decision put under a microscope and endlessly analyzed. Even for a public figure like Hillary Clinton, former First Lady of the United States, New York Senator, and Secretary of State, there is always a new wrinkle to be discovered.
In the wake of the kidnapping of over 200 girls from a school in Chibok, Nigeria by the thugs of Boko Haram, the decision-making of Clinton has come under attack as it was revealed that she neglected to label this group a terrorist organization during her time as the head of the State Department.
The now well-known gang of thugs roam freely across large portions of northern Nigeria. The country is deeply divided along class and religious lines. The coastal regions of Nigeria have great wealth from the country's extensive oil production. Overall, the federal government in Nigeria has control of the southern portion of the country where a majority of Christian citizens live and work in relative peace and calm.
In the northern stretches of the country however, the government has little control and has spent the majority of the 21st century battling with Muslim extremists who want to establish an autonomous region that adheres to Sharia law. Boko Haram was once a rabble gang of thugs, but today they terrorize the people of northern Nigeria with little intervention from the Nigerian government.
The latest action by Boko Haram, abducting 200 girls from a school in Chibok, has shed international light on the plight of people in Nigeria. The crime of these 200-plus women; they had the nerve to attend school and learn. So naturally this up and coming terror organization is a recognized threat in the Western world right?
Hillary Clinton's Big Mistake
While serving as the Secretary of State for the United States, Hillary Clinton did not identify or label Boko Haram as a terrorist organization. Her reasons remain unclear, but the misstep is nonetheless egregious when the actions of the organization seem to clearly place them in the ring of terrorist activity.
Some political officials, such as President George W. Bush's ambassador to Nigeria, John Campbell, believe the criticism is unfair. He stated that "along with a good many other Nigerian experts at the time, we all opposed designation. We opposed designation because we don't think that the legislation actually fits the situation in Nigeria. The Boko Haram movement is highly diffuse. It's not a centralized organization. It has important grassroots elements to it."
One has to wonder how much has changed in the interim though. Well before those 200 girls were abducted from their school in Chibok, current Secretary of State John Kerry took the step of labeling Boko Haram a terrorist organization. Secretary Kerry did so in November 2013, fully five months before the girls were abducted.