Madam Secretary

Hillary lays the smack down

  Speaking in front of the House Foreign Affairs Committee yesterday, a gutsy Secretary Clinton told it like it is. With Islamist militants just 60 miles from Islamabad, the capital of nuclear-armed Pakistan, she declared: “[We] cannot underscore [enough] the seriousness of the existential threat posed to the state of Pakistan by the continuing advances.” ...

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WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 22: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during a hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill April 22, 2009 in Washington, DC. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appeared before the committee for her first appearance before the House as Secretary of State to discuss the nation's foreign polity. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)

Hillary Clinton speaks to House Foreign Affairs Committee, April 22, 2009  

Speaking in front of the House Foreign Affairs Committee yesterday, a gutsy Secretary Clinton told it like it is.

With Islamist militants just 60 miles from Islamabad, the capital of nuclear-armed Pakistan, she declared: “[We] cannot underscore [enough] the seriousness of the existential threat posed to the state of Pakistan by the continuing advances.”

As you may know, a recent “peace” deal in Pakistan gave control of Swat Valley to pro-Taliban militants who have been imposing their extremist version of sharia there. It appears to be a case of “give them an inch; they take a yard.” The leader of the main opposition party said: “The last few days show that gun-carrying Taliban are spreading to more areas and eventually want to capture the whole of Pakistan.” Yikes! And Clinton would agree. She said the Pakistani government, in signing the deal, was “basically abdicating to the Taliban and the extremists.”

In another bold move, when Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) asked Clinton about former Vice President Dick Cheney’s effort to declassify documents he says prove the “success” of harsh interrogation techniques, Madame Secretary had this zinger:

Well, it will not surprise you that I do not consider him a particularly reliable source of information.

Clinton seems to be displaying the controlled and competent essence of her “newly launched” fragrance line, Authorité.

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images

Preeti Aroon was copy chief at Foreign Policy from 2009 to 2016 and was an FP assistant editor from 2007 to 2009. Twitter: @pjaroonFP

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