Clinton Denies Libya Intervention Was Her Idea: ‘It Was the President’s Decision’
DICKERSON: "Let me ask you about the two-part series this week in the “New York Times” on Libya. In it former secretary of defense Robert Gates said that President Obama set that decision whether to take action in Libya was 51-49 decision, secretary Gates gave you credit for putting the president on 591% side of the line. In other words, taking action in Libya. Does that square with your view of the way things happened?"
CLINTON: "Well, it was the president’s decision. And I think he listened to everybody just as he did when we were involved intense review of intelligence as to whether or not the president should order action to go after bin Laden. These decisions are obviously ultimately the president’s. I think we should remember where we were, the kinds of threats and actions that Gadhafi was taking, I have to say that when I look at this, and absent of action by nato, by Arab league members, we have probably turned Libya into Syria, which I think would have been even more dangerous situation. So, we all give our best judgment. I respect everybody who I worked with in the Obama Administration and then ultimately we make our recommendations to the president."
DICKERSON: "Some people say it’s not so much that Syria may be — but it isn’t so good right now."
CLINTON: "Well, no, it’s not good. I’m not saying that it is. But it’s sure better than Syria, I think maybe 1500 people were killed last year compared to probably 150,000 in Syria. But what is happening is a very concerted effort led by the U.N., supported by united States, Europe and others to try to create a unity government in Libya. Enabling the people of Libya to get what they voted for, John, I keep reminding people of this. They have ha held two elections, they voted for moderates, they voted for democracy they voted for a path forward that has been disrupted because of the inner — interference of outside sources as well as internal squabbles. This has only been a few years I think we’ve got to really work hard to help the Libyans achieve the goals that they have set out for. Of a II all Gadhafi hallowed out their country, they were left with basically nothing. Not a functioning army, no the a functioning government, et cetera. We’ve got work to do. But I actually am slightly hopeful that they will all realize they’re going to do better if they work together. They stand against terrorist elements, we will support them, others will as well."
DICKERSON: "Secretary Clinton we’re out of time. Thanks so much."