Speed Reads


Conservatives hit Hillary Clinton on Nigerian schoolgirl abductions

Alex Wong/Getty Images

In further proof that there's not a single incident on Earth that cannot somehow be tied to the Clintons, members of the conservative media-sphere are leaping on a Daily Beast story that claims that the State Department under Hillary Clinton "fought hard" against designating Nigeria's Boko Haram a terrorist organization, which may have prevented the U.S. from constraining a group that went on to abduct more than 200 schoolgirls.

As Josh Rogin reports, there were many lawmakers and Obama administration officials who wanted the State Department to get tough on Boko Haram, a group that is obviously a nasty piece of work. However, there appear to be perfectly sound reasons not to label Boko Haram a terrorist group, some of which are outlined here and here. And, of course, it is a pure exercise in counterfactual thinking to suggest such a label would have prevented a mass kidnapping that has sparked global outrage. Who can say with anything approaching certainty?

Nevertheless, unflattering narratives can and will be drawn from this story as we approach the 2016 election season. Fox News has already connected the dots, with a headline that reads: "Hillary fought to keep Boko Haram off terror list." Andrew C. McCarthy at National Review writes that the latest reporting is evidence that Clinton "believes that appeasing terrorists...promotes peace and stability." Expect to see much more of the same in the coming weeks and months.