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Matt Politicano
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HRC and Boko Haram

CONSERVATIVE ATTACK THE RNC ATTACKED SECRETARY CLINTON FOR DECLINING TO DESIGNATE BOKO HARAM AS A FOREIGN TERRORIST ORGANIZATION DURING HER TENURE RNC: “As Head Of State, Clinton Could Have Boxed In Terrorist Group Boko Haram Before They Unleashed Their ‘Chilling Brutality’ On The Region.” [RNC, 4/9/15] RNC: “According To A Report In The Daily Beast, Clinton's State Department ‘Fought Hard’ Against Putting Boko Haram On The Foreign Terrorist Organization List, Which Officials Now Say ‘May Have Hampered’ The Ability To Confront The Group.” [RNC, 4/9/15] RNC On Terrorist Designation Of Boko Haram: “As One Former U.S. Senior Official Said, ‘The One Thing [Clinton] Could Have Done, The One Tool She Had At Her Disposal, She Didn't Use. And Nobody Can Say She Wasn't Urged To Do It. It's Gross Hypocrisy.’” [RNC, 4/9/15] CLINTON DEFENSE MORE THAN TWENTY AFRICAN STUDIES SCHOLARS WROTE TO SECRETARY CLINTON IN MAY 2012 AND URGED THE STATE DEPARTMENT NOT TO DESIGNATE BOKO HARAM AS A FOREIGN TERRORIST ORGANIZATION… African Studies Scholars Letter To Secretary Clinton: “As Scholars With A Special Interest In Nigeria And Broad Expertise On African Politics, We Are Writing To Urge That You Not Designate Boko Haram A Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO).” [Letter To Secretary Clinton, Carl Levan, 5/21/12] …CLAIMING THAT SUCH A DESIGNATION WOULD EMBOLDEN BOKO HARAM AND LIMIT THE TOOLS THE STATE DEPARTMENT COULD USE AGAINST THEM African Studies Scholars Letter To Secretary Clinton: “An FTO Designation Would Internationalize Boko Haram, Legitimize Abuses By Nigeria’s Security Services, Limit The State Department’s Latitude In Shaping A Long Term Strategy.” “We are acutely aware of the horrific violence perpetrated by Boko Haram, including attacks on both Muslims and Christians in Nigeria, whether government officials or civilian targets. We share your concerns about the impact of extremist violence on Nigeria’s democratic progress and security in general. However an FTO designation would internationalize Boko Haram, legitimize abuses by Nigeria’s security services, limit the State Department’s latitude in shaping a long term strategy, and undermine the U.S. Government’s ability to receive effective independent analysis from the region.” [Letter To Secretary Clinton, Carl Levan, 5/21/12] African Studies Scholars Letter To Secretary Clinton: “An FTO Designation Would…Undermine The U.S. Government’s Ability To Receive Effective Independent Analysis From The Region.” [Letter To Secretary Clinton, Carl Levan, 5/21/12] African Studies Scholars Letter To Secretary Clinton: “An FTO Designation Would Potentially Shift [Boko Haram’s] Posture Towards The US And…Undermine The Nigerian Government’s Ability To Address The Problem Through Law Enforcement And Thereby Improve Rule Of Law.” “An FTO designation would internationalize Boko Haram’s standing and enhance its status among radical organizations elsewhere. Boko Haram’s recent tactics, including the use of suicide bombers and improvised explosive devices, raise questions about their foreign links. The network’s focus has been overwhelmingly domestic, despite an August 2011 attack on the United Nations office in Abuja. Rhetorically, some of Boko Haram’s critique of northern underdevelopment and elite corruption is within the realm of mainstream political discourse. But there are clear indications that their tactics and targets have turned most Nigerians against them, including local populations in the north. An FTO designation would potentially shift the organization’s posture towards the US and validate the more radical factions’

analysis of outsider influence in Nigeria. It would also undermine the Nigerian government’s ability to address the problem through law enforcement and thereby improve rule of law.” [Letter To Secretary Clinton, Carl Levan, 5/21/12] African Studies Scholars Letter To Secretary Clinton: “An FTO Designation [Of Boko Haram] Would Give Disproportionate Attention To Counter-Terrorism In Our Bilateral Relations, And Increase The Risk That The US Becomes Linked…To Abuses By The [Nigerian] Security Services.” “An FTO designation would give disproportionate attention to counter-terrorism in our bilateral relations, and increase the risk that the US becomes linked – whether in reality or perception – to abuses by the security services. An FTO designation would effectively endorse excessive use of force at a time when the rule of law in Nigeria hangs in the balance. There is already evidence that abuses by Nigeria’s security services have facilitated radical recruitment. This was made unequivocally clear in 2009 following the extrajudicial murder of Mohammed Yusuf, which was broadcast across the internet. That incident was immediately followed by Boko Haram’s radicalization, splintering, and increased propensity for large scale violence. Moreover, the routine use of the military for domestic law enforcement is a cause for alarm in a country with a deep history of military rule, and where formal declarations of states of emergency have historically led to broader political instability.” [Letter To Secretary Clinton, Carl Levan, 5/21/12] African Studies Scholars Letter To Secretary Clinton: “Accurately Understanding And Properly Addressing The Issue Of Boko Haram Will Require A Diplomatic, Developmental, And Demilitarized Framework.” “Accurately understanding and properly addressing the issue of Boko Haram will require a diplomatic, developmental, and demilitarized framework. The State Department and its civilian developmental partners must be in the lead.” [Letter To Secretary Clinton, Carl Levan, 5/21/12] African Studies Scholars Letter To Secretary Clinton: “We Believe That An FTO Designation For Boko Haram Would Limit American Policy Options To Those Least Likely To Work, And Would Undermine The Domestic Political Conditions Necessary In Nigeria For An Enduring Solution.” [Letter To Secretary Clinton, Carl Levan, 5/21/12] …AS WELL AS LIMIT THE WORK THAT COULD BE DONE BY NGOS TO MITIGATE THE TERRORIST GROUP’S BRUTALITY African Studies Scholars Letter To Secretary Clinton: “If Economic Development Is To Play A Role In Alleviating Tensions In Northern Nigeria, We Should Not Hamper Access By USAID Or Private NGOs In Providing Aid And Assistance In The Region.” “Once the State Department makes an FTO designation and that entity is added to the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list managed by the Treasury Department, it is illegal for U.S. citizens to have any interactions with that entity unless they apply for a license…Lack of information about the criteria for being listed makes it impossible to be removed and encourages selective enforcement. This cumbersome and arbitrary process has made it impossible for some humanitarian organizations to operate in the neediest areas of Africa. If economic development is to play a role in alleviating tensions in northern Nigeria, we should not hamper access by USAID or private NGOs in providing aid and assistance in the region.” [Letter To Secretary Clinton, Carl Levan, 5/21/12] African Studies Scholars Letter To Secretary Clinton: “Should Boko Haram Be Designated An FTO Through This Regime, It Would Be Illegal For Nongovernmental Organizations To Interact With Members Of Boko Haram – Even If The Purpose Of Such Contact Was To Persuade Them To Renounce Violence.” [Letter To Secretary Clinton, Carl Levan, 5/21/12] African Studies Scholars Letter To Secretary Clinton: “An FTO Designation Would Effectively Criminalize Broad Categories Of Research.” “An FTO designation would prevent independent scholarly inquiry about Boko Haram, and increase suspicion in the future about researchers with no governmental ties. Public policy benefits from dialogue with public scholars, and an FTO designation would effectively criminalize broad categories of research.” [Letter To Secretary Clinton, Carl Levan, 5/21/12]

Council On Foreign Relations Scholar John Campbell Signed A Letter To Secretary Clinton Urging The State Department Not To Designate Boko Haram As A Foreign Terrorist Organization. [Letter To Secretary Clinton, Carl Levan, 5/21/12] THESE CLAIMS WERE ECHOED BY U.S. AND NIGERIAN OFFICIALS Assistant Secretary Of State For African Affairs Carson: “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…Drive More Assistance In Its Direction.” “Inside the Clinton State Department, the most vocal official opposing designating Boko Haram was Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson, who served in that position from 2009 to 2013. Several officials said that the Nigerian government was opposed to the designation and Carson was focused on preserving the relationship between Washington and Abuja. Carson defended the decision to avoid naming Boko Haram a terrorist organization in a Wednesday phone call with reporters. ‘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,’ he said.” [Daily Beast, 5/7/14] Nigerian Ambassador To The U.S. Adebowale Adefuye: “The Current Well-Intentioned Efforts By A Few Members Of Congress To Classify The Boko Haram As A Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) Actually Risk Deepening And Entrenching The Boko Haram Movement, Thereby Endangering More Lives.” “Our government is working hard to defeat the motley band of criminals popularly known as Boko Haram, a group that is likely to try to capitalize on the recent wave of unrest. In order to effectively combat Boko Haram, we need American help to be complementary — not contradictory — to our own efforts. The current well-intentioned efforts by a few members of Congress to classify the Boko Haram as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) actually risk deepening and entrenching the Boko Haram movement, thereby endangering more lives.” [Nigerian Ambassador Adefuye, The Hill, 9/20/12] Nigerian Ambassador To The U.S. Adebowale Adefuye: An FTO Designation For Boko Haram Risked “Stymieing Desperately Needed Humanitarian And Commercial Activity.” “Contrary to providing substantive tools for defeating Boko Haram, a FTO designation, with its implications on all financial flows, risks stymieing desperately needed humanitarian and commercial activity. Ironically, aid destined for northern Nigeria, where poverty and lack of opportunity creates fertile soil for Boko Haram’s recruitment, is the most likely to be hindered. Dangerous opportunists would seek to fill this development vacuum and portray the U.S. effort as retaliation against Muslims in Nigeria’s north.” [Nigerian Ambassador Adefuye, The Hill, 9/20/12] ONE OF THE SIGNERS OF THE LETTER TO SECRETARY CLINTON URGING AGAINST AN TERRORIST DESIGNATION OF BOKO HARAM WAS FORMER BUSH AMBASSADOR JOHN CAMPBELL Council On Foreign Relations Senior Fellow For Africa Policy Studies John Campbell Served As A Political Counselor In Nigeria Under George H.W. Bush And The Ambassador To Nigeria Under George W. Bush. “John Campbell is the Ralph Bunche senior fellow for Africa policy studies at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in New York. Rowman & Littlefield published his book, Nigeria: Dancing on the Brink. The second edition was published in June 2013. He writes the blog "Africa in Transition" and edits the Nigeria Security Tracker. From 1975 to 2007, Ambassador Campbell served as a U.S. Department of State Foreign Service officer. He served twice in Nigeria, as political counselor from 1988 to 1990, and as ambassador from 2004 to 2007. Ambassador Campbell's additional overseas postings include Lyon, Paris, Geneva, and Pretoria. He also served as deputy assistant secretary for human resources, dean of the Foreign Service Institute's School of Language Studies, and director of the Office of UN Political Affairs.” [Council on Foreign Relations, accessed 4/9/15]

OTHERS ARGUED THAT DESIGNATING BOKO HARAM A TERRORIST ORGANIZATION WOULD NOT HAVE MATERIALLY HELPED NIGERIAN SECURITY FORCES… Daily Beast: “Had Clinton Designated Boko Haram As A Foreign Terrorist Organization, That Wouldn’t Have Authorized Any Increased Assistance To The Nigerian Security Forces.” “Had Clinton designated Boko Haram as a foreign terrorist organization, that wouldn’t have authorized any increased assistance to the Nigerian security forces; such assistance is complicated by the Leahy Law, a provision that prevents the U.S. from giving weapons to foreign military and police units guilty of human rights violations.” [Daily Beast, 5/7/14] Daily Beast: “Despite The State Department’s Refusal To Put Boko Haram On The Terrorism List, There Were Several Other Efforts To Work With The Nigerian Government On Countering The Extremist Group, Mainly Through Diplomatic And Military Intelligence Channels.” “Not everyone agrees that Clinton’s failure to act had significant negative effects. A former senior U.S. counterterrorism official told The Daily Beast that despite the State Department’s refusal to put Boko Haram on the terrorism list, there were several other efforts to work with the Nigerian government on countering the extremist group, mainly through diplomatic and military intelligence channels. ‘Designation is an important tool, it’s not the only tool,’ this official said. ‘There are a lot of other things you can do in counterterrorism that doesn’t require a designation.’” [Daily Beast, 5/7/14] …AND THAT THE STATE DEPARTMENT WAS ABLE TO WORK AGAINST BOKO HARAM DESPITE THE LACK OF DESIGNATION Daily Beast: “Three Boko Haram-Related Individuals Were Personally Sanctioned During Clinton’s Time At State.” “Not everyone agrees that Clinton’s failure to act had significant negative effects. A former senior U.S. counterterrorism official told The Daily Beast that despite the State Department’s refusal to put Boko Haram on the terrorism list, there were several other efforts to work with the Nigerian government on countering the extremist group, mainly through diplomatic and military intelligence channels…‘The utility was limited, the symbolism was perhaps significant, but the more important issue was how we were dealing with the Nigerians,’ this official said, noting that three Boko Haram-related individuals were personally sanctioned during Clinton’s time at State.” [Daily Beast, 5/7/14]  State Department: Under Secretary Clinton, The State Department Designated As Global Terrorists “The Most Visible Leader” Of Boko Haram, As Well As Two Others Who “Have Ties To Boko Haram And Have Close Links To Al-Qa’ida In The Islamic Maghreb.” “The Department of State designated Abubakar Shekau, Abubakar Adam Kambar, and Khalid al-Barnawi as Specially Designated Global Terrorists under section 1(b) of Executive Order 13224. Shekau is the most visible leader of the Nigeria-based militant group Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati Wal-Jihad, commonly referred to as Boko Haram. Khalid al-Barnawi and Abubakar Adam Kambar have ties to Boko Haram and have close links to al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb, a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization.” [State Department, 6/21/12] A FACT CHECKER ASSERTED THAT THE U.S. WORKED WITH NIGERIA ON COUNTERING BOKO HARAM AND THAT AN FTO DESIGNATION WOULD NOT HAVE STOPPED BOKO HARAM’S MASS KIDNAPPING Washington Post Fact Checker: Discussions Between The U.S. And Nigeria Over Sanctioning Boko Haram “Was A Step-By-Step Diplomatic Process…[Where] It Was Made Clear That Formal Designation Of The Group Could Come Later.” “In other words, it was a step-by-step diplomatic process. It was made clear that formal designation of the group could come later — and it did, the very next year. But in the meantime, the State Department hoped it could use the threat of designation — and the pressure from Congress — to induce better behavior by the Nigerian military and a more serious approach to the threat by the Nigerian government. By contrast, officials feared that going immediately to a designation would forfeit that potential leverage and upset the Nigerian government.” [Fact Checker, Washington Post, 5/19/14]

Washington Post Fact Checker On Boko Haram: “There Is No Evidence That An FTO Designation Any Sooner Would Have Prevented The Kidnapping Of The Girls.” “Given the facts at hand, it was not an unreasonable solution — and the process by which the decision was made was fair-minded and thorough. Officials on both sides of the debate argued their case, and, as is often the case, a compromise was reached. Moreover, there is no evidence that an FTO designation any sooner would have prevented the kidnapping of the girls.” [Fact Checker, Washington Post, 5/19/14]