December 4th, 2012
03:10 AM ET

U.S. embassy targeted in Jordan

One of the biggest American embassies was the target in a large al Qaeda plot. Brian Todd has the details.

November 18th, 2012
08:02 PM ET

Petraeus testimony settles little

By Gregory Wallace

Republican legislators on Sunday questioned the motives behind the Obama administration’s initial description of the September attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, after Friday briefings on Capitol Hill from the former CIA director.

Asked whether the Obama administration’s initial description of the attacks as “spontaneous” was an attempt to avoid a discussion about terrorist groups being involved, Sen. Roy Blunt said, “Until you hear a better explanation, that's the only conclusion you could reach.”

“You have to have a really good reason why you don't give the American people the information you had, unless you think you're somehow going to really endanger the people that are in other parts of the world,” the Missouri Republican said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Campaign advisers spar over Libya
October 14th, 2012
04:11 PM ET

Campaign advisers spar over Libya

By Kevin Liptak

The assault on an American diplomatic post in Libya that left four Americans dead provided surrogates for both presidential candidates with fodder for political attacks Sunday, two days ahead of a critical debate between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama.

On CNN's "State of the Union," Romney adviser Ed Gillespie echoed an attack line the GOP nominee delivered last week, insisting that Vice President Joe Biden's assertions at the vice-presidential debate didn't match congressional testimony from State Department officials.

"Vice President Biden directly contradicted the sworn testimony of the State Department in the debate the other night. That led to another round of kind of nuancing by the White House," Gillespie said, adding: "There are inconsistencies here, and I think as Americans we deserve to know what really happened going into this attack."

Also: White House backs Biden on Benghazi

Robert Gibbs, also speaking with CNN chief political correspondent Candy Crowley on "State of the Union," rejected the Republican criticism of the Obama administration, saying the president's rivals were seeking political gain from the national tragedy.

"We don't need wing-tipped cowboys or shoot-from-the-hip diplomacy," Gibbs said, pointing to widespread criticism of Romney's initial response to the attack in Libya, as well as a protest at the American Embassy in Cairo that occurred the same day.


July 26th, 2012
02:09 AM ET

McRaven on bin Laden raid: One of history's "great intelligence operations"

To watch more of Wolf Blitzer’s interview with Admiral William McRaven, tune to “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer” on CNN Thursday 4-7pm ET and Saturday 6-7pm ET. 

By Jamie Crawford

While it was one of 11 missions carried out by U.S. special forces that night, the head of U.S. Special Operations command said the raid that killed Osama bin Laden will go down as one of the "great intelligence operations in history."

Admiral William McRaven spoke Wednesday before an audience at the Aspen Institute Security Conference on a panel discussion moderated by CNN's Wolf Blitzer. The talk was his first interview about the raid with a journalist.

McRaven also touched on some of the other pressing issues facing the U.S. military in the discussion that ranged from serious to light-hearted.


June 3rd, 2012
03:33 PM ET

Sens. Lugar and Warner on Syria

Sen. Dick Lugar and Sen. Mark Warner spoke on the US's options in dealing with the bloodshed in Syria. They sat down with CNN's Candy Crowley on State of the Union Sunday morning.

Click here to see what they said.

Filed under: Lugar • Sanctions • State of the Union with Candy Crowley • Syria • Turkey • Warner
May 30th, 2012
07:30 PM ET

Worse case scenario in Syria

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations warned that should the current plan fail in Syria, the world is facing a 'worst case scenario' of intensifying civil strife.

Ambassador Susan Rice told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that that there needs to be "maximum international pressure" on Syria's president by the United Nations Security Council "including sanctions and potentially other steps."

"Should all of that fail or not be possible because it perhaps would be vetoed again, then we're into a situation which is chaotic," Rice said in the interview that aired Wednesday on Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.

May 24th, 2012
05:59 PM ET

U.N. chief: 'No Plan B' in Syria

With the carnage in Syria that has left thousands dead now entering its fifteenth month, the United Nations Secretary General says there is no clear path beyond the current mission being led by Kofi Annan.

"At this time, we don't have any plan B," U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon told CNN's Christiane Amanpour in an interview for 'Amanpour' on CNN International. "The joint special envoy Kofi Annan has proposed six peace proposals, among which the complete cessation of violence is number one. Unfortunately, this has not been implemented while with the deployment of monitoring missions, we have seen some dampening effect."

Many regard the Annan mission in Syria to be a failure already.

There will be discussions in the Security Council next week about the situation in Syria Mr. Ban said, and he will make a report about the situation. But the lack of cooperation from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is making the situation very difficult.

Watch the Secretary General discuss the situation in Syria with Christiane Amanpour here.

Filed under: Amanpour • Assad • Syria • United Nations
Karzai: I will not let congressman into Afghanistan
May 21st, 2012
06:20 PM ET

Karzai: I will not let congressman into Afghanistan

Editor's note: Read all of Security Clearance's coverage of the 2012 NATO summit in Chicago.  Follow our reporting and other key NATO tweets with our NATO summit Twitter list.

By Jamie Crawford

If Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-California, an influential member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is looking for a country to visit as a member of a congressional delegation, he can cross Afghanistan off his list.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Rohrabacher have been at loggerheads over the congressman's push for a more decentralized Afghan government. Asked by CNN's Wolf Blitzer about the disagreement, Karzai said he is against letting Rohrabacher into the country.

"Until he changes his tongue, until he shows respect to the Afghan people, to our way of life and to our constitution ... No foreigner has a place asking another people, another country to change their constitution. Have we ever asked the United States to change its constitution?" Karzai said in an exclusive interview that aired Monday on "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer."

Last month, Rohrabacher was asked by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton not to travel on to Afghanistan with a congressional delegation that he was part of as it visited the region, after Karzai said the congressman was not welcome.


Iran: We can withstand sanctions
May 21st, 2012
06:49 AM ET

Iran: We can withstand sanctions

As Iran gets set to meet again with the U.S. and other countries to negotiate its nuclear program, the country's economic minister insisted in an interview Sunday with CNN's Fareed Zakaria that the crippling sanctions imposed on Iran were not having as much of an impact as believed.

Minister Shamseddin Hosseini argued that his country has a much broader economy than just oil.

"Last year, the total non-oil exports increased by 30 percent and according to the latest reports that the International Monetary Fund has published, Iran's GDP - Iran's per capita income has also increased," Hosseini said in the interview on CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS.

Zakaria pressed Hosseini on the argument, asking how it could be that the country is not affected when 80% of its foreign revenues come from foreign sales of oil.

Here is a transcript of the exchange: FULL POST

Post by:
Filed under: EU • Europe • Fareed Zakaria GPS • Iran • Sanctions
May 20th, 2012
02:17 PM ET

Rasmussen: NATO must operate abroad to defend interests

Editor's note: Read all of Security Clearance's coverage of the 2012 NATO summit in Chicago.  Follow our reporting and other key NATO tweets with our NATO summit Twitter list.

NATO must be willing to be involved in conflict away from the immediate geography of the member nations, the group's secretary general told CNN's Candy Crowley on Sunday.

Rasmussen was responding to a Security Clearance article by CNN Foreign Affairs Reporter Elise Labott which reported that the decade-long NATO involvement in Afghanistan has produced what some have described as collective fatigue among European allies and questions about whether NATO should be involved in conflicts outside of Europe's backyard.

"In today's world all allies realize that territorial defense of our populations and our countries may very well start beyond our borders," NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen responded in an interview that aired on CNN's State of the Union.

Recommended: U.S., Pakistan fail to reach deal on supply routes ahead of NATO meetings

In regards to Afghanistan, Rasmussen said NATO members are starting to pledge the money needed to support Afghanistan, an issue that the U.S. is raising with other countries.  Rasmussen described himself as "optimistic" the necessary funds to support Afghanistan's forces will be achieved. FULL POST

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