Interview With Wendell Goler of Fox



During an interview with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Fox News Correspondent Wendell Goler asked about reports that Muammar Qaddafi had been killed or captured. 

October 20, 2011

QUESTION: With respect, if I could ask you, a source has confirmed to Fox that Muammar Qadhafi has been captured, injured in Sirte. What does that mean for the Libyan people?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first, we can’t confirm yet what exactly has happened. But I think it would bring a sigh of relief to a lot of Libyans. Because they expressed to me their concern when I was in Tripoli, two days ago, that if he remained at large, even after they liberated Sirte and declared that the entire country was liberated, that he would wage a guerrilla war against them, that he would recruit mercenaries and pay out of the stocks of gold that they think he has secreted.

So if it is true, then that is one more obstacle removed from being able to get on with the business of announcing a government and trying to unify the country. They have a very steep climb ahead of them, as you know, to try to bring together Libya, build institutions, start on a new path to the future. Having him out of the picture, I think, will give them more breathing space.

QUESTION: Now (inaudible) this region, you today articulated a new formulation of your Afghan/Pakistan strategy: fight, talk, and build. President Karzai has broken off talks with the Taliban. The Pakistanis haven’t mounted the fight that you want them to wage in the tribal areas. How do you get to build?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yeah. I think that we have to do all three simultaneously. We do have to keep fighting, and we are. We are seeking an end to the sanctuaries on both sides of the border. We have to do more on this side, and we expect to do more and see the Pakistanis step up and do more on their side.

On the talking path, President Karzai has made clear that he’s not going to respond to offers, as unfortunately was the case with the suicide bomber who killed Professor Rabbani. He’s going to want a proper process. He’s going to want, as he says, an address where the negotiations can be held and where we know who it is that’s negotiating. I think that’s absolutely appropriate. So we intend to work with him for an Afghan-led process to try to put together talks that will lead to either determining whether there are some Taliban who wish to abide by the red lines – cease violence, break off with al-Qaida, respect the laws and constitution of Afghanistan, including the rights of minorities and women – or not. So we want to test that, and so does he.

And on the building side, there’s a lot of good work that has been and is going on here in Afghanistan. But the security problems, as they would be in any country, interfere with and undermine what could be the potential of that work being realized. So we have to continue to build while we try to fight and talk in order to increase the environment’s susceptibility to moving toward the outcome we seek.

QUESTION: Pakistan’s Army chief says Afghans should look inward to solve their problems. Is he telling you that, or is he only saying it for domestic consumption?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think that he is saying it because, to some extent, Pakistan does believe that Afghanistan has to deal with its own problems and that they have problems. I mean, if you’re sitting on the Pakistani side of the border, you say, “Look, we’ve lost 30,000 people to terrorism in the last 10 years, so we know what it’s like. We’re trying to deal with the many different forces at work in our society, so don’t blame us for all your problems.”

Nobody would be fair to say that all of either problems are anybody else’s fault. There do have to be decisions made in both Pakistan and Afghanistan to strengthen democracy and democratic institutions to deal with the security challenges. But what we are asking the Pakistanis to do is to step up their cooperation in shutting down the safe havens. Because it’s very hard to have a successful military campaign if the people you are seeking are constantly moving back across the border or if the operations that you are defending against are being planned and executed from safe havens across the border. You saw the news today. I mean, the Turks are chasing after the PKK, who killed 24 of their soldiers, and they’re doing it by going into northern Iraq, because that’s where the safe havens are.

So we have to come to a meeting of the minds about how we are going to resolve what I see as mutual threats to both countries arising from the same kind of extremism and violence that these groups propagate.

QUESTION: Former Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Mullen said the Haqqani Net is a veritable arm of Pakistan’s main intelligence agency. The Pakistanis deny that. Do you need to show them proof? Do you intend to?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we believe we do have evidence that elements within the Pakistani Government are certainly in contact with, know about, turning a blind eye to, at the very least, the Haqqani Network’s operations out of Pakistan. And this is a source of discussion, because as in any government, there are members of the Pakistani Government who, sitting here today, could pass a lie detector test that they know nothing and they do not believe it and they reject it out of hand. And then there are those who we believe are actively involved, and various levels of involvement and knowledge along the spectrum.

So we want to make it clear that the fact they are operating out of Pakistan, whether or not anybody is involved with them, is reason enough for us to be concerned, and therefore we need to join forces to end their safe haven.

QUESTION: Do you intend to show them proof of that?

SECRETARY CLINTON: We have shared information with them, and we will continue to do so.

QUESTION: Next week, the U.S. – on another subject – will meet with (inaudible) with North Korea. What do you want to hear from them? What do you expect to hear from them?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, as you know, we have had some preliminary conversations with the North Koreans over the last several months, in conjunction with closely collaborating with our South Korean friends, to determine whether they are serious about resuming negotiations on a range of issues, and most particularly from our perspective the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

They seem to be open to continuing the discussions, so we are pursuing those. We also know that there’s an interest in returning to the Six-Party Talks, to the framework that was put in place several years ago. We would like to see the agreement that was reached through the Six-Party Talks in 2005 actually implemented, so that’s one of the issues that we’ll be discussing with them.

But I think that it’s always important for us to hold the North Koreans accountable. There are certain steps we expect them to take, but if they are willing to be open to conversation with us and with the South Koreans, that we respond.

QUESTION: Do you expect to see measurable progress in this next meeting that —

SECRETARY CLINTON: Too soon to tell. Too soon to tell. But we – it’s the kind of situation where I think we’re willing to go and listen. But we have to see steps taken to go much further.

QUESTION: Thank you.