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November 30th, 2009
12:41 PM ET
November 13th, 2009
01:15 PM ET

Gitmo Stats: Detainees to be transferred out of the U.S.

Editor's Note: Five Guantanamo Bay detainees with alleged ties to the 9/11 conspiracy, including accused mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, will be transferred to New York to go on trial in civilian court, Attorney General Eric Holder announced Friday.

Jill Dougherty and Elise Labott
CNN

A senior administration official spoke with CNN’s Jill Dougherty and Elise Labott about the resettlement of detainees at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.

Here are some stats about Gitmo detainees and their transfers.

1. When President Obama took office there were 242 detainees at Guantanamo. Now there are 215. Of those, 115 have been approved for transfer.

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October 28th, 2009
12:42 PM ET

Clinton arrives in Pakistan to write new chapter in relations

Jill Dougherty
CNN

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived Wednesday in nuclear-armed Pakistan, a country hit hard by terrorism, economic crisis and rising sentiment that it is paying too high a price for its partnership with the United States in fighting extremists.

Clinton is expected to meet with top Pakistani officials, including president Asif Ali Zardari, but a major challenge during this visit is to convince Pakistanis that the U.S. wants a partnership that goes beyond fighting al Qaeda and other extremist groups.

Talking with reporters en route to Pakistan, Clinton said she wants to "turn the page" on what has been, in the past few years, "primarily a security-anti-terrorist agenda."

"We hold that to be extremely important, and it remains a very high priority," she said. "But we also recognize that it is imperative that we broaden our engagement with Pakistan."

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Filed under: al Qaeda • Hillary Clinton • Jill Dougherty • Pakistan • Taliban
October 16th, 2009
02:35 PM ET

Clinton: Karzai runoff win likely but he must deliver

Jill Dougherty
CNN Foreign Affairs Correspondent

With a runoff presidential election in Afghanistan likely, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told CNN Friday that she expects the current president Hamid Karzai will win.

“It is likely that they will find that President Karzai got very close to the 50, plus 1, percent. I think one can conclude that the likelihood of him (Karzai) winning a second round is probably pretty high,” Clinton told CNN’s Foreign Affairs Correspondent Jill Dougherty in an exclusive interview.

Clinton said, however, the timing of President Obama’s decision on whether to commit more troops to the fight in Afghanistan will not hinge on the election results. “I think the president is expecting to make a decision on his own timetable,” she said, “when he is absolutely comfortable with what he believes is in the best interest of the United States.”

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Jill Dougherty
September 2nd, 2009
05:55 PM ET
June 12th, 2009
02:00 PM ET

After Gitmo, hit the beaches

The map shows the Pacific island nation of Palau in relation to China. Palau has also agreed to take some Uighurs.

The map shows the Pacific island nation of Palau in relation to China. Palau has also agreed to take some Uighurs.

Jill Dougherty | Bio
Foreign Affairs Correspondent

Four men held at the prison camp in Guantanamo for almost eight years have just been sent to live in Bermuda, land of Bermuda shorts, golf courses and white sandy beaches.

For months the Obama administration has been scouring the world to find a home for the Uighurs, members of a Muslim minority group from western China. The Chinese government considers them terrorists and that is what the U.S. initially thought, since some of them were members of a group allied with Al Qaeda which the U.S. labels a terrorist organization. But in 2008 the Bush administration determined that none of the Uighur detainees were “enemy combatants.”

The U.S. ruled out sending them back to China out of fear they would be tortured. Northern Virginia, which has a sizeable Uighur community, wasn’t possible either because of intense domestic political lobbying against having “terrorists” living down the street from Americans.

“We’re extremely grateful to the Government of Bermuda for its assistance in resettling these detainees,” State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said Thursday.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Global 360° • Guantanomo Bay • Jill Dougherty
June 4th, 2009
08:03 AM ET

Caving in to Cuba – or killing a Cold War relic?

Jill Dougherty
CNN Foreign Affairs Editor

Forty-seven years after Cuba was suspended from the Organization of American States, the 34-member organization has decided to revoke that decision and allow Cuba to rejoin.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who represented the United States at the meeting, called the decision a “consensus that focuses on the future instead of the past.”

The move by the OAS to lift the Cold-War-era suspension does not mean that Cuba immediately regains its seat; it can return to the OAS if the OAS decides that the island nation’s participation is in line with the purposes and principles of the organization, especially in its protection of democracy and human rights. Secretary Clinton said Cuba’s rejoining the OAS was “down the road – if it ever chooses to seek reentry.”

FULL POST


Filed under: Cuba • Fidel Castro • Hillary Clinton • Jill Dougherty
May 8th, 2009
11:56 PM ET

The World According to Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

CNN Foreign Affairs Correspondent
Jill Dougherty

U.S.-Russian relations “seriously deteriorated” late last year but don’t blame Moscow. That’s how Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov sees it.

“The choice has not been ours,” he says in a speech at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, D.C. “The plans of the previous U.S. administration have carried with them a serious damage to Russia’s security, security interests, and if realized would inevitably demand our response.”

Among other things, Lavrov points to U.S. plans to install a strategic missile defense system in Eastern Europe, the “hectic, unjustified” NATO expansion and “attempts to punish Russia” after its brief war with Georgia in August of last year.

If Russia and the United States are serious about “resetting” their relations they have to “get rid of the toxic assets, he says.

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Filed under: Global 360° • Jill Dougherty • Russia
May 1st, 2009
11:45 PM ET

“Way cool” in the briefing room

Jill Dougherty
CNN International Affairs Correspondent

At his daily briefing, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was doing what some reporters call “tap dancing,” trying to avoid saying much about Supreme Court Justice David Souter’s decision to retire. The reason? The White House was waiting for a formal letter from Justice Souter notifying the President of his decision. CNN had cameras stationed on the White House front lawn, waiting to capture the moment when a marshall from the Supreme Court would arrive in a Lincoln Town Car would arrive, letter in hand.

All of a sudden, through the door into the briefing room, walks the president. Reporters jump to their feet. Cameras pivot.

“This is kind of cool, Robert,” Mr. Obama says with a big grin. Gibbs quips: “It is way cooler than it seems.”

“Absolutely,” the president says. “The reason I’m interrupting Robert is not because he’s not doing a good job. He is doing an unbelievable job. But it’s because I just got off the telephone with Justice Souter.”

The president praises Souter. “Fair minded…independent…no particular ideology.”

What will he look for in a nominee to replace Justice Souter? “Someone with a sharp and independent mind and a record of excellence and integrity.”

So far, it’s what you expect a president to say. But this president taught constitutional law for ten years. “I will seek someone who understands that justice isn’t about some abstract legal theory or footnote in a casebook,” he say. “It is also about how our laws affect the daily realities of people’s lives, whether they can make a living and care for their families.”

So far, we’re hearing a liberal: “…I view that quality of empathy, of understanding and identifying with people’s hopes and struggles as an essential ingredient for arriving at just decisions and outcomes.”

Now comes the “conservative” side of president Obama: “I will seek somebody who is dedicated to the rule of law, who honors our constitutional traditions. Who respects the integrity of the judicial process, and the appropriate limits of the judicial role.”

Mr. Obama promises to consult with members of both parties, “across the political spectrum.” But conservatives already are attacking some possible Obama nominees as "disturbingly out of the mainstream.”

The briefing room “interruption” is over. The president says he hopes he can swear in the new Supreme Court justice by the first Monday in October when the new term begins.

“I would like you to give Robert a tough time again,” he laughs...and strolls out of the briefing room.

April 23rd, 2009
12:01 AM ET

Mortal threat – to Pakistan and to the U.S.

A soldier on guard on a street in Quetta, Pakistan, earlier in April.

A soldier on guard on a street in Quetta, Pakistan, earlier in April.

Jill Dougherty | Bio
Foreign Affairs Correspondent

The Pakistan government thought it would work: allow hardline Islamic groups to rule tribal areas, impose strict sharia law and, in return, the Taliban would declare a ceasefire. They tried it in the Swat Valley but the militants weren't satisfied, and widened their grasp, taking over more villages and moving within 60 miles of the capital Islamabad.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton calls Pakistan's deal "abdicating" to those groups and says the policy "poses a mortal threat to the security and safety of our country and the world."

"I think that we cannot underscore the seriousness of the existential threat posed to the state of Pakistan," she says, "by the continuing advances, now within hours of Islamabad, that are being made by a loosely confederated group of terrorists and others who are seeking the overthrow of the Pakistani state, which as we all know, is a nuclear-armed state."

No one is predicting it will happen, but there is a possible worst-case scenario: militants strengthen, overthrow the government, and take control of Pakistan's nuclear weapons. On Capitol Hill, Clinton heard it from California Congressman Howard Berman: "We can't allow al Qaeda or any other terrorist group that threatens our national security, to operate with impunity in the tribal regions. Nor can we permit the Pakistani state and its nuclear arsenal to be taken over by the Taliban or any other radical groups."

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