February 5th, 2010
07:00 PM ET
13 years ago

Clinton names biggest threats to U.S.

(CNN) - The biggest threats to America's national security come not from Iran or North Korea, but from trans-national non-state actors, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told CNN's Candy Crowley in an exclusive interview to air Sunday.

"Most of us believe the greater threats are the trans-national non-state networks, primarily the extremists – the fundamentalist Islamic extremists who are connected to al Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula," Clinton said. "Or al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan."

"They continue to try to increase the sophistication of their capacity," the nation's top diplomat added. "The attacks that they're going to make and the…biggest nightmare that any of us have is that one of these terrorist member organizations within this syndicate of terror will get their hands on a weapon of mass destruction."

In the wide-ranging interview that will air on CNN's "State of the Union with Candy Crowley," Clinton also said Iran's latest behavior is a clear indication the country has nuclear ambitions.

"It's like an old saying that if you see a turtle on a fence post in the middle of the woods, he didn't get there by accident, right? Somebody's put him there. And so you draw conclusions from what you see Iran doing," she said.

Clinton specifically pointed to Iran's rejection late last month of a proposal by the International Atomic Energy Agency calling for the country give up a significant portion of its low-enriched uranium in exchange for fuel for Tehran's research reactor. Iran has maintained its nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes.

The full interview will air Sunday at 9 a.m. ET.

soundoff (117 Responses)
  1. Donald D.

    Madam Secretary of States please do not forget some of the very Americans who only care about themselves and the bottom line. Many business executives have shipped thousands of jobs offshore and flooding the USA with goods produce under exploitation cheap labor in China, India, Mexico and other parts of the world. The workers are paid pennies per hour while the goods are sold at more than a thousand percent of the production cost to the American people. Such drain on the economy resulted with China and Russia have the largest reserve of American dollars while buying up American bonds. That is the largest threat. I agree with President Obama for saying he will ensure actions are taken to take away tax breaks from the companies that ship the jobs abroad. Unfortunately the Republicans did not see the need to remedy this situation. Every job shipped abroad is tax revenue that the government loses never to regain. Mr. President, slap hiher taxes on these companies earnings.

    February 5, 2010 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  2. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert but...

    She forgot to list global capitalism. Have a nice weekend!

    February 5, 2010 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  3. The Vampire


    Are you saying that when you reach 65 you will die so you will not collect Social Security? People on SSDI should be cut off or taken to work camps? Social Security is not welfare – a person draws what they put into the system.

    Gary, are you practicing your goose-stepping and heel-clicking?

    February 5, 2010 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  4. Donkey Party

    What's the difference between Al-Queda and the GOP? One group wants to kill as many Americans as possible, and is hell -bent on achieving the total destruction of the USA, the other group is just a bunch of misguided goat and camel-herders.

    February 5, 2010 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  5. Guest

    Hey Ryan, The worst hit states are Red? How about California, New York, and New Jersey. If not bankrupt they are on the verge of it. Those are some blue states. Maybe they are opposed to what is being presented right now because the Dems want it done way too quickly and something this big needs time.

    February 5, 2010 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  6. Michael from Ventura

    She needs to add the right wing lunatics who are bent on destroying this Nation from within!

    February 5, 2010 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |

    I can't help but laugh at you amazingly blatantly rediculous far left extremists who say things like "republicans are the American taliban" and "republicans are terrorists". Holy cow... I can't even contemplate the mental defect required to actually BELIEVE that. I mean seriously... I don't agree with a darn thing the far left has to say usually... but I don't presume to think you care any less for your country than I do for mine. The world would be a MUCH better place if all you "enlightened" kind hearted liberals (who are supposed to be the "tolerant" ones) would DROP the blind party loyalty, grow the heck up, and approach the conversation as an adult. You really degrade your whole argument by acting like such spoiled bratty little children. Get real... seriously... you should be ashamed of how STUPID you sound. I DARE YOU TO POST THIS CNN cuz you never post anything I write.

    February 5, 2010 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  8. Doug

    The greatest threat to America is the liberls trying to take our hard earned money and give that money to people that are either too stupid to work or to lazy! Impeach Obama NOW!

    February 5, 2010 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  9. Marie Laveaux

    Anyone on here who thinks that the President of the United States belongs on this list is sick. No matter whether you like him personally (or not) or disagree with his policies, etc., to say that he does not love this nation or its people is palin foolishness.

    February 5, 2010 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  10. Jay

    Hillary Clinton is a huge threat to the United States. I look forward to the day she resigns.

    February 5, 2010 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  11. Marie Laveaux

    i meant to say "plain foolishness", but typed palin instead of plain. Must be a Freudian slip.

    February 5, 2010 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  12. inofritzn

    Islamic extremists, al qaeda, WMDs, IRAN??? Sounds a lot like what Bush and Co. worried about... guess you liberals will have to start calling HC a bigot, ignorant and so on now?

    February 5, 2010 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  13. D.

    I thought Bush and Cheney are the biggest threats... at least it looks like this on the never ending Obama's campaign trail.....

    February 5, 2010 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  14. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    She is probably correct, but don't leave out cyperspace attacks that can happen at a blink of the eye, then what.

    February 5, 2010 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  15. Sam

    Hey, CNN, one Republican Senator (Shelby) has placed a hold that will block EVERY Obama nomination to EVERY post until Obama gives that Senator more pork for himself.... This is obstruction to the extreme... Where's your coverage?

    February 5, 2010 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  16. Aunt Bea and Opie

    The greatest threat will be the Corporate Fascists and their private army"blackwater".When they have complete control of both parties they will gather those on both sides who dare to question them.

    February 5, 2010 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  17. adamch

    I was reading the Art of War the other day and the author, a legendary general who never lost a war, says the best way to win a war is when you never have to fire a shot. The worst way is to march your army across great distances and to let the state pay for the cost of the war. If you are going to march your army, you should at least pillage enough to pay for the cost incurred by the army. Based on this logic, the u.s. should at least be stealing oil to pay for these wars in the middle east. I would rather see them stealing all the oil than fighting these wars in the 'worst' way, described above. There's also a very good section in The Art of War about trying to fight in certain types of terrain. When I read that I thought about Afganistan. I was left with the conclusion that the U.S., according to the advice in this book, is not only fighting a war in the worst way, but also has the worst strategic position in Afganistan.

    February 5, 2010 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  18. Ed

    Did she deliberately omit herself?

    February 5, 2010 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  19. Donkey Party

    If you Right-wingers would only pull your heads out of your asses (turn off Fox News) and watch CNN or MSNBC for an hour or two, you'd see how incredibly stupid, and incredibly dangerous the party is that you all so blindly worship. Instead, you'd rather come on here and spew your rampant lunacy just long enough before you have to get back on one of Glen Beck's teats. Bunch of sick, self-loathing sub-humans.

    February 5, 2010 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  20. Tram

    The GOP is the worst internal threat to America overall. Sure, the Taliban, Al Queda, any one of a number of rogue groups can get their hands on the materials needed for a dirty bomb. Suicide bombers come in all shapes and sizes. We know to expect bad guys to come INTO this country trying to destroy us, but the ones that are already here - the ones who blow up federal buildings with rental trucks full of fertilizer, the ones who destroy our Constitution "legally" like the GOP did for 8 years - those are the ones that have blindsided us in the past.

    Terror isn't just a description we can tag onto people who hijack planes and fly them into buildings.

    February 5, 2010 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  21. LacrosseMom(the real one)

    Sadly, the majority of Americans believe that they are in danger from islamic jihadists(sp?) however, the biggest DANGER is heart disease that KILLS thousands of Americans every day!

    According to the American Heart Association:

    910,000 Americans DIE ANNUALLY of heart disease & heart disease related illness.

    February 5, 2010 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  22. Donkey Party

    To adamch @ 5:05 –

    Stick to playing with plastic army-men and Dungeons and Dragons, General Dipstick.

    February 5, 2010 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  23. floorme

    3 biggest threats to Hilary Clinton:

    1) Interns wearing Berets:
    Most civilized nations would hold their chief executive responsible for having a sexual relationship with a MUCH younger employee.
    However, when you hire someone whos expertise is so great they name the activity after her (Lewinsky), maybe we need to give Bill a pass on this one

    2) Picture of Hilary in a bathing suit:
    Remember, bring your wide angle lense for this one::

    3) Having a son in law that is an investment banker.
    Lord knows, those Clintons blame everybody but themselves for everything and Hillary, loves to hate people that promote EARNING personal wealth and eliminating the government from providing an existance to the masses:

    February 5, 2010 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  24. SPC David Cox

    The greatest threat to America is the spending in Washington...NOT terrorism.

    February 5, 2010 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  25. Pat F

    There really are people in this country who seriously believe that the Republican Party is a bigger threat to national security that al Queda.

    What an argument for forced sterilization – some people just shouldn't be allowed to reproduce.

    February 5, 2010 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
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