In a surprising move, a former George Bush Nigerian ambassador appointee defended Hillary Clinton from criticisms by the right over why she failed to designate Boko Haram as a terrorist organization.
May 11, 2014

After the horrific kidnapping of over 200 school girls in Nigeria by an extremist group known as Boko Haram, right wing pundits and politicians are now assailing Hillary Clinton for refusing to label them as a terrorist group.

Hillary Clinton's leadership as secretary of state regarding the Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram could become at least as serious an issue as her decisions surrounding the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.

Why, indeed? Chris Wallace brought on former Nigerian Ambassador John Campbell, who was appointed by George Bush in 2004 to discuss the kidnappings and asked him if it was fair that Hillary Clinton was being targeted for criticism.

Wallace: Clinton has come under fire this week because back in 2011 she rejected calls by the FBI and the intelligence community to designate Boko Haram as a foreign terrorist organization. As a Bush appointee to be ambassador, do you think that's fair, the criticism of Secratary Clinton?

Campbell: No, I don't think it's fair and along with a good number of Nigerian experts at the time we all opposed designation. We opposed designation because we don't think that he legislation actually fits the situation in Nigeria. The Boko Haram movement is highly diffuse, it's not a centralized organization. It has important grass roots elements to it.

The legislation has to do with essentially issues like getting visas to come to the US, or the movement of money from the US to Nigeria, neither of which is relevant. What he legislation also does however, is it inhibits the possibility of future contact between either private citizens or public personalities with Boko Haram and at some future point might reduce the options that we have in terms of negotiation.

Ambassador Campbell gave Wallace a very smart and reasoned explanation why Boko Haram was not labeled a terrorist group and that shut down Chris Wallace's questioning of it completely.

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