In her initial public response to Tuesday’s terrorist attack in Brussels, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the attacks on a Belgium airport and a metro station were a “terrible horror.” But she also expressed a more measured tone than some of her 2016 rivals.
“This is a time for us to reaffirm our solidarity with our Europeans friends,” she said, calling into the Today Show Tuesday morning.
“It’s unrealistic to say we’re going to completely shut down our borders to everyone,” Clinton said. “But we have to do a much better job in coordination with the Europeans on tracking and following anyone who has any connection with terrorist activity or terrorism.”
She added that she favored tougher standards in visa programs. However, she rebutted the idea that waterboarding or other torture techniques should be considered, as GOP frontrunner Donald Trump had previously suggested.
“As to waterboarding, you know, our country’s most experienced and bravest military leaders will tell you that torture is not effective. It does put our own soldiers and increasingly our own civilians at risk,” Clinton said.
Rather, she said, “We do have to give law enforcement and intelligence professionals all the tools they need to do the job to keep America safe and they don’t need to resort to torture, but they are going to need more help.”
She pointed to the challenge encryption poses to authorities investigating terrorism, as Apple and the feds are currently in a standoff over unlocking a phone used by one of the San Bernardino suspects.
“We’ve got to recognize that the threat posed by the modern incarnation of terrorism is one that we have to be vigilant against,” she said. “I know that Americans have every reason to be frightened about what they see and what happened to us in San Bernardino. And remember the terrorists are trying to undermine the democratic values that are at the root of our way of life. We cannot let them succeed.”
Soon after her phone interview with the Today Show, her campaign issued the following statement:
“Terrorists have once again struck at the heart of Europe, but their campaign of hate and fear will not succeed. The people of Brussels, of Europe, and of the world will not be intimidated by these vicious killers. Today Americans stand in solidarity with our European allies. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those killed and wounded, and all the people of Belgium. These terrorists seek to undermine the democratic values that are the foundation of our alliance and our way of life, but they will never succeed. Today’s attacks will only strengthen our resolve to stand together as allies and defeat terrorism and radical jihadism around the world.”