Earlier today, I argued that describing Clinton's visit a "private" mission is less than honest. Given Clinton's status as a former president and Hillary Clinton's status as the current Secretary of State (not to mention the strained relations between the United States and North Korea), his visit definitely has diplomatic overtones, and it was possibly designed for that purpose. John Bolton, former Ambassador to the United Nations, agrees, but he concludes that the mission was "unwise." In a Washington Post op-ed, Bolton argues that:
[T]he Clinton trip is a significant propaganda victory for North Korea, whetherI certainly lack the ability to predict the impact that Clinton's visit will have on United States national security, and Bolton seems to concede his inability to do so as well. And while I am reluctant to embrace Bolton's gloomy forecast, I agree with his observation that billing the mission as a private venture does not separate it from United States foreign affairs.
or not he carried an official message from President Obama. Despite decades of
bipartisan U.S. rhetoric about not negotiating with terrorists for the release
of hostages, it seems that the Obama administration not only chose to negotiate,
but to send a former president to do so.