Anne and those with her were attacked by the Taliban terrorists who woke up that day not with a mission to educate or to help, but with a mission to destroy. A brave American was determined to brighten the light of learning through books, written in the native tongue of the students she had never met, whom she felt it incumbent to help.Secretary of State John Kerry • Discussing the death of Anne Smedinghoff, a 25-year-old U.S. Foreign Service Officer who was killed when delivering books to a school in Afghanistan. (Her group was ambushed by the Taliban, and she was one of six Americans killed Saturday.) Kerry, who had met the Illinois native just two weeks ago while on a trip to the country, said that she was ”a selfless, idealistic woman who woke up yesterday morning and set out to bring textbooks to school children, to bring them knowledge.” Her parents offered up a similar statement on the tragedy. Smedinghoff’s death is the first of a U.S. diplomat since last year’s Benghazi’s attack.
The bottom line is simply that what Kim Jong Un is choosing to do is provocative. It is dangerous, reckless. The United States will not accept the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) as a nuclear state. …the United States will do what is necessary to defend ourselves and defend our allies, Korea and Japan. We are fully prepared and capable of doing so, and I think the DPRK understands that.U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry • Speaking sternly on a North Korean declaration to reopen its primary nuclear reactor complex in Yongbyon. North Korean state media reported that the reactors, as well as a uranium enrichment facility, were shut down and disabled as part of a 2007 agreement with the United States, which the government now plans to “readjust and restart.” This is not the first indication of a renewed international belligerence on the part of North Korea and its hereditary leader, Kim Jong-un — they also declared last week that they were entering a “state of war” with neighboring South Korea. source
Some people have sometimes wondered about why our Supreme Court allows one group or another to march in a parade, even though it’s the most provocative thing in the world, and they carry signs that are an insult to one group or another. And the reason is, that’s freedom. Freedom of speech. In America, you have the right to be stupid. If you want to be. …Now, I think that’s a virtue. That’s something worth fighting for.Secretary of State John Kerry • Speaking to a group of German students, on the first overseas trip of his tenure as head of the State Department. Kerry’s allusion to Supreme Court precedent defending the right to offensive parades is no doubt a reference to cases like NSPA v. Skokie, which in 1977 upheld the right of Nazis to hold a march in Skokie, Illinois, where 1 in 6 residents were holocaust survivors. That right, Kerry argued, is virtuous and quintessentially American, despite the terrible emotional toll that may result from such offensive expressions — “the right to be stupid.” source
There is so much on the plate that all of us need to find a way to work together. I hope this is a symbol that all of us are ready to do that.Senator John Kerry • Speaking prior to the Senate’s overwhelming vote, 94-3, to confirm him as the incoming Secretary of State for the Obama administration, replacing Hillary Clinton on February 1st (incidentally, he didn’t vote for himself, opting instead to vote “present”). Of important note on environmental issues, Kerry specifically cited climate change in his Senate confirmation hearings as a “life-threatening issue,” and it figures to be a major issue throughout his Secretaryship. source
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