Editor's note: The following column originally appeared in The Washington Times.
Hillary Clinton's book tour, which launched this week, has provided journalists, pundits and commentators with plenty to talk about, yet it is her comments about Benghazi and foreign policy that deserve the attention. Most alarming is her statement to "Today" show correspondent Cynthia McFadden that the five Taliban released in exchange for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl are "not a threat to the United States."
On its face, that declaration is ridiculous, and is contradicted by many, including President Obama himself. But she went further, stating: "These five guys are not a threat to the United States. They are a threat to the safety and security of Afghanistan and Pakistan. It is up to those two countries to make the decision once and for all that these are threats to them ."
Any serious person would grasp at the very least the horrific worldwide consequences of Al Qaeda and its supporters capturing Pakistan's nuclear weapons.
What makes her attitude so dangerous is it reflects the pre-Sept. 11, 2001, world of American political leadership, under the Clintons, which simply did not see (or refused to acknowledge) the mortal threat to the United States posed by Islamist beasts organizing overseas.
If there was anyone who should have learned that you take seriously the impact terrorists can have on this nation, no matter their location, it should be the Clintons. Instead, she insists the Taliban leadership we released are only a local threat to Afghanistan and Pakistan.
As if that weren't enough. Any serious person would grasp at the very least the horrific worldwide consequences of Al Qaeda and its supporters capturing Pakistan's nuclear weapons.
As Mrs. Clinton is alighting around the United States imparting her banal and patronizing platitudes about "leadership" to reporters and other liberals, the world she had been in charge of for four years is unraveling and on fire.
In the past few days, ISIS, a group of psychopathic Islamists aligned with Al Qaeda (like her harmless Taliban 5) have swept through Iraq, gaining large swaths of the country. They captured Fallujah in January, and then this last week were suddenly confident enough to take Mosul and then Tikrit.
Their goal? The creation of a new country, an Islamic emirate spanning both sides of the Iraq-Syria border. Observers could hazard an assessment that the action of ISIS, with its sudden zeal, is a reflection of how Islamists everywhere have been inspired and motivated by the capitulation of Mr. Obama to the Taliban and his effective neutering of the United States.
How bad is the current situation? A headline from this newspaper reads, "Gains by Al Qaeda group in Iraq spark fears of a decade's progress lost; Obama admits situation is 'grave.'" A CNN headline warns us: "How ISIS and Iraq upheaval threatens the wider world."
That story must have hit at a moment when Mrs. Clinton was distracted with a book-signing.
Blogsofwar.com has issued a primer on ISIS and delivers startling news that ISIS has "seized an untold, but undoubtedly significant, amount of operations-fueling cash from Iraqi banks. [They have] captured vast amounts of military hardware and weapons from Iraqi forces — much of it supplied by the United States. [And] controls a significant portion of Iraq's oil-production facilities and will likely control more soon ."
Already, the Islamists have taken hundreds of hostages. The Times of Israel reports the capture of the Turkish Consulate in Mosul and the taking of 24 Turkish diplomats hostage. The New York Times is reporting that the Iraqi government has asked the United States to strike the terrorists' positions, but Mr. Obama has refused. With nothing standing in its way, Baghdad is ISIS' likely next target.
The humanitarian disaster is already undeniable, with the terrorists engaging in mass beheadings as they proceed through the country. If fighting breaks out in Baghdad, and with Turkish diplomats held, it is possible Turkey may enter the hostilities, sparking a regional war.
One does not need to long contemplate the economic impact if Iraqi oil is removed from the world market. Combined with a regional Middle East war, the debacle of ObamaCare and the ongoing chaos at the southern border, all portend an economic response that will make the 2007-2008 "Great Recession" look like child's play.
In Baghdad, there is another political prize to be had — the $700 million U.S. Embassy, our largest and most expensive American embassy in the world. A U.S. official tells The Blaze that "the U.S. Embassy, United Nations and other foreign organizations with a presence in Iraq are "preparing contingency plans to evacuate employees."
Perhaps Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton should check with former President Carter to see what he thinks might happen. With the Taliban 5 swap, Al Qaeda may be wondering how many Americans it would take to get Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Muhammad released.
So, as Mrs. Clinton lectures us about how the Taliban 5 are not a danger to the United States, she may want to take a look at the condition in which she left the world. Considering how close ISIS is to establishing their "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria," Islamist leaders, including those we have released, will have plenty to do as they bring the fight, again, to the "Great Satan."
Tammy Bruce is a radio talk-show host, New York Times best-selling author and Fox News political contributor.