TAMPA - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recalled one of the most significant moments during her administration: the night U.S. troops killed Osama bin Laden.
"I was thinking of the men in the helicopters, praying for the safety of those brave Navy SEALS and Night Stalkers risking their lives in a moonless Pakistani night," Mrs. Clinton told a packed ballroom at the Tampa Convention Center.
"So much of what you do, both the tremendous successes and the terrible sacrifices, will never be known by the citizens we serve," Clinton said.
Speaking before a crowd of 1,000 at the International Special Forces Gala, the former First Lady announced that her administration's efforts in counter-terrorism have led to a feminist movement of sorts overseas.
"Women are refusing to sit on the sidelines while extremism undermines their communities, steals their sons, kills their husbands and destroys family after family," Clinton said.
Prior to her arrival, Special Operations Forces performed a spectacular demonstration along Channelside near downtown Tampa. An Osprey, Blackhawk helicopter, gunboats, and paratroopers dazzled viewers lined along the waterfront. Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn was "rescued" during the mock-up.
But the State Secretary said that major progress is being made in the war on terror not with conventional military might, but with a team of computer hackers. Mrs. Clinton announced that her department has attacked Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations in cyberspace, by corrupting or altering their websites.
"Patrolling the web and using social media and other tools to expose al-Qaeda’s contradictions and abuses, including its continuing brutal attacks on Muslim civilians," Clinton said.
In one case, tech-savvy hackers were able to replace recruitment advertisements on a terrorist site with information about civilian deaths caused by Al Qaeda attacks on civilians in Yemen.
Mrs. Clinton said they have proof the effort is working. "Extremists are publicly venting their frustration and asking supporters not to believe everything they read on the internet," Clinton said.
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