Arms, Conflict, Corruption, Hillary Clinton, Law, Middle East, Military, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Scandal, Security, USA

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton holds hands with her husband former U.S. President Bill Clinton (Reuters / Jim Young)

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton holds hands with her husband former U.S. President Bill Clinton (Reuters / Jim Young)

As the Obama administration increased military weapons exports, Hillary Clinton’s State Department approved transfer of more than $300 billion worth of arms manufactured by US defense contractors to 20 nations that were or have since become donors of the Clinton Foundation, a major philanthropic organization run by the Clinton family. According to a review of available records of foundation donors by the International Business Times, those countries included governments that have received frequent criticism by the State Department for repressive policies.

“Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar all donated to the Clinton Foundation and also gained State Department clearance to buy caches of American-made weapons even as the department singled them out for a range of alleged ills, from corruption to restrictions on civil liberties to violent crackdowns against political opponents,” IBT wrote.

‘Clinton is epitome of financial corruption’ – David Swanson

David Swanson is an author and long time political activist who is so passionate about restoring the constitutional role of the President that he actually wrote an entire book on it, “Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union” and leads to this day the campaign to impeach Bush and Cheney. Mr. Swanson is not just unhappy with bad Republican behavior in the White House and we will get his views on Hillary Clinton’s decision to run for the presidency.

Algeria, Kuwait, Oman, and Qatar were nations that directly donated to the Clinton Foundation during Clinton’s term as secretary of state, even as they were requesting weapons shipments. The donated money represents a loophole in US law regarding political contributions.

“Under federal law, foreign governments seeking State Department clearance to buy American-made arms are barred from making campaign contributions — a prohibition aimed at preventing foreign interests from using cash to influence national security policy,” IBT noted. “But nothing prevents them from contributing to a philanthropic foundation controlled by policymakers.”

The reviewed sales — both commercial and Pentagon-brokered — represent those made during “three full fiscal years of Clinton’s term as secretary of state (from October 2010 to September 2012),” IBT reported. The deals made with the nations in question during this time add up to far more than arms agreements made with the same countries during the last three full fiscal years of George W. Bush’s administration, according to the report.

“The word was out to these groups that one of the best ways to gain access and influence with the Clintons was to give to this foundation,” Meredith McGehee, policy director at the Campaign Legal Center, told IBT. “This shows why having public officials, or even spouses of public officials, connected with these nonprofits is problematic.”

The Clinton Foundation’s donor list has come under closer examination since Hillary Clinton announced she is seeking the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 2016. In April, the Clintons acknowledged they have made “mistakes” regarding transparency amid increased public scrutiny concerning donations from foreign entities, especially when Mrs. Clinton was secretary of state, from 2009 to 2013.

Earlier this month, former President Bill Clinton defended his family foundation’s donors.

“I don’t think there’s anything sinister in trying to get wealthy people in countries that are seriously involved in development to spend their money wisely in a way that helps poor people and lifts them up,” Mr. Clinton told NBC News.

The Clinton Foundation signed a foreign donor disclosure agreement just before Hillary Clinton became secretary of state, yet neither the department nor the White House raised issues with potential conflicts of interest regarding the weapons agreements.

IBT reported that in 1995 President Clinton signed a presidential policy directive demanding the State Department take into account human rights abuses when considering the approval of military equipment or arms purchases from US companies. Yet Mrs Clinton’s State Department ignored this stipulation, helping the Obama administration increase weapons transfers.

The State Department, under the aegis of Clinton, hammered the Algerian government in its 2010 Human Rights Report for “restrictions on freedom of assembly and association,” allowing “arbitrary killing,” “widespread corruption,” and a “lack of judicial independence.”

“That year, the Algerian government donated $500,000 to the Clinton Foundation and its lobbyists met with the State Department officials who oversee enforcement of human rights policies. Clinton’s State Department the next year approved a one-year 70 percent increase in military export authorizations to the country,” IBT reported. “The increase included authorizations of almost 50,000 items classified as ‘toxicological agents, including chemical agents, biological agents and associated equipment’ after the State Department did not authorize the export of any of such items to Algeria in the prior year.

“During Clinton’s tenure, the State Department authorized at least $2.4 billion of direct military hardware and services sales to Algeria — nearly triple such authorizations over the last full fiscal years during the Bush administration. The Clinton Foundation did not disclose Algeria’s donation until this year — a violation of the ethics agreement it entered into with the Obama administration.”

IBT also reported that major US weapons manufacturers and financial corporations such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Goldman Sachs paid Bill Clinton lucrative speaking fees “reaching $625,000” just as arms deals they had an interest in were in the works with Mrs Clinton’s State Department.

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Hillary Clinton: What to know about her recent controversies, scandals

Hillary Clinton had pledged during her Senate confirmation hearings in 2009 that “in many, if not most cases, it is likely that the Foundation or President Clinton will not pursue an opportunity that presents a conflict.”

US weapons sales tripled in 2011 to a new yearly high of $66.3 billion, according to the New York Times, mostly driven by sales to Persian Gulf nations allied against Iran. This dollar total made up nearly 78 percent of all worldwide arms deals that year, according to the Congressional Research Service.

Reuters reported in January 2013 that the State Department office that has oversight of direct commercial arms sales “was on track to receive more than 85,000 license requests in 2012, a new record.”

The boom in arms sales by the Obama administration has continued to the present day, as Arab allies like Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates are using American-made fighter jets against Islamic State and for proxy wars in places like Yemen and Syria.

According to the Times, foreign weapons sales now represent 25 percent to 30 percent of revenue taken in by Lockheed Martin, one of the top US-based arms dealers.

​Clinton Foundation admits ‘mistakes’ amid concerns of foreign donors 20

Clinton Foundation: ‘We made mistakes’

 

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Hillary Clinton running for president

 

 

There was Clinton (notably more at ease than during her first swing through Iowa a week earlier) in friendly New Hampshire last Monday and Tuesday, taking diligent caseworker notes as “everyday Americans” shared stories of economic anxiety. This is the empathetic, humble Hillary of the 2000 listening tour she took around New York state and her later, better primaries in 2008. (It’s not a subtle message: Every scheduling advisory issued by her fledgling 2016 campaign now ends with some version of this line, emailed to reporters this weekend in advance of Clinton’s next field trip: “The trip is the latest evidence that Hillary Clinton will work to earn every vote, run hard in the 2016 Nevada Caucus, and take nothing for granted.”)

But that effort is being undermined by a parallel storyline, and the well-executed New Hampshire trip was blown off basic cable by a barrage of stories Thursday documenting questionable practices by the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation — and illuminating once again what appeared to be the same old indifference to boundaries between charity, politics and wealth.

In the long term, the greatest beneficiary of Clinton’s struggles might be Marco Rubio, two decades her junior and hauling a much lighter baggage train than Clinton or Republican rival Jeb Bush. The 43-year-old first-term Florida senator surged (perhaps momentarily) to the head of the GOP pack a week after his entrance into the campaign, boosted by his capacity to run hard to the right without employing the polarizing hard-right language that scares off swing voters and big, mainstream donors. He’s new and knows how to play it up: The key line in his stump speech, borrowed from Obama ’08, is: “Yesterday is over, and we are never going back.”

It is precisely because most people don’t know enough about the young Florida Republican to ask whether there’s a less attractive Real Marco lurking behind that loquacious facade. That’s likely to change, especially when opponents begin highlighting his contortions on immigration reform, delving into his record as speaker of Florida’s House of Representatives and what the Tampa Bay Times described as a “pattern of blending personal and political spending” over the years in using state of Florida credit cards and political committee cash for travel and other expenses.

But the Clinton stories are a different order of magnitude, with no fewer than three big exposés breaking last Thursday alone: a New York Times investigation into a previously unreported Clinton family foundation donation by a Russian oligarch looking to get federal approval to expand U.S. operations (requiring Clinton State Department approval); a Reuters report that the foundation would have to refile years of tax returns because of errors and omissions; and a Washington Post story revealing that Bill Clinton earned $26 million in speaking fees from donors to the family’s foundation.

Most of the initial reports focused on her husband’s actions, and the Clinton campaign said there isn’t a “shred” of evidence she was involved, but no matter: Republicans sought to draw the clearest line possible to Hillary Clinton, whatever the paucity of public evidence. “There is every appearance that Hillary Clinton was bribed to grease the sale of, what, 20 percent of America’s uranium production to Russia? And then it was covered up by lying about a meeting at her home with the principals, and by erasing emails,” Mitt Romney told radio host Hugh Hewitt on the day the Times story appeared.

The Clinton people pointed out, rightly, that there’s not (yet) any paper trail linking any decision she made at Foggy Bottom to Bill Clinton’s machinations. But Romney wasn’t freelancing; he was capturing the Republican zeitgeist — and amplifying a GOP message (the Clintons are incorrigibly corrupt) — articulated to me by GOP operatives associated with three campaigns I talked with last week.

And several top Democrats told me they were worried, too, about the accumulation of stories — “at some point the weight just pulls everything down,” one told me. Then again, James Carville, who has spent decades fending off the kind of Clinton stories that popped up last week, thinks the recent stories fit into an old pattern of shoot-and-miss. “All of this is spaghetti journalism; throw some spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks,” he insists. “It’s always something that ends up with nothing.”

• • •

Hillary Clinton’s enemies, and more than a few of her friends, believe the story will resonate — if only because she has always been at the center of most of the family’s major financial decisions.

But that effort is being undermined by a parallel storyline, and the well-executed New Hampshire trip was blown off basic cable by a barrage of stories Thursday documenting questionable practices by the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation — and illuminating once again what appeared to be the same old indifference to boundaries between charity, politics and wealth.In the long term, the greatest beneficiary of Clinton’s struggles might be Marco Rubio, two decades her junior and hauling a much lighter baggage train than Clinton or Republican rival Jeb Bush. The 43-year-old first-term Florida senator surged (perhaps momentarily) to the head of the GOP pack a week after his entrance into the campaign, boosted by his capacity to run hard to the right without employing the polarizing hard-right language that scares off swing voters and big, mainstream donors. He’s new and knows how to play it up: The key line in his stump speech, borrowed from Obama ’08, is: “Yesterday is over, and we are never going back.”It is precisely because most people don’t know enough about the young Florida Republican to ask whether there’s a less attractive Real Marco lurking behind that loquacious facade. That’s likely to change, especially when opponents begin highlighting his contortions on immigration reform, delving into his record as speaker of Florida’s House of Representatives and what the Tampa Bay Times described as a “pattern of blending personal and political spending” over the years in using state of Florida credit cards and political committee cash for travel and other expenses.But the Clinton stories are a different order of magnitude, with no fewer than three big exposés breaking last Thursday alone: a New York Times investigation into a previously unreported Clinton family foundation donation by a Russian oligarch looking to get federal approval to expand U.S. operations (requiring Clinton State Department approval); a Reuters report that the foundation would have to refile years of tax returns because of errors and omissions; and a Washington Post story revealing that Bill Clinton earned $26 million in speaking fees from donors to the family’s foundation.Most of the initial reports focused on her husband’s actions, and the Clinton campaign said there isn’t a “shred” of evidence she was involved, but no matter: Republicans sought to draw the clearest line possible to Hillary Clinton, whatever the paucity of public evidence. “There is every appearance that Hillary Clinton was bribed to grease the sale of, what, 20 percent of America’s uranium production to Russia? And then it was covered up by lying about a meeting at her home with the principals, and by erasing emails,” Mitt Romney told radio host Hugh Hewitt on the day the Times story appeared.

The Clinton people pointed out, rightly, that there’s not (yet) any paper trail linking any decision she made at Foggy Bottom to Bill Clinton’s machinations. But Romney wasn’t freelancing; he was capturing the Republican zeitgeist — and amplifying a GOP message (the Clintons are incorrigibly corrupt) — articulated to me by GOP operatives associated with three campaigns I talked with last week.

And several top Democrats told me they were worried, too, about the accumulation of stories — “at some point the weight just pulls everything down,” one told me. Then again, James Carville, who has spent decades fending off the kind of Clinton stories that popped up last week, thinks the recent stories fit into an old pattern of shoot-and-miss. “All of this is spaghetti journalism; throw some spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks,” he insists. “It’s always something that ends up with nothing.”

Hillary Clinton’s enemies, and more than a few of her friends, believe the story will resonate — if only because she has always been at the center of most of the family’s major financial decisions.

 

Betrayal of the Public Trust: The Vince Foster Death Investigation Cover-Up

 

 

 

 

“Bill never gave a damn about money,” says Carl Bernstein, who penned a 2007 Hillary Clinton biography.

“From the start of her marriage … [Hillary] was the one worried about the money — they were not exactly living high on the hog in Arkansas. But there’s an apparent sense of entitlement there, too. They feel they have devoted their lives to public service, and they feel they had a right to [make money]. You saw it in Arkansas, but you also saw it when Chelsea was given $600,000 by NBC to be a reporter when she had absolutely no experience.”

Bernstein says he has never sought to psychoanalyze Clinton, but it’s hard not to read the first few chapters of his book, “A Woman in Charge,” without being struck by the value placed on saving money by her imperious, penny-pinching father, Hugh Rodham, who ran a small business in Chicago. One of the few times Hugh let his wife and daughter go on a shopping spree at a New York department store, he showed up 25 minutes before closing time to limit the damage — so Dorothy and Hillary Rodham took off their shoes to run through the store, collecting items as fast as they could.

During her husband’s years in government service, it was Hillary Clinton who paid most of the bills — initially as a partner in Little Rock’s Rose Law Firm — so many of the least flattering stories about the family’s finances featured her as the central player. Investigation after investigation proved the Clintons did nothing illegal in Whitewater, the complicated and doomed 1980s land deal that caused the first family so many pre-Monica Lewinsky headaches. But it was a sloppy affair, the result of Hillary Rodham’s push to supplement her husband’s meager government salary with a clever investment. The same held true for a questionable (and legal) $1,000 investment in cattle futures that yielded a 100-fold return.

Clinton invited ridicule last year when she said she and her husband were “dead broke” upon leaving the White House despite the fact that she had received an $8 million advance to write her first memoir, “Living History,” a month before her husband’s presidency ended. But that was, perhaps, the “realest Hillary,” expressing her persistent anxieties about money, however misplaced. And in fact, when Bill Clinton left the presidency, in debt to his lawyers after the Lewinsky impeachment and trial and all the sundry other investigations of his White House tenure, the couple found it so hard to get a loan for their new mansion in Chappaqua, New York, they had to prevail on buddy Terry McAuliffe for a bridge loan — prompting another bevy of negative headlines. Then there was the $190,000 in sundry household items the Clintons took from the White House in 2001 — $114,000 of which they later returned or reimbursed the government for.The slow-motion rollout of Peter Schweizer’s upcoming book “Clinton Cash,” from which some of the recent Clinton stories emanated, is excruciating for Clinton’s team, which has girded for its launch since March. It doesn’t prove a direct connection between Bill Clinton’s actions and his wife’s decisions as secretary of state, according to people who have reviewed the book. But it’s like an ever-present heckler — shouting down the campaign’s carefully planned Hillary-cares-about-all-of-us events.One top Clinton fundraiser, echoing sentiments inside the campaign, said he believes the “kill Hillary moment” will pass after Jeb Bush formally announces his candidacy — and the Republican candidates start savaging one another in debates. “We have to grit our teeth and get past this,” he said.

Hillary Clinton’s Stonewalling of Peace Agreement with Libya: Bombshell Tapes Confirm Citizen Commission’s Findings on Benghazi

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US President Barack Obama and former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Global Research, February 04, 2015
By Roger Aronoff

 

Benghazi-400x400As Hillary Clinton further delays the announcement of her 2016 run for the White House, more news has broken regarding her role in the 2011 disastrous intervention in Libya, which set the stage for the 2012 Benghazi attacks where we lost four brave American lives.

 

 

Two new stories from The Washington Times expose some of the infighting among government agencies and branches of government on this controversial decision, and highlight the key role that Clinton played in initiating the war. You can listen to tapes of discussions between Pentagon staffers, former Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), and the Qaddafi regime for yourself.

This news also validates the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi (CCB) 2014 interim report, which exposed that Muammar Qaddafi had offered truce talks and a possible peaceful abdication to the United States, which Washington turned down.

“[The article] also makes it clear that the Benghazi investigation needs to be broadened to answer the question: ‘Why did America bomb Libya in the first place?’” commented Rear Admiral Chuck Kubic (Ret.), a key source for the CCB’s interim report who was also quoted by the Times.

“Despite the willingness of both AFRICOM Commander Gen. Carter Ham and Muammar Qaddafi to pursue the possibility of truce talks, permission was not given to Gen. Ham from his chain of command in the Pentagon and the window of opportunity closed,” reads Kubic’s statement for our report from last year. You can watch here, from a CCB press conference last April, as Admiral Kubic described his personal involvement in the effort to open negotiations between Qaddafi and the U.S. government.

Now we learn that the likely source of the stonewalling came from the State Department—and Secretary Clinton—herself. “On the day the U.N. resolution was passed, Mrs. Clinton ordered a general within the Pentagon to refuse to take a call with Gadhafi’s son Seif and other high-level members within the regime, to help negotiate a resolution, the secret recordings reveal,” reported the Times on January 29.

Former Defense Secretary Bob Gates indicated in his book, Duty, that he was opposed to the war for national security reasons. He highlighted a division among White House advisors—with Susan Rice, Ben Rhodes, and Samantha Power “urging aggressive U.S. action to prevent an anticipated massacre of the rebels as Qaddafi fought to remain in power.” Add to that list the former Secretary of State.

“But that night, with Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s forces turning back the rebellion that threatened his rule, Mrs. Clinton changed course, forming an unlikely alliance with a handful of top administration aides who had been arguing for intervention,” reported The New York Times on March 18, 2011, the day after UN Resolution 1973 authorizing a “no fly” zone in Libya was voted on and passed.

“Within hours, Mrs. Clinton and the aides had convinced Mr. Obama that the United States had to act, and the president ordered up military plans, which Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, hand-delivered to the White House the next day.”

The Washington Times now reports that “In the recovered recordings, a U.S. intelligence liaison working for the Pentagon told a Gadhafi aide that Mr. Obama privately informed members of Congress that Libya ‘is all Secretary Clinton’s matter’ and that the nation’s highest-ranking generals were concerned that the president was being misinformed” about a humanitarian crisis that didn’t exist. However, one must wonder just how much President Obama implicitly supported Clinton in her blind push to intervene in what was once a comparatively stable country, and an ally in the war against al Qaeda. While this new report is certainly damning of Mrs. Clinton’s actions, and appears to place the blame for the unnecessary chaos in Libya—which ultimately led to Benghazi—on her shoulders, President Obama shares the blame as the ultimate Decider-in-Chief.

“Furthermore, defense officials had direct information from their intelligence asset in contact with the regime that Gadhafi gave specific orders not to attack civilians and to narrowly focus the war on the armed rebels, according to the asset, who survived the war,” reports The Washington Times in its second of three articles. Saving those in Benghazi from a looming massacre by Qaddafi seems to have been a convenient excuse made by the administration for political expediency. Could it be, instead, that President Obama, as well as Mrs. Clinton, put greater value on the rise to power of an “Arab Spring” government with Muslim Brotherhood connections? And, as the CCB interim report shows, the U.S. government was willing to go so far as to facilitate the provision of arms to al-Qaeda-linked rebels in Libya in order to ensure that Qaddafi fell.

Will the mainstream media pick up on these new revelations, or will they cast them aside as another “phony scandal” to throw into their dustbins filled with other stories that might possibly embarrass the Obama administration, or prove to be an impediment to Mrs. Clinton’s path to the White House?

“It’s critical to note that Qaddafi was actively engaged with Department of Defense officials to arrange discussions about his possible abdication and exile when that promising development was squashed by the Obama White House,” noted CCB Member Clare Lopez, a former CIA officer, regarding the failed truce talks. “The Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi has been asking, ‘Why?’ for well over a year now.”

“It is time the American people and the families of those who fought and gave their lives at Benghazi in September 2012 were told why those brave Americans had to die at all, much less die alone with no effort made to save them,” she said.

Clinton, through House Democrats, has indicated that she is willing to testify before the House Select Committee on Benghazi. But Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) recently indicated that the Committee must first examine her emails from the State Department before questioning his witness. This complicates the issue of her testifying, since Mrs. Clinton is in the process of calculating when she will announce her presidential run.

Do the emails that Gowdy has requested from the State Department even extend back to 2011?

Chairman Gowdy identified three “tranches” that his potential questioning would fall under in an interview with Fox’s Greta Van Susteren:

  • Why was the U.S. Special Mission Compound open in the first place?
  • What actions did Clinton take during the attacks?
  • What was Clinton’s role during the talking points and Susan Rice’s Sunday morning talk show visits?

A fourth tranche should be: Clinton’s push to intervene in Libya and how it set the stage for an insecure country and strong jihadist movement willing—and able—to attack the Americans posted there. And while he’s at it, Rep. Gowdy should ask Mrs. Clinton to explain why all of the very legitimate requests for increased security in Benghazi were turned down, and why were Ambassador Chris Stevens’ personal security staff, from the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) directed to store their weapons in a separate location—not on them—on the night of September 11, 2012?

Roger Aronoff is the Editor of Accuracy in Media, and can be contacted at roger.aronoff@aim.org.

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