Saturday, February 27, 2021
Blog
Jan 2

Written by: Diana West
Wednesday, January 02, 2013 11:02 AM 

---

Four years ago, as Hillary Clinton awaited Senate confirmation, I had the terrifically bad manners to write the following column. It is in the utmost of bad taste, then, that I rerun it today. What is history, accountability and patriotism next to power, beatification and hospitalization?

January 9, 2009: A Rubber Stamp for Hillary

If I were Gov. Bill Richardson, still smarting somewhere in New Mexico over his lost Cabinet post in the incoming Obama administration, I would be plenty sore about Sen. Hillary Clinton. According to all rosy media predictions, Clinton is destined to sail through Senate confirmation hearings and become secretary of state next week, a veritable regatta's worth of clapping senators trailing in her wake. Richardson, meanwhile, is out on his ear.

Why? As the story goes, Richardson wasn't forthcoming enough about a federal probe into whether officials in his New Mexico administration tipped a state project to a firm run by a major financial contributor to Richardson's PAC. Clinton, meanwhile, wasn't forthcoming -- period -- about legislation she helped pass that made tax-exempt bonds available to a businessman who, practically simultaneously, donated $100,000 to hubby Bill's foundation. The main difference is Richardson's troubles are being sorted out in a federal investigation; Clinton's appeared in a news story. And even though The New York Times saw fit to flick at a so-called pay-for-play scandal with its headline "A Donor's Gift Soon Followed Clinton's Help," the story just doesn't seem to stick.

So, what else is new with the Clintons?

Actually, there is something -- the long-awaited list of nations, organizations and people who have ponied up nearly $500 million for the Bill fund, known officially, since our Bill now is all growed up, as The William J. Clinton Foundation.

It was from this donor list -- released in the media black hole just before Christmas -- that the Times, sorting through the Soros, the Bings and the Waltons, the Nigerians, the Ukrainians and the Canadians, made the Bill-donation Hill-legislation connection.

But such a story is nothing next to what else the list reveals: deep and disturbing and disqualifying conflicts of interest for Mrs. Clinton due to her husband's monetary ties to some of the worst despots in the world. And why has Bill made his post-presidential life one long fund-raiser? According to the foundation's Web site, the purpose is to fund such efforts as "combating climate change," "transforming ideas into action" and other global, if not cosmic, missions. Too bad for Hillary that Bill didn't just sign up as a roving ambassador for UNICEF.

One major conflict the Clinton foundation creates for Hillary regards Saudi Arabia, listed among the Clinton foundation's largest donors. "The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia" dropped somewhere between $10 million and $25 million into the foundation's kitty, while the pro-Saudi advocacy group Friends of Saudi Arabia threw in another $1 to $5 million. (I won't even mention the assortment of Saudi nationals showering the foundation with moolah.)

How does Madame Secretary Clinton talk tough, clean and independent to "the Kingdom" with all that Saudi cash in her husband's foundational pockets? Whether she could in fact rise above the money flowing into the Clinton foundation coffers, she could not rise above it in appearance. And it is appearance here that counts for the good offices of the USA.

The problem is hardly limited to Saudi money. Many millions of dollars have come sloshing into the Clinton foundation from Oman, Kuwait, Qatar and other Persian Gulf nations, including as much as $5 million from the Zayed family of the U.A.E. The Zayeds, as Jacob Laksin writing at Frontpagemag.com pointed out, have made headlines for past philanthropic acts related to a family think tank for anti-Semites, Holocaust deniers and jihadists.

Money pouring in from the Dubai Foundation -- between $1 and $5 million -- is at least as disquieting. Remember the furor when, in 2005, the Bush administration wanted to transfer security and management of U.S. ports to Dubai Ports? That's a business owned by the Dubai Foundation, essentially a business owned by Dubai's ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Bill Clinton still has non-foundation business dealings with Mohammed, along with supermarket magnate Ron Burkle, as the Wall Street Journal noted. This doesn't look good for Hillary -- or for our country.

Naturally, there's more. For digging up somewhere between $1 and $5 million for Bill's foundation, Issam M. Fares presents another unfortunate association for the wife who wants to be secretary of state. Fares, a former Lebanese Deputy prime minister, is hot for Hezbollah and tight with Syria. The fact that he has ties to Republicans, donating $100,000 to George W. Bush's 2000 inauguration and paying $100,000 apiece for speeches by George Bush (the father) and James Baker, as reported by Worldnetdaily.com, doesn't help Mrs. C. Again, whether these are ties that would actually bind her, they would certainly trip her up in question marks.

I could go on. For instance, there's Clinton foundation donor Alibaba.com, a Chinese Internet company that the Los Angeles Times described as being "accused of collaborating with China's censorship of the Web." How's that for complicating a secretary of state's Chinese portfolio?

And then there's the Alavi Foundation. Writing at Forbes.com, Rachel Ehrenfeld this week reported that this group, which supports Iranian causes, gave the Clinton foundation between $25,000 and $50,000 on Dec. 19, 2008 -- the very day the Alavi Foundation's president, Farshid Jahedi, was indicted on federal charges related to a probe of the foundation's relationship with Iran's Bank Melli. (The donation, according to Ehrenfeld's report, also came two days after the U.S. Treasury Department designated Alavi's partner, the New York-based ASSA Corp., as a terrorist entity.) Both the Alavi Foundation and Bank Melli, Ehrenfeld reported, have been "recognized as procurement fronts for Iran's nuclear program," with Bank Melli being designated in 2007 as a terrorist entity.

The point is not to argue that Hillary Clinton is indeed beholden to those among her husband's donors who run the gamut from unseamly to indicted. The point is that as secretary of state, she would appear to be, and that appearance would lower her standing -- and our country's -- throughout the world. This is an extremely urgent and grave matter coming before the U.S. Senate next week. Unfortunately -- tragically -- for the United States, the Senate is all too likely to approach it with a rubber stamp.

---

The Senate voted 94-2, with Republican Sens. David Vitter of Louisiana and Jim DeMint of South Carolina opposing.

Tags:
Archive
<February 2021>
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
31123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28123456
78910111213
Monthly
February, 2021
January, 2021
December, 2020
November, 2020
October, 2020
September, 2020
August, 2020
July, 2020
June, 2020
May, 2020
April, 2020
March, 2020
February, 2020
January, 2020
December, 2019
November, 2019
October, 2019
September, 2019
August, 2019
July, 2019
June, 2019
May, 2019
April, 2019
March, 2019
February, 2019
January, 2019
December, 2018
November, 2018
October, 2018
September, 2018
August, 2018
July, 2018
June, 2018
May, 2018
April, 2018
March, 2018
February, 2018
January, 2018
December, 2017
November, 2017
October, 2017
September, 2017
August, 2017
July, 2017
June, 2017
May, 2017
April, 2017
March, 2017
February, 2017
January, 2017
December, 2016
November, 2016
October, 2016
September, 2016
August, 2016
July, 2016
June, 2016
May, 2016
April, 2016
March, 2016
February, 2016
January, 2016
December, 2015
November, 2015
October, 2015
September, 2015
August, 2015
July, 2015
June, 2015
May, 2015
April, 2015
March, 2015
February, 2015
January, 2015
December, 2014
November, 2014
October, 2014
September, 2014
August, 2014
July, 2014
June, 2014
May, 2014
April, 2014
March, 2014
February, 2014
January, 2014
December, 2013
November, 2013
October, 2013
September, 2013
August, 2013
July, 2013
June, 2013
May, 2013
April, 2013
March, 2013
February, 2013
January, 2013
December, 2012
November, 2012
October, 2012
September, 2012
August, 2012
July, 2012
June, 2012
May, 2012
April, 2012
March, 2012
February, 2012
January, 2012
December, 2011
November, 2011
October, 2011
September, 2011
August, 2011
July, 2011
June, 2011
May, 2011
April, 2011
March, 2011
February, 2011
January, 2011
December, 2010
November, 2010
October, 2010
September, 2010
August, 2010
July, 2010
June, 2010
May, 2010
April, 2010
March, 2010
February, 2010
January, 2010
December, 2009
November, 2009
October, 2009
September, 2009
August, 2009
July, 2009
June, 2009
May, 2009
April, 2009
March, 2009
February, 2009
January, 2009
December, 2008
November, 2008
October, 2008
September, 2008
August, 2008
July, 2008
June, 2008
May, 2008
April, 2008
March, 2008
February, 2008
January, 2008
December, 2007
November, 2007
October, 2007
September, 2007
August, 2007
Privacy Statement  |  Terms Of Use
Copyright 2012 by Diana West