These two grifters should be in jail…pronto! “The Clinton Foundation is run about as forthrightly as the KGB.”
The Clintons have been playing the political press for idiots.
Revealing what they’ve been up to took a little bit of work. It wasn’t obvious. While Bill Clinton was giving a speech about fighting AIDS in Africa, or about educating girls in Asia, reporters simply regurgitated the press release. They didn’t ask: Who’s that shady guy standing next to Bill? What are his interests? How much money has he given to, or raised for, Bill, Hillary and their foundation? And what favorable treatment did the shady guy subsequently receive from Hillary?
When you’re a political reporter, complexity is boring. Curiosity takes work. Asking questions and looking up information can lead to dead ends.
It’s much easier to do gaffe patrol. Go to press conferences. Quote party hacks who call you every day with juicy little observations. Or, when all else fails, simply write down your opinions and call it “analysis” or attribute your thoughts to “critics.”
Thank goodness, then, for Peter Schweizer and his blockbuster expose “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich.” (Very rich: The pair have made at least $136.5 million since 2001).
The details of the Clinton operation vary, but the overall M.O. is fairly consistent, he writes.
One: Dodgy rich businessman, often a foreigner in the middle of a mega-deal in some corrupt country, possibly one run by a dictator, writes a check that buys him the status of friend of Bill Clinton (FOB). The check is payable to the Clinton Foundation or to Bill himself, as an honorarium for a meaningless idealistic speech that is essentially a homily at a whorehouse.
Two: When the cameras are turned off, Bill receives ultra-luxurious travel on someone else’s dime and attends a lavish party in his honor held by some dictator or shady businessman connected to the new FOB. Talks go on behind closed doors.
Three: Millions of dollars of donations start flowing into the Clinton Foundation from the FOB and associates.
Fourth: Potential roadblocks to the deal in the Senate or the State Department melt away. The business deal goes through. The new Clinton friend gets very, very rich.
Fifth: Hillary forgets to disclose these donations.
Six: The press doesn’t notice what just happened.
Friends of Bill
Schweizer’s book does the painstaking work of following the money to such characters as Canadian mining tycoon Frank Giustra, who in a period of a few months gave $31.3 million to the Clinton Foundation.
Giustra chauffeured Bill Clinton on his private jet to an improbable date with the dictator of Kazakhstan, whom Bill repeatedly praised and legitimized during an “election season” (the dictator received more than 90% of the vote).
Mukhtar Dzhakishev, the head of the Kazakhstan agency that oversees the country’s mining, said that Hillary Clinton pressured Kazakh officials to sell uranium assets to Giustra’s firm and that Bill Clinton adviser Tim Phillips said Hillary would not meet with him until Kazakh officials agreed to Giustra’s deal. Giustra’s firm, after a series of mergers, wound up controlling large amounts of uranium mining in the US and is now wholly owned by the Russian firm that built the Bushehr nuclear reactor in Iran.
Giustra’s business partner Ian Telfer directed some $2.35 million to the Clinton Foundation via his Fernwood Foundation. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, a small group of high-ranking officials that included then-Secretary of State Clinton, approved the Russian takeover of US uranium mines.
The Clinton Foundation failed to disclose Fernwood’s donation.
Another FOB is mining tycoon Stephen Dattels, who in 2009 donated two million shares of stock in his company to the foundation. Two months later, the US Ambassador to Bangladesh requested that the country reauthorize a mining permit that benefitted Dattels’ company. The value of the stock Dattels had just given the Foundation increased.
Dattels’ donation was never disclosed by the Clinton Foundation.
Laureate Education, a for-profit education firm, of which President Clinton is a paid “honorary chancellor,” has some unusual practices. For instance, its students serve as telemarketers who pitch the school to prospective new students. It operates in at least three countries (Turkey, Mexico and Chile) where for-profit universities are illegal, Schweizer notes.
An FOB, Douglas Becker, runs the for-profit university, which engages Bill Clinton to give speeches several times a year. Based on Clinton’s fee scale, that works out to Bill getting perhaps $1 million a year from Laureate, Schweizer estimates. (On disclosure forms, Bill revealed only that he has been paid “more than $1,000” by Laureate.)
Becker also runs a related nonprofit, International Youth Foundation, which coincidentally found its federal grant money has “exploded” (according to Schweizer) since Hillary became secretary of state (in 2009) and Bill became honorary chancellor of Becker’s profit-seeking company. Many of its grants came from the federal agency USAID, over which Hillary took control by “dramatically reducing” its independence, Schweizer says.
Read more: NYP