Patterico's Pontifications

1/14/2009

Hillary Clinton Skating on Potential Conflicts Posed by Donations to Clinton Foundation

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General,Obama — Patterico @ 7:18 am

Hillary is sailing through her confirmation hearings. In a suck-up session on Tuesday, Senators heaped praise on Clinton. Jim DeMint assured her that he would have no tough questions for her about the Clinton Foundation.

The foundation’s list of donors was released just before Christmas, and has not received proper attention from the media or Senators. One exception is this column by Diana West of the Washington Times. West explains that the Clinton Foundation received between $10 million and $25 million from Saudi Arabia; $5 million from the Zayed family, which has donated to “a family think tank for anti-Semites, Holocaust deniers and jihadists,” $1 million to $5 million from the Dubai Foundation, owners of a company that wanted to run security for America’s ports, $1 million to $5 million from Hezbollah fan Issam Fares; and money from Chinese censorship collaboraror alibaba.com. But my favorite is the Alavi Foundation.

Writing at Forbes.com, Rachel Ehrenfeld recently reported that this group, which supports Iranian causes, gave the Clinton foundation between $25,000 and $50,000 on Dec. 19 – the very day Alavi Foundation President Farshid Jahedi was indicted on federal charges related to an investigation 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. Department of the Treasury 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.

I can’t imagine how any of this might complicate Hillary’s role as Secretary of State. Can you?

Yesterday, Clinton finally faced a few tepid questions about the Clinton Foundation, and the L.A. Times fails to tell us the extent of the problem.

The L.A. Times story today mentions virtually none of the rather stunning details I discuss above. The paper tells us only that Senators have a generalized concern that foreign contributions “could pose potential conflicts of interest.” The story quotes Dick Lugar as encouraging Clinton to exclude foreign donations. This is followed by a quote from Hillary, dripping with that classic Clinton self pity: “No matter what we do, there will be those that [claim] conflicts,” she said.

Then we are told how transparent Hillary and Bill have been:

Under an agreement with the Obama transition team, the Clinton foundation made public a list of its past donors and promised to publish annually the names of its donors and to submit future foreign donations to a State Department ethics review.

Clinton’s foundation has worked to provide healthcare, particularly for people with AIDS in underdeveloped countries. It also promotes economic growth in Africa and Latin America, combats global climate change and works to solve such problems as childhood obesity in the U.S.

Matt McKenna, communications director for the former president, said by e-mail that the Clintons were “by far the most financially transparent former first couple in American history.”

Yippee.

L.A. Times editors do a somewhat better job in an editorial, which accurately says that the Clinton Foundation

has a history of accepting donations from tyrants and corrupt businessmen. Foreign governments, including Saudi Arabia, Australia, the Dominican Republic and Kuwait, have given millions to the Clinton Foundation . . . Then there are highly questionable donations, such as the $500,000 he was paid by a Japanese American business for a speech he never gave, and that he later donated to the foundation

This last fact, editors note, was reported by the L.A. Times on Tuesday, and huzzah for that.

But even that article failed to document the extent of the questionable donations received by the Clinton Foundation. Maybe there has been another past article that did a better job; if so, none of it appeared in today’s article about the confirmation hearings.

The fact that this is not all being more widely reported is a disgrace. And the fact that Senators aren’t questioning her about it more closely is as well.

43 Responses to “Hillary Clinton Skating on Potential Conflicts Posed by Donations to Clinton Foundation”

  1. That’s not even including the contribution from one of the Al Amoudi’s, business partners with Joe Wilson and Tom Kean, and some sources indicate part of the Golden Chain of AQ financing charities.

    narciso (57971e)

  2. Don’t worry, we have Joe Klein covering it all-

    he Secretary of State-designate immediately brought up Botswana’s “excellent work” in this area, the education and infrastructure programs that had been funded. And I thought: Botswana? Wow. We’ve got people who are really interested in governing–who really love public service, who understand that foreign policy means more than simply issuing threats–coming back to your nation’s capital!

    I am finding it fairly hard to play the role of cynical journalist these days

    Really, Joe. Just because you hadn’t heard of Botswana before doesn’t mean the Bush admin hasn’t been very very busy in Africa.

    That’s why Bush’s approval ratings in Africa are over 80%. Perhaps the problem is actually that you’ve been too cynical a journalist for the last 8 years.

    MayBee (5b642f)

  3. What I find hilarious is that after all the past caterwauling regarding the Bush family’s ties with the Saudis, Bill’s largesses from them on a personal basis outstrip all pretense of a lack of any conflict of interest.

    Dmac (eb0dd0)

  4. This article about Clintonian corruption and a lack of curiousity on the part of the MSM is another example of The Narrative. D versus R seems to be all that matters.

    Eric Blair (0ff900)

  5. This is what happens when the moderates in the Republican Party have a near-lock on leadership positions. Moderates, by definition, can neither lead nor take a stand on principle. This is also why a viable conservative party is needed.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  6. Teh Narrative must be serviced.

    JD (0e032b)

  7. I think a lot of this tolerance of Hillary is a form of relief that Obama is choosing a few adults, even corrupt adults, for his administration. You can sit back and think about Secretary of State Kucinich for a moment and it sort of focuses the mind. This is also going to be part of the Obama legacy if these peccadillos blow up in his face down the line. It may be a form of Stockholm Syndrome but there there is an image of what could have been when Obama names these people.

    I also notice some concern over at NRO about a new sort of isolationism on the part of conservatives. I think it is more a sort of hibernation, hoping that Obama doesn’t get us into bad trouble with his inept fumbling. I would just as soon spend the next four years saving money, paying down debt and hoping for the best until this clown parade moves on. I doubt there is one conservative in 100 who has any confidence that they can get anything done right. The less they attempt, the less risk of fiasco.

    I lived through Jimmy Carter and remember the feeling.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  8. Hillary skating? She is a regular Tonya Harding isn’t she?

    Joe (dcebbd)

  9. Democrat President aka ‘Blessed Leader’
    Democrat Congress, aka ‘Most Ethical Congress Evah!’
    Democrat SecState, aka ‘Power Hungry Socialist’
    Democrat corruption

    Which of the above will the Dinosaur Media bypass in their continual suck-up campaign?

    SeniorD (50f696)

  10. Better watch out or Hillary will have some one hit you in the knees.

    Joe (dcebbd)

  11. In this case, I place most of the blame on the hyper-collegiality of the Senate. It’s tough to fault the media for reporting that questions were not asked; that would look like an opinion piece. So if the LAT had a tougher editorial, good on ‘em for once.

    Nevertheless, Patterico is right that the media could have covered the story before the hearing. And that the Senate, esp. the GOP committee members, are falling down on the job. As usual.

    Karl (33b0ee)

  12. Dr. K. I honestly feel that this entire business was unexpected. I am pretty sure that Barack Obama originally expected to be nominated VP with HRC in the top position. Then Hillary’s campaign imploded.

    Now BO has to run around and find people. Who is there? Mostly Clinton retreads. And we all know how imbued with ethics that administration was, top to bottom.

    This upcoming adminstration will be a weird hybrid of Jimmy Carter and WJ Clinton.

    But maybe—just maybe—BO will be smart enough to chart a moderate course. I doubt it, but that is the hope and change I would like to see.

    The only danger will be BO reading too many current MSM “Dear Leader” editorials….and believing them.

    Eric Blair (3e2520)

  13. Why should the Rs fight this one? It’s obvious HRC is going to be confirmed. This way it gets her out of the Senate and into a position where she can do nothing but fail. Any success will belong to BHO. Why would you fight putting someone into a career killing job?

    Soronel Haetir (cabedb)

  14. Comment by Soronel Haetir — 1/14/2009 @ 9:52 am
    Astute!
    Cynical as Hell, but very astute.

    AD (1d0fdb)

  15. #13, your premise is valid if you are politically motivated but invalid if you are motivated by the desire to maintain US security and sovereignty. And it is the latter that drives me to want Hillary outside the SoS position. Her presence there will necessarily make it the SOS position, you know, dah dah dah di di di dah dah dah.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  16. The Clinton’s are obviously fatally compromised by these donations by interests inimicable to American interests. It is nothing short of astonishing that Democrats can seriously consider her fit for any role in the administration.

    SPQR (72771e)

  17. SPQR: Teh Narrative, again.

    Donations from questionable sources to Republicans: irreducibly tainted and covered nightly on the MSM.

    Donations from questionable sources to Democrats: nuance and perspective!

    That’s how it is going to be, I fear.

    Eric Blair (3e2520)

  18. Double Standard anyone? Anyone? This Clintonian love-fest is making me vomit. We’re screwed!

    J. Raymond Wright (d83ab3)

  19. I actually had a “progressive” friend of mine defend this kind of hypocrisy to me once.

    She said that Republicans were associated with truth and honesty, so their hypocrisy was far more serious.

    Then she realized what she had just said.

    Eric Blair (3e2520)

  20. Let’s hope that there is some strategic thinking behind the GOP Senators kid-glove treatment of HRC. As bad as her ethics are (and those of her husband are truly dismal), and as power-hungry as she obviously is, maybe they figure she is just about the best they can hope for as Secretary of State in an Obama Administration. God forbid, John Kerry might have been Obama’s second choice. The GOP has therefore concluded that they need to let her skate on the foundation donations issues. Hopefully they are training the heavy guns (whoops, there goes another right-winger using a violent metaphor) on Eric Holder’s nomination as AG. They no doubt realize that if they are seen to reflexively oppose all Obama nominees that they will be dismissed as hyper-partisan, so they will keep their powder dry for him in the hopes of derailing that nomination.

    JVW (882813)

  21. Comment by Eric Blair — 1/14/2009 @ 10:41 am

    Tell me you took a picture of the loko on her face when it dawned on her…

    Scott Jacobs (a1c284)

  22. You’ve complained about Hess, Goebbels, Himmler and Rohm. I sacrificed Rohm to satiate you and now you’re complaining about Goring? Nobody will satisfy you. Are you willing to cooperate on anything or are you just going to maintain your obstructive, nation-destroying stance? Get over yourselves and start thinking about this nation instead.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  23. Hillary and the State Department should use these phrases with Arabic speakers:

    Koss um mack.

    These helpful phrases are useful too, pretty much all the time.

    Elif air ab dinikh

    Elif air ab tizak

    Waj ab zibik

    Ebn el metnakah

    This is a good one to say to a guy who has sisters or his mother with him:

    Bi kem el sharmoota di?

    Everyone should try them. I think you will like them.

    Joe (dcebbd)

  24. Uh oh, John, don’t make the leap to Godwin’s Law so quickly. I wouldn’t want any of Obama’s appointees nominated, but he won the election so we have to accept that fact and spend our resources fighting the most troublesome ones.

    On the other hand, Christopher Hitchens lays out a pretty strong case against HRC.

    JVW (882813)

  25. Andrew Sullivan just won BEST BLOGGER IN THE WHOLE DAMN WORLD.

    I weep for the future.

    Inspector Sully vows he will not rest till Sarah Palin is stopped.

    Joe (dcebbd)

  26. I apologize for not knowing all the henchmen surrounding Stalin or surrounding the god-king of The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (ever notice how all these communist countries add “democratic” or “people’s” to their name (N Korea makes use of both)? ) for analogous commentary.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  27. I agree that Kerry was the next choice and I frankly was surprised that Obama chose Hillary.

    I think Holder will also be confirmed with little trouble and he is far more of a problem. Andy McCarthy explains why.

    Mike K (f89cb3)

  28. Scott wrote:

    “…Tell me you took a picture of the loko on her face when it dawned on her…..”

    No, but the “loko” kind of explains a great deal. I know you meant “look,” but again, the typo described a higher truth!

    Eric Blair (3e2520)

  29. Comment by Eric Blair — 1/14/2009 @ 11:23 am
    Cognitive dissonance meets intellectual honesty…
    It’s not a pretty sight!

    AD (1d0fdb)

  30. I’m not so sure Holder gets confirmed – he looked like easy sailing until about two weeks ago, but now it appears that the GOP will invite a former FBI agent who investigated FALN to his hearing, as well as a relative of one of the victims of their bombings. This will not play well in the MSM, no matter how hard they attempt to divert attention from that unmitigated disaster.

    Dmac (eb0dd0)

  31. You know, AD, I think that a nonpartisan insistence on honesty in government would get a lot of takers right now. Look at the not-so-Republican list of miscreants starting to emerge from the MSM rocks.

    Where I teach, there is all this excitement from the students and faculty about a President Obama. And, despite the efforts of the MSM, I suspect that the pedestal is very, very high. There is quite a distance to fall, and not everything can be blamed on ChimpyMcHalliburtonBush.

    Teh Narrative will shortly be back to:

    1. Well, Republicans are corrupt, too, only more so.
    2. That is how politics work, and is a necessary evil.

    Not quite as exciting as Hope and Change.

    And so far as the MSM, I keep wondering about Teh Narrative versus getting investigative reporting awards. Ambition can trump partisanship.

    Or maybe not.

    Eric Blair (3e2520)

  32. # 13 Comment by Soronel Haetir — 1/14/2009 @ 9:52 am

    Indeed. Get her out of the senate, then fire, err. request her resignation over something that will of course pop up.

    And just like Billies Willy, something will pop up!

    TC (0b9ca4)

  33. After the long-knives in the WH slide the new SecState into the unemployment/lobbyist line, perhaps the SecTreas could initiate a wide-ranging audit of charitable foundations (starting with Billy Jeff, of course)?

    EB- There is a funny article over at NR by Robert Ferrigno that you should read.
    But, no one is more disappointed than the die-hard disciple – they fall hard, and the more committed they were, the harder they fall. Just the corollary of the convert being the most devout.

    And, I wonder how BHO will react to the collapse of the Mexican Govt that the USArmy is warning about?

    AD (1d0fdb)

  34. AD, wonder no more – Obama will announce an immediate immigration amnesty for the entire country, and encourage them to cross our borders en masse. McCain will serve as his point man for this momentous and progressive action. Problem solved.

    Dmac (eb0dd0)

  35. Speaking of amnesty, does anyone want to bet that the collapse of Mexico will be Obama’s big foreign policy test ? Can you imagine the chaos on the border if that happens ? And it looks about as likely as the California bankruptcy.

    MIke K (f89cb3)

  36. It’s not legal for US companies to do business with countries designated as supporting terror, or with companies overseas who’ve been accused of helping those countries. Companies pay fines for these things, and executives can face legal jeapordy personally. Marc Rich himself was convicted of this crime, among other crimes.

    The Clintons are doing what is criminal for anyone else. How is it possible we allow this to continue? American politicians can always pick up easy money from the world’s criminals, and will do so unless we punish them. I rue the death of a free press, meaning a press that wants to publicize scummy acts like these, taking money from terrorist fronts.

    MTF (17058c)

  37. JVW,
    Let’s hope that there is some strategic thinking behind the GOP Senators kid-glove treatment of HRC.

    I think you nailed it. As difficult as her nomination is for conservatives, there could (and would) be far worse. She’s a pretty rational actor in a lot of ways. And there’s also the little fact about her getting 18 million votes in the primary. Not a hill worth dying on. Now cue the snark for the double entendre.

    Chris (ce5d67)

  38. Comment by MIke K — 1/14/2009 @ 1:40 pm

    CA BK…
    A comment on the radio today that due to the cash-flow problems of the State, they might have to issue vouchers to taxpayers in lieu of checks for tax-refunds.
    My understanding is that it only takes three creditors to force someone into BK court. If I receive a voucher, I will be soliciting other voucher receipients to join me in petitioning the BK Court to force CA into it.
    They need to feel the full force of their idiocy to prevent/deter future behavior.

    AD (1d0fdb)

  39. The absolute collapse of Republican principles is astonishing. Who are these people?

    The hearings are ridiculous, except to show the complete emptiness of our political class.

    Patricia (89cb84)

  40. #12 – What?

    Twasn’t me who posted. I think you are referring to Mike K.

    Dr. K (as in Keith)

    Dr. K (4dd7c3)

  41. Dear Dr. Keith:

    My apologies. I have been calling Mike K. “Dr. K.” for a couple of years now. I was responding to him.

    Sorry for the confusion.

    Eric Blair (3e2520)

  42. No worries, I am an irregular poster, and I figured it was something like that.

    Dr. K (4dd7c3)

  43. [...] As Hillary Clinton faced confirmation as Secretary of State, editors failed to document the extent of the questionable donations received by the Clinton Foundation. [...]

    Patterico's Pontifications » Patterico’s Los Angeles Dog Trainer Year in Review 2009 (e4ab32)


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