While so many politicians in the US love to expose the riches of world leaders they promptly dispose of through war and regime change revolutions, much America is either oblivious of or complicit to the massive wealth accumulated by their very own oligarch ruling clans.
From Mitt Romney, to John Kerry, and the entire Bush family dynasty, the billions of dollars amassed by US politicians probably makes the palaces of Saddam seem quaint and petty…though I doubt we will ever be treated to a CNN live tour of the Bush ranch and its gold toilet seats.
And then there is the Clinton Billions. Yes that’s B for Billions…not M for Millions. Bill and Hillary have managed to spin their political partnership (some call it a marriage) into a billion dollar empire.
In a recent Wall Street Journal piece titled, “Hillary Clinton’s Complex Corporate Ties. Family charities collected donations from companies she promoted as secretary of state,” the WSJ exposes a complex network of corporate donations to her Clinton Foundation in exchange for global government lobbying and favors while Mrs. Clinton was US Secretary of State.
The WSJ reports…
Among recent secretaries of state, Hillary Clinton was one of the most aggressive global cheerleaders for American companies, pushing governments to sign deals and change policies to the advantage of corporate giants such as General Electric Co. , Exxon Mobil Corp., Microsoft Corp. and Boeing Co.
At the same time, those companies were among the many that gave to the Clinton family’s global foundation set up by her husband, former President Bill Clinton. At least 60 companies that lobbied the State Department during her tenure donated a total of more than $26 million to the Clinton Foundation, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of public and foundation disclosures.
As Mrs. Clinton prepares to embark on a race for the presidency, she has a web of connections to big corporations unique in American politics—ties forged both as secretary of state and by her family’s charitable interests. Those relationships are emerging as an issue for Mrs. Clinton’s expected presidential campaign as income disparity and other populist themes gain early attention.
Mrs. Clinton’s connections to the companies don’t end there. As secretary of state, she created 15 public-private partnerships coordinated by the State Department, and at least 25 companies contributed to those partnerships. She also sought corporate donations for another charity she co-founded, a nonprofit women’s group called Vital Voices.
The foundation resumed soliciting foreign governments after Mrs. Clinton left the State Department. The official name of the foundation was changed to the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation. Mrs. Clinton became a director. All told, the Clinton Foundation and its affiliates have collected donations and pledges from all sources of more than $1.6 billion, according to their tax returns. On Thursday, the foundation said that if Mrs. Clinton runs for president, it would consider whether to continue accepting foreign-government contributions as part of an internal policy review.
Foundation spokesman Craig Minassian says the group’s work helps millions around the world and its donors have a history of supporting such work. “So when companies get involved with the Clinton Foundation it’s for only one reason, because they know our work matters,” he says.
That approach, which Mrs. Clinton called “economic statecraft,” emerged in discussions with Robert Hormats, a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. investment banker who has worked in Democratic and Republican administrations and became an undersecretary of state. “One of the very first items was, how do we strengthen the role of the State Department in economic policy?” he says.
Early in Mrs. Clinton’s tenure, according to Mr. Hormats, Microsoft’s then Chief Research Officer Craig Mundie asked the State Department to send a ranking official to a fourth annual meeting of U.S. software executives and Chinese government officials about piracy and Internet freedom. Mr. Hormats joined the December 2009 meeting in Beijing.
Mr. Hormats says there was no relation between Microsoft’s donations and the State Department’s participation in the China conference.
In 2012, the Clinton Foundation approached GE about working together to expand a health-access initiative the company had launched four years earlier, says a GE spokeswoman.
That same year, Mrs. Clinton lobbied for GE to be selected by the Algerian government to build power plants in that country. She went to Algiers that October and met with President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. “I saw an opportunity for advancing prosperity in Algeria and seizing an opportunity for American business,” she explained in her book.
A month after Mrs. Clinton’s trip, the Clinton Foundation announced the health-initiative partnership with GE, the company’s first involvement with the foundation. GE eventually contributed between $500,000 and $1 million to the partnership.
The following September, GE won the contracts with the Algerian government, saying they marked “some of its largest power agreements in company history.”
Ben Schreiber of the environmental group Friends of the Earth says: “We’ve long been concerned about the ties that Hillary Clinton has to the oil-and-gas industry.”
Both Exxon and Chevron are supporters of the Clinton Foundation. Chevron donated $250,000 in 2013. A Chevron spokesman said the Clinton charity “is one of many programs and partnerships that the company has had or maintains across a number of issue areas and topics pertinent to our business.”In October 2009, Mrs. Clinton went to bat for aerospace giant Boeing, which was seeking to sell jets to Russia, by flying to Moscow to visit the Boeing Design Center. “I made the case that Boeing’s jets set the global gold standard, and, after I left, our embassy kept at it,” she wrote in her book.
About seven months later, in June 2010, Russia agreed to purchase 50 Boeing 737s for $3.7 billion, choosing Boeing over Europe’s Airbus Group NV.
Two months later, Boeing made its first donation to the Clinton Foundation—$900,000 to help rebuild Haiti’s public-education system. Overall, Boeing has contributed around $1.1 million to the Clinton Foundation since 2010.
Before every overseas trip, says Mr. Hormats, the former undersecretary of state, he helped prepare a list of U.S. corporate interests for Mrs. Clinton to advocate while abroad.
During Mrs. Clinton’s three trips to India, she urged the government to kill a ban on stores that sell multiple brands, a law aimed at department stores or big-box retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
This massive conflict of interest that arises as soon as the very foundation of the leading US presidential candidate begins accepting money from corporate “donors” in exchange for international contracts and favors, is obvious to anyone with half a brain…except of course to the Clinton family, their circle of power.
After all…”These contributions [to the Clinton Foundation] are helping improve the lives of millions of people across the world, for which we [Bill and Hillary] are grateful.”
Whose lives exactly is Hillary Clinton improving? Well the lives of the Washington elite, leeches, lawyers, lobbyists, and everyone else in DC and beyond making a living off of Hillary’s corrupt works.
The Liberty Blitzkrieg blog summarizes the situation nicely…
Hillary Clinton’s biggest weakness is that she doesn’t actually stand for anything other than money and power. Glenn Greenwald pointed this out perfectly in last year’s post: Glenn Greenwald on Hillary Clinton: “Soulless, Principle-Free, Power Hungry…” Here’s an excerpt:
“Hillary is banal, corrupted, drained of vibrancy and passion. I mean, she’s been around forever, the Clinton circle. She’s a fucking hawk and like a neocon, practically. She’s surrounded by all these sleazy money types who are just corrupting everything everywhere. But she’s going to be the first female president, and women in America are going to be completely invested in her candidacy. Opposition to her is going to be depicted as misogynistic, like opposition to Obama has been depicted as racist. It’s going to be this completely symbolic messaging that’s going to overshadow the fact that she’ll do nothing but continue everything in pursuit of her own power. They’ll probably have a gay person after Hillary who’s just going to do the same thing.”
In light of Hillary not harboring any genuine principles, she needs to fall back on the tainted and phony Democratic brand of “standing up for the little guy.” The only problem is that Hillary Clinton might be the most connected human being alive in America to large mega-corporations.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.