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https://plus.google.com/107100628495788610377 Mone Garand : CLINTON IMPEACHMENT Senate Vote On Opening Deliberations The Associated Press Tuesday, February 9,...
CLINTON IMPEACHMENT


Senate Vote On Opening Deliberations
The Associated Press
Tuesday, February 9, 1999

The 59-41 roll call by which the Senate voted Tuesday against opening deliberations on the articles of impeachment against President Clinton.

On this vote, a "yes" vote was a vote to open the deliberations and a "no" vote was to keep them closed. To open deliberations required a two-thirds majority of 67 "yes" votes.

Voting "yes" were 45 Democrats and 14 Republicans. Voting "no" were 41 Republicans and no Democrats.

Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions (R): No Sen. Richard Shelby (R): No
Alaska Sen. Frank Murkowski (R): No Sen. Ted Stevens (R): Yes
Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl (R): Yes Sen. John McCain (R): Yes
Arkansas Sen. Tim Hutchinson (R): No Sen. Blanche Lambert Lincoln (D): Yes
California Sen. Barbara Boxer (D): Yes Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D): Yes
Colorado Sen. Wayne Allard (R): No Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R): No
Connecticut Sen. Christopher Dodd (D): Yes Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D): Yes
Delaware Sen. Joseph Biden (D): Yes Sen. William Roth (R): No
Florida Sen. Bob Graham (D): Yes Sen. Connie Mack (R): No
Georgia Sen. Max Cleland (D): Yes Sen. Paul Coverdell (R): No
Hawaii Sen. Daniel Akaka (D): Yes Sen. Daniel Inouye (D): Yes
Idaho Sen. Larry Craig (R): No Sen. Mike Crapo (R): No
Illinois Sen. Richard Durbin (D): Yes Sen. Peter Fitzgerald (R): No
Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh (D): Yes Sen. Richard Lugar (R): Yes
Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley (R): No Sen. Tom Harkin (D): Yes
Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback (R): No Sen. Pat Roberts (R): No
Kentucky Sen. Jim Bunning (R): No Sen. Mitch McConnell (R): No
Louisiana Sen. John Breaux (D): Yes Sen. Mary Landrieu (D): Yes
Maine Sen. Susan Collins (R): Yes Sen. Olympia Snowe (R): Yes
Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D): Yes Sen. Paul Sarbanes (D): Yes
Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy (D): Yes Sen. John Kerry (D): Yes
Michigan Sen. Spencer Abraham (R): Yes Sen. Carl Levin (D): Yes
Minnesota Sen. Rod Grams (R): No Sen. Paul Wellstone (D): Yes
Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran (R): No Sen. Trent Lott (R): No
Missouri Sen. John Ashcroft (R): No Sen. Christopher (Kit) Bond (R): No
Montana Sen. Max Baucus (D): Yes Sen. Conrad Burns (R): No
Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel (R): Yes Sen. Bob Kerrey (D): Yes
Nevada Sen. Richard Bryan (D): Yes Sen. Harry Reid (D): Yes
New Hampshire Sen. Judd Gregg (R): No Sen. Bob Smith (R): No
New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D): Yes Sen. Robert Torricelli (D): Yes
New Mexico Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D): Yes Sen. Pete Domenici (R): No
New York Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D): Yes Sen. Charles Schumer (D): Yes
North Carolina Sen. John Edwards (D): Yes Sen. Jesse Helms (R): No
North Dakota Sen. Kent Conrad (D): Yes Sen. Byron Dorgan (D): Yes
Ohio Sen. Mike DeWine (R): Yes Sen. George Voinovich (R): No
Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe (R): No Sen. Don Nickles (R): No
Oregon Sen. Gordon Smith (R): Yes Sen. Ron Wyden (D): Yes
Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum (R): No Sen. Arlen Specter (R): Yes
Rhode Island Sen. John Chafee (R): No Sen. Jack Reed (D): Yes
South Carolina Sen. Ernest "Fritz" Hollings (D): Yes Sen. Strom Thurmond (R): No
South Dakota Sen. Thomas Daschle (D): Yes Sen. Tim Johnson (D): Yes
Tennessee Sen. Bill Frist (R): No Sen. Fred Thompson (R): No
Texas Sen. Phil Gramm (R): No Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R): Yes
Utah Sen. Robert Bennett (R): No Sen. Orrin Hatch (R): No
Vermont Sen. James Jeffords (R): Yes Sen. Patrick Leahy (D): Yes
Virginia Sen. Charles Robb (D): Yes Sen. John Warner (R): No
Washington Sen. Slade Gorton (R): Yes Sen. Patty Murray (D): Yes
West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd (D): Yes Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D): Yes
Wisconsin Sen. Russell Feingold (D): Yes Sen. Herb Kohl (D): Yes
Wyoming Sen. Mike Enzi (R): No Sen. Craig Thomas (R): No

© Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company
16 days ago - Via Google+ - View -
https://plus.google.com/109956498743873926718 Danny Smith : Clinton Foundation Donors Got Weapons Deals From Hillary Clinton's State Department BY DAVID SIROTA ...
Clinton Foundation Donors Got Weapons Deals From Hillary Clinton's State Department
BY DAVID SIROTA @DAVIDSIROTA AND ANDREW PEREZ
Even by the standards of arms deals between the United States and Saudi Arabia, this one was enormous. A consortium of American defense contractors led by Boeing would deliver $29 billion worth of advanced fighter jets to the United States' oil-rich ally in the Middle East.
Israeli officials were agitated, reportedly complaining to the Obama administration that this substantial enhancement to Saudi air power risked disrupting the region's fragile balance of power. The deal appeared to collide with the State Department’s documented concerns about the repressive policies of the Saudi royal family.
But now, in late 2011, Hillary Clinton’s State Department was formally clearing the sale, asserting that it was in the national interest. At press conferences in Washington to announce the department’s approval, an assistant secretary of state, Andrew Shapiro, declared that the deal had been “a top priority” for Clinton personally. Shapiro, a longtime aide to Clinton since her Senate days, added that the “U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army have excellent relationships in Saudi Arabia.”
These were not the only relationships bridging leaders of the two nations. In the years before Hillary Clinton became secretary of state, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia contributed at least $10 million to the Clinton Foundation, the philanthropic enterprise she has overseen with her husband, former president Bill Clinton. Just two months before the deal was finalized, Boeing -- the defense contractor that manufactures one of the fighter jets the Saudis were especially keen to acquire, the F-15 -- contributed $900,000 to the Clinton Foundation, according to a company press release.
The Saudi deal was one of dozens of arms sales approved by Hillary Clinton’s State Department that placed weapons in the hands of governments that had also donated money to the Clinton family philanthropic empire, an International Business Times investigation has found.
Continue Reading Below
Under Clinton's leadership, the State Department approved $165 billion worth of commercial arms sales to 20 nations whose governments have given money to the Clinton Foundation, according to an IBTimes analysis of State Department and foundation data. That figure -- derived from the three full fiscal years of Clinton’s term as Secretary of State (from October 2010 to September 2012) -- represented nearly double the value of American arms sales made to the those countries and approved by the State Department during the same period of President George W. Bush’s second term.
The Clinton-led State Department also authorized $151 billion of separate Pentagon-brokered deals for 16 of the countries that donated to the Clinton Foundation, resulting in a 143 percent increase in completed sales to those nations over the same time frame during the Bush administration. These extra sales were part of a broad increase in American military exports that accompanied Obama’s arrival in the White House. The 143 percent increase in U.S. arms sales to Clinton Foundation donors compares to an 80 percent increase in such sales to all countries over the same time period.
American defense contractors also donated to the Clinton Foundation while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state and in some cases made personal payments to Bill Clinton for speaking engagements. Such firms and their subsidiaries were listed as contractors in $163 billion worth of Pentagon-negotiated deals that were authorized by the Clinton State Department between 2009 and 2012.
The State Department formally approved these arms sales even as many of the deals enhanced the military power of countries ruled by authoritarian regimes whose human rights abuses had been criticized by the department. 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.
As secretary of state, Hillary Clinton also accused some of these countries of failing to marshal a serious and sustained campaign to confront terrorism. In a December 2009 State Department cable published by Wikileaks, Clinton complained of “an ongoing challenge to persuade Saudi officials to treat terrorist financing emanating from Saudi Arabia as a strategic priority.” She declared that “Qatar's overall level of CT cooperation with the U.S. is considered the worst in the region.” She said the Kuwaiti government was “less inclined to take action against Kuwait-based financiers and facilitators plotting attacks.” She noted that “UAE-based donors have provided financial support to a variety of terrorist groups.” All of these countries donated to the Clinton Foundation and received increased weapons export authorizations from the Clinton-run State Department.
Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Clinton Foundation did not respond to questions from the IBTimes.
In all, governments and corporations involved in the arms deals approved by Clinton’s State Department have delivered between $54 million and $141 million to the Clinton Foundation as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments to the Clinton family, according to foundation and State Department records. The Clinton Foundation publishes only a rough range of individual contributors’ donations, making a more precise accounting impossible.
Winning Friends, Influencing Clintons
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. But nothing prevents them from contributing to a philanthropic foundation controlled by policymakers.
Just before Hillary Clinton became Secretary of State, the Clinton Foundation signed an agreement generally obligating it to disclose to the State Department increases in contributions from its existing foreign government donors and any new foreign government donors. Those increases were to be reviewed by an official at the State Department and “as appropriate” the White House counsel’s office. According to available disclosures, officials at the State Department and White House raised no issues about potential conflicts related to arms sales.
During Hillary Clinton’s 2009 Senate confirmation hearings, Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., urged the Clinton Foundation to “forswear” accepting contributions from governments abroad. “Foreign governments and entities may perceive the Clinton Foundation as a means to gain favor with the secretary of state,” he said. The Clintons did not take Lugar’s advice. In light of the weapons deals flowing to Clinton Foundation donors, advocates for limits on the influence of money on government action now argue that Lugar was prescient in his concerns.
“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,” said Meredith McGehee, policy director at the Campaign Legal Center, an advocacy group that seeks to tighten campaign finance disclosure rules. “This shows why having public officials, or even spouses of public officials, connected with these nonprofits is problematic.”
Hillary Clinton’s willingness to allow those with business before the State Department to finance her foundation heightens concerns about how she would manage such relationships as president, said Lawrence Lessig, the director of Harvard University’s Safra Center for Ethics.
“These continuing revelations raise a fundamental question of judgment,” Lessig told IBTimes. “Can it really be that the Clintons didn't recognize the questions these transactions would raise? And if they did, what does that say about their sense of the appropriate relationship between private gain and public good?”
National security experts assert that the overlap between the list of Clinton Foundation donors and those with business before the the State Department presents a troubling conflict of interest.
While governments and defense contractors may not have made donations to the Clinton Foundation exclusively to influence arms deals, they were clearly “looking to build up deposits in the 'favor bank' and to be well thought of,” said Gregory Suchan, a 34-year State Department veteran who helped lead the agency’s oversight of arms transfers under the Bush administration.
As Hillary Clinton presses a campaign for the presidency, she has confronted sustained scrutiny into her family’s personal and philanthropic dealings, along with questions about whether their private business interests have colored her exercise of public authority. As IBTimes previously reported, Clinton switched from opposing an American free trade agreement with Colombia to supporting it after a Canadian energy and mining magnate with interests in that South American country contributed to the Clinton Foundation. IBTimes’ review of the Clintons’ annual financial disclosures also revealed that 13 companies lobbying the State Department paid Bill Clinton $2.5 million in speaking fees while Hillary Clinton headed the agency.
Questions about the nexus of arms sales and Clinton Foundation donors stem from the State Department’s role in reviewing the export of American-made weapons. The agency is charged with both licensing direct commercial sales by U.S. defense contractors to foreign governments and also approving Pentagon-brokered sales to those governments. Those powers are enshrined in a federal law that specifically designates the secretary of state as “responsible for the continuous supervision and general direction of sales” of arms, military hardware and services to foreign countries. In that role, Hillary Clinton was empowered to approve or reject deals for a broad range of reasons, from national security considerations to human rights concerns.
The State Department does not disclose which individual companies are involved in direct commercial sales, but its disclosure documents reveal that countries that donated to the Clinton Foundation saw a combined $75 billion increase in authorized commercial military sales under the three full fiscal years Clinton served, as compared to the first three full fiscal years of Bush’s second term.
The Clinton Foundation has not released an exact timetable of its donations, making it impossible to know whether money from foreign governments and defense contractors came into the organization before or after Hillary Clinton approved weapons deals that involved their interests. But news reports document that at least seven foreign governments that received State Department clearance for American arms did donate to the Clinton Foundation while Hillary Clinton was serving as secretary: Algeria, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Thailand, Norway and Australia.
Sales Flowed Despite Human Rights Concerns
Under a presidential policy directive signed by President Bill Clinton in 1995, the State Department is supposed to specifically take human rights records into account when deciding whether to approve licenses enabling foreign governments to purchase military equipment and services from American companies. Despite this, Hillary Clinton’s State Department increased approvals of such sales to nations that her agency sharply criticized for systematic human rights abuses.
In its 2010 Human Rights Report, Clinton’s State Department inveighed against Algeria’s government for imposing “restrictions on freedom of assembly and association” tolerating “arbitrary killing,” “widespread corruption,” and a “lack of judicial independence.” The report said the Algerian government “used security grounds to constrain freedom of expression and movement.”
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. 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.
The monarchy in Qatar had similarly been chastised by the State Department for a raft of human rights abuses. But that country donated to the Clinton Foundation while Hillary Clinton was running the State Department. During the three full budgetary years of her tenure, Qatar saw a 14-fold increase in State Department authorizations for direct commercial sales of military equipment and services, as compared to the same time period in Bush’s second term. The department also approved the Pentagon’s separate $750 million sale of multi-mission helicopters to Qatar. That deal would additionally employ as contractors three companies that have all supported the Clinton Foundation over the years: United Technologies, Lockheed Martin and General Electric.
Clinton foundation donor countries that the State Department criticized for human rights violations and that received weapons export authorizations did not respond to IBTimes’ questions.
That group of arms manufacturers -- along with Clinton Foundation donors Boeing, Honeywell, Hawker Beechcraft and their affiliates -- were together listed as contractors in 114 such deals while Clinton was secretary of state. NBC put Chelsea Clinton on its payroll as a network correspondent in November 2011, when it was still 49 percent owned by General Electric. A spokesperson for General Electric did not respond to questions from IBTimes.
The other companies all asserted that their donations had nothing to do with the arms export deals.
“Our contributions have aligned with our longstanding philanthropic commitments,” said Honeywell spokesperson Rob Ferris.
"Even The Appearance Of A Conflict"
During her Senate confirmation proceedings in 2009, Hillary Clinton declared that she and her husband were “committed to ensuring that his work does not present a conflict of interest with the duties of Secretary of State.” She pledged “to protect against even the appearance of a conflict of interest between his work and the duties of the Secretary of State” and said 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.”
Even so, Bill Clinton took in speaking fees reaching $625,000 at events sponsored by entities that were dealing with Hillary Clinton’s State Department on weapons issues.
In 2011, for example, the former president was paid $175,000 by the Kuwait America Foundation to be the guest of honor and keynote speaker at its annual awards gala, which was held at the home of the Kuwaiti ambassador. Ben Affleck spoke at the event, which featured a musical performance by Grammy-award winner Michael Bolton. The gala was emceed by Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, hosts of MSNBC’s Morning Joe show. Boeing was listed as a sponsor of the event, as were the embassies of the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar -- the latter two of which had donated to the Clinton Foundation while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state.
The speaking fee from the Kuwait America Foundation to Bill Clinton was paid in the same time frame as a series of deals Hillary Clinton’s State Department was approving between the Kuwaiti government and Boeing. Months before the gala, the Department of Defense announced that Boeing would be the prime contractor on a $693 million deal, cleared by Hillary Clinton’s State Department, to provide the Kuwaiti government with military transport aircraft. A year later, a group sponsored in part by Boeing would pay Bill Clinton another $250,000 speaking fee.
“Boeing has sponsored this major travel event, the Global Business Travel Association, for several years, regardless of its invited speakers,” Gordon Johndroe, a Boeing spokesperson, told IBTimes. Johndroe said Boeing’s support for the Clinton Foundation was “a transparent act of compassion and an investment aimed at aiding the long-term interests and hopes of the Haitian people” following a devastating earthquake.
Boeing was one of three companies that helped deliver money personally to Bill Clinton while benefiting from weapons authorizations issued by Hillary Clinton’s State Department. The others were Lockheed and the financial giant Goldman Sachs.
Lockheed is a member of the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt, which paid Bill Clinton $250,000 to speak at an event in 2010. Three days before the speech, Hillary Clinton’s State Department approved two weapons export deals in which Lockheed was listed as the prime contractor. Over the course of 2010, Lockheed was a contractor on 17 Pentagon-brokered deals that won approval from the State Department. Lockheed told IBTimes that its support for the Clinton Foundation started in 2010, while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state.
“Lockheed Martin has periodically supported one individual membership in the Clinton Global Initiative since 2010,” said company spokesperson Katherine Trinidad. “Membership benefits included attendance at CGI annual meetings, where we participated in working groups focused on STEM, workforce development and advanced manufacturing.”
In April 2011, Goldman Sachs paid Bill Clinton $200,000 to speak to “approximately 250 high level clients and investors” in New York, according to State Department records obtained by Judicial Watch. Two months later, the State Department approved a $675 million foreign military sale involving Hawker Beechcraft -- a company that was then part-owned by Goldman Sachs. As part of the deal, Hawker Beechcraft would provide support to the government of Iraq to maintain a fleet of aircraft used for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions. Goldman Sachs has also contributed at least $250,000 to the Clinton Foundation, according to donation records.
“There is absolutely no connection among all the points that you have raised regarding our firm,” said Andrew Williams, a spokesperson for Goldman Sachs.
Federal records show that ethics staffers at the State Department approved the payments to Bill Clinton from Goldman Sachs, and the Lockheed- and Boeing-sponsored groups without objection, even though the firms had major stakes in the agency’s weapons export decisions.
Stephen Walt, a Harvard University professor of international affairs, told IBTimes that the intertwining financial relationships between the Clintons, defense contractors and foreign governments seeking weapons approvals is “a vivid example of a very big problem -- the degree to which conflicts of interest have become endemic.”
“It has troubled me all along that the Clinton Foundation was not being more scrupulous about who it would take money from and who it wouldn’t,” he said. “American foreign policy is better served if people responsible for it are not even remotely suspected of having these conflicts of interest. When George Marshall was secretary of state, nobody was worried about whether or not he would be distracted by donations to a foundation or to himself. This wasn’t an issue. And that was probably better.”
UPDATE (7:38pm, 5/26/15): In an emailed statement, a spokeswoman for the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office told IBTimes: "Taiwan’s 2003 donation was for the fund to build the Clinton Presidential Library. This was way before Mrs. Clinton was made the U.S. Secretary of State. We have neither knowledge nor comments concerning other issues."
This story has been updated to include an additional link to a 2010 State Department press conference about the U.S.-Saudi Arabia arms deal.
Clinton: Warren is 'qualified' to be my VP
In an interview with POLITICO, Clinton says she has the "highest regard" for the Massachusetts senator. But she didn’t say the same about Bernie Sanders.
17 days ago - Via Google+ - View -
https://plus.google.com/109956498743873926718 Danny Smith : Clinton Foundation Donors Got Weapons Deals From Hillary Clinton's State Department BY DAVID SIROTA ...
Clinton Foundation Donors Got Weapons Deals From Hillary Clinton's State Department
BY DAVID SIROTA @DAVIDSIROTA AND ANDREW PEREZ
Even by the standards of arms deals between the United States and Saudi Arabia, this one was enormous. A consortium of American defense contractors led by Boeing would deliver $29 billion worth of advanced fighter jets to the United States' oil-rich ally in the Middle East.

Israeli officials were agitated, reportedly complaining to the Obama administration that this substantial enhancement to Saudi air power risked disrupting the region's fragile balance of power. The deal appeared to collide with the State Department’s documented concerns about the repressive policies of the Saudi royal family.

But now, in late 2011, Hillary Clinton’s State Department was formally clearing the sale, asserting that it was in the national interest. At press conferences in Washington to announce the department’s approval, an assistant secretary of state, Andrew Shapiro, declared that the deal had been “a top priority” for Clinton personally. Shapiro, a longtime aide to Clinton since her Senate days, added that the “U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army have excellent relationships in Saudi Arabia.”

These were not the only relationships bridging leaders of the two nations. In the years before Hillary Clinton became secretary of state, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia contributed at least $10 million to the Clinton Foundation, the philanthropic enterprise she has overseen with her husband, former president Bill Clinton. Just two months before the deal was finalized, Boeing -- the defense contractor that manufactures one of the fighter jets the Saudis were especially keen to acquire, the F-15 -- contributed $900,000 to the Clinton Foundation, according to a company press release.

The Saudi deal was one of dozens of arms sales approved by Hillary Clinton’s State Department that placed weapons in the hands of governments that had also donated money to the Clinton family philanthropic empire, an International Business Times investigation has found.

Continue Reading Below


Under Clinton's leadership, the State Department approved $165 billion worth of commercial arms sales to 20 nations whose governments have given money to the Clinton Foundation, according to an IBTimes analysis of State Department and foundation data. That figure -- derived from the three full fiscal years of Clinton’s term as Secretary of State (from October 2010 to September 2012) -- represented nearly double the value of American arms sales made to the those countries and approved by the State Department during the same period of President George W. Bush’s second term.

The Clinton-led State Department also authorized $151 billion of separate Pentagon-brokered deals for 16 of the countries that donated to the Clinton Foundation, resulting in a 143 percent increase in completed sales to those nations over the same time frame during the Bush administration. These extra sales were part of a broad increase in American military exports that accompanied Obama’s arrival in the White House. The 143 percent increase in U.S. arms sales to Clinton Foundation donors compares to an 80 percent increase in such sales to all countries over the same time period.

American defense contractors also donated to the Clinton Foundation while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state and in some cases made personal payments to Bill Clinton for speaking engagements. Such firms and their subsidiaries were listed as contractors in $163 billion worth of Pentagon-negotiated deals that were authorized by the Clinton State Department between 2009 and 2012.

The State Department formally approved these arms sales even as many of the deals enhanced the military power of countries ruled by authoritarian regimes whose human rights abuses had been criticized by the department. 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.

As secretary of state, Hillary Clinton also accused some of these countries of failing to marshal a serious and sustained campaign to confront terrorism. In a December 2009 State Department cable published by Wikileaks, Clinton complained of “an ongoing challenge to persuade Saudi officials to treat terrorist financing emanating from Saudi Arabia as a strategic priority.” She declared that “Qatar's overall level of CT cooperation with the U.S. is considered the worst in the region.” She said the Kuwaiti government was “less inclined to take action against Kuwait-based financiers and facilitators plotting attacks.” She noted that “UAE-based donors have provided financial support to a variety of terrorist groups.” All of these countries donated to the Clinton Foundation and received increased weapons export authorizations from the Clinton-run State Department.

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Clinton Foundation did not respond to questions from the IBTimes.

In all, governments and corporations involved in the arms deals approved by Clinton’s State Department have delivered between $54 million and $141 million to the Clinton Foundation as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments to the Clinton family, according to foundation and State Department records. The Clinton Foundation publishes only a rough range of individual contributors’ donations, making a more precise accounting impossible.

Winning Friends, Influencing Clintons

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. But nothing prevents them from contributing to a philanthropic foundation controlled by policymakers.

Just before Hillary Clinton became Secretary of State, the Clinton Foundation signed an agreement generally obligating it to disclose to the State Department increases in contributions from its existing foreign government donors and any new foreign government donors. Those increases were to be reviewed by an official at the State Department and “as appropriate” the White House counsel’s office. According to available disclosures, officials at the State Department and White House raised no issues about potential conflicts related to arms sales.

During Hillary Clinton’s 2009 Senate confirmation hearings, Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., urged the Clinton Foundation to “forswear” accepting contributions from governments abroad. “Foreign governments and entities may perceive the Clinton Foundation as a means to gain favor with the secretary of state,” he said. The Clintons did not take Lugar’s advice. In light of the weapons deals flowing to Clinton Foundation donors, advocates for limits on the influence of money on government action now argue that Lugar was prescient in his concerns.

“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,” said Meredith McGehee, policy director at the Campaign Legal Center, an advocacy group that seeks to tighten campaign finance disclosure rules. “This shows why having public officials, or even spouses of public officials, connected with these nonprofits is problematic.”

Hillary Clinton’s willingness to allow those with business before the State Department to finance her foundation heightens concerns about how she would manage such relationships as president, said Lawrence Lessig, the director of Harvard University’s Safra Center for Ethics.


“These continuing revelations raise a fundamental question of judgment,” Lessig told IBTimes. “Can it really be that the Clintons didn't recognize the questions these transactions would raise? And if they did, what does that say about their sense of the appropriate relationship between private gain and public good?”

National security experts assert that the overlap between the list of Clinton Foundation donors and those with business before the the State Department presents a troubling conflict of interest.

While governments and defense contractors may not have made donations to the Clinton Foundation exclusively to influence arms deals, they were clearly “looking to build up deposits in the 'favor bank' and to be well thought of,” said Gregory Suchan, a 34-year State Department veteran who helped lead the agency’s oversight of arms transfers under the Bush administration.

As Hillary Clinton presses a campaign for the presidency, she has confronted sustained scrutiny into her family’s personal and philanthropic dealings, along with questions about whether their private business interests have colored her exercise of public authority. As IBTimes previously reported, Clinton switched from opposing an American free trade agreement with Colombia to supporting it after a Canadian energy and mining magnate with interests in that South American country contributed to the Clinton Foundation. IBTimes’ review of the Clintons’ annual financial disclosures also revealed that 13 companies lobbying the State Department paid Bill Clinton $2.5 million in speaking fees while Hillary Clinton headed the agency.

Questions about the nexus of arms sales and Clinton Foundation donors stem from the State Department’s role in reviewing the export of American-made weapons. The agency is charged with both licensing direct commercial sales by U.S. defense contractors to foreign governments and also approving Pentagon-brokered sales to those governments. Those powers are enshrined in a federal law that specifically designates the secretary of state as “responsible for the continuous supervision and general direction of sales” of arms, military hardware and services to foreign countries. In that role, Hillary Clinton was empowered to approve or reject deals for a broad range of reasons, from national security considerations to human rights concerns.

The State Department does not disclose which individual companies are involved in direct commercial sales, but its disclosure documents reveal that countries that donated to the Clinton Foundation saw a combined $75 billion increase in authorized commercial military sales under the three full fiscal years Clinton served, as compared to the first three full fiscal years of Bush’s second term.

The Clinton Foundation has not released an exact timetable of its donations, making it impossible to know whether money from foreign governments and defense contractors came into the organization before or after Hillary Clinton approved weapons deals that involved their interests. But news reports document that at least seven foreign governments that received State Department clearance for American arms did donate to the Clinton Foundation while Hillary Clinton was serving as secretary: Algeria, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Thailand, Norway and Australia.

Sales Flowed Despite Human Rights Concerns

Under a presidential policy directive signed by President Bill Clinton in 1995, the State Department is supposed to specifically take human rights records into account when deciding whether to approve licenses enabling foreign governments to purchase military equipment and services from American companies. Despite this, Hillary Clinton’s State Department increased approvals of such sales to nations that her agency sharply criticized for systematic human rights abuses.

In its 2010 Human Rights Report, Clinton’s State Department inveighed against Algeria’s government for imposing “restrictions on freedom of assembly and association” tolerating “arbitrary killing,” “widespread corruption,” and a “lack of judicial independence.” The report said the Algerian government “used security grounds to constrain freedom of expression and movement.”

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. 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.

The monarchy in Qatar had similarly been chastised by the State Department for a raft of human rights abuses. But that country donated to the Clinton Foundation while Hillary Clinton was running the State Department. During the three full budgetary years of her tenure, Qatar saw a 14-fold increase in State Department authorizations for direct commercial sales of military equipment and services, as compared to the same time period in Bush’s second term. The department also approved the Pentagon’s separate $750 million sale of multi-mission helicopters to Qatar. That deal would additionally employ as contractors three companies that have all supported the Clinton Foundation over the years: United Technologies, Lockheed Martin and General Electric.

Clinton foundation donor countries that the State Department criticized for human rights violations and that received weapons export authorizations did not respond to IBTimes’ questions.

That group of arms manufacturers -- along with Clinton Foundation donors Boeing, Honeywell, Hawker Beechcraft and their affiliates -- were together listed as contractors in 114 such deals while Clinton was secretary of state. NBC put Chelsea Clinton on its payroll as a network correspondent in November 2011, when it was still 49 percent owned by General Electric. A spokesperson for General Electric did not respond to questions from IBTimes.



The other companies all asserted that their donations had nothing to do with the arms export deals.

“Our contributions have aligned with our longstanding philanthropic commitments,” said Honeywell spokesperson Rob Ferris.

"Even The Appearance Of A Conflict"

During her Senate confirmation proceedings in 2009, Hillary Clinton declared that she and her husband were “committed to ensuring that his work does not present a conflict of interest with the duties of Secretary of State.” She pledged “to protect against even the appearance of a conflict of interest between his work and the duties of the Secretary of State” and said 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.”

Even so, Bill Clinton took in speaking fees reaching $625,000 at events sponsored by entities that were dealing with Hillary Clinton’s State Department on weapons issues.

In 2011, for example, the former president was paid $175,000 by the Kuwait America Foundation to be the guest of honor and keynote speaker at its annual awards gala, which was held at the home of the Kuwaiti ambassador. Ben Affleck spoke at the event, which featured a musical performance by Grammy-award winner Michael Bolton. The gala was emceed by Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, hosts of MSNBC’s Morning Joe show. Boeing was listed as a sponsor of the event, as were the embassies of the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar -- the latter two of which had donated to the Clinton Foundation while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state.

The speaking fee from the Kuwait America Foundation to Bill Clinton was paid in the same time frame as a series of deals Hillary Clinton’s State Department was approving between the Kuwaiti government and Boeing. Months before the gala, the Department of Defense announced that Boeing would be the prime contractor on a $693 million deal, cleared by Hillary Clinton’s State Department, to provide the Kuwaiti government with military transport aircraft. A year later, a group sponsored in part by Boeing would pay Bill Clinton another $250,000 speaking fee.


“Boeing has sponsored this major travel event, the Global Business Travel Association, for several years, regardless of its invited speakers,” Gordon Johndroe, a Boeing spokesperson, told IBTimes. Johndroe said Boeing’s support for the Clinton Foundation was “a transparent act of compassion and an investment aimed at aiding the long-term interests and hopes of the Haitian people” following a devastating earthquake.

Boeing was one of three companies that helped deliver money personally to Bill Clinton while benefiting from weapons authorizations issued by Hillary Clinton’s State Department. The others were Lockheed and the financial giant Goldman Sachs.

Lockheed is a member of the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt, which paid Bill Clinton $250,000 to speak at an event in 2010. Three days before the speech, Hillary Clinton’s State Department approved two weapons export deals in which Lockheed was listed as the prime contractor. Over the course of 2010, Lockheed was a contractor on 17 Pentagon-brokered deals that won approval from the State Department. Lockheed told IBTimes that its support for the Clinton Foundation started in 2010, while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state.

“Lockheed Martin has periodically supported one individual membership in the Clinton Global Initiative since 2010,” said company spokesperson Katherine Trinidad. “Membership benefits included attendance at CGI annual meetings, where we participated in working groups focused on STEM, workforce development and advanced manufacturing.”

In April 2011, Goldman Sachs paid Bill Clinton $200,000 to speak to “approximately 250 high level clients and investors” in New York, according to State Department records obtained by Judicial Watch. Two months later, the State Department approved a $675 million foreign military sale involving Hawker Beechcraft -- a company that was then part-owned by Goldman Sachs. As part of the deal, Hawker Beechcraft would provide support to the government of Iraq to maintain a fleet of aircraft used for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions. Goldman Sachs has also contributed at least $250,000 to the Clinton Foundation, according to donation records.

“There is absolutely no connection among all the points that you have raised regarding our firm,” said Andrew Williams, a spokesperson for Goldman Sachs.

Federal records show that ethics staffers at the State Department approved the payments to Bill Clinton from Goldman Sachs, and the Lockheed- and Boeing-sponsored groups without objection, even though the firms had major stakes in the agency’s weapons export decisions.

Stephen Walt, a Harvard University professor of international affairs, told IBTimes that the intertwining financial relationships between the Clintons, defense contractors and foreign governments seeking weapons approvals is “a vivid example of a very big problem -- the degree to which conflicts of interest have become endemic.”

“It has troubled me all along that the Clinton Foundation was not being more scrupulous about who it would take money from and who it wouldn’t,” he said. “American foreign policy is better served if people responsible for it are not even remotely suspected of having these conflicts of interest. When George Marshall was secretary of state, nobody was worried about whether or not he would be distracted by donations to a foundation or to himself. This wasn’t an issue. And that was probably better.”



UPDATE (7:38pm, 5/26/15): In an emailed statement, a spokeswoman for the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office told IBTimes: "Taiwan’s 2003 donation was for the fund to build the Clinton Presidential Library. This was way before Mrs. Clinton was made the U.S. Secretary of State. We have neither knowledge nor comments concerning other issues."

This story has been updated to include an additional link to a 2010 State Department press conference about the U.S.-Saudi Arabia arms deal.
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BLACK PEOPLE WHO INSPIRED A GENERATION OF BLACK'S B Barack Obama Biography
U.S. President, Lawyer, U.S. Senator (1961–)
NAME
Barack Obama
OCCUPATION
U.S. President, Lawyer, U.S. Senator
BIRTH DATE
August 4, 1961 (age 54)
EDUCATION
Harvard Law School, Occidental College, Columbia University, Punahou Academy
PLACE OF BIRTH
Honolulu, Hawaii
AKA
Barack Obama
FULL NAME
Barack Hussein Obama II
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SYNOPSIS
EARLY LIFE
EDUCATION
LAW CAREER
ENTRY INTO ILLINOIS POLITICS
U.S. SENATE CAREER
2008 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
FIRST 100 DAYS
2010 STATE OF THE UNION
CHALLENGES AND SUCCESSES
2012 RE-ELECTION
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Barack Obama is the 44th and current president of the United States, and the first African American to serve as U.S. president. First elected to the presidency in 2008, he won a second term in 2012.
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“I am not opposed to all wars. I'm opposed to dumb wars.”
—Barack Obama

Barack Obama - Mini Biography (TV-14; 5:04) Born in Honolulu, Barack Obama went on to become President of the Harvard Law Review. In 2008, he was elected President of the United States, becoming the first African-American commander-in-chief.
Synopsis

Born on August 4, 1961, in Honolulu, Hawaii, Barack Obama is the 44th and current president of the United States. He was a community organizer, civil-rights lawyer and teacher before pursuing a political career. He was elected to the Illinois State Senate in 1996 and to the U.S. Senate in 2004. He was elected to the U.S. presidency in 2008, and won re-election in 2012 against Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

Early Life

Barack Hussein Obama II was born on August 4, 1961, in Honolulu, Hawaii. His mother, Ann Dunham, was born on an Army base in Wichita, Kansas, during World War II. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dunham's father, Stanley, enlisted in the military and marched across Europe in General George Patton's army. Dunham's mother, Madelyn, went to work on a bomber assembly line. After the war, the couple studied on the G.I. Bill, bought a house through the Federal Housing Program and, after several moves, ended up in Hawaii.

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Obama's father, Barack Obama Sr., was born of Luo ethnicity in Nyanza Province, Kenya. Obama Sr. grew up herding goats in Africa and, eventually earned a scholarship that allowed him to leave Kenya and pursue his dreams of going to college in Hawaii. While studying at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Obama Sr. met fellow student Ann Dunham, and they married on February 2, 1961. Barack was born six months later.

As a child, Obama did not have a relationship with his father. When his son was still an infant, Obama Sr. relocated to Massachusetts to attend Harvard University and pursue a Ph.D. Obama's parents officially separated several months later and ultimately divorced in March 1964, when their son was two. Soon after, Obama Sr. returned to Kenya.

In 1965, Dunham married Lolo Soetoro, a University of Hawaii student from Indonesia. A year later, the family moved to Jakarta, Indonesia, where Obama's half-sister, Maya Soetoro Ng, was born in 1970. Several incidents in Indonesia left Dunham afraid for her son's safety and education so, at the age of 10, Obama was sent back to Hawaii to live with his maternal grandparents. His mother and half-sister later joined them.



Education

While living with his grandparents, Obama enrolled in the esteemed Punahou Academy, He excelled in basketball and graduated with academic honors in 1979. As one of only three black students at the school, Obama became conscious of racism and what it meant to be African-American. He later described how he struggled to reconcile social perceptions of his multiracial heritage with his own sense of self: "I noticed that there was nobody like me in the Sears, Roebuck Christmas catalog. . .and that Santa was a white man," he wrote. "I went into the bathroom and stood in front of the mirror with all my senses and limbs seemingly intact, looking as I had always looked, and wondered if something was wrong with me."

Obama also struggled with the absence of his father, who he saw only once more after his parents divorced, when Obama Sr. visited Hawaii for a short time in 1971. "[My father] had left paradise, and nothing that my mother or grandparents told me could obviate that single, unassailable fact," he later reflected. "They couldn't describe what it might have been like had he stayed."

Ten years later, in 1981, tragedy struck Obama Sr. when he lost both of his legs in a serious car accident. Confined to a wheelchair, he also lost his job. In 1982, Obama Sr. was involved in yet another car accident while traveling in Nairobi. This time, however, the crash was fatal. Obama Sr. died on November 24, 1982, when Obama was 21 years old. "At the time of his death, my father remained a myth to me," Obama later wrote, "both more and less than a man."

After high school, Obama studied at Occidental College in Los Angeles for two years. He then transferred to Columbia University in New York City, graduating in 1983 with a degree in political science. After working in the business sector for two years, Obama moved to Chicago in 1985. There, he worked on the impoverished South Side as a community organizer for low-income residents in the Roseland and the Altgeld Gardens communities.

Law Career

It was during this time that Obama, who said he "was not raised in a religious household," joined the Trinity United Church of Christ. He also visited relatives in Kenya, and paid an emotional visit to the graves of his biological father and paternal grandfather. "For a long time I sat between the two graves and wept," Obama wrote. "I saw that my life in America—the black life, the white life, the sense of abandonment I'd felt as a boy, the frustration and hope I'd witnessed in Chicago—all of it was connected with this small plot of earth an ocean away."

Returning from Kenya with a sense of renewal, Obama entered Harvard Law School in 1988. The next year, he joined the Chicago law firm of Sidley Austin as a summer associate and Michelle Robinson, a young lawyer assigned to be Obama's adviser. Not long after, the couple began dating. In February 1990, Obama was elected the first African-American editor of the Harvard Law Review. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard in 1991.

After law school, Obama returned to Chicago to practice as a civil rights lawyer with the firm of Miner, Barnhill & Galland. He also taught constitutional law part-time at the University of Chicago Law School between 1992 and 2004—first as a lecturer and then as a professor—and helped organize voter registration drives during Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign. On October 3, 1992, he and Michelle were married. They moved to Kenwood, on Chicago's South Side, and welcomed two daughters several years later: Malia (born 1998) and Sasha (born 2001).

Entry Into Illinois Politics

Obama published an autobiography, Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, in 1995. The work received high praise from literary figures such as Toni Morrison and has since been printed in more than 25 languages, including Chinese, Swedish and Hebrew. The book had a second printing in 2004 and was adapted for a children's version. The audiobook version of Dreams, narrated by Obama, received a Grammy Award for best spoken word album in 2006.

Obama's advocacy work led him to run for a seat in the Illinois State Senate. He ran as a Democrat and won election in 1996. During his years as a state senator, Obama worked with both Democrats and Republicans to draft legislation on ethics, as well as expand health care services and early childhood education programs for the poor. He also created a state earned-income tax credit for the working poor. As chairman of the Illinois Senate's Health and Human Services Committee Obama worked with law enforcement officials to require the videotaping of interrogations and confessions in all capital cases after a number of death-row inmates were found to be innocent.

In 2000, Obama made an unsuccessful Democratic primary run for the U.S. House of Representatives seat held by four-term incumbent candidate Bobby Rush. Undeterred, he created a campaign committee in 2002 and began raising funds to run for a seat in the U.S. Senate in 2004. With the help of political consultant David Axelrod, Obama began assessing his prospects for a Senate win.

Following the 9/11 attacks in 2001, Obama was an early opponent of President George W. Bush's push to go to war with Iraq. Obama was still a state senator when he spoke against a resolution authorizing the use of force against Iraq during a rally at Chicago's Federal Plaza in October 2002. "I am not opposed to all wars. I'm opposed to dumb wars," he said. "What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other armchair, weekend warriors in this administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne." Despite his protests, the Iraq War began in 2003.

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U.S. Senate Career

Encouraged by poll numbers, Obama decided to run for the U.S. Senate open seat vacated by Republican Peter Fitzgerald. In the 2004 Democratic primary, he defeated multimillionaire businessman Blair Hull and Illinois Comptroller Daniel Hynes with 52 percent of the vote. That summer, he was invited to deliver the keynote speech in support of John Kerry at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston. Obama emphasized the importance of unity and made veiled jabs at the Bush administration and the diversionary use of wedge issues.

After the convention, Obama returned to his U.S. Senate bid in Illinois. His opponent in the general election was supposed to be Republican primary winner Jack Ryan, a wealthy former investment banker. However, Ryan withdrew from the race in June 2004 following public disclosure of unsubstantiated sexual deviancy allegations by his ex-wife, actress Jeri Ryan.

In August 2004, diplomat and former presidential candidate Alan Keyes accepted the Republican nomination to replace Ryan. In three televised debates, Obama and Keyes expressed opposing views on stem cell research, abortion, gun control, school vouchers and tax cuts. In the November 2004 general election, Obama received 70 percent of the vote to Keyes' 27 percent, the largest electoral victory in Illinois history. With his win, Obama became only the third African-American elected to the U.S. Senate since Reconstruction.

Sworn into office on January 3, 2005, Obama partnered with Republican Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana on a bill that expanded efforts to destroy weapons of mass destruction in Eastern Europe and Russia. Then, with Republican Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, he created a website to track all federal spending. Obama also spoke out for victims of Hurricane Katrina, pushed for alternative energy development and championed improved veterans' benefits.

His second book, The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream, was published in October 2006. The work discussed Obama's visions for the future of America, many of which became talking points for his eventual presidential campaign. Shortly after its release, the book hit No. 1 on both the New York Times and Amazon.com best-seller lists.

2008 Presidential Election

In February 2007, Obama made headlines when he announced his candidacy for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination. He was locked in a tight battle with former first lady and then-U.S. senator from New York Hillary Rodham Clinton. On June 3, 2008, Obama became the Democratic Party's presumptive nominee after winning a sufficient number of pledged delegates during the primaries, and Clinton delivered her full support to Obama for the duration of his campaign. On November 4, 2008, Barack Obama defeated Republican presidential nominee John McCain, 52.9 percent to 45.7 percent, to win election as the 44th president of the United States—and the first African-American to hold this office. His running mate, Delaware Senator Joe Biden, became vice president. Obama's inauguration took place on January 20, 2009.

When Obama took office, he inherited a global economic recession, two ongoing foreign wars and the lowest-ever international favorability rating for the United States. He campaigned on an ambitious agenda of financial reform, alternative energy and reinventing education and health care—all while bringing down the national debt. Because these issues were intertwined with the economic well-being of the nation, he believed all would have to be undertaken simultaneously. During his inauguration speech, Obama summarized the situation by saying, "Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America: They will be met."

First 100 Days

Between Inauguration Day and April 29, 2009, the Obama administration took action on many fronts. Obama coaxed Congress to expand health care insurance for children and provide legal protection for women seeking equal pay. A $787 billion stimulus bill was passed to promote short-term economic growth. Housing and credit markets were put on life support, with a market-based plan to buy U.S. banks' toxic assets. Loans were made to the auto industry, and new regulations were proposed for Wall Street. Obama also cut taxes for working families, small businesses and first-time home buyers. The president also loosened the ban on embryonic stem cell research and moved ahead with a $3.5 trillion budget plan.

Over his first 100 days in office, President Obama also undertook a complete overhaul of America's foreign policy. He reached out to improve relations with Europe, China and Russia and to open dialogue with Iran, Venezuela and Cuba. He lobbied allies to support a global economic stimulus package. He committed an additional 21,000 troops to Afghanistan and set an August 2010 date for withdrawal of nearly all U.S. troops from Iraq. In more dramatic incidents, he ordered an attack on pirates off the coast of Somalia and prepared the nation for a swine flu outbreak. He signed an executive order banning excessive interrogation techniques and ordered the closing of the military detention facility at Cuba’s Guantanamo Bay within a year (a deadline that ultimately would not be met). For his efforts, the Nobel Committee in Norway awarded Obama the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.



2010 State of the Union

On January 27, 2010, President Obama delivered his first State of the Union speech. During his oration, Obama addressed the challenges of the economy, proposed a fee for larger banks, announced a possible freeze on government spending in the following fiscal year and spoke against the Supreme Court's reversal of a law capping campaign finance spending. He also challenged politicians to stop thinking of re-election and start making positive changes. He criticized Republicans for their refusal to support any legislation and chastised Democrats for not pushing hard enough to get legislation passed. He also insisted that, despite obstacles, he was determined to help American citizens through the nation's current domestic difficulties. "We don't quit. I don't quit," he said. "Let's seize this moment to start anew, to carry the dream forward, and to strengthen our union once more."

Challenges and Successes

In the second part of his first term as president, Obama faced a number of obstacles and scored some victories as well. In spite of opposition from Congressional Republicans and the populist Tea Party movement, Obama signed his health care reform plan, known as the Affordable Care Act, into law in March 2010. The new law prohibited the denial of coverage based on pre-existing conditions, allowed citizens under 26 years old to be insured under parental plans, provided for free health screenings for certain citizens and expanded insurance coverage and access to medical care to millions of Americans. Opponents of the Affordable Care Act, which foes dubbed "Obamacare," asserted that it added new costs to the country's overblown budget, violated the Constitution with its requirement for individuals to obtain insurance and amounted to a “government takeover” of health care

On the economic front, Obama worked to steer the country through difficult financial times. After drawn-out negotiations with Republicans who gained control of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2010 mid-term elections, he signed the Budget Control Act of 2011 in an effort to rein in government spending and prevent the government from defaulting on its financial obligations. The act also called for the creation of a bipartisan committee to seek solutions to the country's fiscal issues, but the group failed to reach any agreement on how to solve these problems.

Also in 2011, Obama signed a repeal of the military policy known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," which prevented openly gay troops from serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. In March 2011, he approved U.S. participation in NATO airstrikes to support rebels fighting against the forces of Libyan dictator Muammar al-Qaddafi, and in May he also gave the green light to a covert operation in Pakistan that led to the killing of infamous al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden by a team of U.S. Navy SEALs.

Obama gained a legal victory in June 2012 when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, which required citizens to purchase health insurance or pay a tax. In a 5-4 decision, the court decided the health care law’s signature provision fell within the taxation power granted to Congress under the Constitution. Voting with the majority were two associate justices appointed by Obama—Sonia Sotomayor (confirmed in 2009) and Elena Kagan (confirmed in 2010).

2012 Re-Election

As he did in 2008, during his campaign for a second presidential term, Obama focused on grassroots initiatives. Celebrities such as Anna Wintour and Sarah Jessica Parker aided the president's campaign by hosting fund-raising events.

"I guarantee you, we will move this country forward," Obama stated in June 2012, at a campaign event in Maryland. "We will finish what we started. And we'll remind the world just why it is that the United States of America is the greatest nation on Earth."

In the 2012 election, Obama faced Republican opponent Mitt Romney and Romney's vice-presidential running mate, U.S. Representative Paul Ryan. On November 6, 2012, Obama won a second four-year term as president by receiving nearly five million more votes than Romney and capturing more than 60 percent of the Electoral College.

Nearly one month after President Obama's re-election, the nation endured one of its most tragic school shootings to date when 20 children and six adults were shot to death at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 14, 2012. Two days after the attack, Obama delivered a speech at an interfaith vigil for the victims in Newtown and discussed a need for change in order to make schools safer while alluding to implementing stricter gun-control measures. "These tragedies must end," Obama stated. "In the coming weeks, I'll use whatever power this office holds to engage my fellow citizens—from law enforcement, to mental-health professionals, to parents and educators—in an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this, because what choice do we have? We can't accept events like these as routine. Are we really prepared to say that we're powerless in the face of such carnage, that the politics are too hard?"

Obama achieved a major legislative victory on January 1, 2013, when the Republican-controlled House of Representatives approved a bipartisan agreement on tax increases and spending cuts, in an effort to avoid the looming fiscal cliff crisis (the Senate voted in favor of the bill earlier that day). The agreement marked a productive first step toward the president's re-election promise of reducing the federal deficit by raising taxes on the extremely wealthy—individuals earning more than $400,000 per year and couples earning more than $450,000, according to the bill. Prior to the bill's passage, in late 2012, tense negotiations between Republicans and Democrats over spending cuts and tax increases became a bitter political battle until Vice President Joe Biden managed to hammer out a deal with Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Obama pledged to sign the bill into law.

Second Term

Barack Obama officially began his second term on January 21, 2013, when U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts administered the oath of office. The inauguration was held on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and civil-rights activist Myrlie Evers-Williams, the widow of Medgar Evers, gave the invocation. James Taylor, Beyoncé Knowles and Kelly Clarkson sang at the ceremony, and poet Richard Blanco read his poem "One Today."

In his inaugural address, Obama called the nation to action on such issues as climate change, health care and marriage equality. "We must act, knowing that our work will be imperfect. We must act, knowing that today's victories will be only partial and that it will be up to those who stand here in four years and 40 years and 400 years hence to advance the timeless spirit once conferred to us in a spare Philadelphia hall," Obama told the crowd gathered in front of the U.S. Capitol building.

The Obamas attended two official inauguration balls, including one held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. There the first couple danced to the Al Green classic "Let's Stay Together," sung by Jennifer Hudson. Alicia Keys and Jamie Foxx also performed.

After the inauguration, Obama led the nation through many challenges—none more difficult, perhaps, than the terrorist bombings of the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013, which killed three people and left more than 200 injured. At a memorial service in Boston three days after the bombings, he told the wounded, "Your country is with you. We will all be with you as you learn to stand and walk and, yes, run again. Of that I have no doubt. You will run again." And he applauded the city’s response to the tragedy. "You’ve shown us, Boston, that in the face of evil, Americans will lift up what’s good. In the face of cruelty, we will choose compassion."

In the same month, Obama also found his efforts for gun-control measures thwarted in Congress. He had supported legislation calling for universal background checks on all gun purchases and a ban on sales of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. When the bill was blocked and withdrawn, Obama called it “a pretty shameful day for Washington.”

By June, Obama had suffered a significant drop in his approval ratings in a CNN/ORC International poll. In the wake of allegations of the Internal Revenue Service targeting conservative political organizations seeking tax-exempt status and accusations of a cover-up in the terrorist killings of U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three others at a diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, Obama’s approval rating declined to only 45 percent—his lowest rating in more than 18 months.

Experts also attributed the ratings slide to new revelations about the extent of the U.S. National Security Agency’s surveillance program. Obama defended the NSA's email monitoring and telephone wiretapping during a visit to Germany that June. "We are not rifling through the emails of German citizens or American citizens or French citizens or anyone else,” he said. "The encroachment on privacy has been strictly limited." Obama stated that the program had helped stop roughly 50 threats.

In early July 2013, President Obama made history when he joined former President George W. Bush in Africa to commemorate the 15th anniversary of al-Qaeda’s first attack on American targets, the U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya. The event marked the first meeting between two U.S. presidents on foreign soil in commemoration of an act of terrorism.

Later that month, Obama spoke out about the outrage that followed a Florida jury’s decision to acquit George Zimmerman in the murder of African-American teen Trayvon Martin. "When Trayvon Martin was first shot, I said that this could have been my son,” the president remarked at a White House press conference. “Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago." Obama explained that this particular case was a state matter, but he discussed how the federal government could address some of the legislative and racial issues highlighted by the incident.

International Challenges

Obama found himself grappling with an international crisis in late August and September 2013 when it was discovered that Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad had used chemical weapons against civilians. While saying that thousands of people, including over 400 children, had been killed in the chemical attacks, Obama called Syria's actions "a serious national security threat to the United States and to the region, and as a consequence, Assad and Syria needs to be held accountable."

The president worked to persuade Congress and the international community at large to take action against Syria, but found a majority on Capitol Hill opposed to military involvement. Obama then announced an alternative solution on September 10, 2013, by stating that if al-Assad agreed with the stipulations outlined in a proposal made by Russia to give up its chemical weapons, then a direct strike against the nation could be avoided. Al-Assad acknowledged the possession of chemical weapons and ultimately accepted the Russian proposal.

Later that month, Obama made diplomatic strides with Iran. He spoke with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on the phone, which marked the first direct contact between the leaders of the two countries in more than 30 years. This groundbreaking move by Obama was seen by many as a sign of thawing in the relationship between the United States and Iran. "The two of us discussed our ongoing efforts to reach an agreement over Iran's nuclear program," reported Obama at a press conference in which he expressed optimism that a deal could be reached to lift sanctions on Iran in return for that country’s willingness to halt its nuclear development program.

Domestic Policies and Problems

Obama found himself struggling on the domestic front in October 2013. A dispute over the federal budget and Republican desires to defund or derail the Affordable Care Act caused a 16-day shutdown of the federal government. After a deal had been reached to end the shutdown, Obama used his weekly address to express his frustration over the situation and his desire for political reform: "The way business is done in Washington has to change. Now that these clouds of crisis and uncertainty have lifted, we need to focus on what the majority of Americans sent us here to do—grow the economy, create good jobs, strengthen the middle class, lay the foundation for broad-based prosperity, and get our fiscal house in order for the long haul."

The Affordable Care Act continued to come under fire in October after the failed launch of HealthCare.gov, the website meant to allow people to find and purchase health insurance. Extra technical support was brought in to work on the troubled website, which was plagued with glitches for weeks. The health care law was also blamed for some Americans losing their existing insurance policies, despite repeated assurances from Obama that such cancellations would not occur. According to the Chicago Tribune, Obama insisted that the insurance companies—and not his legislation—caused the coverage change. "Remember, before the Affordable Care Act, these bad-apple insurers had free rein every single year to limit the care that you received, or used minor pre-existing conditions to jack up your premiums, or bill you into bankruptcy,” he said.

Under mounting pressure, Obama found himself apologizing regarding some health care changes. In an interview with NBC News, he said of those who lost their insurance plans, "I am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me." Obama pledged to find a remedy to this problem, saying, "We are going to do everything we can to deal with folks who find themselves in a tough position as a consequence of this."

Managing Foreign Crises

The fall of 2013 brought Obama additional challenges in the area of foreign relations. In October 2013, German Chancellor Angela Merkel revealed that the NSA had been listening in to her cell phone calls. "Spying among friends is never acceptable," Merkel told a summit of European leaders. In the wake of these controversies, Obama saw his approval rating drop to a new low in November 2013. Only 37 percent of Americans polled by CBS News approved of the job he was doing as president, while 57 percent disapproved of his handling of the job.

Echoes of the Cold War also returned after civil unrest and protests in the capital city of Kiev led to the downfall of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych's administration in February 2014. Russian troops crossed into Ukraine to support pro-Russian forces and the annexation of the province of Crimea. In response, Obama ordered sanctions targeting individuals and businesses considered by the U.S. government to be Ukraine agitators or involved in the Crimean crisis. "In 2014 we are well beyond the days when borders can be redrawn over the heads of democratic leaders," Obama stated. The president said the sanctions were taken in close coordination with European allies and gave the U.S. "the flexibility to adjust our response going forward based on Russia's actions.”

In addition to the ongoing troubles in Ukraine, tensions between Israelis and Palestinians erupted into violence in Gaza during the summer of 2014. At the same time, tens of thousands of Central American children were being apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border after making the perilous crossing alone. Many Republicans called for the rapid deportation of these illegal immigrants, while others considered the situation a humanitarian crisis. Another of the president's woes came from the legislative branch. Speaker of the House John Boehner launched an effort to sue Obama for overstepping his executive powers with some of his actions regarding the Affordable Care Act.

In August 2014, Obama ordered the first airstrikes against the self-proclaimed Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, which had seized large swathes of Iraq and Syria and conducted high-profile beheadings of foreign hostages. The following month, the U.S. launched its first attacks on ISIS targets in Syria, although the president pledged to keep combat troops out of the conflict. Several Arab countries joined in the airstrikes against the extremist Islamic militant group. "The only language understood by killers like this is the language of force,” Obama said in a speech to the United Nations. “So the United States of America will work with a broad coalition to dismantle this network of death."

Presidency After 2014 Elections

That November, Obama had to cope with new challenges on the home front. Republicans made an impressive showing on Election Day and gained a majority in the Senate, meaning that Obama would have to contend with Republicans controlling both houses of Congress for the final two years of his term.

Obama flexed his presidential power in December by moving to reestablish diplomatic relations with Cuba for the first time in more than 50 years. The policy change came after the exchange of American citizen Alan Gross and another unnamed American intelligence agent for three Cuban spies. In a speech at the White House, Obama explained that the dramatic shift in Cuban policy would "create more opportunities for the American and Cuban people and begin a new chapter among the nations of the Americas."

In renewing diplomatic ties with Cuba, Obama announced plans "to increase travel, commerce and the flow of information to and from Cuba." The long-standing U.S. economic embargo on Cuba, however, remained in effect and could only be removed with the approval of Congress. Obama may not be able to sway Congress to agree on this policy shift as leading Republicans—including Boehner, McConnell and Florida Senator Marco Rubio—all spoke out against Obama's new Cuba policies.

In his 2015 State of the Union address, Obama declared that the nation was out of recession. "America, for all that we've endured; for all the grit and hard work required to come back . . . know this: The shadow of crisis has passed," he said. He went on to share his vision for ways to improve the nation through free community college programs and middle-class tax breaks.

With Democrats outnumbered by Republicans in both the House and the Senate, Obama threatened to use his executive power to prevent any tinkering by the opposition on his existing policies. "We can’t put the security of families at risk by taking away their health insurance, or unraveling the new rules on Wall Street, or refighting past battles on immigration when we’ve got to fix a broken system," he said. "And if a bill comes to my desk that tries to do any of these things, I will veto it."

Not long after his State of the Union address, Obama traveled to India to meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. According to several news reports, Obama and Modi had reached a "breakthrough understanding" regarding India's nuclear power efforts. Obama told the Indian people in a speech given in New Delhi that "we can finally move toward fully implementing our civil nuclear agreement, which will mean more reliable electricity for Indians and cleaner, non-carbon energy that helps fight climate change." This agreement would also open the door to U.S. investment in India's energy industry.

Supreme Court Victories

The summer of 2015 brought two major U.S. Supreme Court wins for the Obama administration. The court upheld part of the president's Affordable Care Act regarding health care tax subsidies. Without these tax credits, buying medical insurance might have become too costly for millions of Americans.

On June 26, the U.S. Supreme Court also made marriage equality a reality with its 5-4 decision to overturn an earlier 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that same-sex marriage bans in several states were constitutional. By reversing this earlier decision, the Supreme Court made same-sex marriage legal throughout the country. President Obama, who became the first president to voice support for same-sex marriage in May 2012, praised the court for affirming "that the Constitution guarantees marriage equality. In doing so, they've reaffirmed that all Americans are entitled to the equal protection of the law. That all people should be treated equally, regardless of who they are or who they love."


In his speech, Obama also said that the court's decision "is a consequence of the countless small acts of courage of millions of people across decades who stood up, who came out, who talked to parents—parents who loved their children no matter what. Folks who were willing to endure bullying and taunts, and stayed strong . . . and slowly made an entire country realize that love is love."


On the same day as this landmark decision, President Obama grappled with an incident of racial violence by speaking at the funeral of Reverend Clementa Pinckney, one of the nine African-Americans killed by a young white man during a Bible study meeting at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. In his eulogy for Pinckney, Obama said that the church’s late pastor "embodied the idea that our Christian faith demands deeds and not just words."

Iran Nuclear Deal

In July 2015, Obama announced that, after lengthy negotiations, the United States and five world powers had reached an agreement with Iran over its nuclear program. The deal would allow inspectors entry into Iran to make sure the country kept its pledge to limit its nuclear program and enrich uranium at a much lower level than would be needed for a nuclear weapon. In return, the U.S. and its partners would remove the tough sanctions imposed on Iran and allow the country to ramp up sales of oil and access frozen bank accounts.

As the administration began its effort to lobby Congress to endorse the deal, Obama made his first trip as president back to his father’s homeland of Kenya. In addition to having dinner with three-dozen relatives, some of whom he met for the very first time, Obama proudly proclaimed to a packed arena, “I am proud to be the first American president to come to Kenya—and of course I’m the first Kenyan-American to be president of the United States.”

Clean Power Plan

In August 2015, the Obama administration announced The Clean Power Plan, a major climate change plan aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the first-ever national standards to limit carbon pollution from coal-burning power plants in the United States. President Obama called the plan the "single most important step that America has ever made in the fight against global climate change."


The plan calls for aggressive Environmental Protection Agency regulations including requiring existing power plants to cut carbon dioxide emissions 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030 and use more renewable energy sources like wind and solar power. Under the regulations, states will be allowed to create their own plans to reduce emissions and are required to submit initial plans by 2016 and final versions by 2018.

Critics quickly voiced loud opposition to the plan including Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican majority leader, who sent a letter to every governor in the United States urging them not to comply with the regulations. States and private companies, which rely on coal production for their economic livelihoods, are also expected to legally challenge the plan.

Despite the backlash from those sectors, President Obama remained steadfast in his bold action to address climate change. "We've heard these same stale arguments before," he said in an address from the White House. "Each time they were wrong."

He added: "We're the first generation to feel the impact of climate change and the last generation that can do something about it."

2015 Paris Climate Conference

In November 2015, Obama further demonstrated his commitment to environmental issues as a primary player in the international COP21 summit held outside of Paris, France. Addressing the gathered representatives of nearly 200 countries, Obama acknowledged the United States’ position as the second-largest climate polluter and the nation’s primary responsibility to do something about it. The resulting Paris Agreement requires all participating nations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to limit the rise of global temperatures over the ensuing century and also to allocate resources for the research and development of alternative energy sources. President Obama praised the agreement for establishing the “enduring framework the world needs to solve the climate crisis” and pledged that the United States would cut its emissions more than 25 percent by 2030.

Gun Control

Entering his final year as President of the United States, in early January 2016 Obama held a press conference to announce a new series of executive orders related to gun control. Citing examples such as the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school, the president shed tears as he called on Congress and the gun lobby to work with him to make the country safer. His measures, which have met with vehement opposition from members of both the Republican and Democratic Parties, as well as gun advocacy groups such as the NRA, would implement more thorough background checks for gun buyers, stricter governmental oversight and enforcement of gun laws, better information sharing regarding mental health issues as related to gun ownership and investment in gun safety technology. According to a 2015 Gallup poll, most Americans favor some kind of stricter regulations of gun sales.

Final Year in Office

Entering his final year as President of the United States, in early January 2016 Obama held a press conference to announce a new series of executive orders related to gun control. Citing examples such as the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school in Connecticut, the president shed tears as he called on Congress and the gun lobby to work with him to make the country safer. His measures, which have met with vehement opposition from members of both the Republican and Democratic Parties, as well as gun advocacy groups such as the NRA, would implement more thorough background checks for gun buyers, stricter governmental oversight and enforcement of gun laws, better information sharing regarding mental health issues as related to gun ownership and investment in gun safety technology. According to a 2015 Gallup poll, most Americans favor some kind of stricter regulations of gun sales.

Shortly after the press conference, on January 12, 2016, Barack Obama delivered what would be his final State of the Union address. Diverging from the typical policy-prescribing format, Obama’s message for the American people was centered around themes of optimism in the face of adversity, asking them not to let fears about security or the future get in the way of building a nation that is “clear-eyed” and “big-hearted.” This did not prevent him from taking thinly disguised jabs at Republican presidential hopefuls for what he characterized as their “cynical” rhetoric, making further allusions to the “rancor and suspicion between the parties” and his failure as president to do more to bridge that gap. But Obama also took the opportunity to tout his accomplishments, citing the Affordable Care Act, diplomatic progress with Iran and Cuba, the legalization of gay marriage and profound economic recovery as among them.

Further indicating his unwillingness to accept a “lame duck” status, two months later Obama made two important moves to attempt to cement his legacy. On March 10 he met at the White House with newly elected Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the first official visit by a Canadian leader in nearly 20 years. Central among the topics addressed during their meeting—which also included trade, terrorism and border security—was climate change, with the two leaders promising a commitment to building an international “low-carbon global economy.” Trudeau’s apparent concern for environmental issues and generally liberal agenda stand in contrast to his predecessor, Stephen Harper, with whom President Obama enjoyed strained relations due in part to Obama’s unwillingness to allow for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

A week after his meeting with Trudeau, Obama held a press conference at the White House to present 63-year-old U.S. Court of Appeals chief judge Merrick Garland as his nominee for the Supreme Court seat vacated with the unexpected death of conservative stalwart Antonin Scalia. Though Garland is considered a moderate “consensus” candidate, his nomination was immediately rebuffed by leaders of the Republican Party, who have repeatedly stated their intention to block any nominee put forward by President Obama, fearing that such a confirmation would tip the balance toward a more liberal-leaning court. In an allusion to the political standoff, President Obama closed his remarks about Garland by saying, “I am fulfilling my constitutional duty. I’m doing my job. I hope that our senators will do their jobs, and move quickly to consider my nominee.” During his presidency, Obama already filled two seats in the Supreme Court, with Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, though both were confirmed when there was a Democratic-majority Senate.

Leaving the Senate to weigh their options regarding his nomination of Merrick, President Obama set out on a historic mission to Cuba on March 20. The first sitting American president to visit the island nation since 1928, Obama made the three-day visit—accompanied by First Lady Michelle Obama and their daughters Malia and Sasha. Obama's visit was part of a larger program to establish greater cooperation between the two countries, the foundations of which were laid in late 2014, when Obama and Cuban president Raul Castro announced the normalizing of diplomatic relations for the first time since 1961. At the top of the agenda during the milestone meeting between the two leaders were human rights, the U.S.’s economic embargo on Cuba and Guantanamo Bay. Following their first conversation at the Palace of the Revolution, Castro and Obama held a joint press conference broadcast on state television during which they fielded questions from the press. While they acknowledged its complexities, both also professed a shared optimism about the road ahead.
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https://plus.google.com/111479969046248679555 DFNS.net : The U.S. Department of Defense is seeking to acquire scientific, clinical research, and operational ...
The U.S. Department of Defense is seeking to acquire scientific, clinical research, and operational support for the U.S. Army Medical Research Directorate – Georgia (USAMRD-G) at the Lugar Center in Tbilisi, Georgia. The Richard Lugar Center for Public…
Bioresearch Support to the Lugar Center in Tbilisi - DFNS.net CBRN News
The U.S. Department of Defense is seeking to acquire scientific, clinical research, and operational support for the U.S. Army Medical Research Directorate – Georgia (USAMRD-G) at the Lugar Center in Tbilisi, Georgia. The Richard...
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https://plus.google.com/114767371800540705824 Workedia : Declining overseas admissions costs us not only much needed revenues for colleges and universities, ...
Declining overseas admissions costs us not only much needed revenues for colleges and universities, but much more importantly, we lose the best opportunity we have to introduce foreign students to all that America has to offer the world. - Richard Lugar http://workedia.com/quotes/declining-overseas-admissions-costs-us-not-only-much-needed-revenues-colleges-and #Richard_Lugar
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https://plus.google.com/114861182123615551346 Diana Korpac : The Clintons’ Saudi Connection Prior to and in the wake of President Obama’s recent meeting with Saudi...
The Clintons’ Saudi Connection
Prior to and in the wake of President Obama’s recent meeting with Saudi Arabian King Salman, questions are being asked anew about Saudi Arabia’s role in the 9/11 terror attacks. There are many reports about 28 pages that were classified and not included in the official 9/11 Commission Report regarding the role of high-ranking Saudi officials in the financing of the terrorists. Of course, documentaries like Fahrenheit 9/11 have covered the cozy relationship between the Bush family and the Saudi royals (and the bin Laden family). But what is less well known is that there are deep ties between the Clintons and the Saudis as well.
In fact, there are so many connections to the Clintons, it’s hard to know where to begin when discussing them.
The Clinton family, through their Clinton Foundation, has received tens of millions of dollars in donations from Saudi businessmen, princes and their friends. The Saudi government alone gave more than $10 million.
Wealthy Saudi citizens such as Mohammed H. Al-Amoudi and Nasser Al-Rashid (the latter who is said to have close ties with the Saudi royal family) have given generously to the notorious nonprofit, which does not publish specific donation amounts but offers rough figures. While Hillary Clinton was the Secretary of State, arms sales worth more than $29 billion were approved for Saudi Arabia, including advanced fighter jets that raised complaints with American ally Israel about the region’s balance of power.
Assistant Secretary of State Andrew Shapiro, a veteran Clinton aide, said at the time that the deals were “a top priority” for Clinton. This was despite State Department documentation of human rights abuses (including beheadings and other draconian legal punishments) and denial of women’s rights in the repressive kingdom. Moreover, even getting the Saudis to take seriously the challenge of combatting terrorism was an issue, according to Clinton herself in a State Department cable made public in 2009 by website Wikileaks.
All told, Clinton’s State Department approved over $165 billion worth of arms sales (including biological and chemical agents and associated equipment) to at least 20 nations whose regimes had given millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation.
The total dollar value of arms sales to those countries during the three fiscal years Clinton was Secretary of State was more than double the value of what similar sales had been during the second term of President George W. Bush. Additionally, $151 billion worth of deals for 16 donating countries were brokered through the Pentagon.
These deals represented a 143 percent increase in arms sales to these specific countries between the Bush and the Obama administrations versus an 80 percent increase for countries that were not donors.
Many of these countries had authoritarian dictatorships that again had human rights abuses such as “restrictions on freedom of association and assembly” and “arbitrary killing” decried by the State Department, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Algeria, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Again, Clinton herself had written emails detailing that many of these countries were less than forthcoming when it came to prosecuting terrorists’ financiers.
Not only were the governments of such countries donating money, but American military contractors were as well. Boeing, for instance, gave more than $900,000 just two months before a deal was completed for the aforementioned Saudi Arabian fighter jets.
In total, defense contractors such as Lockheed Martin, United Technologies, Honeywell, Hawker Beechcraft and General Electric that gave money to the Clinton Foundation (and in some cases paid former president Bill Clinton big money for speeches) received $163 billion worth of deals between 2009 and 2012.
Prior to Clinton becoming Secretary of State, at her confirmation hearings, Republican Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana pointed out the apparent conflict of interest between potential donations and State Department approvals but was ignored. In the wake of the deals that followed, it could easily be argued that Lugar had been correct in his estimations.
While donations to a nonprofit are not illegal, questions must be raised when the donation amounts are in the millions and the nonprofit is controlled by a public policymaker.
As Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Lessig stated, “These continuing revelations raise a fundamental question of judgment. Can it really be that the Clintons didn’t recognize the questions these transactions would raise? And if they did, what does that say about their sense of the appropriate relationship between private gain and public good?”
Currently, Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign manager is Clinton family friend Jon Podesta. Podesta’s brother Tony, a veteran Democratic Party fundraiser and Clinton campaign bundler, has a lobbying and public relations firm, The Podesta Group, consisting of several dozen employees.
After Bill Clinton paid a “brief courtesy visit” to Saudi King Salman in 2014, The Podesta Group received a new account in the form of the Saudi Arabian government, which retained it for a reported $140,000 per month.
The group is one of a half-dozen or so the Saudis have retained for lobbying services in Washington, D.C. The Podesta Group’s key man working the Saudi account is David Adams, the former assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs under Hillary Clinton during her tenure at the State Department. Other Clinton campaign bundlers have ties to the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco.
Recently, Hillary Clinton said on Fox Business News that as president she wouldn’t “stand in the way” of Saudi Arabia, among other Middle Eastern nations, purchasing portions of leading American banks.
“This is classic influence peddling,” stated Craig Holman of Public Citizen, a campaign finance watchdog group.
Finally, there is the question of Huma Mahmood Abedin, Hillary Clinton’s longtime companion and personal aide. Abedin and Clinton have been almost inseparable throughout Clinton’s presidential campaign, generating much Washington beltway gossip.
Abedin got her most important job after interning for Clinton while the latter was in the White House and Abedin was enrolled at George Washington University. This was following a childhood and adolescence spent in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where her mother currently teaches at a local college.
Hillary isn’t the only Clinton to have considerable Saudi influence. While Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State, Bill Clinton received $600,000 in speaking fees for two talks from the Saudi Arabian government. This was after receiving more than $10 million from it for his presidential library. As it turns out, Saudi Arabia funds many Middle Eastern libraries and studies programs on college campuses in the U.S., despite being the center of Wahhabism, a fundamentalist sect of Islam.
One of those studies programs was at the University of Arkansas during Bill Clinton’s governorship of that state. And colleges aren’t the only recipients of Saudi Arabian influence on their curricula; the country has also provided Middle Eastern study materials to U.S. taxpayer-funded K-12 programs under federally-mandated public outreach programs.
One of Bill Clinton’s good friends from his Georgetown University days is none other than the head of the Saudi intelligence service, Prince Turki bin Feisal.
Another close friend of both Clintons is the former head of the same intelligence service and former 22-year Saudi ambassador to the U.S. Prince Bandar bin Sultan, who has somewhat of a checkered past. This second prince helped secure the sale of American-made F-15s and AWACS surveillance aircraft to the kingdom; he had involvement in the Iran-Contra Affair and arranged for Saudi financing for the Contras. When the U.S. wouldn’t sell nuclear-warhead-capable missiles to his country, he negotiated for their purchase from China instead.
Bandar bin Sultan’s wife Princess Haifa (the daughter of late Saudi King Faisal) is on record as having sent funds to Osama Bassnan and Omar al-Bayoumi, who then, it has been documented, turned around and gave financial support to 9/11 hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar.
Indeed, there are whispers of far more Saudi influence with the Clintons than this. But for now, it must be sufficient to say that the Clintons’ connections to Saudi Arabia appear to run even deeper than those of the Bushes. Until such influence can be firmly rooted out, especially from a candidate who is dangerously close to being elected the next president of the United States, continuous scrutiny must be applied to make sure the hands of such corruption do not sully the nation’s highest office any more than they already have.
The Clintons’ Saudi Connection | American Liberty Report
Prior to and in the wake of President Obama's recent meeting with Saudi Arabian King Salman, questions are being asked anew about Saudi Arabia's role in the 9/11 terror attacks. There are many reports about 28 pages that were classified and not included in the official 9/11 Commission Report ...
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https://plus.google.com/108600123356085848242 irish d : In case you didn't know, $hillary is under 2 investigations: mishandling classified/negligence (the ...
In case you didn't know, $hillary is under 2 investigations: mishandling classified/negligence (the email scandal) and this one, corruption, and according the article, charity FRAUD.
Wall Street Whistleblower Calls Clinton Foundation ‘Charity Fraud’
A Wall Street whistleblower has found a new target for investigation of financial irregularities, and it’s bad news for the Hillary Clinton campaign. Financial
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https://plus.google.com/113768640513130436414 shahriyar Gourgi : Georgia Democrat Sam Nunn and Indiana Republican Richard Lugar established the Cooperative Threat Reduction...
Georgia Democrat Sam Nunn and Indiana Republican Richard Lugar established the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program as the Nunn-Lugar amendment -- formally the Soviet Nuclear Threat Reduction Act of 1991 -- to the implementing legislation for the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty.
Carter: Threat-Reduction Program Was Novel Response to Historic Change
Twenty-five years ago, amid the chaos surrounding the Soviet Union
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https://plus.google.com/110769884522153026791 Father John Hollowell : Trump - the national version of Indiana's Richard Murdock In the Tea Party surge in 2012, Richard Murdock...
Trump - the national version of Indiana's Richard Murdock
In the Tea Party surge in 2012, Richard Murdock upset long time Indiana senator Richard Lugar in the Republican primary.  Lugar had served admirably in a long and distinguished career, but Murdock won over voters with promises to "shake up Washington as an ...
Trump - the national version of Indiana's Richard Murdock
In the Tea Party surge in 2012, Richard Murdock upset long time Indiana senator Richard Lugar in the Republican primary. Lugar had served admirably in a long and distinguished career, but Murdock won over voters with promise...
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https://plus.google.com/118003361779935843802 Jeremy Adams : Voting-fraud activist Gary Welsh was found dead leading up to the Indiana primary. Police found Welsh’s...
Voting-fraud activist Gary Welsh was found dead leading up to the Indiana primary. Police found Welsh’s body in an apartment complex stairwell in Indianapolis, Ind., on May 1 with a gun lying beside him and quickly ruled it a “suicide.”

“Welsh was a well-known lawyer and political commentator in Indiana who combated against the takeover of the state by religious fundamentalists and opposed ‘well-connected’ GOP presidential candidates like Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, and Rubio,” Wayne Madsen reported. “Welsh was a well-known advocate for election integrity and he supported Donald Trump for the GOP nomination.”

He published the blog Advance Indiana which heavily reported on voting fraud in the state.

A strange message was posted to Welsh’s blog prior to his death stating “if I'm not around to see the vote results, my prediction is that Trump wins Indiana with just shy of 50% of the vote.

Welsh was also one of the insiders who told Madsen about the “foam parties” Rubio reportedly attended during the early-to-mid 1990s at gay entertainment venues in South Florida. Along with the revelations about Rubio’s past, Welsh was also pushing the narrative surrounding the evidence that Ted Cruz’s Father, Rafael was involved in the JFK assassination. As this photo shows what appears to be Ted Cruz’s Father standing to Lee Harvey Oswald’s left.

As one of Welsh’s client Greg Wright wrote “ ."(Welsh) was unafraid of unmasking corruption. Many of his friends had suggested that he be careful….He represented me in a matter I had put before the Commission. I had asked the Election Board if then Sen. Richard Lugar and his wife, Charlene, had voted illegally in Marion County because they have not lived at the home address on their registration for more than three decades. Gary won the case.” The reasoning behind Welsh’s untimely demise has been attributed to depression due to dealing with financial difficulties. But how can we ever know that for sure?

Gary Welsh loved America. Uncovering corruption is one of the most positively invigorating pursuits anyone can experience. The elephant in the room here is, why would Welsh kill himself right before the results were to be announced for an election he was working tirelessly to influence?
Watch the video: The Suspicious Suicide Of A Political Blogger
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Voting-fraud activist Gary Welsh was found dead leading up to the Indiana primary. Police found Welsh’s body in an apartment complex stairwell in Indianapoli...
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https://plus.google.com/116987987149730551614 Cindy Brown : Donald Trump became the presumptive Republican presidential nominee Tuesday, winning the Indiana primary...
Donald Trump became the presumptive Republican presidential nominee Tuesday, winning the Indiana primary as Ted Cruz dropped out. It... http://trib.al/FnfVRCc
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Shifts in thought Donald Trump became the presumptive Republican presidential nominee Tuesday, winning the Indiana primary as Ted Cruz dropped out. It punctuates the power of the populist rebellion against the GOP elite.
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https://plus.google.com/110904902934319571710 Angelita Felixberto : Sen Lugar Extols Strong Longstanding PH-US Ties at Philippines 2016 Symposium The Catalyst Writer “Raise...
Sen Lugar Extols Strong Longstanding PH-US Ties at Philippines 2016 Symposium
The Catalyst Writer “Raise the Bar, Speak the Faith” SEN LUGAR EXTOLS STRONG,  LONGSTANDING PH-US TIES AT PHILIPPINES 2016 SYMPOSIUM   Philippine Embassy  PRESS RELEASE WDC-049-2016  30 April 2016 The Honorable Richard Lugar, former Chairman of the US Senat...
Sen Lugar Extols Strong Longstanding PH-US Ties at Philippines 2016 Symposium

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https://plus.google.com/114865618166480775623 Russ Abbott : In an earlier post (https://goo.gl/2c4mwt) I wrote about Richard Lugar's +The New York Times column ...
In an earlier post (https://goo.gl/2c4mwt) I wrote about Richard Lugar's +The New York Times column saying that of course Obama can prioritize immigration deportation. The case that triggered this column was heard by the SCOTUS today. It seems the issue isn't quite whether Obama has the authority to prioritize but whether he has authority to declare the people whose deportation priority he wants to reduce to be "legally present," as he is now doing.

Solicitor General Verrilli argued that the president doesn’t actually need to insist that the undocumented persons are “lawfully present,” as the executive order states. "We are not trying to change anybody's legal status," Verrilli said. "If the court thinks it's a problem and wants to put a red pencil through it, it's totally ….fine. Really." All Obama needed to do, he asserted, was to defer deportation of the immigrants in question.

Verrilli's gamble placed Texas in a difficult position. Keller, representing the state, all but admitted that the president could choose to tell parents of children born in the U.S. that they were low priority for deportation, and even give them a document that says so. But he stuck with his insistence that the executive order was unconstitutional because it would change the legal status of the undocumented parents to lawfully present -- an action he said exceeded presidential authority.

But if the executive order doesn’t actually change the person's legal status, and instead just defers deporting them, then there’s nothing unconstitutional about it. Roberts seemed open to this argument.
Who Cares If They're Legal?
Just don't send them back. That gives the Supreme Court an easy out on Obama's immigration plan.
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https://plus.google.com/114865618166480775623 Russ Abbott : Richard Lugar, former Republican Senator from Indiana, writes that Obama's immigration policy is consistent...
Richard Lugar, former Republican Senator from Indiana, writes that Obama's immigration policy is consistent with those of past presidents and approaches  an optimal state-friendly federal immigration policy.

President Obama ... has operated under longstanding provisions of law that give the executive branch discretion in enforcement. This presidential prerogative has been recognized explicitly by the Supreme Court. Moreover, the nature of immigration enforcement and the resources (or lack thereof) appropriated by Congress necessitate exactly the type of choices that the president has made.

The 2002 law creating the Department of Homeland Security explicitly said the executive should set “national immigration enforcement policies and priorities.” The Supreme Court has recognized the leeway Congress gives the executive branch in deportations. In a 2012 majority opinion written by Justice Anthony M. Kennedy and joined by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., the court noted that “a principal feature of the removal system is the broad discretion exercised by immigration officials,” including the decision “whether it makes sense to pursue removal at all.” ...

In 1990, for example, under President George H.W. Bush, the immigration service, relying in part on authority dating from the Reagan administration, offered extended voluntary departure and work authorization to the spouses and children of aliens who had previously been granted legal status.

From [the Republican] howls of outrage, you wouldn’t know that the Obama administration has vastly exceeded the deportations under President George W. Bush. And Mr. Bush vastly exceeded those of President Clinton. President Obama’s directives to focus enforcement efforts on those who have committed crimes in the United States and recent border crossers are a rational executive prioritization, given the resources and the realities.

These facts undercut Texas’s argument that it is unduly burdened by the president’s decisions. With deportations aimed at criminals and new border crossers, we would seem close to an optimal state-friendly federal immigration policy.
On Immigration, Law Is on Obama’s Side - The New York Times
The president has operated under longstanding provisions of law that give the executive branch discretion in enforcement.
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https://plus.google.com/115751985982972246887 George Mattathil : Type 2 diabetes affects more than 30 million Americans and kills two of them every five minutes. That’s...
Type 2 diabetes affects more than 30 million Americans and kills two of them every five minutes. That’s why Sen. Franken—a member of the Senate Health Committee—teamed up with Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) to establish the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP),…
Minnesota Daily: Save money, lives with prevention | Al Franken | Senator for Minnesota
Type 2 diabetes affects more than 30 million Americans and kills two of them every five minutes. That’s why Sen. Franken—a member of the Senate Health Committee—teamed up with Sen. Richard Lu…
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https://plus.google.com/116418716601365816364 Thorvald ver Jarlsson II : Today is Monday, April 4, the 95th day of 2016. There are 271 days left in the year. Today's Highlight...
Today is Monday, April 4, the 95th day of 2016. There are 271 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On April 4, 1968, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., 39, was shot and killed while standing on a balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee.

On this date:

In 1818, Congress decided the flag of the United States would consist of 13 red and white stripes and 20 stars, with a new star to be added for every new state of the Union.

In 1841, President William Henry Harrison succumbed to pneumonia one month after his inaugural, becoming the first U.S. chief executive to die in office.

In 1850, the city of Los Angeles was incorporated.

In 1859, "Dixie" was performed publicly for the first time by Bryant's Minstrels at Mechanics' Hall in New York.

In 1865, President Abraham Lincoln, accompanied by his son Tad, visited the vanquished Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia, where he was greeted by a crowd that included former slaves.

In 1933, the Navy airship USS Akron crashed in severe weather off the New Jersey coast with the loss of 73 lives.

In 1949, 12 nations, including the United States, signed the North Atlantic Treaty in Washington, D.C.

In 1958, Johnny Stompanato, an enforcer for crime boss Mickey Cohen and the boyfriend of actress Lana Turner, was stabbed to death by Turner's teenage daughter, Cheryl Crane, who said Stompanato had attacked her mother.

In 1975, more than 130 people, most of them children, were killed when a U.S. Air Force transport plane evacuating Vietnamese orphans crash-landed shortly after takeoff from Saigon. Microsoft was founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

In 1976, the film "All the President's Men," starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman as Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, had its world premiere in Washington, D.C.

In 1983, the space shuttle Challenger roared into orbit on its maiden voyage. (It was destroyed in the disaster of Jan. 1986.)

In 1991, Sen. John Heinz, R-Pa., and six other people, including two children, were killed when a helicopter collided with Heinz's plane over a schoolyard in Merion, Pennsylvania.

Ten years ago: The Iraq tribunal announced new criminal charges against Saddam Hussein and six others, accusing them of genocide and crimes against humanity stemming from a 1980s crackdown against Kurds. Denis Donaldson, a former Sinn Fein (shin fayn) official recently exposed as a British spy, was found fatally shot at his home in County Donegal, Ireland. Maryland beat Duke, 78-75, in overtime to win its first NCAA women's basketball title.

Five years ago: Yielding to political opposition, the Obama administration gave up on trying avowed Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four alleged co-conspirators in civilian federal courts and said it would prosecute them instead before military commissions. President Barack Obama's campaign announced in a web video that he would run for re-election in 2012. The Connecticut Huskies beat the Butler Bulldogs 53-41 for the NCAA men's basketball title. Dennis Rodman, Chris Mullin, Artis Gilmore, Arvydas Sabonis, Olympic gold medalist Teresa Edwards, Harlem Globetrotter Reece "Goose" Tatum and Boston Celtic Tom "Satch" Sanders were elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

One year ago: In North Charleston, South Carolina, Walter Scott, a 50-year-old black motorist, was shot to death while running away from a traffic stop; Officer Michael Thomas Slager, seen in a cellphone video opening fire at Scott, has been charged with murder. More than 300 enslaved migrant fishermen, mostly from Myanmar, were brought to freedom by an Indonesia delegation following a dramatic rescue from a remote island that was the result of an Associated Press investigation. The United States defended their women's world hockey championship with a 7-5 win over Canada in Malmo, Sweden. Jenny Wallenda, 87, the matriarch of the famous family of high-flying circus performers, died in Sarasota, Florida.

Today's Birthdays: Former Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., is 84. Recording executive Clive Davis is 84. Bandleader Hugh Masekela is 77. Author Kitty Kelley is 74. Actor Craig T. Nelson is 72. Actor Walter Charles is 71. Actress Christine Lahti is 66. Country singer Steve Gatlin (The Gatlin Brothers) is 65. Actress Mary-Margaret Humes is 62. Writer-producer David E. Kelley is 60. Actress Constance Shulman (TV: "Orange is the New Black") is 58. Actor Phil Morris is 57. Actress Lorraine Toussaint is 56. Actor Hugo Weaving is 56. Rock musician Craig Adams (The Cult) is 54. Talk show host/comic Graham Norton is 53. Actor David Cross is 52. Actor Robert Downey Jr. is 51. Actress Nancy McKeon is 50. Actor Barry Pepper is 46. Country singer Clay Davidson is 45. Rock singer Josh Todd (Buckcherry) is 45. Singer Jill Scott is 44. Rock musician Magnus Sveningsson (The Cardigans) is 44. Magician David Blaine is 43. Singer Kelly Price is 43. Rhythm-and-blues singer Andre Dalyrimple (Soul For Real) is 42. Country musician Josh McSwain (Parmalee) is 41. Actor James Roday is 40. Actress Natasha Lyonne is 37. Actor Eric Andre is 33. Actress Amanda Righetti is 33. Actress-singer Jamie Lynn Spears is 25. Actress Daniela Bobadilla is 23. Pop singer Austin Mahone (muh-HOHN') is 20.

Thought for Today: "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." - Martin Luther King Junior (1929-1968).

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