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https://plus.google.com/103025089161608727309 James Patterson : Diplomat Jim Patterson with September 25 Highlights of American Foreign Relations Discussing Foreign...
Diplomat Jim Patterson with September 25 Highlights of American Foreign Relations
Discussing Foreign Policy with former Indiana Senator Richard Lugar, longtime member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Patterson is a former GOP elected official in Indianapolis and a Member of the Indiana State Society.  Diplomat Jim Patterson wit...
Diplomat Jim Patterson with September 25 Highlights of American Foreign Relations
Discussing Foreign Policy with former Indiana Senator Richard Lugar, longtime member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Patterson is a former GOP elected official in Indianapolis and a Member of the Indiana State Soci...
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https://plus.google.com/109956498743873926718 Danny Smith : We have seen many scammers Foundation, Secretary of State liar Foundation not much, at least every country...
We have seen many scammers Foundation, Secretary of State liar Foundation not much, at least every country know, face look beautiful. Hillary and Bill Clinton such corrupt liar Foundation Secretary of State . Rare in the world!

AP: Many donors to Clinton Foundation met with Hillary Clinton at State Department

More than half the people outside the government who met with Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state gave money — either personally or through companies or groups — to the Clinton Foundation. It’s an extraordinary proportion indicating her possible ethics challenges if elected president.

At least 85 of 154 people from private interests who met or had phone conversations scheduled with Clinton while she led the State Department donated to her family charity or pledged commitments to its international programs, according to a review of State Department calendars released so far to The Associated Press. Combined, the 85 donors contributed as much as $156 million. At least 40 donated more than $100,000 each, and 20 gave more than $1 million.

AP report: Clinton met with donors while secretary of state
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AP report: Clinton met with donors while secretary of state
Donors who were granted time with Clinton included an internationally known economist who asked for her help as the Bangladesh government pressured him to resign from a nonprofit bank he ran; a Wall Street executive who sought Clinton’s help with a visa problem and Estee Lauder executives who were listed as meeting with Clinton while her department worked with the firm’s corporate charity to counter gender-based violence in South Africa.

The meetings between the Democratic presidential nominee and foundation donors do not appear to violate legal agreements Clinton and former president Bill Clinton signed before she joined the State Department in 2009. But the frequency of the overlaps shows the intermingling of access and donations, and fuels perceptions that giving the foundation money was a price of admission for face time with Clinton. Her calendars and emails released as recently as this week describe scores of contacts she and her top aides had with foundation donors.

Clinton’s campaign said the AP analysis was flawed because it did not include in its calculations meetings with foreign diplomats or U.S. government officials, and the meetings AP examined covered only the first half of Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state.

“It is outrageous to misrepresent Secretary Clinton’s basis for meeting with these individuals,” spokesman Brian Fallon said. He called it “a distorted portrayal of how often she crossed paths with individuals connected to charitable donations to the Clinton Foundation.”

The AP’s findings represent the first systematic effort to calculate the scope of the intersecting interests of Clinton foundation donors and people who met personally with Clinton or spoke to her by phone about their needs.

Clinton Foundation won't take foreign, corporate donations if Clinton wins
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Clinton Foundation won't take foreign, corporate donations if Clinton wins
The 154 did not include U.S. federal employees or foreign government representatives. Clinton met with representatives of at least 16 foreign governments that donated as much as $170 million to the Clinton charity, but they were not included in AP’s calculations because such meetings would presumably have been part of her diplomatic duties.

Last week, the Clinton Foundation moved to head off ethics concerns about future donations by announcing changes planned if Clinton is elected.

On Monday, Bill Clinton said in a statement that if his wife were to win, he would step down from the foundation’s board and stop all fundraising for it. The foundation would also accept donations only from U.S. citizens and what it described as independent philanthropies, while no longer taking gifts from foreign groups, U.S. companies or corporate charities. Clinton said the foundation would no longer hold annual meetings of its international aid program, the Clinton Global Initiative, and it would spin off its foreign-based programs to other charities.

Those planned changes would not affect more than 6,000 donors who have already provided the Clinton charity with more than $2 billion in funding since its creation in 2000.

“There’s a lot of potential conflicts and a lot of potential problems,” said Douglas White, an expert on nonprofits who previously directed Columbia University’s graduate fundraising management program. “The point is, she can’t just walk away from these 6,000 donors.”

Former senior White House ethics officials said a Clinton administration would have to take careful steps to ensure that past foundation donors would not have the same access as she allowed at the State Department.

“If Secretary Clinton puts the right people in and she’s tough about it and has the right procedures in place and sends a message consistent with a strong commitment to ethics, it can be done,” said Norman L. Eisen, who was President Barack Obama’s top ethics counsel and later worked for Clinton as ambassador to the Czech Republic.

Eisen, now a governance studies fellow at the Brookings Institution, said that at a minimum, Clinton should retain the Obama administration’s current ethics commitments and oversight, which include lobbying restrictions and other rules. Richard Painter, a former ethics adviser to President George W. Bush and currently a University of Minnesota law school professor, said Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton should remove themselves completely from foundation leadership roles, but he added that potential conflicts would shadow any policy decision affecting past donors.

Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon did not respond to the AP’s questions about Clinton transition plans regarding ethics, but said in a statement Tuesday the standard set by the Clinton Foundation’s ethics restrictions was “unprecedented, even if it may never satisfy some critics.”

Some of Clinton’s most influential visitors donated millions to the Clinton Foundation and to her and her husband’s political coffers. They are among scores of Clinton visitors and phone contacts in her official calendar turned over by the State Department to AP last year and in more-detailed planning schedules that so far have covered about half her four-year tenure. The AP sought Clinton’s calendar and schedules three years ago, but delays led the AP to sue the State Department last year in federal court for those materials and other records.

S. Daniel Abraham, whose name also was included in emails released by the State Department as part of another lawsuit, is a Clinton fundraising bundler who was listed in Clinton’s planners for eight meetings with her at various times. A billionaire behind the Slim-Fast diet and founder of the Center for Middle East Peace, Abraham told the AP last year his talks with Clinton concerned Mideast issues.

Big Clinton Foundation donors with no history of political giving to the Clintons also met or talked by phone with Hillary Clinton and top aides, AP’s review showed.

Muhammad Yunus, a Bangladeshi economist who won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for pioneering low-interest “microcredit” for poor business owners, met with Clinton three times and talked with her by phone during a period when Bangladeshi government authorities investigated his oversight of a nonprofit bank and ultimately pressured him to resign from the bank’s board. Throughout the process, he pleaded for help in messages routed to Clinton, and she ordered aides to find ways to assist him.

American affiliates of his nonprofit Grameen Bank had been working with the Clinton Foundation’s Clinton Global Initiative programs as early as 2005, pledging millions of dollars in microloans for the poor. Grameen America, the bank’s nonprofit U.S. flagship, which Yunus chairs, has given between $100,000 and $250,000 to the foundation — a figure that bank spokeswoman Becky Asch said reflects the institution’s annual fees to attend CGI meetings. Another Grameen arm chaired by Yunus, Grameen Research, has donated between $25,000 and $50,000.

As a U.S. senator from New York, Clinton, as well as then-Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry and two other senators in 2007 sponsored a bill to award a congressional gold medal to Yunus. He got one but not until 2010, a year after Obama awarded him a Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Hillary Clinton: A life in pictures
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Hillary Clinton: A life in pictures
Yunus first met with Clinton in Washington in April 2009. That was followed six months later by an announcement by USAID, the State Department’s foreign aid arm, that it was partnering with the Grameen Foundation, a nonprofit charity run by Yunus, in a $162 million commitment to extend its microfinance concept abroad. USAID also began providing loans and grants to the Grameen Foundation, totaling $2.2 million over Clinton’s tenure.

By September 2009, Yunus began complaining to Clinton’s top aides about what he perceived as poor treatment by Bangladesh’s government. His bank was accused of financial mismanagement of Norwegian government aid money — a charge that Norway later dismissed as baseless. But Yunus told Melanne Verveer, a long-time Clinton aide who was an ambassador-at-large for global women’s issues, that Bangladesh officials refused to meet with him and asked the State Department for help in pressing his case.

“Please see if the issues of Grameen Bank can be raised in a friendly way,” he asked Verveer. Yunus sent “regards to H” and cited an upcoming Clinton Global Initiative event he planned to attend.

Clinton ordered an aide: “Give to EAP rep,” referring the problem to the agency’s top east Asia expert.

Yunus continued writing to Verveer as pressure mounted on his bank. In December 2010, responding to a news report that Bangladesh’s prime minister was urging an investigation of Grameen Bank, Clinton told Verveer that she wanted to discuss the matter with her East Asia expert “ASAP.”

Clinton called Yunus in March 2011 after the Bangladesh government opened an inquiry into his oversight of Grameen Bank. Yunus had told Verveer by email that “the situation does not allow me to leave the country.” By mid-May, the Bangladesh government had forced Yunus to step down from the bank’s board. Yunus sent Clinton a copy of his resignation letter. In a separate note to Verveer, Clinton wrote: “Sad indeed.”

Clinton met with Yunus a second time in Washington in August 2011 and again in the Bangladesh capital of Dhaka in May 2012. Clinton’s arrival in Bangladesh came after Bangladesh authorities moved to seize control of Grameen Bank’s effort to find new leaders. Speaking to a town hall audience, Clinton warned the Bangladesh government that “we do not want to see any action taken that would in any way undermine or interfere in the operations of the Grameen Bank.”

Grameen America’s Asch referred other questions about Yunus to his office, but he had not responded by Tuesday.

The Clinton campaign lashed out at the AP over its portrayal of Yunus in this story. The AP story, Fallon said in the statement, “outrageously casts a shadow over Secretary Clinton’s meetings with Muhammad Yunus....President Obama awarded Yunus the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and Republicans and Democrats voted to unanimously award him the Congressional Gold Medal. Nevertheless, this story reduces Yunus to a charitable donation once made by an organization he chaired. That is grossly unfair, inaccurate and just goes to show how faulty this analysis truly is.”

Earlier this month, State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau acknowledged that agency officials are “regularly in touch with a range of outside individuals and organizations, including nonprofits, NGOs, think tanks and others.” But Trudeau said the State Department was not aware of any actions that were influenced by the Clinton Foundation.

In another case, Clinton was host at a September 2009 breakfast meeting at the New York Stock Exchange that listed Blackstone Group chairman Stephen Schwarzman as one of the attendees. Schwarzman’s firm is a major Clinton Foundation donor, but he personally donates heavily to GOP candidates and causes. One day after the breakfast, according to Clinton emails, the State Department was working on a visa issue at Schwarzman’s request. In December that same year, Schwarzman’s wife, Christine, sat at Clinton’s table during the Kennedy Center Honors. Clinton also introduced Schwarzman, then chairman of the Kennedy Center, before he spoke.

Blackstone donated between $250,000 and $500,000 to the Clinton Foundation. Eight Blackstone executives also gave between $375,000 and $800,000 to the foundation. And Blackstone’s charitable arm has pledged millions of dollars in commitments to three Clinton Global aid projects ranging from the U.S. to the Mideast. Blackstone officials did not make Schwarzman available for comment.

Clinton also met in June 2011 with Nancy Mahon of the MAC AIDS, the charitable arm of MAC Cosmetics, which is owned by Estee Lauder. The meeting occurred before an announcement about a State Department partnership to raise money to finance AIDS education and prevention. The public-private partnership was formed to fight gender-based violence in South Africa, the State Department said at the time.

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Kate, the Duchess Of Cambridge, right, shakes hands with Hillary Rodham Clinton while attending a reception with Prince William, second from right, co-hosted by the Royal Foundation and the Clinton Foundation at British Consul General's Residence Monday, December 08, 2014 in New York. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez, Pool) AP
The MAC AIDS fund donated between $5 million and $10 million to the Clinton Foundation. In 2008, Mahon and the MAC AIDS fund made a three-year unspecified commitment to the Clinton Global Initiative. That same year, the fund partnered with two other organizations to beef up a USAID program in Malawi and Ghana. And in 2011, the fund was one of eight organizations to pledge a total of $2 million over a three-year period to help girls in southern Africa. The fund has not made a commitment to CGI since 2011.

Estee Lauder executive Fabrizio Freda also met with Clinton at the same Wall Street event attended by Schwarzman. Later that month, Freda was on a list of attendees for a meeting between Clinton and a U.S.-China trade group. Estee Lauder has given between $100,000 and $250,000 to the Clinton Foundation. The company made a commitment to CGI in 2013 with four other organizations to help survivors of sexual slavery in Cambodia.

MAC AIDs officials did not make Mahon available to AP for comment.

When Clinton appeared before the U.S. Senate in early 2009 for her confirmation hearing as secretary of state, then- Sen. Richard Lugar, a Republican from Indiana, questioned her at length about the foundation and potential conflicts of interest. His concerns were focused on foreign government donations, mostly to CGI. Lugar wanted more transparency than was ultimately agreed upon between the foundation and Obama’s transition team.

Now, Lugar hopes Hillary and Bill Clinton make a clean break from the foundation.

“The Clintons, as they approach the presidency, if they are successful, will have to work with their attorneys to make certain that rules of the road are drawn up to give confidence to them and the American public that there will not be favoritism,” Lugar said.
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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.
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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, Ryan team up on anti-poverty plan
A key to the bipartisan appeal? It will help millions of poor white voters who live in GOP-held districts as well as black voters in Democratic districts.
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https://plus.google.com/102480809893025723045 Juan Carlos Hernandez Photographer : Many donors to #ClintonFoundation met with #HillaryClinton at State - AP - Big Story - 23.08.2016 WASHINGTON...
Many donors to #ClintonFoundation met with #HillaryClinton at State - AP - Big Story - 23.08.2016

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than half the people outside the government who met with Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state gave money — either personally or through companies or groups — to the Clinton Foundation. It's an extraordinary proportion indicating her possible ethics challenges if elected president. At least 85 of 154 people from private interests who met or had phone conversations scheduled with Clinton while she led the State Department donated to her family charity or pledged commitments to its international programs, according to a review of State Department calendars released so far to The Associated Press. Combined, the 85 donors contributed as much as $156 million. At least 40 donated more than $100,000 each, and 20 gave more than $1 million. Donors who were granted time with Clinton included an internationally known economist who asked for her help as the Bangladesh government pressured him to resign from a nonprofit bank he ran; a Wall Street executive who sought Clinton's help with a visa problem and Estee Lauder executives who were listed as meeting with Clinton while her department worked with the firm's corporate charity to counter gender-based violence in South Africa. The meetings between the Democratic presidential nominee and foundation donors do not appear to violate legal agreements Clinton and former president Bill Clinton signed before she joined the State Department in 2009. But the frequency of the overlaps shows the intermingling of access and donations, and fuels perceptions that giving the foundation money was a price of admission for face time with Clinton. Her calendars and emails released as recently as this week describe scores of contacts she and her top aides had with foundation donors. The AP's findings represent the first systematic effort to calculate the scope of the intersecting interests of Clinton foundation donors and people who met personally with Clinton or spoke to her by phone about their needs. The 154 did not include U.S. federal employees or foreign government representatives. Clinton met with representatives of at least 16 foreign governments that donated as much as $170 million to the Clinton charity, but they were not included in AP's calculations because such meetings would presumably have been part of her diplomatic duties. Last week, the Clinton Foundation moved to head off ethics concerns about future donations by announcing changes planned if Clinton is elected. On Monday, Bill Clinton said in a statement that if his wife were to win, he would step down from the foundation's board and stop all fundraising for it. The foundation would also accept donations only from U.S. citizens and what it described as independent philanthropies, while no longer taking gifts from foreign groups, U.S. companies or corporate charities. Clinton said the foundation would no longer hold annual meetings of its international aid program, the Clinton Global Initiative, and it would spin off its foreign-based programs to other charities. Those planned changes would not affect more than 6,000 donors who have already provided the Clinton charity with more than $2 billion in funding since its creation in 2000. "There's a lot of potential conflicts and a lot of potential problems," said Douglas White, an expert on nonprofits who previously directed Columbia University's graduate fundraising management program. "The point is, she can't just walk away from these 6,000 donors." Former senior White House ethics officials said a Clinton administration would have to take careful steps to ensure that past foundation donors would not have the same access as she allowed at the State Department. "If Secretary Clinton puts the right people in and she's tough about it and has the right procedures in place and sends a message consistent with a strong commitment to ethics, it can be done," said Norman L. Eisen, who was President Barack Obama's top ethics counsel and later worked for Clinton as ambassador to the Czech Republic. Eisen, now a governance studies fellow at the Brookings Institution, said that at a minimum, Clinton should retain the Obama administration's current ethics commitments and oversight, which include lobbying restrictions and other rules. Richard Painter, a former ethics adviser to President George W. Bush and currently a University of Minnesota law school professor, said Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton should remove themselves completely from foundation leadership roles, but he added that potential conflicts would shadow any policy decision affecting past donors. Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon did not respond to the AP's questions about Clinton transition plans regarding ethics, but said in a statement Tuesday the standard set by the Clinton Foundation's ethics restrictions was "unprecedented, even if it may never satisfy some critics." GOP Vice Presidential candidate Indiana Gov. Mike Pence said the AP analysis was evidence of "pay-to-play" politics at Clinton's State Department. He called for the foundation to be shut down and for an independent prosecutor to be appointed to investigate. Some of Clinton's most influential visitors donated millions to the Clinton Foundation and to her and her husband's political coffers. They are among scores of Clinton visitors and phone contacts in her official calendar turned over by the State Department to AP last year and in more-detailed planning schedules that so far have covered about half her four-year tenure. The AP sought Clinton's calendar and schedules three years ago, but delays led the AP to sue the State Department last year in federal court for those materials and other records. S. Daniel Abraham, whose name also was included in emails released by the State Department as part of another lawsuit, is a Clinton fundraising bundler who was listed in Clinton's planners for eight meetings with her at various times. A billionaire behind the Slim-Fast diet and founder of the Center for Middle East Peace, Abraham told the AP last year his talks with Clinton concerned Mideast issues. Big Clinton Foundation donors with no history of political giving to the Clintons also met or talked by phone with Hillary Clinton and top aides, AP's review showed. Muhammad Yunus, a Bangladeshi economist who won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for pioneering low-interest "microcredit" for poor business owners, met with Clinton three times and talked with her by phone during a period when Bangladeshi government authorities investigated his oversight of a nonprofit bank and ultimately pressured him to resign from the bank's board. Throughout the process, he pleaded for help in messages routed to Clinton, and she ordered aides to find ways to assist him. American affiliates of his nonprofit Grameen Bank had been working with the Clinton Foundation's Clinton Global Initiative programs as early as 2005, pledging millions of dollars in microloans for the poor. Grameen America, the bank's nonprofit U.S. flagship, which Yunus chairs, has given between $100,000 and $250,000 to the foundation — a figure that bank spokeswoman Becky Asch said reflects the institution's annual fees to attend CGI meetings. Another Grameen arm chaired by Yunus, Grameen Research, has donated between $25,000 and $50,000. As a U.S. senator from New York, Clinton, as well as then-Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry and two other senators in 2007 sponsored a bill to award a congressional gold medal to Yunus. He got one but not until 2010, a year after Obama awarded him a Presidential Medal of Freedom. Yunus first met with Clinton in Washington in April 2009. That was followed six months later by an announcement by USAID, the State Department's foreign aid arm, that it was partnering with the Grameen Foundation, a nonprofit charity run by Yunus, in a $162 million commitment to extend its microfinance concept abroad. USAID also began providing loans and grants to the Grameen Foundation, totaling $2.2 million over Clinton's tenure. By September 2009, Yunus began complaining to Clinton's top aides about what he perceived as poor treatment by Bangladesh's government. His bank was accused of financial mismanagement of Norwegian government aid money — a charge that Norway later dismissed as baseless. But Yunus told Melanne Verveer, a long-time Clinton aide who was an ambassador-at-large for global women's issues, that Bangladesh officials refused to meet with him and asked the State Department for help in pressing his case. "Please see if the issues of Grameen Bank can be raised in a friendly way," he asked Verveer. Yunus sent "regards to H" and cited an upcoming Clinton Global Initiative event he planned to attend. Clinton ordered an aide: "Give to EAP rep," referring the problem to the agency's top east Asia expert. Yunus continued writing to Verveer as pressure mounted on his bank. In December 2010, responding to a news report that Bangladesh's prime minister was urging an investigation of Grameen Bank, Clinton told Verveer that she wanted to discuss the matter with her East Asia expert "ASAP." Clinton called Yunus in March 2011 after the Bangladesh government opened an inquiry into his oversight of Grameen Bank. Yunus had told Verveer by email that "the situation does not allow me to leave the country." By mid-May, the Bangladesh government had forced Yunus to step down from the bank's board. Yunus sent Clinton a copy of his resignation letter. In a separate note to Verveer, Clinton wrote: "Sad indeed." Clinton met with Yunus a second time in Washington in August 2011 and again in the Bangladesh capital of Dhaka in May 2012. Clinton's arrival in Bangladesh came after Bangladesh authorities moved to seize control of Grameen Bank's effort to find new leaders. Speaking to a town hall audience, Clinton warned the Bangladesh government that "we do not want to see any action taken that would in any way undermine or interfere in the operations of the Grameen Bank." Grameen America's Asch referred other questions about Yunus to his office, but he had not responded by Tuesday. Earlier this month, State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau acknowledged that agency officials are "regularly in touch with a range of outside individuals and organizations, including nonprofits, NGOs, think tanks and others." But Trudeau said the State Department was not aware of any actions that were influenced by the Clinton Foundation. In another case, Clinton was host at a September 2009 breakfast meeting at the New York Stock Exchange that listed Blackstone Group chairman Stephen Schwarzman as one of the attendees. Schwarzman's firm is a major Clinton Foundation donor, but he personally donates heavily to GOP candidates and causes. One day after the breakfast, according to Clinton emails, the State Department was working on a visa issue at Schwarzman's request. In December that same year, Schwarzman's wife, Christine, sat at Clinton's table during the Kennedy Center Honors. Clinton also introduced Schwarzman, then chairman of the Kennedy Center, before he spoke. Blackstone donated between $250,000 and $500,000 to the Clinton Foundation. Eight Blackstone executives also gave between $375,000 and $800,000 to the foundation. And Blackstone's charitable arm has pledged millions of dollars in commitments to three Clinton Global aid projects ranging from the U.S. to the Mideast. Blackstone officials did not make Schwarzman available for comment. Clinton also met in June 2011 with Nancy Mahon of the MAC AIDS, the charitable arm of MAC Cosmetics, which is owned by Estee Lauder. The meeting occurred before an announcement about a State Department partnership to raise money to finance AIDS education and prevention. The public-private partnership was formed to fight gender-based violence in South Africa, the State Department said at the time. The MAC AIDS fund donated between $5 million and $10 million to the Clinton Foundation. In 2008, Mahon and the MAC AIDS fund made a three-year unspecified commitment to the Clinton Global Initiative. That same year, the fund partnered with two other organizations to beef up a USAID program in Malawi and Ghana. And in 2011, the fund was one of eight organizations to pledge a total of $2 million over a three-year period to help girls in southern Africa. The fund has not made a commitment to CGI since 2011. Estee Lauder executive Fabrizio Freda also met with Clinton at the same Wall Street event attended by Schwarzman. Later that month, Freda was on a list of attendees for a meeting between Clinton and a U.S.China trade group. Estee Lauder has given between $100,000 and $250,000 to the Clinton Foundation. The company made a commitment to CGI in 2013 with four other organizations to help survivors of sexual slavery in Cambodia. MAC AIDs officials did not make Mahon available to AP for comment. When Clinton appeared before the U.S. Senate in early 2009 for her confirmation hearing as secretary of state, then Sen. Richard Lugar, a Republican from Indiana, questioned her at length about the foundation and potential conflicts of interest. His concerns were focused on foreign government donations, mostly to CGI. Lugar wanted more transparency than was ultimately agreed upon between the foundation and Obama's transition team. Now, Lugar hopes Hillary and Bill Clinton make a clean break from the foundation. "The Clintons, as they approach the presidency, if they are successful, will have to work with their attorneys to make certain that rules of the road are drawn up to give confidence to them and the American public that there will not be favoritism," Lugar said.
Many donors to Clinton Foundation met with her at State
WASHINGTON (AP) — More than half the people outside the government who met with Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state gave money — either personally or through companies or groups — to the Clinton Foundation.…
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https://plus.google.com/113219970662594055776 catherine hislop : "There’s a different leader in Syria now. Many of the members of Congress of both parties who have gone...
"There’s a different leader in Syria now. Many of the members of Congress of both parties who have gone to Syria in recent months have said they believe he’s a reformer."
~ Hillary Clinton on tyrannical maniac Bashar Assad

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 #WarMonger 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.

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 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 #America 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 #WeaponSales 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. #ArmsSales 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 #HillaryClinton 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 #Arabs 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.

In all, governments and #WarDogs 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 #ForeignPolicy #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 #Islam #ClintonCrimes

arms sales.

During Hillary Clinton’s 2009 Senate confirmation hearings, Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., urged the #ClintonFoundation 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, 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 approvedthe 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.

#GiveWarAChance #WarIsPeace #Democrats 
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https://plus.google.com/111478095437303229382 Quoteallthethings : We must perfect a worldwide system of accountability for nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. ~...
We must perfect a worldwide system of accountability for nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. ~Richard Lugar #RichardLugar #quote #quotes #openquotes #aphorism #citation #quotation
Richard Lugar Quotes - OpenQuotes

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https://plus.google.com/106311820785010137255 Pamela Folenius : VIDEO: Presidential Medal of Freedom Ceremony http://cs.pn/17MZfvZ Recipients include Ernie Banks, ...
VIDEO: Presidential Medal of Freedom Ceremony http://cs.pn/17MZfvZ

Recipients include Ernie Banks, Ben Bradlee, Bill Clinton, Daniel Inouye (posthumous), Daniel Kahneman, Richard Lugar, Loretta Lynn, Mario Molina, Sally Ride (posthumous), Bayard Rustin (posthumous), Arturo Sandoval, Dean Smith, Gloria Steinem, Cordy Tindell “C.T.” Vivian, Patricia Wald and Oprah Winfrey.
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https://plus.google.com/105861077871083662983 Joe Carpenter : UK votes to leave EU SO WHAT HAPPENED? DON IMUS INTERVIEWS PATRICK J. BUCHANAN: (P.S. This is all I...
UK votes to leave EU
SO WHAT HAPPENED? DON IMUS INTERVIEWS PATRICK J. BUCHANAN:

(P.S. This is all I can do in one sitting off the top)

So what is still wrong with this picture? Pat Buchanan? Newt Gingrich? Jeb Bush? Orrin Hatch? John McCain? And then there is the other side starting with the Clintons? Don’t get me wrong here, I think Pat Buchanan was exactly on point this morning, sounding just like he has sounded for decades now. Here we have this guy standing at the intersection describing to the police with calm precision exactly how the crash happened at the intersection, on the his front lawn, of his mansion, where “they” planted, pruned, fertilized watered and grew a shrub wall that everyone knew was going to cause a fatal accident at some point given all the skid marks, complaints, bike knock overs and fender benders. Yes Yes Yes Pat and Newt (That is the Newt Gingrich the guy that just missed it big time, that got the Mexican Judge thing all wrong, and publicly decided to scold Donald and challenge Donald’s judgment on that, as that is the P.C. problem, as it was not a Mexican Judge thing, but this new age Bureaucrat thing all over the world or this new judgment devoid Judge thing all together, of litigating from the bench, what ever “they” think is “their” issue, regardless of anything, as there is no law any more, just what ever “they” want to rationalize through “their” set of political issues all pushed by of whoever is funding “them” or who “they” are beholding to) you really know what you are talking about all the time as you all sound so good all the time. You people sound just as good as you did in 1985 or 1990 or 1995 or 2000 or 2010 as you always sound that good, its just to bad the pudding tastes like its rotten.

If it was not for Donald Trump focusing and prioritizing the issues in this election, you people would still be sounding all so good and all so slick on how NAFTA is imperative for America in the emerging new world. Who else was talking about immigration? Marco Rubio LOL.. Donald Trump started it and he is just getting started on the issues and I have a feeling he is going to finish it. I am so sorry for all you pretty people because this is not going to be pretty. The clean up on this is going to get ugly before it gets better. For thirty-five years that I know of we the people have been screaming and “you” people have been living on a different planet. Donald Trump nailed it again this moorings saying “He got it wrong and now he is embarrassed”. Well if it were only getting it wrong that was the only problem in America. What we have had in Washington these days is decades of unfettered out of control intellectual dishonesty that has metastasized into a full-blown criminal organization ripping off everyone and everything from the top down in the greatest trickle down corruption in human history. They have just about destroyed the currency, the rule of law and the U.S. Constitution in just about 35 years.

Actually as I am starting to see it, the really dangerous financial tamperings started with 1) Nixon’s solution of moving the nation off the Gold Standard as a band aid to a much bigger problem that opened the door for unaccountable data manipulations and inaccurate valuation numbers on the currency its self, 2) the Bush family Petro Dollar* that has brought us all to a Middle East mess of unimaginable incalculable pain and suffering for millions let alone the destabilization of an entire region of the world threatening global stability economically and militarily or through terrorism that undermines the institutions and policies and the spirit of peoples freedoms in once free societies, 3) Clinton and his removal of Glass Steagal* that opened the door for institutional computer driven derivative investing in the markets made worse by the new Dodd Frank* regulations and 60 lines in one of the last budget deals legalizing expanded speculation in the markets by the banks. Today we have 1.4 Quadrillion or 1,400 Trillion in global derivative speculation on a global GDP of 60 Trillion. “They” are all in on it.

This is a bipartisan causality of system decay resulting in negative consequences for the public welfare pushed by the perverse incentives of lawmakers being funded by big money interests to make bad laws, bad policies and bad deals for everyone that works for “them” but not for you or me. It all seems to have the recognizable pattern of rolling bubble business strategies of gutting one market place after the next. Domestically it is all about short-term stock valuations and short-term profits or a short term revolving management exit strategy as the base line for defining “their” justifications for “their” business decisions with personal profit as the only goal. Globally it is a legacy cost liability washing, resource seeking, emerging market paper cash in, credit trap rich environment of predatory lending, but best of all it is a cheep labor-shopping extravaganza of pure exploitation leaving behind one closed factory after the next once the resource of human desperation has been fully exploited for off shore maximum profits. Its called the 500 year central banking war model. Check/google what percentage of US companies derive more than 50% of all company profits from Off Shore business. Its a U.S. phase out. The entire N.W.O. model dispersal scheme off of billions of people is designed by the élites that is nothing more than a over rationalized intellectually dishonest strategy set in motion one bad deal for the people after the next, through cold hearted and dark belief system motivations of inverted satisfactions that simply will not work unless one region of the world is on fire, at war, in revolution or curtailing the rights of its citizens in response to terrorism regardless of cause.

Here in America it has been a bipartisan feeding frenzy of out right bribery, black mail, kickbacks, extortion, fraud, and criminality. “They” call it, leveraged negotiations. “They” call it an earmark. “They” call it fund raising. “They” call it a donation to “their” 5O1C3 paper shell corporation that pays million dollar salaries. As far as I am concerned all of these entrenched bureaucrats need to go. As far as I am concerned and millions and millions of people, we all are willing to risk it all, on anyone that has had nothing to do with all of it.

If I was Donald Trump I would not pick Newt Gingrich as a Vice President but I would find someone and there has to be someone on the outside that is not a Mitt Romney paper fixer, off shoe account, tax structure expert, but a real thinker that is not a Bill Gates or Warren Buffet either. Newt Gingrich and Pat Buchanan can write books go on talk radio or the lecture circuit or be, know it all professors, but their time in public office is done. There is something fundamentally confused or gone unidentified with this entire 35 year entrenched group of Washington intellectuals, insiders, crusaders, operators, bureaucrats, con-men/women, crooks and criminals. You cannot fix a problem with the same people that caused the problem to begin with. And that is my opinion, what is yours?

This feels like when the Soviet Union dissolved doesn’t it. Where have all these know it all visionaries of global prosperity, war and peace been hiding their great wisdom of the ages. The geniuses of hind site got it all down as they look in the mirror as history past them by. Where was the Media on this one? Months ago a friend of mine showed me on YouTube a video of a trucker going into the Chunnel to England with miles and miles of rooming refugees by the hundreds trying to jump on trucks to get into England. And what do we see on American TV from the American press during this time of a presidential election revolving around an immigration debate? Absolutely nothing. One could say that this UK. independence was inspired, forced and caused by the Obama/Mrs. Clinton Middle East policies of unreported disaster. Boy oh boy, “They” sure learned in the Vietnam days of TV coverage not to allow “Any” and that is “Any”, war footage in the living rooms of this new bread of helicopter parented, sheltered, P.C., snowflake sturdy generation do good-ers, to good to know the truth of what kind of horrors are taking place on the other side of US military decisions politicized for the maximum delusions of grandeur of a completely irresponsible administration of criminals empowered by armies of paid feckless fools orchestrating a national set up for failure, to win the next election, that went sideways and was stolen by an outsider (Donald Trump) that wants little or nothing to do with this worthless Republican Party Congress and Senate of entrenched bureaucrats, back stabbers, sell outs, corrupted crony capitalists, losers and wannabees.

Real time report, stocks falling, Mrs Clinton spinning it to look good for her in the most canned, most jarred, most standard political speech of empty verbiage targeted at the most gullible of gullible news reports. Its amazing all she can think of is how can this work for me, how can I say something that works for me, how can I say something that makes me look like I had nothing to do with this and spin this to make me look like a world expert rather than the world class failure and beat artist I am. Now compare and contrast that with Donald Trumps assessment and focus of comments as he looks to the condition of the country, saying in the long run how this will be better for England. A consistent view point that Donald holds for America as well, in face of this bureaucratic over run by international carpet bagging elite opportunists gone global. It’s the same defining attitudinal difference as found in the value packed subliminal messaging that really is in your face effrontery found in 1) Mrs. Clinton, I am with her, or 2) Donald Trump, I am with you the American people. One worldview is a worldview driven by a world view of self interest, self promotion, selfishly focused with out any tangible connection to world events, facts, causality, remedy and reality, and the other is working critical analysis of functionality and common scene. This garbage of “Cognitive Bias” or reductionism to “Cognitive Subjectivity” (that is a Joe Carpenter original) that says everything Donald Trump says you will like and they will hate or vise versa, is all based on a concept of a make believe universe of imaginary thoughts and beliefs un-tethered from reality or physical cause and effect on this planet as everything has now become a separate reality of money for nothing but lip servicing the narrative or what ever P.C. spin you can sell into so someone else can benefit from the short position on it all.

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List of members of the United States Congress by longevity of service
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
←This is a list of United States congresspersons by longevity of service. It includes those Representatives and Senators who have served at least 36 years. It is divided up into several categories.
In cases where there is a tie in time the following criteria will sort people higher:
1. Achieved time uninterrupted (total tenure rank only)
2. Achieved time first
3. Senators over representatives (House and Senate list only)
4. Senate or House seniority (Dan Rostenkowski versus Neal Edward Smith)
The lists include eleven currently serving members: John Conyers, Charles B. Rangel, Thad Cochran, Don Young, Patrick Leahy, Chuck Grassley, Ed Markey, Orrin Hatch, Barbara Mikulski, Richard Shelby, and Jim Sensenbrenner. It includes twenty-three former members who are still alive: Daniel Akaka, Max Baucus, Joe Biden, William Broomfield, Norm Dicks, John Dingell, Christopher Dodd, Pete Domenici, Tom Harkin, Ernest Hollings, Dale Kildee, Carl Levin, Richard Lugar, Joseph M. McDade, Robert H. Michel, George Miller, Dave Obey, Nick Rahall, Ralph Regula, Paul Sarbanes, Neal Edward Smith, Pete Stark, and Henry Waxman.
Contents
• 1 Key
• 2 Combined House and Senate time
• 3 Senate time
• 4 House time
• 5 See also
• 6 References
Key
In gold Currently serving
H Served in House (only for House and Senate combined categories)
S Served in Senate (only for House and Senate combined categories)
I Interruptions in service (only for total tenure categories)
Combined House and Senate time
Total tenure
rank Uninterrupted
rank Name Party affiliation Total tenure Uninterrupted tenure Reason for leaving
1 1 John Dingell (H) Democratic 59 years, 21 days 59 years, 21 days Retired
2 2 Robert Byrd (H,S) Democratic 57 years, 176 days 57 years, 176 days Died
3 3 Carl Hayden (H,S) Democratic 56 years, 319 days 56 years, 319 days Retired
4 4 Daniel Inouye (H,S) Democratic 53 years, 118 days 53 years, 118 days Died
5 5 Jamie L. Whitten (H)
Democratic 53 years, 60 days 53 years, 60 days Retired
6 6 John Conyers (H) Democratic 51 years, 173 days 51 years, 173 days
7 7 Carl Vinson (H) Democratic 50 years, 61 days 50 years, 61 days Retired
8 8 Emanuel Celler (H) Democratic 49 years, 305 days 49 years, 305 days Lost renomination
9 9 Sam Rayburn (H) Democratic 48 years, 257 days 48 years, 257 days Died
10 Sidney R. Yates (H,I) Democratic 48 years, 0 days n/a Retired
11 12 Strom Thurmond (S,I) Republican 47 years, 159 days 46 years, 57 days Retired
12 10 Wright Patman (H)
Democratic 47 years, 3 days 47 years, 3 days Died
13 11 Ted Kennedy (S) Democratic 46 years, 292 days 46 years, 292 days Died
14 Joseph Gurney Cannon (H,I)
Republican 46 years, 0 days n/a Retired
15 13 Adolph J. Sabath (H)
Democratic 45 years, 247 days 45 years, 247 days Died
16 14 Charles B. Rangel (H)
Democratic 45 years, 173 days 45 years, 173 days
17 15 J. Lister Hill (H,S) Democratic 45 years, 142 days 45 years, 142 days Retired
18 16 George H. Mahon (H)
Democratic 44 years, 0 days 44 years, 0 days Retired
19 17 Warren Magnuson (H,S) Democratic 44 years, 0 days 44 years, 0 days Defeated
20 18 Charles Edward Bennett (H)
Democratic 44 years, 0 days 44 years, 0 days Retired
21 19 Justin Smith Morrill (H,S)
Republican 43 years, 299 days 43 years, 299 days Died
22 20 Thad Cochran (H,S) Republican 43 years, 173 days 43 years, 173 days
23 William B. Allison (H,S,I)
Republican 43 years, 152 days n/a Died
24 21 Charles Melvin Price (H)
Democratic 43 years, 110 days 43 years, 110 days Died
25 22 Don Young (H)
Republican 43 years, 110 days 43 years, 110 days
26 23 Bill Young (H)
Republican 42 years, 288 days 42 years, 288 days Died
27 24 Henry M. Jackson (H,S)
Democratic 42 years, 241 days 42 years, 241 days Died
28 Carter Glass (H,S,I) Democratic 42 years, 157 days n/a Died
29 25 John William McCormack (H) Democratic 42 years, 58 days 42 years, 58 days Retired
30 26 John Sparkman (H,S) Democratic 42 years, 0 days 42 years, 0 days Retired
31 27 William R. Poage (H)
Democratic 42 years, 0 days 42 years, 0 days Retired
32 28 Jack Brooks (H) Democratic 42 years, 0 days 42 years, 0 days Defeated
33 29 Robert L. Doughton (H)
Democratic 41 years, 305 days 41 years, 305 days Retired
34 30 Joseph William Martin, Jr. (H)
Republican 41 years, 305 days 41 years, 305 days Lost renomination
35 31 Dave Obey (H)
Democratic 41 years, 276 days 41 years, 276 days Retired
36 32 Patrick Leahy (S) Democratic 41 years, 173 days 41 years, 173 days
37 33 Chuck Grassley (H,S) Republican 41 years, 173 days 41 years, 173 days
38 34 Clarence Cannon (H)
Democratic 41 years, 69 days 41 years, 69 days Retired
39 35 John C. Stennis (S) Democratic 41 years, 59 days 41 years, 59 days Retired
40 36 Kenneth McKellar (H,S)
Democratic 41 years, 30 days 41 years, 30 days Lost renomination
41 37 William Huston Natcher (H)
Democratic 40 years, 240 days 40 years, 240 days Died
42 Claude Pepper (H,S,I) Democratic 40 years, 207 days n/a Died
43 38 William P. Frye (H,S)
Republican 40 years, 157 days 40 years, 157 days Died
44 39 Ted Stevens (S) Republican 40 years, 10 days 40 years, 10 days Defeated
45 40 Carl Curtis (H,S) Republican 40 years, 0 days 40 years, 0 days Retired
46 41 Peter W. Rodino (H)
Democratic 40 years, 0 days 40 years, 0 days Retired
47 42 Pete Stark (H)
Democratic 40 years, 0 days 40 years, 0 days Defeated
48 43 Tom Harkin (H,S) Democratic 40 years, 0 days 40 years, 0 days Retired
49 44 George Miller (H) Democratic 40 years, 0 days 40 years, 0 days Retired
50 45 Henry Waxman (H)
Democratic 40 years, 0 days 40 years, 0 days Retired
51 Jennings Randolph (H,S,I) Democratic 39 years, 364 days n/a Retired
52 Eugene Hale (H,S,I) Republican 39 years, 363 days n/a Retired
53 46 Leslie C. Arends (H)
Republican 39 years, 362 days 39 years, 362 days Retired
54 47 Daniel A. Reed (H) Republican 39 years, 352 days 39 years, 352 days Died
55 48 George William Norris (H,S) Republican 39 years, 305 days 39 years, 305 days Defeated
56 49 John Taber (H)
Republican 39 years, 305 days 39 years, 305 days Retired
57 50 William M. Colmer (H)
Democratic 39 years, 305 days 39 years, 305 days Retired
58 51 Ed Markey (H,S) Democratic 39 years, 235 days 39 years, 235 days
59 52 Orrin Hatch (S) Republican 39 years, 173 days 39 years, 173 days
60 53 Barbara Mikulski (H,S)
Democratic 39 years, 173 days 39 years, 173 days
61 54 Max Baucus (H,S) Democratic 39 years, 34 days 39 years, 34 days Appointed Ambassador to China
62 Samuel Smith (H,S,I) Democratic 39 years, 9 days n/a Retired
63 John Little McClellan (H,S,I) Democratic 38 years, 329 days n/a Died
64 55 Morris Sheppard (H,S)
Democratic 38 years, 145 days 38 years, 145 days Died
65 56 Ernest Hollings (S)
Democratic 38 years, 55 days 38 years, 55 days Retired
66 57 Richard Russell, Jr. (S)
Democratic 38 years, 9 days 38 years, 9 days Died
67 John Sherman (H,S,I) Republican 38 years, 4 days n/a Appointed Secretary of the Treasury &
Appointed Secretary of State
68 58 Russell B. Long (S) Democratic 38 years, 3 days 38 years, 3 days Retired
69 59 Frederick H. Gillett (H,S)
Republican 38 years, 0 days 38 years, 0 days Retired
70 60 Wilbur Mills (H) Democratic 38 years, 0 days 38 years, 0 days Retired
71 61 Dante Fascell (H) Democratic 38 years, 0 days 38 years, 0 days Retired
72 62 Robert H. Michel (H)
Republican 38 years, 0 days 38 years, 0 days Retired
73 63 Nick Rahall (H) Democratic 38 years, 0 days 38 years, 0 days Defeated
74 Robert Crosser (H,I) Democratic 37 years, 305 days n/a Lost renomination
75 Robert L. F. Sikes (H,I)
Democratic 37 years, 290 days n/a Retired
76 64 Nathaniel Macon (H,S)
Democratic-Republican 37 years, 255 days 37 years, 255 days Resigned
77 65 Henry Cabot Lodge (H,S)
Republican 37 years, 250 days 37 years, 250 days Died
78 66 Richard Shelby (H,S) Republican 37 years, 173 days 37 years, 173 days
79 67 Jim Sensenbrenner (H) Republican 37 years, 173 days 37 years, 173 days
80 Alben W. Barkley (H,S,I)
Democratic 37 years, 74 days n/a Elected Vice President and Died
81 68 Henry B. Gonzalez (H)
Democratic 37 years, 60 days 37 years, 60 days Retired
82 Francis E. Warren (S,I)
Republican 37 years, 6 days n/a Died
83 James Eastland (S,I) Democratic 36 years, 83 days n/a Resigned
84 69 Joe Biden (S)
Democratic 36 years, 12 days 36 years, 12 days Elected Vice President
85 70 John Murtha (H) Democratic 36 years, 3 days 36 years, 3 days Died
86 71 Henry L. Dawes (H,S)
Republican 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days Retired
87 72 Felix Edward Hébert (H)
Democratic 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days Retired
88 73 Edward Boland (H)
Democratic 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days Retired
89 74 William Broomfield (H)
Republican 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days Retired
90 75 Dan Rostenkowski (H) Democratic 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days Defeated
91 76 Neal Edward Smith (H)
Democratic 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days Defeated
92 77 Claiborne Pell (S) Democratic 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days Retired
93 78 Joseph M. McDade (H)
Republican 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days Retired
94 79 Paul Sarbanes (H,S) Democratic 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days Retired
95 80 Pete Domenici (S) Republican 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days Retired
96 81 Ralph Regula (H) Republican 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days Retired
97 82 Christopher Dodd (H,S)
Democratic 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days Retired
98 83 Jim Oberstar (H) Democratic 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days Defeated
99 84 Richard Lugar (S) Republican 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days Lost renomination
100 85 Daniel Akaka (H,S) Democratic 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days Retired
101 86 Norm Dicks (H) Democratic 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days Retired
102 87 Dale Kildee (H) Democratic 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days Retired
103 88 Carl Levin (S)
Democratic 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days Retired
104 Shelby Moore Cullom (H,S,I)
Republican 36 years, 0 days n/a Retired


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COPY/PASTE #2
David Cameron announces resignation as UK votes to leave EU
CNN - ‎59 minutes ago‎

Go here to follow CNN's coverage of the UK referendum live. London (CNN) The UK has voted to leave the European Union in a historic referendum that triggered the resignation of British Prime Minister David Cameron and wreaked havoc on global markets.
Related United Kingdom European Union membership referendum, 2016 » United Kingdom » European Union »
What next for the Conservative Party? BBC News
Britain's EU Exit: What Comes Next? NPR
Featured:Brexit Vote Throws Britain and Europe Into Turmoil The New Yorker
Trending on Google+:'Explosive shock' as Britain votes to leave EU, Cameron quits Reuters
Opinion:Britain's Brexit Leap in the Dark New York Times
Live Updating:Live updates: Britain votes to leave the European Union Washington Post (blog)

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*COPY/PASTE #3
The Petrodollar Wars: The Iraq Petrodollar Connection - FTMDaily.com
ftmdaily.com/preparing-for-the-collapse-of-the-petrodollar-system-part-3/
This article shows how the petrodollar system has affected America's foreign policy ... It would later be revealed that an invasion of Iraq was at the top of the Bush ..... But for the 146 Americans killed in action, and for their families — it wasn't a ...
The Campaign to Undermine Saudi Arabia and the US Dollar - The ...
https://www.dollarvigilante.com/.../the-campaign-to-undermine-saudi-arabia-and-the-...
Oct 13, 2015 - Bush Saudi Arabia Petro Dollar The Dollar Vigilante ... The Saud family running the country doesn't seem to be thinking very clearly. That could ...
How the petrodollar perpetuates Islamic terror - RenewAmerica
www.renewamerica.com/columns/hank/150314
Mar 14, 2015 - How the petrodollar perpetuates Islamic terror ... all were sponsored by the Saudi royal family, one would have expected the US military to ... Instead, Bush first waged a campaign in Afghanistan and then one in Iraq, and when ...
One More Casualty Of The 9/11 Farce - The Petrodollar | Zero Hedge
www.zerohedge.com/news/...04.../one-more-casualty-911-farce-petrodoll...
Zero Hedge
Apr 27, 2016 - The 9/11 attacks were billed by the Bush Administration as a “wake-up ... to conflict between Saudi Arabia and the U.S. and disrupt the petrodollar. ..... Only one fly in the ointment: the Saudis (literally, the Saud Family) can't ...
Petrodollar - Wikispooks
https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Petrodollar
Petrodollars have been defined as oil revenues denominated in U.S. dollars. ..... the Ties Between the Bush Family and Osama bin Laden", IPS News April 4, ...
Petrodollar Warfare: Oil, Iraq and the Future of the Dollar
https://books.google.com/books?isbn=1550923358
William R. Clark - 2005 - ‎History
Dana Priest and Robin Wright, "Scowcroft Skeptical Vote Will Stabilize Iraq: Friend of Bush Family Joins Pessimists," Washington Post, January 7, 2005, A12.
The Petro Dollar Iraqi Oil and Bush - Video Dailymotion
▶ 9:53
www.dailymotion.com/.../x8deok_the-petro-dollar-i...
Dailymotion
Feb 14, 2009
Saddam Hussein wanted to sell Iraq's oil in Euro dollars, wheras the Amreican dollar was previously the ...
The Petro-Dollar and the EURO - Bush Stole 04
www.bushstole04.com/peakoil/petrodollar_and_the_euro.htm
The Petro-Dollar and the EURO ... combating radical Islamics, fulfilling prophecy and personal grudges between feuding criminal families and former business ...
Petrodollar: What You're Not Being Told About Saudi Arabia
pontiactribune.com › Foreign Policy › Middle East › U.S. News › World News
Jan 23, 2015 - George H. W. Bush said he was “deeply saddened to learn of the ... you please withdraw my assumed sympathy for the Saudi royal family.
Bush's Deep Reasons for War on Iraq: Oil, Petrodollars, and the OPEC ...
www.peterdalescott.net/iraq.html
May 27, 2003 - Bush's Deep Reasons for War on Iraq: Oil, Petrodollars, and the OPEC Euro ... Nor did Bush's State of the Union Message, or Colin Powell's ...





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*COPY/PASTE #4
The Glass-Steagall Act, also known as the Banking Act of 1933 (48 Stat. 162), was passed by Congress in 1933 and prohibits commercial banks from engaging in the investment business. It was enacted as an emergency response to the failure of nearly 5,000 banks during the Great Depression.

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*COPY/PASTE #5
Overview | OTC Derivatives | Regulatory Reform | Issues - sifma
www.sifma.org/...derivatives/ov...
Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association
Derivatives play an important role in the capital markets and broader ... helps them expand their lending and investment capabilities, fostering economic growth. ... Dodd-Frank's Title VII mandates regulators, including the Commodity Futures ...
Congress Passes Financial Reform Legislation Expanding Regulation ...
https://www.foley.com/congress-passes-financial-reform-legislation-e...
Foley & Lardner
Jul 22, 2010 - The historic Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer ... is important because it defines the expanded range of derivatives over which the ...
Energy Derivatives Under the Dodd-Frank Act | Skadden
https://www.skadden.com/.../energy-derivative...
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
Jul 22, 2010 - On July 21, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Dodd-Frank Wall Street ... The derivatives legislation set forth in Title VII of the Act (titled "Wall Street .... The Dodd-Frank Act significantly expands the CFTC's authority to ...
[PDF]Regulation of Over-the-Counter Derivatives Under the Dodd-Frank ...
https://www.skadden.com/.../FSR_A_Regulatio...
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
Under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer ..... expands the regulation of security-based swaps under the Securities Act and the Exchange Act.
Over-The-Counter Derivatives - Federal Reserve Bank of New York
https://www.newyorkfed.org/.../over-the-counter-...
Federal Reserve Bank of New York
Reforms in the U.S. are being carried out under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street ... Market participants commit to expand central clearing for OTC derivatives in a ...
Derivatives Regulation Five Years After Dodd-Frank - Latham & Watkins
https://www.lw.com/.../derivatives-regulation-after-dodd-frank
Latham & Watkins
Dec 2, 2015 - Derivatives Regulation Five Years After Dodd-Frank ... proposed rules, for example lessening collateral requirements, expanding the collateral ...
Implementing the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer - Sec
www.sec.gov/.../dodd-frank/accomplishme...
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
Implementing Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act — ... Corporate Governance & Disclosure; Credit Ratings; Derivatives; Diversity ..... property to missing securities holders: The proposed changes would expand a ...
Dodd-Frank Reforms Are Finally Paying Off | New Republic
https://newrepublic.com/.../dodd-frank-reforms-are-finally-paying
The New Republic
Jul 22, 2014 - As the Dodd-Frank financial reforms celebrate a fourth birthday this week, the story being ... oversaw the launch of the exchanges for trading derivatives. ... And as the CFTC expands to collect more data and make it public, the ...
Fixing the Dodd–Frank Derivatives Mess: Repeal Titles VII and VIII
www.heritage.org/.../fixing-the-doddfrank-derivatives-mess-...
The Heritage Foundation
Nov 16, 2015 - Fixing the Dodd–Frank Derivatives Mess: Repeal Titles VII and VIII ..... this “unwarranted expansion of the government safety net” be repealed.
PLC - Summary of the Dodd-Frank Act: Swaps and Derivatives
us.practicallaw.com/3-502-8950
Dodd-Frank
and Related Risk Capital Requirements for Derivatives Exposures .... Title VII expands the definition of "security" under both the Securities Act ...
The Campaign to Undermine Saudi Arabia and the US Dollar - The Dollar Vigilante
Saudi Arabia is much in the news these days for beheadings, crucifixions and varied whippings and stonings of young women and old men… and, at the same time, the UN has just added the Saudi ambassador to head up its Council on Human Rights! You really can’t make this stuff up! But, why these reports …
1 month ago - Via Reshared Post - View -
https://plus.google.com/104523926171727140060 Petia Ganeva : President Obama's National Security Strategy, released by the White House on Thursday, tackles a delicate...
President Obama's National Security Strategy, released by the White House on Thursday, tackles a delicate but unavoidable question: How do we respond to new and old security challenges in an era of financial distress at home and



a reordering of political power abroad?

America's military supremacy is certainly not at risk, new international arrangements - such as the shift from the G-7 club of powerful nations to the G-20, which incorporates emerging nations from China to Brazil - are needed so that the costs and benefits of a stable international order are shared. The United States cannot solve most global threats without others, nor should we bear the burden alone. Enter the National Security Strategy. In my experience, these congressionally mandated documents can easily become laborious and impenetrable, or mere compendiums of bureaucratic pleading from various parts of the government. (Make sure you do right by Japan! Don't step on the Pentagon!) The challenge, which President Clinton insisted upon to me and his other advisers, is to provide a strategic framework that is clarifying to the rest of the world and informs UNCLASSIFIED U.S. Department of State Case No. F-2014-20439 Doc No. C05776078 Date: 08/31/2015 administration decision makers up and down the line. It's not a blueprint for action, but a means to convey the president's principles and priorities.



global summit on securing nuclear material this spring, Obama has given new urgency and global purchase to the effort started in 1991 when Sens. Sam Nunn and Richard Lugar first initiated a program to lock down nuclear materials. On terrorism, the strategy builds on the past, but breaks with it as well. Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama each have deployed all of America's tools: military power, homeland defense, law enforcement, sanctions, intelligence and vigorous efforts to cut off terrorist financing. But the critical difference in the Obama strategy is that it rejects the Global War on Terror lens through which the prior administration viewed the challenge. "This is not a global war against a tactic - terrorism - or a religion - Islam," the new strategy says. "We are at war with a specific network, al-Qaeda and its terrorist affiliates." This sharper focus avoids alienating many in the Muslim world, ensures the support of key allies who never accepted the broader construct and avoids the overreactions that led us to forsake the fight against aI-Qaeda fight in Afghanistan and turn our efforts to the unrelated threat from Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

https://wikileaks.org/clinton-emails/emailid/117


China rand Russia don't belong to this bunch of global top terrorists
WikiLeaks - Hillary Clinton Email Archive
What is Tor? Tips for Sources After Submitting. This key's fingerprint is A04C 5E09 ED02 B328 03EB 6116 93ED 732E 9231 8DBA -----BEGIN PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK----- mQQNBFUoCGgBIADFLp+QonWyK8L6SPsNrnhwgfCxCk6OUHRIHReAsgAUXegpfg0b rsoHbeI5W9s5to/MUGwULHj59M6AvT+DS5rmrThgrND8Dt0dO+XW88bmTXHsFg9K ...
2 months ago - Via Google+ - View -
https://plus.google.com/106074712294334986874 Steve Killebrew : Has John Kerry forgotten what the "right" thing to do is?? The main point: In the end, investigations...
Has John Kerry forgotten what the "right" thing to do is??
The main point: In the end, investigations by government inspectors general corroborated Kerry’s 1989 findings and vindicated his effort. But the muted conclusion of the Contra-cocaine controversy 12 years after Kerry began his investigation explains why this chapter is an overlooked — though important — episode in Kerry’s Senate career. It’s a classic case of why, in Washington, there’s little honor in being right too soon. Yet it’s also a story about a senator who had the personal honor to do the right thing.
Now the Story...

How John Kerry exposed the Contra-cocaine scandal
Derided by the mainstream press and taking on Reagan at the height of his popularity, the freshman senator battled to reveal one of America's ugliest foreign policy secrets.
ROBERT PARRY
MONDAY, OCT 25, 2004 02:04 PM CDT

In December 1985, when Brian Barger and I wrote a groundbreaking story for the Associated Press about Nicaraguan Contra rebels smuggling cocaine into the United States, one U.S. senator put his political career on the line to follow up on our disturbing findings. His name was John Kerry.

Yet, over the past year, even as Kerry’s heroism as a young Navy officer in Vietnam has become a point of controversy, this act of political courage by a freshman senator has gone virtually unmentioned, even though — or perhaps because — it marked Kerry’s first challenge to the Bush family.

In early 1986, the 42-year-old Massachusetts Democrat stood almost alone in the U.S. Senate demanding answers about the emerging evidence that CIA-backed Contras were filling their coffers by collaborating with drug traffickers then flooding U.S. borders with cocaine from South America.

Kerry assigned members of his personal Senate staff to pursue the allegations. He also persuaded the Republican majority on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to request information from the Reagan-Bush administration about the alleged Contra drug traffickers.

In taking on the inquiry, Kerry challenged President Ronald Reagan at the height of his power, at a time he was calling the Contras the “moral equals of the Founding Fathers.” Kerry’s questions represented a particular embarrassment to Vice President George H.W. Bush, whose responsibilities included overseeing U.S. drug-interdiction policies.

Kerry took on the investigation though he didn’t have much support within his own party. By 1986, congressional Democrats had little stomach left for challenging the Reagan-Bush Contra war. Not only had Reagan won a historic landslide in 1984, amassing a record 54 million votes, but his conservative allies were targeting individual Democrats viewed as critical of the Contras fighting to oust Nicaragua’s leftist Sandinista government. Most Washington journalists were backing off, too, for fear of getting labeled “Sandinista apologists” or worse.

Kerry’s probe infuriated Reagan’s White House, which was pushing Congress to restore military funding for the Contras. Some in the administration also saw Kerry’s investigation as a threat to the secrecy surrounding the Contra supply operation, which was being run illegally by White House aide Oliver North and members of Bush’s vice presidential staff.

Through most of 1986, Kerry’s staff inquiry advanced against withering political fire. His investigators interviewed witnesses in Washington, contacted Contra sources in Miami and Costa Rica, and tried to make sense of sometimes convoluted stories of intrigue from the shadowy worlds of covert warfare and the drug trade.

Kerry’s chief Senate staff investigators were Ron Rosenblith, Jonathan Winer and Dick McCall. Rosenblith, a Massachusetts political strategist from Kerry’s victorious 1984 campaign, braved both political and personal risks as he traveled to Central America for face-to-face meetings with witnesses. Winer, a lawyer also from Massachusetts, charted the inquiry’s legal framework and mastered its complex details. McCall, an experienced congressional staffer, brought Capitol Hill savvy to the investigation.

Behind it all was Kerry, who combined a prosecutor’s sense for sniffing out criminality and a politician’s instinct for pushing the limits. The Kerry whom I met during this period was a complex man who balanced a rebellious idealism with a determination not to burn his bridges to the political establishment.

The Reagan administration did everything it could to thwart Kerry’s investigation, including attempting to discredit witnesses, stonewalling the Senate when it requested evidence and assigning the CIA to monitor Kerry’s probe. But it couldn’t stop Kerry and his investigators from discovering the explosive truth: that the Contra war was permeated with drug traffickers who gave the Contras money, weapons and equipment in exchange for help in smuggling cocaine into the United States. Even more damningly, Kerry found that U.S. government agencies knew about the Contra-drug connection, but turned a blind eye to the evidence in order to avoid undermining a top Reagan-Bush foreign policy initiative.

The Reagan administration’s tolerance and protection of this dark underbelly of the Contra war represented one of the most sordid scandals in the history of U.S. foreign policy. Yet when Kerry’s bombshell findings were released in 1989, they were greeted by the mainstream press with disdain and disinterest. The New York Times, which had long denigrated the Contra-drug allegations, buried the story of Kerry’s report on its inside pages, as did the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. For his tireless efforts, Kerry earned a reputation as a reckless investigator. Newsweek’s Conventional Wisdom Watch dubbed Kerry a “randy conspiracy buff.”

But almost a decade later, in 1998, Kerry’s trailblazing investigation was vindicated by the CIA’s own inspector general, who found that scores of Contra operatives were implicated in the cocaine trade and that U.S. agencies had looked the other way rather than reveal information that could have embarrassed the Reagan-Bush administration.

Even after the CIA’s admissions, the national press corps never fully corrected its earlier dismissive treatment. That would have meant the New York Times and other leading publications admitting they had bungled their coverage of one of the worst scandals of the Reagan-Bush era.

The warm and fuzzy glow that surrounded Ronald Reagan after he left office also discouraged clarification of the historical record. Taking a clear-eyed look at crimes inside Reagan’s Central American policies would have required a tough reassessment of the 40th president, which to this day the media has been unwilling to do. So this formative period of Kerry’s political evolution has remained nearly unknown to the American electorate.

Two decades later, it’s hard to recall the intensity of the administration’s support for the Contras. They were hailed as courageous front-line fighters, like the Mujahedin in Afghanistan, defending the free world from the Soviet empire. Reagan famously warned that Nicaragua was only “two days’ driving time from Harlingen, Texas.”

Yet, for years, Contra units had gone on bloody rampages through Nicaraguan border towns, raping women, torturing captives and executing civilian officials of the Sandinista government. In private, Reagan referred to the Contras as “vandals,” according to Duane Clarridge, the CIA officer in charge of the operation, in his memoir, “A Spy for All Seasons.” But in public, the Reagan administration attacked anyone who pointed out the Contras’ corruption and brutality.

The Contras also proved militarily inept, causing the CIA to intervene directly and engage in warlike acts, such as mining Nicaragua’s harbors. In 1984, these controversies caused the Congress to forbid U.S. military assistance to the Contras — the Boland Amendment — forcing the rebels to search for new funding sources.

Drug money became the easiest way to fill the depleted Contra coffers. The documentary evidence is now irrefutable that a number of Contra units both in Costa Rica and Honduras opened or deepened ties to Colombian cartels and other regional drug traffickers. The White House also scrambled to find other ways to keep the Contras afloat, turning to third countries, such as Saudi Arabia, and eventually to profits from clandestine arms sales to Iran.

The secrets began to seep out in the mid-1980s. In June 1985, as a reporter for the Associated Press, I wrote the first story mentioning Oliver North’s secret Contra supply operation. By that fall, my AP colleague Brian Barger and I stumbled onto evidence that some of the Contras were supplementing their income by helping traffickers transship cocaine through Central America. As we dug deeper, it became clear that the drug connection implicated nearly all the major Contra organizations.

The AP published our story about the Contra-cocaine evidence on Dec. 20, 1985, describing Contra units “engaged in cocaine smuggling, using some of the profits to finance their war against Nicaragua’s leftist government.” The story provoked little coverage elsewhere in the U.S. national press corps. But it pricked the interest of a newly elected U.S. senator, John Kerry. A former prosecutor, Kerry also heard about Contra law violations from a Miami-based federal public defender named John Mattes, who had been assigned a case that touched on Contra gunrunning. Mattes’ sister had worked for Kerry in Massachusetts.

By spring 1986, Kerry had begun a limited investigation deploying some of his personal staff in Washington. As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Kerry managed to gain some cooperation from the panel’s Republican leadership, partly because the “war on drugs” was then a major political issue. Besides looking into Contra drug trafficking, Kerry launched the first investigation into the allegations of weapons smuggling and misappropriation of U.S. government funds that were later exposed as part of North’s illegal operation to supply the Contras.

Kerry’s staff soon took an interest in a federal probe in Miami headed by assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Feldman. Talking to some of the same Contra supporters whom we had interviewed for the AP’s Contra-cocaine story, Feldman had pieced together the outlines of North’s secret network.

In a panicked memo dated April 7, 1986, one of North’s Costa Rican-based private operatives, Robert Owen, warned North that prosecutor Feldman had shown Ambassador Lewis Tambs “a diagram with your name underneath and John [Hull]’s underneath mine, then a line connecting the various resistance groups in C.R. [Costa Rica]. Feldman stated they were looking at the ‘big picture’ and not only looking at possible violations of the Neutrality Act, but a possible unauthorized use of government funds.” (For details, see my “Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press and ‘Project Truth.'”)

John Hull was an American farmer with a ranch in Costa Rica near the Nicaraguan border. According to witnesses, Contras had used Hull’s property for cocaine transshipments. (Hull was later accused of drug trafficking by Costa Rican authorities, but fled the country before facing trial. He returned to the United States.)

On April 10, 1986, Barger and I reported on the AP wire that the U.S. Attorney’s office in Miami was examining allegations of Contra gunrunning and drug trafficking. The AP story rattled nerves inside the Reagan administration. On an unrelated trip to Miami, Attorney General Edwin Meese pulled U.S. Attorney Leon Kellner aside and asked about the existence of this Contra probe.

Back in Washington, other major news organizations began to sniff around the Contra-cocaine story but mostly went off in wrong directions. On May 6, 1986, the New York Times relied for a story on information from Meese’s spokesman Patrick Korten, who claimed “various bits of information got referred to us. We ran them all down and didn’t find anything. It comes to nothing.”

But that wasn’t the truth. In Miami, Feldman and FBI agents were corroborating many of the allegations. On May 14, 1986, Feldman recommended to his superiors that the evidence of Contra crimes was strong enough to justify taking the case to a grand jury. U.S. Attorney Kellner agreed, scribbling on Feldman’s memo, “I concur that we have sufficient evidence to ask for a grand jury investigation.”

But on May 20, less than a week later, Kellner reversed that recommendation. Without telling Feldman, Kellner rewrote the memo to state that “a grand jury investigation at this point would represent a fishing expedition with little prospect that it would bear fruit.” Kellner signed Feldman’s name to the mixed-metaphor memo and sent it to Washington on June 3.

The revised “Feldman” memo was then circulated to congressional Republicans and leaked to conservative media, which used it to discredit Kerry’s investigation. The right-wing Washington Times denounced the probe as a wasteful political “witch hunt” in a June 12, 1986, article. “Kerry’s anti-Contra efforts extensive, expensive, in vain,” screamed the headline of a Washington Times article on Aug. 13, 1986.

Back in Miami, Kellner reassigned Feldman to unrelated far-flung investigations, including one to Thailand.

The altered memo was instrumental in steering Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Richard Lugar, R-Ind., away from holding hearings, Kerry’s later Contra-drug report, “Law Enforcement and Foreign Policy,” stated. “Material provided to the Committee by the Justice Department and distributed to members following an Executive Session June 26, 1986, wrongly suggested that the allegations that had been made were false,” the Kerry report said.

Feldman later testified to the Senate that he was told in 1986 that representatives of the Justice Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the FBI had met “to discuss how Senator Kerry’s efforts to get Lugar to hold hearings on the case could be undermined.”

Mattes, the federal public defender in Miami, watched as the administration ratcheted up pressure on Kerry’s investigation. “From a political point of view in May of ’86, Kerry had every reason to shut down his staff investigation,” Mattes said. “There was no upside for him doing it. We all felt under the gun to back off.”

The Kerry that Mattes witnessed at the time was the ex-prosecutor determined to get to the bottom of serious criminal allegations even if they implicated senior government officials. “As an investigator, he had a sense it was there,” said Mattes, who is now an investigative reporter for Fox News in San Diego. “Kerry was a crusader. He was the consummate outsider, doing what you expect people to do. … At no point did he flinch.”

Years later, in the National Archives, I discovered a document showing that the Central Intelligence Agency also was keeping tabs on Kerry’s investigation. Alan Fiers Jr., who served as the CIA’s Central American Task Force chief, told independent counsel Lawrence Walsh’s Iran-Contra investigators that the AP and Feldman’s investigations had attracted the hostility of the Reagan-Bush administration. Fiers said he “was also getting a dump on the Senator Kerry investigation about mercenary activity in Central America from the CIA’s legislative affairs people who were monitoring it.”

Negative publicity about the Contras was particularly unwelcome to the Reagan-Bush administration throughout the spring and summer 1986 as the White House battled to restore U.S. government funding to the Contras. In the politically heated atmosphere, the administration sought to smear anti-Contra witnesses cooperating with Kerry’s investigation.

In a July 28 memo, initialed as read by President Reagan, North labeled onetime Contra mercenary Jack Terrell as a “terrorist threat” because of his “anti-Contra and anti-U.S. activities.” North said Terrell had been cooperating “with various congressional staffs in preparing for hearings and inquiries regarding the role of U.S. government officials in illegally supporting the Nicaraguan resistance.”

In August 1986, FBI and Secret Service agents hauled Terrell in for two days of polygraph examinations on suspicion that Terrell intended to assassinate President Reagan, an allegation that proved baseless. But Terrell told me later that the investigation had chilled his readiness to testify about the Contras. “It burned me up,” he said. “The pressure was always there.”

Beyond intimidating some witnesses, the Reagan administration systematically worked to frustrate Kerry’s investigation. Years later, one of Kerry’s investigators, Jack Blum, complained publicly that the Justice Department had actively obstructed the congressional probe. Blum said William Weld, who took over as assistant attorney general in charge of the criminal division in September 1986, was an “absolute stonewall” blocking the Senate’s access to evidence on Contra-cocaine smuggling. “Weld put a very serious block on any effort we made to get information,” Blum told the Senate Intelligence Committee a decade after the events. “There were stalls. There were refusals to talk to us, refusals to turn over data.”

Weld, who later became Massachusetts governor and lost to Kerry in the 1996 Senate race, denied that he had obstructed Kerry’s Contra probe. But it was clear that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was encountering delays in getting information that had been requested by Chairman Lugar, a Republican, and Rhode Island Sen. Claiborne Pell, the ranking Democrat. At Kerry’s suggestion, they had sought files on more than two dozen people linked to the Contra operations and suspected of drug trafficking.

Inside the Justice Department, senior career investigators grew concerned about the administration’s failure to turn over the requested information. “I was concerned that we were not responding to what was obviously a legitimate congressional request,” Mark Richard, one of Weld’s top deputies, testified in a deposition. “We were not refusing to respond in giving explanations or justifications for it. We were seemingly just stonewalling what was a continuing barrage of requests for information. That concerned me no end.”

On Sept. 26, 1986, Kerry tried to spur action by presenting Weld with an 11-page “proffer” statement from a 31-year-old FBI informant who had worked with the Medellin cartel and had become a witness on cartel activities. The woman, Wanda Palacio, had approached Kerry with an account about Colombian cocaine kingpin Jorge Ochoa bragging about payments he had made to the Nicaraguan Contras.

As part of this Contra connection, Palacio said pilots for a CIA-connected airline, Southern Air Transport, were flying cocaine out of Barranquilla, Colombia. She said she had witnessed two such flights, one in 1983 and the other in October 1985, and quoted Ochoa saying the flights were part of an arrangement to exchange “drugs for guns.”

According to contemporaneous notes of this “proffer” meeting between Weld and Kerry, Weld chuckled that he was not surprised at allegations about corrupt dealings by “bum agents, former and current CIA agents.” He promised to give serious consideration to Palacio’s allegations.

After Kerry left Weld’s office, however, the Justice Department seemed to concentrate on poking holes in Palacio’s account, not trying to corroborate it. Though Palacio had been considered credible in her earlier testimony to the FBI, she was judged to lack credibility when she made accusations about the Contras and the CIA.

On Oct. 3, 1986, Weld’s office told Kerry that it was rejecting Palacio as a witness on the grounds that there were some contradictions in her testimony. The discrepancies apparently related to such minor points as which month she had first talked with the FBI.

Two days after Weld rejected Palacio’s Contra-cocaine testimony, other secrets about the White House’s covert Contra support operations suddenly crashed –literally — into view.

On Oct. 5, a quiet Sunday morning, an aging C-123 cargo plane rumbled over the skies of Nicaragua preparing to drop AK-47 rifles and other equipment to Contra units in the jungle below. Since the Reagan administration had recently won congressional approval for renewed CIA military aid to the Contras, the flight was to be one of the last by Oliver North’s ragtag air force.

The plane, however, attracted the attention of a teenage Sandinista soldier armed with a shoulder-fired surface-to-air missile. He aimed, pulled the trigger and watched as the Soviet-made missile made a direct hit on the aircraft. Inside, cargo handler Eugene Hasenfus, an American mercenary working with the Contras, was knocked to the floor, but managed to crawl to an open door, push himself through, and parachute to the ground, where he was captured by Sandinista forces. The pilot and other crew members died in the crash.

As word spread about the plane crash, Barger — who had left the AP and was working for a CBS News show — persuaded me to join him on a trip to Nicaragua with the goal of getting an interview with Hasenfus, who turned out to be an unemployed Wisconsin construction worker and onetime CIA cargo handler. Hasenfus told a press conference in Managua that the Contra supply operation was run by CIA officers working with the office of Vice President George Bush. Administration officials, including Bush, denied any involvement with the downed plane.

Our hopes for an interview with Hasenfus didn’t work out, but Sandinista officials did let us examine the flight records and other documents they had recovered from the plane. As Barger talked with a senior Nicaraguan officer, I hastily copied down the entries from copilot Wallace “Buzz” Sawyer’s flight logs. The logs listed hundreds of flights with the airports identified only by their four-letter international codes and the planes designated by tail numbers.

Upon returning to Washington, I began deciphering Wallace’s travels and matching the tail numbers with their registered owners. Though Wallace’s flights included trips to Africa and landings at U.S. military bases in the West, most of his entries were for flights in Central and South America.

Meanwhile, in Kerry’s Senate office, witness Wanda Palacio was waiting for a meeting when she noticed Sawyer’s photo flashing on a TV screen. Palacio began insisting that Sawyer was one of the pilots whom she had witnessed loading cocaine onto a Southern Air Transport plane in Barranquilla, Colombia, in early October 1985. Her identification of Sawyer struck some of Kerry’s aides as a bit too convenient, causing them to have their own doubts about her credibility.

Though I was unaware of Palacio’s claims at the time, I pressed ahead with the AP story on Sawyer’s travels. In the last paragraph of the article, I noted that Sawyer’s logs revealed that he had piloted a Southern Air Transport plane on three flights to Barranquilla on Oct. 2, 4, and 6, 1985. The story ran on Oct. 17, 1986.

Shortly after the article moved on the AP wires, I received a phone call from Rosenblith at Kerry’s office. Sounding shocked, the Kerry investigator asked for more details about the last paragraph of the story, but he wouldn’t say why he wanted to know. Only months later did I discover that the AP story on Sawyer’s logs had provided unintentional corroboration for Palacio’s Contra-drug allegations.

Palacio also passed a polygraph exam on her statements. But Weld and the Justice Department still refused to accept her testimony as credible. (Even a decade later, when I asked the then-Massachusetts governor about Palacio, Weld likened her credibility to “a wagon load of diseased blankets.”)

In fall 1986, Weld’s criminal division continued to withhold Contra-drug information requested by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. According to Justice Department records, Lugar and Pell — two of the Senate’s most gentlemanly members — wrote on Oct. 14 that they had been waiting more than two months for information that the Justice Department had promised “in an expeditious manner.”

“To date, no information has been received and the investigation of allegations by the committee, therefore, has not moved very far,” Lugar and Pell wrote in a joint letter. “We’re disappointed that the Department has not responded in a timely fashion and indeed has not provided any materials.”

On Nov. 25, 1986, the Iran-Contra scandal was officially born when Attorney General Edwin Meese announced that profits from secret U.S. arms sales to Iran had been diverted to help fund the Nicaraguan Contras.

The Washington press corps scrambled to get a handle on the dramatic story of clandestine operations, but still resisted the allegations that the administration’s zeal had spilled over into sanctioning or tolerating Contra-connected drug trafficking.

Though John Kerry’s early warnings about White House-aided Contra gunrunning had proved out, his accusations about Contra drug smuggling would continue to be rejected by much of the press corps as going too far.

On Jan. 21, 1987, the conservative Washington Times attacked Kerry’s Contra-drug investigation again; his alleged offense this time was obstructing justice because his probe was supposedly interfering with the Reagan administration’s determination to get at the truth. “Kerry’s staffers damaged FBI probe,” the Times headline read.

“Congressional investigators for Sen. John Kerry severely damaged a federal drug investigation last summer by interfering with a witness while pursuing allegations of drug smuggling by the Nicaraguan resistance, federal law enforcement officials said,” according to the Times article.

The mainstream press continued to publish stories that denigrated Kerry’s investigation. On Feb. 24, 1987, a New York Times article by reporter Keith Schneider quoted “law enforcement officials” saying that the Contra allegations “have come from a small group of convicted drug traffickers in South Florida who never mentioned Contras or the White House until the Iran-Contra affair broke in November.”

The drift of the article made Kerry out to be something of a dupe. His Contra-cocaine witnesses were depicted as simply convicts trying to get lighter prison sentences by embroidering false allegations onto the Iran-Contra scandal. But the information in the Times story was patently untrue. The AP Contra-cocaine story had run in December 1985, almost a year before the Iran-Contra story broke.

When New York Times reporters conducted their own interview with Palacio, she immediately sensed their hostility. In her Senate deposition, Palacio described her experience at the Times office in Miami. She said Schneider and a “Cuban man” rudely questioned her story and bullied her about specific evidence for each of her statements. The Cuban man “was talking to me kind of nasty,” Palacio recalled. “I got up and left, and this man got all pissed off, Keith Schneider.”

The parameters for a “responsible” Iran-Contra investigation were being set. On July 16, 1987, the New York Times published another story that seemed to discredit the Contra-drug charges. It reported that except for a few convicted drug smugglers from Miami, the Contra-cocaine “charges have not been verified by any other people and have been vigorously denied by several government agencies.”

Four days later, the Times added that “investigators, including reporters from major news outlets, have tried without success to find proof of … allegations that military supplies may have been paid for with profits from drug smuggling.” (The Times was inaccurate again. The original AP story had cited a CIA report describing the Contras buying a helicopter with drug money.)

The joint Senate-House Iran-Contra committee averted its eyes from the Contra-cocaine allegations. The only time the issue was raised publicly was when a demonstrator interrupted one hearing by shouting, “Ask about the cocaine.” Kerry was excluded from the investigation.

On July 27, 1987, behind the scenes, committee staff investigator Robert A. Bermingham echoed the New York Times. “Hundreds of persons” had been questioned, he said, and vast numbers of government files reviewed, but no “corroboration of media-exploited allegations of U.S. government-condoned drug trafficking by Contra leaders or Contra organizations” was found. The report, however, listed no names of any interview subjects nor any details about the files examined.

Bermingham’s conclusions conflicted with closed-door Iran-Contra testimony from administration insiders. In a classified deposition to the congressional Iran-Contra committees, senior CIA officer Alan Fiers said, “with respect to [drug trafficking by] the Resistance Forces [the Contras] it is not a couple of people. It is a lot of people.”

Despite official denials and press hostility, Kerry and his investigators pressed ahead. In 1987, with the arrival of a Democratic majority in the Senate, Kerry also became chairman of the Senate subcommittee on terrorism, narcotics and international operations. He used that position to pry loose the facts proving that the official denials were wrong and that Contra units were involved in the drug trade.

Kerry’s report was issued two years later, on April 13, 1989. Its stunning conclusion: “On the basis of the evidence, it is clear that individuals who provided support for the Contras were involved in drug trafficking, the supply network of the Contras was used by drug trafficking organizations, and elements of the Contras themselves knowingly received financial and material assistance from drug traffickers. In each case, one or another agency of the U.S. government had information regarding the involvement either while it was occurring, or immediately thereafter.”

The report discovered that drug traffickers gave the Contras “cash, weapons, planes, pilots, air supply services and other materials.” Moreover, the U.S. State Department had paid some drug traffickers as part of a program to fly non-lethal assistance to the Contras. Some payments occurred “after the traffickers had been indicted by federal law enforcement agencies on drug charges, in others while traffickers were under active investigation by these same agencies.”

Although Kerry’s findings represented the first time a congressional report explicitly accused federal agencies of willful collaboration with drug traffickers, the major news organizations chose to bury the startling findings. Instead of front-page treatment, the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times all wrote brief accounts and stuck them deep inside their papers. The New York Times article, only 850 words long, landed on Page 8. The Post placed its story on A20. The Los Angeles Times found space on Page 11.

One of the best-read political reference books, the Almanac of American Politics, gave this account of Kerry’s investigation in its 1992 edition: “In search of right-wing villains and complicit Americans, [Kerry] tried to link Nicaraguan Contras to the drug trade, without turning up much credible evidence.”

Thus, Kerry’s reward for his strenuous and successful efforts to get to the bottom of a difficult case of high-level government corruption was to be largely ignored by the mainstream press and even have his reputation besmirched.

But the Contra-cocaine story didn’t entirely go away. In 1991, in the trial of former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega for drug trafficking, federal prosecutors called as a witness Medellin cartel kingpin Carlos Lehder, who testified that the Medellin cartel had given $10 million to the Contras, a claim that one of Kerry’s witnesses had made years earlier. “The Kerry hearings didn’t get the attention they deserved at the time,” a Washington Post editorial on Nov. 27, 1991 acknowledged. “The Noriega trial brings this sordid aspect of the Nicaraguan engagement to fresh public attention.”

Kerry’s vindication in the Contra drug case did not come until 1998, when inspectors general at the CIA and Justice Department reviewed their files in connection with allegations published by the San Jose Mercury News that the Contra-cocaine pipeline had contributed to the crack epidemic that ravaged inner-city neighborhoods in the 1980s. (Ironically, the major national newspapers only saw fit to put the Contra-cocaine story on their front pages in criticizing the Mercury News and its reporter Gary Webb for taking the allegations too far.)

On Oct. 4, 1996, the Washington Post published a front-page story, with two more pages inside, that was critical of the Mercury News. But while accusing the Mercury News of exaggerating, the Post noted that Contra-connected drug smugglers had brought tons of cocaine into the United States. “Even CIA personnel testified to Congress they knew that those covert operations involved drug traffickers,” the Post reported.

A Post editorial on Oct. 9, 1996, reprised the newspaper’s assessment that the Mercury News had overreached, but added that for “CIA-connected characters to have played even a trivial role in introducing Americans to crack would indicate an unconscionable breach by the CIA.”

In the months that followed, the major newspapers — including the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times — joined the Post in criticizing the Mercury News while downplaying their own inattention to the crimes that Kerry had illuminated a decade earlier. The Los Angeles Times actually used Kerry’s report to dismiss the Mercury News series as old news because the Contra cocaine trafficking “has been well documented for years.”

While the major newspapers gloated when reporter Gary Webb was forced to resign from the Mercury News, the internal government investigations, which Webb’s series had sparked, moved forward. The government’s decade-long Contra cocaine cover-up began to crumble when CIA inspector general Frederick Hitz published the first of two volumes of his Contra cocaine investigation on Jan. 29, 1998, followed by a Justice Department report and Hitz’s second volume in October 1998.

The CIA inspector general and Justice Department reports confirmed that the Reagan administration knew from almost the outset of the Contra war that cocaine traffickers permeated the CIA-backed army but the administration did next to nothing to expose or stop these criminals. The reports revealed example after example of leads not followed, witnesses disparaged and official law-enforcement investigations sabotaged. The evidence indicated that Contra-connected smugglers included the Medellin cartel, the Panamanian government of Manuel Noriega, the Honduran military, the Honduran-Mexican smuggling ring of Ramon Matta Ballesteros, and Miami-based anti-Castro Cubans.

Reviewing evidence that existed in the 1980s, CIA inspector general Hitz found that some Contra-connected drug traffickers worked directly for Reagan’s National Security Council staff and the CIA. In 1987, Cuban-American Bay of Pigs veteran Moises Nunez told CIA investigators that “it was difficult to answer questions relating to his involvement in narcotics trafficking because of the specific tasks he had performed at the direction of the NSC.”

CIA task force chief Fiers said the Nunez-NSC drug lead was not pursued then “because of the NSC connection and the possibility that this could be somehow connected to the Private Benefactor program [Oliver North’s fundraising]. A decision was made not to pursue this matter.”

Another Cuban-American who had attracted Kerry’s interest was Felipe Vidal, who had a criminal record as a narcotics trafficker in the 1970s. But the CIA still hired him to serve as a logistics officer for the Contras and covered up for him when the agency learned that he was collaborating with known traffickers to raise money for the Contras, the Hitz report showed. Fiers had briefed Kerry about Vidal on Oct. 15, 1986, without mentioning Vidal’s drug arrests and conviction in the 1970s.

Hitz found that a chief reason for the CIA’s protective handling of Contra-drug evidence was Langley’s “one overriding priority: to oust the Sandinista government … [CIA officers] were determined that the various difficulties they encountered not be allowed to prevent effective implementation of the Contra program.”

According to Hitz’s report, one CIA field officer explained, “The focus was to get the job done, get the support and win the war.”

This pattern of obstruction occurred while Vice President Bush was in charge of stanching the flow of drugs to the United States. Kerry made himself a pest by demanding answers to troubling questions.

“He wanted to get to the bottom of something so dark,” former public defender Mattes told me. “Nobody could imagine it was so dark.”

In the end, investigations by government inspectors general corroborated Kerry’s 1989 findings and vindicated his effort. But the muted conclusion of the Contra-cocaine controversy 12 years after Kerry began his investigation explains why this chapter is an overlooked — though important — episode in Kerry’s Senate career. It’s a classic case of why, in Washington, there’s little honor in being right too soon. Yet it’s also a story about a senator who had the personal honor to do the right thing.

Robert Parry, a winner of the Polk Award for National Reporting, is editor of iF Magazine (a print publication) and Consortiumnews.com.

How John Kerry exposed the Contra-cocaine scandal
Derided by the mainstream press and taking on Reagan at the height of his popularity, the freshman senator battled to reveal one of America's ugliest foreign policy secrets.
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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.
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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.
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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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https://plus.google.com/113019371982650273724 Redd Williams : BLACK PEOPLE WHO INSPIRED A GENERATION OF BLACK'S B Barack Obama Biography U.S. President, Lawyer, U.S...
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
ZODIAC SIGN
Leo
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
VIDEOS
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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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GALLERY
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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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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.
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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
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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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