It is not even June of 2015; the 2016 election is almost a year and a half away. Yet already there is so much smoke—but no smoking guns! Well, no new ones, anyway—around Hillary Clinton’s conduct, finances and character that it would have any major city’s fire department speeding to the source in panic. Her conduct as First Lady placed political expediency above common decency; her financial machinations were never fully unraveled but had the smell of a scam. She became Senator via nepotism rather than merit; she was made Secretary of State in a political deal. In that role, she engineered the fiasco in Libya, a “re-set” with Russia that backfired, and generally left fingerprints all over Obama’s epically failed foreign policy, including the disastrous withdrawal from Iraq.
The nation learned that she violated both her own agency’s policies and national security protocols to control her e-mails, then dumped 30,000 of them before they could be independently examined and subpoenaed by Congress. Her explanations for this ranged from ridiculous to untrue. She violated her deal with both Congress and the Obama Administration regarding accepting contributions to the Clinton Foundation from foreign governments, and attempted to use a Canadian affiliate to cover up some of them. Objective observers regard the Foundation as a huge Clinton Family advancement slush fund and a likely influence-peddling, quid pro quo device, though an uncommonly clever one. The Foundation itself has failed to meet non-profit best practices, and is regarded with suspicion in the non-profit sector by those who monitor charities. Meanwhile, the outrageous speaking fees raked in by both Clintons appear to be naked greed at best—taking scarce money, for example, for speaking to colleges in financial distress—and thinly veiled, plausibly deniable bribery at worst.
Every week–day?— brings more. Yesterday, we learned that shady Clinton advisor Sidney Blumenthal, whom the Obama Administration refused to allow Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to hire because, well, he is shady, was paid $10,000 a month by the Clinton Foundation to advise her informally on Libya. Foul. The Clinton Foundation is a non-profit charity and operating foundation that supposedly…
“convenes businesses, governments, NGOs, and individuals to improve global health and wellness, increase opportunity for women and girls, reduce childhood obesity, create economic opportunity and growth, and help communities address the effects of climate change”
…not one that “collects tax-deductible contributions under false pretenses so cronies of the Clintons can be paid stipends for work that has nothing to do with the Foundation’s mission.”
In Politico Magazine, one of the most dishonest and relentless of Clinton spinmeisters from the old days, perpetually angry Joe Conason, declares this another “Fake Clinton Scandal,” saying that it “will fail to turn up any real wrongdoing.” Real wrongdoing to corrupt hacks like Conason must require dead bodies and smuggled state secrets. In the non-profit field, Joe, where I have frequently worked since 1975, a non-profit organization that uses charitable funds for non-charitible purposes and either misleads donors to give money that ends up in the pockets of board members’ pals, or that lets donors pretend money is intended for charity when they know it is ticketed for something else is engaging in “real wrongdoing,” big time, and maybe even fraud. This has been the Clintons’ supposed occupation for years.
Glad I could clear that up for you, and incidentally, Joe, you are beneath contempt. How do you live with yourself?
Right before learning about Sid, we found out that Bill Clinton maintains a shell corporation that allows Hillary to legally omit reporting its activities, since it passes through money to other sources. Thus we do not know how much money Bill Clinton was paid for speeches and mysterious “consulting contracts” from corporations and foreign governments. This is the same device that Democrats attacked Mitt Romney for employing in 2012. We also learned that Clinton Foundation donors got sweetheart weapons deals approved by the Clinton State Department:
“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.”
All a coincidence, I’m sure, right, Joe? No real wrongdoing. Actually, this is a conflict of interest and the appearance of impropriety, which is why Congress and the Obama Administration extracted a promise from Mrs. Clinton that the Foundation wouldn’t be accepting such “gifts.” Conflicts of interest and the appearance of impropriety are wrongdoing, as in unethical.
But then so is breaking express promises to Congress made under oath.
And, what’s this? The Clinton Foundation’s money-grubbing paws were also in on the financial shenanigans of FIFA, the international soccer organization, now at the center of a massive bribery investigation and prosecution.
“Unless the Clintons return foreign donations, divorce themselves from the charity, and allow an independent review of relevant State Department email, the drip, drip, drip of these stories will become a deluge of mistrust.”
WILL become? Will? Why in the world would anyone in their right mind trust Hillary Clinton? One poll recently found that only 25% of the public thought she was honest, which I found stunning: imagine, a quarter of the country is illiterate, brain-damaged, or hasn’t paid attention to the news since 1988!
All of which adds up to this question: What is the Democratic Party today? What does it mean to be a Democrat? Aren’t both parties dedicated to seeking what is best for the United States of America, as they sincerely see it? Are they not obligated to identify and support men or women of skill, patriotism, honesty, courage and good character to lead the nation in war and peace, who can gain the public’s trust, deserve that trust, and make every citizen proud, confident, and full of hope?
Or is the Democratic Party today nothing but a corrupt, cynical, fraudulent organization that is willing to compromise the ideals of the nation, its security and future, in order to enrich its members and benefit its supporters, using any means necessary, as the United States declines, abandons its principles, and is finally looted and rotted into a shadow of what once seemed its destiny?
If the latter description of the party is not accurate, and I cannot express how intensely I hope it is not, then how can the Democratic Party’s leadership, members and supporters possibly allow Hillary Clinton to stand as its candidate for President in 2016, at this crucial time in its history? For to do so cannot be reasonably interpreted as anything but a grand betrayal of the nation, its people, its legacy, principles and meaning to the world.
Pointer and Source: James Taranto