Here’s a simple, printable list of companies that use Monsanto products. By avoiding products made by companies on this list, you can help ensure your money isn’t going to Monsanto and also watch out for the health of your family and yourself.If you wish to print, simply click on the list and choose “Print” from your browser’s menu (or press CTRL+P/CMD+P).
Depot should remove these plants. Who would think that our houseplants
could be treated with toxic neonicotinoid insecticides that have been
banned in Europe and implicated in mass bee die-offs? The EPA is not
protecting us. Not good for the bees and not good for us. If you see
this label on houseplants or garden plants, DO NOT BUY. And tell Home
Depot to ban neonic-treated plants and flowers from their nurseries.
its walls papered with Hillary Clinton signs and the seats carefully
arranged for the Hillary for America ribbon-cutting, it was hard to tell
where the Democratic Party’s office ended and the Clinton office began.
There were a few signs referencing Obama and the Affordable Care Act,
but as far as I could tell, there weren’t any that mentioned the two
other Democrats running for president.” reporter Pete Voelker http://usuncut.com/politics/debbie-wasserman-schultz-hillary-clinton/
KKK Grand Dragon endorses Hillary Clinton for president
Published March 15, 2016
Hillary Clinton is working hard to consolidate support during a tougher-than-expected Democratic primary, but there’s one backer she may wish to back away from: a Ku Klux Klan grand dragon.
“We want Hillary Clinton to win,” Will Quigg, the grand dragon of the KKK’s California chapter, said during an interview with The Telegraph.
Republican frontrunner Donald Trump was recently criticized for a perceived reticence to disavow the endorsement of former KKK leader David Duke. Trump has since clearly disavowed Duke’s vote of confidence. Clinton has yet to be asked about Quigg’s endorsement.
Quigg bases his support on his belief that Clinton is pushing false promises on the campaign trail. Once she gets elected, he contends, her agenda will completely shift.
“Border policies are going to be put in place,” Quigg said. “Our second amendment rights that she’s saying she’s against now, she’s not against. She’s just our choice for the presidency.”
He supported Trump as recently as September, tweeting that Trump was “the only hope we have of getting WHITE AMERICA BACK!”
Now, Quigg cites a litany of reasons why his support for Trump has waned.
“We don’t like his hair. We think it’s a toupee,” Quigg said. “He won’t do what he says he will do. He says he’s going to build a 20-foot high fence along the border with Mexico and make them pay. How’s he going to do that?”
And how does Quigg know about Clinton’s supposed secret KKK-friendly agenda?
“I cannot reveal my sources,” he said. “It’s my opinion – if you know what I mean, wink, wink. I don’t want her to come back and say I’m slandering her.”
Cheney did not say outright that Clinton would be a better president, but thought it was a likely possibility and suggested she might have been “easier to work with” than President Obama.
I have the sense that she’s one of the more competent members of the current administration, and it would be interesting to speculate about how she might perform if she’d be president… but I don’t want to be in the position where I’m supporting Hillary Clinton. That might be the kiss of death for her.
The vice president said he wouldn’t discourage Clinton from running, but insisted his support would be firmly behind the Republican nominee. However, Wallace pointed out that when current GOP frontrunner Rick Perry ran for reelection last year in the Texas governor’s race, Cheney threw his support to Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison instead.
Cheney clarified that he has not officially thrown his support by any one candidate yet, before explaining that his endorsement of Hutchison was not meant to be a slight to Perry, but rather as a testament to his close relationship with the senator.
THIS IS THE MAN! I tell you of all the current Wicasa Wakan, THIS IS THE ONE!
He Is The ONE Who Walks His Talk.....
He's the One fighting for the people, the rez, & the continuance of the ways.
He has the "cleanest" Sundance....... No bullshit, no disrespect, CLEAN, like the old traditional guys....
He is my Sister's 1/2-side's Uncle......
He teaches the same things as Wallace!
Dave Swallow, Jr. was born and raised near Wounded Knee, SD on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and is a member of the Teton Lakota Nation, the band of Crazy Horse. He was taught the ancient Lakota ways by his Grandparents and is recognized by his own people, both on and off the reservation, as a Spiritual Leader and Sundance intercessor. He travels to teach about the sacredness of Mother Earth and to bring about awareness of the situation of his people back on the reservation.
David is fluent in his language, history, and of the treaties which were made and broken with the U.S. government. To sit with him as he sings these sacred songs and tells the stories of how the ceremonies, designs of the bead and quill work, and habits of everyday life came about will bring a smile to your heart and a compassion for a people in exile on the reservations. This exile places an impact on ceremonial responsibilities that do not have a place in modern political systems. In the Lakota way of living, ceremony and ritual is performed as a condition of living in a place. Their culture, which is a critical element for their survival as a people, is in great jeopardy of being lost completely.
When people are placed in the reservation systems, they are thrust into a barren place where they have to abandon former knowledge of this world. Through Lakota ceremony one learns of the stewardship and not ownership of the land, he learns humility and faith and comprehends the transcendent nature of reality and is initiated into the mysteries of the higher world. Dave will speak on the power of these traditional ceremonies and the importance of honoring these ceremonies in the way they were given by the spirit world.
Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton has received more campaign cash from drug companies than any candidate in either party, even as she proudly declares the industry is one of her biggest enemies.
Clinton accepted $164,315 in the first six months of the campaign from drug companies, far more than the rest of the 2016 field, according to an analysis by Stat News.
Cash from drug companies poured in despite Clinton’s tough public stance on the industry. Last month, she unveiled a plan to combat rising drug prices by clamping down on the rules for pharmaceuticals. In last week’s Democratic debate, she listed off drug companies among the enemies she is most proud to have made in politics.
Clinton has taken a harder stance on drug companies than any other candidate besides Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who has also skewered “Big Pharma” as he seeks the Democratic nomination.
This week, Sanders rejected a $2,700 contribution from Martin Shkreli, the now-infamous CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, which hiked prices for a life-saving drug by 4,000 percent overnight.
Among Republicans, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) took in the most at $96,045, followed by $52,430 to Sen Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and $50,700 to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
In 2009, the South African government announced a major energy plan to construct two new coal-fired power stations. The project, which aimed at building the world’s largest coal plants, came under intense criticism by various governments and climate activists, who saw it as a disastrous blow to the fight against climate change.
Yet newly released emails from presidential candidate Hillary Clinton during her time as Secretary of State, reveal that she acted in support of a World Bank loan for the construction of one of the plants.
Furthermore, a DeSmog investigation finds that the other plant, which received funding from a US government agency led by a close Clinton ally and fundraiser, is being built by an American construction firm tied to another associate of the former Secretary.
These actions seem contrary to Clinton’s tough campaign talk on curbing CO2 emissions and investing in renewable energy. They also raise new questions about Clinton's ties to the revolving door lobbying culture that connects major corporations to top officials in Washington, DC.
The Medupi Plant and World Bank Loan
Following a series of blackouts in 2008 and fears of system incapacity for the upcoming 2010 World Cup, South Africa unveiled in 2009 a plan to increase power generation. Through its state-owned utility, Eskom, the government planned to construct two massive coal-fired power plants.
Located only 50 miles apart in the country’s northeast, the plants – named Medupi and Kusile – were set to each emit a staggering 25 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere a year.
To help finance the Medupi plant, the South African government turned to The World Bank, requesting a $3.5 billion loan. The loan application, coming around the time of the COP15 Copenhagen climate summit, generated an outcry from governments and activists in South Africa and beyond.
To counter the backlash, South Africa lobbied World Bank officials and sought to gain the support of the US government. A series of diplomatic cables from then-US ambassador to South Africa to Washington reveal a number of quiet efforts to persuade the US government to support the loan. The cables, released by Wikileaks, were written in the latter part of 2009 and early 2010, leading up to the decisive vote on the loan in April 2010.
In the cables, Ambassador Donald Gips provided the State Department with background information on the energy project and outlined some of the major environmental and economic concerns surrounding the project. Gips stated that he met with the World Bank team in South Africa, who confidentially shared with him the specifics of the government’s plan. Gips asked that this detail be “protected” by recipients of the cable.
In another cable, Gips discussed a South African government-sponsored tour of the Medupi site for foreign diplomats, which included the US embassy’s Deputy Chief of Mission. A month later, Gips met with Eskom’s acting Chairperson, Mpho Makwana.
In late March 2010, only days before the crucial vote at the World Bank, lobbying efforts by the South African government intensified.
According to newly released Clinton emails, the South African foreign minister contacted the State Department requesting to speak with the Secretary on the phone. The emails state that the minister was specifically seeking the US government’s “support” for the loan.
An email chain ensued involving Clinton, several of her close aides, and a number of high-ranking officials. It culminated with Clinton speaking with the foreign minister the following day. Though parts of the email chain were redacted, it is still possible to make out some important points.
On March 31st, 2011, Johnnie Carson, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, first sent a message to Jacob Sullivan, Clinton’s Deputy Chief of Staff, relaying the request from the South African Foreign Minister, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane. After some back-and-forth between Carson, Sullivan and Huma Abedin, another close Clinton aide, on the scheduling of the call, Sullivan told Abedin he has spoken to US Ambassador Gips.
Sullivan reported heavy “traffic” at the embassy, meaning a large volume of communication between the US and the South African government, saying that the embassy’s Deputy Chief of Mission, Helen La Line, has been “frenetically engaged with the South African MFA [Ministry of Foreign Affairs].” Sullivan added, “Hormats and Lew are negotiating with the Treasury,” referring to Robert Hormats, then Under Secretary of State for Economic, Business, and Agricultural Affairs, and Jack Lew, at the time Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources.
On the following day, Secretary Clinton joined the email chain, asking “Who is acting for So Africans in response to our mitigation concerns?”, to which Sullivan replied “Their Minister of Finance is their lead interlocutor.”
Two hours later, Clinton wrote to Sullivan again, updating that she has now talked to South Africa’s Foreign Minister. Clinton said: “she made the point that Zuma [several words then redacted] and they intend to use variety of energy sources in the future but this project is essential to deliver electricity – which I think our experts agree is right.” [Emphasis added].“Zuma,” of course, is Jacob Zuma, the President of South Africa.
The closing sentence of the message is redacted.
Seven days later, The World Bank approved the huge loan. The United States, along with the UK and Holland, abstained during the vote.
Climate activists blasted the Work Bank for the loan, but many also criticized the US for abstaining rather than trying to block the decision.
“I am not going to give them points for abstaining. This was totally the easy way out,” said Karen Ornstein of Friends of the Earth. “If the US were to follow its own clean coal guidance for multilateral development banks it would have had to vote no on this loan.”
The Kusile Plant Decision
To construct the Kusile coal plant, South Africa sought a different funding route, now eyeing private capital.
To this end, in 2010 Eskom solicited its main contractor for the plant, Kansas City-based infrastructure engineering and construction company Black & Veatch to apply for financing from the US Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank). As an independent government agency, the bank invests in projects that guarantee the employment of American workers and suppliers.
In April 2011, the Ex-Im Bank approved the $850 million loan for the Kusile plant — again to the great dismay of environmentalists. The decision came despite more than 7,500 public comments in opposition to the project. Activists were baffled as to why the governmental bank approved the loan for the controversial project.
Black & Veatch Director Parties with Hillary Clinton
One of Black & Veatch’s directors, Harold (“H.P.”) Goldfield, wears several other important hats.
A veteran Washington insider, Goldfield is a former Reagan-era administrator and ex-director at the Ex-Im Bank. He is currently the vice chair of Albright Stonebridge, the lobbying and advising firm of longtime Clintonite and former Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright. Goldfield is also a Senior International Affairs Advisor at the international law firm Hogan Lovells. One of the firm’s Partners, Howard Topaz, is Bill and Hillary Clinton’s personal tax advisor.
Seven months after the Ex-Im Bank approved Black & Veatch’s financing for the project, Hillary Clinton attended an exclusive 60th birthday party thrown for H.P. Goldfield at the posh Hamptons home of investor George Hornig. In a photo from the party Clinton is seen in extremely good spirits, glowingly hugging a group that included Goldfield and former USambassador and State Department official, Richard Haass.
During the time Ex-Im Bank considered Black & Veatch’s request, Madeleine Albright’s daughter, Alice Albright, served as the bank’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.
The released Clinton emails show that at the time the bank was considering the Kusile loan, Clinton and Madeleine Albright maintained a close relationship.
According to a February 2011 email, sent two months before the Ex-Im Bank approved the loan, the two met in person. Then, two weeks prior to the bank’s deliberations, Albright sent a direct email to Clinton, suggesting she hire “Wendy.”
This presumably refers to Wendy Sherman, then Vice Chair at Albright Stonebridge – a title she shared at the firm with H.P.Goldfield – who later that year was appointed by Clinton to serve as Under Secretary for Political Affairs. Albright ended the message with “I’m off to Prague to research new book but always ready to talk. Love, Madeleine.”
According to an email from December 2011, Clinton and Albright met again, this time in Prague. Albright wrote, “Happy to help on whatever you need wherever and whenever.” Six months later, Clinton’s schedule reveals she attended Madeleine Albright’s 75th birthday party at Alice Albright’s house.
Since the approval of the coal plants, several figures involved in the matter landed positions at Albright Stonebrige. Upon retiring form the Foreign Service in 2013, former Ambassador Don Gips was hired as Senior Counselor. Former State Department official Johnnie Carson, who was part of the Clinton team during South Africa’s lobbying for the World Bank loan, also became Senior Counselor for the firm.
Ex-Im Bank’s Ties to Hillary Clinton
The Ex-Im Bank is headed by Fred Hochberg, a longtime Clinton family associate, financial contributor, and campaign bundler. Hochberg’s partner, Tom Healy, was nominated during Clinton’s tenure as Secretary to the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, a State Department body. Between 2012-2014 Healy served as Chair of the Board.
Hillary’s emails during these years reveal her close connection to both Hochberg and Healy. In February 2012, one ofClinton's daily schedules includes attending Hochberg’s 60th birthday party at the upscale DC dining spot, Sidra’s Home Restaurant.
A few months later Hochberg extended a personal invitation to Clinton to attend a friend’s book launch. Hochberg then sent a happy birthday wish to Hillary, signing with “Much love, Fred.” Tom Healy sent his own personal birthday note that year, adding “I didn’t get to say hello in Haiti on Monday because the rain started and we rushed to the airport.”
In 2014, The Ex-Im Bank announced the appointment of new members to its Sub-Saharan Africa Advisory Committee. Former ambassador Gips, and Shahid Qadri, Black & Veatch’s Vice President and Regional Director Africa, were among them.
Two years ago, Mother Jonesrevealed how under Clinton, the State Department exported oil and gas fracking technologies to the rest of the world.
It’s clear that Clinton’s policy toward coal, the dirtiest of fossil fuels, requires similar scrutiny.
Hillary Clinton is the queen of unforced errors. In a Democratic debate last month, she proudly cited the praise of ghoulish war criminal Henry Kissinger, underlining every doubt that progressives harbor about her foreign policy. Today, she once again showed how politically tone-deaf she can be. On MSBNC, she offered the following baffling encomium for the late Nancy Reagan: “It may be hard for your viewers to remember how difficult it was for people to talk about HIV/AIDS back in the 1980s. And because of both President and Mrs. Reagan—in particular Mrs. Reagan—we started a national conversation.” Clinton credited Nancy with “very effective low-key advocacy” that “penetrated the public conscience.”
Michelle Goldberg is a columnist for Slate and the author, most recently, of The Goddess Pose.
It’s hard to imagine where Clinton got this ludicrous idea. One of the most shameful things about Reagan’s presidency was his determined refusal to acknowledge an epidemic that was killing Americans by the tens of thousands. The first reports of AIDS surfaced in 1981, but Reagan didn’t speak about it until 1987, at which point more than 20,000 people were dead. When his press secretary Larry Speakes was asked about it, he made sniggering jokes. In 1987, when Reagan finally gave a speech about AIDS, he called for mandatory testing of immigrants. “Mr. Reagan issued no call for legislation or state action to protect AIDS victims against discrimination,” the New York Times reported.
Nancy did little to urge her husband towards greater decency. Her record was terrible enough that the AP wrote a story about it upon her death: “Nancy Reagan, who died on Sunday at the age of 94, had substantial influence on her husband in several areas, and she also had gay friends. But she neither spoke out publicly about AIDS nor left a documented record of pressing her husband on the issue early on in the crisis.” This is one of the things that she will forever be remembered for.
In February 2015, Buzzfeed reported on documents, discovered in the archives of the Reagan Presidential Library, that show Nancy Reagan ignoring a plea for help from her friend Rock Hudson, who was dying of AIDS. In 1985, Hudson had gone to France to seek treatment from an army doctor named Dominique Dormant, but Dormant could not get Hudson transferred to a French military hospital. Dormant believed a request from the White House could help, so Hudson’s publicist cabled the White House begging for assistance. The message got to Nancy, who refused. “I spoke with Mrs. Reagan about the attached telegram,” wrote Reagan staffer Mark Weinberg. “She did not feel this was something the White House should get into and agreed to my suggestion that we refer the writer to the U.S. Embassy, Paris.”
It is hard to imagine that Clinton wouldn't know how profoundly the Reagans failed their country on AIDS, and how much anger this failure has left behind. The Reagans started a conversation about AIDS in the same way that George W. Bush started a conversation about unnecessary wars. In policy terms, Clinton’s misguided praise for Nancy Reagan doesn't mean much; there’s certainly no reason to think she’d follow Reagan’s disgraceful example as president. But her words suggest that, on some deep level, she really is out of touch with progressive concerns. She’s also a terribly maladroit politician. It’s already hard for her left-wing supporters to defend her record in comparison with Bernie Sanders. She just made it harder.
Update: Shortly after this post was published, Clinton apologized via Twitter for her comments about the Reagans and AIDS.
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.
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 incompleted 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 andQatar 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 cablepublished 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 agreementgenerally 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 alsoapproving 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 lobbyistsmet 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 alsoapproved 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 approvedtwo 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.