Clintons UAE Quid Pro Quo

Bill and Hillary Clinton have carefully cloaked the foreign money they’ve accepted in the garb of charitable fundraising. But alongside the hundreds of millions donated to their Foundation were tens of millions of personal income from foreign sources, devoid of disguise, a naked example of using political power for personal enrichment. Nowhere has this transaction been as apparent as in their relationship with the United Arab Emirates.

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In return for millions in speaking and consulting fees related to the UAE — fees that went right into their personal bank accounts — the former president and secretary of state — and possible future president — showered favors on the rulers that run this repressive and anti-Semitic government.

It’s hard to grasp the distinction — if there is any — between fees Bill earned and outright payments to his wife for her influence. For example, during, his wife’s tenure as secretary — Bill collected $1,175,000 for three speeches in the UAE. One, for $500,000 from a government agency — the Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative, was OK’d by the State Department ethics police.

That was the quid (along with the $8 million to $30 million sent to the Foundation by the UAE). The quo was an ongoing campaign to rehabilitate the image of this regime that ranks in Freedom House’s second-lowest category in human rights. After the revelation that two of the 9/11 hijackers — and much of the money that financed them in the U.S. — came from the UAE, the Emirates needed a major image upgrade.

Enter Bill Clinton. In 2002, he began speaking in the UAE and recognized the potential gravy train. That is also when he joined billionaire Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa Co. That was the Clinton’s real gold mine, netting them more than $15 million from 2002-2007. His buyout in 2008 was estimated at up to $20 million.

Bill was indispensable: He delivered Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, Prime Minister of Dubai, to Yucaipa and a three-way partnership began among Burkle, Clinton and the sheik to create an offshore sovereign fund.

In 2005, Clinton advised Dubai on the controversial Dubai port deal. Hillary publicly opposed the deal, but didn’t oppose the $10 million that had already gone into their accounts from Yucaipa.

Clinton continuously raised the profile of the UAE by creating a Clinton Scholarship Program at the American University in Dubai and partnering with two other Dubai based firms — GEMS schools and the Varkey Foundation. His take from them is unknown. He made introductions and brought in close associates as investors in the UAE like Teneo, NYU and McLarty Associates.

Bill’s a real regular over there. On Monday, he was in Dubai, speaking alongside the sheik at the Hult International Business School, a partner of the Clinton Global Initiative.

But it was Hillary who did the heavy lifting in delivering to the UAE what it most craved — international respect. In September 2012, the secretary of state hosted a Global Infrastructure Conference at the State Department for 90 CEOs or high-level American executives to learn about investment opportunities in the UAE and three other countries. Seven UAE officials joined Hillary in addressing the conference.

Several months later, Hillary promoted the first Global Entrepreneurship Summit, also sponsored by the State Department, in Dubai, bringing investors and entrepreneurs from all over the world into the UAE. Now, finally, the UAE was publicly legitimized by the U.S., during Hillary’s last days in office.

Bill and Hillary set up a gigantic moneymaking machine, trading on her power as secretary of state and her potential to be the next president. The question for us is: Are we willing to let them take it to the next level?

Also see,

Hillary Dead In Water

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