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counterpunch, 11 mai 2015

Corruption : Hillary Clinton’s Dirty Money

par Robert FANTINA


Hillary Clinton

As she bulldozes her way to the Democratic presidential nomination, former First Lady, New York Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is leaving no gold nugget unturned as she finances her campaign. Having amassed a wide variety of very wealthy friends throughout the global community, she is in an excellent position to call in favors and promise new ones in return for their financial assistance, as she purchases a four-year lease on the most exclusive real estate in the world.


United States

One recent donation, not directly to her campaign, that has raised some eyebrows, although not in Democratic circles, where Mrs. Clinton, who has done little right can do nothing wrong, is money the Clinton Foundation accepted from a company owned by the government of Morocco. One might ask what the problem with such a donation might be. Cannot a foreign government donate funds to a charitable organization based in the United States ?

Unfortunately, it isn’t quite as simple as that. This is not the American Red Cross we are talking about, but an organization operated by one of the most politically active and connected families in U.S. history. As late as 2011, when Mrs. Clinton was Secretary of State, the State Department accused the government of Morocco of ‘arbitrary arrests and corruption in all branches of government’. Now, we could discuss the concept of the kettle calling the pot black in terms of government corruption, but we’ll leave that for a later essay. Let’s look at some detail from the State Department report : “The most significant, continuing human rights problems were the lack of citizens’ right to change the constitutional provisions establishing the country’s monarchical form of government, arbitrary arrests, and corruption in all branches of government.

“Other human rights problems reported during the year included police use of excessive force to quell peaceful protests, resulting in dozens of injuries and at least four deaths ; torture and other abuses by the security forces ; incommunicado detention ; poor prison and detention conditions ; political prisoners and detainees ; infringement of freedom of the press ; lack of freedom of assembly ; lack of independence of the judiciary ; discrimination against women and girls ; trafficking in persons ; and child labor, particularly in the informal sector”.

Following the announcement of the $1 million donation from the government-owned Office Cherifien des Phosphates (OCP), Mrs. Clinton announced that the money would be used to sponsor a conference for the Clinton Foundation in Marrakech. She called Morocco “a vital hub for economic and cultural exchange”, eliminating any mention of political prisoners, police violence or human trafficking. Might that sum of money have been sufficient to blind the former Secretary of State to facts she was aware of when she had that job ?

The donation was made, and the conference announced, prior to Mrs. Clinton’s long-expected declaration of candidacy for president. But still one wonders what possible benefit there could be for the OCP in making this donation ? Is this anything more than a sincere desire to help those who might benefit from the Clinton Foundation largesse ?

Well, yes, there may be another beneficiary. The OCP is involved in the extraction of mineral resources from the Western Sahara, disputed territory often referred to as the "last colony in Africa", that Morocco controls. It is illegal under international law for an occupying or controlling power to extract for profit the natural resources of the country in dispute. The OCP is owned by the Moroccan government. The U.S. has a long history of allowing occupying powers to exploit, in violation of international law, the natural resources of their victims : note Israel’s extraction of resources from the Dead Sea. The money that the American Israel Political Affairs Committee (AIPAC) funnels to U.S. politicians is sufficient to cause the U.S. to look the other way ; there is no equivalent lobby group representing Morocco, so perhaps this donation will suffice.

Money talks in U.S. governance. The same State Department report that detailed Moroccan abuses also commented on Israel. The influence of AIPAC is clear in these so-called "findings" :

* “The law prohibits arbitrary arrest and detention, and the government generally observed these prohibitions for all citizens”. This, despite the almost constant arrests without charge and detention of countless Palestinian men, women and children, both in Palestine and those living in Israel.

* “Criminal suspects are apprehended with warrants based on sufficient evidence and issued by an authorized official. Authorities generally informed such persons promptly of charges against them”. See above.

* “Defendants enjoy the right to presumption of innocence and the right to consult with an attorney, or if indigent, to have one provided at public expense”. This, of course, does not apply to Palestinians.

* “Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or Correspondence. The law prohibits such actions, and the government generally respected those prohibitions in practice”. Israel Defense Forces (IDF ; read : Terrorists) break into Palestinian homes at any time of the day or night, search the homes, steal valuables and generally terrorize the residents. Palestinian homes are arbitrarily bulldozed to make room for illegal and internationally-condemned settlements.

Manal Tamimi, a prominent figure in her village’s grassroots resistance movement, is treated by medics after she was shot in the leg with a live bullet fired by an Israeli soldier during the weekly protest against the occupation in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh on 3 April 2015

The list goes on, but this should suffice to indicate the degree to which money runs roughshod over human rights in U.S. governance. One thinks that the executives of the OCP can now sleep peacefully, confident that there will be no U.S. interference in their rape of the Western Sahara.

What other foreign governments may see benefit to themselves in a future Hillary Clinton presidency ? Since the U.S. is always ready to invade a nation that displeases it, often by some perceived threat to U.S. economic dominance, one would think that most nations will be running to Mrs. Clinton with checkbook in hand, wanting to please the fairy queen and appease the economic gods so worshiped by the U.S. Additionally, such homage would enable them to ignore human rights and exploit the poor for the benefit of the rich, without the U.S. complaining about such abuses. And who will the presumptive Democratic nominee turn away ? Anyone ? After all, with an alleged target of $2 billion dollars for her campaign, there really are no human rights abuses that can’t be overlooked. Perhaps Syria will make a substantial donation, and thus end U.S. aggression against it.

But are there not built-in protections against this sort of thing, government "watchdogs", if you will, to assure that no such collusion exists ? In an article published in The New York Times on May 3, Federal Election Commission (FEC) chairwoman Ann M. Ravel said that “…her organization is powerless to safeguard against misconduct in 2016 presidential campaign fundraising and spending”, mainly due to partisan gridlock. So no, there is nothing to stop Mrs. Clinton, and any and all other candidates, from taking donations from whomever and wherever those donations are offered. And it is unlikely that any of those proffering untold amounts of money have the best interest of the common U.S. citizen at heart. No, they will be foreign governments who wish to begin or continue the exploitation of oppressed people without interference from the U.S., or domestic corporations seeking to continue the vast profits their shareholders earn from war, or from manufacturing products with limited safety or environmental restrictions.

As each presidential election approaches, pundits from the right and left proclaim that this is the most important in the history of the U.S., and that the very survival of the country depends on the outcome. Yet following each election, the nation does not implode in a ball of flames, but continues on, mainly with business as usual. That business is war, disregard for human rights at home and abroad and the worship of the almighty dollar. Mrs. Clinton will usher in no change ; her every action speaks volumes to that fact.

Robert FANTINA

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    éditeur : Frank Brunner | ouverture : 11 novembre 2000 | reproduction autorisée en citant la source