‘Clinton Cash’ book alleges foreign donations to family foundation linked to political favors

A new book accuses the Clinton Foundation — run by presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, her husband Bill Clinton, and their daughter Chelsea — of accepting quid pro quo donations from foreign sources while Mrs Clinton was secretary of state.

The book — “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich” — will no doubt ignite a new level of scrutiny over the political ambitions of Hillary Clinton, currently the lone candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016.

Clinton’s campaign has asserted that the 186-page investigation by Peter Schweizer, a fellow at the conservative Hoover Institution, is yet another right-wing hatchet job that leans on bias and innuendo.

Under the microscope are cash infusions to the charitable Clinton Foundation, as well as speaking fees incurred by former US president Bill Clinton, during Hillary Clinton’s four years as secretary of the US State Department under President Barack Obama’s administration.

“We will see a pattern of financial transactions involving the Clintons that occurred contemporaneous with favorable U.S. policy decisions benefiting those providing the funds,” Schweizer wrote in the book, according to the New York Times, which gained access to an advanced copy.

The Clintons’ income was at least $136.5 million between 2001 and 2012, Schweizer wrote in the book, echoing a figure reported by the Washington Post. The Post, New York Times, and Fox News all have agreements with Schweizer to expand further on the storylines he pursued in the book, the Times reported.

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“During Hillary’s years of public service, the Clintons have conducted or facilitated hundreds of large transactions” with foreign governments and wealthy individuals, he added.

“Some of these transactions have put millions in their own pockets.”

While Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, payments to Bill Clinton for speeches went up: “Of the 13 Clinton speeches that fetched $500,000 or more, only two occurred during the years his wife was not secretary of state,” Schweizer wrote.

Read more

Hillary Clinton: What to know about her recent controversies, scandals

In 2011, for example, Bill Clinton made $13.3 million for 54 speeches, most of them made overseas, the book reported.

Brian Fallon, a spokesman for Hillary Clinton’s young presidential campaign, said Schweizer’s book is part of the conservative attack machine that will certainly continue to target Clinton with unrelenting fervor.

The book, he said, consists of “twisting previously known facts into absurd conspiracy theories,” and that “it will not be the first work of partisan-fueled fiction about the Clintons’ record, and we know it will not be the last.”

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Recent books on the Clintons’ political dealings — including “Blood Feud” and “Clinton Inc.: The Audacious Rebuilding of a Political Machine” — have been accused of being thinly-veiled attack efforts that are low on credibility. “Clinton Cash,” however, relied on extensive investigative reporting with detailed source citations to tax records, government documents, and the like, the Times reported. Though Schweizer also makes clear in the book he is no fan of the Clintons.

This is not the first time the Clinton Foundation donors and their relationship to the most powerful family in US politics have been questioned.

As RT has reported, from 2009 up to 2013, the year the Ukrainian crisis erupted, the Clinton Foundation received at least $8.6 million from the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, which is headquartered in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev, calling into question whether the donations were an attempt to curry favor from the US State Dept. Several alumni of oligarch Pinchuk’s program have already graduated into the ranks of Ukraine’s parliament, while a former Clinton pollster went to work as a lobbyist for Pinchuk at the same time Clinton was working in government.

According to the International Business Times, the Clinton Foundation accepted million of dollars from a Colombian oil company before then-Secretary of State Clinton changed her previous position and supported a US-Colombia trade deal, controversial for its links to human rights violations. In addition, after the deal was finalized, Clinton’s State Department “never criticized or took action against the Colombian government for alleged violations of labor rights at Pacific Rubiales,” the oil company “at the center of Colombia’s labor strife,” IBT reported.

In early April, McClatchy News Service reported that, since 2001, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates — governments that have been maligned for their dismal human rights records and for ties to terror funding throughout the Middle East — gave as much as $40 million to the Clinton Foundation.

In March, it was reported by the Wall Street Journal that the Clinton Foundation had accepted as much as $68 million from elite donors with close ties to foreign governments and state-run companies while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state. The conflict-of-interest allegations were denied by the Clintons, who said the donations were part and parcel of building coalitions to tackle the world’s most pressing issues.

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Amid mounting criticism, the Clinton Foundation announced last week that it would revise its policy of accepting donations from Germany, Britain, Canada, and other nations, while curbing money from Middle Eastern countries.

US military instructors deployed to Ukraine to train local forces

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Paratroopers of the US 173rd Airborne Brigade, based in Vincenza, Italy, have arrived in western Ukraine to provide training for Ukrainian government troops.

The announcement came on US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt’s twitter account. The diplomat posted pictures of the US paratroopers marching through the airport in the western Ukrainian city of Lvov.

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Pyatt has not given the exact number of the servicemen deployed in Ukraine, but according to a Facebook post by Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, there should be some 290 US paratroopers. Avakov said that, under an agreement with the US State Department, long-term joint drills of US paratroopers and combat units of the Ukrainian National Guard, as well as training will take place at Yavorivky.

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The joint drills were agreed by Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko and US Vice-President Joe Biden early in spring. The US paratroopers’ training will last for 24 weeks and involve some 900 servicemen, from several Ukrainian National Guard units.

In March, the UK started its training mission in Ukraine. It was planned that up to 75 troops at a time would be engaged in a six-month-long mission, training Kiev’s military “to strengthen the defensive capability of the Ukrainian armed forces and build the resilience that they need.”

Read more

UK troops start training Ukraine’s army, US confirms own mission

Russia has expressed its concerns over the military training of Ukrainian forces, saying such actions do not support conflict settlement in the east of the country.

“The presence of foreign instructors in Ukraine, where an internal conflict remains unresolved in southeast and where problems arise with the implementation of the Minsk peace agreement, does not help in settling the conflict and producing an environment beneficial for it. On the contrary, it destabilizes the situations,” said Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s spokesman.

Kiev and rebel forces signed a ceasefire deal in February, which involves the pullout of heavy weapons and a profound reform, which would address the grievances of the dissenting regions and reintegrate them into Ukraine. The deal has more or less held so far, with the level of violence in eastern Ukraine dropping significantly, OSCE monitors on the ground have reported.

READ MORE: US govt issues logistics support tender for 300 military personnel in Ukraine

But there is a high level of mistrust remaining among the rebels toward Kiev. The Ukrainian authorities don’t appear to be willing to resume social payments in the areas they don’t control, a measure specified in the ceasefire agreement.

Instead, they are investing heavily into rearming and training of the Ukrainian Army and National Guard. Combined with belligerent rhetoric dominating the political discourse in Ukraine, there is rising fear that Kiev plans a new offensive, instead of sticking to the peace plan.

Sanaa-tized? Rights groups sue State Dept for refusing to evacuate 1,000s of Americans from Yemen

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The US government has been sued over abandoning its citizens in Yemen, where up to 4,000 Americans are feared stranded. Pentagon officials claim an evacuation would be too dangerous for military personnel to carry out.

After the US Embassy in Yemen was evacuated along with all military personnel, there were no US forces left in the country to help American citizens who got stuck amid the worsening armed conflict.

Three Arab and Muslim human rights groups united in preparing a lawsuit bringing dozens of cases of American citizens denied evacuation from Yemen to the attention of the Obama administration. Some of the families stranded in Yemen have small children, maintains a lawsuit filed on Thursday, McClatchy DC reports.

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“The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus (ALC) today announced the filing of a lawsuit against Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter seeking government action to evacuate American citizens trapped in Yemen,” CAIR said in a statement Thursday.

The lawsuit personally targets US Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter for failing to protect US citizens in Yemen. The document names 41 plaintiffs in the case, while the total number of US citizens in Yemen is estimated at between 3,000 and 4,000.

Over 500 American citizens have registered on the website www.stuckinyemen.com so far. According to the human rights organizations, most of the American citizens remaining in Yemen are of Yemeni origin.

“Currently there are hundreds of families stuck actually in Yemen that are US citizens. They are asking me on a daily basis if there’s any concrete evacuation,” Summer Nasser, an activist and freelance author, told RT by phone from the Yemeni town of Yafa.

“If there’s a chance and there’s no concrete evacuation from the State Department directly, they should just use other countries and airlines that may evacuate citizens,” Nasser said.

The State Department suggests that Americans should arrange their departure with the US Embassy in Djibouti, a small state situated on the Horn of Africa, 250 kilometers across the sea from the nearest Yemeni port, Aden. But according to McClatchy DC, at least two American citizens, a Californian woman and a mother of four from New York, made contact with diplomats in Djibouti only to learn that there would be no help.

A 21-year-old Brooklyn man, Sallah Elhushayshi, told McClatchy DC: “All day the question I ask myself is: Why is the United States not helping us?” Elhushayshi went to Yemen last year to get married and visit his family.

“Did you hear that? It’s a war now,” he said as gunfire crackled in the background when he was calling from the city of Tai

“As American Yemenis, we’re all really sad about what’s going on,” said Mohammed Alazzani, 27, a cousin of American citizen Jamal al Labani, a gas station owner from Oakland, California, who was killed in an airstrike in Yemen. “They just don’t believe it, that their government isn’t doing anything. Some of them are starting to say, ‘They don’t consider us real Americans. We’re second-class.’”

“The situation in Yemen is dangerous and unpredictable,” the US official said. “Sending in military assets, even for an evacuation operation, could put U.S. citizen lives at greater risk,” the official said, stressing that there are no current plans to evacuate “private citizens.”

In the meantime US aircraft tankers continue refueling Saudi bombers that inflict airstrikes on positions of Houthi rebels.

“You can expect we will do so every day from now on,” Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren told McClatchy.

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All this happens as other countries are actively evacuating their citizens out of Yemen.

READ MORE: Escape from Yemen: Refugees tell RT ‘the whole city was shaking’

At least eight countries, including China, India and Pakistan, have sent planes and ships to evacuate their citizens from the conflict-stricken country.

READ MORE: Russian citizens evacuated from Yemen

Chinese soldiers even had to disembark to the port of Aden to ensure security of the evacuees after an unknown party opened fire on a vessel evacuating foreign citizens, a Yemeni official told Sputnik.

READ MORE: Chinese military disembark in port of Aden, Yemen, to guard evacuation – official

“We’re not asking for anything out of the ordinary. We’re just asking them to fulfill their duties,” said Abed Ayoub, legal and policy director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, one of the advocacy groups behind the lawsuit to the US government.

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“India took out over 4,000 of their nationals in three days. If India can do it, why can’t the US?”

Aircraft from Moscow, evacuating Russians from the international airport of the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, so far have made five flights. They also evacuated citizens of several other states, among them Belarusians, Poles, Ukrainians, Kyrgyz and Uzbeks.

Iraqi Caught Crossing US-Mexico Border was Military Trainer and Spoke Fluent Russian

http://launch.newsinc.com/share.html?trackingGroup=69016&siteSection=breitbart_nws_us_sty_vmppap&videoId=28861939

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We are under siege. Under attack from relentless, resourceful and remorseless enemies. And Obama say, “Fore!” –

“EXCLUSIVE: Iraqi Caught Crossing US-Mexico Border was Military Trainer and Spoke Fluent Russian,” Breitbart Texas, 7 Apr 2015 (thanks to Suzanne):

Breitbart Texas exclusively obtained leaked information on the Iraqi man who was apprehended while illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border into Texas on February 12, 2015. The Border Patrol agent responsible for interviewing the subject initially expressed concerns that the Iraqi was sent by Russia, largely due to the Iraqi man’s history as a military trainer, his speaking several languages, including Russian, and his having lived in Crimea, according to one of the leaked documents. Breitbart Texas was provided with two documents by a federal agent who works under the umbrella of Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The agent insisted on remaining anonymous.

The Iraqi man is named Ahmed Adnan Taha, Al Khafaji. His date of birth is 6-25-84. He has one sister in the U.S., one in Turkey, three brothers in Turkey, one in Ukraine, one in New York State, and three brothers in Iraq, according to the leaked documents.

The Iraqi told U.S. authorities that he spoke fluent Russian and lived in Crimea prior to the Russian invasion. He further stated that a Ukrainian paid $4,000 for him to get to the U.S., however, the Iraqi refused to identify the Ukrainian to U.S. authorities.

The public statement given by Border Patrol at the time of the Iraqi’s apprehension stated, “On Thursday, February 12, 2015, RGV Border Patrol Agents encountered an adult Middle Eastern male south of Pharr, Texas. The subject was taken into custody and transported to the Border Patrol station for further processing. The subject was setup for Expedited Removal back to his country of origin and transferred to the custody of ICE/ERO.”

Breitbart Texas recently asked the Border Patrol agency about the specifics in this report and their spokesman for the Rio Grande Valley Sector (RGV) responded, “All record checks were conducted, our federal partners did interview the subject with no derogatory information being found.”

It is significant to note that Border Patrol processing an individual does not mean that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) actually deported the individual.

Breitbart Texas provides images of both leaked documents below. The second document contains copy-and-pasted information from the official report, according to the federal agent who provided the information. The typos in the report were contained in the original and therefore included. Breitbart Texas redacted the TECS ID number.

– See more at: http://pamelageller.com/2015/04/iraqi-caught-crossing-us-mexico-border-was-military-trainer-and-spoke-fluent-russian.html/#sthash.0PzHWfVJ.dpuf

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‘Reuters lied’: MH17 witness says reporter falsified testimony

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A Lugansk Region resident, whom Reuters cites as saying he saw evidence of a surface-to-air missile launched from rebel-held territory on the day MH17 was downed, told RT the news agency gave a false report of his interview.

As a part of a March report on the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 tragedy Reuters talked to Pyotr Fedotov, a 58-year-old resident of the village Chervonniy Zhovten in the Lugansk Region of eastern Ukraine.

When interviewed by Reuters, Fedotov, the witness who described the ‘wiggling’ rocket, at first said on camera that it was fired from territory held by the Ukrainian army. Later, off camera, he said it was launched from a nearby rebel area. Asked why he had originally said the opposite, he said it was because he was afraid of the rebels,” the news agency said.

RT contacted Fedotov and he said that Reuters correspondent Anton Zverev was “less than accurate” with his testimony.

When we talked about the Boeing on camera, I explained everything as it was. The things that I allegedly said off-camera were just made up by the journalist. It’s all lies. Off-camera, we never discussed the Boeing, Fedotov told RT.

He added that the Reuters journalist contacted him after taking the interview, but never showed him a draft of the article. Instead he was asking whether Fedotov had got into trouble for speaking to him.

“The journalist called me and asked if I was in trouble. I was really surprised. Why would I be in trouble if I told the truth? And then my friends told me in the article I was saying different things when the cameras were on and off. That’s when I understood why he was asking if I was in trouble,” the witness explained.

So it’s mere fantasy from the journalist or maybe he was doing it for his own benefit, he added.

RT’s request to Reuters for comments on the controversy and raw footage of Fedotov’s interview was not replied to as of publication of this article.

Read more

Lavrov condemns Reuters report on MH17 crash, calls for ‘unbiased, professional’ investigation

Reuters’ reporting was not based solely on Fedotov’s testimony. The agency cited three other eyewitnesses from the village, but only Fedotov was cited as pointing to either side of the conflict as firing the missile. The report emphasized that the eyewitness accounts didn’t conclusively prove that the rocket they saw was the one that downed Flight MH17.

Earlier in March, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov condemned the Reuters report of witnesses’ statements, saying it “looked like a stovepiping.” The top diplomat also then said that questions posed by Russia’s officials remained unanswered, saying there have been no promised images from American satellites or recordings of Ukrainian air traffic controllers’ communications with the plane.

The Malaysian Boeing 777 airliner was downed over eastern Ukraine on July 17 last year, killing 298 people on board. The incident became an instant controversy, with Ukraine and its Western backers accused rebel forces and Russia of being behind the downing.

Read more

Ukraine media falsely claim Dutch prosecutors accused Russia of MH17 downing

An investigation into the incident is being conducted by the Netherlands, but the preliminary report released last year didn’t point even to a kind of weapon used in the downing of the aircraft, only that an outside force destroyed it mid-air.

Russia called not to jump to conclusions and made military radar data public which indicated the presence of Ukrainian surface-to-air batteries and warplanes in the area on the day of the Boeing shooting.

Earlier Ukrainian media falsely claimed that Dutch investigators concluded that MH17 had been shot down by the rebels with a Buk missile, citing a report in the Dutch media that outlined the popular theory, but didn’t claim it to be proven. Dutch prosecutors told RT at the time that the investigation had not been concluded.

REPEAL, DON’T REFORM THE IMF!

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A responsible financial institution would not extend a new loan of between 17 and 40 billion dollars to a borrower already struggling to pay back an existing multi-billion dollar loan

BY RON PAUL,

A responsible financial institution would not extend a new loan of between 17 and 40 billion dollars to a borrower already struggling to pay back an existing multi-billion dollar loan. Yet that is just what the International Monetary Fund (IMF) did last month when it extended a new loan to the government of Ukraine. This new loan may not make much economic sense, but propping up the existing Ukrainian government serves the foreign policy agenda of the US government.

Since the IMF receives most of its funding from the United States, it is hardly surprising that it would tailor its actions to advance the US government’s foreign policy goals. The IMF also has a history of using the funds provided to it by the American taxpayer to prop up dictatorial regimes and support unsound economic policies.

Some may claim the IMF does promote free markets by requiring that countries receiving IMF loans implement some positive economic reforms, such as reducing government spending. However, other conditions imposed by the IMF, such as that the country receiving the loan deflate its currency and implement an industrial policy promoting exports, do not seem designed to promote a true free market, much less improve the people’s living standards by giving them greater economic opportunities.

The problem with the IMF cannot be fixed by changing the conditions attached to IMF loans. The fundamental problem with the IMF is that it is funded by resources taken forcibly from the private sector. By taking resources out of private hands and giving them to IMF bureaucrats, government distorts the marketplace, harming both American taxpayers and the citizens of the countries receiving the IMF loans. The idea that the IMF is somehow better able to allocate capital than are private investors is just as flawed as every other form of central planning. The IMF must be repealed, not reformed.

The IMF is not the only US institution that manipulates the global economy. Over the past several years, a mysterious buyer, identified only as “Belgium,” so named because the buyer acts through a Belgian-domiciled account, has become the third-largest holder of Treasury securities. Belgium’s large purchases always occur at opportune times for the US government, such as when a foreign country sells a large amount of Treasuries. “Belgium” also made large purchases in the months just after the Fed launched the quantitative easing program. While there is no evidence this buyer is working directly with the US government, the timing of these purchases does raise suspicions.

It is not out of the realm of possibility that the Federal Reserve is involved in these purchases. The limited audit of the Federal Reserve’s actions during the financial crisis that was authorized by the Dodd-Frank Act revealed that the Fed actively intervenes in global markets.

What other deals with foreign governments is the Fed making? Is the Fed, like the IMF, working to bail out Greece and other EU countries? Is the Fed working secretly to aid US foreign policy as it did in the early 1980s, when it financed loans to then-US ally Saddam Hussein? The lack of transparency about the Fed’s dealings with overseas central banks and foreign governments is one more reason why Congress needs to pass the audit the fed bill.

By taking money from American taxpayers to support economically weak and oftentimes corrupt governments, the IMF distorts the market, enriches corrupt governments, and harms both the American taxpayer and the residents of the counties receiving IMF “aid.” It is past time to end the IMF along with all instruments of American interventionist foreign policy.

Crimea Ready to Deploy Nuclear Weapons Systems on Russian President’s Order

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Crimean head Sergei Aksenov said that Crimea will welcome the deployment of nuclear weapons in the republic if Russian President Vladimir Putin deems it necessary.

SIMFEROPOL (Sputnik) Crimea will welcome the deployment of nuclear weapons in the republic if Russian President Vladimir Putin deems it necessary, Crimean head Sergei Aksenov told Sputnik.

“If there is such an order from the supreme commander, we would support it,” Aksenov said.

On Wednesday, the chair of Russian State Duma Defense Committee, Vladimir Komoyedov, said that needed, Russia was ready to place nuclear weapons in Crimea.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed on Wednesday speculations by US billionaire Donald Trump and the Western media of “nuclear rhetoric” in Putin’s remarks in a documentary on Crimea’s reunification with Russia that was aired last week. The media claimed that Putin had said in the documentary that Russia was ready to put its nuclear forces on alert to protect Crimea and the Crimeans against potential aggression.

© SPUTNIK/ IGOR RUSSAK

Kremlin Dismisses Claims of ‘Nuclear Rhetoric’ in Putin’s Crimea Remarks

Crimea rejoined Russia in March 2014, after 96 percent of the peninsula’s population voted in favor of a reunification deal.

In a speech following the referendum, Russian President Putin pointed out that it was held in full compliance with democratic procedure and international rule of law.

The West has refused to recognize the results of the vote, labeling Crimea’s secession an “annexation,” and have introduced several rounds of economic sanctions against Moscow.

Read more: http://sputniknews.com/russia/20150327/1020078568.html#ixzz3VbSmssbu