Former President Bill Clinton’s foundation has raised at least $46 million from Saudi Arabia and other foreign governments that his wife Hillary Rodham Clinton may end up negotiating with as the next secretary of state.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia gave $10 million to $25 million to the William J. Clinton Foundation, a nonprofit created by the former president to finance his library in Little Rock, Ark., and charitable efforts to reduce poverty and treat AIDS. Other foreign government givers include Norway, Kuwait, Qatar, Brunei, Oman, Italy and Jamaica. The Dutch national lottery gave $5 million to $10 million.
The Blackwater Training Center donated $10,001 to $25,000. The State Department — to be led by Hillary Clinton if she is confirmed — will have to decide next year whether to renew Blackwater Worldwide’s contract to protect U.S. diplomats in Iraq. Five Blackwater guards have been indicted by a U.S. grand jury on manslaughter and weapons charges stemming from a September 2007 firefight in Baghdad’s Nisoor Square in which 17 Iraqis died.
Does anyone think that if the books were opened at the George H.W. Bush Library that a vast majority of the funding would come from outside the country (and God knows how much from Kuwaitt alone)?
Presidents meet rich and important people during their time in office. When they’re all done doing their things in office, they scratch each others’ backs. It’s an exclusive club that makes the U.S. Senate look like a Wednesday morning Rotary Club meeting. Why anyone would be surprised is beyond me…
That’s not to say folks should be concerned, especially since those funds present a pretty obvious potential conflict of interest with regard to an incoming foreign policy maker, but it should surprise no one in an age of globalization that tons of foreign cash helps out someone who is ostensibly “retired.”
Owen- Am I surprised that other countries care more about reducing poverty and AIDS than ours? No.