In the last book of the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Harry discovers that there are three objects that will make one wizard the greatest wizard in all of Wizardom: the Resurrection Stone, the Cloak of Invisibility, and the Elder Wand.
Hillary and Bill Clinton can be said to possess these three items in our muggle world, presumably at the cost of their souls: the Resurrection Stone (the ability to survive any scandal), the Cloak of Invisibility (the ability to manipulate the media into turning a blind eye to their scandals and evade the law); and the Elder Wand (the ability to use their government powers and connections to wreak vengeance on any detractors).
Thanks to a preponderance of hacked e-mails, published by Julian Assange via his website, WikiLeaks, the public is learning all the sordid details of the Clintons’ corrupt dealings with foreign country, their “alleged” influence peddling, quid pro quo (pay for play/literally, “this for that”), and legal wriggling, not to mention their abuse of power.
When Clinton Cash, by Peter Schweizer, was published in 2015 (Harper Books; paperback version, 2016), some Clinton minion claimed that the book was “unsourced.” The 2016 paperback version, in fact, contains some 56 (fifty-six!) pages of citations (footnotes). This is an incredibly well-researched book.
Schweizer exposes, among other notorious deals via the Clinton Foundation, how a multi-million dollar gift from an obscure Indian politician coincided with Senator Hillary Clinton’s reversal on the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.
He also details the equally notorious Rosatom deal, in which 20 percent of America’s uranium (it may be as high as 50 percent) was sold to Russia via a Canadian firm with deep connections to the Clinton Foundation.
Finally, he explodes the Clinton Foundation’s exploitation of the earthquake in Haiti on Jan. 12, 2010 when a 7.0 earthquake shattered the capital city of Port-au-Prince, turning the country’s parliament as well as thousands of homes into rubble.
After leaving the Lincoln Bedroom in Chapter 1, Schweizer takes us to Almaty, Kazakhstan. Former Pres. Clinton is has journeyed their ostensibly to raise money through his Clinton Health Access Initiative for HIV/AIDS victims. In Kazakhstan, where the type of people who might contract AIDS would be thrown off the nearest cliff.
Schweizer tell us, “…according to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS, at the time of Clinton’s visit, only an estimated fifteen hundred Kazakhs needed such treatments. In 2005, the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Kazakhstan accounted for between 0.1 and 0.3 percent of its 15.4 million citizens, low compared with African countries like Botswana (24.1 percent) and South Africa (18.8 percent of adults).”
Clinton’s meeting was with Kazakhstan’s pro-Communist dictator, at the time, Nursultan Nazabayev, rumored to be one of the richest men in the world, but who, Schweizer tells us, “has a nasty habit of throwing political opponents and journalists into jail.”
While Nazabayev “craves acceptance from the West…[t]he list of Kazakh human rights violations, according to the U.S. government, besides torture includes arbitrary detention; restrictions on freedom of speech, press, and assembly; pervasive corruption; and human trafficking.
“So why would former president Bill Clinton bestow an air of international respectability on a backwater billionaire dictator with a treacherous human rights record?” Schweizer opines. “And why would he do so on the eve of a national election in that country, when Clinton’s mere presence could be read as an endorsement of the dictators; ‘candidacy.’”
Clinton’s “traveling companion was Canadian mining tycoon Frank Giustra, estimated to be worth several hundreds of millions of dollars. Bill flew to Kazakhstan on Giustra’s private jet.
“For some years,” Schweizer tell us, “Giustra has made his jet available to Bill to travel the globe delivering big-money speeches, as well as to travel to campaign events for Hillary’s 2008 presidential campaign. As a Canadian, Giustra couldn’t donate to Hillary’s campaign, but he could certainly offer use of his plane to Bill. He could also steer tens of millions to the Clintons and entities that they control.”
Giustra made his fortune “pumping and dumping mining stock in the Canadian stock exchanges, moving his vast empire through what the Globe and Mail called, “’a Byzantine system of shell companies, furtive share purchases and elaborate compensation schemes.’ In Kazakhstan, he was looking to close a large deal.”
“Shell companies” are basically empty vessels in which an unidentified owner moves money in and out, leaving no trail of where the money came from or where it would go. Shell companies are often used in money laundering schemes, where crooks skim profits off the top of a legitimate business, store in the shell company, and then transfer it out of the bank account again.
“Giustra had done mining deals in sub-Saharan Africa and South America. He knew how to do business with autocrats. For an autocrat, the allure of doing a favor for an ex-American president, especially a former president with a powerful wife, likely held special value. As Giustra admitted in 2006 to the New Yorker in a rare moment of candor: “All of my chips, almost, are on Bill Clinton. He’s a brand, a worldwide brand, and he can do things and ask for things that no one else can.’”
Clinton’s and Giustra’s relationships go back to a time when both were involved with a mining entrepreneur by the name of Jean-Raymond Boulle. He was invested in an Arkansas diamond mine when Clinton was governor of the state. “Clinton signed off on the deal” after meeting with Boulle “and helped get the property green-lighted for mining in 1987.”
Clinton’s buddy, Bruce Lindsey (who recently served as chairman of the board of the Clinton Foundation, until former First Daughter Chelsea cleaned house) even provided legal services to the mining company. Giustra himself held more than 60,000 shares of Diamond Fields stock.
In 2005, Clinton and Giustra expanded the scope of the Clinton Foundation (originally the William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum Foundation, created for the sole purpose of building the presidential library and museum in Little Rock) into a philanthropic organization called the Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative. Ostensibly, CGSGI’s purpose was to foster economic growth in the developing worlds. And its activities were often situated near “natural resource industry” projects such as mines or oilfields in which Giustra was invested.
Schweizer tells us that “Giustra’s company, UrAsia Energy, was a new player” in the highly-competitive race for access to Kazakh mining concessions. Giustra had no experience in the uranium business “and was therefore far from the logical choice for Kazatomprom, the Kazakh atomic energy agency. Other companies with decades of experience in the field should have been first in line for the lucrative deal.”
“UrAsia Energy was a mere shell company. But with Nazarbayev’s approval that was about to change,” Schweizer writes. “Giustra had his eye on three mines several hundred miles from Almaty. The deal was obscure from the start: the mining concessions were transferred to mysterious offshore entities including Jeffcott Group, Ltd., which was registered in the British Virgin Islands. Giustra and others involved in the venture later claimed they didn’t even know who actually owned the mysterious entity.
“’We dealt with corporations and entities that had title to the assets,’ said Chris Sattler, executive vice president of corporate development and investor relations of Uranium One (of which UrAsia Energy would soon become part). ‘In fact, we dealt with their representatives…..Therefore we have no knowledge of the beneficiaries or shareholders behind Jeffcott.’ On other occasions, Frank Giustra claims to have known precisely whom he was dealing with in the transaction.’
Bill Clinton knew with whom he was dealing with in Nursultan Nazabayev. The two had met on several prior occasions. “Bill maintained that the entire visit was about dealing with HIV/AIDS in Kazakhstan. Giustra insisted that the mining deal he wanted to secure did not involve Nazarbayev or the Kazakh government. As he put it, ‘The mining agreements I reached in Kazakhstan were concluded after lengthy negotiations with private companies – not the Kazakh government.’ Bill has gone even further, claiming that ‘formal endorsement from the Kazakh government was not required to acquire the assets.’ He went on to make the technical legal argument: ‘Kazatomprom was not a signatory to either of the memorandums of understanding signed by Mr. Giustra’s company.’
“But,” Schweizer writes, “these were, at best, elaborate evasions. Corporate executives for the uranium company later admitted to journalists and U.S. diplomats that Kazakh officials absolutely needed to sign off on the deal. Jean Nortier, CEO of the company that would eventually control the assets, said, ‘When you do a transaction in Kazakhstan, you need the government’s approval. UrAsia got the approval, and when UrAsia merged with Uranium One, that approval was given again.’
“Leaked State Department cables from the U.S. ambassador in Kazakhstan,” Schweizer continues, “further refute Bill Clinton’s claim. Giustra acquired the assets in Kazakhstan through his shell company, UrAsia Energy and then transferred those assets through a merger with a company called Uranium One. According to a 2009 U.S. diplomatic cable revealed by WikiLeaks, Paul Lewis Clarke, senior vice president of Uranium One, claimed that Uranium One’s UrAsia acquisitions ‘were approved by many of the same people still in power,’ including the then-prime minster Daniel Akhmetov and Kazatomprom president (Vladimir Shkolnik, then the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources.’ Any asset transfer of uranium rights needed to be approved by Kazakh officials.”
Schweizer tells us, “In a 2009 video of a statement to authorities on an unrelated matter,” Mukhtar Dzhakishevev, the president of Uranium One, “claimed that then Senator Hillary Clinton pressured Kazakh officials to secure the deal for the Canadians.”
Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Massimov, who was already in the United States, wanted to meet with Hillary Clinton, but their private meeting was cancelled. Tim Phillips, an advisor to Bill Clinton, told the prime minister that “there would be no further meetings with Hillary until Kazakh officials approved Giustra’s uranium deal.”
After the deal was approved, Bill Clinton stood with Nursultan Nazabayev at a banquet, praising the dictator for his “opening up the social and political life” of his country. Clinton also endorsed Nazabayev’s bid to head the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), a noted human rights organization.
“In the months that followed, Giustra gave the Clinton Foundation $31.3 million.”
Rahm Emmanuel is famous for saying, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.”
Schweizer writes that, “When the earth stopped quaking [in Haiti in January of 2010], more than 1.5 million people were left living in makeshift camps. ‘In 30 seconds, Haiti lost 60 percent of its GDP,’ said Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive. For a country whose history was plagued with natural disasters, corrupt leaders, and abject poverty, it must have seemed like the exclamation point on some sort of cruel natural joke.”
“The international charitable response from groups like the Salvation Army and the Red Cross was generous, as millions of people around the world wrote checks or donated via their cell phones. Foreign governments committed funds, too.
“Days after the earthquake, Hillary Clinton was en route to Port-au-Prince to inspect the damage. To accommodate her, all flights to and from the island were halted for three hours. Hillary arrived on a Coast Guard C-130, along with American relief workers and a supply of toothpaste, mustard, and cigarettes her staff had purchased from U.S. supermarkets the night before. She did not leave the airport, to avoid impeding rescue efforts, but declared her deep sympathy for the people of Haiti and offered assurances that America would be Haiti’s ‘friend, partner, and supporter,’ with the State Department and USAID taking a front and center role in the relief effort.
“Bill Clinton was soon on the ground in Haiti, too.” He arrived as a United Nations special envoy to the island in 2009 and traveled there regularly.
Bill was immediately appointed co-chair of the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission, set up by Hillary’s chief of staff and counselor at the State Department, Cheryl Mills. Her task was to determine how U.S. taxpayer money, directed through USAID, would be spent. Bill’s co-chairman was Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive.
“Together, they constituted IHRC’s Executive Committee, giving them concentrated decision-making power. In this role, Bill was ultimately responsible for the approval of any projects that would be funded by U.S. taxpayer dollars or international organizations.
But Bill had longer-range plans for Haiti than providing water, food and blankets the beleaguered residents. Bill opined that relief agencies like the Red Cross could take care of their immediate needs. He and Bellerive would help rebuild the nation and restore its long-term business structure.
Mainly, by building five-star luxury hotels, including a Marriott International Hotel. Within the shadow of the massive, growing hotel, hurricane-ravaged hovels flapped in the wind, a poor shelter for the still-impoverished residents of Port-au-Prince.
“In public statements,” Schweizer writes, “Bill waxed romantic about how they would rebuild Haiti, like a phoenix from the ashes, in a grand vision of social engineering. ‘I want them to close their landfills,’ he told Esquire magazine, ‘recycle everything and use the rest for energy. Wouldn’t it be great if they become the first wireless nation in the world?’
In one of the many Haitian scams, in 1994 Jean-Bertrand Aristide, restored to power by Bill Clinton after a military coup in 1991, granted Fusion Communications, a small U.S.-based company, a special deal in which Haiti’s government-owned telecom company, Teleco, granted Fusion long-distance minutes from the United States to Haiti at a deeply discounted price.
“With a large number of Haitians living in the United States and calling home, this was a big market,” Schweizer notes.
“Fusion was a relatively small player in the long-distance telephone market. But it was top heavy with operatives and politicians closely aligned with Bill and Hillary…Teleco’s ‘special arrangement’ with Fusion was supposed to be public, in keeping with the regulations and laws of the FCC. But the company worked hard to keep it secret. As Wall Street Journal columnist Mary Anastasia O’Grady, who broke the story, wrote, ‘By law, the agreement is a public document. But Fusion wouldn’t give it to me until the FCC required them to do so.’ It took her eight years to get a copy of the contract.
“It’s easy to see why. The contract gave Fusion access to the Haitian telephone network at a rate of 12 cents a minute, even though the official FCC rate was 50 cents a minute. In short, it was sweetheart deal. Fusion says it ‘never made any improper payments or engaged in any improper activity with regard to its relationship with Teleco.’ But of course, it didn’t have to.
“After the 2010 earthquake, more than a decade later, there were new telecom prizes available in Haiti. The system was set up so that decisions on doling out contracts and projects went through the Clintons.”
The big winner in what became known as the Haiti Mobile Money Initiative, which would enable friends and relatives to send money directly to people in the quake-ravaged country, was Digicel, a mobile phone company owned by Irish billionaire Denis O’Brien.
“Digicel received millions in U.S. taxpayer money for its TchoTcho [Creole for “pocket money”] Mobile system. The USAID Food for Peace program, under direct control of the State Department through Cheryl Mills, chose the TchoTcho system for its money transfers. Haitians were given cell phones and a free TchoTcho account. When Haitians used the system, they paid O’Brien’s company millions in fees. They also became users of O’Brien’s TchoTcho program.”
“Was the mobile money system a good idea? Very possibly it was,” Schweizer writes. Others disagree, claiming that there wasn’t enough of a market in Haiti to make it possible, since the Haitians had nowhere to transfer their money to; they needed cash – Haiti apparently was a cash economy, especially in the aftermath of the earthquake and later, Hurricane Katrina, which left the country without power.
“But the trouble was not in the idea itself; rather it was the fact that it was helping make O’Brien lots of money. From April 2011 to March 2012, Digicel’s revenues increased 14 percent and its subscriber base jumped 27 percent. By September 2012, Haiti had overtaken Jamaica as Digicel’s most profitable market. The Haitian market became key to the success of Digicel. O’Brien granted himself $300 million in dividends from Digicel in 2012.
“O’Brien was, in turn, making money for the Clintons.
“O’Brien arranged speeches in Ireland, as well as a speech in Jamaica. Bill’s Oct. 9, 2013, speech at the Conrad Hotel in Dublin was his third in three years, ‘and was mostly facilitated by billionaire Irish tycoon Denis O’Brien,’ noted Irish Central. ‘In (20010, he was flown over to Ireland on O’Brien’s private jet to deliver a speech at the Global Irish Economic Forum in Dublin Castle.’ In October 2010, Clinton gave a speech in Jamaica for $225,000 on ‘Our Common Humanity.’ The speech was sponsored by Whisky Productions, in partnership with O’Brien’s Digicel.”
Schweizer has more to tell about the Clintons in Haiti.
“But it wasn’t just connected businessmen who were benefiting from the rebuilding of Haiti. Clinton family members did, too. Bill and Hillary had been looking for investors to come to Haiti. But it was a risky prospect, given the infrastructure problems, social and political instability, and endemic corruption. One possible bright spot was mining. Haiti is rich in natural resources – there is an estimated $20 billion in gold, silver, and other precious minerals under the rocky soil Haitian soil.
“In 2012, the Haitian government decided to do something it had not done in more than half a century: grant permits for open-pit gold mining.
“One of two recipients was a small North Carolina start-up called VCS Mining. The company had little track record of mining operations in Haiti, or anywhere else, for that matter. But its leadership would later boast a board member with a familiar name: Tony Rodham, Hillary’s youngest brother. Rodham would join the board of advisors less than a year after VCS was granted the mining permit. VCS Chairman Angelo Viard would admit he met Rodham at A CGI event. Another member of the board: former Haitian prime minister (and IHRC co-chairman with Bill) Jean-Max Bellerive.
“The Haitian government gave VCS a “gold mining exploitation permit” (in the company’s words) for a project in Morne Bossa, which could be generously renewed for up to twenty-five years. ‘This is one of two permits issued today, the first permit of their kind issued in over five decades,’ the company proudly noted.
“Rodham had no background in mining. More than half of his bio on the VCS Mining website concerned his ties to his sister and her husband. Not surprisingly, the deal provoked outrage in the Haitian senate. The mining concession was a sweetheart deal. For one thing, the royalties to be paid to the Haitian government were only 2.5 percent, which mining experts noted at the time was ‘really low.’ ‘Anything under five percent is just really ludicrous for a country like Haiti,’ said mining royalties expert Claire Kumar. ‘You shouldn’t even consider it.’
“The episode resulted in a resolution by the Haitian parliament challenging the secrecy of the process and calling for a moratorium on new mining permits. The resolution passed the Haitian senate unanimously.
“VCS Mining is continuing to build on its mining concessions in Haiti.”
Schweizer notes in his introduction that “Investigating the Clintons is never easy.”
They have the fear of retribution, the power of their office, and the influence of the media to shield them from any legal ramifications. Schweizer’s book was leaked by the Clinton Team before its release. “According to media accounts, the Clinton campaign tasked an eight-person team with trying to kill the book before it release….They circulated a 25-page dossier to the media, leveling disingenuous and ferocious personal attacks. Reporters at some of the biggest media outlets in the country were sent this dossier.
“This is straight out of the Clinton tactical handbook: make the author the issue [as Kathleen Willey discovered when she write a book] to deflect from the scandals uncovered. It had worked for them in the past; why not try it again.”
“The release of Clinton Cash,” its author notes, “coincided with the launch of a major F.B.I. investigation into Hillary Clinton’s homebrew e-mail server and her handling of classified material. According to Fox News, there was also a parallel investigation at the F.B.I., which began as the book was being released, into the Clinton Foundation and influence-peddling at the State Department.
“According to former U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Joe diGenova, Clinton Cash is required reading.
“’The fact that F.B.I. agents are now assigned – first thing they are told is read Clinton Cash the book, and then come and start your investigation,’ he told one audience.
With the election only 12 days away, if you still haven’t investigated Hillary Clinton, haven’t asked yourself whether voting for her might be a big mistake, haven’t looked at your own party’s candidate, now is the time, and the book to read is Clinton Cash.