The facts are in and you're an idiot. You continue to vote in these 'law and order' assholes and you've managed to turn the greatest country on the planet into a zoo. While the politicians, pharmaceutical CEOs, Big Oil and Wall Street bankers laugh all the way to their offshore bank accounts.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Flushing the Qur’an

By Christopher R Rice

70 Types of Torture approved / used by the CIA / US Army:

#68.) Flushing the Qur’an (the sacred text of the Muslims) down the toilet. Leaving it out as the only toilet paper. This is equivalent to making Americans shit on or burn the flag. Oddly, this more than any other humiliation or torture, has the Muslims of the world up in arms. 100 people were hurt in protests in Iran. Clerics have even threatened jihad over it. There are also reports of standing on the Qur’an, throwing or kicking it in toilets and urinating on it. There have been many reports of the Qur’an being stepped on, tossed on the floor and placed in latrines. The LA Times confirmed dozens of such reports not only at Guantánamo, but also at American-run detention facilities in Afghanistan and Iraq. Britons too corroborate the story. The Pentagon lied when they said they had received no reports of Qur’an desecration. The Red Cross informed them as early as 2002. FBI documents confirm widespread Qur’an desecration. Brigadier General Jay W Hood acknowledged incidents of Qur’an abuse. On 2005-06-03, the Pentagon described five confirmed incidents of Qur’an mistreatment at Guantánamo Bay, in which the Muslim holy book was kicked, stepped on, soaked by water balloons, defaced with a scrawled obscenity and sprayed with urine. Ironically many of those on the newsgroups asserting that it was a preposterous lie that an Americans had desecrated the Qur’an had previously posted their own Qur’an desecrating fantasies and acknowledged atrocities and tortures far worse in American eyes than that. Others asserted flushing a Qur’an down a toilet was impossible ignoring that some Qur’an s you can buy on the net are only 3x4" and that it is quite possible to tear out and flush pages of even the largest Qur’an.

Read more:

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Endless War = Endless Profits (How Congress Profits from War)

Americas War Criminals (living freely today)

How Much Does the US REALLY OWE?

The Super Rich (economic terrorist)

Class War (war on the middle-class)

American Slavery Today

8 Reasons NOT to support the US Military

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WikiLeaks Exposes Gitmo

MSNBC host Cenk Uygur speaks Ben Wizner of the ACLU with about new WikiLeaks documents showing that 158 innocent men were held at Gitmo.

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Stay Informed:

Endless War = Endless Profits (How Congress Profits from War)

Americas War Criminals (living freely today)

How Much Does the US REALLY OWE?

The Super Rich (economic terrorist)

Class War (war on the middle-class)

American Slavery Today

8 Reasons NOT to support the US Military

25 Methods of Dis-Information  

(About) Kaepernick National Anthem / Police Brutality Protest

By Christopher R Rice

I'm about to wipe that stupid grin off of your face. I was just like you. Whenever I heard the National Anthem, tears would well up in my eyes and a lump would form in my throat. As a kid I dreamed of joining West Point. I put on a kitchen towel and pretended to be Super Man or Batman, I would pretend to save the world and the damsel in distress.

I believed. A so called liberal media crammed police loving cop shows down my throat all day long. Who could hate characters like Andy Taylor or Adam-12? I loved those guys. I emulated them. But then I grew up. And I'm not a naïve twelve year old boy, anymore. I'm not as gullible. I'm sure it was easy for you to fool a little child. I would've believed anything. But to date everything that I've been told, everything that I was taught or rather forced fed, has been a lie. A con job to keep the rich richer and the poor poorer.

I've suffered, I've worked, gave the best years of my short life. And it has turned out to be one big scam.

The US lied to the Native Americans, stole, raped and broke every treaty that we ever signed. I'm suppose to just forget and forgive, right? Wasn't every slave promised forty acres and a mule. More lies to swallow, huh? America makes the rules and laws for warfare and than just breaks every single one of them. Americans tortured the Koreans, tortured the Vietnamese, and sprayed them with chemical warfare. We can't forget Agent Orange, aren't American vets still suffering the consequences?

Between Americas open borders policies, Ronald Reagans Amnesty for illegals and 500 years of slavery, America is the worst human trafficker in the history of mankind. And how do you suppose that good Christians paid them back for over 500 years of slavery? With racism and bigotry, that's how.

Whenever an American president says that we don't torture remember George W Bush told us that crap too. You want me to find the video for you? Lies, lies and more lies. Now Obama makes the same claim as Bush but Obama just moved interrogations to US Navy ships. How do we possibly know that it's all lies? Because Obama is asking the courts not to release more torture pictures. And oh yeah, isn't Gitmo still open? Duh! It's not rocket science.

Hold up, I'm not done. Americans attacked Iraq and yet Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, we hung their president, tortured their people who never committed one crime against the US. Hold up, I'm not done. Thirty nine billion dollar no bid contracts for Halliburton. And the only reason was to raise the price on a barrel of crude so that fracking could be profitable. Because anything less than forty dollars a barrel and there would be no profits in fracking, so the bombs fell on Baghdad.

When I was a child my government made up a bunch of lies about marijuana, mere propaganda. They have spent untold millions trying to prove that it's bad for you. Eradication, DEA agents, Border agents, state police, local police all spending money and time while... More than 1.4 million murders, rapes, robberies and assaults are committed around the United States every year, or a violent crime every 22 seconds, the FBI says. Something smells fishy to me and sure enough, not only has Congress been making money off of perpetual war, they also take money from pharmaceutical manufacturers to keep a safer more effective alternative- marijuana, illegal. Would they lock up hard working honest Americans because they smoke weed? In the land of the free? Sounds like Russia to me.

Well kids, I'm here to tell you, you better hold onto your britches for this one, America is everything that they taught us about Russia. Remember the NSA scandal? Obama defended breaking the Constitution. IRS attack on the Tea Party? Sounds like Russia to me. But no, that was America.

The KKK doesn't lynch black people any more. But the police kill every chance they get. That's some progress huh? So lets look at this crap they keep feeding us, what is their patent excuse? "It's just a few bad apples." Right? We were told that Lynndie England and a few bad apples were responsible for all of the torture carried out in Iraq right? But then we found out that torture was ordered by Bush and Cheney and committed not just in Iraq, not just in Afghanistan, not just at Gitmo but at fifty other black sites around the world. While Cheney went on television claiming that they only tortured three high level detainees. Then why did they need fifty sites to torture three people?

Of course it was all lies to create more terrorist to feed the military industrial complex's insatiable appetite. But hey, why should Americans complain? We only had to pay five dollars a gallon for gasoline so that the Oil conglomerates could reap multi billion dollar profits and laugh all the way to their off-shore bank accounts.

So back to this "its just a few bad apples" crap. Two studies, one published by the FBI says that police officers domestic violence rate is four times the national average. In another study published by the Justice Dept. half of all rapes committed in US prisons are committed by prison guards and staff. So, forty percent of all LE goes home and beats on their wives and children. And fifty percent of all rapes committed in prisons are committed by those we pay to "protect and serve." Does this really sound like "just a few bad apples"? I don't know what kind of new math you have to use to get that to add up to "just a few bad apples" but that shit don't add up.

Hold on, I'm not done.

Several police officers have taken the time to explain exactly what is going on. And they said that when they reported police brutality or corruption to IA (internal affairs) as they are suppose to, they were ratted off. They got harassed by other officers, they were demoted. Hum, again, this is not the work of "just a few bad apples". But that is a very convenient excuse for anyone who is satisfied with the status-quo. If you know what I mean.

Let's examine this further. When Bradley Manning came forward or Edward Snowden, regardless how you feel about what they did, they were the only ones. They didn't release info to our enemies, but to our media. They weren't trying to hurt America. They believed in an America that we all want to believe in. But we were betrayed. Lied to. Conned. Bamboozled. Now Manning is charged and convicted of espionage. Really, Manning never gave secrets to the enemy.

According to Snowden's documents most of the people that were spied on were EU leaders like Merkel and Hollande as well as organizations like the UN. Also many industries in Germany and Brazil were spied on as well as their governments. That is economic espionage not catching terrorists.

Chelsea Manning never got a fair trial, even the EU members of Parliament complained to the US Government about the farce of a trial that Manning received. Why would Edward Snowden agree to go back when there is no chance of a fair trial.

Espionage is not a fair charge as neither Manning nor Snowden were spies for other countries or intending to harm the US. Therefore the charge of treason against whistleblowers (whether you agree with what he did or not) is plain ridiculous. There needs to be a distinction between someone revealing information to the press in the way Snowden and Manning did and someone actively spying on behalf of another country.

Sounds like this apple is rotten to the core. It's not a few bad apples as we've been led to believe. America is a bushel of bad apples with only a few good ones in it.

Remember the psychological torture our government committed against us as children? Making us crouch under our wooden school desk. Telling us that our families could be blowin away at any second by the Ruskies? "The Red coats are coming and the only thing that can protect you is this little piece of wood. That will keep you safe from a nuclear blast while your parents may not be so lucky." That is exactly what they preached to us when we were too young to understand or know any better. And the purpose for all of this? Russia was still using horse and buggies. So the only reason was to feed the military industrial complex / machine and keep the rich richer and the poor poorer. Because, after all some one has to pay for all that crap right? Guess who gets stuck with the tab while our schools, roads and hospitals are all in disrepair?

We're always told that we have freedom of speech but what is the track record? Four dead in Ohio. Leader of BLM shot and murdered. Police arresting hundreds of citizens when they complain about the police on Facebook or Twitter. Black listing actors for their political beliefs so they can't work. And when someone tries to exercise their rights to free speech like QB Kaepernick all hell breaks loose.

How about our supposed rights to "assemble peacefully and redress our grievances?". What happens every time? They send an army of pigs to intimidate us, mace us. All dressed in riot gear, with military grade equipment at the ready. They use chemical warfare against US citizens like canisters of tear gas and mace. Tell us that "our God given Rights" have a curfew and we must disperse or face the consequences. Sounds a lot like Russia to me. Even unarmed peaceful students aren't safe.

I'm just getting started. America claims to be number one but that's a lie. The only thing that America is number one in is locking up more of its own citizens than any other country on the planet. Sounds like what? Sounds like what they brain washed us to believe about Russia.

Here's the kicker, Russia has always been Americas ally. I'm not talking crazy conspiracy tin foil hat shit here, remember WWII? WWI? Crazy thing is that, America's been using one of our own allies -Russia, to scare Americans out of their hard earned dollars. Shameful.

Remember Ronald Reagan spent untold billions of tax dollars on a missile defense system (Star Wars) that never worked? Obama's pouring another few billion into the same project.

Because, after all, somebody's got to pay for all of this, and people will pay if they feel threatened. So these moves are invariably accompanied with a lot of hysterical rhetoric about weapons of mass destruction, mobile biological weapons, dirty bombs, all fabricated but necessary in order to beat the population into submission.

As for the U.S., it has been clearly recognized by government and business leaders that the state must intervene in the economy to stimulate production, and for a variety of reasons, the Pentagon system developed as the optimal means to achieve this result. This system funnels public subsidies to advanced sectors of industry. It is a system of public subsidy private profit. The militarization of the domestic society, a technique for compelling the public to invest in advanced sectors of the economy without sharing in the profits or interfering with management. Again, in this system the poor must be willing to subsidize the wealthy. A state guaranteed market for high technology waste production. That's our industrial policy planning, which has been in existence since W.W.II.

The U.S. was the largest creditor in the world. Now the debt is in the trillions of dollars. Trillions of dollars transferred from the worlds richest and most powerful country. This is a form of destructive economic management at a level of graft and corruption that has NO parallel. There’s nothing comparable to that in history.

The national debt is in the trillions of dollars, even our kids will never see it paid off. As the administration and Congress argue over cuts in social programs, inequality in America grows more extreme each day. Even the great financial crash didn’t derail this trend. The richest 400 Americans, for example, increased their wealth by 54 percent between 2005 and 2010, while the median middle-class family saw its wealth decline by 35 percent.


Information is certainly available publicly through various publications and government officials. It's true there may be even more horrifying things that we don't know about. But what we do know about is sufficient for an informed reaction and to be able to discern that new systems are being introduced that are a tremendous threat to our existence.

Yet everyone chooses to blame the media like a game of pass the buck. Everybody knows we don't have a 'free press', the corporations bought them off a long time ago. In 1999 Bill Clinton signed into law the disastrous Telecommunications Act. Today 90% of our media is owned / controlled by 6 mega-corporations.

But does that magically erase your duty as an American citizen to be informed and vigilant? I don't see how, even using your new math, something really doesn't add up here.

In 2009 Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State decided to put M-16s in the hands of ten year old children to go fight a dirty war for Corporate America in Sudan. So we can continue to rape and steal their natural resources. Again, America breaks her own laws whenever they are inconvenient. And where's the main stream media? Because had Russia or Korea or China done the same thing it would be reported in every major US newspaper and television news station night and day. But America does it and it never even gets a mention.

When you complain about how we protest, what you are really trying to tell us, is that you have a better way? No, Americans are boot lickers and ass kissers who think that we should take all of this abuse and then some. And then just smile about it. In other words, my friends, bend over, grab your ankles and forget about the Vaseline.

Police brutality and the use of excessive force, including police beatings, unjustified shootings and the use of dangerous restraint techniques to subdue suspects are as American as apple pie. Nothing is being done to monitor or check persistent abusers, or to ensure that police tactics in certain common situations minimize the risk of unnecessary force and injury.

Police are 31 percent more likely to pull over a black driver than a white driver, according to federal statistics. Black drivers are also more likely to be pulled over for minor offenses like a broken tail light or failure to signal a turn. In some situations, they are not even given a reason at all for the stop.

Children are being murdered daily in cold blood in broad day light. The murderers are identified and then given a paid vacation. Since neither City Hall, DAs or State legislatures are willing to act, citizens like Kaepernick are refusing to stand during the National Anthem. It seems like a very mild protest considering the charges. Americas reaction has been negative and predictable. Instead of having a discussion about police brutality, Americans turned it into an affront to our military men and women. Kaepernick never said anything about the military or about hating the police.


But since you want to bring the US military into this. Know that the US military has never, not once protected my freedoms or my rights. Rights which have been trampled on by my teachers, my bosses, my landlords, my banker, my politicians and my government. So I owe the military zero, zilch, nada, nothing. America is surrounded by two large bodies of water -the Atlantic ocean and the Pacific ocean, maybe you never noticed them before but they protect me better than any stupid multi billion dollar missile defense shield or US military.

Americans aren't even safe in their own homes, not from the criminals and not from the police... more American citizens were killed by the police than died in Iraq and Afghanistan combined, for the same ten year period. Disgusting.

The American military are war criminals by their own laws and standards. The last time I checked, dead checking, second strikes on first responders, assinations without trials are all illegal. America wrote the laws they just don't obey them. It's always been a double standard. One for the rich and one for everyone else. We the people break the law and its incarceration. Cops break the law they get a paid vacation.

Fuck the National Anthem. You have a problem with someone sitting down? That's what you get upset over when a woman is raped every 102 seconds and a child every 6 minutes in America. But you and your city council members have spent more time and more money trying to keep marijuana dispensaries out of your cities than you have spent to keep pedophiles out of your own communities. Just disgusting. I won't stand, ever, not for the National Anthem. Fuck your anthem.

Kaepernick only wants the police to stop killing unarmed civilians. Or stand a fair trial if they do murder in cold blood. I disagree. I know that this whole system is rotten to its very core. Children are being denied a decent education and are forced to live next door to pedophiles. What kind of society have we created. And more importantly how much more are you, my fellow Americans willing to suffer before you take a stand and stop licking Americas boot? How many lies can you swallow? When will the rest of my fellow Americans stand up and act like men instead of boot lickers?

America can't even protect its own citizens, it's just a disgrace. In the richest country in the world, by show of hands, how many of you have had a Pop Tart as a meal? WTF. Take a look at the farm bill for the last 50 years and you will see what is killing us. Look at the sign in the window at McDonalds that says: "the food served at this establishment known to the State of California to cause or contain chemicals that cause cancer." Hum, a Happy Meals not so happy any more is it? You're politicians will not protect you, it's not in their best interest.

Our elections have become a bazaar for special interest and corporations, our representatives are merely middlemen and women between the self interest of corporate America and the law making process.


In '06 we voted out the republican congress to end the war, and yet, instead we got a surge. We dutifully called our Senators during the first bailouts in opposition 100 to 1, and yet, instead we get even more bailouts for automakers.

We've allowed our country to be taken from us, for the benefit of the few and the total decimation of the vast many.

It’s not the result of mysterious global forces, or technology, or China, or structural problems concerning the skills and education of our workforce. Rather, it is the direct result of policy choices made by Democrats and Republicans alike.

The U.S. policy (includes tax policy, financial deregulation, trade policy, anti-labor policy, and much more.) for the past 30 years has been aggressively dedicated to shifting income share away from the poor and middle class and into the pockets of the already rich.

Well, don't just sit there. Get up and demand justice. There are solutions to our dilemma, I've already researched and wrote about them. The real problem is that I don't have the publishing power to reach enough people to make those solutions a reality.


So, before another good intentioned police officer or NSA / CIA officer or US military personnel or hackers are hunted, arrested, charged and persecuted by the United States of America, please help me to rebuild the Underground railroad. A string of safe houses that will extend from Mexico to Canada. Before anyone else is murdered or given another fifty year sentence, let's rebuild the Underground. Because, once we can guarantee the safety of our soldiers and whistleblowers we can then begin to openly fight back and eventually take America back!

UPDATE: There's mass confusion as to what is real and what is a con. I talked with a doctor yesterday, she recently arrived here from Africa. When I stated that it was difficult to buy food that was good for you in America. She immediately scoffed, and said that "we have a lot of choices". I agreed, we do have a lot of choices, unfortunately they are all bad for you. Finding food that is actually good for you is very difficult and very expensive. But we do have a lot of food that is really bad for you and really inexpensive. She agreed. She said that when she goes to the grocery store, "the food that is good for you there, is in a section, that is smaller than a coat closet."

Now, to make America look good, what do they ALWAYS say? They always compare us to some third world hell hole, don't they? Why is that, do you suppose? Because compared to any other industrialized nation, say, Canada, Germany, Japan, France, on and on and America looks like a third world hell hole, doesn't it? But don't let me wake you from your American dream / nightmare. You won't even lift a finger to save yourself and everybody knows this. Easier to label me crazy, paranoid, a terrorist, radical, edgy, easier to shoot the messenger. Responsibility averted. The American way.

UPDATE: Somewhere in Texas a group of teenagers joined Kaepernick's National Anthem protest, refusing to stand for the anthem at their high school games. For their bravery they were quickly rewarded with death threats via their Facebook pages. Adults sending death threats to children. Hum, sounds like the Emperor has no clothes. And we all better keep quiet about it or else. America has killed everyone who has dared to stand up, like myself. That's why you need the Underground railroad. Duh.

Will death threats stop Texas youth football team’s protest?


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Elections VS Voters

Why Is It Blasphemous for Kim Dotcom to Testify Under Oath in Congress?

By HuffPost

Nobody can state categorically who killed Seth Rich.

However, Kim Dotcom isn’t part of any conspiracy theory.

He accurately predicted Julian Assange would publish material considered to be “Hillary Clinton’s worst nightmare” in a 2015 Bloomberg interview. Kim Dotcom’s words are forever archived in Bloomberg piece titled Kim Dotcom: Julian Assange Will Be Hillary Clinton’s Worst Nightmare in 2016.

Here is the Bloomberg video.

Would The Washington Post’s Dave Weigel accuse Bloomberg of being part of a Seth Rich conspiracy theory, simply because it interviewed Kim Dotcom years before the Russian hacking narrative?

Because I respect The Huffington Post, I’ll keep this piece short, and to the point; nobody is claiming anyone caused the death of Seth Rich.

On the other hand, more information on Seth Rich’s death is needed.

If indeed Seth Rich was the WikiLeaks source, we need to know, or at least evaluate added evidence.
It’s unheard of to simply disregard new evidence, or prevent a witness from testifying under oath, even in “botched robbery” cases.

Here are the specific claims made by Kim Dotcom, found at
I know this because in late 2014 a person contacted me about helping me to start a branch of the Internet Party in the United States. He called himself Panda. I now know that Panda was Seth Rich.
Panda advised me that he was working on voter analytics tools and other technologies that the Internet Party may find helpful.
I communicated with Panda on a number of topics including corruption and the influence of corporate money in politics.
“He wanted to change that from the inside.”
I was referring to what I knew when I did an interview with Bloomberg in New Zealand in May 2015. In that interview I hinted that Julian Assange and Wikileaks would release information about Hillary Clinton in the upcoming election.
The Rich family has reached out to me to ask that I be sensitive to their loss in my public comments. That request is entirely reasonable.
I have consulted with my lawyers. I accept that my full statement should be provided to the authorities and I am prepared to do that so that there can be a full investigation. My lawyers will speak with the authorities regarding the proper process.
If my evidence is required to be given in the United States I would be prepared to do so if appropriate arrangements are made. I would need a guarantee from Special Counsel Mueller, on behalf of the United States, of safe passage from New Zealand to the United States and back. In the coming days we will be communicating with the appropriate authorities to make the necessary arrangements. In the meantime, I will make no further comment.

Again, I’m not claiming anyone in particular killed Seth Rich.

What I’m saying is new evidence, or the possibility of new evidence is vital to finding out what happened to Seth Rich.

If you have a problem with this sentiment, yet eagerly await Louise Mensch’s latest breakthrough on hearsay about Trump, then you’re open to circumstantial evidence; just not on topics that don’t bolster your political bias.

In addition, Kim Dotcom isn’t willing to provide merely hearsay or circumstantial evidence, but has spoken to a legal team and is ready to testify under oath.

Why is this blasphemy to CNN and The Washington Post? What are they afraid of?

A true conspiracy theory is the belief that a botched robbery with little evidence surrounding the case should remain shrouded with questions, without any chance at further evidence.

America, and in my humble view anyone who wants more information on Seth Rich’s death, has nothing to lose and everything to gain from Kim Dotcom testifying in Congress under oath.

EDITORS NOTE: In case you missed it the Underground reported about Seth back in Jan. 2017 here's the original article:

Stay Informed:

Endless War = Endless Profits (How Congress Profits from War)

Americas War Criminals (living freely today)

How Much Does the US REALLY OWE?

The Super Rich (economic terrorist)

Class War (war on the middle-class)

American Slavery Today

8 Reasons NOT to support the US Military

25 Methods of Dis-Information 

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

U.S. Arms Deal Rewards ‘Saudi War Crimes with Weapons’

By Muftah

U.S. President Donald Trump signed a multi-billion dollar arms deal with Saudi Arabia on Saturday during his maiden overseas tour, making clear his intention to secure the Kingdom’s dominance in the region despite its appalling human rights record. Since 2011, the United States has sold ten percent of all arms exports to Saudi Arabia, its largest buyer.

The arms deal, together with other joint investments, could total up to $350 billion, and will include tanks, helicopters, ships, intelligence-gathering aircraft, missile defense radar systems, and cyber security tools. It is the largest bilateral military pact ever signed between the two countries.

The Obama administration had offered a similar package to Saudi Arabia, but it was halted in late 2016 after a Saudi airstrike on a funeral in Yemen killed over 140 people. Since 2015, Saudi Arabia and regional allies have led a merciless war on Yemen, the region’s poorest country, killing 10,000 civilians, displacing three million, and bringing the country to the brink of starvation. Human Rights Watch described the recent U.S. arms deal as rewarding “Saudi war crimes with weapons.”

Trump’s visit to the Kingdom, which was the first stop on his maiden overseas tour, is setting the foreign policy tone for an administration for whom human rights is no barrier to lucrative trade and arms deals. Acutely aware of Trump’s philosophy, Saudi Arabia welcomed him with pomp and pageantry.

Addressing forty heads of Arab and Islamic states at a summit in Riyadh on Sunday, Trump signaled his intent to reset Obama’s foreign policy and restore the historic U.S.-Saudi alliance, which was supposedly overshadowed in recent years by his predecessor’s rapprochement with Iran. He launched a blistering attack on the Iranian government, blaming it for fueling the “fires of sectarian conflict and terror,” and urging its international isolation.

A day before Trump arrived in the Saudi Kingdom, Iranians had elected reformist candidate Hassan Rouhani in a landslide victory, with 75% voter turnout, a clear indication of the country’s openness to global engagement and dialogue. The event clearly made little difference to the U.S. president.

As his speech made clear, realigning the United States with Saudi Arabia, Gulf allies, and Israel has been central to Donald Trump and his administration. Indeed, thanks to Trump’s presidency, Saudi Arabia has re-secured pride of place with the United States, a reflection of the deep economic and military interests between Trump’s cabinet, private military companies, and the world’s largest energy provider.

Courting Saudi Arabia will only accelerate continuing U.S. violence in the region. A record arms deal for a country actively engaged in committing war crimes will result in further death and instability and embolden human rights violations in the region, while also increasing domestic repression and fueling sectarian politics.

Stay Informed:

Endless War = Endless Profits (How Congress Profits from War)

Americas War Criminals (living freely today)

How Much Does the US REALLY OWE?

The Super Rich (economic terrorist)

Class War (war on the middle-class)

American Slavery Today

8 Reasons NOT to support the US Military

25 Methods of Dis-Information  

How Bribes to Politicians From Arms Dealers Keep Wars Going And How the Wars Keep the Politicians Going

By Jeff Schechtman Whowhatwhy

The power of globalization, the influence of multinational corporations, the free flow of money, products, and ideas around the world are an indisputable reality of 21st century life. What we don’t realize, is that one of the earliest adopters of the globalization model was the international arms trade. With the cooperation of governments, intelligence agencies, and world leaders, defense contractors have spawned a global business that profits from war, supports and encourages corruption, and must for its survival help fan the flames of civil wars and global conflicts to draw its breath. This is the subject of a new documentary film Shadow World from my guests writer Andrew Feinstein and director Johan Grimonprez. It is my pleasure to welcome Johan and Andrew here today to talk about the international arms trade in their film Shadow World. Gentlemen, thanks so much for joining us. Thank you both for being here. Andrew, I want to start with you. This film is based on a book that you wrote a number of years ago based upon your own personal experiences in South Africa. Tell us a little bit about the evolution of that.

Andrew: Sure, I am the author of the book Shadow World inside the global arms trade which was really the first book written about the global arms trade published since 1979. It’s another subject that a lot of people write about. It’s another subject that [publishes necessarily for one to publish???]. So the way in which I came to it is I was an ANC member of parliament in South Africa. I served under Nelson Mandela for seven and a half years. Our experience in South Africa was that within five years of the advent of our democracy, the country decided to spend $10 billion on weapons that we didn’t need and that we barely used. The primary reason for that was $300 million of bribes were paid. It had a profound effect on South Africa’s democracy. I tried to investigate the deal in my official capacity as a member of parliament and was stopped from doing so by my own political party, which itself had benefited from the bribes. The extraordinary thing was that these incredibly brave people, who I had been involved with in the ANC for many years long before the democracy, so during the period of apartheid, were prepared to undermine the institution of the democracy that they had fought so hard to create, in order to protect themselves from the exposure of the corruption that had taken place in the field. Crucially, it was at the time when South Africa had around 6 million people living with HIV or AIDs and at the time when our then president Thabo Mbeki said that we didn’t have the finances to provide these people with anti-retroviral medication. But we had 10 billion to spend on weapons. According to a study by the Kennedy School of Government, this resulted in 365,000 avoidable deaths in South Africa. There’s this stark experience of the sort of impact that this trade can have. But I was interested in finding out not just about those who’d been corrupted, the South African current president’s 783 counts of full corruption in racketeering in relation to the deal, charges dropped a few weeks before he was elected president. But I wanted to find out also about the companies and the politicians, sitting in Washington, London, in Paris, Berlin, and Rome, who were really responsible for these deals happening and that’s what motivated the writing of Shadow World. And of course, once you have a book of 557 pages, almost 3000 footnotes, we were very keen to turn it into a film and that’s when we turned to Johan.

Jeff: Johan, talk a little bit about how you got involved in this and when you started to see this material and see what Andrew had put together. What you saw in terms of the potential to incorporate it into this documentary.

Johan: Well, I used to joke with Andrew about a little note that was hanging above each of the desks and it read: two goes to the junkyard, she wanted to read a film; and one goes to the other, “I liked the book better.” And I’m afraid that the book Shadow World is such a challenge because you could never measure up to the book, so definitely not research 500 pages and 3000 footnotes. So it was a very big challenge to put that into a cinematic format. And so…I first thought maybe that it should be a tv series because corruption is such a big theme. So you can’t imagine how much you could find about corruption and also images and including them in the result of it, war. So here we are with something that is actually living in the shadow and so you can find so much about it and sometimes you try to put a light on it. That was an additional problem. So we couldn’t find a weapon dealer that would try in the film. There was one Judith Sepkin who was portrayed as a whole big chapter devoted Judith Sepkin. Correct me if I’m wrong, Andrew, the weapon dealer living between Amman and Bayreuth, he asked that we would pay him, so that we would actually buy him off. And so you see already that the extraneous thing that we are trying to do already is compromising what we are trying to solve was a tough situation. We tried to look for some threat that actually is set forth in the book. A threat that we actually could translate to the cinematic form. Of course it would have to be a simple threat because you can only do so much in cinematic format.[ One of the templates that I thought while reading Andrew’s book was, one, those weapon dealers mostly beginning with the figure of Zaharoff in the first world war were actually getting to both sides, actually not dealing with ethics but the dealing with greed or to try to make as much money as possible at the cost of people being killed in the war. They’re actually, as it seems to be, one to perpetuate war in order to sustain their greed. So that was one template that we came up with. The other was that, of course, you could zoom in on the shady character, and of course you get the better film if you can zoom in on the villains. But since they didn’t want to be portrayed we were sort of examining the book and it seemed actually that the biggest villains, biggest people involved with the arms deals on the level of corruption were actually our politicians. So we changed gear and were trying to trace that through the highest level of government. From there we had the figure of Prince Bandar bin Sultan, who was heavily involved with the corruption of arms trade with the US, who was the Saudi ambassador to the United States. And so we tried and were able to link the characters to the Bush administration, to the Reagan administration, to the corruption within the government and also including Tony Blair and the two Gulf wars.

Jeff: Andrew, one of the things in many ways as a backdrop to this entire story is this chicken or the egg question, the degree to which politicians have shaped so many of these arms deals and the other side of it, the way the arms deals themselves, in the way the arms business and the contractors have really shaped the kind of politicians that have been self-reinforcing for these kind of deals.

Andrew: Absolutely, I think that the chicken and the egg situation is the right image. Because they each feed off each other now and you’re not sure where it all started. But you have a situation where it’s always the best thing a leader can do is to be at war. You have a situation in the United States of America under Barack Obama where, according to former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, it takes more people to run one aircraft carrier than the United States has diplomats all over the planet. And the United States has ten aircraft carriers. So…there has been a profound movement from diplomacy to war making as a way of resolving differences. The problem is that the politician benefits hugely from it. Sometimes they benefit materially and financially because some of the money paid in these arms circulated back to them either in the form of campaign contribution or in some parts of the world as bribes, both personally and to their political parties, etc. But at the same time, weapons manufacturers are pushing their particular product because they have very close relationships with the politician and with the military. They have a very close relationship with the state department and with the intelligence agency. They play an extraordinary role in influencing policy. And unfortunately, because of the national security and defense imperative, all of this takes place in secrecy. So there is no accountability. There is virtually no immediate scrutiny of what is going wrong. So it is a very lucrative self-perpetuating cycle of what is happening in the arms trade. But unfortunately the consequences are devastating. The trade accounts for 40% of all corruption in all world trade. We see, for instance, in the film, how the head of the CIA, George Tenet, actually gave very partial information to Secretary of State Colin Powell for his presentation of the United Nations before the invasion of Iraq. So that effectively Colin Powell and the United States government misled the world, misled congress, misled the American people on the reasons for going to war in Iraq. And this is the most important thing that a government can do—make war. And in the United States of America, as Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Colin Powell says again: in America, this function has been privatized. So there are many, many people benefiting materially from the number and scale of war that the United States has engaged in. And we try and reveal in the film, the sort of structural underbelly, if you will, of the trade and how it affects the way we’re governed, how it affects the way our tax dollars are spent. And we really, I suppose, are asking people, whether this is what they want their government to be doing, this is what they want their tax dollars to be spent on.

Jeff: Talk a little bit more about the privatization aspect because this has become, as you allude to, far more than just the corruption and the sale of weaponry to these various countries. More and more aspects of the military itself, more and more aspects of the machinery that wages war has become privatized.

Andrew: The film very early on establishes, what we often referred to as, the Neoliberal Economic Doctrine of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, which really deregulated the private sector. And so huge sways of the government being privatized and put in charge of companies’ hands. Now here you see that virtually every aspect of public life has been privatized. But for the function of war to be privatized is the most remarkable of all because this is the most public assumptions. And how it worked, in essence, is somebody like Dick Cheney who was Secretary of Defense. He then moved from the Pentagon to Halliburton as chief executive officer. This is one of the country’s biggest defense contractors. At Halliburton, the company was given a contract under the Clinton administration to basically do a study for the US government about which aspect of war-making could be privatized. And of course, Cheney returned the verdict with huge sways of war-making can be put in private hand. Cheney is then returned to government as vice president with his political soul mate, if you will, Donald Rumsfeld becoming Defense Secretary. And what is one of the first things that they do in government with Cheney and Rumsfeld the real driving force of this? They decide to invade Iraq on false premises, based on false intelligence that Saddam Hussein, one, had weapons of mass destruction, and two, had links to Al-Qaeda, both of which had been shown to be unequivocally untrue at the time. Two, you have these people who are swimming through what is referred to as the revolving door between the government and the private sector, turning the process of war into a private function from which they benefit hugely. Dick Cheney while in office had a massive amount of Halliburton shares in a blind trust and would’ve made tens of millions of dollars out of the billions of dollars that Halliburton made out of the invasion of Iraq. All sorts of things, Halliburton provided the basis. It provided the food. It provided the entertainment. It provided some of the equipment, uniform, weaponry, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera and made, I think the figure is over $30 billion dollars out of the invasion of Iraq. And Cheney, who had been driving forth of the strategy in the White House, benefited himself personally. So that’s why this privatization had taken place to an extent that at one point in Iraq, there were two contractors. What had been referred to at the start, as mercenaries, now, in the year of privatization, we call them military contractors. They were mercenaries. There were two mercenaries for every one US soldier in Iraq. The figure, at the moment—I mean it changes all the time—is probably around 5 to 6 contractors in Iraq, in the guise of the American military, to every American soldier. And this is an absurdity, that we’re really contracting out the war because these people think they can fight for anybody. And unfortunately, the nature of these privatized wars is such that their primary function which is supposedly to bolster our security, does exactly the opposite. With our minds off security, with things like the war in Iraq, so Al-Qaeda improved massively in Iraq and developed a huge presence in the country which it never had before. So these sorts of things are not making us more secure, they’re making us less secure. Unfortunately, in the protests, and the other things we do, due to privatization, we find ourselves arming the very people who we land ourselves fighting against in short order thereafter. So the example of the Taliban in Afghanistan, who the American government finally armed turned out to be among the perpetrators of 9/11.

Jeff: Andrew, how big is the global arms business today?

Andrew: It varies every year. It varies anywhere between about $50 – 55 billion a year to around $125 billion a year. And obviously in years when there are a lot of conflicts that figure is much higher. So it’s not a huge industry, but in terms of the impact that it has, in terms of the military policy, in terms of foreign policy, in terms of economic policy, in terms of the nature of the corruption and the way in which it undermines our government and the rule of law, because it’s also worth mentioning when a crime takes place, in the feet of the arms deals in which it’s protected by the veil of national security secretly, nobody gets prosecuted for that. There’ve been 102 violations of UN arms involved. Only two of them have resulted in any legal action. So this is the world that operates in something of a parallel legal universe. And given the size of the industry, it’s an absurdity that what we’re saying in the film and what we’re saying in the outreach of the problem, it is that we demand weight regulation and greater transparency over the arms trade that is actually performed the function that it’s supposed to perform and it does it in a legal and noncriminal way.

Jeff: In wanting to see a greater amount of transparency, a greater legal framework for this, is there something you know that is inherent in the business of international arms trade, that is almost antithetical to what operating in a legal and transparent way?

Andrew: There is something built in the trade that makes it extremely difficult to operate in a legal and transparent way. And that is the way in which it has been structured historically and still currently. While obviously the issues of national security and national defense do require a degree of confidentiality for obvious reasons, that national security veil of secrecy has unfortunately been extended to all aspects of arms dealers. So that the national security dimension, which is legitimately kept secret, is also used to keep on one hand the corruption and criminality in the trade secret, but also the source of very faulty decision-making processes and implementation secrets. The fact that many governments, including the US government, often acquires inappropriate equipment in the first instance, that equipment is often delivered way late and massively over budget. These things are now taken for granted, so I think what is happening that the modus operandi of the trade which has been going on for years—I mean I traced it back in the book to the first of the modern arms dealers, a guy called Basil Zaharoff. I would say from then, from the late1800s until today that modus operandi is being utilized. So the trade has been structured in a way that militates against any sort of transparency, any sort of openness, and bizarrely any sort of legality. It is that sort of acceptance of the status quo that needs to be broken for the arms race to be able to change meaning for me. The irony of this is that it could actually be extremely easy to do. There are certain steps. There is a good regulatory framework in place. It’s just that it isn’t enforced at all. It’s constantly violated. But if that regulatory framework would actually be enforced properly, it will go a long way to better regulating and better controlling the trade. Second of all, there is one key element that if it was made transparent in public would undermine virtually all of the corruption and a great deal of inappropriate decision-making in the business. That change will be to make transparent the use of any intermediary by governments, by companies themselves. In other words, the use of the arms dealers, the arms brokers, or the arms agents because that is where the corruption, the illegality and the inappropriate defense decision action take place because those intermediaries, who on behalf of the company, pay a bribe to ensure that the people who are commissioning the sort of equipment their clients want get constant employment jobs with them as part of the revolving door. If that dimension of the trade was made public, and there is absolutely no reason to keep that secret, then it would be so much more difficult for the trade to continue operating corruptly and inappropriately than it does now.

Jeff: One of the ironies in that is that you could make the case, at least looking at it on the surface, that for the companies that are in the arms business for the Lockheed Martins of the world and the BEAs that it would be just as, if not more profitable, doing it without those intermediaries.

Andrew: That is an interesting point. At one level, absolutely. Because if you’re finding that anywhere from 5 to 75% of the contract price is actually in inflation to accommodate the corruption, then yes, of course, they would be acting more profitably. They would be making more out of these transactions. However the difficulty comes especially for European manufacturers. The European manufacturers cannot compete with American manufacturers on the basis of price or quality of the equipment because of the huge advantage that US has. It is because of the fact that the US produces and utilizes almost as much weaponry as the rest of the world combined, American companies have huge economies of scale. So the unit price for what they produce is much lower because they produce so much more of everything than the European manufacturers. So European manufacturers see corruption as a key terrain on which they can compete with and beat the menu of American manufacturers. Now the irony of that is that does make a contract less profitable because they have to pay the bribe. But, it also means that a cleaner, more legal, more honest arms trade would massively benefit the American manufacturers.

Jeff: Of course one of the other areas in and you show this in the film and I’m sure the book a great deal with something like a Iran-Contra being the penultimate example is the movement of arms into places where it would be looked at askance if the world knew what was really going on.

Andrew: Absolutely. There are countless examples of arms going into places either where there is conflict and arms are only making the conflicts worse, ensuring that they last longer and that they are much bloodier than they need to be, but also what lies under that. So yes, certainly during the 70s and the 80s, America was funding and providing the weaponry to some of the worst dictators on the planet during that period. So they claim to be fighting communism and various other evils by supporting some of the most brutal murderous dictators in the world. The American public had very little knowledge. One, of what a lot of the people were doing, but, two, the fact that America was funding and arming them. Now it would be my contention that for the US to be arming and financing these awful people was actually not that anyone in legal terms of US law. I believe it actually undermine US security in that I don’t believe it represents America’s commitment to democracy and certain freedom, to be allying itself with these people. I think there are foreign policy consequences of that. We now move forward a little bit to the post 9/11period. And we have a repeat of that in the Middle East where the United States finds itself funding and arming groups that more often than not ultimately land up turning those weapons onto the US itself, and therefore, intensifying and making worse the problem of global terrorism. So the way in which the arms trade and foreign policy is being conducted by the United States is actually undermining the very national security that it claims to be bolstering. And while it’s dong this, the tragedy and irony is, that a number of people including weapons manufacturers, including the often dodgy intermediaries, and including politicians, senior military people etc., are making themselves extremely wealthy in the process.

Jeff: The other overlay to all of this that has happened arguably in the past 10-15 years is the privatization of many of these military operations.

Andrew: Absolutely. This is at the core of it. And we try and draw out in the film Shadow World, that it is that private privatization and deregulation that happened in the so-called faction in the Thatcher and Reagan Revolution, starting in the late 70s going to the late 80s, it is that mindset, that notion that greed is good and that if we all pursue our own selfish interests the world will be a better place. If we let corporations do pretty much whatever they want to do and we don’t regulate them, we don’t oversee them in any meaningful way, that is going to make the world a better place. In fact, that is the underpinning of the nature of the global trading arms. And the ultimate manifestation of that has been the privatization of war. The privatization of the ultimate public function and that is what the United States has done. It’s embodied by Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld who was spun through the revolving door between governments and the private sector. What they’ve done with it created, while in government, a conducive environment to privatize the process of war which has led to huge personal benefits to companies with whom they’re personally linked and from whom they personally benefit. Then, once back in office again, they ensure that the US is focused on making war rather than resolving conflict by diplomatic means, again ensuring that companies like Halliburton and others profit to the tune of tens of billions of dollars. So what has this national security and what it effectively has done is that it created a cycle of profitability for itself. So in profit for itself, it has created a situation of almost perpetual war for the United States of America and, crucially, a huge drain on tax revenues of the United States of America which, of course, affect ordinary Americans in their pockets when a huge percentage of their tax dollars are going into the pockets of Lockheed Martin, Halliburton and others who are accompanied through waging war on behalf of the US.

Jeff: And of course, it’s a little like talking about the banks and too big to fail. These companies, the Lockheed Martins of the world, and not to single them out, but there are so many others that you talk about, have become so big that there’s so many billions of dollars at stake and so many jobs at stake around the world, that continuous war becomes almost essential to keep an economic engine going.

Andrew: At one level, that is absolutely true. There is an economic engine that requires the process of perpetual war to keep it profitable. The other thing works bearing in mind, that almost without exception the defense contractors, or the weapons makers tend to be incredibly badly run companies. So they could use things that are often substandard. The cost of them is hugely inflated from the cost that was initially agreed in the contract. The way in which these contracts were drawn up basically allows them no penalty. It is in their own interest to try and prolong the weapons project before they deliver for many years because they actually earn more money as they’re delayed, even though those delays are a consequence of the company’s incompetence and inefficiency itself. The ultimate irony, I suppose, is that when you see certain needs that we can mess up security reasons that go unmet because of the incompetence of the company, it has huge consequences on the national security of the company. It was the prime example where Lockheed and a range of other companies contracted effectively to resupply the Americans troops with a whole lot of equipment in post 9/11 because it was seen as weakness in the US national security framework. And the contract was given to the company. It took them years and years before they actually delivered anything. The first boat that they delivered, when they eventually put it in the water years later with millions of dollars over budget, the hull cracked. During this period in which the incompetence of the company is going effectively unmonitored, America is in danger. America is vulnerable to the real consequences of this very cozy arrangement that the national security elite has. But there’s very real consequences for the security and prosperity of ordinary Americans.

Jeff: And finally, Andrew, are there any governments in the world that are beginning to take a hard look at this, or are beginning to address this in ways that go to the heart of some of these issues that we’ve been talking about.

Andrew: The tragedy is, that I cannot tell you today, but there is one government that is legitimately and with honesty, integrity, and transparency trying to address the morass that is the global trade arms. Many governments sign up to, for instance, the international arms trade treaty that is signed by the United Nations in June 2014. Every one of those countries violate such treaty on an almost daily basis. The mass majority of countries didn’t even implement their own legislation, their own regulatory environment, and their own arms control export regulation. It’s an absolutely terrifying situation and the best way to demonstrate that is the case of Saudi Arabia at the moment. So for the last two years, Saudi Arabia has been the biggest purchaser of weapons in the world. Those weapons are being used as we speak in places like Yemen, Syria, and Bahrain. If governments like the US and the countries in the European Union actually enforced their own legislation and their own arms export regulations, it would be illegal for them to provide weapons to Saudi Arabia given the conflict that it is engaged in and given the history of gargantuan corruption in every arms deal that it has done. But as we speak, all the countries of the EU, the United States of America and Canada are all exporting more and more to Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is committing war crimes and crimes against humanity in those conflicts that I mentioned. And there are absolutely no consequences for them whatsoever. Instead, Saudi Arabia stands out and threatens the United States of America to stop buying certain weaponry to draw forth investments in the US unless the US promises that the Saudi role in 9/11 will not be investigated because there remains huge question marks about the role of Saudi citizens in 9/11. And, in fact, in the biggest and most corrupt arms deal of all times, something called the Al-Yamamah arms deal between the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia, in which 43 billion pounds of weaponry, probably around 60 something billion dollars of weaponry, were sold to Saudi Arabia. Over $8 billion of bribes were paid on that transaction including over a billion dollars to the then Saudi ambassador to the US through Prince Bandar Bin Sultan. This matter was only investigated when money flowed from Bandar’s account in Riggs Bank in Washington D.C. into the account of his wife. Some of the money found its way into the hands of two of the 9/11 hijackers. If only then that any inquiry took place and the inquiry was pretty much stifled before the court went anywhere. So these sorts of things again illustrate the way in which governments are not addressing the matter of the global arms trade and the cost of that is undermining the national security of the United States of America while enriching certain people.

Jeff: Johan Grimonprez, Andrew Feinstein. The film is Shadow World. Gentlemen, I thank you so much for spending time with us today here on radio whowhatwhy.

Andrew: It’s a pleasure and thank you so much.

Jeff: Thank you for listening and joining us here on radio whowhatwhy. I hope you join us next week for another radio whowhatwhy podcast. I’m Jeff Schechtman.

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Clinton Foundation Donors Got Weapons Deals From Hillary Clinton's State Department

By IBTimes

Even by the standards of arms deals between the United States and Saudi Arabia, this one was enormous. A consortium of American defense contractors led by Boeing would deliver $29 billion worth of advanced fighter jets to the United States' oil-rich ally in the Middle East.

Israeli officials were agitated, reportedly complaining to the Obama administration that this substantial enhancement to Saudi air power risked disrupting the region's fragile balance of power. The deal appeared to collide with the State Department’s documented concerns about the repressive policies of the Saudi royal family.

But now, in late 2011, Hillary Clinton’s State Department was formally clearing the sale, asserting that it was in the national interest. At press conferences in Washington to announce the department’s approval, an assistant secretary of state, Andrew Shapiro, declared that the deal had been “a top priority” for Clinton personally. Shapiro, a longtime aide to Clinton since her Senate days, added that the “U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army have excellent relationships in Saudi Arabia.”

These were not the only relationships bridging leaders of the two nations. In the years before Hillary Clinton became secretary of state, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia contributed at least $10 million to the Clinton Foundation, the philanthropic enterprise she has overseen with her husband, former president Bill Clinton. Just two months before the deal was finalized, Boeing -- the defense contractor that manufactures one of the fighter jets the Saudis were especially keen to acquire, the F-15 -- contributed $900,000 to the Clinton Foundation, according to a company press release.

The Saudi deal was one of dozens of arms sales approved by Hillary Clinton’s State Department that placed weapons in the hands of governments that had also donated money to the Clinton family philanthropic empire, an International Business Times investigation has found.

Under Clinton's leadership, the State Department approved $165 billion worth of commercial arms sales to 20 nations whose governments have given money to the Clinton Foundation, according to an IBTimes analysis of State Department and foundation data. That figure -- derived from the three full fiscal years of Clinton’s term as Secretary of State (from October 2010 to September 2012) -- represented nearly double the value of American arms sales made to the those countries and approved by the State Department during the same period of President George W. Bush’s second term.

The Clinton-led State Department also authorized $151 billion of separate Pentagon-brokered deals for 16 of the countries that donated to the Clinton Foundation, resulting in a 143 percent increase in completed sales to those nations over the same time frame during the Bush administration. These extra sales were part of a broad increase in American military exports that accompanied Obama’s arrival in the White House. The 143 percent increase in U.S. arms sales to Clinton Foundation donors compares to an 80 percent increase in such sales to all countries over the same time period.

American defense contractors also donated to the Clinton Foundation while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state and in some cases made personal payments to Bill Clinton for speaking engagements. Such firms and their subsidiaries were listed as contractors in $163 billion worth of Pentagon-negotiated deals that were authorized by the Clinton State Department between 2009 and 2012.

The State Department formally approved these arms sales even as many of the deals enhanced the military power of countries ruled by authoritarian regimes whose human rights abuses had been criticized by the department. Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar all donated to the Clinton Foundation and also gained State Department clearance to buy caches of American-made weapons even as the department singled them out for a range of alleged ills, from corruption to restrictions on civil liberties to violent crackdowns against political opponents.

As secretary of state, Hillary Clinton also accused some of these countries of failing to marshal a serious and sustained campaign to confront terrorism. In a December 2009 State Department cable published by Wikileaks, Clinton complained of “an ongoing challenge to persuade Saudi officials to treat terrorist financing emanating from Saudi Arabia as a strategic priority.” She declared that “Qatar's overall level of CT cooperation with the U.S. is considered the worst in the region.” She said the Kuwaiti government was “less inclined to take action against Kuwait-based financiers and facilitators plotting attacks.” She noted that “UAE-based donors have provided financial support to a variety of terrorist groups.” All of these countries donated to the Clinton Foundation and received increased weapons export authorizations from the Clinton-run State Department.

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Clinton Foundation did not respond to questions from the IBTimes.

In all, governments and corporations involved in the arms deals approved by Clinton’s State Department have delivered between $54 million and $141 million to the Clinton Foundation as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments to the Clinton family, according to foundation and State Department records. The Clinton Foundation publishes only a rough range of individual contributors’ donations, making a more precise accounting impossible.

Winning Friends, Influencing Clintons

Under federal law, foreign governments seeking State Department clearance to buy American-made arms are barred from making campaign contributions -- a prohibition aimed at preventing foreign interests from using cash to influence national security policy. But nothing prevents them from contributing to a philanthropic foundation controlled by policymakers.

Just before Hillary Clinton became Secretary of State, the Clinton Foundation signed an agreement generally obligating it to disclose to the State Department increases in contributions from its existing foreign government donors and any new foreign government donors. Those increases were to be reviewed by an official at the State Department and “as appropriate” the White House counsel’s office. According to available disclosures, officials at the State Department and White House raised no issues about potential conflicts related to arms sales.

During Hillary Clinton’s 2009 Senate confirmation hearings, Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., urged the Clinton Foundation to “forswear” accepting contributions from governments abroad. “Foreign governments and entities may perceive the Clinton Foundation as a means to gain favor with the secretary of state,” he said. The Clintons did not take Lugar’s advice. In light of the weapons deals flowing to Clinton Foundation donors, advocates for limits on the influence of money on government action now argue that Lugar was prescient in his concerns.

“The word was out to these groups that one of the best ways to gain access and influence with the Clintons was to give to this foundation,” said Meredith McGehee, policy director at the Campaign Legal Center, an advocacy group that seeks to tighten campaign finance disclosure rules. “This shows why having public officials, or even spouses of public officials, connected with these nonprofits is problematic.”

Hillary Clinton’s willingness to allow those with business before the State Department to finance her foundation heightens concerns about how she would manage such relationships as president, said Lawrence Lessig, the director of Harvard University’s Safra Center for Ethics.

“These continuing revelations raise a fundamental question of judgment,” Lessig told IBTimes. “Can it really be that the Clintons didn't recognize the questions these transactions would raise? And if they did, what does that say about their sense of the appropriate relationship between private gain and public good?”

National security experts assert that the overlap between the list of Clinton Foundation donors and those with business before the the State Department presents a troubling conflict of interest.

While governments and defense contractors may not have made donations to the Clinton Foundation exclusively to influence arms deals, they were clearly “looking to build up deposits in the 'favor bank' and to be well thought of,” said Gregory Suchan, a 34-year State Department veteran who helped lead the agency’s oversight of arms transfers under the Bush administration.

As Hillary Clinton presses a campaign for the presidency, she has confronted sustained scrutiny into her family’s personal and philanthropic dealings, along with questions about whether their private business interests have colored her exercise of public authority. As IBTimes previously reported, Clinton switched from opposing an American free trade agreement with Colombia to supporting it after a Canadian energy and mining magnate with interests in that South American country contributed to the Clinton Foundation. IBTimes’ review of the Clintons’ annual financial disclosures also revealed that 13 companies lobbying the State Department paid Bill Clinton $2.5 million in speaking fees while Hillary Clinton headed the agency.

Questions about the nexus of arms sales and Clinton Foundation donors stem from the State Department’s role in reviewing the export of American-made weapons. The agency is charged with both licensing direct commercial sales by U.S. defense contractors to foreign governments and also approving Pentagon-brokered sales to those governments. Those powers are enshrined in a federal law that specifically designates the secretary of state as “responsible for the continuous supervision and general direction of sales” of arms, military hardware and services to foreign countries. In that role, Hillary Clinton was empowered to approve or reject deals for a broad range of reasons, from national security considerations to human rights concerns.

The State Department does not disclose which individual companies are involved in direct commercial sales, but its disclosure documents reveal that countries that donated to the Clinton Foundation saw a combined $75 billion increase in authorized commercial military sales under the three full fiscal years Clinton served, as compared to the first three full fiscal years of Bush’s second term.

The Clinton Foundation has not released an exact timetable of its donations, making it impossible to know whether money from foreign governments and defense contractors came into the organization before or after Hillary Clinton approved weapons deals that involved their interests. But news reports document that at least seven foreign governments that received State Department clearance for American arms did donate to the Clinton Foundation while Hillary Clinton was serving as secretary: Algeria, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Thailand, Norway and Australia.

Sales Flowed Despite Human Rights Concerns

Under a presidential policy directive signed by President Bill Clinton in 1995, the State Department is supposed to specifically take human rights records into account when deciding whether to approve licenses enabling foreign governments to purchase military equipment and services from American companies. Despite this, Hillary Clinton’s State Department increased approvals of such sales to nations that her agency sharply criticized for systematic human rights abuses.

In its 2010 Human Rights Report, Clinton’s State Department inveighed against Algeria’s government for imposing “restrictions on freedom of assembly and association” tolerating “arbitrary killing,” “widespread corruption,” and a “lack of judicial independence.” The report said the Algerian government “used security grounds to constrain freedom of expression and movement.”

That year, the Algerian government donated $500,000 to the Clinton Foundation and its lobbyists met with the State Department officials who oversee enforcement of human rights policies. Clinton’s State Department the next year approved a one-year 70 percent increase in military export authorizations to the country. The increase included authorizations of almost 50,000 items classified as “toxicological agents, including chemical agents, biological agents and associated equipment” after the State Department did not authorize the export of any of such items to Algeria in the prior year.

During Clinton’s tenure, the State Department authorized at least $2.4 billion of direct military hardware and services sales to Algeria -- nearly triple such authorizations over the last full fiscal years during the Bush administration. The Clinton Foundation did not disclose Algeria’s donation until this year -- a violation of the ethics agreement it entered into with the Obama administration.

The monarchy in Qatar had similarly been chastised by the State Department for a raft of human rights abuses. But that country donated to the Clinton Foundation while Hillary Clinton was running the State Department. During the three full budgetary years of her tenure, Qatar saw a 14-fold increase in State Department authorizations for direct commercial sales of military equipment and services, as compared to the same time period in Bush’s second term. The department also approved the Pentagon’s separate $750 million sale of multi-mission helicopters to Qatar. That deal would additionally employ as contractors three companies that have all supported the Clinton Foundation over the years: United Technologies, Lockheed Martin and General Electric.

Clinton foundation donor countries that the State Department criticized for human rights violations and that received weapons export authorizations did not respond to IBTimes’ questions.

That group of arms manufacturers -- along with Clinton Foundation donors Boeing, Honeywell, Hawker Beechcraft and their affiliates -- were together listed as contractors in 114 such deals while Clinton was secretary of state. NBC put Chelsea Clinton on its payroll as a network correspondent in November 2011, when it was still 49 percent owned by General Electric. A spokesperson for General Electric did not respond to questions from IBTimes.

The other companies all asserted that their donations had nothing to do with the arms export deals.

“Our contributions have aligned with our longstanding philanthropic commitments,” said Honeywell spokesperson Rob Ferris.

"Even The Appearance Of A Conflict"

During her Senate confirmation proceedings in 2009, Hillary Clinton declared that she and her husband were “committed to ensuring that his work does not present a conflict of interest with the duties of Secretary of State.” She pledged “to protect against even the appearance of a conflict of interest between his work and the duties of the Secretary of State” and said that “in many, if not most cases, it is likely that the Foundation or President Clinton will not pursue an opportunity that presents a conflict.”

Even so, Bill Clinton took in speaking fees reaching $625,000 at events sponsored by entities that were dealing with Hillary Clinton’s State Department on weapons issues.

In 2011, for example, the former president was paid $175,000 by the Kuwait America Foundation to be the guest of honor and keynote speaker at its annual awards gala, which was held at the home of the Kuwaiti ambassador. Ben Affleck spoke at the event, which featured a musical performance by Grammy-award winner Michael Bolton. The gala was emceed by Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, hosts of MSNBC’s Morning Joe show. Boeing was listed as a sponsor of the event, as were the embassies of the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar -- the latter two of which had donated to the Clinton Foundation while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state.

The speaking fee from the Kuwait America Foundation to Bill Clinton was paid in the same time frame as a series of deals Hillary Clinton’s State Department was approving between the Kuwaiti government and Boeing. Months before the gala, the Department of Defense announced that Boeing would be the prime contractor on a $693 million deal, cleared by Hillary Clinton’s State Department, to provide the Kuwaiti government with military transport aircraft. A year later, a group sponsored in part by Boeing would pay Bill Clinton another $250,000 speaking fee.

“Boeing has sponsored this major travel event, the Global Business Travel Association, for several years, regardless of its invited speakers,” Gordon Johndroe, a Boeing spokesperson, told IBTimes. Johndroe said Boeing’s support for the Clinton Foundation was “a transparent act of compassion and an investment aimed at aiding the long-term interests and hopes of the Haitian people” following a devastating earthquake.

Boeing was one of three companies that helped deliver money personally to Bill Clinton while benefiting from weapons authorizations issued by Hillary Clinton’s State Department. The others were Lockheed and the financial giant Goldman Sachs.

Lockheed is a member of the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt, which paid Bill Clinton $250,000 to speak at an event in 2010. Three days before the speech, Hillary Clinton’s State Department approved two weapons export deals in which Lockheed was listed as the prime contractor. Over the course of 2010, Lockheed was a contractor on 17 Pentagon-brokered deals that won approval from the State Department. Lockheed told IBTimes that its support for the Clinton Foundation started in 2010, while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state.

“Lockheed Martin has periodically supported one individual membership in the Clinton Global Initiative since 2010,” said company spokesperson Katherine Trinidad. “Membership benefits included attendance at CGI annual meetings, where we participated in working groups focused on STEM, workforce development and advanced manufacturing.”

In April 2011, Goldman Sachs paid Bill Clinton $200,000 to speak to “approximately 250 high level clients and investors” in New York, according to State Department records obtained by Judicial Watch. Two months later, the State Department approved a $675 million foreign military sale involving Hawker Beechcraft -- a company that was then part-owned by Goldman Sachs. As part of the deal, Hawker Beechcraft would provide support to the government of Iraq to maintain a fleet of aircraft used for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions. Goldman Sachs has also contributed at least $250,000 to the Clinton Foundation, according to donation records.

“There is absolutely no connection among all the points that you have raised regarding our firm,” said Andrew Williams, a spokesperson for Goldman Sachs.

Federal records show that ethics staffers at the State Department approved the payments to Bill Clinton from Goldman Sachs, and the Lockheed- and Boeing-sponsored groups without objection, even though the firms had major stakes in the agency’s weapons export decisions.

Stephen Walt, a Harvard University professor of international affairs, told IBTimes that the intertwining financial relationships between the Clintons, defense contractors and foreign governments seeking weapons approvals is “a vivid example of a very big problem -- the degree to which conflicts of interest have become endemic.”

“It has troubled me all along that the Clinton Foundation was not being more scrupulous about who it would take money from and who it wouldn’t,” he said. “American foreign policy is better served if people responsible for it are not even remotely suspected of having these conflicts of interest. When George Marshall was secretary of state, nobody was worried about whether or not he would be distracted by donations to a foundation or to himself. This wasn’t an issue. And that was probably better.”

UPDATE (7:38pm, 5/26/15): In an emailed statement, a spokeswoman for the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office told IBTimes: "Taiwan’s 2003 donation was for the fund to build the Clinton Presidential Library. This was way before Mrs. Clinton was made the U.S. Secretary of State. We have neither knowledge nor comments concerning other issues."

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