While some defenders say ho hum, Hillary Clinton’s failure as secretary of state to follow through on a pledge aimed at reducing the possibility of conflict of interest was either inexcusably negligent or deceptive.
The lapses relate to the Clinton Foundation and former President Bill Clinton personally raking in millions from foreign interests while Hillary made decisions that could benefit or hurt them. At least one episode has national security significance, and we’re left with a big question: Is she anywhere near trustworthy enough to be president?
There are ready-at-hand dodges, many citizens may not get it or care, and examples of press sentiment in her favor have hardly gone into hiding. Even so, the facts as reported by The New York Times speak loudly and ruinously about what transpired.
First, it’s important to understand what Hillary Clinton pledged to the White House on becoming secretary of state – that the Clinton Foundation would publicly name all donors.
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The person in charge of the foundation during that time, husband Bill, merrily embraced gobs of cash from foreign donors, and among the undisclosed gifts were millions from people with an interest in completing the sale of a Canadian uranium-mining outfit to a Russian agency.
The deal, which would give the Russian government control of a fifth of U.S. uranium assets needed to keep American nuclear power plants going, had to be approved by the U.S. government. Nine agencies each had veto power, including the State Department headed by Hillary Clinton, who apparently said nothing.
The new Russian-owned company has already exported some uranium to Canada. Some of that may have found its way to Japan and Europe and some worry it could find its way to Iran someday.
Well, this decision was really beneath the secretary of state, some say, but the Times tells of experts saying it “seemed to warrant attention at the highest levels.” And even if Hillary Clinton did not become officially connected with the foundation until after she left the secretary’s position, she should obviously have taken great care to be told of any transactions pertinent to her duties.
The lame response from her presidential campaign is that there was no instance of bestowing favors to get money, and probably not, but being asleep at the wheel can cause mighty crashes, too.
Some say she may have been in violation of a constitutional prohibition against federal officials taking gifts or fees from foreign countries. Maybe it does not count, but there were also vast amounts Bill Clinton received from some of those foreign donors for speeches, including $500,000 from a Russian bank pushing the uranium pact.
Hillary Clinton has good deeds to her credit, but count it all up and there has been a great deal amiss. Consider that there’s a lot more to this issue, consider the foreign and domestic issues that a new President Clinton would have to face, and ask what her behavior tells you.