Saturday, September 30, 2006

The Sheikh and the Clintons' Rapidly Rising Net Worth

Last week, the New York Post reported on the odd relationship between the Emir of Dubai and Bill and Hillary Clinton. At this juncture, it's worth pausing to remember the timeline of Chinese espionage against the United States as it relates to the Clinton administration.

The strange case of Bill Clinton and the Chinese Military

On 9/13/1995, President Clinton met with John Huang and James Riady (pictured below). During the meeting, Huang expressed an interest in becoming a fund-raiser for the Democratic National Committee.

In this position at the DNC, Huang raised $3.4 million. The DNC was later forced to return nearly $2 million when a Congressional investigation revealed "problems" with the source of the funds. Huang was later convicted of crimes related to illegally reimbursing campaign contributions with Asian funds. Riady was also convicted of related campaign finance crimes. A U.S. Senate campaign finance report stated that Riady had a, "long-term relationship with... Chinese intelligence."

On 3/14/1996, President Clinton signed an order transferring license-granting authority for military/industrial technology from the State Department to the Commerce Department. This order made it easier for the Chinese military (the PLA) to launch American satellites, over objections from the Pentagon and the State Department. During the Clinton administration, focused Chinese espionage efforts made significant headway in the theft of U.S. military/industrial secrets including those concerning nuclear weaponry.

On 5/25/1999, the U.S. House of Representatives released the Cox Report ("Report of the Select Committee on U.S. National Security and Military/Commercial Concerns with the People's Republic of China"), which detailed publicly for the first time China's espionage campaign against the United States. The report was a redacted version of a still-classified report. Approximately 30% of the original report, the unanimous product of a bi-partisan committee, remains classified.

Back to Dubai

The Post's article reveals a web of connections between the Emir of Dubai, Sheik Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and the Clintons.

Clinton's former press secretary, Joe Lockhart, is reported to have denied he works for the emir. But it now turns out that the Emir's Dubai International Capital Corp. (DICC) hired Lockhart's Glover Park Group (GPG) to help with its U.S. takeovers. Among the takeovers: two U.S. defense firms. Besides Lockhart, GPG's partners include Hillary's chief advisers: Howard Wolfson and Gigi Georges. DICC paid $100,000 for GPG's services.

The Post article questions whether Hillary knew that the emir provided funding to her senior-most campaign consultants. But it seems hard to believe that Hillary, a notorious "control freak", wouldn't have insight into these potentially damaging relationships.

The Clinton family's swelling coffers

Senator Clinton's office claims that GPG never lobbied her on the Dubai ports issue.

But, tellingly, Newsday has reported that other New York officials (including Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Peter King) were contacted.

The Post article reports that the Clintons' net worth has increased quite dramatically in only two short years. In 2003, Hillary disclosed assets of between $352K and $3.8 million.

Only two years later, she declared assets of between $10 million and $50 million. In the past, observers could have pointed to suspect commodities trading practices, but this time no one is quite sure what's behind the Clintons' swollen assets. The Post posits that Dubai may be the answer to the question of what caused Hillary's assets to explode:

* Clinton is a top advisor to Yucaipa, an investment company run by billionaire Ron Burkle, which, through a subsidiary, [manages] the emir's investment portfolio shortly after Clinton joined the firm.

* Clinton gets a flat fee from Yucaipa and a share of the profits on the foreign investment fund it manages. (Hillary's Senate disclosure form notes only that Bill gets more than a $1,000 a year in compensation from this.)

* The emir gave an undisclosed donation to the Clinton Presidential Library -- but it must have been hefty: The library set up a Clinton Scholars program for young people from the Arab nation, the only such program it runs.

* Bill Clinton has twice given speeches in Dubai for close to $500,000.

The Post also notes that the Sheikh may suspect in more ways than one. A class-action lawsuit has been filed against the Sheikh and his brother that alleges a conspiracy to abduct and traffic in, "thousands of small boys from South Asia and Africa to the United Arab Emirates and other Arab states and enslaved them to work as camel jockeys, camel trainers and camel tenders... boys as young as two years old were stolen from their parents, trafficked to foreign lands, and put under the watch of brutal overseers in camel camps throughout the region."

The true relationship between the Clintons and the Emir should be fully and fairly disclosed. Given Bill Clinton's bizarre attentuation to the Chinese military, other questionable links to Dubai merit transparency. Anything less is a continued stain on what little remains of the Clinton "legacy."

Pronounced profundities:
NY Post (via Spencer Blog): Emir's a Gusher For Bill and Hillary
Atlas Shrugs: Atlas Interview: Dick Morris
GatewayPundit: Dick Morris makes Clinton prediction
OneJerusalem: Audio conference call with Morris
Rick Moran's RWNH: Foley matter proves GOP supports perverts!
Wizbang: Conference call with Dick Morris
Wizbang: Dems need more than blustery Bill Clinton...

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