Thursday, January 31, 2008

Burkle-Clinton-Dubai

And, now, add to the list, Clinton-Giustra-Kazakhstan. The New York Times stays on top of Bill Clinton's unsavory business connections. The latest:
Upon landing on the first stop of a three-country philanthropic tour, the two men were whisked off to share a sumptuous midnight banquet with Kazakhstan’s president, Nursultan A. Nazarbayev, whose 19-year stranglehold on the country has all but quashed political dissent.

Mr. Nazarbayev walked away from the table with a propaganda coup, after Mr. Clinton expressed enthusiastic support for the Kazakh leader’s bid to head an international organization that monitors elections and supports democracy. Mr. Clinton’s public declaration undercut both American foreign policy and sharp criticism of Kazakhstan’s poor human rights record by, among others, Mr. Clinton’s wife, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York.

Within two days, corporate records show that Mr. Giustra also came up a winner when his company signed preliminary agreements giving it the right to buy into three uranium projects controlled by Kazakhstan’s state-owned uranium agency, Kazatomprom.

The monster deal stunned the mining industry, turning an unknown shell company into one of the world’s largest uranium producers in a transaction ultimately worth tens of millions of dollars to Mr. Giustra, analysts said.

Just months after the Kazakh pact was finalized, Mr. Clinton’s charitable foundation received its own windfall: a $31.3 million donation from Mr. Giustra that had remained a secret until he acknowledged it last month. The gift, combined with Mr. Giustra’s more recent and public pledge to give the William J. Clinton Foundation an additional $100 million....
...
Nearly a year earlier, Mr. Clinton had advised Dubai on how to handle the political furor after one of that nation’s companies attempted to take over several American ports. Mrs. Clinton was among those on Capitol Hill who raised the national security concerns that helped kill the deal.

As the Wall Street Journal reported last week,
Former President Clinton stands to reap around $20 million -- and will sever a politically sensitive partnership tie to Dubai -- by ending his high-profile business relationship with the investment firm of billionaire friend Ron Burkle.
Finally, this ABC interview with Hillary Rodham Clinton drips with unintended irony:
Clinton apologized for her husband.

“I think whatever he said which was certainly never intended to cause any kind of offense to anyone,” Clinton said, “if it did give offenses then I take responsibility and I’m sorry about that.”

"Can you control him?" asked McFadden.

“Oh of course,” Clinton replied.
Or, watch the video here.

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