Posts Tagged ‘payola’

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Saudi Arabia peddling influence in U.S. Congress

September 1, 2014

Somehow this one slipped by us last year. In case you missed it too, the Washington Post did an expose in 2013 about international trips by Congressional staffers paid for by foreign governments.

The #3 sponsor of these junkets is, according to data the Post compiled from 2006 to 2011, is Saudi Arabia. Vox.com recently put the information into this map:

Terror sponsor also sponsors Congress staff trips

Rest assured, these staffers aren’t receiving a fair and balanced view of the two-headed Saudi-Wahhabi royalist theocracy while they’re there.

If there’s a valid fact-finding or diplomatic mission, then let the staffers file expense reports with our government as they would for any other official business. If there’s no official business, travel there during your own vacation time on your own dime.

Saudi Arabia wouldn’t be spending this money if it didn’t think it was getting something in return.

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Five Democrats and their Middle East donors

April 8, 2014
Bill Clinton and Sheikh Mohammed Al-Amoudi

Bill Clinton and Sheikh Mohammed Al-Amoudi

Opponents of George W. Bush like pointing out his family’s links to Saudi Arabia. Fair enough, but let’s not lose sight of the high-profile Democrats who have benefited from multi-million dollar campaign contributions, sweetheart loans, and business deals from Wahhabi or Iranian patrons, or both:

Jimmy Carter—Carter accepted $1 million from the Bin Laden family for his Carter Center presidential library. Carter also received a multi-million dollar loan in the late 1970s to save his peanut business—a loan which was backstopped by BCCI, the Pakistani-operated, Persian Gulf-funded bank that became embroiled in international corruption scandals and was ultimately shut down. BCCI officials had relationships with Osama Bin Laden, gave nuclear secrets to Pakistan, and served as the depository for money made off the Arab oil embargo. Bert Lance, a Carter administration official and close personal friend of Carter’s, was forced to resign during Carter’s presidency for improper banking relationships with BCCI. More recently, Carter refused to give back a donation from the Zayed Foundation, an anti-Semitic, anti-Israeli, Saudi group, even after Harvard University had refused to accept a donation from the same foundation. Several observers have concluded that the funding has influenced Carter’s increasingly harsh views and references to apartheid when describing Israel.

(As a footnote, Jimmy Carter’s grandson, who is currently running for governor of Georgia, was accused of accepting too much foreign money when he first ran for office as a state senator in 2010, and Mohammad Bhuiyan, a university professor who is friend and ally of international micro-credit loan shark and alleged tax cheat Mohammad Yunus, has donated to Jason Carter’s political campaigns.)

Bill Clinton—The Clinton Foundation accepted a gift of at least $1 to $5 million if not $20 million from billionaire oilman Sheikh Mohammed H. Al-Amoudi. Saudi Arabia itself gave between $10 and $25 million shortly before his wife became secretary of state, with Kuwait, Qatar and Oman each giving between $1 to $5 million. These donations followed earlier millions that flowed from the Saudi royal family to the Clinton library in Arkansas. In her dealings with the Islamic world as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton neglected to pursue an agreement with Iraq to provide for its ongoing security needs after the withdrawal of American troops, and she pressed for negotiations with the Taliban in Afghanistan—two decisions which coincidentally aligned with the desires of Saudi Arabia.

Al Gore—Gore personally made about $100 million from his share of the sale of the Current TV network to the Qatari-controlled sensationalist and anti-Semitic network Al Jazeera. The $100 million windfall makes the Saudi gifts to Jimmy Carter look like, well, peanuts. The purchase gave Al Jazeera its long awaited entre to American audiences, along with some air of legitimacy by being praised by the former vice president after the sale. Qatar has been a primary bankroller of the radical fighters of the Arab Spring, and Al Jazeera has been its cheerleader. The Shiites, secularists, and Christians are suffering from Qatar’s activities, but Al Jazeera and Al Gore have made out like bandits from the transaction. Although Gore was highly outspoken against the war in Iraq, he has been fairly quiet about American involvement in Libya and Syria—involvement which is supported and encouraged by Qatar. A cynic may wonder whether Gore’s silence was purchased.

John Kerry—When Kerry ran for president in 2004, Iranian-American donor Hassan Nemazee gave him $100,000. Nemazee had served earlier on the board of the pro-Khomeini American Iranian Council. Kerry signaled during the campaign that he would pursue areas of mutual interest with Iran, and complained that George Bush didn’t give Iran “nuclear fuel” to see whether or not Iran would use it peacefully. As secretary of state, Kerry has pursued diplomatic negotiations with Iran in Geneva despite Iranian President Rouhani’s history of deceiving the West about Iran’s nuclear program. Eventually, Hassan Nemazee pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 12 years in prison for defrauding banks with phony collateral to borrow money to finance his Democrat fundraising activities. Nemazee also served as a fundraiser and adviser to Hillary Clinton before going to prison.

Barack Obama—Before he was elected, there were allegations that Barack Obama got help as a student from Saudi agent Khalid al-Mansour for law school expenses and as an adult from sweetheart deals by Syrian-American real estate developer Tony Rezko. Like Kerry and Hillary Clinton, Obama also received campaign donations from Hassan Nemazee. Donations totaling $30,000 were made to the 2008 Obama campaign from two brothers in Gaza in violation of campaign finance laws; the donations were said to be returned after the donations became public. California businessman Kareem Ahmed was a “million dollar donor” to the Obama campaign and Democratic causes in 2012, and his offices were raided by the local district attorney last year.

 

A lot of the donors here are anti-Semitic, and they are supporting these politicians because they believe they can help them undermine Israel’s security. Saudi Arabia in particular has a long history of trying to buy elections around the world, not only supporting Wahhabi causes and groups, but “secular” and mainstream entities such as universities and philanthropies in order to curry broad institutional favor from the West. These cases, even if the money had zero influence on the politicians in question, illustrate the great lengths to which wealthy Arab donors and sometimes pro-Iranian donors will go in an attempt to influence U.S. politics and foreign policy in their favor.

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Charities paid off al-Shabaab to work in Somalia

December 12, 2013

Relief agencies operating in Somalia in 2011 made payments the terrorist organization al-Shabaab as a precondition for distributing aid to the famine-struck country.  This revelation comes to us from a new report by the Overseas Development Institute and the Heritage Institute for Policy Studies.

This travesty demonstrates the need for stronger supply chain management by international relief charities.  Paying kickbacks to a terror group for the “privilege” of operating on their turf simply helps the terrorist group continue buying weapons and victimizing the population within their territory.

When it’s a diamond mining operation or an international fruit company, leftists are justifiably quick to point out the evils of corporate protection money paid to militants because of slipshod management.  But when a charity does the same thing, universities and think tanks still tirelessly defend their right of charities to operate in conflict zones despite the risks of aid and supplies ending up in terrorists’ hands.

The BBC (h/t to Rushette and Jihad Watch) offers some details from the report:

…It gives one example of al-Shabab diverting food aid in the town of Baidoa, where it is reported to have kept between half and two-thirds of food aid for its fighters.

Al-Shabab, which is linked to al-Qaeda, developed a highly sophisticated system of monitoring and co-opting the aid agencies, even setting up a “Humanitarian Co-ordination Office”.

Aid groups had to deal with this office, even though they risked legal problems by doing so because of counter-terrorism laws in other states which forbid engagement with groups like al-Shabab.

The report says agencies who worked in al-Shabab-held areas had to complete special forms and sign a pledge saying they would refrain from certain social and religious activities.

It also describes how al-Shabab gave people extra food if they spied on the aid groups…

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Qatar Charity gains beachhead in Somalia

October 20, 2013

Qatar Charity, which Osama Bin Laden once considered to be one of Al Qaeda’s three most important front charities, and which has more recently been observed to be working in concert with jihadist fighters in Mali, has established a “model village” in Mogadishu, Somalia.

The village is actually a refugee camp with “amenities” such as schools and drinking water, and a mosque that will be in keeping with Qatar Charity’s values.

This is the latest demonstration of Qatar’s attempt to shop for influence in unstable countries that are ripe for Islamist coups d’état.

From Bernama on Oct. 1:

Qatar Charity Establishes Model Village In Somalia

DOHA, Oct 1 (Bernama) — Qatar Charity (QC) has established a model village at a cost of around QAR1 million (RM890,986.75), near the Somali capital Mogadishu, within the framework of Eemaar project, to support the return of Somali displaced to their homes, Qatar News Agency (QNA) reported.

According to a QC’s statement, the village includes a primary school, a mosque, shops and wells with the capacity of about 6,000 persons. It will also be receiving aid including food and non-food items in addition to the distribution of seeds, plowing equipment and pesticides to farmers and other income-generating projects.

QC’s Executive Director for International Development, Mohamed Ali Al-Ghamdi, noted that the establishment of the village comes under Eemaar project a year ago, aimed to support and encourage the displaced Somalis to return to their areas and provide them with income-generating projects.

By the way, how many public contracts and sub-contracts have been awarded to al-Shabaab fighters during village construction?

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Cash for Karzai in suitcases, backpacks, and grocery bags

April 30, 2013

Good old Uncle Moneybags is back, but this time his sacks are filled with American money for distribution to cronies and warlords.  From the Wall Street Journal yesterday:

Men in dark coats with facial hair and millions of dollars

Karzai Confirms Accepting CIA Cash Monthly for 10 Years

By JUHANA ROSSI in Helsinki and YAROSLAV TROFIMOV in Kabul

Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Monday acknowledged that his office has been receiving money from the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency over the past 10 years, dismissing the monthly cash payments as a “small amount.”

Mr. Karzai addressed the issue after the New York Times reported on Sunday that the CIA has made tens of millions of dollars in secret payments, often cash packed in shopping bags, as it sought to maintain influence over Afghanistan’s mercurial leader.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai, here in Brussels last week, Monday confirmed that his government has been receiving CIA money for a decade, but dismissed it as a ‘small amount.’

“Yes, the office of the national security has been receiving support from the United States for the past 10 years,” Mr. Karzai told reporters at a news briefing in Helsinki, Finland, responding to a question about whether he has received CIA cash. “Monthly. Not a big amount. A small amount which has been used for various purposes.”

The CIA declined to comment on the matter.

Mr. Karzai, who is touring Northern Europe, made the remarks following his meeting with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto.

The U.S. isn’t the only country to supply the Afghan presidential palace with secret money. In 2010, Mr. Karzai acknowledged receiving bags full of euros from the government of Iran.

Afghan officials have said that these secret funds have been used by the president to reward supporters and buy loyalty from tribal leaders…

Time to take a second look at the proposal to cease foreign aid in Afghanistan?  Or is that still considered “a bit dramatic“?

By the way, if a U.S. company did what a federal agency has done by transferring money to Karzai, that company would be prosecuted under the anti-bribery provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Money Jihad has previously covered the money that Hamid Karzai received from Iran here.

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Peace in our time… if the price is right

September 19, 2012

Possible Arab thumbing U.S. cash

The Taliban is willing to accept truce with the government of Afghanistan contingent on the replacement of U.S. military presence with U.S. “economic assistance,” according to a report published this month describing interviews of Taliban leaders conducted by the Royal United Services Institute.

Can you imagine the pain that the 9/11 victims’ families would endure if their tax dollars were spent on foreign aid to a Karzai-Taliban coalition government?  It is outrageous that our government would even consider negotiations under terms floated in the RUSI interviews.

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England to Taliban: Let’s just kiss and say good-bye

September 4, 2012

The U.K. will pay a bribe to the Taliban to allow a safe exit of British troops from Afghanistan according to a report from the Pakistan Observer.

No source is named in the article, but there is a precedent for such an arrangement:  Afghan officials claimed in 2009 that Italy struck a deal with the Taliban to refrain from attacking Italian forces in Afghanistan.

In the uproar over the Italian scandal, it was reported that this behavior was fairly common among NATO forces:  “One Western military source told of payments made by Canadian soldiers stationed in the violent southern province of Kandahar, while another officer spoke of similar practices by the German army in northern Kunduz…  ‘I think more than 50 percent of NATO forces deployed in rural Afghanistan have such deals or at least have struck such deals’ to ensure peace,” a senior Afghan official said.

There has also been a steady stream of news and reports of foreign aid misappropriation and development aid subcontracting scandals that have helped line the pockets of the Taliban.

We don’t want to believe this Observer story, but it’s tough not to wonder…

UK-Taliban deal Britain to pay security money to Afghan Taliban for safe exit

Saturday, August 18, 2012 – Islamabad—A deal has been struck between Britain and Afghan Taliban under which London will pay security money to Afghan Taliban, area war lords, local elders and even Afghan officials for safe withdrawal of their men and heavy equipment in 2013 and early 2014.

The reports emanating from Kabul suggest the agreement was reached in mid July this year to speedy withdrawal of heavy military hardware in fourteen month period. The recent visits of British Defence Secretary Philip Hammond and other senior officials to Kabul can be seen in this context as UK wants quick withdrawal of their troops. The French Forces are also expected to complete their withdrawal process earlier than expected.

The reports further said other NATO forces are also expected to make similar arrangements with Afghan Taliban and other stakeholders to avoid loss of life and sophisticated technology, if they are attacked by Taliban on withdrawing convoys.

The deal facilitated by Afghan elders included provision of funds by the British to develop Taliban controlled areas.

Reports also said British troops in Helmund province have already started collecting data about their war machines, ammunition and men to make a safe exit.

The British are weighing their options to use Pakistani or Central Asian routes to withdraw their heavy equipment. It was also decided to airlift the most sophisticated weapons back to London for fear of loss or turning into hands of Taliban or other groups.

Several NATO countries are considering handing over their heavy equipment including tanks and armoured carriers and not the advanced equipment to newly set up Afghan army.

Washington is in contact with Taliban to determine their role in future created in Kabul after departure of US-led NATO forces in 2014.

No dollar amounts have ever been reported in the Italian case, or this new allegation involving the British.  But keep in mind as a baseline that ransoms have reportedly been paid by European governments to terrorist organizations in the $5 million to $10 million range per hostage.  How much more would the Taliban expect to guarantee safe passage out of their territory for all British troops?  Fifty million?  A hundred million?

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