Monday, May 11, 2015

How The Clintons Exploited Disaster In Haiti For Profit

In January of 2010, Haiti, already one of the world's poorest countries was hit with a massive earthquake that devastated it, followed by a horrendous cholera epidemic.

While a number of people (and countries, including a certain so-called 'racist, apartheid state' went to succor the Haitians out of humane motives, there were others who saw the disaster as an opportunity for sheer profit and exploitation.

The Wall Street Journal's  Mary Anastasia O'Grady has a superb column on how Bill Clinton was put in charge of all USAid and UN relief to Haiti thanks to the influence of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, and how he used that position to channel millions into the Clinton Foundation:

Peter Schweizer’s new book, “ Clinton Cash,” has stirred up media and public interest partly by making the point that most of the dealings of Bill and Hillary Clinton have been with poor countries with a weak rule of law. The U.S. legislation cited above singles out Haiti.

There could hardly be a better example of Clinton machinations undermining development. Congress is partly to blame and now seeks to make amends.

The U.S. Founding Fathers went out of their way to establish a republic guided by the rule of law and not the rule of men. If there is a singular principle that has set the U.S. apart from countries south of the Rio Grande it’s the checks and balances that protect against caudillo power.

Yet in the aftermath of the January 2010 earthquake, while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, the Obama administration and Congress gave Bill Clinton carte blanche in handling hundreds of millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars flowing to Haiti for recovery and reconstruction. This translated into enormous political power for the former president in the poorest country in the hemisphere, making him a de facto cacique.

Mr. Clinton loves to paint himself as a third-world redeemer, as he did in an interview in Africa with an NBC reporter that aired last week. The reporter asked about charges that the Clinton Foundation’s practice of pulling in big money from governments and wealthy donors during Hillary’s tenure as secretary of state was a conflict of interest. Mr. Clinton countered that he’s helping the poor.

As an NBC narrator described Clinton Foundation activities, the former president and his daughter were shown fitting locals with hearing aids. Pravda could not have crafted a better piece of propaganda.

Yet peel back the veneer of “charity” and one finds that the Clinton way has inflicted egregious harm on the poor in developing nations because it has undermined respect for the rule of law that is so necessary for economic growth. If a former president of the U.S. flouts anti-corruption protocols, why should the locals get hung up on them?

Haitians learned about Mr. Clinton’s affinity for cronyism after he used the Marines to restore deposed Haitian strongman Jean Bertrand Aristide to power in 1994. As I have documented in this column, “friends of Bill” subsequently were awarded, in secret, a sweetheart deal from the state-owned monopoly phone company, Haiti Teleco, that gave them a substantial edge over the prevailing, mandated long-distance rates set by the Federal Communications Commission.

Within two weeks of Haiti’s January 2010 earthquake, the word had already gone out from the State Department that Bill Clinton would be in charge of U.S. reconstruction efforts. “That means,” one individual told me and I reported in a Jan. 25, 2010 column, “if you don’t have Clinton connections, you won’t be in the game.”

The “game,” as my source called it, meant securing hundreds of millions of dollars in no-bid contracts from the State Department’s U.S. Agency for International Development and grants from multilateral institutions like the InterAmerican Development Bank, which gets the bulk of its funding from the U.S.

The Clintons deny that Bill’s power over State’s purse was used to secure donations to the Clinton Foundation. But at least two contributors who gave more than $1 million as I described in a March 9 column, including the InterAmerican Development Bank, benefited from U.S. earthquake aid.

There’s a lot that didn’t get done. In the north of the country, the Clinton-proposed Caracol Industrial Park was supposed to feature some 40 buildings for apparel assembly supporting up to 65,000 jobs. It remains a mystery why there are still only three buildings in full operation and only 5,000 jobs, despite plenty of tenant interest.

Haitians are reluctant to criticize the Clintons publicly because of their power. “No one wants to be on the wrong side of the next president of the United States,” one Haitian told me during a visit I made to the country in December.

More at the link.

By the way, not all the Haitians were as quiet about this plundering as the person Ms. O'Grady spoke to. On several occasions, there have been massive protests over the billions in aid money and relief funds stolen via the Clinton Foundation while Mr. Bill was running things. And Congress is finally starting to look into this, although I doubt much will come of it in the end, unfortunately.

It takes a special class of people to exploit human misery for personal profit in this manner. No more need be said.

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