Monday, August 29, 2016
Sunday, August 28, 2016
By Paul Sperry
Hillary Clinton at the Dar al-Hekma college for women during a "town hall" meeting in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah in 2010. Abedin's mother, Dr. Saleha Mahmood Abedin, is second from right, standing next to Clinton. Photo: Getty Images
As secretary of state, women’s-rights champ Hillary Clinton not only spoke at a Saudi girls school run by her top aide Huma Abedin’s anti-feminist mother, but Clinton invited the elder Abedin to participate in a State Department event for “leading thinkers” on women’s issues.
This happened despite evidence at the time that Saleha M. Abedin had explored the religious merits of sexual submissiveness, child marriage, lashings and stonings for adulterous women, and even the circumcision of girls.
The elder Abedin, whose daughter helps run Clinton’s presidential campaign, did take a pro-gender-equality stance on at least one issue: Muslim women’s right to participate in violent jihad alongside men.
As The Post first reported, Huma’s mom edits the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, which has suggested that America had 9/11 coming to it, because of “sanctions” and “injustices” the US allegedly imposed on the Muslim world.
The journal also opposed women’s rights as un-Islamic, arguing that “ ‘empowerment’ of women does more harm than benefit.”
But that’s not all.
In 1999, Saleha translated and edited a book titled “Women in Islam: A Discourse in Rights and Obligations,” published by the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs. Written by her Saudi colleague Fatima Naseef, the book explains that the stoning and lashing of adulterers, the killing of apostates, sexual submissiveness and even female genital mutilation are all permissible practices under Sharia law.
“The wife should satisfy her husband’s desire for sexual intercourse,” the book states on Page 202, even if she is not in the mood. “She has no right to abstain except for a reasonable cause or legal prohibition.”
But getting in the mood may be difficult. The book says female genital mutilation is permissible: “Circumcision for women is allowed.”
Laws promoting feminist equality, moreover, are ineffectual, since “man-made laws have in fact enslaved women, submitting them to the cupidity and caprice of human beings. Islam is the only solution and the only escape.”
And forget about working in a position of authority: “Her job would involve long hours of free mixing and social interaction with the opposite sex, which is forbidden in Islam,” the book says.
Huma Abedin on the campaign trail with Hillary Clinton.Photo: Getty Images
“Moreover, women’s biological constitution is different from that of men. Women are fragile, emotional and sometimes unable to handle difficult and strenuous situations,” it explained. “Men are less emotional and show more perseverance.”
There is one exception to the sexual division of roles: “Women can also participate in fighting when jihad becomes an individual duty.”
On the back cover, Saleha says she is “pleased to launch” the book as part of a series on the study of women’s rights in Islam sponsored by the International Islamic Committee for Woman and Child (IICWC), for which she is listed as chairperson.
Founded by Huma’s mom, the Cairo-based IICWC has advocated for the repeal of Egypt’s Mubarak-era laws in favor of implementing Sharia law, which could allow female genital mutilation, child marriage and marital rape.
Saleha is paid by the Saudi government to advocate and spread Sharia in non-Muslim countries like America.
In 1995, less than three weeks before Clinton gave her famous women’s-rights speech in Beijing, Saleha headlined an unusual Washington conference organized by the Council on American-Islamic Relations to lobby against the UN platform drafted by Clinton and other feminists. Visibly angry, she argued it runs counter to Islam and was a “conspiracy” against Muslims.
Specifically, she called into question provisions in the platform that condemned domestic battery of women, apparently expressing sympathy for men who commit abuse.
Pakistan-born Saleha maintained that men who serially beat women tend to be unemployed, making their abuse somehow more understandable. “They are victims of a different kind,” she claimed. “And they are simply taking [their frustrations] out on women.”
Despite all this, Huma Abedin in 2010 arranged for Clinton, then the secretary of state, to travel to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to meet with her mother and speak at a girls school she founded and helps run as dean. Speaking to a roomful of girls, Clinton said Americans have to stop stereotyping Saudi women as oppressed, before assuring the audience that not all American women go “around in a bikini bathing suit.”
While there, Clinton formed a partnership with Saleha’s Dar al-Hekma college called the US-Saudi Women’s Forum on Social Entrepreneurship, and promised to reverse post-9/11 curbs on Saudi student visas to America.
The next year, Clinton invited Saleha and the president of the Saudi school to Washington to participate in a State Department colloquium on women, as revealed by internal emails released in response to a lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch.
Clinton campaign spokesman Nick Merrill told the Post that while Huma Abedin was in fact listed as an editorial staffer of her mother’s radical journal from 1996 to 2008, she didn’t really do anything for the publication in her long tenure there.
Asked if Clinton regrets honoring the Islamist mother and bestowing legitimacy on her extreme views, Merrill had no comment.
Paul Sperry is author of “Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives Have Penetrated Washington.”
Friday, August 26, 2016
LA Times Presidential Election Daybreak Poll
August 26, 2016
Donald Trump 44.3%
Hillary Clinton 43.6%
Based on 2,411 respondents
The U.S. Department of Clinton
The latest emails show that State and the foundation were one seamless entity.
This is the week that the steady drip, drip, drip of details about Hillary Clinton’s server turned into a waterfall. This is the week that we finally learned why Mrs. Clinton used a private communications setup, and what it hid. This is the week, in short, that we found out that the infamous server was designed to hide that Mrs. Clinton for three years served as the U.S. Secretary of the Clinton Foundation.
In March this column argued that while Mrs. Clinton’s mishandling of classified information was important, it missed the bigger point. The Democratic nominee obviously didn’t set up her server with the express purpose of exposing national secrets—that was incidental. She set up the server to keep secret the details of the Clintons’ private life—a life built around an elaborate and sweeping money-raising and self-promoting entity known as the Clinton Foundation.
Had Secretary Clinton kept the foundation at arm’s length while in office—as obvious ethical standards would have dictated—there would never have been any need for a private server, or even private email. The vast majority of her electronic communications would have related to her job at the State Department, with maybe that occasional yoga schedule. And those Freedom of Information Act officers would have had little difficulty—when later going through a state.gov email—screening out the clearly “personal” before making her records public. This is how it works for everybody else.
Mrs. Clinton’s problem—as we now know from this week’s release of emails from Huma Abedin’s private Clinton-server account—was that there no divide between public and private. Mrs. Clinton’s State Department and her family foundation were one seamless entity—employing the same people, comparing schedules, mixing foundation donors with State supplicants. This is why she maintained a secret server, and why she deleted 15,000 emails that should have been turned over to the government.
Most of the focus on this week’s Abedin emails has centered on the disturbing examples of Clinton Foundation executive Doug Band negotiating State favors for foundation donors. But equally instructive in the 725 pages released by Judicial Watch is the frequency and banality of most of the email interaction. Mr. Band asks if Hillary’s doing this conference, or having that meeting, and when she’s going to Brazil. Ms. Abedin responds that she’s working on it, or will get this or that answer. These aren’t the emails of mere casual acquaintances; they don’t even bother with salutations or signoffs. These are the emails of two people engaged in the same purpose—serving the State-Clinton Foundation nexus.
The other undernoted but important revelation is that the media has been looking in the wrong place. The focus is on Mrs. Clinton’s missing emails, and no doubt those 15,000 FBI-recovered texts contain nuggets. Then again, Mrs. Clinton was a busy woman, and most of the details of her daily State/foundation life would have been handled by trusted aides. This is why they, too, had private email. Top marks to Judicial Watch for pursuing Ms. Abedin’s file from the start. A new urgency needs to go into seeing similar emails of former Clinton Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills.
Mostly, we learned this week that Mrs. Clinton’s foundation issue goes far beyond the “appearance” of a conflict of interest. This is straight-up pay to play. When Mr. Band sends an email demanding a Hillary meeting with the crown prince of Bahrain and notes that he’s a “good friend of ours,” what Mr. Band means is that the crown prince had contributed millions to a Clinton Global Initiative scholarship program, and therefore has bought face time. It doesn’t get more clear-cut, folks.
That’s highlighted by the Associated Press’s extraordinary finding this week that of the 154 outside people Mrs. Clinton met with in the first years of her tenure, more than half were Clinton Foundation donors. Clinton apologists, like Vox’s Matthew Yglesias, are claiming that statistic is overblown, because the 154 doesn’t include thousands of meetings held with foreign diplomats and U.S. officials.
Nice try. As the nation’s top diplomat, Mrs. Clinton was obliged to meet with diplomats and officials—not with others. Only a blessed few outsiders scored meetings with the harried secretary of state and, surprise, most of the blessed were Clinton Foundation donors.
Mrs. Clinton’s only whisper of grace is that it remains (as it always does in potential cases of corruption) hard to connect the dots. There are “quids” (foundation donations) and “quos” (Bahrain arms deals) all over the place, but no precise evidence of “pros.” Count on the Clinton menagerie to dwell in that sliver of a refuge.
But does it even matter? What we discovered this week is that one of the nation’s top officials created a private server that housed proof that she continued a secret, ongoing entwinement with her family foundation—despite ethics agreements—and that she destroyed public records. If that alone doesn’t disqualify her for the presidency, it’s hard to know what would.
Thursday, August 25, 2016
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to supporters at a rally in Erie, Pennsylvania. Photo: Getty Images
Take a drive outside US cities
By Salena Zito
If you drive anywhere in Pennsylvania, from the turnpike to the old US routes to the dirt roads connecting small towns like Hooversville with “bigger” small towns like Somerset, you might conclude that Donald Trump is ahead in this state by double digits.
Large signs, small signs, homemade signs, signs that wrap around barns, signs that go from one end of a fence to another dot the landscape with such frequency that, if you were playing the old-fashioned road-trip game of counting cows, you would hit 100 in just one small town like this one.
In Ruffsdale, I am pretty sure I saw more than 100 Trump signs.
A barn displays a Trump banner in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Photo: Getty ImagesIt’s as if people here have not turned on the television to hear pundits drone on and on about how badly Trump is losing in Pennsylvania.
It’s not just visual: In interview after interview in all corners of the state, I’ve found that Trump’s support across the ideological spectrum remains strong. Democrats, Republicans, independents, people who have not voted in presidential elections for years — they have not wavered in their support.
Two components of these voters’ answers and profiles remain consistent: They are middle-class and they do not live in a big city. They are suburban to rural and are not poor — an element I found fascinating, until a Gallup survey last week confirmed that what I’ve gathered in interviews is more than just freakishly anecdotal.
The Gallup analysis, based on 87,000 interviews over the past year, shows that while economic anxiety and Trump’s appeal are intertwined, his supporters for the most part do not make less than average Americans (not those in New York City or Washington, perhaps, but their Main Street peers) and are less likely to be unemployed.
The study backs up what many of my interviews across the state have found — that these people are more concerned about their children and grandchildren.
While Trump supporters here are overwhelmingly white, their support has little to do with race (yes, you’ll always find one or two who make race the issue), but has a lot to do with a perceived loss of power.
Not power in the way that Washington or Wall Street boardrooms view power, but power in the sense that these people see a diminishing respect for them and their ways of life, their work ethic, their tendency to not be mobile. (Many live in the same eight square miles that their father’s father’s father lived in.)
Thirty years ago, such people determined the country’s standards in entertainment, music, food, clothing, politics, personal values. Today, they are the people who are accused of creating every social injustice imaginable; when anything in society fails, they get blamed.
The places where they live lack economic opportunities for the next generation; they know their children and grandchildren will never experience the comfortable situations they had growing up — surrounded by family who lived next door, able to find a great job without going to college, both common traits among many successful small-business owners in the state.
Donald Trump visits McLanahan Corporation headquarters in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania. Photo: Reuters
These Trump supporters are not the kind you find on Twitter saying dumb or racist things; many of them don’t have the time or the patience to engage in social media because they are too busy working and living life in real time.
These are voters who are intellectually offended watching the Affordable Care Act crumble because they warned six years ago that it was an unworkable government overreach.
They are the same people who wonder why President Obama has not taken a break from a week of golfing to address the devastating floods in Louisiana. (As one woman told me, “It appears as if he only makes statements during tragedies if there is political gain attached.”)
Attendees wave signs for Trump as he speaks at a rally in Erie, Pennsylvania. Photo: Getty Images
Voice such a remark, and you risk being labeled a racist in many parts of America.
The Joe Six-Pack stereotype of a Trump supporter was not created in a vacuum; it’s real and it’s out there.
Yet, if you dig down deep into the Gallup survey — or, better yet, take a drive 15 minutes outside of most cities in America — you will learn a different story.
That is, if you look and listen.
Salena Zito is a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review editorial page columnist.
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
The State Department as Protection Racket
Paul wrote yesterday about the Huma Abedin emails discovered by Judicial Watch that show a pattern of corruption, whereby donors to the Clinton Foundation, the Clintons’ personal slush fund, got access to Secretary of State Clinton for help with their problems or priorities.
Today the Associated Press follows up with a systematic and devastating analysis of Hillary’s calendar at the State Department:
More than half the people outside the government who met with Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state gave money – either personally or through companies or groups – to the Clinton Foundation. It’s an extraordinary proportion indicating her possible ethics challenges if elected president.
I would say, it indicates the complete lack of ethics that she would display if she were president.
At least 85 of 154 people from private interests who met or had phone conversations scheduled with Clinton while she led the State Department donated to her family charity or pledged commitments to its international programs, according to a review of State Department calendars released so far to The Associated Press. Combined, the 85 donors contributed as much as $156 million. At least 40 donated more than $100,000 each, and 20 gave more than $1 million.
So it wasn’t absolutely impossible to get a meeting with the Secretary of State if you didn’t contribute to her slush fund, but it was extremely unlikely.
[T]he frequency of the overlaps shows the intermingling of access and donations, and fuels perceptions that giving the foundation money was a price of admission for face time with Clinton.
Evidently, a great many rich and powerful people around the world had the “perception” that the way to get on her calendar was to contribute to her personal foundation. It seems pretty obvious that this wasn’t just perception, it was reality. The truth is even worse than the numbers above suggest, since the AP left foreign governments out of its calculations:
Clinton met with representatives of at least 16 foreign governments that donated as much as $170 million to the Clinton charity, but they were not included in AP’s calculations because such meetings would presumably have been part of her diplomatic duties.
A given meeting may or may not have legitimately been part of Hillary’s duties, and her priorities in dealing with foreign governments may well have been influenced by their contributions to Bill and Hillary, Inc. Given everything else we know, in all probability her priorities were so influenced, and, in any case, it is obvious that a number of foreign governments believed they could buy favor with the Clintons by contributing to their foundation.
Hillary Clinton turned the State Department into a protection racket.
The extent to which, in recent years, that characterization could fairly be applied to the federal government as a whole is a topic for another day. Whatever you think of the corruption we have seen under the Obama administration, the Clintons promise to take it to a whole new level should the voters be foolish enough to re-install them in the White House.
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
The Wall Street Journal
No other couple in American politics can offer what the Clintons have to sell.
No other couple in American politics can offer what the Clintons have to sell.
By William McGurn
Many Clinton scandals ago, when Hillary Clinton was trying to explain how she’d parlayed a $1,000 stake in cattle futures into $100,000 in 10 months (by talking to other people and reading The Wall Street Journal) folks were skeptical. How, they asked, could a novice make so much money in so short a time in such a risky market?
Turns out Mrs. Clinton is a better learner than she’s given credit for, and the Clinton emails released by Judicial Watch on Monday prove it. The emails were pried out of the system by Freedom of Information Act lawsuits, and they suggest why the Clinton Foundation could be so attractive to the rich and mighty. When a donor had a problem that required the secretary of state’s attention, there was Doug Band—a Clinton Foundation exec—emailing Hillary’s top staffers at the State Department to ask a favor.
Take a June 23, 2009, email from Doug Band to Huma Abedin. In his email Mr. Band noted that the Crown Prince of Bahrain (a “good friend of ours”) was asking to see Mrs. Clinton. There are, of course, many ways to be a “good friend,” but one sure way would be to contribute between $50,000 and $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation, as the kingdom of Bahrain had done. Not to mention that the prince had also spent $32 million on a scholarship launched through the Clinton Global Initiative.
Ms. Abedin responded that the prince had sought a meeting through “normal” channels but had been shot down. Less than 48 hours after Mr. Band had asked her, Ms. Abedin reported that “we have reached out through official channels.” The meeting was on.
It isn’t the only favor Mr. Band requested. A month earlier, he had emailed Ms. Abedin to ask her help in getting an English soccer player a visa to the U.S. The player was supposed to come to Las Vegas for a team celebration, but he needed a special interview with the visa section at the American Embassy in London due to a “criminal charge” against him.
Because of this, the office of Sen. Barbara Boxer (D., Calif.) had refused to intervene. Mr. Band’s email made clear the request was on behalf of Casey Wasserman, a sports and entertainment exec who had contributed between $5 million and $10 million to the Clinton Foundation via the Wasserman Foundation.
These are only two of the many email exchanges in which Ms. Abedin was asked to intervene on behalf of some Clinton Foundation donor. These latest emails fit the same pattern as another batch released earlier this month, which showed Mr. Band asking Ms. Abedin and longtime Clinton aide Cheryl Mills for a meeting with a U.S. ambassador on behalf of a foreign businessman, as well as seeking a job for someone he described as “important to take care of.”
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton sums it up this way: “It looks like the State Department was outsourcing its work to the Clinton Foundation.”
The model worked well for the Clintons, and some believe the Clinton Foundation will be copied by other pols, who will set up spouses or friends with foundations in hopes of attracting the big dollars that they can use to advance their brands, reward their friends and operate as a de facto permanent political campaign—all under the garb of charity.
No doubt some will try. But no one will be as successful as the Clintons have been.
The reason is simple. The Clintons are a business partnership with something that no other political couple has to sell. True, all ex-presidents hit the speaking circuit and have charities and foundations. Even so, the Clintons are unique in having an ex-president with a spouse in play, not only as secretary of state but as a possible president herself. If you are a foreign government or a wealthy businessmen, a donation to the Clinton Foundation might look like an excellent investment at just about any price.
Quid pro quo is notoriously hard to prove in such cases, and we will never know what (if anything) Mrs. Clinton or State delivered in return. We’re asked to believe that it was somehow an accident that so many of the millions former President Bill Clinton raked in from speaking fees would come from companies, countries or people who had business before a State Department run by his wife. The truth is, this was inevitable under the Clinton Foundation business model. And it beggars belief to think all these dollars were being given out without an expectation of something in return.
In the meantime we are back to a presidential campaign in which Donald Trump’s critics attack his business record by pointing out that the New York City real-estate mogul doesn’t even own many of the buildings that bear his name. What he’s selling is the Trump brand.
Then again, when it comes to dubious branding for profit, these latest emails make Mr. Trump look like a piker compared with Mrs. Clinton.
WHAT A CROOK!
By Jim Holt
WHY IS THIS WOMAN STILL WALKING THE STREETS?
WHY IS HILLARY CLINTON NOT IN PRISON?
The FBI today announced they found ANOTHER 14,900 lost Hillary Clinton emails.
The Washington Post reported:
The FBI’s year-long investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server uncovered 14,900 emails and documents from her time as secretary of state that had not been disclosed by her attorneys, and a federal judge on Monday pressed the State Department to begin releasing emails sooner than mid-October as it planned.
Justice Department lawyers said last week that the State Department would review and turn over Clinton’s work-related emails to a conservative legal group. The records are among “tens of thousands” of documents found by the FBI in its probe and turned over to the State Department, Justice Department attorney Lisa Ann Olson said Monday in court.
The 14,900 Clinton documents are nearly 50 percent more than the roughly 30,000 emails that Clinton’s lawyers deemed work-related and returned to the department in December 2014.
Lawyers for the State Department and Judicial Watch, the legal group, are negotiating a plan for the release of the emails in a civil public records lawsuit before U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg of Washington.