Julie Bishop's deal with Frank Giustra/Clinton Foundation! In Indonesia! What could go wrong?
Saturday, 13 August 2016
Has anyone checked Julie Bishop for a pulse or other signs of life lately?
There is a US Presidential election campaign underway.
In April 2015 Bill Clinton made this announcement about restrictions to the Clinton Foundation accepting money from foreign governments while Hillary was running for President.
Of all the brain-dead outright stupid and unnecessary deals I've encountered - and Gillard, Rudd and Turnbull take some beating - this has to be the singularly most stupid, least necessary, least thought-through and most embarrassing deal for the Australian Government I've seen in a long, long, long time.
This DFAT genii initiative only started in June this year and was published to the Australian Government's DFAT website on 20 July 2016.
This deal just got underway - with these guys!
The Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (CGEP) is an initiative of the Clinton Foundation. CGEP combines the best of non-profit and for-profit approaches to create new enterprises that capitalise market opportunities to generate social impact by addressing market gaps in developing country supply or distribution chains. CGEP are overseeing this partnership’s enterprise development process including feasibility studies and market research, recruitment of pilot and the general manager, management of pilot and transition to enterprise, development and expansion of farmer technical assistance program, recruitment and training of farmers, design of logistics systems, and management of the commercial agreement with Unilever.
We've already hit one milestone - with more "value for money" in a couple of weeks.
On 30 August, still a few weeks away, Bill's people, Frank's people and the DFAT guys will get together to workshop what the whole deal is supposed to be about and put it in an MOU.
So why all the fuss? Why all the risk? Why are we dealing with the devil?
Indonesia's coconut sugar producers can't wait, that's why!
Never before has so little money purchased so much trouble for so small a gain.
Here's the deal synopsis.
We've kicked in half a million. Plus Australia's soul and our "leveragable DFAT connections".
The boss, Frank Giustra from the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership gets to "leverage" Australia's government contacts in incorruptible Indonesia.
You beauty, get that private jet fired up boys, we're off to resource rich Indonesia, the land of "semua bisa diatur" ("all can be arranged", a phrase an Indonesian traffic cop might use - or a provincial governor with some hardwood forests, or the top half of a mountain in West Irian with a bit of gold in it - or a meeting with someone like, say, Frank "There's Uranium in them thar Kazakhstan Hills" Giustra!)
Here's Frank and Bill and hundreds of pair of white shoes
Frank Giustra, a Canadian billionaire with interests in mining and filmmaking, gave $100 million to establish the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership. CGEP is technically a registered Canadian charity. It gives money to a sister organization with the same name that is part the broader Clinton foundation. The purpose of having two organizations with the same name, according to CGEP’s website, is so “Giustra and other Canadian residents could receive a charitable tax credit” for their donations.
Giustra and Clinton are close enough for Giustra to have “co-produced” the former president’s 60th birthday. “All my chips, almost, are on Bill Clinton,”Giustra told the New Yorker in 2006. “He can do things and ask for things that no one else can.” In a 2008 letter to the Wall Street Journal, Giustra called himself as “a private Canadian citizen with no interest in U.S. politics.” All the same, he seems to have traded on Bill Clinton’s star power to obtain a 2005 government concession to mine uranium in Kazakhstan. The New York Times scolded Bill Clinton for “hand[ing] the Kazakh president a propaganda coup … undercutting American foreign policy and criticism of Kazakhstan’s poor human rights record by, among others, his wife, then a senator.”
The Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership received at least $25 million in donations for its initiatives; Giustra has given at least $25 million more to the Clinton Foundation through a second vehicle. Unlike the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative, the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership has been less than forthright about sharing the names of its donors with the public. Last year, Giustra posted a letter stating that his partnership does not accept money from foreign governments. The names of 30 of the partnership’s major donors, each of whom has given $100,000 or more, many of them mining companies, are posted online. According to CGEP’s website, this group of 30 constitutes a “majority” of the charity’s $100,000-plus donors. The identities of the remaining $100,000-plus donors are unknown. Also posted on CGEP’s website are two legal opinions explaining why, due to the privacy laws of Canada and British Columbia, the names of all other donors must remain secret. (There are more than 1,000 in all, most of them apparently under $100,000.) “We will not share or publicly disclose our donors’ information unless we received prior written consent,” Giustra wrote in the letter.
Read more here
There's dodgy, then there's Bernie Madoff - and then the Clinton Foundation. But at the bottom of the stinky dodgy-dealing-tip along with Gold Coast swamp land, Kevin Rudd's cash for clunkers and various grocerywatch websites is the Clinton Guistra Enterprise Partnership.
The most disturbing case from Schweizer’s book is that Rosatom, a state-owned Russian company, now controls one fifth of America’s uranium reserves. The purchase of Uranium One by Salida Capital, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Rosatom, had to be approved by the State Department among other government entities.
When Hillary Clinton became Secretary of State, Bill Clinton signed a disclosure agreement that required the State Department to approve all his speeches as well as annually provide a detailed list of donors to each of the legal entities inside the Clinton Foundation. If the Clinton Foundation was more transparent, it is highly unlikely the deal would have gone through.
The reason why is because Frank Giustra, a Canadian billionaire, with mining interests all over world, set up a separate legal entity, the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership. Amy Davidson wrote in the New Yorker, “Money given to the Canadian entity goes exclusively to the foundation. Per an agency agreement, all of its work is done by the foundation, too.” Since all of the donations of this Canadian nonprofit went straight to the Clinton Foundation, it is problematic that the Clinton Foundation did not disclose 1,100 donors to this nonprofit.
This Canadian “charity” shielded donors from disclosure requirements. The total money from these donors was $33 million including $2.35 million from Ian Telfer, the chairman of Uranium One. Telfer used his family charity, the Fernwood Foundation, to send the money to the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership. This money was bundled and eventually sent to the Clinton Foundation.
At the same time, Bill Clinton received a lucrative speaking fee while this deal was underway. According to the New York Times, “And shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock.”
Kazakhstan: Clinton’s adventures with Frank Giustra didn’t begin with Russia. In 2005, Clinton went with Giustra to Kazakhstan to meet with President Nursultan Nazarbayev. Giustra’s obvious connections with Clinton clearly made an impression on the Kazakh dictator.
Two days after this meeting, Kazakhstan’s state-owned company, Kazatomprom, gave Giustra’s company the right to buy three uranium projects in the country. A few months later, Giustra returned the favor to Clinton by donating $31.3 million to the Clinton Foundation.
In 2006, Frank Giustra described his relationship with Clinton saying, “He’s a brand, a worldwide brand, and he can do things and ask for things that no one else can.”
Colombia: This could explain why Giustra allowed the Clinton Foundation to use his private jet on 26 trips from 2005 to 2014. Clinton and Giustra were on the plane for 13 of those 26 trips.
In 2005, President Clinton was paid $800,000 by Gold Services International to give four speeches in four days (June 21 to June 24). He gave the first two in Mexico City and Bogota and the final two in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
He used Frank Giustra’s plane for that 2005 trip. Bill Clinton went to Colombia again in 2007 where he received an award from President Alvaro Uribe for helping improve Colombia’s image in the United States. Clinton also helped Giustra arrange meetings with Colombian officials.
In 2010, Frank Giustra and Bill Clinton were in Bogota again at the same time that Hillary Clinton was in town on State Department business. The three of them had dinner together the night before both Bill and Hillary had separate meetings with President Uribe on the same day. Uribe first met Giustra in 2005 at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York.
According to Peter Schweizer’s book, “Days after Hillary left Bogota, Prima Colombia Properties, which Frank Giustra has ownership interest in through a shell company called Flagship Industries, announced that it had acquired the right to cut timber in a biologically diverse forest on the pristine Colombian shoreline.” Giustra’s other company, Pacific Rubiales Energy, got the right to drill for oil on six Colombian fields shortly after Hillary left.
In 2007, Frank Giustra and his business partners at Pacific Rubiales Energy, gave $4.4 million to the Clinton-Giustra Enterprise Partnership. In 2011 and 2012, the United Steelworkers and the Washington Office of Latin America were wasting their time when they asked Clinton to pressure Pacific Rubiales to improve the treatment of their workers.
In April 2012, Hillary Clinton was in Colombia for the Sixth Summit of the Americas. At the time, she metwith Colombia’s Minister of Mining who was supposed to regulating Pacific Rubiales. She should not have taken that meeting because of Clinton Foundation’s ties to Pacific Rubiales.
Nigeria: Frank Giustra wasn’t the only embarrassing billionaire donor to the Clinton Foundation. Gilbert Chagoury helped Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha steal $4 billion out of his country. After Abacha died in 1998, Chagoury returned $66 million to avoid prosecution.
Chagoury visited the White House in December 1996 at a dinner for top DNC donors. Since he wasn’t a U.S. citizen, he couldn’t give money to the DNC. Chagoury was invited because he gave $460 million to a pro-Clinton voter registration group called Vote Now 96. At the time, relations between Nigeria and the United States were officially strained because Abacha hanged nine of his political opponents in 1995.
It was only after Hillary became Secretary of State that Bill Clinton gave two speeches in Nigeria in 2011 and 2012. Both times, he was paid $700,000. What did Nigeria get in return?
It was only after Hillary Clinton left the State Department in 2013 that Boko Haram was listed as a terrorist organization. In 2012, the State Department was resisting pressure from Congress and outside groups to list Boko Haram as a terrorist organization.
In 2014, Robert Jackson, the State Department’s Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs,testified before Congress that, “The government of Nigeria feared that designating these individuals and the organizations would bring them more attention, more publicity and be counterproductive.”
Rwanda: In 2011, the Clinton Foundation lobbied the State Department to transfer funding away from AIDS programs to a training program for health professionals in Rwanda. This idea was approved over the explicit objections of some State Department officials.
Although Secretary Clinton officially recused herself, she had her Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills decide the issue. The problem is that before Mills got her job in the State Department, she was a board member at the Clinton Foundation.
She actually remained on the Clinton Foundation board briefly as an unpaid member for a few months while working for State Department. For her first four months at the State Department, Cheryl Mills also worked for NYU and got paid $198,000 in 2009. She also received another $330,000 package in severance and vacation payments.
Cheryl Mills isn’t the only top Clinton advisor to work for both the State Department and the Clinton Foundation simultaneously. Huma Abedin, Hillary’s Deputy Chief of Staff, also worked for the Clinton Foundation in her last six months at the State Department. She was working as a “special government employee” program while simultaneously working for the Clinton Foundation as well as the consulting firm Teneo.
India: In 2006, then-Senator Hillary Clinton voted for three amendments designed to put limits on the U.S.-India Civil Nuclear Agreement. One of those amendments called for India to end its military cooperation with Iran so that any nuclear energy deal could not help the Iranian mullahs develop its nuclear program further. The amendments failed to pass in 2006. In 2008, this deal passed, and Senator Clinton supported it, without the amendments.
In October 2008, Senator Clinton voted for the deal. It passed the U.S. Senate 86-13.
In September 2008, Hillary Clinton met with Amar Singh to discuss the legislation. In 2008, the Clinton Foundation also received a donation between $1 million and $5 million from Singh. At the time, Singh was a member of the Indian parliament. Singh first met with President Clinton in 2005 through his friend Indian-American businessman Sant Chatwal. Chatwal also gave millions to the Clinton Foundation as well. He also contributed to Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign.
Haiti: There are too many stories to tell about the corruption at the Clinton Foundation for just one article. The most unbelievable story was how the Clinton Foundation helped its donors profit from the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, which killed approximately 200,000 Haitians.
After the earthquake, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and USAID set up the Haiti Mobile Phone Initiative. In January 2011, Digicel received the first award of $2.5 million so that Haitians could receive money over a mobile phone network. The Digicel Group is owned by Irish billionaire Denis O’Brien. By 2012, only two years after the earthquake, Digicel’s operation in Haiti made a profit of $86 million from $439 million in revenues in 2012.
It was no surprise to find out that O’Brien was a Clinton Foundation donor. O’Brien gave between $5 to $10 million to the Clinton Foundation. In October 2010, two months before Digicel was awarded the money for helping Haiti, the company sponsored an event in Jamaica where Bill Clinton got paid$225,000 to give a speech.
Another person who profited from Haiti’s earthquake was Hillary Clinton’s younger brother Tony Rodham. In October 2013, he joined the board of VCS Mining.
In December 2012, VCS Mining was one of two companies to win a contract to mine for gold in Haiti. Haiti had not issued permits to mine gold in almost 50 years prior to this deal. How did VCS do it?
In 2012, VCS chief executive Angelo Viard met Tony Rodham at a Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) event. If Viard didn’t hire Rodham because of his family ties, then why did he also pay $20,000 membership fee to the Clinton Foundation.
It is worth noting that mining for gold can be extremely hazardous to the environment of Haiti. To separate the gold from the rock, some mining companies use cyanide. If another earthquake hits Haiti,there is a chance that the cyanide could escape into the soil and/or the water supply. Many Haitians could die to service the greed of Clinton Foundation donors and recipients.
It is obvious that the 2008 agreement did not work. If Hillary is elected, the only way to avoid a conflict of interest is to shut down the Clinton Foundation indefinitely. Democrats and Republicans must work together to make sure that candidates in the future will not follow the Clinton example. The only way to do that is to shut down the Clinton Foundation.
Read more here.
Clinton apparently had this little bottler up his sleeve since the first quarter of this year.
That means Julie Bishop's had a while to think about it.
Will I or won't I. Bill loves me, he loves me not.
What would the idol Hillary do?
AS Hillary Clinton, then the most powerful woman in the world, was being wined and dined last year at a high-powered function at Indiana, Cottesloe, she had a visitor to her table.
The steely-eyed, Armani-suited Julie Bishop had sought her out for a one-on-one chat about the challenges of being a female Secretary of State.
Clinton leaned into Bishop and said: “Believe in yourself. Don’t let others define you.’’
Those eight words are etched in Bishop’s memory. They’re even more apt as she is set to be the nation’s first female foreign affairs minister, following the Coalition’s election win last Saturday.
“It was a special moment,’’ Bishop recalls. “She spoke of the challenges of being a female foreign minister. I took a lot from that meeting.’’