Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah meets U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the Royal Palace in Riyadh February 15, 2010. REUTERS/Saudi Press Agency/
WikiLeaks released an August 2014 e-mail from Hillary Clinton to John Podesta, who currently serves as her campaign chairman, stating that the governments of Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been “providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other radical Sunni groups in the region.” Evidently President Obama has not heeded Hillary’s concern, or chose to ignore it. In December 2014, Obama praised Saudi Arabia’s significant role in helping to fight ISIL (also known as ISIS and the Islamic State) during a meeting in Washington with the Kingdom’s Minister of Interior Prince Mohammed Bin Naif Bin Abdulaziz. And at a meeting he hosted with Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, the Emir of Qatar, at the White House in February 2015, Obama said, "Qatar is a strong partner in our coalition to degrade and ultimately defeat ISIL."
Putting aside Obama’s state of denial, which has characterized his whole approach in dealing with the Middle East mess he helped to create, the information in Hillary’s e-mail is not particularly surprising. Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been playing us for years, pretending to be allies in countering terrorism while actually helping to advance the terrorists’ jihadist agenda. For starters, Saudi Arabian government front groups and individuals linked to the government have been implicated in possible involvement with the al Qaeda 9/11 attacks on our homeland. A member of the Qatari royal family, Abdallah bin Khalid al-Thani who headed Qatar’s ministry of Interior until 2013, is said by American intelligence services to have tipped off the 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed back in 1996 when he was already under indictment on terrorist charges, as FBI agents were closing in on Mohammed while he was in Qatar. In addition, ABC reported, based on statements from U.S. intelligence officials, that “bin Laden himself visited Abdallah bin Khalid al-Thani in Qatar between the years of 1996 and 2000.” Both countries’ funding of ISIS and al Qaeda in Syria and Iraq are just a continuation of this long pattern.
What makes Hillary’s e-mail noteworthy is the irony that the governments of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and groups aligned with them, have not only been major funders of ISIS and other jihadist organizations, as she indicated, but they also have been big funders of the Clinton Foundation for years. Hillary has had no trouble taking money for her foundation from regimes that fund terrorists, oppress women, execute or imprison gays and apostates, and severely punish the exercise of free speech.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia contributed between $10 million and $25 million to the Clinton Foundation through June 2016, according to the Clinton Foundation’s own website (which only reports in ranges of total contributions). Wealthy individuals with close ties to the Saudi royal family have donated millions more. For example, Nasser al-Rashid, a multibillionaire adviser to the Saudi royal family, has donated between $1 million and $5 million.
A group calling itself Friends of Saudi Arabia also contributed between $1 million and $5 million. The National Review described the group as “a thinly veiled public-relations organ of the repressive Saudi regime.” National Review quoted a critique of Friends of Saudi Arabia by Ali Alyami, executive director of the Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia: “These are Saudi apologists. The country depends on propaganda. . . . When I saw the name ‘Friends of Saudi Arabia,’ I knew exactly what they were going to do and who was paying them. I just wrote them off.”
Although the Friends of Saudi Arabia group was trying to create a false positive image to American audiences of conditions for women in Saudi Arabia, which in fact are amongst the most repressive in the world, Hillary Clinton did not write the Saudi propaganda group off as long as the money kept flowing into her foundation’s coffers. As Alyami observed, “Our government and our people are for sale, and the Saudis know how to buy.”
It has been all about pay-for-play, buying access and favors during Hillary’s tenure as Secretary of State and looking forward to more of the same during her possible presidency.
In a letter from Senator Charles Grassley, Chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary, to Attorney General Loretta Lynch dated August 15. 2016, Grassley noted that prior to Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State, “Qatar was the recipient of approximately $271 million in military related export deals. During her tenure, Qatar was the recipient of approximately $4.3 billion – a 1,482% increase.” Saudi Arabia received a 97% increase in such export deals during her tenure.
With Hillary Clinton as president, we may hear some tougher talk than we have heard from President Obama criticizing Saudi Arabia and Qatar for their support of jihadist groups and their funding of the spread of jihadist ideology. However, it will be just words, since Hillary will not want to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs for her foundation.