December 18, 2008

Saudis and Blackwater made donations to the Clinton foundation

By: David Donadio

So the AP reports.  Here we go…

WASHINGTON – Former President Bill Clinton laid out a list of big-ticket donors to his foundation Thursday that is heavy with foreign governments and business interests sure to have a stake in the policies that Hillary Rodham Clinton carries out as secretary of state.

Saudi Arabia and other foreign governments gave at least $46 million, while corporate donors included the Blackwater security firm that protects U.S. diplomats in Iraq.

The contributions went to the William J. Clinton Foundation, a nonprofit created by the former president to finance his library in Little Rock, Ark., and charitable efforts to reduce poverty and treat AIDS. President-elect Barack Obama made Hillary Clinton’s nomination as secretary of state contingent on her husband revealing the foundation’s contributors, to avoid questions about potential conflicts of interest.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia gave $10 million to $25 million to the foundation, and other government donors included Norway, Kuwait, Qatar, Brunei, Oman, Italy and Jamaica. The Dutch national lottery gave $5 million to $10 million.

“Questions?” “Potential” conflicts of interest? Look, this could all be perfectly defensible, but Obama would do well to note the old Steve Jobs quotation: perception is reality.

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