Latest Clinton cash scandal carries national security implications

Ever since his days in Arkansas, Bill Clinton has had an unerring ability to sniff out corruption and get in bed with it. Or, in the case of Jim McDougal, to sit sweating in its chair.

With the Clinton Foundation, Slick Willy has raised this skill to an art form. If there is a corrupt government with which to engage in mutual backscratching, Bill Clinton will find it. Before long, a Clinton Foundation supporter may have obtained concessions from the government; Clinton may have obtained lucrative speaking fees generated by both the supporter (through additional contributions) and the government; and the corrupt government may have obtained Bill Clinton’s public seal of approval plus (between 2009 and 2013) a friend at the head of the State Department.

Examples are easy to list: Colombia, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, and Algeria, and Qatar are among them. The Clinton interests also made out very well in Haiti. And cash has rolled in from FIFA, the world’s most corrupt sports organization.

But the latest episode in the Clinton Cash scandals stems not from the third world or from a third world-dominated soccer federation. Rather, it involves Sweden.

According to the Washington Times:

Bill Clinton’s foundation set up a fundraising arm in Sweden that collected $26 million in donations at the same time that country was lobbying Hillary Rodham Clinton’s State Department to forgo sanctions that threatened its thriving business with Iran, according to interviews and documents obtained by The Washington Times.

The Swedish entity, called the William J. Clinton Foundation Insamlingsstiftelse, was never disclosed to or cleared by State Department ethics officials, even though one of its largest sources of donations was a Swedish government-sanctioned lottery.

Did Sweden get its money’s worth. So it seems:

As the money flowed to the foundation from Sweden, Mrs. Clinton’s team in Washington declined to blacklist any Swedish firms despite warnings from career officials at the U.S. Embassy in Stockholm that Sweden was growing its economic ties with Iran and potentially undercutting Western efforts to end Tehran’s rogue nuclear program, diplomatic cables show.

Ericcson is Sweden’s second largest employer, according to the Times. During the early days of Hillary Clinton’s tenure at the State Department, U.S. intelligence reported that Ericsson was pitching cellphone tracking technology to Iran that could be used by the country’s security services.

To smooth its way, Ericcson paid Bill Clinton $750,000 for a speech. Like all other Swedish companies doing business with Iran, Ericcson escaped the State Department’s blacklist, according to the Times.

When she became Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, under pressure from Congress and President Obama, promised to establish a transparent review system to ensure that all of her husband’s fundraising or paid speaking engagements were reviewed for possible ties to foreign countries doing business with her Department. As we have seen throughout the Clinton Cash scandals, the promise was not honored.

In the case of Sweden, as noted above, the Clinton Foundation’s fundraising arm was never disclosed to or cleared by the State Department. And it escaped public notice, the Times says, because its incorporation papers were filed in Stockholm and because the identities of its donors were lumped by Team Clinton into the disclosure reports of his U.S.-based charity, thereby blurring the lines between what were two separate organizations incorporated under two different countries’ laws.

Given the game the Swedes and the Clintons were playing, you can understand these machinations.

In some of the Clinton Cash scandals, countries funneled money to the Clintons in order to escape from the consequences of human rights violations — apparently with success. This is scandalous enough.

But this is the second case I know of in which the Clintons received cash from entities that hoped to obtain — and seemingly did obtain — policy decisions that harmed U.S. national security interests (the other being the dealings that led to Russia controlling a large share of U.S. uranium).

Sweden believed that its national interests were best served by having its companies do business with Iran. This put Sweden in direct conflict with the Obama administration’s national security policy, which at the time called for tightening the screws on Iran in the hope of persuading it to give up its nuclear ambitions. And once Swedish Business interests contributed the first dollar to the Clintons, they put Hillary in a conflict of interest.

Her failure to make the conflict known, in violation of her promise, is serious enough. If a causal relationship can reasonably be inferred between the cash contributions and the State Department’s failure to blacklist Swedish companies, that inference should disqualify Hillary Clinton from any consideration for the office of president.