"Senator Isakson, I couldn't say it any better," said Mrs. Clinton. "I certainly do agree."
All of which goes to show this confirmation hearing wasn't exactly a trial by fire -- unless, of course, "fire" means the kind of "fire" Mrs. Clinton said targeted her 1996 airport arrival into Bosnia -- i.e., nonexistent fire.
But, as Corker put it, there's no reason for "continual press comments." Why bring up the millions of dollars bubbling out of the Middle East and into the Clinton foundation from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Dubai and the United Arab Emirates? No Arab sheikh will give any of that moolah a thought when Secretary of State Clinton comes to call, right?
And just forget about the millions passing into the foundation coffers from, say, Lebanese-Canadian businessman Victor Dahdaleh, now facing a U.S. federal investigation into charges that he helped defraud a Bahrain-government controlled metals company -- Bahrain being home of the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet. And never mind the donations of Gilbert Chagoury, a Lebanese-Nigerian businessman closely tied to former Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha. Chagoury, as the Wall Street Journal reported, has donated millions to the Clinton foundation. He also donated to Bill Clinton's 1996 re-election campaign -- later helping to arrange a hefty speaking fee for the former president -- while members of his family donated thousands of dollars to Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. Just because this Clintonian sugar daddy has large oil interests in Nigeria, not to mention close ties to Lebanonese religious factions, let there be no "continual press comments" about these and other conflicts of! interest. As DeMint put it, "Enough said."
But Senate gag aside, these colossal conflicts of interest Mrs. Clinton carries with her to the State Department won't go away.
Kudos to Sen. David Vitter, Republican of Louisiana, who voted against Mrs. Clinton's nomination due to conflicts posed by her husband's globe-spanning charities. And at least he asked whether and how donations to the Clinton Global Initiative, a breakaway arm of the Clinton foundation not covered by the agreement worked out between the Obama team and the Clinton foundation, will be monitored. In his final allotted moments, he even mentioned extremely troubling donations to the Clinton foundation from Iran-linked terror-tainted interests. But to no avail.
The situation was "unprecedented," said Lugar at hearing's end, adding: "I am hopeful that, as we go through the history of this, that people will not say, well, Senator Lugar, Senator Kerry and others were pressing it. They saw the problems. And we'll get full credit, but that will not be helpful to our foreign policy, to you, to your husband, to the foundation."
Full credit, senator? Full blame, I'd say.
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