Now that Bill Clinton has released the list of his 205,000 donors who have given close to $500 million to his library and foundation, it is clear why he resisted releasing the list while his wife was running for president.
Compelled by the Obama transition team to make it public as a condition of his wife's appointment as secretary of state, it becomes clear that the list is a virtual encyclopedia of conflicts of interest for the husband of a senator, to say nothing of the husband of an incoming secretary of state.
Particularly troubling are the massive donations from Arab governments in the Middle East. How can a secretary of state possibly be impartial in conflicts involving Israel when her husband has gotten tens of millions of dollars from Arabian governments and high-ranking people. Specifically, Clinton got:
Between $10 million and $25 million from:
-- The government of Saudi Arabia
Between $1 million and $5 million from:
-- Friends of Saudi Arabia
-- The Dubai Foundation
-- Saudi businessman Nasser Al-Rashid
-- Saudi tycoon Sheikh Mohammed H. Al-Amoudi
-- Former Lebanon Deputy Prime Minister Issam Fares
-- The government of Kuwait
-- The government of Qatar
-- The government of Oman
-- The government of Brunei
-- The Zayed Family, rulers of Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates
He also received between $500,000 and $1 million from Saudi businessman Walid Juffali.
Pardon us for looking such generous gift horses in the mouth, but it is hard to imagine so many governments, monarchs and businessmen in the Middle East giving money unless it was with some hope of a political return on their investment. Will that return now come with the appointment of Mrs. Clinton as secretary of state?
After all, the next secretary of state will be called upon to mediate and negotiate conflicts in the Middle East as her first assignment. How can Hillary Clinton undertake to do so impartially when her husband's library and foundation -- over which he has total control -- have been bankrolled by the very nations with whom she must negotiate?
The list reveals another key center of conflicts of interest in Kazakhstan, the former Soviet Republic, now home to some of the world's greatest mineral deposits and ruled by a corrupt dictator, Nursultan A. Nazarbayev, who according to The New York Times has all but quashed political dissent."