A couple of weeks ago I heard the National Symphony Orchestra perform Dmitri Shostakovich's symphony commemorating war and revolution, his Symphony No. 11. There was not much lyricism to it, not even a dulcet tune one could whistle while leaving the symphony hall. It was ominous rumbling and groaning, the tympani madly thundering away. Nonetheless, it was very affecting. After all, the 1957 work commemorated Russia's events on the road to the Bolshevik Revolution. Rumble on. Rumble on.
Last week, I saw a documentary of recent events and became overwhelmed with similar rumbling and groaning from the movie's soundtrack. It was suitably alarming, if not quite up to the horrors of Russian history. The documentary was about the Clintons' worldwide corruption.
It will be available in American movie houses shortly. It is called "Clinton Cash," and though it only involves pictures of a few score corpses in faraway places, such as Africa and Haiti, it is very alarming. The documentary centers on Third-World corruption, the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, and President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton, she being the putative Democratic presidential candidate. I cannot think of a similar film ever being made about a presidential candidate in American history, not even Richard Nixon.
"Clinton Cash" is based on Peter Schweizer's book "Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich," which was reviewed in this column a year ago. When seen on the big screen, "Clinton Cash" is even more chilling than the book, for it deals with the astounding amounts of money that were directed to the Clintons while Clinton was secretary of state and Bill was on the speaking circuit. Since leaving their offices at the White House, the Clintons have amassed a fortune last calculated at over $135 million. The documentary was produced by conservative Stephen K. Bannon of Breitbart News. He says it is aimed particularly at environmentalists, progressives and human-rights groups, the kind of voters who turn out for Sen. Bernie Sanders, and even disgruntled fans of Hillary Clinton.
Schweizer, also the documentary's narrator, says that Bill's speaking fees grew immensely during Clinton's time at the State Department, from a mere $200,000 or so to a staggering $500,000 (on 10 occasions) and $700,000 (at least twice). The Clinton Foundation now is now worth an astounding $2 billion. Moreover, the list of foundation donors and the list of those funding Bill's speeches is a human-rights who's who of international criminals -- leaders of Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Rwanda and Russia, to name but a few. Thus the ominous rumbles in the film's soundtrack.
In the documentary, Schweizer tells the story of how Hillary Clinton approved a State Department deal that left the Russians with a sizable percentage of the world's uranium, much of it from within the United States, while Bill scooped up speaking fees in Russia. Then there was her reversal of Bill's 1990s stance on India's signing of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. By the 21st Century India wanted nothing to do with the treaty, and the Clintons wanted donations. They got millions, and the Bill Clinton-era export restrictions were lifted. Time and again, this tag-team match has enriched the Clintons and their Foundation. But in the case of Russia and India, it has made the world a more dangerous place.
They have repeated their tag-team act in some of the world's most impoverished countries. In Haiti, for instance, pals of Bill arrived after the 2010 earthquake to sell shoddy goods and make exorbitant deals. In Rwanda and the Congo similar schemes were hatched. Bill arrives with figures like the Canadian tycoon Frank Giustra or the Irishman businessman Denis O'Brien, and deals are made. Money changes hands, and the countries remain impoverished. During Schweizer's narration, he says he thinks that he has established "a pattern of corruption" in the Clintons, the State Department, the Clinton Foundation and the world's hellholes. In the weeks ahead, viewers will decide for themselves. As Bannon says, the documentary may appeal to conservatives, but it was really made for those on the left who are beginning to doubt the Clintons.