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Mindy BelzVoices Mindy Belz

Choose your taint

You can’t spin Hillary Clinton into the more respectable candidate

Choose your taint

Hillary Clinton (Associated Press/Photo by Matt Rourke)

If you, like me, are a frog sitting in the steaming waters of America, summer 2016, you’d be wise to buy a thermometer, or three, to better gauge the gathering boil. Democrats buoyed by eight years of Obama liberalism are unified behind a candidate awash in corruption, herself moved left by socialist rival Bernie Sanders.

The New York Times in a July 10 front-page story about the need for a unifying president professed, “Of the two, Mrs. Clinton would seem more able, and driven, to try to bring the country together.” Given the demagoguery and sheer boorishness of Donald Trump’s campaign, it’s tempting to believe Hillary Clinton represents the traditional, sober political leader.

That would be the case if you’re living in Caracas or Buenos Aires. The charge sheet of scandal and foreign entanglements, together with the accumulation of wealth through the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, reads more like the resumé of some tin-pot dictator. We should get over Hillary Clinton as the less tainted choice. Critics rightly demand Trump act more presidential, but they should also demand Clinton act less criminal.

There’s a reason scandal won’t leave her alone. Any working American realizes he or she would be fired, or jailed, for doing things Clinton has done. An ABC/Washington Post poll found a majority (56 percent) disapprove of the FBI’s recommendation not to charge Clinton for her handling of email while secretary of state. The same poll showed a majority (57 percent) “worried” about what she’d do if elected president.

Critics rightly demand Trump act more presidential, but they should also demand Clinton act less criminal.

Investigations will continue, and not all are politically motivated. Charles Ortel is a well-known auditor with a Harvard MBA who told me he’s not a Republican. He has concluded the Clinton Foundation is the “largest unprosecuted charity fraud ever attempted,” part of an “international charity fraud network” with inflows and outflows exceeding $100 billion. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., formally asked the FBI on July 13 for a public corruption investigation of the Clinton Foundation, where Hillary currently is secretary/treasurer.

More questions keep surfacing. About Clinton’s role in a 2009 military coup in Honduras. About reports she massaged 2010 election results in Haiti. About a $29 billion jet fighter deal she approved for Saudi Arabia despite Israel’s objections—including Boeing F-15s—two months after Boeing gave $900,000 to the Clinton Foundation. About the $21 million she earned in 2013-2015 in speaking fees, and whom she may be obligated to for future favors.

WORLD began to investigate Clinton’s State Department over Nigeria (see “Troubling ties,” June 11) after we learned—through the testimony of two knowledgeable witnesses—an American working for the UN named Vernice Guthrie narrowly escaped a 2011 bombing at UN headquarters there. The terrorist attack was an international incident, so why weren’t the names of American victims released?

In 2013 we filed Freedom of Information Act requests with the FBI and State Department in part to ask for such records. In 2014 the FBI declined to comply, citing an ongoing investigation. In 2016 the State Department sent two envelopes containing 20 documents, all revolving on State Department talking points after the bombing, none touching on U.S. personnel.

Through months of our sifting documents, interviewing former officials and security and financial experts, this detail remained elusive. Contacted by my colleague J.C. Derrick, Guthrie acknowledged she worked in Nigeria, but she hung up the phone when asked about the bombing. Guthrie’s social media accounts, we discovered, seemed scrubbed. An active Twitter account she’s had since 2009 and a Facebook page went dark between 2011 and 2013. Subsequent calls went unreturned. Her behavior suggested she may have been under pressure to hide her presence, but why?

Our reporting uncovered multiple ties between the Clinton Foundation, Hillary herself, and Nigerian business interests who benefited from the United States not cracking down on terror in Nigeria. It’s a small anecdote. But it fits a pattern of cover-up; of Clinton denying shady practices plain for all to see; of her dealing with rogues, defying the law in plain sight, and daring anyone to catch her. A nuclear arsenal and the world’s best army won’t be in trustworthy hands on her watch.

Email mbelz@wng.org

Comments

  • CLARKE MCINTOSH
    Posted: Fri, 07/22/2016 11:00 am

    Can you compare the relative financial force of the Clinton Foundation with other foundations of former presidents?  The amount of money sounds like many times what other presidential foundations have done, but I do not have the facts before me.  Is $100 billion/year in the same neighborhood as other foundations, or is this far in excess of others?  If in excess, is there any movement to investigate their activity?

  • Peter Allen's picture
    Peter Allen
    Posted: Fri, 07/22/2016 01:01 pm

    On the other hand let's not be enamored with a candidate who has profited off strip clubs, cheated on his wife, and appeared on the cover of the nation’s pre-eminent porn magazine.  Gary Johnson who was a decent governor is a viable third option who will be on your ballot in November.  Although he also has issues, they are far less than the front runners.  The Libertarians are intelligently taking advantage of our national situation by putting forth someone this time many will actually find pallitalbe. 

  • John Cogan's picture
    John Cogan
    Posted: Wed, 07/27/2016 12:25 am

    Hi Peter,

    I voted for Johnson as the Republican candidate for governor of New Mexico, but he has drifted since then, now favoring abortion and same-sex marriage. I don't think I could vote for him now. All of WORLD's readers ought to write in Joel Belz.

  • William Peck 1958's picture
    William Peck 1958
    Posted: Wed, 07/27/2016 09:37 am

    @Peter Allen, your moral equivalency is killing babies, and soldiers. Have a look at Tony Perkins, head of Family Research Council, says about our choices. 

     

  • Christian_Prof
    Posted: Wed, 07/27/2016 03:44 pm

    WP - 

    That's a heck of a bomb to throw my friend. I've made my feelings of Trump's well (celebrated) character flaws very clear in the past. I'm not going to reiterate them. I do not feel bad in the LEAST about voting 3rd party or writing in a candidate. I won't be voting Libertarian because of the party's social platforms. Perhaps the Constitutional Party. Or perhaps, I'll just write in someone. The most important thing is NOT (as you say) making sure Hillary Clinton doesn't win - because Trump would be as bad. The most important thing is to vote your conscience. To do what you believe is best for the county. And for me - that is "none of the above."

  • Fani's picture
    Fani
    Posted: Fri, 07/29/2016 03:55 pm

    Peter, I know. I get it. I really do. This election is an all-time low for our nation.

    But a vote for anyone other than Trump is a vote for Hillary Clinton. Period. We are a 2-party nation.

    This is the first time I'm hearing Gary Johnson's name, so believe me, he is not a viable option. I just re-read that sentence and I acknowledge that it makes me sound quite self-important, which makes me cringe, but I am well-educated and I follow the news and, well, I'm sure Gary is a great guy and doubtless would be a better president than either of our current choices, but please don't advocate that people vote for him. It gives more votes to Hillary. And we have to consider who will be appointing Supreme Court justices, and ambassadors, and setting agendas for all government agencies and departments. Yes, Trump scares me. But Hillary scares me more.

  • John C Pickett
    Posted: Fri, 07/22/2016 01:35 pm

    Mindy, thanks for the work and research... when will someone at World or in the Public Square point us to someone we can as Christians vote for.  Who will lead us out of this darkness?   John Pickett

  • William Peck 1958's picture
    William Peck 1958
    Posted: Wed, 07/27/2016 09:39 am

    @John Pickett - you're kidding right ? So here's a man who did a Demolition Derby on the Republican Party, and is about to do the same to the Democrat Party (with lots of help from Hillary and company). And you don't know who to vote for. Why not vote for Ted Cruz ? Just write in his name if it makes you feel better.

  • FreedomInTejas's picture
    FreedomInTejas
    Posted: Wed, 07/27/2016 10:35 am

    How could anyone with a conscience vote for someone who has long since lost hers? 

    Our choices are between two dogs in this election. One is a Heinz 57 (meaning she has reinvented herself as many times) known to have rabies. The other is a Rottweiler/Collie mix with two unknowns: 1) whether he will run for help after he bites your hand off;  2) whether he has rabies.

  • TxAgEngr
    Posted: Wed, 07/27/2016 12:42 pm

    Her nomination indicates that one political party, most of the media and half of the American population care nothing for virtue and are only concerned with gaining raw political power by any means.  This isn't your grandfather's America anymore.  Our country is becoming more like Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe.

  • Greg Mangrum's picture
    Greg Mangrum
    Posted: Wed, 07/27/2016 01:40 pm

    Our choice this election (third party candidates are not a choice: see 1992 and Ross Perot) reminds me of the conundrum that's says, "There are two boxes: A & B. You have to open one of them. Box A has a sign that reads 'there is a deadly snake inside the other box.' Box B has a sign that reads  'either Box A or Box B has a million dollars inside.' Either these signs are both true or they are both false. Which box would you open?" 

  • hawaiicharles
    Posted: Wed, 07/27/2016 07:16 pm

    It turns out that the Constitution Party is on the ballot in my state.  I had a brief look at their candidate, Darrell Castle.  I found that he is quite libertarian in his thinking, seeing no role for the federal government to get involved in matters like "prostitution, gambling, smoking, polygamous relationships, or any other activities made by consenting adults" (the quote is from his Wikipedia article).

    As much as I want to keep Mrs. Clinton out of the Oval Office, I have decided that I will not sell my soul for a political victory. Therefore I plan to simply leave the top of the ballot blank.  I'll vote in my local elections, but when there are no acceptable candidates, I think "none of the above" is a legitimate choice.

     

  • Janet B
    Posted: Fri, 07/29/2016 09:36 am

    A frog in steaming waters.  Yes, that's what we are. Lord, help us!!

  • JESSIE HARVEY
    Posted: Sat, 07/30/2016 01:18 pm

    Agree that Clinton has engaged in criminal behavior. But so has Donald Trump. Trump University, Trump Managment Company, etc.

  • Henry
    Posted: Sun, 07/31/2016 02:18 pm

    I wish rthere were some way every voter in the US would read this article prior to voting.

  • Slats
    Posted: Sat, 08/13/2016 05:32 pm

    Excellent article as usual. Mindy understands the choice. Commenter Fari seems to be the only commenter who remembers lessons of 2008 and 2012 - only 2 candidates, 1 with most electoral votes wins. 3rd parties assure the wrong candidate will win.