The Clintons, Qatar, and the Israel Massacre
It’s not easy to understand the Middle East, but one facet can be found in following the money. One open-wallet nation, Qatar, has been chummy with both Hamas terrorists and U.S. politicians. Our chief investigative reporter Micah Morrison provides the details in our Investigative Bulletin about Qatar’s connections with a former U.S. president and a secretary of state.
Shortly after the world began learning the details of the massacre of Israeli civilians on October 7, Hillary Clinton published a note of support on X for “everyone affected by the horrific attacks by Hamas” and expressed “strong support of our ally,” Israel. The former secretary of state had nothing to say about one of Hamas’s key allies, the energy-rich kingdom of Qatar, and not surprisingly: Qatar is not only an important friend of the U.S. in the region but also for many years was a generous patron of Bill and Hillary Clinton. As Judicial Watch President Tom Fittonnoted on X, Qatar funneled money to the Clintons when Mrs. Clinton was secretary of state and she “hid this until disclosures from Wikileaks and pressure from Judicial Watch forced her to admit to tens of millions of previously hidden foreign cash payments to ‘Clinton Inc.’”
Slipping money into the hands of slippery politicians—a time-honored tradition in the Middle East and elsewhere—of course is not the same as providing significant ongoing state support for a murderous terrorist organization. But the Clinton experience does provide a snapshot of the Qatari influence operation and a warning about what Qatar may be up to elsewhere, including in the United States.
The Qatar-Clinton money trail begins around 2008, when the Clinton Foundation—under pressure due to Mrs. Clinton’s imminent ascent to State Department leadership—published a list of donors. Among them: Qatar, listed as contributing between $1 million and $5 million. A Clinton Foundation spokesman later acknowledged that Qatar had been sending the Clintons money “since 2002.”
Pressure mounted on the Clintons in 2014 with the publication of a Judicial Watch investigative report disclosing that Bill Clinton had earned upward of $48 million in speaking fees around the globe, including from Arab countries, while Mrs. Clinton served as secretary of state. “Former President Clinton trotted the globe collecting huge speaking fees while his wife presided over U.S. foreign policy,” Tom Fitton noted at the time.
In 2016, a leaked Wikileaks email revealed that five years earlier, in 2011, the Clintons had received a $1 million gift from Qatar. That gift was never reported by the Clintons, a clear violation of the disclosure agreement the Clintons had signed with the State Department when Mrs. Clinton took the helm. Soon after the 2011 gift, a high-ranking Qatari official pressed the Clinton circle for “five minutes” with the former president.
Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits also turned up more evidence of Clinton conflicts of interest, including the courting of Qatar. A Judicial Watch FOIA disclosure in late 2016 revealed a list sent by a Clinton Foundation senior adviser to a high-ranking aide to Secretary of State Clinton; the list noted more than 200 foreign leaders to be invited to the 2009 Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting, including the emir of Qatar, the Qatari prime minister, and the minister of foreign affairs.
Qatar’s pursuit of influence in the United States is not limited to the Clintons and their allies. According toinvestigative reports, Qatar has given $1 billion to American universities since 2011. Qatar also is a major purveyor of anti-Semitism. Its media is filled with anti-Semitic and anti-Israel propaganda. And at the UN—not exactly a bastion of pro-Israel sentiment—a high-ranking Qatari official was recently denied a senior post on the grounds of anti-Semitism. That’s useful context when considering Qatar’s role supporting Hamas.
Here at Judicial Watch, we’re watching Qatar closely. At home, with concern rising about anti-Semitism on U.S. campuses, we won a recent lawsuit forcing disclosure of information about Qatar’s funding of American universities. Abroad, with lessons learned from our Clinton investigations, we’re following the flow of Qatari money. We’ll keep you updated.
Taliban Creates Fake Nonprofits to Get Millions in U.S. Afghanistan Aid
It may shock you to know that millions of your tax dollars are being given to the Taliban in Afghanistan. Our Corruption Chronicles blog explains.
In one of the most recent Afghanistan debacles, the Taliban has established fraudulent non-governmental organizations (NGO) to loot the hundreds of millions of dollars in humanitarian aid that the United States has sent Afghanistan since the 2021 military withdrawal. NGOs are typically nonprofits with humanitarian missions that supposedly work to improve public or social welfare. Approximately 1.5 million NGOs operate in the U.S., according to the State Department, and they advocate for a variety of issues that include the environment, healthcare, women’s rights, marginalized populations, youth empowerment and economic development. The U.S. government gives NGOs billions of your tax dollars every year through various agencies, including the departments of Health and Human Services, Homeland Security and State.
In Afghanistan terrorists are not surprisingly stealing the humanitarian aid that keeps flowing to the central Asian Islamic nation by, among other things, utilizing fake NGOs. Specifically, the Taliban is benefiting from American education funding through the establishment of fraudulent NGOs to receive donor assistance, according to an audit published recently by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR). The Taliban is also infiltrating and extorting existing Afghan NGOs delivering educational assistance, the probe found. “For example, an NGO official told us the Taliban are targeting and extorting Afghans who receive monetary support from U.S.-funded education programs under the guise of taxation,” the report states. “In another example, NGO officials told SIGAR that the Taliban are coercing NGOs to hire Taliban supporters or purchase goods from Taliban-owned companies.”
Prior to the Biden administration’s abrupt military withdrawal, the U.S. invested $1.3 billion on education-related programming in Afghanistan and reportedly it “contributed to significant improvements” in the Muslim nation’s education system. Since the terrorist group returned to power in August 2021, Uncle Sam has continued to fund Afghanistan’s education sector through six programs that cost $185.2 million even though the Taliban has issued decrees drastically limiting access to education for girls and women as well as restricting women’s ability to work and other basic freedoms. Nevertheless, the American taxpayer dollars keep flowing. In fiscal year 2023, which ended in September, the U.S. sent Taliban-ruled Afghanistan over $566 million in humanitarian assistance. Most of it was for emergency food but a chunk was classified as going to general humanitarian and health. More than $15 million went to a cause that is labeled “redacted” in the government records.
It’s not like American government officials don’t know the Taliban is taking the money. A report issued earlier this year by the United States Institute of Peace, the federal institution founded by Congress to promote worldwide conflict resolution, concluded that foreign-funded assistance is unlikely to prove effective as leverage to shape the Taliban government’s behavior. “On the contrary, the Taliban are likely to increasingly regard foreign funded activities as just another potential revenue stream,” the U.S. Institute of Peace found. “Any form of humanitarian or development assistance is prone to manipulation by the Taliban. Aid/development delivery…exposes [foreign donors] to Taliban coercion with little leverage or recourse to resist.” Specific to education, SIGAR writes that the Taliban’s “repressive” policies, especially those targeting girls and women, have severely limited access to, and the quality of, education at all levels. Yet the American taxpayer dollars keep pouring into the terrorist group’s coffers.
Laughably, the Islamic Emirate Afghanistan (IEA) denied in a Pakistani news report that the Taliban is stealing U.S. education funds, insisting that the IEA acts in the best interest of Afghanistan. “The claims made by SIGAR regarding Afghanistan are far from reality,” according to the IEA’s deputy spokesman quoted in the article. “The Islamic Emirate makes all decisions and manages affairs in Afghanistan based on its principles and the nation’s welfare.”
Until next week,