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Prevue Of Things To Come

James Riady, who plead guilty in 2001 to a "conspiracy to defraud the United States" through illegal contributions to the campaigns of Bill Clinton and other Democrats, made it back in the United States last year, despite being previously barred from country for his crimes. Apparently, the "disgraced" Riady was granted a visa waiver so he could receive an honorary doctorate from an Arkansas university and visit with Bill Clinton's foundation (to which he gave $20,000).

The Washington Post asks the key question: "How and why did a foreign billionaire stained by Clinton-era scandals get a U.S. visa after being kept out for so long under the Bush administration?" You may recall that Riady was connected to one of the most serious crimes in our nation's history — a campaign by the Clintons to sell out our nation's security to Chinese government officials (and their front men) in exchange for millions of dollars in campaign contributions for the Clintons and the Democrats. (Otherwise known as the "Chinagate" scandal.)

Johnny Chung, a former Clinton donor (and Judicial Watch client), who was working with a Chinese general to give contributions to the Clintons, put it this way: "The [Clinton] White House is like a subway. You have to put in the coins to open the gates." It was a prevue of things to come.

Riady (and his family-run company the Lippo Group) put in a lot of coins and got nailed for it. In fact, Riady received the harshest penalty in the history of U.S. campaign finance law, $8.6 million, along with a ban from entering the United States. Apparently, however, with Hillary in the Obama State Department, the gates opened once again for Riady last year, quietly and under the radar.

The Post somewhat flippantly notes that the Chinese government connection to the Clinton fundraising scandal was "never proven." However, a Senate report documented the Chinese communist plan to influence our elections with illegal campaign contributions. The scandal was real. And Riady was right in the middle of it. To quote from the Committee on Government Affairs report: The Committee has further learned from recently-acquired information that James and Mochtar Riady have had a long-term relationship with a Chinese intelligence agency. Finally, an unverified single piece of information shared with the Committee indicates that John Huang [a Riady co-conspirator, employee, Clinton administration appointee, and Democratic fundraiser] himself may possibly have had a direct financial relationship with the [People's Republic of China] government.

So a criminal with alleged ties to a foreign intelligence agency is allowed back into our country to try to visit our Secretary of State's husband (who is a former president and beneficiary of Riady's illegal largess)! Is it any wonder that a State Department that does illicit favors for the Secretary of State's criminal bagman allows terrorists into the country like the one who tried to down the airliner on Christmas day?

This is a scandal for both Hillary and Obama (not to mention Bill Clinton). Other than the important story that editors of the Washington Post buried in its "Style" section, the liberal media is happy to ignore it. (Not the foreign press, where Riady is still seen as the scandalous and corrupt figure he is.) Judicial Watch had been pursuing information about this scandal since July (when Riady obtained his visa), but we've been stonewalled for information by Hillary's State Department.

In other (and related) Clinton corruption news, the Clinton Foundation released its latest list of donors on New Year's Day, and just as we have seen in previous releases, there are serious conflicts of interest documented. Check out the scoop from The New York Times: Foreign countries, including Norway and Oman, have contributed to former President Bill Clinton's charity, and donors including Donald Trump, the Coca-Cola Company and the Elton John AIDS Foundation pitched in as Hillary Rodham Clinton served her first year as secretary of state in 2009.

Add the Kingdom of Saudia Arabia to the list as well, which along with Norway gave between $10 million and $25 million, while Oman gave in the $1-5 million range. (Among the foundation's top personal donors — controversial Canadian mining tycoon Frank Giustra, who gave more than $31 million to the foundation after Bill Clinton helped him seal a lucrative uranium deal with the communist dictator of Kazakhstan, a former Soviet Republic.)

In the new book that documents Harry Reid's patronizing and racist comments towards both blacks and whites, Hillary is quoted as saying (before she took the job) that if she's appointed Secretary of State, "Bill" would turn things into a circus. Specifically, she is alleged to have said, "There's one last thing that's a problem, which is my husband. You've seen what this is like. It will be a circus if I take this job." Indeed, the circus has come to town.

How can Hillary Clinton go about the business of fairly executing the Obama administration's foreign policy while foreign governments and nationals continue to fill Bill's foundation coffers? And lest anyone have any doubts about the Clintons' willingness to sell public offices for personal and political gain. The Clinton Foundation's foreign ties plus the Riady scandal might have caused a problem in another presidential administration. But for the Obama administration, it is "business as usual."

Obama: What Transparency Promise? To say Obama secrecy is a trend would be an understatement. The Obama administration has repeatedly stonewalled Judicial Watch FOIA requests, including those related to White House visitor logs and the government's massive bailouts. The administration's penchant for conducting its business behind closed doors on the most important issues of the day.

And, of course, this penchant for secrecy raises the question: What is it about these negotiations that the president and the Democrats want to keep from public view? I've said this numerous times and it bears repeating here. Truth fears no inquiry. If there is nothing to hide, then there is absolutely no reason to shield these discussions from public scrutiny. But if you're making backroom deals with big union donors or letting corrupt politicians like Charlie Rangel and Chris Dodd be your negotiating partners, you probably want to hide from the public. We're talking about an administration that held a workshop on transparency that was closed to the public!

In 2006, it was discovered that Obama was involved in a suspicious real estate deal with an indicted political fundraiser, Antoin "Tony" Rezko. In 2007, more reports surfaced of deeper and suspicious business and political connections It was reported that just two months after he joined the Senate, Obama purchased $50,000 worth of stock in speculative companies whose major investors were his biggest campaign contributors. One of the companies was a biotech concern that benefited from legislation Obama pushed just two weeks after the senator purchased $5,000 of the company's shares. Obama was also nabbed conducting campaign business in his Senate office, a violation of federal law.

As Barack Obama assumes the presidency he already brings to the White House a large amount of ethical baggage. Obama's presidential campaign had some of the ethical trimmings of a Chicago ward election. It was marked with enormous corruption issues, ranging from its alliance with the sleazy ACORN operation's "voter registration" and "get out the vote" efforts to its acceptance of untraceable, and in too many cases, illegal online contributions. There are also Obama's corrupt dealings with convicted felon Tony Rezko and unrepentant terrorist William Ayers, his below-market rate mortgage loans, his stock dealings and related "earmark" votes in the U.S. Senate, and his missing or non-existent official papers from his years in the Illinois State Senate. His ongoing cover up of his and his team's role in the Blagojevich "pay-to-play" scandal is ruining his presidency even before he takes the oath of office.

During his presidential campaign, President Obama promised to run an ethical and transparent administration. However, in his first year in office, the President has delivered corruption and secrecy, bringing Chicago-style political corruption to the White House. Consider just a few Obama administration "lowlights" from year one: Even before President Obama was sworn into office, he was interviewed by the FBI for a criminal investigation of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich's scheme to sell the President's former Senate seat to the highest bidder. (Obama's Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and slumlord Valerie Jarrett, both from Chicago, are also tangled up in the Blagojevich scandal.)

Moreover, the Obama administration made the startling claim that the Privacy Act does not apply to the White House. The Obama White House believes it can violate the privacy rights of American citizens without any legal consequences or accountability. President Obama boldly proclaimed that "transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency," but his administration is addicted to secrecy, stonewalling far too many of Judicial Watch's Freedom of Information Act requests and is refusing to make public White House visitor logs as federal law requires.

The Obama administration turned the National Endowment of the Arts (as well as the agency that runs the AmeriCorps program) into propaganda machines, using tax dollars to persuade "artists" to promote the Obama agenda. According to documents uncovered by Judicial Watch, the idea emerged as a direct result of the Obama campaign and enjoyed White House approval and participation.

President Obama has installed a record number of "czars" in positions of power. Too many of these individuals are leftist radicals who answer to no one but the president. And too many of the czars are not subject to Senate confirmation (which raises serious constitutional questions). Under the President's bailout schemes, the federal government continues to appropriate or control - through fiat and threats - large sectors of the private economy, prompting conservative columnist George Will to write: "The administration's central activity - the political allocation of wealth and opportunity - is not merely susceptible to corruption, it is corruption."

Government-run healthcare and car companies, White House coercion, uninvestigated ACORN corruption, debasing his office to help Chicago cronies, attacks on conservative media and the private sector, unprecedented and dangerous new rights for terrorists, perks for campaign donors - this is Obama's "ethics" record - and he hasn't even gotten through the first year of his presidency.

Judicial Watch. Clinton Corruption Front and Center — or The Latest Obama Administration Scandal. Verdict. March 2010; Volume 16, Issue 3.

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