Hillary Clinton

Modern Myths: Hillary Clinton DNC & Uranium

Hillary ClintonWhat is quite frankly astonishing are the shear number of myths regarding Hillary Clinton that are promoted as fact by many. Digging into the truth is not simply a matter of what your specific political leanings happen to be, but rather is about working out what is and is not actually true. Criticism of those within the political arena should be for the things they have actually said or done, and not on the basis of popular modern mythology.

Today we shall take a brief look at two recent Hillary myths that have been promoted as fact by many, and yet when examined, it turns out that what you were told and perhaps believed is not actually true at all. The real story is that you are being played.

Claim: Hillary Clinton Rigged the DNC

The foundation for this is that Donna Brazile, the interim chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), has a new book in which she argues that the DNC provided the Clinton campaign with control over important decisions in exchange for financial support. Mr T leapt on this “revelation” as “evidence” that his Crooked Hillary” stance was factual. Surprisingly enough Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) did as well.

There is one little flaw to all this; things are not as claimed, and this can be easily checked. For example, The Washington Post explains …

… two 2015 agreements between Clinton’s campaign and the DNC have appeared …

… The first concerns the fundraising agreement made between the DNC and the Clinton campaign … this is relatively standard. Indeed, the Sanders campaign was offered a similar joint fundraising agreement.

… the second document shows that the DNC and Clinton campaign had an additional agreement which provided the campaign with influence over the DNC well before Clinton won the nomination …

… This is nothing new: As I show in a forthcoming article, committee chairs and staff frequently have strong preferences over the direction and candidates of the party.

It is also not surprising that powerful party leaders, including presidential candidates, can influence their party’s national committee.

… there is an important difference between the DNC’s preferring one of the presidential candidates and its rigging the nomination process.

In short, two things can be true simultaneously: The DNC tried to help Clinton’s campaign, but this did not have much impact on whether Clinton won the nomination.

Bottom Line: Rigged? Nope, but preferred, yes, and this is quite a normal part of the political process. “rigged” and “preferred” are not the same thing. To not grasp that is to not grasp the different between fact and fiction.

Claim: 20% of US Uranium was sold in exchange for Clinton Foundation donations

This one is a bit older and yet warrants a look because it has been resurrected recently. The essence of it is that Sec. of State Hillary Clinton’s approval of a deal to transfer control of 20% of U.S. uranium deposits to a Russian company was a quid pro quo exchange for donations to the Clinton Foundation.

Is this really true?

The TL;DR; version is no, it is not.

FactCheck.org lays out the precise details …

Donald Trump falsely accused former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of giving away U.S. uranium rights to the Russians and claimed — without evidence — that it was done in exchange for donations to the Clinton Foundation …

The Deal

…On June 8, 2010, Uranium One announced it had signed an agreement that would give “not less than 51%” of the company to JSC Atomredmetzoloto, or ARMZ, the mining arm of Rosatom, the Russian nuclear energy agency.

At the time, Uranium One’s two licensed mining operations in Wyoming amounted to about “20 percent of the currently licensed uranium in-situ recovery production capacity in the U.S.,”…

The Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States

…Under federal law, the committee reviews foreign investments that raise potential national security concerns … The committee can’t actually stop a sale from going through — it can only approve a sale. … Trump is wrong to claim that Clinton “gave away 20 percent of the uranium in the United States” to Russia. Clinton could have objected — as could the eight other voting members — but that objection alone wouldn’t have stopped the sale of the stake of Uranium One to Rosatom.

…Jose Fernandez, a former assistant secretary of state, told the New York Times that he represented the department on the committee. “Mrs. Clinton never intervened with me on any C.F.I.U.S. matter,” he told the Times …

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission

… other federal approvals were needed to complete the deal, and even still more approvals would be needed to export the uranium.

…  as the NRC explained at the time, “no uranium produced at either facility may be exported.”…

… “Please be assured that no Uranium One, Inc.-produced uranium has been shipped directly to Russia and the U.S. Government has not authorized any country to re-transfer U.S. uranium to Russia,” the 2015 letter said.

“That 2015 statement remains true today,” David McIntyre, a spokesman for the NRC, told us in an email.

So where does the Claim that the Clinton foundation got paid off for this deal come from?

It should come as no surprise to learn that the ultimate source of this is a Conservative writer who has no evidence at all for the claims asserted …

“Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich,” by Peter Schweizer, a former fellow at a conservative think tank.

On April 23, 2015, the New York Times wrote about the uranium issue, saying the paper had “built upon” Schweizer’s information.

The Times detailed how the Clinton Foundation had received millions in donations from investors in Uranium One.

there is no evidence that the donations or the speaking fee had any influence on the approvals granted by the NRC or the Committee on Foreign Investments.

Back in the news

It has all come back because The Hill (on 17th Oct) ran an article about a Russian spy that sought to gain access to Hillary Clinton when she was secretary of state.  A lawyer representing a convicted spy (who we just must trust as an honest credible source, because foreign spies always tell the truth … right?) claimed …

“witnessed numerous, detailed conversations in which Russian actors described their efforts to lobby, influence or ingratiate themselves with the Clintons in hopes of winning favorable uranium decisions from the Obama administration.”

… but the bottom line is still this …

It may be that individuals and companies sought to curry favor with Hillary Clinton and even influence her department’s decision on the Uranium One sale. But, as we’ve written before, there is no evidence that donations to the Clinton Foundation from people with ties to Uranium One or Bill Clinton’s speaking fee influenced Hillary Clinton’s official actions. That’s still the case.

Further Thoughts

For multiple decades Hillary Clinton has been demonised to an extraordinary and almost unprecedented degree, so it is perhaps not a huge shock to discover many people buy into the rumours and myths, especially when they promoted again and again as fact within unreliable media outlets such as Fox News.

If however you take the time to actually fact check, then what you discover is that none of it withstands any critical analysis. The best that the GOP ever managed to achieve was the revelation that Bill got a blow job, yet strangely enough those who quite happily found that to be problematic appear to have no problem at all with the pussy-grabbing behaviour by the prevailing idiot-in-chief, and that observation includes the vast majority of the religious right.

Another deeply ironic observation is the manner in which Trump has had the religious right more to less declare him to be their personal saviour and at the same time label Hillary as evil incarnate. The actual contrast is rather stark – Trump is an individual who is not exactly the incarnation of decency, integrity, competence, or honesty, nor has he actually demonstrated any sincere religious leanings, and yet Hillary is not only a devout Methodist, but is also one of the most honest candidates within the arena (yes really). To label this as hypocrisy by the religious-right does not even begin to scratch the surface.

What can we conclude except to perhaps observe that tribal loyalty clearly trumps anything and everything else, and that includes a decision to just ignore easily discoverable facts that are in the public domain. There is however one thing that Hillary Clinton is guilty of, and it is perhaps this that is her real crime in the eyes of many – she is female within a male dominated arena.

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