The passing scene: Links & comments 7/1/14

The Clintons’ web of wealth: Where did Bill and Hillary get all their money? by Zaid Jilani for Al Jazeera America.

After stepping down as President, Bill Clinton repeatedly received six-figure fees for speeches from Citicorp, Goldman Sachs and other banking and financial firms that benefited from his administration’s policies.  He also received six-figure speaking fees from business interests in the Middle East while his wife was Secretary of State.

This information is from financial disclosures required of office-holders and their spouses when Hillary Clinton was a U.S. Senator and then Secretary of State.   News reports indicate she has received two $200,000 speech fees from Goldman Sachs since leaving office.

While these facts raise suspicions of payoffs and conflicts of interests, Jilani pointed out that it isn’t unusual for Washington office-holders to cash in like this after they leave public service.

Before Shooting in Iraq, a Warning on Blackwater by James Rissen of the New York Times.

Just weeks before Blackwater guards fatally shot 17 civilians at Baghdad’s Nisour Square in 2007, the State Department began investigating the security contractor’s operations in Iraq.

But the inquiry was abandoned after Blackwater’s top manager there issued a threat: “that he could kill” the government’s chief investigator and “no one could or would do anything about it as we were in Iraq,” according to department reports.

People on the move by Dmitry Orlov.

Most Americans seem quite incapable of making the simple connection between destroying somebody’s house and having that somebody then move in to share yours.

An estimated 50 million people are refugees, displaced persons, asylum seekers and unauthorized immigrants.  Dimtry Orlov pointed out that a high proportion are from countries disrupted by the U.S. war on terror, the U.S. war on drugs or U.S. intervention to protect dictators against radical guerrillas.   These include 7 million from Mexico and 3 million from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.

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