A couple of weeks ago I heard the National Symphony perform Shostakovich’s symphony commemorating war and revolution, his Symphony 11. There was not much lyricism to it, not even a dulcet tune one could leave the symphony hall whistling. It was all ominous rumbling and groaning, with the tympani madly thundering away. Nonetheless, it was very affecting. After all, this 1957 work was about Russia on the road to the Bolshevik Revolution and the horrors of Lenin, then Stalin, his purges and Gulag, followed by the carnage of World War II. Rumble on. Rumble on.
Last week I saw a documentary of recent events and was overwhelmed with similar rumbling and groaning from the movie’s soundtrack. It was suitably alarming if not quite up to the horrors of Russian history. The documentary was about the Clintons’ corruption worldwide.
The documentary will be available in American movie houses shortly. It is called Clinton Cash, and though it involves only pictures of a few score corpses in faraway places such as Africa and Haiti it is very alarming. The documentary centers on Third World corruption, the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, and Bill and Hillary Clinton, she being the putative Democratic presidential candidate. I cannot think of a similar film having been made about anyone running for president in American history, not even Richard Nixon.
Clinton Cash is based on the book Clinton Cash that was reviewed in this column a year ago. When seen on the big screen, Clinton Cash is even more chilling than the original book. For it deals with astounding amounts of money that were directed to the Clintons while Hillary was the Secretary of State and Bill was on the speaking circuit. Hillary and Bill have since leaving office amassed a fortune last calculated at over $135 million. The documentary was produced by the conservative, Steve Bannon of Breitbart, but he says it is aimed particularly at environmentalists, progressives, human rights groups, the kind of voters who turn out for Bernie Sanders, and even disgruntled fans of Hillary.
The documentary’s narrator and the book’s author, Peter Schweizer, says that during Hillary’s time at the State Department Bill’s speaking fees grew immensely from a mere $200,000 or so to staggering numbers: $500,000 (ten times) and $700,000 at least twice. The Foundation now is now worth an astounding $2 billion. Moreover, the Foundation’s list of donors and of those funding Bill’s speeches is a human rights who’s-who of international criminals, leaders of Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Russia to name but a few. Thus the ominous rumbles in the soundtrack.
In the documentary Schweizer tells, for instance, the story of how Hillary approved a State Department deal that left the Russians with a sizable percentage of the world’s uranium, much of it from within the United States, while Bill scooped of speaking fees in Russia. Then there was her reversal of Bill’s 1990s stand on India’s signing of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. By the 21st century the Indians wanted nothing to do with the treaty and the Clintons wanted the Indian donations. They got millions and the Indians got Clinton-era sanctions lifted. Time and again this tag team match between Hillary and Bill has enriched them and their Foundation but in the case of Russia and India it has made the world a more dangerous place.
They have repeated their tag team act among the world’s most impoverished countries. For instance, in Haiti where pals of Bill arrived after the 2010 earthquake to sell shoddy goods and make exorbitant deals. Or Rwanda where a similar scheme was hatched or the Congo. Bill arrives with figures like the Canadian tycoon Frank Giustra or the Irishman Denis O’Brien and deals are made. Money changes hands, and the countries remain impoverished. In Clinton Cash narrator Schweizer says he thinks that he has established “a pattern of corruption” with the Clintons, the State Department, the Clinton Foundation, and the world’s hellholes. In the weeks ahead viewers will decide for themselves. As Bannon says, the documentary might appeal to conservatives, but really it is made for those on the left who are beginning to doubt the Clintons.