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HILLARY'S MOTHER-F'ING TOUR BUSINESS

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Palast is the author of Armed Madhouse, released last week in a new, expanded edition, in paperback - the newest addition to the New York Times list of non-fiction bestsellers.


Before his untimely death in a plane crash, Commerce Secretary Ron Brown said,

“I’m not Hillary’s mother-f****** tour guide!”

That wasn’t a nice thing for a member of the President’s cabinet to say about the First Lady, now my Senator, Hillary Clinton.

And it’s probably not polite for me to bring it up now. But if I don’t, surely the Karl Rovarians will - if Senator Mrs. Clinton nails the Presidential nomination.

Bill Clinton used to say that, once he became president, he finally earned more money than his wife. That was a carefully crafted bit of modesty to show Bill as an aw-shucks regular guy versus Richie Rich-kid George Bush.

But Bill’s cute remark raised a question in my mind: How did Hillary get that big ol’ salary? And another question arises: how has she stayed out of prison?

The story’s a little complicated, involving a New Orleans power company, Indonesian billionaires, a New York nuclear plant and plain old influence peddling. But if we follow the money, we’ll get the picture. And it ain’t pretty.

But first, let’s stop at Wal-Mart. Read an official biography of the Senator and you’ll find her six-month stint on a child-protection task force. Yet you won’t find her SIX YEARS on the board of directors of Wal-Mart Corporation. She may have earned a Grammy for “It Takes a Village to Raise a Child.” But it takes a Governor’s wife to provide cover for Wal-Mart’s profiteering off systematic wage-enslavement of children in its factories in South America.

Sam Walton called Hillary, “My little lady.” Sam paid her an eyebrow raising sum for a director - equal to 60% of her entire not-insubstantial salary as a lawyer. By contrast, Wendy Diaz (her real name), a 13-year-old in Honduras, was paid 25 cents an hour to make shirts for the “little lady’s” label.

Hillary’s rake-in was made possible by Wal-Mart’s 100% union-free operation and out-sourcing of 100% of its manufacturing, some to prison factories in China. Now, you could say that Hillary couldn’t hear the screams of the kiddies in Kamp Wal-Mart in Honduras. After all, she relied on the intelligence provided her by the President (of Wal-Mart).

Fast forward to 1994 and the Brown ‘mother-f’ing tour guide’ business. According to Nolanda Hill, the Commerce Secretary’s long-time business partner and love interest, Brown, who died in 1996, endorsed a Hillary cash-for-access scheme ($10,000 for coffee with the President, $100,000 for a night in the Lincoln bedroom). However, Brown resented the discount rate the First Lady put on US executives joining Brown’s lucrative trade missions. ‘I’m worth more than $50,000 a pop!’ he said.

One company more than happy to pony up for a cash joy-ride with Brown was Entergy International. This electric company, based in Little Rock, became one of the world’s biggest power system operators on the planet under the Clinton regime. Interestingly, Bill Clinton began his political climb by running for Arkansas Attorney General campaigning on a pledge to fight Entergy’s electric price hikes. His pro-consumer plan was defeated in court by Entergy’s law firm - which included one Hillary Rodham.

There were more favors for Entergy. In 1998, I discovered, while working under cover for the Guardian and Observer, that Tony Blair was personally fixing the system to let Entergy to violate British policy on coal plants. Why? I picked up in my secret recordings of Blair’s cronies that calls to take care of Entergy, rules be damned, had come in from the office of ‘the Flotus’ - the First Lady of the United States.

It gets creepier. In June of 1994, Entergy’s partner in Asia, the Riady family of Indonesia paid recently-resigned Associate Attorney General Webster Hubbell a $100,000 consulting fee. Odd that: Hubbell was on his way to prison for the felony crime of inflating his legal bills. Why would Asians pay a lawyer for advice on Asia who was on his way to the pokey?

Maybe it had to do with his partner in crime. I’ve conducted investigations of lawyer over-billing. It is nearly impossible for a senior lawyer to pad billing records unless the junior partner also fraudulently monkeys with time logs to make sure the records don’t give away the game. Who was Hubbell’s “little lady” junior partner? Today we call her Madame Senator.

Hillary’s logs were worth close inspection by authorities, no? But the funny thing about Hillary’s billing records: when requested for disclosure in another suit, they disappeared. First, her law firm’s computers went ka-blooey. Then the paper printouts vanished, but not before, during the 1992 Presidential campaign, they were secretly combed over, line by line, by … Web Hubbell.

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http://www.gregpalast.com

Author of the New York Times and international bestsellers, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy and Armed Madhouse, Palast is Patron of the Trinity College Philosophical Society, an honor previously held by Jonathan Swift and Oscar Wilde. Palast (more...)
 

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The really interesting thing about Greg Palast'... by mhenriday on Saturday, May 5, 2007 at 4:44:29 PM