More Hillary Cronyism Revealed: Cisco Used Clinton Foundation To Cover-up Human Rights Abuse In China
There’s shameless, and then there’s Hillary Clinton
In her 2014 memoir “Hard Choices,” Clinton reiterated her support for human-rights advocates in China. She specifically criticized the Great Firewall, writing that after she made comments about the right to dissent in China in 2011, “censors went right to work erasing mentions of my message from the Internet.”As many suspected, it turns out that the Clinton Foundation is indeed a tepid cesspool of crony corporate and government donations used to buy influence at the highest levels of Washington D.C. This shouldn’t surprise anyone paying attention, but it will hopefully wake up some Democrats still buying into the deep rooted myth of Hillary Clinton.
But the issue of Chinese repression — and Cisco’s role — was already known by then. In 2009, weeks after Clinton’s State Department had named Cisco a finalist for the secretary of state’s Awards for Corporate Excellence (ACE), a report from the Electronic Freedom Foundation noted “Cisco’s deep involvement” in building the Chinese government’s censorship system. The report pointed out that “Cisco engineers gave a presentation acknowledging the repressive uses for their technology.”Daniel Wade, an attorney who represented Chinese dissidents in a lawsuit against Cisco, told IBTimes that “Cisco knew full well that its products were going to be used to suppress and facilitate the torture of democracy activists.”“Crony capitalism has defined Clinton’s career, from her tenure on the board of Walmart, to the Wall Street execs whom she surrounded herself with at the State Department, to her allegiance to Cisco, even as it violated principles on which she staked her tenure,” said David Segal, executive director of the Internet freedom advocacy group Demand Progress.– From the International Business Times article: Hillary Clinton, Cisco And China: Company Funded Foundation, Was Lauded By Clinton Despite Role In Repression
David Sirota and his colleagues at International Business Times have been relentless in uncovering several extremely important examples of her pathological cronyism. I highlighted his very important work just last week in the post, This is How Hillary Does Business – An Oil Company, Human Rights Abuses in Colombia and the Clinton Foundation. Here’s an excerpt:
The details of these financial dealings remain murky, but this much is clear: After millions of dollars were pledged by the oil company to the Clinton Foundation — supplemented by millions more from Giustra himself — Secretary Clinton abruptly changed her position on the controversial U.S.-Colombia trade pact. Having opposed the deal as a bad one for labor rights back when she was a presidential candidate in 2008, she now promoted it, calling it “strongly in the interests of both Colombia and the United States.” The change of heart by Clinton and other Democratic leaders enabled congressional passage of a Colombia trade deal that experts say delivered big benefits to foreign investors like Giustra.As it turns out, this was just an appetizer. Despite claiming to be a strong advocate for human rights in China, it turns out she is an even stronger advocate for corporate donations. From the International Business Times:
The details of her family’s entanglements in Colombia echo talk that the Clintons have blurred the lines between their private business and philanthropic interests and those of the nation. And Hillary Clinton’s connections to Pacific Rubiales and Giustra intensify recent questions about whether big donations influenced her decisions as secretary of state.
Cisco Systems had a public relations problem: Having invested $16 billion in the Chinese market, the technology giant was suddenly facing congressional scrutiny over its alleged complicity in building the so-called Great Firewall that helps China’s authoritarian regime censor information and surveil its citizens.
The San Jose, California, company endured a high-profile Senate hearing about its Chinese operations in 2008 and reaffirmed its “continued commitment to China.” But the issue wouldn’t die. A group of investors stormed the company’s annual meeting in November 2009, pressing a shareholder resolution that would force the company to prevent the Chinese government from using Cisco technology to engage in what critics said was widespread human-rights abuse.That’s when then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tossed the company a lifeline. Weeks after Cisco executives killed the shareholder initiative, Cisco was honored as a finalist for the State Department’s award for “outstanding corporate citizenship, innovation and democratic principles.” The next year, the company won the award. While the honors were for the company’s work in the Middle East, they gave Cisco a well-timed opportunity to change the subject and present itself as a champion of human rights.What Clinton did not say at the State Department award ceremonies was that Cisco had been pumping money into her family’s foundation. Though the foundation will not release an exact timeline of the contributions, records reviewed by International Business Times show that Cisco had by December 2008 donated from $500,000 to $1 million to the foundation. The company had hired lobbying firms run by former Clinton aides. After the money flowed into the foundation, Clinton’s State Department not only lauded Cisco’s human rights record, it also delivered millions of dollars worth of new government contracts to the company.Internet freedom advocates say Clinton’s moves helped Cisco whitewash its image and also raise questions about the sincerity of her often-stated commitment to human rights.“Crony capitalism has defined Clinton’s career, from her tenure on the board of Walmart, to the Wall Street execs whom she surrounded herself with at the State Department, to her allegiance to Cisco, even as it violated principles on which she staked her tenure,” said David Segal, executive director of the Internet freedom advocacy group Demand Progress.But the issue of Chinese repression — and Cisco’s role — was already known by then. In 2009, weeks after Clinton’s State Department had named Cisco a finalist for the secretary of state’s Awards for Corporate Excellence (ACE), a report from the Electronic Freedom Foundation noted “Cisco’s deep involvement” in building the Chinese government’s censorship system. The report pointed out that “Cisco engineers gave a presentation acknowledging the repressive uses for their technology.”In 2010, the Clinton Foundation gave Cisco CEO John Chambers a high-profile speaking role at its “Turning Ideas Into Action” annual meeting. Cisco also won an ACE that year — just before the Human Rights Law Foundation filed a lawsuit against Cisco outlining what the foundation’s executive director, Terri Marsh, said was the “key role Cisco played in the design, construction, and maintenance of China’s Internet surveillance system.”In an interview with IBTimes, Marsh said that “Cisco’s conduct has enabled an unprecedented and widespread crackdown on religious minorities, Tibetans, and democracy activists in China.” Cisco’s work in China, she said, “runs contrary to Secretary Clinton’s stated commitment to ‘a single Internet where all of humanity has equal access to knowledge and ideas.’”She added: “We are disappointed that the State Department has chosen to reward rather than condemn such a company, and believe that the United States should instead be sending a clear message to American technology corporations that complicity in global human rights abuses is not acceptable.”Daniel Wade, an attorney who represented Chinese dissidents in a lawsuit against Cisco, told IBTimes that “Cisco knew full well that its products were going to be used to suppress and facilitate the torture of democracy activists.”The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which today works with Cisco on an Internet encryption project, said Cisco technology enabled violent repression by the Chinese government.“We have ample evidence to indicate that the technology Cisco created was instrumental in the tracking down of religious minorities, detaining them, and murdering them,” said Rainey Reitman, the EFF’s activism director. “Unfortunately, there hasn’t been a full public accounting.”