a reply to: GodEmperor
I think Bill Clinton helped the Candian donor purchase rights to uranium deposits in Kazakhstan in 2005 after which the donor (chairman of UrAsia)
donated $30 mil to the Clinton Foundation and later held fundraiser that netted $16 million for some project under the Foundation umbrella (from
celebrities). It's been a few months but I seem to remember that the rest of the donations were actually a large pledge from the same guy to fund a
specific initiative (like $100 mil).
So yeah, I have no problem believing Bill Clinton showed up to give UrAsia a big edge in making that deal. Here's the thing, 2 years later, UrAsia
merged with Uranium One (South African) and in the process formed a new Canadian HQ'd company still called Uranium One. Thing is, the former chairman
of UrAir sold off his holdings in 2007 during that deal.
A couple years later, the official in Kazakhstan who had made the deal was arrested for illegally selliing the rights to the uranium deposits. That
was about the time (color me surprised) that there was a WikiLeaks leak of US diplomatic cables. Within there were cables expressing a concern that
Russia was behind the arrest in a move to get control of Kazakhstan's Uranium.
At any rate, Uranium One's stock price had halved and they contacted the US Embassy in Kazakhstan. The question here is was it because Hillary Clinton
was by then SoS or because the cable leaks were further hurting their stock? Either way, somebody was dispatched to sooth out things with Kazakhstan
and then within a few days, Rosatom (aka the Russians) bought up a substantial but minority share of Uranium One. Then a year or so later they
announced that they wanted to increase the stake to 51%.
That set off warning bells in Congress and also triggered the CFIUS to become involved. Clinton was 1 out of 9 votes in CFIUS approving the deal.
Around the same time or just after (I can't remember if it was ever reported) according to the book's author, 7 or 8 other people including the new
chairman of the board of Uranium One donated another $10-15 to the Foundation.
So the obvious allegation is some sort of quid pro quo. Thing is, I don't know if that was all even proven but aside from that, Clinton had 1 out of 9
votes. The other 8 votes were heads of other government agencies. So the question is did Clinton persuade them to vote yes? There's no proof of that.
Setting that aside for a minute, what people don't understand is that the US only produces 2% of the world's Uranium. Furthermore, the uranium
extracted from the US deposits cannot be exported without approval from the NRC. In another words, the Uranium wasn't leaving the US.
Another thing that is going on in all this is that the Russians don't produce enough uranium for their own reactors either. Something else to consider
is that Russians have been running around helping other countries build reactors. People hear uranium and automatically think nuclear weapons but for
Russia, their interest is in controlling a source of energy.
I do not think the US should have allowed the sale to go through but at the time we were in the midst of the failed "reset" with Russia. Still, the US
controls the company's ability to export.
Now one false statement that made the rounds that I remember was that Clinton could have vetoed the deal. That of course wasn't true. What is true is
that Obama HAD unilateral control to stop the deal if he wanted to.
On the balance? Bill got used as expensive prop in Kazakhstan from the looks of it but 95% of the donations to the his foundation came before Hillary
was SoS, the person who made them from his foundation cashed out two years later (again before Hillary was SoS) and the company was Canadian then with
no Russian investment. That's extremely significant because Bill was actually acting against the interests of the Kremlin unless he knew that two
years later they'd merge with another company and the new leadership would eventually sell control to the Kremlin a few years later.
Were $16 million dollars in donations to the Clinton Foundation motive enough for Clinton to cast a vote for the Uranium One-Rosatom deal let alone
convince 8 others to do the same and Obama not to veto it? Sounds less and less likely.
Still, I wouldn't have relented an inch. While they can't export it without government approval, the Russians could still do something like stop
extraction or jack up the prices for leverage. Funny that the GOP was really behind the fight against it THEN but now their candidate is getting
primed by his handlers to be Putin's lapdog and they're silent.