Author Topic: Russia's uranium deal: bribery and corruption?  (Read 659 times)

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Russia's uranium deal: bribery and corruption?
« on: October 17, 2017, 12:56:37 PM »

Offline Roy H.

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This is from The Hill, which I've always considered to be pretty credible:

Before the Obama administration approved a controversial deal in 2010 giving Moscow control of a large swath of American uranium, the FBI had gathered substantial evidence that Russian nuclear industry officials were engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering designed to grow Vladimir Putin’s atomic energy business inside the United States, according to government documents and interviews.

Federal agents used a confidential U.S. witness working inside the Russian nuclear industry to gather extensive financial records, make secret recordings and intercept emails as early as 2009 that showed Moscow had compromised an American uranium trucking firm with bribes and kickbacks in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, FBI and court documents show.

They also obtained an eyewitness account — backed by documents — indicating Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit former President Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton served on a government body that provided a favorable decision to Moscow, sources told The Hill.

Rather than bring immediate charges in 2010, however, the Department of Justice (DOJ) continued investigating the matter for nearly four more years, essentially leaving the American public and Congress in the dark about Russian nuclear corruption on U.S. soil during a period when the Obama administration made two major decisions benefiting Putin’s commercial nuclear ambitions.

The first decision occurred in October 2010, when the State Department and government agencies on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States unanimously approved the partial sale of Canadian mining company Uranium One to the Russian nuclear giant Rosatom, giving Moscow control of more than 20 percent of America’s uranium supply. ...

In 2011, the administration gave approval for Rosatom’s Tenex subsidiary to sell commercial uranium to U.S. nuclear power plants in a partnership with the United States Enrichment Corp. Before then, Tenex had been limited to selling U.S. nuclear power plants reprocessed uranium recovered from dismantled Soviet nuclear weapons under the 1990s Megatons to Megawatts peace program.

“The Russians were compromising American contractors in the nuclear industry with kickbacks and extortion threats, all of which raised legitimate national security concerns. And none of that evidence got aired before the Obama administration made those decisions,” a person who worked on the case told The Hill, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution by U.S. or Russian officials.

That’s when conservative author Peter Schweitzer and The New York Times documented how Bill Clinton collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in Russian speaking fees and his charitable foundation collected millions in donations from parties interested in the deal while Hillary Clinton presided on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.

The Obama administration and the Clintons defended their actions at the time, insisting there was no evidence that any Russians or donors engaged in wrongdoing and there was no national security reason for any member of the committee to oppose the Uranium One deal.

But FBI, Energy Department and court documents reviewed by The Hill show the FBI in fact had gathered substantial evidence well before the committee’s decision that Vadim Mikerin — the main Russian overseeing Putin’s nuclear expansion inside the United States — was engaged in wrongdoing starting in 2009.

Then-Attorney General Eric Holder was among the Obama administration officials joining Hillary Clinton on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States at the time the Uranium One deal was approved. Multiple current and former government officials told The Hill they did not know whether the FBI or DOJ ever alerted committee members to the criminal activity they uncovered.

Read the rest of the article. I don't know if this is corruption or incompetence, but its mind-boggling.

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Re: Russia's uranium deal: bribery and corruption?
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2017, 01:54:30 PM »

Offline GreenShooter

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The article kind of lost any credibility with one word: "extortion" (its in there a couple of times), which was included in a sentence with bribery, kickbacks and money laundering.
I would need more details on those accusations before I can take this seriously and not some political agenda ploy.
It's accusing two presidential administrations of knowing and in some cases taking part in this, what would you call it, corruption?

Re: Russia's uranium deal: bribery and corruption?
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2017, 02:45:20 PM »

Online saltlover

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If I had to guess, it’s some sort of combination of incompetence, policy, and friction created by large organizations.

1) Incompetence is obvious — someone probably messed up somewhere.

2) Policy — At the beginning of 2009 and certainly through 2010, the goal with Russia was to “reset” relations.  If State was notified in time, it’s perfectly possible they thought that charging a close associate of Putin with bribery offenses just wasn’t worth it.  Short of funding terrorism or committing murder on American soil, they may have been willing to turn their heads.  Was that the right decision (if it was made)?  Given the state of relations with Russia, obviously any mollification was completely ineffective, so in hindsight, no, it probably was not.  But it doesn’t mean it was nefarious, or even incompetent.

3) The US Government is large.  The FBI is large. DOJ is large.  The State Department is large. Resources are also not infinite.  It’s possible that as it got passed up the chain of the FBI to DOJ, someone didn’t realize the level of urgency (that there was an upcoming policy decision related to the bribery).  It’s possible that they did realize it was urgent, but there were even more urgent things ahead of it in line.  It’s highly possible that they simply couldn’t find the appropriate person at the State Department to coordinate with, or that there was a very specific chain of communication between the two agencies (e.g. only senior officials are allowed to talk to each other) which created a bottleneck.  It’s possible that by the time they got the information to State it was too late, and they reverted to #2 above, or that it got there in time and they decided not to pursue.

Is it possible that this was corruption?  Sure, it’s possible.  But more likely it wasn’t, and in that there was incompetence, it wouldn’t even be clear to me that it rose to the gross incompetence level.

That said, I do think the singular worst decision Obama made as President was to name Clinton Secretary of State.  The inability of her and President Clinton to stop seeking major donations from world leaders for their foundation at best gave her a conflict of interest in many major issues, and at worst made her easily bribable.  And the iffy decision-making record bears that out.
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Re: Russia's uranium deal: bribery and corruption?
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2017, 02:57:05 PM »

Offline rondohondo

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This is not new news, NYT has an article on it in 2015

Alex Jones reported it last year.

Saul Alinsky 101: Accuse your opponent of what only you are doing, as you are doing it, to create confusion

Russia Russia Russia!

Hannity is supposedly doing a big expose on it tonight, though I don't really watch Fox news, might be worth checking out.

Re: Russia's uranium deal: bribery and corruption?
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2017, 03:12:23 PM »

Online liam

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I'm sure Robert Mueller will get to the bottom of all these Russia connections.

Re: Russia's uranium deal: bribery and corruption?
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2017, 04:23:37 PM »

Offline kozlodoev

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Alex Jones reported it last year.

Saul Alinsky 101: Accuse your opponent of what only you are doing, as you are doing it, to create confusion
The unintended comedy of these two appearing one after the other is too good to pass up on.

Yes, there's a reason Alex Jones reported on ... whatever this is ... last year.
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Re: Russia's uranium deal: bribery and corruption?
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2017, 04:36:42 PM »

Offline Celtics4ever

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Both Hillary and Trump have ties with Russia in one form or another.  Podesta had ties, Kushner had ties.   Russia influenced our election.

I am sick and tired of Hillary blaming everyone but herself.   She was a terrible candidate that lacked charisma.   She could not beat a guy who basically broke every rule of politics.   Sure, the emails hurt her but it was her decision to use the devices and private server so this too is on her.  She is a really just as much  bitter pitiful figure as much as Pres. Trump can be a doofuss.  Heaven help us if we can't get better candidates next time....