Hillary's Musharraf: Mrs. Clinton's forgotten fling with the Killer of Karachi
By Greg Palast
Online Journal Guest Writer
Nov 14, 2007, 00:21
November 13 -- He
was the other man in Hillary's life. But it's over now. Or is it?
You've seen all those creepy photos of George Bush rubbing
up against Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf, the two of them grinning and
giggling like they're going to the senior prom. So it's hard to remember that
it was Hillary and Bill who brought Pervez to the dance in the first place.
How that happened, I'll tell you in a moment.
But first, let's get our facts straight about the man in the
moustache. Musharraf, according to George Bush, The New York Times, NPR and the
rest of press puppies, is "our ally in the War on Terror." That's
like calling Carmine Gambino, "Our ally in the War on Crime."
Musharraf's the guy who helped the Taliban take power in
Afghanistan in 1996. And, through his ISI, Pakistan's own KGB, he is still
giving the Taliban secret protection.
And this is the same Musharraf who let Khalid Sheik
Muhammed, Osama's alleged operations chief for the September 11 attack, hang
out in Quetta, Pakistan, in the open, until Khalid embarrassed his host by
giving a boastful interview to Al Jazeera television from his Pakistan hang-out.
And this is the same Musharraf who permitted his nation's
own Dr. Strangelove, A.Q. Khan, to sell nuclear do-it-yourself bomb kits to
Libya and North Korea. When the story of the flea market in fissionable
materials was exposed, Musharraf and Bush both proclaimed their shock -- shock!
-- over the bomb sales. Musharraf didn't know? Sure. Those tons of lethal
hardware must have been shipped by flying pig.
But, unlike Saddam and Osama, creations of Ronald Reagan's
and George Bush Sr.'s Frankenstein factories, Musharraf was a Clinton special.
And it all began with an unpaid electricity bill. In 1998,
Pakistan wouldn't pay up millions, and they owed billions, to British and
American electricity companies. And for good reason: the contracts called for
paying insanely high prices. It smelled of payola -- and ultimately, the
government of Pakistan filed charges against power combine executives and
canceled the contracts. That's the rule under international law: companies
can't collect on contracts they obtained by pay-offs.
But these weren't just any companies. One was a Tony Blair
favorite, Britain's National Power. The other was Entergy International, a
sudden big-time player in the international power market based out of, oddly,
Little Rock, Arkansas. Despite the Clinton administration's claim to fight
foreign corruption, this was an exception. Clinton and Blair voted to cut off
Pakistan's funding from the IMF. Pay-up the power pirates, they told Pakistan,
Why was President Clinton so determined to crush Pakistan
because of an unpaid bill to some Little Rock company? This was not just any
company. But that wasn't much. More important, Entergy and its partners, the
Riady Family of Indonesia had just paid about half a million dollars to Hillary's
old Rose Law Firm partner Webster Hubbell. Odd that, hiring Hubbell. Why would
Entergy pay big bucks to Hubbell as a "consultant" when he was on his
way to jail for a felony. Hubbell was doing time because he refused to testify
against Ms. Rodham.
Did President Clinton know about the payment to Hubbell?
Clinton denied it to the press, but under oath, to the FBI, Bill said he
"wouldn't be surprised" if the Riadys told him about the payoff to
Hubbell in one of Bill's several private meetings with them in the Oval Office.
Was there a connection between Entergy's kindness to Hillary
and her law partner and the power company's extraordinary sway with the
administration? From inside information on energy policies to a favor requested
of Tony Blair's office by Hillary's office, Entergy could do no wrong.
Certainly, their consortium's executives wouldn't have to stand trial in
And Entergy got its money. On December 22, 1998, Pakistan's
military, at the direction of General Pervez Musharraf, sent 30,000 troops into
the nation's power stations. At the time, Entergy's partners told me, "A
lot changed since the army moved in. Now we have a situation where we can be
paid. They've found a way to collect from the man in the street." Yes: at
gunpoint, according to Abdul Latif Nizamani, a labor union leader who spoke
with me after Musharraf's gang had arrested him.
With Pakistan's army in control of the nation's
infrastructure, and acting as guarantor of payment to the US and UK power
giants, General Musharraf's final takeover of the entire government nine months
later -- a "surprise" coup to the Western press -- was, a forgone
conclusion. And the Clintons, complicit, like Bush today, could say little.
Just months before he left office, President Clinton paid a
sudden visit to Musharraf. Congressional Democrats were stunned. Musharraf had
quickly shown himself to be a Taliban-loving, unbalanced dictator who violated
US treaty terms by exploding a nuke and threatening to incinerate our ally
India. Notably, the ambassador with Clinton made payments to the electric
companies a top item on his agenda.
Favors done; favors repaid. Nothing new under the sun, but
it's a dangerous game, Senator Clinton.
All right, maybe you can say that President Clinton's
blessing of the radioactive dictator can't be blamed on Hillary, despite the
smelly money chain going from Arkansas to Karachi. But, be honest, the lady
sure as heck ain't running on her record as a senator; her whole pitch is,
And I'd rather tell you this story before you hear it from
Nevertheless, let's not lose sight of the current danger.
While the Clinton's may have handed us the Lunatic of Lahore, it's George Bush
who leaves mints on his pillow. I have no information that Clinton knew of the
sales to North Korea. The Bush administration did and, we discovered at BBC,
blocked the CIA investigation that could have exposed it in 2001. And that, Mr.
Bush, is a very, very dangerous game. The problem of creating Frankensteins, whether
an Osama or a Saddam or a Musharraf, is that these creatures are often known to
rise and turn on their creators.
But I'm sure we'll correct the error. Four years ago, as
Bush was proclaiming victory over the Butcher of Baghdad, I wrote, "Given
our experiences with Saddam and Osama, our monsters tend to get out of control
after about 11 years. Therefore, we can expect, in the year 2013, that
President Jeb Bush will have to order the 82d Airborne into Pakistan to remove
Musharraf, the Killer of Karachi."
Unfortunately, we may not have that long.Based
on Greg Palast's investigations for the Guardian papers of Britain 1998-2001.
Palastis the author of the New York Times bestseller, Armed
Madhouse: from Baghdad to New Orleans -- Sordid Secrets and Strange Tales of a
White House Gone Wild.He is currently on assignment in
Ecuador for BBC Television.
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