Friday, 15 December 2017

The Uranium One scandal and the implications for Israel.

Under the George W. Bush presidency, a tough line was taken against the Russian incursion into Georgia and Russian pressure on the Ukraine. Bush laid plans to create a missile-defense shield in Europe.
When Barack Obama became president, he and Hillary Clinton decided to reset relationships with the Kremlin. At the heart of the reset was what Newsweek called “a bevy of potential business deals[1]which included energy sources. This fitted nicely with Putin and the Kremlin’s ambitions to control much of the world’s nuclear market, including uranium stockpiles.
Rosatom, is the Russian State Atomic Nuclear Agency. It controls the Russian nuclear arsenal. It’s head, Sergei Kiriyenko, was Russia’s Prime Minister and its energy minister when Bill Clinton was President of the United States.
Rosatom not only built the Bushehr nuclear reactors in Iran, it also supplies them with uranium. Rosatom also operates in North Korea and Venezuela.
During Hillary Clinton’s term as Secretary of State, she received many diplomatic cables outlining Moscow’s nuclear ambitions. For example, in 2009, she received a classified cables informing her of Rosatom’s plans to impose “a zone of pressure” on Eastern European governments for supplies to the Kremlin-linked nuclear agency, particularly Ukraine and the Kazakhstan uranium market.[2] The cables also mentioned that the Russian military intelligence were involved in these plans.
In June 2009, Rosatom bought a 17% stake in the Canadian Uranium One company which had projects in Wyoming, Utah, Texas, and South Dakota.
In December of 2009, Kiriyenko told a meeting of the Russian presidium of Rosatom’s aggressive plans and President Putin agreed that the Russian government would provide the money for Rosatom’s equity capital to buy American uranium.[3]
This was happening at the time that Hillary Clinton was directing negotiations with the Russian government for civilian nuclear energy. As the State Department explained it, the 123 agreement, as it was called, “would support commercial interests by allowing US and Russian firms to team up more easily in joint ventures,” and in March 2010 Hillary was in Moscow meeting with Putin. By then, Putin had set in motion the purchase of a controlling interest in Uranium One by Rosatom.
By May of 2010, when Secretary of State Clinton brought the proposed text of the US-Russian Civilian Nuclear Cooperation Agreement to Congress, Rosatom was ready to become the majority controller of Uranium One.
While this process was taking place, Ian Telfer, the chairman of Uranium One, began donating large sums into the Clinton Foundation, through a Canadian entity called the Fernwood Foundation. According to records released by the Clinton Foundation, Telfer had contributed sums of $100,001 to $250,000 to the Clinton Foundation but, according to Canadian tax records, Ferndale Foundation donated more than two million dollars to the Clinton Foundation while Hillary was Secretary of State.
The Clinton Foundation’s public disclosures did not list Fernwood as a donor but between 2009 and 2011 Fernwood contributed over two million dollars to the Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative, named after the Clintons and Frank Giustra, a Canadian mining tycoon that flew Bull Clinton around the world on his private jet to make connections for his mining projects.[4] They were dressed up as projects of the Clinton Foundation to foster economic growth in the developing world but almost all concentrated on projects such as mines and oilfields in which Giustra was invested. According to Canadian tax records, almost all the funds CGSCI collected were transferred directly to the Clinton Foundation.[5]
The fact that these donations were not listed in Clinton Foundation’s public disclosures was an infringement of the memorandum of understanding with the Obama White House and contradicts Mrs. Clinton’s written statements to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Other Russian uranium advisors and agents were multi-million-dollar contributors to the Foundation.[6]
The ties between business and politics are often blurred but there is sufficient evidence that Putin directly ordered acquisitions that were approved by the Russian Presidium.  This is important when one considers the destination and use of uranium.
Several senior congressmen, including Peter King, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Spencer Bachus, and Howard McKeon, were troubled by Rosatom’s activities for United States national security interests. They pointed to Rosatom helping to build the Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran as “raising red flags.” They wrote, “We believe the take-over of essential US nuclear resources by a government-owned Russian agency…would not advance the national security interests of the United States.”
Congressman Ed Markey pushed a bill in Congress said, “Russia continues to train Iranian nuclear physicists and supplies sensitive nuclear technology to Iran.”[7]
Faced with this opposition, Uranium One offered concessions. It did not have an export license that allowed it to export or ship uranium out of the United States. Supporters of the deal argued that, without an export license, it was unlikely that American uranium would end up in Iranian reactors or laboratories.
Despite these concerns, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States approved the Russian purchase of Uranium One. CFIUS is an elusive executive task force that evaluates any investment transactions that might have an effect on American national security. The Secretary of States tends to chair such meetings that includes other senior cabinet officials and intelligence heads. The approval of the Uranium One deal for American uranium assets did not discuss global markets as it assumed the material would remain within America.
Concerns soon grew about “a growing nexus in Russian and Eurasian states among governments, organized crime, intelligence services and big business figures.”[8]  In 2010, Dennis Blair, the director of national intelligence warned Congress of “bribery, fraud, violence, and corrupt alliances with state actors to gain the upper hand against legitimate businesses.”[9]
Amidst this background, a small Canadian investment company named Salida Capital became intimately involved with the Clinton Foundation. Salida Capital was identified as a wholly owned subsidiary of Rosatom, the Russian state nuclear agency.
According to Canadian tax records, Salida Capital received an anonymous donation of $3.3 million into its charitable foundation, the Salida Capital Foundation, and it began to pump large sums of money into the Clinton Foundation that amounted to almost three million dollars in less than two years.[10]
Salida Capital also began sponsoring speeches by Bill Clinton. Why would Rosatom, a Russian state nuclear agency, not known for philanthropy, begin funneling vast sums of money into the Clinton Foundation at a time when it was pushing for influence in obtaining America’s uranium assets?  And why would Rosatom begin paying Bill Clinton $500,000 for speaking fees via Salida Capital at a time they were chasing US government approval for the sale of American uranium? His fee rage at that was between $150,000 to $185,000. The timing, and the amount of monies given to the Clintons, raises serious questions.
Bill Clinton hadn’t given a speech in Moscow for five years. Suddenly, at the time that Rosatom was attempting to take over America’s uranium stockpile, he was invited to speak the for half a million dollars by a Cypriot registered company called Renaissance Capital. This firm is top heady with former Russian intelligence officers with close ties to Putin, according to Peter Schweizer in his book “Clinton Cash.”
Hillary Clinton, who had been a hawk in opposing US strategic assets to foreign governments reversed herself and allowed the Russian purchase of Uranium One which was approved on October 22, 2010 by CFIUS, the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States. The result was that Uranium One and half of the projected American uranium assets were transferred to a private company controlled by the Russian State Nuclear Agency. Although the Russians said they intended to own just 50% of the company, today it owns the company outright.
The Russian purchase of a large share of America’s uranium stockpile raised serious national security concerns for the very reasons that Mrs. Clinton had rejected previous deals. The question needs to be asked why $145 million was transferred into her Foundation or her Initiative fund, and her husband’s radically increased speaking fees were “pay to play’ for her decision to advance the Russian deal?  As Peter Schweizer points out in his book, based on State Department ethics documents as of 2016 she never revealed these transactions to her colleagues, the Obama White House, or to Capitol Hill.
If Secretary Clinton did not disclose the ties between Uranium One executives and the Clinton Foundation to members of CFIUS she may have violated the terms of the 2008 Memorandum of Understanding that she signed with the Obama Administration designed to avoid conflicts of interests between her role and decisions as Secretary of State and donations to her Clinton Foundation. She may also have violated government rules on ethical conduct.
In September 2013, the presidents of Russia and Iran, Putin and Rouhani, announced that “Tehran and Moscow will cooperate in the future construction of a second nuclear power plant at Bushehr.”[11]
Despite assurances to Congress that no uranium would leave the United States, and despite Rosatom not having an export license, a shipment of yellow-cake uranium - material used to make nuclear fuel and weapons – was sent to Canada followed by shipments to Europe and from there to unknown locations between 2012 and 2014.
On January 9, 2017, the National Post reported that the Obama Administration had approved the Russian shipment of a huge shipment of uranium to Iran on the assurance that Iran had no interest in weapons.[12]
Under the much criticized Iran nuclear deal, inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) cannot be performed in Iranian military facilities.[13] Although, IAEA inspectors can check civilian facilities such as Bushehr and Fordow, they are prevented from inspecting suspect activities in the Parchin military complex. The last time inspectors were allowed there was in 2015 where they reported finding amounts of uranium. It is suspected that this facility is one of the off-limits Iranian military sites in which nuclear weapons research and testing, using uranium, is taking place.
Ali Akhbar Salehi, one of Iran’s vice presidents, boasted that Iran could have enriched uranium within five days if President Trump reneged on Obama’s nuclear deal, according to a report in the Independent newspaper on August 22, 2017.[14] How would this be possible if the Iranian’s did not have processed yellow-cake illegally? And where did that yellow cake come from?
What a sad epilogue it would be if the nuclear missile that Iran may launch at Israel contains American uranium sold to the Russians by the Obama-Clinton Administration via the Uranium One deal.
Barry Shaw is the Senior Associate for Public Diplomacy at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.
He is the author of '1917. From Palestine to the Land of Israel.'

[10] “Clinton Cash.” Peter Schweizer. Page50.

Monday, 11 December 2017



On December 11, 1917, General Edmund Allenby’s forces officially liberated Jerusalem.
What began as a farce ended in the creation of the State of Israel with Jerusalem restored as its capital city.

A Jerusalem delegation, led by the mayor, surrendered the city to a pair of British army cooks on December 8. Thus began a comical farce of who received the surrender of the Holy City.

The Turkish army and their German commanders had fled the city ahead of the British advance, leaving the city officials nervously waiting for the liberators.

The first uniformed men to arrive were privates Andrews and Church, two cooks who got lost while searching for cooking water. They wandered near the Jaffa Gate entrance to the Old City and were confronted by a large delegation of city officials. The cooks were so scared they ran back to their unit.

At 8 a.m., the following morning, James Sedgewick and Fred Hurcomb, two British sergeants, were scouting around the Old City walls when they were approached by a group of Arab dignitaries holding a white flag. The two soldiers were overwhelmed by the sudden responsibility of accepting the surrender of Jerusalem that, after pictures were taken for posterity, they apologized saying they were unable to accept the surrender but promised to send a more senior officer.

Later the same day, two artillery officers, Majors Beck and Barry of the 60th Division, were met by a party of officials and asked to accept Jerusalem’s surrender. Again, they politely refused by saying they had to bring one of their superiors.

Shortly after their departure, a Lieutenant-Colonel Bayley, commander of the 303rd Brigade of the 60th Division arrived. He wrote, “Arriving at the top of the road within sight of the Jewish Hospital in Jerusalem and with my three battery commanders I was amazed to see a white flag waving and a man coming towards me. He said the mayor of Jerusalem was with the white flag. We sat on chairs outside the Jewish Hospital and he informed me that the Turks had left Jerusalem heading towards Jericho.”

Bayley sent a message to the 60th Division headquarters informing them that he had just accepted the surrender of Jerusalem and that he was waiting for a general to come and take over the city.

Brigadier-General Charles Frederick Watson, the commander of the 180th Brigade of the 60th Division, who Bayley referred to as “an awful little ass who wanted to be the first to get there,” insisted that the mayor again surrender the city to him. Watson was the first British officer to enter the Old City and a photograph exists of him astride his horse inside the Jaffa Gate. Watson got the mayor to sign the white flag which can be found at the Imperial War Museum in London.

That was not the end of the comical chain of events. General Shea, commander of the London Division, arrived on the scene and demanded that the mayor surrender the town to his unit.

General Allenby, a man of quick temper, was not happy. As Commander-in-Chief of the British Army, it would be him, and him alone, that would officially accept the surrender of Jerusalem.

On December 11, 1917. General Edmund Allenby rode to the gates of the Old City, dismounted, and led a phalanx of officers through the Jaffa Gate entrance to the David’s Citadel where he addressed a large crowd of Jerusalemites.

He deliberately chose to walk into the Old City because, he said, only the Messiah should ride into the Holy City.

Among the officers marching behind him was T.E. Lawrence, known later as Lawrence of Arabia. Despite his exploits on the other side of the Jordan River, he was to write of his Jerusalem experience, “This was to me the most supreme moment of the war.”

General Allenby, from the platform of the David’s Citadel, read out a proclamation;

“To the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Blessed, and the people dwelling in its vicinity. The defeat inflicted on the Turks by the troops under my command has resulted in the occupation of your city by my forces.
I therefore, here and now, proclaim it to be under Martial Law, under which form of administration it will remain so long as military considerations make it necessary.
However, lest any of you should be alarmed by reason of your experiences at the hands of the enemy who has retired, I hereby inform you that it is my desire that every person should pursue his lawful business without fear of interruption.
Furthermore, since your city is regarded with affection by the adherents of three of the great religions of mankind, and its soil has been consecrated by the prayers and pilgrimages of devout people of those three religion for many centuries, I make it known to you that every sacred building, monument, holy spot, shrine, traditional site, endowment, pious bequest or customary place of worship, of whatever form of the three religion, will be maintained and protected according to the existing customs and beliefs of those to whose faith they are sacred.
Edmund Henry Hynman Allenby. General.    December 1917.”

Jews of Palestine, the Jewish Legion who fought in the 38th and 39th Regiments of the British Army, had fought and died fighting alongside their British and ANZAC comrades to drive the Turks out of the land. The Jews of the NILI espionage network risked their lives, were tortured and hanged, to bring vital intelligence to the British which led to this victory.

The Arabs of Palestine, west of the River Jordan, did not express any national longing throughout the Palestine Campaign, nor did they fight for national rights to the land. Asked why they did not lift a finger to help remove the Turkish yoke from their impoverished necks, Arabs would look up to the heaven and declare it was all up to Allah. When a mighty British commander by the name of Allenby marched into the Old City to liberate them from the Turks they were awe-struck.  Allenby, in Arabic was “Al Nabi,’ the prophet of god. To the Arabs of Palestine, Allenby’s victory was Allah inspired. We know it was inspired by the sacrifice of British, Australian, New Zealand, Indian, and Palestinian Jewish fighters.

The liberation of Jerusalem on December 11, 1917, exactly a century ago, was the final act in a triumvirate of three significant historic events that year, the other two being the Balfour Declaration and the victory at the Battle of Beer Sheba. During this auspiciously short period, Christian Zionist politicians, generals, soldiers, and Jewish spies in Palestine, forced open the door that paved the way for the restoration of the land of Israel for the Jewish people.

That door began to close by 1919 when Jew hating British administrators, brought up to Jerusalem from Egypt, reneged on their duty to carry out orders. In a treasonable act of defiance and anti-Semitism, they ignored official British policy.

General Money, the Chief Administrator, ordered that “The walled city of Jerusalem is placed out of orders to all Jewish soldiers from the 14th to the 22nd April inclusive.”  It was no coincidence that this period was the pilgrim festival of Passover. This outraged Colonel John Patterson, the commanding officer of the Jewish Legion, who wrote, “I cannot conceive a greater act of provocation to Jewish soldiers, or a greater insult. Not since the days of Emperor Hadrian had such a humiliating decree been issued.”

The Balfour Declaration stipulated that His Majesty’s Government would use their “best endeavours to facilitate the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.”

Instead, in 1920, they defied British policy, ignored their duty to implement the terms of the Declaration, and duplicitously colluded with anti-Jewish Arab rabble-rousers, including Haj Amin al-Husseini, later to meet with Adolph Hitler to plan the Final Solution of the Jewish Problem in the Middle East, to incite violence against Jews. They chose the annual Nebi Musa festival to riot in the Old City while the British stood aside.

With cries of “Death to the Jews!” Jewish women were raped, men were killed, and Jewish property destroyed. This British and Arab anti-Semitic collusion and violence was the first major Palestinian act of terror attack against Jews.

With typical British “even-handedness,” Ze’ev Jabotinsky, who had been an officer in the British army, was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment for illegal possession of firearms, namely three rifles and two pistols, despite the fact that the Governor, Colonel Ronald Storrs, was aware that he possessed them. Al-Husseini who had fled Palestine, following the Arab murder and rape of Jews and the destruction of Jewish property, was sentenced in absentia to only ten years.

The rest is history.

Barry Shaw is the author of the best-selling book ‘1917. From Palestine to the Land of Israel.’ Available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle, and from Steimatzky bookstores in Israel.

Barry Shaw is the Senior Associate for Public Diplomacy at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.