Bill and Hillary Clinton Sold Uranium Rich US Ranch Lands to Russia While She Was Acting Secretary of State

Are you a Hillary Clinton supporter? If you are, there’s a #BlacklistedNewsReport you need to know about. Once you know about it, you might be forced to re-assess your support of this woman. It’s a crying shame that no US mainstream news outlet will touch this story. That ought not to be. But the same oligarchic octopus of about 6 corporations, controlled by the Bilderberg Agenda, own every news outlet in the nation. THAT’s why you are not hearing this story on the CBS Evening News, or NBC or ABC, etc. Please please please share this report. Thank you. – Author, Screenshots News Blog

The story has to do with American ranch land, precious metals and mineral resources that lie within it, and the covert selling of American ranch lands to Russia, so that Russia can mine the uranium ore that is located on these lands. Sound far-fetched? Be sitting down. You’ll want to follow the links below, but for the sake of expediency, I have also re-posted the in-depth report revealing this awful, criminal land deal below, as I wanted to archive it on my own news blog, in case the report gets yanked off the NYT website as the November 2016 presidential election draws closer.

If you think it’s appropriate for a sitting US government high official, such as the Secretary of State, to find a covert way to sell off precious US assets which would be vital to US national security interests during times of war, to a foreign nation, like RUSSIA, for example – and have her husband accept millions upon million of dollars in donations to their [dubious ] foundation in return for the sale – then by all means, Hillary Clinton is your girl. But if learning about this deal makes your skin crawl, and you are both outraged and determined that something like this should never happen again, and that the wheels of justice should begin to turn AT ONCE to bring the Clintons under indictment, then you might just be a real, red blooded American, who loves their country, and doesn’t want to see it sold off to Russia or China right out from underneath our patriotic feet.

Why hasn’t a Grand Jury been convened to investigate this deal, and others like it, where monies flowed into the Clinton Foundation while Hillary was Secretary of State? What else did she coordinate with foreign nations which was a blatant conflict of interest to American national security? Don’t people usually go to prison for doing things like this while holding high office?

Donations to the Clinton Foundation, and a Russian Uranium Takeover of American Ranch Lands

Clinton Foundation took massive payoffs, promised Hammond Ranch and other publicly owned lands to Russians along with one-fifth of our uranium ore

======Re-posted from The New York Times ==========

Cash Flowed to Clinton Foundation Amid Russian Uranium Deal

A Uranium One sign that points to a 35,000-acre ranch owned by John Christensen, near the town of Gillette, Wyo. Uranium One has the mining rights to Mr. Christensen’s property. Credit Matthew Staver for The New York Times

The headline on the website Pravda trumpeted President Vladimir V. Putin’s latest coup, its nationalistic fervor recalling an era when its precursor served as the official mouthpiece of the Kremlin: “Russian Nuclear Energy Conquers the World.”

The article, in January 2013, detailed how the Russian atomic energy agency, Rosatom, had taken over a Canadian company with uranium-mining stakes stretching from Central Asia to the American West. The deal made Rosatom one of the world’s largest uranium producers and brought Mr. Putin closer to his goal of controlling much of the global uranium supply chain.

But the untold story behind that story is one that involves not just the Russian president, but also a former American president and a woman who would like to be the next one.

At the heart of the tale are several men, leaders of the Canadian mining industry, who have been major donors to the charitable endeavors of former President Bill Clinton and his family. Members of that group built, financed and eventually sold off to the Russians a company that would become known as Uranium One.

Frank Giustra, right, a mining financier, has donated $31.3 million to the foundation run by former President Bill Clinton, left. Credit Joaquin Sarmiento/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Beyond mines in Kazakhstan that are among the most lucrative in the world, the sale gave the Russians control of one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States. Since uranium is considered a strategic asset, with implications for national security, the deal had to be approved by a committee composed of representatives from a number of United States government agencies. Among the agencies that eventually signed off was the State Department, then headed by Mr. Clinton’s wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation. Uranium One’s chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors. Other people with ties to the company made donations as well.

And shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock.

At the time, both Rosatom and the United States government made promises intended to ease concerns about ceding control of the company’s assets to the Russians. Those promises have been repeatedly broken, records show.

The New York Times’s examination of the Uranium One deal is based on dozens of interviews, as well as a review of public records and securities filings in Canada, Russia and the United States. Some of the connections between Uranium One and the Clinton Foundation were unearthed by Peter Schweizer, a former fellow at the right-leaning Hoover Institution and author of the forthcoming book “Clinton Cash.” Mr. Schweizer provided a preview of material in the book to The Times, which scrutinized his information and built upon it with its own reporting.

Whether the donations played any role in the approval of the uranium deal is unknown. But the episode underscores the special ethical challenges presented by the Clinton Foundation, headed by a former president who relied heavily on foreign cash to accumulate $250 million in assets even as his wife helped steer American foreign policy as secretary of state, presiding over decisions with the potential to benefit the foundation’s donors.

In a statement, Brian Fallon, a spokesman for Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign, said no one “has ever produced a shred of evidence supporting the theory that Hillary Clinton ever took action as secretary of state to support the interests of donors to the Clinton Foundation.” He emphasized that multiple United States agencies, as well as the Canadian government, had signed off on the deal and that, in general, such matters were handled at a level below the secretary. “To suggest the State Department, under then-Secretary Clinton, exerted undue influence in the U.S. government’s review of the sale of Uranium One is utterly baseless,” he added.

Donations to the Clinton Foundation, and a Russian Uranium Takeover

Uranium investors gave millions to the Clinton Foundation while Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s office was involved in approving a Russian bid for mining assets in Kazakhstan and the United States.

Either way, the Uranium One deal highlights the limits of such prohibitions. The foundation will continue to accept contributions from foreign sources whose interests, like Uranium One’s, may overlap with those of foreign governments, some of which may be at odds with the United States.

When the Uranium One deal was approved, the geopolitical backdrop was far different from today’s. The Obama administration was seeking to “reset” strained relations with Russia. The deal was strategically important to Mr. Putin, who shortly after the Americans gave their blessing sat down for a staged interview with Rosatom’s chief executive, Sergei Kiriyenko. “Few could have imagined in the past that we would own 20 percent of U.S. reserves,” Mr. Kiriyenko told Mr. Putin.

Now, after Russia’s annexation of Crimea and aggression in Ukraine, the Moscow-Washington relationship is devolving toward Cold War levels, a point several experts made in evaluating a deal so beneficial to Mr. Putin, a man known to use energy resources to project power around the world.

“Should we be concerned? Absolutely,” said Michael McFaul, who served under Mrs. Clinton as the American ambassador to Russia but said he had been unaware of the Uranium One deal until asked about it. “Do we want Putin to have a monopoly on this? Of course we don’t. We don’t want to be dependent on Putin for anything in this climate.”

A Seat at the Table

The path to a Russian acquisition of American uranium deposits began in 2005 in Kazakhstan, where the Canadian mining financier Frank Giustra orchestrated his first big uranium deal, with Mr. Clinton at his side.

The two men had flown aboard Mr. Giustra’s private jet to Almaty, Kazakhstan, where they dined with the authoritarian president, Nursultan A. Nazarbayev. Mr. Clinton handed the Kazakh president a propaganda coup when he expressed support for Mr. Nazarbayev’s bid to head an international elections monitoring group, undercutting American foreign policy and criticism of Kazakhstan’s poor human rights record by, among others, his wife, then a senator.

Within days of the visit, Mr. Giustra’s fledgling company, UrAsia Energy Ltd., signed a preliminary deal giving it stakes in three uranium mines controlled by the state-run uranium agency Kazatomprom.

Ian Telfer was chairman of Uranium One and made large donations to the Clinton Foundation. Credit Galit Rodan/Bloomberg, via Getty Images

If the Kazakh deal was a major victory, UrAsia did not wait long before resuming the hunt. In 2007, it merged with Uranium One, a South African company with assets in Africa and Australia, in what was described as a $3.5 billion transaction. The new company, which kept the Uranium One name, was controlled by UrAsia investors including Ian Telfer, a Canadian who became chairman. Through a spokeswoman, Mr. Giustra, whose personal stake in the deal was estimated at about $45 million, said he sold his stake in 2007.

Soon, Uranium One began to snap up companies with assets in the United States. In April 2007, it announced the purchase of a uranium mill in Utah and more than 38,000 acres of uranium exploration properties in four Western states, followed quickly by the acquisition of the Energy Metals Corporation and its uranium holdings in Wyoming, Texas and Utah. That deal made clear that Uranium One was intent on becoming “a powerhouse in the United States uranium sector with the potential to become the domestic supplier of choice for U.S. utilities,” the company declared.

Still, the company’s story was hardly front-page news in the United States — until early 2008, in the midst of Mrs. Clinton’s failed presidential campaign, when The Times published an article revealing the 2005 trip’s link to Mr. Giustra’s Kazakhstan mining deal. It also reported that several months later, Mr. Giustra had donated $31.3 million to Mr. Clinton’s foundation.

(In a statement issued after this article appeared online, Mr. Giustra said he was “extremely proud” of his charitable work with Mr. Clinton, and he urged the media to focus on poverty, health care and “the real challenges of the world.”)

Though the 2008 article quoted the former head of Kazatomprom, Moukhtar Dzhakishev, as saying that the deal required government approval and was discussed at a dinner with the president, Mr. Giustra insisted that it was a private transaction, with no need for Mr. Clinton’s influence with Kazakh officials. He described his relationship with Mr. Clinton as motivated solely by a shared interest in philanthropy.

As if to underscore the point, five months later Mr. Giustra held a fund-raiser for the Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative, a project aimed at fostering progressive environmental and labor practices in the natural resources industry, to which he had pledged $100 million. The star-studded gala, at a conference center in Toronto, featured performances by Elton John and Shakira and celebrities like Tom Cruise, John Travolta and Robin Williams encouraging contributions from the many so-called F.O.F.s — Friends of Frank — in attendance, among them Mr. Telfer. In all, the evening generated $16 million in pledges, according to an article in The Globe and Mail.

“None of this would have been possible if Frank Giustra didn’t have a remarkable combination of caring and modesty, of vision and energy and iron determination,” Mr. Clinton told those gathered, adding: “I love this guy, and you should, too.”

But what had been a string of successes was about to hit a speed bump.

Bill Clinton met with Vladimir V. Putin in Moscow in 2010. Credit Mikhail Metzel/Associated Press

Arrest and Progress

By June 2009, a little over a year after the star-studded evening in Toronto, Uranium One’s stock was in free-fall, down 40 percent. Mr. Dzhakishev, the head of Kazatomprom, had just been arrested on charges that he illegally sold uranium deposits to foreign companies, including at least some of those won by Mr. Giustra’s UrAsia and now owned by Uranium One.

Publicly, the company tried to reassure shareholders. Its chief executive, Jean Nortier, issued a confident statement calling the situation a “complete misunderstanding.” He also contradicted Mr. Giustra’s contention that the uranium deal had not required government blessing. “When you do a transaction in Kazakhstan, you need the government’s approval,” he said, adding that UrAsia had indeed received that approval.

But privately, Uranium One officials were worried they could lose their joint mining ventures. American diplomatic cables made public by WikiLeaks also reflect concerns that Mr. Dzhakishev’s arrest was part of a Russian power play for control of Kazakh uranium assets.

At the time, Russia was already eying a stake in Uranium One, Rosatom company documents show. Rosatom officials say they were seeking to acquire mines around the world because Russia lacks sufficient domestic reserves to meet its own industry needs.

It was against this backdrop that the Vancouver-based Uranium One pressed the American Embassy in Kazakhstan, as well as Canadian diplomats, to take up its cause with Kazakh officials, according to the American cables.

“We want more than a statement to the press,” Paul Clarke, a Uranium One executive vice president, told the embassy’s energy officer on June 10, the officer reported in a cable. “That is simply chitchat.” What the company needed, Mr. Clarke said, was official written confirmation that the licenses were valid.

The American Embassy ultimately reported to the secretary of state, Mrs. Clinton. Though the Clarke cable was copied to her, it was given wide circulation, and it is unclear if she would have read it; the Clinton campaign did not address questions about the cable.

Among the Donors to the Clinton Foundation

Frank Giustra
$31.3 million and a pledge for $100 million more
He built a company that later merged with Uranium One.
Ian Telfer
$2.35 million
Mining investor who was chairman of Uranium One when an arm of the Russian government, Rosatom, acquired it.
Paul Reynolds
$1 million to $5 million
Adviser on 2007 UrAsia-Uranium One merger. Later helped raise $260 million for the company.
Frank Holmes
$250,000 to $500,000
Chief Executive of U.S. Global Investors Inc., which held $4.7 million in Uranium One shares in the first quarter of 2011.
Neil Woodyer
$50,000 to $100,000
Adviser to Uranium One. Founded Endeavour Mining with Mr. Giustra.
GMP Securities Ltd.
Donating portion of profits
Worked on debt issue that raised $260 million for Uranium One.

What is clear is that the embassy acted, with the cables showing that the energy officer met with Kazakh officials to discuss the issue on June 10 and 11.

Three days later, a wholly owned subsidiary of Rosatom completed a deal for 17 percent of Uranium One. And within a year, the Russian government substantially upped the ante, with a generous offer to shareholders that would give it a 51 percent controlling stake. But first, Uranium One had to get the American government to sign off on the deal.

The Power to Say No

When a company controlled by the Chinese government sought a 51 percent stake in a tiny Nevada gold mining operation in 2009, it set off a secretive review process in Washington, where officials raised concerns primarily about the mine’s proximity to a military installation, but also about the potential for minerals at the site, including uranium, to come under Chinese control. The officials killed the deal.

Such is the power of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. The committee comprises some of the most powerful members of the cabinet, including the attorney general, the secretaries of the Treasury, Defense, Homeland Security, Commerce and Energy, and the secretary of state. They are charged with reviewing any deal that could result in foreign control of an American business or asset deemed important to national security.

The national security issue at stake in the Uranium One deal was not primarily about nuclear weapons proliferation; the United States and Russia had for years cooperated on that front, with Russia sending enriched fuel from decommissioned warheads to be used in American nuclear power plants in return for raw uranium.

Instead, it concerned American dependence on foreign uranium sources. While the United States gets one-fifth of its electrical power from nuclear plants, it produces only around 20 percent of the uranium it needs, and most plants have only 18 to 36 months of reserves, according to Marin Katusa, author of “The Colder War: How the Global Energy Trade Slipped From America’s Grasp.”

“The Russians are easily winning the uranium war, and nobody’s talking about it,” said Mr. Katusa, who explores the implications of the Uranium One deal in his book. “It’s not just a domestic issue but a foreign policy issue, too.”

President Putin during a meeting with Rosatom’s chief executive, Sergei Kiriyenko, in December 2007. Credit Dmitry Astakhov/Ria Novosti, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

When ARMZ, an arm of Rosatom, took its first 17 percent stake in Uranium One in 2009, the two parties signed an agreement, found in securities filings, to seek the foreign investment committee’s review. But it was the 2010 deal, giving the Russians a controlling 51 percent stake, that set off alarm bells. Four members of the House of Representatives signed a letter expressing concern. Two more began pushing legislation to kill the deal.

Senator John Barrasso, a Republican from Wyoming, where Uranium One’s largest American operation was, wrote to President Obama, saying the deal “would give the Russian government control over a sizable portion of America’s uranium production capacity.”

“Equally alarming,” Mr. Barrasso added, “this sale gives ARMZ a significant stake in uranium mines in Kazakhstan.”

Uranium One’s shareholders were also alarmed, and were “afraid of Rosatom as a Russian state giant,” Sergei Novikov, a company spokesman, recalled in an interview. He said Rosatom’s chief, Mr. Kiriyenko, sought to reassure Uranium One investors, promising that Rosatom would not break up the company and would keep the same management, including Mr. Telfer, the chairman. Another Rosatom official said publicly that it did not intend to increase its investment beyond 51 percent, and that it envisioned keeping Uranium One a public company

American nuclear officials, too, seemed eager to assuage fears. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission wrote to Mr. Barrasso assuring him that American uranium would be preserved for domestic use, regardless of who owned it.

“In order to export uranium from the United States, Uranium One Inc. or ARMZ would need to apply for and obtain a specific NRC license authorizing the export of uranium for use as reactor fuel,” the letter said.

Still, the ultimate authority to approve or reject the Russian acquisition rested with the cabinet officials on the foreign investment committee, including Mrs. Clinton — whose husband was collecting millions in donations from people associated with Uranium One.

Undisclosed Donations

Uranium One’s Russian takeover was approved by the United States while Hillary Rodham Clinton was secretary of state. Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times

Before Mrs. Clinton could assume her post as secretary of state, the White House demanded that she sign a memorandum of understanding placing limits on the activities of her husband’s foundation. To avoid the perception of conflicts of interest, beyond the ban on foreign government donations, the foundation was required to publicly disclose all contributors.

To judge from those disclosures — which list the contributions in ranges rather than precise amounts — the only Uranium One official to give to the Clinton Foundation was Mr. Telfer, the chairman, and the amount was relatively small: no more than $250,000, and that was in 2007, before talk of a Rosatom deal began percolating.

But a review of tax records in Canada, where Mr. Telfer has a family charity called the Fernwood Foundation, shows that he donated millions of dollars more, during and after the critical time when the foreign investment committee was reviewing his deal with the Russians. With the Russians offering a special dividend, shareholders like Mr. Telfer stood to profit.

His donations through the Fernwood Foundation included $1 million reported in 2009, the year his company appealed to the American Embassy to help it keep its mines in Kazakhstan; $250,000 in 2010, the year the Russians sought majority control; as well as $600,000 in 2011 and $500,000 in 2012. Mr. Telfer said that his donations had nothing to do with his business dealings, and that he had never discussed Uranium One with Mr. or Mrs. Clinton. He said he had given the money because he wanted to support Mr. Giustra’s charitable endeavors with Mr. Clinton. “Frank and I have been friends and business partners for almost 20 years,” he said.

The Clinton campaign left it to the foundation to reply to questions about the Fernwood donations; the foundation did not provide a response.

Mr. Telfer’s undisclosed donations came in addition to between $1.3 million and $5.6 million in contributions, which were reported, from a constellation of people with ties to Uranium One or UrAsia, the company that originally acquired Uranium One’s most valuable asset: the Kazakh mines. Without those assets, the Russians would have had no interest in the deal: “It wasn’t the goal to buy the Wyoming mines. The goal was to acquire the Kazakh assets, which are very good,” Mr. Novikov, the Rosatom spokesman, said in an interview.

Amid this influx of Uranium One-connected money, Mr. Clinton was invited to speak in Moscow in June 2010, the same month Rosatom struck its deal for a majority stake in Uranium One.

The $500,000 fee — among Mr. Clinton’s highest — was paid by Renaissance Capital, a Russian investment bank with ties to the Kremlin that has invited world leaders, including Tony Blair, the former British prime minister, to speak at its investor conferences.

John Christensen sold the mining rights on his ranch in Wyoming to Uranium One. Credit Matthew Staver for The New York Times

Renaissance Capital analysts talked up Uranium One’s stock, assigning it a “buy” rating and saying in a July 2010 research report that it was “the best play” in the uranium markets. In addition, Renaissance Capital turned up that same year as a major donor, along with Mr. Giustra and several companies linked to Uranium One or UrAsia, to a small medical charity in Colorado run by a friend of Mr. Giustra’s. In a newsletter to supporters, the friend credited Mr. Giustra with helping get donations from “businesses around the world.”

Renaissance Capital would not comment on the genesis of Mr. Clinton’s speech to an audience that included leading Russian officials, or on whether it was connected to the Rosatom deal. According to a Russian government news service, Mr. Putin personally thanked Mr. Clinton for speaking.

A person with knowledge of the Clinton Foundation’s fund-raising operation, who requested anonymity to speak candidly about it, said that for many people, the hope is that money will in fact buy influence: “Why do you think they are doing it — because they love them?” But whether it actually does is another question. And in this case, there were broader geopolitical pressures that likely came into play as the United States considered whether to approve the Rosatom-Uranium One deal.

Diplomatic Considerations

If doing business with Rosatom was good for those in the Uranium One deal, engaging with Russia was also a priority of the incoming Obama administration, which was hoping for a new era of cooperation as Mr. Putin relinquished the presidency — if only for a term — to Dmitri A. Medvedev.

“The assumption was we could engage Russia to further core U.S. national security interests,” said Mr. McFaul, the former ambassador.

It started out well. The two countries made progress on nuclear proliferation issues, and expanded use of Russian territory to resupply American forces in Afghanistan. Keeping Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon was among the United States’ top priorities, and in June 2010 Russia signed off on a United Nations resolution imposing tough new sanctions on that country.

Two months later, the deal giving ARMZ a controlling stake in Uranium One was submitted to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States for review. Because of the secrecy surrounding the process, it is hard to know whether the participants weighed the desire to improve bilateral relations against the potential risks of allowing the Russian government control over the biggest uranium producer in the United States. The deal was ultimately approved in October, following what two people involved in securing the approval said had been a relatively smooth process.

Moukhtar Dzhakishev was arrested in 2009 while the chief of Kazatomprom. Credit Daniel Acker/Bloomberg, via Getty Images

Not all of the committee’s decisions are personally debated by the agency heads themselves; in less controversial cases, deputy or assistant secretaries may sign off. But experts and former committee members say Russia’s interest in Uranium One and its American uranium reserves seemed to warrant attention at the highest levels.

“This deal had generated press, it had captured the attention of Congress and it was strategically important,” said Richard Russell, who served on the committee during the George W. Bush administration. “When I was there invariably any one of those conditions would cause this to get pushed way up the chain, and here you had all three.”

And Mrs. Clinton brought a reputation for hawkishness to the process; as a senator, she was a vocal critic of the committee’s approval of a deal that would have transferred the management of major American seaports to a company based in the United Arab Emirates, and as a presidential candidate she had advocated legislation to strengthen the process.

The Clinton campaign spokesman, Mr. Fallon, said that in general, these matters did not rise to the secretary’s level. He would not comment on whether Mrs. Clinton had been briefed on the matter, but he gave The Times a statement from the former assistant secretary assigned to the foreign investment committee at the time, Jose Fernandez. While not addressing the specifics of the Uranium One deal, Mr. Fernandez said, “Mrs. Clinton never intervened with me on any C.F.I.U.S. matter.”

Mr. Fallon also noted that if any agency had raised national security concerns about the Uranium One deal, it could have taken them directly to the president.

Anne-Marie Slaughter, the State Department’s director of policy planning at the time, said she was unaware of the transaction — or the extent to which it made Russia a dominant uranium supplier. But speaking generally, she urged caution in evaluating its wisdom in hindsight.

“Russia was not a country we took lightly at the time or thought was cuddly,” she said. “But it wasn’t the adversary it is today.”

That renewed adversarial relationship has raised concerns about European dependency on Russian energy resources, including nuclear fuel. The unease reaches beyond diplomatic circles. In Wyoming, where Uranium One equipment is scattered across his 35,000-acre ranch, John Christensen is frustrated that repeated changes in corporate ownership over the years led to French, South African, Canadian and, finally, Russian control over mining rights on his property.

“I hate to see a foreign government own mining rights here in the United States,” he said. “I don’t think that should happen.”

Mr. Christensen, 65, noted that despite assurances by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that uranium could not leave the country without Uranium One or ARMZ obtaining an export license — which they do not have — yellowcake from his property was routinely packed into drums and trucked off to a processing plant in Canada.

Asked about that, the commission confirmed that Uranium One has, in fact, shipped yellowcake to Canada even though it does not have an export license. Instead, the transport company doing the shipping, RSB Logistic Services, has the license. A commission spokesman said that “to the best of our knowledge” most of the uranium sent to Canada for processing was returned for use in the United States. A Uranium One spokeswoman, Donna Wichers, said 25 percent had gone to Western Europe and Japan. At the moment, with the uranium market in a downturn, nothing is being shipped from the Wyoming mines.

The “no export” assurance given at the time of the Rosatom deal is not the only one that turned out to be less than it seemed. Despite pledges to the contrary, Uranium One was delisted from the Toronto Stock Exchange and taken private. As of 2013, Rosatom’s subsidiary, ARMZ, owned 100 percent of it.

Correction: April 23, 2015
An earlier version of this article misstated, in one instance, the surname of a fellow at the Hoover Institution. He is Peter Schweizer, not Schweitzer.An earlier version also incorrectly described the Clinton Foundation’s agreement with the Obama administration regarding foreign-government donations while Hillary Rodham Clinton was secretary of state. Under the agreement, the foundation would not accept new donations from foreign governments, though it could seek State Department waivers in specific cases. It was not barred from accepting all foreign-government donations.
Correction: April 30, 2015
An article on Friday about contributions to the Clinton Foundation from people associated with a Canadian uranium-mining company described incorrectly the foundation’s agreement with the Obama administration regarding foreign-government donations while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state. Under the agreement, the foundation would not accept new donations from foreign governments, though it could seek State Department waivers in specific cases. The foundation was not barred from accepting all foreign-government donations.
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Obama Administration Should Have Hired Top Web Techies Out of California to Build Obamacare Enrollment Portal

I would have thought it would be common knowledge by now that if one wanted to hire someone, a company, a firm, an internet conglomerate, an association of internet experts, WHAT HAVE YOU, to build a state-of-the-art e-commerce portal, albeit it for the purchase of healthcare plans in this case, the place to go for that kind of technical and internet related expertise is CALIFORNIA.

California is only home to dozens of the very tippity-top internet companies in the world, including  Google, Ebay, and Facebook for starters.  The founder of WordPress also hails from California. There’s a reason that Mark Zuckerberg early on moved his infant company to Palo Alto California. That’s where all the best internet brains are percolating.

Canada….. Really?

AJ Strata ‏@AJStrata 4m

@EdMorrissey #tcot #Obamacare debut polling so badly we may be at start of #ObamacareDeathSpiral http://ow.ly/q480O

I love the Canadians just as much as the next American. I see and visit with traveling Canadians every summer out here on the Oregon coast.  But by no means do I believe they are better web developers than Americans are. Those contracting dollars should have been kept right here at home.

Apparently it hadn’t dawned on the effete intellectuals of the Obama administration that America fairly RULES the internet in terms of technical and creative expertise in web design, IT applications, E-commerce portal development and more.  And then there’s the issue of at least making an appearance that AMERICAN JOBS are important in all of this.  American internet technology experts are among the best on earth. How sad that the Canadian built site had to fail, and in an EPIC manner, before Obama turned to our own best and brightest to try to fix it. What the hell?

A website that can easily handle 20 million visits a day should not have been too tall an order for a proficient web development team. Almost every large commercial site built today handles those kinds of numbers routinely.

Let me get this straight: the federal government can build a spy data center in Bluffdale Utah big and powerful enough to literally consume and “mirror the entire internet” but they can’t build a website for enrollment in Obamacare that can handle 20 million visits per day? That just doesn’t add up.

And since the NSA hot shots are building a gargantuan DATA CENTER in Bluffdale Utah which is literally big enough to “mirror the entire internet” in it’s interior, why the hell didn’t the Obama people turn to their contractors to build the portal?  It only made sense. According to the NSA’s own documents and press releases, the Bluffdale data center is an internet technological wonder in and of itself – paid for with our tax dollars, mind you. Didn’t their contractors have the skills to build the Obamacare portal as well?

I’d like to reiterate my initial doubts about the whole Obamacare behemoth, the same doubts I have had all along. Why should we believe that the federal government can run the American healthcare system better than private enterprise can? The floundering site is just one more bad omen for this program.

The Hazards of Personal Online Publishing: Who Owns Original Content That We Create?

https://i2.wp.com/www4.pictures.zimbio.com/gi/Ben+Elowitz+Wetpaint+Entertainment+Celebrates+DO7m8v-d8Mal.jpg

Wetpaint co-founder and CEO Ben Elowitz [ right ] with an unidentified shirtless man emblazoned with the Wetpaint logotype.

Once upon a time about 5-6 years ago, right before I made a commitment to publish via WordPress, I started a wiki on  http://www.wetpaint.com and failed or forgot to read their fine print before I began building content on the site.  This omission on my part would turn out to be a very unfortunate mistake.

Last January 2013 that wiki disappeared and I was never notified of what happened to it, either by phone, mail or email.Any and all attempts to contact Wetpaint went unanswered.

I’ve been trolling the pages of Wetpaint.com now and again since the wiki disappeared, trying to discover what possessed the company to suddenly yank tens of thousands of pages of hundreds of bloggers’ hard work, and disappear it off the internet.  It wasn’t just my wiki which disappeared, it was also the original content of hundreds of other bloggers as well.

As it turns out, my blog / wiki didn’t disappear. It was sold to a guy in Canada [ who, by the molasses-like speed of his page loads, runs a server out of his mom’s basement somewhere ] for an undisclosed sum of money, along with hundreds of other wikis which had been hosted on Wetpaint.  All this I have learned just this morning.

It turns out that my 3,000+ pages of original content, reports, news, opinion and essays which I authored between 2008 – and 2011 on wetpaint.com never actually belonged to me, once the content left my flying fingers and entered onto their servers.

This is what I found this morning in the fine print of the wetpaint.com posted terms of service:

See http://www.wetpaint-inc.com/terms-and-conditions/

9. “You acknowledge and agree that any materials, including but not limited to questions, comments, suggestions, ideas, plans, notes, drawings, original or creative materials or other information, regarding the Site, the Wetpaint or Wetpaint’s products or services that are provided by you in the form of email or other submissions to Wetpaint, or any postings on the Site, are non-confidential and shall become the sole property of Wetpaint. Wetpaint shall own exclusive rights, including all intellectual property rights, and shall be entitled to the unrestricted use and dissemination of these materials for any purpose, commercial or otherwise, without acknowledgment or compensation to you.”

But wait: it gets even better. When or if one should have any questions regarding these terms of service, and decide to click the link posted and actually CONTACT Wetpaint about them, here’ what you will get in response:

The "contact us" link at the the bottom of the "Terms of Service" page on wetpaint.com returns a 404 error code. They don't really want to be contacted. But they apparently DO enjoy Hollywood photo shoots with nude male models.

The “contact us” link at the the bottom of the “Terms of Service” page on Wetpaint.com returns a 404 error code. They don’t really want to be contacted. But they apparently DO enjoy Hollywood photo shoots with nude male models.

All of this begs the $64,000 question regarding WordPress. Who owns the rights to what is published on WP and could something like that ever happen on these servers? Today I am trolling the obscure pages of WP this morning, trying to find out.

I’ve been reading some of the articles and essays published by Wetpaint CEO and co-founder Ben Elowitz.  I’m wondering just who exactly profited from the sale of those wikis and what exact sum they were sold for.  More on my latest internet Dick Tracy exercise later as I learn more. Here’s what another blogger decided to do about the hosting of her blog when faced with the dilemma of who owned what she created:  http://www.aroyaldaughter.com/2013/01/04/blogger-vs-wordpress-content-ownership/

A Cautionary Tale for Personal Content Publishers & Bloggers

If you are a blogger, or plan to become a blogger, [ she foolishly advised, realizing that hindsight is indeed truly always 20-20be sure to read the hosting firm’s Terms of Service IN ADVANCE on the blogging platform you choose to go with – before you start publishing.

Then examine the server / blog hosts’ terms of service regarding ownership of originally created content and intellectual property rights of all hosted published content. I personally believe that what Wetpaint.com did was pretty close to criminal, in that they certainly well knew that 80- or 90% of the general public who begin wikis never stop to troll the fine print of the hosting server’s “about” pages to find out whether or not they will own what they create before they start building their site.

Oh, by the way: WordPress is the site host for Ben Elowitz’s personal news blog. Apparently he doesn’t believe in his own company enough to host his personal news blog on it. I found this to be telling.

I would bet that this kind of thing is now rampant on the internet, as hosting companies, social media outlets, blogging platforms and other public servers scramble for the cash to keep the bills paid. A more prominent notice that was sent out in email form just as soon as I opened my wiki account would have been the way for Wetpaint to take the high road in all of this, rather than dumping the January surprise onto hundreds of online publishers and whisking their blogs away to Canada for an undisclosed amount of cash. What a sleazy way to do business on the internet. I can’t say that I wish Wetpaint.com any future good fortune, knowing that they profited from the sale of possibly tens of thousands of pages of user contributed original content recently, that I’m quite sure most of those users thought they owned.

I can only advise a would-be blogger, site designer, wiki publisher et al, that you should choose another blogging platform and skip Wetpaint.com. You won’t own the rights to anything you publish, and they certainly won’t tell you that in advance either, if you didn’t find their Terms of Service page before you began posting and publishing. At any point in time on Wetpaint.com your original material may be removed, deleted, re-packaged, and / or re-sold to another firm without your knowledge or consent, as you won’t own any of it.  Bloggers and online publishers beware.

Ownership of content on WordPress  – links

  1. You own your content – you grant WordPress.com a license to display it – it is covered in the terms of service agreement and I had to read it more than once to figure it out. The display agreement you agreed to is rather broad but the broadness is required to WordPress.com to display and advertise your content.

  2. It should be noted that all “original” content posted by you is yours. If you post something by someone else, it doesn’t belong to you, it belongs to them.

Members of the Muslim Community in Toronto Turned In Would-Be Terrorists, Saved Lives

I found this report this morning and I consider it one of the most hopeful pieces of news I have read in weeks. Members of the Muslim community in Toronto Canada acted in time and turned in two individuals who were planning a massive terror attack, saving dozens of lives in so doing, and restoring a small modicum of actual spiritual credibility to the Muslim faith. I have always known that there are literally millions of Muslims around the world who want nothing but peace and unity, goodwill among humankind, but their voices are almost universally drowned out by the incessant vitriol of their corrupted peers who call constantly for global Jihad. Here’s the report:

See http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/04/how-torontos-muslim-community-uncovered-the-would-be-train-bombers/275239/?google_editors_picks=true

How Toronto’s Muslim Community Uncovered the Would-Be Train Bombers

Apr 23 2013, 4:30 PM ET

“They focused on demonizing Western society.”

trainimage.jpg

Police officers watch a train pass in a subway station in Montreal on May 10, 2012. (Reuters)

After last week’s deadly bombing in Boston, news that Toronto foiled its own terrorist attack might have come as a relief.

A plot to blow up a rail line between Canada and the U.S. was thwarted on Monday, and Canadian police have arrested two suspects, Chiheb Esseghaier, of Montreal, and Raed Jaser, of Toronto.

But the most surprising part of the story might be how the suspects were discovered: They were turned in, reports say, by leaders of their own community.

Muhammed Robert Heft, who runs Toronto’s Paradise Forever Islamic Center, says that one of the suspects — he won’t say which — started expressing extremist beliefs to a member of the city’s Muslim leadership a year ago.

“They were espousing some views that were starting to ruffle feathers and make people uncomfortable,” Heft said. “They focused on demonizing Western society and suggesting that there has to be some kind of retribution or revenge for the perceived grievances of this individual.”

The community leader — Heft declined to give his name — became concerned, and suggested to Heft that he monitor the suspect.

“It went to a stage where it was a constant topic of conversation. The community leader realized that the person was not changing their views. They worried that something might eventually happen,” he explained.

Heft says that when members of the Islamic community there regularly express extremist views, an Imam or other religious leader would call in Heft or another higher-up to try to convince the person of a more moderate point of view. If the person continued to try to gain converts to radical Islam, his name might be passed along to the police.

That’s apparently what happened this time, and it worked. Reports show that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police believed the two suspects had the capacity to carry out the attack, but there was no imminent threat to the public, passengers, or infrastructure — until Monday.

In a week of terrible news and, in some corners, rising Islamophobia, this is a small but promising sign that religious groups can be capable — and sometimes incredibly deft — at policing extremists within their own ranks.

Heft shrugged off the idea that some Muslims might oppose the religious leaders’ practice of turning in militant members of their own religion.

“The vast majority gets it, they’re proud of the fact that we’re involved in the front lines,” he said. “At the end of the day, they didn’t want anything to happen in Canada either.”

See also:

Wild Brooklyn melee erupts as NYPD arrests Muslim teen for allegedly taunting Jewish subway rider