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Today's New York Sun reports that a significant part of the funding for the new Bill Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock came from a source more associated with conspiracy theories about the Bush Administration:
President Clinton's new $165 million library here was funded in part by gifts of $1 million or more each from the Saudi royal family and three Saudi businessmen.
The governments of Dubai, Kuwait, and Qatar and the deputy prime minister of Lebanon all also appear to have donated $1 million or more for the archive and museum that opened last week.
Democrats spent much of the presidential campaign this year accusing President Bush of improperly close ties to Saudi Arabia. The case was made in Michael Moore's film "Fahrenheit 9/11," in a bestselling book by Craig Unger titled "House of Bush, House of Saud," and by the Democratic presidential candidate, Senator Kerry.
Why do the Saudis and other oil producers have so much interest in a former president, one who holds little power in a political landscape dominated by the GOP? Think about who's running for President in 2008:
Mr. Unger said he suspects that the Saudi support may have something to do with a possible presidential bid by Senator Clinton in 2008.
"They want to keep their options open no matter who's in power and whether that's four years from now or whatever," the author said. "Just a few million is nothing to them to keep their options open."
Finance scandal surrounding the library have resulted from the start of the fundraising effort. Denise Rich donated $450,000 in 2000 while seeking a presidential pardon for her fugitive husband, Marc Rich. Despite objections from the Justice Department and ongoing investigations into his criminal activity, Clinton granted the pardon, touching off a federal bribery investigation as Clinton left office.
The Sun prints the names of other substantial donors to the Clinton Library, including the deputy prime minister of Lebanon, the SEIU, and several Hollywood power players such as Steven Spielberg. Can we expect Michael Moore to concoct conspiracy theories regarding the Clintons and the Saudis in his next crockumentary? I won't be holding my breath.Sphere It View blog reactions
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Tracked on November 22, 2004 11:31 AM
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