Mrs. Clinton's forgotten
fling with the Killer of Karachi
By Greg Palast
" -- -- He
was the other man in Hillary's life. But it's over now. Or is
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 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 off 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
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
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, or starve.
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 a 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
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 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
thirty thousand 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
With Pakistan's army in control of thenation'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
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, "Re-elect Clinton."
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. Palast is the author of the New York
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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