Monday, November 22, 2004
Saudis, Arabs Funneled Millions to President Clinton's Library.
LITTLE ROCK, ARK. - 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."This administration delayed pressuring the Saudis," Mr. Kerry said on October 20. "I will insist that the Saudis crack down on charities that funnel funds to terrorists... and on anti-American and anti-Israel hate speech."The Media Fund, a Democratic group whose president is a former Clinton White House aide, Harold Ickes, spent millions airing television commercials in swing states with scripts such as, "The Saudi royal family...wealthy...powerful...corrupt. And close Bush family friends."
Perhaps as a result, the Saudi donations to the Clinton library are raising some eyebrows. Mr. Unger said he suspects that the Saudi support may have something to do with a possible presidential bid by Senator Clinton in 2008.