It’s hard to believe anybody thinks there is anything there, but research is difficult and requires sober, rational thinking. As Mencken noted, one thing is always lucrative, and that is “underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people.” If you throw something out and defend it with a straight face, no matter how silly it is, there will always be people who believe it. The Pyramids were built for grain storage? The world is flat? The universe is 6000 years old? Sure, tell me more.
The whole case against Hillary is preposterous, but the right-wing spin doctors have thrown it out, and people will believe it, so let’s review the case again, shall we?
First I’m going to give you a very quick summary of the uranium market, because it is important to understand it, and very few reporters enjoy mathematical analysis, so they have generally concentrated on Clinton’s involvement in the deal:
1. How big is the deal itself?
It is so small as to be virtually non-existent. The entire commercial uranium market in the USA is 25,300 tons per year. Of that, only 2,800 tons are mined in the United States. Of that, Uranium One, the controversial Canadian company owned by Russian state mining interests, only constitutes 300 tons of that market. That’s it. A whopping 11% of the domestic market, therefore 1% of the total market.
As Clinton’s opponents have stated, Uranium One has 20% of the commercial, domestic uranium mining capacity, but those opponents fail to note that the actual production of the company is less, only 11% of the uranium mined in the USA. But even if they produced ALL of it, it would STILL be insignificant, because 89% of America’s commercial uranium is mined overseas.
2. But can’t they just give all of our uranium to Russia?
First of all, they can’t even sell that uranium to Canada, even though they are theoretically a Canadian company. Their charter forbids them to export uranium mined in the USA.
Second and perhaps more important, what the hell would Russia do with it? They don’t know what to do with all the uranium they have now, except sell it to us. Russia, along with its buddies Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, currently accounts for 38% of the uranium purchased in the United States. If they wanted to tighten the screws on us, they would do it with that 38% from their mines, not the other 1% from ours.
3. Does Uranium One have any power at all?
Not a lick. In fact the opposite is true. The USA holds all the cards. Since they are such a tiny portion of the market, our commercial users of uranium could easily stop buying from them completely and fill that 1% elsewhere. Since Uranium One can’t export the uranium, if we stopped buying from them, they would essentially have no business at all. They have to sell to us or close the mines. Why do you think those mining assets were for sale in the first place? They are in a very vulnerable position, completely at our mercy.
Most mainstream sources have covered the political side of the deal, and I’ve already noted that the deal is insignificant to begin with, so I’ll just give a top-line summary.
A Russian company paid money to purchase controlling interest in a Canadian company which owned mining assets in the USA. Because of US laws involving strategic assets, a nine-person panel, consisting of representatives from nine different US agencies, had to approve the sale. None of them objected. One of the agencies is the Department of State.
The State Department was represented on the matter by the Assistant Secretary assigned to the Foreign Investment Committee, Jose Fernandez. He made the decision not to object to the sale. Hillary Clinton never got involved in any way. (It’s not clear whether she even knew about it, except as another matter in a very large in-box. We presume that Fernandez filed a written report to Clinton, and that she chose not to override him, but he pointed out that she never weighed in with him at all, so his decision stood.)
In other words:
1. The whole matter is insignificant.
2. Hillary had only 1/9 of the power to approve. It was approved unanimously.
3. Hillary did not even exercise her 1/9 to influence the decision. One of her subordinates, the one with specific expertise in that field, made the decision. Mrs. Clinton had no specific knowledge in this area, and presumably had actual significant matters to occupy her time.
Did the Clinton Foundation get a massive donation ($131 million) from one of the former owners of Uranium One?
Sure, but it was before Clinton was Secretary of State.
And, equally important, by the time the deal happened, in fact 18 months before Hillary became Secretary of State, that guy (Frank Giustra) had already sold his stock in Uranium One!
Moreover, it’s not surprising that Giustra contributed so much, considering that the donation specifically went to “The Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership,” which is a specific initiative within the Clinton Foundation. I hear that guys tend to support causes named after themselves.
Or to word it another way, his donation to the Clinton Foundation had nothing to do with the sale of Uranium One, nor could it have, given the timing.
But even if it had, Clinton did not get involved in that decision.
But even if she had, there was nothing wrong with the decision
And even if it had been a bad decision, the deal was insignificant to the uranium market.