Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-MaktoumIn February 1999, CIA bin Laden unit chief Michael Scheuer had Osama bin Laden in his sights. Bin Laden was on a falcon hunting trip outside of Kandahar, Afghanistan, reportedly with UAE family royals, including then Defense Minister al-Maktoum.
Also at that time the Clinton Administration was brokering a deal for a Lockheed Martin F-16s sale to the UAE.. Although Scheuer called for permission to strike Bin Laden, the White House refused to give the OK.
Soon after leaving office in January 2001, Bill Clinton went to Dubai and formed a highly profitable relationship with Sheikh al-Maktoum, who’d later become UAE Prime Minister.
When Clinton’s ongoing multimillion dollar ties to Maktoum, including his lobbying for the 2006 Dubai takeover of US ports, came to light during Hillary’s presidential campaign, Bill arranged for a $20 million buyout, according to Newsweek.
Hillary claimed she'd known nothing about it.
Middle East royalty, such as Maktoum and Saudi Prince Turki al Faisal, were well known for falcon hunting in the area. On this particular day in 1999, Scheuer’s intelligence placed Osama Bin Laden close to the hunting camp. His intelligence on the ground was ready to send a signal within the hour when Bin Laden joined the rest of the party.
National Security Council counterterrorism chief Richard Clarke had returned just days earlier from a meeting regarding the F-16 deal with UAE Defense Minister Maktoum. On February 10, Clarke sent word to National Security Adviser Sandy Berger that they were ready to strike Bin Laden the next day.
CIA director George Tenet questioned whether the intelligence was good enough, even though Gary Schroen, the lead CIA agent in the field, said it was. Tenet also worried about the killing ostensible U.S. allies from the UAE. The strike was called off, and Bin Laden disappeared the next day.
The CIA hoped Bin Laden would return to the camp. However, on March 7, Clarke told the UAE about the CIA’s knowledge of the site, and days later the camp was dismantled. Schroen and Scheuer believe the scheduled February 11 strike would have killed Bin Laden, and Scheuer holds Clarke and Clinton responsible for that missed opportunity. Scheuer also attributes their failure to act to the F-16 deal, which came through three months afterward.
It is likely that Maktoum was with Bin Laden that day: he is known to have attended similar trips, the camp was full of UAE royalty, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Henry Shelton told the 9/11 Commission that his “counterpart” in the UAE said he was hunting at a camp in the Afghanistan desert at that time. (His UAE counterpart would have been Defense Minister Maktoum). Clinton had appealed personally to the UAE to step up counterterrorism cooperation and break ties with the Taliban, but the UAE resisted.
In fact, groups designated as Global Terrorists while Clinton was still in office received hundreds of millions of dollars from the UAE, just before Clinton started being paid by its ruler Maktoum.
Maktoum was a major donor to Clinton’s presidential library—over $500,000 came from the UAE—and he lined up speeches for Clinton in Dubai, including one in April 2002 that raked in $450,000.
Just months before that payday, the UAE had announced in Arab News its finalizing $150 million dollar payments to two Specially Designated Global Terror Groups - Al-Aqsa and Palistine Intifada Jihad.
After leaving office in 2001, Clinton became senior advisor to Yucaipa, a private equity firm run by billionaire friend Ron Burkle, and where Clinton co-owned a Yucaipa fund with his fortunate friend Maktoum. According to a San Francisco Examiner columnist, Clinton was getting up to $10 million a year from the Yucaipa fund.
Clinton also lobbied for Dubai’s attempted takeover of US ports in 2006.
When his Dubai dealings came to light during Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, (she’d said she opposed the ports deal), Hillary claimed she didn’t know of Bill’s involvement. In early 2008 he was said to be severing his business ties to Maktoum.
Clinton’s payout, according to Newsweek, would be about $20 million.
- http://www.lockheedmartin.com/news/press_releases/1998/UnitedArabEmiratesAnnouncesDe cision.html
- http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB120097424021905843.html?mod=blogBill Clinton May Get Payout of $20 Million; By JOHN R. EMSHWILLER; January 22, 2008; Page A1
- RESPONSE TO TERROR; SUNDAY REPORT; Long Before Sept. 11, Bin Laden Aircraft Flew Under the Radar; [Home Edition]; STEPHEN BRAUN, JUDY PASTERNAK. Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, Calif.: Nov 18, 2001.
- http://theconservativebeacon.wordpress.com/2007/09/05/part-ii-of-our-interview-with- michael-scheuer/
- Bill Clinton advised UAE ; Senator, ex-president agree on ports deal, but she was unaware of call; [Chicago Final Edition]; Glenn Thrush, Tribune Newspapers: Newsday, Tribune news services contributed to this report. Chicago Tribune. Chicago, Ill.: Mar 3, 2006. pg. 3
- Hillary And The Ports; [Op-Ed]; David Brooks. New York Times. (Late Edition (East Coast)). New York, N.Y.: Mar 12, 2006. pg. 4.13
- “Far From Bluegrass, Dubai Runs Stealthily for the Roses,” WILLIAM A. ORME Jr.. New York Times. (Late Edition (East Coast)). New York, N.Y.: Apr 19, 1999. pg. A.1