Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Why Is Hillary Clinton Being Sued?

While there are investigations into the apparent negligence of the State Department that led to the terrorist attacks in Benghazi, a lawsuit has been filed alleging carelessness by the State Department in enforcing safeguards governing funding of Palestinian groups in the Middle East.

Shurat HaDin – Israel Law Center has announced Hillary Clinton sued by Americans over funding of Palestinian terror groups:
A group of 24 Americans living in Israel, including victims of terrorism, filed a lawsuit today against the US government over its funding of Palestinian terrorism in the West Bank and Gaza.

The civil action, filed in the district court of Washington DC, alleges that the US Department of State, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, has ignored congressional safeguards and transparency requirements attached to US aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA). In addition, the plaintiffs claim that the White House has not been complying with the regulations and reporting obligations governing presidential waivers which facilitate emergency funding to the Palestinians. As a result of this non-compliance, US funds have been flowing to terror groups like Hamas, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and the Palestine Liberation Front.

According to the lawsuit, Americans living in proximity to these Palestinian terror groups are in the class of individuals that Congress sought to protect through the safeguards and regulations that the White House, State Department and USAID are disregarding.
There has always been a criticism that in providing huge amounts of funding to Palestinian groups that it was impossible to prevent some of that money from landing in the hands of terrorists -- which is illegal under US law.

The response from the Obama administration has been that there were safeguards in place to prevent such a thing from happening.

Now -- as has been alleged in the terrorist attack in Benghazi -- there are allegations that the Department of State has been lax in providing for the safety of Americans in Israel due to negligence in following proper procedures.
The United States Department of State, under the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act, is prohibited from providing “material support” to proscribed terrorist groups. It is estimated that since the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, the United States State Department, via USAID has given over $4 billion to Palestinians, with portions of that funding illegally landing in the hands of terrorists. During the last four fiscal years, average aid has been roughly $600 million per year. Additionally, the United States gives approximately $200 million to the United Nations body UNRWA, each year, and during the fiscal years 2008 and 2009, UNRWA gave roughly $500 million of their funding to recipients in the West Bank and Gaza.

Under the Anti-Terrorism Act, the State Department is required to certify that the Palestinian government is committed to a peace co-existence with Israel before distributing funds, and ensure that no part of funding is used for Palestinian terrorism. The plaintiffs allege that these crucial safeguards, transparency obligations and reporting requirements are being negligently ignored.
Read the whole thing.

The inevitable question is whether a lawsuit may be filed after all the facts are in about Benghazi. In the meantime, it remains to be seen how matters proceed with this lawsuit.

The plaintiffs are represented by attorneys Norman Steiner of New York and Nitsana Darshan-Leitner of Tel Aviv.

The actual lawsuit can be viewed online here.

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