By Jeanette Johnson-Jing, Medium
17 April 16
n the year of the Sandy Hook massacre, Secretary Clinton approved $120 million in sales for the companies that made the murder weapons Adam Lanza used to kill 20 children and 6 adults, including a $4 million sale for gun maker Remington. Clinton used her office to facilitate the very corporate greed she claims to oppose while enriching and empowering the gun lobby she claims to fight.
On 14 April 2016 a judge ruled that the Sandy Hook families’ lawsuit against gunmaker Remington Arms can move forward. Hillary Clinton is using the massacre for political gain in the presidential campaign. At the Univision debate in March, Clinton said “you want to talk about corporate greed? The gun manufacturers sell guns to make as much money as they can make.” But a newly identified Pentagon document shows that Clinton herself aided ‘corporate greed’ of Remington. (A summary table of Clinton-approved 2012 gun and ammunition sales is included at the bottom of this blog page.)
Investigative journalist Lee Fang of The Intercept recently tweeted a link to a Pentagon document showing the arms sold by U.S. companies around the world in 2012.
The document shows Clinton approved a sale of over 4 million dollars ($4,195,110.40 by my count) by the Remington Arms Company of New York in 2012. This is particularly notable because Remington is the same gun maker that made the AR-15-type semiautomatic rifle (a Bushmaster XM15-E2S) used by Adam Lanza in the Sandy Hook massacre in December of 2012. Remington Arms is now the subject of the families’ lawsuit. Remington also made one of the assault rifles used by the San Bernardino killers, a DPMS Panther Arms A15.
All foreign weapons sales required approval from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The sales include over $100 million dollars ($100,737,273.66 by my count) of gun sales in 2012 alone. A sizeable fraction of these were handheld guns manufactured by household name gun makers: Colt, Beretta and Remington. These approvals represented lucrative deals for gun manufacturers that fund the National Rifle Association. Lee Fang found bankruptcy documents that prove Colt Defense was funding the NRA. Business Insider reports that “the bulk of the group’s money now comes in the form of contributions, grants, royalty income, and advertising, much of it originating from gun industry sources.” NRA donors also include Beretta USA, for which Clinton approved $6.4 million in sales that year.
The Pentagon document also shows Clinton that year approved over $100 million dollars ($116,160,367.19 by my count) in ammunition sales by Alliant Techsystems, the parent company of Savage Arms, which makes the MK II-F bolt action rifle Lanza used to kill his mother. I have not seen reporting on who manufactured the AR-15 ammunition used by Lanza. Alliant’s subsidiary Federal Cartidge sells ammunition for AR-15 rifles in boxes of 100; Lanza took 300 rounds of Ar-15 ammunition to the school.
While at State, Clinton was particularly generous with sales approvals for weapons manufacturers. David Sirota and Andrew Perez have shown she oversaw an 80% increase in weapons sales approvals compared to Secretary Condoleeza Rice, including a special 143% increase for her Foundation’s donors. Thailand and the United Arab Emirates are two donors who received gun purchase approvals from Clinton’s State Department in 2012 after they donated upwards of $1,250,000 to the Clinton Foundation.
This revenue for gun and ammunition makers helped the NRA in its political efforts. In 2014, Bill Clinton campaigned for Senator Mark Pryor of Arkansas. Pryor’s opponent Tom Cotton was supported by NRA money contributing to Pryor’s defeat. Clinton thus approved gun sale revenue that would have flowed through Remington, Colt and others to the NRA onwards to the Clintons’ declared political opponents. NRA spending on lobbying and elections outpaced such spending by the Brady Campaign Against Gun Violence by 73 to 1 in 2012.
Many of the Clinton-approved sales were to client nations who receive military aid from the U.S. (Afghanistan, Egypt, Israel) and thus from taxpayers. So the NRA is funded by your taxes this way: you -> federal government -> client nation -> gunmaker -> NRA
My accounting of the guns and ammunition sales approved by Secretary Clinton in 2012 is shown below. If we assume that 2012 was typical for the 4 years Clinton was head of the State Department, this would suggest she approved ~$1.2 billion dollars worth of sales for gun and ammunition manufacturers.
General Dynamics was approved by Clinton to sell $103 million dollars of ammunition in 2012. General Dynamics is represented in Washington D.C. by The Podesta Group, a lobbying firm co-founded by Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign chair John Podesta, and currently run by his brother.
John Podesta recently held a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton’s campaign that was co-hosted by longtime NRA lobbyist Jeff Forbes, as exposed by Zaid Jilani. Over her career, Clinton has received millions of dollars in various forms of support from major gun manufacturing investors, including $2,475,000 in speaking fees and $1,700,000 in donations to her Foundation.
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