Well, well, well, the Huma Abedin controversy has finally hit the legacy media. Okay, okay — it’s not the Huma Abedin controversy, but it’s one Obama’s court stenographers apparently feel comfortable talking about.
It seems Ms. Abedin, accurately described by the New York Times as Hillary Rodham Clinton’s “longtime aide and confidante,” spent her last months at the State Department not really at the State Department. Despite maintaining her title as Secretary of State Clinton’s deputy chief of staff, she was permitted, upon returning to government service from maternity leave in mid-2012, to remain at home in New York with her newborn child and her husband, the disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner — he of the notorious Weiner all aTwitter photos. While the State Department was paying her $135,000 as a “special government employee,” Abedin was also permitted to moonlight as a “strategic consultant” for Teneo, a firm founded by Doug Band, a former adviser to President Bill Clinton. (Teneo, the Times informs us, advises such firms as MF Global, the brokerage firm whose investors were broken by Jon Corzine — the former New Jersey governor and Obama campaign bundler.) In addition, Abedin found time in her busy “special government employee” schedule to do consultant work for the William Jefferson Clinton Foundation.
With that familiar Clinton flare, Abedin did not disclose her consultant income on government financial disclosure forms. According to the State Department, you see, her new “part-time” position as “special government employee” meant the usual disclosure requirements did not apply to her … notwithstanding that, the Atlantic Wire reports, Abedin continued to be referred to in official documents as deputy chief of staff to the United States secretary of state. The arrangement finally came to an end in March when Ms. Abedin officially left the State Department to head up Mrs. Clinton’s six-person “transition office” — i.e., the transition from secretary of state to what the tongue-in-cheeky Atlantic calls Mrs. Clinton’s “version of private life.”
Apparently not to the great delight of the Clintons, Weiner, as part of his effort to come back from his virtual sex scandal and maybe make a run for New York City mayor, decided to release the couple’s 2012 tax returns. They show that these dedicated public servants made just shy of a half-million dollars last year. Turns out Weiner’s been “consulting” too, but the couple is not saying how much of the haul comes from Abedin’s extracurricular activities while she was still on the government payroll.
This story is getting some attention — sure to be fleeting — from the reliably Clinton-adoring press and some “good government” types. But that has more to do with a potential Weiner political campaign than with the tangled web of government policy-making and Clinton cronies (like the Saudis and Qataris — multi-million dollar donors to the William Jefferson Clinton Foundation who do mega-business with the State Department). There has to date been scant media interest in Abedin’s earlier part-time job.
As detailed previsously here at Ordered Liberty, Ms. Abedin began her long professional association with Mrs. Clinton in 1996, as an intern to the first lady in the Clinton White House. In the years that followed, she remained a Clinton staffer from the White House to the Senate, and eventually to the State Department. At the same time, she also served from 1996 through 2008 as assistant editor of the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, a publication founded by Abdullah Omar Naseef, a major financier of al Qaeda whose Islamic “charity,” the Rabita Trust, is a designated terrorist organization (on which Naseef colluded with Wael Hamza Jalaidan, an Osama bin Laden intimate who is one of al Qaeda’s founders).
Naseef is a former secretary general of the Muslim World League, which Osama bin Laden described as one of al Qaeda’s primary funding sources. In the late seventies, he retained Abedin’s parents to run his newly formed Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs and edit its journal, which has been an Abedin family affair ever since. For seven years, Naseef overlapped with Huma Abedin at the journal, as a member of its advisory editorial board. He withdrew after 2003 — right around the time he was named as a defendant in the civil case brought by the victims of the 9/11 atrocities (a suit from which he was dropped in 2010 because a court found it lacked jurisdiction over him). The journal is still edited by Ms. Abedin’s mother, Dr. Saleha Abedin, who took over when Ms. Abedin’s father passed away. Both parents have had deep Muslim Brotherhood ties. In fact, Saleha Abedin runs an organization, the International Islamic Committee for Woman and Child, which is a part of the Union of Good — a major Hamas supporter and, yes, a designated terrorist organization run by Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the top Muslim Brotherhood sharia jurist.
Somehow, Ms. Abedin’s consulting work at Naseef’s journal has been of considerably less interest to the media.