Five Times Obama Put Conditions on Foreign Aid and Democrats Didn’t Care
The hypocrisy of the Democratic Party over this impeachment nonsense knows no bounds. Last week I noted five examples of Barack Obama obstructing justice that they had no problem with. Sadly, there's plenty more hypocrisy to point out.
Democrats have been so desperate to paint Trump’s actions as unprecedented, they’ve even argued that any time conditions are put on foreign aid that’s tantamount to an illegal quid pro quo. When White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney noted that conditions are put on foreign aid “all the time,” the media and the Democrats blew up, claiming this was an admission of a corrupt quid pro quo because, obviously, any condition for aid can’t be anything but. Right?
Of course, everyone knows that Mick Mulvaney was substantively correct. Conditions are put on aid all the time. In fact, some 2020 Democrats are calling for conditions on aid to Israel. Where were the allegations of a quid pro quo? It has already been established that there are legitimate reasons to want to investigate Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election, and even the Democrats’ own witnesses in the impeachment inquiry have acknowledged that Hunter Biden’s role at Burisma raised legitimate questions.
So, let’s get back to the issue of conditional aid. Quid pro quo or standard operating procedure? Well, if Democrats want to argue that conditional aid is a quid pro quo by default, then I guess Barack Obama should have been impeached. Here are five examples of Barack Obama placing conditions on foreign aid to align with his political agenda that Democrats didn’t have a problem with.
Despite years of giving Colombia military and economic aid, in 2016, Obama made that aid conditional on the Colombian government negotiating a peace treaty with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a terror-group backed by former Cuban President Fidel Castro. FARC has “slaughtered and tortured hundreds of thousands of civilians, pumped unfathomable amounts of cocaine into the United States, kidnapped and raped children, and much more.” Yet thanks to Obama’s pressure, nearly half a billion in American taxpayer dollars went toward putting FARC terrorists in the Colombian government without ever being held accountable for their crimes.
Obama threatened to cut off aid to Nigeria over anti-gay legislation in the country in 2011. At the time, Obama had yet to publicly declare support for gay marriage in the United States, and certainly, his attempts to strongarm Nigeria over anti-gay legislation had the potential for personal political gain back home, right? Interestingly enough, Obama again made conditions for aid with Nigeria in 2013 over corruption issues.
In 2014, homosexuality was illegal in Uganda, but anti-gay legislation being considered in the country at the time would have imposed harsher sentences for those convicted of homosexual acts. When Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said he planned to sign it, Obama responded by saying the bill’s passage would “complicate our valued relationship with Uganda,” and put aid to the country in jeopardy.
And Obama came through on that promise. In June of 2014, Obama “cut aid to Uganda, imposed visa restrictions and canceled a regional military exercise” in response to the bill passing and becoming law.
Barack Obama’s relationship with Israel has never been great. While Obama kowtowed to Israel’s enemies in the region, Israel often got the shaft. But not long before leaving office, Obama put a series of conditions on a military aid package to Israel before giving it to them. As a result of nearly a year of negotiations, Obama pressured Prime Minister Netanyahu to not be able to seek additional funds from Congress, and to phase out “a special arrangement that has allowed Israel to spend part of its U.S. aid on its own defense industry instead of on American-made weapons,” thus preventing Israel, our sole democratic ally in the region, from being able to develop it’s own defense technologies. This was a huge blow to Israel's security. But, at the time, Netanyahu, like most of us, were convinced Hillary was on the verge of getting elected, and he figured negotiating with Obama was a better bet than waiting to see what would happen with Hillary in the White House.
It’s amusing to think that the reason why Democrats are holding impeachment hearings now is over conditions for aid with Ukraine, when that is exactly what Joe Biden, with the support of the Obama administration, did with the very same country. We know this because we have video evidence of Joe Biden bragging about the quid pro quo to protect Burisma Holdings from being investigated while his son Hunter was sitting on the board making over $50,000 a month to sell access to the White House.
Even today, Democrats are defending Biden over this blatant quid pro quo by claiming that it was official Obama administration policy. Because somehow that makes it better?
Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama's Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis