Citizens United is a conservative nonprofit group that gained fame for winning the court case known by the same name. In 2010 the Supreme Court ruled that the government could not limit independent political contributions by nonprofit corporations. However long, as a result of that decision, the name Citizens United will live on in infamy, it actually performed a public service recently.
After two years of working through the Freedom of Information system, Citizens United obtained State Department emails revealing that a major donor (in the millions) to the Clinton Foundation and donor to and bundler for Hillary Clinton’s various campaigns had been seated, much to the consternation of some of its members, on the International Security Advisory Board. Otherwise composed of nuclear scientists, former cabinet secretaries, and members of Congress, the board’s purpose was to advise Hillary Clinton on nuclear-weapons and arms control. At ABC News, Matthew Mosk, Brian Ross, and Cho Park report that Rajiv K. Fernando, the head of a high-frequency (computer-generated) stock trading firm,
… was an early supporter of Hillary Clinton’s 2008 bid for president, giving maximum contributions to her campaign, and to HillPAC, in 2007 and 2008. He also served as a fundraising bundler for Clinton, gathering more than $100,000 from others for her White House bid. … Prior to his State Department appointment, Fernando had given between $100,000 and $250,000 to the William J. Clinton Foundation, and another $30,000 to a political advocacy group, WomenCount, that indirectly helped Hillary Clinton retire her lingering 2008 campaign debts by renting her campaign email list.
Board member James Woolsey, one-time CIA director and neocon for all seasons, told the ABC team:
“Most things that involve nuclear weapons and nuclear strategy are dealt with at a pretty sensitive basis — top secret,” he said, noting that participants meet in a secure facility and are restricted in what materials they can discuss.
As far as Fernando and his high-frequency trading, when it comes to U.S. nuclear weapon policy, what’s needed isn’t someone who will speed things up in the event of the attack. We need more voices lobbying to get nuclear weapons off high alert, instead of restricting presidents to a 10-minute period to decide whether to retaliate with a nuclear attack against what may or may not be a nuclear attack against another state. (The problem with nuclear weapons is you never know for sure if you’re being attacked by them until they are about to detonate over your head.)
Though no exact chain of custody exists between the appointment and Ms. Clinton, Fernando was appointed by one-time Clinton chief of staff Cheryl Mills, who presumably got it approved by Ms. Clinton. Even giving Ms. Clinton the benefit of the doubt, it’s just another example of her lax attitude toward campaign and Clinton Foundation contributions and, as with her home email server, national security.