Let’s just put it this way; straight from the source, Hillary Clinton has a public and a private stand on just about every issue. And our suspicions about her attitude toward the DAPL have been pretty much confirmed, thanks to WikiLeaks. Because of the leaks, we know that there’s a very strong chance that Clinton supports the pipeline over clean water. I say it’s a strong chance because we still don’t know what her exact thoughts are on the matter because, well, we can’t read her mind.
What we can do, though, is deduce what she thinks about it based on her actions, who her donors are, and what she has and hasn’t said on the matter.
Several weeks ago I wrote a piece about Bernie Sanders’ opposition to the DAPL. I also mentioned the complete silence coming from Hillary Clinton regarding this. After closely watching the primaries and now the general election race, I’ve learned just how much Bernie cares about the American people, and how little Hillary seems to.
And as I wrote months ago, Clinton has yet to speak out against the DAPL, even as militarized police from several states injure protestors, journalists, and even observers, while preserving Energy Transfer Partners’ right to bury a gas pipeline beneath the Missouri River near the Standing Rock Sioux tribal lands. On October 27, she finally sent a statement to various journalists covering the DAPL protests. The wording was cold, indifferent, and said a whole lot of nothing. The one message that could be gleaned from it was, “Back off and let the DAPL builders do their jobs.”
“Now, all of the parties involved — including the federal government, the pipeline company and contractors, the state of North Dakota, and the tribes — need to find a path forward that serves the broadest public interest. As that happens, it’s important that on the ground in North Dakota, everyone respects demonstrators’ rights to protest peacefully, and workers’ rights to do their jobs safely.”
At no point in the statement did Hillary, or her campaign, express concern for the safety of those protesting the DAPL. Instead, it seemed to be a message meant to give validity to the government and big businesses breaking another treaty in the pursuit of greed.
Just last week, Bernie penned an open letter to President Obama, urging him to condemn the pipeline and the violence against the protestors. It was not until Thursday that Obama spoke up about it. In an interview with Now This, he said the Army Corps of Engineers are looking for ways to build the DAPL around the Standing Rock Reservation. Otherwise, he has been silent on the issue so far.
And speaking of having two faces, only after pressure did Hillary come out against another endeavor that most Americans are against: the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). As with the DAPL, she was silent on the topic after announcing her candidacy, but before had called it a “gold standard” for trade agreements. She had also been a driving force behind its creation. But when Bernie vehemently opposed it as a trade deal that could put our nation’s very sovereignty at risk, Hillary switched positions and opposed it.
Now, here’s an even more interesting piece of information. Remember WikiLeaks? It seems they released an email from Milia Fisher to John Podesta in November of 2015. An attachment to that email reveals Texas Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson had met with labor leaders and claimed that Clinton had only opposed the TPP in order to “get labor off her back,” and once elected, she would change positions and ensure its passage.
“I have received four calls from labor about a district meeting that Congresswoman Johnson (a HRC public supporter) held in Dallas, Texas where she discussed TPP. She claimed in the meeting that she speaks with HRC 2-3 times a week and that she was told by the Secretary that the only reason she opposes TPP is to get ‘labor off her back’ and that once she is elected President she will reverse position. I have worked with our Western Political Director Jessica Meija, and she has connected with the Congresswoman’s COS to clarify the inaccuracy of what she said and push back on her comments. This was not helpful with labor.”
So, even last year, Hillary was fighting an image problem. Unlike Bernie, she says one thing while doing another. And this is what Bernie had to battle against; a tricky campaign whose candidate would do and say anything in order to get support of important demographics.
Back to the question of Hillary’s position on the DAPL, and back to our old, reliable friend, WikiLeaks, we find out again that Hillary has a public and a private opinion. Just prior to the New Hampshire primary, where Bernie resoundingly defeated Hillary, the future nominee was feeling pressure from voters to oppose the Northeast Energy Direct pipeline that would run 400 miles through the state, and she told a voter she opposed it. Word got out about this and it did not sit well with labor leaders, who subsequently withdrew their support for her.
In an email exchange between Nikki Budzinski and John Podesta, Budzinski explained the dire situation about how several pipeline workers’ unions canceled canvassing efforts and meetings in response to the news about her opposition.
“She has privately told the building trades that she does not oppose pipelines. Can we outline instances where a pipeline would have her support? Please note… the pipeline issue will not go away… They are also concerned that she committed to not making pipeline by pipeline decisions and it now appears she is breaking to pressure and doing just that.”
In September, Democracy Now! visualized how wide the webbed network of DAPL financiers spans, battling against Native Americans and their allies to build a gas pipeline across sacred burial grounds. The builders also plan to dig beneath the Missouri River and install the pipeline just a few feet below the riverbed. If the pipeline were to burst, as the Colonial Pipeline did in Alabama this week, it could contaminate drinking water for millions of people in 10 states, across 28 tribes.
The progressive news outlet discovered that more than two dozen banks are helping to finance the DAPL. Just a few of those banks include Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and Goldman Sachs. A few of the foreign banks financing the DAPL are Credit Suisse, Barclays, and the Royal Bank of Scotland. All combined, the banks have a total of $3.75 billion on the line and they want to see a return on their investment.
Boulder Weekly points out that not only do these banks have more than $3.75 billion invested right now, but many have also contributed more than $10 billion to future pipelines, including the DAPL.
And again, some of those same banks financing the DAPL are also funding Hillary’s campaign. Of course she isn’t going to go against the banks, even if the cost is clean water.
[Featured Image by Ross D. Franklin/AP Images]