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Why is a Gambler from Hong Kong Funding the Pro-Hagel Campaign?

Posted By Daniel Greenfield On January 8, 2013 @ 9:42 pm In The Point | 8 Comments

When J Street’s finances were first exposed, besides our good friend, George “My most exciting time was collaborating in the Holocaust” Soros, there was one major donor name on it who provided most of the dough for the leftist anti-Israel group. Consolacion Esdicul.

Who was Consolacion Esdicul and how did she have that much money to throw into the pot? Consolacion Esdicul turned out to be the secretary of Bill Benter, a very successful Hong Kong leftist gambler on horse races who is renowned for his ability to “mask his bets.”

The horse that Bill is backing now is a whiny creaky old nag named Chuck Hagel. And the one thing that J Street and Hagel have in common is that they both hate the Jewish State.

But over the last two weeks, Hagel’s friends in the Democratic political world have come to his aid, principally by rounding up senior former officials to write supportive op-eds and funding an advertising effort to spread the world that Hagel does in fact have bipartisan support.

The Cable has learned that a large chunk of that pro-Hagel money is coming from one Democratic donor, gambling legend Bill Benter, who is working with the Podesta Group, a Washington lobbying firm, to support pro-Hagel advertising. Podesta facilitated Benter’s funding of a week of ads in Politico’s Playbook must-read daily newsletter, written by Mike Allen, a spokesman for Benter confirmed to The Cable.

“The Bipartisan Group issued its letter to set the record straight on Chuck Hagel’s character and on the positions taken by that Group. One of the Group’s long-time supporters, Bill Benter, paid for the advertising so that the letter could reach a wider audience,” the spokesman said. “The public interest would be better served if those organizations which spent much more on attack ads against Senator Hagel would also disclose their donors.”

Maybe so, but it seems as if knowing the identity of the man dropping big bucks to get a man appointed Defense Secretary is of far more importance than the names of those who don’t want him appointed.

Especially if that man is operating out of territory controlled by Communist China and the sources of his money are somewhat on the vague side.

Behind the bipartisan campaign is a partisan rich man who operates in an enemy country outside the United States and has done his best to influence the choice of the next Defense Secretary at a time when the Asia Pivot is an issue.

To me that seems to be quite problematic indeed.

Hagel served as the chairman of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China and wrote the legislation that authorized it.

In December, the Atlantic Council chaired by Hagel issued a report stating that, “U.S. strategy to 2030 must deepen cooperation with China as the most crucial single factor that will shape the international system…” and stated that “U.S. strategy will need to accommodate legitimate, essential Chinese interests.”

In 2005, Hagel authored an editorial urging against any aggressive US measures to deal with the trade imbalance.  Hagel has also been on record as warning the United States against supporting Taiwan for fear of being dragged into a war with China.

“The cornerstone of our approach to policy toward China and Taiwan has been the so-called ‘one China’ policy: There is but one China; Taiwan is part of China and the question of Taiwan’s future must be settled peacefully,” he said on the Senate floor.

In 1998, Hagel aggressively pushed for granting Most Favored Nation status to China. In December 2001, he warned strongly against offending China.

Now, do we want to deliberately offend China or start China or force China or induce China into an arms race? Of course not. China will have to do what it believes is the best in their own self-interest.

In 1999, in response to Chinese theft of American nuclear secrets, Hagel launched into yet more apologetics for the People’s Republic of China.

We probably are at the lowest ebb in our relationship with China since our formal recognition of the two countries 20 years ago. That’s not good news for the world. I think we have to be careful here that we first of all don’t overstate, overplay. We don’t politicize this, we don’t dramatize this in a way that’s unfair, because we have many interests with China.

One wonders who “we” is?

Hagel even pandered to North Korea, China’s client, urging more appeasement.

Yet Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel, the second-ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the U.S. should not dismiss the idea of one-on-one negotiations with North Korea.

“Great powers engage. We do need to engage the North Koreans” because the U.N. resolution is weak and limited, Hagel said.

After the collision a US plane and the capture of its 24 crew members by China in 2001, Hagel offered up more appeasement.

“We are at a very important and delicate point in our relationship with the People’s Republic of China and how this is handled will go a long way as to the future of that relationship,”

Ladies and gentlemen, Obama’s pick for Secretary of Defense. A man who spent his career in the Senate pandering to China and whose bid is being backed by a mysterious fellow in Hong Kong.


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