Clinton should release transcripts of her Wall St. speeches

Bernie Sanders’ call for Hillary Clinton to release the transcripts of her speeches to Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street firms is a reasonable one. Clinton’s refusal to do so unless all the other candidates for president release transcripts of speeches they have made on Wall St. is unreasonable. Her assertion that the speeches dealt with her experience and expertise in the area of foreign policy should only increase concern about their content.

Iraq war veteran and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard said in endorsing Sanders that Clinton, after disavowing her vote to give then-President Bush authority to invade Iraq, continued, as Secretary of State, to support regime-changing policies in Libya and Syria.

In addition, under her leadership, the State Department backed the coup that overthrew the legally-elected government of the Ukraine. Among the leaders of that coup were extreme right wingers including known neo-Nazis.

Had Russia not reclaimed Crimea the nuclear naval base there would have fallen into the hands of the dangerous rogue government. Continuing the confrontationist approach to relations with Russia, Clinton says she supports a no-fly zone over Syria.

No wonder Henry Kissinger has described her as a “strong” leader of the State Department. Kissinger is a poster child for imperialist policies of regime change and has been indicted by courts in France, Spain, Argentina and Uruguay for war crimes and the deaths of millions in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

To be sure, Clinton herself opposes the domestic policies espoused by right wing extremism. She has taken a wide variety of strong progressive positions on a host of issues and can be counted on to oppose a national right-to-work law, to oppose repeal of the Affordable Care Act, to push for of women’s reproductive rights, to oppose curtailment of voting rights and to oppose reckless assaults on the environment. She has come out strongly against racist police violence and she supports a hike in the minimum wage and expanding access to health care and education. She supports massive rebuilding of our nation’s crumbling infrastructure.

The point, however, is that all of this could be subverted if the country remains on a Wall St.-backed policy that feeds the fires of war.

This is why National Peace Action, after polling its members, took the unusual step of endorsing Sanders. Endorsing a candidate is something the peace organization hasn’t done in the past. This is also why voters have the right to see the transcripts of the former Secretary’s speeches on Wall Street.

Photo: Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders stand on stage before a Democratic presidential primary debate at the University of Michigan-Flint, March 6, in Flint, Mich. Charlie Neibergall | AP



Rick Nagin
Rick Nagin

Rick Nagin has written for People's World and its predecessors since 1970. He has been active for many years in Cleveland politics and the labor movement.