When Hillary Clinton Runs, Her Campaign Will Be Dogged By Questions About Things Like This…

…for example, why are so many of your donors and friends turning up with very questionable activities involving less-than-friendly foreign countries?

A former high-ranking diplomat and Clinton ally at the center of an FBI counterintelligence probe was a registered foreign agent for the Pakistani government up until just days before she was appointed to run the U.S. State Department’s Pakistan aid team.

The Washington Post reported last week that the State Department’s aid coordinator for Pakistan, Robin Raphel, is the subject of a counterintelligence investigation and has had her security clearance revoked.

The FBI has not specified the nature of the probe, although the Post indicated that it could be espionage-related. She was reportedly placed on administrative leave last month, and the State Department said she is no longer employed by the agency.

Raphel previously served as an assistant secretary of state under President Bill Clinton and rejoined the State Department in August 2009 to focus on Pakistan and Afghanistan aid issues. She is also close to Hillary Clinton and contributed $2,000 to her presidential campaign in 2007.

From 2007 until 2009, Raphel worked for the lobbying firm Cassidy & Associates, where her clients included the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Republic of Equatorial Guinea.

Robin Raphel is under investigation, from what it appears, for espionage against the United States.

Believe it or not, this woman’s nickname is Lady Taliban

In 1996, Mrs Raphel became of one of the first Americans to meet senior Taliban figures in Afghanistan and argued for an oil pipeline that would go through Taliban territory. The meeting earned her the derisive nickname “Lady Taliban” from some Indian commentators.

FBI agents searched her home in an affluent neighbourhood of Washington on Oct 21 and removed documents as part of a counter-intelligence investigation, according to The Washington Post. Her office at the State Department was later searched.

“We are aware of this law enforcement matter,” said Jen Psaki, a State Department spokesman. “The State Department has been cooperating with our law enforcement colleagues on this matter.”

Mrs Raphel was working at the State Department on a contract, which was allowed to expire after the FBI investigation began. She has not been arrested or charged with any crime.

“Ambassador Raphel is aware there is some kind of investigation and is cooperating with it. She is not sure how broad it is or what the purpose is. She has not been told she is the target of the investigation,” a spokesman said. “Her almost 40 years of public service at the top levels of US diplomacy speaks for itself and we believe this will soon be resolved.”

Mrs Raphel, 67, began her career in the CIA and then spent three decades as a US diplomat before retiring from the government in 2005. She went on to work for Cassidy & Associates, a Washington lobbying firm, where she represented Pakistan under Pervez Musharraf and other foreign governments.

In 2009, Mrs Raphel was hired to work out of the US embassy in Islamabad on aid issues. The decision raised eyebrows, given she had been so recently working on behalf of the Pakistani government. She returned to Washington two years later and was working at the State Department until her contract expired in recent weeks.

Put this woman together with Huma Abedin, the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated political functionary and wife of disgraced New York congressman Anthony Weiner, and you begin to develop quite a menagerie of Beltway insiders whose loyalties and actions don’t particularly add up to zealous defense of America and her national interests.

There’s a lot more where this came from. Certainly Ms. Clinton will be very forthcoming with the American people on her relationship with these people as she commences her 2016 presidential run, right?

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