November 12, 2014

Under Clinton, U.S. Aid Money Went To Burma Spy Known To Torture Pro-Democracy Activists

Hillary Clinton MyanmarThe Associated Press reports that staff working for the U.S. government’s aid agency in Myanmar paid thousands of dollars to a notorious former spymaster that tortured pro-democracy activists. 

“The U.S. government, via its aid proxies, has been lining the pockets of former spy chief Gen. Khyin Nyunt since Washington eased economic sanctions two years ago,” writes the Associated Press. The subcontractor working for the U.S., Development Alternatives Inc., was hired by USAID to provide humanitarian work in Myanmar. As it turns out though, starting in 2012, the subcontractor paid $7,000 a month of taxpayer money to rent an office from the former spymaster.  The Associated Press describes Gen. Nyunt as “a notorious former spymaster who oversaw the imprisonment and torture of thousands of pro-democracy activists.” 

A review of federal contract information reveals that USAID awarded the company a contract with a potential value of over $60 million in September 2012. Hillary Clinton stepped down as Secretary of State in February 2013. USAID is an independent government agency that receives “overall foreign policy guidance from the Secretary of State,” is overseen by the State Department, and its foreign assistance budget is managed from within the State Department.

President Obama landed in Myanmar this Wednesday and will remain in the country until Friday despite the growing mistreatment of Myanmar’s minorities by its own government.