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Saturday, December 20, 2014 / PROGRESSIVE JOURNALISM FOR POSITIVE ACTION
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‘I Want My Fair Share and That’s ALL OF IT’

Greg Palast
Greg Palast / News Report
Published: Friday 15 February 2013
Now “all of it” includes a pipeline, the Keystone XL, which would run the world’s filthiest oil, crude made from tar sands, down from Canada to Chris Koch’s family’s refinery on the Gulf Coast of Texas.
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According to the transcript of the secretly recorded tape, Charles Koch was chuckling like a six-year old. Koch was having a hell of a laugh over pilfering a few hundred dollars' worth of oil from a couple of dirt-poor Indians on the Osage Reservation.

Why did Koch, worth about $3 billion at the time (now $20 billion) need to boost a few bucks from some Indian in a trailer home? Koch answered:

"I want my fair share – and that's all of it."

Now "all of it" includes a pipeline, the Keystone XL, which would run the world's filthiest oil, crude made from tar sands, down from Canada to his family's refinery on the Gulf Coast of Texas.

Problem: the Keystone XL tar-oil tube would endanger the largest US water sources, vastly increase pollution in the USA and measurably heat the planet.

Solution: Congressman Tim Griffin.

Congressman Griffin is sponsoring the bill to force the Obama Administration to approve the XL Pipeline without the environmental review now required by law.

What's odd is that Griffin represents Arkansas, a state with no stake in the Pipeline.

But the Kochs have a stake in Griffin. In his maiden run for Congress, Griffin was elected with an eye-popping $167,000 donation from the Kochs. For $167,000, any congressman will wash your car – with their tongue.

For the Kochs, $167K is peanuts. Their political action operation, Americans for Prosperity, built aquarter billion dollar fund this past year, a sum never seen even in the US politics cash swamp.

Global Warming Denial as a Profit Center

To answer the concerns about global warming raised by the XL and the Kochs' oil business, the billionaire brothers have bankrolled a gold-plated campaign of global warming denial.

For example, Americans for Prosperity funded "Hot Air Tour" rallies across the US with the slogan, "Global Warming Alarmism: Lost Jobs, Higher Taxes and Less Freedom." More rallies were held by the Koch-funded FreedomWorks, a foundation which has seized control of the Tea Party movement—and redirected populist rage against plutocrats. FreedomWorks transformed the Tea Party into a used tea bag, dangling from the Kochs' string.

Break the Law then Re-make the Law

States on the pipeline's route could block the Keystone XL, but the crucial extension will originate in Oklahoma where the Kochs have cowed all resistance to their needs.

The Kochs' power to terrorize politicians in Oklahoma and the West originates in that case of Osage tribe's missing oil.

FBI agents filmed Koch Oil men pilfering the crude, had witnesses to Koch's directives to siphon the oil, and more. The US Justice Department drafted a criminal indictment of Koch Industries and Defendant "67C" (reportedly Charles Koch himself) for "Crime on an Indian Reservation" and racketeering, big-time jail-time offenses.

That's when Koch Oil drilled down and struck Bob Dole, the nation's most powerful Senator, the Republican Majority Leader.

Dole (representing Kansas), joined by a Koch-funded Senator from Oklahoma, Don Nickles, had the federal prosecutor who brought the case fired. Case closed except for a few million paid to the Osage for some of their stolen oil.

Dole ran for President using Koch money given to Dole's not-for-profit foundation. It was a cheap buy for the Kochs because it was illegal – so Dole, when caught, had to give it back.

But one Senator wouldn't let the oil theft go: Dennis DeConcini, chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Investigations whose report concluded, "Koch Oil is the most dramatic example of an oil company stealing by deliberate mismeasurement and fraudulent reporting."

The Kochs didn't like that. And when the Kochs don't like something, or someone, it's notably more serious than a ‘thumbs down' on your Facebook page. In 1996 (yes, I've been investigating the Kochs for that long), DeConcini told me the Kochs warned him that if he published and stood by the Senate's and the FBI's findings, the Kochs would destroy the Senator's political career. They did.

Then there was the matter of the 97-count criminal indictment of Koch Oil for dumping poisonous crude sludge into rivers in six states. The Kochs didn't merely want to beat the rap—they wanted to continue dumping.

That would require buying a whole new Congress. No problemo, Pardner. In 1996, Koch Industries, through a fake front called Coalition for our Children's Future, secretly funded millions of dollars in vicious attack ads against vulnerable Democrats just days before the election.

As a result, Republican Newt Gingrich kept his post as Speaker of the House of Representatives. Gingrich pushed an agenda he called "The Contract with America", which would eliminate criminal sanctions for pollution and slash rules against polluting. The Center for Public Integrity said it "seems to have been drafted and designed for Koch interests."

Wrong. The Contract was drafted by the Kochs and crafted at the Heritage Foundation, a think-tank the Kochs founded.

Bill Clinton's Administration, though nominally Democratic, went easy on Koch interests. Vice-President Al Gore especially, head of the Reinventing Government Commission, attacked regulations with more verve than Ronald Reagan or Margaret Thatcher. Gore's anti-regulation guidebook was the "Mandate for Change" drafted by the Democratic Leadership Council. It was the DLC that had launched the career of the previously unknown Bill Clinton, its first chair, and Al Gore's career as well. The DLC was created with $100,000 of Koch money.

The Kochs use of fronts for corporate donations to politicians was plain illegal—until, in 2010, the US Supreme Court decriminalized this game in the Citizens United case. The lawyer for Citizens United is Ted Olson, whose day job is representing Koch Industries.

Note: The Kochs are bi-partisan employers. They also retain lawyer Bob Strauss, former Chairman of the Democratic Party.

The Themis Machine

As if their billions, their think tanks, lawyers, fronts and political action fund were not enough to scare the bejeezus out of politicians, there is Themis. Themis, created by the Kochs, is the nation's most sophisticated, detailed database on every American living, surpassing the most demonic dreams of the FBI.

Themis, for example, knows the last time you, Jack, downloaded porn.

Given their power and their Themis, is it really possible for a few greenies and some fact-afflicted scientists to stop the Kochs from jamming their pipeline right up our aquifers?

Absolutely. Indeed, that's the only way it will be stopped, because the Kochs have already put the politicians in their pipe and smoked them.



Author pic
ABOUT Greg Palast

Greg Palast is the author of the New York Times bestseller, "Armed Madhouse" (Penguin Paperback 2007). When Palast, an investigator of corporate fraud and racketeering, turned his skills to journalism, he was quickly recognized as, "The most important investigative reporter of our time" [Tribune Magazine] in Britain, where his first reports appeared on BBC television and in the Guardian newspapers.

Isn't a politician selling

Isn't a politician selling his services to another, who has goals contrary to the best interests of America, still an act of treason?

When did the DOJ decide that anti-trust, treason, and banking laws were not going to be investigated?

This seems to be a very obvious sale of services by Griffin to the Koch Bros. Its danger to the country seems equally obvious... Another one "Too Big To Jail"?

jackwenayscott's picture

"the last time you, Jack,

"the last time you, Jack, downloaded porn"....."Jack" madness! Yup, not only are the Republicans effected, but liberals and leftists have it too, "the name game", wished on me by L.A. Entertainment-News because I refused to watch any television for 5 years when I was a small boy, .... they don't forget, and they don't forgive! So you see, Greed is just a small part of our common American madness, mainly we are seriously insane with television-insanity! Your brains are now DEPENDENT on your daily dose of motion imagery, you CANNOT turn it off permanently as I have managed to do, you HAFFTA have it! Last night I listened, not watched, to Mom's television air Ted Nugent's remarks about "fecal matter", etc. So, as I expected, television takes you down the toilet in a disgusting degeneration of your minds. Watch the unemployment figures as the quietly crazed American public becomes ever more non-functional! You can kiss your economy and dreams of a utopian society farewell, Los Angeles will take you down to ruin!

In a nut shell..... The

In a nut shell..... The kochs, the adelsons, the frieses and all of their ilk....... have no democratic impulses. Like those elitists amongst our founding fathers, (no they weren't all egalitarian and "enlightened". Some of them were reactionary jerks, not at all unlike the reactionary jerks we have today). They were overtly and intractable opposed to "democracy" or anything like it. To them, like the kochs today, democracy was another word for "mob" rule. Utterly unacceptable.

But fortunately, we do have a word that DOES describe them..... fascist. But don't think of it like the authoritarian regimes of Europe in the 1930s and 1940s. Fascism doesn't necessarily denote a police state. It's denotes the incestuous relationship between corporations and governments that are presumably regulating them. The authoritarian part comes later when people start waking up to the shitty deal they've been dealt.

I love Greg Palast!!!! We

I love Greg Palast!!!! We need more JOURNALISTS like him.

As an Arkansan, I've wondered

As an Arkansan, I've wondered why Griffin has so adamantly led the charge on the XL. I thought it was for promises of future employment. Turns out it's his current employment he owes them for already... I gotta admit - he's fast. They used to at least wait til they were in office to start whoring themselves... JORG_X_MCKIE is correct - hit them in the pocket book. In addition to his ideas, an "emergency response escrow fund" of $20 Billion is paid up front. - yes - BILLION. Based on the costs our government fronted for BP - the repayment doesn't appear to have included interest - and Obama and the DOJ NEED TO START PROSECUTING THE CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR OF THESE 'BUSINESS PEOPLE." - Not let them off the hook with the corporations paying penalties they write off their taxes. This makes me wonder how much the Canadian government cost the Kochs to purchase and how much more Griffin will cost them...

What about this as a plan?

What about this as a plan? Tie approval of the XL Pipeline to a *hardcore carbon tax* like Senators Sanders and Boxer have proposed. This would force profits back to public rather than oil barrons and greedy shareholders, and would price the sludge out of economic viability, forcing it to stay in the ground. You have to beat monsters like the Koch brothers with economics rather than entreaties to help save the planet. They don't care if they are wrong about human atmospheric CO2 warming and other environmental issues. They do care if they don't make money on exporting sludge from their pipeline however.

"What is not nailed down is

"What is not nailed down is mine. What I can pry loose is not nailed down" --Stephen Jay Gould (who was, to be fair, hated even by his fellow "robber baron capitalists.

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