Comment on this article |
Email this article |
News :: International : Politics : War and Militarism
Pelosi, Hillary, and Lieberman: funded by Lockheed
22 Jun 2007
Modified: 06:33:19 PM
Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, and Joe Lieberman each received $10,000 in campaign contributions from neocon-linked weapons maker Lockheed-Martin's Political Action Committee during the 2006 election cycle. Could this be one reason Pelosi and Hillary refuse to stand firmly for peace while Lieberman blatantly calls for even wider war?
Are you surprised by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's continuing failure to take a firm stand for peace and an end to the U.S. occupation, dismantling, and slaughter of Iraq? Are you aware that if the Speaker truly wants to end the war, all she needs to do is refuse to allow any war-spending bill to come up for a vote in the House of Representatives? Are you suspecting that a President Hillary Clinton would not be a pro-peace, pro-diplomacy President? Are you shocked that candidate Clinton (along with several other Democratic candidates) refuses to rule out U.S. military use of nuclear weapons? Are you stunned by Senator Joe Lieberman's recent call for an all-out U.S. air attack on Iran?
Did you know that each of these corporatist Democrats (quasi-Democrat, in Lieberman's case) is partially funded by Lockheed-Martin's Political Action Committee (PAC)?
The Center for Responsive Politics reports that during the 2006 election cycle, Pelosi, Clinton, and Lieberman each received $10,000 in campaign contributions from Lockheed-Martin's PAC. (http://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/pacgot.asp?strID=C00303024&Cycle=2006)
According to CorpWatch.org, Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed-Martin "is the world's #1 military contractor as well as the world's largest arms exporter. Lockheed-Martin built the U-2 and the SR-71 Blackbird spy planes. Today they make F-16, F/A-22 jet fighter, Hellfire and Javelin missiles, as well as designing nuclear weapons." (http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?list=type&type=9)
Check out the full list of the Lockheed-Martin PAC's campaign contributions for 2006, and you'll find--along with many Republicans--many other Democrats listed as recipients, including Senators Robert Byrd (who received $10,000) and Dianne Feinstein ($5,000), Pennsylvania Representative John Murtha ($10,000), and Texas Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee ($2,000). The list is at http://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/pacgot.asp?strID=C00303024&Cycle=2006.
One Democrat you won't find on the list is Ohio Representative and pro-peace candidate for President Dennis Kucinich. Kucinich, a non-corporatist Democrat, refuses to accept contributions from corporate PACs.
LOCKHEED, THE NEOCONS, BECHTEL, AND PELOSI
The CorpWatch article goes on:
"Lockheed-Martin spends more on lobbying Congress than any of its competitors, spending a whopping $9.7 million in 2002. Only General Electric and Philip Morris reported more lobbying expenses. ...Lockheed has also been able to exercise its influence in a larger way - in support of the invasion of Iraq. The company's former vice-president Bruce Jackson chaired the [Committee] for the Liberation of Iraq, a bipartisan group formed to promote Bush's plan for war in Iraq. Bruce Jackson was also involved in corralling the support for the war from Eastern European countries, going so far as helping to write their letter of endorsement for military intervention. Not surprisingly, Lockheed also has business relations with these countries. In 2003 Poland shelled out $3.5 billion for 48 F-16 fighter planes, which it was able to buy with a $3.8 billion loan from the US."
Bruce Jackson is also a member of the Board of Directors of the neocon Project for the New American Century (PNAC). The "principal author" of PNAC's September 2000 master plan for war, "Rebuilding America's Defenses," was Thomas Donnelly, who in 2002 served as Director of Strategic Communication and Initiatives for Lockheed-Martin. Bios for both men are at http://www.newamericancentury.org, but the website no longer mentions Mr. Donnelly's relationship with Lockheed-Martin.
(Lockheed-Martin was not the only "defense" corporation involved in writing PNAC's master plan for war. The list of "project participants" at the end of the September, 2000 master plan includes Barry Watts of Northrop Grumman Corporation and Abram Shulsky of The RAND Corporation.)
Senators Joe Lieberman and John McCain were the "Honorary Co-Chairmen" of the Advisory Board for the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq (CLI). The Advisory Board also included Newt Gingrich, Richard Perle, James Woolsey, William Kristol, and the Teamster's James P. Hoffa. The CLI's website, http://www.liberationiraq.org, is now defunct, but the list of Advisory Board members is preserved at http://web.archive.org/web/20030213184925/http://www.liberationiraq.org/climembers.shtml.
The CLI arrows also point back toward Pelosi and San Francisco's Democratic political machine. The Chairman of the CLI's Advisory Board was George Shultz, Board member and former President of San Francisco-based "defense" contractor Bechtel. Shultz' wife, Charlotte Mailliard Swig, was the "Chief of Protocol" for San Francisco's former mayor, Willie Brown and holds the same position under San Francisco's current mayor, Pelosi's relative-by-marriage Gavin Newsom, whose father manages the Getty (oil) family's multi-billion dollar investment portfolio. And Ms. Swig (according to http://www.opensecrets.org) is a frequent contributor to Pelosi's Congressional campaigns.
WHO ELSE IS FUNDING HILLARY, ET AL?
What about Congressional campaign contributions from within the "Defense" Industry in general? The Center for Responsive Politics lists Hillary Clinton, Dianne Feinstein, Joe Lieberman, and John Murtha among the TOP TWENTY recipients in the 2006 cycle. (http://www.opensecrets.org)
The Center also reports that while the $10,000 from Lockheed-Martin's PAC was among Nancy Pelosi's largest campaign contributions, Pelosi's single largest source of contributions ($17,000) were PACs and/or individuals associated with Occidental Petroleum. (http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/contrib.asp?CID=N00007360&cycle=2)
For more on Hillary's corporate connections, check out the article "Hillary Inc.," in which Ari Berman writes "If Clinton really wanted to curtail the influence of the powerful, she might start with the advisers to her own campaign, who represent some of the weightiest interests in corporate America." Berman also notes that "Unlike Edwards and Obama, [Hillary] accepts campaign contributions from lobbyists and corporate PACs." (http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/05/18/1281/)
WHAT TO DO?
1. If just 10,000 San Franciscans gave a dollar apiece to Nancy Pelosi, they could buy out Lockheed-Martin's investment in their Representative. Another 17,000 San Franciscans' dollars could buy out Occidental Petroleum's investment.
Maybe then Speaker Pelosi would be more inclined to STOP allowing war-funding bills to come up for a vote in the House of Representatives. As Dennis Kucinich has pointed out, the Speaker does have that power; power to declare peace, and bring the troops and contractors home for good.
Who knows; maybe then the Speaker would, at last, join San Franciscans at a peace rally.
2. Are your own Congresspersons due for a citizen buyout? Do you know who funds the Presidential candidates? Find out at http://www.opensecrets.org.
3. If you want a non-corporatist, pro-peace President, consider donating to the Kucinich campaign (www.kucinich.us).
4. See if your Congresspersons or preferred Presidential candidates are more or less inclined toward peace than Pelosi, Hillary, or Lieberman by checking out their voting record "scorecards" at http://www.peacemajority.us.
Here are some of the current scores (the higher the score, the more the Congressperson has voted to promote peace): Dennis Kucinich 99%, Nancy Pelosi 66%, Hillary Clinton 56%, Dianne Feinstein 55%, John Murtha 33% and Joe Lieberman 26%.
This work is in the public domain