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Friday, Jun. 22, 2007 at 10:59 AM
Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, and Joe Lieberman each received ,000 in campaign contributions from neocon-linked weapons maker Lockheed-Martin's PAC 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 saddened 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 peace, 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 concerned that a President Hillary Clinton might 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 ,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--in addition to Republicans--many other Democrats listed as recipients, including Senators Robert Byrd (who received ,000) and Dianne Feinstein (,000), Pennsylvania Representative John Murtha (,000), and Texas Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee (,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, says he 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 .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 .5 billion for 48 F-16 fighter planes, which it was able to buy with a .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.
The "Honorary Co-Chairmen" of the Advisory Board for the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq (CLI) were Senators Joe Lieberman and John McCain. The Advisory Board also included Newt Gingrich, Richard Perle, James Woolsey, William Kristol, and the Teamster's James P. Hoffa. (The CLI's website, 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 the San Francisco Democratic political machine. The Chairman of the Advisory Board for the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq (CLI) 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 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. ( link to www.opensecrets.org)
The Center also reports that while the ,000 from Lockheed-Martin's PAC was among Nancy Pelosi's largest campaign contributions, Pelosi's single largest source of contributions (,000) were PACs and/or individuals associated with Occidental Petroleum. ( http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/contrib.asp?CID=N00007360&cycle=2006)
And 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.
WHAT TO DO?
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 the contractors home for good.
Maybe then Speaker Pelosi would, at last, join San Franciscans at a peace rally.
Are your own Congresspersons due for a citizen buyout? Look for clues at www.opensecrets.org.
And if you want to see if your Congresspersons are more or less inclined toward peace than Pelosi, or Hillary, or Lieberman, check out their voting record "scorecard" at www.peacemajority.us. Here are some of the current scores (the higher the score, the more the Congressperson has voted for peace): Dennis Kucinich 99%, Nancy Pelosi 66%, Hillary Clinton 56%, Dianne Feinstein 55%, John Murtha 33% and Joe Lieberman 26%.
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