Sunday, August 18, 2013

Saudi Influence on the U.S. Government

Saudi oil billionaires have hired American law firms and lobbying organizations to promote their agenda within the U.S. political system. They keep these powerful groups on their full-time payroll. The Saudis alone have 100 lobbyists in Washington (the NRA, considered one of the most powerful lobbies in Washington D.C., has 28 lobbyists). According to Open-Secrets.org, the total number of lobbyists reported for the year 2012 who were working for the oil and gas industry is 736! But let’s just focus on the Saudis for now.

They not only have 100 lobbyists who spend their time persuading our politicians to adopt their point of view, but the Saudis influence individual politicians directly through the incentive of money, and it’s all perfectly legal.

In chapter three of Robert Zubrin’s book, Energy Victory, he details the amazing system of Saudi oil-money payoffs to American politicians. I’ll give you a few highlights here.

Many of the ways money directly influences politicians are officially declared as such. But there are “innumerable other influentials who accept well-paid consultancies from the Saudis and who chose not to make the connection public,” wrote Zubrin. “One of these appears to be former secretary of state Henry Kissinger, who had to resign from his position as head of the September 11 investigative commission when he was asked to disclose his client list.”

He wasn’t the only one. Senator George Mitchell, former Senate majority leader, had to quit his position as vice chair for the same reason.

Another way Saudis influence American politicians is by spending big money for weapons made by American companies. The Saudis have spent about 100 billion dollars on sophisticated weapons they have not used (because Saudi Arabia is protected by the United States military). Their purchases give them influence — what the defense contractors’ say to politicians can be manipulated by the Saudis.

And since big defense contracts create lots of jobs, the Saudi influence spreads to the politicians in whose districts those jobs will be created.

Another way to legally give money to influential American politicians is through making a politician a board member of a corporation, and generously paying them for their “service.”

Here’s how it works: Saudi funds are used to create a business partnership. An important political figure is then invited to sit on the board. The business then pays the politician a fantastic sum for basically doing nothing. For example, according to the New York Times, former secretary of state James Baker has received 180 million dollars for his board membership in the Carlyle Group, an investment firm funded largely by Saudis.

This is not an isolated case. Far from it. According to former CIA counterterrorism case officer Robert Baer, author of Sleeping With the Devil, “…almost every Washington figure worth mentioning has served on the board of at least one company that did a deal with Saudi Arabia.”

Another legal way money is transferred to politicians is to invite influential people onto the board of a corporation and give them stock options in the company. The politician serves on the board for short time, and then cashes out the stock options, often reaping huge profits.

The above is an excerpt from the book, Fill Your Tank With Freedom.

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