Just got this message sent to me:
I think Factcheck.org is a pretty reliable source. "neither of them own Heinz. Public records show Heinz Kerry isn't an officer of the company, isn't on the company's board of directors, and isn't even close to being the largest shareholder. The Heinz Endowments do own Heinz stock -- less than 4% of the company -- but income from that stock goes to charity, not to the Kerrys personally.
Los Angeles TimesOctober 24, 2002
Is Big Oil pushing war drive?
By JEREMY RIFKIN
...Still reeling from the September 11 terrorist attacks, most Americans believe Bush when he says Iraq poses a potential danger to their security. Many buy the White House notion of preventive action against political terrorism. And they are incredulous that our supposed allies are not taking the global terrorist threat more seriously.
Still, one can’t help but be surprised by the almost total silence on the question of the “oil connection.” Is it possible that United States political leaders and reporters, columnists, editors and producers are so naive that they really believe there is no other White House agenda in the Middle East except the one that the administration is extolling? Do they really believe that oil plays no role in the strategic thinking of the inner circles at the White House?
This national silence is even more deafening when we look at the key players in this unfolding drama. Both Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney come out of the oil industry. Their careers have been shaped by oil interests. Their political fortunes have been boosted by the oil lobby.
Bush was the No. 1 recipient of energy industry money, collecting more than $1.8 million in contributions, more than any other candidate for federal office received over the last decade.
If there was any reason to be suspicious of the White House’s intentions in regard to Iraq, certainly the fact that Cheney held closed-door meetings with the leaders of the energy industry immediately upon taking office -- and then refused to release the record of those discussions or the names and corporate affiliations of the participants -- should at least raise a few eyebrows in the media. That’s not to suggest that these private discussions related to American security interests in Iraq and the Middle East. Rather, what it says is that the interests of the oil companies are never far from the thoughts of Bush and Cheney.
Thus it is incredible that no one in Congress or the media has bothered to ask: Does the desire to secure the second-largest oil fields in the world play any strategic role in White House thinking?
Of course, it is understandable that neither American politicians nor the media want to appear unpatriotic. Still, there is enough circumstantial evidence to at least take seriously what the Europeans and most of the rest of the world believe is the real US intention in the Middle East.
Certainly this “second motive” could dramatically change the public debate. For Americans who already have doubts about the extent of the Iraqi threat and the need to commit troops, the prospect that we might be doing this, even in part, to secure the oil interests of giant companies would not be welcome.
Of one thing I am sure: The American people would never support any invasion to grab oil fields. After all, we fought the last Persian Gulf War to stop Iraq from capturing the oil fields of Kuwait.
It might be that Europe and the rest of the world are simply wrong. But to have virtually no public discussion in the United States of what the rest of the world suspects is the White House’s real reason for wanting to depose Saddam makes me feel that there is indeed more to Bush’s Iraq obsession than we are being told.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
January 2003 Worldwatch Institute
Post-Saddam Iraq: Linchpin of a New Oil Order
By Michael Renner
Only in the most direct sense is the Bush administration’s Iraq policy directed against Saddam Hussein. In contrast to all the loud talk about terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, and human rights violations, very little is being said about oil. The administration has been tight-lipped about its plans for a post-Saddam Iraq and has repeatedly disavowed any interest in the country’s oil resources. But press reports indicate that U.S. officials are considering a prolonged occupation of Iraq after their war to topple Saddam Hussein. It is likely that a U.S.-controlled Iraq will be the linchpin of a new order in the world oil industry. Indeed, a war against Iraq may well herald a major realignment of the Middle East power balance.
A Presidential Thought Deficit
CBS NewsOct. 15, 2004
Carrie, Mom of Alex & Anna