Whatever his intentions, the former veep has benefited America’s enemies.
By Robert Zubrin
Recently, it was reported that former vice president Al Gore had managed to sell his financially troubled Current TV network to the Al Jazeera company, owned by the Qatar government, for $500 million, netting himself about $100 million in the process.
There is something unsettling about this transaction. I own a small aerospace company that does some business with the U.S. government. If I were to take a NASA middle manager out to dinner and pick up the tab, the inspector general would be all over both of us in a heartbeat. Yet here is Al Gore, a former congressman, senator, and vice president of the United States, receiving $100 million from a foreign government — and not just any foreign government, but one involved in extremely damaging economic warfare against the United States and the promotion of terrorism worldwide — and yet the attorney general takes no action. What gives?
To be sure, Al Gore is not the first high-level U.S.-government official, or even the first in his family, to obtain a payoff from a foreign government opposed to the United States. For example, his father, then-congressman Al Gore Sr., received a herd of prize cattle from Armand Hammer, which he was able to sell repeatedly at grossly inflated prices to lobbyists who never bothered to pick them up. When Gore retired from the Senate, he took up a $500,000-per-year (in 1970s money) position as CEO of the American coal subsidiary of Hammer’s Occidental Petroleum. Edward Jay Epstein extensively documented in his book Dossier: The Secret History of Armand Hammer, based on KGB files that became public after the collapse of the Soviet Union, that Hammer was in fact — as had been widely suspected before the release of said documents — a top-level paymaster of the Soviet foreign-intelligence services from 1922 onward. According to Epstein, Gore Sr. received his payoff in return for his help in preventing prosecution of Hammer by FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, as well as for his key role in encouraging King Idris of Libya to transfer control of his country’s oilfields to Occidental — a move that no doubt facilitated the subsequent transfer of control of Libya itself to the Soviet camp.
So there is no doubt that Al Gore Sr. deserved his payoff from Armand Hammer. But what has Al Gore Jr. ever done for Qatar? Isn’t he, after all, the foremost champion of the worldwide environmentalist movement, which is bitterly opposed to oil production, the very lifeblood of the Qatari regime? Yes, he is, but there is a little catch, because while opposed in principle to oil production everywhere, the environmentalist movement has been effective in reality only in impeding it in the United States.
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