Alex Constantine - May 15, 2013
Photo: Obama is considering House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Mich., for the job. Chris Usher/AP
By Stacy Kaper, National Journal
The Obama administration is considering House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Mich., for the top job at the FBI, according to the chair of Intelligence on the other side of the Capitol, Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.
Choosing Rogers could be seen as a gesture of goodwill by the White House to Republicans on security issues. It might also work to take some of the heat out of GOP criticism of law enforcement and intelligence work as congressional inquiries advance into potential agency failures ahead of the Boston bombings.
“Yes, I am hearing about it,” she said in answer to a reporter’s question. Feinstein hinted she thinks her Republican counterpart could be a good fit for the post.
“I think very highly of Mike Rogers,” she said. “I’ve gotten to know him. We just completed a CODEL with the ranking member, (Dutch) Ruppersberger, Sen. (Saxby) Chambliss, and myself to Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and we traveled to Afghanistan. So I had a chance to get to know him. I think he’s been a very good chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. He has a background in the FBI. I think he’s very well respected.”
Longtime FBI Director Robert Mueller’s term ends later this year.
Mike Rogers and the Koch Brothers
PAC Man: Mike Rogers & Koch Industries
Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, February 25, 2007
Mike Rogers loves Political Action Committees. During the 2006 election cycle, PACs tossed a cool $826,376 into Mike Rogers' campaign coffers. That's pretty good scratch, especially considering that his opponent, Jim Marcinkowski, was only able to reel in $552,157 for his entire campaign (including individual donations).
So, who are the Political Action Committees that are bankrolling Mike Rogers? Well, since there are too many to count, consider this Part 1 of an ongoing series.
Today we'll start by looking at Koch Industries, which donated $10,000 to Mike Rogers during the 2006 campaign.
"Koch Industries could be the biggest oil company you have never heard of—unless, that is, you hang around the halls of government in Washington.
"Koch Industries (pronounced "coke") is a huge oil conglomerate controlled by brothers Charles and David Koch, two of the country's richest men and among the biggest backers of conservative and libertarian causes. With estimated revenue of about $40 billion last year, Koch is bigger than Microsoft, Merrill Lynch and AT&T."
Even if they ultimately managed to dodge more serious penalties, it's pretty obvious that this isn't the "cleanest" company in America.
It's indisputable that Koch Industries has an incredible amount of political muscle and a knack for weaseling around the law. One might even go so far as to say that Koch Industries is run like an organized crime family.
Well, it's interesting to note that such accusations were made publicly on an episode of 60 Minutes II back in August of 2001... by Bill Koch, brother of Charles and David:
"Koch says that Koch Industries engaged in 'rganized crime.' And management driven from the top down."
"'It was – was my family company. I was out of it,' he says. 'But that’s what appalled me so much... I did not want my family, my legacy, my father’s legacy to be based upon organized crime.'
"Bill Koch says that his brother Charles made a fortune stealing oil. Much of it from beneath Indian reservations and federal lands - places like national forests. Oil under federal lands belongs to the public. Koch Industries was the middleman – buying oil from the government at the well - then selling it to refineries. Bill Koch says that the company took more oil than it paid for by cheating on measurements.
'That may not sound like much, but Bill Koch says that it added up. 'Well, that was the beauty of the scheme. Because if they’re buying oil from 50,000 different people, and they’re stealing two barrels from each person. What does that add up to? One year, their data showed they stole a million and a half barrels of oil.
"Bill Koch filed a lawsuit in federal court claiming that much of the oil collected by Koch Industries was stolen from federal lands. At the trial, 50 former Koch gaugers testified against the company, some in video depositions. They said Koch employees had a name for cheating on the measurements.
"We in the company referred to it as the "Koch Method" because it was a system for cheating the producer out of oil," said one of these gaugers, Mark Wilson.
"I believe that what I was stealing oil and I don't feel good about it," said another, James Jurgens.
"You were expected to get out there and get this oil for them. And – and not be short. And the only way to not be short is to steal oil," says Phil DuBose. He should know. Before he was laid off, he had spent 27 years at Koch Industries. He rose to become the manager of all the Koch gaugers buying oil in four states.
The company used the Koch method with virtually all its customers. In the 1980's alone, Koch records show those so-called adjustments brought the company 300 million gallons of oil it never paid for. And it was pure profit.
Bill Koch says that profits from that oil were a minimum of $230 million.
You really should go read the whole 60 Minutes story. It's quite charming.
To recap, Koch Industries:
Was hit "with a 97-count indictment for covering up the discharge of more than 15 times the legal limit of benzene, a carcinogen."
Was hit "with the largest civil penalty in the history of the federal Clean Water Act: a $30 million fine."
"Spilled over 3 million gallons of crude oil in six states."
Was targeted in an EPA complaint for "more than 300 oil spills, some poisoning fisheries and drinking water."
Had a jury find in December 1999 "that Koch Industries did steal oil from the public and lied about its purchases – 24 thousand times."
Potentially stole oil worth a minimum of $230 million
Remember, folks – when Mike Rogers says he works "for you," and when he questions the science behind global warming, keep in mind that he also works for a few sleazy corporations, like Koch Industries.
Check back in the coming weeks for more updates in this continuing series.