FireDogLake: Koch Oil: “It was obvious to me that this was organized crime and management driven from the top down”- William Koch

March 22, 2011- Koch Oil may have fooled the mainstream Right, but they couldn’t fool their own family. William Koch, brother of Charles and David has described his own family’s oil business as “…organized crime and management driven from the top down”. In this report you can read how Koch Oil knowingly and maliciously stole oil from poor Native Americans in Oklahoma as a normal business practice.

Business Week, hardly a bastion of progressive thought, reported it as follows:

"Koch has had a history of run-ins with the Justice Dept. and other federal agencies. In 1989, a special congressional committee looked into charges that Koch had routinely removed more oil from storage tanks on Indian tribal lands … Dole tried to influence the Senate committee to soft-pedal the probe. Nevertheless, after a yearlong investigation, the committee said in its final report, “Koch Oil, the largest purchaser of Indian oil in the country, is the most dramatic example of an oil company stealing by deliberate mismeasurement and fraudulent reporting.” The report triggered a grand jury probe. The inquiry was dropped in March, 1992, which provoked outrage by congressional investigators.

Then in April, 1995, the Justice Dept. filed a $55 million civil suit against Koch for causing more than 300 oil spills over a five-year period. Dole and other Senators, however, sponsored a bill … that critics charge would help Koch defend itself … legal sources say the government’s ultimate goal is to use evidence in the two actions to establish that Koch has engaged in a broad pattern of criminal behavior.

… From Apr. 19, 1991, through Nov. 2, 1992, David Koch and the Koch Industries political action committee together contributed $7,000 to Nickles’ campaign war chest. Around the same time, [Oklahoma Republican Senator Don] Nickles sponsored Timothy D. Leonard, an old friend of Nickles, for the post of U.S. Attorney in Oklahoma City. … initially, questions were raised in the U.S. attorney’s office about whether Leonard should recuse himself because Koch Industries purchased oil from wells in which Leonard and his family had royalty interests … Then-Deputy Attorney General William P. Barr granted him a waiver to participate in the case … In March, 1992, after an 18-month investigation, the U.S. Attorney’s office terminated the grand jury probe and informed Koch it anticipated no indictments. … As the grand jury investigation was winding down, Nickles sponsored Leonard for a federal judgeship. He was nominated by President Bush in November, 1991, and confirmed by the Senate the following August."

So, corrupting the political process, whether to avoid responsibility for outrageous criminal behavior or simply to increase profitability is nothing new for the Koch brothers. The money funding the Tea Party and the regressive Right in places like Wisconsin, Ohio and Illinois is in part money made as a direct result of criminal behavior. I’m not sure why we should have expected anything better from criminals who by dint of extreme wealth manage to generally operate above the law, corrupting the very highest levels of American democratic institutions and causing in the process greater social harm than any Mafia clan or Mexican drug cartel.

Look behind the GOP curtain and you find the worst, the lowest, most despicable kind of thieves: the rich who steal from the poor. Is it any surprise the policies they promote reflect the same shocking lack of morals?


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