NM CD-02 Update: Teague’s opponent “donates $47.50 to himself”….

To contrast the money situation in NM CD-02, Bill McCamley wrote himself a donation check for $47.50 as reported in today’s Las Cruces Sun-News.

The article goes on to update Teague’s own loans to his own campaign…he’s added $475,000 in additional loans over the past week!

McCamley is no prize either, but Teague sure has loads of dough to toss around as a result of his oil-related businesses….

See my post from 4/29 on Teague for the gory details.

“Harry T. and the Chamber of Secrets” co-starring Oil and Republicans–Screenplay by Bill Richardson [Subtitle: The Behind-the-Scenes Adventures of Bill R., Harry Teague and the NM CD-02 Democratic Primary]

“Harry T. and the Chamber of Secrets” co-starring Oil and Republicans–Screenplay by Bill Richardson [Subtitle: The Behind-the-Scenes Adventures of Bill R., Harry Teague and the NM CD-02 Democratic Primary]

4/30/08 UPDATE:

Teague has loaned his campaign an additional $475,000 over the past week, according to today’s Las Cruces Sun-News.

*******

I got a campaign flyer from folksy-looking Harry Teague few days ago, the first to come as primary day on June 3 approaches. Teague, the subject of one of my earlier posts, is Bill Richardson’s pick for the CD-2 House seat being vacated by GOP Rep. Steve Pearce. (see earlier posts on Teague and the mowing down of our progressive hope here , here , and here.)

Howard Dean’s Democracy for America which is billed as “our nation’s largest progressive political action community” proudly proclaims Teague’s “DFA Values”:

Harry supports progressive issues like a woman’s right to choose and bringing the troops home from Iraq. As a business owner, who has to make payroll for 250 employees he understands how to make a budget, stick with it, and not waste money.

Of course, DFA omits some interesting facts…read on.

Teague was elected in 1998 as a Lea County Commissioner and served for 8 years According to Teagues campaign website:

Though the commission was controlled by Republicans, they voted him chairman for three and a half years.

That’s because in many ways, Teague acts like a Republican.

First there are his ties to Steve Pearce, the 3-term House rep. from CD-2 who is now running against Heather Wilson for Pete Domenici’s Senate seat. Like Pearce, Teague has been involved in owning a business related to oil-drilling.

Teague had long been a supporter of Pearce – giving $1,000 to Pearce’s campaign in 2004 and $2,100 in 2006 – but said the congressman’s recent votes against funding to combat meth changed that. Teague said the two had been friends for some time. Pearce was two grades ahead of Teague in grade school, and Pearce’s family is close to the family of Teague’s wife.

According to the website Beyond DeLay, Pearce (along with Domenici and Wilson) is ranked among the top 22 most corrupt members of Congress. Pearce failed to disclose the sale of his oil drilling company in 2003 to Key Energy, which violated the Ethics in Government Act.

On top of this, Pearce has been the recipient of large amounts of money from Yates Petroleum, which is the largest leaseholder in the Otera Mesa. Prior to 2000, the Bureau of Land Management held the position that only small amounts of oil and gas lay under this grassland area and was against drilling, which also holds a huge underground water resevoir. Steve Pearce has always been an advocate of drilling there. Once the Bush Administration came in, the BLM reversed its position.

The BLM turnaround coincided with the largest lease holder in the Otero Mesa, Yates Petroleum, donating over $230,000 to the GOP over the last three election cycles.

Yates Petroleum also has been the single largest donor to Rep. Pearce’s campaign committees since 2002 with $32,490 in donations. Individually, members of the Yates family have contributed $78,379.99 to Rep. Pearce since he first ran for office in 2002.

If Rep. Pearce advocated opening up Otero Mesa to drilling in exchange for campaign contributions, he may have violated the bribery statute or accepted illegal gratuities.

Teague has bankrolled his run with a $200,000 loan to his campaign. But according to Democracy for New Mexico a good chunk of the rest of Teague’s war chest which comes from outside sources–an additional $208,000–comes from Republicans.

  • the average donation was $1,300 per individual
  • Teague is backed by the same people who have donated to Pearce
    • 28 (or 18%) of Teague donors have given a total of $94,635 to Pearce
    • $45,250 (or 22%) of Teague’s contributions came from Pearce donors
  • Teague gets his money from those who give to Republicans:
    • 34 of his donors (or 22%) have given a total of $143,385 to Republicans
    • $51,800 of Teague’s contributions (or 26%) came from Republican donors
  • Teague gets his money from the oil industry:
    • 61 of his donors (or 39%) are linked to the oil industry
    • $103,470 (or 51%) of his contributions are from people linked to the oil industry
  • Teague’s money comes almost entirely from Lea County:
    • 135 (or 87%) of his donors were from Lea County
    • $172,110 (or 85%) of his contributions were from Lea County
    • Just 5 (or 3%) of Teague’s contributors were from the district outside of Lea County

As Democracy for New Mexico states, Teague entered the race with

the backing of wealthy friends in Lea County, many of them former supporters of Steve Pearce and the Republican Party. Teague is running as a Democrat, but shares many of the conservative views of politicos on the other side of the aisle. It shows in who’s donating funds to his campaign.

Teague is also is on the board of directors for the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association — which, Politico.com reports, may give him additional strong fundraising connections.

Teague also boasts about his efforts to bring a nuclear waste facilty to Lea County. Back in 2004, and a NRC (National Regulatory Commission) meeting called to gather comments on behalf of Louisiana Energy Services (LES). Les LES is a partnership of major nuclear energy companies. According to ADVFN News, Partners include Urenco, Westinghouse and U.S. energy companies Duke Power, Entergy and Exelon. (Editor’s Note: Hillary Clinton’s former chief strategist, Mark Penn and his consulting firm Burson Marsteller, worked to help renew an nuclear energy icense for Exelon in NJ. But candidate Barack Obama took money directly from Exelon and rewrote a Senate nuclear safety bill to reflect changes demanded by Republicans (NY Times, February 3, 2008).

Teague brushed off opposition to the LES project:

Some Lea County residents were openly displeased with opposition to the facility. Teague said, “Those of you that are opposed to this, and you’re not from Lea County, go away and leave us alone, please.”

Some of Teague’s connections are also under scrutiny.

Former Doña Ana County Commissioner Gilbert Apodaca is actively helping Teague in the Las Cruces area. Apodaca isn’t working for the campaign, but has been brought on board as a volunteer, though he’s been given no specific duties.

Some Democrats will find Teague’s acceptance of Apodaca’s help controversial. During his tenure on the commission, Apodaca was twice accused of bribery but never charged by the FBI. He had a reputation for ruling with an iron fist and a special audit found numerous problems with the operations of county government during his tenure.

Many Democrats in the county have openly expressed their dislike for Apodaca. When the governor appointed Apodaca to the state border authority in 2004, Democratic legislators from Doña Ana County protested during a meeting with the governor. Days later, Apodaca declined the appointment.

Teague claims he didn’t know about this controversy, even though he knew Apodaca through the state association of counties during the time they were both in office.

More recently, the Albuquerque Tribune reported on February 12, 2008 that Teague is involved in a federal lawsuit in which he is accused of ignoring a sexual harassment complaint by a former employee.

Harry Teague, a leading Democratic contender for the U.S. House seat representing southern New Mexico, has been accused in a federal civil rights lawsuit of ignoring a sexual harassment complaint leveled against a top manager in one of Teague’s companies in Hobbs.

Carolina Cueto, a former secretary for ABC Rental Co., charges in the lawsuit that she was harassed at work by James Chenault, operations manager for ABC Rental and Teaco Energy Services, both owned by Teague.

Chenault is one of 11 Teaco or ABC Rental employees who have contributed the maximum $2,300 to Teague’s congressional campaign, according to federal campaign finance records.

Teague has issued a statement expressing confidence that the law suit would come to nothing because he had nothing to do with the complaint described in the suit. But there are reports that the woman involved complained in sent e-mails to Teague, which were ignored.

But attorney Joseph Zebas said Cueto sent e-mails to Teague complaining about Chenault and that Teague never responded. Zebas said Cueto also complained to Troy Teague, the candidate’s son and ABC Rental president.

So, how close are Harry Teague and Bill Richardson?

The Albuquerque Journal on April 21, 2008 detailing Richardson’s campaign debts, Richardson’s travel debts were reported to be over $226,000.

The campaign’s debts for travel included $26,362 owed to the Branch law firm in Albuquerque and $203,850 owed to Lea King LLC. Richardson used private aircraft for travel during the campaign, including one owned by the law firm affiliated with Turner Branch of Albuquerque. Lea King was organized by Hobbs businessmen Johnny Cope and Harry Teague, according to state corporation records. The corporation is the registered owner of two Cessna jet planes, according to Federal Aviation Administration records.

Of course, Richardson has many other interesting ties in the energy industry (which contributed to his being appointed Secretary of Energy in 1998).

When he ran for governor of NM in 2002 Sourcewatch.org reports that

“Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill Richardson resigned from the following boards on July 5, [2002]. He said he left his positions on the corporate boards so he can have more time to campaign.” Richardson resigned from the boards of: American Energy Group Inc.; Energy Investors Fund Group; Diamond Offshore Company: Peregrine Systems; City National Bank; Valero Corp. Services Corp.; Venoco; Hispanic Radio Network; Intellibridge Expert Network; and TerraSolar.

Richardson was also required by New Mexico state law to make full financial disclosure on sources of income. His employer was listed as Kissinger McLarty Associates .

(Peregrine Systems, you may recall, even woke then Attorney General John Ashcroft up in September 2002.

“The indictment charges these defendants with a massive conspiracy that had at its core one corrupt goal: to hit the numbers quarter after quarter, no matter what,” said Attorney General John Ashcroft. “The betrayal of the public trust alleged in this indictment extended from the Chief Executive Officer who headed the scheme to the independent auditor who knowingly certified the company�s false financial statements and allegedly made the continuing fraud possible.” [Executive and Auditor of Peregrine Systems, Inc. Indicted on Securities Fraud Charges, Former Director of Alliances Pleads Guilty, Department of Justice])

Although Richardson left the boards of Valero and Diamond Offshore, he retained large stock holdings in these companies. He finally sold the stocks in 2007 during while running for President because “he was ‘getting questions’ about the propriety of these holdings, especially given his past as energy secretary, and that it had become a “distraction”. (Wikipedia cites two news stories, one from TheStreet.com and one from the AP, which are no longer available on the web.)

Valero Energy is an especially interesting part of Richardson’s past. According to the University of Massachussetts’ Political Economy Research Institute, Valero ranks number 17 in PERI’s TOXIC 100: The Top Corporate Air Polluters in the U.S. index. The company has also been sued over groundwater contamination.

Richardson continued to hold stock in Valero even as the company was an early recipient of contracts for Iraqi oil (by 2003) and was also subpoenaed in connection with the Iraq Food for Oil scandal in 2004.

***

So here we have all the threads connecting Richardson to Harry Teague and Teague to Steve Pearce.

And yet, Howard Dean’s “progressive DFA” sings the praises of Teague in NM CD-02.

Is there any question that something is very rotten in the Democratic Party? Or is there even a Democratic Party anymore?

BBC America’s Newsnight Profile on Obama Focusing on Chicago Ties

The rise and rise of Obama

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/newsnight/7362037.stm

“The political product” that is Obama. It debunks his image as bring “fresh air” to the political world.

Details Tony Rezko and and Rev. Wright as well an interesting inteview with a woman, Linda Thomas, from his church…”When you are at Trinity, white culture is outside the church, and African-American culture is inside the church.”

Also examines his authenticity and elitism with a comment by a U of Chicago law professor who says “there’s no us vs them in Obama.” Also touched on William Ayers and John McCain’s reaction to Ayers.

Kass relates how the machine saw “a horse that could win.”

Excellent overview, check it out! It runs about 10 minutes….10 minutes that you won’t see in the American media.

Let Me Tell You About Bill Richardson and “RICHARDSON’S RULES”…

On Thursday night (April 24) Bill Richardson and James Carville were on The Larry King Show (video). Richardson ran through all the little memes about Hillary Clinton that we’ve come to know and love recently, including comments about her the silly demand for debates, the outrageous demands to count the votes in Florida and Michigan, and her “negative” campaign.

At about minute 5:00 of the above-linked video, Richardson brought up the subject of Florida and Michigan. “All of a sudden” the Clinton campaign was bringing these states up and heck “we all agreed” not to run in their primaries. Well, we all know that the Clinton campaign has been on the trail of Florida and Michigan for weeks (Carville reminded Richardson that the Clinton campaign had proposed paying for a re-vote) and that not everyone agreed to take their name off the ballot in Michigan. As for Florida, Obama held a press conference and ran ads in neighboring states that reached Florida market, which, Richardson forgot, broke the RULES.

Richardson is very upset that we are even THINKING about Florida and Michigan, but, of course, he’s operating from the book of “Richardson’s Rules” which seems to favor disenfranchising the voice of the people.

“Richardson’s Rules” were in effect about a year or so ago when proponents of a spaceport (read: pork for Richard Branson) was being sold heavily here in Southern New Mexico. (It was sold again for a vote that took place this past Tuesday on a tax in Sierra County, and, unfortunately, it passed). At the time of the first vote here in Dona Ana County, Richardson pulled out all the stops, including addressing a school assembly where students were a captive audience and which their parents (potential voters) were invited to attend.

What about the citizens who wanted to hear what Richardson was saying who were NOT students or parents and who showed up at the school? Well, they WERE NOT ALLOWED IN…in fact, law enforcement was present to make sure there wasn’t any trouble.

Back when I was teaching, it would have been considered unthinkable to allow a politician to appear on school time to push his agenda, especially without an opposing view and especially with the public barred from attending!

So, we see that Richardson doesn’t want New Mexican citizens allowed into what should be public appearances, nor does he want the voters of Florida or Michigan to vote. Those are Richardson’s Rules. Do I want to see him on a ticket in November? NO THANKS!

On top of that, his comments about Clinton’s supposed negativity were just the usual Richardson hypocrisy.

Way back in October 2007, Richardson was still a candidate and was upset about negativity then, too. In a report filed on CNN’s website dated October 30, 2007 (Richardson: No More Negative Campaigning), he said:

To all the Democratic candidates, let’s stay positive,” Richardson said. “Let’s get rid of all this negative stuff that I’m seeing.”Richardson then singled out Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, and former Sen. John Edwards, D-North Carolina, for their critical remarks of Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York.

“I’ve become very concerned about the negative tone of the campaign,” he said. “I think that Senators Obama and Edwards should concentrate on the issues and not on attacking Sen. Clinton.”

“The differences on the issues should be highlighted, but personal attacks I believe should not take place,” he said.

In recent days, Obama and Edwards have spoken out against Clinton’s decision to accept contributions from lobbyists. Richardson defended Clinton and reiterated that calling her “integrity into question,” was unnecessary and “personally negative.”

That, of course, was before he decided to stab the Clintons in the back and not only endorse Obama, but also talk badly about them.

Changing an endorsement is not the problem, but usually, politicians don’t go to the lengths Richardson has gone recently in his attacks on the Clintons. Oh, but that must be another of Richardson’s Rules–“Acting with class is NOT required.”

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Oklahoma to Obama’s Rescue AGAIN….

Today, Oklahoma super delegate Reggie Whitten decided to endorse Obama in a flowery statment in which he cited Obama’s ability to UNIFY Americans and his record of standing up for the middle class.

I guess the Obama campaign is realizing it has a serious deficit with “lunch-bucket Democrats” and that maybe a lot of middle-class Democrats don’t like seeing a candidate embracing a Reverend like Jeremiah Wright or using street “code” to tell another candidate to “F*ck off.”

Whitten says he considered his own background in the decision:

I’m from the small town of Seminole, Oklahoma: a city that is predominantly hard-working middle class citizens. It is important that our next President keep small towns like Seminole in mind when he talks about our economy.

I guess the Obama folks also realize that you can’t insult small towns, either.

So, once again, after a poor showing, this time not in a debate, but in a real primary election, another of Oklahoma’s finest comes out for Obama to help stem the bleeding. Last week it was David L. Boren (along with Sam Nunn) who tried to deflect attention after Obama’s poor debate performance in PA by riding to the rescue on the subject of foreign policy. (Read my posts on Boren if you want to get an idea of how inspiring the Boren endorsement was…not!)

I wonder who they’ll dig up next from Oklahoma…perhaps ex-GOP rep. J.C. Watts? Really, you have to wonder about the savvy of any politician, current or retired, who decides to proclaim undying allegiance to a candidate IMMEDIATELY after they’ve taken a beating. It just seems the timing is off and the whole business seems so obvious and from a position of weakness, not strength.

Oh, by the way…Hillary picked up a super delegate from Tennessee today to cancel out Whitten.

Hillary Rediscovered

In the fall of 1992 I was a school media specialist and my best buddy was a Social Studies teacher. We were around the same age and utterly sick and tired of the Reagan-Bush I era. I was particularly angered and depressed by the constant anti-abortion message being shoved down our throats and had marched on Washington twice over abortion rights during these years. It felt like women were under constant attack.

So when Bill Clinton hit the scene, Kathy and I became big fans. We weren’t policy wonks at that point–we were just looking for some oxygen and Bill Clinton was it. One of my favorite expressions at the time was that Clinton “had a PULSE” and after years of ossification at the hands of Reagan-Bush I, that meant a great deal to us!

Around the time the fall was still warm and sunny, Hillary Clinton came to the Rutgers University campus on College Avenue, in New Brunswick, NJ. Kathy and I decided we simply HAD to go!

It was a beautiful day and a platform was set up as one entered the quad. I don’t recall the crowd being exceptionally large, nor do I remember a word that was said. But I do remember Hillary. She was wearing a bright purple skirt suit and her hair was fairly long. After she spoke, she came down the rope line and I shook her hand. What struck me was that she was very petite. And her skin–very fair and almost translucent. She looked almost fragile.

Bill Clinton and Al Gore started with great plans which were thwarted, particularly the 1993 energy proposal detailed in an earlier post. Hillary made mistakes with healthcare. The Telecommunications Act was a huge mistake. But, I understood the political climate was toxic and Clinton probably did the best anyone in that situation could have done, overall. Of course, like many liberals, I was mad at Bill Clinton over the Lewinsky affair.

I was particularly frustrated, however, by his playing footsies with the Bushes and the corporate ties. So, like many Democrats, I was ready for a new face this time around. I was adamantly against a Hillary run and decided John Edwards was delivering the message that appealed the most to me; he seemed to be the only candidate willing to address the issue of corporate power and its pervasive role in all aspects of American life. The media refused to report on him and apparently, Democratic voters were quite content to go with Obama and Hillary and their corporate ties, which was a major disappointment for me.

In the meantime, Obama devotees continue to be blind to Obama’s relationships and corporate ties and are buying into the “image” of change and at the same time have become virulently hateful toward the Clintons. It seems to be irrational hatred because their own favorite is proving to have clay feet, although they refuse to acknowledge this fact.

As the primary season has worn on, it’s become clearer to me that the media and Democratic Party are hell-bent on destroying the Clintons, specifically Hillary, for once and for all. Never mind that he’s been our only two-term Democratic president in decades and that he really did fix up the huge deficit mess left by Reagan-Bush I. Never mind he left the country poised to move forward. Suddenly, he and Hillary are the devils incarnate. And who is supposed to take up the party’s torch? A man who is arrogant and has advisers and endorsers who are the party elite! A man who will carry on the Democrats’ march toward becoming no different than Republicans. Big change…not at all. So getting rid of the Clintons seems more personal than a matter of political differences.

So, here I am, a woman slightly younger than Hillary watching as the hate and misogyny spews. I watch the Democratic party and “progressive” bloggers actually willing to disenfranchise voters in two states in order to fix the nominee. I watch Hillary Clinton being insulted and derided for positions that are no worse than Obama’s.

Over the years, of course, she has proved how resilient she really was and today she is robust, feisty older woman taking this stuff and dealing with it.

All this begins to make me angry, since I am one of those “older, under-valued women” who is of no interest, apparently to the party. The final straw comes a couple of months ago when a progressive site to which I had contributed columns every week since 2001 finally spews enough garbage that I no longer wanted my name associated with it. And then I watch a competent, well-spoken, woman well-versed on the issues being gestured at to “F*ck off” by the oh so “cool” guy being given a soft ride and I wonder, “What the hell is going on?” I feel like Obama is aiming his “coded” finger at me, too! My “misogyny radar” now has been re-activated as I listen to the media and the sly words Obama.

At this point I’m coming from a place which many of us who lived through the 60’s are now at and I am reflecting on all we’ve lived through. Over the last couple of years, I’ve shed my youth and have accepted the fact that I am middle-aged. As I’ve done that, I’ve noticed that like many women, I’ve become increasingly feisty and unwilling to put up with bullshit. My own language has become saltier and I do not suffer fools gladly.

In the last few months I’ve begun using a phrase “Don’t complain, DO” as I work to keep control of my life and continue to resist being pigeon-holed by marketers, doctors, and “youth.” Life needs to be addressed head on now and I’ve decided to “dig in” –I’m not leaving without a fight.

All these personal feelings are now dovetailed into the political season. After my guy Edwards was shoved out by the media and Democratic party voters, I tuned out for awhile. But Clinton hate, particularly Hillary-hate, has reawakened me and a lot of memories of past fights on women’s issues and current battles that need to be fought, especially the ongoing battle to be respected and taken seriously.

So, on Monday night, I actually tuned into to watch the Clinton rally in Philly. I listened to Bill Clinton and smiled as I heard him describe a “phalanx” of women mobilized if Hillary became President. I took note as he ticked off some the things she has accomplished over the years that have actually CHANGED people’s lives, such as the micro-bank funding, adoption law changes, and so many other things.

Then I watched Hillary and saw a real fighter. While I’m not a blind devotee, I really appreciated her energy and guts and passion as she spoke. Heck, she reminded me of…ME!

Later, I watched the video Keith Olbermann’s interview with Hillary and noted how he tried to insinuate that by meeting with Scaife, Hillary was a sell-out. She came right back at him and said it sure showed how she could work with almost anybody!! I hope Keith didn’t wet himself on that one. As a fellow Cornellian, I was once proud of Keith, but his anti-Hillary bias has become unbearable. He should be ashamed of himself because HE is the real sell-out and has lost his objectivity.

By the end of the night I felt as if I had been on a real journey of “rediscovery.” I had rediscovered how much I valued a lot of what Hillary had accomplished under trying circumstances and I wondered if Hillary was finding this campaign a journey of rediscovery as well. Because the woman I saw last night seemed to be on fire. The petite, almost fragile looking woman I saw in 1992 was transformed into a real force of nature.

I have to say I’ve become fired up as well. Does the Democratic Party really think that I’ll vote for just anybody they shove at me? After all this? No, they’re wrong. Because this “older, under-valued woman” has seen another woman of “a certain age” taking the hits and hitting back.

You know something? I’m proud of Hillary, just for that. I may not agree with her on everything she’s done or plans to do…but it seems she’s tapping into an energy that I recognize…it’s that I’m here, now, and it’s MY time! And maybe it’s HER TIME, too…

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Part III: Obama Adviser David L. Boren re: Foreign (inc. Energy) Policy

In Part I I provided extensive information courtesy of Sourcewatch.org, A Project of the Center for Media and Democacy, on former chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee David L. Boren’s right wing ties, and his close relationship to Robert Gates, former CIA director and current Secretary of Defense.

In this post I will add a few more bits of information, including a rather surprising story about how Boren was involved in the outing of a CIA agent, and discuss some of Boren’s books and legislation involving foreign policy…and energy policy. Some of the information I’ve found includes:

–Boren’s rightwing leanings are illustrated in some of his actions as chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence. For example, he once sharply criticized President George Bush, accusing him of neglecting to take advantage of a 1989 failed coup attempt against Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega of Panama. (see NY Times article here.)

–The incident involving the CIA agent occurred in 1991 when Boren identified a senior clandestine CIA agent while talking to reporters. He claimed it was an inadvertent mistake.

Senator’s Slip Costs Cloak-and-Dagger Agent the Rest of His Cloak

By MICHAEL WINES,
Published: July 18, 1991

With an apparently inadvertent remark to reporters on Tuesday, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee made very public the normally veiled identity of one of the Central Intelligence Agency’s most senior clandestine agents.

The Senator, David L. Boren, Democrat of Oklahoma, issued an aggrieved defense of his action today, emphasizing that the agent’s name had already been disclosed in newspapers, a best-selling book and in a Congressional investigative record.

But intelligence officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said it nonetheless seemed likely that Mr. Boren’s widely quoted remark would curtail, if not end, the overseas career of the officer, Jay K. Gruner, a former Latin America division chief who has been chief of the C.I.A. station in a European capital for about two years.

“He’ll be coming back, I assure you, by the end of the summer,” an associate of Mr. Gruner said. ‘Absolutely No Secret’

The intelligence agency, adhering to its policy of never discussing whom it employs in operations posts, declined to say whether Mr. Gruner is an agent or whether he would return to the United States.

Senator Boren made his remark on Tuesday at a news conference about the delay in the confirmation hearings for Robert M. Gates, President Bush’s nominee for Director of Central Intelligence. Mr. Boren said senators wanted to interview Mr. Gruner about his knowledge of the secret arms sales to Iran and the illegal diversion of profits to the Nicaraguan rebels.

In a statement issued today by his office, Mr. Boren called the suggestion that he had compromised Mr. Gruner’s identity “outrageous,” saying that his name already “had appeared in records related to the Iran-contra inquiry on several occasions.”

“It is absolutely no secret to anyone that he occupied a position at the C.I.A. headquarters during the period of time of the contra resupply operation,” the Senator said. “It also is clear that in order to do its job, our committee must ask questions of Mr. Gruner,” regardless of whether his name is officially classified.

No one at the agency instructed him that Mr. Gruner’s name was not public, his statement said.

Nevertheless, without confirming Mr. Gruner’s identity, C.I.A. officials have recently asked reporters to consider withholding Mr. Gruner’s name from publication for fear that the disclosure would subject him to harassment or terrorist attack.

–In 1991 Boren also authored legislation which created the National Security Education Program .

David L. Boren National Security Education Act of 1991 (NSEA, Title VIII of P.L. 102-183), provides aid for international education and foreign language studies by American undergraduate and graduate students, plus grants to institutions of higher education. The statement of purpose for the NSEA emphasizes the needs of federal government agencies, as well as the Nation’s postsecondary education institutions, for an increased supply of individuals knowledgeable about the languages and cultures of foreign nations, especially those which are of national security concern and have not traditionally been the focus of American interest and study.

The NSEP website is quite explicit in naming the areas of the world covered in this act:

The National Security Education Program (NSEP) provides a unique funding opportunity for U.S. students to study world regions critical to U.S. interests (including Africa, Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America & the Caribbean, and the Middle East). The countries of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are excluded.

Isn’t that interesting? Most of he NSEP countries seem to be places where energy politics is the prime focus…

–Since leaving the Senate in 1994 to become President of the University of Oklahoma and Professor in the Department of Political Science (since 1995), Boren has continued to write and speak on foreign policy issues, as well as “unity.” As recently as March 4, 2008 he appeared on C-Span’s Washington Journal with a repeat on Book TV to discuss his latest book, “A Letter to America.” (For video, use the link which follows.) According to the C-Span blurb,

Former Senator David Boren talked about his book, A Letter to America. He questioned how long the United States, with only six percent of the world’s population, can remain a global superpower. He offered advice on how we can secure an influential role for America in the fast-changing world of the 21st century. He drew on his experiences as the longest-serving chair (1987-1995) of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Former Senator David Boren argued that America is at a crossroads and needs to foster bipartisanship to overcome important issues like healthcare and education.

–In recent years he has co-edited books published by the University of Oklahoma Press, including 2002’s DEMOCRACY, MORALITY, AND THE SEARCH FOR PEACE IN AMERICA’S FOREIGN POLICY featuring essays by Lawrence Eagleburger, Paul Kennedy, Phyllis Oakley, George Mitchell, Lady Margaret Thatcher, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

–In 1999 he co-edited PREPARING AMERICA’S FOREIGN POLICY FOR THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY, the result of a gathering in ” 1997 and 1999 [of] a very select group of analysts, practitioners, and scholars assembled at the University of Oklahoma to lay the groundwork for a new United States foreign policy that will promote our nation’s ideals while protecting its vital interests in the post-cold war era.” The long list of contributors included the usual suspects, including Zbigniew Brzezinski, Lee Cullum, Robert M. Gates, David R. Gergen, Richard M. Helms, Jim L. Hoagland, Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, Henry A. Kissinger, Walter Mondale, Sam Nunn, George J. Tenet, William H. Webster, and R. James Woolsey

The Kirkus Reviews discussion of this book ends with this interesting comment:

While each piece stands alone, collectively the book reveals an overall elite consensus on what the US faces in the world and what it should do in the world. … . National bipartisan consensus should be reached on just what values and goals the US wishes to pursue, and domestic issues must not be allowed to interfere too deeply in the pursuit of this national interest….

What does that last sentence mean?? It gives me an awful uneasy feeling…

–What is very interesting is the fact that one of Boren’s earliest forays into writing about foreign policy was in 1976, when he edited a book with Melvin Laird which was based on a rountable held on October 2, 1975 at the American Enterprise Institute, which Sourcewatch.org describes as “an extremely influential, pro-business right-wing think tank.”

Melvin Laird was Richard Nixon’s Secretary of Defense from 1969 to 1973 and Counselor to the President for Domestic Affairs from 1973 to 1974. The title of the book he edited with David L. Boren was entitled “ENERGY POLICY ASSESSMENT – A New War Between the States?”

Clearly, Boren’s rightwing leanings have colored his foreign policy interests. The question is now how much influence Boren will have with Obama? How much “bipartisanship” will really be a set of policies that are dictated by a conservative, elite foreign policy cadre? In other words, will Obama really bring change to our foreign policy? I think not…