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Joe Lauria

Joe Lauria

Posted: August 14, 2008 02:25 PM

The Personification of the Military-Industrial Racket


If you didn't know who Randy Scheunemann was until the New York Times wrote about him Thursday morning I bet he and John McCain preferred it that way. He is a lot more than just a former lobbyist for Georgia.

After being a Capitol Hill staffer from the mid-1980s (working on the use of American military power abroad, NATO expansion and defense projects), Scheunemann became the national security adviser for Bob Dole's 1996 disastrous presidential campaign.

In 1997 Scheunemann was one of the founding members of the Project for a New American Century, the premier neo-con outfit that said America needed a new Pearl Harbor in order to violently remake the world in its image.

Scheunemann then set himself up as a lobbyist in 1999. His Orion Strategies and Scheunemann & Associates have represented oil companies, arms manufacturers and the NRA.

He became a registered foreign agent for several nations. Back in May the New York Times reported: "Over the past several years, Mr. Scheunemann met several times with Mr. McCain to discuss his clients' interests. He introduced the senator to the foreign ministers of Albania, Croatia, and Macedonia as they tried to win admission to NATO, and a representative of Taiwan as it lobbied for free trade, records show. Mr. Scheunemann also accompanied Mr. McCain to Latvia in 2001 and Georgia in 2006."

Last March he ended his registration with these countries but as the Times pointed out McCain staffers "are not allowed to participate in any campaign conversations about the issues for which they lobby, which would seem to pose a conflict for someone like Mr. Scheunemann. His work as a foreign agent could overlap on any number of issues with his foreign policy advice."

Oil and arms are his specialty. According to OpenSecrets.org, Scheunemann & Associates in 2005 represented the Caspian Alliance, a consortium of oil- and gas-producing nations from the Caspian region. Right Web says, "Scheunemann has also ... lobbied on behalf of clients that include Swiftships Shipbuilders, Barrett Firearms Manufacturing, BP America, Air Force Memorial Foundation, Lockheed Martin, National Shooting Sports Foundation, and Sporting Arms and Ammunitions Manufacturers."

Scheunemann advised McCain during his failed bid for the Republican nomination in 2000.

Then in 2002 Scheunemann was a founder and became the first president of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, pushing the phony threats that fooled uncritical members of Congress and the press, and ultimately a majority of the public.

Who has benefited from the invasion and occupation of Iraq other than oil companies and arms manufacturers? We know the American and Iraqi peoples haven't.

According to blogger Lindsay Beyerstein, Scheunemann worked to help win oil contracts in Iraq.

Scheunemann clearly enriches his clients and himself by organizing and pushing for war. That's his business.

But don't we want a man to advise a possible president of the United States on how to be a statesman and solve international problems rather than how to whip them up into armed conflicts?

Having chosen Randy Scheunemann as his chief foreign policy advisor, there should be no doubt that McCain is a neo-con and will continue to pursue those disastrous and supposedly discredited policies. He will be a seller, or monger, of wars.

Further, Scheunemann stands as living, breathing proof of what some people dismiss as cliché and theory only: the incestuous relationship between the White House, the Pentagon, defense contractors, Congress and foreign governments: the military industrial complex. He is a lynchpin. Promoting war is Scheunemann's business and it will be John McCain's business too if the American people elect him president.

Read more: www.politicalodyssey.com