If Al Gore Jr. ever runs for President, he'll have to
answer some embarrassing questions about the
source of his family's wealth.
"One of the minor mysteries of American politics has been the source of wealth for the family of Vice President Albert Gore Jr.," observes Joseph Goulden of Accuracy in Media. "When Gore's father was first elected to the House of Representatives in the late 1930s," Goulden continues, "he was an impecunious Tennessee school teacher who eked out extra dollars by playing fiddle at church weddings. But later, as a United States Senator, he lived in the plush Fairfax Hotel on Embassy Row in Washington, and sent his son, Al Jr., to the pricey St. Albans School, the haunt of kids from Social Register families."
In a recent issue of the Washington Inquirer, Goulden summarizes the contents of a new book called Dossier, written by investigative reporter Edward Jay Epstein, which "shows that the senior Gore had a silent partner who for several decades insured that his pockets remained comfortably filled. He was Armand Hammer, the multi-millionaire businessman and oil promoter who apparently collected art and politicians with equal zeal." Goulden notes that Al Gore Sr. was "Hammer's designated door-opener in official Washington." The handsome compensation that Gore Sr. received for his services culminated in a half-a-million-dollars-a-year position with Armand Hammer's oil company, Occidental Petroleum. Al Gore Jr. picked up where his father left off and "put the family's Senate seat at Hammer's service."
Goulden describes Armand Hammer as "one of the odder, more odious characters of American business and politics, 'famous' chiefly because he was rich enough to promote his mammoth ego." He notes that Hammer's carefully and expensively crafted public persona was "that of a renegade oilman who made billions from Libyan oil, chummed around with politicians up to White House level, and adorned acres of galleries with paintings, some priceless, some fakes. Hammer's lawyers bedeviled honest journalists who tried to write otherwise."
Hammer's powerful influence on Al Gore Sr. and Jr.
would have been bad enough had he been nothing
more than an unscrupulous businessman. Like his
father Julius, however, he was a lifelong Communist
and a friend of the Soviet Union. "Some scattered
hints that Hammer's ties with the USSR went beyond
business friendship have surfaced over the years,"
says Goulden. Documents discovered in Soviet
archives, however, leave no doubt that Hammer was
"a man who bribed and cheated his way to great
wealth -- and who started with Soviet gold."
Edward Jay Epstein's new book, Dossier, makes a compelling case that both Al Gore Sr. and Al Gore Jr. were the willing partners of a very powerful and very wealthy man, Armand Hammer, who was not loyal to the United States of America. A truly independent press would have exposed these connections decades ago, long before Al Gore Sr. and Jr. rose to their prestigious and influential positions.
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