Chapter Five: Shades of Green
No portrait of Teresa Heinz Kerry’s political benefactions would be complete without looking at her role in funding the green political agenda. No other issue so motivates Teresa Heinz Kerry. In fact, she met her second husband at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. The majority of her grants at the Heinz Endowments have in some way related to environmental issues. Always applicants for more government, the green nonprofits Teresa has funded stray well outside traditional nature-oriented issues to make partisan “action calls” on Homeland Security measures and foreign policy. Another byproduct of her charity is the growing “solidarity environmentalism,” in which conservationists join hands with Third World Marxists in their condemnations of capitalism and Western culture.
The League of Conservation Voters: A Purchased Endorsement?
A central part of the controversy over Teresa Heinz Kerry’s “charitable” giving, along occurred in January 2004 when the League of Conservation Voters endorsed John Kerry for president. As the League’s accompanying press release noted, a “primary endorsement before New Hampshire primary [is] unprecedented in [the] organization’s 34-year history.” Nonetheless, League president Deb Callahan said they jumped on the Kerry bandwagon early because of his “unparalleled record on environmental issues.” However, the League waited until April of 2000 to support Al Gore, whose support of the green Left’s political agenda is (from League’s point of view) without peer.
Gore effectively interred Bill Bradley’s candidacy with a blowout win in the Iowa caucuses in 2000; four years later, John Kerry faced credible challenges from John Edwards, Wesley Clark and Joe Lieberman in New Hampshire and beyond. Why the sudden endorsement? Critics point to a $10,000 grant the Heinz Family Foundation made to the League of Conservation Voters Education Fund in 2001. However, Heinz financial ties to the League actually run much deeper.
Heinz has showered League board members with foundation cash. The League Board includes officials of such frequent Heinz Endowment grantees as the Environmental Defense Fund, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Wilderness Society. Board member and “environmental racism” activist Peggy Sheppard, profiled above, was singled out for a Heinz Award. Together, these organizations and individuals have received in excess of $3.8 million as a result of Mrs. Kerry’s noblesse oblige. The League of Conservation Voters has shown its continued appreciation by featuring “Environmental Highlights from Teresa Heinz-Kerry's 2004 Democratic Convention Speech” on its website.
The appearance of electoral impropriety turned a few heads. Far more important, though, is the leftist political agenda Teresa’s green fund promotes – and the effects those policies have had.
DDT: The Green Genocide
The Heinz Endowments have donated more than a half-million dollars over the last five years to celebrate the memory of environmentalist writer Rachel Carson. A modest donation went to the Rachel Carson Homestead Association. (Al Gore visited Carson’s birthplace during the 2000 campaign and has long credited her with sparking his interest in the environment.) More went to the Rachel Carson Institute at Chatham College, and $1,000 to the Silent Spring Institute’s work against breast cancer. The impact of Rachel Carson’s work has been momentous; its effects disastrous.
Silent Spring, Rachel Carson’s 1962 best-selling book, paved the way for the Environmental Protection Agency’s ban of DDT use ten years later. The Natural Resources Defense Council compares the book to Thomas Paine’s Common Sense and Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin. It is Rachel Carson’s great achievement and claim have her book listed among the 100 most important books of the 20th Century by the New York Times. Silent Spring was a manifesto warning about the deadly effects of DDT, a pesticide widely sprayed to kill mosquitoes, on plant and animal life, which Carson claimed had caused irrevocable harm producing cancer and genetic defects, and that it had damaged the world food supply. Forty years after the publication of Silent Spring, its findings are largely dismissed by scientists. As Todd Seavey of the American Council on Health and Science has noted:
No DDT-related human fatalities or chronic illnesses have ever been recorded, even among the DDT-soaked workers in anti-malarial programs or among prisoners who were fed DDT as volunteer test subjects — let alone among the 600 million to 1 billion who lived in repeatedly-sprayed dwellings at the height of the substance's use. The only recorded cases of DDT poisoning were from massive accidental or suicidal ingestions, and even in these cases, it was probably the kerosene solvent rather than the DDT itself that caused illness. Reports of injury to birds could not be verified, even when one researcher force-fed DDT-laced worms to baby robins. Reports of fish kills have been greatly exaggerated, resulting from faulty data or aberrant, massive spills or overuse of the chemical that do not hint at a general danger in its use.
Despite these facts, Carson’s book produced a wave of anti-DDT sentiment so strong that the Environmental Protection Agency banned DDT use in the United States and any nation receiving American foreign aid. The administrator who made the ruling had not attended the DDT hearings, overruling the judge who had attended and did not support the ban.
Before the appearance of Silent Spring, the use of DDT pesticides had eradicated malaria worldwide. Four decades later, the ban has resulted in a pan-African genocide. Two-to-three million people die needlessly from malaria every year, all of them in Third World countries most in the Indian subcontinent and Africa. The World Health Organization reports 2,500 children under the age of five die of malaria every day. In all, the DDT ban has threshed a deadly harvest of 50-90 million African lives. Nearly half-a-billion people contracted malaria in 1999 alone, 90 percent of them in Africa. Young people are among the most susceptible.
The often overlooked economic impact of the disease has also been devastating for Africa. Harvard economist Jeffrey Sachs estimates a nation can lose 20 percent of its national economy within 15 years because of the disease’s debilitating spread. First World elites are not exempt from its effects, either; Chris Matthews, the host of MSNBC’s “Hardball,” wrote a column about the mind-numbing pain and disorientation of malaria after contracting it in Africa in 2002.
The one proven antidote to rampant malaria is DDT. Prior to the Carson book, the United States and other first world nations were able to use DDT to eradicate this problem. African statistics bear out the chemical’s efficacy. While African malaria rates rose by 1,000 percent continent-wide, the disease decreased 80 percent in KwaZulu Natal, which sprayed DDT. With the rise of West Nile Virus, mosquito control has taken on new importance for Americans, as well. Even 2000 Green Party presidential nominee Ralph Nader now supports the use of DDT for malaria eradication. President Bush wisely instructed then-EPA Secretary Christine Todd Whitman to sign the Persistent Organic Pollutants Treaty in 2001. The POP Treaty allows limited use of the pesticide.
With forty years of hindsight, celebrating Rachel Carson’s misguided book seems the height of reactionary pig-headedness, a monument to never having to say your sorry. Its unproven scientific assertions led to the deaths of tens of millions. But then admitting as much might take away some of the self-righteous confidence of the Green cause. Hence Green radicals like Teresa Heinz Kerry have vested interest in pretending this history never happened.
The actual proponents of the DDT ban foresaw its consequences and, in a bizarre testament to their anti-human impulses, welcomed them. Dr. Charles Wurster, whose temporary request for a spraying ban in Long Island led to the EPA’s 1972 decision at the international level, was asked if this cessation might kill him. He replied, “Probably – so what? People are the cause of all the problems. We have too many of them. We need to get rid of some of them, and this is as good a way as any.” Wurster was chief scientist of the Environmental Defense Fund, one the top grant recipients from the Heinz Endowments; Teresa Heinz Kerry personally sits on the Fund’s board.
Environmentalists Against Homeland Security
Other green organizations oppose economic progress the slower way. Over three years, the Heinz Family Foundation gave the Earth Action Network $25,000, free of any restriction. The Earth Action Network is a leading opponent of free trade agreements, particularly the proposal to expand the North American free trade zone to Central America known as CAFTA. President Bush has made a moving case that free trade is the one government policy most likely to raise the standard of living in the Third World. Earth Action Network opposes such trade on environmental grounds. However, Earth Action Network advocates on a perplexing breadth of issues in no way connected to the environmentalist movement. In addition to traditional environmental concerns – including opposition to trade – Earth Action Network has issued “Action Letters” opposing Homeland Security measures and other concerns. These letters bear such titles as “Vital Changes Needed in U.S. Foreign Policy!”; “Missile Defense is wasting billions that could be spent on real security!”; “Don’t Extend USA Patriot Act!;” and “Protect Media Diversity!” They also counsel Americans to “Reverse New FBI Guidelines” and “Protect our Bill of Rights – DO NOT support the ‘VICTORY Act.’” (Emphasis in original.) Even such arcane issues military aid to Indonesia are subjects of action for Earth Action Network.
Funding the Green/Red Coalition
In the 1930s, the suppression of Germany’s Communist Party created a unique new hybrid, the “beefsteak Nazi”: brown on the outside, Red on the inside. The beefsteak Nazi was a Marxist who believed his economic theories were close enough to those of the National Socialist Party that he could safely jump ship. The modern equivalent is the Red environmentalist. Having been rebuffed by 70 years of history, Marxist ideologues have not given up the dream; in addition to their influence on college campuses, they have found new vitality as the Green Left has accepted central tenets of their platform. Today, the Green/Red coalition yokes sincere (if misled) environmentalists and those seeking socialism for its own sake – not to mention the increasing number of people, like David Brower, who straddle both movements. Conservation, a positive reaction to the excesses of Gilded Age capitalism whose chief proponent was a Republican president, has since become the convenient cover for advancing a creeping socialist economic model. Teresa Heinz Kerry’s support for the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) offers an excellent example.
The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund has accepted the most extreme anti-capitalist position in its quest to create an environmental Shangri-la. It has also recruited and trained its members to engage in partisan politics. The Howard Heinz Endowment’s explicit instructions, its “legally binding contract,” dedicated $37,000 to “legal and technical support to grassroots organizations on environmental issues” and another $45,00 to the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund’s “grassroots litigation support plan for 2002.” Again we see Heinz money being filtered through one organization to aid unnamed “grassroots organizations.” CELDF wrote a large, downloadable file instructing people how to run a political campaign as a member of the Green Party. According to the environmentalists’ website, “CELDF has drafted these manuals to assist grassroots environmental and community groups.”
Sharing David Brower’s “solidarity environmentalism,” the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund website links to the book Talking About a Revolution, a collection of 14 interviews with radical leftists like Noam Chomsky, Barbara Ehrenreich, bell hooks [sic.], Howard Zinn, Winona LaDuke, Michael Albert, Peter Kwong, Manning Marable, and Urvashi Vaid.
CELDF’s professed goal is “to eliminate corporate rights”; its co-founder even wrote a legal brief petitioning the nation’s courts to strip corporations of their constitutional legal protections. CELDF supports a “Democracy School” run by the Boston-based “Center for Democracy and the Constitution.” Defense Fund co-founder Thomas Linzey will teach at the school. The Center for Democracy and the Constitution’s motto is “working to end corporate rights that destroy the Earth, our future and the hope of democracy.” Its “Corporate Constitutional Rights Primer” states:
Today the agents perpetuating these violations of our inalienable rights are no longer monarchs, they are large corporations. [sic.] These legal fictions, in principle granted existence only to benefit the public good, have taken over our public institutions, our environment, our government, even our daily thoughts and worldview.
Corporations control “our daily thoughts”? There’s nothing like reasoned debate with the left. Among other things, this document assures us, modern corporations “avoid taxation and regulation.” Tell Bill Gates he’s exempt from federal taxes, regulations and lawsuits. In 1996, the Code of Federal Regulation ran 124,156 pages spanning 50 volumes. On the contrary, the only tax-exempt entities seeking to shape our “worldview” are organizations like the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund and Teresa Heinz Kerry’s Heinz Endowments.
CELDF is not the only such organization receiving tax-exempt foundation cash. The Vira I. Heinz Endowment assisted the Pennsylvania Environmental Council with $299,000 and furnished an additional $47,000 to the Ohio Environmental Council, this last designated to tamper with “Ohio’s utility deregulation policy” in an effort to persuade Ohio to regulate its policy for the good of Pennsylvania. In 2002, this endowment allocated $100,000 to the group 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania to support “advocacy” for anti-business “Smart Growth” environmentalist policies. At the behest of Heinz Environmental Award winner Florence Robinson, Teresa Heinz Kerry provided $10,000 to the Louisiana Environmental Action Network. LEAN’s “platform,” adopted in 1995, calls on the state government to “Implement an executive order to address Environmental Racism in the state of Louisiana.”
It is clear that Teresa Heinz Kerry’s philanthropic interest is promoting (radical) Green politics. Taking into consideration the size, scope and intent of these environmentalist grants, it is clear that political agitation was the foreseeable, desired effect of Teresa Heinz Kerry’s grantmaking. Whether she considered the advantage this would confer upon her husband before making the grants, or whether she’s simply an ideologically driven patron of bad policy based on bad science one can only guess. Motivation means little in politics; effects are what count, and her blank check to the radical greens is directed against the economic system on which this nation is based, the only economic system compatible with human freedom. It is telling that the fall of the Berlin Wall in the late 1980s tore the veil off the carefully constructed Soviet myth, revealing that the most economically regulated societies on earth were also the most ecologically degraded. No good can come of reviving their failures. No infusion of tax-exempt, capitalist cash will sweeten their noxious dreams.
Chapter Six: Brookings: Policy and Politics
The Brookings Institution represents a special case in this study. In addition to being a large benefactor of the D.C.-based left-leaning think tank, “Teresa Heinz” (as she is still listed on their website) remains a trustee currently described as “on a leave of absence.” As first lady, she would presumably resume this role along with her philanthropic concerns. Between 1998 and 2002, Teresa Heinz Kerry has donated $1.8 million to the Brookings Institution through the Heinz Endowments and Carnegie. Although Brookings has been a critical voice of liberalism for decades, its criticism of the Bush administration merits special examination due to its close personal and financial ties with a woman whose husband could be the next president of the United States. This is doubly so, because Brookings – a champion of full financial disclosure in politicians – does not reveal its close association with the candidate’s wife during its media appearances.
During the campaign of its patron’s husband, Brookings has continued its attacks on the war policies of his opponent. On President Bush’s Iraq policy, Brookings argued that a preemptive war to topple Saddam Hussein would be misguided and fraught with danger. After America went to war, Brookings supported the troops but never missed an opportunity to deride the postwar situation or call for “internationalizing” the reconstruction. Brookings even defended the Kerry campaign from charges that it was too liberal – all without revealing its own ties to the candidate’s wife. These may well be happenstance occurrences. Or, given Brookings’ reputation, prestige and media access, their analysis may constitute the greatest partisan political dividends Teresa Heinz Kerry has received from all her “non-profit” investments.
As President Bush contemplated taking the nation to war with Iraq, Brookings Institution fellows Philip H. Gordon and Michael E. O'Hanlon issued a Policy Brief on the issue. Weaving an apocalyptic scenario, they warned, “policymakers should be under no illusion that Saddam could be quickly overthrown.”; even mustering troop strength in the region “could easily take half a year.” Any war will bring an “increased risk of triggering terrorist attacks” and “significant American casualties.” However, the Policy Brief hypothesized America would find great diplomatic support for a war, because “The material benefits that would accrue to countries like Turkey, Russia, Jordan, and France if a post-Saddam Iraq could be stabilized would give at least those countries a strong incentive to support the U.S.” (Oops.)
They surmised that any overt attempt at regime change would destabilize Saddam, causing him to react erratically, with a WMD attack the likely effect. In place of this course, the Brookings scholars called for the use of “smarter sanctions,” a policy more destructive to the Iraqi people than war itself. Although the authors acknowledged at least some contact had already occurred between Saddam’s regime and al-Qaeda, they concluded military intervention would not make America safer. “Instead of incurring these high costs and significant risks,” they concluded, “the United States should…explicitly threaten regime change in response to Iraqi acts of terrorism or aggression.” But with 17 UN resolutions already disregarded by Saddam Hussein, what additional threat would be credible?
They explicitly confront the possibility that Saddam would continue his rogue activities in the face of any verbal threat to desist, but discount it. “[W]hile there is a chance his cooperation with terrorists could succeed in escaping detection, there is a better chance that the United States would be aware of his activities…The United States needs to complement its containment policy by making it unmistakably clear to Saddam Hussein that renewed Iraqi aggression, support for terrorism against the United States or the transfer of weapons of mass destruction to terrorist groups would lead to a concerted U.S. campaign to overthrow his regime.” But – the conundrum will not go away – how to make a threat “unmistakably clear” that Saddam would have no reason to take seriously given the decade of feckless U.S. and UN threats that preceded it. In other words, the Brookings counsel is to wait to be attacked before responding. But with chemical, biological and (possibly) nuclear weapons available to Saddam to attack with, inaction would be a potentially deadly prescription.
On the other hand, The Brookings policy, sans the increased sanctions, closely matches that of John Kerry, down to bringing the French on board.
The Reconstruction of Iraq
After the successful conclusion of the war, Brookings managed to write an estimate of the reconstruction every bit as hysterical as their Policy Brief opposing the war in the first place. Brookings Senior Fellows Roberta Cohen and Michael O’Hanlon began their dispatch of April 14, 2003, thus: “With the Saddam Hussein regime gone, the first priority in Iraq now must be to forestall a humanitarian crisis that threatens to envelop the country in a very short time.” They foresaw an imminent “famine” that will “incite anger against the United States throughout the Muslim world – quite possibly aggravating, rather than alleviating, the global terrorist threat.” They noted Saddam’s humanitarian nutritional program “distribute[d] 400,000 metric tons of food brought in each month under the United Nations oil-for-food program, which is now suspended.” Repeating Democratic Party rhetoric, they wrote, “This is a task for which the Pentagon's war plan clearly did not make adequate preparation.” They also called “the United States an occupying power (whether it likes the label or not).”
Brookings gave much thought to the postwar reconstruction of Iraq, all involving the appeasement of Old Europe and the United Nations. Ivo Daalder caricatured Bush’s postwar strategy as “unilateralism on steroids. It contemplates nothing less than the wholesale takeover of Iraq not just by the American government, but by the Pentagon.” He projected, “the Americanization of the post-war administration will be seen by much of the world – including many Iraqis – as an occupation.” As though nationalism were a factor, either for the Fedayeen, the Shi’ite jihadists entering Iraq from Iran, or the ever-increasing number of al-Qaeda terrorists slipping through Iraq’s porous border with Syria.
Senior Fellow Philip Gordon’s headline said it all: “Give NATO a Role in Post-war Iraq.” This “would be a vital step toward giving our European allies – including Russia – a stake in the successful reconstruction of Iraq…France, Germany, Russia and most of [the] European public…have an almost subconscious stake in our failure.” In other words, President Bush should turn the mission over to those rooting against us.
This is John Kerry’s foreign policy book: America lacks legitimacy when going to war without the UN’s permission. Therefore, the “international community” must confer sanctity upon the mission for it to be acceptable. He has vowed this will be his top goal if elected, to seek absolution from Jacques Chirac and Vladimir Putin in the hopes his contrition will result in the French Foreign Legion doing penance in Fallujah. This, he believes, will allow Americans to withdraw troops while maintaining a presence in the area. However, terrorists managed to get entire nations to withdraw their troops through such comparatively minor terror efforts as a single kidnapping (and more elaborate ones like the Madrid train bombing). How much would it take to convince the French and Russians to retreat? That is, assuming they could be convinced to show up in the first place?
Probably Brookings scholars would have dissented from President Bush’s policies even if Teresa Heinz Kerry were not a member of the Brookings team, and one of its important benefactors. But Brookings (along with other Kerry grantees) is a major mover in the campaign finance reform debates and would never tolerate “even the appearance of impropriety” from a non-Kerry candidate or politician. Brookings should live up to its own expectations: either identify its close association with Teresa Heinz Kerry in its election and policy commentaries or stop making them.