First they used a venerable civil rights organization, the Congress on Racial Equality, to attack efforts to reduce America's reliance on oil. Now they're using a phony quote from America's favorite terrorist, Osam bin Laden, to try to convince Americans that drilling off our coasts and in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge is patriotic.
"They" are the oil industry folks behind Americans for American Energy (AAE), and they've been poisoning the Internet with broadcast emails full of lies. The bin Laden one hit my inbox today with the catchy headline: "Osama bin Laden says 'America must not drill for its own oil. They must be kept dependent on ours.' "
Did bin Laden really say that, I wondered? So I phoned Greg Schnacke, who signed the email, and, by golly, he picked up the phone right away. Introducing myself as a journalist, I told him I'd received the email and would like to know the source of the quote.
"That's our view," he answered. But is it a quote, I asked? It's presented as one. "I'm very well aware of what we are doing," he said, finally adding, "It's not a quote."
Ahh. Ethics anyone? Obviously not at AAE which is funded by Pac/West Communications. Pac/West received a $3 million no-bid contract from the State of Alaska to campaign for oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. That bit of information comes from Source Watch, which monitors media frauds like this one.
This comes after another round of email publicity by AAE for a July rally in which the once proud civil rights organization, CORE, became a shill for the oil industry. Not caring that their action would actually hurt the people they supposedly represent, CORE's leaders attacked environmental groups as responsible for high energy prices.
Tell me, can these people sleep at night? I'm all for asking them directly, so here's Greg Schnacke's phone number so you can call him up and ask him: 866-416-0659. It's toll-free, so dial away, folks.