February 28, 2001
c/o The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Arm and Hammer
I was puzzled at how often you are referred to on the Internet as "Al Arm-and-Hammer Gore." The only association that I had to "Arm and Hammer" was to "Arm & Hammer" brand baking soda, and the connection between you and baking soda was not apparent.
And so I did a little research and came up with the following explanation, whose accuracy I invite you to comment upon.
The Arm & Hammer Baking Soda logo, to begin, gives the impression of being irrelevant (though it will prove not to be so entirely) to the question of the origin and meaning of the appellation "Al Arm-and-Hammer Gore." The logo is owned by Church & Dwight Co., Inc., which explains it as follows:
THE HISTORY OF THE ARM AND HAMMERฎ TRADEMARK
The ARM & HAMMER symbol was first used in the early 1860s by James A. Church, the son of Dr. Austin Church, one of the founders of our business. James A. Church operated a spice and mustard business known as the Vulcan Spice Mills. In Roman mythology, Vulcan, the god of fire, was especially skilled in fashioning ornaments and arms for the gods and heroes. The ARM & HAMMER symbol, therefore, represented the arm of Vulcan with hammer in hand about to descend on an anvil.
Church & Dwight, Company Information, History of the Logo, www.churchdwight.com/company/company_information.htm
As the above does not appear helpful, we pass on to the observation that the Arm and Hammer symbol does not originate with the Church family business, but rather has been widely used by others for other purposes. Traditionally, the Arm and Hammer image symbolizes manufacturing or industry, as for example on Wisconsin's Coat of Arms and State Flag:
The workers ought to inscribe on their banner the revolutionary watchword, "Abolition of the wage system!"
What's in a name?
How is Armand Hammer related to the image of the Arm and Hammer? Most simply believe it or not that the name "Armand Hammer" was chosen by his father, Dr Julius Hammer, because it is a contraction of "Arm and Hammer":
Dr Julius Hammer
On May 21, 1898, Julius's first son was born, and he proudly named him Armand Hammer. He told friends that he had named him after the symbol of the Socialist Labor Party (and decades later, Armand would use the arm-and-hammer insignia as the flag on his yacht).
Edward Jay Epstein, Dossier: The secret history of Armand Hammer, Random House, New York, 1996, p. 35.
By the time the Stuttgart conference ended, Dr Julius Hammer had become part of the elite underground cadre that Lenin would depend on to change the world. This conspiratorial movement went a step beyond starry-eyed idealism and fiery rhetorical disputes about the nature of society. It sought to create the concrete means networks of agents, sources of funds, secure communications, internal discipline to bring about the desired world revolution. It was predicated on the Leninist principle that any means employed, no matter how much they diverged from Marxist ideology, were justified by the ends.|
Julius Hammer returned to New York that October with a solid commitment to the socialist cause. He would help lay the groundwork for Lenin's revolutionary apparatus in America.
Edward Jay Epstein, Dossier: The secret history of Armand Hammer, Random House, New York, 1996, p. 36-37.
On September 18, 1920, Julius Hammer entered Sing Sing State Prison, in manacles and leg irons, as prisoner 71516. He stood naked while clerks examined his body for scars and other identifying marks. They found none. The prison's entry blotter describes him as "age 46, 5 foot 11 inches, 195 pounds, Hebrew religion."
Edward Jay Epstein, Dossier: The secret history of Armand Hammer, Random House, New York, 1996, p. 33.
|Armand Hammer with Khrushchev||Armand Hammer with Brezhnev||Armand Hammer with Gorbachev|
He was not only flattered by the attention of a world leader, but he was, as he confided years later to his tape-recorded diary, "captivated" by the force of Lenin's personality. "If Lenin had told [me] to jump out the window," Hammer reflected, "[I] probably would have done it." He was now Lenin's man.
Edward Jay Epstein, Dossier: The secret history of Armand Hammer, Random House, New York, 1996, p. 62. Square-bracketed material was in the original.
Hammer was given $75,000 to secretly take back with him to New York. This money, which would be the equivalent of $600,000 today, was to be distributed there to underground agents of the Comintern. Hammer thus demonstrated that he and his father were "convinced Communists and sincere comrades," as Reinstein wrote in his report.
Edward Jay Epstein, Dossier: The secret history of Armand Hammer, Random House, New York, 1996, p. 64.
Hammer, who died in 1990 aged 92, was one of the century's most sinister figures. Kremlin papers released after the collapse of the USSR and exhaustively researched by Ed Epstein in his book Dossier prove that, from the Bolshevik revolution of 1917 to the fall of the Berlin Wall, Hammer was a lifelong "agent of influence" of the Soviet Politburo and an accomplice of every Russian leader from Lenin to Gorbachev.
Neil Lyndon, How Mr Clean got his hands dirty, Sunday Telegraph (London), 01-Nov-1998,
Hammer no longer saw himself as the powerless and isolated young man kept cowering on a ship by a British official. Now he depicted himself as someone with awesome connections, someone to be feared rather than trifled with, and someone who, like Dzerzhinski himself, could destroy a petty official who abused him. It was a story he would tell over and over again, with slight variations, throughout his career.
Edward Jay Epstein, Dossier: The secret history of Armand Hammer, Random House, New York, 1996, p. 84.
This young Hammer killed a man in 1955 in a drunken brawl, and never came to trial probably because his father was financially able to persuade someone that his action was in self defense. Now he comes along and tries again to kill; or threatens to kill.|
The enclosed clipping also states he is working on a secret government project for an aircraft company.
It makes no difference to me whether or not he might be a great scientist or engineer, his family background connections and their association in the past with our "Red" enemy, plus the fact that he killed one man and threatened to kill his wife and others, indicate to me that he is "NUTS", and not the type of man to be trusted with federal secrets.
Out of one hundred and seventy plus million U.S. citizens cannot these contractors of federal secret defense weapons find sane people to do the work ... why do they have to risk classified matters to this type of individual. No wonder the enemy can so easily acquire our military secrets.
FOIA.FBI, Part 12, p. 27.
Congressman Boggs told me that shortly after his return from New Orleans, the President of the Hooker Chemical Company, the General Counsel of the Occidental Petroleum Company, and a third individual, called upon him in his office. Prior to the meeting he said he set up a tape recorder and arranged to have a hidden still picture taken while the meeting was in progress.|
At this point in our conversation Congressman Boggs dramatically began to illustrate the manner in which the chairs in his office were arranged, identifying the individual who sat in each chair. He then stated that the President of Hooker Chemical Company advised him point-blank that it was realized that he, Congressman Boggs, needed money for his congressional campaign in Louisiana. Boggs admitted that he, in fact, did need money. This individual then told Boggs all he needed to do was to contact a certain individual (he named this individual), in Louisiana, and any amount of money that Boggs asked for, would be furnished him without question.
Boggs stated he immediately realized, of course, that this was a bribe, and for the purpose of the tape recorder he asked several sharp questions to draw these men out further. He also fully identified them in his own voice, so that proper identification would be picked up by the tape recorder.
After doing all this, Boggs stated he told these individuals, "You bastards are in trouble and I want no part of you." Boggs stated he then left the room, leaving these individuals with very stunned expressions on their faces.
Boggs stated the following day he traveled to Portland, Maine, where he succeeded in completely blocking the actions of the Occidental Petroleum Company.
From summary of FBI interview conducted on 11-Oct-1968, in United States Government Memorandum from C. D. DeLoach to Mr. Tolson, dated 11-Oct-1968, FOIA.FBI, Part 8, p. 20.
It is suggested that the General Investigative Division prepare a letter to the Department, giving a brief recital of the above-mentioned facts and indicating that the FBI is taking no action unless advised to the contrary by the Department. It, of course, could be that this entire matter is somewhat of a political set-up; consequently we should not be caught in the middle of it.
End of the DeLoach to Tolson memorandum of 11-Oct-1968, FOIA.FBI, Part 8, p. 21.
My letter to you of October 14, 1968, contained information furnished to this Bureau by Congressman Boggs concerning an offer of a bribe made to him at a meeting in his office attended by representatives of Occidental Petroleum Company and Hooker Chemical Company. As stated in that letter, no action is being taken by the FBI concerning the information furnished by Congressman Boggs unless contrary advice is received from the Department of Justice. [...]|
NOTE: This communication and the news article are being furnished to the Attorney General so it is absolutely clear to him that the FBI is not conducting any investigation of Congressman Boggs' allegations that a bribe in the form of unlimited campaign funds was offered to him.
Director FBI to Attorney General, 14-Oct-1968, FOIA.FBI, Part 8, p. 25.
Dear Mr. Hoover:|
I am herewith formally requesting a full, complete and intensive investigation of an attempt to bribe me by the Occidental Petroleum Corporation and its agents.
I charge specifically a violation of Title 18, Section 201 of the United States Code annotated.
I am asking that your top people begin this investigation today.
Very truly yours,
HALE BOGGS, B.C.
Letter dated 16-Oct-1968, FOIA.FBI, Part 8, p. 36.
WFO is being instructed to assign this case to mature and experienced Special Agents and it will be closely supervised. (p. 34)
The Bureau has instructed that this investigation be handled by mature and experienced agents. (p. 40)
For the information of New Orleans and New York, the Bureau has instructed that this investigation be assigned to experienced and mature agents and is to receive daily expeditious attention. (p. 106)
FOIA.FBI, Part 8, bold emphasis added. WFO is Washington Field Office. The first statement above appears to have been written by the FBI Director on 24-Oct-1968; who wrote the others, or when, is unclear.
Dr. Armand Hammer, chairman of Occidental, issued a statement in Los Angeles denying what he termed "the false and outrageous charges made by Congressman Boggs."|
"We deny emphatically any impropriety," Dr. Hammer said. He said Occidental hasn't contributed to Rep. Boggs' campaign funds and said the Congressman's allegations were "wild" and "untrue."
Wall Street Journal, 14-Oct-1968, in FOIA.FBI, Part 8 p. 27.
BOGGS stated unfortunately when he did go to the Maine meeting, Occidental Petroleum made statements and insinuations that he had been paid by the major oil companies to take the stand he did against the Occidental application or that he could be bought; therefore, it became a matter of honor that he make the complaint on the bribe attempt to him and pursue it vigorously.
FOIA.FBI, Part 8 p. 96.
When Ralph Nader recently leveled a serious charge against the Justice Department's antitrust policies, Attorney General Mitchell responded by declaring that Nader was having "hallucinations." This followed on the heels of a similar Justice Department retort to charges leveled against J. Edgar Hoover by Congressman Hale Boggs. Boggs, according to the Deputy Attorney General, was "either sick or not in possession of his faculties."
Alan M. Dershowitz, Taking liberties: A decade of hard cases, bad laws, and bum raps, Contemporary Books, Chicago and New York, 1988, pp. 44-45.
Hammer's quest for data that could be used as leverage became almost an end in itself. At one point in the late 1970s, he attempted to widen his access to the records of politicians in financial distress by buying a controlling interest in the First National Bank of Washington, D.C. After spending almost $5 million to buy 5.2 percent of its holding company, Financial General Bancshares, he attempted to persuade a foreign financier who was seeking to do business in the United States to join him in the takeover attempt. The financier could not see the point of the deal. Hammer looked at him as if he were naïve and explained that the bank had outstanding loans to more than one hundred U.S. senators and congressmen. When his prospective partner still failed to see the point, Hammer explained that all these congressional borrowers had submitted statements to the bank that revealed their precise financial status, including their debts, earnings, real estate holdings, and other assets. He suggested that this data would be worth more in terms of influence than the entire investment they would need to make. The financier declined to participate when he realized that Hammer had blackmail in mind.
Edward Jay Epstein, Dossier: The secret history of Armand Hammer, Random House, New York, 1996, pp. 321-322.
Above: Dr. Armand Hammer in front of the Julias and Armand Hammer Health Sciences Center in 1989.
|"As a P&S graduate who left medicine to become an oil tycoon, Dr. Hammer agreed to provide funds for construction of the Julius and Armand Hammer Health Sciences Center."|
Photograph, caption, and quote are from the Columbia University web site. (The error "Julias" is in the original caption. "P&S" refers to the College of Physicians and Surgeons).
The records of the New York State Education Department, Bureau of the Professional Licensure, Medical Division, reflect that subject was born May 21, 1898 at New York City, attended the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, graduating in September 1921, and was licensed as a physician with Medical License #18127 issued on January 31, 1924. His license is currently valid and his office address is listed as 183 West 4th Street, New York City.
FOIA.FBI, Part 4, p. 8.
From: Lubomyr Prytulak [email]
Subject: Verifying Columbia degree
Cc: Tessy Koikara <email@example.com>
Student Administrative Services:
I am interested in verifying the claim that Armand Hammer (born 21-May-1898) graduated from Columbia University Medical School on or about 1921.
Armand Hammer is widely credited with having done so; however, one occasionally comes across indications that this is not the case. For example, the InfoPlease biography at
describes Armand's father, Julius, as a "doctor," but does not apply the title "doctor" to Armand, and refers to Armand as having "attended" medical school at Columbia, with no mention of his having graduated. Or, FORTUNE magazine states that "When Armand was 23 and about to graduate with a medical degree from Columbia, Julius sent him to Russia to confer with Lenin."
Confusion exists surrounding Armand Hammer's medical degree even within sources where one would expect none, as illustrated in an FBI report which has him "matriculating in the College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1917," receiving his A.B. degree in 1919, and being awarded a Doctor of Medicine on June 1, 1921 a somewhat implausible sequence of events. Perhaps we can expect occasional confusion in FBI documents, as they are sometimes little better than an attempt to make sense out of incongruous newspaper reports. This is on p. 44 of
It would be helpful to have Columbia University clear up this question.
Lubomyr Prytulak, Ph.D.
Date: Fri, 26 Jan 2001|
From: Carmen Sierra <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Lubomyr Prytulak [email]
Subject: Re: Verifying Columbia degree
Our records indicated that Armand Hammer attended The College of Physicians & Surgeons from 1917-1921 and received a M.D. Degree on June 17, 1921. He also attended Columbia College and received a B.A. on June 1, 1917.
For more information on Columbia College, you might want to contact the archives on our downtown campus at www.columbia.edu/cu/columbiana.
Very truly yours,
Manager of Registration Services
Student Administrative Services
Phone: (212) 305-7732
Fax: (212) 305-1590
William J. McGill
MC GILL stated that during 1970 he came across an old University folder containing HAMMER's father's grades from Medical School. He later made an appointment with HAMMER and gave him the folder as a personal gift, knowing that father and son enjoyed a very close relationship. He stated that HAMMER was so overcome by receiving the gift that he "burst into tears" and later invited MC GILL to lunch where HAMMER discussed his "money laundering problems" concerning a contribution he had made to the campaign of former President RICHARD NIXON.
FOIA.FBI, Part 7, p. 35.
Dr. Hammer was the son of Russian émigrés. He made his first million in the pharmaceuticals business while still a student at Columbia University. Business kept him away from so many classes than some fellow students assumed he had dropped out of school, yet he graduated in the top 10 of his class.
FOIA, Part 6, p. 19. "Than" instead of "that" is in the original.
For all his business feats, though, Hammer still speculates whether he should have pursued medicine instead of management. "I think I would have made a pretty good doctor," he says with an easy grin. "I have always renewed my license to practice every year. If anything happens, I'll have something to fall back on."
Newsweek, 12-Oct-1964, p. 91, in FOIA.FBI, Part 5, p. 89.
LAMB: How often when you researched this book did you go, "Wow"?|
EPSTEIN: Not only when I researched the book, when I wrote the book and even after I wrote the book; when I got the tapes and began to listen to Hammer in his own voice discussing bribes and things like that, I went, "Wow," all the time. Because I didn't really realize I had always had a picture of business like I read it in Forbes magazine or Business Week or how presumably it's taught in business school; something where you get up early in the morning, you work hard, you have imaginative ideas, you do things differently than other people and you make money. With Hammer, what he really brought back from Russia was his education. That's what made him a wealthy man. And what his education in Russia it wasn't an education in literature or mathematics, it was an education in bribery, in compromise, in blackmail and basically how to approach a government figure and get him to give you a concession. And that proved, in the world of oil, in the world of Middle East, that Soviet education, he was truly Lenin's first capitalist. He learned how to basically apply the principles of conspiracy to Western capitalism very successfully.
C-SPAN interview of Edward Jay Epstein by Brian Lamb regarding the Epstein biography Dossier: The Secret History of Armand Hammer, 05-Jan-1997.
"They call me the baking soda king," he'd cackle when you asked him about Occidental's inexplicable acquisition of an interest in Arm & Hammer.
James Cook, Forbes, www.freerepublic.com/forum/a391d17f80f34.htm
Whatever the truth of the matter, Hammer once painted an arm-and-hammer emblem on his yacht, giving rise to persistent speculation that he either was (a) the owner of Church & Dwight, makes of A&H baking soda, or (b) a Commie. Tired of explaining otherwise, Hammer tried to buy the company, but they didn't want to sell. So in 1986 he settled for the next best thing, a partnership with Church & Dwight that netted Oxy Pete a sizable chunk of C&D stock and Hammer a seat on C&D's board. For a time, then, Armand Hammer was a director and owner (if not THE owner) of Arm & Hammer. Occidental sold the stock shortly after Hammer's death in 1990, apparently figuring a pun was not the best basis for a lasting business relationship.
The Straight Dope, www.straightdope.com/classics/a1_198.html
|Left to Right: Senator Al Gore Sr, Armand Hammer, Mrs Pauline Gore, daughter Nancy, and little Al Gore Jr., http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a391d17f80f34.htm|
February 14, 2000|
What's in a Name? In Al Gore's Case,
Middle Initial Is Just Another Letter
By GLENN SIMPSON
WASHINGTON When Vice President Al Gore
visited the Roberta C. Cartwright Elementary School in Henderson,
Nev., in October, fifth-grader Christopher Hoch waited nearly an
hour to ask just one question: "What's your middle name?"
Mr. Gore didn't answer, turning the question around and asking
young Christopher his middle name.
Reporters in attendance, intrigued by this, asked the vice
president's staff. They were directed to publicly released copies of
his tax returns and other documents, in which the name is listed as
Albert Arnold Gore, the same as that of his father, the late
Over the years, Mr. Gore seems to have sometimes used, and
sometimes dropped, the middle name of Arnold. He also alternated
between using and not using the suffix "Jr." But a copy of his birth
certificate, provided after repeated requests by Mr. Gore's office
on Jan. 31, the day before the New Hampshire primary, reveals a
curiosity: Legally, Mr. Gore's name is simply Albert A. Gore.
That's reminiscent of another famous Democrat, former President
Harry S. Truman, who had no middle name. Mr. Truman said that in
spite of the period, the S didn't stand for anything. It was a
compromise between the names of his grandfathers, Anderson Shipp
Truman and Solomon Young.
Meanwhile, Mr. Gore's spokesman, Chris Lehane, released a brief
explanation: "Al Gore's parents gave him the option of which middle
name to use. Since he was a teenager, he has chosen to use Albert
Born in Washington, D.C., on March 30, 1948, the future vice
president's arrival was heralded on the front page of the Nashville
Tennessean, because of his father's position. The senator had
previously noted that the child of then-Rep. Estes Kefauver had
gotten lesser treatment, and remarked: "If I have a boy baby, I
don't want the news buried in the inside of the paper." So the day
after his son was born, the Tennessean obliged by carrying the
headline: "Well Mr. Gore, Here HE Is On Page One."
The story didn't give a name for the boy, nor did a birth notice
published in the Washington Post.
Moreover, on Mr. Gore's birth certificate, the space left for the
"Child's Full Name" is blank, apparently reflecting some early
indecision on the part of the Gores about what to call their son.
At the bottom of the page, however, is a handwritten notation in script added nine days after the birth. It appears exactly as follows: "name of child Albert A. Gore... .added from Supp. Report 4-10."
FreeRepublic, Vetting the Nominee,
One source who has followed Gore closely for years says his parents gave him an initial as a middle name because they wanted their friend and benefactor, the controversial late industrialist Armand Hammer, to believe that their child was named for him.
The Montgomery County Observer,
Hammer owned Al Gore Snr. Hammer kept Gore, as he liked to say, "in my back-pocket". When he said this, Hammer would touch his wallet and chuckle.
Neil Lyndon, www.freerepublic.com/forum/a38c4a8fd6308.htm
He had extended his largesse to both Republicans and Democrats. His principal contact among the Democrats in the House was Albert Gore of Tennessee. In 1950, Hammer had made Congressman Gore a partner in a cattle-breeding business, and Gore made a substantial profit.
Edward Jay Epstein, Dossier: The secret history of Armand Hammer, Random House, New York, 1996, pp. 165-166.
Hammer Ties "Extremely Sensitive"|
Roy Neel, a former top Gore aide, told Zelnick that Gore was "extremely sensitive" about his father's connection with the late Armand Hammer, the head of Occidental Petroleum, who was notorious for his close ties to the Soviet Union.
When Gore Sr. was first elected to Congress in 1938, he was a poor schoolteacher. But by the time he was elected to the Senate in 1952, he had become rich enough to live in a plush hotel on Washington's embassy row and send Al Jr. to the expensive St. Albans School in Washington.
Armand Hammer had helped make Al Gore Sr. a wealthy man. Zelnick's book and a new book just released in January, "The Buying of the President 2000" by Charles Lewis [...] tell how Armand Hammer bought the services of Al Gore, Sr. and helped Al Jr. launch his political career. [...]
Hammer helped Gore Sr. get started raising Black Angus cattle, giving him sperm from his own private stock.
Zelnick says residents in the area where the Gore farm was located claim that Gore was able to sell his cattle at much higher prices than anyone else in the area.
They say that "lobbyists and others with an interest in Gore's work" would come to Carthage and "bid outrageously high prices for Gore's stock." One of them was Joe DeMaggio, who in 1958 bought ten calves from Gore "on behalf of clients whose identities he refused to disclose."
Zelnick says the prices paid cannot be documented, but newspaper records show that "many distinguished folks" came to buy the Gores' cattle. He quotes former Governor Ned McWherter, a staunch ally of Al Gore Jr., as saying, "I've sold some Angus in my time too, but I never got the kind of prices for my cattle that the Gores got for theirs."
Zelnick also claims that in 1969, when Hammer bought the Hooker Chemical Co. (of Love Canal fame), he sold Gore Sr. 1,000 shares of Hooker stock for $150 a share, far less than the stock was worth. House majority leader Hale Boggs accused Hammer of having violated insider trading rules in buying Hooker, but "a Securities Exchange Commission investigation proved inconclusive."
When Gore Sr. was defeated for reelection in 1970, Hammer made him president of Occidental's coal division, paying him $500,000 a year, which was extremely generous compensation at that time.
Al Gore's Skeletons: The Hammer Connection,
VETTING THE NOMINEE|
Al Gore, Environmentalist and Zinc Miner
Originally published in The Wall Street Journal, June 29, 2000.
BY MICAH MORRISON
Saturday, August 12, 2000 12:01 a.m. EDT
CARTHAGE, Tenn. On his most recent tax return, as he has the past 25 years, Vice President Al Gore lists a $20,000 mining royalty for the extraction of zinc from beneath his farm here in the bucolic hills of the Cumberland River Valley. In total, Mr. Gore has earned $500,000 from zinc royalties. His late father, the senator, introduced him not only to the double-bladed ax but also to Armand Hammer, chairman of Occidental Petroleum Corp., which sold the zinc-rich land to the Gore family in 1973. [...]
Mr. Hammer cultivated close relationships with many politicians, but he was closest to Mr. Gore's father, a U.S. senator from 1953 until 1971. Mr. Hammer's Occidental Minerals snapped up the zinc-bearing property in 1972. The senior Mr. Gore's farm is on the opposite bank of the Caney Fork. Mr. Hammer paid $160,000, double the only other offer, according to the Washington Post, which first disclosed details of the arrangement during the 1992 presidential campaign.
According to deed documents in Carthage, a year later Mr. Hammer sold the land to the senior Mr. Gore for $160,000, adding the extremely generous $20,000 per year mineral royalty. Ten minutes after that sale, the former senator executed a deed selling the property, including the mineral rights, to his son, the future vice president, for $140,000. Albert Gore Sr. told the Post he kept the first $20,000 royalty for himself, evening up the father-son transaction.
The purpose of the sale appears to have been transferring the annual $20,000 payment from Mr. Hammer to the young Mr. Gore.
OpinionJournal from the Wall Street Journal Editorial Page,
In 1988, during his abortive run for the presidency, the 39-year-old Gore again relied on the largesse of Armand Hammer. According to Zelnick, Gore became involved in the Illinois primary against Paul Simon, Jesse Jackson and Michael Dukakis and needed money that the banks wouldn't lend him. Hammer came through with the funds and personally called Simon, a popular native son, asking him to withdraw and endorse Gore in return for a cabinet level appointment if Gore were elected.|
Stunned, Simon angrily rejected the offer and won the election. Gore received only a tiny fraction of the vote.
The year before this occurred, Gore flew with Hammer to Moscow to meet with Mikhail Gorbachev. Hammer received a humanitarian award from the International Physicians Against Nuclear War. Gore spoke to the same group, advocating a cut in nuclear weapons. Once Gore and Hammer returned to the U.S., the newly-minted senator continued to laud his benefactor for his patriotism.
What would Al's parents think? They were not in Tennessee that weekend, but out in California with their friends and frequent traveling companions, Bill and Dorothy McSweeney. In the years since his forced retirement from politics, Gore Senior had been working in the oil and energy empire of Armand Hammer, his old Angus cattle partner, as executive vice president of Hammer's newly acquired Island Creek Coal Co. and as a board member of Occidental Petroleum Corp., sinecures that had brought him some measure of wealth for the first time in his life. ("When the voters put me out to pasture," he explained unapologetically, "I went looking for the tallest grass I could find.")|
McSweeney, a former Hearst newspapers journalist and White House aide to LBJ, was president of another Hammer subsidiary, Occidental International Corp., and often invited Albert and Pauline Gore to accompany him on trips overseas. During stops in Los Angeles near Occidental headquarters, the two couples stayed in their favorite suite at the Beverly Wilshire.
David Maraniss and Ellen Nakashima, Washington Post,
Harry McPherson got the word to place another round of calls to ensure that there were no last-minute surprises. He reached Bill McSweeney, Gore Senior's friend and associate from Occidental Petroleum Corp., and asked him whether there was anything in the relationship between the Gores and Armand Hammer that might prove embarrassing.|
"Harry," McSweeney said to his fellow LBJ White House alumnus, "let me put it to you this way: Pauline Gore and I spent 20 years making sure that Armand Hammer was never alone in the same room with Al Gore so I could answer this phone call."
David Maraniss and Ellen Nakashima, Washington Post,
Hammer, who had attended every president's inauguration since FDR's in 1933, watched the performance with great interest a few feet away from the principals. He was the guest of Albert Gore, Jr., the freshman senator from Tennessee (and future vice president). At five previous inaugurations, he had been the guest of Gore's father, Albert Gore, Sr., who now headed Occidental's coal division and earned more than $500,000 a year. Hammer, despite his advancing age, still moved about with great energy, flailing his hand to greet other VIPs. His positioning was excellent. He was seated in the section of the stands reserved for the one hundred senators of the United States.
Edward Jay Epstein, Dossier: The secret history of Armand Hammer, Random House, New York, 1996, p. 303.
After he had entered the Senate in the early 1980s, Al Gore Jnr would always swing his influence to provide Hammer with a conspicuous place at presidential inaugurations. He helped to ensure that Hammer was invited, almost alone among private citizens, into the inner circle of the Capitol when Ronald Reagan was inaugurated for the second time. For the Bush inauguration in 1989, however, Al Gore exceeded himself.|
On the morning of the ceremony, Hammer and his entourage, including me, were among the few guests at the Gores' Washington apartment, where Al and Tipper personally served coffee and cookies. Tipper was effervescent and garrulous, while her husband was tense and guarded, his almond-shaped eyes darting sidelong glances. It looked as if he were in the grip of an unwanted compulsion, as if he didn't much care for us being there but had no choice.
After the party, Gore accompanied Hammer to his seat on the podium. Given Hammer's insatiable hunger for self-promotion, for showing himself off in the cockpits of world power, the place that Gore had reserved for his political godfather was a perfect gift of fealty.
"I had the best seat in the house," Hammer chortled afterwards. He was placed at the top of the platform, beside the steps and the double doors that led into the Capitol. When the ceremony was finished and the platform party mounted the steps, they formed a file to shake the hand of the little, ancient, myopic man who had risen with a grin to usher them in. The new President Bush shook Hammer's hand. The retiring President Reagan also shook his hand, followed by the new First Lady, the old First Lady, the new Vice President Quayle and his lady and the Chief Justice.
All the television networks carried the picture. CNN played the sequence every half-hour throughout the evening of election day. Millions of Americans and lonely travellers in hotel rooms around the world saw images that made it look as if Hammer had personally paid for the inauguration ceremony and everybody leaving the platform was thanking their host for the party. He was in raptures. All thanks to Al Jr.
WHY did Gore Jnr allow himself to be so closely embroiled in a compromising connection with such an unalloyed crook? He had little choice. He inherited from his father the mantle of being Hammer's principal boy in Washington. Gore's father effectively delivered his son into Armand Hammer's back-pocket.
Neil Lyndon, How Mr Clean got his hands dirty, Sunday Telegraph (London), 01-Nov-1998,
In 1961, memos between Hoover and William Sullivan, head of domestic counter-intelligence at the FBI, said that Hammer could not be pursued because he was "protected" by Senator Albert Gore Sr.
Russian Culture: Armand Hammer and Sickle?
Hammer had demonstrated, as Hoover had handwritten in his file, that he had "political support." At least two influential senators Styles Bridges of New Hampshire and Own Brewster of Maine and two important congressmen Albert Gore of Tennessee and Emanuel Cellar of New York were among his supporters. Hoover, who had survived in Washington for three decades because he understood the reality of power, had no interest in challenging this congressional phalanx. He decided to take no action. Hammer had effectively stalemated him.
Edward Jay Epstein, Dossier: The secret history of Armand Hammer, Random House, New York, 1996, pp. 173.
However, Hammer never gave anybody a bean without demanding a payback. In return for his cattle money, he required Gore to represent his interests in the political world. Gore obediently did his master's bidding. In the 1950s, Gore used his influence with J. Edgar Hoover to quash an FBI investigation and a hearing of the House UnAmerican Affairs' Committee into Hammer's dealings with the Soviet Union. Later, Gore defended Hammer on the floor of the Senate against allegations of bribery in obtaining Government contracts (allegations that later proved to be true).
Neil Lyndon, Sunday Telegraph (London),
That evening, Hammer was Senator Albert Gore's guest at one of the five black-tie inaugural balls. He could count on Gore for such invitations. He had made him his partner in the cattle-breeding business a partnership that had proved profitable and he had given him each Christmas over the past five years a gift of antique silver. Since Gore had been a close colleague of Kennedy's in the Senate, there seemed to be a good possibility that Kennedy might stop by his table, and Hammer sat patiently next to Pauline Gore, waiting for such a moment.
Edward Jay Epstein, Dossier: The secret history of Armand Hammer, Random House, New York, 1996, pp. 199.
Ever since he had returned from Russia in 1961, he had pushed, without success, to associate himself publicly with President Kennedy. He even had Senator Gore propose that he act as the president's intermediary to Berlin when another crisis occurred there. The White House did not respond to that offer [...].
Edward Jay Epstein, Dossier: The secret history of Armand Hammer, Random House, New York, 1996, pp. 208.
Since Hammer would not be going to Moscow under the aegis of President Kennedy, he needed another sponsor, and Senator Gore helped provide one.
Edward Jay Epstein, Dossier: The secret history of Armand Hammer, Random House, New York, 1996, pp. 202.
On 11/16/66, Assistant Director MALONE had occasion to converse with ARMAND HAMMER (Bufile 61-280), who indicated that he was greatly distressed over this present character assassination and intended to see Senatore GORE of Tennessee regarding the matter. He indicated that he would have Senator GORE see if the Director of the FBI, JOHN EDGAR HOOVER, could not do something about the matter. Mr. ARMAND HAMMER indicated to Mr. MALONE that some 15 years ago he had Senator STYLES BRIDGES have the Director conduct an investigation regarding his background to prove such allegations were false.
FOIA.FBI, Part 5, p. 85. Misspelling "Senatore" was in the original.
As head of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Gore used his influence on the US Ambassador in Libya to arrange a meeting between Hammer and King Idris. That meeting transformed the position of Occidental Petroleum, making it one of the biggest oil companies in the world and Hammer one of the world's most prominent entrepreneurs.|
At a cost of at least $5 million, Hammer bribed the old King and some of his ministers to give him a concession on a vast Libyan oil field that would ultimately produce 800,000 barrels of crude a day (worth roughly $20 million a day or almost $7.5 billion a year). Al Gore Snr was at Hammer's side on the day he paraded King Idris up a red carpet laid on the desert to open the new field.
Neil Lyndon, How Mr Clean got his hands dirty, Sunday Telegraph (London), 01-Nov-1998,
Occidental had contributed more than $470,000 to the Democratic Party. This included a check for $100,000 written two days after Occidental chairman, Ray Irani, was a guest in the Lincoln Bedroom. Gore received $35,550 directly.
Chuck Morse, Al Gore and Teapot Dome,
Throughout the whole of his life, Al Gore Snr and his family depended on pay-outs, kickbacks and subventions from Hammer. Like his father's before him, Al Gore Jnr's political career was lavishly sponsored by Hammer from the moment it began until Hammer died, only two years before Gore joined Clinton in the 1992 race for the White House.|
Federal Election Commission records show that Hammer, his wife, his corporations and junior members of his family all made contributions to Gore's campaigns up to the maximum amounts allowable by law. Some of these contributions came from Hammer's grandson Michael and his wife, Dru. [...]
The profound and prolonged involvement between Hammer and Gore has never been revealed nor investigated. Only trifling snippets about Gore and Hammer have ever appeared, and those in minor American publications. The few people in the world who know about their close involvement have always been dryly amused by Gore's Mr Clean reputation, a reputation only recently called into question over allegations of Gore's illicit fund-raising activities in the Presidential election of 1996. Gore's intimacy with Hammer was frequently visible to me throughout the Eighties when I worked on Hammer's personal staff and travelled constantly with him.
Hammer regularly met Al Gore Jnr for lunch or dinner on his visits to Washington. They would often eat together in the company of Occidental's Washington lobbyists and fixers who, on Hammer's behest, hosed tens of millions of dollars in bribes and favours into the political world. Al Gore and his wife, Tipper, attended Hammer's lavish parties and receptions in Washington: Hammer's 90th birthday party at the Watergate Hotel cost more than $10 million, including a promised fee on which he welched of $250,000 to the National Symphony Orchestra for their rendition of Happy Birthday to You.
Separately and together, the Gores sometimes used Hammer's luxurious private Boeing 727 for their own journeys and jaunts. Tipper once hitched a ride with us when Hammer was flying back to America from Europe. During the flight, Tipper Gore and I, seated on the sofas in the forward saloon, had a long conversation about the effect of media intrusion into the affairs of American politicians.
Neil Lyndon, How Mr Clean got his hands dirty, Sunday Telegraph (London), 01-Nov-1998,