- By Mike Boyer
Normally, I’m willing to overlook the hypocrisy of the liberal elite. If Al Gore and his Hollywood cronies want to fly around on gas-guzzling, atmosphere-polluting private jets while railing against global climate change, I’m willing to overlook it.
But the latest move by globe trotting, hyper-liberal billionaire George Soros borders on being too much. According to papers filed with the SEC, in the fourth quarter of 2006 Soros purchased nearly 2 million shares of … hold your breath … Halliburton. The Halliburton shares reportedly went for an average purchase price of $31.30 a share. That puts Soros’ total investment in Halliburton at around $62.6 million, or about 2 percent of his total portfolio.
Soros, of course, is the dean of Democratic money giving. And Halliburton, of course, is the company that embodies everything the Democrats see as evil. Dick Cheney is its former chief, for goodness’ sake. But Soros is also a man of contradictions. He supported campaign finance reform for years, only to declare that defeating President George W. Bush was the “central focus” of his life. To prove it, he sunk $24 million of his own “soft” money into the 2004 campaign, helping make that election one of the most divisive in modern history.
Soros’ position in Halliburton is reported to be his first, which means he bought it with a full understanding of Halliburton’s reputation. Soros may not see a problem with profiting from a company that has been accused of everything from sweatheart deals to cooking the books to serving U.S. troops lousy food in Iraq. The real question, however, is whether MoveOn.org, the Center for American Progress, and other organizations that have benefitted from Soros’ charity will see a problem with accepting money earned off Halliburton shares?
Colum Lynch is Foreign Policy's award-winning U.N.-based senior diplomatic reporter. Lynch previously wrote Foreign Policy's Turtle Bay blog, for which he was awarded the 2011 National Magazine Award for best reporting in digital media. He is also a recipient of the 2013 Elizabeth Neuffer Memorial Silver Prize for his coverage of the United Nations.
Before moving to Foreign Policy, Lynch reported on diplomacy and national security for the Washington Post for more than a decade. As the Washington Post's United Nations reporter, Lynch had been involved in the paper's diplomatic coverage of crises in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Sudan, and Somalia, as well as the nuclear standoffs with Iran and North Korea. He also played a key part in the Post's diplomatic reporting on the Iraq war, the International Criminal Court, the spread of weapons of mass destruction, and U.S. counterterrorism strategy. Lynch's enterprise reporting has explored the underside of international diplomacy. His investigations have uncovered a U.S. spying operation in Iraq, Dick Cheney's former company's financial links to Saddam Hussein, and documented numerous sexual misconduct and corruption scandals.
Lynch has appeared frequently on the Lehrer News Hour, MSNBC, NPR radio, and the BBC. He has also moderated public discussions on foreign policy, including interviews with Susan E. Rice, the U.S. National Security Advisor, Gerard Araud, France's U.N. ambassador, and other senior diplomatic leaders.
Born in Los Angeles, California, Lynch received a bachelor's degree from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1985 and a master's degree from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism in 1987. He previously worked for the Boston Globe.| Turtle Bay |
Daniel W. Drezner is professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and a senior editor at The National Interest. Prior to Fletcher, he taught at the University of Chicago and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Drezner has received fellowships from the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the Council on Foreign Relations, and Harvard University. He has previously held positions with Civic Education Project, the RAND Corporation, and the Treasury Department.| Daniel W. Drezner |