In the spring of 2010, Chuck Hagel was nominated to serve on the Board of Directors of Chevron. There is no American oil company with more intimate connections than Chevron, which created ARAMCO before the Saudis took it over. But the Saudis didn’t just take over ARAMCO, they control Chevron indirectly through oil.
Chevron is one of Saudi Arabia’s largest purchasers of crude and its access to Saudi oil fields is a big chunk of its business model. Tofiq Al-Gabsani, the president of Saudi Refining, a subsidiary of ARAMCO, sits on the board of the American Petroleum Institute. And the situation goes back a while.
Driven by oil revenues, the Arab lobby’s leverage in affecting American policy was demonstrated in early 1973 when Mobil published a pro-Arab advertorial in The New York Times. In July of that year, the chairman of Standard Oil of California (now called Chevron) distributed a letter asking the company’s 40,000 employees and 262,000 stockholders to pressure their elected representatives to support “the aspirations of the Arab people.”
When another Arab-Israeli war broke out in October 1973, the chairmen of the ARAMCO partners issued a memorandum warning the White House against increasing its military aid to Israel.
Hagel would not be the first cabinet member to have served on Chevron’s board. That is unfortunately a longstanding practice which reveals just how much control the Saudi Lobby has over America.