Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

Responding to Bob Beckel — A Public Statement from Mark Holden, General Counsel, Koch Industries

During a discussion on a Fox News program on Monday, March 19, partisan left-wing commentator Bob Beckel made outrageous and maliciously false statements about Koch. In reference to GOP presidential candidates, Beckel said, “the rest of them are taking money from the Koch brothers who are Iranian arms sellers.”

Mr. Beckel made the remarks in a bizarre effort to rebut concerns that the Obama campaign had accepted contributions from donors that have made disparaging remarks about women. He added, “But [Koch] traded arms with our enemies [and] I think that’s a lot worse.”

Mr. Beckel’s comments are reckless and wrong in many different ways. We assume he was referring to allegations contained in a widely criticized Bloomberg Markets article from last October. First, Koch has never manufactured, bought, sold, or traded arms of any kind or for any purpose — neither with Iran nor anyone else. Second, unlike many large contributors to the President and the Democratic party that Mr. Beckel is affiliated with that either continue to do business in Iran or did it at a much larger level for a longer time than Koch did, Koch voluntarily ceased all business in Iran several years ago.

At that time Koch put in place a policy that was stricter than US federal law that remains in place today. Third, the sales referred to in the Bloomberg Markets article related to petrochemical equipment [not arms] involving a foreign subsidiary of another foreign subsidiary of Koch that had in place protocols that were consistent with existing US law – something Bloomberg Markets itself was forced to concede.

Given the orchestrated campaign against us by those who oppose our views on public policy issues, we expect and have received partisan and baseless criticism and attacks over the past few years. Further, while it is hard to take a partisan hack like Mr. Beckel seriously and while he has made other misleading comments about us in the past, these new, entirely false charges out of whole cloth are a low even for him.

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