Maurice Strong Discusses His Pal
Al Gore's Dark Age `Cloak of Green'
by Scott Thompson
In an interview published in EIR last week, one of the high priests of evil, Martin Palmer, Prince Philip's "spiritual adviser on ecology," confirmed that U.S. Vice President Al Gore, Jr. has had a longstanding relationship with the British Royal Consort. Now, another consummate insider has come forward to speak with a Washington, D.C.-based journalist, providing details of his own relationship with Gore, in pursuit of some of the most ambitious one-world and "deep ecology" programs, programs that would spell doom for billions of people, should they ever be implemented.
Undersecretary General of the United Nations and Earth Council Chairman Maurice Strong has worked intimately with Al Gore for well over a decade. Strong was a co-founder with Prince Philip of the secretive 1001 Club, the main "piggybank" of the green-genocidalist World Wildlife Fund (WWF). The other 1001 Club initiator was former Nazi SS intelligence officer Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands. (For background on these institutions, see EIR Special Report, "The True Story Behind the Fall of the House of Windsor.")
Strong was vice president of the WWF during the decade that Prince Philip's was its president, and he is a politician and businessman extraordinaire. Strong handpicked the entire Canadian membership of the 1001 Club, from its inception in 1967, and is featured in their internal memoranda as among the three most powerful figures, along with Prince Philip and the late Sir Peter Scott.
Among the 80 or so "initiates" to the 1001 Club from Canada, who are referred to as "Strong's Kindergarten," are:
Maj. Louis Mortimer Bloomfield, the late head of the Montreal-based British intelligence front company Permindex (Permanent Industrial Expositions), which was accused by the French secret services and New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison of financing the attempted assassinations of President Charles de Gaulle and the successful murder of President John F. Kennedy.
Conrad Black, the head of the Hollinger Corporation, the British-steered global media cartel behind the murderous insurrection against President Clinton.
Peter Munk, the owner of Barrick Gold, the Canadian mining company involved with both former U.S. President George Bush and former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, in a worldwide raw materials grab, on behalf of the "British-American-Canadian" (BAC) oligarchy.
In order to fully appreciate the following interview, we provide first, a brief biographical sketch of Strong, principally as presented in Elaine Dewar's excellent book, Cloak of Green (Toronto: James Lorimer and Company, 1995). Strong was promoted, from a thread-bare existence during the Depression on the Canadian prairie, to become one of the leaders of the drive for globalized eco-fascism.
The Trust connection
Born in Oak Lake, Manitoba, in 1929, Strong never completed more than 11 years of schooling. Yet powerful interests found him to be the ideal candidate for rapid promotion to wealth and power. One reason is undoubtedly his sponsorship by a member of the American branch of his family, Anna Louise Strong, who is to all appearances a top-level member of what EIR has detailed as "The Trust," on behalf of both Mao Zedong's China and the Soviet Union.
Here is what Elaine Dewar writes about Anna Louise Strong:
"Born a generation ahead of him [Maurice Strong] were his distant cousins Tracy and Anna Louise Strong. The children of a Congregationalist missionary based in Friend, Nebraska, their lineage went all the way back to the men who helped endow Harvard and Yale. Christian activist Tracy Strong became a director of the YMCA's Prisoners' Aid Committee Alliance, based in Geneva. Anna Louise Strong, his sister, was a Marxist and a journalist and possibly a spy, although for whom it is difficult to be certain. In 1921, she got into the new Soviet Union as part of a Quaker aid committee and got to know members of the emerging Soviet hierarchy, including Trotsky; she wrote about the new Soviet Union for the Nation and for Hearst International. She became a member of the Comintern, later married the Soviet Union's wartime deputy minister of agriculture (a man who was purged later by Stalin). During the period between the two wars she traveled in China, corresponded and dined with Eleanor Roosevelt, wrote in praise of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal. She was treated with deep suspicion by the FBI, who thought she worked for Stalin's notorious spymaster Beria, but she also lectured at Stanford to U.S. intelligence personnel headed to China. In fact, she was flown to China by the U.S. Navy right after the war's end. She spent two years with Mao and Chou En-lai in the crucial period leading up to the defeat of the Kuomintang. When she returned, she carried secret messages from Chou En-lai. She was arrested in 1949 during a trip to the U.S.S.R. as an American spy. After Mao was victorious in China, she was denied her U.S. passport, and her association with persons in the U.S. State Department was listed as part of the grounds for their dismissals. Nevertheless, she managed to visit a nephew working in Mexico working for the Rockefeller Foundation and visit Guatemala in 1954 [the date of the CIA's coup d'état against Jacobo Arbenz as an alleged Communist], writing in praise of President Arbenz. She returned to China during the Cultural Revolution and died there in 1970, a full-fledged Friend of the Revolution, her burial organized by Chou En-lai himself. In part because of his connections to Anna Louise Strong, the Chinese trusted Maurice Strong."
It was not just the "Cultural Revolutionists" of Mao's China who trusted Maurice Strong because of this connection, but, also, such powerful families in the U.S. establishment as the Rockefellers, who were his early promoters and lifelong friends.
The years in the wilderness
Strong's father was a railroad man, who was laid off during the Depression. As a result of the hardship, his mother had a nervous breakdown and died in a mental institution at age 56. Strong early on became a socialist, even though his family supported the Liberal Party Prime Minister Mackenzie King. After only 11 years, Strong left school and got a job with the Hudson's Bay Company, near Chesterfield Inlet.
Strong did not stay long with this Crown-chartered firm, but quickly teamed up with an American adventurer named "Wild Bill" Richardson, who, after serving in the Royal Canadian Air Force, had begun prospecting in the North. Through his wife, Mary, (née McColl), Wild Bill had a tie with the family that founded the largest oil company in Canada, McColl-Frontenac. The company was controlled by its U.S. investor, Texaco, part of John D. Rockefeller's original oil trust monopoly. Wild Bill hired the 18-year-old Strong to be one of the "five men of the North" who would build his New Horizon Explorations Ltd. prospecting firm. Wild Bill also acted as a spy, stealing the mail of the National Council of Canadian-Soviet Friendship, which shared offices in the same building as NHE Ltd.'s Toronto headquarters.
Through Wild Bill, Strong was introduced to many of the future political leaders of Canada—e.g., Paul Martin, then Member of Parliament for Windsor—who would later help advance his career. Another important person whom Strong met at Wild Bill's home was Noah Monod, then treasurer of the United Nations, who invited Strong to New York, where he introduced him to David Rockefeller. This was the start of a lifelong friendship and business relationship. For the rest of his career, everywhere that Strong went, Rockefeller money was sure to follow.
Through Monod, Strong managed to arrange his first job at the newly formed UN, working in a minor capacity.
Two months after he joined the UN, Strong quit and went back to Winnipeg. After oil was struck in Leduc, he became an oil analyst in Calgary, where he met Jack Gallagher, a Standard Oil veteran, who had been hired by Dome Mines to build an oil and gas exploration company called Dome Explorations (Western) Ltd, which was controlled from New York through one Henrie Brunie, a close friend of John J. McCloy, a close ally of the Rockefeller family. Strong went to work as Gallagher's assistant.
In 1952, Strong sold his house, quit his job, and travelled with his new wife around the world, spending a great deal of time in Africa, where the Rockefeller brothers were trying to move in on the former French African colonies. In Nairobi, which was a center for this project, Strong got a job with CalTex, which hired him to explore for prospects in Eritrea, Zanzibar, Tanzania, Uganda, Mauritius, Madagascar, and Zaire/Congo. He stayed in Africa for a year before hopping a freighter back to Canada, arriving in Calgary in December 1954.
Back in Canada, Strong went back to work for Dome, as well as the YMCA, where Tracy Strong was a leader at the Geneva headquarters. Strong also became involved in Canada's Liberal Party politics. During an oil glut, Strong quit Dome and formed his own company, MF Strong Management Empire Trust, which was run by McCloy's friend Brunie, with two representatives on its board from the Rockefellers' Standard Oil of New Jersey, and one from their former Texaco holding.
Making it big
Next, through the Canadian head of the YMCA, Harold Rea, Strong got appointed as the new president of the Power Corporation, which Elaine Dewar describes: "Power Corporation was the network nodal point for Candian politicans and their arrangements. It had been put together in 1925, when Mackenzie King was prime minister, to control the ownership of power generation facilities across the country, specifically in Quebec, Manitoba, and British Columbia. Like a junior Octopus, it also held control blocks in many other oil and gas companies.... Power Corporation employed and still employs persons who organize the campaigns of those seeking public office."
As Strong described the advantages of being the president of Power Corporation to Dewar: "We controlled many companies, controlled political budgets. We influenced alot of appointments.... Politicians got to know you and you them."
Also, Strong could dole out patronage jobs. One person he hired was James D. Wolfensohn, a fresh, new Harvard MBA, to run the Australian-based subsidiary called SuperPower International. Wolfensohn went on to a lucrative career on Wall Street, and then created his own firm, James D. Wolfensohn Co., which is presided over by former Carter administration Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker.
Strong's close friend, the Australian-born Wolfensohn, was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II, shortly before taking over the World Bank, where he has worked closely with Prince Philip's pagan Alliance of Religion and Conservation (ARC) "to change the culture of the World Bank," as Martin Palmer reported in last week's EIR.
Strong left his high-paying job with Power, to take over Canada's External Aid program, where he reported to the Minister of External Affairs, his old friend Paul Martin. In collusion with Martin, Strong set up two of the first combined public-private covert operations, Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). An adjunct to the Canadian Foreign Ministry, IDRC was able to accept "charitable" donations from corporations and foundations. Chase Manhattan Bank and the Rockefeller Foundation, both at the time chaired by John J. McCloy, provided early largesse to the Strong unit, which spread environmentalist propaganda throughout the world, while also conducting a wide range of clandestine projects.
Strong confirmed to Dewar that he had employed the CIDA and IDRC to run political influence operations in Africa and other Third World countries.
In 1969, Strong got a call from the Swedish ambassador to the UN, whose country had pushed a resolution through to hold an international conference on the environment in Stockholm in 1972, asking Strong to take responsibility for this first-ever such conference. Canada's new Liberal Party Prime Minister, Pierre Trudeau, agreed to the appointment, and Strong went to New York, both as an Undersecretary General of the UN reporting to Secretary General U Thant, and as Secretary General of the Stockholm Conference.
He was made a trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation in 1971 (and serves still today as a board member), which gave a grant for running his Stockholm Conference office. He hired the British political intelligence operative Barbara Ward (Lady Jackson), who wrote much of the preparatory materials for the conference.
In parallel with former Rockefeller family protégé Sir Henry Kissinger, then President Nixon's National Security Adviser, Strong used his family ties with Anna Louise Strong to get Mao Zedong to send Beijing's first delegation to a UN event.
As Dewar reports: "At the Stockholm Conference opened in 1972, Strong warned urgently about the onset of global warming, the devastation of forests, the loss of biodiversity, the polluted oceans, and the population time bomb.... As I read this old speech, I realized it could almost be repeated at the Rio Summit."
One by-product of the Stockholm Conference was a new UN bureaucracy, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). In 1992, Strong served as Secretary General of the UN Conference on the Environment and Development (UNCED), which became known as the Rio Summit. Strong, who was later to be UNEP Secretary General, created the Earth Council out of that.
As Dewar writes: "The Rio Summit would take long steps towards a world in which nation states have withered away in favor of supranational and global institutions.... Advertised as the World's Greatest Summit, Rio was publicly described as a global negotiation to reconcile the need for environmental protection with the need for economic growth. The cognoscenti understood that there were other, deeper goals. These involved the shift of national regulatory powers to vast regional authorities; the opening of all remaining closed national economies to multinational interests; the strengthening of decision making structures far above and far below the grasp of newly minted national democracies; and, above all, the integration of the Soviet and Chinese ... into the global market system."
As our interview makes clear, Strong knew that the Rio Summit was aimed to destroy the sovereign nation-state republic. And, he relied heavily on his pal, Al Gore, to convince the United States government to participate at the heads-of-state level. Also, at the 1997 Kyoto Summit, where Strong was the representative of the UN Secretary General, it was again Gore, together with the Vice President's long-time friend British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who pushed through a reduction of so-called "greenhouse gas emissions" for the ostensibly "industrialized nations," at levels that would mean economic devastation worse than the Great Depression.
It is therefore not surprising that another hat that Maurice Strong has worn is that of Treasurer, now Fellow, of Lindesfarne, New York, whose founder, William Thompson, conceived it as a medieval village into which the remnants of humanity might be herded as a feudalist "concentration camp," once genocidal eco-facist policies of the sort advocated by Maurice Strong had taken hold. And, for good measure, Strong is the president of the World Economic Forum, the Davos, Switzerland annual summit of the world's private bankers', which will be keynoted this year by Vice President Al Gore.
Interview: Maurice Strong
UN Undersecretary General and Earth Council Chairman Maurice Strong gave this interview to Scott Thompson on Jan. 20, 1999.
Q: As you know, Vice President Al Gore is potentially President of the U.S. as of the year 2000 elections—if not earlier, through a Senate vote to convict on impeachment. I understand that you've had significant contact with Gore on questions of ecology. So I was wondering if you could say something about the details of your contacts, and then describe how you think a Gore administration might be better on these issues than the Clinton administration, which seems to have sort of shuffled it aside.
Strong: My own contact with Vice President Gore goes back to well before his Vice Presidency, particularly the time when he was so active in the Senate. And, as you know, he was in the Senate really one of the most effective in the whole environmental field. He was very active in the Global Parliamentarians movement, and, in fact, was instrumental in helping to form the Association of Global Parliamentarians.
Q: Could you tell a little about that?
Strong: Well, I may not get the precise names straight, but there is a Global Parliamentarians organization, which includes leading members of Congresses and Parliaments around the world, which was formed specifically to spearhead the movement amongst legislators on behalf of environmental issues, both national issues and international treaties and conventions and agreements. And, Al was the original co-chairman of that, the driving force in getting it moving....
Q: What were some of the specific issues that they took up?
Strong: Well, very early on, the ozone issue, which resulted in one of the first and most effective international agreements on an environmental issue. And the international convention on restricting trade in endangered species of wildlife. You know, ivory and all this stuff ... to try to reduce at the source the incentive for the destruction by poaching and [other] destruction of wildlife. And, those are just some examples. They also, were very active in respect of preparations for the Rio Summit.
I was the Secretary General, the one that actually ran it. The chairman was the President of the host country of Brazil.... Our staff was in charge of actual professional preparations.... The Rio Summit was the meeting of heads of government: That's why they called it the Earth Summit. It was the largest summit in history up to that point, I think probably the largest ever built. It was convened by the United Nations, and, in my role as Secretary General—I was the Undersecretary General of the United Nations—I was in charge of the Secretariat that did the substantive preparations for the conference.
Q: Can you tell me anything about Al Gore and the Earth Summit?
Strong: Yes, indeed. He was first of all very supportive of the movement within the United Nations to actually hold the conference.... The date of the actual conference was in June 1992.... But the conference was actually decided by the General Assembly, given a lengthy preparatory period, in 1969.
Gore was very active in the U.S. political movement to endorse the conference and to get it approved by the United Nations. And, subsequently, he was extremely active in helping to shape its agenda and helping to assure that it got the attention that it did.
Now, one of the things of interest at that stage was that that it was then a Republican administration. George Bush was President. There was a real question was whether the President would even attend the conference. And, of course, Al Gore, in his Senate role, was extremely active in bringing Bush in: number one, to have the President go; and, number two, to take a very forthcoming position on the issues. Bush, right up until almost the last minute, declined to commit himself to go. And, finally he did.
I can give you a little sidelight. His [Bush's] Chief of Staff at the time phoned me every day before he went down, when the conference was actually on, because I knew President Bush, and, so apart from the official reports they were getting from the conference as to how it was going and what kind of treatment the President could expect when he got there.... It was always possible that he might cancel at any moment, and so they asked me, would Senator Gore be in the room when the President spoke. And, I said, "Well, look, I can't control that, that's your responsibility. He's a member of your delegation. He's a member of your Congressional delegation, and, we as the Secretariat for the Congress cannot control that." As if I was going to do anything to deny Al Gore's presence in the room! But, it was interesting that [Bush] was very concerned.... He wanted assurance that Gore wouldn't be there. And, I said I couldn't give such assurance. After all, the U.S. delegation has so many passes to be on the floor at the time of the speech. The U.S. always has big delegations, and it's always impossible for them all to be seated at once, so they have to decide themselves how they'll divide the seats.... And, in the course of it, they did not give Senator Gore a seat. And (I can admit this now), I quietly gave him a pass as a special guest of mine, so he was in the room anyway.
Q: Let me ask you. Did you have anything to do with the Kyoto summit, where Al Gore and Tony Blair were so strong on the question of greenhouse gases?
Strong: I was actually there as the representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations. So, I actually was there to greet Al Gore when he arrived, and I was on the stage when he spoke.... I knew Gore, of course, a lot better than I knew Blair. So, I had pretty much a close relationship.... You know I'm a businessman as well an environmentalist. And, many of my businesses are in the United States. And, so, I had a role as a trustee of the Democratic National Committee at one stage, in the U.S. So, I had, some, you know, political contact with him as well.
Q: Very interesting. What did you think of Earth in the Balance? ... Now, I understand that Gore had a team, when he wrote this book in 1992. It was a team effort. Did you have a hand in that?
Strong: I was not a member of the team, but I was quite active in interaction with them. I would give Gore more credit for that. He started with input from his team, but he really put his own stamp on this. And, being a very experienced politician, he allowed his values—that is, environmental commitment—to override his sense of political self-interest, because he knew that staking these positions would attract an awful lot of flak. So, it took a lot of political courage, but this is the real Al Gore shining through, in the sense that his commitment to the environment and to related issues, the fundamental issues that affect life on earth.... This is a deep-seated value commitment, and it transcends the political. He is a consummate politician, and since being the Vice President in the Clinton administration, he has had to be careful not to be seen as a one-issue Vice President.... And, in order to be effective, he has had to, of course, yield some of his strong convictions to the practical political process, because you had a House, a Senate, that had been unsympathetic and even hostile to environmental issues. But the real Al Gore, I am sure, will re-emerge, because he hasn't gone away. He's only just had some of his commitments to some degree submerged in the political realities of this administration.
Q: Do you know Martin Palmer ... ?
Strong: Not personally.
Q: He's the spiritual adviser on ecology to Prince Philip. He told me that there had been correspondence between Prince Philip and Al Gore since the 1986 Assisi Conference. I think you would know about that....
Strong: That's right. They've been close.... On these issues, they are very much soulmates.
Q: Right, and apparently they met in 1990, when Prince Philip brought the Assisi process of religion and ecology to the United States. Could you tell me anything more about that relationship?
Strong: Well, it's one of mutual regard and respect. I would say it's as close as it could be with personalities of that kind. Charles is close....
Q: You mean Philip?
Strong: They both live busy lives, but they really do share a major interest. Their ideas on the environment are so similar.... I actually meet both of them. [Gore] has got a good relationship with Charles as well as Philip.... As a matter of fact in my view, he's much closer to Charles's views, than to Philip's views. I was actually Philip's vice president of the World Wildlife Fund, and, while he has given his substantial reputation, lending it to the World Wildlife Fund, his own view of environmental issues is very much narrower than that of Al Gore. Al sees it quite properly in the broader context of how you manage the economy, how you manage society generally. Whereas Prince Philip has seen it much more narrowly in traditional conservationist terms....
Q: You were also ... the treasurer of William Thompson's Lindesfarne model, which was a sustainable development village idea. Are you still in any way involved with this project?
Strong: Well, I think I am. I've never been able to get to their meetings in the last couple years, although I think they still list me as a Fellow, because I have a continuing interest. But, I haven't been able to participate—
Q: I understand Al Gore took an interest in that. Do you know anything about that?
Strong: I don't. I know he read some of William Thompson's stuff, and I think he knows some of the Lindesfarne Fellows, but I don't know him to have been actually active with Lindesfarne activities. Sympathetic with them, in contact with them. But, not active with them to my knowledge.
Q: And, what do you think of this project? Does it have any kind of viability in the world, in terms of a model for sustainable development?
Strong: Well, I think so. I mean we actually gave them land in Crestone, Colorado—
Q: Oh, someone at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine told me that that part had been dropped.
Strong: Well, no, what's happened is that it was, in fact, a very real impression of Lindesfarne. But, then they merged it with, gave it over to a Buddhist retreat center, which followed the same values. And, the community is thriving up there.... It's not called Lindesfarne, but, I believe they still have an association with Lindesfarne. In fact, Bakir Roshi [phonetic spelling], who runs it, is a Lindesfarne Fellow himself. The altitude there is over 7,500 feet, it got to the point where William Thompson couldn't even live there any longer, so he made that transition. But, the original Lindesfarne idea is very much alive there is that community.
Q: Who is Bakir Roshi?
Strong: Richard Baker, he's a Zen Buddhist monk.
Q: And, could you tell me a little more about this? When I raised with Martin Palmer the question of whether or not Al Gore was also close with Prince Charles, he simply said: "Well, there's a great gap between the offices of Prince Charles and of Prince Philip." And, he didn't say anything further. Could you tell me a little bit more about that relationship?
Strong: Well, I can't get into the personality aspects. I can, however, in terms of how I would assess their respective environmental issues or interests: Prince Philip's, as I mentioned, are far more traditionally conservationist and wildlife oriented.... Whereas Prince Charles has a much broader interest in environmental issues: everything from how cities are built, how buildings are built ... how societies are run, and the social implications of the environment. The broader implications of the environment, which are very much more in line with Al Gore's interests, as you find in his book....
Q: I understand you not only gave Sir James Wolfensohn his first job, but that you are an adviser to the World Bank—
Strong: To the president. To him as the president.
Q: And, Martin Palmer told me that Sir James is trying to change the culture of the World Bank. This is one reason why he got involved with Prince Philip's Alliance of Religion and Conservation at Lambeth Palace last February. Could you discuss that aspect?
Strong: He's one of my oldest friends, and I'm a very close friend and colleague. And, I know Jim has deep spiritual, ethical, and moral values. And, it's his role in the World Bank to try and bring the moral and ethical world into much more close interaction with the practical economic world—
Q: Would you have advised Sir James in changing the World Bank from these sort of mega-projects, huge dams and so forth, toward something that's more sustainable, environmental, appropriate technology-oriented?
Strong: Well, you know, the good thing about Jim is that he had most of these convictions for many years. I worked with him way back at the Stockholm Conference in 1972. He was there. He was one of the bright young men. So, he's had a long interest in these issues. He didn't need me to advise him on the more fundamental things such as incorporating the people aspects, as he's done, the social aspects, the environmental aspects. He knew not just to rely just on the big mega-projects, but to bring in the NGOs, the little people, citizens, religious leaders, foundation leaders. Those things he already had in mind and on his agenda, when he came. If I was any help, it was more a matter of helping him to actually implement some of those things.
Q: One of the companies my researcher came across that had been involved with both financially and ethically was Molten Metal.... Now, Vice President Gore praised this as a breakthrough technology, and I believe Peter Knight, who was a lobbyist for Molten Metal became the 1996 Clinton/Gore campaign manager, so I assume you know him?
Strong: Well, I don't really know him. I know about him, and I know of his role in the 1996 Clinton/Gore campaign. But, I can't recall that I ever met him, and, if I did, it would have been very superficial—
Q: I understand that some people may be in litigation with Molten Metal, and there were some claims that there was some sharp trading going on. What can you tell me about Molten Metal, as it involves you and the Vice President? How viable was this technology?
Strong: Well, from what I know and understood, and I believe the operations are proving it out now, the technology is an effective one. However, the problem with the company was that it takes sometimes more time and more money to develop certain technologies. And, sometimes they're not quite as economical as it would appear. And, so the company's problems were related more to the fact that they got ahead of themselves financially—
Q: You mean with the Vice President's support? Was he being iced out by the Department of Energy, because it seems like the Department of Energy cut off the research and development technology, that related to this—
Strong: Well, first, of all, the first funding that Molten Metal got from the U.S. government was from a Republican administration, so, although much was made of the fact that they also got money from—I think more money eventually—from a Democratic administration, it came through the professional, rather than the political process.
Q: I see. So, the Vice President had nothing to say about how, "Look, I've just said that this is one of the technologies that must be developed to reprocess hazardous waste, and, to have that effect, you must give more money."
Strong: I don't have a deeper knowledge of the particulars, but I do understand that the Vice President based his statement on a briefing from officials of the Department of Energy, who had a genuine knowledge of it and a genuine interest in it. It had been those officials who had promoted it for funding. My understanding is that there was some form of investigation that made it clear that Vice President Gore had never had anything to do with the allocation of the funding.... Now, of course, who knows? People may have heard his speech, and then been influenced by that—
Q: I understand there was some influence of the speech, at least in terms of the stock market, but apparently he did not have the werewithal to effect the DOE, in terms of continuing the project.
Also, my researcher came across a reference in Peter Munk's book—I guess you know Peter Munk?
Strong: Yes, I know him.
Q: And, it said that Peter Munk had been frozen out of the United States, in terms of his Barrick Gold, by Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt. Now, there's a reference in Peter Munk's book, that when he was being stonewalled by Babbitt, in terms of having the connection in the United States to open a gold field here, and that you helped put him in touch with Al Gore. Can you tell me anything about that?
Strong: No, I didn't actually put him in touch with Al Gore, because he already was in touch with Al Gore. I think through Vernon Jordan.... But, he knew that I knew Al Gore, and I might well have been happy to introduce the two, but I didn't actually need to do that, because he already had made contact.
Q: I wonder why he cited you in his book?
Strong: Well, I don't know. But I did send someone out to look at his mine.... You know, whether I thought I was doing a job, because I actually know something about the mining industry—I used to be in it. And, I felt they were doing, from what I could see, from what my expert could see, a very good job with that mine.... It was the one [mine] in the U.S. that I was looking at.... And, I never went to any of their other mines, the issue there was not so much an environmental issue, as an issue of title under the U.S. regulation or law, people who get mining claims have to pay only a very small royalty. And, the issue at that time with Babbitt, who's also a good friend, was that he used that as an example of a mine that was going to make a vast amount of money, and yet the U.S. government only got a small piece of it.
Q: I think the reserves were estimated at $10 billion—
Strong: Yes, well, Munk's assertion was that, well, yes, but that's been your law for years. We followed the same law. If you want to change the law, that's fine—
Q: But, otherwise, it was an environmentally qualitative operation?
Strong: Yes, I think so, that doesn't mean it was without flaws and had some challenges, but they spent a lot of money, and, I thought they were doing a good job. It was in that context that I made a positive remark at one stage about it. He may have relayed that to Al Gore, because I think he made a case to Al Gore, or somebody did on his behalf.