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Dr. Rath Health Foundation

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Donald Rumsfeld

Donald Rumsfeld, U.S. Secretary of Defense

Donald Rumsfeld won Awards as the "Outstanding Chief Executive Officer in the pharmaceutical industry" in 1980 and 1981 for maximizing the profits of the pharmaceutical giant G. D. Searle & Company, where he was the CEO from 1977-1985 (Searle is now owned by Pfizer). Rumsfeld was on the board of ABB that sold its knowledge and equipment to build nuclear plants in North Korea. He also worked as a well payed consultant for the oil giant BP-Amoco and was on the board of Amylin Pharmaceuticals.

In 1997 he became chairman of the Pharma-Biothech company Gilead Sciences Inc. Even after his resignation from Gilead Sciences, he holds shares of his former employer in a value between $5,000,000 and $25,000,000. With the drugs Tamiflu, a Gilead drug licensed to Roche and used against the Avian Flu virus, and Viread, an antiretroviral drug (ARV) – a toxic compound sold to victims of AIDS – the politics of the Bush Administration are very profitable for Mr. Rumsfeld.

In 1983 Rumsfeld visited Baghdad, which made him the highest-ranking US official to visit Iraq in 6 years. He discussed “topics of mutual interest,” with Saddam. Read a report here.

Corporate Connections/Business Interests

Donald Rumsfeld started pushing for war in Iraq long before he became Bush's defense secretary. He signed multiple letters from the Project for the New American Century advocating intervention in the Middle East, and he was an active supporter of the Center for Security Policy, the hawkish think tank headed by Frank Gaffney that berated the Clinton administration for not getting tough with Saddam and for letting other rogues like North Korea off the hook easy. He was also a board member of several other conservative outfits, including the Hoover Institution and William Bennett's Empower America.

Rumsfeld's many business connections, although not as controversial as the dealings of other administration higher ups like Dick Cheney, have drawn some press attention--most notably, his work on an Iraq-Bechtel pipeline deal in the early 1980s. Reported the Glasgow Sunday Herald (April 13, 2003), "One fact [Rumsfeld] doesn't want reminded about is his former glad-handing with Saddam as Reagan's special envoy to Iraq in the early 1980s. While Saddam was blitzing the Ayatollah's armies with chemical weapons in the Iran-Iraq war, Rumsfeld spent most of his time talking to the Ba'ath Party about the building of an oil pipeline on behalf of the construction company Bechtel. Bechtel's former vice-chairman is George Shultz, Reagan's secretary of state."

Rumsfeld was also on the board of the multinational, Swiss-based company Asea Brown Boveri (ABB), a key contractor in several controversial development projects like the Three Gorges Project in China and the Bakun Dam in Malaysia.

According to Swiss Radio International, in 2000, while Rumsfeld was still on the ABB board, the company won a $200 million contract with Pyongyang to deliver equipment and services for two nuclear power plants. The reactors are part of deal that was struck between the United States and North Korea in 1994 in an effort to end Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program.

Interestingly, in 1998, Rumsfeld, one of the Bush administration's hardliners on Korea policy, chaired a congressional commission (the Rumsfeld Commission on the Ballistic Missile Threat) that argued that the Clinton administration erred when it made the 1994 deal with the North Koreans. Yet, while wearing his corporate hat, Rumsfeld was profiting from this very deal. He claims that the Korean reactor deal never came up in any of the ABB board meetings he attended.