News & Politics

Why Are Koch Brothers Trying to Masquerade as Libertarians?

Charles and David Koch have sold themselves as libertarians, but their money trail leads down Conservative Avenue.

There's nothing libertarian about the Koch brothers' hawkish views on military intervention, or their war on women and the LGBT community, VICE News reports.

While it’s difficult to notice on the surface, many of the organizations aimed at restricting women’s right to choose and battling equal legal protections for LGBT individuals are funded by Koch brother entities. Concerned Women for America, a group that promotes "Biblical values and family traditions," is one of them. Alison Howard, the group's communications director, told attendees at a rally earlier this year that gay marriage is bad for America.

"It is far past the time that we reject the lie that homosexuality and redefining marriage has no consequences," she said. "Marriage does not need to be redefined. It needs to be underlined! Marriage is between a man and woman!"

Concerned Women for America heavily promoted the Americans United for Israel conference that took place in Washington, D.C. last week. The event served as a platform for thousands of evangelical Christians cheering on the brutal invasion of Gaza. CWA also endorsed Judy Hice, a GOP candidate out of Georgia’s 10th congressional district who wants to end the separation of church and state, insists Muslims do not have First Amendment Rights, and questions Mitt Romney’s Mormon religion.

Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, which is controlled by Koch Industries' lobbyists and used to fund causes it favors, gave more than $8.1 million to CWA's issue advocacy branch.

But the Koch brothers’ pseudo-libertarian funding doesn’t stop there. Citizen Link, connected to the homophobic machine that is Focus on the Family, accepted $4.1 million from a Koch-controlled fund. Citizen Link spends a great deal of cash on efforts to encourage voters to cast their ballots against marriage equality laws and reproductive rights.

To voice their views on war, the Koch brothers use Concerned Veterans for America. The group is funded completely by a Koch-controlled limited liability corporation (LLC) and founded by a former Koch Industries lobbyist. Though classical libertarians are skeptical about war and see the prison at Guantánamo Bay as a waste of taxpayer resources, Concerned Veterans for America takes a peculiar outlook on how America should address both.  

"My advice to the president is at a minimum have an air strike—at a minimum, you have to flex on some level—as these men will think we're tolerant of their behavior," Jessie Jane Duff, an organizer with Concerned Veterans said during a radio interview about how to deal with ISIS.

During an interview with a Fox News host last month, Duff said the U.S. government should execute prisoners at Guantánamo Bay. She tweeted: "If we kill everyone in Gitmo (it wouldn't cost much) we'd be sending a very clear message to jihadist [sic]."

This doesn’t sound too libertarian, if you ask us.

Terrell Jermaine Starr is a senior editor at AlterNet. Follow him on Twitter @Russian_Starr.