The Bush Family Saga
Part II - Part I Here
Just too many
Updated - 05/12/03: (Information Clearing House)I started this second part with the objective of extending the dossier on the Bush Gang, but I quickly realised that short of writing a (very long) book, I’d never be able to encapsulate all of it in the easy-to-digest form of an essay, hence the external pages, so that if you want to pursue a particular character or company, all you need do is click on a particular link. You'll find that many of the names and companies are cross-linked, pointing to the intricate network of associates that the Bush clan have built up over the years. No doubt if one were to do the same thing with Rockefeller, you'd end up with the same rats nest of associations (pun intended).
Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil
The fact that this litany of evil is effectively left unscrutinised and unquestioned by the dominant media, or, on the few occasions when it is mentioned, it’s only ‘in passing’, reveals the cynical, opportunistic attitude toward not only the concept of access to information, but acting on it. The system also makes a complete mockery of the so-called moral approach used by the leaders of the ‘free world’ when they accuse others of the same behaviour. Is it any wonder that we have populations who have ‘dropped out’ of the political process. Where is the accountability? Where indeed?
It’s a shell game
Assault on Liberty
"Failure to vote, as Britain’s
Chancellor remarked after the last UK election,
Satisfied or cynical? Or perhaps fatalistic about a system which has systematically encouraged its citizens to disenfranchise themselves?
Ultimately of course, it exposes the real nature of the political class and who it really serves – the rich and powerful and their utter disdain for those without any real power. With ‘elections’ being reduced to no more than tokenised democracy (only about a quarter of the electorate actually bother to vote in US national elections and a fraction more in the UK), it’s no surprise that firstly, there is no genuine representation ‘of the people, for the people, by the people’, but just as importantly, the total lack of representation or accountability encourages an arrogance and bravado on the part of the power elite that they can get away with anything, because they we let them (and they do)!
The 4th Estate – Absentee
Par for the Course
Oil and the bin Laden Connection
He died in a plane crash -- like his father -- but not before the Arbusto Energy Oil Company, founded in 1978, had become hugely successful. Later, Spectrum 7 Corp bought out Arbusto (now called Bush Exploration Co). In 1986, with the company on the verge of bankruptcy, it was purchased by Harken, and even though Bush Exploration Co had debts of $3 million, Harken paid Bush $2 million for his stock.
See also the BCCI (Bank of Credit & Commerce) connection below, another murky international scandal involving drug money laundering etc which one of the original investors in Arbusto, James R. Bath, a Houston businessman and old friend of GWB was involved in.
"Time magazine described Bath in 1991
as "a deal broker whose alleged associations run from the CIA
to a major shareholder and director of the Bank of Credit &
Commerce." BCCI, as it was more commonly known, closed its
doors in July 1991 amid charges of multibillion-dollar fraud and
global news reports that the financial institution had been heavily
involved in drug money laundering, arms brokering, covert
intelligence work, bribery of government officials and—here's the
kicker—aid to terrorists."
AT&T; Microsoft; Schering-Plough; Enterprise Rent-A-Car; Monsanto
As a senator from Missouri, John Ashcroft received generous campaign contributions from companies, including Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Monsanto, which were based in his home state. But a company didn’t have to be from Missouri to get some attention from the senator. Ashcroft was one of only a handful of senators sponsoring a bill that extended the patent on Schering-Plough’s ultra-profitable allergy pill, Claritin. Extending the patent, which expires in 2002, would save the company billions of dollars in potential revenue. The bill died in committee, but Schering-Plough still gave Ashcroft $50,000 for his failed 2000 Senate bid. Schering-Plough donated the money to Ashcroft’s joint fundraising committee, which Ashcroft set up with the National Republican Senatorial Committee to encourage unlimited soft money contributions from corporations that could not legally contribute to his main campaign committee. (Check out Schering-Plough's campaign contributions to other candidates.) Besides Schering-Plough, Ashcroft’s joint committee logged contributions from AT&T ($25,000) and Microsoft ($10,000). Microsoft, of course, is hoping the new attorney general drops the justice department’s antitrust suit against the company."
James Baker III
depositors of $10 billion in the '80s in what has been called the
"largest bank fraud in world financial history" by former
Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau."
The BCCI-Bush connection is, it could be argued an ‘accidental’ one, but it’s highly unlikely even if it is difficult to track, But the seeds are all there, including GW Snr’s CIA connection (as head of it) in the 1970s and the links to BCCI as well as his long time association with James R. Bath an investor in Arbusto. Bath, was a Houston businessman and old friend was also an investor in BCCI. Essentially, BCCI was a convenient ‘channel’ for moving money through to fund the various illegal enterprises being undertaken at the time including, Iran-Contra, the Iranian arms sales, CIA money laundering operations, connections to powerful Middle Eastern businessmen, the Vatican and its right-wing connections through BNL.
Perhaps this extract from "Texas Connections" http://www.thedubyareport.com/txconnect.html gives you an idea of the reach:
"… Sheikh Abdullah Bahksh of Saudi Arabia, a 16% shareholder in Harken Energy at the time, was represented by a Palestinian-born Chicago investor named Talat Othman, who served with George W. Bush on the board of Harken Energy. Othman made at least three separate visits to the White House to discuss Middle East affairs with then President George Bush. At about the same time, and just prior to the Gulf War, Harken Energy, with no previous international or offshore drilling experience, was awarded a 35-year petroleum exploration contract with the emirate of Bahrain.
Sheikh Bahksh emerged as a co-investor in the Bank of Commerce and Credit International (BCCI), a criminal enterprise since dissolved, that existed primarily as a mechanism for obtaining political influence using Middle Eastern oil money. Bahrain's prime minister, Sheik Khalifah bin-Sulman al-Khalifah, was a major investor in BCCI's parent company, BCCI Holdings, of Luxembourg. Through its commodities affiliate, Capcom, BCCI was used as a money laundering service by drug traffickers, arms dealers, etc. BCCI's front man in the U.S., and the person chiefly responsible for its takeover of First American Bank in the U.S., was Kamal Adham. Adham is referred to in the Kerry Committee report on BCCI as having been "the CIA's principal liaison for the entire Middle East from the mid-1960's through 1979." He was also the head of intelligence for Saudi Arabia during the time George Bush Sr. was Director of the CIA."
Connection – There’s no business like war business
His partners-in-crime include John Negroponte, the new ambassador to the UN, who served under Reagan as ambassador to Honduras from 1981-1985. He is known for his role in the cover up of human rights abuses by CIA trained paramilitaries throughout the region. Coincidentally? Honduran exiles associated with the paramilitary forces that had been living in the US, were exported to Canada prior to Negroponte's Senate confirmation hearing, thus rendering their testimony unavailable.
Another partner from the ‘good ol’ days is Otto Reich who has been appointed as Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs (which includes Latin America). The Bush administration used a "recess appointment" during January 2002 to side step the Senate confirmation hearing otherwise required of the appointment. Democrat opposition to Reich's nomination had been predicted.
But they are still up to their old tricks:
"The coup in Venezuela against Hugo Chavez sports the sticky fingerprints of all three men and the modus operandi of a long line of US-led cold war interventions.
But if these covert ops were tragedy, the Chavez plot was farce. The rapid unraveling of the coup suggested that the Venezuelan plotters would have done better seeking advise from Supreme Court Justice Rehnquist rather than from Reich. It soon became public that Bush officials maintained a web of connections with the conspirators and appeared to have foreknowledge of the plot. Using the same conduit Reagan used to fund the contras, the National Endowment for Democracy, the administration had funneled money to Venezuelan opposition.
According to British media, Abrams gave a nod to the plotters; Otto Reich, a former ambassador to Venezuela, met repeatedly with Pedro Carmona and other coup leaders. The day Carmona seized the presidency, Reich summoned ambassadors from Latin America and the Caribbean to his office and endorsed the new government.
Abrams pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of withholding information from Congress in 1991, for which George Bush senior subsequently pardoned him in December 1992."
Del Monte and IAT Group: Rotten Fruit? It just doesn’t stop…
From the report below:
"The new year begs for a fresh start. But business accusations of international bribery, nefarious investors and a Bush brother awkwardly involved in a troubled company all have a too-familiar ring.
Here's the latest Robert Ludlum-style financial spat.
…. Marvin Bush, the brother of President Bush and Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, joined the board of directors of Fresh Del Monte in 1998, after the alleged events took place. Marvin Bush was re-elected to the company's board this year for a term ending in 2005, and served on the board's critically important audit and compensation committees.
In October, Bush decided to resign from the board at the end of 2002. Without any public notice of Bush's planned departure by Fresh Del Monte, news of his pending resignation was not reported until last month."
The Harken Connection
Issue No. 41, Summer, 1992 by Jack Colhoun
This a consummate piece on the Bush family from
a magazine, now sadly defunct.
"This is an incredible deal, unbelievable for this small company," energy analyst Charles Strain told Forbes magazine, describing the oil production sharing agreement the Harken Energy Corporation signed in January 1990 with Bahrain.
Under the terms of the deal, Harken was given the exclusive right to explore for gas and oil off the shores of the Gulf island nation. If gas or oil were found in waters near two of the world's largest gas and oil fields, Harken would have exclusive marketing and transportation rights for the energy resources. Truly an "incredible deal" for a company that had never drilled an offshore well.
Strain failed to point out, however, the one fact that puts the Harken deal in focus: George Bush, Jr., the eldest son of George and Barbara Bush of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC, is a member of Harken's board of directors, a consultant, and a stockholder in the Texas-based company. In light of this connection, the deal makes more sense. The involvement of Junior-George Walker Bush's childhood nickname-with Harken is a walking conflict of interest. His relationship to President Bush, rather than any business acumen, made him a valuable asset for Harken, the Republican Party benefactors, Middle East oil sheikhs and covert operators who played a part in Harken's Bahrain deal.
In fact, Junior's track record as an oilman is pretty dismal. He began his career in Midland, Texas, in the mid-1970s when he founded Arbusto Energy, Inc. When oil prices dropped in the early 1980s, Arbusto fell upon hard times. Junior was only rescued from business failure when his company was purchased by Spectrum 7 Energy Corporation, a small oil firm owned by William DeWitt and Mercer Reynolds. As part of the September 1984 deal, Bush became Spectrum 7's president and was given a 13.6 percent share in the company's stock. Oil prices stayed low and within two years, Spectrum 7 was in trouble.
In the six months before Spectrum 7 was acquired by Harken in 1986, it had lost $400,000. In the buyout deal, George "Jr." and his partners were given more than $2 million worth of Harken stock for the 180-well operation. Made a director and hired as a "consultant" to Harken, Junior received another $600,000 of Harken stock, and has been paid between $42,000 and $120,000 a year since 1986.
Junior's value to Harken soon became apparent when the company needed an infusion of cash in the spring of 1987. Junior and other Harken officials met with Jackson Stephens, head of Stephens, Inc., a large investment bank in Little Rock, Arkansas (Stephens made a $100,000 contribution to the Reagan-Bush campaign in 1980 and gave another $100,000 to the Bush dinner committee in 1990.)
In 1987, Stephens made arrangements with Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS) to provide $25 million to Harken in return for a stock interest in Harken. As part of the Stephens-brokered deal, Sheikh Abdullah Bakhsh, a Saudi real estate tycoon and financier, joined Harken's board as a major investor. *5 Stephens, UBS, and Bakhsh each have ties to the scandal-ridden Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI).
It was Stephens who suggested in the late 1970s that BCCI purchase what became First American Bankshares in Washington, D.C. BCCI later acquired First American's predecessor, Financial General Bankshares. At the time of the Harken investment, UBS was a joint-venture partner with BCCI in a bank in Geneva, Switzerland. Bakhsh has been an investment partner in Saudi Arabia with Gaith Pharoan, identified by the U.S. Federal Reserve Board as a "front man" for BCCI's secret acquisitions of U.S. banks.
Stephens, Inc. played a role in the Harken deal with Bahrain as well. Former Stephens bankers David and Mike Edwards contacted Michael Ameen, the former chief of Mobil Oil's Middle East operations, when Bahrain broke off 1989 talks with Amoco for a gas and oil exploration contract. The Edwardses recommended Harken for the job and urged Ameen to get in touch with Bahrain, which he did.
"In the midst of Harken's talks with Bahrain, Ameen- simultaneously working as a State Department consultant-briefed the incoming U.S. ambassador in Bahrain, Charles Hostler," the Wall Street Journal noted, adding that Hostler, a San Diego real estate investor, was a $100,000 contributor to the Republican Party. Hostler claimed he never discussed Harken with the Bahrainis.
Harken lacked sufficient financing to explore off the coast of Bahrain so it brought in Bass Enterprises Production Company of Fort Worth, Texas, as a partner. The Bass family contributed more than $200,000 to the Republican Party in the late 1980s and early 1990s. *9 On June 22, 1990, George Jr. sold two-thirds of his Harken stock for $848,560-a cool 200 percent profit. The move was well timed. One week after Junior sold his stock, Harken announced a $23.2 million loss in quarterly earnings and Harken stock dropped sharply, losing 60 percent of its value over the next six months. On August 2, 1990, Iraqi troops moved into Kuwait and 541,000 U.S. forces were deployed to the Gulf.
"There is substantial evidence to suggest that Bush knew Harken was in dire straits in the weeks before he sold the $848,560 of Harken stock," asserted U.S. News & World Report. The magazine noted Harken appointed Junior to a "fairness committee" to study possible economic restructuring of the company. Junior worked closely with financial advisers from Smith Barney, Harris Upham & Company, who concluded "only drastic action could save Harken."
George "Jr." also violated Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations which require "insider" stock deals to be reported promptly, in Bush's case by July 10, 1990. He didn't file the stock sale with the SEC until the first week of March 1991.
Meanwhile, a cloak-and-dagger aura surrounds Junior's business dealings. James Bath, a Texas entrepreneur who invested $50,000 in Arbusto Energy, may be a business cutout for the CIA. Bath also acted as an investment "adviser" to Saudi Arabian oil sheikhs, linked to the outlaw BCCI, which also has ties to the CIA.
Bill White, a former Bath partner, claims that Bath has "national security" connections. White, a United States Naval Academy graduate and former fighter pilot, charges that Bath developed a network of off-shore companies to camouflage the movement of money and aircraft between Texas and the Middle East, especially Saudi Arabia.
Alan Quasha, a Harken director and former chair of the company, is the son of attorney William Quasha, who defended figures in the Nugan Hand Bank scandal in Australia. Closed in 1980, Nugan Hand was not only tied to drug-money laundering and U.S. intelligence and mi- litary circles, but also to the CIA's covert backing for a "constitutional coup" in Australia that caused the fall of Prime Minister Gough Whitlam.
The Harken deal with Bahrain raises another troubling question: Did the Bahrainis and the BCCI-linked Saudi oil sheikhs use the production sharing agreement with Harken to curry favor with the Bush administration and influence U.S. policy in the Middle East? Talat Othman's sudden rise to prominence in Bush administration foreign policy circles is a case in point. Othman, who sits on the Harken board as Sheikh Bakhsh's representative, didn't have access to President Bush before Harken's Bahrain agreement. "But since August 1990, the Palestinian-born Chicago investor has attended three White House meetings with President Bush to discuss Middle East policy," the Wall Street Journal pointed out. "His name was added by the White House to a select list of 15 Arab-Americans chosen to meet with President Bush, [then White House Chief of Staff John] Sununu and National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft in the White House two days after Iraq's August 1990 invasion of Kuwait."
The Jeb Bush Connection
"The Bush family connections go back to 1984 when Jeb Bush began a close association with Camilo Padreda, a former intelligence officer with the Batista dictatorship overthrown by Fidel Castro.
Jeb Bush was then the chairman of the Dade county Republican party and Padreda its finance chairman. Padreda had earlier been indicted on a $500,000 (£320,000) embezzlement charge along with a fellow exile, Hernandez Cartaya, but the charges were dropped, reportedly after the CIA stated that Cartaya had worked for them.
Padreda later pleaded guilty to defrauding the housing and urban development department of millions of dollars during the 1980s.
The president's younger brother was also on the payroll in the 80s of the prominent Cuban exile Miguel Recarey, who had earlier assisted the CIA in attempts to assassinate President Castro.
Recarey, who ran International Medical Centers (IMC), employed Jeb Bush as a real estate consultant and paid him a $75,000 fee for finding the company a new location, although the move never took place, which raised questions at the time. Jeb Bush did, however, lobby the Reagan/Bush administration vigorously and successfully on behalf of Recarey and IMC. "I want to be very wealthy," Jeb Bush told the Miami News when questioned during that period.
In 1985, Jeb Bush acted as a conduit on behalf of supporters of the Nicaraguan contras with his father, then the vice-president, and helped arrange for IMC to provide free medical treatment for the contras.
Recarey was later charged with massive medicare fraud but fled the US before his trial and is now a fugitive.
Jeb Bush sealed his popularity with the Cuban exile community by acting as campaign manager for another prominent Cuban-American, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, when she ran successfully for Congress.
George Bush Sr famously appeared with her during her campaign in Miami declaring: "I am certain in my heart I will be the first American president to step foot on the soil of a free and independent Cuba."
She has since lobbied successfully for the release of several exiles convicted of terrorist offences held in US jails but who now live freely in Miami.
Most controversially, at the request of Jeb, Mr Bush Sr intervened to release the convicted Cuban terrorist Orlando Bosch from prison and then granted him US residency.
According to the justice department in George Bush Sr's administration, Bosch had participated in more than 30 terrorist acts. He was convicted of firing a rocket into a Polish ship which was on passage to Cuba. He was also implicated in the 1976 blowing-up of a Cubana plane flying to Havana from Venezuela in which all 73 civilians on board were killed.
CIA memorandums strongly suggest, according to Bardach's book, that Bosch was one of the conspirators, and quotes the then secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, as writing that the "US government had been planning to suggest Bosch's deportation before Cubana airlines crash took place for his suspected involvement in other terrorist acts and violation of his parole".
Bosch's release, often referred to in the US media as a pardon, was the result of pressure brought by hardline Cubans in Miami, with Jeb Bush serving as their point man. Bosch now lives in Miami and remains unrepentant about his militant activities, according to Bardach.
In July this year, Jeb Bush nominated Raoul Cantero, the grandson of Batista, as a Florida supreme court judge despite his lack of experience. Mr Cantero had previously represented Bosch and acted as his spokesman, once describing Bosch on Miami radio as a "great Cuban patriot"".
Cheney, champion of democracy?
Endowment for the Preservation of Liberty
"Bush nominee linked to Latin American
terrorism" By Bill Vann 24 November 2001
"As the Bush administration exhorts governments throughout the world to line up behind its "war on terrorism," it is pressuring the US Senate to push through confirmation of a nominee to a key foreign policy position whose own links to terror and an illegal CIA propaganda operation have raised concerns even among the usually docile Democratic leadership.
"Otto Reich came to prominence during
the Reagan administration when he was appointed head of the office
of public diplomacy within the state department. According to the
national security archives, Reich used this role to pursue his own
agenda to such an extent that in 1987 the Comptroller-General of the
US, a Republican appointee, found that some of the efforts of his
office were "prohibited, covert propaganda activities ...
beyond the range of acceptable agency public information
activities". A letter of September 30 1987 concluded that
Reich's office had violated "a restriction on the state
department's annual appropriations prohibiting the use of federal
funds for publicity or propaganda purposes not authorised by
He is now George Bush's assistant secretary of state for western hemisphere affairs. The central point is that Bush is filling his government with characters like this, people who have broken the law, an enemy of human rights, a thoroughly unsavoury character.
Armitage – another Iran-Contra figure come back to haunt us
Silverado Savings and Loan Scandal
Altogether, it’s been calculated that bailing out the failed S&Ls countrywide cost the US taxpayer around $1.4 trillion!
There are nowhere as many digital sources on the S&L debacle because it predates the Web. Much of it is contained in pages that refer to the numerous scandals and malfeasances of the Bush clan at large. Even so, I’ve managed to uncover a number of dedicated sources.
KuAm (Kuwait-American Corporation), HCC Insurance
Who is Marvin P. Bush?
Marvin P. Bush is the founder (1993) and Managing Partner of Winston Partners Group of Vienna, Virginia. It's a private investment company. He is also the Managing General Partner of Winston Growth Fund, LLP; Winston International Growth Fund, LP; Winston Small Cap Growth Fund, LP; all related companies.
Before this, he spent 12 years in the investment business with the firms of Mosley, Hallgarten, Estabrook and Weeden, Shearson Lehman Brothers, and John Stewart Darrel & Company.
In January, 1998, Marvin Bush was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Fresh Del Monte Produce company, the giant fruit company (major product bananas) that makes the canned goods we buy in our markets. Del Monte is owned by a very wealthy family from Kuwait, the Abu-Ghazaleh family. Mohammed Abu-Ghazaleh is the CEO and he has several family members on the Board alongside Marvin Bush. Another member of the Fresh Del Monte Board of Directors is Stephen Way, who is a major Bush fundraiser. Way is the head of the Houston-based HCC Insurance Holdings Company. In early 2000, Stephen Way acquired the appointment of Marvin Bush to the Board of Directors of HCC. In that transaction, Bush not only landed a very large salary, but a sweet stock option deal. He purchased about $130,000 worth of HCC stock which is now valued at close to $600,000, not even one year later.
Marvin Bush is also on the Board of Directors of something called the Kerrco Company.
Marvin also was named to the Board of Directors of the Stratesec Company, another large publicly-traded firm. This company is very secretive and you can find virtually nothing about it. Their website does not allow entry to several links unless one has a password. Virginia-based Stratesec is a provider of high-tech security systems. Two of the major customers for which they provide security are the Dulles International Airport at Washington, D.C. and the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Stratesec's revenues recently went up by 60%, due to what the company describes as "new customers" Prominent people at Stratesec also include former Reagan operatives including Barry McDaniel and Air Force General James A. Abrahamson (who was involved in the Reagan "Star Wars" project). Stratesec is a company is heavily inter-related with the Kuwam Corporation ("Kuw" = Kuwait; "am" = America). Kuwam is a major Kuwaiti Company into many, many activities including the aircraft business. Stratesec's Chief Executive is also the Managing Director of Kuwam Corporation and Kuwam's Chairman Mishal Yousef Saud Al Sabah sits on Stratesec's Board of Directors. Stratesec is providing the primary security for one of the most sensitive airports in the world. Dulles in D.C., has a heavy middle eastern airline connection.
Another can of worms. Actually, I’m getting fed up with the Bush clan. It’s like the only life they have is screwing up everybody else’s! Sybase software is part of the Choicepoint system which is part of the Patriot Act which part of the whole damn system for keeping track of everybody and everything we do, read, visit, buy, and no doubt think about.
Other important sources
Federation of American Scientists Website http://www.fas.org/index.html
The FAS Website contains probably the most complete record of the US dealings with the Iraqi regime, arms sales and related information, including Congressional records. For example I did a search on "iraqi arms sales" and pulled up 882 locations including:
"1992 Congressional Record Documents"
A particularly useful set of documents, because they are the official record of US congressional representative Henry B. Gonzalez and his longstanding investigations into a range of related dealings which included BCCI, Banco Nazionale Lavoro (BNL), Iraq-gate, illicit arms dealings, and especially attempts by the Bush government to block his investigations. http://www.fas.org/spp/starwars/congress/1992/index.html
Other Bush family -connected Companies &
Other Bush Men (and the odd woman) that
at some point, I'll get around to adding to this dossier.
A final word; I’m all Bushed out as the saying goes, but if I’ve learned one thing in putting this testimony together (because that’s what it is), it’s the awesome power of US capitalism to corrupt and to corrupt totally. Defeating a juggernaut of this size is going to be a long struggle, probably not in my lifetime but what the hell!
Copyright © 2003. William Bowles. All rights reserved.
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