[3 December 2018: Since relocating this site, some of the links used toward the end of the document are most likely broken. I have the files, I just need to reupload them to this location. At least I’ve moved the images. A different and I think better version of this essay was published in ‘Devastating Society’, edited by Bernd Hamm, Pluto Press, 2005. WB]
“Duty, Honor, Country
The Life and Legacy of Prescott Bush
By Mickey Herskowitz
This paean to the life of Prescott Bush, by a conservative writer is a salutory warning to us all. I quote,
“He [Prescott Bush] was a unifier, not a divider. And he was of such high integrity [sic] that behind the scenes was where he was at his best. He was a man of great faith. His grandfather was a minister whose faith and integrity were fully ingrained in the Bush family. Prescott always emphasized honesty, charity, fairness and proactive dedication to God, family and country.”
From a review by Susan Kurz.
I could go on quoting, but I’m afraid I’ll throw up. Check it out for yourself at http://www.townhall.com/bookclub/herskowitz.html. Townhall.com is, by the way, “the first truly interactive community on the Internet to bring Internet users, conservative public policy organizations, congressional staff, and political activists together under the broad umbrella of “conservative” thoughts, ideas and actions.”
There’s none so blind as those that refuse to see.
From Eugenicist to anti-abortionist
Not content with digging up the ancestors, supporting Fascism, laundering Nazi money through a Dutch-based bank, selling weapons to the mullahs of Iran, trading guns for drugs, doing business deals with Osama bin Laden, the Bush family in the form of ol’ granpa Prescott was an early supporter of the Eugenics movement (or racial purity, to give it its real name). And a rather embarassing connection it is too, as Bush Snr discovered:
“…And the Birth Control League was there, which had long trumpeted the need for eugenical births–fewer births for parents with “inferior” bloodlines. Prescott [Bush’s] partner Tighe was a Connecticut director of the league, and the Connecticut league’s medical advisor was eugenics advocate Dr. Winternitz of Yale Medical School.
Now in 1950, people who knew something about Prescott Bush knew that he had very unsavory roots in the eugenics movement. There were then, just after the anti-Hitler war, few open advocates of sterilization of “unfit” or “unnecessary” people. (That would be revived later, with the help of General Draper and his friend George Bush.
Then, very late in the 1950 senatorial campaign, Prescott Bush was publicly exposed for being an activist in that section of the old fascist eugenics movement. Prescott Bush lost the election by about 1,000 out of 862,000 votes
In his foreword to a population control propaganda book, George Bush wrote about that 1950 election: “My own first awareness of birth control as a public policy issue came with a jolt in 1950 when my father was running for United States Senate in Connecticut. Drew Pearson, on the Sunday before Election day, ‘revealed’ that my father was involved with Planned Parenthood…. Many political observers felt a sufficient number of voters were swayed by his alleged contacts with the birth controllers to cost him the election….”
The Bush story is such a fascinating history of capitalist corruption and power that it needs to be presented to a public that is consistently lied to, not only by the corporate media but by our so-called leaders. In Part Two, I’m going to give you the low-down on the Bush family’s involvement in the scams and dealings of the Reagan years, the Iran-Contra scandal and one of the biggest rip-offs in history, the Savings and Loan scandal, which cost the US taxpayer literally trillions of dollars.
“You can fool some of the people all of the time, and those are the ones you have to focus on” — GW Bush
“You have to look at the entire Bush Family in this context — as if the family ran a corporation called ‘Frauds-R-Us,’
George Jr.’s specialty was insurance and security fraud.
Jeb’s specialty was oil and gas fraud.
Neil’s specialty was real estate fraud.
Prescott’s specialty was banking fraud.
And George Sr.’s specialty? All of the above.” — Lt. Cmdr. Al Martin, US Navy,(Ret)
“While opportunism isn’t new in U.S. politics, never did so many in one family extract so many dollars from taxpayers as when George Bush senior was president a decade ago” — David E. Scheim, author of Contract on America.
“What you’ve got with Bush [George senior] is absolutely the largest number of siblings and children involved in what looks like a never-ending hustle.” — Republican pundit Kevin Philips
“Texas businessmen [are] not crooks, “they just have an over-developed sense of the extenuating circumstance.”” — Molly Ivins
Just too many jinks, links
5/12/03. 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).
And in any case, the critical issue is not so much the individual goings-on of these ne’er do wells, but that they are typical of a system, which since its foundation (one built on slavery, genocide, continental land theft and gangster capitalism) has utterly corrupt institutions which it nevertheless claims make it the bastion of the ‘free world’! As the saying goes, they have ‘no shame’.
Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil
The other really important question to ask is how can one family which has so many skeletons in the family closet, get away with such dirty dealings and over such a long period of time without being called to task? It’s as if the mass media goes deaf, dumb and blind when the name Bush comes up. For no matter what your politics are, left, right or indifferent, a family which has its fingers in so many dirty dealings has surely got to get you thinking about exactly what kind of country it is you live in (if you’re an American) and what kind of world is it that’s dominated by a country with a media (not to mention a legal system) that’s quite content not to challenge its president or his lying, thiefing family and their tenticular network of associations which includes: the Mafia, the Chinese Communist Party, Japanese Triads, the Vatican, Central American drug smugglers and gun runners, international arms dealers, the Ayotollah Khomeini (RIP), Cuban-American terrorists, money laundering, illegal arms sales, countless conflicts of interests, nepotism, coverups, tax avoidance, SEC fiddles and banking scams? A veritable ‘school for scoundrels’.
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
In recent years the problem has been excerbated by the ‘gutting’ of the government through wholesale deregulation and privatisation, which has enabled those with the ‘right’ connections to gain access to vast gobs of money in the form of subsidies and lucrative contracts (eg Marvin Bush’s Ignite corporation, or the Kuwaiti Harken Oil deals, Choicepoint’s Homeland Security contracts and the software company it uses, Sybase Inc which has Bush family connections). The effect has been to turn various and sundry government agencies into hollow shells. Companies can then effectively write themselves blank cheques or simply ignore the toothless edicts issued by the regulators (eg the SEC over the Silverado S&L scandal).
Assault on Liberty
The assault on the rights of citizens, won at great cost and over generations of struggle, has since the 1970s, been steadily eroded to the point that we are now left with a façade of the original, a cardboard mockup that has all the appearances democracy, civil rights and so forth but virtually no substance. Our cynical leaders would have us believe that,
“Failure to vote, as Britain’s Chancellor remarked after the last UK election, is the mark of the satisfied citizen.” — Perry Anderson
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 Landlords
A comparable process is at work in the ‘4th Estate’ who have reduced journalism (when they bother to actually cover the real stories) to another hollow shell, where the act of merely reporting is now considered sufficient to fulfill their obligations as ‘watchdogs’ of the nation’s affairs. The thought of actually leading with a story, and pursuing it, day after day, until someone actually takes notice and says, ‘enough is enough’ is simply not permitted because the same corporations that own the media are also part and parcel of the same power elite that’s busy ripping off the nation and holding the world to ransom.
Par for the Course
Forget ‘Dynasty’, although maybe they got the idea for the programme from the Bush posse. Staggering, is all I can say about the Bush family saga. Yet actually it’s par for the course as they say and not at all exceptional in the annals of the US power elite. The history of US capitalism is made up of family dynasties of one kind or another, from the robber barons of the Du Ponts, Mellons, Morgans, Rockefellers, Carnegies and Kennedys, through to the newcomers like Enron, Worldcom, Halliburton, Bechtel, Harken, Carlyle and so forth. And, like the landed aristocracies of England, they marry into each other’s families, go to the same schools and universities, sit on each other’s corporate boards and invest in each other’s business dealings. Importantly, they watch each other’s backs and for obvious reasons.
Below are the sections in alphabetical order, of some of the companies and individuals connected to the Bush family (or vice versa). Clicking on the bold link at the start of each section will take you to a page of additional links.
Arbusto Oil and the bin Laden Connection
Oh what a tangled Web we weave. Salem bin Laden, one of 57 children their father Mohammed sired with his 12 wives, and Bush were founders of the Arbusto Energy oil company in Texas (I assume not with the 12 wives as well).
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.”
John Ashcroft Attorney General and Defender of the Confederacy
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.”
Baker & Botts
James Baker III
“He says the government shouldn’t overreact to corporate scandals. He led the campaigns of the last four Republican presidents. He watched the September 11 attacks at the Ritz-Carlton with the Bin Laden family. He’s defending the Saudi’s against a trillion-dollar lawsuit brought forth by the September 11 families.
BCCI (Bank of Credit & Commerce)
“BCCI defrauded 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‘ 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.”
Carlyle Connection — There’s no business like war business
There are so many connections between the Bushes, the ‘Defence’ establishment, the global trade in arms, that the mind boggles. That it barely gets a mention in the mainstream media (except of course, to simply ‘report’ it) is a scandal of the grandest proportions. But it only goes to show the power of big business and the political class they have installed in both the US and the UK (after all, John Major is employed by the Carlyle Group and BAE Systems, the major arms supplier to the UK, is part-owned by Carlyle). Not only the connections beggar belief but the sheer hypocrisy of the Bush government should put it in a new category in the Guinness Book of Records. As you’ll see from just a few of the links to information on Carlyle below, their tentacles extend to many of the armed conflicts going on in the world. There’s no business like war business!
Unless you were around and following events in the 1980s, especially Central American affairs and later, the Iran-contra scandal, you probably won’t know who Elliot Abrams is. More’s the pity too. As Reagan’s Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs he used to oversee US foreign policy in Latin America, and was active in covering up some of the worst atrocities committed by the US-sponsored Contras. According to congressional records, under Abram’s watch, the Contras “raped, tortured, and killed unarmed civilians, including children,” and that “groups of civilians, including women and children, were burned, dismembered, blinded and beheaded.”
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.” — Terry Allen
As there’s so much information on the Bush-Enron connection (over a quarter of a million links on Google), rather than attempt to show the bankruptcy side of things, I’ve sifted through a number of stories and tried to find the ones which show the bigger picture, starting wuth the Argentine connection between Enron, the Bushes, George Snr, Jeb and Neil.
Fresh Del Monte and IAT Group: Rotten Fruit? It just doesn’t stop…
Let’s start with January 2003.
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
Taken from Covert Action Quarterly “The Family That Preys Together
Issue No. 41, Summer, 1992 by Jack Colhoun
This a consummate piece on the Bush family from a magazine, now sadly defunct.
For the full article: http://mediafilter.org/caq/BushFamilyPreys.html
“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.”
This maybe small potatoes by comparison with all the other Bush clan scams, but nevertheless Ignite! Learning has made Neil Bush $20 million over the past three years. Not bad for a guy who ran Silverado S&L into the ground. With accusations of nepotism flying around all over the place, especially now that Neil Bush is trying to get the Florida school system to buy into his learning software (at $30 a pop per student per year), the state that his brother Jeb is governor of, it’s no wonder. Connected is the wholesale privatisation of state services, which opens such areas as education to the predations of people like Neil Bush and indeed, the whole issue of influence peddling and nepotism.
International Medical Centers
The Jeb Bush Connection
This is a murky story with connections to the Nicaraguan Contras, the Mafia, Cuban-American terrorists, Iran-Contra, bribery and corruption, coverups and the CIA. Essentially, IMC was contracted to give medical assistance to the Nicaraguan Contras but the story is in fact, a lot more complex and gives you some idea of just how inter-connected events really are, especially when you’re dealing the Bush clan. Perhaps this review of a book by Duncan Campbell The Bush Dynasty and the Cuban Criminal, will give you some idea:
“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””.
Lynne Cheney, champion of democracy?
“Lynne Cheney, wife of Vice President Dick Cheney, Frank Gaffney, James Woolsey, and William Bennett, former Secretary of Education in the Reagan Administration, all play prominent roles in domestic suppression of criticism of the War on Terrorism. A group founded by Lynne Cheney, the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, recently released a report titled “Defending Civilization.” It listed 127 “unpatriotic” statements made on U.S. college campuses since September 11.”
National Endowment for the Preservation of Liberty
This takes us back to the 1980s although as the article below informs, like a bad meal, the sins of the past keep coming back, in this case it’s Otto Reich who was part of the original Contra force funded and supported by the Reagan/Bush government with its links to drugs for guns and connections to the CIA and the Iran-Contra affair. I have also included links to the official CIA version of events.
“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.
“”First of all, I would ask them not to participate in sexual tourism, which is one of the main industries in Cuba,” said Reich,” referring to American business leaders on a trip to Cuba. Reich also compared Fidel Castro to Adolf Hitler.
Who is Otto Reich? Well basically, he’s a friend of terrorists, there’s no other way to describe him.
“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 Congress””.
Duncan Campbell – The Guardian http://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/FoT.html
He is now George Bush’s assistant secretary of state for western hemisphere affairs which, in order for Bush to do, he had to sidestep Congress, using an underhanded method called a ‘recess appointment’. 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.
Richard Armitage — another Iran-Contra figure come back to haunt us
“On March 23, after being recommended in a unanimous 18-0 vote by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, former Vietnam-era covert operative and Contra-era figure Richard Armitage was confirmed as Deputy Secretary of State in a voice vote on the Senate Floor. The unchallenged confirmation of a figure who had previously been investigated by President Reagan’s Commission on Organized Crime (1984) for alleged links to gambling and prostitution was totally ignored by the major American media. Armitage has already begun work at the State Department and is deeply involved in negotiations over a US spy plane recently captured by the Chinese government.”
Source: From the Wilderness http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/politics/armitage_SS.html
The Silverado Savings and Loan Scandal
The savings and loans crashes of the 1980s, themselves directly the result of Reagan’s deregulation of the banking industry, is more interesting because of how it reflects the rapacious nature of unbridled capitalism than of Neil Bush himself. Who by the way, is now embroiled in another scam with his latest venture, educational software, Ignite (turnover $20 million, much of it from educational subsidies obtained in the state of Florida ,where, ‘coincidentally’ of course, his bro Jeb, is governor).
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.
Stratesec/Securacom, KuAm (Kuwait-American Corporation), HCC Insurance
The links between these companies is strange. All have a Bush connection as well as a World Trade Centre, United Airlines, Dulles International Airport security, aviation and Kuwaiti connection. What is known, is that SEC regulations were breached by Marvin Bush in filings submitted to the SEC.
Who is Marvin P. Bush?
The public rarely sees Marvin P. Bush, brother of President Bush II.
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.
Winston Partners, Sybase, Choicepoint, H.R. 3162, called “The Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act” (or USA Patriot)
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.
Zapata is the story of oil and the Bush clan and of course, Texas. This is the company GW Bush Snr founded in 1953 and, depending on your predilictions for conspiracies, the Bush connection can take you all the way to the Kennedy assassination and back, and given the scale and scope of the Bush saga, it doesn’t surprise me at all, if indeed there are links between all the goings on of the Bush clan, oil, Texas, the FBI, the CIA, the Rockefellers, the Tri-Lateral Commission, the Nugan-Hand Bank,the Mob, The Pope (or at least the Vatican, I think the current uncumbent is a little too doddery) and the assassination of JFK. Of one thing I am sure, when billions and governments are at stake, anything is possible.
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 & Institutions
Amsec Corp, Global Strategies LLC, Bass Enterprises Production Co, Asset Management International Financing and Settlement Ltd, Palmer National Bank
Other Bush Men (and the odd woman) that at some point, I’ll get around to adding to this dossier.
Dick Cheney, Ari Fleisher, Asa Hutchinson, Robert Mueller, John Negroponte, Paul O’Neil, Theodore Oison, Richard Perle, John Poindexter, Colin Powell, Michael Powell, Orlando Bosch, Leonel Martinez, Robert Reilly, Donald Rumsfeld, Karl Rove, John Walters, Eduardo Noriega, Richard M Nixon, Robert Mosbacher, Ferdinand Marcos, John Erlichman, Robert McFarlane, Brent Scowcroft, Donald Regan, Jim Baker, William Casey, Santos Trafficante, Miguel Recarey, Jr, Oliver North, Manucher Ghorbanifar, Sheik Abdullah Bakhsh, Tongsun Park, Sargis Soghnalian, Dan Quayle, Salem bin Laden, Prince Mohammed Ben Abdullah, King Fahd of Saudi Arabia.
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.