Prescott Bush = Grandfather Bush (a US Senator)
(vice president of W.A. Harriman, one bank "for Hitler")
George Herbert Walker Bush (GHWB) = Senior (ex- President, CIA op then finally DCIA)
George (Jr.) Walker Bush ("W") = Junior (Texas Governor)Career drunk. CHENEY RAN HIM.
Prescott (Jr.) Bush = older brother of GHWB
Neil Bush = son of GHWB / brother of "W"
Jeb Bush = son of GHWB / brother of "W"
Marvin Bush = son of GHWB / brother of "W" (where's he ?)
what jail, what madhouse? What cretin hotel?
From: Kris Millegan <RoadsEnd@AOL.COM>
Date: Fri, 27 Aug 1999
Subject:The Secret War Against The Jews
an excerpt from:
The Secret War Against The Jews
John Loftus & Mark Aarons ©1994
ISBN 0-312-11057-X -- 658pps - first edition
St. Martin's Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY, 10010
THE MEXICAN CONNECTION
The history books say that George Bush was a war hero, a Texas
entrepreneur, then a senior figure in several Republican
administrations. As president, he worked for a kinder, gentler nation.
Our sources in the intelligence community said that the American public
knows more about Kurt Waldheim's background than they do about President
Bush's. George was himself one of the "old spies."
The American voters who read Bush's 1987 autobiography, Looking Forward,
certainly would have had no idea about many of the seamier sides to his
family background, his business and espionage activities, and his
political career. It was a thoroughly sanitized version of history. But
does that make him a bad man?
YES! According to a recent history, Spider's Web, by Alan Friedman,
George Bush was certainly a devious man. The American arms sales to
Egypt and Saudi Arabia begun by Carter were illegally diverted to Iraq
soon after Reagan and Bush took office. Once American arms started going
to the Arabs, only a few regimes, such as Gadhafi's Libya, could not
obtain shipments. It was Bush himself who arranged the financing,
established the policy, and created the covert arms network that backed
Saddam Hussein .
As discussed in the last chapter, when Bush was director of the CIA in
the 1970s, the Agency published false oil data to justify the arming of
the Arab nations. After Bush returned to office in the 1980s, his
arms-for-oil agenda became clear. According to Friedman's analysis of
CIA files, U.S. purchases of Iraqi oil increased twelvefold to over 1
million barrels a day, which helped finance Iraq's war machine .
From the beginning, Bush's policy was clearly tilted toward the Arabs
and away from Israel. In 1981, when the Israelis destroyed Saddam
Hussein's nuclear reactor at Osirak, Bush was the first world leader to
say that Israel needed to be punished. Even after Iraq turned
American weapons against Israel in the Gulf War in 1991, Bush refused to
permit Israeli pilots to defend their country for fear it would irritate
the other Arab nations. The Israeli intelligence officers we spoke to
regard Bush as their most vicious American opponent since Allen
There is, however, no consensus among the Western intelligence
com-munity. Some of our sources agree with the Israelis that George Bush
was the last, and the worst, of the Dulles clique that brought the CIA
into discredit. Others say that George Bush is a good man with bad
friends. His only major character flaw was an excessive personal loyalty
to friends and family. Bush himself was ignorant of the plotting that
went on around him.
Although it is true that your friends will do you more damage than your
enemies, at some point Bush's defense of ignorance wears a bit thin. A
joke going around during the Iran-Contra scandal said that "The two
biggest lies in Washington are that Ronald Reagan was in the loop and
George Bush was out of it." Because of the importance of Bush's role in
the history of covert operations against Israel, we discuss his
background in some detail. It is a history that has never been revealed
In this chapter we consider the following allegations: o Bush's father
and grandfather worked with Allen Dulles to finance the Third Reich and
then, when war broke out, cloaked their activities under the cover of
o George Bush established an oil leasing business in Texas, the biggest
client of which was Edwin Pauley, Dulles's confidant, Nixon's bagman,
and a front man for CIA money laundering. Bush himself played a minor
role in CIA covert operations from the early 1960s.
o Through Pauley, Nixon recruited Bush to handle a variety of sensitive
assignments. Bush later asked Nixon to resign for fear that the
Watergate investigations might uncover further scandals.
o While not anti-Semitic, Bush was definitely anti-Israeli and pro-Arab,
a bias that colored American oil and arms policy in the Middle East.
The real story of George Bush starts well before he launched his own
career. It goes back to the 1920s, when the Dulles brothers and the
other pirates of Wall Street were first making their deals with the
Nazis. To understand Bush's role as a senior official of the Republican
party, as head of the CIA, as U.S. vice president, and then, ultimately,
in the White House, it is important to trace the Bush family roots right
back to the beginning of the secret espionage war against the Jews.
Bush's family, say many of the former intelligence officers we
interviewed for this chapter, was nothing to be proud of. The family,
and especially his grandfather and father, dragged him into some dirty
business, and he stayed with it too long, trying to make a bad thing
George Bush's problems were inherited from his namesake and maternal
grandfather, George Herbert "Bert" Walker, a native of St. Louis, who
founded the banking and investment firm of G. H. Walker and Company in
1900. Later the company shifted from St. Louis to the prestigious
address of 1 Wall Street. The obituary in The New York Times, which
recorded Walker's death in 1953, mainly highlighted his sporting
achievements, in both golf and horse racing, and his role in financing
the "new" Madison Square Garden in the mid-1920s.
Apart from disclosing that "Grandfather Walker" came from "a devout
Catholic family," was named after the poet George Herbert, and formed
his own investment firm, George Bush revealed practically nothing about
his grandfather in his autobiography. However, there was another,
far seamier side to George Walker. Walker was one of Hitler's most
powerful financial supporters in the United States. The relationship
went all the way back to 1924, when Fritz Thyssen, the German
industrialist, was financing Hitler's infant Nazi party. As mentioned in
earlier chapters, there were American contributors as well.
Some Americans were just bigots and made their connections to Germany
through Allen Dulles's firm of Sullivan & Cromwell because they
supported fascism. The Dulles brothers, who were in it for profit more
than ideology, arranged American investments in Nazi Germany in the
1930s to ensure that their clients did well out of the German economic
recovery. "Dulles clearly emphasized projects for Germany ... and for
Mussolini's fascist state . . . All told, these and more than a dozen
similar transactions had a combined value in excess of a billion
Sullivan & Cromwell was not the only firm engaged in funding Germany.
According to The Splendid Blond Beast, Christopher Simpson's seminal
history of the politics of genocide and profit, Brown Brothers, Harriman
was another bank that specialized in investments in Germany. The key
figure in the firm was Averill Harriman, a dominating figure in the
American establishment, who for almost half a century helped form many
of Washington's major foreign policies. Some of his allies in this
latter endeavor who also served on the firm's board included Robert
Lovett, who as previously discussed worked closely with James Forrestal
to lead the State Department's revolt against Truman's pro-Zionist
policy during the UN debate on the partition of Palestine, and George
Bush's father, Prescott, who later became a U.S. Senator.
The firm originally was known as W. A. Harriman & Company. The link
between Harriman & Company's American investors and Thyssen started in
the 1920s, through the Union Banking Corporation, which began trading in
1924. In just one three-year period, the Harriman firm sold more than
$50 million of German bonds to American investors. "Bert" Walker was
Union Banking's president, and the firm was located in the offices of
Averill Harriman's company at 39 Broadway in New York.
In 1926 Bert Walker did ae favor for his new son-in-law, Prescott Bush.
It was the sort of favor families do to help their children make a start
in life, but Prescott came to regret it bitterly. Walker made Prescott
vice president of W. A. Harriman. The problem was that Walker's
specialty was companies that traded with Germany. As Thyssen and the
other German industrialists consolidated Hitler's political power in the
1930s, an American financial connection was needed. According to our
sources, Union Banking became an out-and-out Nazi money-laundering
machine. As we shall see, there is substantial evidence to support
While the United States languished in the Depression, Walker made
millions for his clients by investing in Germany's economic revival. He
decided to quit W. A. Harriman in 1931, to concentrate on his own firm,
G. H. Walker, while his son-in-law stayed behind to run the show for
Harriman. Some say that Walker left George Bush's father holding the
Others say that Bush specialized in British investors in Nazi Germany,
while Walker handled the Americans.
In that same year Harriman & Company merged with a British-American
investment company to become Brown Brothers, Harriman. Prescott Bush
became one of the senior partners of the new company, which relocated to
59 Broadway, while Union Banking remained at 39 Broadway. But in 1934
Walker arranged to put his son-in-law on the board of directors of Union
Walker also set up a deal to take over the North American operations of
the Hamburg-Amerika Line, a cover for I. G. Farben's Nazi espionage unit
in the United States. The shipping line smuggled in German agents,
propaganda, and money for bribing American politicians to see things
Hitler's way. The holding company was Walker's American Shipping &
Commerce, which shared the offices at 39 Broadway with Union Banking. In
an elaborate corporate paper trail, Harriman's stock in American
Shipping & Commerce was controlled by yet another holding company, the
Harriman Fifteen Corporation, run out of Walker's office. The directors
of this company were Averill Harriman, Bert Walker, and Prescott
In order to understand the character of the firm, it should be recalled
that Brown Brothers, Harriman had a bad reputation, even among
international bankers, as hard-nosed capitalists who exploited every
opportunity for profit in a harsh and ruthless manner. In a November
1935 article in Common Sense, retired marine general Smedley D. Butler
blamed Brown Brothers, Harriman for having the U.S. marines act like
"racketeers" and "gangsters" in order to exploit financially the
peasants of Nicaragua.
At some point, Prescott Bush must have realized that his father-in-law
was, to put it mildly, a very shady character. A 1934 congressional
investigation alleged that Walker's "Hamburg-Amerika Line subsidized a
wide range of pro-Nazi propaganda efforts both in Germany and the United
States." Walker did not know it, but one of his American employees,
Dan Harkins, had blown the whistle on the spy apparatus to Congress.
Harkins, one of our best sources, became Roosevelt's first double agent.
As previously mentioned, Harkins kept up the pretense of being an ardent
Nazi sympathizer, while reporting to Naval Intelligence on the shipping
company's deals with Nazi intelligence.
To this day, we do not know if Prescott Bush stayed on board out of
loyalty to his father-in-law or because the money was so good.
Instead of divesting the Nazi money, Bush hired a lawyer to hide
the assets. The lawyer he hired had considerable expertise in such
underhanded schemes. It was Allen Dulles. According to Dulles's
client list at Sullivan & Cromwell, his first relationship with
Brown Brothers, Harriman was on June 18, 1936. In January 1937
Dulles listed his work for the firm as "Disposal of Stan [Standard
Oil] Investing stock."
As discussed in Chapter 3, Standard Oil of New Jersey had completed
a major stock transaction with Dulles's Nazi client, I. G. Farben.
By the end of January 1937 Dulles had merged all his cloaking
activities into one client account: "Brown Brothers
Harriman-Schroeder Rock." Schroder, of course, was the Nazi bank on
whose board Dulles sat. The "Rock" were the Rockefellers of
Standard Oil, who were already coming under scrutiny for their Nazi
deals. By May 1939 Dulles handled another problem for Brown
Brothers, Harriman, their "Securities Custodian Accounts."
If Dulles was trying to conceal how many Nazi holding companies
Brown Brothers, Harriman was connected with, he did not do a very
good job. Shortly after Pearl Harbor, word leaked from Washington
that affiliates of Prescott Bush's company were under investigation
for aiding the Nazis in time of war. In February 1942 George Bush's
father, who was by then the senior managing partner of Brown
Brothers, Harriman, tried to wrap himself in the American flag. He
became the national chairman of the United Service Organization's
annual fund campaign, which raised $33 million that year to provide
entertainment for Allied troops.
The cover story did not work. The government investigation against
Prescott Bush continued. just before the storm broke, his son,
George, abandoned his plans to enter Yale and enlisted in the U.S.
Army. It was, say our sources among the former intelligence
officers, a valiant attempt by an eighteen-year-old boy to save the
Young George was in flight school in October 1942, when the U.S.
government charged his father with running Nazi front groups in the
United States. Under the Trading with the Enemy Act, all the shares
of the Union Banking Corporation were seized, including those held
by Prescott Bush as being in effect held for enemy nationals. Union
Banking, of course, was an affiliate of Brown Brothers, Harriman,
and Bush handled the Hairrimans' investments as well.
Once the government had its hands on Bush's books, the whole story
of the intricate web of Nazi front corporations began to unravel. A
few days later two of Union Banking's subsidiaries-the Holland
American Trading Corporation and the Seamless Steel Equipment
Corporationalso were seized. Then the government went after the
Harriman Fifteen Holding Company, which Bush shared with his
father-in-law, Bert Walker, the Hamburg-Amerika Line, and the
Silesian-American Corporation. The U.S. government found that huge
sections of Prescott Bush's empire had been operated on behalf of
Nazi Germany and had greatly assisted the German war effort.
In the midst of the patriotic fervor over the war, it must have
been a crushing experience for young George to know that his father
and grandfather were among the men who helped finance Hitler's war
machine. Little wonder that Bush made no mention of the whole
affair in his autobiography. Still, his relatives were very lucky
not to have gone to jail. Like Dulles, they volunteered to become
spies for the war effort. George's grandfather, Bert Walker, went
to Supreme Allied Headquarters in London to advise on covert
"psychological operations." Prescott Bush's clients, including the
Thyssens, fled to Switzerland, where they joined Dulles's
Prescott himself had served in Military Intelligence during World
War I, liaising with the British. According to our sources, he was
trained by Stewart Menzies, later head of the British secret
service during World War II. Menzies knew that there were too
many British investors in Brown Brothers, Harriman to make an issue
out of their aid to Nazi Germany. It was better to bury the scandal.
By 1945 young George was a bona fide war hero, a fact that his
father later used to good advantage in his successful run for the
U.S. Senate. Like another naval hero, Jack Kennedy, who was also
the son of an infamous Nazi supporter, George's war experience
changed him, even as it redeemed the family's good name. The man
who came back from the war was very different from the boy who had
George had grown up in Greenwich, Connecticut, an upper-class New
York bedroom community. Greenwich was such a notorious hotbed of
anti-Semitism that it became the site for the film A Gentleman's
Agreement, which graphically exposed the prejudice against Jews
held by many members of the nation's elite.
After the war, when George returned to Yale University, the school
openly acknowledged that it had a policy to restrict the number of
Jewish students in each class. Prescott Bush was a trustee at the
time. The 1945 Annual Report of the Board of Admissions mentions a
"Jewish problem" at Yale and publicly states that "the proportion
of Jews . . . has somewhat in-creased and remains too large for
comfort." Apparently, Jews were good enough to fight for the
United States, but Jewish veterans need not apply to Yale.
Such bigotry was appalling to young George. Our sources obtained
access to George Bush's private files in Yale's most exclusive
secret society, the Skull and Bones Club. George was in favor of
admitting both blacks and Jews to this venerable institution.
The sources we interviewed on George's early life say it was a dig
at his father, who was not the most racially progressive member in
the history of the club.
In 1949 the Skull and Bones class, which George Bush helped to
select, finally succeeded in voting away all racial and religious
barriers to membership. George's vote in 1948 for admitting Jews to
the next Skull and Bones club was not his only act of rebellion
against his father's generation. After graduation he shunned a seat
with Brown Brothers, Harriman and asked for a job in China, as far
away from Wall Street as he could get.
His father, who was also on the board of Dresser Industries,
arranged it. There have been rumors that George's trip to China was
somehow connected with espionage. True, Dresser has provided cover
for CIA operatives over the years, but George's trip was strictly
business. it should be noted, however, that among George's
classmates were a number of people who left college to work on
intelligence operations with his father's friend, Allen Dulles.
Try as he did, George Bush could not get away from Dulles's crooked
corporate network, which his grandfather and father had joined in
the 1920s. Wherever he turned, George found that the influence of
the Dulles brothers was already there. Even when he fled to Texas
to become a successful businessman on his own, he ran into the
pirates of Wall Street.
One of Allen Dulles's secret spies inside the Democratic party
later became George Bush's partner in the Mexican oil business.
Edwin Pauley, a California oil man, was, like James Forrestal, one
of Dulles's covert agents in the Roosevelt and Truman
administrations. Like Forrestal, Pauley was a "big business"
Democrat. The parallels didn't end there.
During Roosevelt's presidency, Pauley was a major Democrat
fundraiser and held a series of top posts, including treasurer of
the Democratic party's National Committee. He was also director
of the Democratic convention in 1944 and had an unrivaled
reputation as a man who could shake a great deal of money out of
the oil companies, which were notoriously right-wing and
pro-Republican. Pauley also had the loyalty of President Truman,
especially for his role in getting him the delegate numbers to
replace Henry Wallace as vice president in 1944, which ultimately
took Truman to the White House when Roosevelt died in 1945.
Unfortu-nately, Truman's gratitude was not enough to sweep Pauley's
dirt under the carpet.
The truth is that Pauley was committed to profit and, like the
Dulles brothers, could not distinguish between his own interests
and his public duties. During World War II he was in the perfect
position to assist the Dulles clique in their Nazi oil deals. it
was Pauley who recommended that Roosevelt appoint Interior
Secretary Harold Ickes to the post of Petroleum Administrator for
War, although Pauley later came to regret that action bitterly.
Ickes, in turn, made Pauley his special adviser.
Ickes's choice of Pauley, and several other top oil men, to hold
key positions puzzled many liberals in the Roosevelt
administration. Ickes believed that unless the oil companies were
part of wartime policyrnaking, they "would take the bit in their
teeth and run away with it given any chance." Pauley and Ickes
made a good team, at least while the war still hung in the balance.
They worked to organize the Petroleum Administration for War, and
more important for Allen Dulles, Pauley also held the key position
of Petroleum Coordinator of Lend-Lease Supplies for the Soviet
Union and Britain.
There is some evidence that Ickes used Pauley, an independent oil
man, as a counterbalance to the major oil corporations. For
example, during the war Pauley had several run-ins with the foreign
petroleum coordinator, Max Thornburg. He just happened to be a
senior executive of Standard Oil of New Jersey, which, as
previously discussed was owned by Rockefeller and I. G. Farben and
was secretly sending oil to Hitler. While the war raged, Pauley and
Thornburg fell to squabbling about Mexican oil, which had been
nationalized in the 1930s, when the U.S. giants were thrown out.
In this particular fight, Pauley was supported by Ickes, who
believed that the major companies were more interested in ensuring
their profitable reentry into Mexico than they were in exploiting
Mexican oil for the war effort. Pauley, then working for the
Petroleum Administration while he pushed his own private interests
in Mexico, could not have put it better himself. Pauley's real
concern, however, was not to help the war effort but to gain a
share of Mexican oil profits. After the war he did so, in
partnership with a young independent oil producer by the name of
Despite the obvious conflict of interests, in April 1945 Truman
appointed Pauley as the U.S. representative to the Allied
Reparations Committee, with the rank of ambassador. Simultaneously,
he was made industrial and commercial adviser to the Potsdam
Conference, "where his chief task was to renegotiate the
reparations agreements formulated at Yalta." As one historian
noted, the "oil industry has always watched repa rations activities
carefully." There was a lot of money involved, and much of it
belonged to the Dulles brothers' clients.
As previously discussed, the Dulles brothers were still shifting
Nazi assets out of Europe for their clients as well as for their
own profit. They didn't want the Soviets to get their hands on
these assets or even know they had existed. Pauley played a
significant role in solving this problem for the Dulles brothers.
The major part of Nazi Germany's industrial assets was located in
the zones occupied by the West's forces. As Washington's man on the
ground, Pauley managed to deceive the Soviets for long enough to
allow Allen Dulles to spirit much of the remaining Nazi assets out
to safety. Although Pauley knew that the Soviet zone contained less
than one-third of Germany's industrial assets, as official U.S.
representative he insisted to his colleagues on the Reparations
Committee it controlled 50 percent.
Pauley, a key player in the plan to hide the Dulles brothers' Nazi
assets, then moved into another post where he could help them
further. After successfully keeping German assets in Fascist hands,
Pauley was given the job of "surveying Japan's assets and
determining the amount of its war debt." Again, it was another
job that was crucial to the Dulles clique's secret financial and
In January 1946 Truman nominated Pauley as undersecretary of the
navy. The move was "intended by ... Truman as a steppingstone to
his succeeding James Forrestal as [Navy] Secretary." It also
was designed to balance U.S. oil interests against the Zionists and
their wealthy American-Jewish backers. Despite the strength of his
support for the Jews, Truman was signaling that there was room for
a strong oil voice in his administration. Pauley's nomination,
however, ignited considerable political controversy, which
eventually helped force him out of political life in 1947.
Finally, the liberal Ickes had had enough of Pauley's machinations.
Ickes decided that he would not lie to get Pauley's nomination
endorsed by the Senate. When his nomination came up before
Senator Charles Tobey's Naval Affairs Committee for ratification,
Pauley met his match, as evidence of his political bribes and
"black bag" fund-raising operations for the Democrats began to seep
out. Although the oil lobby, supported by President Truman, pulled
out all stops to frustrate Tobey and make him abandon the hearings,
Pauley finally had to retreat. But at least the coverup was safe
for a few more years yet, as the most damaging parts of Pauley's
work for the oil companies did not emerge during the hearings.
The most explosive allegations about Pauley's political bribes came
from Ickes himself. it cost both men their jobs, prompting Ickes's
resignation and, a short while later, Pauley's withdrawal from the
navy job. Despite pressure from Truman, Ickes was only too
eager to tell Tobey's committee exactly the sort of scandal in
which Pauley had been involved. When he testified, Ickes claimed
that Pauley had promised to raise $300,000 for the Democratic party
from among Californian oil men, if the federal government would
drop a court case to establish that offshore oil title belonged to
Washington and not to the state of California.
At the time, Pauley was treasurer of the Democratic National
Committee. Like Forrestal, he hated the fact that the Democrats
were dependent on Jewish financial contributions. Large bribes from
the oil companies, which happened also to suit their business
interests, could tip the party away from the Zionists. Pauley also
just happened to hold two key government oil posts at the time of
his bribe offer. His arm-twisting tactics on the federal suit had
been widely noted in the Washington bureaucracy. Evidence emerged
at the Senate hearings that confirmed Ickes's claims and
contradicted Pauley's own statement, made under oath, that he had
never made such bribery attempts.
If the hearings went on, the whole corrupt business eventually
might seep out. When Pauley denied the bribery charge, it was like
a red rag to the bull called Harold Ickes. No one was going to call
him a liar and get away with it. Invited to reappear at the
hearings, this time Ickes gave the committee chapter and verse. But
if he had hoped for Truman's backing, he miscalculated.
Indeed, despite Truman's support for the Zionists, the president
was playing a careful balancing game with the oil companies. This
time the oil companies won. Truman strongly and publicly supported
Pauley and "questioned the accuracy and loyalty of Ickes's
charges." The president had Ickes's resignation a few days later
and promptly accepted it, "with alacrity and delight." But the
damage was done, and in "the face of further embarrassment to the
Administration and certain rejection by the Senate Naval Affairs
Committee, Pauley reluctantly requested that his nomination be
It may have worked out for the best for Truman, who had enough
trouble in 1948 convincing the American electorate that his
administration wasn't toeing the oil companies' line about Israel,
without having Edwin Pauley around his neck. Yet another scandal
erupted around Pauley in 1947, which finally ended his political
career and forced his retirement from public life. He now strictly
worked behind the scenes, although, as we shall see, he continued
as a secret Republican agent inside the Democratic party.
Pauley went back to the oil business and, some years later, became
an important factor in the secret war against the Jews. In fact,
Pauley had a significant influence on George Bush's business career
in Texas. In 1958 he founded Pauley Petroleum, which: ... teamed up
with Howard Hughes to expand oil production in the Gulf of Mexico.
Pauley Petroleum discovered a highly productive offshore petroleum
reserve and in 1959 became involved in a dispute with the Mexican
Government, which considered the royalties from the wells to be too
According to our sources in the intelligence community, the oil
dispute was really a shakedown of the CIA by Mexican politicians.
Hughes and Pauley were working for the CIA from time to time, while
advancing their own financial interests in the lucrative Mexican
oil fields. Pauley, say several of our sources, was the man who
invented an intelligence moneylaundering system in Mexico, which
was refined in the 1970s as part of Nixon's Watergate scandal. At
one point CIA agents used Pemex, the Mexican government's oil
monopoly, as a business cover at the same time Pemex was being used
as a money laundry for Pauley's campaign contributions; As we
shall see, the Mexican-CIA connection played an important part in
the development of George Bush's political and intelligence career.
There was a substantial CIA presence in Mexico since at least the
1950s. Pemex was a perfect place to recruit agents of influence
inside the Mexican government. Mexico became part of the "revolving
door" between the oil industry and the intelligence community. One
of the famous oil men-turned-agents was William F. Buckley, Jr.,
like Bush, a Skull and Bones
Anita -- you sent me part of this one....
Covert Action Quarterly
No.41 (Summer 1992)
The Family That Preys Together
by Jack Colhoun
GEORGE JR.'S BCCI CONNECTION
"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
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
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
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
PRESCOTT'S BIG ASIAN ADVENTURE
Prescott Bush, Jr., the president's older brother, also has a knack
for nailing down "incredible deal[s]." Prescott took advantage of
his brother's first presidential visit abroad in February 1989 to
schedule a business trip to the same countries-China, Japan and
Prescott arrived in Tokyo February 14, 1989, ten days before
President Bush's stop in Japan, to drum up business for Prescott
Bush Resources Ltd., a real estate and development consulting
company. Prescott said he was dealing with four Japanese companies
wanting to do business in the U.S.
From Japan, Prescott went to China, where he had a joint
partnership with Akoi Corporation to develop an $18 million golf
course and resort near Shanghai. Prescott had introduced the
Tokyo-based Akoi to Chinese officials in 1988. With a 30 percent
stake in the project, Prescott used his China connections to pave
the way for capital-rich Akoi. Akoi had run into business obstacles
in China because of lingering Chinese resentment over Japan's
brutal occupation of China in the 1930s and 1940s.
Some of Prescott's most controversial business deals have been with
Asset Management International Financing & Settlement Ltd., a Wall
Street investment firm which has been in bankruptcy proceedings
since fall 1991. Prescott was hired by Asset Management, which paid
him a $250,000 fee for consulting in its joint venture with China
to set up its internal communications network. Asset Management
enlisted Prescott's services soon after President Bush imposed
economic sanctions in June 1989 in response to Beijing's brutal
crackdown on anti-government demonstrators in Tienanmen Square.
Under the sanctions, United States export licenses were suspended
for $300 million worth of Hughes Aircraft satellites, a key
component of Asset Management's joint venture with the Chinese
government. The satellites would beam television programming to
broadcasters in China and provide telecommunications links for the
country's far-flung provinces. In November 1989, Congress passed
additional sanctions specifically barring the export of U.S.
satellites to China unless the president found the sale "in the
On December 19, 1989, President Bush lifted the sanctions that
blocked the satellite deal, citing "the national interest." Two
months earlier, the Bush administration had granted Hughes Aircraft
"preliminary licenses" to exchange data with Chinese officials to
ensure that the satellites met the technical specifications of the
Long March rockets which would launch them into space.
Meanwhile, Prescott was hard at work in the summer of 1989 as
middleman in the takeover of Asset Management by West Tsusho, a
Tokyo-based investment firm linked to one of Japan's biggest mob
syndicates. Prescott, as head of Prescott Bush & Co., received a
$250,000 "finder's fee" from West Tsusho when the deal was closed
and was promised an annual retainer of $250,000 over the next three
years as a "consultant." Asset Management, however, went bankrupt
in March 1991. In May 1992, West Tsusho filed a $2.5 million
lawsuit against Prescott claiming that he reneged on his promise to
protect the mob-linked firm's $5 million investment in Asset
According to Japanese police, West Tsusho is controlled by the
Inagawakai branch of the Yakuza, the Japanese equivalent of the
Mafia crime syndicate. By the mid-1980s, the Yakuza were buying up
real estate and investments in Japan and overseas to launder their
ill-gotten profits from drug sales, prostitution, gambling and
extortion. Yakuza's annual income is estimated at $10 billion.
Like George Jr., Prescott combined business with secret operations.
He offered his services to the covert operations of the Reagan-Bush
campaign in 1980, and later to the Reagan administration. A
September 3, 1980, letter from Prescott to James Baker indicates
Prescott was part of the Reagan-Bush campaign's secret surveillance
of the Carter administration's efforts to obtain release of U.S.
hostages held in Iran. Prior to inauguration, the Reagan-Bush
campaign recruited retired military and intelligence officers to
monitor activities of the CIA, the Defense Department, the National
Security Council, the State Department, and the White House. This
operation later became known as the "October Surprise."
"Herb Cohen-the guy that offered help on the Iranian hostage
situation-called me yesterday afternoon," Prescott wrote in a
letter designated "PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL." "Herb has a couple of
reliable sources on the National Security Council, about whom the
[Carter] administration does not know, who can keep him posted on
Prescott continued, "He cannot come out now and say that Carter is
going to do something on Iran in October because he said everything
is a contingency plan that is loose and fluid from day to day....
Herb says, however, that if he and others in the administration who
really care about the country and cannot stand to see Carter
playing politics with the hostages, see Carter making a move to
politicize the release of the hostages, he and they will come out
at that time and expose him."
Prescott's covert associations continued while his younger brother
was vice president. He appears to have aided the Reagan
administration's clandestine support of the Nicaraguan Contras. In
the 1980s, he served on the advisory board of Americares, the
U.S.-based relief organization with ties to prominent right-wing
Republicans and the intelligence community. Bush's other son,
Marvin, also helped the family's pet charity and accompanied a
flight of medical supplies to Nicaragua three days after Chamorro's
inauguration. An undisclosed amount of the $680,000 in Americares
aid to Honduras was delivered to Nicaraguan Miskito Indian
guerrillas. Based in Honduras, they were aligned with the
CIA-funded Contras, according to Roberto Ale- jos, a Guatemalan
sugar and coffee grower who coordinated the Americares project in
Honduras. In 1960, Alejos had permitted the CIA to use his
plantations to train right-wing Cubans in preparation for the Bay
of Pigs invasion of Cuba.
In 1985 and 1986, after Congress cut off U.S. aid to the Contras,
Americares donated more than $100,000 worth of newsprint to the
pro-Contra newspaper La Prensa in Managua. Americares supplied
$291,383 in food and medicine and $5,750 in cash to Mario Calero,
New Orleans-based quartermaster and arms purchaser for the Contras,
and brother of Contra leader Adolfo Calero. In this same period,
groups associated with Lt. Col. Oliver North's off-the-shelf Contra
arms network provided covert support for La Prensa.
JEB: LIAISON TO ANTI-CASTRO RIGHT
George Herbert Walker Bush's second eldest son, John Ellis or Jeb,
was also linked to clandestine schemes in support of the Contras.
Soon after congressional prohibition in late 1984, Jeb helped put a
right-wing Guatemalan politician, Dr. Mario Castejon, in touch with
Oliver North. Jeb acted as the Reagan administration's unofficial
link with the Contras and Nicaraguan exiles in Miami.
Jeb was contacted in February 1985 by a friend of Castejon, who
gave him a letter from Castejon to be passed on to then Vice
President Bush. In his letter Castejon, a pediatrician and later an
unsuccessful National Conservative Party presidential candidate,
requested a meeting with George Bush to discuss a proposed medical
aid project for the Contras. Jeb forwarded the letter to his
father. In a March 3, 1985, letter, Vice President Bush expressed
interest in Castejon's proposal to create an international medical
"I might suggest, if you are willing, that you consider meeting
with Lt. Colonel Oliver North of the President's National Security
Council Staff at a time that would be convenient for you," Bush
wrote. "My staff has been in contact with Lt. Col. North concerning
your projects and I know that he would be most happy to see you.
You may feel free to make arrangements to see Lt. Colonel North, if
you wish, by corresponding directly with him at the White House or
by contacting Philip Hughes of my staff."
Castejon later met with North in the White House, where he also saw
President Ronald Reagan. When Castejon returned to Washington for a
second visit, he was introduced to members of North's secret Contra
support network, including retired Maj. Gen. John Sing- laub and
Contra leader Adolfo Calero. Castejon also met with a group of
doctors working with Rob Owen, North's liaison with the Contras.
"He [Castejon] was offering us a pipeline into Guatemala," said
Henry Whaley, a former arms dealer who said he was asked by his
intelligence community connections to help Castejon. Whaley was
optimistic about opening a new shipping route to the Contras
through Guatemala. "If you can move Band-Aids," he reportedly said,
"you can move bullets."
With Castejon, Whaley prepared a proposal to the State Department
for the purchase of medical supplies for the Contras from the
Department's newly established Nicaraguan Humanitarian Assistance
Office. The document included requests for mobile field hospitals
and light aircraft to evacuate wounded Contra guerrillas. Congress
approved $27 million in "humanitarian" aid to the Contras in 1985.
The Castejon proposal was hand-delivered to TGS International
Limited in the Virginia suburbs of Washington. Whaley said he sent
the report to TGS so it would be "quietly" forwarded to the CIA.
TGS International is owned by Ted Shackley, who was CIA Associate
Deputy Director of Operations when Bush Sr. headed the Agency in
Jeb had another Contra connection in his involvement with Miguel
Recarey, Jr., a right-wing Cuban who headed the International
Medical Centers (IMC) in Miami. In 1985 and 1986, Recarey and his
associates gave more than $25,000 in contributions to political
action committees controlled by then Vice President Bush. In 1986,
Recarey hired Jeb, a real estate developer, to find a new
headquarters for IMC. Jeb was paid a $75,000 fee, even though he
never located a new building.
In September 1984, two months after IMC's $2,000 contribution to
the Dade County Republican Party, which was headed by Jeb, the vice
president's son contacted several top HHS (Department of Health and
Human Services) officials on behalf of IMC. "Contrary to rumors,
[Recarey] was a good community citizen and a good supporter of the
Republican Party," one official of the HHC remembered Jeb telling
him in late 1984. Jeb successfully sought an HHS waiver of a rule
so that IMC could receive more than 50 percent of its income from
Leon Weinstein, an HHS Medicare fraud inspector, worked on an audit
of IMC in 1986; he has charged that IMC used Medicare funds to
treat wounded Contras at its hospital. *31 The transaction was
arranged by IMC official Josť Basulto, a right-wing Cuban trained
by the CIA, who arranged for Contras to receive treatment in Miami.
Basulto was praised for his commitment by Felix Rodriguez: "He has
been active for a decade in supporting the Nicaraguan freedom
fighters ever since the Sandinistas took power, and is constantly
organizing Contra support among Miami's Cuban community. He has
even been to Contra camps in Central America, helping to dispense
At the same time as Recarey was providing medical assistance to the
Contras, he was embezzling Medicare funds. IMC, one of the largest
health maintenance organizations in the United States, received $30
million a month for its Medicare patients, clearing $1 billion in
federal monies from 1981 to 1987. While he headed IMC, Recarey's
personal wealth jumped from $1 million to $100 million, U.S.
"IMC is the classic case of embezzlement of government funds,"
according to Robert Teich, the head of the Drug Enforcement
Administration's Office on Labor Racketeering in Miami. Reich
described IMC's skimming Medicare funds as a "bust-out" where money
was "drained out the back door." A Florida state investigator
concluded in a 1982 report that some federal funds IMC received
"are being put in banks outside the country."
Recarey's links to the Mafia also raised eyebrows in Washington.
"As far back as the 1960s, he had ties with reputed racketeers who
had operated out of pre-Castro Cuba and who later forged an
anti-Castro alliance with the CIA," the Wall Street Journal
reported. The Journal added that the late Santos Trafficante, Jr.,
the Mafia boss of Florida, "helped out when Recarey needed business
financing." Trafficante, a major drug trafficker, joined a failed
CIA effort to assassinate Cuban President Fidel Castro in the early
Recarey's access to Republican circles was probably one reason he
was able to rip-off U.S. tax dollars for so long. He hired former
Reagan aide Lyn Nofziger, the public relations firm Black,
Manafort, Stone and Kelly, which was close to the Reagan White
House, and attorney John Sears, a former Reagan campaign manager,
to look out for his interests in Washington. Recarey fled the
United States in 1987 to avoid a federal indictment for
racketeering and defrauding the U.S. government. The Bush
administration has made no effort to extradite him from Venezuela
where he is currently living.
JEB LINKED TO SMUGGLERS AND THIEVES
Jeb Bush has also been linked to Leonel Martinez, a Miami-based
right-wing Cuban-American drug trafficker. Martinez, who was linked
to Contra dissident Eden Pastora, was involved in efforts to
smuggle more than 3,000 pounds of cocaine into Miami in 1985-86. He
was arrested in 1989 and later convicted for bringing 300 kilos of
cocaine into the U.S. He also reportedly arranged for the delivery
of two helicopters, arms, ammunition, and clothing to Pasto- ra's
Costa Rica-based Contras.
Federal prosecutors in Miami have a photograph of Jeb and Martinez
shaking hands but won't release the photo to the public. Whether
Jeb was aware of Martinez's drug trafficking activities is not
known, but it is known that Leonel and his wife Margarita made a
$2,200 contribution to the Dade County Republican Party four months
after Jeb became the chair of the local GOP.
It is also known that Martinez wrote $5,000 checks to then Vice
President Bush's Fund for America's Future in both December 1985
and July 1986 and made a $2,000 contribution to the Bush for
President campaign in October 1987.
Martinez's construction company gave $6,000 in October 1986 to Bob
Martinez (no relation), the GOP candidate for governor in Florida;
he was governor from 1987 to 1991. At that time, Vice President
Bush was serving as head of the South Florida Drug Task Force and
later as chair of the National Narcotics Interdiction System, both
set up to stem the flow of drugs into the U.S. While Bush was drug
czar, the volume of cocaine smuggled into the U.S. tripled.
President Bush later appointed Bob Martinez in 1991 head of the
U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy- the drug czar to
succeed the controversial William Bennett.
JEB GETS IN ON THE BCCI ACTION
In 1988, Jeb was mentioned in a deposition taken by a Senate
Foreign Relations subcommittee, chaired by Sen. John Kerry
(D-Mass.), which was investigating drug money laundering operations
in the U.S.
"I saw Jeb Bush two or three times over there with [Abdur] Sakhia,"
stated Aziz Rehman, a junior BCCI-Miami official in the 1980s.
"This was all part of the bank's trying to cultivate public
officials and prominent individuals." *38 Rehman said BCCI's
practice was to "bribe" government officials in the United States.
"Jeb Bush, V.P. George Bush's son," Sakhia noted in a 1986 BCCI
document, was a "name…to be remembered."
Most of Rehman's testimony focused on his role in BCCI-Miami's
money laundering operation. Rehman said it was his job, in the
mid-1980s, to chauffeur and entertain BCCI-Miami's big clients when
they came to the city from the Caribbean and Latin America. Rehman
described how he deposited large amounts of cash for these clients,
ranging from $100,000 to $2 million, in other Miami banks at which
BCCI-Miami had accounts. To disguise the money trail, BCCI
transferred the cash electronically from Miami to BCCI banks in
Panama and the Grand Cayman Islands.
Jeb's name also shows up in a September 1987 BCCI document written
by Amjad Awan, then a senior BCCI-Miami official. The memorandum
planned a BCCI breakfast meeting with a senior level delegation
from the People's Republic of China and high Florida state
government officials, including Secretary of Commerce Jeb Bush.
Among the Chinese delegation was Ge Zhong Xue, Deputy Division
Chief of the Ministry of Public Security, a top police official.
Meanwhile, Jeb and his business partner Armando Codina profited
handsomely when the Bush administration bailed out Broward Federal
Savings and Loan in Sunrise, Florida, which went belly up in 1988.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) absorbed $285
million in bad loans, including a $4.6 million loan by the
Bush-Codina partnership. According to the deal struck by federal
regulators, the Bush-Codina partnership wrote a check for $505,000
to the FDIC, and the government paid off the remaining $4.1
million of the loan for an office building on which Jeb and Codina
defaulted. As a result of the bailout, the Bush-Codina partnership
retained possession of its office building at 1390 Brickell Avenue
in Miami's posh financial district.
Currently, Jeb is involved in a number of joint ventures with
Codina, a Miami real estate developer who is also a leader of the
right-wing Cuban American National Foundation (CANF). The Brickell
Avenue office building is owned by IntrAmerica Investments. Jeb was
listed in business documents in 1985 and in 1986 as the president
of IntrAmerica Investments, and the building is managed by one of
Jeb's real estate companies. Codina owns 80 percent of the
building, while Jeb owns the remaining 20 percent.
Jeb has acted as the Reagan and Bush administration's liaison with
the politically influential Cuban exile community in South Florida.
Jorge Mas Canosa, president of CANF, succinctly described Jeb's
role as the ultra-right Cuban-American community's liaison with the
White House: "He is one of us."
JEB ASKS DAD TO FREE TERRORIST
As a link to that powerful and wealthy South Florida community, Jeb
has been a tireless supporter of some of the most reactionary
Cuban-American political causes -from promoting CANF projects like
Radio and TV Marti & acute;, to lobbying for the release of
anti-Castro terrorist Orlando Bosch from a Miami jail. TV
propaganda broadcasts into Cuba, considered by legal experts a
violation of the International Telecommunications Convention, are
fully subsidized by U.S. taxpayers.
Anti-Castro terrorist Orlando Bosch was paroled in 1990 after Jeb
lobbied the Bush administration for his release from prison in
Miami. Bosch had been jailed in 1988 for jumping bail on a 1968
conviction for shooting a bazooka at a Polish freighter in the
Miami harbor. He is better known as the mastermind of the explosion
of a Cuban commercial airliner over Barbados on October 5, 1976, in
which 73 passengers were killed. A U.S. District Court judge
revealed in 1988 that secret U.S. documents concluded Bosch was a
leader of the Coordination of United Revolutionary Organizations
(CORU), which was responsible for more than 50 anti-Castro bombings
in Cuba and elsewhere in the Western Hemisphere.
The Cuban government filed an order for his extradi- ction in May
"TELL HIM...THE VICE PRESIDENT'S SON" CALLED
"There was no conflict of interest," third Bush son Neil told
reporters after the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) in
Washington issued a notice of intent in January 1990 to hold a
hearing on the failure of Silverado Banking Savings and Loan. Neil
had been a member of Silverado's board of directors from 1985 to
1988. *45 Federal regulators shut down Silverado shortly after
George Bush was elected president in 1988. The federal bailout cost
U.S. taxpayers $1 billion.
Neil was responding to charges made in an OTS report that he had
"breached his fiduciary duty" to Silverado by engaging in unethical
business deals while a board member of the Denver savings and loan.
The report documented that Neil personally profited from
questionable Silverado loans to his business partners, Ken Good and
Bill Walters. Good and Walters later defaulted on $132 million in
loans to Silverado, leaving the taxpayers to pick up the tab.
The OTS report alleged that Neil failed to disclose his business
connections to Good and Walters when he voted to approve a $900,000
line of credit to Good International, Inc. Neil got Silverado to
write a letter of recommendation to authorities in Argentina, where
Good International, in partnership with Neil's JNB Exploration
Company, was exploring for gas and oil. Good also gave the
President's third son a $100,000 loan to invest in the commodities
market, which Bush was never required to repay.
Neil failed to inform Silverado that Walters had contributed
$150,000 to the initial capitalization of JNB Exploration, or that
Walters' Cherry Creek National Bank in Denver extended a $1.5
million line of credit to JNB Exploration. Neil put up a paltry
$100 in start-up funds in 1983 when he founded JNB Exploration, but
over the next five years was paid $550,000 in salary drawn from the
Cherry Creek National Bank line of credit.
Neil brought few business skills to his job at JNB Exploration but
he was adept at cashing in on his family name. "Tell him Neil Bush
called," Neil once told the secretary of a wealthy Denver oil
entrepreneur. "You know, the vice president's son."
"Neil knew people because of his name," acknowledged Evans Nash,
one of Neil's partners at JNB Exploration. "He's the one that got
us going. He's the one that made it happen for us."
When Neil left JNB Exploration in 1989, the company had yet to
discover a profitable gas or oil well.
NEIL: THE SENSITIVE ONE
Neil's business partners also included shady characters with ties
to the world of covert operations. In 1985, Good received an $86
million loan from the Dallas Western Savings Association, which was
tied to Robert Corson, a Texas developer and reputed CIA operative,
and Herman Beebe, Sr., a convicted Mafia associate of Louisiana mob
boss Carlos Marcello.
Neil profited from the Western Savings loan to Good, because the
loan helped Good buy Gulfstream Land and Development, a Florida
real estate company. Good made Neil a board member of one of
Gulfstream's subsidiaries in 1988. Bush was paid $100,000 a year to
attend occasional Gulfstream board meetings before it went out of
business in 1990.
Investigative reporter Pete Brewton identified Corson as a CIA
operative in a long Houston Post series on CIA links to organized
crime and failed savings and loans. "One former CIA operative told
the Post that Corson frequently acted as `a mule' for the agency,
meaning he would carry large sums of money from country to
country," Brewton wrote.
Corson's Vision Banc Savings in Kingsville, Texas, loaned about $20
million to Mike Atkinson, a Corson associate, for a Florida land
deal put together by Lawrence Freeman. Freeman, who laundered money
for Santos Trafficante, Jr., was also tied to veteran CIA operative
Paul Helliwell. In the Bahamas, Helliwell set up Castle Bank and
Trust Ltd., which was the CIA's primary financial front in Latin
America and the Caribbean during the 1960s and 1970s. Castle
laundered funds for the Agency's covert operations against Cuba.
Walters had ties to Richard Rossmiller, a Beebe associate. In the
mid-1970s, Walters was a part-owner with Rossmiller, of Peoples
State Bank in Marshall, Texas, at the same time as Rossmiller was
doing business with Beebe.
Wayne Reeder, another Beebe associate, a big borrower from
Silverado, defaulted on a $14 million loan. Reeder was involved in
an unsuccessful arms deal with the Contras. Reeder accompanied his
partner, John Nichols, in 1981 to a weapons demonstration attended
by Contra leaders Eden Pastora and Raul Arana, both of whom were
interested in buying military equipment from Nichols.
"Among the equipment were night vision goggles ... and light
machine guns," according to the book, Inside Job: The Looting of
America's Savings and Loans. "Nichols ... had a plan in the early
1980s to build a munitions plant on the Cabezon Indian Reservation
near Palm Springs, California, in partnership with Wackenhut, the
Florida security firm. [But] the plan fell through."
There was another Silverado-Contra connection, however, that didn't
fall through. E. Trine Starnes, Jr., the third largest Silverado
borrower, was a major donor to the National Endowment for the
Preservation of Liberty (NEPL), directed by Carl "Spitz" Channell,
which was a part of Oliver North's Contra funding and arms support
network. A NEPL document, "Top 25 Contributors as of October 3,
1986," showed Starnes contributed $30,000 to NEPL's Central America
Freedom Program. Starnes closed a deal with Silverado on September
30, 1986, for three business loans totaling $77.5 million, on
which Starnes later defaulted.
The Central America Freedom Program was a propaganda effort in
conjunction with the Reagan administration's campaign in 1986 to
win congressional support for resuming arms aid to the Contras.
When the administration wooed potential NEPL donors, Starnes was
invited to a January 30, 1986, White House briefing, which included
Reagan, National Security Adviser John Poindexter, White House
Chief of Staff Donald Regan and Assistant Secretary of State
Elliott Abrams. Congress resumed U.S. arms aid to the Contras in
In a final ironic Silverado-Contra connection, NEPL banked at the
Palmer National Bank in Washington, a bank with ties to Vice
President Bush and Herman Beebe. Palmer National was also linked to
North's Contra arms network.
Palmer National was established in 1983 by Stefan Halper and Harvey
McClean, Jr., two former aides in Bush's unsuccessful presidential
campaign in 1980. Halper, who had links to the intelligence
community, became deputy director of the State Department's Bureau
of Politico-Military Affairs in the Reagan administration. McClean
was a Beebe associate. Beebe supplied the majority of the
capitalization for the start-up of Palmer National.
"Palmer National lent money to individuals and organizations that
were involved in covert aid to the Nicaraguan Contra rebels,"
Brewton wrote in the Houston Post. "Money was channeled through
Palmer National to a Swiss bank account used by . . . North to
provide military assistance to the Contras."
George Herbert Walker Bush is the first former CIA director to
serve as president. The implications for U.S. politics of Bush's
move from CIA headquarters to the White House are profound and
chilling, but seldom the subject of mainstream political
discussion. The corruption of the Bush family, however, is a good
The Bushes' shadowy business partners come straight out of the
world in which the CIA thrives-the netherworld of secret wars and
covert operators, drug runners, mafiosi and crooked entrepreneurs
out to make a fast buck. What Bush family members lack in business
acumen, they make up for by cashing in on their blood ties to the
former Director of Central Intelligence who became president. In
return for throwing business their way, the Bushes give their
partners political access, legitimacy, and perhaps protection. The
big loser in the deal is the democratic process.
THREE SORELY NEEDED to be READ articles regarding the BUSH
BROTHERS. In fairness, JEB STATES that he is against ABORTION
and GUN CONTROL. Thanks for the great articles goes to MOJO, and
CypherPunks... If you have information to the contrary or in
support, please forward, as we only want the truth. Thanks !
HOW SOON WE FORGET:
Bush family -- Neil (Silverado Savings), $1 billion; Jeb (Broward
Savings), $221.8 million; and George (BNL-Iraqgate), $5 billion.
All proved a good deal more costly than the up-to-$50 million
involved in the Madison Savings-Whitewater mess.
Prescott Bush, Father of George H. W. Bush, loaned BILLIONS to
HITLER via the UNION BANK CORP of NEW YORK and was shut down for
trading with the enemy!!! BUSH has STRONG ties with CHINA as does
Ken "RED" Starr, more in future post.
Fugitive Fingers Jeb Bush
Confirming a prior Mother Jones report (Sept./Oct. 1992), a
fugitive living in Spain told ABC's "20/20" that Jeb Bush made a
crucial call to Washington when his HMO needed help.
Miguel Recarey's International Medical Centers faced pressure in
1985 to comply with the "50-50" rule, which prohibits certain HMOs
from having more than half of its customers on Medicare. According
to Recarey, the middle son of then-Vice President Bush called
Health and Human Services Secretary Margaret Heckler (meanwhile,
IMC paid Bush's company a $75,000 "real-estate consultant" fee).
Former HHS chief of staff McClain Haddow says Bush's call gave IMC
a waiver to the 50-50 rule, and Recarey allegedly bilked $200
million in Medicare funds while leaving 150,000 seniors without
coverage. Jeb Bush, the GOP loser in Florida's 1994 governor's
race, denies calling Heckler.
Whitewashing the Bush boys
by Stephen Pizzo
If Robert Fiske finds that Bill and Hillary have committed crimes
in the so-called Whitewater-gate matter, they should pay the price.
But according to our Special Prosecute-o-Meter (to come), it would
seem that the Clintons' behavior is being measured differently from
alleged banking misdeeds by the Bush family -- Neil (Silverado
Savings), $1 billion; Jeb (Broward Savings), $221.8 million; and
George (BNL-Iraqgate), $5 billion. All proved a good deal more
costly than the up-to-$50 million involved in the Madison
But while the national media -- and specifically the New York Times
-- has focused its high-caliber lens on the Clintons, they
apparently have forgiven and forgotten the Bushes' banking
Consider the remarkably kind November 30 Times front-page profile
of Bush boys George Jr. (running for Texas governor) and Jeb
(running for Florida governor). The story, by Times veteran Maureen
Dowd, was an extraordinary triumph of style over substance.
Dowd kicked off the piece by describing a campaign stop in St.
Petersburg, Fla., where a woman directed a stream of idiotic "One
World tool of the Communist-Wall Street international conspiracy"
accusations at Jeb Bush (coyly described as a "slender
six-foot-four"). Dowd jumped to Jeb's defense, labeling the woman's
Fair enough. But in her 2,000-word article Dowd neglected to
mention any of the other, far more serious allegations of
wrongdoing that have been leveled at the Bush boys, leaving readers
with the impression that these accusations are also just the
"wacky" complaints of nuts out to harass the poor Bush family.
After all, the "Newspaper of Record" has declared them so.
Had Dowd done her background work she would have found no shortage
of decidedly unwacky Bush stories. Among others: a 1987 front-page
article in the Wall Street Journal chronicling how Jeb helped a
Cuban con man bilk Medicare out of millions of dollars; MoJo's
Sept./Oct. 1992 cover story ("My Three Sons") on the Bush sons'
long list of dubious business transactions (including George Jr.'s
alleged violation of security laws governing insider stock sales
when he sold his shares of Harken Oil on the eve of the Gulf War);
and a recent New Yorker article detailing sleazy activities by Neil
and number-four son Marvin Bush. The Times even ran an April 1992
story listing some of the Bushes' questionable deals (perhaps all
motivated by the "Bush creed of competition" that Dowd notes
When contacted by MoJo, Dowd wouldn't defend her story, saying,
"Look, I'm not an investigative reporter, and clearly I wish now
that I'd written a different piece. The Bush family never really
liked me anyway." They may like her better now.
Short memories are also evident in Washington, D.C., where Bob Dole
is complaining that House Banking Chairman Henry Gonzalez, D-Tex.,
is dragging his feet on Whitewater, but "held weeks of hearings"
when Neil Bush got swept up in the failure of Silverado, even
though he "had no direct involvement."
Actually, Neil sat on Silverado's board of directors until the
thrift was declared functionally insolvent. That's about as
"involved" as you can get.
Republicans are also upset over a Small Business Administration
loan of $300,000, taken out by Susan McDougal, that went into
Whitewater Development and later into default. Guess they've
forgotten that $2.35 million SBA loan Neil received for his new
company, Apex Energy, after bugging out of Silverado. (He walked
away from this obligation, too.)
But there may be a silver lining: If our meter is used as a gauge,
then Gonzalez's demand for a special prosecutor in the BNL-Iraqgate
affair should get serious consideration. Republicans ought to
meditate on the old adage, "Beware what you wish for. You may just
Money Laundering and Tax Avoidance
EXCERPTS DEALING with the BUSH BROTHERS
16.14.4. Money Laundering and Underground Banks
+ a vast amount of money is becoming available under the
table: from skimming, from tax avoidance, and from illegal
activities of all kinds
- can be viewed as part of the internationalization of all
enterprises: for example, the Pakistani worker who might
have put his few rupees into some local bank now deposits
it with the BCCI in Karachi, gaining a higher yield and
also increasing the "multiplier" (as these rupees get
lent out many times)
- is what happened in the U.S. many years ago
- this will accelerate as governments try to get more taxes
from their most sophisticated and technical taxpayers,
i.e., clever ways to hide income will be sought
+ BCCI, Money-Laundering, Front Banks, CIA, Organized Crime
+ Money Laundering
- New York City is the main clearinghouse, Federal
Reserve of New York oversees this
- Fedwire system
- trillions of dollars pass through this system, daily
+ How money laundering can work (a maze of techniques)
- a million dollars to be laundered
- agent wires it, perhaps along with other funds, to
Panama or to some other country
- bank in Panama can issue it to anyone who presents
the proper letter
- various ways for it to move to Europe, be issued as
bearer stock, etc.
- 1968, offshore mutual funds, Bernie Kornfield
+ CIA often prefers banks with Mob connections
- because Mob banks already have the necessary security
- and are willing to work with the Company in ways that
conventional banks may not be
+ links go back to OSS and Mafia in Italy and Sicily, and
to heroin trade in SE Asia
- Naval Intelligence struck a deal in WW2 with Mafia,
wherby Meyer Lansky would protect the docks against
strikes (presumably in exchange for a "cut"), if
Lucky Luciano would be released at the end of the war
- Operation Underworld: Mafia assisted Allied troops in
- "the Corse"
+ Luciano helped in 1947 to reopen Marseilles when
Communist strikers had shut it down
- continuing the pattern of cooperation begun during
- thus establishing the French Connection!
- Nugan Hand Bank
+ BCCI and Bank of America favored by CIA
- Russbacher says B of A a favored cover
+ we will almost certainly discover that BCCI was the
main bank used, with the ties to Bank of America
offices in Vienna
+ Bank of America has admitted to having had early
ties with BCCI in the early 1970s, but claims to
have severed those ties
- however, Russbacher says that CIA used B of A as
their preferred bank in Europe, especially since
it had ties to companies like IBM that were used
as covers for their covert ops
- Vienna was a favored money-laundering center for CIA,
especially using Bank of America
+ a swirl of paper fronts, hiding the flows from regulators
- "nominees" used to hide true owners and true activities
- various nations have banking secrecy laws, creating the
"veil" that cannot be pierced
+ CIA knew about all of the flights to South America (and
probably elsewhere, too)
- admitted Thomas Polgar, a senior ex-CIA official, in
testimony on 9-19-91
- this indicates that CIA knew about the arms deals, the
drug deals, and the various other schemes and scams
+ Earlier CIA-Bank Scandals (Nugan Hand and Castle Bank)
+ Nugan Hand Bank, Australia
+ Frank Nugan, Sydney, Australia, died in 1980
+ apparent suicide, but clearly rigged
- Mercedes, rifle with no fingerprints, position
- evidence that he'd had a change of heart-was
praying daily, a la Charles Colson-and was
thinking about getting out of the business
+ set up Nugan Hand Bank in 1973
- private banking services, tax-free deposits in
+ used by CIA agents, both for Agency operations and
for their own private slush/retirement funds
- several CIA types on the payroll (listed their
addresses as same as Air America)
- William Colby on Board, and was their lawyer
+ links to organized crime, e.g., Santo Trafficante,
- Florida, heroin, links to JFK assassination
- trafficante was known as "the Cobra" and handled
many transactions for the CIA
+ money-laundering for Asian drug dealers
+ Golden Triangle: N-H even had branches in GT
- and branch in Chiang Mai, in Thailand
- links to arms dealers, like Edwin P. Wilson
+ U.S. authorites refused to cooperate with
- and when info was released, it was blacked out with
a "B-1" note, implying national security
+ investigations by Australian Federal Bureau of
Narcotics were thwarted-agents transferred and
Bureau disbanded shortly thereafter
- similar to "Don't fuck with us" message sent to
FBI and DEA by CIA
+ N-H Bank had close working relation with Australian
Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO)
- NSA tapped phone conversations (speculative) of
Nugan that indicated ASIO collusion with N-H Bank
in the drug trade
+ Pine Gap facility, near Alice Springs (NSA, NRO)
- P.M. Gough Whitlam's criticism of Pine Gap led to
CIA-ASIO plot to destroy the Whitlam gov't.
- November 1975 fall instigated with wiretaps and
+ Nugan Hand Bank was also involved with "Task Force
157," a Naval Intelligence covert operation, given
the cover name "Pierce Morgan" (a good name?)
- reported to Henry Kissinger
- recall minor point that Navy is often the preferred
service for the ruling elite (the real preppies)
+ and George Bush's son, George W. Bush, was involved
with Nugan Hand:
- linked to William Quasha, who handled N-H deals in
+ owners of Harken Energy Corp. a Texas-based company
that bought G.W. Bush's oil company "Spectrum 7" in
- later got offshore drilling rights to Bahrain's
oil-with G.W. Bush on the Board of Directors
- could this be another link to Gulf Crisis?
+ Castle Bank, Bahamas, Paul E. Helliwell
+ OSS (China). CIA
- Mitch WerBell, White Russian specialist in
assassination, silencers, worked for him in China
- Howard Hunt worked for him
- after WW2, set up Sea Supply Inc., CIA front in Miami
+ linked to Resorts International
- law firm of Helliwell, Melrose and DeWolf
- lent money to Bahamian P.M. Lynden Pindling in
exchange for extension of gambling license
+ Robert Vesco, Bebe Rebozo, and Howard Hughes
- in contrast to the "Eastern Establishment," these
were Nixon's insiders
- links with ex-CIA agent Robert Maheu (who worked
for Hughes); onvolved withTrafficante, CIA plot to
kill Castro, and possible links to JFK
- Vesco active in drug trade
+ also involved in purchase of land for Walt Disney
- 27,000 acres near Orlando
- Castle Bank was a CIA conduit
+ Operation Tradewinds, IRS probe of bank money flows
- late 60s
- investigation of "brass plate" companies in Caymans,
+ Plot Scenario: Operation Tradewinds uncovered many
UltraBlack operations, forcing them to retrench and
dig in deeper, sacrificing several hundred million
- circa 1977 (Castle Bank shut down)
+ World Finance Corporation (WFC)
+ started in 1971 in Coral Gables
- first known as Republic National Corporation
- Walter Surrey, ex-OSS, like Helliwell of Castle
Bank, helped incorporate it
- exploited cash flows in Florida
- dealt with CIA, Vesco, Santo Trafficante, Jr.
- also got loan deposits from Arabs
- links to Narodny Bank, the Soviet bank that also
+ a related company was Dominion Mortgage Company,
located at same address as WFC
- linked to narcotics flow into Las Vegas
- and to Trafficante, Jr.
- suitcases of cash laundered from Las Vegas to
- Jefferson Savings and Loan Association, Texas
+ Guilermo HernŠndez Cartaya, ex-Havana banker, Cuban
exile, was chief figure
- veteran of Bay of Pigs (likely CIA contacts)
- investigated by R. Jerome Sanford, Miami assistant
- Dade County Organized Crime Bureau also involved in
the 1978 investigation
- Rewald and his banking deals
- BCCI was a successor to this bank
+ CIA and DEA Links to Drug Trade
- former agents and drug traffickers were frequently
recruited by DEA and CIA to run their own drug
operation, sometimes with political motivations
- Carlos HernŠndez recruited by BNDD (Bureau of Narcotics
and Dangerous drugs, predecessor to DEA) to form a
death squad to assassinate other drug traffickers
+ possible links of the drug dealers to
UltraBlack/Witness Security Program
- agents in Florida, the stock broker killing in 1987
- Seal was betrayed by the DEA and CIA, allowed to be
killed by the Columbians
+ Afghan Rebels, Arms to Iran (and Iraq), CIA, Pakistan
- there was a banking and arms-running network centered
in Karachi, home of BCCI, for the various arms deals
involving Afghan rebels
- Karachi, Islamabad, other cities
+ Influence Peddling, Agents
- a la the many senior lawyers hired by BCCI (Clark
Clifford, Frank Manckiewicz [spelling?]
+ illustrates again the basic corruptability of a
centralized command economy, where regulators and
lawmakers are often in the pockets of corrupt
- clearly some scandals and losses will occur in free
markets, but at least the free markets will not be
backed up with government coercion
+ Why CIA is Involved in So Many Shady Deals?
+ ideal cover for covert operations
- outside audit channels
- links to underworld
+ agents providing for their own retirements, their own
private deals, and feathering their own nests
- freedom from interferance
+ deals like that of Noriega, in which CIA-supported
dictators and agents provided for their own lavish
- and the BCCI-Noriega links are believed to have
contributed to the CIA's unwillingness to question
the activities of the BCCI (actually, the Justice
+ Role of Banks in Iraq and Gulf War, Iraq-Gate, Scandals
- Export Import Bank (Ex-Im), CCC
- implicated in the arming of Iraq
- Banco Lavorzo Nazionale [spelling?]
+ CIA was using BNL to arrange $5B in transfers, to arm
Iraq, to ensure equality with Iran
- because BNL wouldn't ask where it came from
- federally guaranteed loans used to finance covert ops
+ the privatizing of covert ops by the CIA and NSA
- they subcontracted the law-breaking
- the darker side of capitalism did the real work
- but the crooks learned quickly just how much they
could steal...probably 75% of stolen money
- insurance fraud...planes allowed to be stolen, then
shipped to Contras, with Ollie North arguing that
nobody was really hurt by this whole process
+ ironically, wealthy Kuwaitis were active in financing
"instant banks" for money laundering and arms
transactions, e.g., several in Channel Islands
- Ahmad Al Babtain Group of Companies, Ltd., a
Netherlands Antilles corporation
- Inslaw case fits in with this picture
+ Federal Reserve and SEC Lack the Power to "Peirce the
Veil" on Foreign Banks
- as the Morgenthau case in Manhattan develops
- a well-known issue
+ But should we be so surprised?
- haven't banks always funded wars and arms merchants?
- and haven't some of them failed?
- look at the Rothschilds
- what is surprising is that so many people knew what it
was doing, what its business was, and that it was even
nicknamed "Banks of Crooks and Criminals International"
+ Using software agents for money laundering and other
+ these agents act as semi-autonomous programs that are a
few steps beyond simple algortihms
- it is not at all clear that these agents could do
very much to run portfolio, because nothing really
- real use could be as "digital cutouts": transferring
wealth to other agents (also controlled from afar, like
- advantage is that they can be programmed to perform
operations that are perhaps illegal, but without
+ Information brokers as money launderers (the two are
- the rise of AMIX-style information markets and Sterling-
style "data havens" will provide new avenues for money
laundering and asset-hiding
+ information is intrinsically hard to value, hard to put
a price tag on (it varies according to the needs of the
- meaning that transnational flows of inforamation
cannot be accurately valued (assigned a cash value)
- is closely related to the idea of informal
consulting and the nontaxable nature of it
- cardboard boxes filled with cash, taped and strapped, but
still bursting open
- gym bags carrying relatively tiny amounts of the skim: a
mere hundred thousand in $100s
+ L.A. becoming a focus for much of this cash
- nearness to Mexico, large immigrant communities
- freeways and easy access
+ hundreds of airstrips, dozens of harbors
- though East Coast seems to have even more, so this
doesn't seem like a compelling reason
- Ventura County and Santa Barbara
By Tim May
HTML by Jonathan Rochkind
HIGHLIGHTS FROM JANUARY 10, 1996 CELEBRATION IN BEIJING:
Chinese President Zemin and Premier Li Peng celebrate with George
Bush: "We are also honored that President Bush, whose formal links
with China came during the same era when ARCO began its
commitments, returned to Beijing to celebrate completion of this
Republican Party "dream", - American nightmare:
"The Yacheng 13-1 project combines the two great forces of Western
business initiative and an intense desire by the Chinese people for
rapid industrial growth," said former President Bush. "As a veteran
of the energy industry, I salute all who made this dream a reality."
The Bush ARCO China - Kuwait connection:
The project was jointly developed by China National Offshore Oil
Corp. (51%), ARCO China, Inc. (a subsidiary of Los Angeles-based
ARCO (34.3%), and Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Co. (14.7%).
ARCO is the operator.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Jan. 10, 1996
ARCO, CHINESE LEADERS CELEBRATE STARTUP OF CHINA'S LARGEST OFFSHORE
NATURAL GAS PROJECT
LOS ANGELES -- Startup of China's largest offshore energy project,
the Yacheng 13-1 natural gas field, was celebrated in Beijing,
China, today at ceremonies attended by Chinese government leaders,
former President George Bush, and an ARCO (NYSE:ARC) delegation
headed by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mike R. Bowlin.
"We are honored that Chinese President Jiang Zemin, Premier Li Peng
and Vice Premier Zou Jiahua have joined in celebrating this
historic event," said Bowlin, whose company discovered the field in
the South China Sea 13 years ago.
"The success of this $1.13 billion project reflects well on the
future development of China's vast reserves of hydrocarbons,"
Bowlin added. "We are also honored that President Bush, whose
formal links with China came during the same era when ARCO began
its commitments, returned to Beijing to celebrate completion of
this milestone project."
A week-long series of startup celebrations will conclude on January
13 in Hong Kong where most of the Yacheng gas (approx. 280-million
cubic feet per day) will be delivered for use in electric power
generation by Castle Peak Power Company, a joint venture of China
Light & Power Company and Exxon Energy Ltd.
"The Yacheng 13-1 project combines the two great forces of Western
business initiative and an intense desire by the Chinese people for
rapid industrial growth," said former President Bush. "As a veteran
of the energy industry, I salute all who made this dream a reality."
The Yacheng field has estimated reserves of more than 3-trillion
cubic feet of gas, most of which will be transported to Hong Kong
through a 480-mile pipeline, the second longest-subsea pipeline in
the world. A second pipeline will supply natural gas to local
industries on Hainan Island some 60 miles away.
The project was jointly developed by China National Offshore Oil
Corp. (51%), ARCO China, Inc. (a subsidiary of Los Angeles-based
ARCO (34.3%), and Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Co. (14.7%).
ARCO is the operator. In 1982, ARCO became the first foreign
company to be awarded rights to explore for oil and gas off the
coast of China. The Yacheng discovery came a year later. In 1994,
ARCO signed the 100th offshore exploration agreement betweeen China
and a foreign energy developer.
"We have business interests in more than 50 countries, but our
commitment to China is one of our most important priorities," said
Bowlin. "Over the years, we have demonstrated this commitment by
investing significant capital and technological expertise and by
taking an active role in meeting the region's future energy needs."
In addition to Yacheng 13-1, ARCO is exploring for oil and gas in
the South and East China Seas. It also has explored coal-mining
activities in Shenfu and Donsheng and has a 9.9% interest in
Zhenhai Refining and Chemical Company Ltd., an oil refinery complex
in East China.
ARCO has operated in the Asia-Pacific Region since the late 1960s.
In addition to China, the company has significant oil and gas
producing operations in Indonesia and is one of the largest coal
producers in Australia. ARCO Chemical Company, in which ARCO holds
an 83% interest, also does significant manufacturing and marketing
in the region.
Is this treason, espionage or just good free trade?
>From USACCC Home Page:
We are unique in our focus on both sides of international trade and
investment, by providing programs, information and key contacts to
Chinese companies doing business in the U.S., and to U.S. companies
doing business in China. Membership in the U.S.-China Chamber can
provide access to people with "hands-on experience" in U.S.-China
business, and can help simple the complexities of conducting
business in a foreign environment.
Source: USACCC Home page
As Chairman of the United States of America_China Chamber of
Commerce, I am please to introduce you to our organization, and
invite you to jion our expanding list of prominent members and
China has always held a special place in he hearts of the Bush
family. As Minister of the U.S. Liaison Mission in Beijing, and
later as President of the United States. my brother George strived
to improve the links between our two nations.
China's dramatic economic progress since its "opening to the
outside world" in 1978 provides new and exciting opportunities to
Chinese and American companies. The World Bank recently reported
that China already has the third largest economy in the world. At
its current rate of expansion, in 30 years China will become the
world's largest economy. U.S. and Chinese companies seeking to grow
and prosper - and not be outdone by their competitor - must enhance
their ability to do business with each other.
The U.S.-China Chamber of Commerce is the first and only truly
bi-national membership organization devoted to serving the needs of
both Chinese and American enterprises. We are unique in our focus
on both sides of international trade and investment, by providing
programs, information and key contacts to Chinese companies doing
business in the U.S., and to U.S. companies doing business in
China. Membership in the U.S.-China Chamber can provide access to
people with "hands-on experience" in U.S.-China business, and can
help simple the complexities of conducting business in a foreign
The U.S.-China Chamber of Commerce actively seeks the participation
of all companies, including medium and small-sized companies,
interested in expanding their business horizons and their friends
and contacts in the U.S.- China business community.
I encourge you to take advantage of what the U.S.-China Chamber has
to offer. Read our membership materials. Participate in our
programs. Let the U.S.-China chamber help you develop your business
and contribute to your successful involvement in this dynamic new
era of U.S.-China trade and investment. I look forward to welcoming
you as a member.
Last Republican U.S. Attorney General William Barr
On March 11, 1997 the AP claimed:
A transcript of a Feb. 26, 1992, appropriations hearing shows
Pelosi raised the issue of Chinese involvement in U.S. politics
with William Barr, then-attorney general under President Bush. Barr
said he could not discuss it publicly and asked that Pelosi
communicate with him privately. In an interview, Barr said he
couldn't recall the exchange or whether the Justice Department ever
investigated Chinese contributions.
Note: William Barr was named by Terry Reed in his book
"Compromised: Clinton, Bush and the CIA" as being a coordinator
along with Republican Oliver North of the Iran-Contra operation.
Trips paid for by Communist China
The FBI warnings are just one sign of what appears to be a
multifaceted Chinese lobbying campaign. The Chinese government also
paid for more than a dozen congressional officials to travel to
China last year and shared costs for scores of other trips,
according to federal disclosure reports and interviews.
The travel often was paid for by the Chinese People's Institute for
Foreign Affairs, which sponsored 15 trips last year costing
$102,096. At least 50 additional trips were carried out with some
government support from Beijing, according to the records and
In early July, Sen. Rod Grams, R-Minn., and Democratic Reps. Eddie
Bernice Johnson and Solomon Ortiz of Texas, traveled with four
aides to China for a week of "fact finding." The institute picked
up the $46,384 tab, records show.
Also, making a trip with his wife Republican Henry Bonilla of Texas.
And from Nov. 30 to Dec. 10, Reps. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., and Ken
Calvert, R-Calif., traveled on an institute-sponsored trip to China
and Hong Kong. Total cost: $24,959.
Asia experts say China and business interests in Hong Kong, which
will become part of China on July 1, are working hard to gain favor
with U.S. policy-makers.
China also hopes to head off any attempts to restrict its trade
status with the United States.
TO RECEIVE email from ralph: send email to ralph@TeamInfinity.com
and in the Subject make sure your email address and the word
GO-RALPH (no spaces) is in the subject.
From: Harry Palmer <IntelNSide@AOL.COM>
Date: Sun, 8 Feb 1998
Subject: [CTRL] Fwd: Bush/CIA/CBW
From: email@example.com (TRKeske)
Date: Sat, Feb 7, 1998
Subject: George's Genocide
(Pictures of Eli Lilly: making your life so wonderful)
Last week, I decided to do some research on George Bush.
Former President Bush had also been the CIA Director
in the critical period of time before the AIDS epidemic.
He would be a character of particular interest, if any
schemes against gays and minorities had been in the works.
George was born in Milton, Massachusetts, which is a
Boston suburb directly adjoining the town in which I
live. When I read his own version of his record, he
sounded very upright and distinguished.
It reminded me of when I researched the Reverend Moon
cult, with which Bush has associated. To read their own
web page, they sound very wholesome and idealistic.
When you start reading the other side of the story, it is
an utter horror show, and it is far more convincing.
Moon thinks that he's a messiah superior to Jesus, and
warns that many people will die if they oppose him,
as well as other undesirables, including gays.
One odd thing in Bush's biography, that struck me immediately,
was his odd journey from the Farm to the Pharmacy.
The "Farm" being the CIA's training facility in Virginia.
The "Pharmacy" being Eli Lilly, a major pharmaceutical company.
Bush was Director of the CIA in 1976-1977, and became a Director
of Eli Lilly from 1977-1978. A peculiar mix, I thought. The man
was a veritable Renaissance Republican -- such varied talents and
interests. What was the connection, I wondered? So I decided to
do some research on Eli Lilly.
As it turned out, Eli Lilly had a long-standing connection to the
CIA. It had been the CIA's primary supplier of LSD during the
infamous MK-Ultra mind control experiments.
Eli Lilly also has ties to the Religious Right. The Lilly family
fortune is estimated at $1.3 billion by Forbes. I investigated
one of the groups to which Eli Lilly made generous donations,
the Hudson Institute.
The Hudson Institute lists itself as a not-for-profit organization,
and is tax exempt. It claims on its home page not to advocate
"ideology" or "political positions". They do use the so-subtle
codewords of "an abiding respect for the importance of values,
culture and religion".
I clicked on their "other links" selection. What I found was
a veritable Yellow Pages of the homophobic Far Right:
The Family Research Council (Gary Bauer), Focus on Family
(Dobbs), "The Right Side of the Web", the Heritage Foundation,
the Cato Institute, the "Internet Conservative Resource Network".
My next discovery was that Eli Lilly had extensive connections
with the Rebublican party. They were major backers of the
homophobic Senator Lugar. They were a backer of homophobic
Senator Hatch. Both of these Senators took criticism for their
conflicts of interest, pushing legislation for the benefit of the
pharmaceutical industry which was lavishing them with donations.
The Quayle family owns a large share of Lilly stock.
Eli Lilly is also on the cutting edge of technology. One of their
major products is a recombinant-DNA human insulin. They
marketed their first recombinant-DNA product in 1982, just barely
after the AIDS epidemic started. Obviously, they must have been
doing recombinant DNA research for years before the AIDS
epidemic, and must have been near fruitful results at the time.
As discussed previously, recombinant DNA is considered the
key technology that would have made engineering new viruses
Probably the most well-known of Lilly's current products is
Prozac, which of course has a large number of detractors and
researchers who warn that it has dangerous side-effects and
averse reactions in some people.
Lilly also marketed a number of drugs related to HIV treatment.
Eli Lilly also has one of the worst records in the industry for
using human guinea pigs. Even the conservative Wall Street
Journal has reported on this. The FDA chastised Lilly in 1994
for using alcoholics. They also use large number of homeless.
They are well known in the soup kitchens and shelters of
church-run inner-city missions of Indianapolis. The mission
directors would protest, but they receive funding from -- you
guessed it -- the Lilly Foundation.
Lilly has also taken heat, along with other major pharmaceuticals,
for price-fixing. Nice to know of the shameless gouging of
AIDS patients has gone to enrich the Bushes and Quayles.
During his administration, Bush heavily pushed AZT (not a
Lilly product as far as I can see). AZT of course is widely
considered to have been of little value, and may have
actually caused most of the health problems in people
who otherwise had few symptoms.
Bush took some heat for conflicts of interest, when he
consistently applied political pressure on behalf of the
pharmaceutical industry. In response, he put his holdings
in a blind-trust, so that a third party directed how his
money was invested, supposedly without his knowledge
or participation. Of course, the cynic's view is that this
is merely a cute way of hiding your financial dealings
and conflicts of interest.
The cynic's view is particularly justified in view of the
fact that a family friend running George's "blind trusts"
was a former Nazi supporter. One of the skillfully suppressed
truths about George's history is that his family wealth came
from his father's extensive financing of Hitler's rise to power.
During the war, some of the Bush family's Nazis banking
interests were seized by the U.S. government.
George Bush also had ties to Tanox Biosystems, Inc, which he has
helped to fund. A class action suit was filed against the company
by Gulf War veterans. The charge is that the company developed
and tested contaminated vaccines on servicemen and women.
One such vaccine appears to have been tested in Hunstville
Prison (Texas). Inmates, and later their guards and surrounding
communities, developed Gulf-War Syndrome-like ailments
before the Gulf War.
But HELL, people. Just because you see a CIA Director
who is also running a pharmaceutical company that has
ties to CIA scandals, ties to the Religious Far Right, an
extensive record of using human guinea pigs, political
conflicts of interest, and charges of biowar experimentation-
that's no reason be paranoid. Sweet dreams.
SOURCES AND REFERENCES
Lilly experiments: Wall Street Journal, 11/96, Laurie Cohen
(CKLN-FM 88.1 Toronto, interview with Dr. Colin Ross)
SUBSCRIBE CTRL [to:] LISTSERV@LISTSERV.AOL.COM
August 14, 2000
The Bush Family "Oiligarchy"
Part One: The Early Years -- Page 1
By Sam Parry
The news media has made note of the curious ties between the
oil business and three of the four major party candidates for
president and vice president: George W. Bush, Richard Cheney
and, to a lesser extent, Al Gore. In one column, David Ignatius
referred to "the bizarre prospect of a presidential campaign in
which three of the four candidates" have ties to oil. [WP, July
But these stories have not detailed for the American people how
strong -- how fundamental -- are the business and political
connections between the Bush family and the oil industry, a
relationship dating back at least 50 years and inextricably
tied to the family's wealth and power. Gore's ties to
Occidental Petroleum -- through family stock ownership and his
father's work for the company -- and even Cheney's five years
at the helm of Halliburton, the giant oil-service company, pale
Also left unexplored in the press accounts is how a restored
Bush family's "oiligarchy" would deal with the environment and
its defenders -- at odds with oil drillers from Texas to
Nigeria, from the Arctic Ocean to the Persian Gulf. Another
untapped question is how an oil-friendly George W. Bush
presidency would treat the New Economy, whose technologies cut
demand for energy and thus pose a long-term threat to the oil
industry, a pillar of the Old Economy.
An examination of these relationships finds that the Bush
family network of close associates, business partners,
political supporters and advisers are so intertwined with the
oil industry that to understand the Bush family legacy -- and
its emerging political dynasty -- you must start at its
confluence where politics and oil meet. Those interconnections
spread out like the countless rivulets of a fertile delta, one
that has nurtured and sustained the Bush family's power and
influence for half a century.
Former President George H.W. Bush's personal ties to the oil
industry date back to 1950 when the Bush family encountered the
first of many forks linking oil and politics. That fall, banker
Prescott Bush, President Bush's father, ran for the U.S. Senate
from Connecticut, mounting a strong but unsuccessful challenge
to a popular Democratic incumbent. At about the same time, his
son, a decorated World War II veteran and newly minted Yale
graduate, launched his first oil company in Midland, Texas.
With financial backing from Wall Street connections cultivated
by his uncle, Herbert Walker, the 26-year-old George H.W. Bush
joined an associate, John Overbey, to establish the
Bush-Overbey Oil Development Co.
According to one of the few serious biographies about the 41st
president, George Bush: The Life of a Lone Star Yankee by
Herbert S. Parnet, the new company received $350,000 in startup
money from Uncle Walker's connections, including $50,000 from
Prescott Bush. Washington Post publisher Eugene Meyer chipped
in more than $50,000, some of which he put up in the name of
his son-in-law, Phil Graham, who had married Katharine Graham,
today the chairman of the executive board at the Washington
Post Co. A web of influential connections was already forming.
At this pivotal moment, a father and a son had launched new
careers: one in oil and one in national politics, surrounded by
allies who would come to exercise broad power in the last half
of the 20th Century.
Through hard work and a dependable line of Wall Street
investors provided by Uncle Walker, Bush-Overbey company
remained in the black, if barely. For his first experience in
the oil business, Bush touted a successful record, if not one
of blockbuster deals or million-dollar profits.
In those heady days, Midland had not yet become the capital of
the Permian Basin oil industry. Midland was a small, close-knit
community where people knew each other and pulled together. In
this setting, Bush honed his skills as a professional oilman
while building his own network of close personal associates.
When Bush and Overbey were ready to expand their business in
March 1953, they tapped their Midland network of oilmen friends
to establish a new partnership, Zapata Petroleum Corp.
Like Bush-Overbey, Zapata received generous startup
contributions from Uncle Walker's East Coast money connections.
Establishing Zapata also pulled Bush out of the grinding work
of buying and selling oil rights leases into the more glamorous
work of contract drilling for major suppliers. Bush was now in
the big game, and by the end of 1954, Zapata had 71 wells
producing 1,250 barrels of oil per day. [See Parmet's George
August 14, 2000
The Bush Family "Oiligarchy"
Part One: The Early Years -- Page 2
Politics and Oil Meet
Back in Connecticut, Prescott Bush had won a special election
to gain a U.S. Senate seat on his second try in 1952. He had
been in office two months when his son launched Zapata. Early
on, Prescott Bush established himself as a moderate, somewhere
between an Eisenhower and a Rockefeller Republican on issues
such as labor and immigration.
Prescott Bush's positions on issues related to the oil industry
were more complicated. In 1953, Sen. Lister Hill of Alabama
promoted legislation that would federalize offshore resources,
including oil, in order to raise revenue for the government.
The money would go to increase funding for education.
Sen. Bush became a point man for denouncing Hill's legislation.
Bush wrote that the issue of funding for schools "should be an
entirely separate question from that of submerged lands and
warrants careful study because of the danger of federal control
of education." Sen. Bush's leadership was central in defeating
Hill's legislation. [See Parmet's George Bush.]
Whatever the merits of federalizing offshore deposits of
natural resources and of federal aid to education, a backdrop
for the Bush family was the coincidence that George H.W. Bush
was moving into offshore oil drilling by establishing the
Zapata Offshore Oil Co. The defeat of Hill's legislation
removed a potential obstacle to those plans.
While Prescott Bush was establishing himself in the Senate, his
son was earning the grudging respect of West Texas oilmen. Oil
tycoon Henry Hunt III wrote some years later that George H.W.
Bush "wasn't yet a full-fledged self-made millionaire, but for
a 35-year-old Yalie who had learned the oil business from
scratch, he was doing very well."
Bush's early Zapata Petroleum partners included Overbey and two
brothers, J. Hugh Liedtke and William C. Liedtke, who ran a law
firm across the street from Bush-Overbey's office in downtown
Midland. The Liedtkes, whose father was the chief counsel for
Gulf Oil, were widely respected in the oil business.
Hugh Liedtke seemed to have a special knack and became the oil
brains behind Zapata Petroleum as it quickly grew into a
successful business. Bush's role in Zapata was to use his
family connections to provide the needed capital investments
while the Liedtkes brought the know-how.
By 1955, Zapata was involved in two distinct oil businesses,
offshore drilling and land drilling. Business seemed to be
running smoothly. Soon, however, the Liedtkes began to grow
impatient with the control Uncle Walker sought to establish
Negotiations began between Bush and the Liedtkes to try to find
a more harmonious balance. A series of stock swaps orchestrated
by Bush resulted in divided control over Zapata Offshore and
Zapata Petroleum. Bush and Uncle Walker won control over the
offshore business and the Liedtkes gained control of the
original Zapata Petroleum. [See Parmet's George Bush.]
August 14, 2000
The Bush Family "Oiligarchy"
Part One: The Early Years -- Page 3
Business Networks Pay Off
The Liedtke brothers and Bush steered Zapata through leaner
years in the late 1950s while continuing to grow the company's
two businesses. By 1963, Hugh Liedtke was ready to expand
Zapata Petroleum by merging it with the Penn Oil Company. The
combined company took the name Pennzoil, with Hugh Liedtke at
the helm as president and chief executive officer.
Liedtke's instincts, his business know-how, and his
aggressiveness would combine to help build Pennzoil into one of
the world's largest oil companies. In 1999, Pennzoil-Quaker
State's revenue was almost $3 billion and its market
capitalization was almost $1 billion. [See Pennzoil-Quaker
State's Annual Report.] Not bad for a company that started with
less than $1 million from Bush's Uncle Walker.
The Bush-Liedtke relationship also was destined to become a
financial cornerstone for George H.W. Bush's political career.
The relationship attracted the well-connected and wealthy by
the dozens. It was partly through this connection that Bush
first came into contact with James Baker III.
Baker's family had established itself in the Texas legal
profession going back almost to the Civil War. Beginning in
1870, Baker's grandfather helped build Baker & Botts,
established four years earlier by two Confederate partisans,
Judge Peter Gray and Walter Browne Botts. By the late 1800s, a
major client was the railroad empire of E.H. Harriman, Union
Because of a strict anti-nepotism rule within Baker & Botts,
James Baker III was not permitted to join the firm out of
college. Instead, he became a boss of Houston's Andrews, Kurth,
Campbell, & Jones law firm, a satellite of Baker & Botts
located in Houston. [See George Bush: The Unauthorized
Biography by Webster G. Tarpley & Anton Chaitkin.]
After the 1963 merger of Zapata and Penn Oil, Baker & Botts
became the chief legal firm to the growing oil conglomerate.
Baker & Botts enjoyed a remarkably close relationship with this
client. Wall Street Journal business journalist Thomas
Petzinger described the close connections between Baker & Botts
and Pennzoil this way: "For 25 years, the internal legal
department at Pennzoil had been almost indistinguishable from
Baker & Botts." [See Parmet's George Bush.]
By this time, Bush, Baker, and Hugh Liedtke were all
headquartered in their respective businesses in Houston, a much
larger city than Midland. In Houston, Bush's connections
expanded beyond the oil industry to include a variety of
country club social circles. Still, for Bush, oil remained the
blood of the Houston network.
August 14, 2000
The Bush Family "Oiligarchy"
Part One: The Early Years -- Page 4
The Oilman Politician
Bush's entrance on the political scene was a modest step. In
1963, Bush ran a successful campaign for chairman of the
Republican Party of Harris County, winning a unanimous victory.
Though he probably didn't realize the full implications of it
at the time, Bush was entering Texas politics at just the
moment that the Democratic Party's statewide political monopoly
was showing serious cracks.
In 1961, John Tower became the first Republican senator from
Texas since Reconstruction when he won a special election for
the seat vacated by Lyndon Johnson. Throughout the 1960s,
conservative Texas Democrats, feeling betrayed by Democratic
support for civil rights and labor, began to shift to the
Over the next decade and a half, with Baker as a confidant and
Liedtke tapping oil money to fund campaigns, Bush served two
terms in the U.S. Congress, ran two unsuccessful but
competitive bids for U.S. Senate, and became a recognized
leader in the national Republican Party. He served as
Ambassador to the United Nations and chaired the Republican
National Committee under President Nixon. Under President Ford,
he served as ambassador to China and director of the Central
On the national scene, Bush continued to cash in on his many
oil connections to help finance his political ambitions. Bush's
connections also became generous donors to the national
Republican Party and its leaders. In addition to the Liedtke
brothers, oil-money men at the center of the Bush political
funding included: C. Fred Chambers, Bobby Holt, Earle Craig
Jr., Robert Mosbacher, and Hugh Roy Cullen. [See Parmet's
In 1966, Bush won a congressional election from Houston and
headed off to Washington. As the son of a prominent Senator,
Bush commanded immediate attention on Capitol Hill, a fact
evidenced by his selection to the powerful House Ways and Means
The selection of a freshman congressman to serve on the
powerful Committee was a remarkable choice. No freshman had
served on the committee for 63 years. From his seat on the
tax-writing panel, Bush was perfectly positioned to defend the
interests of the Texas oil industry.
Big Oil needed Bush's help. Two of the industry's sacred cows
were in danger. One was a 27.5 percent tax depletion allowance,
which dated back to 1926. The allowance benefited the oil
industry by removing much of the financial risk investors faced
when they invested in oil ventures, which required substantial
start-up capital investment. Drillers argued that the risks of
hitting a dry spot would be prohibitively high for most
investors and national oil production would suffer if the
allowance were repealed.
The other major national oil policy of the time was a system of
high quotas put in place to protect domestic oil companies from
cheaper foreign oil. Removing the quotas, the oil industry
argued, could produce a national security threat and would risk
domestic oil production. It would pose a direct threat to their
profits earned through domestic drilling ventures, too.
In the late 1960s, a spirited band of liberals in Congress were
eager for reform, and the inequalities of the tax code were
major targets. The oil industry found itself on the defensive
as the reformers targeted the oil depletion allowance as a
government "giveaway" for Big Oil. Today, it would be called
For the coming fight over oil policy, newly sworn in President
Nixon appointed a Cabinet-level task force headed by Labor
Secretary George Schulz to examine the issue in early 1969 and
find compromises to present to Capitol Hill.
While Big Oil had many friends in Congress eager to defend
their interests, Congressman Bush could be counted on as one of
their most loyal supporters. He argued against reducing the
allowance and strongly opposed changing the quota system. [See
Parmet's George Bush.]
By 1969, however, the reformers were gaining momentum. It was
becoming clear that compromise would have to be reached. The
Nixon Administration Task Force proposed a reduction of the
27.5 percent tax allowance to 20 percent. With that as a
starting point, the debate moved to Congress, where the oil
industry's allies were able to increase the proposed allowance
to 22 percent. The bill passed 394-30, with Bush voting for
Bush's primary strategy during these policy fights was to give
a bit on the depletion allowance while protecting the quotas.
Bush warned that reducing the quotas threatened to reduce
domestic prices, thereby threatening domestic production.
In mid-November 1969, Bush invited Treasury Secretary David
Kennedy and a group of oilmen to his Houston home. The oilmen
made it clear to Secretary Kennedy that they would not budge on
quotas. The secretary carried the message back to President
Nixon. [See Parmet's George Bush.]
When the Schulz Task Force recommended to Nixon that the quota
system be replaced with a sliding scale, the President had to
choose between domestic oil interests and the findings of his
own task force. Heeding the warning delivered by Secretary
Kennedy, Nixon ignored the Schulz plan and upheld the quota
system. Bush and his oilmen had won the day.
Bush wrote a thank-you note to Secretary Kennedy in which he
confessed, "I was so appreciative of your telling them [the
oilmen] how I bled and died for the oil industry. That might
kill me off in the Washington Post but it darn sure helps in
Houston." [See Parmet's George Bush.]
Bush left Congress to run for Senate in 1970, but lost to Lloyd
Bentson. He then went on to work for the Nixon and Ford
administrations until 1977. When Jimmy Carter became president,
Bush found himself temporarily out of politics. With the elder
George Bush briefly on the political sidelines, his oldest son,
George W. Bush, began building an oil/politics nexus of his
August 15, 2000
The Bush Family "Oiligarchy"
Part Two: The Third Generation -- Page 1
By Sam Parry
At times grudgingly, George W. Bush traced virtually every
early step his father took. Like his father, George W. went to
both Andover Academy and Yale and joined the secretive Yale
fraternity Skull and Bones. Like his father, George W. joined
the armed forces. Like his father, George W. benefited from
wealthy family connections while starting out on his own.
But the most important similarity between the careers of George
W. and his father is the link between oil and politics. Like
his father, George W. made his first business investments in
West Texas oil ventures in Midland. Like his father, George W.
sought to establish his political career by seeking elected
office in Texas, where he ran for Congress at an early age.
While the cadence and direction of his steps match, George W.'s
early record seems like a child walking around in his father's
oversized shoes. In school, George W. was a C student, while
his father graduated Phi Beta Kappa. In sports, George the
father was captain of the Yale baseball team while George the
son was captain of the cheerleading squad. In the oil business
and politics, too, George W.'s early record was eclipsed by his
But what George W. may have lacked in accomplishments, he made
up for in ambition and charm, two traits that served him well
in both oil and politics. In 1978, this ambition led George W.
to embrace both family legacies, oil and politics. To some,
this decision to pursue both goals at the same time might smack
of bravado or even cockiness. But George W. was eager to try.
George W.'s Drive
With practically no political experience of his own, George W.
launched an unsuccessful bid for U.S. Congress. He lost badly
to the Democratic incumbent. George W. later said that his
biggest mistake that year was running a race "he couldn't win."
The loss still gave George W. a taste of politics he would
That same year, he incorporated his own oil-drilling venture,
Arbusto (Spanish for bush) Energy. Both his race for Congress
and his oil business were based in Midland, his father's old
stomping grounds. In fact, George W. opened an office in
Midland's Petroleum Building, the same office building where
his father started out more than 25 years before. [See the
Washington Post's profile, "The Turning Point After Coming Up
Dry, Financial Resources," by George Lardner Jr. and Lois
Romano, July 30, 1999, and Harper's Magazine's "The George W.
Bush Success Story: A heartwarming tale about baseball, $1.7
billion, and a lot of swell friends," by Joe Conason, February
While his run for Congress fell short, his oil business venture
seemed promising at first. Just as his father had done nearly
30 years prior, George W. Bush sought financial assistance from
his uncle, Jonathan Bush, a Wall Street financier. Jonathan
Bush pulled together two dozen investors to raise $3 million to
help launch Arbusto. Among the investors was Dorothy Bush,
George W.'s grandmother. At the same time, Jonathan Bush was
lining up investors for Arbusto, he also was raising money for
George H.W. Bush's presidential explorations. Many of the
funders were the same. [WP, July 30, 1999]
Unfortunately for George W., 1978 was not the best time to
start up an oil-drilling company in West Texas. After a brief
price spike in the late 1970s, the price for a barrel of oil
dropped throughout the 1980s to less than $10, which in turn
sank many small businesses in the West Texas oil industry.
Still, while other oil ventures failed, George W. kept his
afloat in the 1980s thanks to family connections and
international financiers attempting to build and nurture
relationships with his father, who was elected vice president
August 15, 2000
The Bush Family "Oiligarchy"
Part Two: The Third Generation -- Page 2
The first of three major bailouts occurred in 1982. That year,
despite the millions already pumped into Arbusto, George W.
faced a crisis. His balance sheet read $48,000 in the bank and
$400,000 owed to banks and other creditors. George W. realized
that he had to raise additional cash. He decided to take
Arbusto public. [WP, July 30, 1999.]
With the company so deeply in debt, however, George W. would
need a new infusion of money to clear the books. In stepped
Philip Uzielli, a New York investor and friend of James Baker
III from their Princeton days. According to George W., Uzielli
was introduced by George Ohrstrom, one of the original Arbusto
investors and Uzielli's business partner.
Ohrstrom and Uzielli had, three years before in 1979, purchased
a building products firm, Leigh Products Inc. by buying all
common shares for $25 per share. At the time, Baker was a
director of Leigh Products.
Uzielli worked out a deal with George W. to purchase a 10
percent stake in Arbusto for $1 million. The entire company was
valued at less than $400,000. In a 1991 interview, Uzielli
recalled the investment as a major money loser. "Things were
terrible," he said. [WP, July 30, 1999.]
As bad as Uzielli's investment turned out, George W. now had
enough money to take his company public. Not, however, before
he made one more change. In April 1982, perhaps realizing the
negative connotation of "bust," George W. changed the name of
his company to Bush Exploration. The name change also may have
had something to do with the fact that George W.'s father at
the time was the Vice President of the U.S. In June, George W.
issued a prospectus.
George W. sought $6 million in the public offering, but only
managed to raise $1.14 million. The shortfall was due in large
part to the waning interest in the oil industry among
investors. The price for a barrel of oil was falling and
special tax breaks for losses incurred in oil investments had
been slashed. [WP, July 30, 1999.]
Within two years, it was clear that Bush Exploration was in
trouble again. Michael Conaway, George W.'s chief financial
officer, told the Washington Post, "We didn't find much oil and
gas. We weren't raising any money." Something had to be done.
In walked bailout number two in the persons of Cincinnati
investors, William DeWitt Jr. and Mercer Reynolds III. Heading
up an oil exploration company called Spectrum 7, DeWitt and
Mercer contacted George W. about a merger with Bush
Exploration. For Bush and his struggling company, the decision
wasn't a hard one to make.
In February 1984, George W. agreed to a merger with Spectrum 7
in which Dewitt and Reynolds would each control 20.1 percent
and George W. would own 16.3 percent. George W. was named
chairman and CEO of Spectrum 7, which brought him an annual
salary of $75,000. [Harper's Magazine, February 2000.]
DeWitt, whose father had owned the St. Louis Browns baseball
team and later the Cincinnati Reds, would become a useful
partner for George W. a few years later when he made his move
to pull a group of investors together to buy the Texas Rangers.
Even though the merged companies still failed to make any
money, the pieces were finally starting to fall into place for
George W. A chief asset was that George W. brought connections
and name recognition to the enterprise. Paul Rea, president of
Spectrum 7, remembers Bush's name as a definite "drawing card"
for investors. [WP, July 30, 1999.]
With oil prices collapsing in the mid-80s, however, it became
clear that George W.'s name alone would not save the company.
In a six-month period in 1986, Spectrum 7 lost $400,000 and
owed more than $3 million with no hope of paying those debts
off. Once more, the situation was growing desperate. [Harper's
Magazine, February 2000.]
In September 1986, George W. was given his third lifeline.
Harken Energy Corp. was a medium-sized, diversified corporation
that had been purchased in 1983 by a New York lawyer, Alan
Quasha. Quasha seemed interested in acquiring not just an oil
company, but the son of the Vice President. Harken agreed to
acquire Spectrum 7 in a deal that handed over one share of
publicly traded stock for five shares of Spectrum, which at the
time were practically worthless. [WP, July 30, 1999.]
August 15, 2000
The Bush Family "Oiligarchy"
Part Two: The Third Generation -- Page 3
George W. Strikes Success
After the acquisition, George W. was named to the Harken board
of directors. He was given $600,000 worth of Harken stock
options and landed a job as a consultant that paid him $120,000
a year. By any account, this was not bad for an oilman who had
never made any money in the oil business and had lost investors
fortunes, large and small. [Harper's Magazine, February 2000.]
But Harken's investment in George W. appreciated. In 1986, the
company had acquired the son of a vice president. By 1989, it
had in its camp the son of a president. Harken began looking
for oil investments in the Middle East where business and
family connections also are very important.
In 1989, the government of Bahrain was in the middle of
negotiations with Amoco for an agreement to drill for offshore
oil. Negotiations were progressing until the Bahrainis suddenly
Michael Ameen, who was serving as a State Department consultant
assigned to brief Charles Hostler, the newly confirmed U.S.
ambassador to Bahrain, put the Bahraini government in touch
with Harken Energy. In January 1990, in a decision that shocked
oil-industry analysts, Bahrain granted exclusive oil drilling
rights to Harken, a company that had never before drilled
outside Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma and that had never
before drilled offshore. [Harper's Magazine, February 2000.]
In a matter of weeks, the stock of Harken Energy shot up more
than 22 percent from $4.50 to $5.50.
While George W. was finally finding some success in the oil
business, President George H.W. Bush was experiencing the high
point of his presidency. In August 1990, the forces of Iraqi
leader Saddam Hussein invaded the oil-rich sheikhdom of Kuwait,
choosing to settle a simmering border dispute over oil lands by
force. President Bush responded with a denunciation of Saddam
for violating international law, though Bush himself had
ordered the invasion of Panama less than a year earlier to
capture Panamanian Gen. Manuel Noriega on drug charges.
Yet, with the Middle East's vast oil reserves at risk,
international law gained new respect as an inviolable
principle. President Bush vowed that the Iraqi invasion "will
not stand" and dispatched 500,000 U.S. troops as part of an
international force to drive Iraqi forces from Kuwait. In the
early months of 1991, the United States led first an aerial
assault on Iraqi military and civilian targets, followed by a
100-hour land assault that routed the overmatched Iraqi army
and restored the Kuwaiti royal family to power. Bush saw his
popularity ratings soar above 90 percent among the American
Public Face for the Texas Rangers
Back in Texas, George W. was winning acclaim himself as the
popular new owner of the Texas Rangers. The beginning of that
deal traced back to an idea of George W.'s Spectrum 7 partner,
Bill DeWitt, who wanted to make a play for the purchase of the
baseball team. DeWitt understood that he needed a native Texan
in his group of investors. George W. fit the bill. George W.
also brought with him family connections to the owner of the
Rangers, Eddie Chiles. An aging Midland oilman, Chiles's ties
to the Bushes dated back to George W.'s father's days in the
Midland oil business. [Harper's Magazine, February 2000.]
George W., who had never given up his political aspirations,
recognized at once the opportunity this would bring. He could
establish his name in his own right and do so as part owner of
a highly visible organization. What story line could be better
for an aspiring politician than to be part of the old American
The group of investors was missing only one thing -- money. To
address this need, George W. tapped a Yale fraternity brother,
Roland Betts, who brought with him a partner from a
film-investment firm, Tom Bernstein. Betts and Bernstein were
from New York, which became a problem when Major League
Baseball Commissioner Peter Ueberroth insisted on more
financial backing from Texas-based investors.
Commissioner Ueberroth, eager to put together a deal for the
son of the President, brought in a second investment group
headed by Richard Rainwater, who had made much of his fortunes
working for the Bass family of Fort Worth. From 1970 to 1986,
Rainwater had turned a modest family fortune of nearly $50
million into a stunning $4 billion empire.
Rainwater agreed to join Betts, Bernstein, and George W., who
borrowed $600,000 for his share of the $86 million purchase.
But Rainwater did not join without imposing a strict limitation
on George W.'s role. George W. was granted 2 percent ownership
of the Rangers and was named one of two "managing partners."
But George W. would have effectively no say in running the
team. He would be the handsome public face. Rainwater and his
lieutenant Rusty Rose would be the brains. [Harper's Magazine,
George W.'s connections to Harken and his investment in the
Rangers -- which had been made possible by his ties to the oil
industry -- soon made him a millionaire. At last, he had a
record of accomplishment to point to. George W. finally was
ready to make the leap he had been waiting for. In 1994, George
W. ran for and won the governorship of Texas.
August 19, 2000
The Bush Family "Oiligarchy"
Part Three: Politics & Oil -- The Sequel -- Page 1
By Sam Parry
The oil money connections that had served George W. Bush so
well in private life would, like his father before him,
continue to serve George W. very well in political life. And,
like his father before him, George W. would reward his oilmen
benefactors once in office.
During his nearly six years in the governor's mansion, George
W. has presided over what widely regarded as the most polluted
state in the country. It ranks first in the amount of
cancer-causing chemicals pumped annually into the air and
water, first in the number of hazardous-waste incinerators,
first in the total toxic releases to the environment, and first
in carbon dioxide and mercury emissions from industry. [See
"The Polluters' President," by Ken Silverstein, Sierra
Magazine, Nov/Dec 1999.]
The air quality is arguably the darkest blot on Texas's
environmental record. A majority of Texans live in areas that
either flunk federal ozone standards or are in danger of
flunking, a shocking statistic in a state of nearly 20 million
people. Houston, the nation's oil- and petrochemical-industry
headquarters, has been called an ecological disaster zone.
Chemical spills slick its coastal waters and its air quality
has just earned the dubious honor of being the most polluted in
the country, eclipsing Los Angeles last year.
Water quality in Texas isn't any better. More than 4,400 miles
of Texas rivers, roughly one-third of Texas's waterways, don't
meet basic federal standards set for recreational and other
uses. They are unswimmable, unfishable, and, for the most part,
Despite this abysmal record, the state has cut water-testing
programs to the bare bones. Between 1985 and 1997, the number
of stations monitoring for pesticides in Texas waterways fell
from 27 to two. The lack of attention given to these problems
is further evidenced by the fact that the state of Texas ranks
49th in spending on environmental clean up. [Sierra Magazine,
While missing in action on environmental protection, Gov. Bush
jumped into the trenches when the oil industry was threatened.
In 1999, when international oil prices collapsed, Gov. Bush
pushed for and won a $45 million tax break for the state's
oil-and-natural-gas producers. [AP, April 3, 2000]
To get a sense of Gov. Bush's priorities, it is worth examining
an initiative he promoted that he now widely cites as a
successful environmental policy reform. In the Texas Clean Air
Act of 1971, 828 industrial plants enjoyed a grandfather
loophole that allowed them to operate without obtaining a
permit. In 1997, Gov. Bush announced a plan to "close the
loophole" for these factories. But the plan was strictly
voluntary and carried no penalties for industries that didn't
seek a permit.
Such a plan could have been written by the industries
themselves. And as it turned out, it was. In confidential memos
obtained by the Sustainable Energy and Economic Development
Coalition (SEED) under the state's Freedom of Information Act,
it was shown that Gov. Bush's administration worked closely
with the companies as they were crafting the proposal. [Sierra
Magazine, Nov/Dec 1999]
Gov. Bush also found appointees who pleased the oil industry
when he was filling seats on the Texas Natural Resource
Conservation Commission (TNRCC), the Texas equivalent of the
Environmental Protection Agency. His first choice, Barry McBee,
came from a Dallas law firm where he served as an oil
specialist. McBee was former deputy commissioner at the Texas
Department of Agriculture where he led a drive to gut "right to
know" laws that protected farmworkers from unannounced aerial
Gov. Bush's second choice, Robert Huston, was even more fondly
thought of by the oil industry. Huston came from the industry
consulting firm Espey, Huston & Associates, whose clients
included Exxon, Chevron and Shell. Another of Gov. Bush's
appointees to the TNRCC was Ralph Marquez, former vice chair of
the Texas Chemical Council's environmental committee and a
30-year veteran of Monsanto. [Sierra Magazine, Nov/Dec 1999]
It is likely that a President George W. Bush would appoint
people from this same mold to serve in environmental and
industry oversight positions. For one, McBee is regarded as a
leading candidate to head the EPA.
As has been widely reported, Bush has expressed a "kinship"
with those in the oil industry. Craig McDonald, Director of
Texans for Public Justice, a campaign finance group, summed up
the bond between Bush and the oil industry this way: "He's been
friendly to that sector, policy-wise, and they've been good to
him in return. He rewarded them with tax breaks when they cried
that they weren't making enough money." [AP, April 3, 2000]
This affinity between Bush and the oil industry and how it
might affect a potential Bush presidency has raised alarm bells
within the environmental community. At a time when scientists
warn of the dire environmental consequences caused by global
warming, which in turn is caused by burning oil and other
fossil fuels at high rates, environmentalists fear that a
George W. Bush White House, closely aligned with the oil
industry, would ignore these scientific warnings.
Among other controversial energy topics on which Bush sides
with the oil industry are suspending 4.3 cents-per-gallon of
the federal gasoline tax, a move that could lead to more
gasoline use. He also favored opening up Alaska's Arctic
Wilderness to oil drilling. These initiatives would have strong
chances of passage with Bush in the White House and Congress
under the leadership of Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., and Rep. Tom
George W.'s support for the Alaskan oil ventures is underscored
by the men he chose to serve as his Alaska state campaign
co-chairmen, Bob Malone and Bill Allen. From 1995-2000, Malone
served as president, chief executive and chief operating
officer of the Alyeska Pipeline Services Co., a consortium
owned by major oil companies active in the North Slope of
Alyeska Pipeline manages the 800-mile Alaskan pipeline, which
delivers more than 20% of America's domestic oil production.
Before joining Alyeska, Malone served as president of BP
Amoco's Pipelines (Alaska) Inc. [See The Public I, Feb. 28,
2000, http://www.public-i.org/story_16_022800.htm .]
The other Bush co-chair in Alaska, Bill Allen, is the chairman
of VECO Corp., which was formed to support offshore oil
production in Alaska. VECO now has 4,000 employees and has
offices in Alaska, Colorado, Washington State, India, Cyprus
and Houston. [See
August 19, 2000
The Bush Family "Oiligarchy"
Part Three: Politics & Oil -- The Sequel -- Page 2
Big Oil Pumps in Money
In return for George W.'s continued political support, the oil
industry has played a prominent role in funding Bush's two
gubernatorial races and now his presidential candidacy. Of the
$41 million Bush raised in two gubernatorial races, $5.6
million (14 percent) came from the energy and natural resources
industries. [AP, April 3, 2000]
The oil and gas industry has extended its support for the Texas
governor to his presidential bid, donating 15 times more money
to Bush than to his Democratic opponent, Al Gore. As of June
20, Bush had raised $1,463,799 from the oil industry to Gore's
$95,460, according to opensecrets.org [July 26, 2000]. Of the
top-ten lifetime contributors to George W.'s political war
chests, six either are in the oil business or have ties to it.
[See George W. Bush: Top 25 Career Patrons, The Buying of the
President 2000, Center for Public Integrity,
George W.'s chairman of his campaign's finance committee is
Donald Evans. According to The Austin Chronicle, Evans is
"perhaps the governor's closest friend" and has known George W.
for three decades since their Midland days together. Evans is
also CEO of Tom Brown Inc., an oil and gas company with the
bulk of its production in Wyoming. Evans helped pioneer the
Pioneers, a group of Bush financial supporters who have each
raised at least $100,000.
In 1995, Bush rewarded Evans by appointing him to the
University of Texas Board of Regents, one of the most "powerful
patronage" jobs in Texas. Evans rose to chairman of the board.
With an annual budget of $5.4 billion and more than 76,000
employees, the Texas university system is one of the largest in
the country. The Texas University Board of Regents also manages
an investment portfolio of more than $14 billion. [The Austin
Chronicle, March 17, 2000]
George W., like his father before him, also brought his Texas
oil financial connections to Washington to help national
Republican fundraising efforts. In May, Ray Hunt, chairman and
CEO of Hunt Oil Co., was named finance chairman of the
Republican National Committee's Victory 2000 Committee. Based
in Dallas, Hunt Oil is an independent, private company that is
among the top dozen independent oil companies in the United
States. [Cox News, May 10, 2000]
Richard Kinder and Kenneth Lay, the former and current CEOs of
Houston-based Enron Corp., also rank as two of Bush's top
contributors. Both are members of Bush's Pioneers and have been
longstanding financial benefactors behind Bush's political
career. By the end of 1999, funders connected to Enron had
contributed $90,000 to the Bush presidential campaign, the
fourth largest bundle at the time. [Boston Globe, Oct. 3, 1999]
Enron, a company worth $61.5 billion, is the No. 1 buyer and
seller of natural gas and the top wholesale power marketer in
the United States. As governor, George W. has embraced energy
deregulation, an initiative on which Enron has led the field of
In 1997, one Enron facility in Pasadena, Texas, released
274,361 pounds of toxic waste. In many states, this would rank
as one of the top toxic pollution emitters, but not in Texas,
where nearly 262 million pounds of toxic waste were released
into the environment in 1997, the most in the country. [EPA TRI
August 20, 2000
The Bush Family 'Oiligarchy'
Part Four: At the Candidate's Ear -- Page 1
By Sam Parry
Many of George W. Bush's senior foreign policy advisers also
have close ties to the oil industry.
Condoleeza Rice, George W.'s chief foreign policy aide and
leading candidate to serve as his national security adviser,
has been a director of Chevron Corp. since 1991. Rice is
currently in charge of public policy for Chevron's board of
directors, which has used her expertise in Russian issues to
help Chevron navigate its way to investments in the Caspian Sea
In 1993, Rice was granted a rare honor when Chevron named an
oil tanker after her.
Lawrence Eagleburger, a seasoned Bush counselor who held top
State Department posts under George W.'s father, is a director
of Halliburton Corp., the world's largest oil field services
When looking for a running mate, George W. also turned to
Halliburton. He asked Dick Cheney, Halliburton's chairman and
chief executive, first to vet other candidates and later to
take the job. With Cheney at Halliburton's helm for the past
five years, the Dallas-based company grew into a global
juggernaut, now with two-thirds of its business overseas. It
has business in nearly 130 countries, counts about 700 wholly
and partly owned subsidiaries, employs more than 100,000
workers worldwide, and boasts a 1999 income of $15 billion.
[AP, July 26, 2000]
Halliburton's global network of investments includes projects
in politically volatile areas, some with savage human rights
records. Other countries, where Halliburton has subsidiaries,
have come under criticism for bank secrecy.
The nations where Halliburton does business include
oil-producers such as Nigeria, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia,
Algeria, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Libya, Angola and
Russia. The company's roster of subsidiaries also lists
companies in offshore banking havens, such as the Cayman
Islands, Barbados, Panama, Cyprus and Vanuatu. [Halliburton's
annual report, March 2000]
While the political Cheney might have worried about the nature
of U.S. business ties to some of these countries, Cheney the
oilman apparently sees nothing wrong with lucrative investments
in these places, even though Iran and Libya remain on the State
Department's list of terrorist states.
As politician-Cheney promotes the need for a missile defense
system in the U.S. for fear that "rogue" states might develop
missiles powerful enough to threaten American cities,
oilman-Cheney has negotiated Halliburton investments in some of
those very countries and has criticized the use of economic
sanctions as a tool of U.S. foreign policy.
During Cheney's tenure, Halliburton built up operations in
Nigeria despite the country's pattern of human rights
violations. Halliburton's subsidiaries signed contracts with
Royal Dutch Shell and Chevron, two companies that have been at
loggerheads with Nigerian indigenous groups in the Niger Delta.
In April 2000, Brown & Root Energy Services, a business unit of
Halliburton, was selected by Shell Petroleum Development Co. of
Nigeria to work on the development of an offshore oil and gas
facility, the first of its kind for Shell. The deal, valued at
$300 million, has been questioned by those who have worked to
hold Shell accountable for its pollution and notorious human
rights record in Ogoniland in the Niger Delta.
Shell has been involved in oil exploration and export in
Nigeria for more than 40 years, much of it in the fertile lands
belonging to the Ogoni people in the Niger Delta. During this
period, Shell's activities led to repeated environmental
calamities, caused by oil spills, noxious gas flares, cleared
forests, despoiled farmland and pipeline blowouts.
Shell's operations and the money they generated for the
military government of Sani Abacha earned Shell free rein in
its operations. Gen. Abacha's government used force to crush
popular protests against the oil industry throughout the Niger
Just five years ago, in November 1995, the year Cheney joined
Halliburton, renowned writer and environmental advocate Ken
Saro-Wiwa and eight of his colleagues were hanged by the Abacha
government for their efforts to prevent Shell from continuing
to poison the environment of the Niger Delta.
It is estimated that more than 2,000 people have been murdered
for their involvement in protests against Shell's activities in
the Delta. Most of those murdered were Ogoni who had rallied
behind Saro-Wiwa in the early 1990s.
In 1999, Gen. Abacha died under mysterious circumstances that
have yet to be fully clarified. An interim government gave way
to a popularly elected administration headed by former Nigerian
Gen. Obasanjo. The transition to democracy in Nigeria has led
to renewed hope that tensions in the Niger Delta will ease.
Still, inequality and poverty are rampant.
In recent weeks, desperate Nigerians caused deadly explosions
when they tapped pipelines to siphon oil for sale in the open
market. These explosions, while they can't be blamed directly
on the oil companies, are caused by the crushing poverty faced
by many Nigerians, especially in the Niger Delta. Halliburton
and its business allies have turned a blind eye to this
inequality created in part by the exploitation of the area's
In July 1997, an incident occurred in the Niger Delta that
should have set off alarms in Halliburton executive suites. A
youth by the name of Gidikumo Sule was killed by the Mobile
Police, notorious for their brutal tactics. Sule was among
dozens protesting Chevron in a dispute involving a Chevron
contractor. That contractor was Halliburton.
The versions of the story vary, but what is known is that a
group of youths trying to send a message to Chevron stopped a
barge owned by Halliburton, blocking access to a Chevron
facility. The youths were apparently protesting the fact that
Chevron had failed to hire any local workers for a project.
Mobile Police units were sent in to break up the protests and
in the ensuing confrontation, the police fired at the youths
killing Sule. [See The Price of Oil, Human Rights Watch,
After the incident, Halliburton, which owned the barge at the
center of the controversy, increased its business dealings in
August 20, 2000
The Bush Family 'Oiligarchy'
Part Four: At the Candidate's Ear -- Page 2
Over the past five years, Halliburton has compensated Cheney
handsomely for his services.
As Halliburton's chairman and CEO, Cheney earned a $1.3 million
salary, plus bonuses that varied from zero to $2 million. [See
Halliburton's filings with the Securities and Exchange
Commission.] In June, Cheney sold 100,000 shares of Halliburton
stock, bringing him an additional $5.1 million. During his
five-year tenure, Cheney accrued salary and stock options worth
an estimated $45 million. [AP, July 26, 2000]
In addition, upon resigning from Halliburton to run with Bush
in July, the 59-year-old Cheney received what amounted to a $20
million parting gift. Halliburton's board waived a requirement
that Cheney would lose many of his stock options if he left
before age 62. [NYT, Aug. 12, 2000]
Under the Halliburton deal, Cheney retained 400,000 unvested
stock options that will "vest" in batches over the next three
years. That means their value depends on Halliburton's stock
price at the time the vested options are exercised. Unlike
other holdings, unvested options cannot effectively be put in a
blind trust since a trustee cannot do anything with them until
after they vest, ethics expert note. In other words, Cheney
will be aware that his personal wealth will rise and fall along
along with Halliburton's stock prices.
If Cheney is elected vice president and becomes a key foreign
policy adviser to Bush (as he would be expected to be), Cheney
could advocate U.S. actions that would benefit Halliburton's
business. That, in turn, would make Cheney's options more
valuable when they vest, possibly earning him many millions of
dollars in additional profits. For instance, an administration
decision to lift sanctions on Iran could give Halliburton a
boost in competition for lucrative pipeline construction around
the Caspian Sea.
So, the unvested options are a kind of multi-million-dollar
leash tethering Cheney to Halliburton's business success, at
least for the next three years.
Back to the Future
During the Democratic convention, director/actor Rob Reiner
joked that the Republican idea of diversity was "two guys at
the head of the ticket that are from two different oil
companies." Indeed, never before have both candidates on the
same ticket come from the oil industry, a fact that has drawn
some notice but little serious discussion about the potential
impact on the nation's energy, environmental and even economic
While the national media shows only a desultory interest in the
Bush-Cheney oil connections, almost daily there are new
warnings about the worldwide peril posed by the burning of
fossil fuels, the chief cause of global warming.
Scientists who recently traveled to the Arctic Ocean have come
back with alarming news that much of the thick ice that has
covered the North Pole for eons has turned to water. [NYT, Aug.
19, 2000] This stunning observation is only the latest evidence
that global warming poses a real threat to the safety of many
millions of people around the world and to the economic
stability of many millions more.
Still, the oil industry and its backers continue to insist that
global warming is largely a myth, an exaggeration by
environmental extremists. This argument -- mocking the
environmental movement -- is funded by many of the same
economic interests that have invested in the political
ambitions of the Bush family for the past 50 years.
Whatever the dangers from global warming and other
environmental problems, it is certainly at the heart of the oil
industry's interests for the world to remain dependent on
internal-combustion engines and reliant on oil production. The
oil industry is a pillar of the Old Economy whose interests are
threatened by technological advances that could make electric
cars and solar energy more competitive.
Given these ties that bind -- between the Bush-Cheney ticket
and the oil industry -- global warming and other environmental
concerns do not seem likely to rise to the top of the national
agenda in a Bush-Cheney administration. The oil industry would
be confident that it had staunch allies in the White House,
people who not only understand the industry's needs but who
feel its pain.
This relationship also would not be a passing fling. It is
rooted in a half century of deep-and-abiding connections and
mutual dependencies between the Bush family and the oil
These are entangling alliances that the U.S. public only
vaguely discerns. In the smog of Sunbelt cities, in the smelly
haze of gasoline refineries, in the smoky burn-off of oil wells
in the Third World and the Middle East, there stands a Bush
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