February 04, 2004

Bush, bin Laden, BCCI and the 9/11 Commission

Last night, with victories in the Rust Belt, the
Southwest and the Dakotas, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mekong
Delta) advanced closer -- with toughness,
determination, discipline and yes, vision -- toward
the Democratic presidential nomination. More
importantly, on Monday, in Pheonix, Kerry joined Terry
McAuliffe and Michael Moore in the attack on the
_resident's AWOL stint in the Alabama National Guard,
and thereby signaled to the White House and to the "US
Mainstream News Media" that a new kind of Democratic
candidate has been forged in the fire. There is going
to be political wet work, it is going to be in your
face. The Democratic candidate is not going to flinch
or turn the other cheek or cling to some feigned
civility. It is now, in reality, a healthy three man
race for the nomination. We have gotten Pandora back
into her box, although Howard Dean I worry is smitten
with her and wants to let her out again. I would
suggest Al Gore sit him down and talk political
reality to him, but...With a narrow victory in
Oklahoma, Wesley Clark (D-NATO) stays in the hunt. A
Kerry-Clark ticket is for reasons stated in the LNS
the morning after the New Hampshire primary our
recommendation for seven very strong reasons (I will
repost them soon) But what about Sen. John Edwards
(D-NC)? Well, I do not know...But something that
disturbs me is that over the last year I have from
time to time quoted candidates for the Democratic
nomination when they demonstrated some courage,
principle or perception beyond what is predictable,
studied, safe...and I have yet to quote Edwards in the
LNS...We are living in a state of national emergency
both in terms of international and domestic affairs.
The _resident's administration is illegitimate,
corrupt and incompetent (at best)...but Edwards sounds
like he is running in 1992, we are a long, LONG way
from 1992, we are closer to Berlin in the late
1930s...I do not want drawling pretty boy nice guy
politics to undermine the fundamental issues in this
struggle for national survival, this campaign is not
about "making a better future" for American families,
it is about national survival, the survival of the US
Constitution, the survival of the US Economy, the
survival of the Environment itslf. There is no place
here for a gentlemanly debate. There is no time for
that kind of tone. It is very impressive that Edwards
has not, as Dean and Gephardt have done, savage any of
his oppponents for the nomination. It is not
impressive at all that he has not impugned in any way
the _resident's character or skills. I agree that
Edwards has campaigned very persuasively, I agree
thathe would bring some elements to the ticket -- if
he can really win in the South, if he can really reach
rural whites, if he can really reach African
Americans, and there is evidence now after Carolina
that he can...yes, he can campaing on economic issues
very effectively...But I think his position on the war
in Iraq is suspect and that he cannot as overcome his
vote on the resolution as Kerry has...However, I know
that Rove is very frightened of Edwards could do to
the Electoral College lock - if he catches on.
(Remember, Poppy sent someone to warn Bill Clinton not
to run -- two years before the campaign for the 1992
nomination even started.) The LNS will reserve
judgement for now...

Chris Floyd, Counterpunch: Fortune Magazine reports
this week that both Kean and Bush share an unusually
well-placed business partner: one Khalid bin Mahfouz
-- perhaps better known as "Osama bin Laden's bagman"
or even "Osama bin Laden's brother-in-law."

Repudiate the 9/11 Cover-Up and the Iraq War Lies,
Show Up for Democracy in 2004: Defeat Bush (again!)


Kean Insight
Bush, bin Laden, BCCI and the 9/11 Commission

When George W. Bush's first choice to head an
"independent" probe into the Sept. 11
attacks--suspected war criminal Henry Kissinger--went
down like a bad pretzel, he quickly plucked another
warm body from the stagnant pool of Establishment
worthies who are periodically called upon to roll out
the whitewash when the big boys screw up.

Kissinger's replacement, retired New Jersey Governor
Thomas Kean, was a "safe pair of hands," we were
assured by the professional assurers in the mainstream
media. The fact that he'd been out of public life for
years--and that he hadn't collaborated in the deaths
of tens of thousands of Cambodians, Chileans and East
Timorese--certainly made him less controversial than
his predecessor, although to be fair, Kissinger's
expertise in mass murder surely would have given the
panel some unique insights into the terrorist

But now it seems that Kean might possess some unique
insights of his own. Fortune Magazine reports this
week that both Kean and Bush share an unusually
well-placed business partner: one Khalid bin Mahfouz
-- perhaps better known as "Osama bin Laden's bagman"
or even "Osama bin Laden's brother-in-law."

Kean, like so many worthies, followed the revolving
door out of public service into lucrative sweetheart
deals and well-wadded sinecures on corporate boards.
One of these, of course, is an oil company--pretty
much a requirement for White House work these days.
(Or as the sign says on the Oval Office door: "If your
rigs ain't rockin', don't come a-knockin'!") Kean is a
director of Amerada Hess, an oil giant married up to
Saudi Arabia's Delta Oil in a venture to pump black
gold in Azerbaijan. (The partnership is incorporated
in a secretive offshore "tax haven," natch. You can't
expect a worthy like Kean to pay taxes like some
grubby wage slave.)

One of Delta's biggest backers is the aforesaid
Mahfouz, a Saudi wheeler-dealer who has bankrolled
some of most dubious players on the world scene: Abu
Nidal, Manuel Noreiga, Saddam Hussein and George W.
Bush. Mahfouz was also a front for the bin Laden
family, funneling their vast wealth through American
cut-outs in a bid to gain power and influence in the
United States.

One of those cut-outs was Mahfouz factotum James Bath,
a partner in George W.'s early oil venture, Arbusto.
Bath has admitted serving as a pass-through for secret
Saudi money. Years later, when Bush's maladroit
business skills were about to sink another of his
companies, Harken Energy, the firm was saved by a $25
million investment from a Swiss bank--a subsidiary of
the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BBCI),
partly owned by the beneficent Mahfouz.

What was BCCI? Only "one of the largest criminal
enterprises in history," according to the U.S. Senate.
What did BCCI do? "It engaged in pandemic bribery of
officials in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas,"
says journalist Christopher Bryon, who first exposed
the operation. "It laundered money on a global scale,
intimidated witnesses and law officers, engaged in
extortion and blackmail. It supplied the financing for
illegal arms trafficking and global terrorism. It
financed and facilitated income tax evasion, smuggling
and prostitution." Sort of an early version of the
Bush Regime, then.

BCCI's bipartisan corruption first permeated the
Carter Administration, then came to full flower in the
Reagan-Bush years. The CIA uncovered the bank's
criminal activities in 1981--no great feat,
considering how many of its own foreign "associates"
were involved, including the head of Saudi
intelligence, Kamal Adham, brother-in-law of King
Faisal. But instead of stopping the drug-runners and
terrorists, the agency decided to join them, using
BCCI's secret channels to finance "black ops" all over
the world.

When a few prosecutors finally began targeting BCCI's
operations in the late Eighties, President George
Herbert Walker Bush boldly moved in with a federal
probe directed by Justice Department investigator
Robert Mueller. The U.S. Senate later found that the
probe had been unaccountably "botched"--witnesses went
missing, CIA records got "lost," all sorts of bad
luck. Lower-ranking prosecutors told of heavy pressure
from on high to "lay off." Most of the big BCCI
players went unpunished or, like Mahfouz, got off with
wrist-slap fines and sanctions. Mueller, of course,
wound up as head of the FBI, appointed to the post in
July 2001--by George W. Bush.

In the late 1990s, U.S. authorities identified Mahfouz
as a major financier of his brother-in-law's
extracurricular activities. He denied it, but the
spooked Saudis put him on ice, charging him with, of
all things, bank fraud. He's now under "house
arrest"--or rather, "palatial mansion arrest"--but
still wheeling and dealing with Kean and Delta and
other worthies. Indeed, one of Mahfouz's
hirelings--the director of a Pakistani bank he
owns--sits on the advisory board of our old friend the
Carlyle Group, cheek by jowl with the firm's most
celebrated shill: George Herbert Walker Bush.

Somehow we doubt that worthy Kean will poke very hard
at the nexus of intersections between his own business
partner, Mahfouz, and the bin Ladens, the Bushes, the
Saudi royals, Saddam, the CIA and BCCI. We've only
scratched the surface here, but even this cursory
glance makes the current world crisis look less like
some grand geopolitical "clash of civilizations" and
more like a nasty falling out among thieves, with
rival mafias--who sometimes collude, sometimes
collide--now duking it out for turf, cloaking their
murderous criminality with pious rhetoric about
freedom, security, jihad and God.

Chris Floyd is a columnist for the Moscow Times and a
regular contributor to CounterPunch. He can be reached
at: cfloyd72@hotmail.com

Posted by richard at February 4, 2004 07:59 PM