April 24, 2004

Now, with esteemed journalist Bob Woodward reporting that the Bush administration and top Saudi officials agreed to manipulate oil prices in conjunction with the 2004 election, President Bush's passivity towards Saudi Arabia is raising disturbing question

We are getting close now...very close...Will the "US
mainstream news media" dare explore the
interpenetrating business relationships between the
House of Bush, the House of Saud and the House of Bin
Laden? Probably not. Of course, they could ask Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mekong
Delta) for some background. JFK led the US Senate BCCI
investigation...Yes, he is not only a warrior, he is a
prosecutor...We are getting close now, very
close...Will the story of John O'Neill be told? Probably not. Will
the the contents of the 28 blacked out pages in the
Congressional 9/11 report be revealed? Maybe.

"Out, out, damn spot"

Center for American Progess: Now, with esteemed journalist Bob Woodward reporting that the Bush administration and top Saudi officials agreed to manipulate oil prices in conjunction with the 2004 election, President Bush's passivity towards Saudi Arabia is raising disturbing questions. Why won't the
administration exert serious pressure on the regime
both on oil and terrorism policy? Why does the
president continue to refer to Saudi Arabia as "our
friend" when the country has potential ties to the
9/11 terrorists? Why, as author Daniel Benjamin
reported, did the administration weaken efforts to
scrutinize potential Saudi money-laundering schemes
before 9/11? A look at the president's "deep personal
ties with Saudi officials" and his financial
connections to the Saudi royal family and powerful
Saudi businessmen may provide clues.

Cleanse the White House of the Chickenhawk Coup, Show
Up for Democracy in 2004: Defeat Bush (again!)


http://www.americanprogress.org/site/pp.asp?c=biJRJ8OVF&b=47995#7

UNDER THE RADAR

SAUDI ARABIA
Under the Influence

As a presidential candidate in 2000, then-Gov. George
W. Bush promised that, if elected, he would use the
full weight of the White House to pressure
oil-producing countries to increase production if
there was a gas-price crisis. He charged, "The
president of the United States must jawbone OPEC
members to lower the price" and promised that as
president he would "convince them to open up the
spigot to increase the supply." Yet, when Saudi Arabia
led the fight within OPEC last month to cut production
and raise prices, the president "refused to lean on
the oil cartel" and refused to even "personally lobby
OPEC leaders to change their minds." Now, with
esteemed journalist Bob Woodward reporting that the
Bush administration and top Saudi officials agreed to
manipulate oil prices in conjunction with the 2004
election, President Bush's passivity towards Saudi
Arabia is raising disturbing questions. Why won't the
administration exert serious pressure on the regime
both on oil and terrorism policy? Why does the
president continue to refer to Saudi Arabia as "our
friend" when the country has potential ties to the
9/11 terrorists? Why, as author Daniel Benjamin
reported, did the administration weaken efforts to
scrutinize potential Saudi money-laundering schemes
before 9/11? A look at the president's "deep personal
ties with Saudi officials" and his financial
connections to the Saudi royal family and powerful
Saudi businessmen may provide clues.

BUSH'S PERSONAL FINANCIAL TIES TO SAUDIS RUN DEEP:
According to various sources, Bush has been awash in
Saudi money for years. Journalist/author Craig Unger
in his new book "House of Bush, House of Saud" traced
millions "in investments and contracts that went from
the Saudis over the past 20 years to companies in
which the Bushes and their allies have had prominent
positions - Harken Energy, Halliburton, and the
Carlyle Group among them." According to the Boston
Herald, that includes a $1 million gift from Prince
Bandar to the Bush Presidential Library in Texas.

THE BCCI-BUSH-SAUDI-TERRORIST NEXUS: The Bank of
Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), which was
investigated by Congress in the 1980s, appears to be
at the nexus of the Bush-Saudi connection. It's
principal was Khalid bin Mahfouz, a man USA Today
reported was among Saudi businessmen who, even after
the U.S.S. Cole attack, "continued to transfer tens of
millions of dollars to bank accounts linked to
indicted terrorist Osama bin Laden." Under Mahfouz
(who was later indicted for his actions at BCCI), the
Wall Street Journal noted in 1991 that there was a
"mosaic of BCCI connections surrounding Harken Energy"
and "number of BCCI-connected people who had dealings
with Harken all since George W. Bush came on board."
And according to U.S. officials who investigated the
bank in the 1980s, "BCCI was the mother and father of
terrorist financing operations." A secret French
intelligence report "identifies dozens of companies
and individuals who were involved with BCCI and were
found to be dealing with bin Laden after the bank
collapsed. Many went on to work in banks and charities
identified by the United States and others as
supporting al Qaeda."

WAS BCCI'S INDICTED PRINCIPAL A BUSH BUSINESS BACKER?:
Author Kevin Phillips, a top Republican strategist
under President Nixon, reported in his new book, "Bush
made his first connection in the late 1970s with James
Bath, a Texas businessmen who served as the North
American representative for two rich Saudis (and Osama
bin Laden relatives) - billionaire Salem bin Laden and
banker and BCCI insider Khalid bin Mahfouz. Bath put
$50,000 into Bush's 1979 Arbusto oil partnership,
probably using bin Laden-bin Mahfouz funds." Also of
interest: Former CIA Director James Woolsey testified
to the Senate on 9/3/98 that Mafouz's sister was
married to Osama bin Laden. And according to the
conservative American Spectator, "Bush has given
conflicting statements about Bath's investment in
Arbusto, finally admitting to the Wall Street Journal
that he was aware that Bath represented Saudi
investors."

BUSH CAMPAIGN TIES TO THE SAUDIS: A 12/11/01 Boston
Herald report found that "a powerful Washington, D.C.,
law firm with unusually close ties to the White House
has earned hefty fees representing controversial Saudi
billionaires as well as a Texas-based Islamic charity
fingered last week as a terrorist front." The
influential law firm of Akin, Gump, whose partners
"include one of President Bush's closest Texas
friends, James C. Langdon, and Bush fundraiser George
R. Salem," has represented three wealthy Saudi
businessmen BCCI's Mahfouz, Mohammed Hussein
Al-Amoudi and Salah Idris "who have been scrutinized
by U.S. authorities for possible involvement in
financing Osama bin Laden and his terrorist network."

WHY THESE TIES ARE IMPORTANT: Charles Lewis, executive
director of the Center for Public Integrity, told the
Boston Herald "that these intricate personal and
financial links have led to virtual silence in the
administration on Saudi Arabia's failings in dealing
with terrorists like bin Laden" and in oil policy. He
said, "It's good old fashioned 'I'll scratch your
back, you scratch mine.' You have former U.S.
officials, former presidents, aides to the current
president, a long line of people who are tight with
the Saudis, people who are the pillars of American
society and officialdom. So for that and other reasons
no one wants to alienate the Saudis, and we are
willing to basically ignore inconvenient truths that
might otherwise cause our blood to boil. We basically
look away. Folks don't like to stop the gravy train."

Posted by richard at April 24, 2004 10:09 AM