American Freesom News
Bush family’s dirty little secret: President’s oil companies funded by Bin Laden family and wealthy Saudis who also financed Osama bin Laden
By Rick Wiles
President Bush recently signed an executive order to freeze the US financial assets of corporations doing business with Osama bin Laden. He described the order as a "strike on the financial foundation of the global terror network.”
"If you do business with terrorists, if you support or succor them, you will not do business with the United States," said President Bush.
He didn’t say anything about doing business with a terrorist’s brother – or his wealthy financier.
When President George W. Bush froze assets connected to Osama bin Laden, he didn’t tell the American people that the terrorist mastermind’s late brother was an investor in the president’s former oil business in Texas. He also hasn’t leveled with the American public about his financial connections to a host of shady Saudi characters involved in drug cartels, gun smuggling, and terrorist networks.
Doing business with the enemy is nothing new to the Bush family. Much of the Bush family wealth came from supplying needed raw materials and credit to Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich. Several business operations managed by Prescott Bush – the president’s grandfather - were seized by the US government during World War II under the Trading with the Enemy Act.
On October 20, 1942, the federal government seized the Union Banking Corporation in New York City as a front operation for the Nazis. Prescott Bush was a director. Bush, E. Roland Harriman, two Bush associates, and three Nazi executives owned the bank’s shares. Eight days later, the Roosevelt administration seized two other corporations managed by Prescott Bush. The Holland-American Trading Corporation and the Seamless Steel Equipment Corporation, both managed by the Bush-Harriman bank, were accused by the US federal government of being front organizations for Hitler’s Third Reich. Again, on November 8, 1942, the federal government seized Nazi-controlled assets of Silesian-American Corporation, another Bush-Harriman company doing business with Hitler.
Doing business with the bin Laden empire, therefore, is only the latest extension of the Bush family’s financial ties to unsavory individuals and organizations. Now that thousands of American citizens have died in terrorist attacks and the nation is going to war, the American people should know about George W. Bush’s relationship with the family of Osama bin Laden.
Salem bin Laden, Osama’s older brother, was an investor in Arbusto Energy. – the Texas oil company started by George W. Bush. Arbusto means “Bush” in Spanish. Salem bin Laden died in an airplane crash in Texas in 1988.
Sheik Mohammed bin Laden, the family patriarch and founder of its construction empire, also died in a plane crash. Upon his death in 1968, he left behind 57 sons and daughters – the offspring he sired with 12 wives in Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan. About a dozen brothers manage Bin Laden Brothers Construction – one of the largest construction firms in the Middle East.
Fresh out of Harvard Business School, young George W. Bush returned to Midland, TX, in the late 1970s to follow his father’s footsteps in the oil business. Beginning in 1978, he set up a series of limited partnerships – Arbusto ’78, Arbusto ’79, and so on – to drill for oil.
One of President Bush’s earliest financial backers was James Bath, a Houston aircraft broker. Bath served with President Bush in the Texas Air National Guard. Bath has a mysterious connection to the Central Intelligence Agency.
According to a 1976 trust agreement, Salem bin Laden appointed James Bath as his business representative in Houston. Revelation about Bath’s relationship with the bin Laden financial empire and the CIA was made public in 1992 by Bill White, a former real estate business partner with Bath. White informed federal investigators in 1992 that Bath told him that he had assisted the CIA in a liaison role since 1976 – the same year former President George Herbert Walker Bush served as director of the CIA.
During a bitter legal fight between White and Bath, the real estate partner disclosed that Bath managed a portfolio worth millions of dollars for Sheik Khalid bin Mahfouz and other wealthy Saudis. Among the investments made by Bath with Mahfouz’s money was the Houston Gulf Airport.
A powerful banker in Saudi Arabia, Mahfouz was one of the largest stockholders in the Bank of Credit and Commerce International. BCCI was a corrupt global banking empire operating in 73 nations and was a major financial and political force in Washington, Paris, Geneva, London, and Hong Kong. Despite the appearance of a normal banking operation, BCCI was actually an international crime syndicate providing “banking services” to the Medellin drug cartel, Pamama dictator Manuel Noriega, Saddam Hussein, terrorist mastermind Abu Nidal, and Khun Sa, the heroin kingpin in Asia’s Golden Triangle.
The BCCI scandal implicated some of the biggest political names in Washington – both Democrats and Republicans – during the first Bush White House. The bank was accused of laundering money for drug cartels, smuggling weapons to terrorists, and using Middle Eastern oil money to influence American politicians.
The chief of the Justice Department’s criminal division under former President Bush was Robert Mueller. Because the major players came out of the scandal with slaps on the wrists, many critics accused Mueller of botching the investigation. Mr. Mueller was recently appointed by President George W. Bush as the new Director of the FBI, replacing Louis Freeh who did nothing while William Jefferson Clinton allowed the Red Chinese to loot our national security secrets.
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a division of the Justice Department, reviewed allegations by Bill White in 1992 that James Bath funneled money from wealthy Middle Eastern businessmen to American companies to influence the policies of the Reagan and Bush administrations. Robert Mueller, the new FBI chief, was in a senior position at the Justice Department at the time of the review.
White told a Texas court in 1992 that Bath and the Justice Department had “blackballed” him professionally and financially because he refused to keep quiet about his knowledge of an Arabic conspiracy to launder Middle Eastern money into the bank accounts of American businesses and politicians.
In sworn depositions, Bath admitted he represented four wealthy Saudi Arabian businessmen as a trustee. He also admitted he used his name on their investments and received, in return, a five- percent stake in their business deals.
Indeed, Texas tax documents revealed that Bath owned five percent of Arbusto ’79 Ltd., and Arbusto ’80 Ltd. Bush Exploration Company controlled the limited partnerships, the general partnership firm owned by young George W. Bush.
Although George W. Bush’s Texas oil ventures were financial failures, his financial backers recovered their investments through a series of mergers and stock swaps. He changed Arbusto’s name to Bush Exploration, then merged the new firm into Spectrum 7 Energy Corporation in 1984.
The Bush-controlled oil business eventually ended up being folded into Harken Energy Corp., a Dallas-based corporation. Mr. Bush joined Harken as a director in 1986 and was given 212,000 shares of Harken stock. Bush used his White House connections to land a lucrative contract for the obscure Harken Energy Corp. with the Middle Eastern government of Bahrain. On June 20, 1990, George W. Bush sold his Harken stock for $848,000 and paid off the loan he took out to buy his small share in the Texas Rangers. The Bahrain deal was brokered by David Edwards, a close pal to Bill Clinton and a former employee of Stephens Inc. Shortly after Bush sold his stock, Harken’s fortunes nose-dived when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. Some critics claim young George was tipped off in advance by his father about the soon-coming Gulf War.
George W. Bush, however, worked wonders for Harken Energy Corp. before the stock collapsed. Using the Bush family name, he managed to bring much-needed capital investment to the struggling firm. George W. Bush traveled to Little Rock, AR, to attend a meeting with Jackson Stephens – a powerful Arkansas tycoon who helped bankroll the state campaigns of young Bill Clinton. He first gained political prominence as a fund-raiser for President Jimmy Carter. Stephens was also deeply involved in the BCCI scandal by helping the corrupt bank take control of First American Bank in Washington, DC.
Jack Stephens didn’t need an introduction to young George W. Bush. Mary Anne Stephens, his wife, managed Vice President George Bush’s 1988 presidential campaign in Arkansas. Stephens Inc., the well connected brokerage firm owned by Jack Stephens, donated $100,000 to a Bush campaign fundraising dinner in 1991. When George W. Bush won the contested Florida election in 2000, Jack Stephens made a substantial contribution to the Bush inauguration. Recently, former President Bush played golf on April 11, 2001, with Jack Stephens at the Jack Stephens Youth Golf Academy in Little Rock. The former president told Stephens, “Jack, we love you and we are very, very grateful for what you have done.”
Perhaps the former president was thanking him for the money Stephens provided young George W. Bush. Stephens arranged for a $25 million investment from the Union des Banques Suisses. The Swiss Bank held the minority interest in the Banque de Commerce et de Placements, a Geneva-based subsidiary of BCCI.
Both Stephens and Abdullah Taha Bakhsh, a wealthy and well-connected Saudi real estate investor, signed the financial transaction. The Geneva transaction was paid through a joint venture between the Union Bank of Switzerland and its Geneva branch of BCCI.
The BCCI connection, therefore, linked George W. Bush with Saudi banker Khaled bin Mahfouz. Known in Arab circles as the “king’s treasurer,” Mahfouz held a 20 percent take in BCCI between 1986 and 1990. Mahfouz is no stranger to the Bush family. He was a big investor in the Carlyle Group, a defense-industry investment group with deep connections to the Republican Party establishment. Former President Bush is a former member of the company’s board of directors. George W. Bush also held shares in Caterair, a Carlyle subsidiary. Sami Baarma, a powerful player in the Mahfouz-owned Prime Commercial Bank of Pakistan, is a member of the Carlyle Group’s international advisory board.
President Bush certainly is aware of that his former Saudi sugar daddy is still financing Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network. USA Today newspaper reported in 1999 that a year after bin Laden’s attacks on US embassies in Africa, Khaled bin Mahfouz and other wealthy Saudis were funneling tens of millions of dollars each year into bin Laden’s bank accounts. Five top Saudi businessmen ordered the National Commercial Bank to transfer personal funds and $3 million pilfered from a Saudi pension fund to the Capitol Trust Bank in New York City. The money was deposited into the Islamic Relief and Blessed Relief - Islamic charities operating in the US and Great Britain as fronts for Osama bin Laden.
The Capitol Trust Bank is run by Mohammad Hussein al-Amoudi. His lawyer is Democratic Party bigwig Vernon Jordan, close friend of former President Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky.
Abdullah Taha Bakhsh, the Arab who cosigned the $25 million cash infusion into George W. Bush’s Harken Energy Corporation, appointed Talat Othman to manage his 17.6 percent share in Harken Energy Corp. Othman, a native Palestinian, is president and CEO of Dearborn Financial Inc. – an investment firm in Arlington Heights, IL.
Bakhsh also bought a 9.6 percent stake in Worthen Banking Corporation, the Arkansas bank controlled by Jack Stephens. Abdullah Bakhsh’s share was the identical percentage as the amount of shares sold by Mochtar Riady, the godfather of the wealthy Indonesian family with close ties to the Chinese communists, Bill Clinton and evangelist Pat Robertson. Bakhsh is represented by Rogers & Wells, a well-connected Republican law firm in New York whose partners include former Secretary of State William P. Rogers.
Independent investigator reporter David Twersky reported in the early 1990s that Othman had a seat on Harken’s board of directors and met three times in the White House with President George Herbert Walker Bush. Organized by Chief of Staff John Sununu, Othman’s first meeting with President Bush at the White House was in August 1990, just days after Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait.
There exist to this day an Arab-Texas connection. Khalid bin Mahfouz, financier of both George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden, still maintains a palatial estate in Houston, TX. Former President George Bush also lives in Houston. James Bath, Texas political confidant of George W. Bush, managed to obtain a $1.4 million loan from Mahfouz in 1990. Bath and Mahfouz, along with former Secretary of Treasury John Connally, were also co-investors in Houston’s Main Bank. Bath was also president of Skyway Aircraft Leasing Ltd, a Texas air charter company registered in the Cayman Islands. According to published reports in the early 1990s, the real owner was bin Mahfouz. When Salem bin Laden, Osama’ brother, died in 1988, his interest in the Houston Gulf Airport was transferred to bin Mahfouz.
Since Osama bin Laden’s bloody attack on America on September 11, the federal government has moved quickly to freeze bank accounts connected to Osama bin Laden, Khalid bin Mahfouz, and a host of Islamic charities.
Perhaps federal agents should freeze the financial assets of the Bush family too. It would not be the first time Bush-family assets were seized by the US government for trading with the enemy.