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Bush, Bath and Bin Laden, by J.H. Hatfield (r.i.p.)

by brownoneyque Tuesday, Oct. 02, 2001 at 5:28 PM

Deceased Bush biographer provides a more specific and succinct account of the dealings between Bush, BCCI investor James R. Bath and the Bin Laden family, which, as NPR reported today, were evacuated recently from their Texas estate. Hatfield's text is available from Soft Skull Press. Texas estate.

errorfrom Fortunate Son by J.H. Hatfield
published 2001
(all due respect to Soft Skull, as this is provided w/o their permission, but for the public's use..)

(pp. 54-56)

George W.'s early years in Midland, (Texas) coincided with heady days for West Texas, touched off by the 1973 Arab Oil Embargo, as the price of crude eventually soared to more than $30 a barrel and economists predicted it would go even higher. Junior desperately wanted a bigger piece of the action, to strike it rich like his father did years earlier, but without using any of his own money.

In June 1977, he formed his own drilling company, Arbusto Energy ("arbusto" means "bush" in Spanish). Like his father who made his fortune in the oil business with the money of others, George W. founded Arbusto with the financial backing of investors, including James R. Bath, a Houston businessman who Bush apparently first met when they were in the same Texas Air National Guard unit. Tax documents and personal financial records show that Bath, aircraft broker with business ties to Saudi Arabia sheiks, had invested $50,000 in Arbusto, granting him a five percent interest in two limited partnerships controlled by Bush.

In one of the most bizarre footnotes to history, Time magazine described Bath in 1991 as "a deal broker who alleged associations run from the CIA to a major shareholder and director of the Bank of Credit & Commerce." BCCI, as it was commonly known, was closed down in July 1991 amid charges of multibillion-dollar fraud and worldwide news reports that the institution had been involved in covert intelligence work, drug money laundering, arms brokering, bribery of government officials and aid to terrorists. [Note: the BCCI is also discussed in the popular booklet The CIA's Greatest Hits]. An accounting commissioned by the Bank of England finally exposed the extent of the BCCI's deficits and criminal offenses, forcing the bank's eventual collapse.

Bath was never directly implicated in the BCCI scandal, but according to The Outlaw Bank, an award-winning 1993 book by Time correspondents Jonathan Beaty and S.C. Gwynne, Bath originally "made his fortune by investing money for (Sheikh Kalid bin) Mahfouz and another BCCI-connected Saudi, Shreikh bin Laden," allegedly the father of none other than Osama bin Laden, the man accused by the U.S. government of masterminding the August 1998 terrorist bombings of the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania which killed more than 250 people.

According to news reports, in a 1976 trust agreement drawn shortly after Bush's father was appointed director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Saudi Sheik Salem M. bin Laden appointed Bath as his business representative in Texas. Bin Laden, along with his brothers, owned bin Laden Brothers Construction, one of the largest construction companies in the Middle East.

In a 1991 deposition, Bath testified he was the sole director of Skyway Aircraft Leasing Ltd., a Houston company owned by Khaled bin Mahfouz. Bin Mahfouz had been a major shareholder in BCCI, which had been accused of using Mideast oil money to seek ties to political leaders in other countries throughout the 1970s and 1980s.

According to court documents, Bath also swore that in 1977 he represented four prominent and wealthy Saudi Arabians as a trustee and used his name on their investments in the United States. In return, he received a five percent interest in their deals. Federal authorities (the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and the FBI) later investigated Bath after allegations were made by one of his American business partners that the Saudis were using Bath and their enormous financial sources to influence U.S. policy.

Time reporters Beaty and Gwynne suggest in their book that the $50,000 Bath invested in George W.'s Arbusto Energy drilling company may have belonged to Bath's Saudi clients since the Houston businessman "had no substantial money of his own at the time." Ironically, the money used to underwrite the first business venture of a future president of the United States may have been derived a least in part, from the family fortune of Saudi terrorist, Osama bin Laden

NOTE: This is a more direct and specific account from what was a very brave man. The other link to similar information on the IMC is "tainted" since it is linked to the homophobic anti-semitic vendidos from Whitey'er at Voz de A.

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About Voz de Aztlan Anti-Fascist Wednesday, Oct. 03, 2001 at 5:49 AM

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