The Sellouts in the Fourth Estate
by Wayne Madsen
To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, "Journalists who would give up some credibility for a little government access deserve neither." Too many
members of the Washington press corps have become nothing more than toadies for the current administration. While every administration can
be expected to have its fair share of loyalists penning favorable pieces on the news, editorial, and op-ed pages, what is amazing in the current
environment is the lemming-like rush by a number of heretofore liberal and progressive reporters to support the Bush II administration's extreme
right-wing policies. These modern day quislings in the media even provide the White House with helpful cover from investigations by more
Such has certainly been the case with the recent publication in English of "Forbidden Truth: U.S.-Taliban, Secret Oil Diplomacy, Saudi
Arabia, and the Failed Search for Bin Laden." Written by French journalists Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume
Dasquie, the book's first French language publication in Europe caused a major furor. But it was not with the
French government or its friends in the media. The angst was among members of the Bin Laden family -- the
so-called "good bin Ladens" and those who have done business in the past with George W. Bush and his
father. Yeslam bin Laden, one of the "good" bin Ladens in Switzerland sued the authors for the information
they provided on the bin Laden family's past business dealings. The suit went no where because the authors
had absolute proof that not everything the bin Ladens have done in finance and business has been on the up
But now, some self-appointed media spokespeople in Washington have taken up the cause that the bin
Ladens wisely decided to drop. They have criticized Forbidden Truth without having read it or only having
read snippets from it. It would appear that they have taken their cue from a White House family, who, like the
bin Ladens, seem to have an awful lot to hide. The book has also been criticized for being unsourced when,
in fact, it has over 500 footnotes. Footnoting and providing references is a practice that some of Washington
penultimate journalistic insiders, including Bob Woodward of The Washington Post, should adopt in their own
future docu-novels concerning administration cover-ups and malfeasance.
That Washington's media elite appears to be anesthetized to Bush's current drive to turning the United States
into some mirror image of East Germany, China, or Pinochet's Chile cannot be overstated. The creation of
the Freedom Corps, with neighbors turning in neighbors under the Terrorism Information and Prevention
System (TIPS), the scrapping the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 to once again permit Federal troops to
engage in civil law enforcement (including the possibility of their providing "security" at polling places this
November and in November 2004), having booksellers, librarians, and video rental clerks report on the
reading and viewing habits if their customers, and even the suggestion by a Bush appointee to the US Civil
Rights Commission that internment camps may be necessary for Arab-Americans all point to an
administration that is hell bent on destroying this country in order to save it.
So the media elite, in some perverted and confused quest to show its loyalty to the Bush family, has decided
that linking its policies in Afghanistan and the Middle east to its past oil dealings, is somehow off the mark,
"out there," unworthy of consideration. Reconstructed liberal and progressive journalists throw around the "C
word" (conspiracy) to detract from those who write about the massive evidence that points to the Bushes
having traded the nation's economic well-being and national security for personal profit. Grandfather Bush,
Prescott, certainly did this during World War II when his investments included companies that supported Nazi
Germany's war effort.
Now we have Neil Bush, from Silverado Savings and Loan infamy, cutting deals all over the Middle East using
Daddy's and Dubya's business and political connections in that part of the world. And why shouldn't he?
Dubya did this with a lucrative pipeline deal in Argentina for Enron in 1989 when he was pimping for Enron
and Daddy was in the White House gearing up for a war with Iraq, another act that would eventually line the
pockets of the Bushes.
Brisard and Dasquie provide concrete evidence how this same self-serving approach to business permitted
the Taliban to negotiate with senior members of the Bush administration on a lucrative pipeline deal just
weeks prior to the al Qaeda terrorists slamming commercial jetliners into the World Trade Center towers and
the Pentagon. It's the same mind set that in 1990 convinced U.S. ambassador to Iraq April Glaspie to tell
Sadaam Hussein that the Bush I administration had no interest in his inter-Arab border dispute involving
Kuwait. We now all know why the Bush family had no great interest in that "minor" dispute. They made a
fortune from it, along with then Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney, whose Halliburton company helped rebuild
the oil infrastructures of both Kuwait and Iraq.
And now we have some of the same players standing to make a fortune from a trans-Asian CentGas pipeline
that will extend from Turkemenistan, through Afghanistan, to Pakistan's Indian Ocean port of Gwadar.
Dubya's, Cheney's, and Condoleezza Rice's Big Oil friends at Unocal, Halliburton, Chevron, and Saudi
Arabia's Delta Oil all stand to make a handsome profit from the CentGas deal. Enron, in concert with Bush's
Special Envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, actually developed the feasibility study for the pipeline. And
current Secretary of the Army, Thomas White, who now influences U.S. military policy in Afghanistan, was a
Vice President of Enron in charge of such "special deals." So its little wonder we are told in Forbidden Truth
that representatives of the Bush administration told the representatives of the Taliban in Berlin in July 2001
that they would be faced with a "carpet of gold or a carpet of bombs." Its so arch-typical Bush.
Meanwhile, First Brother Neil has found lucrative comfort in Saudi Arabia, the home of 15 of the 19 hijackers
of 911. His company, Ignite!, Inc., an e-learning educational software company, has been busy finding clients
in the educational community of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. It's always a great thing to find
better ways to teach. But we also know that schools in these countries are financed and influenced by the
Wahhabi clerical structure, the most radical form of Islam that preaches violence against Christians, Jews,
and even fellow Shia and Sufi Muslims. It is, therefore, astounding that Brother Neil would be trying to sell
software to schools that can then put vile and extremist religious rantings online and accessible to more
"students," madrassas , and future terrorists throughout the Middle East. But then again, when have the
Bushes ever cared about the consequences of their business dealings?
In fact, so-called "homeland security" also seems made to order for the Bushes. From 1994 to 1999, Neil ran
Interlink Management Corporation from 10000 Memorial Drive in Houston in the same building where Daddy
Bush has his office. Interlink is a venture capital firm that funded start-up companies in the biotech fields,
including many that are currently engaged in bio-war defenses involving people, animals, and crops. Once
again, how convenient for the Bushes. Has anyone at the FBI thought about looking into these firms and how
they may have profited from the anthrax attacks against the Democratic leadership of the Senate? Probably
not, wait -- certainly not!
And who is one of Neil Bush's best friends and advocates in the Middle East? A leader who said this following
911: "the United States must not to act in haste, it must give diplomacy and legal means every opportunity
before launching a military strike on Afghanistan, it must not rush to accuse people without hard evidence."
His name is Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai and Defense Minister of
the United Arab Emirates, a country that was one of three to recognize the Taliban and a center for the
financing of al Qaeda and other terrorist groups. Last October, while visiting Dubai, Brother Neil praised the
good Shaikh as a man with "foresight and vision." Bush's other escort was Shaikh Hamdan bin Rashid al
Maktoum, the Finance Minister of Dubai and someone who certainly had his pulse on the millions of dollars
sent through the emirate on their way to the Taliban and Pakistani madrassas and Islamic "charities."
So once again, the Bushes are up to their asses with corruption and questionable business partners and
acquaintances. "Forbidden Truth" highlights some of these. But it is only a start. But the Washington-based
sell outs in the Fourth Estate cannot be counted on to expose the rest of the Bush dirty business deals. And
they extend far and wide: The Caryle Group and Barrick Gold, on whose boards Daddy Bush serves -- the
first company does business with the Bin Laden Group while the second is involved with questi onable
CIA-backed regimes in Africa; Scowcroft Associates, headed by Daddy Bush's National Security Adviser and
Dubya's Chairman of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board -- it is involved with shady deals
from the privatization of South Africa's state-owned telecommunications company to the CentGas deal; JNB
International, an oil firm that along with Enron used Bush influence to get oil and gas contracts in Argentina;
M&W Pump and its partner Bush-El, Florida firms that used Jeb Bush to intercede with it in military-ruled
Nigeria in 1989; and the list goes on and on.
If only the media elite in Washington would just stop shooting their own messengers and begin focusing on
the real issues in this town, we might all be able to breathe a little easier.