Bush the Profiteer



See also: Chaney and Halliburton

Bush/Cheney Trade with

Saddam & Iran

  1. Bush Appoints Bank Exec who Financed Iraq, Iran and Cuba as Homeland Security Council Chairman.

The chairman of the nation's Homeland Security Advisory Council was helping to guide America's security strategy at the same time he was a top executive [Chairman and CEO, UBS PaineWebber, USA] with an international banking firm that was investigated and eventually fined more than $100 million for cash transfers to rogue nations, including Iraq, Iran, Libya and Cuba. . .With access to intelligence and other sensitive security information, Grano's panel has been urged to analyze all of the nation's Homeland Security efforts. . . .At the council's first meeting in June 2002, Bush sat next to Grano and praised the government's efforts to stop international money laundering to terror groups. . .  Authorities later discovered phony records and a cover-up scheme by UBS officials in its main Zurich office, concealing up to $5 billion that was sent from UBS to Iran, Libya. . .from 1996 to 2003, . . .In January [2004] . . .Grano stepped down from UBS  Thomas Maier, Newsday, 10/15/04  MORE

  1. Halluburton Traded with Iraq While Cheney was CEO

During last year's presidential campaign, Richard B. Cheney acknowledged that the oil-field supply corporation he headed, Halliburton Co., did business with Libya and Iran through foreign subsidiaries. But he insisted that he had imposed a "firm policy" against trading with Iraq.

"Iraq's different," he said.

According to oil industry executives and confidential United Nations records, however, Halliburton held stakes in two firms that signed contracts to sell more than $73 million in oil production equipment and spare parts to Iraq while Cheney was chairman and chief executive officer of the Dallas-based company.

Two former senior executives of the Halliburton subsidiaries say that, as far as they knew, there was no policy against doing business with Iraq. One of the executives also says that although he never spoke directly to Cheney about the Iraqi contracts, he is certain Cheney knew about them.  
Colum Lynch, Washington Post, 6/23/01 MORE

  1. Halliburton Traded with Iran While Cheney was CEO

Halliburton is the company that Vice President Dick Cheney used to run. He was CEO in 1995 to 2000, during which time Halliburton Products and Services set up shop in Iran. Today, it sells about $40 million a year worth of oil field services to the Iranian Government. 60 Minutes, 1/25/04.    UPDATE: The oil services company [Halliburton] said it had received a letter from the US treasury department, informing it that an inquiry into allegations that Halliburton might have broken trade embargoes had been reopened.
The investigation relates to when Mr. Cheney was running the company. He was chief executive between 1995 and 2000 before quitting to run for office with George Bush, taking with him a $36m (£19m) severance package.



Bush Choices: Kerik & Gonzales *

Once the New York newspapers began digging, it became clear that Mr. Kerik is, professionally and personally, a real piece of work.. . .   And Alberto Gonzales must be hoping that senators don't bring up the subject.  The principal objection to making Mr. Gonzales attorney general is that doing so will tell the world that America thinks it's acceptable to torture people. But his confirmation will also be a statement about ethics.  As White House counsel, Mr. Gonzales was charged with vetting Mr. Kerik. He must have realized what kind of man he was dealing with - yet he declared Mr. Kerik fit to oversee homeland security.  Did Mr. Gonzales defer to the wishes of a president who wanted Mr. Kerik anyway, or did he decide that his boss wouldn't want to know? (The Nelson Report,. . .reports that Mr. Bush has made it clear to his subordinates that he doesn't want to hear bad news about Iraq.)Krugman, NY Times, 1/7/05  MORE


Sleaze among Bush's Friends*

The shameful dealings of Jack Abramoff, a Republican power lobbyist, and Michael Scanlon, Mr. DeLay's former spokesman, are coming to light as Senate and Justice Department investigators follow leads from nouveau-riche tribes . . .Even as the two fast-talking political brokers banked large profits for three years of minimal labor, it was found, they were exchanging gleeful private messages mocking tribal leaders as "morons," "troglodytes" and "monkeys." "I want all their MONEY!!!" Mr. Scanlon exuberantly e-mailed in the midst of one deal. . . Mr. Abramoff was found to have prodded the tribes to pay for his luxury skyboxes at Washington sports arenas. . . so he could impress Capitol politicians, staff members and fund-raisers . . . A colleague pronounced Mr. Abramoff a master of schmooze, but sleaze seems a far better word.  NY Times Editorial 1/1/05  MORE

Bush Chooses Profits from Heart Attacks *

Curt D. Furberg, a member of the FDA's drug safety advisory committee, was told Thursday that an invitation to participate in the panel's key February meeting had to be rescinded because of an "intellectual conflict of interest."  Furberg, an acknowledged expert on assessing the risks of drug side effects, had commented earlier this week on an analysis he had just completed on possible cardiovascular risks from the arthritis drug Bextra. The drug is a COX-2 inhibitor such as Vioxx, which Merck & Co. took off the market in September because of a study showing that it increased the risk of heart attacks and strokes. . . "I think they're trying to control criticism at the committee meeting," [Furberg] said.  Marc Kaufman, Washington Post, 11/13/04  MORE

Reconstruction or Corruption*

[S]een up close, reconstruction in Iraq looks less like a mission of mercy or a sophisticated pacification program and more like a criminal racket. . . "Bechtel got angry at me when I talked to Azzaman," he says, referring to a major Iraqi newspaper. "We were supposed to be back on line in June, then September. Now it's January. Every day we send untreated sewage into the river, thousands of people downstream become sick." He pauses. "This work is more important than schools. . . .This is about preventing problems." . . ."You need to have the people who spent twenty years running these irrigation canals or power plants to be there. They know the tricks; they know the quirks. But the foreign contracts ignore Iraqis, and as a result they get nowhere!" . . ."Living near a river of shit--that would definitely suck," says [a GI] "No wonder these people are pissed." Christian Parenti, The Nation, 8/12/04

Bush and Friends*

House of Bush, House of Saud: The Secret Relationship Between the World's Two Most Powerful Dynasties

Bush Insider Trading *

[Robert] Jordan became Bush's attorney long before Bush became president. As a corporate defense lawyer in the Houston law firm of Baker Botts ("Baker" as in James Baker, George H.W. Bush's close friend and secretary of state), Jordan personally represented the younger Bush in 1991-93. The Securities and Exchange Commission was investigating Bush on insider-trading violations involving stock of his company, Harken Energy. Jordan's obstructive tactics in that case are noteworthy. One key Harken memo in Jordan's hands would have gone far toward establishing Bush's guilty intent. Disobeying rightful SEC demands for documents, however, Jordan withheld this memo from the SEC until the week after the SEC sent its 1993 letter suspending the case,  Charles Tiefer, Salon, 7/23/04

Enron, Delay & Election Theft*

 The [Washington] Post says it has "at least a dozen" documents showing that Mr. DeLay and his associates directed money from corporate donors and lobbyists to an effort to win control of the Texas Legislature . . . Enron. . .was happy to oblige, especially because Mr. DeLay was helping the firm's effort to secure energy deregulation legislation, even as . . . they were rigging California's deregulated market and stealing millions each day. . . There is, however, one problem: a 100-year-old Texas law bars corporate financing of State Legislature campaigns. . . .Mr. DeLay has hired two criminal defense lawyers.  . .The larger picture is this: Mr. DeLay and his fellow hard-liners, . . . have forged an immensely effective alliance with corporate interests. And they may be just one election away from achieving a long-term lock on power.  Krugman, NY Times 7/13/04


Howard Baker Profits*

Just last week Baker said, "I fixed the election in Florida for George Bush.". . . .our President isn't going to let something as meaningless as international law stand in the way of a quick buck for Mr. Baker. To get around the wee issue that Bush has no legal authority to mess with Iraq's debt, the White House has crafted a neat little subterfuge. . . Much of the so-called debt to Saudi Arabia was given to Saddam Hussein to fight a proxy war for the Saudis against their hated foe, the Shi'ia of Iran. . . .the kingdom's sheiks handed about $7 billion to Saddam under the table in the 1980's to build an "Islamic bomb."  . . . . Bush has rushed Baker in to pre-empt the debt write-off the World Bank would have certainly promoted.  Greg Palast, Working for Change, 12/9/03

Baker, the Carlyle Group and Saudi Clients*

Administration officials said Mr. Baker would retain his positions at Baker Botts and the Carlyle Group while serving as the president's personal envoy, and added that he had been vetted by the White House counsel's office for potential conflicts of interest.

The Carlyle Group, which has $17.5 billion in gross assets under management, invests money for 550 investors in 55 countries, and has investors in the Middle East. It has no investors or investments in Iraq.

Chris Ullman, a Carlyle spokesman, said Mr. Baker had not personally raised money from overseas investors, and therefore would not be in the position of negotiating with his business clients on behalf of the White House. But Mr. Ullman said Mr. Baker did speak at Carlyle events intended to attract investors.  ELISABETH BUMILLER, NY Times, 12/12/03

Bush Brother and Friends Profit at New Bridge Strategies

Two businessmen instrumental in setting up New Bridge Strategies, a well-connected Washington firm designed to help clients win contracts in Iraq, have previously used an association with the younger brother of President George W. Bush to seek business in the Middle East, an FT investigation has found.

New Bridge was established in May and came to public attention because of the Republican heavyweights on its board - most linked to one or other Bush administration or the to family itself. Those include Joe Allbaugh, George W. Bush's presidential campaign manager, and Ed Rogers and Lanny Griffith, former George H.W. Bush aids.  Stephen Fidler and Thomas Catán, The Financial Times, 12 /11/03

Bush's Insider Profit*

The year 1986 was very good for George W. Bush.

After a decade of striking Texas brown dust instead of oil, his luck finally turned that year when go-for-broke Harken Energy Corp. bought his failing oil exploration firm for stock. Four years later the company concealed large losses just before the GOP presidential hopeful unloaded those securities for a nice profit. That, in turn, helped finance his stake in the Texas Rangers baseball club and catapult him into the ranks of multimillionaires.

And it was in 1986, too, that Harken’s CEO introduced Bush, the company’s new director and consultant—as well as son of then-Vice President George Bush--to a little startup health-care company. He put in a modest investment, and a few years later walked away with a six-figure windfall.

There also was a little benefit on the side. In 1994, when Bush was running for Texas governor, and scrambling for campaign cash, insiders in that health-care company, now known as Advance Paradigm, contributed $23,700.  MORE  Knut Royce, The Center for Public Integrity, 4/4/03