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From: TiM Publisher X-Approved-By: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-to: TiM Publisher FROM PHOENIX, ARIZONA Bushwhacked: Bush Sr.’s bin Laden Connection
WASHINGTON, Sep. 28 - “Something’s rotten in the state of Denmark,” goes the oft-quoted old Shakespearean line. Well, the state of Denmark no longer figures as a global trendsetter, but the same one-liner could be applied to some of the former leaders of our United States of America. If in doubt just check out the following release sent out by the Judicial Watch, a Washington-based public interest law firm that investigates and prosecutes government corruption and abuse: WALL STREET JOURNAL: BUSH SR. IN BUSINESS WITH BIN LADEN FAMILY CONGLOMERATE THROUGH CARLYLE GROUP (BIN LADEN) FAMILY HAD RENOUNCED TIES TO TERRORIST SON, BUT FAMILY STILL UNDER FBI INVESTIGATION FATHER OF PRESIDENT SHOULD PULL OUT OF INTERNATIONAL CONSULTING FIRM (Washington, DC) Judicial Watch, the public interest law firm that investigates and prosecutes government corruption and abuse, reacted with disbelief to The Wall Street Journal report of yesterday that George H.W. Bush, the father of President Bush, works for the bin Laden family business in Saudi Arabia through the Carlyle Group, an international consulting firm. The senior Bush had met with the bin Laden family at least twice. (Other top Republicans are also associated with the Carlyle group, such as former Secretary of State James A. Baker.) TiM Ed.: The Carlyle Group is also a Pentagon defense contractor. In fact, here’s what the Journal said about it: “If the U.S. boosts defense spending in its quest to stop Osama bin Laden's alleged terrorist activities, there may be one unexpected beneficiary: Mr. Bin Laden's family. Among its far-flung business interests, the well-heeled Saudi Arabian clan -- which says it is estranged from Osama -- is an investor in a fund established by Carlyle Group, a well-connected Washington merchant bank specializing in buyouts of defense and aerospace companies. Through this investment and its ties to Saudi royalty, the bin Laden family has become acquainted with some of the biggest names in the Republican Party. In recent years, former President Bush, ex-Secretary of State James Baker and ex-Secretary of Defense Frank Carlucci have made the pilgrimage to the bin Laden family's headquarters in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Mr. Bush makes speeches on behalf of Carlyle Group and is senior adviser to its Asian Partners fund, while Mr. Baker is its senior counselor. Mr. Carlucci is the group's chairman.” You can try to check out the Carlyle web site at http://www.thecarlylegroup.com, but get ready for a message “this site is being redesigned.” And that’s it! Oh, except that you will also be told that, “ The Carlyle Group does not provide investment or other services to the general public.” Weird, huh?. Nor is former President Bush the only former White House occupant to have rubbed shoulders and done a little business with the bin Laden’s. Jimmy Carter also did it, according to the Journal: “Former President Carter met with 10 of Osama's brothers, early in 2000, on a fund-raising trip for the Carter Center in Atlanta. According to John Hardman, executive director of the center, the brothers told Mr. Carter that Osama was completely removed from the family. After Mr. Carter and his wife followed up with breakfast with Bakr bin Laden in New York in September 2000, the bin Laden family gave $200,000 to the center. "We don't have any reason to think there's a connection" between Osama and the rest of the family, Mr. Hardman says.” Meanwhile, back to the Judicial Watch’s release: The terrorist leader Osama bin Laden had supposedly been “disowned” by his family, which runs a multi-billion dollar business in Saudi Arabia and is a major investor in the senior Bush’s firm. Other reports have questioned, though, whether members of his Saudi family have truly cut off Osama bin Laden. Indeed, the Journal also reported yesterday that the FBI has subpoenaed the bin Laden family business’s bank records. Judicial Watch earlier this year had strongly criticized President Bush’s father’s association with the Carlyle Group, pointing out in a March 5 statement that it was a “conflict of interest (which) could cause problems for America’s foreign policy in Middle East and Asia.” Judicial Watch called for the senior Bush to resign from the firm then. “This conflict of interest has now turned into a scandal. The idea of the President’s father, an ex-president himself, doing business with a company under investigation by the FBI in the terror attacks of September 11 is horrible. President Bush should not ask, but demand, that his father pull out of the Carlyle Group,” stated Judicial Watch Chairman and General Counsel Larry Klayman. “This has the potential of making ‘Billygate’ (Jimmy Carter’s brother’s dealings with Libya) look like small potatoes,” added Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. --- TiM Ed.: So that’s a fine mess we’ve got on our hands. No wonder some of our readers have written to us saying they feel “Bushwhacked.” For the full Journal story, see "Bin Laden Family Could Profit From a Jump In Defense Spending Due to Ties to U.S. Bank," by Daniel Golden, James Bandler, and Marcus Walker, The Wall Street Journal, 9/28/01 (http://interactive.wsj.com/archive/retrieve.cgi?id=SB1001546348608890000.djm, subscription required).
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