In 1920, under a League of Nations mandate, officials from France and Great Britain carved up vast tracts of warlord-dominated territories in Arabia into what they imagined would be nation states devoid of the complex historical, cultural, and tribal realities of the Mideast.
Instead of establishing European-style nation states, the strongest warlords quickly entrenched themselves with the aid of standing armies and spy networks. In much of the Mideast, fealty is often accorded to tribal overlords and the Islamic sects they favor rather than to the territory and people within the boundaries of the nation state. Jonathan Rabin succinctly defines the reality, past and present, of the desert sheikdoms:
At the same time, the United States trained and armed troops in Afghanistan to fight the Soviets. The United States and Saudi Arabia spent about $40 billion on the war in Afghanistan, recruiting, supplying, and training nearly 100,000 radical mujahideen from forty Muslim countries, including Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Algeria, and Afghanistan itself. Among the recruits were Osama bin Laden and his followers. (2)
With C.I.A. funding, Osama bin Laden imported engineers and equipment from his father's Saudi construction company to build tunnels for guerrilla training centers and hospitals, and for arms dumps near the Pakistan border. After the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan, the C.I.A. and the Pakistani intelligence agency sponsored the Taliban organization, a government composed of the fanatic Wahhabi Islamic sect, the same sect that is the state religion in Saudi Arabia. Although followers of the Wahhabi sect do not refer to themselves as Wahhabis, the label is useful because it applies to a single Muslim group with a set of beliefs peculiar to them alone: Wahhabis maintain that Shi'ites and Sufis are not Muslims, and that Muslims should not visit shrines or celebrate Mohammed's birthday. (3) The Saudi sheiks have been Wahhabis since they intermarried with the family of a puritanical Muslim scholar, Mohammed ibn Abd al-Wahhab, in 1774. Supported first by Britain and later by the United States, the Saudis captured the Muslim holy cities of Mecca and Medina, easily gaining control of the entire Arabian peninsula.
Wherever they ruled, the Wahhabis imposed their medieval code on their hapless subjects, making public spectacles of stoning adulterers to death and maiming thieves, destroying decorated mosques and cemeteries, prohibiting music, sequestering women, and promoting war on infidels. The Saudi sheiks have lavished funds on anti-American and anti-Israeli terrorists-in-training while indoctrinating other Muslims through its worldwide network of religious schools, mosques, newspapers, and presses.
The Wahhabi Taliban in Afghanistan had the blessings of the Saudi royal family and of The Big Three--the bin Laden family, the al Ahmoudi family, and the Mahfouz family--the richest clans in that medieval kingdom. (Khalid bin Mahfouz is bin Laden's brother-in-law, according to the C.I.A.). The desert oligarchs profited from world-wide investments as well as sleazy banking schemes such as the infamous Bank of Credit and Commerce International. Salem bin Laden, Osama's brother, has conducted all his American affairs through James Bath, a Houston crony of the Bush family. Bath's former business partner Bill White testified in court that Bath had been a liaison for the C.I.A. In 1979 Bath invested $50,000 in Arbusto, George W. Bush's first business venture. Rumor had it that Bath was acting as Salem bin Laden's representative.
In February 1995, when he was appointed chief of the F.B.I.'s counter-terrorism section in Washington, John O'Neill immediately assembled and coordinated a team to capture Ramzi Yousef, who was en route from Pakistan to Afghanistan. Yousef was strongly suspected of planning and directing the World Trade Center bombing in 1993.
In three days, the kingpin of the World Trade Center bombing was in custody, and O'Neill went on to accumulate damning evidence against the 1993 World Trade bombers that led to their conviction in American courts. For the next six years, John O'Neill tirelessly investigated terrorist strikes against Americans and American interests in Saudi Arabia, East Africa, and Yemen, often encountering American officials' roadblocks on the way. Even in 1996, after Jamal Ahmed al-Fadl turned himself in at the American Embassy in Eritrea and divulged details of bin Laden's and al Qaeda's organization and operations, the State Department refused to list al Qaeda as a terrorist organization.
In February 1998, bin Laden assembled a number of terrorist groups, including Islamic Jihad, and issued a fierce fatwa calling for the deaths of all Americans. On August 7, 1998, 226 people died in the simultaneous bombing of American embassies in Tanzania and Kenya. Investigators blamed bin Laden for the attacks. On August 20, 1998, President Clinton amended Executive Order 12947 to add Osama bin Laden and his key associates to the list of terrorists, thus blocking their US assets--including property and bank accounts--and prohibiting all U.S. financial transactions with them. The United States conducted a missile attack against bin Laden's facilities in Afghanistan. On October 12, 2000, two suicide bombers ignited their boatload of explosives next to the USS Cole, an American destroyer refueling in Aden, off the coast of Yemen. The blast killed seventeen sailors and wounded thirty-nine others. O'Neill and his crack investigating team were dispatched to Yemen and hit a stone wall. He had hoped satellite intercepts of phone calls between an al Qaeda operative in Aden and Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan would lead him to the mastermind of the Cole attack, but the American ambassador and the Yemeni officials blocked the investigation at every turn. O'Neill resigned from the F.B.I. in July 2001 and signed on as security chief for the World Trade Center in September. He died in the WTC attack on September 11, 2001.
In Forbidden Truth: U.S.-Taliban Secret Oil Diplomacy and the Failed Hunt for bin Laden, two French intelligence analysts, Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquie, claim that the Clinton and Bush administrations impeded investigations of bin Laden and his al Qaeda terrorist group in order to maintain good relations with Saudi Arabia and to maintain the stability of the oil market.
In articles and interviews, Brisard has expanded on this statement, pronouncing the official story about bin Laden's exile from his native Saudi Arabia in 1994 and his frozen assets to be a canard. Not only did O'Neill and the F.B.I. have extensive information concerning the finances of bin Laden and al Qaeda, but the business connections between the bin Ladens, the Mahfouzes, the al Ahmoudis, the Saudi royal family, and the Bush family kept turning up in their investigations. Mahfouz, who owns Nimir Petroleum, has conducted joint ventures with the al Amoudi family, which owns Delta Oil. Delta Oil and Unocal planned to build a pipeline through Afghanistan before the Taliban backed away. These Saudi companies are still partnered with bigger oil companies (such as Texaco and Unocal) in developing Central Asian oil projects. Although Brisard's interpretation of events has been disputed, the documentation ofForbidden Truth is impeccable. Clearly, the finances and fortunes of the Saudi oligarchs and the Bush family have been intertwined for many years, and oil has been the lubricant of choice, even non-existent oil. In The Conspirators, Al Martin describes an instance of the latter. He says that the Gulf Oil Drilling Supply, of New York, Miami, and Bahrain, was Jeb Bush's favorite artifice for oil and gas frauds:
The leases would be embellished to appear extremely valuable and then used as loan collateral. Great American Bank and Trust of West Palm Beach subsequently failed under the weight of unpaid Iran-Contra loans.
Michael Springmann, formerly chief of the visa section at the US Embassy in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, claims that he rejected hundreds of suspicious visa applications, but the C.I.A. officer overruled him and ordered the visas to be issued. Springmann protested to the State Department, the Office of Diplomatic Security, the F.B.I., the Justice Department and congressional committees, but in vain. (10) Springmann observed that 15 of the 19 people who allegedly flew airplanes into buildings in the United States got their visas from the same CIA-dominated consulate in Jeddah. As a special favor to residents of Saudi Arabia (including non-Saudi citizens), applicants for non-immigrant visas can apply at private travel agencies and receive their visa through the mail. During the months following the 9-11 attack, 102 applicants received their visas by mail, 2 more were interviewed, and none were rejected. The Saudis always got special treatment. In a November 6, 2001 BBC broadcast Greg Palast revealed just how special that treatment was. Even after Pakistan expelled the World Association of Muslim Youth (WAMY) and India claimed that the organization was linked to terrorist bombings in Kashmir and the Philippines military accused WAMY of funding Muslim insurgency, the F.B.I. got orders to leave the "charitable association" alone. After 9/11, investigators of the Islamic charities discovered overwhelming evidence that Saudis at all levels worked in tandem with the terrorists. David Kaplin reports, "At the Saudi High Commission in Bosnia, which coordinated local aid among Saudi charities, police found before-and-after photos of the World Trade Center, files on pesticides and crop dusters, and information on how to counterfeit State Department badges. At Manila's international airport, authorities stopped Agus Dwikarna, an al Haramain representative based in Indonesia. In his suitcase were C4 explosives." The interlocking charities make it difficult to follow the money trail. "Many share directors, office space, and cash flow. For two years, investigators have followed the money to offshore trusts and obscure charities which, according to court records, they believe are tied to Hamas, al Qaeda, and other terrorist groups." (US News and World Report, December 15, 2003).
"The White House official line is that the Bin Ladens are above suspicion --apart from Osama, the black sheep, who they say hijacked the family name. That's fortunate for the Bush family and the Saudi royal household, whose links with the Bin Ladens could otherwise prove embarrassing. But Newsnight has obtained evidence that the FBI was on the trail of other members of the Bin Laden family for links to terrorist organisations before and after September 11th." (11)
In the Boston Globe, March 11, 20004, Carl Unger, author of House of Bush, House of Saud: The Secret Relationship Between the World's Two Most Powerful Dynasties, states that the 9/11 commission should ask who authorized the evacuation of 140 Saudi nationals on at least 8 aircraft making stops in 12 cities immediately following the attacks.
"As reported last year by Gerald Posner in 'Why America Slept,' Prince Ahmed not only had alleged ties to Al Qaeda, but may also have known in advance that there would be attacks on 9/11. According to Posner, Abu Zubaydah, an Al Qaeda operative who was part of Osama bin Laden's inner circle and was captured in 2002, made these assertions when he was interrogated by the CIA. The commission should ask Mueller about Zubaydah's interrogation. They should also ask whether the FBI interrogated Prince Ahmed before his departure.
Unger believes that this episode "raises particularly sensitive questions for the administration. Never before in history has a president of the United States had such a close relationship with another foreign power as President Bush and his father have had with the Saudi royal family, the House of Saud. I have traced more than $1.4 billion in investments and contracts that went from the House of Saud over the past 20 years to companies in which the Bushes and their allies have had prominent positions -- Harken Energy, Halliburton, and the Carlyle Group among them. Is it possible that President Bush himself played a role in authorizing the evacuation of the Saudis after 9/11? What did he know and when did he know it?"
In October 2001, the Treasury Department identified the Muwafaq Foundation, largely endowed by Khalid bin Mahfouz, as an al Qaeda front that had funneled millions of dollars to bin Laden. Some families of the 9/11 victims have named Mahfouz and dozens of prominent Saudis, including members of the royal family, in a lawsuit that accuses the Saudis of funding the 9/11 terrorists. Bush administration officials stated that they would seek to have the suit dismissed or delayed.(12)
Senators Bob Graham and Richard C. Shelby, leaders of the congressional panel ending an investigation of the 9/11 attacks, said the administration should declassify information concerning Saudi funding of terrorists. "Citing 'their people and a lot of their leaders and probably even the royal family,' Shelby said: 'I believe [the Saudis] cannot support so-called charities that support terrorism on a big scale, and then pretend that they're our friends or our allies.
"'As we get into the money trail, it might be embarrassing, but the American people need to know; the victims and their families need to know,' he added. Shelby and Graham said avoiding embarrassment and maintaining good relations with Saudi Arabia are not legitimate reasons to withhold information from the public.
Prince Bandar and Princess Haifa professed their ignorance of the whole affair. Mark Stein speculates about the recent visit Prince Bandar and Princess Haifa paid to George and Laura at the Crawford ranch, where they were received with the accolades usually reserved for heads of state. Bush must have known about the money transfers and Bandar must have known Bush knew, but apparently a good time was had by all....
"Meanwhile, Majeda Ibrahin, the woman the princess was sending all that money to, turns out to be married to Osama Basnan, another buddy of the al-Qa'eda duo, and one who subsequently celebrated 11 September as a 'wonderful, glorious day'. But here's an odd little thing: Mr Basnan is known to have been in Texas in April when Crown Prince Abdullah and his entourage flew in to the state to see Bush at the ranch. Just another coincidence? Well, sorta: he's supposed to have had a meeting in Houston with some big-time Saudi prince who deals with 'intelligence matters.' This seems an unusual degree of access for some schlub from San Diego who's in the US illegally, as it transpires. He is variously described as a Saudi government agent and al-Qa'eda sympathiser, as if these positions are mutually exclusive. The Saudi embassy say they've only received queries about this matter from the media, not from the FBI. Odd that. The federal government claims it needs vast new powers to track every single credit-card transaction and every single email of every single American, yet a prima facie link between the terrorists and Prince Bandar's wife isn't worth going over to the embassy to have a little chat about." (16)
Apparently it is not only the Saudis' oil riches that insulates them from criticism, but also their calculated distribution of largesse. The Saudis have contributed to every presidential library in recent decades. Not surprisingly, former ambassadors to Saudi Arabia from the United States end up being apologists for the corrupt, despotic Saudi regime. The Saudis have arranged that American ambassadors to their country not speak Arabic. The American embassy in Saudi Arabia gets all its information about the reactionary regime from the rulers. Some of the Washington politicians who found the Saudi connection lucrative include Spiro Agnew, Frank Carlucci, Jimmy Carter, Clark Clifford, John Connally, James Baker, George H. W. Bush, William Simon and Caspar Weinberger. (17)
The Bush dynasty has always been comfortable putting profits before patriotism. Prescott Bush, Bush Senior's father, extended credit to Adolph Hitler and supplied him with raw materials during Word War II. The U. S. seized his assets under the Trading with the Enemy Act, but grandfather Bush found other ways to replenish the family coffers. Bush Senior struck it rich in oil and in the defense industry. Mahfouz (yes, that Mahfouz), Prince Bandar and Prince Sultan (Bandar's father) were also heavily invested in the defense industry through their holdings in the Carlyle Group, where Bush Senior served on the board of directors. Founded in 1987 as a private investment group with strong connections to the Republican Party establishment, Carlyle increased its original investment of $130 million to $900 million when it went public in 2001. "In recent years, Carlyle has been successful both at raising and making money. It has raised $14 billion in the last five years or so, and its annual rate of return has been 36 percent. Its 550 investors consist of institutions and wealthy individuals from around the world including, until shortly after September 2001, members of the bin Laden family of Saudi Arabia. The family--which has publicly disavowed links with Osama bin Laden--had been an investor since 1995." (18) "As the eleventh largest US defence contractor, Carlyle is involved in nearly every aspect of military production, including making the big guns used on US naval destroyers, the Bradley Fighting Vehicle used by US forces during the Gulf War and parts used in most commercial and military aircraft. United Defense has joint ventures in Saudi Arabia and Turkey, two of the United States' closest military allies in the Middle East." (19) It's passing strange that even as the hijacked planes smashed into the World Trade Center, the Carlyle Group was holding its annual investor conference. Shafig Bin Laden, brother of Osama Bin Laden, attended. Bush Junior once served as an executive with Caterair, one of hundreds of companies Carlyle has bought and sold over the past 15 years, but he removed the record of this period from his resume. In 1986, Bush Junior, to date a flop as a businessman, joined Harken Energy Corporation as a director and was awarded 212,000 shares of stock and other plums.
In 1987, Khalid bin Mahfouz arranged for BCCI investor Abdullah Bakhsh to purchase 17% of Harken. A Harken official acknowledged that Bush's White House connections had everything to do with the appointment. Somehow, the inexperienced, obscure firm was awarded a prime drilling contract by Bahrain, and Harken's stock price soared.
In June 1990, Bush Junior sold his Harken stock for a juicy $848,000, enabling him to pay off the loan he had assumed on buying shares in the Texas Rangers. Never mind that the Harken stock promptly tanked when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, for Abdullah Bakhsh, a major Harken shareholder and an investor in BCCI, who had purchased 17% of Harken Energy in 1987, got his money's worth. By 1990, Bakhsh's representative on Harken's board, Talet Othman, began attending Middle East policy discussions with President Bush Senior.
Now that Bush Junior occupies the White House, Bush Senior receives frequent CIA briefings (his prerogative as a former president). "In July 2001, Bush personally contacted Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah to 'clarify' his son's Middle East policies. Also during the summer of 2001, Bush forwarded his son a North Korea policy plan penned by 'Asia expert' and former ambassador to Korea, Donald Gregg. Gregg is a 31-year CIA veteran and the elder Bush's former national security adviser whose expertise involved participation in the Vietnam-era Phoenix Program (death squads), Air America heroin smuggling, 'pacification' efforts in El Salvador and Guatemala, the 'October Surprise,' and the Iran-Contra operation (for which Gregg received a Bush pardon in 1992)." (20) Bush Junior has received more than advice from his father. He has taken on the team of hustlers and criminals that worked with George Herbert Walker Bush when he was Vice President and President of the United States of America. Just as his father did, he invokes executive privilege to hide all evidence of collusion with the petroleum pashas who have enriched the Bushes and intimidated the rest of us. Sandy Tolan, an I.F. Stone Fellow at the Graduate School of Journalism at UC Berkeley, asserts that what the Bush administration really wants in Iraq is a remapping of the Mideast. "The plan is, in its way, as ambitious as the 1916 Sykes-Picot agreement between the empires of Britain and France, which carved up the region at the fall of the Ottoman Empire. The neo-imperial vision, which can be ascertained from the writings of key administration figures and their co-visionaries in influential conservative think tanks, includes not only regime change in Iraq but control of Iraqi oil, a possible end to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and newly compliant governments in Syria and Iran -- either by force or internal rebellion." The Bushes are carriers of the deny-destroy-and-be-damned virus. Prescott Bush never apologized for trading with the Nazis. George Bush Senior professed to know nothing of the drug and arms dealing that funded the bloody, illegal Iran-Contra operations, although it was common knowledge that he directed them. He and his sons enriched themselves through shady real estate deals and financial manipulations that brought down entire banking and savings and loan institutions. They are all consummate inside traders, looting and leaving ruin in their wake.
President-Select George Bush is no exception. He has no scruples about exploiting his office for personal and family gain. The Texas governor who could joke about frying prisoners in the electric chair will not, as president, agonize over the decision to send young men and women into battle--or over denying them medical care when they are injured.
There is irrefutable evidence that highly-placed Saudis aided and supported the terrorists who murdered over 3000 American citizens on September 11, 2001. Yet George Bush persists in protecting and colluding with those who sponsor terrorists. Is this not an an act of treason?
Will George Bush ever be tried and convicted for war crimes?
(1) Jonathan Raban,
(2) Michael Parenti, 9-11 Terrorism Trap: September 11 and Beyond (2000) City Lights Books, San Francisco
(3) Laura Secor, "Which Islam?," Boston Daily Globe, December 15, 2002
(4) Wayne Madsen,
(5) "The Press on the BCCI-bin Mahfouz-bin Laden Intelligence Nexus, " Boston Herald , December 11, 2001
(6) Jonathan Beaty & S. C. Gwynne, The Outlaw Bank: A Wild Ride Into the Secret Heart of BCCI, (1993) Random House, New York
(7) Daniel Pipes, "Jihad: How Academics Have Camouflaged Its Real Meaning," December 2, 2002
(8) Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquie, Forbidden Truth: U.S.-Taliban Secret Oil Diplomacy and the Failed Hunt for bin Laden (2002) Thunder's Mouth Press/Nation Books, New York
(9) Al Martin, The Conspirators: Secrets of an Iran-Contra Insider (2002) National Liberty Press, LLC
(10) Center for Cooperative Research, "Hijackers who were under surveillance before 9/11"
(11) Greg Palast and David Pallister,
(12) Jeff Gerth and Judith Miller, "Saudis Called Slow to Help Stem Terror Finances," New York Times, November 28, 2002
(13) Dana Priest and Susan Schmidt, "9/11 Panel Criticizes Secrecy on Saudi Links,"Washington Post, December 12 2002
(14) Greg Miller, Greg Krikorian and H.G. Reza, "FBI Looks at Saudi's Links to 9/11," Los Angeles Times, November 23, 2002
(15) Michael Isikoff, Newsweek, November 22, 2002
(16) Mark Steyn, "Bush and the Saudi Princess"
(17) Daniel Golden, James Bandler and Marcus Walker, Wall Street Journal, September 27, 2001 Posted at globalresearch.ca 5 October 2001
(18) James Hatfield,
(19) Steve Lohr, "Gerstner to Be Chairman of Carlyle Group," New York Times, November 22, 2002
(20) Tim Shorrock uncovers the Bush connection to US defence giant the Carlyle Group, New Internationalist 347, July 2002
12/14/2015: U.S. created and now supports al Qaeda (ISIS)
3/18/2015 Iraqi Oil Bombshell
9/22/2011: Saudi Royal Ties to 9/11 Terrorists
9/19/2011: Lloyds of London Sues Saudi Arabia for 9/11
6/23/09: Saudis Funded 9/11
7/31/07: Saudis Flew on CIA Planes after 9/11
From the Progressive Populist, February 1, 2003 -- Bush's uncle, Jonathan Bush, is an executive at Riggs Bank, where Saudi Princess Faisal had the checking account through which she made her donations to charities.
Saudi Arabia has transferred $500 million to Al Qaida over the past decade, according to a report prepared for the United Nations
New Chairman of 9/11 Commission had business ties with Osama's Brother in Law
Documentation that Bush Junior and James Bath both served together in the National Guard at Ellington Air Force Base and were suspended for failure "to accomplish annual medical inspection"
An investigation of Saudi banks
Confirmation that the U.S. has a long-standing agreement with Saudi Arabia to train pilots at U.S. bases