Monday, September 12, 2005

On Reflections of 9-11: Why We Are In This Mess

Greg Palast is a journalist in the grand tradition of the muckrakers of old: he's not afraid to publish things that "fall into his lap" on background. Naturally, this makes him anathema to the Main Stream Media and the conservatives it panders to. So Greg is a reporter for the BBC :)

Greg's special assignment for the Beeb is to investigate and report on the Bush family. If there is anyone who knows these people more intimately than Palast, it would be Dumbya's therapist.

A couple of years ago, Palast wrote a book, "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy." In this book, Palast explores the links between the Bushes, the Saudis (including members of the bin Laden family, AND Osama himself).

I detailed some of these in an earlier post on this blog regarding Kofi Annan and his son.

Fascinating book, and I urge you all to read it.

But wait, there's more!

Last night, I was watching Free Speech TV (available on Dish Network and worth signing up for Dish alone, but also on some 140 cable systems as a local access channel), when I come across a televised documentary, originally aired on the BBC in 2003, but updated shortly before the 2004 election, by Palast, based on his book.

So I had the chance in an hour to reflect on what led up to 9-11, and why our President was clearly the wrong man to be leading this country at this precise moment.

Why? Well, for one thing, Bush's connections to the Saudis and in particular, the bin Ladens. Why were Saudis allowed to leave the US without being questioned regarding possible information in connection to 9-11? Why did these include bin Laden's own family members?

Palast talks about Bush's connections to one James R. Bath, who was the American investment manager for the bin Laden's and happens to have been in the Texas Air National Guard at the same time Dumbya was.

In fact, he was drummed out the same day as Bush.
“Bath, 55, acknowledges a friendship with George W. Bush that stems from their service together in the Texas Air National Guard.” Jonathan Beaty, “A Mysterious Mover of Money and Planes,” Time Magazine, October 28, 1991.
“In a copy of the record released by the National Guard in 2000, the man in question, James R. Bath, was listed as being suspended from flying for the National Guard in 1972 for failing to take a medical exam next to a similar listing for Mr. Bush. It has been widely reported that the two were friends and that Mr. Bath invested in Mr. Bush's first major business venture, Arbusto Energy, in the late 1970's after Mr. Bath began working for Salem bin Laden.” Jim Rutenberg, “A Film to Polarize Along Party Lines,” New York Times, May 17, 2004.

For another, how about the money he received from Saudis for his failed oil businesses?

Or how about how Harken Energy was given an exclusive drilling contract by the Bahrainian government while Bush was on the board of directors? No problem, you say, happens all the time? Harken Energy had never done off-shore drilling before in its existence, was not the low bidder and beat out such heavyweights as Sun Oil, Texaco, Exxon, and BP.

Of course, given Bush's track record in business, it was only a matter of time before Harken would go belly up. After all they bought Bush's own business, Arbusto Oil, after it went bust.

In fact, in 1990, despite lawyers' warnings not to do so, Bush sold all of his Harken shares...just before it went out of business. The SEC investigated, and while they cleared Bush of any wrongdoing, a copy of the letter from the lawyers advising him not to sell because it was a conflict of his fiduciary duty as a director, was not made available to the SEC until the day after they announced their decision.

And the payback for all this? Well...

For example, in 2003, meetings were held with the Bush and Blair administrations in which a plan was devised and actually written down to divvy up Iraq's oil fields.

So why isn't this happening? Good question. Turns out Cheney decided to intervene after Rob McKee, a former executive vice-president of ConocoPhillips, designated by the Bush Administration to advise the Iraqi oil ministry, raised serious objections about how much money the private oil companies would lose if the oil industry was privatized along the lines of how the neo-cons wanted it.

So we've been fighting, and losing, this war, our "war on terror", for the benefit of the oil companies that are making $3+ per gallon on us now.

Watch more here:

Iraq's Oil

Bush-Bin Laden

Oh! And how can we forget how Bush Stole the 2000 ELECTION!
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