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The Hidden Windfall

How the Bush Family Profits from the Patriot Act

The Hidden Windfall    

How the Bush Family Profits from the Patriot Act
When charges of profiting from terrorism and the War on Iraq are made, perhaps scamming charities come to mind first, followed by oil companies and defense department contractors. There’s another group profiting directly from the spoils of war: the Bush family. And as an added bonus for conspiracy theorists, Enron, Cheney, Halliburton and the Bin Ladens are involved, too! The Patriot Act sounded good on paper to someone, somewhere – but the concerns of privacy advocates pale in comparison to the reality of the profit to be had surrounding the Act. How is the Bush family profiting from the Patriot Act? EVOTE.COM brings you the story.


The Hidden Windfall    

Marvin and George Bush at Camp David.

How the Bush Family Profits from the Patriot Act

[October 23, 2003 evote.com]  There is a great deal of money being made with the increased spending for the war on terrorism and the Bush family is cashing in. The Patriot Act is bad news for the privacy of Americans, but bad news always has a silver lining. In this case it might be a gold lining... for the Bush brothers, at least.

In 1993 after the first Gulf War, Seymour M. Hersh penned an influential New Yorker article that detailed how Marvin and Neil, two sons of former President Bush, tried to exploit Kuwait’s sense of gratitude toward the president to gain business advantages. It details how the brothers flew to Kuwait where Neil was involved with two privately held Houston oil-equipment firms that attempted to do business with the country. Neil also made an attempt to convince Kuwaitis to permit him to share in the large management fees that Enron (remember Enron?) would be paid to operate power plants within the country, if the company’s consortium obtained a contract to do so.

Marvin sought contracts connected to an electronic security fence than was part of Kuwait’s early warning defense system. He was seeking business with the Ministry of Electricity and Water too. President Bush’s Secretary of State James Baker, White House Chief of Staff John Sununu and the director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Persian Gulf War, Army Lieutenant General Thomas Kelly, also sought Kuwaiti business for personal gain. Obviously the Bushes surround themselves with really smart folks.


The Groundwork
And according to a website called the Information Clearing House, in January of 1998 Marvin was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc., headquartered in Coral Gables, Florida. Del Monte is owned by the Abu-Ghazaleh family of Kuwait. A major Bush fundraiser, Stephen L. Way was also on the board. Way is also the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of HCC Insurance Holdings, Inc., of Houston, Texas. In 2000 Marvin became a member of the board of directors of HCC. He then purchased about $130,000 of HCC stock which increased to about $600,000 within a year.

And when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990, the Saudis next door felt threatened. After leaving office, President Bush became a consultant for the Carlyle group, a Washington, DC headquartered investment firm with billions in defense holdings. Both Saudi Prince Bandar and members of the Bin Laden family were investors in the Carlyle Group. President Bush number two also had indirect business involvement with Salem Bin Laden, the brother of Osama, in the 1970s with an oil company he created called Arbusto. In this, the former President can only be charged with pulling off a nice career segue.

Evading the Spotlight
After September 11, President Bush opposed the creation of a commission to investigate the attacks, but he reluctantly agreed. Later the president tried to block the investigative body from doing its job by stonewalling it on the evidence it sought. Shortly after the attacks, the Carlyle Group returned the millions the Bin Ladens had invested, and asked them to end their association with the company.

Although it was ostensibly legal for the Bushes of Arabia to seek a fortune rebuilding Kuwait and investing with the Saudis, a country where a plurality of the airline hijackers were natives, it is nonetheless unseemly for the president and his kith and kin to seek a profit from his policies. They hoped the public would be shielded from knowing their black business dealings.

But the black dealings of the Bushes have continued up until today. And they are hoping their weapons of mass deception will keep the public uninformed, as the mainstream media has yet to jump on this horse. Except the public does have their own weapon of information--and her name is Margie Burns.

This woman is a Washington, DC based free-lance writer who wrote about Marvin Bush with the effort of an attack dog for a little known web site called the Progressive Populist (www.populist.com). Writing with an unusually high amount of detail and research, Burns details how Marvin is profiting from his older brother’s policies.

Bush meets with Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah.

The Patriot Act Provides a Windfall
Marvin Bush’s windfall is the creation of the USA Patriot Act, or the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act. The act requires banks to process information on their customers so as to cull out suspected well-funded terrorists who may be laundering money. And to comply with the Patriot Act, banks must obtain computer systems, which other companies sell, that allow them to get to know their customers better. Which, in turn, allows the government to get to know you better. Alot better.

This is where the Bush brother comes in, according to Burns.

Marvin P. is partner and co-founder of Alexandria, VA-based Winston Partners, a private investment firm that is part of a larger venture capital entity called the Chatterjee Group based in India. This larger VC firm also consists of Winston Partners II LDC, headquartered in the Cayman Islands where many American firms locate to avoid U.S. taxes. And because Marvin looks out for his kin, Florida Governor Jeb Bush is also an investor in the Winston Capital Fund.

The Chatterjee Group, including Winston Partners (Marvin’s firm), owned in 2002 5.5 million shares in a California company called Sybase Inc., which does not include thousands of shares that have been paid to Chatterjee businesses. (On Oct 16 2003 it was valued at $18.20 per share.) Sybase is one of the “most aggressive” companies in selling the necessary technology to help banks comply with President Bush’s Patriot Act. One of its customers is the Japanese Sumitomo Mitsui Bank. “Business for Sybase is business for Bush, and the Patriot Act boosted business,” states Burns. No kidding.

And Sybase also peddles significantly to the government, with the federal procurement database listing its total awards for 2001 at $14.7 million. This includes $2.9 million to the Navy, $1.8 million to the Army and $5.3 million to the Defense Department in 2001. Marvin Bush’s Sybase also sold to the Agriculture Department, Commerce, Treasury, and General Services Administration. And we have not even mentioned Amsec Corporation of Virginia Beach, VA, another Winston Partners’ company that snagged Navy contracts worth $37.7 million in 2001.

It's good to be a Bush Brother!

Lots of Profit for a Select Group
Life can be good when your brother controls the reigns. It can also be good when your friend controls the reigns, as in the well-publicized case of Vice President Dick Cheney. Fellow oil-man and Bush-buddy Cheney is still getting a regular check from his former employer, Halliburton of Houston, Texas. Halliburton obtained a no-bid contract for work in Iraq worth billions, and has recently come under attack by congressional leaders for overcharging the United States Army for gasoline. Iraqis pay at the pump between four and 15 cents per gallon, with the average Middle Eastern price being 71 cents. But Cheney’s Halliburton is charging America $1.62 per gallon.

Nothing like a no-bid government contract to bring out the smiles. And why is this no-bid agreement legal when virtually every single government contract is required to be put out to bid?

In a January 2003 article Burns states that William H.T. (Bucky) Bush, the brother of the first President Bush, is on the Board of Directors of a company that will “benefit substantially from the war with Iraq,” according to financial analysts. Engineered Support Systems of St. Louis was listed 54th in the Department of Defense’s top 100 contractors for fiscal year 2001. It received about $300 million in military contracts in 2001.

“The potential for waste and abuse here can hardly be overstated,” states Burns. “A branch of the military or other government agency that risked funding cutbacks, for example, could throw up a buffer by awarding a contract benefiting the First Family. Why spend money on a lobbyist when you might have one in the White House.”

Now that we Americans are subject to government agents finding out what we read in libraries and who we associate with, it's nice that with a little research average Americans can find out who the Bushes are associating with. If EVOTE.COM wanted to setup a Sybase IQ server to start a Bush family associations database we could probably do that for about $30k to start. We'll drop a line to Marvin Bush, maybe he can get us a discount.

[John Pike is a veteran journalist based in Boston. His articles have appeared in numerous magazines, newspapers and websites, including the Boston Globe, Reason Magazine and Insight Magazine.]

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