Must Cut Off
Bush Family War Profits
By Evelyn Pringle
11 April, 2007
On Monday, April 9, 2007, the
Boston Herald reported that the US military had announced the Easter
weekend deaths of 10 more American soldiers, including six killed on
Sunday. The Associated Press reports that, since the war began in March
2003, over 3,000 members of the US military have been killed in Iraq,
as of April 8, 2007.
The military reported the deaths of four more US soldiers on Tuesday.
Its nearly impossible to estimate the number of deaths of civilians
in Iraq, but the Herald reports that at least 47 people were killed
or found dead in violence on Easter Sunday, including 17 execution victims
dumped in the capital.
News releases out of Iraq also report that a woman wearing a black veil
and strapped with explosives blew herself up outside a police station
in Iraq on Tuesday, killing 16 people.
According to the January 14, 2007 LA Times, Steven Kosiak, director
of budget studies at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments
in Washington, says that, starting with the anti-terrorism appropriation
a week after the 9/11 attacks, he estimates the US has spent $400 billion
fighting terrorism through fiscal 2006, which ended on September 30,
In January 2007, Marine Corps spokeswoman, Lt Col Roseann Lynch, told
Reuters that the war in Iraq is costing about $4.5 billion a month for
military “operating costs,” which did not include new weapons
Since this war on terror was declared following 9/11, the pay levels
for the CEOs of the top 34 defense contractors have doubled. The average
compensation rose from $3.6 million during the period of 1998-2001,
to $7.2 million during the period of 2002-2005, according to an August
2006, report entitled, "Executive Excess 2006," by the Washington-based,
Institute for Policy Studies, and the Boston-based, United for a Fair
This study found that since 9/11, the 34 defense CEOs have pocketed
a combined total of $984 million, or enough, the report says, to cover
the wages for more than a million Iraqis for a year. In 2005, the average
total compensation for the CEOs of large US corporations was only 6%
above 2001 figures, while defense CEOs pay was 108% higher.
But the last name of one family, which is literally amassing a fortune
over the backs of our dead heroes, matches that of the man holding the
purse strings in the White House. On December 11, 2003, the Financial
Times reported that three people had told the Times that they had seen
letters written by Neil Bush that recommended business ventures in the
Middle East, promoted by New Bridges Strategies, a firm set up by President
Bush’s former campaign manager, who quit his Bush appointed government
job as the head of FEMA, three weeks before the war in Iraq began.
Neil Bush was paid an annual fee to "help companies secure contracts
in Iraq," the Times said.
But Neil Bush is by no means the only Bush profiting from the war on
terror. The first President Bush is so entangled with entities that
have profited greatly that it's difficult to even know where to begin.
Bush joined the Carlyle Group in 1993, and became a member of the firm's
Asian Advisory Board.
The Carlyle Group was best known for buying defense companies and doubling
or tripling their value and was already heavily supported by defense
contracts. But in 2002, the firm received $677 million in government
contracts, and by 2003, its contracts were worth $2.1 billion.
Prior to 9/11, some Carlyle companies were not doing so well. For instance,
the future of Vought Aircraft looked dismal when the company laid off
20% of its employees. But business was booming shortly after the wars
in Afghanistan and Iraq began, and the company received over $1 billion
in defense contracts.
The Bush family's connections to the Osama bin Laden's family seem almost
surreal. On September 28, 2001, two weeks after 9/11, the Wall Street
Journal reported 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."
As a representative of Carlyle, one of the investors that Bush brought
to Carlyle was the Bin Laden Group, a construction company owned by
Osama's family. The bin Ladens have been called the Rockefellers of
the Middle East, and the father, Mohammed, has reportedly amassed a
$5 billion empire. According the Journal, Bush convinced Shafiq bin
Laden to invest $2 million with Carlyle.
The Journal found that Bush had met with the bin Ladens at least twice
between 1998 and 2000. On September 27, 2001, the Journal reported that
it had confirmed that a meeting took place between Bush Senior and the
bin Laden family through Senior's Chief of Staff, Jean Becker, but only
after the reporter showed her a thank you note that was written and
sent by Bush to the bin Ladens after the meeting.
The current President’s little publicized affiliation with the
bin Laden family goes back to his days with Arbusto oil when Salem bin
Laden funneled money through James Bath to bail out that particular
Probably the most eerie report about this strange group of bedfellows
is that on 9/11, the day that served as a kick-off for the highly profitable
war on terror, Shafiq bin Laden attended a meeting in the office of
the Carlyle Group, and stood watching TV with other members of the firm
as the WTC collapsed.
The fact that so many Saudis, including many bin Ladens, were allowed
to fly out of the country right after 9/11, while Americans were still
grounded, has always seemed a bit strange to most people also, especially
when nobody in the Bush administration was able to explain who gave
permission for the flights.
About a month after 9/11, in October 2001, the Carlyle Group severed
its ties with the Bin Laden Group, but the Bush family did not. In January
2002, Neil Bush took a trip to Saudi Arabia that was sponsored by the
Bin Laden Construction Company and Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the same
Prince who offered New York Mayor, Rudy Giuliani $10 million to help
the 9/11 victims, a gesture that Rudy refused.
In the fall of 2003, Bush Senior finally resigned from the Carlyle Group
as the accusations of family war profiteering grew louder. However,
according to the Washington Post, he still retained stock in the firm
and gave speeches on its behalf for a fee of $500,000.
Carlyle companies have also scored big in the Homeland Security bonanza.
Federal Data Systems and US Investigations Services hold multi-billion-
dollar contracts to provide background checks for airlines, the Pentagon,
the CIA and the Department of Homeland Security. US Investigations used
to be a federal agency, until it was privatized in 1996 and taken over
Marvin and Jeb Bush are also highly successful members of the family
war profiteering team. Marvin is a co-founder and partner in Winston
Partners, a private investment firm, and Jeb is an investor in the Winston
Capital Fund, which is managed by Marvin.
Winston Partners is part of the Chatterjee Group, which owned 5.5 million
shares in a company called Sybase in 2001, a firm that had contracts
worth $2.9 million with the Navy, $1.8 million with the Army and $5.3
million with the Department of Defense. All totaled, the federal procurement
database listed the firm's contracts that year as $14,754,000.
And, Sybase was not the only
company delivering war profits to Marvin and Jeb. The portfolio of Winston
Partners also included the Amsec Corp, which, in 2001, was awarded $37,722,000
in Navy contracts.
Marvin's business partner, Scott Andrews, sat on the board of directors
at AMSEC, and the company's CEO was Michael Braham, who formerly worked
for Paul Bremer, the leader of the Coalition Provisional Authority responsible
for handing out contracts Iraq.
This is the same Paul Bremer who used Iraqi money from the Development
Fund for Iraq to award 5 no-bid contracts to Dick Cheney’s cash
cow, Halliburton, worth $222 million, $325 million, $180 million, and
$194 million combined for the last two, according to a July 28, 2004,
report by the CPA Inspector General Stuart Bowen, entitled, "Comptroller
Cash Management Controls over the Development Fund for Iraq."
As it turns out, Halliburton received 60% of all contracts paid for
with Iraqi money. In a January 2005 report, Inspector Bowen concluded
that occupation authorities accounted poorly for $8.8 billion in Iraqi
funds, and said, "The CPA did not implement adequate financial
The President's uncle, William (Bucky) Bush, is the most visible war
profiteer on the team. He sat on the board of a major military contractor
called Engineered Support Systems. Six months before the war in Iraq
began, on September 16, 2002, CNN/Money Magazine called ESS one of "seven
defense stocks that fund managers like," and one fund manager said
ESS was one of two companies that "would gain the most from a war
As a director, Uncle William received a monthly fee and held stock options.
In January 2003, before the Iraq war began, he owned 33,750 shares of
stock, but a year later, in January 2004, he owned 56,251.
The fact that Uncle William had an inside line to the White House can
hardly be disputed. On March 25, 2003, Bush asked Congress for funding,
"to cover military operations, relief and reconstruction activities
in Iraq, and ongoing operations in the global war on terrorism,"
and the very next day, ESS announced a large order from the Army for
its Chemical Biological Protected Shelter systems.
Uncle William has become a very rich man since his nephew took office.
In January 2005, SEC filings show that he made about $450,000 by selling
ESS stock. But he did even better the next year.
According to the Excess Report, through a series of defense contracts,
ESS earnings reached record levels and set the stage for the sale of
the firm to another defense contractor, DRS Technologies, in January
2006, and among the beneficiaries of the deal was Uncle William, who
cleared $2.7 million in cash and stock off the sale.
Its time for Congress to stop the direct deposits of tax dollars into
the Bush bank accounts. Lawmakers need to notify the White House that
all funding for Iraq is done, other than what is needed for the immediate
removal of our troops from this disgusting war profiteering scheme.
is an investigative reporter. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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