The Bush - Saudi Connection

The Bush - Saudi Connection
Fri Sep 24, 2004 20:25

The Bush - Saudi Connection


The Bushes and the Saudis

FACT: The Saudis have invested tens of millions in Bush business ventures:

"Union Bank of Switzerland, which ordinarily didn't invest in small U.S. firms, would make an exception, giving Harken $25 million in exchange for a stock interest… [subsequently] a real-estate magnate from Jedda, Saudi Arabia… bought most of Union Bank's Harken shares. He was Abdullah Bakhsh."
[Source: Wall Street Journal, 12/6/91]

"In 1987, a Swiss bank linked to BCCI and a Saudi investor bailed out Harken Energy, where George W. Bush was a director, with $25 million in financing."
[Source: Craig Unger, "House of Bush, House of Saud," excerpted in, 3/12/04]

"… according to founding partner David Rubenstein, the Saudis invested at least $80 million in the Carlyle group. With the exception of the bin Laden family, who extricated themselves from Carlyle not long after 9/11, Carlyle declined to disclose who the investors were. But other sources say that Prince Bandar, several other Saudi royals, and Abdulrahman and Sultan bin Mahfouz were prominent investors and that it was an explicit policy of the House of Saud to encourage Saudi investment in Carlyle."
[Source: "House of Bush, House of Saud," by Craig Unger, p. 296. A footnote attributed to the above excerpt cites an interview with Carlyle partner David Rubenstein as the source.]

George H.W. Bush was a consultant to Carlyle from 1993 through 2003, and was a board member from 1998 through 2003:

"George Bush senior… [occupied] a position as consultant to Carlyle for the ten years ending October 2003."
[Source: Le Monde, 4/29/04]

"Most important of all, the long, lucrative Bush-Baker relationship with the Carlyle Group began in 1990, and started to flourish in 1993…."
[Source: Craig Unger letter to Newsweek, 7/1/04]

According to Carlyle, Bush joined the board in 1998: "former president Bush didn't join the Carlyle advisory board until April, 1998…"
[Source: Newsweek, 6/30/04] Bush left the position in October 2003.

"How much money has flowed from the House of Saud to the Bush family and its friends and allies over the years? No one will ever know -- but the number is at least $1.477 billion."
[Source:, ]

FACT: Bush Sr. visited the Bin Ladens in Saudi Arabia:

"The family's high-level connections were longstanding and well-known: The former president visited the Binladen family in Saudi Arabia in 1998 and 2000."
[Source: Austin American Statesman, 11/9/01]

FACT: Prince Bandar threw George Bush Sr. a party.

In 1985, Bandar threw a lavish party for Bush, who never forgot the courtesy, and always had time for the Saudi Ambassador.
[Source: The New Yorker, 3/24/03]

FACT: The Saudis and Bush daughter Dorothy shared Thanksgiving - bringing the families together as family.

"But a smaller moment may have cemented the bond between the elder Bush and Bandar. When George and Barbara Bush visited the troops in Saudi Arabia during the Thanksgiving holiday in 1990, Bush called Bandar, who was in Saudi Arabia at the time. Bandar went to the private quarters in the royal palace where the Bushes were staying. Bush had tears in his eyes, and Bandar, worried, asked what had happened. Bush explained that Dorothy, their recently divorced daughter, was alone at the White House with her children. They had called her from the airplane and learned that Bandar's wife, Haifa, had invited Doro and her children to spend Thanksgiving with her. ("I don't have parents now," Haifa told me. "The Bushes are like my mother and father. I know if ever I needed anything I could go to them.")"
[Source: The New Yorker, 3/24/03]

FACT: Rich Saudis bailed out George W when his oil company went bust… "…in the 1980s, when oil prices were dropping, investors with close ties to the Saudi royal family bailed out a tiny Texas oil company, Harken Energy, when one of its directors was George W. Bush, now the president."
[Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution/Cox Newspapers, 5/2/04]

See more on this in the timeline of Bush in the oil business.

FACT: Even Republican operatives say the Bush relationship with the House of Saud is "unprecedented."

"[The] Bush dynasty's many decades of entanglement and money-hunting in the Middle East have created a major conflict of interest that deserves to be part of the 2004 political debate. No previous presidency has had anything remotely similar. Not one."
[Source: former Republican strategist Kevin Phillips in Los Angeles Times, 1/11/04]

FACT: The White House briefed Saudi Arabia's Prince Bandar on plans to attack Iraq even before briefing Colin Powell.

Powell was informed of the decision to go to war after Prince Bandar, in a 12 minute meeting with President Bush: "He told Condi Rice initially, and then he told Rumsfeld, and then he told Karl Rove. Prince Bandar, the Saudi ambassador, learned on a Saturday.

They then called Powell in on Monday, two days later, this Jan. 13, 2003 , two months before the war started -- 12-minute meeting, one of the most fascinating meetings in the Oval Office in a long time. And Powell said... the president said, "I've decided it looks like war."

And Powell said, "are you sure?" Questioned him a little bit: "You will be owning this place; are you fully aware of the consequences?" And then the president said, "I want you with me. Will you be with me?"

And Powell, who had resisted war, but felt also that this was a decision to be made by the commander in chief, said, "I'll be with you." And then the president said, "time to put your war uniform on." Powell left that meeting saying to himself, "he's going to do it." It was a momentous meeting for Powell.
[Source: PBS, Bob Woodward, 4/21/04, ]

FACT: Saudi Prince Bandar was briefed on the classified war plan for Iraq

"Sitting on the edge of the table, [Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Richard] Myers took out a large map labeled TOP SECRET NOFORN. The NOFORN meant NO FOREIGN – classified material not to be seen by any foreign national. …"

"Staring intently at the 2-by-3 foot Top Secret map, Bandar, a former Saudi fighter pilot, asked a few questions about air operations. Could he have a copy of the large map so that he could brief the crown prince? he asked.

"Above my pay grade," Myers said.

"We’ll give you all the information you want," Rumsfeld said. As for the map he added, "I’d rather not give it to you, but you can take notes if you want."
[Plan of Attack, 264-265]

FACT: Sen. John McCain has called this briefing "unusual" and said he'd like to know more.

Republican Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) says Bandar Briefing was unusual. "The only one I'm curious about is a briefing to Bandar. I don't understand that and I'd like to know a little more about it ... because I've never heard of foreigners being given privileged intelligence information, no matter how close an ally they were, before other members of the administration were. And so I`d just like to know a little more about it. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with it. I just think it's unusual"
["Hardball," MSNBC, 4/20/04]

FACT: Prince Bandar and the Saudis have promised to manipulate oil prices to help Bush's reelection.

"The ripple effect [of a possible war] in the U.S. economy could be gigantic … Saudi oil policy could be the saving grace. According to Prince Bandar, the Saudis hoped to fine-tune oil prices over 10 months to prime the economy for 2004. What was key, Bandar knew, were the economic conditions before a presidential election, not at the moment of the election."
[Source: Bob Woodward, "Plan of Attack," p. 324]

Missing Pages

When congressional investigators issued their report on 9/11… there were 28 pages missing. 28 pages of evidence that the Saudi government funded the terrorists who killed nearly 3000 Americans.
Get the facts ››

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