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FTR #284 Harken Unto Me: Business as Usual for the Bush Family

Lis­ten:
MP3 One Seg­ment [1]
RealAu­dio [2]
NB: This RealAu­dio stream con­tains FTRs 284 and 285 in sequence. Each is a 30-minute broad­cast.

1. The title of this pro­gram derives from one of George W’s petro­le­um indus­try con­nec­tions, Harken Ener­gy Cor­po­ra­tion. Focus­ing on the busi­ness and polit­i­cal deal­ings of the Bush clan, the broad­cast begins with dis­cus­sion of Harken’s involve­ment in Colom­bia, and the con­tro­ver­sy that involve­ment has stirred in that trou­bled nation. (“Harken Tight­ens Secu­ri­ty in Colom­bia” by James Wil­son; Finan­cial Times; 3/17–18/2001; p. 8.)

2. “Harken Ener­gy Cor­po­ra­tion, the US oil and gas explo­ration com­pa­ny, has warned of increased secu­ri­ty risks to its invest­ments in Colom­bia, part­ly due to recent pub­lic­i­ty sur­round­ing the com­pa­ny’s links to Pres­i­dent George W. Bush. . . . Cam­bio, a lead­ing Colom­bian news mag­a­zine, devot­ed this week’s cov­er sto­ry to Mr. Bush’s ties to Harken and Colom­bia. Mr. Bush became asso­ci­at­ed with Hous­ton-based Harken in 1986 when Harken bought Spec­trum 7, the oil com­pa­ny of which he was pres­i­dent.” (Idem.) (Read more [3] about the Bush fam­i­ly and the ener­gy indus­try.)

3. Next, the pro­gram exam­ines a major equi­ty firm, the Car­lyle Group, which employs both George H. W. Bush and many fig­ures from his admin­is­tra­tion. (“Elder Bush in Big G.O.P. Cast Toil­ing for Top Equi­ty Firm” by Leslie Wayne; New York Times; 3/5/2001; pp. A1-A14.)

4. Inter­est­ing­ly (and per­haps sig­nif­i­cant­ly), it was under the aus­pices of the Car­lyle Group that Bush met with Crown Prince Abdul­lah of Sau­di Ara­bia dur­ing the 2000 pres­i­den­tial cam­paign, in order to dis­cuss “Amer­i­can-Sau­di busi­ness affairs.” (Ibid.; p. A1.) (In FTRs 214, 236 and 256, Mr. Emory sug­gest­ed that the increase in the price of petro­le­um dur­ing the year 2000 might have been the result of delib­er­ate manip­u­la­tion, as a sim­i­lar increase appears to have been in 1979–80. The Georges Bush were the ben­e­fi­cia­ries of these respec­tive manip­u­la­tions.)

5. The Car­lyle Group also employs for­mer Rea­gan sec­re­tary of defense Frank Car­luc­ci and Bush sec­re­tary of state James Bak­er, as well as polit­i­cal lumi­nar­ies and movers and shak­ers in oth­er coun­tries. (Ibid.; p. A14.)

6. There is a seri­ous ques­tion of con­flicts of inter­est for George W. Bush and his admin­is­tra­tion. “ ‘Car­lyle is as deeply wired into the cur­rent admin­is­tra­tion as they can pos­si­bly be,’ said Charles Lewis, exec­u­tive direc­tor of the Cen­ter for Pub­lic Integri­ty, a non­prof­it pub­lic inter­est group based in Wash­ing­ton. ‘George Bush is get­ting mon­ey from pri­vate inter­ests that have busi­ness before the gov­ern­ment, while his son is pres­i­dent. And, in a real­ly pecu­liar way, George W. Bush could, some day, ben­e­fit finan­cial­ly from his own admin­is­tra­tion’s deci­sions, through his father’s invest­ments.’ ” (Idem.)

7. Car­lyle has also lent a hand to the younger George Bush. “Car­lyle also gave the Bush fam­i­ly a hand in 1990, by putting George W. Bush, who was then strug­gling to find a career, on the board of a Car­lyle sub­sidiary, Cat­erair, an air­line-cater­ing com­pa­ny.” (Idem.)

8. Next, the pro­gram high­lights the hypocrisy of the nation­al news media, obsessed with the par­dons effect­ed by Clin­ton dur­ing his last weeks. (“Many a U.S. Pres­i­dent Pays the Par­don Piper” by Robert Scheer; Los Ange­les Times; 3/6/2001; p. A17.) (For more about the Clin­ton par­don of Marc Rich, see also: FTR-277.)

9. The media out­rage over Clin­ton’s behav­ior con­trasts marked­ly with their tepid response to the more sig­nif­i­cant (and out­ra­geous) par­dons effect­ed by George H.W. Bush. “But unfor­giv­able is what for­mer Pres­i­dent George Bush did. He pro­tect­ed himself–a for­mer Rea­gan admin­is­tra­tion official–in an ongo­ing inves­ti­ga­tion when he par­doned Rea­gan’s Defense sec­re­tary, Casper Wein­berg­er, and the rest of the Iran-Con­tra gang of six. At the time, inde­pen­dent coun­sel Lawrence E. Walsh bit­ter­ly charged that ‘the Iran-Con­tra cov­er-up, which has con­tin­ued for more than six years, has now been completed’÷by pres­i­den­tial fiat. Walsh called it ‘evi­dence of a con­spir­a­cy among the high­est-rank­ing Rea­gan admin­is­tra­tion offi­cials to lie to Con­gress and the Amer­i­can pub­lic’ and said that, ‘in light of Pres­i­dent Bush’s own mis­con­duct,’ he was ‘grave­ly con­cerned’ about Bush’s deci­sion to par­don oth­ers.’ ” (Idem.)

10. At the urg­ing of Jeb Bush, for­mer CIA direc­tor Bush also par­doned Orlan­do Bosch, an anti-Cas­tro Cuban with a CIA back­ground. (Idem.)

11. Bosch was the head of CORU, an anti-Cas­tro ter­ror­ist group that was part of what free­lance Dan­ish jour­nal­ist Hen­rik Kruger called “the Inter­na­tion­al Fascista.” (Find out more [4] on the Inter­na­tion­al Fascista.) The Inter­na­tion­al Fascista, in turn, was involved with Oper­a­tion Con­dor, an inter­na­tion­al assas­si­na­tion con­sor­tium. Arguably the most cel­e­brat­ed of Con­dor’s vic­tims was for­mer Chilean diplo­mat Orlan­do Lete­lier, killed by a bomb in Wash­ing­ton, D.C. in Sep­tem­ber of 1976. The elder George Bush was the head of the CIA at the time. FTRs 259 and 268 high­light the strong con­nec­tions between Miami’s Cuban exile com­mu­ni­ty, the assas­si­na­tion of Orlan­do Lete­lier, the Iran-Con­tra scan­dal and the forces mobi­lized on behalf of George W. Bush dur­ing the Flori­da “recount.”

12. Recent­ly dis­closed doc­u­ments have revealed that Con­dor oper­a­tives were using a U.S. com­mu­ni­ca­tions facil­i­ty in Pana­ma to liaise with their supe­ri­ors. (“New Files tie U.S. to Deaths of Latin Left­ists in 1970’s” by Diana Jean Schemo; New York Times; 3/6/2001; p. A6.)

13. “The cable said Con­dor nations ‘keep in touch with one anoth­er through a U.S. com­mu­ni­ca­tions instal­la­tion in the Pana­ma Canal zone, which cov­ers all of Latin Amer­i­ca. This U.S. com­mu­ni­ca­tions facil­i­ty is used main­ly by stu­dent offi­cers to call home to Latin Amer­i­ca,’ the cable con­tin­ued, ‘but it is also employed to coor­di­nate intel­li­gence infor­ma­tion among the South­ern Cone coun­tries. They main­tain the con­fi­den­tial­i­ty of their com­mu­ni­ca­tion through the U.S. facil­i­ty in Pana­ma by using bilat­er­al codes.’ ” (Idem.)

14. The pro­gram excerpts RFA-20, set­ting forth the con­nec­tion between oper­a­tion Con­dor and Colo­nia Dig­nidad, a Nazi exile colony in Chile. (Secrets of the SS; Glenn Infield; Copy­right 1981 [HC]; Stein & Day; ISBN 0–88029-185–0; pp. 205–7.) (Read more on Colo­nia Dig­nidad [5].)

15. “The trail then led to an enclave deep in the foothills of the Chilean Andes south of San­ti­a­go, an enclave known only as ‘the Colony’ to out­siders but offi­cial­ly named Colo­nia Dig­nidad (Noble Colony) by the Chilean gov­ern­ment. Regard­less of what name it is called, the secret colony is actu­al­ly a Nazi strong­hold that is pro­tect­ed by the Chilean gov­ern­ment and which works very close­ly with the DINA [the Chilean secret police]. Informed sources with­in the Chilean gov­ern­ment state that one of the respon­si­bil­i­ties of the ex-Gestapo and ex-SS offi­cers at Colo­nia Dig­nidad is to demon­strate nazi tor­ture meth­ods for the Chilean secret police and to instruct the DINA in such bru­tal­i­ty. These sources ver­i­fied that there is a deten­tion camp for Chilean polit­i­cal pris­on­ers with­in the colony. . . . The colony has its own airstrip, its own fleet of air­craft, and a pri­vate com­mu­ni­ca­tions sys­tem. The elab­o­rate com­mu­ni­ca­tions sys­tem per­mits [ex-Luft­waffe offi­cer Paul] Scha­ef­fer and his col­leagues to keep in radio con­tact with a ‘moth­er house’ in Sieburg [Ger­many] and with a man­sion in San­ti­a­go that is filled with mod­ern elec­tron­ic com­mu­ni­ca­tions equip­ment. (Ibid.; pp. 205–6.)

16. The pos­si­bil­i­ty that the com­mu­ni­ca­tions sys­tem at Colo­nia Dig­nidad may have been used by Con­dor oper­a­tives to com­mu­ni­cate with the facil­i­ty at Pana­ma is one to be seri­ous­ly con­sid­ered. The broad­cast con­cludes with anoth­er excerpt from RFA-20, dis­cussing for­mer Lyons [France] Gestapo chief Klaus Bar­bie, and his work on behalf of Con­dor and ele­ments of U.S. intel­li­gence. (The Nazi Lega­cy: Klaus Bar­bie and the Inter­na­tion­al Fas­cist Con­nec­tion; Mag­nus Lin­klater, Neal Asch­er­son, Isabel Hilton; Copy­right 1984 [HC]; Holt, Rine­hart and Win­ston; ISBN 0–069303‑9; p. 269.) (Read more [6] on Bar­bie and his work for U.S. intel­li­gence.)

17. Final­ly, as if to empha­size the many lev­els on which Bar­bie was now oper­at­ing, a CIA report shows that the agency approved a meet­ing, orga­nized by Bar­bie in 1977 in the trop­i­cal Yun­gas region of Bolivia, between rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Chilean and Boli­vian intel­li­gence ser­vices. Bar­bie him­self attend­ed it. Accord­ing to a Boli­vian offi­cial who was there, the dis­cus­sion cen­tered around coor­di­na­tion between the two ser­vices and the pro­mo­tion of Con­dor, a sys­tem of mutu­al aid between right-wing regimes in Latin Amer­i­ca, pro­mot­ed by the US to uni­fy their anti-sub­ver­sion activ­i­ties. (Idem.)(Recorded on 3/18/2001.)