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FTR #431 Desert Flower 2: More on the Bushes of Arabia

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NB: This stream contains both FTRs 431 and 432 in sequence. Each is a 30 minute broadcast.

This program is a follow-up to FTR#392, which deals with some of the Middle Eastern business connections of Marvin Bush—the President’s younger brother. Introducing the major focal point of the program, the broadcast highlights Marvin Bush’s position on the boards of Stratesec and HCC. The former held electronic security contracts for the World Trade Center, Dulles International Airport and United Airlines. The latter was a major insurance underwriter for the World Trade Center. (Dulles International Airport was the departure point for the plane that attacked the Pentagon and one of the aircraft that crashed into the World Trade Center was a United Airlines flight.) The parent corporation of Stratesec was the Kuwaiti-American Corporation, a firm that linked the Bush family with members of the Kuwaiti family. One of the central questions arising in connection with the Bush family relationship with this nexus concerns the possible use of these connections for intelligence gathering or operational manipulation in connection with the attacks. Could this relationship have had any bearing on the hiring of former FBI agent John O’Neill—who was killed at Ground Zero on his first day as director of the WTC? O’Neill’s investigation had been actively frustrated by corporate interests linked to Saudi Arabia; his team barred from continuing their work in Yemen by Bush’s State Department. He (O’Neill) allegedly had a briefcase stolen from his possession in the summer of 2001 containing funding and personnel assignments for all counterintelligence and counter-terror operations in the New York area. As will be seen below, Wirt D. Walker III was the managing director of the Kuwaiti-American Corporation and deeply involved with Stratesec. Walker is also a member of the Bush family. Interestingly (and perhaps significantly), Walker is also chairman and CEO of Aviation General, a Tulsa, Oklahoma, aviation firm. Among Aviation General’s links are business connections in the Middle East (Egypt in particular) and flight schools in Florida. Again, the question arises as to possible connections with the events of 9/11.

Program Highlights Include: Marvin Bush’s failure to properly list his directorships of HCC and Stratesec on SEC proxy filings; presidential uncle Jonathan Bush’s links to Saudi bank accounts tangential to the milieu of 9/11; Jonathan Bush crony William Donaldson’s accession to being head of the SEC.

1. Introducing the major focal point of the program, the broadcast highlights Marvin Bush’s position on the boards of Stratesec and HCC. The former held electronic security contracts for the World Trade Center, Dulles International Airport and United Airlines. The latter was a major insurance underwriter for the World Trade Center. (Dulles International Airport was the departure point for the plane that attacked the Pentagon and one of the aircraft that crashed into the World Trade Center was a United Airlines flight.) The parent corporation of Stratesec was the Kuwaiti-American Corporation, a firm that linked the Bush family with members of the Kuwaiti family. One of the central questions arisng in connection with the Bush family relationship with this nexus concerns the possible use of these connections for intelligence gathering or operational manipulation in connection with the attacks. Could this relationship have had any bearing on the hiring of former FBI agent John O’Neill—who was killed at Ground Zero on his first day as director of the WTC? O’Neill’s investigation had been actively frustrated by corporate interests linked to Saudi Arabia; his team barred from continuing their work in Yemen by Bush’s State Department. He (O’Neill) allegedly had a briefcase stolen from his possession in the summer of 2001 containing funding and personnel assignments for all counterintelligence and counter-terror operations in the New York area.

Might the Marvin Bush connection to Stratesec and HCC have had any bearing on the apparent short-selling of airline and insurance stocks in the run-up to the investigation? Obviously, this is what Mr. Emory calls “Food For Thought and Grounds for Further Research”—it is indeterminate, at this point in time. In light of the fact that both Jeb Bush and his brother Neil helped their father’s efforts in connection with covert support for the Contras this would not are altogether surprising.

“George W. Bush’s brother was on the board of directors of a company providing electronic security for the World Trade Center, Dulles International Airport and United Airlines, according to public records. The company was backed by an investment firm, the Kuwait-American Corp., also linked for years to the Bush family. The security firm, formerly named Securacom and now named Stratesec, is in Sterling, VA. Its CEO, Barry McDaniel, said the company had a ‘completion contract’ to handle some of the security at the World Trade Center ‘up to the day the buildings fell down.’ It also had a three-year contract to maintain electronic security systems at Dulles Airport, according to a Dulles contracting official. Securacom/Stratesec also handled some security for United Airlines in the 1990’s, according to McDaniel, but it had been completed before his arriving on the board in 1998.”

(“Bush-linked Company Handled Security for the WTC, Dulles and United” by Margie Burns; Prince George’s Journal [Maryland]; 2/4/2003; p. 1.)

2. Noting Stratesec’s contracts for security at the Los Alamos laboratory, it is also interesting to speculate on the Wen Ho Lee case and a major security scandal at the lab that helped to destabilize the Clinton administration and discredit the Energy Department under Bill Richardson. (For more about this subject, see FTR#236.)

“McDaniel confirmed that the company has security contracts with the Department of Defense, including the U.S. Army, but did not detail the nature of the work, citing security concerns. It has an ongoing line with the General Services Administration—meaning that its bids for contracts are noncompetitive—and also did security work for the Los Alamos laboratory before 1998.”

(Idem.)

3.

“Marvin P. Bush, the president’s youngest brother, was a director at Stratesec from 1993 to fiscal year 2000. But the White House has not publicly disclosed Bush connections in any of its responses to 9/11, nor has it mentioned that another Bush-linked business had done security work for the facilities attacked. Marvin Bush has not responded to telephone calls and e-mails for comment. KuwAm has been linked to the Bush family financially since the Gulf War. One of its principals and a member of the Kuwaiti royal family, Mishal Yousef Saud al Sabah, served on the board of Stratesec.”

(Idem.)

4. As will be seen below, Wirt D. Walker III was the managing director of the Kuwaiti-American Corporation and deeply involved with Stratesec. Walker is also a member of the Bush family.

“The managing director at KuwAm, Wirt D. Walker III, was also a principal at Stratesec and Walker, Marvin Bush and al Sabah are listed in SEC filings as significant shareholders in both companies during that period. Marvin Bush’s last year on the board at Stratesec coincided with his first year on the board of HCC Insurance, formerly Houston Casualty Co., one of the insurance carriers for the WTC. He left the HCC board in November 2002.”

(Ibid.; pp. 1-2.)

5. Interestingly (and perhaps significantly), Walker is also chairman and CEO of Aviation General, a Tulsa (Oklahoma) aviation firm. Among Aviation General’s links are business connections in the Middle East (Egypt in particular) and flight schools in Florida. Again, the question arises as to possible connections with the events of 9/11.

“But none of these connections has been looked at during the extensive investigations since 9/11. McDaniel says principals and other personnel at Stratesec have not been questioned or debriefed by the FBI or other investigators. Walker declined to answer the same question regarding KuwAm, referring to the public record. Walker [a Bush family relative] is also chairman and CEO of Aviation General, a Tulsa, Okla.-based aviation company with two subsidiaries. SEC filings also show al Sabah as a principal and shareholder in Aviation General, which was recently delisted by the Nasdaq. Stratesec was delisted by the American Stock Exchange in October 2002.”

(Ibid.; p. 2.)

6. Other interesting evidentiary tributaries connecting the Bush family to the HCC, KuwAm milieu involve the leasing of the suite used for board elections to the Saudi Government and the Riggs Bank. The latter has the President’s Uncle Jonathan Bush as an executive. Riggs handles the vast bulk of accounts for D.C. Embassies and was the repository for Saudi Princess al-Faisal’s account used on behalf of some of the hijackers.

“The suite in which Marvin Bush was annually re-elected, according to public records, is located in the Watergate in space leased to the Saudi Government. [Italics are Mr. Emory’s.] The company now holds shareholder meetings in space leased by the Kuwaiti government there. The White House has not responded to various requests for comment. Speaking of the Watergate, Riggs National Bank, where Saudi Princess al-Faisal had her ‘Saudi money trail’ bank account, has as one of its executives Jonathan Bush, an uncle of the president. The public has not learned whether Riggs—which, services 95 percent of Washington’s foreign embassies—will be turning over records relating to Saudi finance.”

(Idem.)

7. One of Jonathan Bush’s Yale classmates—William Donaldson—was appointed head of the SEC. Don’t expect any inquiries into the securities manipulations prior to and after 9/11.

“Meanwhile, Bush has nominated William H. Donaldson to head the Securities and Exchange Commission. Donaldson, a longtime Bush family friend, was a Yale classmate of Jonathan Bush. On the very day of the tragic space shuttle crash, the government appointed an independent investigative panel, and rightly so. Why didn’t it do the same on Sept. 12, 2001?”

(Idem.)

8. Bush, however, did not list his directorship at Stratesec on the proxy statement for HCC, and did not list his connections with HCC on the proxy statement for Stratesec. Why not? It is illegal to fail to report such relationships under the circumstances.

“In the spring of 1999, Marvin Pierce Bush, youngest brother of George W. Bush, was a nominee for the boards of directors of two companies, both with a significant interest in security at the World Trade Center. One was HCC Insurance, formerly Houston Casualty Company, a giant holding company and major insurance carrier for the center. The other was a security company named Stratesec, one of the center’s numerous security contractors. Bush, however, did not list his directorship at Stratesec on the proxy statement for HCC, and did not list his connections with HCC on the proxy statement for Stratesec. [Italics are Mr. Emory’s]. According to officials at the Securities and Exchange Commission and other experts, listing other directorships is required, in proxy statements, for directors and officers of public companies.”

(“The Best Unregulated Families” by Margie Burns; Online Journal 3/24/2003.)

9.

“Stratesec was eventually excused from the World Trade Center project. HCC sustained significant losses when withdrawing from workers compensation as a result. Stratesec, formerly called Securacom but forced to change its name after some bad-blood litigation with another security company, filed its SEC proxy statement on April 23, 1999. The shareholders met on May 25, 1999, in a Watergate office suite, leased by the Saudi Arabian government, to elect seven members including Bush, who had been on the board since 1993. Bush was also on the company’s audit and compensation committees. A principal in the company, Wirt D. Walker III, is also a Bush relative.”

(Ibid.; pp. 1-2.)

10.

“HCC Insurance filed its proxy statement on April 28, 1999, for the shareholders meeting in Houston on May 20, 1999. It was Bush’s entrance on HCC’s 13-member board. He had been on the board of directors at Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. since 1998, appointed by HCC’s CEO and chairman of the board, Stephen Way, a longtime friend. The Stratesec proxy also omitted the Fresh Del Monte Produce (FDP) connections. By law, proxy statements filed with the SEC for publicly traded companies list, along with other required information, the age, credentials and business connections of directors and nominees.”

(Ibid.; p. 2.)

11.

“Bush’s information disclosed to Stratesec’s shareholders listed his ongoing directorship at Stratesec, his previous experience at investment firms, his partnership at his own company—Winston Partners, a private investment firm in Northern Virginia—and his directorship at Kerrco, an oil and gas company. Only his directorships at HCC and Fresh Del Monte, where he was also on the Audit and Compensation committees, were omitted. (See http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1037453/0000928385-99-001383.txt .)

(Idem.)

12.

“The information disclosed to HCC’s shareholders listed Bush’s positions at Winston Partners and Fresh Del Monte, his membership on the Board of Trustees of the George Bush Presidential Library and on the Board of Managers at the University of Virginia. Only Stratesec and Kerrco were omitted. (http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/888919/0001047469-99-016818.txt.) Bush left Stratesec’s board within the year. He was reelected to the HCC board for the next two years, again omitting the Stratesec connection.”

(Idem.)

13.

“According to expert opinion, these omissions violate SEC regulations. Attorney Robert Plesnarski, special counsel in the Office of Chief Counsel at the Securities and Exchange Commission, said by telephone that a person running for the board of directors of a public company is required to list all other directorships. When asked about the proxy statements involving Marvin Bush, Plesnarski answers that [if] the companies [had] been private, probably the information would not have been included. However, citing ‘Item 401 of Regulation SK,’ Plesnarski states that since Stratesec and HCC were public traded, ‘the information would have been required.’ This conclusion is also supported by the SEC’s public reference branch. . . .”

(Idem.)

14. Concluding with more thought-provoking information about KuwAm subsidiary Aviation General, headed by Bush relative Wirt D. Walker III. In addition to interfacing with the Egyptian organization that trains civilian pilots (NATCO) which, in turn, has a working relationship with flight schools at Embry-Riddle University in Florida. (Recall that Mohammed Atta was Egyptian, that most of the hijackers were based in Florida—Jeb Bush’s state. It is also interesting—and possibly significant—that an Egyptian Airliner went down several years ago, with the pilot heard invoking the Prophet Mohammed. There has been speculation in the media about whether it was an act of terrorism or suicide.)

” . . . An even bigger question than finance is public safety. Aviation General, formerly Commander Aircraft, has an international clientele. A 1996 press release announced its sale of airplanes to the National Civil Aviation Training Organization (NCATO) of Giza, Egypt, ‘the sole civilian pilot training organization in Egypt.’ ‘This delivery was announced by Sheik Mishal Youssef Saud Al Sabah, Chairman of KuwAm Corporation and board member of Commander Aircraft Company.’ NCATO’s contractual partnerships with flight schools included Embry-Riddle University, in Florida. Embry-Riddle has not responded to questions about the partnership. There is no indication that investigators have looked into any of these connections. . . .”

(Ibid.; p. 5.)

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