Friday, April 29, 2005

Web Masters: Net of Corruption Binds Bushes, Pope, bin Laden and Saddam

The latest Moscow Times column, April 29, 2005

It seemed, at first, nothing more than a novelty item in the news briefs, the kind of odd, meaningless side fact thrown off by most major stories: "New Pope, President's Brother Had Link in Swiss Group." But a look beneath the surface of this innocuous connection reveals a vast web of sinister alliances – and moral corruption on a world-shaking scale.

The net links a bewildering line-up of players – the Bushes, the Vatican, bin Laden, Saddam, and China's Communist overlords, among others – in a staggering array of crime and turpitude: prostitution, pedophilia, mass death, war profiteering. Yet this is not some grand "conspiracy theory," a serpent's egg hatched in Bilderberg or Bohemian Grove. It's simply the way the Bush boys do business, trawling the globe for sweetheart deals and gushers of blood money from the war and terror they foment.

At the center of this particular nexus is the unlikely figure of Neil Bush, the feckless, fraudulent brother of the current president. Neilsy – as he's known in the family – is most famous for costing American taxpayers $1 billion to bail out a savings-and-loan he had ruined with secret insider loans to his own business partners. For this massive fraud, he was fined – by his father's administration – the princely sum of $50,000: actually paid by one of Pop's political bagmen, naturally.

For you see, the Bushes are robber barons, not capitalists: they never risk any of their own money in the competition of the marketplace – nor do they ever pay the price when their deals go belly-up. Just ask George W., whose first business was kickstarted with secret cash from the bin Ladens, laundered through their American frontman, James Bath – who was also hired by W.'s dad, then-CIA director George Bush I, to set up offshore companies for shifting CIA money and aircraft between Texas and Saudi Arabia, the Texas Observer reports.

Neilsy's latest business ventures include a partnership with one of China's own influence-peddling oligarchs: Jiang Mianheng, son of former President Jiang Zemin. He's paying Bush $2 million for "advice" in a field – the semi-conductor industry – which Neilsy cheerfully confesses he knows nothing about. Bush also trousered $1 million for "introductions and advice" from the CP Group, a Bangkok conglomerate spreading bipartisan gravy around Washington. In return for supplying his paymasters with a golden conduit to the White House, Neilsy received a special perk: free prostitutes, served up fresh to his hotel room during business trips in the Far East.

But between his sessions of bouncy-bouncy with trafficked women, Neilsy was also sitting down with hardline cleric Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the former Nazi soldier now translated to glory as Pope Benedict XVI. The two men were board members of an obscure Swiss institute ostensibly devoted to "interfaith dialogue." Although the organization did have some prominent ecumenical figures on the board, none of them could say exactly why pimp daddy Neilsy was invited to join, Newsday reports.

Perhaps there's a clue in the group's incorporation. Dunn & Bradstreet lists the supposedly non-profit foundation as a "management trust," specifically designed for "purposes other than education, religion, charity or research." The group's spokesman says this designation was a "mistake," and anyway, the institute is hastily being "re-launched" with a "new focus" on its religious mission, etc. But a cynic – i.e., anyone with the slightest acquaintance of Bush business practices – might think that a "management trust" masquerading as a religious charity would be an excellent place to launder money or park assets away from the taxman's prying eyes.

Meanwhile, Ratzinger spent his time on the Swiss board trying to bury the Vatican's massive pedophile scandal, the London Observer reports this week. In a secret 2001 letter, he ordered Church officials to prevent police from learning about abuse allegations – a theological innovation more commonly known in America as "obstructing justice." Given this criminal high-wire act, perhaps the good cardinal thought it prudent to cultivate some personal ties with a presidential sibling.

Whatever Neilsy and Das Panzerkardinal were up to in Switzerland, Ratzinger repaid their camaraderie with a decisive intervention in brother George's 2004 election, issuing a fatwa that essentially condemned any Catholic voting for John Kerry to eternal hellfire. With the Vatican's iron hand on the scales, Bush reaped an extra six percent of the Catholic vote – a huge boost in a tight race.

But it's Neilsy's long-time partnership with Syrian-born businessman Jamal Daniel that has provided the true motherlode: war profiteering. Daniel, also a boardmate in the Swiss adventure with Ratzinger, is a principal in New Bridge Strategies, a firm set up by top Bush insiders to steer corporate clients to the fountains of blood money flowing from George W.'s conquest of Iraq. The company makes frequent use of Neilsy's "introductions" and Middle East connections, the Financial Times reports – and also operates a profitable sideline in mercenaries.

Daniel brings his own unique connections to the regional porkfest: his family was instrumental in the creation of the Baath Party in Syria and Iraq, the FT notes. And of course, the Bush Family's covert arm, the CIA – whose headquarters bears the name of George I – assisted not one but two Baathist coups in Iraq, including the bloody upheaval that brought Saddam Hussein's family faction to power, historian Roger Morris reports. Still later, the CIA would supply Osama bin Laden and his fellow extremists with weapons, money and terrorist training: a shrewd investment whose long-term consequences – the current "war on terror" – are still paying fat dividends for Bush coffers.

Sure, thousands die, millions suffer from these dirty deals – but it's not a "conspiracy." It's just business – the Bush way.

See also:
Blood Kin: More Bang for Your Buck the Bush Family Way

Chris Floyd