Flyby News Home - Flyby News Archives - Casinni NoFlyby - Flyby Links

Flyby  News

"News Fit to Transmit in the Post Cassini Flyby Era"




Corruption in the upper levels of influence polluting our environment

12 January 2002


1) Don't Gut the Clean Air Act
2) Secret club crippled UN environment talks
3) Bush names Oil company adviser to be US representative to Afghanistan
4) Bush family's dirty little secret

*********************************************************************************************************************************************************

1) Don't Gut the Clean Air Act

Under severe pressure from major campaign contributors and the utility industry, the Bush Administration is on the verge of administratively neutering a decades-old provision of the Clean Air Act that protects us from the pollution created by the dirtiest power plants.

Twenty-five years ago, the Clean Air Act was updated by Congress to include stricter rules controlling pollution from power plants. However, plants in operation before 1977 were granted an exemption from the stricter controls unless they renovated their operations. But, dozens of utilities have invested billions of dollars in expanding the capacity of their plants without installing up-to-date pollution control devices. And if President Bush has his way, they won't have to. That's because his administration is about to roll back this provision, with the result that old power plants will continue to belch harmful toxics into the air we breathe.

Twenty-five years is long enough for the dirtiest power plants to get a free ride from the
Clean Air Act. Tell President Bush not to reward his campaign contributors by rolling back the Clean Air Act and to aggressively enforce the law as it was intended by vigorously prosecuting power plants that upgrade without cleaning up.

A prepared letter urging President Bush not to gut the clean air act can be found at the following link. We suggest sending copies to your elected Representatives, too.
http://www.workingforchange.com/activism/action.cfm?itemid=12614


*********************************************************************************************************************************************************

2) Secret club crippled UN environment talks


Secret club crippled UN environment talks: report
PARIS (AFP) Jan 02, 2002

A secret club of seven wealthy countries plotted to hamstring the United Nations' first conference on the environment in 1972 to protect their economic interests, New Scientist reports in Saturday's issue.

The "cabal," which called itself the Brussels Group, comprised Belgium, Britain, France,
Germany, Italy, The Netherlands and the United States, the British weekly says.

Representatives from these countries held a series of secret meetings in the runup to the 1972 Stockholm Conference in which they decided to crimp the ambitious agenda of environmentalists and disregard concerns for the Third World, it says.

New Scientist says the evidence comes from papers that have just been released under Britain's "30-year Rule," under which confidential official documents must be placed in the public domain after three decades unless they relate to vital national security.

A note written by a British Foreign Office civil servant after an early meeting in July 1971 described the Brussels Group as "an unofficial policy-making body to concert the views of the principal governments concerned."

"It will have to remain informal and confidential," the note warned.

Referring to the likelihood of criticism "from the Swedes and others," it urged that the group "not... include awkward bedfellows."

The 1972 forum, formally called the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, was the first global conference on environment perils.

The conference secretariat was headed by Maurice Strong, then head of the Canadian foreign aid agency.

He campaigned hard for the agenda to be broad and ambitious and embrace issues that, today, are mainstream concerns, such as deforestation, urbanisation and development in poorer
countries.

But, according to the confidential papers, lobbying by the Brussels Group ensured that the agenda was limited to a small number of subjects, such as cross-border pollution, and did not
touch trade or economic activities.

Britain, for its part, campaigned on behalf of the controversial Franco-British supersonic jet Concorde, still in production at the time, the report said.

At the top of its list of subjects that it wanted excluded from Stockholm's Action Plan were controls on sonic booms and pollution in the upper atmosphere.

At that time, Concorde was in deep commercial trouble for only the British and French national airlines were willing to buy it, and arguments were raging as to whether the noisy, smoke-spewing aircraft would be allowed to land in New York.

A European Union environment official told AFP he had never heard of the Brussels Group, but added he was unsurprised that the rich countries at that time should have moved to crimp the agenda.

Although the Stockholm Conference's achievements are largely limited to high-minded declarations, the event at least launched a new agency, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

It also set an invaluable precedent for further initiatives on the environment, on issues ranging from the ozone layer to deforestation, fresh water and global warming.


For the posted story and links, see
http://spacedaily.com/news/020102190204.wke14jy4.html
All rights reserved. 2000 Agence France-Presse

*********************************************************************************************************************************************************

3) Bush names Oil company adviser to be US representative to Afghanistan

By Patrick Martin

January 3, 2002

President Bush has appointed a former aide to the American oil company Unocal, Afghan-born Zalmay Khalilzad, as special envoy to Afghanistan. The nomination was announced December 31, nine days after the US-backed interim government of Hamid Karzai took office in Kabul.

The nomination underscores the real economic and financial interests at stake in the US military intervention in Central Asia. Khalilzad is intimately involved in the long-running US efforts to obtain direct access to the oil and gas resources of the region, largely unexploited but believed to be the second largest in the world, after the Persian Gulf.

As an adviser for Unocal, Khalilzad drew up a risk analysis of a proposed gas pipeline from the former Soviet republic of Turkmenistan across Afghanistan and Pakistan to the Indian Ocean. He participated in talks between the oil company and Taliban officials in 1997, which were aimed at implementing a 1995 agreement to build the pipeline across western Afghanistan.

Unocal was the lead company in the formation of the Centgas consortium, whose purpose was to bring to market natural gas from the Dauletabad Field in southeastern Turkmenistan, one of the world's largest. The $2 billion project involved a 48-inch diameter pipeline from the Afghanistan-Turkmenistan border, passing near the cities of Herat and Kandahar, crossing into Pakistan near Quetta, and linking with existing pipelines at Multan. An additional $600 million extension to India was also under consideration.

Khalilzad also lobbied publicly for a more sympathetic US government policy towards the Taliban. Four years ago, in an op-ed article in the Washington Post, he defended the Taliban regime against accusations that it was a sponsor of terrorism, writing, "The Taliban does not practice the anti-U.S. style of fundamentalism practiced by Iran."

"We should ... be willing to offer recognition and humanitarian assistance and to promote international economic reconstruction," he declared. "It is time for the United States to reengage" the Afghan regime. This "reengagement" would, of course, have been enormously profitable to Unocal, which was otherwise unable to bring gas and oil to market from landlocked Turkmenistan.

Khalilzad only shifted his position on the Taliban after the Clinton administration fired cruise missiles at targets in Afghanistan in August 1998, claiming that terrorists under the direction of Afghan-based Osama bin Laden were responsible for bombing US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. One day after the attack, Unocal put Centgas on hold. Two months later it abandoned all plans for a trans-Afghan pipeline. The oil interests began to look towards a post-Taliban Afghanistan, and so did their representatives in the US national security establishment.

Liasion to Islamic guerrillas

Born in Mazar-e Sharif in 1951, Khalilzad hails from the old ruling elite of Afghanistan. His father was an aide to King Zahir Shah, who ruled the country until 1973. Khalilzad was a graduate student at the University of Chicago, an intellectual center for the American right-wing, when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979.

Khalilzad became an American citizen, while serving as a key link between US imperialism and the Islamic fundamentalist mujahedin fighting the Soviet-backed regime in Kabul - the milieu out of which both the Taliban and bin Laden's Al Qaeda group arose. He was a special adviser to the State Department during the Reagan administration, lobbying successfully for accelerated US military aid to the mujahedin, including hand-held Stinger anti-aircraft missiles which played a key role in the war. He later became undersecretary of defense in the administration of Bush's father, during the US war against Iraq, then went to the Rand Corporation, a top US military think tank.

After Bush was installed as president by a 5-4 vote of the US Supreme Court, Khalilzad headed the Bush-Cheney transition team for the Defense Department and advised incoming Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Significantly, however, he was not named to a subcabinet position, which would have required Senate confirmation and might have provoked uncomfortable questions about his role as an oil company adviser in Central Asia and intermediary with the Taliban. Instead, he was named to the National Security Council, where no confirmation vote was needed.

At the NSC Khalilzad reports to Condoleeza Rice, the national security adviser, who also served as an oil company consultant on Central Asia. After serving in the first Bush administration from 1989 to 1992, Rice was placed on the board of directors of Chevron Corporation and served as its principal expert on Kazakhstan, where Chevron holds the largest concession of any of the international oil companies. The oil industry connections of Bush and Cheney are well known, but little has been said in the media about the prominent role being played in Afghan policy by officials who advised the oil industry on Central Asia.

One of the few commentaries in the America media about this aspect of the US military campaign appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle last September 26. Staff writer Frank Viviano observed: "The hidden stakes in the war against terrorism can be summed up in a single word: oil. The map of terrorist sanctuaries and targets in the Middle East and Central Asia is also, to an extraordinary degree, a map of the world's principal energy sources in the 21st century.... It is inevitable that the war against terrorism will be seen by many as a war on behalf of America's Chevron, Exxon, and Arco; France's TotalFinaElf; British Petroleum; Royal Dutch Shell and other multinational giants, which have hundreds of billions of dollars of investment in the region."

Silence in the media

This reality is well understood in official Washington, but the most important corporate-controlled media outlets - the television networks and major national daily newspapers - have maintained silence that amounts to deliberate, politically motivated self-censorship.

The sole recent exception is an article which appeared December 15 in the New York Times business section, headlined, "As the War Shifts Alliances, Oil Deals Follow." The Times reported, "The State Department is exploring the potential for post-Taliban energy projects in the region, which has more than 6 percent of the world's proven oil reserves and almost 40 percent of its gas reserves."

The Times noted that during a visit in early December to Kazakhstan, "Secretary of State Colin L. Powell said he was 'particularly impressed' with the money that American oil companies were investing there. He estimated that $200 billion could flow into Kazakhstan during the next 5 to 10 years."

Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham also pushed US oil investments in the region during a November visit to Russia, on which he was accompanied by David J. Reilly, chairman of ChevronTexaco. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld has also played a role in the ongoing oil pipeline maneuvers. During a December 14 visit to Baku, capital of Azerbaijan, he assured officials of the oil-rich Caspian state that the administration would lift sanctions imposed in 1992 in the wake of the conflict with Armenia over the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Both Azerbaijan and Armenia have aligned themselves with the US military thrust into Central Asia, offering the Pentagon transit rights and use of airfields. Rumsfeld's visit and his conciliatory remarks were the reward. Rumsfeld told President Haydar Aliyev that the administration had reached agreement with congressional leaders to waive the sanctions.

On November 28 the White House released a statement hailing the official opening of the first new pipeline by the Caspian Pipeline Consortium, a joint venture of Russia, Kazakhstan, Oman, ChevronTexaco, ExxonMobil and several other oil companies. The pipeline connects the huge Tengiz oilfield in northwestern Kazakhstan to the Russian Black Sea port of Novorossiysk, where tankers are loaded for the world market. US companies put up $1 billion of the $2.65 billion construction cost.

The Bush statement declared, "The CPC project also advances my Administration's National Energy Policy by developing a network of multiple Caspian pipelines that also includes the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan, Baku-Supsa, and Baku-Novorossiysk oil pipelines and the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline."

There was little US press coverage of this announcement. Nor did the media refer to the fact that the pipeline consortium involved in the Baku-Ceyhan plan, led by the British oil company BP, is represented by the law firm of Baker & Botts.

The principal attorney at this firm is James Baker III, secretary of state under Bush's father, and chief spokesman for the 2000 Bush campaign during its successful effort to shut down the Florida vote recount.

Copyright 1998-2001
World Socialist Web Site

For the story and related links, see
http://www.wsws.org/articles/2002/jan2002/oil-j03.shtml

*********************************************************************************************************************************************************

4) Bush family's dirty little secret


Bush family's dirty little secret: President's oil companies funded by Bin Laden family and wealthy Saudis who financed Osama bin Laden

By Rick Wiles
Copyright: American Freedom News
September 2001

President Bush recently signed an executive order to freeze the US financial assets of corporations doing business with Osama bin Laden. He described the order as a "strike on the financial foundation of the global terror network.

"If you do business with terrorists, if you support or succor them, you will not do business with the United States," said President Bush.

He didn't say anything about doing business with a terrorists brother or his wealthy financier.

When President George W. Bush froze assets connected to Osama bin Laden, he didn't tell the American people that the terrorist masterminds late brother was an investor in the president's former oil business in Texas.

He also hasn't leveled with the American public about his financial connections to a host of shady Saudi characters involved in drug cartels, gun smuggling, and terrorist networks.

Doing business with the enemy is nothing new to the Bush family. Much of the Bush family wealth came from supplying needed raw materials and credit to Adolf Hitlers Third Reich. Several business operations managed by Prescott Bush the presidents grandfather - were seized by the US government during World War II under the Trading with the Enemy Act.

On October 20, 1942, the federal government seized the Union Banking Corporation in New York City as a front operation for the Nazis. Prescott Bush was a director. Bush, E. Roland Harriman, two Bush associates, and three Nazi executives owned the banks shares. Eight days later, the Roosevelt administration seized two other corporations managed by Prescott Bush. The Holland-American Trading Corporation and the Seamless Steel Equipment Corporation, both managed by the Bush-Harriman bank, were accused by the US federal government of being front organizations for Hitlers Third Reich. Again, on November 8, 1942, the federal government seized Nazi-controlled assets of Silesian-American Corporation, another Bush-Harriman company doing business with Hitler.

Doing business with the bin Laden empire, therefore, is only the latest extension of the Bush family's financial ties to unsavory individuals and organizations. Now that thousands of American citizens have died in terrorist attacks and the nation is going to war, the American people should know about George W. Bush's relationship with the family of Osama bin Laden.

Salem bin Laden, Osama's older brother, was an investor in Arbusto Energy, the Texas oil company started by George W. Bush. Arbusto means Bush in Spanish. Salem bin Laden died in an airplane crash in Texas in 1988.

Sheik Mohammed bin Laden, the family patriarch and founder of its construction empire, also died in a plane crash. Upon his death in 1968, he left behind 57 sons and daughters the offspring he sired with 12 wives in Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan. About a dozen brothers manage Bin Laden Brothers Construction one of the largest construction firms in the Middle East.

Fresh out of Harvard Business School, young George W. Bush returned to Midland, TX, in the late 1970s to follow his father's footsteps in the oil business. Beginning in 1978, he set up a series of limited partnerships Arbusto 78, Arbusto 79, and so on to drill for oil.

One of President Bush's earliest financial backers was James Bath, a Houston aircraft broker. Bath served with President Bush in the Texas Air National Guard. Bath has a mysterious connection to the Central Intelligence Agency.

According to a 1976 trust agreement, Salem bin Laden appointed James Bath as his business representative in Houston. Revelation about Bath's relationship with the bin Laden financial empire and the CIA was made public in 1992 by Bill White, a former real estate business partner with Bath. White informed federal investigators in 1992 that Bath told him that he had assisted the CIA in a liaison role since 1976, the same year former President George Herbert Walker Bush served as director of the CIA.

During a bitter legal fight between White and Bath, the real estate partner disclosed that Bath managed a portfolio worth millions of dollars for Sheik Khalid bin Mahfouz and other wealthy Saudis. Among the investments made by Bath with Mahfouzs money was the Houston Gulf Airport.

A powerful banker in Saudi Arabia, Mahfouz was one of the largest stockholders in the Bank of Credit and Commerce International. BCCI was a corrupt global banking empire operating in 73 nations and was a major financial and political force in Washington, Paris, Geneva, London, and Hong Kong. Despite the appearance of a normal banking operation, BCCI was actually an international crime syndicate providing banking services to the Medellin drug cartel, Pamama dictator Manuel Noriega, Saddam Hussein, terrorist mastermind Abu Nidal, and Khun Sa, the heroin kingpin in Asias Golden Triangle.

The BCCI scandal implicated some of the biggest political names in Washington, both Democrats and Republicans during the first Bush White House. The bank was accused of laundering money for drug cartels, smuggling weapons to terrorists, and using Middle Eastern oil money to influence American politicians.

The chief of the Justice Department's criminal division under former President Bush was Robert Mueller. Because the major players came out of the scandal with slaps on the wrists, many critics accused Mueller of botching the investigation. Mr. Mueller was recently appointed by President George W. Bush as the new Director of the FBI, replacing Louis Freeh who did nothing while William Jefferson Clinton allowed the Red Chinese to loot our national security secrets.

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a division of the Justice Department, reviewed allegations by Bill White in 1992 that James Bath funneled money from wealthy Middle Eastern businessmen to American companies to influence the policies of the Reagan and Bush administrations. Robert Mueller, the new FBI chief, was in a senior position at the Justice Department at the time of the review.

White told a Texas court in 1992 that Bath and the Justice Department had blackballed him professionally and financially because he refused to keep quiet about his knowledge of an Arabic conspiracy to launder Middle Eastern money into the bank accounts of American businesses and politicians.

In sworn depositions, Bath admitted he represented four wealthy Saudi Arabian businessmen as a trustee. He also admitted he used his name on their investments and received, in return, a five- percent stake in their business deals.

Indeed, Texas tax documents revealed that Bath owned five percent of Arbusto 79 Ltd., and Arbusto 80 Ltd. Bush Exploration Company controlled the limited partnerships, the general partnership firm owned by young George W. Bush.

Although George W. Bush's Texas oil ventures were financial failures, his financial backers recovered their investments through a series of mergers and stock swaps. He changed Arbustos name to Bush Exploration, then merged the new firm into Spectrum 7 Energy Corporation in 1984.

The Bush-controlled oil business eventually ended up being folded into Harken Energy Corp., a Dallas-based corporation. Mr. Bush joined Harken as a director in 1986 and was given 212,000 shares of Harken stock. Bush used his White House connections to land a lucrative contract for the obscure Harken Energy Corp. with the Middle Eastern government of Bahrain. On June 20, 1990, George W. Bush sold his Harken stock for $848,000 and paid off the loan he took out to buy his small share in the Texas Rangers. The Bahrain deal was brokered by David Edwards, a close pal to Bill Clinton and a former employee of Stephens Inc. Shortly after Bush sold his stock, Harken's fortunes nose-dived when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. Some critics claim young George was tipped off in advance by his father about the soon-coming Gulf War.

George W. Bush, however, worked wonders for Harken Energy Corp. before the stock collapsed. Using the Bush family name, he managed to bring much-needed capital investment to the struggling firm. George W. Bush traveled to Little Rock, AR, to attend a meeting with Jackson Stephens a powerful Arkansas tycoon who helped bankroll the state campaigns of young Bill Clinton. He first gained political prominence as a fund-raiser for President Jimmy Carter. Stephens was also deeply involved in the BCCI scandal by helping the corrupt bank take control of First American Bank in Washington, DC.

Jack Stephens didn't need an introduction to young George W. Bush. Mary Anne Stephens, his wife, managed Vice President George Bush's 1988 presidential campaign in Arkansas. Stephens Inc., the well connected brokerage firm owned by Jack Stephens, donated $100,000 to a Bush campaign fundraising dinner in 1991. When George W. Bush won the contested Florida election in 2000, Jack Stephens made a substantial contribution to the Bush inauguration. Recently, former President Bush played golf on April 11, 2001, with Jack Stephens at the Jack Stephens Youth Golf Academy in Little Rock. The former president told Stephens, Jack, we love you and we are very, very grateful for what you have done.

Perhaps the former president was thanking him for the money Stephens provided young George W. Bush. Stephens arranged for a $25 million investment from the Union des Banques Suisses. The Swiss Bank held the minority interest in the Banque de Commerce et de Placements, a Geneva-based subsidiary of BCCI.

Both Stephens and Abdullah Taha Bakhsh, a wealthy and well-connected Saudi real estate investor, signed the financial transaction. The Geneva transaction was paid through a joint venture between the Union Bank of Switzerland and its Geneva branch of BCCI.

The BCCI connection, therefore, linked George W. Bush with Saudi banker Khaled bin Mahfouz. Known in Arab circles as the kings' treasurer, Mahfouz held a 20 percent take in BCCI between 1986 and 1990. Mahfouz is no stranger to the Bush family. He was a big investor in the Carlyle Group, a defense-industry investment group with deep connections to the Republican Party establishment. Former President Bush is a former member of the company's board of directors. George W. Bush also held shares in Caterair, a Carlyle subsidiary. Sami Baarma, a powerful player in the Mahfouz-owned Prime Commercial Bank of Pakistan, is a member of the Carlyle Groups international advisory board.

President Bush certainly is aware of that his former Saudi sugar daddy is still financing Osama bin Laden's terrorist network. USA Today newspaper reported in 1999 that a year after bin Laden's attacks on US embassies in Africa, Khaled bin Mahfouz and other wealthy Saudis were funneling tens of millions of dollars each year into bin Laden's bank accounts. Five top Saudi businessmen ordered the National Commercial Bank to transfer personal funds and $3 million pilfered from a Saudi pension fund to the Capitol Trust Bank in New York City. The money was deposited into the Islamic Relief and Blessed Relief - Islamic charities operating in the US and Great Britain as fronts for Osama bin Laden. The Capitol Trust Bank is run by Mohammad Hussein al-Amoudi. His lawyer is Democratic Party bigwig Vernon Jordan, close friend of former President Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky.

Abdullah Taha Bakhsh, the Arab who cosigned the $25 million cash infusion into George W. Bush's Harken Energy Corporation, appointed Talat Othman to manage his 17.6 percent share in Harken Energy Corp. Othman, a native Palestinian, is president and CEO of Dearborn Financial Inc. an investment firm in Arlington Heights, IL.

Bakhsh also bought a 9.6 percent stake in Worthen Banking Corporation, the Arkansas bank controlled by Jack Stephens. Abdullah Bakhsh's share was the identical percentage as the amount of shares sold by Mochtar Riady, the godfather of the wealthy Indonesian family with close ties to the Chinese communists, Bill Clinton and evangelist Pat Robertson. Bakhsh is represented by Rogers & Wells, a well-connected Republican law firm in New York whose partners include former Secretary of State William P. Rogers.

Independent investigator reporter David Twersky reported in the early 1990s that Othman had a seat on Harken's board of directors and met three times in the White House with President George Herbert Walker Bush. Organized by Chief of Staff John Sununu, Othmans first meeting with President Bush at the White House was in August 1990, just days after Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait.

There exist to this day an Arab-Texas connection. Khalid bin Mahfouz, financier of both George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden, still maintains a palatial estate in Houston, TX. Former President George Bush also lives in Houston. James Bath, Texas political confidant of George W. Bush, managed to obtain a $1.4 million loan from Mahfouz in 1990. Bath and Mahfouz, along with former Secretary of Treasury John Connally, were also co-investors in Houston's Main Bank. Bath was also president of Skyway Aircraft Leasing Ltd, a Texas air charter company registered in the Cayman Islands. According to published reports in the early 1990s, the real owner was bin Mahfouz. When Salem bin Laden, Osama brother, died in 1988, his interest in the Houston Gulf Airport was transferred to bin Mahfouz.

Since Osama bin Laden's bloody attack on America on September 11, the federal government has moved quickly to freeze bank accounts connected to Osama bin Laden, Khalid bin Mahfouz, and a host of Islamic charities. Perhaps federal agents should freeze the financial assets of the Bush family too. It would not be the first time Bush-family assets were seized by the US government for trading with the enemy.


http://www.americanfreedomnews.com/afn_articles/bushsecrets.htm

*********************************************************************************************************************************************************
Flyby News is a free electronic news service regarding peace in space, human rights, indigenous, and environmental issues.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------www.flybynews.com-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
*********************************************************************************************************************************************************

Email address: