|THE PROFITS OF DEATH – Part III in a Special FTW Series on Insider Trading and September 11th
ALL ROADS LEAD TO DEUSTCHEBANK AND HARKEN ENERGY, W’s OWN 1991 INSIDER TRADING SCAM – THE MOTHER OF ALL ENRONS
by Tom Flocco and Michael C. Ruppert
Edited by Michael C. Ruppert
[© Copyright 2002, From The Wilderness Publications, www.copvcia.com. All Rights Reserved. May be recopied, distributed or posted on the worldwide web for non-profit purposes only.]
Original Link: http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/01_09_02_death_profits_pt3.html
[Editor’s Notes – In Part I of this series FTW, thanks to the brilliant research of Tom Flocco, demonstrated that the CIA has, in fact, been involved in monitoring stock trades on world financial markets, and that current CIA executives have had recent business relationships with firms handling obvious insider trades connected to the attacks of September 11th. Those connections ran directly into the heart of German financial giant Deutschebank. In Part II we documented that a former Deutschebank executive, Kevin Ingram, had recently been convicted on drug and money laundering charges that were directly a result of attempts to arm Islamic terrorist groups. Now in Part III, we conclude this series by revealing a devastating conflict of interest in investigating these leads on the part of President George W. Bush by virtue of his own past insider trading through Harken Energy in Bahrain and Kuwait.
The Administration’s apparently deliberate omission of key mid-Eastern banks in these two countries from post 9-11 investigations suggests clearly that the principal financial institutions of the countries where Harken did business have something to hide which the Bush Administration does not want to see the light of day – especially as potentially explosive Enron investigations gather steam.
After our publication of Part II a number of careful FTW readers were careful to point out that our description of “put” options was oversimplified to the point of describing a short-sell, rather than the more highly leveraged “put option.” We acknowledge this error but re-emphasize that the point of these stories – which could easily be sidetracked into lengthy and detailed discussions of the workings of financial instruments – is not the trades themselves, but who might have made the trades, why they made them and, most importantly, why the Bush Administration wants so desperately to conceal information about them from the world. – MCR]
FTW, January 9, 2002 -- President George W. Bush may have personal reasons for hampering investigations into insider trading connected to the attacks of September 11th. There is substantial evidence suggesting that a detailed investigation into Deutschebank’s connection to Islamic terrorists and 9-11 might reopen a mysteriously closed 1991 investigation of criminal insider trading connected to Harken Energy, a Houston company where George W. Bush served on the board of directors as a major stockholder with his some of his father's key campaign contributors. On January 30, 1990 Harken, with a remarkably unsuccessful history of drilling projects, signed major oil drilling contracts with Bahrain. Five months later, Bush's company suffered an unexplained huge loss of stock value just prior to the Gulf War -- but not before the future president had already cashed out, making close to a million dollars selling his own stock. Because of 9-11 leads suggesting the possible involvement of certain Arab banks in financing the attacks, a conflict of interest exists, clearly limiting how far the President would be willing to pursue the most obvious leads. And U.S. government investigations since 9-11 have avoided looking at key Middle Eastern banks in Bahrain and Kuwait already linked to terrorist activities.
In fact, two banks located in Bahrain and Kuwait – The Faysal Islamic Bank and the Kuwait Finance House – which had been listed in European reports as having terrorist ties were glaringly omitted from George W Bush’s financial crackdown after September 11th. [Source: The Inner City Press, 9-11-99.] Both banks have correspondent relationships with Deutschebank.
In spite of mounting evidence of a number of connections between German financial giant Deutschebank and the terrorist attacks of September 11 - including previously documented links to insider trading based upon events of 9/11 - no press agency or government entity is questioning why certain banking institutions in Kuwait and Bahrain with deep financial ties to the Bush family have been overlooked in the President’s supervision of a so-called "worldwide crackdown on terrorist financing." Reuters reported on 11-7-2001 that the Treasury Department added 61 additional people and organizations to the President’s original Executive Order of September 23 -- including banks in Somalia and Nassau, The Bahamas. But mysteriously, no banks in Bahrain, Kuwait, or Saudi Arabia were named in either the original order or its expansion.
Moreover, the President’s lack of effective direction and oversight of terrorist finance appears to be abetted and endorsed by the U.S. Congress.
Just 32 days before the attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, a Financial Times of Asia (FT) Wire-Business Line report linked Deutschebank to the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Pakistani and Afghani heroin smuggling, and money laundering of narcotics proceeds (8-10-2001). Retired Pakistani intelligence chief Brig Imtiaz was jailed for eight years on July 31, 2001 for laundering heroin profits -- for covert actions -- via a CIA-linked drug smuggling cell, using Deutschebank and other financial entities and properties.
Former State Department official Jonathan Weiner confirmed that Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates have been of little help to federal officials regarding known terrorist funds moving back and forth between those countries. Weiner made these statements in a National Public Radio (NPR) interview on 11-21-2001.
Weiner told host Linda Wertheimer, "Since September 11th, all those countries have frozen accounts or have looked in their banking systems for the money of people associated with terrorist finance, [and] have gone through the entire list provided by the United States."
He added that "country after country has announced, ‘we’ve looked for funds. We’ve looked diligently. We’ve been ready to freeze some funds. We just haven’t found anything.’ No money in the UAE, no money in Kuwait." Weiner then revealed, "There is, I can tell, no money announced in Saudi Arabia, none announced in Bahrain.
"Well, given that we know [that terrorist] funds came out of there and we know [that terrorist] funds went back there, their inability to find funds is pretty astonishing," said the former State Department official.
While 15 of 19 hijackers were Saudis, it is Bahrain and Kuwait’s strange lack of assistance in ferreting out terrorist financial support and insider trading evidence that raises questions, given their extremely close ties to both Bush presidents.
The close financial relationships of both Bush 41 and Bush 43 (referring to their respective presidencies) with government officials of Bahrain as stockholders via Texas corporation Harken Energy, which had secured major drilling rights came during the period when the elder Bush and his advisor son were making U.S. military decisions prior to the Gulf War. Many Harken investors were major campaign donors to Bush 41.
Current President Bush made his first million dollars as a result of a classic insider stock trade--directly related to the sale of his stock in Harken. Moreover, Bush’s oil stock sale was finalized immediately prior to Iraq‘s invasion of Kuwait -- at the height of its share price -- before plummeting days later on news of Iraq’s invasion.
George W. avoided prosecution, thanks to some "well-connected" lawyers, and a soft investigation of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) violations -- supervised by a presidential parent who pulled the strings with SEC enforcement staff. This, as current and past Enron employees have now lost their pensions as a result of illegal insider stock sales in the oil industry through another company directly connected to the Bushes.
George H. W. Bush, the elder is a hero, an icon, with his picture in Kuwaiti public buildings, and has been a regular visitor to Kuwait since U.S. the Gulf War.
However, considering that Kuwait Finance House and Faysal Islamic Bank of Bahrain are both correspondent banks with Deutschebank, questions remain as to why President Bush would not place them on his list of banks under scrutiny for terrorist ties, given the German bank’s many links to the 9/11 attacks and the above revelations by a former State Department official.
BANKING ON TERRORISM
According to German news weekly Der Spiegel, Deutschebank handled accounts for the bin Laden family worth $103 million British pounds (The London Guardian, 10-1-2001).
The New York Times (9-29-2001) added that FBI officials are "focusing more than ever on Germany," and in particular, an apartment used by Mohamed Atta -- considered the lead hijacker -- and Ramzi Muhammad Abdullah Bin Al Shibh, who also shared the apartment with other hijackers. Fox News and the Washington Post both reported on 1-2-2001 that Al Shibh wired $14,000 to Zacarias Moussaoui, now in U.S. custody and referred to as the “20th hijacker.”
An American official said "It looks like it was organized in Germany... there is clear evidence of meetings between Mr. Atta, Mr. al-Shehhi, and Mr. Jarrah, three of the four suspected hijackers," according to the Times.
Mamoun Darkanzanli, a Syrian businessman whose bank accounts were frozen after the attacks, has been implicated by American officials as an associate of Osama bin Laden who took part in a 1996 attack on U.S. troops at the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia. U.S. officials say currently jailed terrorist and bin Laden’s highest ranking associate in U.S. custody -- Mamdouh Mahmud Salim -- named Darkazanli as the co-signer of Salim’s bank account at Deutschebank in Hamburg, also according to the Times. The bin Laden family, with whom the Bushes have had long standing business deals through The Carlyle Group, was later awarded the contract to rebuild the facility.
The New York paper reported that Deutschebank was also linked to Wadih el-Hage, a naturalized American citizen from Lebanon who served as bin Laden’s personal secretary at his Sudan office, and was named by prosecutors as also setting up terrorist front businesses for bin Laden in Kenya during 1994.
El-Hage’s business card lists Mamoun Darkazanli’s current apartment as his Hamburg address, while his confiscated address book lists Darkazanli’s address, phone numbers and yet another Deutschebank account in Hamburg -- but not the same account as Salim’s.
Investigators also suspect that Darkazanli was supporting bin Laden’s Al-Q’aeda network financially, using Deutschebank as his supporting entity for terrorism.
According to the Asian Wall Street Journal (9-28-200), insiders familiar with the family say the bin Ladens do most of their banking with the London branch of Deutschebank and the Saudi National Commercial Bank; however, they also use Citigroup, a bank long linked to drug money laundering and on whose board of directors sit former CIA Director John Deutch and former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin. Rubin is also the former CEO of Goldman Sachs which was once the home of convicted Deutschebank drug money launderer Kevin Ingram. (See Part II).
DEUTSCHEBANK’S “CORRESPONDING” LACK OF INTELLIGENCE
Michigan Senator Carl Levin’s Minority Banking Report of February 2001 calls correspondent banking the "gateway to money laundering," a financial technique wherein illicit money is moved from bank to bank with "no questions asked," thereby cleansing funds prior to being used for legitimate purposes. Via correspondent banking relationships, banks not licensed in the U.S. may gain access to American financial markets by establishing a correspondent relationship with banks that are. Deutschebank is licensed in the U.S. and maintained offices at the World Trade Center. All U.S. Deutschebank records were destroyed in the September 11 attacks.
An obvious question then is why none of these Middle Eastern financial institutions have felt the sting of U.S. investigative wrath since the attacks.
In another curious disclosure, the FBI also says al Shamal Islamic Bank -- Osama bin Laden’s personal bank -- headquartered in Khartoum, Sudan -- which the terrorist leader helped capitalize with $50 million in private funds, "is being investigated by U.S. or overseas authorities." According to U.S. News (10-8-2001), the Bureau won’t say which authority. President Bush, however, has failed to place Osama bin Laden's al Shamal Islamic Bank in his Executive Order -- freezing all of its correspondent transactions with other banks of the world. [See http://www.banking.state.ny.us/il01102a.pdf ]
This is especially strange, since the Washington Post (9-29-2001) reported that a an unnamed bin Laden associate testified (at the U.S. trial on the 1998 African embassy bombings) that "$250,000 was wired from al Shamal Islamic Bank directly into the bin Laden cohort’s Texas bank account -- where he used it to buy a plane delivered to bin Laden... intended to transport Stinger missiles...." Two months later, FT (11-29-2001) offered more information, reporting that "The money was wired from the Wadi al Aqiq account at al Shamal bank via Bank of New York to a Bank of America account held in Dallas, Texas by Essam al Ridi. Al Ridi, an Egyptian flight instructor who met bin Laden in Pakistan in 1985, flew the plane to Khartoum."
Congress has not sought to inquire as to whether bin Laden's Stinger missiles were flown directly out of Texas, or how his fellow terrorists were able to buy a plane in Dallas to illegally transport arms, or how a bin Laden associate was able to become a Texas flight instructor -- let alone whether he taught other terrorists how to fly airplanes in Dallas.
A Financial Times of Asia Wire story (8-10-2001) revealed that dirty money profits for covert actions resulting from CIA-linked heroin smuggling (which is a primary means of financing terrorist operations) through Pakistan and Northern Afghanistan have been shown to find their way into the international banking system. This was the role played by Kevin Ingram, formerly of Deutschebank in New York as described in Part II of this series.
And while U.S. News (10-8-2001) reported that FBI officials say Deutschebank is "being investigated by U.S. or overseas authorities," again the Bureau will not say which authorities, indicating that the U.S. may not even be taking a lead role in investigating the matter.
A spokesman for Deutschebank said it had provided investigators with information on accounts linked to members of the bin Laden family (The Guardian, 10/1/01). No further information has been made public.
Meanwhile, continued and current revelations indicate that negligence and the "prior-knowledge issue" -- insider trading or otherwise - -will not go away. An executive at a Pan Am flight school in Minnesota told Rep. James L. Oberstar (D-MN) and Rep. Martin O. Sabo (D-MN) that he had discussed and been questioned by an FBI agent on August 15 -- 27 days before the 9/11 attacks, "warning that a Boeing 747-400, which [alleged terrorist Zacarias] Moussaoui was seeking to learn how to fly, could be used as a bomb,’’ (Washington Post, 1-2-2002). But shockingly, the executive also told the lawmakers that "it took between four and six telephone calls to find an [FBI] agent who would help," according to a letter obtained by the Post.
In a Fox News interview hosted by Rita Cosby on 1-3-2002, political analyst Dick Morris exposed more governmental negligence by reporting that President Bush "used information provided by FBI wiretaps dating back to 1993 to determine which terrorist-related bank accounts he would freeze in 2002," -- indicating lengthy U.S. intelligence prior knowledge of terrorist financial transactions. Fox’s revelation of the additional careless handling of critical pre-9/11 intelligence data may yet face scrutiny in three states via courtrooms of victim families, despite congressional oversight silence -- and a quickly legislated compensation statute making victim families promise not to sue the government.
Given evidence of prior knowledge, insider trading, CIA ties, and other financial relationships leading directly into Deutschebank (http://www.copvcia.com/stories/dec_2001/death_profits_pt1.html), the question is begged as to why "President Bush’s original Executive Order [freezing assets] didn’t name any banks," (Washington Post, 9-29-2001). The President has the power to freeze American monetary operations connected to global banks with institutions in countries refusing to cooperate in his terrorist finance probe.
On December 31, 2001, a U.S. State Department Memo revealed that the president again avoided dealing with middle eastern countries -- with close ties to the Bush family -- by announcing that assets of 1 German and 5 Irish terrorist-linked organizations had been frozen--but still no banks linked to the epicenter of terrorist finances in Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, or the United Arab Emirates had been touched (http://usinfo.state.gov/topical/pol/terror/02010202).
THE CIA, TERROISM AND DRUG MONEY
Documented Russian organized crime connections to money laundering also lead back to Deutschebank, Pakistan, and terrorist financing.
On September 5, 1999, the German newspaper Weld am Sonntag quoted Deutschebank CEO Rolf Breuer saying that "It could be that we were abused as an intermediate coordinating point" in the fast-developing Russian money laundering scandal. Deutschebank and its U.S. affiliate Bankers Trust (BT) filed "suspicious transaction" reports about Russian clients, as BT had "correspondent banking" relationships with Russia’s Inkombank, which "allegedly had ties to organized crime," according to USA Today ( 8-27-1999 ). Moreover, an Inner City Press story (9-11-1999) also revealed that German magazine Der Spiegel quoted Breuer as admitting that it was "possible" his bank was "misused" as an intermediary for money laundering.
The FT Asia Wire report (8-10-2001) suggested that at least 30 Pakistan Army and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) officials, serving and retired have accumulated wealth through heroin smuggling. In pervious stories, FTW and other news agencies have thoroughly documented that the Pakistani ISI is a creation and surrogate of the Central Intelligence Agency.
The FT report also revealed that "Pakistani residents are allowed to maintain dollar accounts with no questions asked about the origin of the money and about its liability for income tax." FT added that "the total amount of dollars in private circulation since the military regime came to power was almost equal to that in the Government coffers, if not more....[and] largely, if not totally, derived from the heroin trade."
Additional direct CIA and Deutschebank ties to heroin smuggling and money laundering were also revealed by the FT story. "In the 1980’s, at the instance [sic] of the Central Intelligence Agency, the Internal Political Division of the [Pakistani] Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), headed by Brig Imtiaz... started a cell for the use of heroin for covert actions. This cell promoted the cultivation of opium and the extraction of heroin in Pakistan as well as in those parts of Afghanistan under Mujahedeen control for being smuggled into the Soviet-controlled areas to get the Soviet troops addicted.
"After the withdrawal of the Soviets, ISI’s [Pakistani] heroin cell started using its network of refineries and smugglers to send heroin to the West and use the money to supplement its legitimate economy... After capturing power on October 12, 1999, Gen. Pervez Musharraf had Brig Imtiaz, because of his proximity to Mr. Nawaz Sharif, arrested and prosecuted for having assets disproportionate to his known sources of income....He was convicted by a court on July 31, 2001 (52 days before the 9-11 attacks), and jailed for eight years.
"According to evidence produced in the court by the National Accountability Bureau, Brig Imtiaz had foreign exchange bearer certificates worth $20 million, a Pakistani rupee account in the Union Bank with a balance of Rs 2.13 billion, a dollar account in Deutschebank with a balance of $19.1 million, five residential houses, five commercial units and three shops. This huge wealth was allegedly accumulated by him through heroin smuggling."
BAHRAIN, KUWAIT AND DEUTSCHEBANK – THE DOOR TO HARKEN ENERGY
According to attorney Matthew Lee of Inner City Press (ICP), after September 11, regulators in Luxembourg, former headquarters of the notorious Pakistani Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), circulated a list of five banks, in addition to President Bush’s U.S. Executive Order of September 23, freezing the accounts of suspected terrorist-connected individuals and organizations.
In Part II of the Profits of Death series, located at: (http://www.copvcia.com/stories/dec_2001/death_profits_pt2.html) the U.S. government’s ongoing scrutiny of terrorist banking was documented in an AP story by Catherine Wilson. The story provided clear indication that U.S. intelligence agencies routinely monitor banking transactions in terrorist-related cases. Wilson wrote about the current prosecution of Egyptians in a case connected to former Goldman Sachs and Deutschebank securities trader Kevin Ingram’s attempt to launder heroin and cash for the illegal sale of weapons to Islamic terrorists. She added that "numerous promised wire transfers never arrived, but there were discussions of foreign bankers taking payoffs to move the money to purchase weapons into the United States..."
Moreover, the AP story never questioned how the federal agents knew the names of particular banks and bankers, so as not to arouse suspicion on the part of Kevin Ingram and the other Middle Eastern accomplices, because the bankers had previously been "in-the-loop" of drug money laundering and illegal arms sales.
The Bush Administration would necessarily have to be concerned if congressional investigations of Deutschebank ties to Faysal Islamic Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait Finance House started to dredge up and revive old financial investigations into the 1991 probe of Harken Energy.
AN INSIDE TRADER DIRECTS PROBE OF INSIDE TRADERS – THE MOTHER OF ALL ENRONS
One reason why the Administration has not frozen the assets of the two banks in Kuwait and Bahrain with correspondent relationships with Deutschebank leads directly to Harken.
The probe in question is tied to Bahrain and Kuwait, and directly involves George W. Bush and SEC lawyers appointed by his father. According to SEC records, on four separate occasions President George W. Bush disregarded federal statutes by failing to file insider stock trade reports on a timely basis, back-dating one trade by some four months. (Harken Energy SEC Abstract Filing, transaction date: 6-22-1990; Oil stock sale made 41 days prior to Iraq's attack on Kuwait -- $848,560 profit, filing date: 3-4-1991- 8 1/2 months late and reported to the SEC two days after Gulf War was over on 3-2-1991; Harken Energy SEC Abstract Filing, transaction date: 6-16-89, filing date: 10-23-1989 -- 17 weeks late.) [Sources: Wall Street Journal, 4-4-1991 and 9-28-99; Time, 10-28-1991; U.S. News, 3-16-1992; Associated Press, 10-28-94; Houston Post, 10-18-1994.]
The younger Bush denied the charge of insider trading in spite of his positions on the Harken Energy board of directors, audit committee, and stock restructuring panel. He added that he had no idea Harken was going to get an audit report full of red ink until weeks after he had made his stock sale.
During December, 2000 into January, 2001, journalist Tom Flocco’s former research associate, Mario Calabrese, repeatedly called the SEC requesting copies of George W. Bush’s original Harken Energy stock filings. After some 3 1/2 weeks of calls made during the critical Florida Supreme Court and U.S. Supreme Court arguments deciding the Bush-Gore election, SEC representative Linda Thompson called Mr. Calabrese on January 14, 2001 to confirm that all original Bush SEC documents had been destroyed. Thompson said that "the dates you requested have all met their (6 year) retention time." It is possible that copies are still available via major search engines.
The future president completed his key insider trade eight days before Harken announced a $23 million second quarter corporate loss and about six weeks before the invasion. Having just profited by nearly $1 million--representing a 200 % insider windfall--George Jr. watched Harken stock take a nosedive on the bad news. Thus, Harken Energy, a Houston oil company doing business in Bahrain, wherein some of his father’s largest contributors also maintained substantial stock positions, made George W. his first million which served as seed money for his upcoming Texas Rangers deal.
The April 4, 1991 Wall Street Journal added that "Mr. Bush did not return their phone calls seeking comment, and the Bush White House tersely said ‘It doesn’t comment on the activities of the president’s children.’" Moreover, the SEC also declined to comment, according to The New York Times. [3-9-92]
Neither the younger Bush nor the media made much of the blatant conflicts of interest since the chairman of the SEC was Richard Breedon, former lawyer with Houston firm of Baker and Botts. Breedon had served as deputy counsel to Bush 41 when he was Vice President under Ronald Reagan.
Moreover, the SEC investigation of George W. was led by general counsel James R. Doty who, according to a UPI report, mysteriously neglected to interview any of the Harken directors --including the younger Bush -- regarding "enforcement" oversight. Moreover, Doty had previously served as George W. Bush’s personal lawyer Bush 43’s purchase of the Texas Rangers baseball franchise.
So, in the end, a future president--George W. Bush -- was cleared of insider trade wrongdoing by his personal attorney and by his father’s counsel. That said, the Bush Administration is currently keeping a low profile regarding campaign contributors at Enron Corporation which participated in insider stock sales that bankrupted the corporation while Enron employees were prohibited from cashing in their Enron stock-based 401K plans as their value plummeted.
BUSH IN BAHRAIN – PUBLIC AND PRIVATE
In October 1991, Time Magazine questioned why the tiny country of Bahrain would stake so much of its financial future on Harken Energy, which it labeled an "obscure, money-losing company with no refineries and no experience in offshore oil exploration." The magazine also noted that oil insiders speculated that Bahrain’s rulers saw the arrangement as a way to gain influence with the Bush Administration.
In January, 1991, The Village Voice reported a potential nexus regarding foreign policy and personal financial interests as in 1990, the Bush Administration signed an agreement with Bahrain that chose the small country as the permanent principal allied base in the Middle East, although it was some 200 miles away from the hostilities in Iraq and Kuwait.
The military base deal came right after Harken announced its January 30, 1990 joint oil-drilling venture with Bahrain, suggesting that the elder Bush’s contributors and his son, the future President of the United States, were involved in personal financial business involving Harken, while also making decisions – including dispatching Ambassador April Glaspie to tell Saddam Hussein that it’s actions vis a vis Kuwait were none of the U.S.’s business – that led directly to the Gulf War.
And neither Bush let the press know that they had permitted Kuwait and Bahrain to infuse $19.6 million in foreign cash to hire U.S. public relations firm Hill & Knowlton to lobby Congress and the American people into a war frenzy against Iraq.
A former U.S. ambassador to Bahrain, Sam Zakhem, funneled $7.7 million in advertising and lobbying dollars through two front groups: Coalition for Americans at Risk (a former front group for the contras in Nicaragua) and Freedom Task Force. The Iran-Contra front group prepared and placed TV and newspaper ads and had 50 speakers available for pro-war rallies and publicity events; however, neither disclosed Bahrain as the source of the money. [Source: O'Dwyer's Foreign Agent Registration Act Report, October, 1991 and "Flacking for the Emir," by Arthur E. Rowse, The Progressive, October, 1991]
AN ILLEGAL PRIVILEGE TO “NOT” RELEASE DOCUMENTS
On March 16, 1992, U.S. News & World Report said that "according to documents on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Bush 43’s position on the Harken (restructuring) committee gave him detailed knowledge of the company’s deteriorating financial condition."
Spokesmen from Texas Gov. Ann Richards’ campaign said "Was this a real investigation, or was it a whitewash of an insider stock sale by the son of the sitting president?" UPI noted that "while Bush claims the [conflicted] SEC investigation absolved him of illegal insider trading, he has refused to release the investigation files."
The younger Bush has continued his practice of hiding family information (which should be publicly available) to Congress and the American people. On September 18 he asserted "Executive Privilege" in a proclamation refusing to release his father’s vice-presidential and presidential papers as required by law. This is a violation of the Presidential Records Act of 1978. What those documents might have revealed remains a mystery that only legal action by families of the victims of 9-11 might disclose.
On December 20, 2001, Fox News analyst, Judge Andrew Napolitano, quoted Congressman Dan Burton, Chairman of the House Government and Reform Committee, saying that "George Bush is abusing his power regarding executive privilege in refusing to release documents." Burton (and other members of the House Government Reform Committee are) attempting to acquire the elder Bush’s papers, Vice President Cheney’s closed-door energy policy meeting papers and closed FBI investigative reports of alleged wrongdoing in the Bureau’s Boston field office. All requests have been denied by Bush and Cheney.
It does not seem likely that Chairman Burton will push for records that may reopen Harken energy in the past or shed light on Enron in the present. Only an as-yet nonexistent suit filed in civil court by families of the victims of 9-11 would have the necessary legal clout to drag the records into court. In the meantime all the profits of death remain hidden behind a wall of government secrecy.
Tom Flocco is a freelance writer and researcher. Email: TomFlocco@cs.com
Previous stories in the Profits of Death series:
PART I - CIA Does Not Deny Stock Monitoring Outside the U.S.:
PART II - Trading With The Enemy: