Gangster Capitalism
And in any case, the critical issue is not so much the individual goings-on of these ne’er do wells, but that they are typical of a system, which since its foundation (one built on slavery, genocide, continental land theft and gangster capitalism) has utterly corrupt institutions which it nevertheless claims make it the bastion of the ‘free world’! As the saying goes, they have ‘no shame’.

Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil
The other really important question to ask is how can one family which has so many skeletons in the family closet, get away with such dirty dealings and over such a long period of time without being called to task? It’s as if the mass media goes deaf, dumb and blind when the name Bush comes up. For no matter what your politics are, left, right or indifferent, a family which has its fingers in so many dirty dealings has surely got to get you thinking about exactly what kind of country it is you live in (if you’re an American) and what kind of world is it that’s dominated by a country with a media (not to mention a legal system) that’s quite content not to challenge its president or his lying, thiefing family and their tenticular network of associations which includes: the Mafia, the Chinese Communist Party, Japanese Triads, the Vatican, Central American drug smugglers and gun runners, international arms dealers, the Ayotollah Khomeini (RIP), Cuban-American terrorists, money laundering, illegal arms sales, countless conflicts of interests, nepotism, coverups, tax avoidance, SEC fiddles and banking scams? A veritable ‘school for scoundrels’.

The fact that this litany of evil is effectively left unscrutinised and unquestioned by the dominant media, or, on the few occasions when it is mentioned, it’s only ‘in passing’, reveals the cynical, opportunistic attitude toward not only the concept of access to information, but acting on it. The system also makes a complete mockery of the so-called moral approach used by the leaders of the ‘free world’ when they accuse others of the same behaviour. Is it any wonder that we have populations who have ‘dropped out’ of the political process. Where is the accountability? Where indeed?

It’s a shell game
In recent years the problem has been excerbated by the ‘gutting’ of the government through wholesale deregulation and privatisation, which has enabled those with the ‘right’ connections to gain access to vast gobs of money in the form of subsidies and lucrative contracts (eg Marvin Bush’s Ignite corporation, or the Kuwaiti Harken Oil deals, Choicepoint’s Homeland Security contracts and the software company it uses, Sybase Inc which has Bush family connections). The effect has been to turn various and sundry government agencies into hollow shells. Companies can then effectively write themselves blank cheques or simply ignore the toothless edicts issued by the regulators (eg the SEC over the Silverado S&L scandal).

Assault on Liberty
The assault on the rights of citizens, won at great cost and over generations of struggle, has since the 1970s, been steadily eroded to the point that we are now left with a façade of the original, a cardboard mockup that has all the appearances democracy, civil rights and so forth but virtually no substance. Our cynical leaders would have us believe that,

"Failure to vote, as Britain’s Chancellor remarked after the last UK election,
is the mark of the satisfied citizen."
Perry Anderson

Satisfied or cynical? Or perhaps fatalistic about a system which has systematically encouraged its citizens to disenfranchise themselves?

Ultimately of course, it exposes the real nature of the political class and who it really serves – the rich and powerful and their utter disdain for those without any real power. With ‘elections’ being reduced to no more than tokenised democracy (only about a quarter of the electorate actually bother to vote in US national elections and a fraction more in the UK), it’s no surprise that firstly, there is no genuine representation ‘of the people, for the people, by the people’, but just as importantly, the total lack of representation or accountability encourages an arrogance and bravado on the part of the power elite that they can get away with anything, because they we let them (and they do)!

The 4th Estate – Absentee Landlords
A comparable process is at work in the ‘4th Estate’ who have reduced journalism (when they bother to actually cover the real stories) to another hollow shell, where the act of merely reporting is now considered sufficient to fulfill their obligations as ‘watchdogs’ of the nation’s affairs. The thought of actually leading with a story, and pursuing it, day after day, until someone actually takes notice and says, ‘enough is enough’ is simply not permitted because the same corporations that own the media are also part and parcel of the same power elite that’s busy ripping off the nation and holding the world to ransom.

Par for the Course
Forget ‘Dynasty’, although maybe they got the idea for the programme from the Bush posse. Staggering, is all I can say about the Bush family saga. Yet actually it’s par for the course as they say and not at all exceptional in the annals of the US power elite. The history of US capitalism is made up of family dynasties of one kind or another, from the robber barons of the Du Ponts, Mellons, Morgans, Rockefellers, Carnegies and Kennedys, through to the newcomers like Enron, Worldcom, Halliburton, Bechtel, Harken, Carlyle and so forth. And, like the landed aristocracies of England, they marry into each other’s families, go to the same schools and universities, sit on each other’s corporate boards and invest in each other’s business dealings. Importantly, they watch each other’s backs and for obvious reasons.

The Actors
Below are the sections in alphabetical order, of some of the companies and individuals connected to the Bush family (or vice versa). Clicking on the bold link at the start of each section will take you to a page of additional links.

Arbusto Oil and the bin Laden Connection
Oh what a tangled Web we weave. Salem bin Laden, one of 57 children their father Mohammed sired with his 12 wives, and Bush were founders of the Arbusto Energy oil company in Texas (I assume not with the 12 wives as well).

He died in a plane crash -- like his father -- but not before the Arbusto Energy Oil Company, founded in 1978, had become hugely successful. Later, Spectrum 7 Corp bought out Arbusto (now called Bush Exploration Co). In 1986, with the company on the verge of bankruptcy, it was purchased by Harken, and even though Bush Exploration Co had debts of $3 million, Harken paid Bush $2 million for his stock.

See also the BCCI (Bank of Credit & Commerce) connection below, another murky international scandal involving drug money laundering etc which one of the original investors in Arbusto, James R. Bath, a Houston businessman and old friend of GWB was involved in.

"Time magazine described Bath in 1991 as "a deal broker whose alleged associations run from the CIA to a major shareholder and director of the Bank of Credit & Commerce." BCCI, as it was more commonly known, closed its doors in July 1991 amid charges of multibillion-dollar fraud and global news reports that the financial institution had been heavily involved in drug money laundering, arms brokering, covert intelligence work, bribery of government officials and—here's the kicker—aid to terrorists."
James Hatfield

John Ashcroft: Attorney General And Defender Of The Confederacy

Corporate Connections:

AT&T; Microsoft; Schering-Plough; Enterprise Rent-A-Car; Monsanto

As a senator from Missouri, John Ashcroft received generous campaign contributions from companies, including Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Monsanto, which were based in his home state. But a company didn’t have to be from Missouri to get some attention from the senator. Ashcroft was one of only a handful of senators sponsoring a bill that extended the patent on Schering-Plough’s ultra-profitable allergy pill, Claritin. Extending the patent, which expires in 2002, would save the company billions of dollars in potential revenue. The bill died in committee, but Schering-Plough still gave Ashcroft $50,000 for his failed 2000 Senate bid. Schering-Plough donated the money to Ashcroft’s joint fundraising committee, which Ashcroft set up with the National Republican Senatorial Committee to encourage unlimited soft money contributions from corporations that could not legally contribute to his main campaign committee. (Check out Schering-Plough's campaign contributions to other candidates.) Besides Schering-Plough, Ashcroft’s joint committee logged contributions from AT&T ($25,000) and Microsoft ($10,000). Microsoft, of course, is hoping the new attorney general drops the justice department’s antitrust suit against the company."

Baker & Botts

James Baker III
"He says the government shouldn't overreact to corporate scandals. He led the campaigns of the last four Republican presidents. He watched the September 11 attacks at the Ritz-Carlton with the Bin Laden family. He's defending the Saudi's against a trillion-dollar lawsuit brought forth by the September 11 families.

BCCI (Bank of Credit & Commerce)

"BCCI defrauded depositors of $10 billion in the '80s in what has been called the "largest bank fraud in world financial history" by former Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau."
Wayne Madsen

The BCCI-Bush connection is, it could be argued an ‘accidental’ one, but it’s highly unlikely even if it is difficult to track, But the seeds are all there, including GW Snr’s CIA connection (as head of it) in the 1970s and the links to BCCI as well as his long time association with James R. Bath an investor in Arbusto. Bath, was a Houston businessman and old friend was also an investor in BCCI. Essentially, BCCI was a convenient ‘channel’ for moving money through to fund the various illegal enterprises being undertaken at the time including, Iran-Contra, the Iranian arms sales, CIA money laundering operations, connections to powerful Middle Eastern businessmen, the Vatican and its right-wing connections through BNL.

Perhaps this extract from "Texas Connections" gives you an idea of the reach:

"… Sheikh Abdullah Bahksh of Saudi Arabia, a 16% shareholder in Harken Energy at the time, was represented by a Palestinian-born Chicago investor named Talat Othman, who served with George W. Bush on the board of Harken Energy. Othman made at least three separate visits to the White House to discuss Middle East affairs with then President George Bush. At about the same time, and just prior to the Gulf War, Harken Energy, with no previous international or offshore drilling experience, was awarded a 35-year petroleum exploration contract with the emirate of Bahrain.

Sheikh Bahksh emerged as a co-investor in the Bank of Commerce and Credit International (BCCI), a criminal enterprise since dissolved, that existed primarily as a mechanism for obtaining political influence using Middle Eastern oil money. Bahrain's prime minister, Sheik Khalifah bin-Sulman al-Khalifah, was a major investor in BCCI's parent company, BCCI Holdings, of Luxembourg. Through its commodities affiliate, Capcom, BCCI was used as a money laundering service by drug traffickers, arms dealers, etc. BCCI's front man in the U.S., and the person chiefly responsible for its takeover of First American Bank in the U.S., was Kamal Adham. Adham is referred to in the Kerry Committee report on BCCI as having been "the CIA's principal liaison for the entire Middle East from the mid-1960's through 1979." He was also the head of intelligence for Saudi Arabia during the time George Bush Sr. was Director of the CIA."

Carlyle Connection – There’s no business like war business
There are so many connections between the Bushes, the ‘Defence’ establishment, the global trade in arms, that the mind boggles. That it barely gets a mention in the mainstream media (except of course, to simply ‘report’ it) is a scandal of the grandest proportions. But it only goes to show the power of big business and the political class they have installed in both the US and the UK (after all, John Major is employed by the Carlyle Group and BAE Systems, the major arms supplier to the UK, is part-owned by Carlyle). Not only the connections beggar belief but the sheer hypocrisy of the Bush government should put it in a new category in the Guinness Book of Records. As you’ll see from just a few of the links to information on Carlyle below, their tentacles extend to many of the armed conflicts going on in the world. There’s no business like war business!