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The REAL Dirt On Bush/Harken Scandal!!
The REAL Dirt On Bush/Harken Scandal!!
Arbusto is an oil company Bush ran into the ground and it was acquired by Spectrum which, Bush ran into the ground and it was acquired by Harken. Bush is as "inside" as a trader gets.
GEORGE JR.'S BCCI CONNECTION
"This is an incredible deal, unbelievable for this small company," energy analyst Charles Strain told Forbes magazine, describing the oil production sharing agreement the Harken Energy Corporation signed in January 1990 with Bahrain.
Under the terms of the deal, Harken was given the exclusive right to explore for gas and oil off the shores of the Gulf island nation. If gas or oil were found in waters near two of the world's largest gas and oil fields, Harken would have exclusive marketing and transportation rights for the energy resources. Truly an "incredible deal" for a company that had never drilled an offshore well.
Strain failed to point out, however, the one fact that puts the Harken deal in focus: George Bush, Jr., the eldest son of George and Barbara Bush of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC, is a member of Harken's board of directors, a consultant, and a stockholder in the Texas-based company. In light of this connection, the deal makes more sense. The involvement of Junior-George Walker Bush's childhood nickname-with Harken is a walking conflict of interest. His relationship to President Bush, rather than any business acumen, made him a valuable asset for Harken, the Republican Party benefactors, Middle East oil sheikhs and covert operators who played a part in Harken's Bahrain deal.
In fact, Junior's track record as an oilman is pretty dismal. He began his career in Midland, Texas, in the mid-1970s when he founded Arbusto Energy, Inc. When oil prices dropped in the early 1980s, Arbusto fell upon hard times. Junior was only rescued from business failure when his company was purchased by Spectrum 7 Energy Corporation, a small oil firm owned by William DeWitt and Mercer Reynolds. As part of the September 1984 deal, Bush became Spectrum 7's president and was given a 13.6 percent share in the company's stock. Oil prices stayed low and within two years, Spectrum 7 was in trouble.
In the six months before Spectrum 7 was acquired by Harken in 1986, it had lost $400,000. In the buyout deal, George "Jr." and his partners were given more than $2 million worth of Harken stock for the 180-well operation. Made a director and hired as a "consultant" to Harken, Junior received another $600,000 of Harken stock, and has been paid between $42,000 and $120,000 a year since 1986.
Junior's value to Harken soon became apparent when the company needed an infusion of cash in the spring of 1987. Junior and other Harken officials met with Jackson Stephens, head of Stephens, Inc., a large investment bank in Little Rock, Arkansas (Stephens made a $100,000 contribution to the Reagan-Bush campaign in 1980 and gave another $100,000 to the Bush dinner committee in 1990.)
In 1987, Stephens made arrangements with Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS) to provide $25 million to Harken in return for a stock interest in Harken. As part of the Stephens-brokered deal, Sheikh Abdullah Bakhsh, a Saudi real estate tycoon and financier, joined Harken's board as a major investor. *5 Stephens, UBS, and Bakhsh each have ties to the scandal-ridden Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI).
It was Stephens who suggested in the late 1970s that BCCI purchase what became First American Bankshares in Washington, D.C. BCCI later acquired First American's predecessor, Financial General Bankshares. At the time of the Harken investment, UBS was a joint-venture partner with BCCI in a bank in Geneva, Switzerland. Bakhsh has been an investment partner in Saudi Arabia with Gaith Pharoan, identified by the U.S. Federal Reserve Board as a "front man" for BCCI's secret acquisitions of U.S. banks.
Stephens, Inc. played a role in the Harken deal with Bahrain as well. Former Stephens bankers David and Mike Edwards contacted Michael Ameen, the former chief of Mobil Oil's Middle East operations, when Bahrain broke off 1989 talks with Amoco for a gas and oil exploration contract. The Edwardses recommended Harken for the job and urged Ameen to get in touch with Bahrain, which he did.
"In the midst of Harken's talks with Bahrain, Ameen- simultaneously working as a State Department consultant-briefed the incoming U.S. ambassador in Bahrain, Charles Hostler," the Wall Street Journal noted, adding that Hostler, a San Diego real estate investor, was a $100,000 contributor to the Republican Party. Hostler claimed he never discussed Harken with the Bahrainis.
Harken lacked sufficient financing to explore off the coast of Bahrain so it brought in Bass Enterprises Production Company of Fort Worth, Texas, as a partner. The Bass family contributed more than $200,000 to the Republican Party in the late 1980s and early 1990s. *9 On June 22, 1990, George Jr. sold two-thirds of his Harken stock for $848,560-a cool 200 percent profit. The move was well timed. One week after Junior sold his stock, Harken announced a $23.2 million loss in quarterly earnings and Harken stock dropped sharply, losing 60 percent of its value over the next six months. On August 2, 1990, Iraqi troops moved into Kuwait and 541,000 U.S. forces were deployed to the Gulf.
"There is substantial evidence to suggest that Bush knew Harken was in dire straits in the weeks before he sold the $848,560 of Harken stock," asserted U.S. News & World Report. The magazine noted Harken appointed Junior to a "fairness committee" to study possible economic restructuring of the company. Junior worked closely with financial advisers from Smith Barney, Harris Upham & Company, who concluded "only drastic action could save Harken."
George "Jr." also violated Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations which require "insider" stock deals to be reported promptly, in Bush's case by July 10, 1990. He didn't file the stock sale with the SEC until the first week of March 1991.
Meanwhile, a cloak-and-dagger aura surrounds Junior's business dealings. James Bath, a Texas entrepreneur who invested $50,000 in Arbusto Energy, may be a business cutout for the CIA. Bath also acted as an investment "adviser" to Saudi Arabian oil sheikhs, linked to the outlaw BCCI, which also has ties to the CIA.
Bill White, a former Bath partner, claims that Bath has "national security" connections. White, a United States Naval Academy graduate and former fighter pilot, charges that Bath developed a network of off-shore companies to camouflage the movement of money and aircraft between Texas and the Middle East, especially Saudi Arabia.
Alan Quasha, a Harken director and former chair of the company, is the son of attorney William Quasha, who defended figures in the Nugan Hand Bank scandal in Australia. Closed in 1980, Nugan Hand was not only tied to drug-money laundering and U.S. intelligence and mi- litary circles, but also to the CIA's covert backing for a "constitutional coup" in Australia that caused the fall of Prime Minister Gough Whitlam.
The Harken deal with Bahrain raises another troubling question: Did the Bahrainis and the BCCI-linked Saudi oil sheikhs use the production sharing agreement with Harken to curry favor with the Bush administration and influence U.S. policy in the Middle East? Talat Othman's sudden rise to prominence in Bush administration foreign policy circles is a case in point. Othman, who sits on the Harken board as Sheikh Bakhsh's representative, didn't have access to President Bush before Harken's Bahrain agreement. "But since August 1990, the Palestinian-born Chicago investor has attended three White House meetings with President Bush to discuss Middle East policy," the Wall Street Journal pointed out. "His name was added by the White House to a select list of 15 Arab-Americans chosen to meet with President Bush, Sununu and National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft in the White House two days after Iraq's August 1990 invasion of Kuwait."