Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


Guest Opinion: The Devil In The Details

THE DEVIL IN THE DETAILS


By Bobby Heart
From: http://www.oasistv.com/news/index-library.asp?story=5-5-03-story-3.asp

SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA--May 5, 2003--George W. Bush spoke here last Friday to cheering employees at the huge military contractor United Defense Industries, Inc. But while he praised the Army's Bradley tank, which is made at the plant, he neglected to disclose one "detail" - namely, that his immediate family stands to make a fortune from the profits being made by United Defense (NYSE: UDI). And depending on the terms of the bin Laden family trust, so, too, does Osama bin Laden's family.

George W. Bush's father, George Bush, Sr., is a stockholder and former consultant to the private investment firm called the Carlyle Group. Similarly, Osama bin Laden's late father, Mohammed, was also a stockholder in Carlyle, although the Wall Street Journal reported that he withdrew his $2 million investment after 9-11.

According to the Washington Post, the Carlyle Group is one of the world's largest private equity firms with nearly $13.9 billion dollars invested, much of it in military hardware. In fact, it's estimated that Carlyle controls over 10% of the entire U.S. defense industry. Part of those holdings include a 49% stake of United Defense Industries, supplier of the Bradley tanks, among many other weapons, used in the Iraqi invasion.

So after Thursday's photo-ops on board the USS Abraham Lincoln, where Bush declared America's invasion of Iraq was effectively over, it can be reasonably argued that he came to Santa Clara not only for yet another photo opportunity, but also to boost the stock holdings in his father's estate.

Unfortunately, the "press whores" - as the irascible Chicago investigative reporter Sherman Skolnick habitually describes the mainstream press - universally ignored this covert conflict of interest. For example, according to a writer named "David Stout" of the New York Times, "Mr. Bush was lustily cheered by the United Defense Industries workers, especially when he praised the exploits of the Army's Bradley fighting vehicle, which is made at the plant and which Mr. Bush said had played a big role in toppling the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq." Stout dutifully goes on to describe the challenges facing Bush in light of the skyrocketing unemployment figures just released. But not one word from Mr. Stout and countless other writers in the mainstream media about the financial stake Bush stands to inherit from rising share prices of United Defense.

Carlyle's top management of Beltway insiders includes ex-Secy of State James Baker under Bush, Sr., ex-Defense Secy Frank Carlucci under Bush, Sr., Richard Darman, ex-director of the U.S. Office of Mgt and Budget under Bush, Sr.; ex-chairman of the Federal Communications Commission William Kennard; John Major, ex-British prime minister-and, during the time Carlyle invested in United Defense, former U.S. Pres. George Bush himself. In fact, Carlyle's Carlucci is also on United Defense's board, as is John Shalikashvili, ex-chairman of Clinton's Joint Chiefs of Staff, and United's former president and current CFO is Francis "Buzz" Raborn, a retired US Navy Vice Admiral & former CIA deputy director.

According to Hoovers.com, United Defense depends on the US government (meaning, of course, American taxpayers) for 80% of its sales. So decisions by Bush, Jr. as to whether or not to invade Iraq, and from which military contractors to purchase weapons, substantially determines how much money goes into the pockets of his friends and family. Another way of looking at it is that whenever Iraqi forces - or any force protecting a country we invade - destroys a Bradley tank on the battlefield, United Defense, the Carlyle Group and Bush's friends and family stand to enrich themselves.
It's almost elegant in its simplicity: the son destroys, the father profits by replacing it. Ironically, that's the same formula used by the bin Laden family for years. Every time Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda allegedly destroyed American military barracks in Saudi Arabia, the Binladen Construction Company was hired to rebuild it, earning the bin Laden family millions of dollars profit in the process. And regardless of whether it's the Bush Family or bin Laden Family engaged in this charade, it's always the American taxpayer who foots the bill.

The late US Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler once said, "War is a racket." So any journalist worth his embedded donuts should have known these facts lurking behind Bush's appearance at United Defense last week -- and reported it. But without exception, they did not. I used to wince every time writer Skolnick called them "press whores." But not any more. In fact, "whore" is too kind a term. At least with a whore, you get what you pay for.

And that, dear friends, is the Heart of the matter.

********

- Bobby Heart is a contributing editor of Oasis TV.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>

ALSO:

Buildup:

Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>

ALSO:

Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>

ALSO:


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news