Asian $$ - Prince Neil Bush Gets Media Protection
Asian $$ - Prince Neil Bush Gets Media Protection
Once Upon A Time In The Bush Family Series
By Evelyn J Pringle
Once upon a time Prince Neil Bush was making money hand-over-fist over in China and Taiwan and nobody even seemed to notice.
When it comes to influence peddling by presidential relatives, nothing comes close to the financial activities of Neil Bush. But the comical part of this whole story is that with the media asleep at the wheel during the Bush presidency, Neil’s deals may have remained a secret for life if not for his equally shady violations of his marital vows, and his attempt to dump the wife and keep all the money for himself.
During a divorce deposition on March 4, 2003, Neil detailed financial relationships with firms in Taiwan and China and admitted to having had sex on several occasions with unidentified women who simply came to his hotel door in Thailand and Hong Kong, according to the UPI on Nov 26, 2003.
Lets skip past the sex talk that's been covered in other articles in this series and go to the area of the transcript that deals with Neil's contract with one Grace Semiconductor Manufacturing. With no background whatsoever in semiconductors, Neil entered into a 5-year consultant contract, with an annual retainer of $400,000 in stock, with this company.
The 2-page Aug 15, 2002 contract bears the signatures of Winston Wong and Neil Bush, and under the terms of the contract, Neil has only 2 duties:
· To provide GSMC from time to time with business strategies and policies; latest information and trends of the related industry, and other expertized advices (sic).
· To attend Directors Board Meetings.
For this he will be paid a total of $2 million worth of preferred stock, and $10,000 in expense money for each board meeting he attends.
His wife's Attorney was amazed by this deal. "You have absolutely no educational background in semiconductors do you?" he asked. "That's correct," Neil responded.
"And you have absolutely over the last 10, 15, 20 years not a lot of demonstrable business experience that would bring about a company investing $2 million in you," Brown asked. "I personally would object to the assumption that they're investing $2 million in me, " Neil answered.
Well then, what could he offer worth $2 million and $10,000 a pop for meetings? In the 270 page deposition, the best he ever came up with was when he said: "I know a lot about business and I've been working in Asia quite a long time." And, "I feel I've had pretty extensive business interaction over there and that's what I would bring, just general business knowledge," Neil said.
Hey, I know a lot about business too. Can Neil get me hired at Grace?
According to The China Report, what makes this company so interesting is that it was founded and run by the sons of two Asian scions-Winston Wong, the son of Taiwanese billionaire Wang Yung-ching, and his partner Jiang Mianheng, son of China’s then-president, Jiang Zemin.
Investors include Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing. Former U.S. Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, is an adviser. Neil Bush, brother to U.S. President George W. Bush, is an adviser and director, according to Bloomberg Markets (August 2004).
The China Report, says that Grace “is a prime example of what the Chinese call guanxi (pronounced gwan-shee) meaning high-level connections. These have traditionally been considered a precondition for doing business in China. Because there has historically been no official rule of law, guanxi is very important,” it explains.
That said, I suppose it should come as no surprise that Neil was hired. After all, he is the son of a former President and brother of another. He surely comes with plenty of guanxi.
Who Are These Guys?
What do Americans know about Neil's bosses? How about Winston Wong? Who is he?
As it turns out, we might know if we think back to1995. That was when Clinton got into big trouble after it was revealed that a guy named Winston Wang had a cup of coffee with him at the White House, and in return, allegedly promised to make a $100,000 contribution to the DNC.
Well guess what? Neil's buddy, Winston Wong, is the same guy that Clinton had coffee with. Apparently he now spells his name with an “o” instead of an “a.” Columnist, Margie Burns, made the discovery when the Grace contract became public.
Yep, that's right, Neil signed a $2 million contract with the same guy whose White House visit resulted in a 5 year political nightmare for Bill and even became the topic of congressional hearings where Republicans drilled Charlie Trie about his introduction of Wong to Clinton.
How come the news hounds who devoted endless coverage to Charlie back then, never report on his connection to Winston Wong now? When Trie testified before Congress on March 1, 2000, he admitted that he introduced Wang to Clinton, but he also told the Committee, ``When I met Winston Wang, he told me that he had met with President Bush when he was president." Why hasn't that meeting ever been investigated?
Why isn't the media informing the public that Neil's boss is the same guy that Republicans were trying to say was a spy for the last 5 years of the Clinton Presidency? The guy makes a habit of paying big bucks to get close to US presidents, so why wouldn't a story about this spy handing $2 million to the President's brother, for absolutely nothing, warrant an investigation and front page headlines for 5 years?
The Oct 23, 2000 issue of The Nation made a few excellent points, "A close look at the CP Group ... shows that the game of influence-peddling can be played simultaneously on different fields: Use a fundraiser to gain access to the White House, or rent a former President, cut a deal with his son and sign up his former National Security Adviser. It's usually a bipartisan endeavor. George W. Bush ought to keep that in mind and vet his own squad closely before he claims the high ground over the gang currently in power," it said.
Its not a matter of W vetting anybody. There's no need to. By now he knows there is nothing to worry about, the press will not investigate anything the Bush family does.
Mainstream Press Asleep At The Wheel
The scale of the media's utter failure to conduct indepth reporting when it comes to the Bush family indicates something far larger than mere laziness or a lapse of journalistic ethics. With Clinton, we endured 8 years of hearing about Whitewater and Chinagate including: the CP Group, Wen Ho Lee, Charlie Trie, and Winston Wang. For what?
Granted, the obsession to find a link between Clinton and Chinese espionage did in the end lead to the discovery of some illegal contributions to the DNC, but there was never any evidence that the money involved espionage. Its intended purpose was commercial.
But more importantly, there were never any money trails leading into Clinton's personal bank accounts, or those of his family members, like there are with the Bush family.
Why did we have to wait for a divorce deposition to find out that at the exact same time that Republicans were wasting millions of our tax dollars on endless Clinton witch hunts, that Neil was involved in big money deals with the CP Group?
We now learn that months before The American Spectator Magazine claimed the CP Group was one of a series of "front companies for Communist China" that were "actively buying up (and spying on) the U.S.," Neil was already a consultant for that firm.
According to his deposition, at that time, he was a consultant for CP Group subsidiary, Telecom Holdings, looking for US companies to invest in. "We made introduction of the Asian group to Kopin and they ended up investing a significant amount of money in Kopin," Neil said. "I believe it was in excess of $20 million. They're in Hong Kong and Thailand."
On Dec 31, 2003, his attorney, John Spalding explained the deal to the Boston Globe, ''Neil helped put together an approximately $27 million dollar deal and was awarded stock options for his efforts,'' Spalding said.
Well that stock became extremely valuable on July 19, 1999, the day the Wall Street Journal published a story saying that a Japanese video camera company had started using tiny liquid crystal display viewfinders manufactured by Kopin. The company itself had not even announced its good news until that same morning.
That's when Neil says he made $171,000 in one day by a mere coincidence. According to his testimony, on July 19, 1999, at 9 am, his financial adviser called and told Neil to buy 15,000 shares of Kopin stock and then to turn around and sell it the same day. That morning, he bought the stock for $28.62 per share and a few hours later he sold it for $33.25, making over $171,000. Of course he swore he had no insider info.
Now Clinton's half-hour coffee meeting supposedly earned $100,000 for the DNC, well according to the Jan 26, 2004 AP, Neil’s tax returns show he made $798,218 from off his CP Group-Kopin gig.
Where is the outrage over the ex-President's son peddling influence in China? There is none because the media keeps it hidden.
What Makes Neil Worth $2 Million?
The world business press reported that by hiring Neil, Grace hoped to influence US limits on exporting technology to China and that Neil could help repeal restrictions designed to keep gear from falling into the wrong hands and being used by the Chinese military.
On Oct 27, 2004, ESM reported that Grace is in the final stages of negotiating a technology transfer for a manufacturing process from a US manufacturer, which if "brought about, a deal bringing advanced process technology from the U.S. would signal the further erosion of a post-Cold War-era pact -- known as the Wassenaar Arrangement -- set up to limit the dissemination of technology that could have potential military use."
The Wassenaar Arrangement is a real headache for Grace because when it comes to making advanced semiconductors, it has to rely on imports that require prior approval.
According to ESM, Grace refuses to disclose the name of the US manufacturing company involved which leads me to wonder why the secrecy and once again, where is the media?
Of course the article had to mention good old Neil. "Grace is well known for some of its high profile connections. In the U.S., it has reportedly agreed to pay $2 million for consulting services from semiconductor neophyte Neil Bush, the younger brother of President George W. Bush," noted ESM.
The Nov 21, 2003 Houston Chronicle asked some industry analysts what Neil could bring to Grace. "It's hard to say," said George Burns of Strategic Marketing Research, a Santa Cruz firm that covers the semiconductor industry. "Certainly he could act as a lobbyist."
Fred Zieber, an industry analyst with Pathfinder Research in San Jose, said, "I don't have a clue. You can speculate, but nothing rises to the top."
Another $2 Million Theory
Margie Burns noted another possible motive for paying Neil in the Dec 16, 2003 Online Journal: "Many observers were surprised last week when George W. Bush came down in favor of the People's Republic of China, against a democratic referendum in Taiwan. His weighing in on behalf of mainland China becomes more questionable at a time when well-connected Chinese companies are funneling large sums of money to Bush's brothers.”
Margie is right, W has changed his tune since he took office. In the early days, he focused on China as a strategic threat and expressed full support for Taiwan, even though it was later reported that in Oct 2001, Bush Sr assured President Hu that, "The US side understood China's concerns over the Taiwan issue," by the May 21, 2004 Asia Times.
China's leaders have a lot of faith in Sr. Jiang Zemin explained what he expected of Sr to a Washington Post editor two months after W's inauguration, "The father of President Bush, Bush Sr, came over to China many, many times and had many meetings with me in the seat you are now occupying," Jiang said. "We believe Bush Sr will definitely push Bush Jr to bring US-China relations to a new level."
Jiang may be right because according to the March/April 2004 issue of Foreign Affairs, "On December 9, 2003, in the presence of visiting Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, President George W. Bush broke significant new ground in U.S. relations with China and Taiwan. Having pledged in April 2001 to do "whatever it takes" to help Taiwan defend itself, Bush changed tack, reaffirming U.S. support for maintaining the status quo in the Taiwan Strait. Of even greater significance, he rebuked Taiwan's president, Chen Shui-bian, stating that "the comments and actions made by the leader of Taiwan indicate that he may be willing to make decisions unilaterally to change the status quo, which we oppose.""
I think that giving Taiwan the impression that the US might permit China to coerce it into submission, is undermining America’s credibility toward its support for democracy. As the Washington Post noted on Dec 7, 2003, “It seems hypocritical for Washington to call for democracy around the world while assisting a one-party regime in frustrating a new democracy's desire for self-determination."
Past administrations of Democrats and Republicans alike have supported democracy for Taiwan and at the same time, sustain a good relationship with China. If W allows the balance of the Washington-Taiwan-China triangular relationship to be disrupted it may just fall apart, at great cost to all 3 nations.
In the worse case scenario, a perceived change of course could push Taiwan to look for alternatives to US military support, maybe even cause it to consider the possibility of nuclear deterrence.
If ever there was one, this is a prime example of why the US president and his family should not be involved in money deals with politically connected firms in other countries. Any major shift of support to China will be viewed as a payoff to the whole world.
The Old Man & Neil Hustle Together
Neil and his old man are like vultures when it comes to grabbing money in Asia and the press hardly ever mentions any of it. If you don't believe that, just ask co-workers or people out shopping whether they know about these big-money Bush deals and see how many say yes. Let me assure you, there won't be many.
For instance, why hasn't the media investigated the charge that Neil was paid $1 million to meet with Taiwan's president Chen Shui-bian, leveled by James Soong, leader of Taiwan's opposition party. Neil admitted meeting with Chen, but denied receiving money. Meetings between US officials and Taiwanese governments have been prohibited since 1979, when the US normalized relations with Beijing, so where was the press when this took place?
In Neil's deposition, it was revealed that Wong has invested millions of dollars in Neil's educational software company, Ignite! Why would Wong be interested in public education in the US? Where was the investigation into this financial deal?
I just realized how hard it is to try and keep track of all the money being made by Neil from foreigners without a calculator.
The May 21, 2002 Asia Times reported that companies pay Sr $125,000-$150,000 for speeches in China, plus first-class expenses for three and flights on private jets, according to his representative, Brooks International Speakers & Entertainment Bureau.
Some companies that have hired Sr to talk in China include the CP Group, Arco, the Chubb Group, IMC Global and the Carlyle Group.
What do they get for their money? "If you're unknown in China and trying to get known, and you're trying to get a license there, having a former president at a reception might get people to come who might not come otherwise," a Chubb official told the LA Times. "We get to rub shoulders with them and get to know them better," the Asian Times reports.
Last but not least, the Bush Foundation lists the Chinese government as a $50,000-$100,000 contributor to the Bush presidential library. Where's the calculator?
Wong & Neil - Tabloid Stars
Wong and Neil have a few other things in common that have little to do with business, and they're also both tabloid stars.
The deposition revealed that Neil had one wife, sex romps with numerous Asian gals, and an affair with his mother's married aide, Maria. And come to find out, Wong had 3 wives and an affair with college student, Annie Lue, for whom he was an academic adviser, and who was said to be a former fortune-teller's assistant.
A book agent told the tabloids that Neil’s wife called Maria a "Mexican Whore,“ and the tabloids reported that Wong’s wife bribed a college professor to give Annie bad grades.
Neil and Wong probably have a lot to share at Grace board meetings. I know, let's hold congressional hearings and find out what they talk about.
The moral of this story is that when you are a Prince and you know the media will make sure that your shady deals remain a secret, don't divorce a Princess and try to keep all the money for yourself.