Sunday, December 12, 2010

Commanders of the Faithful, Part 2

Before you read this, you may wish to review Part 1.

First, here is the text of Questionable Ties: Tracking bin Laden's Money Flow leads back to Midland, Texas, by Wayne Madsen, dated November, 2001, and republished in February, 2002, in Global Research.

On September 24, President George W. Bush appeared at a press conference in the White House Rose Garden to announce a crackdown on the financial networks of terrorists and those who support them. "U.S. banks that have assets of these groups or individuals must freeze their accounts," Bush declared. "And U.S. citizens or businesses are prohibited from doing business with them."

But the president, who is now enjoying an astounding 92 percent approval rating, hasn't always practiced what he is now preaching: Bush's own businesses were once tied to financial figures in Saudi Arabia who currently support bin Laden.

In 1979, Bush's first business, Arbusto Energy, obtained financing from James Bath, a Houstonian and close family friend. One of many investors, Bath gave Bush $ 50,000 for a 5 percent stake in Arbusto. At the time, Bath was the sole U.S. business representative for Salem bin Laden, head of the wealthy Saudi Arabian family and a brother (one of 17) to Osama bin Laden. It has long been suspected, but never proven, that the Arbusto money came directly from Salem bin Laden. In a statement issued shortly after the September 11 attacks, the White House vehemently denied the connection, insisting that Bath invested his own money, not Salem bin Laden's, in Arbusto.

In conflicting statements, Bush at first denied ever knowing Bath, then acknowledged his stake in Arbusto and that he was aware Bath represented Saudi interests. In fact, Bath has extensive ties, both to the bin Laden family and major players in the scandal-ridden Bank of Commerce and Credit International (BCCI) who have gone on to fund Osama bin Laden. 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. During the '80s, BCCI also acted as a main conduit for laundering money intended for clandestine CIA activities, ranging from financial support to the Afghan mujahedin to paying intermediaries in the Iran-Contra affair.

When Salem bin Laden died in 1988, powerful Saudi Arabian banker and BCCI principal Khalid bin Mahfouz inherited his interests in Houston. Bath ran a business for bin Mahfouz in Houston and joined a partnership with bin Mahfouz and Gaith Pharaon, BCCI's frontman in Houston's Main Bank.

The Arbusto deal wasn't the last time Bush looked to highly questionable sources to invest in his oil dealings. After several incarnations, Arbusto emerged in 1986 as Harken Energy Corporation. When Harken ran into trouble a year later, Saudi Sheik Abdullah Taha Bakhsh purchased a 17.6 percent stake in the company. Bakhsh was a business partner with Pharaon in Saudi Arabia; his banker there just happened to be bin Mahfouz.

Though Bush told the Wall Street Journal he had "no idea" BCCI was involved in Harken's financial dealings, the network of connections between Bush and BCCI is so extensive that the Journal concluded their investigation of the matter in 1991 by stating: "The number of BCCI-connected people who had dealings with Harken -- all since George W. Bush came on board -- raises the question of whether they mask an effort to cozy up to a presidential son." Or even the president: Bath finally came under investigation by the FBI in 1992 for his Saudi business relationships, accused of funneling Saudi money through Houston in order to influence the foreign policies of the Reagan and first Bush administrations.

Worst of all, bin Mahfouz allegedly has been financing the bin Laden terrorist network -- making Bush a U.S. citizen who has done business with those who finance and support terrorists. According to USA Today, bin Mahfouz and other Saudis attempted to transfer $ 3 million to various bin Laden front operations in Saudi Arabia in 1999. ABC News reported the same year that Saudi officials stopped bin Mahfouz from contributing money directly to bin Laden. (Bin Mahfouz's sister is also a wife of Osama bin Laden, a fact that former CIA Director James Woolsey revealed in 1998 Senate testimony.)

When President Bush announced he is hot on the trail of the money used over the years to finance terrorism, he must realize that trail ultimately leads not only to Saudi Arabia, but to some of the same financiers who originally helped propel him into the oil business and later the White House. The ties between bin Laden and the White House may be much closer than he is willing to acknowledge.

Before we continue, a word about Global Research. It is a little "left of center". :) Having said that, much of the time, the articles there are well-researched and well-documented; however, it is not uncommon to find an "article" that is basically a left-wing editorial rant. I enjoy reading articles there, but, as with any serious reading one does, it is prudent to check the source material and examine the logic (or lack thereof) in the article.

Doing this, the one thing that jumps out at me from this old piece is a relatively minor matter: the allegation of Sheikh bin Mahfouz being an in-law to Sheikh bin Laden. I have heard different descriptions of the in-law relationship, and I have heard from credible sources that there is no such relationship. As I review this article, I don't see anything else that isn't supported in a variety of scholarly sources, and the author Madsen seems to do quality work.

A picture is worth a thousand words, and the complex relationship between the Bush family and key players in the Saudi arena is perhaps best understood with a diagram I found at Bush - bin Laden family business connections:

There are a couple of the alleged links diagramed in the above image that I have not checked into, but the other stuff is right on the money, and that gives me confidence in the diagram. Regarding the link I got it from, and the other information there, you need to look into that yourself if you are interested.

Regardless, terrorism - er, I mean, preaching the word of the Religion of Peace - takes money. It is not cheap. Building mosques is one thing, because much of the money for this seemingly innocuous endeavor can come in overtly. But behind the scenes, it takes a great deal of money to finance jihad.

The late Sheikh Khalid bin Mahfouz was one such Financier of Holy Terror. Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld, who does absolutely first-rate research, connected bin Mahfouz to financing terrorism. Bin Mahfouz had a reputation for targeting authors who pointed out his ties to terror with lawsuits filed in the United Kingdom, where the laws greatly favored the plaintiffs. He targeted Ehrenfeld, claiming UK jurisdiction since a few copies of Ehrenfeld's book linking Mahfouz to terrorism were bought on-line and sent to addresses in the UK. (!)

In response to this, lobbying began in the US to give American authors relief from lawsuits filed in countries where legal protection was not akin to the First Amendment protections offered in the US. Ultimately, "Rachel's Law" was passed in New York State, and then HR2765 was passed in Washington and signed into law by President Obama.

But, it was noted that Obama (who, after all, is a Constitutional scholar, n'est-ce pas?) did not take advantage of the opportunity to make some speech about protecting our Constitutional rights (see also here). In fact, the question we were left with at the end of Obama's curious silence (August, 2010) is this:

Still, I am left to wonder: Is it possible that from beyond the grave Khaled Bin Mahfouz has won yet another victory for his patrons in Saudi Arabia?
Wait a minute!  We had regime change in America, and got rid of Bush's Banana Republicans, only to have them replaced by the Obamanistas (together with their Clintonite retreads) - hey, change we can believe in!

Or maybe not??

I began to wonder what kind of ties these Financiers of Holy Terror, including the now-deceased Sheikh bin Mahfouz, have to the current administration...

First, I found a blogpost making the following connection (I reproduced the excerpt's two links):

Who is Cherif Sedky?

A relatively recent entrant into the Obama inner circle - indeed, a relatively recent entrant into Democrat party politics. Until this year, in fact when he stopped donating to Republican candidates, and began donating to Barack Obama - in the primary and general election - as well as the liberal PAC After maxing out his contributions to Obama's primary campaign, he has not officially donated to the campaign since March, stopping at $500. His campaign contribution forms list him as a "Self employed/Private Investor". His day job is representing, in court and in the media, Saudi terrorist financier Sheikh Khalid Bin Mahfouz.

Curious, I verified Sedky's contributions via the FEC:





Interesting indeed. But wait, there's more:


Once these guys start laundering money to a campaign, there are all kinds of ways to do it. Some foreign billionaire sends a few million to some associates in the US. That money goes to US citizens. Those citizens then have a list of campaigns, PACs and other entities to donate to; these PACs and entities know who they have to pass the money on to, or how it has to get spent. Sometimes, these middlemen keep a small cut for channeling the money.

With that in mind, it was interesting to see what else was written at that blog where the connection was suggested:

How does this plan work?

Simply, this is how it is believed to work: Cherif Sedky, using the blanket protection of attorney-client privilege, is the liaison between representatives of the Obama campaign and the wealthy Saudi financier Sheik Khalid bin Mahfouz. This is the channel through which requests are made: as bin Mahfouz is under close watch by US and allied governments, no money is ever passed through this channel. "Khalid Ganzal", real name "Charlie" Wambu, served as the contact between bin Mahfouz and the front company Baker-Wambu & Associates, which is composed of two women: Muthoni Wambu, a confident of the Biden campaign (current role in the Obama/Biden campaign undetermined), and Vera Baker, former Finance Director of the Obama Senate campaign, now stationed in Martinique, a Caribbean island amid a plethora of tax havens and grey market offshore banking concerns. The money flows from bin Mahfouz, likely using "Charlie" Wambu as a courier, to Vera Baker in the Caribbean, where the money is laundered to the Obama campaign. The pre-existing Baker/Wambu partnership likely explains Obama's choice of Joe Biden over the considerably more popular Hillary Clinton - one can imagine Clinton's rage were she to discover the methods that Obama used to stop her primary campaign. Biden, through Wambu, has likely been aware of this, if not actively involved, for some time.

How is the money brought into the US?

There are several methods. Current campaign finance law does not require contributions under $100 to be registered with the FEC; therefore, it would be simple for a person to send a series of small donations, routed through a hundred parallel dummy bank accounts, directly to the Obama campaign. This is how the "official" campaign coffers are kept full.

There are also "off the books" methods, by which a substantial sum of money can be sent to an organization working in concert with, but not officially affiliated with, the Obama campaign. One organization which fits this bill is ACORN. Nine years ago, ACORN was, supposedly without the knowledge of its board of directors, quietly funneling $1 million of "charity" into private accounts. This was, like the endless stream of proven voter fraud cases we have seen over the last 2 election cycles, dismissed as the work of a rogue "bad apple", but a tree which gives so many "bad apples" clearly has gone rotten to its core. ACORN can use money to pay its oh-so upstanding "volunteers", to quietly pay off people who may get too close to exposing their misdeeds, to pass quietly to other "grassroots" Leftist organizations, or for any other purpose imaginable. After years of practice, and using methods pioneered by Islamic terrorist groups, they are very, very good at making money vanish.

Notice the last author's comments, about how the left uses the same methods to finance elections that Islamic terrorist groups use to finance holy terror.

And, notice some of the same names cropping up.

Clinton sold out to the Communist Chinese, among others; Bush was in bed with associates of Osama bin Laden... now Obama.

You know, I'm betting that where there's smoke, there's fire. Perhaps we have only begun to glimpse the tip of an iceberg of President Obama's ties to financiers of holy terror. If so, might that explain why the best military in the world still can't seem to beat a few jihadis?

By order of the Prophet (peace be upon him), stay tuned for the next installment of "Commanders of the Faithful"!

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