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Bush Administration


Project: History of US Interventions

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George Bush is a Texas oilman, although not a very successful one. His company, Arbusto, merged with Spectrum 7 in 1984 as it was on the verge of bankruptcy. Spectrum was bought out by Harken Energy in 1986, giving Bush a seat on Harkens board, some stock options and a $120,000 consulting contract. The energy industry pumped $2.8 million into Bush's 2000 campaign.

Bush's father, the former president and ex-CIA director, is part of the Carlyle Group, a $12 billion international equity firm. Carlyle's portfolio is heavy in defense and telecommunications holdings. In addition, The Wall Street Journal reported on September 31 that Bush One and Osama bin Laden's family, which is also is part of the Carlyle Group, have business dealings with each other. [Profile; Article; Article]
Bush only won the 2000 election after his brother removed 94,000 Florida voters from the electoral role on the basis that they were criminals. 90% (91,000) were in fact innocent of any crime. As these voters were predominantly black and thus overwhelmingly democrats, it can be said with a fair degree of certainty that they would have swung the vote away from Bush by more than the 537 vote difference had they been granted their right to vote. [Article; Article; Article; Article; Article; Article; Article]

Secretary of Defense

       Donald Rumsfeld was on the board of technology giant ABB when it won a deal to supply North Korea with two nuclear power plants, netting a $200 million contract. [MSNBC article; Article; Article] In 1983, a month after the US received intelligence reports of "almost daily use of CW [chemical weapons]" by Iraq, Donald Rumsfeld met Saddam Hussein in Baghdad and passed on the US willingness to help his regime and restore full diplomatic relations. [Guardian article; Article; Article; Article] In 1998 he and Deputy Secretary Paul Wolfowitz undertook a full-fledged lobbying campaign to get former President Bill Clinton to start a war with Iraq and topple Saddam Hussein's regime, claiming that the country posed a threat to the United States. This included this, and this letter. [Article; Article]

Transportation Secretary

       In yet another conflict of interests, Norman Mineta has corporate ties with Lockheed Martin, Northwest Airlines, Greyhound, United Airlines, Union Pacific and Boeing. [Profile]

Energy Secretary

       Spencer Abraham was the No. 1 recipient of campaign contributions from the automotive industry, receiving more than $700,000 for his failed Senate run in 2000 from contributors like General Motors, Ford and Lear Corp. One of his top contributors, DaimlerChrysler, is introducing an extra large SUV to the U.S. market this year. Daimlers SUV, considered a "military spin-off," is a foot longer than the SUVs currently on the road and will only get about 10 miles per gallon. [Profile]

Secretary of State

       In the Vietnam war, Colin Powell attempted to cover-up the My Lai massacre. [Article; Article; Article; Article; Article; Article] In 1986, he supervised the transfer of 4,508 TOW missiles to the CIA, and then sought to hide the transaction from Congress and the public (for the reason that these missiles were part of the Iran-Contra scandal's arms-for-hostages deal). He later worked diligently on behalf of the contra guerrillas who were killing civilians in Nicaragua (for which the US was later condemned by the World Court). [Article; Article; Article; Article] Collin Powell met with General Mahmoud Ahmad on Sept 12+13, 2001. Ahmad was the 'money-man' behind the Sept 11 hijackers. [Article; Article; Article]

Commerce Secretary

       Don Evans spent 25 years at Tom Brown Inc., a Denver-based oil and gas company. He was chairman and CEO of the $1.2 billion company and also sat on the board of TMBR/Sharp Drilling, an oil and gas drilling operation. [Profile]

Vice President

Dick Cheney was, from 1995 to 2000, the CEO of Halliburton, the worlds largest oil field services company. Halliburton, through its European subsidiaries, sold spare parts to Iraq's oil industry, despite U.N. sanctions, and had contracts to rebuild oil infrastructures destroyed in Bush One's Gulf War (during which Cheney was secretary of defense). He sold $59m of his shares as Chief Executive of Halliburton, after accounting changes allegedly inflated the share price by $445m. The shares later collapsed, and Cheney and Halliburton are now under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Cheney was also a member of the Kazakhstan Oil Advisory Board. U.S. oil companies now hold a nearly three-fourths stake in the Tengiz oil fields in Kazakhstan. [Guardian article; Article; Article; Article; Article; Article]
As a house rep from Wyoming from 1978 to 1989, he cosponsored a measure to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to oil drilling and voted against the Clean Water Act which required industries to release publicly their records on toxic emissions. The Sierra Club, quoting from 1997 EPA data, point out that Halliburton's facility in Duncan, Oklahoma, was in the top 20 percent of the dirtiest in the United States. [Article] Cheney has consistently opposed increased gun control and environmental laws. He has also voted to fund the Nicaraguan contras and against imposing sanctions on the apartheid regime in South Africa. [CNN profile] Cheney still receives annual payments from Halliburton, which has recently been awarded the Pentagon's contract to put out potential oil-field fires in Iraq and other postwar construction contracts. Halliburton was also awarded contracts worth nearly $33m to build the detention camp at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba for al-Qaida suspects. [Guardian article; Article; Article; Article; Article; Article; Article]

National Security Affairs Advisor

       Condoleezza Rice sat on Chevron's Board of Directors from 1991 to 2001, and Chevron named a 129,000-ton oil tanker after her. Rice used her expertise as a Soviet foreign relations specialist on the National Security Council during Bush One to advise Chevron on its investments in the Caspian Sea during her board tenure. [Article; Article; Article; Article]

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