[R-G] Chossudovsky: Conflict of interests?
mstainsby at tao.ca
Thu Jan 2 21:10:29 MST 2003
New Chairman of 9/11 Commission had business ties with Osama's Brother in Law
by Michel Chossudovsky
27 december 2002,
Unknown to most, UNOCAL's partner in the Cent-Gas trans-Afghan pipeline
consortium, the Saudi Company Delta Oil is owned by the bin Mahfouz and
Al-Amoudi clans which allegedly have ties to bin Laden's Al Qaeda.
According to a 1998 Senate testimony of former CIA director James Woolsey,
powerful financier Khalid bin Mahfouz' younger sister is married to Osama bin
Laden,. (US Senate, Senate Judiciary Committee,
Federal News Service, 3 Sept. 1998, See also Wayne Madsen, Questionable Ties, In
These Times,12 Nov. 2001 ) Bin Mahfouz is suspected to have funnelled millions
of dollars to the Al Qaeda network.(See Tom Flocco, Scoop.co.nz 28 Aug. 2002)
Now, "by sheer coincidence", former New Jersey governor Thomas Kean, the man
chosen by President Bush to lead the 9/11 commission also has business ties with
bin Mahfouz and Al-Amoudi.
Thomas Kean is a director (and shareholder) of Amerada Hess Corporation , which
is involved in the Hess-Delta joint venture with Delta Oil of Saudi Arabia
(owned by the bin Mahfouz and Al-Amoudi clans).
Delta-Hess "was established in 1998 for the development and exploration of oil
fields in the Caspian region...In Azerbaijan Delta Hess is involved in the
Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli PSA (2.72%) and the
Garabaghli-Kursangi PSA (20%). It is also an equity holder in the
Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline":
"An air of mystery hangs over Delta- Hess, which... is registered in the Cayman
Islands. Hess is in no hurry to reveal the terms of the alliance, which it says
are subject to confidentiality clauses. 'There's no
reason why this should be public information,' a Hess spokesman says." (Energy
Compass, 15 Nov. 2002)
Coincidentally, the former Governor of New Jersey is also a member of the
Council on Foreign Relations, together with another prominent member of the
board of directors of Amerada Hess, former Secretary of the
Treasury Nicholas Brady.
In other words, Delta Oil Ltd. of Saudi Arabia --which is a partner in the
Hess-Delta Alliance--is in part controlled by Khalid bin Mafhouz, Osama's
brother in law.
And former Governor Thomas Kean not only sits on the board of directors of a
company which has business dealings with Khalid bin Mahfouz, he also heads the
9/11 Commission, which has a mandate to investigate
Khalid's brother in law, Osama bin Laden.
Dr. Kissinger had a conflict of interest and resigned! The vice chairman of the
Commission, former Sen. George Mitchell of Maine, resigned for the same reason.
(See Xymphora, 19 Dec 2002 )
Now you would think that being a business partner of the brother in law and
alleged financier of "Enemy No. 1" would also be considered a bona fide
"conflict of interest", particularly when your mandate --as part
of the 9/11 Commission's work-- is to investigate "Enemy No. 1".
And the corporate media applauds. Without acknowledging his Saudi business
connections, Thomas Kean is heralded as "a man of extraordinary integrity,
decency and intellect." In the words of the Baltimore Sun: "he lacks obvious
conflicts of interest" (26 Dec.2002). To which I respond: "how more obvious can
It is also worth mentioning that Thomas Kean also sits as co-chairman of the
Homeland Security Project (HSP) under the auspices of the Century Foundation. In
this capacity, Kean has played a key role in the draft
recommendations of the Century Foundation, which laid the groundwork of the
Office of Homeland Security legislation.
The Saudi Connection
Thomas Kean, described as a "moderate Republican" is not alone in this Saudi
Extensively documented, other prominent members of the Republican party
including the Bush family have had business dealings with the bin Laden family.
(See George W. Bush Financial Scams: CRG selection of articles)
Moreover, it would appear that Delta officials (involved in the UNOCAL
trans-Afghan pipeline consortium) played a key role in negotiations
with the Taliban. In turn, Enron, the infamous energy giant - whose former CEO,
Ken Lay, had close connections to the Bush family - had been contracted in a
cozy relationship to undertake feasibility studies for the Unocal-Delta
consortium. Enron Corporation had also been entrusted --in liaison with Delta--
with pipeline negotiations with the Taliban
Carefully documented by Wayne Madsen, George W. Bush also had dealings with
Osama's brother in law Khalid bin Mafhouz, when he was in the Texas oil
business. Both George W. Bush and Khalid bin-Mahfouz were
implicated in the Bank of Commerce International (BCCI) scandal:
"Other links between Bush and Mahfouz can be found through investments in the
Carlyle Group, an American investment firm managed by a board on which former
president George Bush himself sat. The younger [George W.]Bush personally held
shares in one of the components of the Carlyle group, the Caterair company,
between 1990-94. And Carlyle today ranks as a leading contributor to Bush's
electoral campaign. On Carlyle's
advisory board is found the name of Sami Baarma, director of the Pakistani
financial establishment Prime Commercial Bank that is based in Lahore and owned
by Mahfouz. (See Maggie Mulvihill, Jonathan Wells and Jack Meyers: Slick deals;
the White House connection; Saudi 'agents' close Bush Friends, Boston Herald, 11
In the wake of 9/11
In the wake of 9/11, Khalid bin Mahfouz (Osama's brother in law) was carefully
exempted from the Treasury investigations (another "sheer
coincidence") which led to the freezing of the financial assets of some 150
Saudi businesses, charities and individuals:
"The US Treasury has frozen the assets of 150 Saudi individuals, companies and
charities suspected of financing terrorism. It has named Blessed Relief, a Saudi
"charity" as a front organisation providing
funds to Osama bin Laden. "Saudi businessmen have been transferring millions of
dollars to Bin Laden through Blessed Relief," the agency said.
One rich Saudi patriarch under suspicion is Khaled bin Mahfouz, owner of the
National Commercial Bank, banker to the Saudi royal family, ...US and British
authorities have also investigated Mohammed Hussein
Al-Amoudi, another billionaire Saudi, for possible financial ties to Bin Laden.
Al -Amoudi, who oversees a vast network of companies involved in construction,
mining, banking and oil, has also denied any involvement with Bin Laden. His
Washington lawyers said he "was unalterably opposed to terrorism and had no
knowledge of any money transfers by Saudi businesses to Bin Laden.
Both Al-Amoudi and Bin Mahfouz have been left untouched by the US Treasury
Department. The case against them, let alone against the government itself, is
unproven. But the post-September 11 spotlight on Saudi Arabia has brought into
sharp focus the fundamental question facing the country's rulers." (Scotland on
Sunday, 11 August 2002)
The 9/11 Victims Families Law Suit
According to one press report, Thomas Kean --in contrast to Dr. Henry
Kissinger-- was selected to head the 9/11 Commission because he was "close to
the families of the 9/11 victims, an important credential to
the White House, which was coming under increasing criticism from those
families" (Scripps Howard News Service, 17 December 2002)
Yet in a cruel irony, the $1 trillion lawsuit filed last August by the families
of the victims of the September 11 attacks , lists two of Thomas Kean's business
partners in the Hess-Delta joint-venture, among the accused: Khalid Bin Mahfouz
(Osama's brother in law), and Mohammed Hussein al Amoudi. Both individuals have
been tagged in the lawsuit as alleged "financiers" of Al Qaeda. Now, how will
Thomas Kean deal with that in the context of the 9/11 Commission?
Mystery Surrounding the 1998 Embassy Bombings
Former CIA director James Woolsey's testimony confirms that the Sudan
pharmaceutical company bombed in 1998 on the orders of President Clinton was
owned by Salah Idris, a business associate and protegé of Khalid
bin Mahfouz, The bombing was in retribution for the alleged Al Qaeda African
The Mahfouz conglomerate, which owns the largest bank in Saudi Arabia, the
National Commercial Bank, was preparing to pump money into the trans-Afghan
pipeline deal. (For further details, see Michel Chossudovsky, 2002, Chapter VI)
Delta-Hess was also set up in 1998 to
explore and develop oil and gas resources in the Caspian Sea basin.
Now why would the Clinton administration order the bombing of a factory which
was controlled by a business crony of Unocal Corporation and Amerada-Hess?
* * *
Michel Chossudovsky is the author of "War and Globalisation, The Truth behind
September 11". He is Professor of Economics at the University of
Ottawa and Director of the Centre for Research on Globalisation (CRG).
Copyright © Michel Chossudovsky, Centre for Research on Globalisation (CRG) 2002
at www.globalresearch.ca http://www.globalresearch.ca
In the contradiction lies the hope.
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