Coincidences and capitalist terrorists
� 2001
U.S. and British intelligence agencies are reportedly investigating
links between alleged terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden and various
stock trades in the United States and Europe around the time of the
devastating attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, which
sent foreign markets into tailspins over worries about the U.S. economy.
At least that's the story as reported in the Sankei Shimbun newspaper in
Japan - a report conspicuously absent from most U.S. news budgets.
(The story was linked at WorldNetDaily last weekend.)
Among other things, under a practice known as short-selling, a person
with prior information can score large profits when a stock sinks in
value on certain news - such as corporate problems or, in this case,
the broader news of an attack that has crippled the United States.
Did bin Laden tip off his billionaire family or other rich allies in his
terrorist cause? Did bin Laden, who is worth about $300 million, use his
foreknowledge of the attack to profit personally?
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission declined to "confirm or
deny" any such investigations by U.S. financial authorities, but a
spokesman added that the agency has received a variety of investor
e-mail "suggesting that the SEC check records" on stock transactions
around the time of the attacks to establish any possible linkage to
profiteering by persons related to the terrorists.
We keep hearing that Osama bin Laden is a black sheep in the family -
practically disowned.
Yet, at least once before, his family profited handsomely because of
Osama bin Laden's terrorist actions. The bin Laden family was hired to
rebuild a U.S. Air Force base in Saudi Arabia after the Khobar Towers
were destroyed in 1996. Osama bin Laden was the chief suspect in that
Can things get any stranger?
Well, try this on for size: A report in the Houston Chronicle June 4,
1992, said federal officials were investigating the activities of a
Houston businessman accused of illegally representing Saudi interests in
the U.S. The U.S. businessman was James R. Bath. Among the Saudi
interests were those of Saudi Sheik Salem M. bin Laden.
Who is Bath? A past investor in companies controlled by (are you sitting
down?) . George W. Bush.
Back in 1992, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network - known as
FinCEN - and the FBI were reviewing accusations that entrepreneur Bath
guided money to Houston from Saudi investors who wanted to influence
U.S. policy under the Reagan and Bush administrations - that's the
first Bush administration, of course.
The federal review reportedly stemmed in part from court documents
obtained through litigation by Bill White, a former real estate business
associate of Bath. White contends the documents indicate that the Saudis
were using Bath and their huge financial resources to influence U.S.
policy. Such representation by Bath would require that he be registered
as a foreign agent with the U.S. Department of Justice. In general,
people required by law to be registered are those who represent a
foreign entity seeking to influence governmental action or policy. An
Annapolis graduate and former Navy fighter pilot, White, 46, claimed
that Bath and the judicial system, under the veil of national security,
have blackballed him professionally and financially because he has
refused to keep quiet about what he regards as a conspiracy to secretly
funnel Saudi dollars to the United States.
In sworn depositions, according to the Chronicle story, Bath said he
represented four prominent Saudis as a trustee (one of whom was Saudi
Sheik Salem M. bin Laden) and that he would use his name on their
investments. In return, he said, he would receive a 5 percent interest
in their deals. Tax documents and personal financial records show that
Bath personally had a 5 percent interest in Arbusto '79 Ltd., and
Arbusto '80 Ltd., limited partnerships controlled by George W. Bush, who
now finds himself directing a war against terrorism and the No. 1 enemy
of Osama bin Laden, of the same Saudi family.
Arbusto actually means "bush" in Spanish. Bath invested $50,000 in the
limited partnerships, according to the documents. There is no available
evidence to show whether the money came from Saudi interests.
But the financial links between the bin Laden family and Bush family get
even more curious.
According to a 1976 trust agreement, drawn shortly after George Bush
senior was appointed director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Saudi
Sheik bin Laden appointed Bath as his business representative in
Houston. Bin Laden, along with his brothers, owns Bin Laden Brothers
Construction, one of the largest construction companies in the Middle
East. According to White, Bath told him that he had assisted the CIA in
a liaison role with Saudi Arabia since 1976.
Do these "coincidences" bother you as much as they bother me?
What does all this mean? I don't know. But I thought the information
should be laid out on the table.
Joseph Farah is editor and chief executive officer of
and writes a daily column.

Bush's Faustian Deal With the Taliban
By Robert Scheer
Published May 22, 2001 in the Los Angeles Times
your girls and women, harbor anti-U.S. terrorists, destroy every vestige
of civilization in your homeland, and the Bush administration will
embrace you. All that matters is that you line up as an ally in the drug
war, the only international cause that this nation still takes
the message sent with the recent gift of $43 million to the Taliban
rulers of Afghanistan, the most virulent anti-American violators of
human rights in the world today. The gift, announced last Thursday by
Secretary of State Colin Powell, in addition to other recent aid, makes
the U.S. the main sponsor of the Taliban and rewards that "rogue regime"
for declaring that opium growing is against the will of God. So, too, by
the Taliban's estimation, are most human activities, but it's the ban on
drugs that catches this administration's attention.
mind that Osama bin Laden still operates the leading anti-American
terror operation from his base in Afghanistan, from which, among other
crimes, he launched two bloody attacks on American embassies in Africa
in 1998.
the Bush administration is cozying up to the Taliban regime at a time
when the United Nations, at U.S. insistence, imposes sanctions on
Afghanistan because the Kabul government will not turn over Bin Laden.
war on drugs has become our own fanatics' obsession and easily trumps
all other concerns. How else could we come to reward the Taliban, who
has subjected the female half of the Afghan population to a continual
reign of terror in a country once considered enlightened in its
treatment of women?
no point in modern history have women and girls been more systematically
abused than in Afghanistan where, in the name of madness masquerading as
Islam, the government in Kabul obliterates their fundamental human
rights. Women may not appear in public without being covered from head
to toe with the oppressive shroud called the burkha, and they may not
leave the house without being accompanied by a male family member.
They've not been permitted to attend school or be treated by male
doctors, yet women have been banned from practicing medicine or any
profession for that matter.
lot of males is better if they blindly accept the laws of an extreme
religious theocracy that prescribes strict rules governing all behavior,
from a ban on shaving to what crops may be grown. It is this last power
that has captured the enthusiasm of the Bush White House.
Taliban fanatics, economically and diplomatically isolated,are at the
breaking point, and so, in return for a pittance of legitimacy and cash
from the Bush administration, they have been willing to appear to
reverse themselves on the growing of opium. That a totalitarian country
can effectively crack down on its farmers is not surprising. But it is
grotesque for a U.S. official, James P. Callahan, director of the State
Department's Asian anti-drug program, to describe the Taliban's special
methods in the language of representative democracy: "The Taliban used a
system of consensus-building," Callahan said after a visit with the
Taliban, adding that the Taliban justified the ban on drugs "in very
religious terms."
course, Callahan also reported, those who didn't obey the theocratic
edict would be sent to prison.
a country where those who break minor rules are simply beaten on the
spot by religious police and others are stoned to death, it's
understandable that the government's "religious" argument might be
compelling. Even if it means, as Callahan concedes, that most of the
farmers who grew the poppies will now confront starvation. That's
because the Afghan economy has been ruined by the religious extremism of
the Taliban, making the attraction of opium as a previously tolerated
quick cash crop overwhelming.
that reason, the opium ban will not last unless the U.S. is willing to
pour far larger amounts of money into underwriting the Afghan economy.
the Drug Enforcement Administration's Steven Casteel admitted, "The bad
side of the ban is that it's bringing their country--or certain regions
of their country--to economic ruin." Nor did he hold out much hope for
Afghan farmers growing other crops such as wheat, which require a vast
infrastructure to supply water and fertilizer that no longer exists in
that devastated country. There's little doubt that the Taliban will turn
once again to the easily taxed cash crop of opium in order to stay in
Taliban may suddenly be the dream regime of our own war drug war
zealots, but in the end this alliance will prove a costly failure. Our
long sad history of signing up dictators in the war on drugs
demonstrates the futility of building a foreign policy on a domestic
obsession. BBC: US Planned to Attack Taliban BEFORE WTC/Pentagon Attacks
US Planned To Attack
Taliban BEFORE WTC/Pentagon Attacks - Report By George Arney BBC News
BBC News Online: World - South Asia
A former Pakistani diplomat has told
the BBC that the US was planning military action against Osama Bin Laden
and the Taleban even before last week's attacks.
Niaz Naik, a former Pakistani
Foreign Secretary, was told by senior American officials in mid-July
that military action against Afghanistan would go ahead by the middle of
Mr Naik said US officials told him
of the plan at a UN-sponsored international contact group on Afghanistan
which took place in Berlin. Mr Naik told the BBC that at the meeting the
US representatives told him that unless Bin Laden was handed over
swiftly America would take military action to kill or capture both Bin
Laden and the Taleban leader, Mullah Omar.
The wider objective, according to Mr
Naik, would be to topple the Taleban regime and install a transitional
government of moderate Afghans in its place - possibly under the
leadership of the former Afghan King Zahir Shah.
Mr Naik was told that Washington
would launch its operation from bases in Tajikistan, where American
advisers were already in place.
He was told that Uzbekistan would
also participate in the operation and that 17,000 Russian troops were on
Mr Naik was told that if the
military action went ahead it would take place before the snows started
falling in Afghanistan, by the middle of October at the latest.
He said that he was in no doubt that
after the World Trade Center bombings this pre-existing US plan had been
built upon and would be implemented within two or three weeks.
And he said it was doubtful that
Washington would drop its plan even if Bin Laden were to be surrendered
immediately by the Taleban.