US Govt - keeping it in the family.....

Discussion in 'Multinational HQ' started by Goatman, Feb 24, 2005.

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  1. Goatman

    Goatman LE Book Reviewer

    What Ho chaps,

    I know you get sick of this stuff but just in case neither Fox News nor USA
    Today manage to cover it:

    From UK newspaper The Independent, 24 Feb 05

    http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/story.jsp?story=614127

    -----------------------------extract ------------------------
    President's Uncle Bucky emerges as a big winner from Iraq war
    By Rupert Cornwell in Washington
    24 February 2005
    The Iraq war has produced many winners and many losers. And one small but significant winner is a certain William "Bucky" Bush, brother of one president and uncle to the current occupant of the White House.
    The good fortune of Uncle Bucky, as he is known within America's ruling family, has been to hold a seat on the board of Engineered Support Systems Incorporated (ESSI), a St Louis-based company that has flourished mightily as a military contractor to the Pentagon.
    Last month, ESSI shares hit a record $60.39 (£31.64) apiece more or less exactly the moment the presidential uncle chose to sell 8,438 options worth around $450,000, according to obligatory reports filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and disclosed by the Los Angeles Times yesterday. William Bush denies that his presence on the board has had anything to do with the company's success in boosting expected revenues to an estimated $1bn in 2005, in good part reflecting no-bid contracts relating to the war.
    Noting that he joined it in 2000, before his nephew was elected, "Bucky" Bush says he has not lobbied anyone in Washington to send contracts ESSI's way. "I don't make any calls to the 202 [Washington, DC] area code," he told the LA Times.
    In fact Mr Bush, aged 66 and 14 years the junior of his brother, the first president George Bush, has long been a prominent member of the St Louis business community and was state chairman in Missouri for the 2004 Bush/Cheney re-election campaign. "Having a Bush doesn't hurt," Dan Kreher, a senior ESSI executive, says.
    The company has supplied a variety of equipment to the US military effort in Iraq, including a $49m contract to refurbish military trailers and an $18m deal to provide communications services to the Coalition Provisional Authority, which ran post-Saddam Iraq until June last year. In 2003, ESSI was awarded contracts for equipment to help search for, and protect US soldiers from, Iraq's chemical and biological weapons, which turned out to have been a figment of the imagination of the Bush administration.
    But some of that government business is now under scrutiny. The Pentagon has announced that $158m worth of contracts won by ESSI in 2002, including work on a new air cargo loading device called Tunner, is being reviewed by its inspector general for suspected "anomalies". ESSI responds that the inquiry is a routine examination of work awarded on a sole-source basis. It would have "no effect" on the company, Gerald Potthoff, its president, told stock analysts this week.
    Mr Bush says he cashed in the options because they were about to expire, and not because he was unhappy with the company. He told the LA Times that he would have preferred the company was not involved in Iraq, "but unfortunately we live in a troubled world".
    The episode is another illustration of how the Iraq conflict, costing the US $5bn a month, is proving a bonanza for some. A prime example is Halliburton, the oil services group once chaired by Dick Cheney, the Vice-President, whose Iraq operations have been plagued by alleged contract overcharging and other issues.
    Some Democrats complain that the Bushes and their associates have been given a virtual free pass on business affairs unlike President Bill Clinton, who was hounded for years over his involvement in Whitewater, a modest Arkansas real estate venture, in which he and his wife Hillary actually lost money.


    -----------------------------ends--------------------------------------

    Prolly second-hand tree-huggin' Libber mud-slinging for you folks ?

    When are they going to surprise us and let slip that Tony Bliar's Aunty Mabel is a majority stockholder in British Petroleum then..... :)

    FWIW anyway.

    Le Chevre
     
  2. Funny how the Independent still has yet to admit that one of the big winners of the invasion of Iraq was.....the Iraqi people!

    wouldn't mesh with their "right on" world view!
     
  3. Goatman

    Goatman LE Book Reviewer

    well mate, it makes a change from Rupert Murdoch's Right-Wing view , n'est-ce pas ?

    Back in the dawn of time when I was but a beardless kid (that's a Goat joke BTW) , I was the DESO desk officer for the Lebanon when the Civil war there was beginning to run out of steam.......the Independent's Robert Fisk was one of the few Western correspondents still operating out of Beirut and I used to read his stuff.....being in country throughout the Lebanese Civil war politicised him and he subsequently became markedly more anti-American covering Kosovo (particularly after the USAF airstrike on a convoy of farmers fleeing Pristina aboard their 15mph John Deereski's ) .

    Not conscious the the Independent is more 'Right On ' than the Gruaniad, which I've always regarded as the woolly Liberal, macro-biotic yoghurtweaver, sandal-wearing end of the Brit broadsheets...but I'll take yer word for it.

    So the story is ballocks then is it ?

    And Dick Cheney's connection with KBR is a figment of the leftwing press ?

    Blimey, good job I don't take that French rag << Libération >> too often then... :wink:

    Le Chevre
     
  4. Halliburton is one of ywo comapnies in the world that can do what it does. A French company is the second and we would hardly hire them. Second no one complained about Haliburton when Clinton hired them for Bosnia and Kosovo.

    I dont like the military using civilian contractor's but with the drawdown of the Army we dont have the manpower to do these support missions.
     
  5. Goatman

    Goatman LE Book Reviewer

     
  6. G-man!

    unload!

    I am in no way saying it the report is incorrect (although that does go against my natural suspicion of all things "liberal" - brrrrrr).

    and i know that you (and many others around our establishment) and very suspect of all these shannigans, and probably for a good reason.

    However, unless "Bucky" has somehow broken the law, this is just another leftie attempt at muck-raking and scare-mongering.

    what i'd love to see is Mr Fisk (and rest of that lot) put up their hand and say "well, ya know, millions haven't died, democratic elections have seemed to work, Iran has admitted it has nuclear weapon asperations, Syria has become isolated, Israel has toned down its aggression and the Palestinians actual look like they might finally get a government that is kleptocracy!"

    but all we get is a media that ignores anything good that happens and focuses on American problems.
     
  7. That story has been covered maplaces other than the Independent. Maybe G-man will research it.

    Good for Bucky.

    ......and don't you just love the unbiased and un coloured writing of Rupert Cornwell.
     
  8. Sorry Goatman,(I am with you on this one) too hungover today to wade in all guns blazin'.
     
  9. Goatman

    Goatman LE Book Reviewer

    I expect you're right P-Y.......you ever come across a scuzzy muck-raker called Greg Palast ?

    Not sure what he has to say on Dubya/Cheney's financial stake in Iraq but I suspect it can be found at

    www.gregpalast.com

    this piece on our Great Helmsman's position re Iraq is quite...ah... lively:

    http://gregpalast.com/detail.cfm?artid=236&row=1

    ( I can hear blood-pressures rising across the land....)

    Le Chevre