Michael Moore’s follow up to “Bowling For Columbine” sets it’s sights fairly & squarely on the forehead of George W Bush - & by the time even the most sceptical of you have left the cinema - you will want to kill him yourself.
“Fahrenheit 9/11” has been heavily criticised for ‘playing with the truth’ by the kind of critics who wouldn’t know ‘the truth’ if it sat up & gave them a haircut. What we have here is basically the Gore Vidal piece originally published in The Observer in the UK made into a film.
Moore illustrates with great power & style how the Chief Of Thieves stole the presidency from Al Gore. Even though other news agencies had already declared Gore the ‘winner’ Fox announced that Bush had in fact won - & the others just backed down. Some even apologised for their inaccuracy. This gives us a fair indication of the power of Fox Media & its intent to distort.
We then discover that Bush spent 42% of his 1st 9 months in office ‘on vacation’. It would appear that this period gave daddy & his Nazi cronies the time to come up with a plan (“we’re working on a few strategies a few initiatives”) to save the US economy from meltdown, the Texas oil dynasties from embarrassment & W from the fate of criminals.
9/11 didn’t just happen. The same way Pearl Harbour didn’t just happen (although Pearl Harbour was granted its own Independent Public Inquiry a fate denied the victims of 9/11). In times of national crisis what’s a few thousand dead countrymen/women/children when there’s money at stake?
The Bush family’s relationship with the Bin Ladens & the Saudi Royal family is nothing short of total corruption. How can the most powerful nation in the world be run by a bunch of fascist greed merchants with no care for their constituents or their country? The conjecture surrounding the departure of 24 Bin Laden family members (amongst a 100 or so Saudis) spirited out of the States on the 13th of September has become a stick with which the less liberal media barons of the world’s press have beaten on Moore. Ignore them they’re wrong - & what’s more they’re in league with the devil working on the Mayan date for global shutdown: 2012.
We feel the horror of 9/11 all over again. We watch gormless George reading goat stories to photo-opportunistic disabled children. He is told of the 1st plane hitting the tower. He continues to read, goof & smile. He is told of the second plane hitting the second tower & doesn’t bat an eyelid. Surely this man is the spawn of Beelzebub?
The War On Terror is deconstructed in front of our eyes as a phoney war. There is nothing to fear except fear itself. War is good. War is money. George W Bush likes money. So does daddy. And Condo, Cheno, Bumpsfelt & Colon Bowel. We all love money it makes our world go round.
Afghanistan is promptly invaded even though the Taliban visited Texas for tea with W just a few years ago. Pipelines intact, heroin production back to full steam, smack flowing into the cities of Europe & The USA controlling the masses effectively. Game on.
The ‘invasion’/’liberation’ of Iraq is portrayed as a turkey shoot. Gung ho G.I.s tell us what music they prefer to kill to. One or two even show what might be referred to as remorse in any other race. All this time the pipelines keep going, the antiquities keep disappearing & the point of it all becomes increasingly more evasive. With the Stans in their target sights & enough oil in the ground to make sure none of them have to work again what choice do the captains of industry have?
Senators are interviewed, but sadly decline to volunteer their own kids for the front line. We’ll leave that to the poor people the backbone of our country. We fuck them they die for us. Simple.
Moore may have his critics he may be overweight & over keen on the sound of his own conscience but right now he’s the lone dissenting voice in a country regarded by many as the liberal model of democracy that us freedom loving types look up to in awe (& possibly even shock).
I left the cinema convinced I hate George W Bush & daddy’s posse more than ever. This film didn’t go far enough for me. I would have liked a frank admission from someone (anyone, I’m not fussy) that 9/11 was carried out by the CIA for purely financial reasons much like Pearl Harbour (the bill for which Tony Blair is STILL sucking US cock for - 50 years after the fact).
A world controlled by the USA is not a free world no matter what Neil Young would have us believe. There is no such thing as a free world. Every country has a currency & an economy. Every government has a vested interest in ensuring that ‘the truth’ never comes out.
I remember being taught in history at school about the assassination of JFK by a loner called Lee Harvey Oswald. Come to thing of it, I remember being taught that Christopher Columbus discovered America.
As Henry Ford once said: “History Is Bunk”. So let’s check a few facts:
Factual Back-Up For Fahrenheit 9/11: Section One
THE FOLLOWING IS THE LINE BY LINE FACTUAL BACKUP FOR 'FAHRENHEIT 9/11'
Section One covers the facts in Fahrenheit 9/11 from the 2000 election to George W. Bush's extended visit to Booker Elementary on the morning of September 11th.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: Fox was the first network to call Florida for Bush. Before that, some other networks had called Florida for Gore, and they changed after Fox called it for Bush.
•“With information provided from the Voter News Service, NBC was the first network to project Gore the winner in Florida at 7:48 pm. At 7:50 pm ,CNN and CBS project Gore the winner in Florida as well.” By 8:02 pm , all five networks and the Associated Press had called Gore the winner in Florida. Even the VNS called Gore the winner at 7:52 pm. At 2:16 am, Fox calls Florida for Bush, NBC follows at 2:16 am. ABC is the last network to call the Florida for Bush, at 2:20 am, while AP and VNS never call Florida for Bush.
•Ten minutes after the top of the hour, network excitement was again beginning to build. At 2:16 a.m., the call was made: Fox News Channel, with Bush's first cousin John Ellis running its election desk, was the first to project Florida -- and the presidency -- for the Texas governor. Within minutes, the other networks followed suit. "George Bush, Governor of Texas will become the 43rd President of the United States," CNN's Bernard Shaw announced atop a graphic montage of a smiling Bush. "At 18 minutes past two o'clock Eastern time, CNN declares that George Walker Bush has won Florida's 25 electoral votes and this should put him over the top."
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: The man who was in charge of the decision desk at FOX on election night was Bush’s first cousin, John Ellis.
•“John Ellis, a first cousin of George W. Bush, ran the network's ‘decision desk’ during the 2000 election, and Fox was the first to name Bush the winner. Earlier, Ellis had made six phone calls to Cousin Bush during the vote-counting.” William O’Rourke, “Talk Radio Key to GOP Victory,” Chicago Sun-Times, December 3, 2002.
•A Fox News consultant, John Ellis, who made judgments about presidential ‘calls’ on Election Night admits he was in touch with George W. Bush and FL Gov. Jeb Bush by telephone several times during the night, but denies breaking any rules. CNN, November 14, 2000;
•John Ellis, the Fox consultant who called Florida early for George Bush, had to stop writing about the campaign for the Boston Globe because of family ‘loyalty’ to Bush. CBS News,
, November 14, 2000.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: “Make sure the chairman of your campaign is also the vote countin’ woman and that her state has hired a company that’s gonna knock voters off the rolls who aren’t likely to vote for you. You can usually tell them by the color of their skin.”
•“The vote total was certified by Florida's secretary of state, Katherine Harris, head of the Bush campaign in Florida, on behalf of Gov. Jeb Bush, the candidate's brother.” Mark Zoller Seitz, “Bush Team Conveyed an Air of Legitimacy,” San Diego Union-Tribune, December 16, 2000.
•The Florida Department of State awarded a $4 million contract to the Boca Raton-based Database Technologies Inc. (subsidiary of ChoicePoint). They were tasked with finding improperly registered voters in the state’s database, but mistakes were rampant. “At one point, the list included as felons 8,000 former Texas residents who had been convicted of misdemeanors.” St. Petersburg Times (Florida), December 21, 2003.
•Database Technologies, a subsidiary of ChoicePoint, “was responsible for bungling an overhaul of Florida’s voter registration records, with the result that thousands of people, disproportionately black, were disenfranchised in the 2000 election. Had they been able to vote, they might have swung the state, and thus the presidency, for Al Gore, who lost in Florida. Oliver Burkeman, Jo Tuckman, “Firm in Florida Election Fiasco Earns Millions from Files on Foreigners,” The Guardian, May 5, 2003
See also, Atlanta-Journal-Constitution, May 28, 2001.
•In 1997, Rick Rozar, the late head of the company bought by ChoicePoint, donated $100,000 to the Republican National Committee. Melanie Eversley, “Atlanta-Based Company Says Errors in Felon Purge Not Its Fault,” Atlanta Journal-Constitution, May 28, 2001. Frank Borman of Database Technologies Inc. has donated extensively to New Mexico Republicans, as well as to the Presidential campaign of George W. Bush. Opensecrets.org, “Frank Borman.”
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: Gore got the most votes in 2000.
•[A] consortium [Tribune Co., owner of the Times; Associated Press; CNN; the New York Times; the Palm Beach Post; the St. Petersburg Times; the Wall Street Journal; and the Washington Post] hired the NORC [National Opinion Research Center, a nonpartisan research organization affiliated with the University of Chicago] to view each untallied ballot and gather information about how it was marked. The media organizations then used computers to sort and tabulate votes, based on varying scenarios that had been raised during the post-election scramble in Florida. Under any standard that tabulated all disputed votes statewide, Mr. Gore erased Mr. Bush's advantage and emerged with a tiny lead that ranged from 42 to 171 votes. Donald Lambro, “Recount Provides No Firm Answers,” Washington Times, November 12, 2001.
•“The review found that the result would have been different if every canvassing board in every county had examined every undervote, a situation that no election or court authority had ordered. Gore had called for such a statewide manual recount if Bush would agree, but Bush rejected the idea and there was no mechanism in place to conduct one.” Martin Merzer, “Review of Ballots Finds Bush's Win Would Have Endured Manual Recount,” Miami Herald, April 4, 2001.
•See also, the following article by one of the Washington Post journalists who ran the consortium recount. The relevant point is made in Table I of the article.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: Congressional Black Caucus members tried to object to the election outcome on the floor of the House; no Senator would sign the objections.
•“While Vice President Al Gore appeared to have accepted his fate contained in two wooden ballot boxes, Democratic members of the Congressional Black Caucus tried repeatedly to challenge the assignment of Florida's 25 electoral votes to Bush…. More than a dozen Democrats followed suit, seeking to force a debate on the validity of Florida's vote on the grounds that all votes may not have been counted and that some voters were wrongly denied the right to vote.” Susan Milligan, “It’s Really Over: Gore Bows Out Gracefully,” Boston Globe, January 7, 2001.
•The Congressional Black Caucus effort failed for “lack of the necessary signature by any senator.” Sen. Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) had previously advised Democratic senators not to cooperate. ‘They did not.’” Robert Novak, “Sweeney Link Won't Help Chao,” Chicago Sun-Times, January 14, 2001.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: “On the day George W. Bush was inaugurated, tens of thousands of Americans poured into the streets of D.C. They pelted Bush’s limo with eggs.”
•“Shouting slogans like ‘Hail to the Thief’ and ‘Selected, Not Elected,’ tens of thousands of protesters descended on George W. Bush's inaugural parade route yesterday to proclaim that he and Vice President Dick Cheney had ‘stolen’ the election.” Michael Kranish and Sue Kirchhoff, “Thousands Protest ‘Stolen’ Election,” Boston Globe, January 21, 2001.
•“Scuffles erupted between radicals and riot police while an egg struck the bullet-proof presidential limousine as it carried Mr. Bush and wife Laura to the White House.” Damon Johnston, “Bush Pledges Justice as Critics Throw Eggs,” The Advertisers, January 22, 2001.
•See also film footage.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: “The inauguration parade was brought to a halt and the traditional walk to the White House was scrapped.”
•Bush made one concession to the weather -- or to security concerns: He stayed in his limousine nearly the entire length of the mile-long inaugural parade, waving through a slightly foggy window. He got out to walk only for a brief distance when his motorcade reached the VIP grandstands in front of the Treasury Department and the White House. Doyle McManus, et al., “Bush Vows to Bring Nation Together,” Los Angeles Times, January, 21, 2001.
•Bush's limo, which traveled most of the route at a slow walking pace, stopped dead just before it reached the corner of 14th St. and Pennsylvania Ave., where most of the protesters had congregated. Then it sped up dramatically, and Secret Service agents protecting the car on foot had to follow at a full run. When they reached a section of the parade route where the sidewalks were restricted to official ticketholders, Bush and his wife, Laura, who wore a flattering electric turquoise suit, got out of the limo to walk and greet supporters. Helen Kennedy, “Bush Pledges a United US,” New York Daily News, January 21, 2001.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: “For the next eight months, it didn’t get any better for George W. Bush.”
•In a poll conducted September 5 to September 9, 2001, Investor’s Business Daily and the Christian Science Monitor showed President Bush’s approval rating at 45%, down from 52% in May ( Investor’s Business Daily/Christian Science Monitor Poll, conducted by TIPP, 9/5 to 9/9, 2001). Zogby’s polling had Bush at 47% in late July 2001, down from 57% in February (Zogby, 7/26 to 7/29, 2001).
•In June 2001, a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll showed President Bush's approval rating at 50 percent, which was the lowest presidential approval rating in five years. Richard L. Berke, “G.O.P. Defends Bush in Face of Dip in Poll Ratings,” The New York Times, June 29 2001
•On July 26, 2001, in an article entitled “Bush Lacks the Ability To Force Action on Hill,” Dana Milbank of the Washington Post wrote, “ It may be premature to conclude that Bush has lost control of his agenda, but lawmakers and strategists in both parties said that Bush's next year is much more likely to look like the fractious month of July than like the orderly march toward Bush's tax cut this spring.… The troubles began, of course, with Vermont Sen. James M. Jeffords' departure from the GOP, giving control of the Senate to the Democrats. But the problems are nearly as bad in the House, where moderates who supported Bush's tax cut are proving recalcitrant on other issues. They rebelled against GOP leaders on campaign finance reform and held up Bush's "faith-based" legislation over concerns about discrimination. Next week, they're likely to oppose Bush's proposal to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.”
•California energy crisis also took a toll on Bush’s approval ratings. Due to rolling blackouts and rising utility bills Bush’s ratings took a toll among Californians. The poll showed that almost as many Californians disapproved of the President’s job as approved of it with an approve/disapprove of 42/40. “Calif. Governor Says He'll Sue to Force Government Action,” The Houston Chronicle, May 30, 2001.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: “In his first eight months in office before September 11, George W. Bush was on vacation, according to the Washington Post, forty-two percent of the time.”
•“News coverage has pointedly stressed that W.'s month-long stay at his ranch in Crawford is the longest presidential vacation in 32 years. Washington Post supercomputers calculated that if you add up all his weekends at Camp David, layovers at Kennebunkport and assorted to-ing and fro-ing, W. will have spent 42 percent of his presidency ‘at vacation spots or en route.’” Charles Krauthammer, “A Vacation Bush Deserves,” The Washington Post, August 10, 2001.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: Bush relaxes at Camp David, Kennebunkport and his ranch in Crawford Texas.
•As of April 2004, President Bush had made 33 trips to Crawford during his presidency, bringing his total to more than 230 days at the ranch in just over three years. “Add his 78 trips to Camp David and five to his family’s compound at Kennebunkport, Maine, and Bush has spent all or part of 500 days or about 40 percent of his presidency at one of these his three retreats.” “Bush Retreats to a Favorite Getaway: Crawford ranch,” Houston Chronicle, April 11, 2004.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: On Sept. 10, 2001 , Bush joined his brother in Florida where he slept the night in “a bed made of fine French linens.”
•Bush has not been bashful about visiting Florida, ground zero in the vote-recount battle that followed last year's election. On this trip, he was spending a good deal of time with his brother, Gov. Jeb Bush. " President to Push Congress on Education in Fourth Florida Visit,” Associated Press, September 10, 2001; See also, CNN Inside Politics, September 10, 2001.
•Two individuals prepared the president’s room “and made the bed with some of the family's fine French linens.” Tom Bayles, “The Day Before Everything Changed, President Bush Touched Locals' Lives,” Sarasota Herald-Tribune, September 10, 2002.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: “As the attack took place, Mr. Bush was on his way to an elementary school in Florida . When informed of the first plane hitting the World Trade Center, where terrorists had struck just eight years prior, Bush just decided to go ahead with his photo opportunity.”
NOTE: It should be emphasized that at the time Bush was notified of the first plane attack, he (unlike the rest of America) was already aware that Osama bin Laden was planning to attack America by hijacking airplanes, per the August 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Brief (PDB). He was also aware, of course, that the World Trade Center had been historically a target for terrorist attacks. He nonetheless went ahead with this photo opportunity in a school full of children.
• “Mr. Bush arrived at the school, just before 9 am, expecting to be met by its motherly principal, Gwen Rigell. Instead he was pulled sharply aside by the familiar, bulky figure of 51-year-old Karl Rove, a veteran political fixer and trusted aide of both Mr. Bush and his father, George Sr. Mr. Rove, a fellow Texan with an expansive manner and a colorful turn of phrase, told the President that a large commercial airliner (American Flight 11) had crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Centre . Mr. Bush clenched his teeth, lowered his bottom lip and said something inaudible. Then he went into the school.” William Langley, “Revealed: What Really Went on During Bush’s ‘Missing Hours,’” The Telegraph, December 16, 2001.
•“The airborne attack on the World Trade Center was at least the second terrorist attempt to topple the landmarks. In 1993, terrorists sought to bomb one building so that it would explode and fall into the other. The plot did not succeed, but six people were killed and more than 1,000 injured.” Cragg Hines, “Terrorists Strike from Air; Jetliners Slam into Pentagon, Trade Center” The Houston Chronicle, September 11, 2001.
•August 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Brief (PDB), “Bin Ladin Determined to Strike Inside US”: “Al-Qa'ida members -- including some who are US citizens -- have resided in or travelled to the US for years, and the group apparently maintains a support structure that could aid attacks… FBI information since that time indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York.” August 6, 2001, Bin Ladin Determined to Strike Inside US,
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: “When the second plane hit the tower, his chief of staff entered the classroom and told Mr. Bush the nation is under attack.”
•“At 9:05 a.m., the White House chief of staff, Andrew H. Card Jr., stepped into the classroom and whispered into the president's right ear, ‘A second plane hit the other tower, and America's under attack.’” David E. Sanger and Don Van Natta Jr., “After The Attacks: The Events; In Four Days, A National Crisis Changes Bush's Presidency,” The New York Times, September 16, 2001.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: “Mr. Bush just sat there and continued to read My Pet Goat.”
•“It was while attending a second-grade reading class at Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota, Fla., to promote his education reforms that President Bush learned America was under attack. In the presence of her VIP guest, teacher Sandra Kay Daniels, 45, conducted the day's lesson, which centered on a story about a pet goat.” “9/11: A Year After,” Los Angeles Times, September 11, 2002.
•President Bush listened to 18 Booker Elementary School second-graders read a story about a girl's pet goat Tuesday before he spoke briefly and somberly about the terrorist attacks. “Bush hears of attack while visiting Booker,” Sarasota Herald-Tribune, September 12, 2001.
•See also film footage.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: “Nearly seven minutes passed with nobody doing anything.”
• “[He lingered in the room for another six minutes [after being informed of the second plane]… [At] 9:12, he abruptly retreated, speaking to Mr. Cheney and New York officials.” David E. Sanger and Don Van Natta Jr., “After The Attacks: The Events;In Four Days, A National Crisis Changes Bush's Presidency,” The New York Times, September 16, 2001 .
• “Mr. Bush remained in the elementary school for nearly a half an hour after Andy Card whispered in his ear.” Michael Kranish, “Bush: US To Hunt Down Attackers,” Boston Globe, September 11, 2001.
Factual Back-Up for Fahrenheit 9/11: Section Two
THE FOLLOWING IS THE LINE BY LINE FACTUAL BACKUP FOR 'FAHRENHEIT 9/11'
Section Two covers the facts in Fahrenheit 9/11 from Bush's failure to meet with Richard Clarke, to the August 6th memo, and ends with the Saudi flights out of the US after 9/11.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: “Should he have held at least one meeting since taking office to discuss the threat of terrorism with his head of counter-terrorism?”
•“[T]hey didn't allow me to brief him on terrorism. You know, they're saying now that when I was afforded the opportunity to talk to him about cyber-security, it was my choice. I could have talked about terrorism or cyber-security. That's not true. I asked in January to brief him, the president, on terrorism, to give him the same briefing I had given Vice President Cheney, Colin Powell and Condi Rice. And I was told, ‘You can't do that briefing, Dick, until after the policy development process.’” Richard Clarke interview with Tim Russert on NBC’s Meet the Press, March 28, 2004.
•"Clarke asked on several occasions for early Principals Committee meetings on these issues [outlined in his January 25, 2001 memo] and was frustrated that no early meeting was scheduled. He wanted principals to accept that al Qaeda was a ‘first order threat’ and not a routine problem being exaggerated by ‘chicken little’ alarmists. No Principals Committee meetings on al Qaeda were held until September 4, 2001.” National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, Threats and Responses in 2001, Staff Statement No. 8, “National Policy Coordination,” pp 9-10;
•See Testimony of Richard A. Clarke before the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, March 24, 2004:
MR. ROEMER: Okay. Let's move into, with my 15 minutes, let's move into the Bush administration. On January the 25th, we've seen a memo that you had written to Dr. Rice, urgently asking for a principals review of al Qaeda. You include helping the Northern Alliance, covert aid, significant new '02 budget authority to help fight al Qaeda --
MR. CLARKE: Uh-huh.
MR. ROEMER: -- and response to the U.S.S. Cole. You attached to this document both the Delenda Plan of 1998 and a strategy paper from December 2000. Did you get a response to this urgent request for a principals meeting on these, and how does this affect your time frame for dealing with these important issues?
MR. CLARKE: I did geta response. The response was that in the Bush administration I should, and my committee, the counterterrorism security group, should report to the deputies committee, which is a sub-cabinet level committee, and not to the principals, and that therefore it was inappropriate for me to be asking for a principals meeting. Instead, there would be a deputies meeting.
MR. ROEMER: So, does this slow the process down to go to the deputies rather than to the principals or a small group, as you had previously done?
MR. CLARKE: It slowed it down enormously, by months. First of all, the deputies committee didn't meet urgently in January or February. Then, when the deputies committee did meet, it took the issue of al Qaeda as part of a cluster of policy issues, including nuclear proliferation in South Asia, democratization in Pakistan, how to treat the problems, the various problems, including narcotics and other problems in Afghanistan, and, launched on a series of deputies meetings extending over several months to address al Qaeda in the context of all of those interrelated issues. That process probably ended, I think, in July of 2001, so we were readying for a principals meeting in July, but the principals' calendar was full, and then they went on vacation, many of them, in August, so we couldn't meet in August, and therefore the principals met in September.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: “Maybe Mr. Bush was wondering why he had cut terrorism funding from the FBI.”
•“This question of resources will also come up in the commission's questioning of Attorney General John Ashcroft, who was brand-new on the job in the fall of 2001 and on September 10th cut the FBI's request for new counter-terrorism money by 12 percent.” John Dimsdale, “Former FBI Director Louis Freeh and Attorney General John Ashcroft to appear before 9/11 commission tomorrow,” NPR Radio: Marketplace, April 12, 2004. See also, 2001 budget documents including Attorney General John Ashcroft FY 2003 budget request to Office of Management and Budget, September 10, 2001, showing $65 million offset in the FBI budget for counter-terrorism equipment grants:
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: The security briefing that was given to him on August 6, 2001, said that Osama bin Laden was planning to attack America by hijacking airplanes.
•August 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Brief (PDB): “Al-Qa'ida members -- including some who are US citizens -- have resided in or traveled to the US for years, and the group apparently maintains a support structure that could aid attacks. Two al-Qa'ida members found guilty in the conspiracy to bomb our Embassies in East Africa were US citizens, and a senior EIJ member lived in California in the mid-1990s. A clandestine source said in 1998 that a Bin Ladin cell in New York was recruiting Muslim-American youth for attacks. We have not been able to corroborate some of the more sensational threat reporting, such as that from a ... (redacted portion) ... service in 1998 saying that Bin Ladin wanted to hijack a US aircraft to gain the release of ‘Blind Shaykh’ 'Umar 'Abd al-Rahman and other US-held extremists. Nevertheless, FBI information since that time indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York.” August 6, 2001, Bin Ladin Determined to Strike Inside US,
• “The Aug. 6, 2001, document, known as the President's Daily Brief, has been the focus of intense scrutiny because it reported that bin Laden advocated airplane hijackings, that al-Qaida supporters were in the United States and that the group was planning attacks here.” Clarke J. Scott, “Clarke Gave Warning on Sept. 4, 2001; Testimony Includes Apology to Families of Sept. 11 Victims, Associated Press, March 25, 2004.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: On August 6 th, 2001, George W. Bush went fishing.
•“President Bush swung into vacation mode Monday, fishing for bass in his pond, strolling the canyons on his 1,600-acre ranch, taking an early-morning run. Associated Press, “President Bush Vacationing in Texas,” August 6, 2001.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: “Was it the guy my daddy’s friends delivered a lot of weapons to?”
•In 1995, a member of Reagan's National Security Council and co-author of his National Security Directives, Howard Teicher, signed a sworn affidavit stating: “From early 1982 to 1987, I served as a Staff Member to the United States National Security Council.… In June, 1982, President Reagan decided that the United States could not afford to allow Iraq to lose the war to Iran. President Reagan decided that the United States would do whatever was necessary and legal to prevent Iraq from losing the war with Iran. Pursuant to the secret NSDD, the United States actively supported the Iraqi war effort by supplying the Iraqis with billions of dollars of credits, by providing U.S. military intelligence and advice to the Iraqis, and by closely monitoring third country arms sales to Iraq to make sure that Iraq had the military weaponry required. This message was delivered by Vice President Bush who communicated it to Egyptian President Mubarak, who in turn passed the message to Saddam Hussein. Under CIA Director Casey and Deputy Director Gates, the CIA made sure that non-U.S. manufacturers manufactured and sold to Iraq the weapons needed by Iraq. In certain instances where a key component in a weapon was not readily available, the highest levels of the United States government decided to make the component available, directly or indirectly, to Iraq. I specifically recall that the provision of anti-armor penetrators to Iraq was a case in point. The United States made a policy decision to supply penetrators to Iraq." Affidavit of former Howard Teicher, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA v. CARLOS CARDOEN et al, January 31, 1995.
•“Questions have been raised about whether the United States not only ignored foreign arms shipments to Iraq, but actually encouraged or even arranged them. A former National Security Council official, Howard Teicher, said in a 1995 court affidavit that the CIA made sure Iraq received weapons from non-U.S. manufacturers.” Ken Guggenheim, “War Crimes Trial for Saddam Could Reveal Details of Past U.S. Help,” Associated Press, January 24, 2004.
•“There is ample documentation demonstrating that the Reagan and Bush administrations supplied critical military technologies that were put directly to use in the construction of the Iraqi war machine. There is also strong evidence indicating that the executive branch's failure to crack down on illegal weapons traffickers or keep track of third party transfers of U.S. weaponry allowed a substantial flow of U.S.-origin military equipment and military components to make their way to Iraq.” William D. Hartung, Weapons at War; A World Policy Institute Issue Brief, May 1995. See also, Alan Friedman, Spider's Web: The Secret History of How the White House Illegally Armed Iraq, (Bantam Books, 1993); Kenneth R. Timmerman, The Death Lobby: How the West Armed Iraq, (Houghton, Mifflin, 1991).
•“Rep. Dante Fascell, D-Fla., chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said … that the United States could not ‘make a claim for purity’ on arms sales, since the U.S. government has sold weapons to Iran, Iraq ‘and everybody else in the world.’” Robert Shepard, “Congress Approves Aid for Former Soviet Republics,” United Press International, October 3, 1992.
•“A covert American program during the Reagan administration provided Iraq with critical battle planning assistance at a time when American intelligence agencies knew that Iraqi commanders would employ chemical weapons in waging the decisive battles of the Iran-Iraq war, according to senior military officers with direct knowledge of the program. Those officers, most of whom agreed to speak on the condition that they not be identified, spoke in response to a reporter's questions about the nature of gas warfare on both sides of the conflict between Iran and Iraq from 1981 to 1988. Iraq's use of gas in that conflict is repeatedly cited by President Bush and, this week, by his national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, as justification for "regime change" in Iraq. The covert program was carried out at a time when President Reagan's top aides, including Secretary of State George P. Shultz, Defense Secretary Frank C. Carlucci and Gen. Colin L. Powell, then the national security adviser, were publicly condemning Iraq for its use of poison gas, especially after Iraq attacked Kurds in Halabja in March 1988.” Patrick E. Tyler, “Officers Say U.S. Aided Iraq in War Despite Use of Gas,” The New York Times, August 18, 2002.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: “Was it that group of religious fundamentalists who visited my state when I was governor?”
•“A senior delegation from the Taleban movement in Afghanistan is in the United States for talks with an international energy company that wants to construct a gas pipeline from Turkmenistan across Afghanistan to Pakistan. A spokesman for the company, Unocal, said the Taleban were expected to spend several days at the company's headquarters in Sugarland, Texas.” “Taleban in Texas for talks on Gas Pipeline,” BBC News, December 4, 1997 (Sugarland is 22 miles outside Houston.)
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: “Or was it the Saudis? Damn, it was them.”
•“The 27 classified pages of a congressional report about Sept. 11 depict a Saudi government that not only provided significant money and aid to the suicide hijackers but also allowed potentially hundreds of millions of dollars to flow to Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups through suspect charities and other fronts, according to sources familiar with the document. One U.S. official who has read the classified section said it describes ‘very direct, very specific links’ between Saudi officials, two of the San Diego-based hijackers and other potential co-conspirators ‘that cannot be passed off as rogue, isolated or coincidental.’” Of all the hijackers, 15 of the 19 were Saudi. Josh Meyer, “Report Links Saudi Government to 9/11 Hijackers, Sources Say,” Los Angeles Times, August 2, 2003.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: “In the days following September 11th , all commercial and private airline traffic was grounded.”
•“On the morning of September 11th, there were 4,873 instrument flight rule (IFR) flights operating in U.S. airspace. As soon as Secretary Mineta was aware of the nature and scale of the terrorist attack on New York and Washington -- that we were faced with, not one, but four possible hijackings, and several other rumors of missing or unidentified aircraft -- the Secretary ordered the air traffic system shut down for all civil operations. Jane F. Garvey on Aviation Security Following the Terrorist Attack on September 11th, September 21, 2001;
; see also, “Airports to Remain Closed, Mineta Says,” Department of Transportation Press Release, September 12, 2001
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: “The White House approved planes to pick up the bin Ladens and numerous other Saudis.”
•Fearing reprisals against Saudi nationals, the Saudi government asked for help in getting some of its citizens out of the country. National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, Threats and Responses in 2001, Staff Statement No. 10, The Saudi Flights, p. 12;
•“Now, what I recall is that I asked for flight manifests of everyone on board and all of those names need to be directly and individually vetted by the FBI before they were allowed to leave the country. And I also wanted the FBI to sign off even on the concept of Saudis being allowed to leave the country. And as I recall, all of that was done. It is true that members of the Bin Laden family were among those who left. We knew that at the time. I can't say much more in open session, but it was a conscious decision with complete review at the highest levels of the State Department and the FBI and the White House.” Testimony of Richard Clarke, Former Counterterrorism Chief, National Security Council, before The Senate Judiciary Committee, September 3, 2003.
•“I was making or coordinating a lot of decisions on 9/11 and the days immediately after. And I would love to be able to tell you who did it, who brought this proposal to me, but I don't know. Since you pressed me, the two possibilities that are most likely are either the Department of State, or the White House Chief of Staff's Office. But I don't know.” Testimony of Richard A. Clarke before the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, March 24, 2004.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: “At least six private jets and nearly two dozen commercial planes carried the Saudis and the bin Ladens out of the U.S. after September 13th. In all, 142 Saudis, including 24 members of the bin Laden family, were allowed to leave the country.”
NOTE: It should be noted that even though the film does not make the allegation, strong evidence has recently come to light that at least one private plane flew to pick up Saudi nationals while private flights were still grounded. Moreover, for nearly three years, the White House has denied that this flight existed. This was reported in the June 9, 2004 St. Petersburg Times article cited below.
•After the airspace reopened, six chartered flights with 142 people, mostly Saudi Arabian nationals, departed from the United States between September 14 and 24. One flight, the so-called Bin Ladin flight, departed the United States on September 20 with 26 passengers, most of them relatives of Usama Bin Ladin. National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, Threats and Responses in 2001, Staff Statement No. 10, The Saudi Flights, p. 12;
•It should be noted that the US Customs and Border Protection document released by the Department of Homeland Security under the FOIA, Feb 24, 2004 lists 162 Saudi Nationals who flew out of the country between 9/11/2001 and 9/15/2001, departing from New York’s Kennedy airport, Washington’s Dulles, and Dallas Fort Worth.
•For an official list of Saudi Passport holders (names redacted) who flew out of the country between 9.11.2001 9.15.2001, see US Customs and Border Protection document released by the Department of Homeland Security under the FOIA, Feb 24, 2004;
•The St. Petersburg Times reported on Jun 9, 2004:
o "Two days after the Sept. 11 attacks, with most of the nation's air traffic still grounded, a small jet landed at Tampa International Airport, picked up three young Saudi men and left. The men, one of them thought to be a member of the Saudi royal family, were accompanied by a former FBI agent and a former Tampa police officer on the flight to Lexington, Ky. The Saudis then took another flight out of the country.”
o Moreover: “For nearly three years, White House, aviation and law enforcement officials have insisted the flight never took place and have denied published reports and widespread Internet speculation about its purpose… The terrorism panel, better known as the 9/11 Commission, said in April that it knew of six chartered flights with 142 people aboard, mostly Saudis, that left the United States between Sept. 14 and 24, 2001. But it has said nothing about the Tampa flight… The 9/11 Commission, which has said the flights out of the United States were handled appropriately by the FBI, appears concerned with the handling of the Tampa flight.
o "Most of the aircraft allowed to fly in U.S. airspace on Sept. 13 were empty airliners being ferried from the airports where they made quick landings on Sept. 11. The reopening of the airspace included paid charter flights, but not private, nonrevenue flights.” Jean Heller, “TIA now verifies flight of Saudis; The government has long denied that two days after the 9/11 attacks, the three were allowed to fly.” St. Petersburg Times, June 9, 2004
Factual Back-Up for Fahrenheit 9/11: Section Three
THE FOLLOWING IS THE LINE BY LINE FACTUAL BACKUP FOR 'FAHRENHEIT 9/11'
Section Three covers the facts in Fahrenheit 9/11 from Osama's relations with his family through Bush's military records and ends with Bush's business history, including Arbusto, Harken and the Carlyle Group.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: In 2001, one of Osama’s sons got married in Afghanistan; several family members attended the wedding.
•“Bin Laden as well as his mother, two brothers and a sister, who flew from Saudi Arabia, attended the wedding of one of his sons, Mohammad, in the Afghan city of Kandahar on Monday, the Arabic daily Al-Hayat said.… Another of bin Laden's sons married one of al-Masri's daughters in January. Al-Hayat said several members of the bin Laden family, who run a major construction company in Saudi Arabia, also traveled from the kingdom to attend the wedding. Agence France Presse, “Bin Laden Full of Praise for Attack on USS Cole at Son's Wedding”, Thursday, March 1, 2001.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: “We held hundreds of people” immediately after 9/11.
•“More than 1,200 foreigners have been detained as part of the government's investigation into the terror attacks, some spending months in prison. Some civil liberties advocates have complained, but government officials insist they are simply enforcing long-standing immigration laws.” “A Nation Challenged,” New York Times, November 25, 2001.
•“The Department of Homeland Security announced new rules yesterday designed to prevent a recurrence of the lengthy detention of hundreds of foreign nationals, many of whom were prevented from making telephone calls or contacting lawyers for months after they were jailed in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The guidelines, made public yesterday by Asa Hutchinson, the department's undersecretary for border and transportation security, were welcomed by civil rights groups that had bitterly denounced the detention of 762 immigration violators after the attacks, based on sometimes ill-founded FBI suspicions that they had links to terrorism. The new rules are a response to a highly critical 198-page report last June by Glenn A. Fine, the Justice Department's inspector general. It concluded that in the chaotic aftermath of the terrorist strikes on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, hundreds of Arab and South Asian men who had committed sometimes minor immigration violations languished in jail without timely review by U.S. officials. Guards mistreated some of them. The average detention lasted three months, and the longest was 10 months before the immigrants were cleared of terrorism ties and released from jail.” John Mintz, “New Rules Shorten Holding Time for Detained Immigrants,” Washington Post, April 14, 2004.
•“In the days, weeks and months following the tragic events of September 11, 2001, hundreds of American immigrants were rounded up and detained, often under harsh or abusive conditions, in the name of keeping America safe. Not because of evidence (or even sound hunches) that they were involved in the terrorist attacks that brutally ended the lives of more than 3,100 people. Not because they were found to have ties to or even knowledge of terrorist groups who might threaten American security in the future. Instead, hundreds of immigrants were arbitrarily snared in this dragnet, marked for arrest and thrown (literally, at times) in jail. The exact number is unknown, because the government refuses to release that information. They had one thing in common: Almost all were Arab or South Asian men, and almost all were Muslim... Once arrested, many immigrants were labeled "of interest" to the September 11 investigation and thrown into legal limbo detained for weeks or months in connection with a criminal investigation, but denied the due process rights that they would have been entitled to had they actually been charged with crimes.” ACLU, "America’s Disappeared: Seeking International Justice for Immigrants Detained after September 11," January 2004.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: The FBI conducted “a little interview, check[ed] the passport.”
Last year, the National Review reported that the FBI conducted brief, day-of-departure interviews with the Saudis -- in the words of an FBI spokesman, "at the airport, as they were about to leave." Experts interviewed by the National Review called the FBI's actions "highly unusual" given the fact that those departing were actually members of Osama bin Laden's family. "They [the FBI] could not have done a thorough and complete interview," said John L.Martin, the former head of internal security at the Justice Department. "The Great Escape : How did assorted bin Ladens get out of America after September 11?" National Review, September 29, 2003.
•“Thirty of the 142 people on these flights were interviewed by the FBI, including 22 of the 26 people (23 passengers and 3 private security guards) on the Bin Ladin flight. Many were asked detailed questions. None of the passengers stated that they had any recent contact with Usama Bin Ladin or knew anything about terrorist activity." National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, Threats and Responses in 2001, Staff Statement No. 10, The Saudi Flights, p. 12;
•“I talked to several people who were with the FBI during the actual repatriation. And they told me there was a lot of back-and-forth between the FBI and the Saudi Embassy. And the Saudi Embassy tried to get people to leave without even identifying them. The FBI succeeded in identifying people and going through their passports. But, in many cases, you had the FBI meeting people for the first time on the tarmac or on the planes themselves as they were departing. That was not time for a serious interview or a serious interrogation.” Interview with Craig Unger, CNN, September 4, 2003.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: White House released records in response to Moore’s charge of deserter.
•Left-leaning filmmaker Michael Moore got the discussion started in January, when he endorsed Clark for president and called the president a ‘deserter.’ The White House responded by releasing the president's service records, including an honorable discharge. James Rainey, “Who's the Man? They Are; George Bush and John Kerry Stand Shoulder to Shoulder in One Respect: Macho is Good. Very Good. It's Been That Way Since Jefferson's Day,” Los Angeles Times, March 18, 2004.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: There is one glaring difference between the records released in 2000 and those he released in 2004. A name had been blacked out. In 1972, two airmen were suspended for failing to take their medical examination. One was George W. Bush and the other was James R. Bath.
•See National Guard Bureau, Aeronautical Orders Number 87, September 29, 1972, Attachment B, paragraph 7 (original document).
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: James R. Bath was the Texas money manager for the Bin Laden family.
•See Notarized Trust Agreement, Harris County, Texas, signed by Salem M. Binladen, July 8, 1976 (original document), Attachment C (“I, Salem M. Binladen, do hereby vest unto James Reynolds Bath, 2330 Bellefontaine, Houston, Texas, full and absolute authority to act on my behalf in all matters relating to the business and operation of Binladen-Houston offices in Houston, Texas.” Notarized Trust Agreement, Harris County, Texas, July 8, 1976.
•“According to a 1976 trust agreement, drawn shortly after [George H. W.] Bush was appointed director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Saudi Sheik Salem M. Binladen appointed Bath as his business representative in Houston. Binladen, along with his brothers, owns Binladen Brothers Construction, one of the largest construction companies in the Middle East.” Jerry Urban, “Feds Investigate Entrepreneur Allegedly Tied to Saudis,” Houston Chronicle, June 4, 1992.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: George W. Bush and James R. Bath had become good friends.
•“Bath, 55, acknowledges a friendship with George W. Bush that stems from their service together in the Texas Air National Guard.” Jonathan Beaty, “A Mysterious Mover of Money and Planes,” Time Magazine, October 28, 1991.
•“In a copy of the record released by the National Guard in 2000, the man in question, James R. Bath, was listed as being suspended from flying for the National Guard in 1972 for failing to take a medical exam next to a similar listing for Mr. Bush. It has been widely reported that the two were friends and that Mr. Bath invested in Mr. Bush's first major business venture, Arbusto Energy, in the late 1970's after Mr. Bath began working for Salem bin Laden.” Jim Rutenberg, “A Film to Polarize Along Party Lines,” New York Times, May 17, 2004.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: “After they were discharged, when Bush’s dad was head of the CIA, Bath opened up his own aviation business, after selling a plane to a man by the name of Salem bin Laden, heir to the second largest fortune in Saudi Arabia, the Saudi bin Laden Group.”
•“Bath opened his own aircraft brokerage firm in 1976.” Jonathan Beaty, “A Mysterious Mover of Money and Planes,” Time Magazine, October 28, 1991. (Bush was CIA director, 1976-1977.)
•“Sometime around 1974… Bath was trying to sell a F-27 turboprop, a sluggish medium-range plane that was not exactly a hot ticket in those days, when he received a phone call that changed his life. The voice no the other end belonged to Salem bin Laden… Bath not only had a buyer for a plane no one else seemed to want, he had also stumbled upon a source of wealth and power that was certain to pique the interest of even the brashest Texas oil baron.” Craig Unger, House of Bush, House of Saud, pp,19-20 (Scribner: New York, 2004).
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: “George W. Bush founded an oil company, a drilling company, out in west Texas called Arbusto, which was very good at drilling dry holes.”
•“After graduating from the Harvard Business School, Bush organized his first company, Arbusto Energy (Arbusto is Spanish for Bush) in 1977 on the eve of a run for Congress. According to records on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Arbusto didn’t start active operations until March 1979.… According to 1984 securities filings, Bush’s limited partners had invested $4.66 million in Bush’s various drilling programs but they had received cash distributions of only $1.54 million. However, Bush’s CFO stated, ‘We didn’t find much oil and gas,’ adding ‘We weren’t raising any money.’ George Lardner Jr. and Lois Romano, “Bush Name Helps Fuel Oil Dealings,” Washington Post, July 30, 1999.
•“Bush eventually renamed his company Bush Exploration and later merged with a firm called Spectrum 7. Documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission show that the firm lost money from 1979 to 1982 and that investors who put in nearly $4.7 million got back just $1.5 million. Published reports contend that Bush Exploration was salvaged by Cincinnati oilmen Bill DeWitt and Mercer Reynolds. Bush today says otherwise, that his company was on firm financial footing and that the merger was a strategic one. Either way, George W. drilled his fair share of dry holes. As Conaway rues to this day, the company ‘never hit . . . the Big Kahuna.’” Maria La Ganga, “Bush Finesses Texas 2-Step Of Privilege, Personality,” Los Angeles Times, March 2, 2000.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: “There is no indication that daddy wrote a check to start Bush off in his company.”
•“Seed money, upward of $4 million, was largely raised between 1979 and 1982 with the help of [Bush’s] uncle, financier Jonathan Bush. The Arbusto investor list is filled with family and famous friends. His grandmother, Dorothy W. Bush, chipped in $25,000. Corporate luminaries like George L. Ball, chief executive of Prudential-Bache Securities, invested $100,000. Macomber and William H. Draper III, who invested more than $125,000, were later named presidents of the U.S. Export-Import Bank during the Reagan and Bush administrations.” Maria La Ganga, “Bush Finesses Texas 2-Step Of Privilege, Personality,” Los Angeles Times, March 2, 2000.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: “Bush’s good friend James Bath was hired by the bin Laden family to manage their money in Texas and invest in businesses. And James Bath himself, in turn, invested in George W. Bush.”
•See Notarized Trust Agreement, Harris County, Texas, signed by Salem M. Binladen, July 8, 1976 (original document), Attachment C (“I, Salem M. Binladen, do hereby vest unto James Reynolds Bath, 2330 Bellefontaine, Houston, Texas, full and absolute authority to act on my behalf in all matters relating to the business and operation of Binladen-Houston offices in Houston, Texas.” Notarized Trust Agreement, Harris County, Texas, July 8, 1976.
•See 1981 Schedule 4 spreadsheet showing $50,000 investment by James Bath in George W. Bush’s Arbusto Exploration, Attachment D (original document).
• Bath’s business relationship with Salem bin Laden, and other wealthy Saudi businessmen, has been well documented. See, e.g., Mike Ward, “Bin Laden Relatives Have Ties to Texas,” Austin American-Statesman, November 9, 2001; Jerry Urban, “Feds Investigate Entrepreneur Allegedly Tied to Saudis,” Houston Chronicle, June 4, 1992; Thomas Petzinger Jr., et al., “Family Ties: How Oil Firm Linked to a Son of Bush Won Bahrain Drilling Pact,” The Wall Street Journal, December 6, 1991.
•“Early 1980s tax records reviewed by TIME show that Bath invested $50,000 in Bush's energy ventures and remained a stockholder until Bush sold his company to Harken in 1986.” Jonathan Beaty, “A Mysterious Mover of Money and Planes,” Time Magazine, October 28, 1991.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: “Bush ran Arbusto nearly into the ground, as he did every other company he was involved in until finally one of his companies was bought by Harken Energy and they gave him a seat on their board.”
•“Bush's name …was to help rescue him, just as it had attracted investors and helped revive his flagging fortunes throughout his years in the dusty plains city of Midland. A big Dallas-based firm, Harken Oil and Gas, was looking to buy up troubled oil companies. After finding Spectrum, Harken's executives saw a bonus in their target's CEO, despite his spotty track record. By the end of September 1986, the deal was done. Harken assumed $ 3.1 million in debts and swapped $ 2.2 million of its stock for a company that was hemorrhaging money, though it had oil and gas reserves projected to produce $ 4 million in future net revenue. Harken, a firm that liked to attach itself to stars, had also acquired Bush, whom it used not as an operating manager but as a high-profile board member.… It was one of the biggest breaks of Bush's life. Still, the Harken deal completed a disappointing reprise of what was becoming a familiar pattern. As an oilman, Bush always worked hard, winning a reputation as a straight-shooter and a good boss who was witty, warm and immensely likable. Even the investors who lost money in his ventures remained admirers, and some of them are now raising money for his presidential campaign. But the story of Bush's career in oil, which began following his graduation from Harvard Business School in the summer of 1975 and ended when he sold out to Harken and headed for Washington, is mostly about his failure to succeed, despite the sterling connections his lineage and Ivy League education brought him." George Lardner Jr. and Lois Romano, “Bush Name Helps Fuel Oil Dealings,” Washington Post, July 30, 1999.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: Bush was investigated by the S.E.C. The James Baker law partner who helped Bush beat the rap from the SEC was a man by the name of Robert Jordon, who, when George W. became president was appointed ambassador to Saudi Arabia.
•“A week before George W. Bush's 1990 sale of stock in Harken Energy Co., the firm's outside lawyers cautioned Bush and other directors against selling shares if they had significant negative information about the company's prospects. The sale came a few months before Harken reported significant losses, leading to an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The June 15, 1990, letter from the Haynes and Boone law firm wasn't sent to the SEC by Bush's attorney Robert W. Jordan until Aug. 22, 1991, according to a letter by Jordan. That was one day after SEC staff members investigating the stock sale concluded there was insufficient evidence to recommend an enforcement action against Bush for insider trading.” Peter Behr, “Bush Sold Stock After Lawyers’ Warning,” Washington Post, November 1, 2002.
•“President Bush has chosen as ambassador to Saudi Arabia a Dallas attorney who represented him against … allegations arising from his sale of stock in Harken Energy Co. 11 years ago.” G. Robert Hillman, “Bush Taps Dallas Attorney to be Ambassador to Saudi Arabia,” The Dallas Morning News, July 21, 2001.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: “After the Harken debacle, the friends of Bush’s dad got him a seat on another board, of a company owned by the Carlyle Group.”
•"Fred Malek, a senior advisor to Carlyle, who also served as the director of the 1988 Republican Convention, suggested to Carlyle that the President’s eldest son, George W. Bush, would ‘be a positive addition to Caterair’s board.’ Mr. Malek was also a Caterair director and vice chairman of Northwest Airlines, a major Caterair customer. ‘I thought George W. Bush could make a contribution to Caterair,’ stated Malek. Malek further claimed, ‘He would be on the board even if his father weren’t President.’" Kenneth N. Gilpin, “Little-Known Carlyle Scores Big,” New York Times, March 26, 1991
•Co-Founder of Carlyle Group, David Rubenstein, talking about setting up Cater Air after Carlyle acquired it: “When we’re putting together the board,” Rubenstein said, ‘somebody came to me and said ‘Look, there is a guy who would like to be on the board. He's kind of down on his luck a bit. Needs a job. Needs some board positions. Could you put him on the board? Pay him a salary and he'll be a good board member and be a loyal vote for the management and so forth.’ …We put him on the board and (he) spent three years. Came to all the meetings. … And after a while I kind of said to him, after about three years ‘You know, I'm not sure this is really for you. Maybe you should do something else. Because I don't think you're adding much value to the board. You don't know that much about the company.’ The board member told him, Rubenstein said, ‘Well I think I'm getting out of this business anyway. I don't really like it that much. So I'm probably going to resign from the board.’ And I said, 'Thanks.' Didn't think I'd ever see him again. His name is George W. Bush,’ Rubenstein said. ‘He became president of the United States. So if you said to me, name 25 million people who would be president of the United States, he wouldn't be in that category. So you neverknow." Nicholas Horrock, “White House Watch: With Friends Like These,” UPI, July 16, 2003 .
Factual Back-Up for Fahrenheit 9/11: Section Four
THE FOLLOWING IS THE LINE BY LINE FACTUAL BACKUP FOR 'FAHRENHEIT 9/11'
Section Four covers the facts in Fahrenheit 9/11 covers the Carlyle Group and Saudi money in the United States and its connection to the Bush family, their friends and associates.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: “The Carlyle group is a multinational conglomerate that invests in heavily government-regulated industries like telecommunications, healthcare and, particularly, defense.”
•“The Carlyle Group is one of the world’s largest private equity firms, with more than $18.3 billion under management. With 23 funds across five investment disciplines (management-led buyouts, real estate, leveraged finance, venture capital and turnaround), Carlyle combines global vision with local insight, relying on a top-flight team of nearly 300 investment professionals operating out of offices in 14 countries to uncover superior opportunities in North America, Europe, and Asia. Carlyle focuses on sectors in which it has demonstrated expertise: aerospace & defense, automotive & transportation, consumer, energy & power, healthcare, industrial, real estate, technology & business services, and telecommunications & media.” Carlyle Group web site,
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: The Bin Laden and Bush families were both connected to the Carlyle Group, as were many of the Bush family’s friends and associates.
•In the early 1990s, George W. Bush served on the board of directors for CaterAir, an airline catering company. CaterAir was owned by the Carlyle Group. Kenneth N. Gilpin, “Little-Known Carlyle Scores Big,” The New York Times, March 26, 1991. “George W. Bush left the company in 1994, a year after his father’s presidency ended.” Ross Ramsey, et al., “Campaign ’94 Fisher’s Staff Slips Up On Spanish,” The Houston Chronicle, September 17, 1994.
•In the mid-1990s, George H.W. Bush joined up with the Carlyle Group. “Under the leadership of ex-officials like Baker and former Defense Secretary Frank C. Carlucci, Carlyle developed a specialty in buying defense companies and doubling or quadrupling their value. The ex-president not only became an investor in Carlyle, but a member of the company's Asia Advisory Board and a rainmaker who drummed up investors. Twelve rich Saudi families, including the Bin Ladens, were among them. In 2002, the Washington Post reported, ‘Saudis close to Prince Sultan, the Saudi defense minister ... were encouraged to put money into Carlyle as a favor to the elder Bush.’ Bush retired from the company last October, and Baker, who lobbied U.S. allies last month to forgive Iraq's debt, remains a Carlyle senior counselor. Kevin Phillips, “The Barreling Bushes; Four Generations of the Dynasty Have Chased Profits Through Cozy Ties with Mideast Leaders, Spinning Webs of Conflicts of Interest,” Los Angeles Times, January 11, 2004.
•The bin Laden family first invested in Carlyle in 1994. Representing Carlyle’s Asia Board, George H.W. Bush visited the bin laden family's headquarters in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Kurt Eichenwald, “Bin Laden Family Liquidates Holdings With Carlyle Group,” The New York Times, October 26, 2001.
•James Baker was a Carlyle Senior Counselor beginning in 1993. Carlyle Group web site,
•Bush's OMB chief, Richard Darman, was with Carlyle by 1994. Bob Cook, Mergers & Acquisitions Report, December 12, 1994.
•George W. Bush was with Caterair -- owned by Carlyle -- until 1994, after Fred Malek, a senior advisor to Carlyle, who also served as the director of the 1988 Republican Convention, suggested to Carlyle that the President’s eldest son would “be a positive addition to Caterair’s board.” Kenneth N. Gilpin, “Little-Known Carlyle Scores Big,” New York Times, March 26, 1991.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: “Carlyle Group was holding its annual investor conference on the morning of September 11th in the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Washington, D.C. At that meeting were all of the Carlyle regulars, James Baker, likely John Major, definitely George H. W. Bush, though he left the morning of September 11th. Shafiq bin Ladin, who is Osama bin Laden’s half-brother, and was in town to look after his family’s investments in the Carlyle Group. All of them, together in one room, watching as the uh the planes hit the towers.”
•On the morning of September 11, 2001, “in the plush setting of the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Washington, DC, the Carlyle Group was holding its annual international investor conference. Frank Carlucci, James Baker III, David Rubenstein, William Conway, and Dan D’Aniellow were together, along with a host of former world leaders, former defense experts, wealthy Arabs from the Middle East, and major international investors as they terror played out on television. There with them, looking after the investments of his family was Shafiq bin Laden, Osama bin Laden’s estranged half-brother. George Bush Sr. was also at the conference, but Carlyle’s spokesperson says the former president left before the terror attacks, and was on an airplane over the Midwest when flights across the country were grounded on the morning of September 11. In any circumstance, a confluence of such politically complex and globally connected people would have been curious, even newsworthy. But in the context of the terrorist attacks being waged against the United States by a group of Saudi nationals led by Osama bin Laden, the group assembled at the Ritz-Carlton that day was a disconcerting and freakish coincidence.” Dan Briody, The Iron Triangle, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2003, p. 139-140. See also, Melanie Warner, “What do George Bush, Arthur Levitt, Jim Baker, Dick Darman, and John Major Have in Common? (They All Work for the Carlyle Group),” Fortune, March 18, 2002,
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: “With all the weapons companies it owned, The Carlyle Group was in essence, the 11th largest defense contractor in the United States.”
•“By virtue of its holdings in companies like U.S. Marine Repair and United Defense Industries, Carlyle is the equivalent of the eleventh-largest defense contractor in the nation. It has $16.2 billion under management and claims an average annual return of 35%.” Phyllis Berman, “Lucky Twice,” Forbes, December 8, 2003.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: “It owned United Defense, makers of the Bradley armored fighting vehicle. September 11th guaranteed that United Defense was going to have a very good year. Just 6 weeks after 9-11 Carlyle filed to take United Defense public and in December made a one day profit of $237 million dollars.”
•“On a single day last month, Carlyle earned $237 million selling shares in United Defense Industries, the Army's fifth-largest contractor. The stock offering was well timed: Carlyle officials say they decided to take the company public only after the Sept. 11 attacks. … On Sept. 26, , the Army signed a $665-million modified contract with United Defense through April 2003 to complete the Crusader's development phase. In October, the company listed the Crusader, and the attacks themselves, as selling points for its stock offering. Mark Fineman, “Arms Buildup is a Boon to Firm Run by Big Guns,” Los Angeles Times, January 10, 2002.
•"Still, in its annual report for 2001, United announced that it had been awarded a three-year, $697 million contract to complete full upgrading of 389 Bradley units and had added a $ 655 million contract modification to complete the Crusader's 'definition and risk-reduction phase contract,' which would be worth $ 1.7 billion through 2003. Together, the Crusader and Bradley programs contributed 41 percent of United sales in 2001, the report said. With Crusader and the Bradley upgrade in hand, a decision was made to sell United stock to the public in late 2001." Walter Pincus, “Crusader a Boon to Carlyle Group Even if Pentagon Scraps Project,” Washington Post, May 14, 2002.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: “With so much attention focused on the bin Laden family being important Carlyle investors, the bin Ladens eventually had to withdraw.”
•"Following the attacks on September 11, the bin Laden family’s investments in the Carlyle Group became an embarrassment to the Carlyle Group and the family was forced to liquidate their assets with the firm." Kurt Eichenwald, “Bin Laden Family Liquidates Holdings with Carlyle Group,” The New York Times, October 26, 2001.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: “Bush’s dad stayed on as Senior Advisor to Carlyle’s Asia Board for another 2 years.”
•“Former President Bush was at one time the Senior Advisor to the Carlyle Asia Advisory Board but retired from that position in October 2003. He holds no other positions at Carlyle.”
•“The former president is no longer a company adviser, but he still has investments there, Mr. Ullman (vice president for corporate communications) said.” Dallas Morning News, "Michael Moore keeps heat on at premiere", May 18, 2004
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: George H. W. Bush receives daily CIA briefings.
•"One of the people who corresponded with [former ambassador Joseph] Wilson is George H. W. Bush, the only president to have been head of the C.I.A.-- he still receives regular briefings from Langley." Vicky Ward, “Double Exposure,” Vanity Fair, January 2004.
•Former President Bush has made efforts to keep abreast of foreign affairs, partly by exercising his right to be briefed by CIA personnel about developments around the globe. Ha'aretz, “George Bush Sr. Vouches for Son's Support of Israel to the Saudis”, July 16, 2001.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: “They are benefiting from the confusion that arises when George H. W. Bush visits Saudi Arabia, on behalf of Carlyle, and meets with the royal family and meets with the bin Laden family. Is he representing the United States of America, or is he representing an investment firm in the United States of America or is he representing both?”
•Few firms could have rivaled the Carlyle Group for its array of high-powered friends. The Washington-based venture capital house had been likened to a retirement home for Gulf War veterans, and the likes of George Bush Sr, James Baker, and John Major ‘can take credit for its rapid rise.’ The Observer noted in a profile, “It used to be fashionable to deride Carlyle as a second-rate influence-peddler and dismiss its stable of retired politicians as superannuated ‘access capitalists.’” … Carlyle had sponsored visits by Bush Sr. to South Korea and China, and his clout with the Saudi government perhaps Carlyle’s most important customer is also likely to be valued. Conal Walsh, “The Carlyle Controversy: With Friends in High Places: Former World Leaders Give Carlyle Group Unrivalled Prowess in Lobbying for Business,” The Observer, September 15, 2002.
•“’It should be a deep cause for concern that a closely held company like Carlyle can simultaneously have directors and advisers that are doing business and making money and also advising the president of the United States,’ says Peter Eisner, managing director of the Center for Public Integrity, a non-profit-making Washington think-tank. ‘The problem comes when private business and public policy blend together. What hat is former president Bush wearing when he tells Crown Prince Abdullah not to worry about US policy in the Middle East? What hat does he use when he deals with South Korea, and causes policy changes there? Or when James Baker helps argue the presidential election in the younger Bush's favour? It's a kitchen-cabinet situation, and the informality involved is precisely a mark of Carlyle's success.’" Oliver Burkeman Julian Borger, “The Winners: The Ex-Presidents' Club,” The Guardian, October 31, 2001.
•“The Saudi family of Osama bin Laden is severing its financial ties with the Carlyle Group, a private investment firm known for its connections to influential Washington political figures… In recent years, Frank C. Carlucci, the chairman of Carlyle and a former secretary of defense, has visited the family's headquarters in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, as have former President George Bush and James A. Baker III, the former secretary of state. Mr. Bush works as an adviser to Carlyle, and Mr. Baker is a partner in the firm.” Kurt Eichenwald, “Bin Laden Family Liquidates Holdings With Carlyle Group,” New York Times, October 26, 2001.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: “Another group of people invest in you, your friends, and their related businesses $1.4 billion over a number of years.”
•“In all, at least $1.46 billion had made its way from the Saudis to the House of Bush and its allied companies and institutions.” Craig Unger, House of Bush, House of Saud, p. 200, (Scribner: New York, 2004). For a complete breakdown of the investments, see Unger’s Appendix C, pp. 295-298.
•This number includes investments made and contracts awarded at the time that Bush’s friends were involved in the Carlyle Group:
James Baker was a Carlyle Senior Counselor beginning in 1993. Carlyle Group web site,
Bush's OMB chief, Richard Darman, was with Carlyle by 1994. Bob Cook, Mergers & Acquisitions Report, December 12, 1994.
George W. Bush was with Caterair -- owned by Carlyle -- until 1994, after Fred Malek, a senior advisor to Carlyle, who also served as the director of the 1988 Republican Convention, suggested to Carlyle that the President’s eldest son would “be a positive addition to Caterair’s board.” Kenneth N. Gilpin, “Little-Known CarlyleScores Big,” New York Times, March 26, 1991
Bush Sr. was first involved in Carlyle by the mid-1990s and no later than 1997.Kevin Phillips, “The Barreling Bushes; Four Generations of the Dynasty Have Chased Profits Through Cozy Ties with Mideast Leaders, Spinning Webs of Conflicts of Interest,” Los Angeles Times, January 11 , 2004; Dan Briody, The Iron Triangle, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2003.
• Additional back up for these numbers is as follows:
Saudi investments in the Carlyle Group worth $80,000,000. Craig Unger, “Saving the Saudis,” Vanity Fair, October 2003. The number was reported to Unger by the head of Carlyle, David Rubenstein, in an interview.
In 1994, Carlyle owned military contractor BDM was “awarded a contract to provide technical assistance and logistics support to the Royal Saudi Air Force.” Worth: $46,200,000. PR Newswire, “BDM Federal Awarded $46 Million Contract To Support Royal Saudi Air Force,” October 27, 1994.
During the 1990s, the Vinnell Corporation (a BDM subsidiary) held contracts to train the Saudi Arabian National Guard, worth $819,000,000. Robert Burns, “US Advises Saudi Military On Range Of ThreatsIncluding Terrorism,” Associated Press, November 13, 1995.
In 1995, BDM collected a contract to “augment Royal Saudi Air Force staff in developing, implementing, and maintaining logistics and engineering plans and programs.” Worth: $32,500,000. Defense Daily, “Defense Contracts,” June 23, 1995, as cited by Craig Unger.
In 1996, BDM was awarded a contract “to provide construction of 110 housing units at the MK-1 Compound, Khamis Mushayt, Saudi Arabia, for Technical Support Program personnel assisting the Royal Saudi Air Force…. This effort supports foreign military sales to Saudi Arabia.” Worth: $44,397,800. Department of Defense News Release, “BDM Federal, Incorporated,” April 1, 1996.
During the late 1990s, Vinnell was awarded a contract “for the Saudi Arabian National Guard (SANG) Modernization Program. The three-year contract, awarded competitively, calls on Vinnell to continue to support SANG training operations and related activities.” Worth: $163,300,000 . PR Newswire, “Vinnell Selected for Award of $163.3 Million Contract for Saudi Arabian National Guard Modernization Program,” May 3, 1995. Kashim Al-An, “Saudi Guard Gets Quiet Help from US Firm with Connections,” Associated Press, March 22, 1997.
In 1997, BDM was awarded a contract “to provide for 400 contractor personnel to support the Royal Saudi Air Force in developing, implementing, and maintaining logistics, supply, computer, reconnaissance, intelligence and engineering plans and programs.” Worth: $18,728,682 (note: this is a “face value increase to a firm fixed price contract”). Defense Daily, “Defense Contracts,” February 4, 1997.
Note: Carlyle purchased BDM and its subsidiary Vinnell in 1992 and sold it to TRW in Dec, 1997.
In November 2001, Dick Cheney’s former company Halliburton was awarded “a contract to provide services for the Saudi Arabian Oil Company’s (Saudi Aramco) Qatif Field development project in the eastern province of Saudi Arabia.” Worth: $140 million. Halliburton press release, “Halliburton Awarded $140 Million Contract by Saudi Aramco,” November 14, 2001.
The same month, a consortium of three companies led by Halliburton subsidiary KBR won a “contract for engineering, procurement, and construction of an ethylene plant for Jubail United Petrochemcial Company, a wholly owned company of Saudi Basic Industries Corporation.” Worth: $40 million. MaggieMulvihill, et al., “Bush Advisers Cashed in on Saudi Gravy Train,” Boston Herald, December 11, 2001 ; Halliburton press release, “Halliburton KBR, Chiyoda, and Mitsubishi Win SaudiArabian Ethylene Project,” November 19, 2001. (Note: The $40 million figure cited for this contractin all likelihood is much too low. Three separate energy industry journals place the value of the contract at $350 million. While there are two other companies involved, all reports point out that Halliburton KBR led the consortium and thus, if the contract were $350 million, it is likely that their cut would beas lead contractorsignificantly more than $40 million. See, Petroleum Economist, “News in Brief,” January 14, 2002; Chemical Week, “KBR, Chiyoda, Mitsubishi Win Jubail Ethylene Contract,” December 5, 2001; Middle East Economic Digest, “Projects Update: Petrochemicals,” March 7, 2000.
Soon after Harken bought out George W. Bush’s company Spectrum 7 in 1986 and placed Bush on their board of directors, a Saudi sheik swooped in to save the troubled Harken. Abdullah Taha Bakhsh purchased a 17% stake in the company. Worth: $25,000,000. Thomas Petzinger Jr., et al., “Family Ties: How Oil Firm Linked to a Son of Bush Won Bahrain Drilling Pact; Harken Energy Had a Web of Mideast Connections; In the Background: BCCI; Entrée at the White House,” Wall Street Journal, December 6, 1991.
In 1989 Saudi Arabia’s King Fahd donated money to the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy. At the time, Ms. Bush was the First Lady of the United States. The King’s contribution represented almost half the amount the organization was able to raise that year. Worth: $1,000,000. Thomas Ferraro, “Saudi King also Contributed to Barbara Bush’s Foundation,” United Press International, March 13, 1990.
Following George H. W. Bush’s departure from office, Saudi Ambassador to the United States, Prince Bandar, donated money to the Bush Sr. Presidential Library fund. Worth: At least $1,000,000. Dave Montgomery, “Hail to a Former Chief,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, November 7, 1997.
Both George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush attended the elite Phillips Andover Academy in Massachusetts. In the summer of 2002 the Academy announced it had established a scholarship in Bush Sr.’s name. Saudi Prince Alwaleed binTalal bin Adul Aziz Alsaud -- the same Prince who bailed out EuroDisney in the mid-Nineties -- was among the donors to the scholarship. Worth $500,000. Phillips Academy-Andover press release, “A Statement from Phillips Academy-Andover Regarding the Bush Scholars Program,” December 31, 2002.
Among the many presents George W. Bush has received from foreign leaders and dignitaries during his term as President, perhaps none is grander than the one Prince Bandar bestowed upon him. Bandar gave the current president a “C.M. Russell oil canvas painting of a native American buffalo hunt….” Worth: $1,000,000. Siobhan McDonough, “Gifts to President are Gratefully Received, Quickly Carted into Storage,” Associated Press, July 14, 2003.
Factual Back-Up for Fahrenheit 9/11: Section Five
THE FOLLOWING IS THE LINE BY LINE FACTUAL BACKUP FOR 'FAHRENHEIT 9/11'
Section Five covers the facts in Fahrenheit 9/11 from Saudi Arabia's involvement in 9/11 through the natural gas pipeline in Afghanistan.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: Amnesty International condemns Saudi Arabia as a human rights violator.
•“Saudi Arabia systematically violates international human rights standards even after agreeing to be bound by them. For example, in September 1997 Saudi Arabia acceded to the Convention against Torture. Yet, torture is widespread in Saudi Arabia's criminal justice system. (Saudi Arabia acceded to the Convention against Torture and the Convention against Discrimination on Sept 23, 1997).” Amnesty International, "Saudi Arabia: Open for Business," February 8, 2000.
•“Sharon Burke, Amnesty International USA's advocacy director for the Middle East and North Africa, said her organization confirmed with the Saudi Ministry of the Interior that three men were beheaded for sodomy.” Washington Blade, January 4, 2002,
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: “Bush tried to stop Congress from setting up its own 9/11 investigation.… When he couldn’t stop Congress, he then tried to stop an independent 9/11 commission from being formed.”
•The original effort by the White House was to limit the scope of the 9/11 investigation to only two congressional committees. “President Bush asked House and Senate leaders yesterday to allow only two congressional committees to investigate the government's response to the events of Sept. 11, officials said.” Mike Allen, “Bush Seeks To Restrict Hill Probes Of Sept. 11; Intelligence Panels' Secrecy Is Favored,” Washington Post, January 30, 2002.
• “I, of course, want the Congress to take a look at what took place prior to Sept. 11. But since it deals with such sensitive information, in my judgment, it’s best for the ongoing war against terror that the investigation be done in the intelligence committees,” President Bush said. David Rosenbaum, “Bush Bucks Tradition on Investigation,” The New York Times, May 26, 2002.
•“Angry lawmakers [McCain, Pelosi, Lieberman] accused White House Friday of secretly trying to derail creation of an independent commission to investigate the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks while professing to support the idea.” Helen Dewar, “Lawmakers Accuse Bush of 9/11 Deceit,” Los Angeles Times, October 13, 2002.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: The White House censored 28 pages of the Congressional 9/11 report.
•“Top U.S. officials believe the Saudi Arabian government not only thwarted their efforts to prevent the rise of al-Qaida and stop terrorist attacks, but also may have given the Saudi-born Sept. 11 hijackers financial and logistical support, according to a congressional report released Thursday. Those suspicions prompted several lawmakers to demand that the Bush administration aggressively investigate Saudi Arabia 's actions before and after Sept. 11, 2001 -- in part by making public large sections of the report that pertain to Riyadh but remain classified. The passages, including an entire 28-page section, discuss in detail whether one of America's most reluctant allies in the war on terrorism was somehow implicated in the attacks, according to U.S. officials familiar with the full report.” Josh Meyer, “Saudi Ties to Sept. 11 Hinted at in Report,” Houston Chronicle, July 25, 2003.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: More than 500 relatives of 9/11 victims filed suit Saudi Royals and others. The lawyers the Saudi Defense Minister hired to fight these 9/11 families was the law firm of Bush family confidant James A. Baker.
• “James Baker, whom Bush recently sent abroad seeking help to reduce Iraq's debt, is still a senior counselor for the Carlyle Group, and Baker's Houston-based law firm, Baker Botts, is representing the Saudi defense minister in Motley’s [plaintiff’s council in class-action suit in connection with September 11th attacks] case.” New York Times, “A Nation Unto Itself,” March 14, 2004
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: Saudi’s have $860 billion dollars invested in America.
•“Over the next twenty-five years, roughly eighty-five thousand ‘high-net-worth’ Saudis invested a staggering $860 billion in American companies an average of more than $10 million a person and a sum that is roughly equivalent to the gross domestic product of Spain.” Craig Unger, House of Bush, House of Saud, (Scribner: New York, 2004).
•“Allan Gerson, an attorney who represents about 3,600 family members of victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks … said he is not suing the Saudi government, but he is pursuing ‘Saudi interests’ in the United States he estimated totaled about $860 billion.” “ $113 Million in Terrorism Funds Frozen,” CNN, November 20, 2002.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: In terms of investments on Wall Street, $860 billion is “roughly six or seven percent of America.”
•“With a total market capitalization exceeding $12 trillion, the NYSE Composite represents approximately 82 percent of the total U.S. market cap.” New York Stock Exchange News Release, “NYSE to Reintroduce Composite Index,” January 2, 2003. ($860 billion is about 7 percent of $12 trillion.)
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: Citigroup, AOL TimeWarner have big Saudi investors.
•“His name is Alwaleed bin Talal. His grandfather was Saudi Arabia's founding monarch. With huge stakes in companies ranging from Citigroup Inc. to the Four Seasons luxury hotel chain, he is one of the richest men on the planet....Last year, Forbes magazine ranked Alwaleed the fifth-richest man in the world, with a net worth of nearly $18 billion. His Kingdom Holding Co. spans four continents. Over the years, he has acquired major stakes in companies such as Apple Computer Inc., AOL Time Warner Inc., News Corp. and Saks Inc., parent of retailer Saks Fifth Avenue .” Richard Verrier, “Disney's Animated Investor; An Ostentatious Saudi Billionaire Prince Who Helped Bail Out the Company's Paris Resort in the Mid-'90s is Being Courted to Do So Again,” Los Angeles Times, January 26, 2004.
• “Carlyle’s first major transaction with the Saudis took place in 1991 when Fred Malek steered Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, a flamboyant 35-year-old Saudi multibillionaire, to the firm for a deal that would enable him to become the largest individual shareholder in Citicorp.” Craig Unger, House of Bush, House of Saud, (Scribner: New York, 2004).
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: “I read where the Saudis have a trillion dollars in our banks, their money.”
•“Others have said the investment is even more, as much as a trillion dollars on deposit in U.S. banks an agreement worked out in the early 1980s by the Reagan administration, in yet another effort to get the Saudis to off-set the US budget deficit. The Saudis hold another trillion dollars or so in the US stock market.” Robert Baer, Sleeping with the Devil, p. 60, (Crown Publishers: New York, 2003).
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: “Bandar is one of the best protected ambassadors in the world with a six-man security detail provided by the State Department.”
•“The dean of the diplomatic corps by virtue of his long assignment in Washington, Bandar is the only ambassador who has his own State Department security detail -- granted to him because of ‘threats’ and his status as a prince, according to a State Department spokesman.” Robert G. Kaiser, et al., "Saudi Leader's Anger Revealed Shaky Ties," Washington Post, February 10, 2002.
•“Prince Bandar is often considered the most politically savvy of all the foreign ambassadors living in Washington. That may or may not be true -- but he certainly is the best-protected. According to a Diplomatic Security official, Prince Bandar has a security detail that includes full-time participation of six highly trained and skilled DS officers. (DS officers are federal government employees charged with securing American diplomatic missions.)” Joel Mowbray, Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Threatens American Security, (Regnery, 2003).
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: “Bandar is so close to the Bushes they considered him a member of the family. They even have a nickname for him, Bandar Bush.”
•“When President [George H.W.] Bush arrived in Riyadh, he took Bandar aside and embraced him. ‘You are good people,’ the president said. Bandar claims that Bush had tears in his eyes. Visiting the Bush summer home in Kennebunkport, Maine, the Saudi ambassador was affectionately dubbed ‘Bandar Bush.’ Bandar returned the favor, inviting Bush to go pheasant hunting at his English estate. (Since leaving the White House, Bush has also profited by acting as a kind of glorified door-opener for the Carlyle Group, an investment company that handles considerable Saudi wealth.)” Evan Thomas, et al., “The Saudi Game,” Newsweek, November 19, 2001 .
•“The Saudi ambassador attended the unveiling of former President George H.W. Bush's official portrait when he returned to the White House in 1995. He was among the guests at a surprise 75th birthday party in 2000 for former first lady Barbara Bush, and the former president has vacationed at Bandar's home in Aspen, Colo. Bandar has been a guest at the Bush ranch in Crawford, Texas. Just last year he presented the first family with a C.M. Russell painting, a gift worth $1 million that will be stored in the National Archives, along with other presents from well-wishers destined for a [George W.] Bush presidential library.” Mike Glover, “Kerry Criticizes Bush on Saudi Meeting”, Associated Press, April 23, 2004.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: “Two nights after September 11th, George Bush invited Bandar Bush over to the White House for a private dinner and a talk.”
•Two days after the attacks, the President asked Bandar to come to the White House. Bush embraced him and escorted him to the Truman balcony. Bandar had a drink and the two men smoked cigars. Elsa Walsh, “The Prince,” The New Yorker, March 24, 2003.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: Bandar’s government blocked American investigators from talking to the relatives of the 15 hijackers.
• “The report strongly criticized top Saudi officials for their ‘lack of cooperation’ before and after the Sept. 11 attacks, even when it became known that 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis.…One top U.S. official told the joint inquiry staff that the Saudis since 1996 would not cooperate on matters relating to Osama bin Laden. Robert Baer, a former CIA officer, said the Saudis blocked FBI agents from talking to relatives of the 15 hijackers and following other leads in the kingdom.” Frank Davies, et al., “Bush rejects call to give more 9/11 data,” Philadelphia Inquirer, July 30, 2003.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: Saudi Arabia was reluctant to freeze the hijackers assets.
•Riyadh has not yet fully joined the international effort to block bank accounts thought to be financing terrorist operations, U.S. officials say. But the Bush administration, fearful of offending the Saudis, has not yet raised a public complaint. Elaine Sciolino, et al., “U.S. is Reluctant to Upset Flawed, Fragile Saudi Ties,” New York Times, October 25, 2001.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: “In 1997, while George W. Bush was governor of Texas, a delegation of Taliban leaders from Afghanistan flew to Houston to meet with Unocal executives to discuss the building of a pipeline through Afghanistan.”
•“A senior delegation from the Taleban movement in Afghanistan is in the United States for talks with an international energy company that wants to construct a gas pipeline from Turkmenistan across Afghanistan to Pakistan. A spokesman for the company, Unocal, said the Taleban were expected to spend several days at the company's headquarters in Sugarland, Texas.” “Taleban in Texas for Talks on Gas Pipeline,” BBC News, December 4, 1997 (Sugarland is 22 miles outside Houston.)
•“The Taliban ministers and their advisers stayed in a five-star hotel and were chauffeured in a company minibus. Their only requests were to visit Houston's zoo, the NASA space centre and Omaha's Super Target discount store to buy stockings, toothpaste, combs and soap. The Taliban, which controls two-thirds of Afghanistan and is still fighting for the last third, was also given an insight into how the other half lives. The men, who are accustomed to life without heating, electricity or running water, were amazed by the luxurious homes of Texan oil barons. Invited to dinner at the palatial home of Martin Miller, a vice-president of Unocal, they marvelled at his swimming pool, views of the golf course and six bathrooms. After a meal of specially prepared halal meat, rice and Coca-Cola, the hardline fundamentalists - who have banned women from working and girls from going to school - asked Mr. Miller about his Christmas tree.” Caroline Lees, “Oil Barons Court Taliban in Texas,” The Telegraph (London), December 14, 1997.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: “And who got a Caspian Sea drilling contract the same day Unocal signed the pipeline deal? A company headed by a man named Dick Cheney, Halliburton.”
•On October 27, 1997, both Unocal and Halliburton issued press releases about their energy work in Turkmenistan. “Halliburton Energy Services has been providing a variety of services in Turkmenistan for the past five years.” Press Release, “Halliburton Alliance Awarded Integrated Service Contract Offshore Caspian Sea In Turkmenistan,” October 27, 1997.
“ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan, Oct. 27, 1997 - Six international companies and the Government of Turkmenistan formed Central Asia Gas Pipeline, Ltd. (CentGas) in formal signing ceremonies here Saturday.” Press Release, “Consortium Formed to Build Central Asia Gas Pipeline,” October 27, 1997.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: Enron stood to benefit from the pipeline.
•Dr. Zaher Wahab of Afghanistan, a professor in the US speaking at International Human Rights Day event, “explained that Delta, Unocal as well as Russian, Pakistani and Japanese oil and gas companies have signed agreements with the Turkmenistan government, immediately north of Afghanistan, which has the fourth largest gas reserve in the world. Agreements also have been signed with the Taliban, allowing these oil and gas giants to pump Turkmenistan gas and oil through western Afghanistan to Pakistan, from which it then will be shipped all over the world. The energy consortium Enron plans to be one of the builders of the pipeline.” Elaine Kelly, “Northwest Groups Discuss Afghan, Iranian and Turkish Rights Violations,” Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, March 31, 1997.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: Kenneth Lay of Enron was Bush’s number one campaign contributor.
•Mr. Lay, also a friend to former President George Bush, was the top campaign contributor to Mr. Bush’s 2000 presidential election.” Jerry Seper, “Colossal Collapse: Enron Bankruptcy Scandal Carves a Wide Swath,” The Washington Times, January 13, 2002; “Although Enron is George W. Bush’s No. 1 career donor, the president also is heavily indebted to the professional firms that aided and abetted the greatest bankruptcy and shareholder meltdown in U.S. history.” Texans for Public Justice, “Bush Is Indebted To Enron’s Professional Abettors, Too,” January 17, 2002
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: “Then in 2001, just five and a half months before 9/11, the Bush administration welcomed a special Taliban envoy to tour the United States to help improve the image of the Taliban government.”
•“A Taliban envoy appealed to the Bush administration Monday to overlook his group's support of extremist Osama bin Laden and the destruction of priceless centuries-old Buddhist sculptures and lift sanctions on Afghanistan to help alleviate a humanitarian crisis threatening the lives of a million people. Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi delivered a letter from the Taliban for President Bush that called for better U.S.-Afghan relations and negotiations to solve the dispute over the Saudi-born Bin Laden. Robin Wright, “Taliban Asks US to Lift its Economic Sanctions,” Los Angeles Times, March 20, 2001.
•“The Town Hall forum was Hashemi's final meeting in a weeklong visit to California, where he spoke at several universities, including USC, UCLA and UC Berkeley. Later Thursday, he left for New York for another stop on his public relations tour before going to Washington, where he is scheduled to deliver a letter from his party to the Bush administration.” Teresa Watanabe, “Overture By Taliban Hits Resistance," Los Angeles Times, March 16, 2001.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: The Taliban were harboring the man who bombed the USS Cole and our African embassies.
•“Osama bin Laden has claimed credit for the attack on U.S. soldiers in Somalia in October 1993, which killed 18; for the attack on the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in August 1998, which killed 224 and injured nearly 5,000; and were linked to the attack on the U.S.S. Cole on 12 October 2000, in which 17 crew members were killed and 40 others injured. They have sought to acquire nuclear and chemical materials for use as terrorist weapons.” “Britain's Bill of Particulars” New York Times, October 5, 2001.
•“Osama bin Laden, in recent years, has been America's most wanted terrorism suspect, with a $5 million reward on his head for his alleged role in the August 1998 truck bombings of two American embassies in East Africa that killed more than 200 people, as well as a string of other terrorist attacks… Most recently, the F.B.I. has named Mr. bin Laden as a prime suspect in the suicide bombing of the American destroyer Cole, which was attacked in Aden harbor, 350 miles by road southwest of here, on Oct. 12, with the loss of 17 sailors' lives." John F. Burns, “Where bin Laden Has Roots, His Mystique Grows,” New York Times, December 31, 2000.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: Hamid Karzai was a former Unocal advisor.
•“Cool and worldly, Karzai is a former employee of US oil company Unocal -- one of two main oil companies that was bidding for the lucrative contract to build an oil pipeline from Uzbekistan through Afghanistan to seaports in Pakistan -- and the son of a former Afghan parliament speaker.” Ilene R. Prusher, Scott Baldauf, and Edward Girardet, “Afghan power brokers,” Christian Science Monitor, June 10, 2002.
•Afghan President Hamid Karzai, a former Unocal adviser, signed a treaty with Pakistani leader Pervez Musharraf and the Turkmen dictator Saparmurat Niyazov to authorize construction of a $3.2 billion gas pipeline through the Heart-Kandahar corridor in Afghanistan.” Lutz Kleveman, “Oil and the New ‘Great Game," The Nation, February 16, 2004.
•TRANSLATED FROM FRENCH: “He was a consultant for the American oil company Unocal, while they studied the construction of a pipeline in Afghanistan." Chipaux Francoise, “Hamid Karzaï, Une Large Connaissance Du Monde Occidental,” Le Monde, December 6, 2001.en minutes
Factual Back-Up for Fahrenheit 9/11: Section Six
THE FOLLOWING IS THE LINE BY LINE FACTUAL BACKUP FOR 'FAHRENHEIT 9/11'
Section Six covers the facts in Fahrenheit 9/11 from the Patriot Act through the war in Iraq.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: "Bush also appointed as our envoy to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad, who was also a former Unocal advisor."
•"Mr. Khalilzad himself knows how compasses change. In the mid-1990's, he briefly defended the Taliban while working as a consultant for Unocal, the oil company that was then trying to build a pipeline through Afghanistan. He later became one of the Taliban's fiercest critics." Amy Waldman, "Afghan Returns Home as American Ambassador," New York Times, April 19, 2004.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: "Afghanistan signed the agreement to build a pipeline through its country carrying natural gas from the Caspian Sea ."
• "The framework agreement defines legal mechanisms for setting up a consortium to build and operate the long-delayed US$3.2-billion natural gas pipeline, known as the Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline, which would carry gas from energy-rich Turkmenistan to Pakistan. It would be one of the first major investment projects in Afghanistan in decades." Baglia Bukharbayeva "Pakistani, Turkmen, Afghan Leaders Sign US$3.2 Billion Pipeline Deal," Associated Press, December 27, 2002.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: "In the year 2000, [John Ashcroft] was running for re-election as Senator from Missouri against a man who died the month before the election. The voters preferred the dead guy."
• "Sen. John Ashcroft on Wednesday graciously conceded defeat in his re-election campaign against the late Gov. Mel Carnahan and urged fellow Republicans to call off any legal challenges." Eric Stern, "Ashcroft Rejects Challenge To Election; Senator Says He Hopes Carnahan’s Victory Will Be ‘Of Comfort’ To Widow,"St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 9, 2000 .
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: "During the summer before 9/11, Ashcroft told acting FBI director Thomas Pickard that he didn’t want to hear anything more about terrorist threats."
•"Former interim FBI chief Thomas Pickard testified Tuesday that Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft didn’t want to hear about terrorism when Pickard tried to brief him during the summer of 2001, as intelligence reports about terrorist threats were reaching a historic level." Cam Simpson, "Ashcroft Ignored Terrorism, Panel Told; Attorney General Denies Charges, Blames Clinton," Chicago Tribune, April 14, 2004.
•See also film footage.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: "His own FBI knew that summer that there were al Qaeda members in the U.S. , and that bin Laden was sending his agents to flight schools throughout the country."
•The July 2001 ‘Phoenix’ memo, written by an FBI agent in Arizona, warned about ‘an inordinate number of individuals of investigative interest’ taking flight training. It urged the agency to collect data on flight schools and foreign students, and to discuss the potential threat with other intelligence agencies. ...[O]ne of the men mentioned in the memo was arrested in Pakistan in 2002 with a senior al Qaeda facilitator, Abu Zubayda. R. Jeffrey Smith, "A History of Missed Connections; U.S. Analysts Warned of Potential Attacks but Lacked Follow-Through," Washington Post, July 25, 2003.
•Excerpt from "Phoenix Memo": "The purpose of this communication is to advise the Bureau and New York of the possibility of a coordinated effort by USAMA BIN LADEN (UBL) to send students to the United States to attend civil aviation universities and colleges. Phoenix has observed an inordinate number of individuals of investigative interest who are attending or who have attended civil aviation universities and colleges in the State of Arizona." Read the entire Phoenix Memo at:
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: "[T]he photo of the man in the newspaper was not the Aaron Stokes they had come to know, [a member of Peace Fresno]. He was actually Deputy Aaron Kilner. And he had infiltrated their group."
•"Aaron Kilner, 27, who joined the force in June 1999 and had been assigned the last 18 months to the anti-terrorist team under the vice-intelligence unit, apparently was killed instantly when his blue Yamaha motorcycle slammed into the right front side of a 1999 Buick, Fresno police said." Louis Galvan, "Crash Kills Off-Duty Detective, Victim Joined Fresno County Force in 1999," Fresno Bee, August 31, 2003.
•"It remains unclear why the Fresno County Sheriff's Department infiltrated the peace group there, but Pierce said his department's actions were legal. ‘We can be anywhere we want to that's open to the public,’ Pierce said in a telephone interview from his Fresno office." Sam Stanton and Emily Bazar, "More Scrutiny of Peace Groups, Public Safety Justifies Surveillance Since 9/11, Authorities Say," Sacramento Bee, November 9, 2003.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: Barry Reingold’s story.
•"Then there's San Franciscan Barry Reingold, who was awakened from his afternoon nap by a buzzing intercom on Oct. 23. He called down to the street to find out who it was. ‘The FBI,’ was the response. He buzzed the two men up, but decided to meet them in the hall. ‘I was a little bit shaken up,’ says Mr. Reingold. ‘I mean, why would the FBI be interested in me, a 60-year-old retired phone company worker?’ When they asked if he worked out at a certain gym, he realized the reason behind the visit. The gym is where he lifts weights -- and expounds on his political views." Kris Axtman, "Political Dissent Can Bring Federal Agents to Door," Christian Science Monitor, January 8, 2002. See also, Sam Stanton, Emily Bazar, "Security Collides With Civil Rights, War On Terrorism Has Unforeseen Results," Modesto Bee, September 28, 2003.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: Congress did not read the Patriot Act before voting on it.
•"Later that morning [of October 12], the House voted 337-79 to pass the bill. The outraged dissenters complained that no one could possibly have had the time to read the enormously complex 342-page law that amended fifteen different federal statutes and that had only been printed out hours before." Steven Brill, After; How America Confronted the September 12 Era, (Simon & Schuster, NY: 2003).
•"Many lawmakers were outraged that a bipartisan bill, which had passed the Judiciary Committee by a unanimous vote, was set aside for legislation negotiated at the last minute by a very small group. Members rose to say that almost no one had read the new bill, and pleaded for more time and more deliberation.... Asked about complaints that lawmakers were being asked to vote on a bill that they had not read, the chairman of the Rules Committee, Representative David Dreier, Republican of California, replied, ‘It's not unprecedented.’" Robin Toner & Neil A. Lewis, "House Passes Terrorism Bill Much Like Senate's, but With 5-Year Limit," The New York Times, October 13, 2001.
•See also film footage of Congressmen Conyers and McDermott.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: Transportation Security Agency says it’s okay to take four books of matches and two butane lighters in your pockets as you board an airplane.
•"Consistent with Department of Transportation regulations for hazardous materials, passengers also are permitted to carry no more than four books of matches (other than strike anywhere matches) and no more than two lighters for individual use, if the lighters are fueled with liquefied gas (BIC-or Colibri-type) or absorbed liquid (Zippo-type).’’ 49 CFR 1540;
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: "Thanks to the budget cuts, Trooper Kenyon had to come in on his day off to catch up on some paperwork."
•"Budget cuts that laid off 129 Oregon State Police officers earlier this year have left a single trooper to cover the 1,400-square-mile territory and 100 miles of state roads around this city on Oregon's central coast." "Layoffs Leave Oregon Trooper Alone in Big Coastal Territory," Seattle Times, October 6, 2003.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: "On March 19th, 2003, George W. Bush and the United States military invaded Iraq, which had never attacked or threatened to attack the United States. A nation that had never murdered a single American citizen."
•"Iraq has never threatened nor been implicated in any attack against U.S. territory and the CIA has reported no Iraqi-sponsored attacks against American interests since 1991." Stephen Zunes, "An Annotated Overview of the Foreign Policy Segments of President George W. Bush’s State of the Union Address," Foreign Policy In Focus, January 29, 2003. Segments of President George W. Bush’s State of the Union Address," Foreign Policy In Focus, January 29, 2003
•"Iraq never threatened U.S.security. Bush officials cynically attacked a villainous country because they knew it was easier than finding the real 9/11 villain, who had no country. And now they're hoist on their own canard." Maureen Dowd, "We’re Not Happy Campers," The New York Times, September 11, 2003.
•"Iraq never threatened the US, let alone Australia. The basic consideration was and remains the perception of America's wider strategic interest in the Middle East." Richard Woolcott, "Thread bare Basis To The Homespun Yarn That Led Us Into Iraq," Sydney Morning Herald, November 26, 2003(Woolcott was Australia’s Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs And Trade during the first Gulf War.)
•For definition of murder of civilians (as opposed to combatants), see Article 3 of the Geneva Convention . ("For persons taking no active part in the hostilities, the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time (a) Violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds.")
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: The Coalition of the Willing included Palau, Costa Rica, Iceland, Romania, The Netherlands, and Afghanistan.
•White House list of Coalition members, March 20th, 2003:
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: Morocco , according to one report, offered to send 2,000 monkeys to help detonate landmines.
•"The administration has even turned to the animal kingdom for help in the war. First came the dolphins, those really smart mammals recruited to help clear mines at the Iraqi port of Umm Qasr. Then came word that Morocco was offering 2,000 monkeys to help detonate land mines." Al Kamen, "They Got the ‘Slov’ Part Right," Washington Post, March 28, 2003.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: "The government would not allow any cameras to show the coffins coming home."
•"For the past 13 years, the Pentagon has barred reporters from witnessing the transport of soldiers' flag-draped coffins to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware." Amanda Ripley, "An Image of Grief Returns," Time, May 3, 2004.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: "At the end of January, of ’04, the unemployment rate in Flint was actually 17 percent."
•Flint City, Jan 04, Unemployment Rate, 17.0%. Office of Labor Market Information, Michigan State Government.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: Bush "proposed cutting the soldiers’ combat bonus pay 33 percent and assistance to their families by 60 percent."
•The Bush administration announced that it would roll-back ‘modest’ increases of benefits to troops. The Army Times noted, "the administration announced that on Oct. 1 it wants to roll back recent modest increases in monthly imminent-danger from $225 to $150 (a cut of 33%) and family-separation allowances from $250 to $100 (a cut of 60%) for troops getting shot at in combat zones."
•"Thanks to a law passed this year, troops in Iraq, Afghanistan and other high-risk areas now receive $225 a month in supplemental pay. That's an increase of $75 from the previous amount for combat pay. Under that same law, soldiers who have been forced to leave behind spouses and children receive $250 a month in additional separation pay to help cover child care and other additional expenses caused by assignment overseas. That's an increase of $150 over the previous supplement. ... In its 2004 budget request, the Pentagon asked Congress to cut both combat pay and separation pay back to the previous levels." "Our Opinions: Proposal to Reduce Pay No Way to Salute Military," Atlanta Journal Constitution, August 15, 2003.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: "He proposed cutting $1.3 billion in veterans’ health care and closing seven veteran’s hospitals. He tried to double the prescription drug costs for veterans and opposed full benefits for part time reservist."
•"On Nov. 12, the Office of Management & Budget opposed restoring $1.3 billion in funding for Veterans Administration hospitals that the House Appropriations Committee had cut. '’It's as if they're not even aware [that] there's a war on terror going on,’ says Steve Thomas, an American Legion spokesman and Navy vet who notes casualties in Iraq could make demand for VA services soar." Stan Crock in Washington, with William C. Symonds in Boston, "Will The Troops Salute Bush In '04?," Business Week, December 8, 2003.
•"The White House had expressed its ‘strong opposition’ to the Senate’s effort to expand military health benefits to reservists and National Guard members, and boost 'veterans’ health care spending by $1.3 billion." Jonathan Weisman, "Bush Aides Threaten Veto of Iraqi Aid Measure," Washington Post, October 22, 2003.
•In early 2003, the Bush administration announced that it was closing "seven of its 163 veteran’s hospitals in an effort to ‘restructure’ the Department of Veterans Affairs." Suzanne Gamboa, "VA Proposes Overhaul, 13 Facilities Would Close or See Major Changes," Associated Press, August 4, 2003.
•In 2003, the Bush administration proposed increasing prescription drug costs for veterans, a proposal that would have doubled the cost of prescription drugs. "The Bush plan would have included a new $250 enrollment fee and a co-pay increase from $7 to $15 for veterans earning over $24,000." The House amended the proposal to reject the Bush administration’s fee increases and to recoup the $264 million in costs by reducing administrative funding for the VA. "Panel Rejects Extra Funds for AmeriCorps," Washington Post, July 22, 2003.
• "The Bush administration is flatly opposed to giving the Guard and Reserve access to the Pentagon's health system." Opinion, The Daily News Leader (Staunton, VA), October 25, 2003.
•"U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., has helped push a bill through the Senate to improve the health care benefits of Guard and Reserve members. This bill has had broad bipartisan support since it was introduced in May. Last week Graham had his health care plan attached as an amendment to the $87 billion supplemental appropriations bill that President Bush is seeking to pay for ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The House should take up the amendment next week. Strangely, the Bush administration has opposed this new benefit for Guard and Reserve members, arguing that it would be too expensive." Staff, "Helping our Guard and Reserve," The Greenville News, October 16, 2003.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: Nearly 5,000 wounded in the war.
•"A year ago at this time, more than 160 American soldiers had been killed in Iraq. The total since has risen to more than 800, and last week the Pentagon reported that the number wounded in action is approaching 4,700." Pete Yost, "Bush Hails U.S. War Dead and Veterans," Associated Press, June 1, 2004.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: "Out of the 535 members of Congress, only one had an enlisted son in Iraq."
•“Only four of the 535 members of Congress have children in the military; only one, Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., has a child who fought in Iraq.” Kevin Horrigan, “Hired Guns,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 11, 2003.
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