Marvin Pierce Bush
Although considered the quietest – certainly the least public – of the Bush brood,
the president’s youngest brother Marvin has certainly found that politics is not the
only way to wealth and power. Since his father left the presidency, Marvin’s
investments and shady business connections have involved him in a bonanza of
international arms dealing, links to terrorism, insider trading, international
data-mining, offshore tax-shelters, partnerships with the Chinese government, and
companies (jointly owned with Arab royalty) that continue to get hundreds of
millions of dollars in no-bid U.S. defense contracts. He has ties to Ahmad Chalabi,
whose faulty intelligence helped justify the U.S. invasion of Iraq and who is wanted
by the Kingdom of Jordan for massive bank fraud relating to the BCCI scandal.
Marvin may not be very public, but if you look in the right places, he’s not
The family’s dealings with Kuwait start with George H.W. Bush’s interest in the Zapata Off-Shore oil company in the 1950’s and continue today. Marvin’s own long relationship with the emirate started in 1993, with a notorious junket where he and brother Neil struck sweetheart post-Gulf War deals with the Kuwaiti government, headed by the nation’s royal family, the al-Sabahs. Marvin worked with a DC-based defense firm selling electronic fences to the Kuwaiti Defense Ministry and attempted to join with Enron to rebuild a power plant destroyed during the Persian Gulf War.
That same year, Bush became a director of security company Stratesec, controlled by Kuwaiti-owned KuwAm. Marvin’s cousin Wirt D. Walker III, was Stratesec’s CEO and a KuwAm director. The son of the former Emir of Kuwait, Mishal Yousef Saud Al-Sabah, was KuwAm’s chairman. Stratesec was the security company at the World Trade Center from immediately after the first attack in 1993, right up to the day the planes hit. The company maintained electronic security systems at Dulles International Airport (where American Airlines Flight 77, which crashed into the Pentagon, originated). Stratesec also had a security contract at Los Alamos National Laboratories, privately operated by Lockheed-Martin, notorious for its security breaches and physical and intellectual property thefts.
KuwAm sold airplanes to the National Civil Aviation Training Organization (NCATO) of Giza, Egypt (the hometown of Mohammed Atta) – “the first civilian pilot training organization in the Middle East.” NCATO had a partnership with Florida flight school Embry-Riddle, from which one of the 9/11 hijackers graduated.
In 1996, while on Stratesec’s board, Marvin Bush acquired 53,000 shares of stock in the company at 52 cents a share. One year later, at IPO, the stock was valued at $8.50. In 2002, Stratesec was bankrupt, the stock worthless. Although SEC filings cease to show Marvin Bush as a shareholder after 2000, there are no filings indicating when his stock was sold.
Marvin Bush also sat on the board of HCC Insurance, a multi-billion-dollar insurance holding company and one of the insurers for the WTC. Bush’s first year (1999) on the board at HCC coincided with his last year on the board at Stratesec. He departed on November 22, 2002, the same day as the passage of the 9/11 insurance bailout legislation passed by Congress at the instigation of the White House. Stratesec and KuwAm also stand to benefit from limitations on liability and national-security protections from investigation provided in that legislation. In a HCC shareholder’s suit, Marvin Bush is one of several directors accused of back-dating stock options and filing false SEC reports dating back to 1996, while diverting hundreds of millions of dollars to themselves.
As the ultimate insider, Marvin’s fortunes grew at warp speed with Winston Partners, a private investment firm he co-founded with Scott Andrews. Since 2001, Winston’s assets have grown from $350 million to $1.6 billion, in large part from its interest in companies with U.S. government contracts. Winston is part of the Chatterjee Group, a larger firm headed by venture capitalist Purnendu Chatterjee. A 2006 Senate report identifies Winston Partners as an investor in off-shore trust networks sheltering hundreds of millions of tax dollars from the United States. Another of Chatterjee’s half-dozen or so other entities have addresses in other favorite offshore tax havens such as the Cayman Islands, the Netherlands Antilles and the Isle of Man. Governor Jeb Bush is also an investor in the Winston Capital Fund, managed by Marvin’s firm.
In May 2003 a Virginia-based company named Nour – affiliated with several Winston Partners’ companies – set up shop specifically to bid for business in postwar Iraq. Just months later, they were awarded a $327 million contract to equip forces there. Nour’s chairman, Aboul Huda Farouki, is a Jordanian-American with long-standing ties to Ahmad Chalabi, including a link to the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), the largest financial scandal in history. After five months, the Army terminated the contract with Nour, adding to the delays in body armor and other equipment that have plagued the U.S. occupation. Nour couldn’t get the contract again under its own name, so, in conjunction with Saudi and Jordanian companies, it created ANHAM, which won the contract a second time, this time with a bid of $259-million. Another Nour-bankrolled company with ties to Chalabi, Erinys, got an $80 million sole-source contract from the CPA to provide security for Iraq’s vital oil infrastructure.
Winston Partners is also heavily invested in another military contractor, the Amsec Corp., 55 percent of which is owned by SAIC (Science Applications International Corporation). SAIC holds more individual government contracts than any other private company in America. It also has a record of lawsuits, charges brought by whistle-blowers, allegations of profiteering, fines assessed by federal judges, and repeated investigations and government audits. From 2001-2006, Amsec won $1.138 billion in federal contracts. Marvin’s business partner, Scott Andrews, sat on the board of directors at Amsec, and the company’s CEO was Michael Braham, who formerly worked for Paul Bremer, the leader of the Coalition Provisional Authority responsible for handing out money from the Development Fund for Iraq to award five no-bid contracts to Halliburton, worth almost $1 trillion. Another federal contractor in Winston Partners’ portfolio is Indigo Systems Corp., which is substantially backed by The Carlyle Group, the global finance company connected to Marvin’s dad, George H.W. Bush.
The September 11th attacks provided Marvin Bush with great business opportunities in the information technology field. The Patriot Act imposed new money laundering requirements on banks, using software such as that owned by Sybase, in which Winston owns 5.5 million shares. A major company using Sybase is ChoicePoint, which in 2005 paid $15 million to the Federal Trade Commission after selling the personal records of more than 163,000 consumers to inadequately vetted fake businesses – the largest civil penalty in FTC history. The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights found that ChoicePoint had misinformed the Florida Supervisors of Elections regarding the usage of race in compiling the faulty list of barred voters at the center of the 2000 presidential election controversy.
Sybase prepared to make major profits from the Patriot Act long before it was passed by aggressively marketing a product called the “Sybase PATRIOT Compliance Solution” to track money laundering. With USA PATRIOT Act co-author and former Assistant U.S. Attorney General Viet Dinh as spokeperson, Sybase emphasized the $1 million penalties and short timelines for compliance. The company also has contracts with the Navy, the Army, the Departments of Defense, Commerce, Treasury, Agriculture and the General Services Administration, among others.
Purnendu Chatterjee, acting for Winston Partners, is a significant shareholder in Cheung Kong Holdings, a gargantuan conglomerate owned by Li Ka-shing, a Hong Kong billionaire with close ties to the Chinese government and military whom Forbes lists as the richest man in Asia and ninth richest worldwide. Cheung Kong currently accounts for approximately 11.5 per cent of the Hong Kong stock market’s total capitalization. Li’s other major Hong Kong conglomerate, Hutchison Whampoa, controls the Panama Canal. Cheung Kong’s portfolio includes Visiphor, a company contracted by the Department of Homeland Security to streamline access to sensitive information in the department’s myriad databases. Another Cheung Kong holding is Critical Path, Inc., a California-based software and Internet-messaging services company that Chatterjee’s Bush-owned Winston Partners has about 5.5 million shares in.
In a bizarre and tragic event in 2003, Marvin’s children’s long-time, live-in baby-sitter, 62-year-old Bertha Champagne, died under mystifying circumstances. The woman’s car had apparently waited until she approached to retrieve something from it, then suddenly rolled forward, crushing her against a building at the Bush family’s Virginia residence. The driverless car then continued to roll down the driveway, crossed a street and came to rest in a wooded area. A police statement – released a scant sixteen and a half hours after the incident occurred – emphasized that Champagne’s death was merely a quirky accident and that no foul play was involved.
O, Brother! Where Art Thou? Like Hugh Rodham, the Bush Bros. Have Capitalized on Family Ties.
- Senate Report connecting Wyly/Winston Partners - Kevin has PDF.
- http://www.marshcrisisacademy.com/content/70_about_us/z1_Biographies.asp#braham ¬- Michael Braham bio
- http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/business/4523304.html - HCC sued - Kevin has PDF of HCC’s public statement.
- http://www.epic.org/privacy/profiling/tia/contractors_table.html -- The Electronic Privacy Information Center, a public interest research group sued the Department of Defense under the Freedom of Information Act to obtain access to documents detailing which software companies, universities and research institutes had won contracts to create the virtual dragnet.
- www.usccr.gov/pubs/vote2000/report/ch5.htm -- The United States Civil Rights Commission official report on the 2000 Presidential Elections (ChoicePoint).
- http://www.sybase.com/solutions/patriotact -- old Sybase hyperlink - Kevin has PDF.
- http://www.washingtonspectator.com/articles/20050215bushes_1.cfm -- TRIMMING THE BUSHES: Family Business at the Watergate, Washington Spectator, February 15, 2005
- http://www.secinfo.com/dS7kv.7v.htm -- SEC filing re: KuwAm & Stratesec
- http://select.nytimes.com/search/restricted/article?res=F50C15FB3A5F0C7A8DDDAD0894DC 404482 -- Security Companies: Shadow Souldiers in Iraq, New York Times, April 19, 2004:
- http://www.nydailynews.com/news/wn_report/story/172422p-150340c.html -- Gen. Swannack complains about Nour USA
- http://www.boston.com/business/globe/articles/2004/01/17/halliburton_unit_gets_iraq_ pact/ - Halliburton Unit Gets Iraq Pact: US Inquiry Deepens Into Accusations Of Fuel Overcharges, Boston Globe, January 17, 2004.
- http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/3492777.stm - Kuwait Orders Halliburton Probe, BBC News, February 16, 2005
- http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A58768-2004May26.html - Iraq Arms Contract Misses Deadline, Washington Post, May 27, 2004
- http://www.secinfo.com/$/SEC/Registrant.asp?CIK=1037453 - Stratesec SEC Filings (from 5/2/97 to 9/16/03)
- http://www.counterpunch.org/barel08162004.html - Chalabi, Feith and Israel, Counterpunch.org, August 16, 2004
- Proxy Statement for Stratesec, (Formerly Securacom), Securities and Exchange Commission www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1037453/0000928385-99-001383.txt
- Proxy Statement for HCC Insurance Holdings, Inc., Securities and Exchange Commission. www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/888919/0001047469-99-016818.txt