FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

How the WMD Scam Put Money in the Bush Family’s Pockets

Why did George W. Bush insist–with such fanatical certainty, despite the well-established, clearly-stated doubts of his own intelligence services–that Saddam Hussein was hoarding a vast arsenal of weapons of mass destruction? Why the insistence on this pathological disassociation from reality, which led directly to the death of thousands of innocent people? Why did he tell such lies, such cynical lies, such horrible lies, lies dripping blood, lies breeding more lies like rats on a plague ship?

That’s easy–because his family was making money from it.

We’re not talking here of the family’s well-known association with the Carlyle Group, the world-bestriding “private equity” firm whose massive war-machine holdings have been so greatly engorged by Bush’s sack of Baghdad. True, Carlyle has long been a profitable Bushist perch: Papa George was an eager bagman for the firm, cruising the globe with his plutocratic partners–like the bin Ladens–for insider contracts, secret buyouts and lucrative “privatizations” of public services. Even the L’il Pretzel himself was parked on the board of one of Carlyle’s companies when he was at loose ends between scamming the shareholders of Harken and bamboozling the voters of Texas.

But last year, Papa retired from the firm, heading off into the sunset to wallow in the government swag that Junior had pumped Carlyle’s way–$2.1 billion in 2003 alone. While he doubtless still has “interests” in a number of Carlyle’s shady deals, the old man is through with the higher hustlerdom. No, today we’re dealing with Pop’s brother, William, uncle of the current president.

William Bush is a director of Engineered Support Systems Inc. (ESSI), a supplier of high-tech military goods to–well, to the highest bidder. Just last year they sold $13 million worth of advanced radar gear to upgrade Communist China’s fleet of fighter jets–you know, the kind that force down U.S. spy planes with such aplomb. This is just par for the family course, however; William’s brother, Prescott Jr., is head of the America-China Chamber of Commerce, while Pretzel’s brother Neil is in bed with the son of former Communist chieftain Jiang Zemin.

But helping arm a dictatorial regime that tyrannizes its own people, invades its neighbors and actually possesses large stockpiles of WMD is just a sideline for Uncle Bill. (Although, again, it’s a family tradition–after all, it’s what Papa George did for years with his special little friend, Saddam.) Mostly, Bill’s ESSI does boffo box office with nephew Georgie’s Pentagon and that new family investment opportunity, the Department of Homeland Security. And this is where those phantom Iraqi WMDs–so maniacally hyped by Junior–come in, investigator Margie Burns reports in the Prince George’s Journal.

Among its many wares for the “warfighter” (the firm follows current Pentagon usage in replacing the ancient and honorable name of “soldier” with this nerdy adolescent jargon), ESSI markets a “Chemical Biological Protected Shelter System” unit–a mobile shed that can provide a non-contaminated area for command centers or field hospitals during a WMD attack. In the very first week of George’s war, with the TV generals warning every hour of impending bioterror doom hurtling toward the troops, Uncle Bill’s boys raked in $19 million for a shipment of CBP units, an ESSI press release reports. This was on top of $44 million worth of the anti-WMD units ordered during Pretzel’s panic-mongering before the war.

Now what would have happened to Uncle Bill’s bottom line if George had told the truth?

ESSI is also profiting from panic-mongering on the home front. Last summer, while Georgie bounced the “threat level” up and down, ESSI bagged a fat Homeland Security contract to begin developing a fleet of mobile emergency communication centers for use in the event of a biochemical terrorist attack by the CIA’s old Afghan jihad employees–now better known as al Qaeda. As long as George keeps those colored lights going–and the ex-CIA gang do their duty with the occasional bit of ooga-booga here and there — Uncle Bill will keep gulping that “threat level” gravy.

Overall, ESSI slurped up an estimated $380 million from the Pentagon alone last year, not counting the China deal and an extra $26 million dollop from Saudi Arabia–that other famous bastion of freedom and democracy–to service its Royal Air Force.

And so it goes, on and on, the great wheel of grease. Bush’s bellicose policies–obviously based on the Scriptures: “There shall be war, and rumors of war”–foment a never-ending cycle of blowback and revenge, of fear, instability and global militarization. (Indeed, cosmic militarization: a whole armada of new “space weapons” programs are now in preparation, Wired reports.) But this is the kind of moral chaos the Bush-Walker clan has always profited from, as Kevin Phillips shows in his devastating new history, American Dynasty.

In revolutionary Russia, the Bush-Walkers did business with Reds and Whites; then they helped arm the Nazis and the Allies. His descendants arm China and threaten it–as always, making money both ways. The nature of the customer doesn’t matter: king, communist, nazi, sheikh, warlord, poobah, it all comes down to this: are they open for business?

So did George Walker Bush attack Iraq just so his uncle could shift a little product? No. But for generations, he and his family and their silky ilk–the higher hustlers, in search of easy money–have used bloodshed, hatred and deceit to turn public policy, and public treasuries, into engines of private gain. War profiteering is inevitable, inescapable–even laudable–in the waking nightmare of corruption and death they’ve helped foist upon the world.

CHRIS FLOYD is a columnist for the Moscow Times and a regular contributor to CounterPunch. His CounterPunch piece on Rumsfeld’s plan to provoke terrorist attacks came in at Number 4 on Project Censored’s final tally of the Most Censored stories of 2002. He can be reached at: cfloyd72@hotmail.com

 

More articles by:

Chris Floyd is a columnist for CounterPunch Magazine. His blog, Empire Burlesque, can be found at www.chris-floyd.com.

April 19, 2018
Ramzy Baroud
Media Cover-up: Shielding Israel is a Matter of Policy
Vijay Prashad
Undermining Brazilian Democracy: the Curious Saga of Lula
Steve Fraser
Class Dismissed: Class Conflict in Red State America
John W. Whitehead
Crimes of a Monster: Your Tax Dollars at Work
Kenn Orphan
Whistling Past the Graveyard
Karl Grossman - TJ Coles
Opening Pandora’s Box: Karl Grossman on Trump and the Weaponization of Space
Colin Todhunter
Behind Theresa May’s ‘Humanitarian Hysterics’: The Ideology of Empire and Conquest
Jesse Jackson
Syrian Strikes is One More step Toward a Lawless Presidency
Michael Welton
Confronting Militarism is Early Twentieth Century Canada: the Woman’s International League for Peace and Freedom
Alycee Lane
On David S. Buckel and Setting Ourselves on Fire
Jennifer Matsui
Our Overlords Reveal Their Top ‘To Do’s: Are YOU Next On Their Kill List?
George Ochenski
Jive Talkin’: On the Campaign Trail With Montana Republicans
Kary Love
Is It Time for A Nice, “Little” Nuclear War?
April 18, 2018
Alan Nasser
Could Student Loans Lead to Debt Prison? The Handwriting on the Wall
Susan Roberts
Uses for the Poor
Alvaro Huerta
I Am Not Your “Wetback”
Jonah Raskin
Napa County, California: the Clash of Oligarchy & Democracy
Robert Hunziker
America’s Dystopian Future
Geoffrey McDonald
“America First!” as Economic War
Jonathan Cook
Robert Fisk’s Douma Report Rips Away Excuses for Air Strike on Syria
Jeff Berg
WW III This Ain’t
Binoy Kampmark
Macron’s Syria Game
Linn Washington Jr.
Philadelphia’s Top Cop Defends Indefensible Prejudice in Starbucks Arrest Incident
Katie Fite
Chaos in Urban Canyons – Air Force Efforts to Carve a Civilian Population War Game Range across Southern Idaho
Robby Sherwin
Facebook: This Is Where I Leave You
April 17, 2018
Paul Street
Eight Takeaways on Boss Tweet’s Latest Syrian Missile Spasm
Robert Fisk
The Search for the Truth in Douma
Eric Mann
The Historic 1968 Struggle Against Columbia University
Roy Eidelson
The 1%’s Mind Games: Psychology Gone Bad
John Steppling
The Sleep of Civilization
Patrick Cockburn
Syria Bombing Reveals Weakness of Theresa May
Dave Lindorff
No Indication in the US That the Country is at War Again
W. T. Whitney
Colombia and Cuba:  a Tale of Two Countries
Dean Baker
Why Isn’t the Median Wage for Black Workers Rising?
Linn Washington Jr.
Philadelphia’s Top Cop Defends Indefensible Prejudice in Starbucks Arrest Incident
C. L. Cook
Man in the Glass
Kary Love
“The Mob Boss Orders a Hit and a Pardon”
Lawrence Wittner
Which Nations Are the Happiest―and Why
Dr. Hakim
Where on Earth is the Just Economy that Works for All, Including Afghan Children?
April 16, 2018
Dave Lindorff
President Trump’s War Crime is Worse than the One He Accuses Assad of
Ron Jacobs
War is Just F**kin’ Wrong
John Laforge
Nuclear Keeps on Polluting, Long After Shutdown
Norman Solomon
Missile Attack on Syria Is a Salute to “Russiagate” Enthusiasts, Whether They Like It or Not
Uri Avnery
Eyeless in Gaza   
Barbara Nimri Aziz
Iraq Then, Syria Now
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail