Posting to Headlines Wire of Scoop
Date: Friday, 2 April 2004
Time: 11:19 am NZT
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Chairman Kean's Link To Bin Laden's Brother-In-Law Kean's pre-9/11 oil links to bin Laden's brother-in-law were severed just prior to appointment and FBI translator's letter and calls to chairman charging security and espionage breaches were unanswered for a year.
WASHINGTON — April 1, 2004 — ( TomFlocco.com) — Like an efficient maitre Îd at an upscale Capitol Hill eatery, Chairman Tom Kean was graciously shepherding witnesses and fellow commissioners from one table of question topics to another. The affable ex-New Jersey governor—now college president and multiple corporate board member—punctuated time gaps between last week's September 11 hearing deponents with inventive soft-ball queries such as 'Can you tell us what we could have done to prevent 9-11 and how can we make sure it never happens again?'
Kean may yet have to explain why his oil company board of directors continued to maintain a corporate relationship with an oil company backed by Osama bin Laden's brother-in-law, who was reported to be a past financial benefactor of George W. Bush. ( tomflocco.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=51) According to the FBI, the terror-linked Saudi had been funding terrorism well before September 11, 2001. Moreover, he has been linked to a U.S. law firm with a partner who was a Bush 2000 fundraiser.
Kean's oil group did not extricate itself from its ties to the publicly known financier of terrorism until 15 months after the attacks—but just 21 days before President Bush appointed him chairman of the Commission on Terrorist Attacks on the United States. This, as a fired whistleblower and FBI translator said her letter and follow-up calls to Kean, charging terrorism-related internal security and espionage breaches at the FBI, had gone unanswered by the chairman for a year.
As Condoleezza Rice prepares to testify in public under oath next week, more questions remain as to whether the chairman of the panel that interrogates her was indirectly in violation of United States anti-terrorism laws. Kean has not been asked about his conversations with President Bush in the days prior to his appointment and whether their joint connections to the Saudi were discussed.
That said, some will also wonder why Kean's corporate board remained linked to a known financial sponsor of terrorism—reported in major news outlets—long after the attacks, whether corporate profits found their way into terrorist bank accounts in violation of U.S. anti-terrorism laws, and whether his company finally chose to sever the link to avoid media scrutiny just before Bush appointed Kean to investigate terrorism and how it is financed in America.
Rice's public testimony under oath was negotiated yesterday by White House attorneys as a successful bargaining chip which resulted in a sweetheart deal with what many of the 9-11 victim families call a conflicted commission: President Bush gets to have a private conversation, not under oath, with Vice-President Dick Cheney—who a cable news analyst referred to as his master puppeteer—at his side to get their stories straight.
If Americans become aware that Mr. Bush and Mr. Kean both have had connections to an FBI-validated Saudi financier of terrorism, questions will likely arise why Congress did not fight the White House's redaction of 28 pages of the joint congressional report (reportedly implicating Saudi officials in the financing of al-Qaeda terrorism and the 9-11 plot) and why bin Laden family members were allowed to fly out of the United States without being questioned by the FBI. This, while all American planes were grounded—the ultimate sweetheart deal.
No one has yet questioned whether controversial Saudi business and financial links played a part in Kean's allowing the Bush-Cheney joint private conversation with the commission about the attacks. But the biggest question is why Congress permits conflicts of interest involving terrorism finance, and why individuals and corporations are not held accountable after a 3000-death mass murder.
Thus far, media outlets have not asked Chairman Kean the obvious questions—particularly whether seeming conflicts of interest linked to terrorist finance before, during and after the attacks has prevented Mr. Kean from strongly advocating public testimony and careful interrogation under oath of President Bush, specifically regarding his actions during the actual two-hour period of the attacks. Fellow commission members should ask Kean: 1) As a Hess Oil board member, during the Hess-Delta joint venture, what relationship did you have with Delta Oil's Khalid bin Mahfouz and/or his representatives?
2) Did you ever meet personally with Khalid bin Mahfouz at a shareholder or board meeting during your years with Hess—and what about any and all other occasions? And if so, how many times? And what did you discuss?
3) Since you were a Hess director and shareholder long before the September 11 attacks, did you ever meet with Mohammed Hussein al-Amoudi, who has numerous business relationships with Khalid bin Mahfouz? If so, how many times? What other Saudi business persons have you met with? Is the FBI investigating any of them for terrorism finance complicity?
4) Will you and other Hess board members vote to authorize Amerada-Hess to open up its books for federal and public scrutiny regarding financial relationships with Khalid bin Mahfouz and Delta Oil, particularly via various bank accounts connected to terrorist-linked charities such as Islamic Relief, Blessed Relief and the Holy Land Foundation?
5) Since multiple U.S. media outlets—including business news reports—asserted after 9-11 that Mahfouz and his son were closely linked to terrorism in America, why did you and Hess board members and officers remain for more than one year in a business relationship with Mahfouz and Al Amoudi via Delta Oil (individuals known publicly to be linked to terrorism) from September 11, 2001 until November 23, 2002?
6) Why did Hess wait until just before your appointment as chairman of the commission by President Bush to sever the Hess Oil joint business venture with Delta Oil?
7) Were you and your Hess board members aware that Mahfouz and his son were linked to terrorism during the year after 9-11? Describe the discussions which led you and other Hess board members and officers to sever your business relationship with Mahfouz and Delta Oil?
8) Why didn't you wait until after you assumed the role of Chairman of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks on the United States to break with Delta and Mahfouz?
9) When were you first approached by President Bush or his representatives about becoming a member of the 9-11 commission? Were you approached first about being a member and then later as the Chairman—since you were selected almost immediately after Henry Kissinger resigned as Chairman?
10) Did the FBI ever question you and your board members about whether Amerada-Hess was in direct violation of United States terrorism laws? Did the FBI and/or President Bush advise Hess to sever its relationship with Mahfouz and Delta Oil?
11) Do you know whether funds from the Hess-Delta venture were deposited in any of the FBI's terrorist-linked bank accounts in Texas or other states?)
12) Are you aware that President Bush also had past business ties to Khalid bin Mahfouz and that Mahfouz had multiple business investments in Houston, Texas involving Mr. Bush's former National Guard pilot friend James Bath, but also Talet Othman and Saudi billionaire financier Sheikh Abdullah Bakhsh?
13) Why did the commission decide not to require President Bush and Vice-President Cheney to testify in public under oath? Did it have anything to do with the joint congressional intelligence committee report's 28 redacted pages about Saudi financial support of terrorism? Did it have anything to do with Khalid bin Mahfouz and terrorism finance?
14) Are you aware that Commissioner Jamie Gorelick and Commission General Counsel Daniel Marcus are current and former partners of Washington, DC's Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering, a law firm representing Prince Mohammed al Faisal against the 9-11 victim families in their August, 2002 suit against three Saudi princes, several Saudi banks and Islamic institutions, the Sudanese government and the Saudi Bin Laden Construction Group, regarding terrorism finance?
15) Are you aware that the Bush 2000 fundraisers and partners from the Akin-Gump firm represent Khalid bin Mahfouz's joint business partner Mohammed Hussein Al-Almoudi in the 9-11 family suit?
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