Its time to take a closer look at First Brothers, Jeb, Neil, and Marvin Bush, and see how much they stand to benefit from W's presidency and his perpetual war on the world.
First, there's brother Marvin. He's the quietest member of the Bush clan. Marvin is co-founder and partner in Winston Partners, a private investment firm. In turn, Winston Partners is part of a larger firm called the Chatterjee Group.
Here's where it gets complicated. Marvin is obviously the family member with a sound criminal mind. He has managed to bury almost all the evidence of his profiteering profits inside a host of corporations and entities, with many being located offshore. Its not easy to track the money through such a tangled web. But it can be done.
SEC filings show that the Chatterjee Group consists of Winston Partners, LP; Chatterjee Fund Management, LP; Winston Partners II LDC, a Cayman Islands-based company; Winston Partners II LLC; Chatterjee Advisors LLC; Chatterjee Management Company; Mr. Chatterjee himself; and Furxedown Trading Limited, a company organized under the laws of the Isle of Man. The address for Winston Partners II LDC is in the Netherlands Antilles. The other subsidiaries were organized in Delaware.
Marvin is not the only family member plugged into the group. Brother Jeb is also an investor in the Winston Capital Fund, which happens to be managed by Marvin's firm.
Profits From Iraq
Following the tangled web of Winston this and Winston that, is difficult in itself, but tracing the links to Iraq is even more difficult.
A good place to start is with a company known as Nour USA. According to the Sept 30, 2003, issue of Mother Jones, an $80 million Iraq contract was awarded to Nour, a company with ties to Winston Partners.
Nour set up shop in May 2003, right in time to cash in on the war in Iraq. When it opened for business, the firm's website described the company as an "International investment and development company" with more than 100 employees based in Iraq, and listed expertise in - telecommunications,- agribusiness,- internet development,- recruitment,- construction materials,- oil and power services,- pharmaceuticals and -fashion apparel."
Nour had ties to several companies, backed or owned, by Marvin's Winston Partners, including Hobart West, a Fortune 500 personnel-services company; LogoTel, a clothing company; and Axolotl, a computer-services company in medical care.
In January, 2004, Nour was awarded another contract, worth a whopping $327 million, to equip the Iraqi armed forces and Civil Defense Corps.
However, not long after it was awarded, Nour came under heavy scrutiny because of a financial scam involving the company's president and Ahmed Chalabi, the leader of the US appointed Iraqi Governing Council (the neocon's all time favorite fellow until they booted him out of the club).
Newsday reported that Chalabi received a $2 million "fee" for helping to arrange a $80 million contract, that was actually awarded to a firm called Erinys International to begin with. The problem arose, according to Newsday, because "within days" of being granted the contract, Erinys became a joint venture operation with Nour.
Next, the $327 million contract came under investigation after it was revealed that Nour had no prior experience whatsoever in providing military equipment. When confronted with that fact, Nour claimed that it planned to subcontract its weapons procurement to the Polish firm, Ostrowski Arms. However, the army soon determined that Ostrowski didn't even have a license to export weapons.
Soon thereafter in March 2004, there was a sad turn of events for the First Brothers, when the Army decided to terminate the contract after six of the 17 firms that bid on the project, complained that Nour's winning bid was ridiculously low. It seems a review of all bids revealed that some bids were as much as $700 million apart. "That was a pretty clear indication that the industry did not have a good understanding of the procurement," said an Army official.
During a House Government Reform Committee hearing on Iraq contracts on March 11, 2004, some members of Congress tried to raise questions about private connections behind some of the contracts. However, committee Chairman Tom Davis, (R-Va), cut off the questions before the witnesses could answer.
But at least the Bush gang lost control of the profits from the next contract. The first Nour contract was awarded by Bremer and the CPA in Baghdad, but the process of re-bidding was turned over to the Army Material Command.
Iraq Not Sole Source Of Profits
But not to worry, the First Brothers profits are by no means limited to Iraq. They have irons in the fire all over the map.
For instance, Winston Partners' portfolio includes another military contractor, the Amsec Corp. In 2001, Amsec was awarded $37,722,000 in contracts from the Navy. Marvin's long-time business partner, Scott Andrews, sits on the Amsec board of directors, and the firm's CEO in the relevant time-frame was Michael Braham, who used to work for none other than Paul Bremer, the top dog with the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), which was then responsible for awarding contracts in Iraq.
In addition, the Chatterjee Group also owns 5.5 million shares