from "The Fifth Estate"
Broadcast Wednesday October 29, 2003
by: Bob McKeown
GO BACK TO THE BEGINNING WHEN DID YOU FIRST MEET
met him when I graduated from Business School
in nineteen seventy-eight. Came down to Houston
on an interview.
WHAT KIND OF PERSON WAS HE?
was actually recruited from, from Harvard Business
School by Lan Bentsen, Senator Bentsens
son. And he found that I was a Navy Fighter Pilot
he said there was an Air Force
Fighter Pilot in Houston that I should meet who
the Bentsen family and the Bush family
were already in business with. And he said that
this fellow James R. Bath needed someone
to run a series of real estate companies that
would be grub stake by not only the
political families but also by some foreign Nationals,
the Saudis. And so I came down to
an interview and met Jim.
THE INTRODUCTION WAS MADE BECAUSE YOU HAD THE
COMMON GROUND OF HAVING HAD BOTH BEEN PILOTS.
Were both fighter pilots.
AT THE TIME BATH WAS IN BUSINESS IN HOUSTON DOING
was in Business primarily with an Aircraft Brokerage
Company called JB and A which
for Jim Bath and Associates. He also ran a company
in the same building called
Laden and Associates which Jim explained was a
procurement company for the
AT THAT POINT, HAD YOU EVER HEARD THE NAME BIN
I had not.
AS YOU INVESTIGATED AND FOUND OUT WHO THESE PEOPLE
DID YOU LEARN?
I learned that there was a relationship between
the Saudi Royals and the politicians here
in the United States and that Bath was helping
to protect the Saudi Royal Family by training
some of the Saudi Nationals who were at our Air
Force base as being trained as Pilots.
We had a Prince who was the first foreign National
to fly on the first US Space Shuttle.
We had other foreign Nationals too. Jim was functioning
as an intermediary between
the Bushes and the Saudi Royal Family.
HAD JIM BATH BEEN ANNOINTED TO BE THIS INTERMEDIARY
BETWEEN THE SAUDIS ON ONE HAND AND FAMILIES LIKE
THE BUSHES ON THE OTHER?
Jim explained that in the early seventies when
he served in the Texas Air National
that George Bush Junior, our current President
had come on board along with some
other Politicians children. This is during
the Vietnam War era and they became drinking
buddies and good friends. And then in nineteen
seventy-six when, when Ws Father
became CIA Director and the CIA was trying to
privatize some of their subsidiaries,
their air affiliates, etc that Jim was actually
recommended to the CIA Director,
George Senior by W. And thats when the relationship
THE POINT THAT YOU FIRST MET JIM BATH, HE WAS
NOT ONLY CONNECTED TO THE SAUDIS, TO THE BIN LADENS
BUT ALSO TO THE BUSHES.
spent probably ninety-five percent of his time,
Id call it hand-holding the Arabs.
He bought a bank for them. He bought an airport
IN A SENSE, AT THE POINT WHEN YOU FIRST MET HIM
WAS BATH THIS LINK BETWEEN THE BUSHES ON ONE SIDE
AND THE BIN LADENS IN SAUDI.
That link had already been established and Jim
was actually in an operational mode.
He spent probably ninety-five percent of his time,
Id call it hand-holding the Arabs.
He bought a bank for them. He bought an airport
for them. He started an airline for
them among other ventures in Houston, Texas and
was, the nominee or the front man for
their ownership of these various entities. He
would spend ninety-nine percent of his time
dealing with their interests while I was relegated
to running our real estate development
WAS THE EXTENT OF THE INTEREST OF THE SAUDIS IN
AND AROUND HOUSTON? WHY DID THEY COME TO TEXAS
AT THIS TIME?
they had a large presence here because of the
oil interest. And they had banking interests
by virtue of Bush Seniors association with
First International Bank which subsequently
became Air First. And also John Connolly who was
a former Democrat who turned
Republican and worked in the Nixon Administration
with Bush he ran First Citi-Bank. We
also had James Baker and Baker, the Baker and
Botts Law Firm, so you basically
had a confluence of political interests that were
friendly to the Saudi Royal Family
doing business in Houston.
THE MID SEVENTIES WHEN YOU FIRST CAME IN CONNECTION
WITH JIM, WHAT
DID YOU LEARN THROUGH BATH ABOUT THE EXTENT OF
THE BUSH CONNECTIONS
AND THE BUSH HISTORY WITH SAUDI ARABIA?
Bath explained to me that he had been tapped by
George Senior to set up a quasi private
aircraft firm that would basically engage in CIA-sponsored
activities funded by the Saudi
Royal Family. He explained that the Saudis had
basically entered into a quid pro quo
relationship with Bush and that Bush when he was
CIA Director worked with the Head
of Saudi Intelligence and they trained the Palace
Guard to protect the Saudi Royal Family
who was concerned about a fundamentalist revolution.
it was at that point I think that this thing got
kicked into high gear and the Saudis agreed
to provide surreptitious funding to the United
States to fight secret wars in Afghanistan
and Nicaragua on the one hand and Bush as Vice
President then sent AWACS
and F-Fifteen Fighter Jets to Saudi Arabia to
support Saddam Hussein under the psyche
that the enemy is my friend. We had the Iran-Iraq
War at the time. And so thats, thats
really how it evolved.
WHAT EXTENT DID PEOPLE LIKE BIN MAHFOUZ AND
BIN LADEN SET UP THEIR OWN INFRA STRUCTURE IN
HOUSTON? DID THEY HAVE HOMES THERE? DID THEY HAVE
PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS THERE? HOW MUCH TIME DID
THEY SPEND THERE?
they spent quite a bit of time here. When we say
they had interests the homes and businesses
here, they were all almost invariably set up in
trust. There were, with agreements
were drawn up by some of the big law firms in
town. And their ownership was
always artfully hidden behind Nominees or front
people like Jim Bath or one of the lawyers
who acted as a Trustee. They would fly into town.
Jim would entertain them.
we had parties. There were social events.
YOU WERE PART OF THIS ON OCCASION?
actually seemed to be grooming me. I was ten years
younger and his protégé and rather
than take the airplane company employees, he seemed
to take me to all the Chamber
of Commerce functions that George Bush was speaking
at and would take me to
the lunches at the Ramada Club and take me to
the parties at the Big House that she called
it, and seldom were in attendance at. Now the
Arabs there were very different in their
personalities. Salem Bin Laden was very Westernized.
He wore Western clothes. He
spoke English, was very articulate. He liked to
entertain and was the Master of Ceremonies.
Whereas bin Mahfouz typically wore the traditional
Saudi garb. He was very
reclusive. He was not fluent in English. And so
there was a very great disparity between
you know the two individuals.
DID YOU LEARN TO BE THE, THE BUSINESS TIES AT
THE BUSHES AND BIN MAHFOUZ AND BIN LADEN?
Bath had told me that he had used Saudi money
to fund George Bush Juniors start into
the Energy business.
IS THE ARBUSTO OPERATION?
the Arbusto Partnerships that started in Midland,
Texas in the late seventies, early eighties.
DID THE DOCUMENTS SHOW?
I have copies of Jims personal financial
statements to show that he maintains a revolving
line of credit for the Bin Laden Family.
six to seven million on the statements that I
have. And then on schedules that show his
partnership interests, he shows a personal partnership
interest of twenty-five thousand dollars
invested in Arbusto Seventy-Nine and another twenty-five
thousand dollar investment
in Bush Eighty. But those only represent his personal
share of the Arab money
that went into those ventures.
YOU HAVE ANY KNOWLEDGE OF HOW MUCH MONEY THE SAUDIS
he told me it was in excess of, you know, a million
dollars. But I dont have any documents
that support that. I just have you know his word
to take from that.
TO YOUR KNOWLEDGE, HOW IMPORTANT WOULD THAT MONEY
HAVE BEEN TO GEORGE W. BUSH?
at the time I could tell you as a fledgling entrepreneur
it would have been of critical importance.
JUST STARTING OUT. SET THE SCENE FOR US HERE.
AT WHAT STAGE OF HIS CAREER WAS GEORGE W. BUSH
BACK IN NINETEEN SEVENTY-NINE?
nineteen seventy-nine as I understand it he was
a fledgling entrepreneur just trying to
get a business off the ground and obviously it
would seed capital to get into the oil exploration
or drilling business and it was very expensive
even back then to buy land leases
and to rent Oil rigs and Wild Caters to drill.
So it took, it was all capital-driven.
ONE OF THE FIRST IN WAS JIM BATH.
Well, Jim Bath was nominee for the Saudis. I mean
Bath was very forthright with me
when we went into business together in nineteen
seventy-eight. And he said Bill, I really,
I come from a poor background, I have no money
of my own and this relationship with
the Bushes and the Saudis is of paramount importance
to me because I derive all of my
capital and all of my business capabilities from
JIM BATH HAS EFFECTIVELY DENIED HE PUT SAUDI MONEY
INTO GEORGE W. BUSHS COMPANIES AT THAT POINT.
dont know that hes denied it or hasnt.
I know that Time Magazine when they began to
investigate this got him to go on record, or got
George Bush Junior to go on record having
denied been in business with Bath just saying
they were just personal friends and once
they were presented with these documents then
he recanted, Bush recanted and admitted
that Bath had put money in. But my understanding
is in the aftermath of the Nine-Eleven,
the White House denied that any of that money
was Saudi money. They were
maintaining that it was all Baths money.
HOW DO YOU KNOW THERE WAS SAUDI MONEY THERE?
I know that it was Saudi money because Bath had
no money of his own. We were in business together.
I saw his personal financial statements. I knew
the amount of cash he had
available any given time. And he also confided
in me that the money invested both in our Real
Estate business and in W. his Energy business
was Saudi money. That was the only
money there was.
EVEN THE FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS YOU SEE REFLECTED
STATEMENTS HE WOULD NOT HAVE HAD THAT AS
if you look at his financial statement itll
show that he has maybe fourteen thousand dollars
in cash. He has millions of dollars in assets
but the only cash available is this Bin Laden
revolving line of credit.
THERES NO QUESTION IN YOUR MIND WHATSOEVER
INTO GEORGE W. BUSHS COMPANIES FROM JIM
BATH WAS MONEY
percent of it was Saudi money.
GEORGE W. BUSH WOULD HAVE BEEN AWARE OF THAT?
absolutely. Bush was responsible for Baths
relationship, you know, from the onset. So
of course he was aware.
LETS LEAP AHEAD HERE. WHAT, WHAT CAN YOU
TELL US ABOUT HARKEN ENERGY?
not very knowledgeable about Harken Energy. I
just know that Arbusto went through several
iterations and became Harken Energy and my understanding
is that again the Arabs
came in and bailed him out of some bad business
ventures and bad business decisions
and that he was able to cash in his chips prematurely
before the stock nose-dived. And
whats interesting to me in that light is
that the first Attorney with Baker andBotts
had attempted to compel me to cover up this whole
TALK A LITTLE MORE SPECIFICALLY ABOUT BATHS
RELATIONSHIP WITH BIN MAHFOUZ AND BIN LADEN. HOW,
HOW DID YOU OBSERVE BATHS RELATIONSHIP WITH
THOSE TWO MEN? WHAT, WHAT DID YOU SEE OF IT AND
CAN YOU CHARACTERIZE IT FOR US?
can characterize it. Bath was their business representative.
And he would buy the Bank
in their behalf. He would hire the President.
Hed served on the Board of Directors.
He purchased the Airport on their behalf. He set
up a Management infra-structure
to maintain the Airport and to operate the Airport.
And so he really was their, their
figurehead. A lot of these enterprises cannot
legally be owned by foreign Nationals.
you have an aircraft and want to have it FAA-certified,
its got to be owned by a US citizen.
And so by Bath stepping in to the fray as the
ostensible owner of that aircraft, the Saudis
were able to control and manage businesses in
the United States that otherwise that
they could not have. So he was the point man in
that respect for their Business interests.
THE OTHER SIDE OF IT, DID YOU SEE BATH IN HIS
RELATIONSHIP WITH GEORGE
BUSH SENIOR AND GEORGE W. BUSH?
I did. It was very limited. The Bushes made a
point of never interfacing personally with
the Saudis. It was always done with a wink and
a nod. But I recall, Jim was the Chairman
of the Aviation Committee for the Houston Chamber
of Commerce and he would
schedule Speakers for the luncheons down there
and would always take me as his protégé
down to the luncheons. And I remember riding down
to the Chamber meeting I
think it was nineteen eighty and he said
Bill, I cant wait for you to meet the guest speaker
that I have arranged for the Chamber luncheon.
He said the two of you are cut from
the same cloth. He said youre both Fighter
Pilots. Youre both Harvard Business School
Graduates. Youre going to love this guy.
And so when I came to the luncheon, he
introduced me to George Bush, our current President.
And Bush gave a talk. Jim introduced
him as his friend from the Air National Guard
days and so that was the one time
that I met George Bush Junior. And then George
Bush Senior, I met at a luncheon at the
Ramada Club when he was Vice President. He came
in. Jim and I were sitting on a sofa
facing the elevator bank and the elevator doors
opened and then the Vice President walked
off with his Secret Service entourage and he just
looked at us and said Jim - and kind
of winked at him and nodded - and then went off.
It was kind of a knowing look that they
were very guarded about any public display of
YOU SEEN IT AFFECT THE PRESIDENTS PERFORMANCE,
DO YOU BELIEVE?
I feel certain its affected his performance
and just hearing about the Bin Laden family members
in this Country who were flown out of the Country
and he fact that the Administration
blocked the FBI and IA investigations into the
Bin Laden family under the auspices
of - oh gee the family are all patriotic citizens
except for this one bad apple Osama
I mean I just have a hard time buying off
on that and wondering if the money that
changed hands back during my experiences with
Bath hasnt influenced or clouded or
even compromised the Presidents ability
to wage War against Terrorism. I just cant imagine
how he can be an objective arbitrator of the Bin
Laden familys activities when in fact
hes taken money from them thats never
been reported publicly and I think hes compromised.
And thats of great concern to me. And I
think thats a great concern to the
families of the victims of the 9/11 tragedy.
DIFFICULT HAS JIM BATH MADE THE PAST FIFTEEN YEARS
when Bath and I first had our conversation of
his request that I cooperate in a cover-up, he
said youve got a choice. He said you can
either do this voluntarily or the Bank thats
laundering the Saudi money and I are going to
inundate you in frivolous lawsuits and were
going to make your life a goddamn living hell.
Those were his exact words and he
said now I know you being Mom and Apple Pie think
that Americas about truth and justice
but thats nothing but a bunch of horse petui.
He said if we sue you, number one youre
not going to have money to pay the lawyers to
defend yourself against these lawsuits
and number two in the unlikely event that you
could ever get legal representation, all
it would take is a call from George Bush to these
Republican Judges who are beholding
to him his political appointees and he said youll
never get a chance to tell this story
to a Jury. Youll never even get a day in
HE QUOTES THE NAME OF GEORGE BUSH
He said that he would call the political appointed
Judges and I would never get due
process. And that really is what motivated me
to fight the fight in the courts because I
couldnt believe in the aftermath of all
of us risking our lives fighting for the system
could be denied our rights of Due Process under
Law. I just couldnt believe that.
and unfortunately I thought it was a bluff, but
it turned out to be true because what what
he predicted is precisely what happened. I
thought it was he who was blowing smoke. And so
I resisted and I said Jim, Im not going
to sue you, Im not going to go report these
Saudi dealings to the DAs office. I just dont
want to be in business with you anymore. And I
called my Attorney and I didnt instruct
him to file a lawsuit. I said please look at our
partnership agreement and find out how
I can become a businessman, independent of Jim
Bath. I just dont want to be involved
in all this. Well, I never had that luxury because
he and the Bank that was laundering
the Saudi money inundated me in lawsuits. I had
four criminal charges. And I think
twenty-eight civil lawsuits that were filed against
me concurrently. And it just you know
it dominated my life. And fortunately I was able
to get legal representation, the best lawyers
in Houston on a contingency fee basis took up
my case, filed counter claims against
Bath alleging this Saudi influence, peddling with
the Bush family, although in retrospect
when I read my own legal pleadings, the lawyers
were very careful to remove a lot
of the references to the threats you know with
using the Bin Laden, the Bin Mahfouz the
Bush name. And I would ask my own lawyers, you
know why arent you stating succinctly
the nature of the Baths threat? And theyd
say well Bill, "You know we dont want
to make the Judges angry. We have to be very careful."
IT WASNT THAT THEY DIDNT BELIEVE THOSE
LINKS WERE TRUE, IT WAS JUST
THE OPPOSITE. THEY BELIEVED THEM
believed them theyre true and theyre
afraid of backlash from the Judges. Yeah, one
of the republican judges who poured me out every
case, Judge Lewis Moore, my Lawyer
John ONeill of Porter and Clements was actually
his campaign manager. And when
he found out the case was assigned to him he said
Bill, weve got this case made-in-the-shade.
He said this guy you know Im his campaign
manager. I raise funds for his campaign.
No problem. And then wed get into the courtroom
and be poured out without a
trial. And hed go the Judge must have gone
crazy, I cant believe, hes never treated me
IS JIM BATH TODAY?
in hiding in Houston. Hes in hiding.
HAS NOT BEEN SEEN?
hes been seen. I ran into him at the grocery
store about nine months ago. But he was
very prominent with the Chamber and social circles
and after Bin Mahfouz was indicted
by the District Attorney in nineteen ninety-one,
paid a two-hundred and twenty-five million
dollar fine and kicked out of the Country and
his Bank, BCCI and NCB shut down,
Bath basically was put on ice by Bush because
he became a political liability. And if
you call his Aircraft Brokerage Company, JB and
A, theyll tell you we know who Jim Bath
is but we havent seen him in years and we
dont know how to contact him. So hes, hes
really being kept on ice.
WHERE DO YOU THINK PHYSICALLY HE IS?
think hes at his ranch in Simmons Bottoms.
Hes got a ranch out there with a landing
and I see his airplane flying over every day so
I know hes still flying.
GEORGE BUSH SENIOR WAS REPLACED AS DIRECTOR OF
DID HE GO
came to Houston and he became affiliated with
a Bank in Houston called FIB, First International
Bank. And that was, that was the bank that Bath
used to deposit the Saudi money.
Thats where the Bin Laden revolving line
of credit was. The name changed in nineteen
eighty to First International Bank from FIB but
it was the same bank.
YOU SAY HE WAS CONNECTED WITH THIS BANK. WHAT
WAS GEORGE BUSH
SENIORS INTEREST ..?
was Chairman of the Executive Committee of the
THATS MORE THAN CONNECTED.
more than connected. Yeah.
was the principal player.
NO COINCIDENCE AS FAR AS YOURE CONCERNED
THAT THE SAUDI MONEY AND
THE MONEY THAT BATHS DOING BUSINESS WITHIN,
ENDS UP AT GEORGE
BUSH SENIORS BANK.
this is no coincidence at all. This is all arranged.
It was all arranged at the time that Bush
made this quid pro quo relationship with the Saudis.
I mean, my understanding of it is
that Bath represented the Bush interests and Bin
Laden-Bin Mahfouz interchangeably represented
the Saudi Royal Family interests and people tried
to vilify the Bin Laden family
or the Bin Mahfouz family but, they have a very
patriarchal society over there according
to Bath and neither of those families sneeze without
the Saudi Royals blessing.
I mean everything they do is at the beholding
at the Saudi Royal Family. As a matter
of fact, Bin Mahfouz Bank NCB is the only
Bank that was not nationalized in Saudi
Arabia. All the rest of the Banks were not, nationalized
in seventy-four except his Bank
which is privately owned. Thats where the
Saudi Royals keep all their personalmoney.
AGAIN, WHEN YOU GOT BIN MAHFOUZ AND BIN LADEN
TIGHTLY CONNECTED TO
THE SAUDI ROYAL FAMILY ON ONE SIDE
BUSH SENIOR, SENIOR AND HIS SON ON THE OTHER SIDE,
AND IN THE MIDDLE JIM BATH
NO QUESTION IN YOUR MIND THAT THESE WERE ALL INTER-RELATED?
THEY, COULD THEY NOT HAVE BEEN ARMS LENGTH
SURE IF BATH WAS DOING BUSINESS WITH THE SAUDIS,
SURE HE WAS DOING BUSINESS WITH THE BUSHES, BUT
NEVER THE TWAIN WOULD MEET.
no way. I mean Bath confided in me. And told me
every bit of evidence Ive seen,
Ive met all the players, the Bushes, the
Saudis, I mean everything fits very consistent.
THAT WOULD POSITION JIM BATH NOW.
He went from a non descript, nobody who had no
capital, no political connections
to this high-rolling Business man whos managing
banks and fleets of airplanes.
You know, for the wealthiest individuals on the
planet, and that doesnt happen by
accident. I mean Jims a very capable, personable
guy but he doesnt have the pedigree,
the credentials, or the connections on his own
to, to explain any of this.
HOW WAS IT HE WAS, HE WAS CHOSEN TO BE THIS EXULTED
if you recall back in the mid-seventies the CIA
came under fire for trying to assassinate
Fidel Castro and for engineering elections in
Latin America and putting friendly
Dictators in power and so you had the Church and
Pike committees in Congress.
Intelligence committees investigated these CIA
activities and they issued a stinging report
and said that it incompatible for a Democratic
Government of a Republic to be engaged
in these KGB type activities. And so what Bush
did as CIA Director, rather than just
you know terminate these activities he said lets
privatize them. And so he began to look
for people that could form quasi public or private
corporations that would take control of
these assets but still do the CIAs bidding
and he obviously needed an Aviation guy and
he went to his Son who was in an Aviation Squadron.
All the Pilots like myself had top-secret
security clearances, were clearly patriots, theyve
been vetted by the FBI and so
he asked W. You know is there a guy down there
who we could bring in to operate anAir
proprietary deal with the Saudis. And so George
recommended his drinking buddy, Jim
THIS IS WHAT JIM BATH TOLD?
a very capable guy. Very personable guy. Hes
somebody that I probably in retrospect
would have chosen you know for that responsibility
had I known back then.
IT WAS THROUGH THAT CONNECTION WITH THE BUSHES
THE ATTENTION OF HIS SON?
well he was introduced to the Saudis. That there
was an arranged marriage.
AGAIN INTRODUCED BY
FOR THEIR REPRESENTATIVES?
YOU LOOK BACK OVER ALL OF THIS HOW MUCH HAS IT
COST Y IN FINANCIAL AND OTHER WAYS?
its cost me virtually everything, financially.
I lost my business, all my real estate holdings,
all of my assets were conveyed to Bath in the
lawsuits, my house was fore-closed on
because the mortgage was held by the Bank that
was laundering the Saudi money,
all my property was sold at cost wholesale, and
we paid a terrible price. Then the irony
was that during this litigation process even they
initially tried to compel me to cooperate
in the cover-up when I refused they began to offer
me money and Banking business,
and a package worth millions of dollars if I would
only sign what they called a Settlement
Agreement. But I explained to my Lawyer, when
the Settlement Agreement in my
eyes it was a hush money agreement. It said basically
that we could never have this conversation
that we could never disclose the Bush-Saudi relationship
and I felt to takethat
money and to sign that Agreement would have been
to basically spit on the graves of all
of my friends who died in Vietnam and were fighting
for you know our, our Oath to protect
the Constitution. So its been a heavy price
but I really feel like some of us have a destiny
and for whatever reason I didnt choose this
destiny but I was thrust in it and Imtrying
to do my part to get the truth out. And again
theres no really, no ill will toward Jim Bath
or to George Bush. Its just a matter of
getting the truth out on the table and let the consequences
evolve. But I think the truths important.
THIS BEEN GOING ON FOR MORE THAN A DECADE AND
JUST RIGHT THERE AT THE FOREFRONT OF YOUR
what is? Its just something that you know
in some respects its like a tar baby because
you think youve put it behind you and then
9/11 happens and all of a sudden,
it surfaces again and its germane in its
material. And so again I almost feel like
its divine destiny that and its really
made the fight meritorious in a sense because now
people do care. Theyre starting to wonder
about the integrity and the motives of these
people and so this, what happened is now relevant.
I mean its extremely relevant.
so in that sense its, it validated the fight
we fought because Ive been told even by
own Lawyers that most people in our situation,
and they have a skeleton or they have a
problem or theyre doing drugs or they have
girlfriends or something and so when theyre
confronted with that they sign the Settlement
Agreement, they take the money and then
the story never gets out. So, in this case because
we fought the fight, now at least the
truth has a chance of getting out and being laid
SAY WATCING THE EVENT UNFOLD AFTER 9/11 YOU REALIZED HOW RELEVANT YOUR EXPERIENCE
AND YOUR KNOWLEDGE NOW ARE
DO YOU THINK IS THE ESSENTIAL RELEVANCE OF WHAT
YOU KNOW AND WHAT YOU HAVE GONE THROUGH, AND WHATS
GOING ON NOW?
dont believe that Bush as President can
be an objective arbitrator of the war on terrorism.
The Bin Ladens and the Saudis are obviously involved,
fifteen of the nineteen terrorists
were Saudis. The Saudis are known to have been
funding these Islamic charities
that have funded the Terrorists including the
National Commercial Bank. The same
people that were dealing business with Bath at
Bushs request and funding Bushs business
interests. Bush moved heaven and earth obviously
calling in chips with Houston Judges
to keep this information kept quiet and the Saudis
are in an ideal position basically
to blackmail the President of the United States
and to quash any investigation into
their activities, funding of Islamic charities
because of the fact that theyve had Bush on
the payroll back in the late seventies and early
eighties. I can tell you in the Military that
if you know any potential conflict of interest
you wont get a security clearance because
youre subject to that type of blackmail.
We have somebody in the Oval Office whos
subject to blackmail. That disturbs me. And thats
why its relevant.
TERMS OF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE BUSHES AND
THE SAUDIS WAS THERE SUPPORT FOR HIS PRESIDENTIAL
understanding from Bath was that they were making
campaign contributions by taking brief
cases full of cash to the law firms. They would
give the cash to the lawyers and then
each of the lawyers in turn would make a thousand
dollar campaign contribution to Bush
or Bentsen or whomever.
WOULD PRESUMABLY BE AGAINST ELECTORAL LAW
it is against the law but its obviously
covered by virtue of the Attorneys making the
And thats my understanding of how it worked.
Again I didnt see the money
BATH EXPLAINED THIS TO YOU?
he also did it himself in his own dealings with
the City of Houston. He even arranged
for the employees to make thousand dollar campaign
contributions to the City, the
Houston City Council men who sat on the Aviation
Committee and ordered to grant him a FBI Franchise
and then he would reimburse everyone who made
contribution which is the limit in cash.
AGAIN WOULD BE AGAINST THE LAW.
of course its, you know its against
the law. But thats the way he operated.
And he told
me when he did that he was mimicking the Saudi
funding of the Bush campaign.
VISITED THIS EARLIER BUT TO WHAT EXTENT WERE YOU
PART OF THIS SOCIAL RELATIONSHIP WITH THE SAUDIS?
HOW OFTEN WOULD YOU SEE THEM? UNDER WHAT CIRCUMSTANCES?
CAN YOU DESCRIBE HOW THEY, HOW THEY ACTED PERSONALLY,
yes I can. Salem Bin Laden was very gregarious.
He was very Westernized. He wore
Western clothing, very articulate, spoke English
well. And he was a gad-fly, an international
playboy. He would buzz into town with an entourage
and he would have a party
over at the Big House and a lot of the big business
men, attorneys in Houston would
come to these parties. And he would entertain.
Hed play the piano. Hed sing.
cocktails and it was quite interesting. There
was some unseemly contact as well. I think
one occasion one of my secretaries came into work
about an hour and a half late and
she told me that Jim Bath had called her at eleven
oclock at night and said that Salem
Bin Laden was at the hotel and he was lonesome
and would she go over and entertain
him for a while. And, then he would take the Arabs
to Las Vegas and arrangefor
prostitutes and things like that. I was fortunately
never part of the unseemly side of it but
I did interface with him directly
SAY THE BIG HOUSE, WHICH HOUSE IS THAT?
is a big mansion, it was actually three houses.
There was a central estate that had a swimming
pool that was shaped like a kidney bean with an
aisle in the middle of it and a bridge
across where tennis courts it was right on the
bayou, three and a half acres and the
house was recently sold to a big restaurant owner
YOUR KNOWLEDGE DO THE BIN LADENS AND OR BIN MAHFOUZ
STILL HAVE RESIDENCES THERE?
have no knowledge of that. I believe that after
Bin Mahfouz was indicted in the early nineties
that they begin to liquidate his holdings here.
I heard through a Lebanese source in
the late nineties that he had re-entered the United
States and was re-acquiring assets and
doing business here again. But I had no personal
experience or knowledge of that.
THE, THE FIRM IN WHICH YOU WERE IN BUSINESS WITH
JIM BATH WAS A REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT COMPANY.
WHAT SORTS OF PROJECTS AND HOW, HOW PROFITABLE?
we were building multi family residential projects
- basically five to eight million dollar projects.
And we were also working on Corporate Aviation
facilities with both Airports. And
our businesses were generally profitable. We were
very conservative. In our approach
and our financing we had adequate equity capital.
And I was very zealous in
low interest rate mortgages through housing finance
corporations as opposed to high
interest money at thirteen and a half percent.
So, when the market downturn occurred
and in eighty-six, our projects relative to other
developers were going very well. The
Bank in fact they put me on their Board of Directors
for Business Development and put
me on the Board of the Arthritis Foundation and
we were going to steer all of their foreclosed
properties to us to have us manage them and do
the workouts. They were very
confident in our capabilities.
WHAT WAS IT THAT LED TO THE RIFT BETWEEN YOU AND
was the funding partner. Bath sent down an interest
rate invoice on a five-hundred and
fifty thousand personal loan that he had at the
Bank. Had a twenty-seven thousand dollar
interest payment due and it said CW can you help
with this question mark. And, I got
this and I thought gee this is peculiar. The guy
that sends the money down to fund our
business is asking if we can help pay one of his
personal loans to the Bank. And so I threw
it in the hold basket and thought nothing of it
and then the Banker called me, Jim McNutt
from InterFirst Bank and said Bill, Jim Bath said
youre going to make this payment
for him. And I said well Jim, you know if I had
the money Id be happy to do it. I just
dont have the money. And he said well Ill
have Bath call you. And thats when Bath came
down to the Conference Room and said Partner,
I need you to help me make thispayment
Ive borrowed money from the Arabs to secure
this personal loan at the Bank,
having trouble making this quarterly interest
payment. If I dont make it, the Banks
to cash the Arab Certificate of Deposit in and
he said you dont understand how things
work in Saudi Arabia. He said if you steal a six-pack
at a Seven-Eleven in the United
States, you get a lawyer and you have a Trial
and the Merits he said but over in Saudi
Arabia if you steal an apple from a fruit stand
they summarily cut your hand off at the
wrist. He said if the Arabs find out Ive
stolen a half a million dollars of their money,
going to cut off my private parts. And he said
when Bush finds about it, he said ball
game over. He said Im going to lose all
my business interests, Ill lose the wherewithal
to our fund our real estate companies. Ill
take you down with me. So Partner
you gotta help me. And, and thats when I
said Jim, youve told me youve committed
a misappropriation error of money. I said thats
a felony. I said you cantexpect
me to commit a felony to cover up your felony
because he suggested that I divert money
from our real estate partnerships to pay his personal
note. But we had third party investors
in those deals and that wasnt our money
to spend on our personal notes. And thats
what caused the rift between the two of us. Its
my refusal to do that.
TRIGGERED THE TWENTY-EIGHT DIFFERENT LAWSUITS
AGAINST YOU BY HIM.
But that was the methodology to try to compel
me to do this against my will. He said
Im going to George Bush and I and the banker
are going to compel you to basically steal
money from your own companies and partnerships
to cover up my theft of the Saudi money.
And I said youre telling me youre
going to use the Court system to compel aninnocent
person to commit a felony? Thats why I thought
it was a bluff. I couldnt believe it. But
thats what he said he was going to do. Bush
called the Judges and Id never get a
day in Court. I couldnt believe it.
WHEN YOU SAY BUSH CALLED IN IOUS FOR THE
YOU HAVE ANY DIRECT EVIDENCE CONDUCTED BY HIM
IN ANY OF THOSE?
CBC Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
at sanderhicks.com under the provisions of Fair