Unknown to most, UNOCAL's partner in the Cent-Gas trans-Afghan pipeline consortium, the Saudi Company Delta Oil is owned by the bin Mahfouz and Al-Amoudi clans which allegedly have ties to bin Laden’s Al Qaeda.
According to a 1998 Senate testimony of former CIA director James Woolsey, powerful financier Khalid bin Mahfouz’ younger sister is married to Osama bin Laden,. (US Senate, Senate Judiciary Committee, Federal News Service, 3 Sept. 1998, See also Wayne Madsen, Questionable Ties, In These Times,12 Nov. 2001 )
Bin Mahfouz is suspected to have funnelled millions of dollars to the Al Qaeda network.(See Tom Flocco, Scoop.co.nz 28 Aug. 2002)
Now, "by sheer coincidence", former New Jersey governor Thomas Kean, the man chosen by President Bush to lead the 9/11 commission also has business ties with bin Mahfouz and Al-Amoudi.
Thomas Kean is a director (and shareholder) of Amerada Hess Corporation , which is involved in the Hess-Delta joint venture with Delta Oil of Saudi Arabia (owned by the bin Mahfouz and Al-Amoudi clans).
Delta-Hess "was established in 1998 for the development and exploration of oil fields in the Caspian region...In Azerbaijan Delta Hess is involved in the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli PSA (2.72%) and the Garabaghli-Kursangi PSA (20%). It is also an equity holder in the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline":
"An air of mystery hangs over Delta- Hess, which... is registered in the Cayman Islands. Hess is in no hurry to reveal the terms of the alliance, which it says are subject to confidentiality clauses. 'There's no reason why this should be public information,' a Hess spokesman says." (Energy Compass, 15 Nov. 2002)
Coincidentally, the former Governor of New Jersey is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, together with another prominent member of the board of directors of Amerada Hess, former Secretary of the Treasury Nicholas Brady.
In other words, Delta Oil Ltd. of Saudi Arabia --which is a partner in the Hess-Delta Alliance--is in part controlled by Khalid bin Mafhouz, Osama's brother in law.
And former Governor Thomas Kean not only sits on the board of directors of a company which has business dealings with Khalid bin Mahfouz, he also heads the 9/11 Commission, which has a mandate to investigate Khalid's brother in law, Osama bin Laden.
Dr. Kissinger had a conflict of interest and resigned! The vice chairman of the Commission, former Sen. George Mitchell of Maine, resigned for the same reason. (See Xymphora, 19 Dec 2002 )
Now you would think that being a business partner of the brother in law and alleged financier of "Enemy No. 1" would also be considered a bona fide "conflict of interest", particularly when your mandate --as part of the 9/11 Commission's work-- is to investigate "Enemy No. 1".
And the corporate media applauds. Without acknowledging his Saudi business connections, Thomas Kean is heralded as "a man of extraordinary integrity, decency and intellect." In the words of the Baltimore Sun: "he lacks obvious conflicts of interest" (26 Dec.2002). To which I respond: "how more obvious can you get"!
It is also worth mentioning that Thomas Kean also sits as co-chairman of the Homeland Security Project (HSP) under the auspices of the Century Foundation. In this capacity, Kean has played a key role in the draft recommendations of the Century Foundation, which laid the groundwork of the Office of Homeland Security legislation.
The Saudi Connection
Thomas Kean, described as a "moderate Republican" is not alone in this Saudi business relationship.
Extensively documented, other prominent members of the Republican party including the Bush family have had business dealings with the bin Laden family. (See George W. Bush Financial Scams: CRG selection of articles)
Moreover, it would appear that Delta officials (involved in the UNOCAL trans-Afghan pipeline consortium) played a key role in negotiations with the Taliban. In turn, Enron, the infamous energy giant — whose former CEO, Ken Lay, had close connections to the Bush family — had been contracted in a cozy relationship to undertake feasibility studies for the Unocal-Delta consortium. Enron Corporation had also been entrusted --in liaison with Delta-- with pipeline negotiations with the Taliban government
Carefully documented by Wayne Madsen, George W. Bush also had dealings with Osama's brother in law Khalid bin Mafhouz, when he was in the Texas oil business. Both George W. Bush and Khalid bin-Mahfouz were implicated in the Bank of Commerce International (BCCI) scandal:
"Other links between Bush and Mahfouz can be found through investments in the Carlyle Group, an American investment firm managed by a board on which former president George Bush himself sat. The younger [George W.] Bush personally held shares in one of the components of the Carlyle group, the Caterair company, between 1990-94. And Carlyle today ranks as a leading contributor to Bush’s electoral campaign. On Carlyle’s advisory board is found the name of Sami Baarma, director of the Pakistani financial establishment Prime Commercial Bank that is based in Lahore and owned by Mahfouz. (See Maggie Mulvihill, Jonathan Wells and Jack Meyers: Slick deals; the White House connection; Saudi ‘agents' close Bush Friends, Boston Herald, 11 December 2001).
In the wake of 9/11
In the wake of 9/11, Khalid bin Mahfouz (Osama's brother in law) was carefully exempted from the Treasury investigations (another "sheer coincidence") which led to the freezing of the financial assets of some 150 Saudi businesses, charities and individuals:
"The US Treasury has frozen the assets of 150 Saudi individuals, companies and charities suspected of financing terrorism. It has named Blessed Relief, a Saudi "charity" as a front organisation providing funds to Osama bin Laden. "Saudi businessmen have been transferring millions of dollars to Bin Laden through Blessed Relief," the agency said.
One rich Saudi patriarch under suspicion is Khaled bin Mahfouz, owner of the National Commercial Bank, banker to the Saudi royal family,
US and British authorities have also investigated Mohammed Hussein Al-Amoudi, another billionaire Saudi, for possible financial ties to Bin Laden. Al -Amoudi, who oversees a vast network of companies involved in construction, mining, banking and oil, has also denied any involvement with Bin Laden. His Washington lawyers said he "was unalterably opposed to Terrorism and had no knowledge of any money transfers by Saudi businesses to Bin Laden.
Both Al-Amoudi and Bin Mahfouz have been left untouched by the US Treasury Department. The case against them, let alone against the government itself, is unproven. But the post-September 11 spotlight on Saudi Arabia has brought into sharp focus the fundamental question facing the country's rulers." (Scotland on Sunday, 11 August 2002)
The 9/11 Victims Families Law Suit
According to one press report, Thomas Kean --in contrast to Dr. Henry Kissinger-- was selected to head the 9/11 Commission because he was "close to the families of the 9/11 victims, an important credential to the White House, which was coming under increasing criticism from those families" (Scripps Howard News Service, 17 December 2002)
Yet in a cruel irony, the $1 trillion lawsuit filed last August by the families of the victims of the September 11 attacks , lists two of Thomas Kean's business partners in the Hess-Delta joint-venture, among the accused: Khalid Bin Mahfouz (Osama's brother in law), and Mohammed Hussein al Amoudi. Both individuals have been tagged in the lawsuit as alleged "financiers" of Al Qaeda. Now, how will Thomas Kean deal with that in the context of the 9/11 Commission?
Mystery Surrounding the 1998 Embassy Bombings
Former CIA director James Woolsey's testimony confirms that the Sudan pharmaceutical company bombed in 1998 on the orders of President Clinton was owned by Salah Idris, a business associate and protegé of Khalid bin Mahfouz, The bombing was in retribution for the alleged Al Qaeda African Embassy bombings.
The Mahfouz conglomerate, which owns the largest bank in Saudi Arabia, the National Commercial Bank, was preparing to pump money into the trans-Afghan pipeline deal. (For further details, see Michel Chossudovsky, 2002, Chapter VI) Delta-Hess was also set up in 1998 to explore and develop oil and gas resources in the Caspian Sea basin.
Now why would the Clinton administration order the bombing of a factory which was controlled by a business crony of Unocal Corporation and Amerada-Hess?