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Thursday, December 18, 2003

Some day, some of this may matter
Michelle has dug up another bizarre tidbit regarding the 9/11 investigation: Thomas Kean, chairman of the 9/11 commission, has had business dealings with Osama bin Laden's brother in law.

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, 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"

A reminder: The families of 9/11 victims were promised by Bush that they could pick one of the five Republican members of the 9/11 commission. Their choice was former New Hampshire senator Warren Rudman. Instead, Bush appointed Henry Kissinger, who withdrew rather than reveal his conflicts of interest. So Kean was selected. No Rudman. Kean therefore may have the extremely dubious distinction of being one of the few people in the world having fewer scruples than Henry Kissinger (Bush and Cheney are in that select group as well).

Even so, this moral cipher may yet be so appalled by what he finds out that he'll do the right thing.