Handled Security for the WTC, Dulles and United
Published on Tuesday, February 4, 2003
by the Prince George's Journal (Maryland)
by Margie Burns
George W. Bush's brother was on the board of directors of a company
providing electronic security for the World Trade Center, Dulles
International Airport and United Airlines, according to public records.
The company was backed by an investment firm, the Kuwait-American
Corp., also linked for years to the Bush family.
The security company, formerly named Securacom
and now named Stratesec, is in Sterling, Va.. Its CEO, Barry McDaniel,
said the company had a ``completion contract" to handle some
of the security at the World Trade Center ``up to the day the buildings
It also had a three-year contract to maintain
electronic security systems at Dulles Airport, according to a Dulles
contracting official. Securacom/Stratesec also handled some security
for United Airlines in the 1990s, according to McDaniel, but it
had been completed before his arriving on the board in 1998.
McDaniel confirmed that the company has
security contracts with the Department of Defense, including the
U.S. Army, but did not detail the nature of the work, citing security
concerns. It has an ongoing line with the General Services Administration
- meaning that its bids for contracts are noncompetitive - and also
did security work for the Los Alamos laboratory before 1998.
Marvin P. Bush, the president's youngest
brother, was a director at Stratesec from 1993 to fiscal year 2000.
But the White House has not publicly disclosed Bush connections
in any of its responses to 9/11, nor has it mentioned that another
Bush-linked business had done security work for the facilities attacked.
Marvin Bush joined Securacom when it was
capitalized by the Kuwait-American Corporation, a private investment
firm in D.C. that was the security company's major investor, sometimes
holding a controlling interest. Marvin Bush has not responded to
telephone calls and e-mails for comment.
KuwAm has been linked to the Bush family
financially since the Gulf War. One of its principals and a member
of the Kuwaiti royal family, Mishal Yousef Saud al Sabah, served
on the board of Stratesec.
The managing director at KuwAm, Wirt D.
Walker III, was also a principal at Stratesec, and Walker, Marvin
Bush and al Sabah are listed in SEC filings as significant shareholders
in both companies during that period.
Marvin Bush's last year on the board at
Stratesec coincided with his first year on the board of HCC Insurance,
formerly Houston Casualty Co., one of the insurance carriers for
the WTC. He left the HCC board in November 2002.
But none of these connections has been
looked at during the extensive investigations since 9/11. McDaniel
says principals and other personnel at Stratesec have not been questioned
or debriefed by the FBI or other investigators. Walker declined
to answer the same question regarding KuwAm, referring to the public
Walker is also chairman and CEO of Aviation
General, a Tulsa, Okla.-based aviation company with two subsidiaries.
SEC filings also show al Sabah as a principal and shareholder in
Aviation General, which was recently delisted by the Nasdaq. Stratesec
was delisted by the American Stock Exchange in October 2002.
The suite in which Marvin Bush was annually
re-elected, according to public records, is located in the Watergate
in space leased to the Saudi government. The company now holds shareholder
meetings in space leased by the Kuwaiti government there. The White
House has not responded to various requests for comment.
Speaking of the Watergate, Riggs National
Bank, where Saudi Princess Al-Faisal had her ``Saudi money trail"
bank account, has as one of its executives Jonathan Bush, an uncle
of the president. The public has not learned whether Riggs - which
services 95 percent of Washington's foreign embassies - will be
turning over records relating to Saudi finance.
Meanwhile, Bush has nominated William
H. Donaldson to head the Securities and Exchange Commission. Donaldson,
a longtime Bush family friend, was a Yale classmate of Jonathan
On the very day of the tragic space shuttle
crash, the government appointed an independent investigative panel,
and rightly so. Why didn't it do the same on Sept. 12, 2001?
Margie Burns, a teacher and writer, lives
in Cheverly, Maryland.