The Riggs Bank Scandal: Pinochet, the CIA, the Saudis, 9/11 and ... of course... Jonathan Bush!
by Ted Kahl on 01/18/2005 5:01pm. - revised 01/18/2005 8:07pm
Speaking of Bush scandals...here's my personal favorite of the last four years -- the Riggs Bank scandal. Jack Shafer has written some recent articles about Riggs Bank's long relationship with the CIA (going back to the Bay of Pigs, and later, a CIA operation in Iran), based on an investigation by Wall Street Journal writer Glenn Simpson. (See "The CIA and Riggs Bank: A Wall Street Journal story that the press gang should chase" and "The Spook Bank")
Most articles about Riggs focus on the Pinochet accounts, but downplay the Saudi accounts -- and outright ignore the 9/11 connection. And of course, these articles almost never mention that Uncle Jonathan Bush is a top Riggs executive. Back when we wrote our "Top Bush Scandals of 2003", we included this mention of Riggs Bank under our #4 scandal, "The 9/11 Coverup".
First the White House dragged out the release of the entire 800-page congressional report on 9/11. Then they redacted the key 28 pages about Saudi financing of the 9/11 attacks. What deeply damaging information is in these 28 pages?
...Do these 28 pages establish if Saudi Princess Al-Faisal, wife of longtime Bush family friend Prince Bandar, did in fact fund two of the hijackers? Do they reveal if those funds came from her Riggs Bank account where Bush's uncle Jonathan is a director? At this point, we can only guess. Interestingly, when the Saudi Embassy got wind of the FBI investigation into the Princess' finances, they sent over employees to review the checks issued from her bank account. Did Riggs officials help the Saudis scrub the records?
Do these 28 pages follow the money trail back from those same two hijackers -- Khalid al-Midhar and Nawaq al-Hazmi -- to Omar al-Bayoumi? Al-Bayoumi is the Saudi "student" who received $3000 per month from Hamid al-Rashid, a top official of the Saudi Civil Aviation authority, whose son is linked to Al Qaeda. Did al-Rashid develop the sophisticated plan for the hijackings in collaboration with Al Qaeda?
For more about Riggs Bank, enter "riggs" at our old search engine.
IMHO, this really is THE great ignored scandal of the last four years. Have you ever heard it mentioned on the Nightly News???