Published on Tuesday, February 4, 2003 by the Prince George's Journal (Maryland)
Bush-Linked Company Handled Security for the WTC, Dulles and United
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 fell down."
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 record.
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 Bush.
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.