re posted from LEFTHOOK BY DEAN HENDERSON
Baker Family Tumbleweed
In the mid-1980’s Texas oil crash, when Houston office space could hardly be given away, Sheik Khalid bin Mahfouz assumed his familiar sugar daddy role when he teamed up with another Saudi billionaire, Rafik Hariri, to bail his Texas oil buddies out of their overpriced Houston office property.
Bin Mahfouz and Hariri paid $200 million, far above market value, to purchase Texas Commerce Bank Tower. The sellers were the Baker family. James Baker III was now President Reagan’s Secretary of Treasury, his Texas Commerce shares hidden in a blind trust.  Later, as Bush Sr. Secretary of State, Baker held shares in the Four Horsemen and numerous defense contractors as they rang up exorbitant profits during the Gulf War.
Another beneficiary of the sweetheart deal was Houston oilman Robert Mosbacher, who also held a big stake in the Texas Commerce Bank Tower. Mosbacher was Secretary of Commerce in the Bush Sr. Administration, then returned to the Texas Commerce Bank board of directors in 1993. He controls Mosbacher Energy Group, which in 1997 received a contract to build an $82 million power plant in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Another board member at Texas Commerce was ex-President Gerald Ford.
Raul Salinas, brother of former Mexican President Carlos Salinas, laundered loads of drug money through Texas Commerce, where he had over $20 million on deposit. Texas Commerce conveniently has branches all along the US/Mexican border. President George W. Bush’s brother Jeb worked for Texas Commerce before becoming Florida Secretary of Commerce and later Governor. In 1993 Texas Commerce Bank was purchased by Chemical Bank, giving James Baker $2 million in Chemical Bank stock.
Chemical Bank brought Dick Cheney to its board, where he joined Lawrence Rawl of Exxon, Hartwell Gardner of Mobil, Constantine Nicandros of Conoco and John Hess of Amerada Hess. Cheney also joined the board of Morgan Stanley, where he was joined by Mobil chairman Allen Murray, who also sat on the board at Chase Manhattan. Chase later gobbled up Chemical Bank, so named for its long history of catering to Big Oil and such derivative industries as chemicals.
The Baker family is Houston’s most powerful political gang. For four generations they have worked closely with Rockefeller family oil interests. The Bakers heavily endow Rice University and control the key law firm employed by the Four Horsemen. Baker Botts has offices in Riyadh and carries a huge amount of sway over US policy towards Saudi Arabia. Current US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Robert Jordan had no political experience, but had been a partner at Baker Botts, where he defended George W. Bush during the Harken Energy scandal.
Baker Botts represents the BP Amoco-led Big Oil consortium building the key Caspian Sea Consortium Pipeline in Central Asia, where Shiek bin Mahfouz’ Nimir Petroleum works a partnership with Chevron Texaco. James Baker is a board member of the Azerbaijan Oil Company, a Four Horsemen JV based in Baku on the shores of the oil-rich Caspian Sea.
James Baker resurfaced to head George W. Bush’s Florida recount team during the 2000 election fiasco. Baker is senior adviser and board member at Mellon-family controlled Carlyle Group, which handles Western investments for wealthy Persian Gulf sheiks. Carlyle is chaired by former Reagan and Bush Defense Secretary Frank Carlucci. George Bush Sr. is a senior adviser at Carlyle. Until November 2001 Bush advised the bin Laden family. Carlyle is the 11th largest defense contractor in the US. Baker Botts is their lawyer.
Sheik Kamal Adham, head of Saudi Arabia’s General Intelligence Directorate (GID), often received investment advice from Carlyle. Adham, the BCCI laundry man, had been Carrier’s air conditioner agent in Saudi Arabia since 1951. He owned the country’s 7-Up franchise and was the salesman of choice for US defense contractors, brokering arms to the House of Saud for Northrop, Lockheed and Mirage. As principal Saudi liaison to European, US, Israeli and Pakistani intelligence, Adham was code named Tumbleweed. He funneled millions in House of Saud petrodollars to Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in the early 1970’s on behalf of the CIA, who thought bribes might convince Sadat to expel the Soviet military advisers whom his leftist predecessor President Gamal Abdel Nasser had invited to Egypt after the Israeli Army seized the Sinai Peninsula in 1967.
In 1978 Tumbleweed delivered more cash to Sadat in a final push to get Egypt to sign the first Arab peace agreement with Israel at Camp David. This time around the money was donated by Shiek Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahiyan, the ruling sheik of Abu Dhabi and BCCI’s largest stockholder. Tumbleweed was notorious for accepting bribes from multinational corporations needing access to Middle East markets. He received kickbacks from the Japanese in return for assuring a cheap oil supply and was paid millions by Boeing to convince Sadat to stock his Egypt Air fleet with Boeing jumbo jets. In 1977 the Washington Post called Kamel Adham, “the CIA liaison in the region”.
When Ray Close retired as CIA Chief of Station in Saudi Arabia, Tumbleweed was quick to hire Close as an adviser.  Adham is a member of the House of Saud, brother-in-law of late King Faisal. Nephew Prince Turki al-Faisal succeeded him in running the GID. Another Adham nephew, Prince Sultan bin-Bandar, is Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the US. He personally donated $20 million to the Nicaraguan contras through Oliver North.  He was in the White House with President Bush on the evening of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.
When the lid blew off at BCCI, President Bush Sr. denied knowing Tumbleweed, though Adham was the leviathan of Saudi intelligence at the same time Bush was CIA Director. When the BCCI haze cleared Baker sugar daddy bin Mahfouz walked away with $176 million in “loans”. Tumbleweed blew away with $313 million.
Dean Henderson is the author of five books:Big Oil & Their Bankers in the Persian Gulf: Four Horsemen, Eight Families & Their Global Intelligence, Narcotics & Terror Network, The Grateful Unrich: Revolution in 50 Countries, Das Kartell der Federal Reserve, Stickin’ it to the Matrix & The Federal Reserve Cartel. You can subscribe free to his weekly Left Hook column @www.hendersonlefthook.wordpress.com