August 31, 2002

Bush's Harken Swindles

Before Bush's Harken crimes are swept under the rug and forgotten forever, Molly Ivins points out that

Bush had not just one but four Harken stock transactions worth more than $1 million during the time he was on the board. And in each case he was months over deadline in reporting the matter to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Second, newly posted documents show that Mr. Bush, who claims he had no idea Harken was in trouble when he dumped his stock in late June 1990, was in fact warned twice: Harken's CEO sent him a memo on June 7 predicting that Harken would run out of money before the end of the month and that it would then be in violation of numerous debt agreements.

Even more egregious, Mr. Bush was clearly involved in the phony Aloha Petroleum deal. Aloha was a Harken subsidiary that was sold to a partnership of Harken insiders at an inflated price, a perfect little gem of an example of the kind of fake, pump-the-bottom-line transaction later perfected by Enron. Mr. Bush's business career is a small-scale model of exactly the corrupt corporate practices now under fire.

-- By David Cogswell

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