the pork-bolter
Special report, Mayday 2002

Bush, Bin Laden and The Carlyle Group

WHAT is the missing link between the CIA, American weapons firms, Wall Street, John Major and the Bin Laden family? The answer is The Carlyle Group, an immensely powerful financial empire with enough dodgy connections and questionable interests to keep an army of conspiracy theorists occupied for years. The chances are you won’t have heard of this extraordinarily sinister organisation, the world’s largest private equity firm. The Carlyle Group doesn’t go out of its way to court publicity - unsurprisingly, considering what it gets up to - and it is virtually invisible even outside its official UK head office address at 20 Berkeley Square in London’s Mayfair (The group also has offices in Lansdowne House at 57 Berkeley Square). But bits and pieces are starting to emerge about its operations, building up a frightening picture of the fusion of mega-powerful global financial interests with so-called "democratic" governments like the USA and the UK. Just think about the scenario, A global war on "terrorism" is started that brings about a big boost in defence spending in the USA and a massive profit for a company with close links not only to the President, his father and their entourage but also to a certain Bin Laden family in Saudi Arabia, one of whose members is accredited with kicking off the whole militarist frenzy... Can this be true? Do we sound crazy? If you don’t believe us, why not check it out for yourself? The evidence is all there if you can get access to the internet for a few hours. You might start with The Carlyle Group’s own website In the section detailing its leading lights you will find some interesting names, such as:

Chairman - Frank C Carlucci. Deputy director of the CIA (1978-81) and US Secretary of Defence in the Reagan administration, 1987-89.

Senior Counselor - James A. Baker. White House Chief of Staff (1981-85) and Secretary of Treasury (1985-88) under Reagan. Secretary of State (1989-92) under Bush senior.

Senior Advisor - Arthur Levitt. Chairman of the American Stock Exchange (1978-89).

Chairman of Carlyle Europe - John Major. British Prime Minister from 1990 to 1997 and in power throughout the original Gulf War against Iraq.

You can also check up on The Carlyle Group's activities on The Guardian's website report in several recent articles Correspondent Ed Vulliamy warned of something fishy happening on December 3, 2000. He wrote: "Then there is the overlapping circle of investors and corporate barons made rich by Bush’s father, collected into the Carlyle Group, a cabalistic, Washington-based merchant bank chaired by Ronald Reagan’s former Pentagon chief, Frank Carlucci. Carlyle is a financial club for Bush Snr’s intimate circle and can expect to enjoy political clout in the White House. Bush Snr is one of the bank's paid emissaries. Among the partners are his economic adviser Richard Darman and Dubya’s front man in Florida, James Baker (Bush Jnr has his own connections with Carlyle)."

A Guardian report on Carlyle on October 31, 2001 stated: "For 14 years now, with almost no publicity, the company has been signing up an impressive list of former politicians - including the first President Bush and his secretary of state, James Baker; John Major; one-time World Bank treasurer Afsaneh Masheyekhi and several south-east Asian powerbrokers - and using their contacts and influence to promote the group. Among the companies Carlyle owns are those which make equipment, vehicles and munitions for the US military, and its celebrity employees have long served an ingenious dual purpose, helping encourage investments from the very wealthy while also smoothing the path for Carlyle’s defence firms. But since the start of the 'war on terrorism', the firm - unofficially valued at $3.5bn - has taken on an added significance. Carlyle has become the thread which indirectly links American military policy in Afghanistan to the personal financial fortunes of its celebrity employees, not least the current president’s father. And, until earlier this month, Carlyle provided another curious link to the Afghan crisis: among the firm’s multi-million-dollar investors were members of the family of Osama bin Laden."

Earlier this year, a Guardian article (Feb 6, 2002 ) analysed the boost to American arms firms from the September 11 aftermath: "Among the big winners will be the defence contractors such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing and United Defence, which makes the crusader [artillery system]. The majority stake in United Defence is owned by the Carlyle Group, an investment company which employs George Bush, the president’s father, and the former British prime minister John Major as lobbyists to open doors in the US and abroad. The elder Mr Bush has converted speaking fees into Carlyle stock and stands to benefit considerably from the crusader’s reprieve."

On November 21, 2001 Judicial Watch a US public interest law firm that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced that it would be filing a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the State and Defence Departments in order to obtain documents concerning the Carlyle Group. It explained: "The Wall Street Journal reported in September that the former president, the father of President Bush, worked for the bin Laden family business in Saudi Arabia through the Carlyle Group. The senior Bush had met with the bin Laden family at least twice."

The New York Times also carried an expose of The Carlyle Group. And The Los Angeles Times ran a report on January 10, 2002 under the heading "Arms Buildup Is a Boon to Firm Run by Big Guns - Ex-President and Other Washington Elites are Behind the Carlyle Group". This stated: "Even by Washington standards, the Carlyle Group has some serious clout. President George W. Bush's father works for Carlyle; so does former Defense Secretary Frank C. Carlucci, whose close friend Donald H. Rumsfeld now runs the Pentagon; and so does a stellar cast of retired generals and Cabinet secretaries, including former Secretary of State James A. Baker III. And even by Wall Street standards, the Carlyle Group has some serious money: $12.5 billion in investments at last count. The Washington-based private equity firm, which advises and invests for wealthy clients and institutions, has shown returns of more than 34% through the last decade, particularly through timely defense and aerospace investments. So when President Bush declared war on terrorism in September, few were better poised than Carlyle to know how and when to make money. On a single day last month, Carlyle earned $237 million selling shares in United Defense Industries, the Army’s fifth-largest contractor. The stock offering was well timed: Carlyle officials say they decided to take the company public only after the Sept. 11 attacks. The stock sale cashed in on increased congressional support for hefty defense spending, including one of United Defense’s cornerstone weapon programs." The Californian newspaper quotes Charles Lewis of the Center for Public Policy as saying "It's the first time the president of the United States' father is on the payroll of one of the largest U.S. defense contractors. Between Baker and Carlucci, not to mention dear old dad, the relationship of the president with this particular company is as tight and close as, well, anyone can imagine."

Tentacles of the Octopus

The Carlyle Group is the largest private equity firm in the world and is unofficially valued at $3.5bn.
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While defence and aerospace firms make up a significant share of the Carlyle Group portfolio, it is also heavily into information technology, health care and property.
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Carlyle’s Advisory Board, Europe includes Lord Howe of Aberavon who as Geoffrey Howe was deputy Prime Minister under Margaret Thatcher and Karl-Otto Pohl, former president of the Deutsche Bundesbank.
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One of Carlyle’s many subsidiaries is United States Marine Repair Inc, which operates the ship repair facilities at all the US Navy's principal ports. An open-ended "war on terrorism" is certainly good news for their business.
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Carlyle Europe Ltd is owned by CECP Investment Advisors Ltd of Suite 600, 20 Berkeley Square, London.
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Carlyle Europe Venture Partners has its own website which can be found at
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The main phone number for The Carlyle Group in the UK is 0207 894 1200 (fax 0207 894 1600). Director of External Communication, Europe, is Daniela Zuin (0207 894 1569,
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One of the Carlyle founders and MD, Daniel A D’Aniello, is also director of The IT Group which has offices in Blenheim Road, Epsom, Surrey, (01372 745995).
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