6.30.2004

Fahrenheit Fact no. 19: Unger questions Bush/bin Laden relationship

A constant theme of "Fahrenheit 9/11" is Moore's attempt to link Bush with bin Laden. From the film:
NARRATOR: So where did George W. Bush get his money? One person who did invest in him was James R. Bath. (cut to "Trust Agreement") Bush's good friend James Bath was hired by the bin Laden family to manage their money in Texas and invest in businesses. (zoom in on 'Salem bin Laden' signature) And James Bath himself in turn invested in George W. Bush.
Moore uses Unger as a main source for many of the Bush/Saudi connections in the movie. But Unger himself doubts the Bush/bin Ladin connection. Newsweek writes:
Leaving aside the fact that the bin Laden family, which runs one of Saudi Arabia’s biggest construction firms, has never been linked to terrorism, the movie—which relied heavily on Unger’s book—fails to note the author’s conclusion about what to make of the supposed Bin Laden-Bath-Bush nexus: that it may not mean anything. The “Bush-Bin Laden ‘relationships’ were indirect—two degrees of separation, perhaps—and at times have been overstated,” Unger writes in his book. While critics have charged that bin Laden money found its way into Arbusto through Bath, Unger notes that “no hard evidence has ever been found to back up that charge” and Bath himself has adamantly denied it. “One hundred percent of those funds (in Arbusto) were mine,” says Bath in a footnote on page 101 of Unger’s book. “It was a purely personal investment.”
(Emphasis mine)