Saturday, November 15, 2008

Bush, Sr., reaped huge profits from Native and federal land scams


President George Bush, Sr., reaped huge profits from Western Shoshone lands and other Native lands, with title transfer scams

Setting fire to California lands led to cheap land transfers
Photo: National Geographic
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Here's excerpts from, "Bush family cleaning up on transfer of public lands to private hands," by Wayne Madsen of the Online Journal.
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"President George H. W. Bush, is reaping windfall profits from the transfer of title of public federal and state lands to private hands. The elder Bush, according to our sources, has a vested financial interest in land title companies that specialize in the transfer of public lands to private interests.
"The land-grabbing scheme primarily involves the transfer of federal lands, including Native American lands and national forest system lands, in the Rocky Mountain West, state lands in Texas, and both federal and state lands in California, Mississippi, and Florida to private entities. The scheme is also at the center of the scandal surrounding jailed GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff who conspired to privatize federal lands and assets around the country to benefit his corporate clients.
"In 2004, under pressure from Abramoff and the White House, Senators Harry Reid (D-NV) and Jim Gibbons (R-NV) shepherded the passage of the Western Shoshone Distribution Act, which was quickly signed by President George W. Bush. The act settled federal violations of the Ruby Valley Treaty of 1863 with the Shoshones and compensated them a mere $135 million for 24 million acres of Shoshone land illegally seized by the federal government in Nevada, California, Utah, and Idaho. The Shoshones cried foul, saying their land is rich in gold reserves. Gibbons, who is now governor of Nevada, instantly moved legislation to privatize the former Shoshone lands. Reid, Gibbons, and Senator John Ensign (R-NV), all received lucrative cash contributions to their campaigns from Abramoff clients.
"WMR has also learned that the Bush administration ordered a number of California and other Western state forest wildfires purposefully set with the intention of damaging and destroying federal and state forestlands, thus making them ripe for exploitation and sale to private interests."

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