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"Consultant in Iraq Contracts Employed President's Brother"

"Consultant in Iraq Contracts Employed President's Brother"
Stephen Fidler and Thomas Catan, London Financial Times, November 28, 2003, p. 6.

Neil Bush, a younger brother of US President George W. Bush, has had a
$60,000-a year employment contract with a top adviser to a Washington-based
consulting firm set up this year to help companies secure contracts in Iraq.Neil Bush disclosed the payments during divorce proceedings in March from
his now ex-wife, Sharon. The divorce was finalised in April and the court
papers were disclosed by the Houston Chronicle this week. Mr. Bush said he
was co-chairman of Crest Investment Corporation, a company based in
Houston, Texas, that invests in energy and other ventures. For this he
received $15,000 every three months for working an average three or four
hours a week.

The other co-chairman and principal of Crest is Jamal Daniel, a
Syrian-American who is an advisory board member of New Bridge Strategies, a
company set up this year by a group of businessmen with close links to the
Bush family or administrations. Its chairman is Joe Allbaugh, George W.
Bush's campaign director in the 2000 presidential elections.

Other figures at New Bridge include Ed Rogers, its vice-chairman and a
senior official in the Reagan and first Bush administrations, and Lanny
Griffith, with whom he works in the lobby firm Barbour Griffith & Rogers.
Lord Charles Powell, adviser to former British prime minister Margaret
Thatcher, is listed as an advisory board member.

On its website, New Bridge describes itself as being created to "take
advantage of business opportunities in the Middle East following the
conclusion of the US-led war in Iraq".

In his deposition, Neil Bush said he provided Crest "miscellaneous
consulting services". This included "answering phone calls when Jamail
[sic] Daniel, the other co-chairman, called and asked for advice".

There is evidence that the relationship between Mr Bush and Mr Daniel goes
further. Joseph Peacock, Crest's company secretary, is one of the original
investors in Ignite, Neil Bush's educational software company based in
Austin, Texas.

In 1996, Mr Daniel and his wife hosted a $1,000-a-plate fund-raising dinner
at their Houston mansion for the 'I'exas Alliance Against Alcohol Abuse.
The event was chaired by Sharon Bush while George H. W. Bush, the former
president, and his wife Barbara were to be present, according to the
Houston Chronicle in 1996.

Other investors in Ignite, which was founded last year, include George H.
W. and Barbara Bush, and Winston Wong, a Taiwan businessman who started the
Grace Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp. The court papers further show Mr
Bush benefits from a contract with Grace, a company also backed by Jiang
Miangheng, son of Jiang Zemin, the former president of China.

Under the deal, signed on August 15, 2002, Grace would pay Mr. Bush $2m in
shares over five years, issued in annual $400,000 increments. In return,
according to the Los Angeles Times, Mr Bush agreed to "provide GSMC from
time to time with business strategies and policies; latest information and
trends of the related industry, and other advice", according to the

A call' to New Bridge in Houston went unanswered yesterday, a holiday in
the US. Previous attempts to contact Mr. Daniel through the office were