Just because you’re paranoid…

Meant to post this tidbit yesterday, but Patrick Nielsen Hayden has done the heavy lifting:


(1) Prominent Republican Thomas Kean, former governor of New Jersey, is the new chairman of the 9/11 commission.

(2) Kean is also a director of petroleum company Amerada Hess.

(3) In 1988, Amerada Hess formed a joint venture with Saudi company Delta Oil.

(4) One of Delta Oil’s backers is Khalid bin Mahfouz, who is — here’s where you need to clap your hat firmly to your skull — married to one of Osama Bin Laden’s sisters. And suspected of financing Al Qaeda. Oh, and named in one of the lawsuits brought by 9/11 victims. Did we mention that he’s also been involved in deals with the Carlyle Group, the ultra-secret investment group that includes, among others, George H. W. Bush? And also in deals with — yes, your tinfoil hat, properly adjusted, plays 1980s popular music! — BCCI?

There’s more on his site, go read it.

(Update: just to be clear, all joking about tinfoil hats aside, this is originally from Fortune magazine.)

And speaking of the way the world really works — er, that is to say, crazy conspiracy theories — this is from The Hill:

On May 23, 1997, Victor Baird, who resigned Monday as director of the Senate Ethics Committee, sent a letter to Sen. Charles Hagel requesting “additional, clarifying information” for the personal financial disclosure report that all lawmakers are required to file annually.


One underlying issue is whether Hagel properly disclosed his financial ties to Election Systems & Software (ES&S), a company that makes nearly half the voting machines used in the United States, including all those used in his native Nebraska.

ES&S is a subsidiary of McCarthy Group Inc., which is jointly held by the holding firm and the Omaha World-Herald Co., which publishes the state’s largest newspaper. The voting machine company makes sophisticated optical scan and touch-screen vote-counting devices that many states have begun buying in recent years.

An official at Nebraska’s Election Administration estimated that ES&S machines tallied 85 percent of the votes cast in Hagel’s 2002 and 1996 election races.

In 1996, ES&S operated as American Information Systems Inc. (AIS). The company became ES&S after merging with Business Records Corp. in 1997.

In a disclosure form filed in 1996, covering the previous year, Hagel, then a Senate candidate, did not report that he was still chairman of AIS for the first 10 weeks of the year, as he was required to do.

Just ponder the implications of that for a moment…

(Via reader Carolyn Kay, but I see that the all-seeing, all-knowing Atrios is on it too.)