Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Where are they now?
Neil Bush and Boris Berezovsky

Bush, left; Berezovsky, right

This morning my partner and I were commiserating in a languid way over the decline of U.S. democracy -- asking ourselves if we'd ever get rid of the Bush dynasty? Do we face Jeb in the future? Wonder what the twins will do with themselves if they ever have to stop partying? Finally she asked, "whatever happened to Neil?"

For me, Neil is a vaguely-remembered name in a Gulf War I era chant. We proclaimed support for the unfortunate troops sent out to play in George I's excellent adventure with the message: "Send George Bush; send Dan Quayle; send Neil Bush when he gets out of jail." The current President's younger brother was a prominent beneficiary of the looting of a savings and loans company in the 1980s. According to the Wikipedia, though he avoided charges in the Silverado S&L fraud case "Bush was fined $50,000 as a consequence of his actions and he was restricted from undertaking future banking activity."

Haven't heard much of him since -- guess they have him under wraps. Still I wasn't surprised to run across this Jefferson Morley item -- apparently Neil is now a running buddy of Boris Berezovsky, post-Soviet Russia's first billionaire who used his access to the Chechen mafia and friendship with the ruler Boris Yeltsin to snap up state assets in the early 1990s. He later fell out with present Russian President Putin and had to decamp to Britain where he enjoys protection from extradition on fraud charges. A reporter for Forbes magazine who wrote that Berezovsky had rivals murdered turned up murdered himself in Moscow in 2004.

This lovely character apparently joined the less flamboyant Neil Bush on a visit to Latvia in September that caused an international incident. The Russian government still wanted Berezovsky turned over for prosecution; the Latvian government certainly wasn't going to yank the traveling chum of a brother of the U.S. President. In November, Latvia finally said they wouldn't let Berezovsky visit again freely, regardless of who he was traveling with.

Naturally, none of this made a splash in the U.S. media; mafia bosses and dynastic intrigue are just so passé.


Becca in Seattle said...

How refreshing to visit your Blog and see the Silverado S&N efforts of the Bush Brothers spoken of again -since they shouldn't be forgotten. They are part of a long-standing trend that characterizes the whole family (except the dog, maybe). Just that much more evidence that the Bush family has done enough for this country.

Charlie Quimby said...

Thanks for tipping me to this story. I draw a few more threads together of Neil's activities at Something Stinks, Mr. Smith.

arn in bklyn said...

Now that's rich. In my attempts to remain as alienated as possible from the current political reality, I've been limiting my news reading to the soccer scene in Brazil. And, doesn't the president of a soccer club down there - club currently in a controversial partnership with an international group suspected of money laundering - goes public the other day to brag that Neil Bush is a fan of his team? That he met Bush through Berezovsky, who went to Brazil the other day to try and buy bankrupt Varig airlines, was apreheended by the Brazilian feds but unfortunately released? I've had enough of the Bushes, suffered a lot of stress these past few years and just want to live my life in peace. Can't someone just put a leash on Neil (and maybe a muzzle on George)?

Anonymous said...

This is fascinating in the context of what has happened in London Recently with Alexander Litvinenko’s poisoning and traces of polonium haveing been found at Berekovsky's office, also there is a a CNN report from August 24, 2000 discussing the Kursk mother who was forcibly sedated on tv but at the bottom of the article it reads….

"On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin hit out at the "oligarchs" who run many of the country's television and radio stations and newspapers which have criticized him. On the state-controlled RTR TV channel, Putin alluded to Boris Berezovsky, who controls the daily newspaper Kommersant and who organised donations for the bereaved families. Putin said such people had "long promoted the destruction of the army, the fleet and the state."

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