In June 1977, George W. Bush formed his own oil drilling company, Arbusto Energy, in Midland, Tex.
"Arbusto" actually means "shrub" in Spanish, but the Bush family interpreted it as "bush".
Salem bin Laden, a close friend of the Saudi King Fahd had "invested heavily in Bush's first business venture," according to The Daily Mail (U.K.).
Arbusto later became Bush Exploration, when Bush's father became vice president. As the company neared financial collapse in September 1984, it was merged with Spectrum 7 Energy Corp. in an effort to stay afloat.
"Like his father who made his fortune in the oil business with the money of others, George W. founded Arbusto with the financial backing of investors, including James R. Bath," said the late James Howard Hatfield, author of a "controversial biography," Fortunate Son: George W. Bush and the Mak ing of an American President.
Hatfield, 43, was found dead of an apparent prescription drug overdose in a hotel room in Springdale, Ark. on July 18, 2001. Police declined to investigate.
Bath found investors for Arbusto and "made his fortune" by investing the money of two BCCI-connected Saudi sheiks, Khalid bin Mahfouz and Salem bin Laden. Mahfouz was one of the richest men in the world and a controlling shareholder in BCCI.
Shortly after Bush's father was appointed director of the CIA, Salem bin Laden appointed Bath as his business representative in Texas. According to The Houston Chronicle, Salem bin Laden, heir to one of the largest building companies in the Middle East, signed a trust agreement appointing Bath as his Houston representative in 1976.
In 1978 Bath purchased Houston Gulf Airport on behalf of Salem bin Laden. When
bin Laden died in 1988, his interest in the airfield passed to bin Mahfouz.