James Addison Baker III
With the bin Laden family on September 11, 2001
As the events of the September 11, 2001, "unfolded", Baker was present at the Ritz-Carlton in Washington, D.C., "the plush setting for the annual investor conference of one of the most powerful, well-connected, and secretive companies in the world: the Carlyle Group." Also present with Baker were Carlyle dignataries Frank Carlucci, whose resume includes government service as Secretary of Defense, Deputy Director of the CIA, Deputy Director in the Office of Management and Budget, and an ambassadorship to Portugal, and "representatives of the bin Laden family." 
Baker Botts: Saudi Arabia, 9/11 and the Funding of Islamic Charities
"Baker's law firm, Baker Botts, was founded by Baker's grandfather, James A. Baker, and has offices in Houston, Washington DC, and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Baker Botts is the legal council defending the Saudi Arabian government in a lawsuit filed by families of those killed and injured in the 9/11 attacks. Affidavits and copies of cancelled checks suggest that Saudi Arabian Defense Minister Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have funneled millions of dollars to assorted Islamic charities that U.S. officials and others suspect have covertly financed the operations of al Qaeda and other international terrorist groups." 
Conflicts of Interest as Special Presidential Envoy to Iraq
"The appointment of James Baker, a senior partner at Baker Botts, the big Houston law firm, ought to be a reassuring sign to Big Oil and other Bush-Cheney cronies trying to divvy up the spoils in Iraq,'" James Ridgeway, wrote in the December 10, 2003, Village Voice.
"Until now," Naomi Kelin wrote October 12, 2004, in The Nation, "there has been no concrete evidence that Baker's loyalties are split, or that his power as Special Presidential Envoy--an unpaid position--has been used to benefit any of his corporate clients or employers. But according to documents obtained by The Nation," Klein wrote, "that is precisely what has happened. Carlyle has sought to secure an extraordinary $1 billion investment from the Kuwaiti government, with Baker's influence as debt envoy being used as a crucial lever.
"The secret deal involves a complex transaction to transfer ownership of as much as $57 billion in unpaid Iraqi debts. The debts, now owed to the government of Kuwait, would be assigned to a foundation created and controlled by a consortium in which the key players are the Carlyle Group, the Albright Group (headed by another former Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright) and several other well-connected firms. Under the deal, the government of Kuwait would also give the consortium $2 billion up front to invest in a private equity fund devised by the consortium, with half of it going to Carlyle."
Conflict of Interest: Bush 2000 Recount and the Baker/Carter Commmission on Elections
"Scores of voting rights and electoral reform organizations nationwide have united to demand real electoral reform proposals from the private, blue ribbon Baker/Carter Commission on Elections," Ilene Proctor reported April 17, 2005, in The Free Press.
The groups were "opposed to the inclusion in any form of James Baker III on the Commission. Baker was the lead attorney in Florida for the 2000 Bush/Cheney campaign who engineered Bush's selection as President by five Supreme Court justices who demanded that America's votes NOT be counted," Proctor said.
According to his Baker Botts LLP profile, James A. Baker, III "has served in senior government positions under three United States presidents. He served as the nation's 61st Secretary of State from January 1989 through August 1992 under President George H.W. Bush. During his tenure at the State Department, Mr. Baker traveled to 90 countries as the United States confronted the unprecedented challenges and opportunities of the post-Cold War era. In 1995, Mr. Baker published The Politics of Diplomacy, his reflections on those years of revolution, war, and peace.
"Mr. Baker served as the 67th Secretary of the Treasury from 1985 to 1988 under President Ronald Reagan. As Treasury Secretary, he was also chairman of the President's Economic Policy Council. From 1981 to 1985, he served as White House Chief of Staff to President Reagan. Mr. Baker's record of public service began in 1975 as Under Secretary of Commerce to President Gerald R. Ford. It concluded with his service as White House Chief of Staff and senior counselor to President Bush from August 1992 to January 1993.
"Long active in American presidential politics, Mr. Baker led presidential campaigns for Presidents Ford, Reagan, and Bush over the course of five consecutive presidential elections from 1976 to 1992.
"A native Houstonian, Mr. Baker graduated from Princeton University in 1952. After two years of active duty as a lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps, he entered The University of Texas School of Law at Austin. He received his LL.B. with honors in 1957, and practiced law with the Houston firm of Andrews and Kurth from 1957 to 1975. ...
"He is honorary chairman of the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University and serves on the board of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. From 1997 to 2004, Mr. Baker served as the personal envoy of United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan in seeking a political solution to the conflict over Western Sahara. In 2003, Mr. Baker was appointed Special Presidential Envoy for President George W. Bush on the issue of Iraqi debt."
- April 28, 1930: Born in Houston, Texas
- 1952: Graduated from Princeton University
- 1953-54: Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps
- 1957: Received a J.D. with honors from the University of Texas School of Law at Austin
- 1957-1975: Lawyer, Houston firm of Andrews & Kurth
- 1970: Ran George H.W. Bush's unsuccessful U.S. Senate campaign
- 1975: Undersecretary of Commerce under President Gerald R. Ford
- 1976: Ran Ford's unsuccessful election campaign
- 1978: Ran unsuccessfully to become Texas Attorney General
- 1980: Campaign manager for George H.W. Bush in GOP presidential primaries
- 1981-85: White House Chief of Staff to President Ronald Reagan
- 1981-85: National Security Council
- 1985-88: Secretary of Treasury and chairman of President's Economic Policy Council
- 1988: Campaign chair for George H.W. Bush
- 1989-92: Secretary of State under President George H.W. Bush
- 1992-93: White House Chief of Staff under President George H.W. Bush
- 1997-2004: Personal envoy of U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan for conflict over Western Sahara
- 2000: Chief legal adviser for George W. Bush during the presidential election campaign, overseeing the Florida recount
- 2003: Appointed special presidential envoy for George W. Bush on Iraqi debt
- 2004: Bush Pioneer 
- 2004-present: Senior partner at Baker Botts LLP
- 2005: Co-chairman, with former President Jimmy Carter, of the Commission on Federal Election Reform 
- 2006: Co-chairman, with former U.S. Congressman Lee H. Hamilton, of the Iraq Study Group
- Senior Counsel to the Carlyle Group
- Honorary Chairman of the Baker Institute for Public Policy
- Co-Chairman of the Eurasia Foundation
- Member, Honorary Council of Advisors, US-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce
- Member, Board of Governors for the Partnership for Public Service
- Member, Board of Counselors for Layalina Productions
- Member, Council on Foreign Relations 
- Honorary Director, Atlantic Council of the United States
- Former Co-chair, State of the World Forum
- National Committee on American Foreign Policy: Past Awardees 
- International Advisory Board, International Economic Alliance 
- Honorary Chair, World Justice Project 
- International Board of Governors, Peres Center for Peace 
Baker Botts LLP
1299 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, D.C. 20004-2400
Related SourceWatch Resources
- Bank of Credit and Commerce International
- George H.W. Bush administration
- Reagan administration
- Robert Zoellick
- James A. Baker III profile, Baker Botts LLP.
- Biography: James Addison Baker, III, U.S. Department of State.
- Biography: James A. Baker, III, U.S. Department of the Treasury.
- "James A. Baker, III" profile, Baker Institute.
- Speaker Profile: The Honorable James Baker, III, Washington Speakers Bureau.
- Connections: James Baker, PoliticalFriendster.com.
- Profile: James Baker, NNDB.com.
- James Baker in the dKosopedia.
- James Baker in the Wikipedia.
- Biographical Information on James Baker, Associated Press (Guardian Unlimited (UK)), December 2, 2006.
Articles by James A. Baker, III
- "The Right Way to Change a Regime," New York Times (Middle East Information Center), August 25, 2002.
- "I am no longer asked why we did not remove Saddam," Times Online (UK), December 4, 2006.
Articles & Commentary
- "Secret Message From James Baker to Tariq Aziz" posted by Information Clearing House.
- Craig Horowitz, "The Zion Game. Will a Bush administration be 'good for the Jews,' or should supporters of Israel worry that Dubya's foreign policy might be a replay of his dad's pro-Arab tilt?" New York Magazine, November 6, 2000.
- Transcript: "Election 2000: James Baker Holds News Briefing on Progress of Florida Recount," CNN, November 9, 2000.
- Transcript: "Election 2000: Former Secretary of State James Baker Delivers Statement on Florida Recount," CNN, November 17, 2000.
- "Carlyle's Way. Making a mint inside 'the iron triangle' of defense, government and industry," RedHerring.com, December 11, 2001.
- Anne E. Kornblut, "The Bushes and the Jews. Explaining the president's philo-Semitism," Slate, April 17, 2002.
- Kelly Wallace, "James Baker: Don't go it alone with Iraq," CNN, August 26, 2002.
- Wayne Madsen, "Big Oil and James Baker Target the Western Sahara," CounterPunch, January 8, 2003.
- Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball, "A Legal Counterattack. Saudis hire some of the toniest U.S. law firms to defend them against the landmark $1 trillion lawsuit on behalf of the victims of 9-11. So why is the plaintiff’s counsel ecstatic? Plus, new heat on radical imam," Newsweek (MSNBC), April 16, 2003.
- Bush Names Former Secretary of State Baker as Envoy on Iraq Debt. Huge debt burden endangers Iraq's long-term prospects, he says, U.S. Department of State, December 5, 2003: "Bush said the appointment came in response to a request by the Iraqi Governing Council for help in lowering the country's debt, which has been estimated at more than $125 billion."
- Jacqui S. Porth, CPA Advisor Senor Says Reducing Iraq's Debt Is a High Priority. Iraq's council welcomes announcement of Baker as U.S. envoy, U.S. Department of State, December 5, 2003.
- Iraq finance minister welcomes US appointment of debt envoy, Agence France Presse, December 5, 2003.
- Steve Holland, Bush Picks Friend Baker as Iraq Debt Envoy, Reuters, December 5, 2003.
- Elisabeth Bumiller, Baker Is Named to Restructure Iraq's Huge Debt, New York Times, December 6, 2003: "The appointment of Mr. Baker, a longtime Bush family confidant and troubleshooter, was, in effect, a public admission by the White House that the occupation and reconstruction of Iraq is a more urgent problem than officials acknowledge. Over Mr. Baker's decades of friendship with the Bush family, both father and son have turned to him when things have gone wrong, and Mr. Baker has for the most part delivered."
- Greg Palast, Baker Takes the Loaf. President's Business Partner Slices Up Iraq, TomPaine.com, December 8, 2003.
- "Saving President Bush: Send in James Baker," Democracy Now!, December 8, 2003.
- James Ridgeway, Settling Some Debts. Like Fox to Henhouse, Baker Goes to Iraq, Village Voice, December 10, 2003.
- Paying Off Debts, MotherJones, December 11, 2003: "Cronyism has been elevated to a principle of government by the Bush administration, so the latest high-level appointment in Iraq comes as no surprise."
- U.S. Envoy Baker Leaves Monday for Iraq Debt Tour, Reuters, December 11, 2003.
- Cutting James Baker's Ties, New York Times, December 12, 2003.
- US gets Iraq debt relief support, BBC, December 16, 2003: "The US has won agreement from France and Germany on the need to reduce Iraq's debt to help the country rebuild its battered economy."
- Hussain Khan, "Baker's mission impossible," Asia Times, December 18, 2003. Any debt forgiveness or restructuring will come with strings attached.
- Naomi Klein, "It's greed, not ideology, that rules the White House. Why the US wants Iraq's debts cancelled - and Argentina's paid in full," Guardian Unlimited (UK), December 23, 2003: "In the days leading up to Baker's drop-the-debt tour, there was virtual consensus that the former US secretary of state had been sabotaged by deputy defence secretary Paul Dundes Wolfowitz, whose move to shut out 'non-coalition' partners from reconstruction contracts in Iraq of $18.6bn seemed designed to make Baker look a hypocrite. ... Only now it turns out that Wolfowitz may not have been undermining Baker, but rather acting as his enforcer. He showed up with a big stick to point out 'the threat of economic exclusion from Iraq's potential $500bn reconstruction' just as Baker was about to speak softly."
- Maria Recio, "Is James Baker Too Near Pie to Ask Nations to Forgive Slices?" Knight Ridder (Common Dreams), December 24, 2003.
- Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., "History Repeating, But Faster," LewRockwell.com, February 27, 2004.
- Frank Rich, "Why Did James Baker Turn Bush Into Nixon?" New York Times, October 10, 2004.
- Naomi Klein, "James Baker's Double Life: A Special Investigation," The Nation, October 12, 2004 (November 1, 2004, issue); AlterNet), October 13, 2004. Also see the Baker Documents.
- Ilene Proctor, "Electoral reform groups call for James Baker's resignation from electoral reform commission," The Free Press, April 17, 2005.
- Ross Liemer, "Baker '52 sees tough road ahead," The Daily Princetonian, April 14, 2006.
- "James Baker III Removed from Cryogenic Suspension," Wonkette!, August 28, 2006.
- Robert Dreyfuss, "A Higher Power. James Baker puts Bush's Iraq policy into rehab," Washington Monthly, September 2006. Cross-posted at truthout.org.
- David E. Sanger, "Baker Sees Iraq Panel Departing From Bush Strategy," New York Times, October 8, 2006.
- Sean-Paul Kelley, "Baker Commission, Isn't It Obvious?" The Agonist, October 9, 2006.
- Missy Comley Beattie, "The Return of James Baker, III. Departing from 'Stay the Course?'" CounterPunch, October 10, 2006.
- Jacob Laksin, "James Baker's Second Act?" FrontPageMag.com, October 11, 2006.
- Tom Engelhardt, "James Baker's Iraq," ZNet, October 13, 2006.
- Robert Dreyfuss, "Tinker, Baker," The Dreyfuss Report, October 14, 2006.
- Gary Kamiya, "Fun, fun, fun till Daddy took the Iraq war away. Bush's Iraq disaster is taking the GOP down, and his father's old pal James Baker is about to tell him what to do," Salon, October 17, 2006.
- Judd Legum, "REPORT: Bush Loyalist James Baker Calls Iraq ‘A Helluva Mess’," Think Progress, October 18, 2006.
- Michael Rubin, "James Baker's Stacked Commission," The Weekly Standard (FrontPageMag.com), October 25, 2006.
- Ryan Lizza, "Baker's Choice. James Baker returns," The New Republic, November 2, 2006 (November 13, 2006, issue).
- Steve Watson, "Figureheads On The Chopping Block. Big oil interests have had enough of being bashed over Iraq, Rumsfeld sacrificed, 'Democratic Revolution' a good cop/bad cop smokescreen , Two factions emerge, Is Cheney next?" Infowars.com, November 8, 2006.
- Leon Hadar, "Can Jim Baker Save the American Establishment?" Antiwar.com, November 9, 2006.
- Walter Isaacson, "The Return of the Realists," TIME Magazine, November 12, 2006.
- Michael Kinsley, "Bake Me a Cake, Baker Man. Why the Baker commission won't fix Iraq," Slate, November 13, 2006.
- Ed Lasky, "Will James Baker Stay True to Form?" American Thinker, November 13, 2006.
- Trudy Rubin, "Bush's last resort: dad's deal makers," The Baltimore Sun, November 14, 2006.
- Tony Karon, "James Baker vs. the Likud, Round II: This Time its Persian-al," Rootless Cosmopolitan, November 14, 2006.
- Austin Bay, "James Baker and the Desert Storm legacy," Townhall.com, November 15, 2006.
- Christopher Hitchens, "Look Who's Cutting and Running Now. James Baker is the last guy we should listen to about Iraq," Slate, November 20, 2006.
- "Assassins and Diplomacy. Another murder in Beirut for Jim Baker to contemplate," Opinion Journal, November 22, 2006.
- Stephen J. Hedges, "Baker, a lifelong fixer, tackles the problem of a lifetime: Iraq," Chicago Tribune, November 26, 2006.
- Editorial: "James Baker's Record," Washington Times, December 1, 2006.
- Rick Casey, "Baker's half-dozen committees," Houston Chronicle December 5, 2006.
- Robert Bryce, "Omitting the Obvious with James Baker. From the S&L Crisis to the Iraq Study Group," CounterPunch, December 6, 2006.
- Ken Silverstein, "Bride of Aliyev: James Baker and the Protector of Baby House 1," Harper's Magazine, December 6, 2006.
- "James Baker's New Test In Diplomacy. Co-Chair Of Iraq Study Group Has Been A Political Operative And Statesman, Often To The 1st President Bush," CBS News, December 6, 2006.
- Sidney Blumenthal, "Beating off the rescue party. Just as he ignored accurate intelligence on Iraq, Bush will dismiss the Baker Commission's tough-minded proposals for salvaging his botched war," Salon, December 7, 2006. Subscription or preview required.
- Antonia Juhasz, "Oil for Sale: Iraq Study Group Recommends Privatization," AlterNet, December 7, 2006. re Oil and War in Iraq
- Max Henninger, "The Return of the Realists?" Spiegel Online (Germany), December 7, 2006.
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