James Addison Baker III

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James Addison Baker, III is a senior partner in Baker Botts LLP and most recently served as Co-Chairman of the Iraq Study Group.


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." [1]

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." [2]

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 [3]
  • 2004-present: Senior partner at Baker Botts LLP
  • 2005: Co-chairman, with former President Jimmy Carter, of the Commission on Federal Election Reform [4]
  • 2006: Co-chairman, with former U.S. Congressman Lee H. Hamilton, of the Iraq Study Group

Other Affiliations

Contact Information

Baker Botts LLP
The Warner
1299 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, D.C. 20004-2400

Related SourceWatch Resources

External links


Articles by James A. Baker, III

Articles & Commentary









  • Past Awardees, National Committee on American Foreign Policy, accessed September 13, 2007.
  • Advisory Boards, International Economic Alliance, accessed January 15, 2008.
  • About, World Justice Project, accessed April 27, 2008.
  • International Board of Governors, Peres Center for Peace, accessed February 19, 2010.