Oil, and the Taliban
March 30, 2002
By Christian Dewar
Enron scandal produces new outlandish revelations every day
but judging from the buzz on the internet and the international
media, what we know now could be only the tip of the iceberg.
Although the Bush administration is working furiously to spin
this as a financial scandal instead of a political one, if
recent disclosures in the European media are true, the current
administration's dealings with the Taliban before 9/11 may
very well explain why Cheney is loath to disclose notes on
the development of the energy policy, but even more importantly,
why Bush has sought to severely limit the scope of the investigation
of the American intelligence failures on September 11.
According to an explosive new book entitled "Bin Laden: The
Forbidden Truth" written by two French intelligence experts,
Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquie, representatives
of the Bush administration on behalf of the oil industry,
began negotiations with the Taliban shortly after taking office.
The purpose of the talks was to construct an oil pipe line
to transport the vast reserves of oil and gas across Afghanistan
from the countries to the north.
The U.S. oil companies were seeking a monopoly on the shipment
of the gas and to thwart Russia's involvement in the petrochemical
trade. Huge profits are anticipated on the sale of these products
to India and China in the near future. To guarantee the flow
of the immense quantities of gas, it was necessary to have
a cooperative and stable government in Afghanistan. The Bush
representatives thought they might have found such a government
in the Taliban and were willing to overlook the fact that
they weren't democratic and would rule their citizens with
an iron fist.
According to Pepe Escobar, writing in the Online Asia Times
the Bush administration planned to develop a network of multiple
Caspian pipe lines with oil companies including Amoco, Chevron,
Mobil, UNOCAL, BP and, surprise, Enron. Mr. Escobar claims
that Bush supporters including James Bush, Scowcroft, Sununu
and Cheney "have all close major deals directly on behalf
of the oil companies."
The Bush administration's plan was that the Taliban would
have to make some cosmetic changes to make the appear less
unsavory. This was to include a reconcilliation with the Northern
Alliance and the expulsion of Osama Bin Laden. Eventually,
negotiations broke down under immense pressure from U.S. negotiators.
According to the French authors, U.S. representatives gave
the Taliban an ultimatum. Either the Taliban would cooperate
in efforts to build the pipe lines and be showered with a
"carpet of gold" or if not, be buried under a "carpet of bombs".
The implication is that when negotiations broke down and
collaboration seemed no longer possible, the Taliban anticipated
war and the attack on the World Trade Center could be seen
from their perspective as a pre-emptive attack. Also implied
is that the events of 9/11 were a convenient excuse for a
war in the region and that the Taliban were now scapegoats
in a larger scheme to make Afghanistan a colony of American
This book also claims that the Bush administration's representatives
thwarted U.S. intelligence agencies and their efforts to investigate
Bin Laden and the Saudi links to the terrorists in order to
curry favor with the people they wanted to do business with.
They allege that the FBI agent John O'Neill, who was overseeing
these investigations, retired early because of his frustration
at the obstacles put in his way. Ironically, O'Neill who investigated
the first World Trade Center bombing was hired as head of
security at the WTC where he died on September 11th.
According to reporter George Arney writing for the BBC news
on September 18th, a former Pakastan diplomat told him that
the U.S. was planning military action against Bin Laden and
the Taliban several week before 9/11. The diplomat, Niaz Naik,
claims he was told this at a U.N. sponsored conference in
Berlin. The U.S. apparently claimed that the intervention
would occur if Bin Laden was not turned over to the Americans,
but the real purpose was to overthrow the Taliban and install
a more compliant government. The attack, he was told, was
to be launched from U.S. bases in Tajikstan.
According to an article on the internet site thedailybrew.com,
the looming fight between the GAO and Cheney over release
of notes of the development of energy policy is just the beginning
of the Bush campaign to stonewall over these larger developments
and the intelligence failures of 9/11. The author also believes
that the Bush campaign wanted to do business with the Taliban
that they now villify as 'evil' and that the FBI was impeded
in the investigation of the terrorists responsible for the
bombing of the U.S.S. Cole. The article states that if these
allegations are true, it would show that "Bush's energy policy
led directly and predictably to the most devastating terrorist
attack in history".
Escobar from the Asia Times Online says that "The Taliban
were never a target in the 'War against Terrorism'. They were
just scapegoats...who simply did not fullfill their contract:
to insert Afghanistan in Pipelineistan". He believes that
the war is simply an excuse for a permanent U.S. military
presence to ensure domination over the pipe lines. Escobar
theorizes that the reason that Saddam Hussein was never removed
from control in Iraq was because the demonized general provided
an on-going excuse for our troops to remain in the Saudi Arabia
and the Middle East.
Demonizing the Taliban also suggests an on-going war with
no end. American troops have now beens sent to protect the
pipe lines in Columbia and the Phillipines and U.S. helicopters
have been dispatched to Georgia in the former Soviet Union.
Escobar quotes Belgian author Michel Collon who wrote, 'If
you want to rule the world, you need to control the oil. All
the oil. Anywhere'. He also notes that the new resurgance
in Afghan opium smuggling provides additional funds for covert
activities. Readers may wish to consult the book, 'The Politics
of Heroin in South East Asia' by Professor McCoy for further
information about the complicity of U.S. intelligence in the
drug trade in this part of the world.
Most Americans are probably not aware of the close ties that
the Bin Laden family has with our president's relations. The
Bin Laden family which claims to have disowned the terrorist
Osama invested in George W. Bush's early ventures into his
failed oil companies. The Bin Ladens also had invested in
the Carlyle corporation that employs his father and stands
to make a fortune selling arms to the U.S. government in the
ongoing war. The Bin Ladens quietly withdrew their funds after
the September 11th tragedy and members of the family were
flown out of the U.S. in secrecy.
If there is any truth to the allegations made by these writers,
the current Enron scandal as we know it pales in comparison.
There are more outlandish conspiracy theories being discussed
online. Whatever the truth, it merits a complete and thorough
investigation, as does the failure of the CIA and the other
U.S. intelligence agencies (who have a yearly budget of around
thirty billion dollars) to detect the impending attacks on
the World Trade Center. It has been alleged that there were
ample warnings from our allies. It can only be hoped that
George W. Bush is not successful in limiting the investigation
into the worst terrorist attack on the citizens of the United