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Bush, Oil, and the Taliban
March 30, 2002
By Christian Dewar

The 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 (www.atimes.com), 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 oil.

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 States.

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