Three reviews of
Bin Laden: The Forbidden Truth
by Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquie

French authors Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquie recently published a book entitled Bin Laden: The Forbidden Truth which tells of the negotiations for oil pipeline rights in Afghanistan that collapsed in August 2001 after the U.S. told the Taliban: Accept our offer of a carpet of gold or you'll get a carpet of bombs.

  1. Julio Godoy: U.S. Policy on Taliban Influenced by Oil

  2. Lara Marlowe: U.S. Efforts to Make Peace Summed up by 'OIL'

  3. TOP VIEW: New Book Details Bush/Big Oil Negotiations With Taliban Before WTC

U.S. Policy on Taliban Influenced by Oil

By Julio Godoy

Under the influence of United States oil companies, the government of President George W. Bush initially blocked intelligence agencies' investigations on terrorism while it bargained with the Taliban on the delivery of Osama bin Laden in exchange for political recognition and economic aid, two French intelligence analysts claim.

In the book, "Bin Laden, La Verite Interdite" (Bin Laden, the Forbidden Truth), that was released recently, the authors, Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquie, reveal that the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) Deputy Director John O'Neill resigned in July in protest over the obstruction.

The authors claim that O'Neill told them that "the main obstacles to investigate Islamic terrorism were U.S. oil corporate interests and the role played by Saudi Arabia in it." The two claim that the U.S. government's main objective in Afghanistan was to consolidate the position of the Taliban regime to obtain access to the oil and gas reserves in Central Asia.

They affirm that until August, the U.S. government saw the Taliban regime "as a source of stability in Central Asia that would enable the construction of an oil pipeline across Central Asia" from the rich oilfields in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, through Afghanistan and Pakistan, to the Indian Ocean. Until now, says the book, "the oil and gas reserves of Central Asia have been controlled by Russia. The Bush government wanted to change all that."

But, confronted with Taliban's refusal to accept U.S. conditions, "this rationale of energy security changed into a military one", the authors claim.

"At one moment during the negotiations, the U.S. representatives told the Taliban, 'either you accept our offer of a carpet of gold, or we bury you under a carpet of bombs,'" Brisard said in an interview in Paris. [This threat was made before September 11th.]

According to the book, the Bush Administration began to negotiate with the Taliban immediately after coming into power in February. U.S. and Taliban diplomatic representatives met several times in Washington, Berlin and Islamabad.

To polish their image in the United States, the Taliban even employed a U.S. expert on public relations, Laila Helms. The authors claim that Helms is also an expert in the works of U.S. intelligence organizations, for her uncle, Richard Helms, is a former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

The last meeting between U.S. and Taliban representatives took place in August, five weeks before the attacks on New York and Washington, the analysts maintain. On that occasion, Christina Rocca, in charge of Central Asian affairs for the U.S. government, met the Taliban Ambassador to Pakistan [Abdul Salam Zaeef] in Islamabad.

Brisard and Dasquie have long experience in intelligence analysis. Brisard was until the late 1990s Director of economic analysis and strategy for Vivendi, a French company. He also worked for French secret services, and wrote for them in 1997 a report on the now famous Al-Qaeda network, headed by bin Laden.

Dasquie is an investigative journalist and publisher of Intelligence Online, a respected newsletter on diplomacy, economic analysis and strategy, available through the Internet.

Brisard and Dasquie draw a portrait of the closest aides to Bush, linking them to the oil business. Bush's family has a strong oil background, as do some of his top aides. From Vice President Dick Cheney, through the Director of the National Security Council Condoleezza Rice, to the secretaries of commerce and energy, Donald Evans and Stanley Abraham, all have for long worked for U.S. oil companies.

Cheney was until the end of last year President of Halliburton, a company that provides services for oil industry; Rice was between 1991 and 2000 manager for Chevron; Evans and Abraham worked for Tom Brown, another oil giant.

Besides the secret negotiations held between Washington and Kabul and the importance of the oil industry, the book takes issue with the role played by Saudi Arabia in fostering Islamic fundamentalism, in the personality of bin Laden, and with the networks that the Saudi dissident built to finance his activities.

Brisard and Dasquie contend that the U.S. government's claim that it had been prosecuting bin Laden since 1998 [is a big fraud]. "Actually," Dasquie says, "the first state to officially prosecute bin Laden was Libya, on charges of terrorism."

"Bin Laden wanted to settle in Libya in the early 1990s, but was hindered by the government of Muammar Gaddafi," Dasquie claims. "Enraged by Libya's refusal, bin Laden organized attacks inside Libya, including assassination attempts against Gaddafi."

Dasquie singles out one group, the Islamic Fighting Group (IFG), reputedly the most powerful Libyan dissident organization, based in London, and directly linked with bin Laden. "Gaddafi even demanded Western police institutions, such as Interpol, to pursue the IFG and bin Laden, but never obtained cooperation," Dasquie says. "Until today, members of IFG openly live in London."

The book confirms earlier reports that the U.S. government worked closely with the United Nations during the negotiations with the Taliban. "Several meetings took place this year, under the arbitration of Francesc Vendrell, personal representative of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, to discuss the situation in Afghanistan," says the book. "Representatives of the U.S. government and Russia, and the six countries that border with Afghanistan were present at these meetings," it says. "Sometimes, representatives of the Taliban also sat around the table."

These meetings, also called Six plus Two, because of the number of states (six neighbors plus the U.S. and Russia) involved, have been confirmed by Niaz A. Naik, former Pakistani Secretary for foreign affairs.

In a French television news program two weeks ago, Naik said that during a Six plus Two meeting in Berlin in July, the discussions turned around "the formation of a government of national unity. If the Taliban had accepted this coalition, they would have immediately received international economic aid. And the pipelines from Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan would have come," he added.

Naik also claimed that Tom Simons, the U.S. representative at these meetings, openly threatened the Taliban and Pakistan. "Simons said: 'either the Taliban behave as they ought to, or Pakistan convinces them to do so, or we will use another option'. The words Simons used were 'a military operation'," Naik claimed.

(c) 2001 Asia Times Online Co. Ltd

U.S. Efforts to Make Peace Summed up by 'OIL'

By Lara Marlowe

The fate of John O'Neill, the Irish-American FBI agent who for years led U.S. investigations into Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda network, is the most chilling revelation in the book Bin Laden: The Hidden Truth, published in Paris this week.

O'Neill investigated the bombings of the World Trade Centre in 1993, a US base in Saudi Arabia in 1996, the US embassies in Nairobi and Dar-Es-Salaam in 1998, and the USS Cole last year.

Jean-Charles Brisard, who wrote a report on bin Laden's finances for the French intelligence agency DST and is co-author of Hidden Truth, met O'Neill several times last summer. He [O'Neill] complained bitterly that the US State Department — and behind it the oil lobby who make up President Bush's entourage — blocked attempts to prove bin Laden's guilt.

The US Ambassador to Yemen, Ms. Barbara Bodine, forbade O'Neill and his team of so-called Rambos (as the Yemeni authorities called them) from entering Yemen. In August 2001, O'Neill resigned in frustration and took up a new job as head of security at the World Trade Center. He died in the September 11th attack.

Brisard and his co-author Guillaume Dasquie, the Editor of Intelligence Online, say their book is a tribute to O'Neill. The FBI agent had told Brisard: "All the answers, everything needed to dismantle Osama bin Laden's organisation, can be found in Saudi Arabia."

But US diplomats shrank from offending the Saudi royal family. O'Neill went to Saudi Arabia after 19 US servicemen died in the bombing of a military installation in Dhahran in June 1996. Saudi officials interrogated the suspects, declared them guilty and executed them — without letting the FBI talk to them. "They were reduced to the role of forensic scientists, collecting material evidence on the bomb site," Brisard says.

O'Neill said there was clear evidence in Yemen of bin Laden's guilt in the bombing of the USS Cole, in which 17 US servicemen died, but that the State Department prevented him from getting it.

Brisard and Dasquie discovered that the first country to issue an international arrest warrant against bin Laden was not the US, but Moamar Gadafy's Libya, in March 1998. The confidential notice, published for the first time in their book, was sent by the Libyan interior ministry to Interpol on March 16th, 1998, and accuses bin Laden of murdering two German intelligence agents, Silvan Becker and his wife, in Libya in 1994.

Bin Laden supported a fundamentalist group called al-Muqatila, made up of Libyans who had fought with him against the Soviets in Afghanistan.

Al-Muqatila wanted to assassinate Gadafy, whom it considered an infidel.

According to the former MI5 agent David Shayler, British intelligence — also in league with al-Muqatila — tried to assassinate Gadafy in November 1996.

It was because of British collaboration with al-Muqatila that the Interpol warrant was ignored, Brisard says. Since September 11th, al-Muqatila has been placed on President Bush's list of "terrorist groups".

The central thesis of Brisard and Dasquie's book is sure to join the annals of 21st century conspiracy theories. The writers document negotiations between the Bush administration and the Taliban between February and August of this year.

The chief motivation behind US attempts to make peace with the Taliban can be summed up in one word: oil. The former Soviet republics of Central Asia — Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and especially "the new Kuwait", Kazakhstan have vast oil and gas reserves. But Russia has refused to allow the US to extract it through Russian pipelines and Iran is considered a dangerous route. That left Afghanistan.

The US oil company Chevron — where Mr. Bush's National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice was a director throughout the 1990s — is deeply involved in Kazakhstan. In 1995, another US company, Unocal (formerly Union Oil Company of California) signed a contract to export $8 billion worth of natural gas through a $3 billion pipeline which would go from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to Pakistan.

The authors recall how the State Department applauded the Taliban takeover in September 1996, five months after a US assistant secretary of state warned "economic opportunities will be missed" if political stability was not restored in Afghanistan.

Laila Helms, the part Afghan niece of the former CIA director and former US Ambassador to Tehran Richard Helms, is described as the Mata-Hari of US-Taliban negotiations. Ms. Helms brought Sayed Rahmatullah Hashimi, an adviser to Mullah [Muhammad] Omar, to Washington for five days in March 2001 — after the Taliban had destroyed the ancient Buddhas of Bamiyan.

Hashimi met the directorate of Central Intelligence at the CIA and the Bureau of Intelligence and Research at the State Department. In negotiations which continued until July, the US then took a more discreet position, letting the UN envoy Francesc Vendrell do most of the work and appointing a former US Ambassador to Pakistan, Thomas Simons, to represent the US at informal meetings in Berlin.

The last direct US contact with the Taliban was on August 2nd, 2001, when Christina Rocca, the director of Asian affairs at the State Department, met the Taliban Ambassador in Islamabad. Ms. Rocca was previously in charge of contacts with Islamist guerrilla groups at the CIA, where in the 1980s, she oversaw the delivery of Stinger missiles to Afghan mujaheddin.

Last February, the Taliban had indicated it might be willing to hand over bin Laden, but by June, according to Brisard and Dasquie, the US began considering military action. "The US thought they could 'decouple' Osama bin Laden from the Taliban," Brisard says. "What they did not understand was that without bin Laden, the Taliban regime wouldn't have existed."

By dispatching Francesc Vendrell to see the exiled King Zaher Shah in Rome and raising the threat of military action, Washington "backed the Taliban into a corner", the authors say.

(c) 2001

New Book Details Bush/Big Oil Negotiations With Taliban Before WTC


Fact: The World Trade Center (WTC) was bombed right AFTER Bush-Taliban oil pipeline talks soured. The talks soured right AFTER Bush/Big Oil threatened Taliban to take their offer or receive a "carpet of bombs." Bush-Cheney/Big Oil and Afghanistan's Taliban negotiated for MONTHS over running a Caspian Sea oil pipeline through Afghanistan. Talks began in February and continued right on until only one MONTH before New York City's World Trade Center towers were demolished.

DURING the course of these negotiations, the two parties were unable to agree upon a deal, MAINLY because Bush/Big Oil agents constantly upped the ante on the rather naive Taliban representatives: playing intimidation, bait & switch, and "shell" games relentlessly. The Taliban negotiators, understandably, became distrustful of the entire process, and less and less confident they were being dealt with in good faith.

In the beginning of August, the Bush Administration and its Big Oil cohorts delivered what amounted to an ultimatum to the Taliban.

The Taliban representatives were reportedly told by Bush/Big Oil: Accept our offer of "a carpet of gold or you'll get a carpet of bombs."

That's a DIRECT quote, according to French authors Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquie, who've just written a thoroughly-researched and heavily-documented book about the entire extraordinary business titled "Bin Laden: The Forbidden Truth".

ALSO revealed in the book is the fact that BUSH HIMSELF directly ordered the FBI and other U.S. law enforcement groups to BACK OFF on TERRORIST-RELATED INVESTIGATIONS while the oil pipeline negotiations were underway!

In FACT, the FBI's Deputy Director John O'Neill resigned in July in protest over this outrageous and intolerable obstruction. And by the way: the whereabouts of one OSAMA BIN LADEN, then already firmly entrenched at the very top of the US's "most-wanted terrorist" list during the entire course of these pipeline negotiations, was NEVER an issue with the Bush cartel.

Never ONCE were the Taliban urged to hand bin Laden over for all those OTHER horrendous crimes Feds maintain bin Laden has been charged with committing over the years.

And SO: barely a MONTH after the Bush administration sabotaged the negotiations with the Taliban regarding running the Caspian Sea oil pipeline through Afghanistan, the World Trade Center towers are bombed into oblivion, bringing about the currently ongoing UNDECLARED (and therefore illegal) "war on terrorism" ... that just HAPPENS to be directed at the Taliban in Afghanistan.

The WTC was bombed — according to Feds — by the VERY SAME Osama bin Laden whom the very same Bush administration was so UNCONCERNED ABOUT during those JUST-WRECKED talks with the Taliban. NO ONE but the Bush administration and their Big Oil allies/accomplices — not the Taliban, not the Palestinians, not ANY other nation whether Islamic or otherwise — not any other group, agency, force or faction on Earth stood to "GAIN" from the destruction of the World Trade Center which occurred only ONE MONTH after talks between the Bush administration and the Taliban fell apart due to outrageous threats and intimidation by Bush/Big Oil "negotiators."

The World Trade Center Demolition
and the So-Called War on Terrorism
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