Column: Did President Bush Pass Up an Attempt to Get Bin Laden Before 9-11?
Mr. Spencer is an assistant professor of history at Northwest Missouri State University.How would Americans have reacted if they had discovered that six months before the outbreak of World War II that Roosevelt's administration was seeking an oil deal with Japan? Or Italy? Or Germany? And what would they think if Roosevelt was threatening war if the deal wasn't consummated?
Americans in the twentieth century have become accustomed to discovering years after the fact that their government was negotiating with or propping up repressive regimes. Many Americans believe that"blowback" is an unavoidable consequence of foreign policy these days. However, what would Americans think about a president that merely a few months before a war on terrorism was negotiating oil deals with the very regime he would later characterize as"evil" because they were harboring terrorists? What if they discovered that Bush's administration for months had been impeding governmental efforts to apprehend one of the leading terrorists whom the administration would later say they wanted"dead or alive?" Wouldn't many Americans express outrage? And justifiably so?
According to several credible reports in the European press (but entirely ignored by America's corporate, flag-waving mainstream media), George W. Bush's administration may have been doing these things. According to these reports, George W. Bush's administration (before his wartime transformation to one of the most popular presidents in American history) was negotiating a deal with the Taliban regime for an oil pipeline in Afghanistan and was even going so far as to threaten the Taliban with war. The administration, it appears, wanted to wrest control over oil in the region from the Russians and believed this pipeline was the key to doing so.
These explosive charges are contained in a book entitled Bin Laden: The Forbidden Truth written by Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquie, former French intelligence analysts. The fact that these charges purportedly come straight from the mouth of the FBI's former Deputy Director John O'Neill (who was killed on his first day at work as chief of security at the World Trade Center on September 11th) makes them even more interesting and worthy of checking out.
According to the book, O'Neill resigned in protest over the Bush's administration attempt to obstruct efforts by both the FBI and CIA to apprehend terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden. According to the book's authors, the Bush Administration began impeding attempts to apprehend Bin Laden as early as February of 2001. They did this to appease the Taliban during negotiations for the pipeline.
Brisard said in a recent interview that"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.'" These negotiations apparently broke down in August of 2001. Less than a month later, the terrorist attack transformed the Bush administration's policy. According to Brisard, just like that the Taliban were suddenly transformed from potential business partners for U.S. corporations into"evil-doers" hiding in caves.
If all of this is true, Mr. Bush's request on January 29th to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle that Senate investigators limit their investigation into the causes of the September 11th terrorist attacks would take on a much more ominous tone. Perhaps the Bush administration does have something quite serious to hide. Bush defends his request to Daschle by claiming that these hearings would endanger intelligence gathering and imperil national security which, as all historians of American politics know, is one of the first things a president says when he has something serious to hide
Wouldn't these revelations, if true, make the influence-peddling Enron scandal pale in comparison? Wouldn't they make Iran-Contra or even Watergate seem sort of trifling? In fact, it would certainly make tawdry stuff like the Lewinsky scandal into a very minor scandal (which is what historians are likely to say about that scandal ultimately anyway). Wouldn't it mean that Bush's administration was partially responsible for September 11th?
If these stories are true, this is the sort of situation that very well could - and dare I say even SHOULD - be investigated by a special prosecutor. This is a situation in which an administration may have compromised the security of ordinary Americans both at home and abroad in order to further its own oily ends. These aren't questions about the president's private behavior or his personal investments. These are legitimate questions about foreign policy and an administration making potentially disastrous foreign policy mistakes. Mistakes that may have cost thousands of Americans their lives.
Why are we hearing nothing about this in our corporate media? Why indeed? It's a complicated situation that is not titillating or tawdry like Condit's or Clinton's pecadilloes but is potentially much more serious! Why has the American media virtually ignored this story? It may not be true (and I'm not presuming that it is) but doesn't it at least need to be checked out? Similar wild-sounding stories have been checked out by our media before. Some of them check out, some don't.
As a historian, I really don't want the American people to find out about this when an enterprising young historian discovers it fifty years from now when the last of the foreign policy papers of George W. Bush are pried from the cold dead hands of the Presidential Library's Chief Archivist. We deserve to know whether this story is true now, not decades from now. If the Bush administration has its way, it may well be fifty years before we learn the truth of the Iran-Contra scandals as well. In fact, there already appears to be much more to these stories than the majority of the"Clinton Scandals" we were treated to by the supposedly liberal media for most of Clinton's time in office. Therefore, it seems that these claims should at least be investigated, whether by the press or a special prosecutor. Is there any doubt Ken Starr would've cheerfully taken over this investigation if the shoe were on the other foot?
If all of this is true, have the negotiations started again with the new Afghan government now that the pesky Taliban is out of the way? Will the new government of Afghanistan announce in the coming weeks plans for a new pipeline? One can only wonder. The press certainly isn't going to enlighten us it appears. They're too busy making a star out of spooky Donald Rumsfeld and telling us how we've"won" the war on terrorism.
The fact that our corporate media doesn't even appear to be looking into these stories is, at the very least, highly irresponsible. And that may end up being the biggest scandal of all.
Editor's Note The New York Times published a story about the French book on November 12, 2001. The article, by Ethan Bronner, began:"A former F.B.I. antiterror official who was killed at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11 complained bitterly last summer that the United States was unwilling to confront Saudi Arabia over Osama bin Laden and that oil ruled American foreign policy, according to a new book published in France." The title of the piece:"Oil Diplomacy Muddled U.S. Pursuit of bin Laden, New Book Contends." A search of the paper's website indicates no other articles about the book have been published.
comments powered by Disqus
Jordan - 10/29/2003
I think it is down right scary that the US was negotiating a deal with the taliban for oil and threatened them with bombs and when they retaliated, we bombed the shit out of a country that is not even the taliban's native home. as far as i am concerned, Saddam is a bad man but we should not have invaded him just because we suspected him to be harboring terrorists and had weapons of mass destruction. We have found very few extremly dangorus bombs there. I will submit more info when i have read more up on these issues and have more of an educated opinion.
ANGIE BOUGHTON - 4/20/2003
I WISH I HAD SEEN THIS EARLIER. THERE IS NO DON'T IN MY MIND THAT BUSH IS RESPONSIBLE FOR 9-11. THEY SAY THE TALIBANHAD BEEN WORKING ON THIS FOR 5 YEARS. BULLBUSH! BIN LADEN HADN'T DECIDED WHICH TARGET,UNTIL THE FIRST PART OF THE YEAR.
IF HE'S RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS, HE SHOULD BE PUT ON TRIAL FOR TREASON AND HIS COHORTS SHOULD GO WITH HIM NOT JUST FOR THAT BUT ABUSE OF POWER. CHENEY GIVING ALL THE MILITARY JOBS FOR HIS BUDDIES. NOT GIVING ANYONE DOCUMENTS THAT THE CONGRESS HAS ASKED FOR. THE ONLY ONES I KNOW WHO DO THAT ARE GUILTY.
I CAN'T BELIEVE THAT PEOPLE DO NOT OR WANT NOT SEE OR THEY MAY HAVE TO ADMIT THEY WERE WRONG. BUSH WOULD TURN ON ANYBODY IF THEY WERE NOT USEFUL TO HIM AND HIS LITTLE PLAN TO BECOME THE SECOND COMING OF HITLER.
PEOPLE NEED TO WAKE UP. ALREADY THIS ADMINISTRATION IS TKING AWAY OUR FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS.
Mike Witt - 3/12/2003
John Magar Pentrubani , see
Please also come aware of an academic group "the Realists".
The US will be in good hands.
John Magar Pentrubani - 3/9/2003
From the world out of United States, one can only wonder how come the American people aren't more educated.
As a matter of fact, the people who govern you in America are far from intelligent, and clearly, they don't seem to acknowledge importance of history, and this is reflected on you, the people.
So does it tell us intelligent people in United States didn't vote?
The Bush administration is clearly facist and thus the American people are rewarded by the outside world as facistic, narrow minded, or simply stupid individuals.
Yet stupidity is powerful weapon.
It kills when you pay taxes and B52 are bombing, so please stop killing me.
People with good sense can hardly believe the american media today.
This has come to the point where everyone wonder if american are not just simply mutant.
What happened to your leaders?
What sort of toxic food did they ate?
What substance did they inhaled?
They just look so dumb!
Sorry to tell you that, but arrogance of your government is bad for the entire american people, that's why:
You should try everything to deny the Bush administration as your government elected.
These people are mad with the military industrial complex.
They want to drive Us and the world to war justified by terrorism.
They are terrible, it would be funny if not tragic.
Some wouldn't mind going back to slavery.
This military/industrial complex has always damaged the USA credibility in history.
Look at what happen in Viet Nam but not through the media and propaganda history books.
Watch reality, your government is made of knocked-out extremists, out of reality, but you will have to pay for this and justify their massive, destructive errors.
People die from american bombing everyday in the world, weapon off mass destruction has been used mostly by the USA, or dictators supported by the US forces and industry.
In Irak and Balkanic Europe, now thousand of kids are suffering from the after effect of war and plutonium ammunition...
US can have drones,missiles, nuclear and chemical weapon, because it's a democracy, Irak can't get medication against cancer because inspectors fear that they might be turned into chemical weapons.
The Bush administration rejects and deny the world, it's NOT the world that rejects America.
The outside world is there!
And it's real!
Bush rejected talk on pollution, he refuses to engage in mass destruction weapon and nuclear treaty.
Yet "people who are not with us are against us!"
Don't believe that.
Let the people think freely.
They live on their own, they just don't want to be ruled by America all the time, aspecially at times when America is lead by facists.
And yet they would forgive America's crimes, believe me.
Are the wealthy american people people so confused with history, their identity and the rest of the world, can't they see reality for themself? Do they need to follow the media and gave up thinking by their own?
Don't they feel ashamed to kill the world and themselves?
Of course I know there is opposition and even free thinker in America, but mostly average american look irrational, lost and full of fear, arrogance and anger to the rest of the world, and it does not look good.
America is not a nation, it's useless to wage flags.
Time has come to listen to all the talented, intelligent people you have in USA.
Listen to artists, listen to the last generation of free-thinkers, listen to people who do not seek power and greed, listen to people that are not compromised with the american military/industrial complex.
Freeodom and independance are the most precious things.
Today freedom is in danger in USA.
Have a nice life!
adam - 8/25/2002
the bush family has a history of treasonous dealings with the enemy. How, not only the son, but also the grand-son of a more than nazi supporter can become "leader of the free world".
That, in itself, should have raised at least some red flags !
Jared Frost - 7/23/2002
To think that either the Bush Administration or the main-stream media are trustworthy is naive. Thier whole "freedom loving, flag-waving" farse is paperthin and those who buy into it are the real enemies of this country. It doesn't take much research at all to find out our country is driven by money, nothing more, nothing less. If George Bush doesn't have the intelligence to realize that drilling in the Alaskan Wildlife Refuge is a bad idea then he definately doesn't have the intelligence to organize a money making alliance with pro-terrorist gruops. He is as much a pawn in this as those mindless people with American flag bumperstickers. Corporate money is what makes decisions for this country and they don't make them for the good of the people. A high-profile bombing is an excellent way to rally patriotism and control the populace with "anti-terror campaigns." Keep the rich rich and the poor poor. To steal a line from Alex Jones, "it's not about left and right, it's about right and wrong." Our government thinks money is everyhting but it's really about human decency and living a righteous path. Until average Americans start realizing this, we will increasingly be subjected to violations of our natural rights.
Lisa Kazmier - 3/14/2002
Why do you so uncritically "buy" this media bias thing? What -- because Bill O'Reilly says so? If anything, they have been so rah-rah for the government, that it's been ridiculous. Try watching some BBC World News for a change. Or even catch some "Politically Incorrect." Bill Maher at least has the guts to question some things that people blindly label as "treasonous." The first rule of propaganda is to tell a lie loud and often, so long in fact that people believe it. To a good extent, that's what this myth is. Hitler knew it and so do politicians and pundits today. lk
Alpheus Madsen - 3/7/2002
I can't help but wonder whether the report really is spurious! The idea that the media are "flag-waving corporate automons" is ridiculous, since the media are strongly influenced by their ideologies, which are typically anti-corporate and anti-Republican. (And yes, there is a heavy left-wing bias in mainstream media...and it is gradually becoming more and more exposed as well!)
So that leaves me to believe two things: Either the media have looked into this already and decided that it really was spurious (which would be unusual, since even if it were, they would probably have said something about it anyway)...or the media are so angry at what happened by September 11, and are so caught up in what America is doing to Afghanistan (at the expense of other news stories, at that), that they haven't even bothered to look into this.
Perhaps when the media decide that they are bored with all this, they might go back to being themselves and actually investigate this charge.
Bruce Friday - 2/21/2002
No, the people who believe the Vince Foster nonsence, the first lady who blames a vast right wing conspiracy, etc. etc. are equally disturbing. In that regard I don't consider myself a hypocrit. I am not prejudiced (left or right) when it comes to conspiracy polemicists, I dislike them all.
Tom Spencer - 2/20/2002
"Spurious?" How can they be spurious if they haven't been investigated? There are a lot of allegations that seem unlikely when you first hear them but later turn out to be true! What's more sophomoric, dismissing allegations without looking into them or urging investigation? Just because you hope they aren't true (and therefore I assume that's why you claim to "know" these charges are "spurious") doesn't make it so. It is amazing to me how the right can simultaneously create these incredible conspiracy theories but whenever someone who's even just a tad to the left of Ghenghis Khan calls for an investigation, it's downright outrageous that they impugn Mr. "Bring Honor and Dignity to the White House" George W. Bush! (By the way, hasn't that claim turned out to be a big joke!)
And, by the way, with the stonewalling from the current administration it's pretty hard to do any "investigating" on your own as you suggest. I certainly don't have the resources at my disposal. Do you? The media does but doesn't do it. Again, I'm astonished at how those on the right can't see anything wrong with insisting that the Clintons killed Vince Foster and are behind everything bad that happened for the last 20 years but get incensed whenever anyone doesn't dismiss allegations out of hand against their guy without even looking into them. However, such hypocrisy can be expected I guess.
Bruce Friday - 2/20/2002
Spencer's diatribe infuriates me. He vehemently castigates the media and congress for not undertaking immediate investigations into spurious allegations regarding possible inproprieties on the part of the administration. If the article were by a college sophomore, I might be more forgiving. But Mr. Spencer alleges to be a historian. Wouldn't it be reasonable to expect then that historian Spencer would have done some investigating of his own, instead of passing on hearsay that even he doesn't believe.
Daniel Honan - 2/18/2002
Reductio ad absurdum. By opening a big can of worms (the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; insinuations that people who want Bush's oil connections investigated possess the same "cast of mind" as paranoid anti-Semites) Sternstein cannot skirt around the fact that oil has a determinstic impact on U.S. foreign policy.
Does Sternstein really view the search for truth as a giant slippery slope that leads from one "conspiracy fantasy" to another? His argument strikes me as not only a rash challenge to open democracy, but also a challenge to the basic assumptions of western philosophy.
As Schopenhauer wrote in an 1815 letter to Goethe: "It is the courage of making a clean breast of it in face of every obstacle that makes the philosopher. He must be like Sophocles' Oedipus, who, seeking enlightenment concerning his terrible fate, pursues his indefatigable enquiry, even when he divines that appalling horror awaits him in the answer. But most of us carry in our hearts the Jocasta, who begs Oedipus for God's sake not to enquire further."
none - 2/17/2002
Here is the © AFP © Reuters Article
Musharraf, Karzai agree major oil pipeline in co-operation pact
Amy - 2/17/2002
There is more. Much more. Khalilzad was not only a previous Unocal consultant, he created Unocal's risk analysis on its proposed Afghan pipeline and is now the liaison to Karzai. It is no coincidence that Condi Rice, Rumsfeld, Cheney etc. etc. are in Washington. Must reads:
www.afghanradio.com/news/2001/february/feb8n2001.html (note date
and an absolute must:
Meree - 2/16/2002
Who are you? You sound like you are stupid enough to be placed high in the republican party!! Do not be fooled by this administration siding with Sharon, rest assured there is something in it for them!!
Have you did any research on Prescott Bush,granddaddy of W.,see what he was invovled in during the Nazi era!!
Do not stop questioning your government, do not put your head in the sand, whether you are a rep, dem, or other! Think for yourself!! It's funny how it's deem conspiratorial fantasies, if it's against a republican, but the gospel if against a democrat!
The ones that listen to Mr.'' Disinformation'' Limbaugh and his conspiratory garbage that he has been spewing from the time Clinton was in office are the ones that accuse others of the same.
Think for yourself!! Ask the survivors of the holicaust how many of thier relatives did not see the truth, before they were rounded up and put in concentration camps.Maybe this is a little off the subject,but sometimes its good to revisit mistakes of the past.
none - 2/16/2002
Here is a story from the London Guardian telling how "Both Hamid Karzai (Afgan's) the interim president, and Zalmay Khalilzad, the US special envoy, were formerly employed as consultants to Unocal, the US oil company which spent much of the 1990s seeking to build a pipeline through Afghanistan"
America's imperial war
Pilip Prescott - 2/16/2002
The strange, disconnected formulaic language in your post indicates an unhealthy connection with extremist literature. Adherence to this excusenik propaganda can be a type of addiction that no factual argument from anybody will ever help you to overcome. I urge you to seek competent help from a certified psychiatrist. These kinds of unhealthy paranoia can become all encompassing and not permit you to lead a normal life.
Ignore the facts! When Anglican CIA Mafia's Imperial Bosses, Bush Sr. and Reagan sent $7 billion to fund, train and arm the Afghan Mujihadeen 'freedom fighters' and pay off Iran with illegal arms shipments, they thought 'they' would be fighting for some kind of a democratic thingy!
They were fighting for a 'Free' Islamic Empire like the Anglicans and the Jews have!
When the Islamic Imperialist mullahs sucked Bush into the Kuwait slant-drilling oil theft scam, their purpose was to get rid of the hated, secular regime of Saddam. He was (and still is) the local Arab Imperial-Fascist price they were being forced to pay should they dare try to wield their mercantile power over the OPEC monopoly! After reconquering Kuwait for it's tottering Anglican Procurator, out on the road to Basra, Bush ended up frozen like a raccon in the headlights! The 9/11 counter-attacks were specifically designed to clearly implicate Iraq to force the Anglican MI6-CIA Empire to finish off that long unresolved job for Osama's Mullahs!
Once Saddam is gone, there is no longer any excuse for keeping the Anglican military bases in Islamic Saudi Arabia. This is why the Anglican CIA throne must continue to support and protect Saddam, and find new 'enemies' to maintain this phoney, pointless and endless war they've contrived.
So called 'republican' Tory Conservatives in the US continue to tow the CIA propaganda line that these attacks have nothing to do with the trashing of President Carter's Camp David peace process that was smashed by the arrogant and incompetent Reagan Regime, who supported not only Iran in order to seize power, and Sharon and Netenyahu's ruthless pillage of Lebanon, but then went on to support both Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden with the biggest string of unconstitutional peacetime covert military terrorist crimes in American history!
Bin Laden was marked for execution according to a 2000 NDA 'finding-crime' (see USC 50 413(b) [a]5) issued by President Bill Clinton, and tacitly 'not disapproved' by the unconstitutional peacetime cabal of Congressional "national insecurity' secret committees; to the Republican-controlled CIA Mafia before leaving office in January. Yet on July 14th he was allowed to leave the Dubai hospital after meeting with CIA Dubai section office chief - by a private jet!
May, 2001 – Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, a career covert operative and former Navy Seal, travels to India on a publicized tour while CIA Director George Tenet makes a quiet visit to Pakistan to meet with Pakistan's strongman dictator, General Pervez Musharraf, the Taliban's #1 sponsor and (nuclear) beneficiary of over half of America's $7 billion in terrorist support funds, skimmed off during the Reagan/Bush Mujihadeen fiasco.
June 2001 – German intelligence, the BND, warns the CIA and Israel that Middle Eastern terrorists are “planning to hijack commercial aircraft to use as weapons to attack important symbols of American and Israeli culture.” [Source: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, September 14, 2001.]
May 2001 - Secretary of State Colin Powell gives $43 million in aid to the Taliban regime, purportedly to assist hungry farmers who are starving since the destruction of their opium crop in January on orders of the Taliban regime. [I don't know what 'recognition' means!]
July, 2001 - Three American officials: Tom Simmons (former U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan), Karl Inderfurth (former Assistant Secretary of State for S. Asian affairs) and Lee Coldren (former State Department expert on S. Asia), meet with Pakistani and Russian intelligence officers in Berlin and tell them that the U.S. is planning military strikes against Afghanistan in October. Taliban representatives often sat in on the meetings. British papers confirm that the Pakistan's ISI relayed the threats to the Taliban.
Sept. 26 story in The Guardian, correspondent David Leigh reported that, “U.S. department of defense official, Dr. Jeffrey Starr, visited Tajikistan in January. The Guardian’s also established that US Rangers were also training special troops in Kyrgyzstan. There were unconfirmed reports that Tajik and Uzbek special troops were training in Alaska and Montana.”
Summer 2001 - Pakistani ISI Chief General Ahmad orders an aide to wire transfer $100,000 to Mohammed Atta, to finance the suicide hijackings. Ahmad recently resigned after the transfer was disclosed in India and confirmed by the FBI.
The $100,000 Pakistani ISI Chief General Ahmad wire transfered to Mohammed Atta, then in Las Vegas (a fine muslim berg), is used to buy classified US Continental Defence secrets, in a L.V. hotel. A Miami photo editor is later murdered to reclaim the video captures of security tapes sold to the Bruno Magli dept after the identity of Atta is made public.
When a NY Times reporter asked what the 911 attack meant for relations between the US and Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, the former PM, replied, "It's very good." Then he edited himself: "Well, not very good, but it will generate immediate sympathy..."
Curious that out of nearly 4000 Jews who worked in the WTC, only 1 Israeli died. The FBI arrested 5 Israelis on a rooftop nearby the twin towers, videotaping and cheering the entire event. "5 Israelis detained for 'puzzling behavior' after WTC tragedy." Ha’aretz. -Melman, Yossi. 10/14/2001
According to Newsbytes, "Instant Messages To Israel Warned of WTC attack." Ha'aretz, also confirmed the prior warnings inside Israel and that the FBI is 'investigating'. The articles detailed that an Israeli messaging firm, Odigo, with offices in both the WTC and in Israel, transmitted a number of warnings just 2 hours before the attack.
Bush made a public address stating that '130' Israeli's died in the WTC attack but this propaganda was dismissed by the NY Times! Israel's US consul general said that lists of the Israeli missing included reports from people who had called in because, for instance, relatives in New York had not returned their phone calls from Israel. There were, in fact, only three Israelis who had been confirmed as dead: two on the planes and another who had been visiting the towers on business and who was identified and buried. (New York Times, Sept. 22).
In 1999, Payne Stewarts jet was intercepted within 16 minutes of loosing radio contact! How did Atta know he could fly hijacked jets, without transponders on, over 55 military airbases unopposed for upwards of 45 minutes between 8-9AM on 9/11? The $100,000 Pakistani ISI Chief General Ahmad wire transfered to Mohammed Atta, then in Las Vegas (a fine muslim berg), is used to buy classified US Continental Defence secrets, in a L.V. hotel. A Miami photo editor is later murdered to reclaim the video captures of security tapes sold to the 'Bruno Magli' tabloid photo dept. after the identity of Atta is made public.
The more you look, the more suspicious things begin to look for 'your boy'..
none - 2/16/2002
This is from 26 June 2001
India in anti-Taliban military plan
none - 2/16/2002
From the London Express: REPORTS OF SECRET MEETINGS WITH BIN LADEN'S MEN FUEL ROW OVER WHY INTELLIGENCE SERVICES FAILED TO STOP ATTACK; US SPIES HAD TALKS WITH THE TALIBAN (September 16, 2001)
SENIOR American spies secretly entertained Osama Bin Laden's Taliban protectors in Washington just a few weeks before last week's terrorist attack, a Sunday Express investigation can reveal today.
The news will send shockwaves throughout the United States and will seriously undermine the credibility of the Central Intelligence Agency.
A bitter war of words has already erupted among America's rival spymasters over who is to blame for the lack of intelligence on the country's worst ever terrorist atrocity, with angry clashes between the National Security Agency and the CIA only hours after Tuesday's massacre.
And across America people are demanding to know how the superpower with one of the most sophisticated intelligence gathering systems in the world failed to pick up any advance warning of the attack. Intelligence documents shown to the Sunday Express reveal that senior CIA officers welcomed Islamic radical Qazi Husein Ahmad during a secret visit to Washington in July.
It followed Taliban initiatives which began soon after President George W Bush came to power and saw Rahmatullah Hashami - regarded as the Taliban's roving ambassador-at-large - re-establishing ties with the Taliban's old CIA contacts from the days of the covert US programme to aid the Afghan Mujahedin in their fight against the Soviet Union.
The meeting is bound to outrage US Secretary of State Colin Powell who had strictly ordered "no further contact" between the US Government and the Taliban without his prior approval.
Last night an NSA source complained: "You have to ask why we did not get anything in return from these meetings."
In an astonishing attack on the CIA, he said: "Why didn't their Taliban friends give them any intelligence?
"The CIA have been entertaining the Taliban and even schmoozed them in Washington. They argue that by getting closer to the Taliban they'll be able to get information on Bin Laden. Well that didn't work very well, did it?"
Angry NSA officials also complain that Echelon - their top secret electronic system designed for eavesdropping on the Soviet Union in Cold War days - is being misused.
Echelon can use satellites to sift through millions of phone calls and electronic communications throughout the world and can be programmed to pick out "buzz words" which terrorists might use as they plot their attacks.
But the bitter NSA insider said the system is now being put to uses which undermine the fight against terror chiefs like Bin Laden. He revealed: "Echelon is being used to monitor drug runners, and, whatever you might think about them, they do not pose a threat to our national security.
"We are also being pressured to monitor commercial and trading activities which again have no threat to national security.
"The system is being misused and it is grossly over-burdened and overloaded. It should be there purely to monitor terrorist activities."
And the result, he said, is a mountain of information which is becoming too big for the Security Agency to handle.
"We can gather all sorts of intelligence data but it still has to be examined bit by bit and we are overloaded, " the source explained.
Backing for the NSA complaints comes from a recent report to Euro MPs which also claims that since the collapse of communism Echelon has switched to monitoring personal and business calls, swamping the NSA with information that has little to do with US national security.
The EU report says Echelon may have been used to help American and British firms get unfair advantage over their European rivals and may even have monitored Princess Diana's private calls.
Last night, commenting on the NSACIA row, a senior British intelligence source said: "It is an open secret that the US agencies hate each other's guts."
But he said it was highly likely that the terrorists involved in the hijacking were operating on a "no-tech" basis - avoiding the use of phones or other electronic communication.
He went on: "It is also very likely that this has been in the planning for more than a year and that the four cells were not even aware of each other's existence or missions. They will have taken extra care not to use key or buzz words in any sort of communication.
"If this is the case the hijackers who slammed into the Trade Centre would not have been aware of the Pentagon strike. Everyone involved would be operating on a need-to-know basis, " he added.
CIA admits employing NAZIS
Bin Ladens CIA ties
Clinton Let Bin Laden Slip Away and Metastasize
Bush's Faustian Deal With the Taliban (L.A. Times)
Lois Wiedmer - 2/16/2002
Of course George Bush was dealing with the Taliban and had proior knowledge of the attacks. Why do you think he ran like a rabbit to Offut Airforce base in Nebraska and hid? Because he left his pillow at home? He thought the nukes would fly! Should the American people be told? No, they can't handle the truth, however I am glad that I know as I have a 18 year old son and he certainly will not be going to Central Asia or any other place where Bush wants to rob, maim and kill people, when he is responsiable for the deaths of thousands of Americans. Sincerely, Lois M. Wiedmer
Jerome L. Sternstein - 2/16/2002
"None", in support of his conspiratorial fantasies asks us to look at certain sites where the "evidence" supposedly resides. I did. Let's go over that "evidence."
1. The claim that the Bush Adm. "spiked Bin Laden Probes Before 11 September": The author of that claim, Gregory Palast, a columnist for the left-wing Guardian, says the investigation that was supposedly "spiked" was into ABDULLAH bin Laden, who lived in Washington, DC, and a brother OMAR, who lived in Falls Church, Va. According to the article, the FBI probe into those bin Ladens was closed in 1996, when Clinton was president. There is a claim in the article the Bush Administration continued those restrictions before 9/11. There is nothing, absolutely nothing in this article, relating to Osama Bin Laden, as the conspiracy addicts allege.
2. "U.S. Planned Attack on Taleban" before 9/11: This story, by the BBC, on Sept. 18, 2001, quoting an out-of-office Pakistani foreign secretary, says that in July 2001 "US representatives told him that unless Bin Laden was handed over swiftly America would take military action to kill or capture both Bin Laden and the Taleban leader, Mullah Omar." The purpose of this purported action before 9/11 was, according to the unemployed diplomat, "to topple the Taleban regime and install a transitional government of moderate Afghans in its place." He went on to say the attack would take place from Tajikistan, and 17,000 Russian troops were on "standby" ready to go. What do the conspiracy buffs feel this indicates? That we wanted to capture or eliminate Bin Laden before 9/11? That's not what they allege. Their conspiracy theory is that Bush played ball with Osama (see above and below). There is nothing about a desired oil pipeline in this article. And where are those 17,000 Russian troops that were supposed to do our bidding? I could have made up this story after 9/11. And that out-of-the-loop diplomat undoubtedly did.
3. "Bin Laden Treated in US Hospital": A story in Le Figaro in Oct. 2001, claiming as its source a "'professional partner' linked to the hospital's management" alleges that Osama bin Laden, accompanied by Ayman el Zawahiri, spent two weeks in July 2001, in the American Hospital in Dubai, getting treated for kidney disease. There he was greeted by a local CIA agent, widely known locally, who then "told several friends of the meeting," and was constantly visited by "a stream of local dignitaries and family members." And what was Osama and the CIA agent supposedly talking about? Well, Osama "gave the agency information regarding future terrorist attacks." One terrorist who Osama turned in was a sterling member of his organization, "the alleged mastermind of a plot to blow up the American Embassy in Paris." So here we are with a story that Osama Bin Laden is really a CIA agent, helping the United States thwart terrorist attacks. And that is why, according to Le Figaro, the CIA was providing bin Laden with dialysis treatments. After all, says Le Figaro, "CIA-bin Laden links stretched back years." I think we can put this story in the category of Adolph Hitler really being a member of Britain's MI5, or perhaps an agent of the OSS. Next thing you know, Le Figaro, quoting "reliable sources" will be claiming that bin Laden was given the CIA's medal for meritorious service.
So here is the "evidence" that "none" wants all of us to know because it supports the claims that Bush is in bed with Osama bin Laden -- a hospital bed? -- and threatened to carpet bomb the Taliban if they didn't allow his friends to build an oil pipeline in Afghanistan. Even faculty members of the Chomsky School of Conspiratorial Fantasies would have a hard time digesting this "evidence." But, then again, one never knows what conspiracy addicts will accept as "facts".
Amy - 2/16/2002
Please note the above article can no longer be located on the Reuters web site. Going to archives.org to retrieve the 2/8/02 Reuters page finds that the entire page has been removed. More 'national security' I suppose. SO MUCH information has been removed from the internet and libraries nationwide it is just plain scarey.
Plaguepuppy - 2/16/2002
I find it interesting that the charge of being a "conspiracy theorist" is supposed to be such a devestating epithet. What an outrageous idea, that the rich and powerful might actually meet in private and plan ways to advance their own interests, and in way that might actually differ from the official picture of reality presented to us poor rubes who pay the bills. Secrecy? Dishonesty? How absurd!
After the utter forthrightness and transparency of the Bush 41 and 43 administrations, and their exceptionally forthright handling of the Iran-Contra scandel, surely only a self-deluded fantasist could imagine that W's motives for invading Afghanistan are anything but the most noble.
none - 2/15/2002
Here is the article from the BBC
US 'planned attack on Taleban'
none - 2/15/2002
I guess, Mr. Sternstein, Yahoo and Newsmax are also run by Moonies? They must be because they also carried the "CIA meeting with Bin Laden" in July story.
As far as the BBC article, you are quite mistaken, it has nothing to do with the french book, Bin Laden: the forbidden truth. To again clarify for you here is the London Guardian story regarding Mr. Bush, whom I voted for, taking the FBI off of Bin Laden's trail.
FBI AND US SPY AGENTS SAY BUSH SPIKED BIN LADEN PROBES BEFORE 11 SEPTEMBER
Report: bin Laden Treated at U.S. Hospital
Bin Laden underwent treatment in July at Dubai American Hospital: reports (Yahoo)
Jerome L. Sternstein - 2/15/2002
First, the conspiracy addicts claim that the "corporate media" will not deal with this topic and then they cite dubious sources in the "corporate media" to support their mindless allegations. Is this Alice in Wonderland or not.
The BBC's report is based on the same allegations as this article: a book hyped by two former French officials about what John O'Neill, now conveniently dead, supposedly told them. I have not delved into the Judicial Watch case, but isn't that the same organization that represented Paula Jones against Clinton? And didn't the defenders of Clinton denounce it as a loopy, wierd organization? So now that they're representing a disgruntled FBI agent, everybody must take them and their client seriously. As far as the claim that the CIA met with Bin Laden in mid-2001, even the Washington Times, the Moonies favorite paper, found that report so silly it never printed another word about it. And as for the Carlyle Group, the elder Bush, and the Bin Laden family -- Osama, after all, does have about forty brothers and sisters, all of whom have disowned him before 9/11 -- there was a slight connection. They invested, some years ago, about $10 million dollars in the Group. Is that evidence of some deep conspiracy? The Bin Laden family has also given money to Harvard University and some of the family members were even students there about the time the Twin Towers were destroyed. I guess, therefore, all Harvard administrators and faculty -- and perhaps some students -- are also guilty by association. For as the fantasists always say, "It is no accident that. . . [one can fill in one's own imagined connections]"
By the way, the Bin Laden family no longer has any investment in the Carlyle Group. But Harvard has kept the Bin Laden's family donation. I have no doubt the conspiracy addicts will discover some hidden, dark meaning in that. Let's see, was it Summers or Gates who met Osama Bin Laden in Cambridge. No, it was probably Marty Peretz, standing in for Al Gore.
none - 2/15/2002
For a good starting point go here first!!!
READ the MAINSTREAM UK NEWS ARTICLES!!!!
This is not a JOKE!!!
none - 2/15/2002
Why if I might ask, did the BBC run on their TV show NEWSNIGHT the fact that Mr. Bush ordered the FBI off Bin Laden's trail shortly after coming to power. Or, I might ask, why did Judicial Watch report that David Schippers was SUING the Justice Department on the behalf of an FBI agent who claimed Bush stopped investigations? Let alone the Washington Times piece reporting the CIA met with Bin Laden in July of last year. This of course still does not include the fact that Bush Sr. was in bussiness with the Bin Laden family through the Carlyle Group. The Carlyle's also stand to profit quite well due to the new "war on terrorism."
Has someone been sitting on the FBI?
Active FBI ACTIVE FBI SPECIAL AGENT FILES COMPLAINT CONCERNING OBSTRUCTED FBI ANTI-TERRORIST INVESTIGATIONS
Bin Laden Treated at US Hospital (Washington Times)
WALL STREET JOURNAL: BUSH SR. IN BUSINESS WITH BIN LADEN FAMILY
Jerome L. Sternstein - 2/15/2002
Now let's see. The conspiracy fantasists argue that oil is the major determinate of American foreign policy, particularly now that oil-soaked Texans are in charge. Thus, one would expect that the administration's policy towards Israel would be far less supportive than previous, less "oily", administrations. But just the opposite is true. Unfortunately for the conspiracy addicts, Bush has received Sharon several times in the White House and has demonstrated a distinct coolness towards Arafat. More to the point. If oil was the determining feature of our policy, we would have thrown Israel over the side long ago and cozzied up -- as the French and other Europeans have done -- to the likes of Libya, Iran, and Iraq. Or do the conspiracy buffs believe that Israel is sitting on a lake of oil that the Texans in charge are salivating to exploit.
As for "investigating" conspiracy theories because some fantasists believe them to be true, then let's start with "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion." People who are willing to believe that Bush -- and most presidents before him -- take their orders from Exxon-Mobil, or perhaps Chevron-Texaco, have the same cast of mind as those who see Jewish conspiracies everywhere. And since Bush seems to strongly support Israel's present policies, perhaps he is taking his direction from those "Elders", since, after all, the oil companies drilling in Saudi Arabia and looking longingly to returning to Libya, aren't Israel's best friends. To conspiracy addicts anything is possible, isn't it? Perhaps we should have a Congressional investigation of whether those Elders of Zion are pulling the strings in Bush's White House. How else can one explain this contradiction? It must be, then, a Jewish conspiracy. Let's investigate!
Daniel Honan - 2/15/2002
Mr. Sternstein has a point: oil is not at the root of ALL American foreign policy. Yet in the case of the current administration's policies, it seems to be at the root of damn near 90 percent of them. I see enough evidence of this administration's entanglement with foreign oil, prime face, to warrant an investigation.
If Mr. Sternstein is so certain that all of this amounts to "wild conjecture" why then does he scoff at the very idea of an investigation, the ostensible purpose of which would be fact-finding? Indeed, the phrase "Chomsky School" is the establishment's way of deflecting critical inquiry, and is thus itself a crude, not to mention arrogant, ideological defense.
Perhaps Mr. Sternstein has some compelling reason why we should place our blind trust in the U.S. government. If so, I'd like for him to share it. After all, you don't need to go very far back in history to find an example where the public's trust in the government proved unwarranted.
Jerome L. Sternstein - 2/15/2002
If one is going to make outrageous claims to sell books -- or publish articles -- the best thing to do is to say that I gleaned my information from a dead man. Such is precisely the case in this instance. John O'Neill, who died on 9/11, left the FBI for one reason: his career there had come to an end, not because he objected to American policy vis-a-vis Saudi Arabia but because he was caught violating several FBI regulations. One rule he broke was giving his mistress use of an FBI automobile and allowing her to use the facilities of an FBI safe house. Another rule he broke, was leaving his laptop computer containing secure files and classified information unattended in a conference room in Atlanta, Georgia, where it was stolen. To argue that he resigned for policy reasons is absurd. Sure, he was frustrated that people in government didn't take the threat of Bin Laden as seriously as he did. But as to the supposed statements he gave two former French security officials, Americans who knew O'Neill best deny them vociferously. Moreover, O'Neill's frustration boiled over during the Clinton Administration. He handed in his resignation papers long before Bush took office.
Now it is true that left-wing conspiracy addicts like Noam Chomsky always see oil as the root of all American Foreign policy. But, as usual, they offer little more than ideology, innuendo, and wild conjecture to support what they claim. In this case, they offer nothing, only the words of a dead man which we have to take on trust. Should we, therefore, without one shred of verifiable evidence conduct a far-reaching investigation? Of what? When was Bin Laden offered up to us? Not during the Bush years but during the Clinton years, in the late 1990s. Then, even some members of Clinton's National Security staff have been forced to admit, the Sudan offered to help us capture Bin Laden when they expelled him. An American-Pakistani financier -- and a Clinton supporter, no less -- asserts that he carried messages to this effect from Sudanese authorities to Sandy Berger and the State Department but they were not interested. Sandy Berger says the Sudan never really acted seriously on this matter. But the financier says otherwise, and he has made his argument publicly many times. And a former American Ambassador to the Sudan backs him up. That is a subject that should be investigated, not the insane notion that Bush threatened to carpet bomb the Taliban unless they allowed an oil pipeline to be built through Afghanistan. If you believe this, then you can count yourself a full member of the Chomsky School of Conspiratorial Fantasies.
Cassandra Says - 2/14/2002
There has to be some reason why Afghanistan was NOT on the State Department's list of countries harbouring terrorists.
If this isn't the reason, what is?
It is also noteworthy that the new leader of Afghanistan is a former U.S. oil company exec.
And the U.S. foreign policy advisor, Condo Liza, who is always described by the slave media as a former academic is also a former director of Chevron.
Comment - 2/13/2002
Name: David Martini
Subject: Spencer article
Message: We may ultimately find that Enron is the 9/11 investigation. Their tentacles reach far and wide.
Comment - 2/13/2002
Name: Carolyn Kay
Subject: RE: Did President Bush Pass Up an Attempt to Get Bin Laden Before 9-11?
Message: To find many more references to the allegations in the foreign and alternative media (along with a few mainstream references) about the Bush administration's actions prior to 9-11, go to my website's What Did They Know and When Did They Know It page:
theodore - 2/13/2002
You are both so right it's scary. I just don't understand why the media are ducking this obligation. Even the "Editor's Note" is a bit of a dodge: the NY Times article focused on the "villify the Saudis" edge to the book, barely touching on the real questions of Bush/Cheney complicity and foreknowledge. The media are handsomely profiting on the ad dollars and other emoluments that come with singing from the right song sheet, and making noises only about the usual and customary bugaboos, e.g., how are captives being treated, are non-combatants being hit by stray bombs, what is the world saying about us, did Enron have anything to do with anything, etc. But they know exactly what corporate interests are being given a totally free pass on this one, and they are not touching it. Not a one. And believe me, Unocal is hardly the prize under protection.
theodore - 2/13/2002
This history professor raises all of the right questions, including about the eerie silence of the
"corporate media" about 9/11. He thankfully gives voice to the notion that a provoked war by
this administration in European hotels is a subject the American people MUST
learn well before 50 years expire and, hopefully, take all appropriate democratic action against. There are some things the professor missed, however, that need to be added.
There are two federal grand juries that put Exxon and Mobil and others in the dock just before
Bush got in. They are being investigated for
corruption, money laundering and other international crimes in respect of
acquisitions of the very oil fields from which the pipelines that are the
centerpiece of this "war" will run. Ashcroft, clearly acting
under orders, is attempting to bury the grand juries deeper than the pit where the WTC once stood. The press is seemingly in some kind of tacit league with Ashcroft on this point, for it has taken no steps to raise questions and connections about these
grand juries, what they're looking at, and the story of the (allegedly) corrupt manner in which US oil companies acquired
rights now vigorously being defended and enforced with our sons and daughters overseas and bombs we can't pronounce. Sy Hersh wrote an article of 18 pages in length, that exposed the wrongdoing by the corporations that appeared in the July 2001 New Yorker: in other words, the article appeared in a contextual vacuum time-wise. However, the administration's "carpet of gold or carpet of bombs" ultimatum, delivered that
same July in Europe, was no mere happenstance. It is clear that the administration saw the clock ticking on its military plan 'A' and moved with great dispatch after Hersh's article appeared. So, we should also ask: (1)were Exxon Mobil, or its representatives, involved in Cheney's task force
meetings; (2) did the company or its representatives pursue (directly in the meeting or in side-bar discussions)an agenda that included the suppression of the grand juries as well as the enforcement of oil and gas acquisitions in Central Asia; and (3) did the participants in the task force receive guarantees of confidentiality by way of agreement with the Vice President, in respect of which he is, in reality, refusing to disclose details of the task force?
bpilgrim - 2/13/2002
Now that we have this background in place, let's reflect on the events of the past year.
The 2000 presidential election has been referred to as a coup, and there is good reason for this. Never mind the widespread corruption and voter fraud. Never mind the disenfranchisement of black voters and the outright destruction of untallied ballots in minority voting precincts. Never mind the manipulations of James Baker, Governor Jeb Bush and various other Florida officials. The Supreme Court decision was itself unheard of, and probably unconstitutional. The self-described job of the Supreme Court is to decide questions of constitutional law and set precedents. Yet in this one case and no other in the history of the US the Supreme Court stated that it was rendering a special decision which cannot be used as a precedent in any other case.12
So we have a president put into office by a 5 to 4 vote of the Supreme Court, in direct opposition to the popular vote. What about the background of this president and his cabinet. The Bush cabinet is a virtual who's who of oil, defense and pharmaceutical bigwigs. 13 The Bush family is itself closely tied financially to the bin Ladens.14 , 15 Both families are involved in the Carlyle Group. 16 Bush Sr. sits on the board of Carlyle, a 12 billion Equity company with oil holdings and defense contracts. 17 Dick Cheney was the former CEO of Halliburton Oil. Colin Powell is a major stockholder in several defense contractors. National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice sat on the board of Exxon. Andrew Card, the Chief of Staff is from General Motors. Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense, was CEO of Searle Pharmaceuticals. Dick Armitage, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, has ties to the Russian mafia and is a board member of Carlyle. Robert Jordan, the Saudi ambassador, was a member of Baker Botts, a legal firm specializing in oil and defense (the Baker in Baker Botts is James Baker). Tony Principi, Secretary of Foreign Affairs, comes from Lockheed Martin. Gordan England, Secretary of the Navy, is tied to General Dynamics. James Roche, Secretary of the Air Force, is from Northrup Grummond. Gen. Thomas White, retired, Secretary of the Army, is from Enron Energy. Donald Evans, the Commerce Secretary, owns Colorado Oil Company. National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice sat on the board of Exxon. And Mr. Carlucci, the Chief of Carlyle, sits on the Middle East Policy Council. 18
One of the first acts of the Bush administration was to declare an energy crisis and delineate a controversial set of measures for solving this problem. On the surface, the Bush energy package called for increased domestic production. This is the favored solution of certain mainstream, free-market economists, who believe that increased production is the answer to current energy woes while research and development of new technology will take care of the future. Most mainstream economists refuse to realize that hydrocarbons are the underpinning of our technological civilization, instead of just another commodity. And, of course, increasing production has great appeal to businesspeople whose prime concern is maximizing short-term profit.
Under the surface, however, the Bush energy package is a give away for the oil industry, and a strengthening of US commitment to support corporate oil interests. The energy package sought to give away drilling rights in the Alaskan National Wildlife Arctic Reserve (ANWAR) and other remaining wilderness areas, open up our continental shelves to full exploitation, role back environmental and health regulations, and subsidize the oil industry with major tax breaks. One controversial measure which received very little attention was an item allowing energy corporations to extract resources from public land without paying for the right to do so. The Bush energy plan was a giveaway for energy corporations. It met with stiff opposition in congress and certain prized measures such as drilling in ANWAR were defeated. Related to the energy package was President Bush's withdrawal from the Kyoto Treaty on global warming, which action was reviled around the world.
In his first months in office, Bush managed to alienate almost every country on the planet in one arrogant move after another. When asked what he would do should Canada seek to limit natural gas flow to the United States, Bush said he would do whatever was necessary to protect our right to Canada's natural gas. Likewise, at home, he was highly reviled by many US citizens. There was even some talk of impeachment. All of this changed after 9-11, and it is to be wondered how the Bush administration would have survived without the terrorist attacks.
Bleddyn - 2/12/2002
Excellent article. Heads will certainly roll as more info creeps into American news outlets. The facts cannot be avoided forever, no matter how much the corporate media would like that to be so. As to pondering whether plans for a Central Asian pipeline will resurface, we already have an answer: ISLAMABAD, Feb 8 (Reuters) - "Afghanistan's interim leader Hamid Karzai said on Friday he and Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf had agreed to revive a plan for a trans-Afghan gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to Pakistan." And if memory serves, I believe the new US envoy to Afghanistan is a former UNOCAL executive. Big Surprise. This was always about oil and nothing more. Sept 11 was just a perfect excuse for the Bush administration to do what they had planned to do anyway.
- Five Things You Need to Know to be a Better Digital Preservationist
- Book on Losing British Generals Wins American History Prize
- Stanford scholar explores civil rights revolution's positive impact on the South's economy
- Harvard Historian Nancy Koehn on Amazon's Tentacular Reach
- Q&A with historian and author Nick Turse