rn: This War is about OIL! & Why FBI’s #2 man resigned in protest


Jan Slakov

Date: Thu, 22 Nov 2001 08:46:56 -0500
From: Richard Sanders <•••@••.•••>
Subject: This War is about OIL! & Why FBI's #2 man resigned in protest

[Note: At the end of this email there's a list of web links to other
excellent articles on the pivotal role of OIL in this latest war against

America's Dirty Afghan Secret: It's a War over Oil
By V K Shashikumar, New Delhi, November 21, 2001

Intelligence analysts Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquie have released
an explosive book that claims the US' primary interest in the Afghan War
might be oil, not terrorism; the US president, they claim, had obstructed
investigation into the Taliban's terrorist activities.
A book written by two French intelligence analysts is certain to embarrass
President George W Bush and his administration. The book, Bin Laden, La
Verite Interdite (Bin Laden, the Forbidden Truth), released recently,
claims that Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Deputy Director John
O'Neill resigned in July in protest over Bush's obstruction of an
investigation into Taliban's terrorist activities. The authors,
Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquie, claim that Bush resorted to
this obstruction under the influence of the United States' oil companies.

Bush stymied the intelligence agency's investigations on terrorism, even as
it bargained with the Taliban on handing over of Osama bin Laden in
exchange for political recognition and economic aid. "The main obstacles to
investigate Islamic terrorism were US oil corporate interests, and the role
played by Saudi Arabia in it," O'Neill reportedly told the authors.
According to the Brisard and Dasquie, the main objective of the US
government in Afghanistan prior to Black Tuesday was aimed at consolidating
the Taliban regime, in order to obtain access to the oil and gas reserves
in Central Asia.

Prior to September 11, the US government had an extremely benevolent
understanding of the Taliban regime. The Taliban was perceived "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. This would have secured for the US another huge captive and
alternate oil resource centre. "The oil and gas reserves of Central Asia
have been controlled by Russia. The Bush government wanted to change all
that…this rationale of energy security changed into a military one," the
authors claim.

"At one moment during the negotiations, US 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. On
Saturday, representatives of the Northern Alliance (NA), former King Zahir
Shah's confidantes, and possibly, non-Taliban Pashtun leaders, will meet in
Berlin under the aegis of the US-led coalition to discuss a broad-based
government in Afghanistan. It might be a coincidence that the US and
Taliban diplomatic representatives met in Berlin early this year. 

According to the book, the Bush administration began a series of
negotiations with the Taliban early in 2001. Washington and Islamabad were
also venues for some of the meetings. The authors claim that before the
September 11 attacks, Christina Rocca, in charge of Asian Affairs in the US
State Department, met Taliban Ambassador to Pakistan Abdul Salam Zaeef in
Islamabad on August 2, 2001. Interestingly, Rocca is a veteran of US
involvement in Afghanistan. She was previously in charge of contacts with
Islamist guerrilla groups at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), where
she oversaw the delivery of Stinger missiles to Afghan mujahideen fighting
the Soviet occupation forces in the 1980s.

Brisard and Dasquie also reveal that the Taliban were not really
ultra-orthodox in their diplomatic approach, because they actually hired an
American public relations' expert for an image-making campaign in the US.
It is, of course, not known whether the Pakistanis helped the Taliban
secure the services of a professional image-maker. What is, however,
revealed in the book is that Laila Helms, a public relations professional,
who also doubles up as an authority on the way the US intelligence agencies
work, was employed by the Taliban. Her task was to get the US recognise the
Taliban regime. Prior to September 11, only three countries - Pakistan,
Saudi Arabia and UAE - recognised the Taliban regime. Helms' familiarity
with the ways of US intelligence organisations comes through her
association with Richard Helms, who is her uncle a former director of the
CIA and former US ambassador to Tehran.

Helms is described as the Mata Hari of US-Taliban negotiations. The authors
claim that she brought Sayed Rahmatullah Hashimi, an advisor to Mullah
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.

The Frenchmen have indeed produced a controversial book, which is
undoubtedly explosive, because of the interesting nuggets of information
they have dug up. Besides, they have an impressive record in intelligence
analysis, and this perhaps is the reason why the book is being talked about
in hushed tones in Paris and other European capitals. Till the late 1990s,
Brisard was the director of economic analysis and strategy for Vivendi, a
French company. He also worked for French secret services (DST), 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. 

On November 19, The Irish Times said in a report, "O'Neill investigated the
bombings of the World Trade Center 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 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, 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
11 attack."

O'Neill, an Irish-American, reportedly told Brisard that all the answers,
and everything needed to dismantle bin Laden's Al Qaeda, can be found in
Saudi Arabia. Fearing that the Saudi royal family would be offended, US
diplomats quietly buried the leads developed by O'Neill. So much so that
even when the FBI wanted to talk to the suspects accused of bombing a US
military installation in Dhahran in June 1996, in which 19 US servicemen
were killed, the US State Department refused to make much noise about it.
The Saudi officials, however, interrogated the suspects, declared them
guilty and executed them. O'Neill actually went to Saudi with his team, but
according to the report in The Irish Times quoting Brisard, "they were
reduced to the role of forensic scientists, collecting material evidence on
the bomb site".

The US' hedging on investigating Taliban's terrorist activities and its
links with bin Laden were premised on the belief that a quid pro quo deal
could be arranged with Taliban. The deal, apparently, was oil for
diplomatic and international recognition. One important reason for
Operation Enduring Freedom could well be securing American oil interests in
the region. It would not be surprising if the pipeline project is put back
on track soon. Even a cursory look at the oil potential of the Central
Asian region is enough to understand the American interest in this region.
The Caspian Sea basin encompassing countries like Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan,
Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are believed to possess some 200 billion
barrels of oil, which is about one-third the amount found in the Persian
Gulf area. 

The greater Gulf area, encompassing Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia,
the UAE and other adjacent countries, has been a centre of international
oil politics. First, the British fought to gain control over the area's
petroleum wealth, followed by the French. But in the post-World War II
scenario, the US emerged as the dominant power in the region, because its
energy security and economic prosperity depended on the uninterrupted oil
supply from this region. In March 1945, President Franklin D Roosevelt and
King Addel Aziz ibn Saud signed a secret agreement, which forged a
long-lasting strategic partnership. Though the details of the agreement
remains secret till date, the deal ensured privileged US access to Saudi
oil, in return for US protection of the royal family from internal and
external threats. 

However, the US dependence on Middle Eastern oil is not a secret. The US
national energy policy, released by the Bush administration earlier this
year, stated, "The Gulf will be a primary focus of US international energy
policy." According to Michael T Klare, professor of peace and world
security studies at Hampshire College in Amherst, and author of Resource
Wars: The New Landscape of Global Conflict, by launching Operation Enduring
Freedom, the US want to achieve two sets of objectives: "First, to capture
and punish those responsible for the September 11 attacks, and to prevent
further acts of terrorism; and two, to consolidate US power in the Persian
Gulf and Caspian Sea area, and to ensure continued flow of oil. And while
the second set may get far less public attention than the first, this does
not mean that is any less important." 

With many senior members of the Bush administration linked to major oil
business interests, it more than a matter of coincidence that the US is
involved in a war in Afghanistan. Vice-President Dick Cheney was, until the
end of last year, president of Halliburton, a company that provides
services for the oil industry. US National Security Advisor Condoleezza
Rice was, between 1991 and 2000, manager for Chevron; secretaries of
commerce and energy, Donald Evans and Stanley Abraham, worked for Tom
Brown, another oil giant.

There is, therefore, more to the War against terrorism than the Bush
administration is willing to admit. So, Operation Enduring Freedom wants to
do the following:

* Destroy Taliban and Al Qaeda; 
* Counter and destroy the threat to Central Asian countries from Islamic
extremists supported by bin Laden and Taliban. The Americans have conducted
joint military exercises with forces of some Central Asian countries, and
prior to start of the military operations in Afghanistan, signed agreements
of cooperation with Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzhstan; 
* Negate the Taliban and Al Qaeda objective of replacing the existing
Central Asian governments with militant Islamic regimes. 
By achieving all these objectives, Operation Enduring Freedom will also
secure the US' oil interests in the Caspian Sea area. 



While researching the next issue of the Coalition to Oppose the Arms
Trade's magazine, Press for Conversion!, I compiled this list of weblinks
to articles about the real underlying reasons for this latest war against

US-Taliban relations: friend turns fiend as pipeline politics fail
Ishtiaq Ahmad
Has someone been sitting on the FBI? 
Transcript produced from the teletext subtitles generated live for
Newsnight, 6/11/01
The Guardian (London), Wednesday, November 7, 2001
Greg Palast and David Pallister
Central Asian oil and gas: the real reason for the US's war on Afghanistan 
Zafar Bangash 
The New Great Game: Oil Politics in Central Asia
Ted Rall, Alternet, October 11, 2001 
Hearing on U.S.  Interests in the Central Asian Republics
Testimony of John Maresca, Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, Committee
on International Relations, House of Representatives, Washington, DC.,
February 12, 1998
America, Oil and Afghanistan 
Sitaram Yechury, The Hindu, October 13, 2001
Hidden Agenda Behind War on Terror 
John Pilger, UK Mirror, October 29, 2001.
Republican-controlled Carlyle Group poses serious Ethical Questions for
Bush Presidents, but Baltimore Sun ignores it
Alice Cherbonnier, Baltimore Chronicle and Sentinel, Oct. 1, 2001.  
The Carlyle Group: ex-government officials cash in
Shannon Jones, World Socialist Web Site, May 16, 2001
The Bush cabinet: a government of the financial oligarchy
Shannon Jones, World Socialist Web Site, May 16, 2001. 

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Richard Sanders, Coordinator, Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade (COAT)
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