Bin Laden Slips Out Of
The Crosshairs Again
By Stuart H. Rodman

Did someone want to keep the American public "out of the loop" before the September attacks on the World Trade Center? What you don't know could kill you...
Screaming cruise missiles smash into bunkers and supply depots. With the blood of American non-combatants still fresh on the streets, the U.S. military has the perpetrator caught in the crosshairs.
Imagine yourself the Commander-in-Chief.
You know there's a problem. Despite unprovoked acts of murder and destruction raining down on American civilians, the leaders of your opposition in Congress are openly questioning your motives and your mission is being aggressively undermined by those same leaders needed to rally around you at this time of national crisis.
Soon, support for your mission evaporates. The murderous terrorists manage to evade justice, and the nation is told by your political opponents at home, that details of your own personal life are more important to the national interest than the "untimely" pursuit of Osama Bin Laden.
Of course its not you who is really in charge. It was President Clinton in 1998 following Osama Bin Laden's attacks on American Embassies abroad, and leading Republicans in Congress that refused to support the efforts to smash the Al-Qaeda Terrorist network. For them the President's sex life was the real issue facing the nation.
Blood on their hands
But between August 1998 and September 2001, international efforts to destroy Bin Laden and the regime that harbored him continued beyond the gaze of American media. At the time though, long before thousands of innocent Americans were to die at the World Trade Center, a great opportunity was squandered. CNN reported,
"Senators Dan Coats (R-Ind.) and Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) swiftly voiced concern that Clinton might have acted to divert public attention from his personal problems related to the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal."
In fact it was earlier that same week that Clinton had used a national TV appearance "to admit an inappropriate relationship with the former White House intern." And Coats, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said in a statement,
"While there is clearly much more we need to learn about this attack and why it was ordered today, given the president's personal difficulties this week, it is legitimate to question the timing of this action."
Barely two weeks had passed after the murderous terror attacks on the U.S. embassies in East Africa and Americans were being led to believe that the President of the United States was "wagging the dog".
Was the domestic opposition to Clinton's effort to stop Bin Laden just an ironic freckle on the face of American history? According to newly published reports the answers suggest that even then, powerful forces within the American Petroleum industry have had special plans of their own for Osama Bin Laden, for the regime harboring him, and for influencing Administration policy towards them at home and abroad.
If the reports are true, despite our knowledge of his key role in worldwide terrorism, the political operatives of domestic "Big Oil" must have considered Osama Bin Laden someone that they could do business with.
Just the Facts
As has so often been the case in our nation's recent history, the roots of this foreign policy debacle can be found in our national addiction to imported oil and our willingness to be held hostage to those that control it. In this case though it was not exactly oil but natural gas that ignited the catastrophe.
In addition to uncorroborated allegations, credible reports now show that members of the Bush administration and representatives of Haliburton Oil, Unocal, and others, were negotiating to be bring new riches to the unrecognized Taliban government. According to some, the efforts continued only 30 days before the September attacks on America.
Apparently, the Taliban's abysmal human rights record and their support and encouragement of Osama Bin Laden, did not trouble the American corporate interests leading the talks. Their only concern? Securing the Taliban's involvement in a multibillion-dollar plan to site a natural gas pipeline from the petroleum rich regions of Turkmenistan across Afghanistan towards ports of call elsewhere. Purpose? Marketing vast riches, which could become the crown jewel of America's petroleum giants and the emergent Bush/Cheney energy policy.
Seem hard to swallow? Forget about it. There can be no doubt that talks were in progress with the Taliban for the siting of pipelines in Afghanistan. Take a look at what the US Energy Information Agency has to say about that on their own website
"Afghanistan's significance from an energy standpoint stems from its geographical position as a potential transit route for oil and natural gas exports from Central Asia to the Arabian Sea."
In truth, consideration for siting a pipeline through Afghanistan had begun long before the Bush/Cheney administration, once called the oil industry's "Dream Team", had taken up permanent residence at the White House. The USEIA states,
"This potential includes the possible construction of oil and natural gas export pipelines through Afghanistan, which was under serious consideration in the mid-1990s."
But the negotiations did not fare well. The USEIA adds,
"The idea has since been undermined by Afghanistan's instability."
And the prime negotiator Unocal, who since has, at least publicly, abandoned the project, adds from their own website,
"Unocal was instrumental in proposing the Central Asia gas pipeline project in 1995 and in forming the seven-member CentGas consortium in October 1997.
"The consortium was formed to evaluate and, if appropriate, to participate in the future construction of a gas pipeline from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to natural gas markets in Pakistan and, potentially, India."
Following the terrorist attacks on the Khobar Towers and other American interests abroad, the Clinton administration lost interest in the project as well as with the Taliban government then taking hold in Afghanistan:
"Since 1996, most of Afghanistan has been controlled by the Taliban movement, which the United States does not recognize as the government of Afghanistan."
Apparently though, hopes for the project did not end along with the Clinton presidency.
"Bin Laden: The Forbidden Truth"
According to reports, the talks were revived following the inauguration of the Bush administration. French authors Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquie, have recently published a book chronically the little known events titled "Bin Laden: The Forbidden Truth"
"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."
Among their charges? The authors allege 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! "
Who's to say. But in an attempt to corroborate the claim they add,
"In FACT, the FBI's Deputy Director John O'Neill resigned in July in protest over this outrageous and intolerable obstruction."
Tragically though, he's no longer talking. John O'Neil left his post to become Director of Security at the World Trade Center. His body was one among hundreds thus far recovered and identified in the rubble.
Still speaking of the pipeline project, the authors continue though,
"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."
Prior to September 11th, say the authors,
"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."
A month following the collapse of the talks, the World Trade Center laid in ruins
Bin Laden: From the Crosshairs to the Boardroom?
Condolesa Rice, Bush, and Cheney, all have their roots in the oil business. But Bush and the Taliban?
Perspective may be helpful here. Secret negotiation with the enemy is nothing new for Presidents. Do we doubt that Nixon "opened the door" to China without first discussing it with them behind closed doors? After all, history will show that opening up the "Evil Empire" to western markets hastened the fall of communism. We all understand that the world is a tough place and some might have to grow up if they can't accept political reality.
Some realities though are too harsh to be acceptable.
Before September 11th , the Taliban's principle source of income came from the illegal exportation of opium for use by junkies. Politics make strange bedfellows and the same is certainly true for transnational corporate superpowers. America's business is business, we have been told, and a corporate marriage even with purveyors of murder and addiction could help the bottom line. After all whether we're selling nicotine, heroin, or petroleum, addiction is still addiction.
Was the September 11th Attack on America some kind of knee jerk reaction to the breakdown of talks over the pipeline? Experts seem in agreement that the attacks were well planned and coordinated. It is hard to believe that the idea to attack the World Trade Center was born overnight.
And we should not be shocked to hear that efforts to form an international coalition to invade Afghanistan may have preceded our most recent day of infamy. Coalition building for such an eventuality had taken root years ago after the failed missile attacks by the Clinton administration. In fact, the Taliban have expressed fears of such an attack ever since.
Doubtless though, anti terrorist plans may have gone forward even more aggressively had it not been for that "stained dress" and the Republican campaign to use it to discredit all Clinton policies. Still Clinton wasn't ready to give up. According to a report in the Washington Post (October 3, 2001), and cited at :
"The Clinton administration and Nawaz Sharif, then prime minister of Pakistan, agreed on a joint covert operation to kill Osama bin Laden in 1999. The US would supply satellite intelligence, air support and financing, while Pakistan supplied the Pushtun-speaking operatives who would penetrate southern Afghanistan and carry out the actual killing.
"The Pakistani commando team was up and running and ready to strike by October 1999, the Post reported. One former official told the newspaper, It was an enterprise. It was proceeding. Clinton aides were delighted at the prospect of a successful assassination, with one declaring, It was like Christmas.
"The attack was aborted on October 12, 1999, when Sharif was overthrown in a military coup by General Pervez Musharraf, who halted the proposed covert operation. The Clinton administration had to settle for a UN Security Council resolution that demanded the Taliban turn over bin Laden to appropriate authorities, but did not require he be handed over to the United States."
Before an unsuspecting American public, an invasion of Afghanistan was clearly planned prior to September 11th. And as late as just last year, still other reports show the Taliban had been on high alert fearing reprisals after the Cole bombing.
Although plans for an attack were put on hold, they were to be rekindled early in 2001 by the Bush White House. And, according to Brisard and Dasquie, by then the emphasis had shifted from anti-terrorism to petro dollars. But who is minding the store?
As for the President and front man, any American today who thinks that George W. Bush is now soft on Bin Laden may have fallen asleep in some poppy field not far from the Land of Oz.
But what about Haliburton Oil, Exxon, or Unocal?
When the scent of petro dollars is in the air, all bets are off on this one. A recent BBC report said it well by citing "former CIA officer" Larry Johnson,
"We're hostage to oil, that's as simple as you can put it. We have let the economic considerations take precedence"
And the oil companies.
By implication, input from Big Oil prompted a policy shift at the top levels in the White House- 'let's leverage a deal with the Taliban by offering to ease up on Bin Laden if they will just play ball on the pipeline- we can forgive and forget Bin Laden's atrocities. Then all that nonsense about destroying Al-Qaeda will just be bygones'. No longer was nurturing the embryonic coalition against world terrorism to be the guiding force in U.S. policy towards Afghanistan.
No problem. We will do anything for more fossil fuels.
So did that really happen? The best witness has been silenced. According to Brisard and Dasquie though, as efforts to make a deal with the Taliban collapsed, they were issued an ultimatum last summer by a petro industry driven White House desperate for the fossil fuel treasures that could be theirs for the taking.
A clue may lie in these recent excerpts from the Washington Post about former oil company adviser Zalmay Khalilzad, now a member of the National Security Council, special assistant to the president, and according to the 'Post, "one of the most influential voices on Afghan policy":
"Four years ago at a luxury Houston hotel, oil company adviser Zalmay Khalilzad was chatting pleasantly over dinner with leaders of Afghanistan's Taliban regime about their shared enthusiasm for a proposed multibillion-dollar pipeline deal."
A failed policy initiative. But the 'Post story does nothing to say that the effort hasn't morphed itself lately into adopting different, more forceful tactics,
"Today, Khalilzad works steps from the White House, helping President Bush and his closest advisers in attempts to annihilate those same Afghan officials."
And all for the love of oil? That's what Brisard and Dasquie suggest.
In the Shadows
The long reach of the special interests is nothing new in American government. Advocates of freedom have plenty reason to be wary lest we be persuaded that the butter of our national interest lie on the wrong side of the toast. And we will all probably hearing more about the Pipeline later, as a plan to revitalize Afghanistan war ravaged economy, after a new, oil company friendly government is installed in Kabul.
The scariest part though is when we believe we have no alternative but to buy what they are selling. What Unocal or Haliburton doesn't want us to know is that the farms, fields, and streams of America already have the resources to cast off the chains of big oil's self serving enslavement of our national economy.
Case in point? Instead of up and going "cold turkey" on petroleum, we could wield a big economic stick of our own by using (or even threatening to use) "gashol", or "biodiesel", alternatives to petroleum fuels derived from domestically grown grain stocks. According to USDA reports, the U.S. used about 35 billion gallons of on-road diesel fuel in 1999:
"Economists examined the effect of increasing soybean oil demand from 183 million pounds in 2001 to 2.9 billion pounds in 2010 (an average of 1.5 billion pounds per year). That's the equivalent of 200 million gallons of biodiesel production a year.
"The study showed that 200 million gallons of increased annual soybean oil demand would boost total crop cash receipts by $5.2 billion cumulatively by 2010, resulting in an average net farm income increase of $300 million per year. "
The untold truth? Millions of existing vehicles could use it without modification and we would inject a powerful fiscal stimulus right into the farms of our heartland. And we have more. So much more.
But of course, do you think they would they ever really let us do that?
One other thing we do know though. The first job for a pusher is to keep the junkie hooked. Desperate substance abusers will pay any price, commit any crime, befriend any outlaw, and betray any faith to get what they want most. Oil is our national addiction and those that push it can't allow us to think we can do without still another fix.
Speaking of jobs though, it is the duty of the Shadow Government to stay in the shadows. Under scrutiny, it would soon be obvious to all that any convergence between the public will and the agenda of powerful special interests secretly running the store, must be not only rare but purely coincidental as well.
In the wake of the attacks of September 11th, America is awakening to dangers that most of us thought were unthinkable. We will never know how many lives would have been spared had we known earlier that some were charting a national course placing us directly into harm's way.
Knowledge is power and prior to September 11th the American public was clearly being held "out of the loop". Brisard and Dasquie are doing us great service by warning that the Big Oil fox is in the Presidential Hen House.
Maybe that's why so many think that America is still being wagged by the tail.
The New Oil Weapon: the U.S. Could put OPEC over a barrel
U.S. Energy Information Administration: Afghanistan cabs/afghan.html
Afghan Roots Keep Adviser Firmly in the Inner Circle http:/ /
Unocal Statement on Pipeline
Most Lawmakers Support Clinton's Military Strikes: but some Republicans raise questions m/ALLPOLITICS/1998/08/20/strike.react/
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