At Democracy Now! we have often called the Bush administration the Oiligarchy. Vice-President Dick Cheney of course was the president of Halliburton, a company that provides services for the oil industry. For nearly a decade,National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice worked with Chevron, while secretaries of commerce and energy, Donald Evans and Spencer Abraham, worked for another oil giant. Many of the US officials now working on the administration’s Afghanistan policy also have extensive backgrounds in the world of multinational oil giants.
An explosive new book published originally in France is revealing some extraordinary details of the extent to which US oil corporations influenced the Bush administration’s policies toward the Taliban regime prior to September 11th.The book is called ??Bin Laden: The Forbidden Truth. And it paints a detailed picture of the Bush administration’s secret negotiations with the Taliban government in the months and weeks before the attacks on theWorld Trade Center. It charges that under the influence of US oil companies the Bush administration blocked U.S.secret service investigations on terrorism. It tells the story of how the administration conducted secret negotiations with the Taliban to hand-over Osama bin Laden in exchange for political recognition and economic aid.The book says that Washington’s main aim in Afghanistan prior to September 11th was consolidating the Taliban regime,in order to obtain access to the oil and gas reserves in Central Asia.
The authors claim that before the September 11th attacks, Christina Rocca, the head of Asian Affairs in the US State Department, met the Taliban Ambassador to Pakistan Abdul Salam Zaeef in Islamabad on August 2. Rocca is a veteran ofUS involvement in Afghanistan. She was previously in charge of contacts with Islamist guerrilla groups at the CIA,where she oversaw the delivery of Stinger missiles to Afghan mujahideen fighting the Soviet occupation forces in the1980s.
The book also reveals that the Taliban actually hired an American public relations’ expert for an image-making campaign in the US. What’s amazing is that the PR officer was a woman named Laila Helms, who is the niece of former CIA director Richard Helms. Helms is described as the Mata Hari of US-Taliban negotiations. The authors claim thatshe brought Sayed Rahmatullah Hashimi, an advisor to Mullah Omar, to Washington for five days in March 2001–afterthe Taliban had destroyed the ancient Buddhas of Bamiyan. Hashimi met the Directorate of Central Intelligence at theCIA, and the Bureau of Intelligence and Research at the State Department.
The book also says that the Deputy Director of the FBI, John O’Neill, resigned in July in protest of the Bush administration’s obstruction of an investigation into alleged Taliban terrorist activities. O’Neill then became head of security at the World Trade Center. He died in the September 11th attacks.
I spoke recently with the authors of Bin Laden: The Forbidden Truth: Guillaume Dasquie who is an investigative journalist and publisher of Intelligence Online. And Jean Charles Brissard who previously worked for the French Secret Services. I began by asking Brissard what former FBI deputy director John O’Neill told him during their meetings.
- Jean-Charles Brisard, co-author of ??Bin Laden: The Forbidden Truth. He has worked for the French Secret Services and wrote a report for them in 1997 on Bin Laden’s Al Qaeda network.
- Guillaume Dasquie, co-author of ??Bin Laden: The Forbidden Truth. He is an investigative journalist and publisher of Intelligence Online.