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COLUMN SEVENTY-FOUR, AUGUST 1, 2002
(Copyright © 2002 The Blacklisted Journalist)
BUSH, BIG OIL AND BIN lADEN
FW: BIG OIL, BIN LADEN, THE BUSH TEAM AND SEPT. 11
Date: Wed, 12 Jun 2002 10:07:28 -0700
From: "venire" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
8, No. 1856W - The American Reporter - June 2, 2002
On Native Ground
BIG OIL, BIN LADEN, THE BUSH TEAM AND SEPT. 11
by Randolph T. Holhut
American Reporter Correspondent
Vt. -- I used to think that President Richard Nixon set the gold standard for
secrecy, paranoia and corruption. But President George W. Bush is coming up fast
on the rail.
it's because there are Nixon alumni on the president's team such as Vice
President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Maybe it's because
of the political lessons learned from his father, the first President Bush,
another Nixon alum. Maybe it's because the methods of Nixon - the cynicism, the
lying, the political trickery and the bullying of opponents - are still
the reason, the present Bush administration seems determined to "out
Nixon" Nixon. They have succeeded in making even the mildest criticism or
question of the administration's "war on terror" tantamount to
treason. They have rebuffed all attempts to obtain information on the extent of
intelligence information prior the Sept. 11 attacks. They have been relentless
in trying to control what the public knows about what's going on in the White
paranoia and corruption. Except this isn't about illegal campaign contributions
and "black bag" jobs against political enemies, as in Watergate. Or
secretly selling weapons to terrorists to illegally fund a proxy army, as in the
Iran-Contra affair. It's about something bigger than oral sex in the Oval
Office. It's about national security and whether or not negligence and/or
incompetence by the Bush administration led to the deaths of more than 3,000
of getting the truth, we are getting demagoguery from the Bush administration
that's straight from the Nixon playbook: deny and hedge your responses, accuse
your critics of being "partisan" or even "disloyal," and
change the subject if things start getting too hot. But, as Nixon found out, you
can only keep doing these things for so
truth here is pretty simple and clear cut. The Bush administration had specific
information from a variety of sources that Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda was
planning some sort of airplane-based attack on American targets. Nothing was
done with the information.
the Sept. 11 attacks, we repeatedly heard from the White House that there was no
"specific" advance warning that the attacks were going to happen.
"Specific" is the key word here. Yes, President Bush didn't get a
message from bin Laden stating that an airliner was going to flying into the
World Trade Center shortly before 9 a.m. on Sept. 11, 2001. But there was a
substantial amount of information in the months leading up to Sept. 11 that
something was going to happen.
attempts were made to improve airport security, or even alert anyone to the
possibility of a terrorist hijacking. This is not to say it might of [sic] made
a difference, but that the Clinton administration twice thwarted planned terror
attacks in the U.S. in 1995 and 1999 by bin Laden operatives. The Clinton team
may have had better luck, but it's clear they took bin Laden a lot more
seriously than the Bush administration did prior to Sept. 11.
know that the Bush administration made a point of abandoning almost all of
Clinton's foreign policy initiatives. Even though outgoing National Security
Advisor Sandy Berger warned his replacement, Condoleezza Rice, about bin Laden
and told her that she would "be spending more time on this issue than on
any other," no one in the Bush White House seemed to heed this warning.
progress the Clinton administration had made in keeping bin Laden on the run was
lost when the Bush team decided there were other priorities. Building up China
into a potential enemy and pushing forward with the still unworkable and useless
National Missile Defense plan were more important than dealing with the very
real threat of bin Laden.
is not to imply a conspiracy of deliberate inaction by the Bush administration
or that the Sept. 11 attacks were allowed to happen. But when one digs a little
deeper, you can see that certain decisions that were made benefited certain
the now-infamous Carlyle Group, the Washington-based investment group that's
filled with former Reagan-Bush I staffers, including the former President Bush.
We know that the bin Laden family had a $2 million investment in Carlyle - money
that was withdrawn after Sept. 11. Prior to that date, attempts to investigate
Osama bin Laden's involvement in terrorist attacks against U.S. targets were
squelched by the administration.
O'Neill, the FBI deputy director who was the lead investigator in the bin Laden
case, quit the FBI last August out of frustration with the Bush administration's
interference. O'Neill said the "main obstacles to investigating Islamic
terrorism were U.S. oil interests and the role played by Saudi Arabia in
it." O'Neill became the chief of security at the World Trade Center and was
killed on Sept. 11.
Carlyle Group made millions after Sept. 11 off its defense investments. If that
smells suspicious, the history of the Bush administration's dealings with the
Taliban to get a pipeline built through Afghanistan smells even more rank.
in 1998, Unocal sought to build an pipeline from Turkmenistan to Pakistan to tap
into the huge natural gas reserves located in the countries around the Caspian
Sea. Afghanistan, then under Taliban control, was the main obstacle to getting
it built. After bin Laden's forces bombed U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania,
the Clinton administration barred any financial dealings with the Taliban regime
as punishment for harboring bin Laden.
the President Bush took office, the Clinton restrictions were removed and
negotiations resumed with the Taliban to get the pipeline proposal going again.
The Taliban balked and talks broke down last August.
are some reports that the Bush administration threatened war against the Taliban
if they didn't go along with the deal. We don't know if that's true, but we do
know that the Bush administration wasn't pushing the investigations into bin
Laden that were started during the Clinton era so that the regimes involved in
the pipeline plan wouldn't be offended. It may be safe to assume bin Laden took
advantage of this in planning the Sept. 11 attacks.
also know that President Bush and Vice President Cheney owe most of their
political and financial success to their involvement in the oil business. It's
not much of a stretch to think that many of the pre-Sept. 11 foreign policy
decisions were made in deference to the oil industry.
may explain why the Bush administration was adamantly opposed to a congressional
investigation of the events leading up to the Sept. 11 attacks. It also explains
why it is so important that such an investigation is carried out.
Randolph T. Holhut has been a journalist in New England for more than 20 years. He edited "The George Seldes Reader" (Barricade Books). ##
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