Friday, June 07, 2002

It is now being reported that, at least in 1998, al-Qaeda was fully aware of the state of negotiations between the United States and the Taliban over the Afghan pipeline. There is good reason to believe that in 2001 the Bush Administration was using threats of bombing in order to force the Taliban to agree to the terms proposed by the oil company friends of the Bush Administration. One can only surmise that if al-Qaeda was kept fully informed of the earlier negotiations, it would also be aware of the American threat in 2001. If all this is true, and it certainly sounds plausible, it clearly ties the war in Afghanistan to the oil pipeline negotiations, and puts the lie to the U. S. claim that the war on Afghanistan was a war intended to attack al-Qaeda and bin Laden, both as punishment for September 11 and to stop further terrorism. In addition, al-Qaeda knowledge of the U. S. threats against the Taliban may have actually led to the September 11 terrorism, as the first step in a war between the U. S. and al-Qaeda that was started by the United States when the negotiators made it clear that Afghanistan would be bombed if the good oily friends of the Bush Administration didn't get the highly favorable terms they were looking for. Al-Qaeda's knowledge of the American negotiating position (and even if it was just a threat, it was at the very least highly negligent for the U. S. to allow the Taliban and al-Qaeda to believe that this was the American position) is a 'smoking gun' which ties the September 11 terrorism to the Bush Administration's overly friendly ties to specific U. S. oil corporate interests. In effect, the Bush Administration allowed the interests of the whole country to fall behind the interests of the companies which would benefit from the Afghan oil pipeline, and allowed individual corporate interests to use the threat of war from the United States to improve their negotiating position. There may even be a connection to Enron, and a possible argument that the intentional obfuscation by Cheney of the Enron connection to the Taliban negotiations also made it impossible for FBI or CIA counterterrorism experts to 'connect the dots'! You could of course go even further and wonder if the United States government 'let one happen' (in the words of Delmart Vreeland) to provide the excuse to attack Afghanistan, but the mere fact that al-Qaeda knew of the illegitimate U. S. negotiating position - where U. S. military might and the threat of war was used as a tool in commercial negotiations for the benefit of friends of the Bush Administration at the terrible expense of the United States as a whole - is enough to damn the Bush Administration and to make it partly responsible for September 11. One might also think that U. S. counterterrorism experts would have reacted more quickly to knowledge that an attack was coming soon if they were aware that al-Qaeda was aware of the U. S. government threat against the Taliban and Afghanistan. On the other hand, we mustn't forget that the role of al-Qaeda in 9-11 is still an open question. I personally think it unlikely that either bin Laden or al-Qaeda had much of a role in 9-11 other than as a patsy, willing to take credit for the terrorism in order to increase their own reputations. At the very least, al-Qaeda must have had a lot of help. Consider the following:

  1. Al-Qaeda couldn't have established the elaborate set of false identities used by the hijackers, combining U. S., European and Arab components (remember that Mueller himself admits that he has no idea as to who the hijackers really are). In fact, only the central intelligence agency of a major country would be capable of such work.

  2. Al-Qaeda didn't ignore all the warnings of imminent terrorist attack given to the Bush Administration, and didn't allow people on a CIA watch list to move freely around the United States and board aircraft.

  3. Al-Qaeda couldn't have stood down the U. S. air defence system.

  4. Al-Qaeda couldn't be continuing the cover-up that for some reason the Bush Administration feels is necessary (why does the victim have to cover up the truth?).

The bottom line is that while this is important information involving further nuances of the guilt of the Bush Administration for the events of September 11, we still have to read it with a critical mind. What al-Qaeda actually is, and its highly complicated relationship with the U. S. government (for example, even after September 11 the U. S. government was still supporting al-Qaeda operatives in Macedonia/Kosovo), are still completely open questions.