Submitted by "Ethic"
Here's is Chapter 1 of the book "BIN LADEN, THE HIDDEN TRUTH (Period of November 2000 through November 2001) By Guillaume Dasquié and Jean-Charles Brisard
This first chapter has been translated from French to English with the help of http://babelfish.altavista.com Therefore it is not perfect but, since French is my first language ... I cannot do much better. Sorry !
Chapter 1. Laila Helms, profession : Lobbyist for the Taliban
Her name is Laila Helms, she lives in Washington, and with her family's relations, it seemed not very probable that Laila Helms remains away of the World darkest zones. Laila Helms is not less than the niece of Richard Helms, a former director of CIA and former US ambassador in Iran.
In her sparkling forty, this American Woman of Afghan origin, grew at the rhythm of the tumultuous relations between her country of origin and her country of adoption. Already in the Eighties, from the East coast of the United States, Laila Helms embraced the cause of the moudjahidines who were fighting against the Soviet invader.
At that time, Laila Helms is a member of the American association called "Friends of Afghanistan", a real nongovernmental organization encouraged by the American State Department and the White House. This " Friends of Afghanistan" Association is intended to secure sympathy of the public opinions with regard to the Afghan moudjahidines. The " Friends of Afghanistan" was a kind of Western relay of the holy war carried out on remote grounds against the USSR.
For this reason, for example, the young Laila Helms organized the voyage to the United States of Sayed Mohammad Gailani ( the head of moudjahidin), between March 20 and April 5, 1986. Incidentally, during his trip, this framework of the Afghan guerrilla discussed lengthily with the vice-president, a certain George Bush. It was on March 21, 1986 in Washington(1).
The chances of History, her entregent with the Afghan religious heads, but also her address book, gradually made of Laila Helms the impossible to circumvent lobbyist of Afghanistan near the American circles of capacity. Pure "product" of US policy in this area of the World, Laila Helms supported the islamists leaders who had for a long time the favours of the American Administration.
Also, as from the year 1995, Laila Helms is part of the number of the representatives of the taliban interests in Washington. Taliban which are on the point of seizing the power in Kabul, with the blessing and the dollars of Saudi Arabia and the benevolence of the American State Department.
During the last six years, Laila Helms was devoted to supervise various actions of influence in the name of the taliban, in particular at the United Nations. The activities of Laila Helms for those "customers" (the taliban) will never decrease, even after 1996, when the head of the taliban Mohammed Omar becomes officially less frequentable by the American government (Mohammed Omar had largely recoursed to summary executions).
Laila Helms will persist after 1997, when the taliban welcomed Ossama Ben Laden, and even after 1998, when Ossama Ben Laden was "recognized guilty" by the USA who believe that Ossama Ben Laden have financed the attacks against the American embassies of Nairobi and Dar es-Salam. Thus, in February 1999, Laila Helms carried out a TV documentary for NEC, after she has obtained from NEC a team to shoot the movie during two weeks in Afghanistan (2). Her documentary devoted to the life of the Afghan women. The result : a propaganda film, which would present the optimistic living conditions of the Afghan women. Neither NEC nor any other American TV networks never agreed to diffuse her documentary.
Even if it seems now very strange, Laila Helms' activism did not represent an exception in the United States. Others delegated of the taliban were prosperous and highly respected there, up to one very recent period, through various more or less discrete structures.
For example the American office of the "Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan", a kind of Taliban Chancellery established in the United States. This Office had a semi-official statute, since the Taliban system was never recognized by the United States (3). (the word "taliban" means "students in religion")
However, still in August 2001, this Taliban's representation in New York had many rooms inside a building of the Queens, where this Taliban's representation received Maulana Abdul Hakeem Mujahid, the "abstract" ambassador of the taliban in North America.
After February 5, 2001 and the Taliban' request for an official recognition, it is quite naturally than Laila Helms got the mission of orchestrating -- in Washington -- the new Americano-Afghan' relationship. In a few weeks, Laila Helms deployed treasures of diplomacy to obtain that the highest persons in charge of the Bush Administration, will meet with the emissary of mollah Omar. In the US Administration, the former partners of Laila Helms -- from the time of moudjahidines war against the USSR -- represent invaluable contacts. In the Republican camp, the persons who formerly massively supported the islamists guerrillas ( to destabilize Moscow ) were again occupying the keys-stations. They are allies of very invaluable circumstances.
The first results feel two months later, between March 18 and March 23, 2001. Sayed Rahmatullah Hashimi, 24 y.o., Ambassador of the taliban and personal adviser of Mohammed Omar, pays a short visit in the United States. This displacement intervenes after the dynamiting of the thousand-year-old Buddhas of Bamyan.
In spite of the tended context, the lobbyist Laila Helms, planned several meetings for this young Afghan dignitary. According to the American journalist Wayne Madsen (4), a specialist in the questions of security and former Intelligence Officer, at least two structures of the US Administration agree to discuss with him : the central Management of the CIA (5) and the Intelligence Office of the US State Department (6).
Better : in the country of the king medias , Laila Helms obtains for Sayed Rahmatullah Hashimi two interviews on « supports » who are particularly followed by the political decision-makers : ABC and the National Public Radio. A great occasion to improve the image of the taliban, and thus to facilitate the negotiations (7).
What is the purpose of this visit ? Does it simply result from the talents of Laila Helms ? Who are her sponsor ? And especially, what is the logic of this voyage ?
Actually, since the beginning of the year 1999 and until August 2001, in the United States it exists a concerted and persistent will to lead to a settlement of the Afghan matter. The only notable evolution : the Republicans decide to accelerate the process engaged by the members of the Clinton administration.
February 5 2001, the declaration of the Taliban Foreign Minister simply states that the Masters of Kabul want to quickly manage an agreement. Both sides, interests are well understood.
In the name of its energy policy, Washington will support a process of progressive international recognition for the taliban. In exchange, the taliban will adopt a more peaceful policy. They will also give up their support of Ossama Bin Laden, the supposed Integrist Head and they will agree in their international relations to remain in the line of the Sunnites Fundamentalist States (8). Which fundamentalist Sunnite States, outside their borders, take positions in conformity with the directions fixed by Saudi Arabia, first financier of radical Sunnisme and first allie of United States in the « Arab World ».
Eminent personalities are working so that this exchange of good processes is carried out. Thus, a s of January 2000, a high person in charge of the State Department meets in Pakistan with the Taliban Ambassador Saeed Mohammed Muttaqi (9).
This VIP of US State Department also takes advantage to discuss with theUS Ambassador in Pakistan, Tom Simons. Tom Simons will gradually become the « driving belt » of these talks. The last act of the Americano-Afghan negotiations starts there.
In the East coast of the United States, these negotiations are summarized to obtain that the allies of yesterday re-enter finally in the rows. Because the Taliban system was not always honni by the persons in charge of the White House and in charge of the State Department. On the contrary. During several years, one the US perceived the Taliban system like a providential movement.
From 1994 to 1998, the United States expresses a relative benevolence with regard to the Taliban. It is true that the sudden starts of a country are singularly perceived from the cossus and solid masses buildings which skirt banks of the Potomac, cutting this north-eastern district of Washington where such an amount of power sereinement sits.
There, on a surface of three or four square kilometres, the financial staffs, the political and military staffs -- of the World Bank to Pentagon --, follow the World businesses by observing the screens which describe the raw materials markets and by quickly reading the diplomatic telegrams which summarize the hurly-burly of the planetary topicality.
About Afghanistan, those indicators are without call. The country is the key of Central Asia energy reserves : it must be dominated by a strong and uncontested government to peacefully benefit from this situation. Thus, even after the attacks of Nairobi and Dar es-Salaam in 1998, whereas the Taliban openly protect Ossama Bin Laden, supposed sponsor of these attacks, the United States still and always negotiates.
(1) Files of Committee for has Free Afghanistan and of the organization Friends of Afghanistan.
(2) Testimony of Deonna Kelli, researcher in East Carolina University and coordinatrice of the Social Association of Muslim Scientists.
(3) Only Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia recognized the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, i.e. the Taliban State.
(4) Testimony collected by the authors.
(5) It is about Directorate of Central Intelligence (DCI). It includes the director of the CIA as well as a cabinet charged to coordinate all the activities of the agency. In fact the DCI also manages all the significant contacts with foreign personalities.
(6) the Office of Intelligence and Research of the State Department provides political analyses and strategic information to the heads of diplomacy
(7). Wednesday March 21 200 at 2 p.m., Sayed Rahmatullah Hashimi is lengthily interviewed by Juan Williams on the National Public Radio. Friday March 23 2001 at 6.30 p.m., Sayed Rahmatullah Hashimi answers the questions of Bill Redeker on ABC News.
(8). Mainly: Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Pakistan.
(9). Files of the US embassy in Islamabad.
Here's an article by V K Shashikumar
America's dirty Afghan secret : it's a war over oil
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, says V K Shashikumar
New Delhi, November 21, 2001
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, (November 12) 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.
(John O'Neill became the head of the WTC Security team and he died on 911 ... -- Note by Ethic -- )
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,
(see www.unocal.com -- Note by Ethic -- )
and the role played by Saudi Arabia in it," O'Neill reportedly told the authors. ( in Paris, in July 2001 -- Note by Ethic -- )
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. (www.intelligenceonline.com)
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 a ctivities 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 :
http://www.tehelka.com/channels/currentaffairs/2001/nov/21/printable/ca11210 1americapr.htm also see :