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Forbidden Truth: U.S.-Taliban Secret Oil Diplomacy and the Failed Hunt for Bin Laden
by Jean-Charles Brisard, Guillaume Dasquié

AVAILABILITY: Usually ships within 2-5 days

Publication Date: 2002
Publisher: Thunder's Mouth Press / Nation Books
Binding: Paperback
Topics: Corporate Rule, Democracy: Theory & Practice, Energy, History: Local to Global, Militarism, Spirituality & Religion, Third World Peoples, United States

Description: The result of three years of investigation by a leading French intelligence expert and an investigative journalist, 'Forbidden Truth' is the untold story of the Clinton and Bush administration's attempts to stabilize Afghanistan so that U.S. energy companies could build a pipeline across that country. In particular, it details the secret and hazardous diplomacy between the Bush administration and the Taliban between February and August 2001 - when the talks collapsed after the U.S. told the Taliban: "Accept our offer of a carpet of gold or you'll get a carpet of bombs." (The authors insist this is an exact quote.) This explosive expose links the Bush administration (and its corporate pals)directly to these top-secret negotiations with the Taliban - a story still untold in the U.S. corporate media.

Available for the first time in English, 'Forbidden Truth' was an instant bestseller in France under the title 'Bin Laden: La Verite Interdite' and a bestseller in Italy, Germany and French-speaking Canada. It so outraged the bin Laden family that it was banned in Switzerland. Brisard, the former head of corporate intelligence for Vivendi Universal has been featured on international television, including the BBC, CNN and the Pacifica network.

In 'Forbidden Truth', the authors reveal how many of the criminals involved in the BCCI banking scandal (which involved long-time presidential advisor, Clark Clifford) are still active, providing a front for terrorists in Europe and the United States. As Brisard and Dasquié explain,"The bald truth, ugly but undeniable, in the Arabic peninsula that is home to the main supply of oil reserves consumed by the industrialized nations, is that the power rests in the hands of reliable and easily corruptible middlemen...these emirs and kings who keep their people in a permanent state of submission and fear have always held up the Koran to legitimize their position, and have always been prepared to compromise with the most radical clerics to ensure that no one dislodges them from their palaces. Here they are now, acting shocked and surprised to learn that one of the faithful soldiers of one of these mullahs, Osama bin Laden, is behind the New World Disorder that so vexes their rich Western partners."

Jean-Charles Brisard is former head of corporate intelligence for Vivendi Universal. Featured on radio and television around the world, Brisard is the first expert to fully investigate the financial links between Islamic banking institutions and worldwide terrorist organizations. Former advisor to Senator Marty Wirth (D/CO), Brisard studied international law in Paris and diplomacy at Georgetown University. Currently, CEO of a financial investigation company, he resides in Paris. Guillaume Dasquié studied law and political science. Editor of Intelligence Online, author of 'Secret Affairs' (Flammarion, 1999), he teaches business intelligence.

Review(s): "The book opens with a scoop ... and an indictment of the hypocrisy of western governments."- Los Angeles Times

"'Forbidden Truth' is the story of the greatest foreign policy blunder of the past thirty years. This important book delves into the aftermath - the blowback - of the United States and Saudi Arabian policy of creating an Arab Islamic force to bring down the Soviet Union by miring it in a war in Afghanistan. It's the story of how that force turned against its creators with effectiveness and vengeance. The [information] the authors uncovered will and should make you very angry." - Joseph Trento, managing director of National Security News Service, six-time Pulitzer nominee and former member of CNN's Special Assignment Unit, and author of 'The Secret History of the CIA'

"The charges made by [Brisard and Dasquié] deserve close scrutiny." - U.S. Representative Ron Paul calling for an investigation of charges made in the book on the House floor

Here's a review from the world press:

Under the influence of United States oil companies, the government of President George W. Bush initially blocked intelligence agencies' investigations on terrorism while it bargained with the Taliban on the delivery of Osama bin Laden in exchange for political recognition and economic aid, two French intelligence analysts claim. In the book, "Bin Laden, La Verite Interdite" (Bin Laden, the Forbidden Truth), that was released recently, the authors, Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquie, reveal that the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) Deputy Director John O'Neill resigned in July in protest over the obstruction. The authors claim that O'Neill told them that "the main obstacles to investigate Islamic terrorism were U.S. oil corporate interests and the role played by Saudi Arabia in it." The two claim that the U.S. government's main objective in Afghanistan was to consolidate the position of the Taliban regime to obtain access to the oil and gas reserves in Central Asia.

They affirm that until August, the U.S. government saw the Taliban regime "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. Until now, says the book, "the oil and gas reserves of Central Asia have been controlled by Russia. The Bush government wanted to change all that." But, confronted with Taliban's refusal to accept U.S. conditions, "this rationale of energy security changed into a military one", the authors claim.

"At one moment during the negotiations, the U.S. 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. [This threat was made before September 11th.] According to the book, the Bush Administration began to negotiate with the Taliban immediately after coming into power in February. U.S. and Taliban diplomatic representatives met several times in Washington, Berlin and Islamabad. To polish their image in the United States, the Taliban even employed a U.S. expert on public relations, Laila Helms. The authors claim that Helms is also an expert in the works of U.S. intelligence organizations, for her uncle, Richard Helms, is a former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

The last meeting between U.S. and Taliban representatives took place in August, five weeks before the attacks on New York and Washington, the analysts maintain. On that occasion, Christina Rocca, in charge of Central Asian affairs for the U.S. government, met the Taliban Ambassador to Pakistan [Abdul Salam Zaeef] in Islamabad.

Brisard and Dasquie have long experience in intelligence analysis. Brisard was until the late 1990s Director of economic analysis and strategy for Vivendi, a French company. He also worked for French secret services, 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, available through the Internet.

Brisard and Dasquie draw a portrait of the closest aides to Bush, linking them to the oil business. Bush's family has a strong oil background, as do some of his top aides. From Vice President Dick Cheney, through the Director of the National Security Council Condoleezza Rice, to the secretaries of commerce and energy, Donald Evans and Stanley Abraham, all have for long worked for U.S. oil companies. Cheney was until the end of last year President of Halliburton, a company that provides services for the oil industry; Rice was between 1991 and 2000 manager for Chevron; Evans and Abraham worked for Tom Brown, another oil giant.

Besides the secret negotiations held between Washington and Kabul and the importance of the oil industry, the book takes issue with the role played by Saudi Arabia in fostering Islamic fundamentalism, in the personality of bin Laden, and with the networks that the Saudi dissident built to finance his activities. Brisard and Dasquie contend that the U.S. government's claim that it had been prosecuting bin Laden since 1998 [is a big fraud]. "Actually," Dasquie says, "the first state to officially prosecute bin Laden was Libya, on charges of terrorism." "Bin Laden wanted to settle in Libya in the early 1990s, but was hindered by the government of Muammar Gaddafi," Dasquie claims. "Enraged by Libya's refusal, bin Laden organized attacks inside Libya, including assassination attempts against Gaddafi."

Dasquie singles out one group, the Islamic Fighting Group (IFG), reputedly the most powerful Libyan dissident organization, based in London, and directly linked with bin Laden. "Gaddafi even demanded Western police institutions, such as Interpol, to pursue the IFG and bin Laden, but never obtained cooperation," Dasquie says. "Until today, members of IFG openly live in London."

The book confirms earlier reports that the U.S. government worked closely with the United Nations during the negotiations with the Taliban. "Several meetings took place this year, under the arbitration of Francesc Vendrell, personal representative of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, to discuss the situation in Afghanistan," says the book. "Representatives of the U.S. government and Russia, and the six countries that border with Afghanistan were present at these meetings," it says. "Sometimes, representatives of the Taliban also sat around the table." These meetings, also called Six plus Two, because of the number of states (six neighbors plus the U.S. and Russia) involved, have been confirmed by Niaz A. Naik, former Pakistani Secretary for foreign affairs.

In a French television news program two weeks ago, Naik said that during a Six plus Two meeting in Berlin in July, the discussions turned around "the formation of a government of national unity. If the Taliban had accepted this coalition, they would have immediately received international economic aid. And the pipelines from Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan would have come," he added. Naik also claimed that Tom Simons, the U.S. representative at these meetings, openly threatened the Taliban and Pakistan. "Simons said: 'either the Taliban behave as they ought to, or Pakistan convinces them to do so, or we will use another option'. The words Simons used were 'a military operation'," Naik claimed." - Julio Godoy, Asia Times Online Co. Ltd, 2001

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