Sept. 25, 2006 --
A report in the French newspaper L'est Republicain, which published a leaked French Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure (DGSE) intelligence dossier dated September 21stating that a single Saudi intelligence source claimed Osama Bin Laden died of typhoid fever in August may be an attempt to diffuse controversy about a Pakistani cease fire agreement with pro-Taliban tribal leaders in Waziristan on the Afghan-Pakistani border, according to U.S. intelligence sources with experience in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Earlier this month, ABC News reported on the comments of Pakistani Maj. Gen. Shaukat Sultan, Director General of Inter Services Public Relations, that Bin Laden and his deputy Dr. Ayman Zawahiri, would not be taken into custody if they agreed to become "peaceful citizens." The Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and the Pakistani embassy in Washington claimed that Gen. Sultan's comments were misunderstood, however, the fact remains that the Pakistani agreement with the pro-Taliban tribes, especially those in North Waziristan, leaves a number of Al Qaeda-affiliated fighters in place, including those from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Chechnya, Uzbekistan, Uighurstan, and other countries who now live under the protection of the Pakistan-recognized Islamic Emirate of Waziristan -- an entity that provides the Taliban and Al Qaeda with their first safe state after their loss of Afghanistan to a U.S.-backed government in Kabul.
The report of Bin Laden's death is likely a Saudi feint designed to relieve U.S. pressure on Pakistan's government and the pro-Taliban emirate of Waziristan. The furor surrounding former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage's alleged threat to bomb Pakistan into the "stone age" if it did not join the "war on terrorism" immediately following the 911 attacks is also a clever ploy to keep Pakistan in line with U.S. pipeline plans for the region, according to energy industry sources.
Bin Laden "death" -- Chalk it up to Saudi and Pakistani smoke and mirrors.
The sudden sidelining of Bin Laden and Al Qaeda by Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the Bush administration involves natural gas pipeline politics in the region. According to sources involved in pre-911 negotiations with the Taliban in Afghanistan on the construction of a Central Asian gas pipeline (CentGas) pipeline from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan and Pakistan to the port of Gwadar on the Arabian Sea was a ruse by the CIA -- using UNOCAL, Enron, and Rand as fronts -- to keep a channel of communications open with the Taliban. These knowledgeable sources claim that UNOCAL and the other CentGas partners never spent a dime of their own money on the CentGas negotiations and that all the funding came from the CIA. The CentGas deal was known as a "political project" within the energy industry. The UNOCAL lead in the CentGas project was Bob Todor, an executive vice president of UNOCAL responsible for Central Asia. The reason for the CIA's bankrolling with "black budget" money of UNOCAL in negotiations with the Taliban was to dissuade the company and its partners from doing business with Iran by building a pipeline from Turkmenistan through that country to the port of Bandar Abbas.
The CentGas "political project" with the Taliban was led by veteran U.S. diplomat and native Texan Robert Oakley, a former U.S. ambassador to Pakistan (and Somalia and Zaire), coordinator of U.S. military aid to the Afghan Mujaheddin, State Department counter-terrorism corrdinator, and key Iran-Contra scandal figure (along with Richard Armitage, who negotiated U.S. weapons sales to Iran directly with Israeli intermediaries). Oakley was assisted by UNOCAL consultant and Afghanistan native Zalmay Khalilzad (former U.S. envoy to the Hamid Karzai government in Afghanistan and current U.S. ambassador to Iraq who was educated in neocon Leo Straussian politics at the University of Chicago). Khalizad, who worked for Rand, was recommended for the CentGas job by Cambridge Associates, an "investment firm" with offices in Arlington, Virginia and Dallas.
Energy industry sources also confirmed a high level CentGas meeting involving the Taliban, Uzbekistan President Islam Karimov, representatives of UNOCAL and Enron, the CIA, and Saudi billionaire Adnan Khashoggi taking place in Tashkent in 1996. The CentGas "political project" also involved then-Saudi intelligence chief and the Royal Family's "policeman" (now ambassador to the United States) Prince Turki traveling to Jalalabad, Afghanistan to meet Osama Bin Laden and warning him to "lay off" the proposed CentGas deal with the Taliban. At the time, Jalalabad was not yet under Taliban control. The Pakistani- and Saudi-supported Taliban, upon taking Jalalabad in late 1996, assured Bin Laden that he would remain under their protection. Bin Laden was told by Turki that individuals in Texas close to his late brother Salem Bin Laden (killed in a 1988 ultra-light airplane crash outside of San Antonio) personally requested Bin Laden to not interfere in the CentGas project. These Texas "individuals" reportedly included members of the Bush family, including George W. Bush and his father. Taliban representatives began to regularly visit Houston and discuss the CentGas project with UNOCAL, Enron, and politicians close to the Bush family. Meanwhile, the Saudis were convinced by their U.S. oil industry partners that the Central Asian oil and natural gas reserves represented the "next Saudi Arabia." Although this was a ruse, the Saudis decided to bankroll CentGas and other pipeline projects from the Caspian Sea to deep within former Soviet Central Asia.
Bushes to Osama Bin Laden in 1996: "Lay off" CentGas deal.
Although CentGasI was a political project to curry favor with the Taliban, recently there has been realistic U.S. interest in natural gas pipelines crisscrossing central Asia and negotiations are taking place in Ashghabat, Turkmenistan; Kabul, Afghanistan; Islamabad, Pakistan; and Quetta, capital of the Baluchistan province of Pakistan. Recently, a 30 trillion cubic feet natural gas reserve was discovered near the Turkmen town of Termez, near the Iranian frontier. The current CentGas pipeline project envisages a pipeline from the Termez field to Herat, Kandahar, Quetta, eventually linking to the Sui Southern Gas Company natural gas distribution system that links Sui, Baluchistan to Karachi in Sindh Province and the port of Gwadar. There are also plans to connect the pipeline to the Indian natural gas distribution system.
Pakistan, under U.S. pressure, has cracked down on Baluchi and Sindhi nationalists -- jailing and torturing many nationalist leaders and assassinating Baluchistan's revered 80 year old leader Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti in August. Baluchistan political leaders have begun to challenge the former princely state's forced annexation by Pakistan. The Khan of Kalat recently convened the first grand jirga in 130 years and called for the independence of Baluchistan -- citing the fact that the land was never part of British India and should have never been made a part of Pakistan. The United States, the pipeline companies, and the Musharraf regime, keenly aware that Baluchistan represents 40 percent of Pakistan's land area and 4 percent of its population, want to stamp out Baluchi nationalism for two reasons -- it endangers the Termez-Pakistan pipeline and creates a problem for a U.S. military invasion of Iran's Baluchi region in the southeast of the country.
Baluchi nationalism threatens new CentGas pipeline and U.S. plans for invasion of Iran.
In support of the Termez-Herat-Kandahar-Quetta-Sui-Gwadar pipeline, the United States continues to rebuild the original Kabul-Kandahar-Herat highway, originally built by the Morrisen Knudsen Construction Company with U.S. funds in the 1960s. In 1996, the Boise, Idaho-based Washington Group acquired Morrison-Knudsen. The Washington Group is bankrolled by the Bush family-connected Carlyle Group, according to specialists who have worked on the CentGas project and is currently involved in building and rebuilding military bases in Afghanistan. The current Kabul-Kandahar-Herat highway project was awarded to the New Jersey-based Louis Berger Corp. and kicked off by then-US ambassador Khalilzad in October 2004. The work is supported by two Turkish subcontractors and is being partly financed by Saudi Arabia and Japan, along with the United States. There are plans to link the highway with the Pakistani port of Gwadar.
Pakistan had to sideline the Taliban in the Northwest Frontier Province and their Al Qaeda allies to make way for a 700 km pipeline from Uzbekistan through northern Afghanistan and northern Pakistan to India. The route would be Termez-Mazar-e-Sharif-Kabul-Peshawar. However, this route takes the pipeline through territory controlled by pro-Taliban tribes and Al Qaeda units. Therefore, Pakistan's Prime Minister Aziz, was compelled to seek a peace treaty with the pro-Taliban tribes (and, by default, with Al Qaeda). It serves the interests of Pakistan and its pipeline partners, including the Hamid Karzai government, Mazar-e-Sharif Uzbek warlord General Abdul Rashid Dostum, the Karimov government in Tashkent, BP Amoco, Royal Dutch Shell, Russia's Gazprom, and Indian power companies to tamp down the "Taliban" threat in order to proceed with the Uzbek-Afghan-Pakistan pipeline.
Sources close to the Aga Khan (the Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims) report that his special envoy to Kabul and Islamabad has complained to the Hamid Karzai government about the involvement of U.S. Special Forces and paramilitary private contractors in Afghan opium commerce. The smuggling of opium from Afghanistan, according to Afghan and Ismaili sources, involves trans-shipment routes through Turkey and the Balkans. The U.S. Special Forces are working with Russian-Israeli Mafia and Greek and Kurdish Mafia syndicates in Turkey to smuggle the opium. The proceeds from the opium smuggling are being laundered through Russian/Israeli Mafia-controlled banks in Cyprus.
U.S. Special Forces' opium smuggling in Afghanistan draws ire of Aga Khan.
The smuggling is also reported to involve the huge worldwide air cargo fleet of alleged Russian Jewish weapons smuggler (and friend of Afghan warlord Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum and former supplier of arms to the Taliban and Al Qaeda) Viktor Bout. Iranian intelligence is also keenly aware of the U.S. military's role in smuggling Afghan opium to Turkey and beyond.
As previously reported by WMR, the Russian/Israeli Mafia-connected Jack Abramoff targeted recently-convicted Ohio Republican Rep. Bob Ney with tainted money in order to neutralize him as a back channel for the CIA to Tehran. Ney worked in Iran's School of Shiraz in 1978 where he became conversant in Farsi. He was also an "energy consultant" (CIA non-official cover) at the same time and was involved with Iran's initial nuclear program development, a program encouraged and assisted by the United States. While a member of the House, Ney provided important contacts for the CIA's Counter-proliferation Division and the CIA front company exposed by the White House -- Brewster Jennings & Associates.
But Ney may not be the only back channel to Iran neutralized by the neo-cons, who are anxious for a war with Iran. According to WMR's Middle East sources, the recent rape charges against Israel's President Moshe Katsav reportedly are an attempt to neutralize him as a back channel to Tehran. Katsav, an Iranian Yazdi Jew, is said to have an important direct link to former Iranian President Mohamed Khatami. One of Katsav's cousins studied with Khatami at Tehran University. In fact, Khatami studied and translated the works of Alexis de Tocqueville into Farsi. Katsav's back channel to Khatami, whose recent visit to the United States was decried by the neo-con quarters, was as worrisome to the neo-cons as Ney's direct links to Tehran. Therefore, Katsav was charged with sexually assaulting a member of the staff at his official residence -- eliminating another important link between the West and Iran.
According to U.S. intelligence sources, one of the reasons former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage was eager to expose the CIA's Counter-Proliferation work in South and Southeast Asia was that it focused on long-standing smuggling routes dating back to the 1970s, when Armitage worked as a partner for SEA THAI Ltd., a CIA "import-export" proprietary firm in Bangkok. Part of his time with SEA THAI was during the CIA directorship of George H. W. Bush in 1976, a time when the CIA was engaged in opium smuggling with the northern Burmese renegade army of Gen. Khun Sa. This was also a time during which the initial nuclear weapons smuggling operations of Pakistan's Abdul Qadeer Khan and his CIA enablers was underway -- operations that were known to Bob Ney in Iran in the late 1970s and other CIA agents who preceded by over a decade Valerie Plame Wilson and Brewster Jennings in tracking the nuclear smuggling routes that also involved drug smuggling operations. Before arriving in Bangkok, Armitage was stationed in Tehran from 1975 to 1976 where he worked with future Iran-Contra weapons smuggling perpetrator, Gen. Richard Secord.
In 1978, without any previous experience on Capitol Hill, Armitage became administrative assistant to Sen. Bob Dole of Kansas. Had Gerald Ford won re-election as president in 1976, it is clear that Armitage would have gone to the White House to work for a Vice President Bob Dole. Instead, he bided his time and joined the Reagan administration in 1981 as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for East Asia and Pacific Affairs and then as 1983 to May 1989, he served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs from 1983 to 1989. From 1989 to 1993, President George H. W. Bush appointed Armitage Special Mediator for Water in the Middle East and Coordinator for Emergency Humanitarian Assistance to the Newly Independent States (NIA) -- a position in which Armitage had first-hand contact with post-Soviet leaders like Azerbaijan's Gaidar Aliev, with whom Armitage would strike even closer ties as head of the U.S.-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce. Armitage's past intrigues throughout Asia were well known to the CIA. The exposure of CIA covert networks in Asia involved in ferreting out nuclear and other smuggling activities kept sleeping dogs laying for members of the Bush II administration who feared exposure of their past and current activities.