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FTR #424 The Past Is Prologue 2: A Memorial to September 11th

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One should not make the mistake of oversimplifying the events in connection with Iraq and 9/11. Al Qaeda, Saddam Hussein, the Taliban and the Iranian fundamentalists are manifestly evil, and their terrorist and/or weapons of mass destruction activities are not something to be readily discounted. Nonetheless, a critical “enabling factor” underlying much of what has taken place in that part of the world in recent years is the business relationships in, and around, the petroleum business.

Recapitulating long sections of FTRs 91 and 310, this program sets forth information that directly and (regrettably) precisely foreshadows key aspects of the 9/11 attacks and the war in Iraq. Beginning with a re-broadcast of most of FTR 91 (“Trouble on Oiled Waters”, from 3/22/1998) the program highlights much of the cynical eco/political maneuvering around the petroleum resources of the Middle East and the former Soviet Union. This cynical maneuvering by all concerned parties (US, British and Russian oil and energy companies, Saddam Hussein, the Iranian mullahs and Osama Bin Laden’s Taliban hosts) underlies much of what has taken place in regard to the events in, and around, the Iraq War and 9/11. Recorded more than five years ago, FTR 91 sets forth the politics of what Texans call “the aahl bidness,” and chillingly anticipates what has taken place in Iraq, as well as the Unocal pipeline project that appears to have facilitated the 9/11 attacks.

The second side of the program consists largely of a re-broadcast of side “A” of FTR 310, recorded on 7/8/2001 and re-broadcast by WFMU-FM (right across the river from the World Trade Center) between 6 and 7pm on Monday, 9/10/2001. Roughly fifteen hours later, John P. O’Neill (the heroic FBI agent whose investigation into Osama Bin Laden was frustrated by the Bush administration and its associated petroleum interests) died at Ground Zero, on his first day on the job as director of security for the World Trade Center. The program discusses the deliberate frustration of O’Neill’s investigation and highlights the crucial appointment of Robert Mueller as director of the FBI. Mueller had been less than vigorous in (among other cases) his stewardship over the BCCI investigation. Properly conducted, that investigation might have led to the incrimination of both Presidents Bush for terrorist-related activities. The elder Bush would have been convicted of events in and around the Iran-Contra and Iraqgate affair and the younger Bush would have been implicated in the business affairs of the Bin Laden family. The program is dedicated to the late John O’Neill and to WFMU.

Program Highlights Include: Discussion of the possible depressing effect on the price of oil of Saddam Hussein’s cooperation with the United Nations; the grave implications of an Iraqi oil production boom on the market price of domestic US oil, British North Sea oil, and OPEC oil; Unocal’s cooperation with the Taliban in order to realize a project to build a pipeline across Afghanistan; Osama Bin Laden’s sponsorship by the Taliban during this time; Bush’s appointment of Iran-Contra player Eliot Abrams to a new post; FBI chief Robert Mueller’s tainted investigation of the bombing of Pan Am 103; the Bin Laden connections to the bombing of the USS Cole; the BCCI/Bush family/Bin Laden family business connection.

1. Beginning with discussion of the plunging price of oil due to the Asian currency crisis and resulting reduced demand, the program excerpts eerily prophetic information from FTR 91.

(“Falling Oil Prices Hit OPEC Producers’ Hopes” by Robert Corzine; Financial Times; 3/10/1998.)

2. In early 1998, the prospect of Saddam cooperating with the UN threatened to reduce the price of oil still further, by greatly increasing the world’s petroleum supply.

(“Will Saddam Deal the Oil Market a Bad Hand?”; Jim Kharouf; Futures; February/1998.)

3. Saddam could devalue the price of British North Sea oil, US domestically-produced oil and the enormous investment that US oil companies have made in Azerbaijan and the Caspian Basin.

(“Iraq’s Oil Poses a Threat to the West” by Robert Fisk [London Independent]; San Francisco Examiner; 2/22/1998.)

4. To the consternation of the US, European companies moved to ease economic sanctions against Iran and were acting to establish a pipeline across Iran. Unocal was moving at the same time (early 1998) to build a gas pipeline from Turkemenistan through Afghanistan. In order to realize this project, the company was maintaining friendly relations with the Taliban.

(“US Warns Against Pipeline Going Through Iran, But Few Listen” by David Filipov; Boston Globe; 3/1/1998.)

4. More discussion about Unocal and the Taliban comes from a book by Leslie Cockburn. The book mentions Osama Bin Ladin and the Taliban’s sponsorship of him at the same time they were cozying up with Unocal. (The elder George Bush is a major investor in Unocal.) This relationship was ongoing at the same time that Bin Ladin was engaging in the terrorist activities for which he was later to become infamous. The program also mentions the Taliban’s cozy relationship with drug traffickers.

(Looking For Trouble: One Woman, Six Wars and a Revolution by Leslie Cockburn; Copyright 1998 by Leslie Cockburn; Anchor Books [a division of Doubleday]; ISBN 0-385-48319-8.)

5. Russian oil giant Lukoil was among the players looking to get a piece of Saddam Hussein’s petroleum action.

(“Lukoil in Russian Deal with Conoco” by Christopher Parkes and Nancy Dunne; Financial Times; 3/12/1998.)

6. Russian fascist Vladimir Zhirinovsky threatened war over Lukoil and the Iraqi oil deal. The broadcast highlights Zhirinovsky’s backing by German Nazi Gerhard Frey.

(“It Runs on Oil and Weapons”; Stern; 2/19/1998.)

7. Turning from FTR 91 to FTR 310 (recorded on 7/8/2001), the program notes that George W. Bush appointed Eliot Abrams to the National Security Council. Abrams was one of the convicted Iran-Contra conspirators pardoned by his father shortly before leaving office.

(“Iran-Contra Figure Back at White House”; New York Times; 6/30/2001; p. A4.)

8. Bush selected Robert Mueller, a member of his father’s Justice Department, to be FBI director.

(“S.F. Prosecutor Mueller Picked to Lead FBI, Mend Its Image” by Zachary Coile and Bob Egelko; San Francisco Chronicle; 7/6/2001; pp. A1-A12.)

9. In his work for the Bush Justice Department, Mueller was less than vigorous in his role overseeing the prosecution of General Noriega of Panama, the bombing of Pan Am 103 and the BCCI case.

(“In the Running for FBI Director” by Stacy Finz; San Francisco Chronicle; 7/1/2001; pp. A1-A6.)

The BCCI case, the bombing of Pan Am 103 and the Noriega case overlap the Iran-Contra investigation. The elder Bush was principally involved in the Iran-Contra imbroglio. Full disclosure concerning the BCCI case would have led to an investigation of James R. Bath, the Texas business representative of the Bin Laden family and one of the financiers of George W.’s first oil venture. Was Mueller appointed to forestall any investigation of these links, thus safeguarding the Georges Bush?

10. Bin Laden’s forces have formally taken credit for bombing the U.S.S. Cole during the campaign.

(“Islamic Militants Brag They Bombed Warship Cole” by Diana Elias [AP]; San Francisco Chronicle; 6/20/2001; p. A8.)

Mr. Emory has speculated that the Cole bombing may have been allowed to proceed for the benefit of the Bush campaign.

11. In that context, the broadcast suggests the possibility that some of the difficulties that the FBI (among other institutions) has encountered in connection with the Cole bombing may result from obstruction by the Bush camp and related petroleum interests. Note that discussion in the book Forbidden Truth by Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquie confirms Mr. Emory’s suspicions that O’Neill’s investigations of Bin Laden were truncated due to the Bush/Oil/Saudi connections. That book was published in France in November of 2001. This broadcast was recorded on 7/8/2001. Rest in peace, John O’Neill.

(“U.S. Faces Hurdles in Approach to USS Cole Probe” by David S. Cloud and Neil King, Jr.; Wall Street Journal; 7/6/2001; p. A10.)

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