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

Lis­ten:
MP3 Side 1 [1] | Side 2 [2]
RealAu­dio [3]

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 [4] and 310 [5], 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 [6] 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.)