The Enron Pipeline Connection To 9/11
By Atty. John J. Loftus*
See also companion article:
A highly reliable confidential client source who wishes to remain anonymous has promised to send me an FBI copy of a high-level Al Qaida report dating back to the embassy bombings in Africa several years ago. The email report was captured in Africa from the computer file of a senior aid to Osama Bin Laden. My client has obtained this document through lawful means.
The email report, written by Al Qaida's head of military operations, Mohammd Atef, describes Al Qaida's view of ongoing secret pipeline negotiations between the US oil companies and the Taliban to build a pipeline through Afghanistan.
This Atef report was almost certainly reviewed by the late John O'Neill at the time of the Embassy bombing, shortly after the Al Qaida report was written. At the time, O'Neill was the FBI agent in charge of the Embassy bombing investigation. The shocking pipeline information may explain why O'Neill became fixated about the Saudi-Taliban-Al Qaida relationship for the few remaining years of his life.
After O'Neill's investigations were repeatedly shut down by his superiors, O'Neill allegedly began making discreet inquiries to French intelligence using two reporters as cut-outs. Both reporters were known consultants for French intelligence and are specialists on both the oil industry and terrorism.
It is plausible that the French Government was upset at being shut out of the Caspian Basin deal, and may have been helping O'Neill behind the backs of his superior's in Washington. It does seem that the more that O'Neill learned, the less he was alowed to do with it.
The last straw was Cheney's refusal to follow up on O'Neill's request to pursue the leads in the Phoenix memo in April 2001. After resigning from the FBI in disgust, John O'Neil spoke candidly to several people, including the two French authors, whom he met again in July.
They have now written about the pipeline deal in "The Forbidden Truth." The book, not yet translated into English, quotes O'Neill as saying that his Al Qaida investigations were blocked to protect the Saudis. The Caspian Basin pipeline issue is discussed at length as the motive for the coverup.
I do not think that the French authors have the Atef document or they would have released it in their book. The Atef memo may indeed be a smoking gun, but I need to see the exact text to be sure before I release it to Congress.
This Al Qaida document may be the first hard evidence to break the Enron pipeline cover-up apart. I need your advice and confidential assistance in making a discreet collection of all Afghan pipeline research for a memo to present to Congress.
Here is my investigative hypothesis which needs to be greatly fleshed out and footnoted before I go to Congress. I have presented my thoughts by topic, rather than in chronological order.
Back in the 1970's and 80's, Saudi intelligence (not the CIA as has been reported) funded the early Taliban faction and later Al Qaida as part of the insurgency to throw the Russians out of Afghanistan. A few years afterwards, US energy companies (Enron, as the Afghan pipeline consultant for UNOCAL) used the Saudi intelligence connection to the Taliban to begin negotiations for a pipeline across Afghanistan.
Prince Turki, chief of Saudi inteligence, has publicly admitted making several trips into Afghanistan to negotiate a peace mission with the Taliban. My sources say he was the pipeline mediator for Enron. Prince Turki was fired as head of Saudi intelligence immediately after the pipeline discussions collapsed in August 2001.
Prince Turki is allegedly close to the Bin Laden family which was allegedly promised the construction contract in return for a percentage to the Saudi Royal family. This is a common business practice initiated by the Carlyle Group's contracts in Saudi Arabia.
As the Republican IPO magazine, Red Herring, confirms, President Bush' father was business partners in the Carlyle Group with the Bin Laden family during this period . This company is a Who's Who of former Democratic and Republican intelligence and political officials, whose specialty is acting as super-lobbysists at the highest levels of government. They are also suspected of arranging construction kickbacks to the Saudi royal family in return for discount oil sales.
Red Herring alleges that during a visit to Kennebunkport, Bush senior lectured his son on placating the Saudis, especially with regard to Israel, and even called the Saudis in his son's presence to reassure them that he had told his son their point of view.
Apparently, the deeply angered President Bush mentioned the
private meeting with his father to a close friend, who leaked it to Red Herring. Shortly afterward, another Republican newspaper, the Boston Herald, ran a scathing expose on the number of White House officials with investments in Saudi oil, calling it an "obscene conflict of interest."
It should be noted that President Bush at first semed to reject his father's advice about Israel quite strongly, and secrtely ordered all American troops to begin a total withdrawl from Saudi Arabia. White House sources began a steady drumbeat of leaks about Saudi involvement with terrorism, and even authorized long-delayed raids on the Saudi charities in Virginia that served as a money laundry for terrorist operations against Israel.
Suddenly, President Bush made a sudden and startling switch to adopt a more pro-Saudi view. The documents seized in the Virginia raids are barely being translated, let alone investigated.
Nevertheless, the Israelis have been privately informed that criminal cases against the Saudi-financed terrorists in the US like Sami Al Arian, are being dropped for "lack of evidence" before the evidence has even been collated.
The State Department's recent report on Global Terrorism is being denounced as a blatant white-wash by Republicans and Democrats alike.
A plausible explanation for the dramatic policy reversal is that someone (allegedly Cheney) told President Bush to call off the dogs at CIA and FBI, because if the Saudis went down, they would take his father down with them. I think our President has a good heart, but is completely boxed in and does not know how to get out from under his father's legacy.
The Israeli government is angered and bewildered over the sudden switch, and has begun to release documents showing prior US knowledge of Al Qaida operations as well as Saudi support for terrorism. As Crown Prince Abdullah's visit to both Bushes in Texas showed, a modus vivendi has been reached.
The simplest explanantion is that both Crown Prince Abdullah and President Bush can blackmail each other over the Taliban pipeline. Both sides have agreed to pretend that they have always been allies in the war against terrorism, and that Iraq is the real enemy.
Mutual blackmail makes a bit of sense. The Saudi intelligence connection was the key to get the Taliban pipeline negotiations going without the CIA or FBI finding out. The Enron political connection to the Bush and Clinton administrations was key to keeping the CIA and FBI off of the Saudis' backs while the negotiations were underway. Messy little details about terrorism were swept under the rug for the sake of the big picture.
The truth is already starting to leak out. It has just been discovered that Enron had purchased huge tracts of land in the Caspian basin, especialy in Turkmenistan, which property is allegedly still on their books. The acerage is enormous, and worthless.
But, if the Taliban pipeline had been built, Enron might have owned some of the most valuable oil exploration sites in the world, and rescued itself from insolvency. Any White House insider who helped Enron would have gotten rich, filthy rich.
When Bush's son came into office, Enron allegedly approached Cheney in late January and told him veguely about the secret Saudi-Taliban pipeline negotiations, and how important it was to America's energy policy for generations to come.
Like an idiot, Cheney agreed to keep the lid on any Saudi-Taliban investigations for a while. For the sake of the Caspian Basin pipeline, Cheney passed the word inside the beltway not to allow anyone in the Government to connect the dots.
All across America, ongoing Saudi-Taliban investigations were hindered, obstructed, or closed down, just as the Clinton administration had done before them.
What no one did was check Enron's accounting. The pipeline deal made little economic sense in view of Russian cooperation. To Enron's horror, the pipeline deal collapsed in August. Then came 9/11. Then came the Enron collapse. Then came the Cheney coverup.
Cheney's biggest problem is the two fairly senior intelligence officalls who rebelled and became whistleblowers: Robert Baer of CIA and John O'Neill of FBI. The rest of the FBI and CIA higher ups have kept their mouths shut, although a lot of lower level people are now coming forward to question their superior's strange behavior. The two rebels, Baer of CIA and O'Neill of FBI, were of course, driven into retirement.
Much of the Saudi information was blacked out of Baer's book by CIA censors, but enough remains to thoroughly document the brazen avarice of senior Clinton NSC officials for a Caspian Basin pipeline.
Baer names a few names, but he was driven into retirement before he could learn too much. Still, he learned that both Republican and Democratic officials were involved with the pipeline coverup to the great detriment of American intelligence.
The worst condemnation ever written of the financial corruption in the Clinton administration can be found in the last chapters of Robert Baer's recent book, "See No Evil", where he blames the pipeline coverup for substantially contributing to 9/11.
Baer's book makes a strong case, as do O'Neills friends in France with their book. The explanation is raw and blunt. No partisan politics, just greed. A crooked handful of high level officials in the Clinton and Bush administration were clearly obsessed with the Caspian pipeline plan.
Cheney was not the first to block the investigations, but he is probably the last to be involved with the coverup. That could explain why he is resisting Congress on both the Enron and pre-9/11 intelligence documents. If Congress ever connects the two investigations, the whole house of cards will collapse.
Most of my sources say that Bush and Rice may have been deliberately kept out of the loop by Cheney. For example, it was Cheney, not Rice, who saw the Phoenix memo before 9/11.
It is, however, theoretically possible that the President may have known about the pipeline deal from his own sources.
President Bush's father was the leading lobbbyist for the Saudis and may have been told everything by his Carlyle Group partners, the Bin Laden family, who were supposedly in line to get the Taliban pipelne construction contract. But it is doubtful we will ever know what Bush senior told his son while the pipeline negotiations were underway.
In terms of the upcoming Congressional investigation, the Al Qaida document is the first direct written evidence to confirm the existence of secret pipeline negotations with the Taliban. Moreover, it confirms that Al Qaida was informed of these negotiations from the earliest stages.
This raises an interesting question. The Al Qaida author, Mohammed Atef, must have known that his report had fallen into American hands when his operative's computer was captured by the FBI. Atef may have been surprised that his pipeline report was never made public to embarrass the Taliban.
Atef may have suspected merely from the surprising silence that the CIA and FBI were not being allowed to pursue or reveal their Afghanistan investigations while the pipeline negotiations were under way. The Saudis could certainly have tipped off the Taliban that the fix was in. It is hard to believe that the Bin Laden construction company did not learn anything from their Carlyle group partners about the pipeline.
Whatever the source, the early date of the Atef report shows that the highest levels of Al Qaida certainly knew about the pipeline secret from the beginning. The pipeline coverup could have convinced Atef that Al Qaida could expoit the lack of coordinated intelligence against them.
In addition to the usual inter-agency bungling, the Enron cover-up was the real reason for the black hole in US intell about events in Afghanistan, and plausibly explains why no US agency was allowed to connect the dots. Moreover it explains why honest officials like Baer and O'Neill were driven into retirement.
Bottom line: Baer and O'Neill were right. There was a pipeline coverup and it very likely contributed to 9/11. The Atef report raises the founded suspiscion, based on specific articulable facts, that AL Qaida might have piggy-backed on the Enron secrecy blackout to launch their surprise attack, confident in their knowledge that US intelligence had been deliberately blinded by Enron's cronies in Washington.
- * About the author: As a former federal prosecutor, John Loftus had an insider’s knowledge of high level intelligence operations, including obstruction of Congressional investigations. Loftus resigned from the Justice Department in 1981 to expose how the intelligence community had recruited Nazi war criminals and then concealed the files from Congressional subpoena. After appearing on an Emmy Award winning segment of 60 Minutes, Loftus has spent the next two decades writing histories of intelligence cover-ups, and serving as an unpaid lawyer helping other whistleblowers inside US intelligence.