February 16, 2010
In the video clip below, MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann takes the former Bush administration to task for not going after Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan. On February 21, 2001, then Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer sidelined a question from a reporter about a Taliban offer to turn over the CIA asset Osama bin Laden to the United States if Bush and the neocons would roll back sanctions against the country. Fleischer said he would get back to the reporter on the question.
In fact, Bush and the neocons had no intention of brokering a deal in with the Taliban in exchange for Osama and had finalized a plan to invade Afghanistan months before the events of September 11, 2001.
“A former Pakistani diplomat has told the BBC that the US was planning military action against Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban even before last week’s attacks,” the BBC reported on September 18, 2001. “Niaz Naik, a former Pakistani Foreign Secretary, was told by senior American officials in mid-July that military action against Afghanistan would go ahead by the middle of October.”
The invasion unfolded right on schedule and the excuse provided was the attack of September 11. The Bush administration cited al-Qaeda bases in the country and Taliban refusal to turn over Osama bin Laden.
According to Niaz Naik, U.S. representatives told him that unless Bin Laden was handed over posthaste America would take military action to kill or capture both Bin Laden and the Taliban leader Mullah Omar.
The Taliban, fearing an invasion of their country, had tried to negotiate with the United States in 1999. Kabir Mohabbat, an Afghan-American businessman, had initiated conversations about bin Laden between the U.S. government and the Taliban. According to Mohabbat, the Taliban were ready to hand bin Laden over to a third country, or the International Court of Justice, in exchange for having the US-led sanctions against Afghanistan lifted.
[efoods]“You can have him whenever the Americans are ready. Name us a country and we will extradite him,” Taliban Foreign Minister Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil told Mohabbat during a secret meeting between Taliban ministers and U.S. officials in a Frankfurt hotel. Elmar Brok, a German member of the European Parliament, later confirmed the negotiations took place between the Taliban and the United States.
According to Brok, after the face-to-face meeting in Germany, further discussions did not materialize because a “political decision” had been made by U.S. officials not to continue the negotiations. Further meetings were not held because the United States planned to invade the country.
In October of 2001, with the invasion well underway, the Bush administration refused another offer by the Taliban to turn over Osama. “The Taliban would be ready to discuss handing over Osama bin Laden to a neutral country if the US halted the bombing of Afghanistan, a senior Taliban official said today,” the Guardian reported on October 14, 2001. “If the Taliban is given evidence that Osama bin Laden is involved” in the September 11, 2001, attack and the bombing campaign stopped, “we would be ready to hand him over to a third country,” Afghanistan’s deputy prime minister, Haji Abdul Kabir, said.
Prior to the plan to invade Afghanistan, the United States supported the fanatical Wahhabist sect. In December of 1997, Taliban representatives were invited guests to the Texas headquarters of UNOCAL to negotiate their support for a lucrative gas pipeline. Future President George W. Bush is Governor of Texas at the time. The Taliban agreed to a $2 billion pipeline deal, but would not finalize the deal unless the U.S. officially recognized the Taliban regime.
The plan to invade Afghanistan appeared after negotiations with the Taliban collapsed, primarily after UNOCAL backed away from dealing with the Taliban as a result of harsh criticism of the Taliban for their treatment of women and children. The Clinton administration canceled plants to send the U.S. ambassador to Pakistan on a visit to Kabul.
A deal on the pipeline was signed on 27 December 2002 by the leaders of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan after the defeat of the Taliban.
Keith Olbermann and MSNBC (owned by the death merchant General Electric) would do all of us a service if they told the whole story on the Taliban, al-Qaeda, and Osama bin Laden.
If not for the CIA and Pakistan’s ISI, the Taliban would not exist.
The Taliban “came from madrassas set up by the Pakistani government [the ISI intelligence service] along the border and funded by the U.S., Britain, and the Saudis, where they had received theological indoctrination and military training. Thousands of young men — refugees and orphans from the war in Afghanistan — became the foot soldiers of this movement,” writes Phil Gasper. “With the aid of the Pakistani army, the Taliban swept across most of the exhausted country promising a restoration of order and finally capturing Kabul in September 1996. The Taliban imposed an ultra-sectarian version of Islam, closely related to Wahhabism, the ruling creed in Saudi Arabia. Women have been denied education, health care, and the right to work. They must cover themselves completely when in public. Minorities have been brutally repressed. Even singing and dancing in public are forbidden.”
“The Taliban’s brand of extreme Islam had no historical roots in Afghanistan. The roots of the Taliban’s success lay in 20 years of ‘jihad’ [sponsored by the CIA] against the Russians and further devastation wrought by years of internal fighting between the warlord factions.”
The late Osama bin Laden was a CIA pawned patsy designed to provide an excuse to invade or otherwise attack or marginalize countries and tribal backwaters that stand in the way of the geopolitical objectives of the United States government and the bankers and the transnational corporations that own and run it.