At a time when the US media dropped the ball, award-winning French journalists covered an important missing piece of the puzzle.
The wider objective was to oust the Taliban
By the BBC's George Arney
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. 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.
Mr Naik said US officials told him of the plan at a UN-sponsored international contact group on Afghanistan which took place in Berlin. Mr Naik told the BBC that at the meeting the US representatives told him that unless Bin Laden was handed over swiftly America would take military action to kill or capture both Bin Laden and the Taliban leader, Mullah Omar.
The wider objective, according to Mr Naik, would be to topple the Taliban regime and install a transitional government of moderate Afghans in its place - possibly under the leadership of the former Afghan King Zahir Shah. Mr Naik was told that Washington would launch its operation from bases in Tajikistan, where American advisers were already in place.
He was told that Uzbekistan would also participate in the operation and that 17,000 Russian troops were on standby. Mr Naik was told that if the military action went ahead it would take place before the snows started falling in Afghanistan, by the middle of October at the latest.
He said that he was in no doubt that after the World Trade Center bombings this pre-existing US plan had been built upon and would be implemented within two or three weeks. And he said it was doubtful that Washington would drop its plan even if Bin Laden were to be surrendered immediately by the Taliban.
until August, the US government saw the Taliban regime "as a source of stability in Central Asia that would enable the construction of an oil pipeline across Central Asia" from the rich oilfields in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan, through Afghanistan and Pakistan, to the Indian Ocean. Until now, says the book, "the oil and gas reserves of Central Asia have been controlled by Russia. The Bush government wanted to change all that."But, confronted with Taliban's refusal to accept US conditions, "this rationale of energy security changed into a military one", the authors claim."At one moment during the negotiations, the US representatives told the Taliban, 'either you accept our offer of a carpet of gold, or we bury you under a carpet of bombs,'" Brisard said in an interview in Paris.The measure exempting US troops from 'war crimes' was introduced by Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) as an amendment to H.R. 1646, The Foreign Relations Authorization Act of 2001, on May 8, 2001. It passed the House 282-137 on May 10 and introduced as S. 857 in the Senate on May 9 by Senators Jesse Helms (R-NC), Zell Miller (D-GA), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), John Warner (R-VA), Trent Lott (R-MS), Richard Shelby (R-AL), and Frank Murkowski (R-AK).
--Asia Times, US policy on Taliban influenced by oil, Julio Godoy
The bill authorized Bush "...to use all means (including the provision of legal assistance) necessary to bring about the release of covered US persons and covered allied persons held captive by or on behalf of the Court [International Criminal Court, ICC, in the Hague]. Some highlights:
The President is authorized to invade The Hague. Specifically, the bill empowers Bush to use all means necessary and appropriate to bring about the release from captivity of US or Allied personnel detained or imprisoned against their will by or on behalf of the Court. Dutch cartoonists have depicted US paratroopers dropping down on the international court; US assault forces hitting Netherlands beaches like D-Day!Bush, however, was deadly serious! It is significant that this measure was introduced before 911 in obvious anticipation of a 'War on Terrorism' and the wars against Afghanistan and Iraq. Certainly no one but Bush, Dick Cheney, Tom Delay, the Project for the New American Century and members of the Bush administration might have anticipated the improbable series of events leading to the American quagmire in Iraq. Certainly, no one but Bush would have foreseen that US atrocities at Abu Ghraib, GITMO and a gulag archipelago of US torture centers throughout eastern Europe would have necessitated measures in advance to put US soldiers above the law! This measure is nothing less than a criminal administration positioning itself to exploit the crime of 911. No US governmental entity --including State or local governments and court of any US jurisdiction --may cooperate with the ICC in arrests, extraditions, searches and seizures, taking of evidence, seizure of assets, or similar matters. No ICC agent may conduct any investigation in the US.No classified national security information can be transferred directly or indirectly to the ICC or to countries Party to the Rome Statute.These provisions are in addition to existing US law (the 2000-2001 Foreign Relations Authorization Act) which prohibits any US funds going to the ICC once it has been established unless the Senate has given its advice and consent to the Rome Treaty.Memories of this act were all but erased by the events of 911, a war against Afghanistan (not yet won) , and, most tragic of all, the never-ending war crime against the people of Iraq. Bush was almost unopposed though it is clear now that Bush had laid the groundwork for war months before 911, perhaps from the day he took office, or, earlier, a stolen election in Florida in which the Democrat Al Gore got more votes.
I am especially troubled by these shifting justifications because I and most Americans strongly support the President on the use of force in response to the attacks on September 11, 2001. I voted for Senate Joint Resolution 23, the use of force resolution, to go after al Qaeda and the Taliban and those associated with the tragedies of September 11. And I strongly support military actions pursuant to Senate Joint Resolution 23. But the relentless attempt to link 9-11 and the issue of Iraq has been disappointing to me for months, culminating in the President's singularly unpersuasive attempt in Cincinnati to interweave 9-11 and Iraq, to make the American people believe that there are no important differences between the perpetrators of 9-11 and Iraq.The comments of Sen. Russ Feingold, who opposed the Iraq war resolution, are especially poignant in retrsopect. US envoy Ambassador Pierre-Richard Prosper sent a letter to then UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan stating that the Bush administration considered itself “no longer bound in any way to its purpose and objective” [Geneva Convention]. Though it was an unprecedented rift between the United States, its NATO allies and the United Nations, it was barely noticed if at all by the mainstream media. After 911, of course, it was forgotten. Europe was and remains better informed than are Americans relying upon the likes of FOX and CNN. Europe saw Bush as beginning a foreign policy of unilateralism and militarism. Europe has been proven right and the US is bogged down in evil of Bush's creation, a war planned even before 911, a tragedy of tragic --not 'funny' --convenience. [See Rove's comments re: 'funny' at the close of this article].
--Sen Russ Feingold, Why I Oppose Bush's Iraq War Resolution, October 11, 2002
But Bush is not the only culprit. There is more blame than one has time to assign. A major player in this sorry saga is Representative Henry Hyde who reverted to form and Republican campaign handbooks, when he attached the measure as an amendment to the FY2002 Department of Defense Appropriations ActThe court [ICC], Hyde said, is a threat to the sovereignty of the US.
For those of us who are committed to protecting our Constitution, and we have heard many such voices during our debate on the terrorism bill just a few weeks ago, the first place to begin is with the International Criminal Court. Terrorists, like the suicide bombers who attacked our Nation on September 11, will not be deterred by the threat that if caught and successfully prosecuted they may be sentenced to life imprisonment, because that is the highest penalty the international court can impose. But US military personnel and their civilian and military commanders will have to worry a great deal about the threat of criminal prosecution by the court. --Rep.Had Hyde forgotten that the measure was prepared long before 911? Bush's plans were known to be criminal at the outset. Bush was then and most certainly continues to be involved in the commission of war crimes for which this venal administration had planned months before 911! The GOP leadership was certainly complicit with Bush at the outset. Despite the GOP's complicity, the US public supports the International Criminal Court. A Roper Poll of October 1999, found that 66% of Americans supported the creation of a permanent International Criminal Court. Only 29% opposed it. Unfortunately, public support did not translate into US national policy, nor could it have under Bush, whose disregard of the public will is matched only by the utter contempt with which he holds the US Constitution.A summary is in order. Dick Cheney's Energy Task Force literally carved up the oil fields of the Middle East if not the world, specifically, Iraq and Iran. Afghanistan was seen as an obstacle to the UNOCAL pipeline. When US State Department Negotiations with the Taliban broke down, US State Department negotiators threatened the Taliban with carpet bombs --before 911 could have provided them a pretext! Certainly --Bushco anticipated problems with international laws and sought to place US troops amd himself beyond prosecution or justice. Iraq, of course, had nothing whatsoever to do with 911 and Saddam Hussein, like Manuel Noreiga, had been a CIA puppet. While Saddam never had WMD, his independent will was, in Bush's opinion, a cause to invade, begin the construction of permanent bases, and the permanent theft of Iraqi resources. At Abu Ghraib, Bush would find a test of his ability to place the US above international laws designed to prevent, or, at least, punish the those who perpetrate atrocities. Is the Bush administration a failed presidency? No! Bush will leave office having having enriched his base by trashing the Constitution. That's all he ever cared about. He will leave office hated by the American people whose lives he ruined and by the people of Iraq whose lives he snuffed with a smirk.
Henry Hyde (R-IL)[emphasis added]
But, unless he is impeached, he leaves office even as permanent US bases are under construction in Iraq. There are no plans to leave. Like Bush, Dick Cheney will retire unpunished for the crime of mass murder. He will have made millions for himself and more still for Halliburton. Life in the bunker will be sweet until the ticker stops. He will die alone and hated, remembered as the cyborg who shot his 'friend' in the face. Bush will simply rot in Texas, a prisoner of his own lousy company. Crawford will be ringed and armed. Nothing will get in but neither will Bush be safe without! Bush will die as he lived his life --stupid. without a clue!
Until Bush Jr came along, Henry Lee Lucas was surely the Lone Star State's most famous serial killer. He had a 'need' to confess. As we have pointed out, Don Rumsfeld dropped two important 'hints' with regard to 911, referring twice to 'missiles' that struck the Pentagon and another that shot down Flight 93. Rummie gave the game away. More recently, Karl Rove drops a shoe, referring to how 'funny' it was that '911 came along' and helped out the Bush agenda as only a 'catalyzing event like Pear Harbor' could have done.
Former White House adviser Karl Rove received an ignominious superlative Thursday night after a speech this week in which he mused that the 9/11 terrorist attacks were delivered by history.He was given the familiar distinction as "Worst Person in the World" on Keith Olbermann's MSNBC show."Defending the Iraq war as an opportunity to prove the U.S. would not hesitate to defend itself against Islamic extremist, even the wrong ones, [Rove said] quote, 'History has a funny way of deciding things. ... Sometimes history sends you things and 9/11 came our way,'" Olbermann said on Thursday night's episode of Countdown. "History has a funny way of deciding things -- 9/11. Real funny, Karl. Karl Rove, today‘s 'Worst Person in the World.'"Rove spoke to a crowd of 1,200 at the University of Pennsylvania Wednesday evening. University officials would not reveal how much he was paid for the speech.The former adviser to President Bush defended the Iraq war and proffered quotes from Democrats who believed Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction before the invasion.The country goes to war "not for the purpose of conquest but for the purpose of freedom," he said, according to the student newspaper, which did not report his 9/11 comment.Those comments were noted by The Bulletin, another Philadelphia paper. It reported the exchange as follows.Yep, Karl, mass murder is a real knee slapper for goppers. Perhaps Rove will just 'fess up and give himself up. In fact, 911 was only funny for Rove, the dancing Israelis and Bush who joked that he had hit the 'trifecta!"
[...]. On Iraq especially, the political strategist found it behooved him to underscore the unique circumstances under which the decision to go to war was made. "History has a funny way of deciding things," he said. "Sometimes history sends you things, and 9/11 came our way."Americans should not forget, he counseled, that every act of war sends a poignant political message and that any statement the U.S. could send by reluctance to fight Islamic extremists abroad will be taken as a sign of diminished will....--Olbermann not amused by Rove's quip about 9/11