August 1, 2002
A BUZZFLASH INTERVIEW WITH THE CO-AUTHOR OF "FORBIDDEN TRUTH: U.S. TALIBAN SECRET OIL DIPLOMACY AND THE FAILED HUNT FOR BIN LADEN."
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"Forbidden Truth is the story of the greatest foreign policy blunder of the past thirty years…. the most important explanation of the secret history of how the United States came to be attacked and who was responsible." -- Joseph Trento, author of The Secret History of the CIA, six-time Pulitzer nominee and former member of CNN’s Special Assignment Unit.
Author Jean-Charles Brisard wrote the first intelligence report on the Bin Laden financial networks which was used to close down fraudulent Islamic charities that funded terrorism, a report that President Jacques Chirac handed to George Bush on his visit to the US in the wake of 9/11.
Jean-Charles Brisard is former head of corporate intelligence for Vivendi Universal. Featured on radio and television worldwide, Brisard is the first expert to fully investigate the financial links between Islamic banking institutions and worldwide terrorist organizations. He is currently CEO of a financial investigation company. He resides in Paris.
The original edition of "Forbidden Truth" was published in French last year. The English edition, with new material, was printed mid-July and is available on BuzzFlash.com at: http://www.buzzflash.com/premiums/Forbidden_Truth.html
BuzzFlash.com conducted this interview with Brisard on July 24th.
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BUZZFLASH: In the new edition of your book, Forbidden Truth: U.S. –Taliban Secret Oil Diplomacy and the Failed Hunt for Bin Laden, what new material have you included in the English edition that was not in the original French edition published last year?
JEAN CHARLES BRISARD: In addition to reviewing several new documents and new evidence since the September 11th attacks, there’s a new chapter titled "The Impossible Investigation" that proves that for many years, the United States law enforcement agencies were in some ways barred from investigating Al-Qaeda terrorist networks and the connections with the Saudi Arabian kingdom.
BUZZFLASH: Why did you choose the title "Forbidden Truth?"
JEAN CHARLES BRISARD: To the West, this is the truth that we don't want to face. The truth is basically that the Al-Qaeda terrorist network and Osama Bin Laden were sponsored for years by rich Saudi families.
BUZZFLASH: Your book details the roads that lead to Saudi Arabia when it comes to the financing of terrorism, and to many of the terrorists themselves. The Bush administration has never indicated the role the Saudi ruling family has played in financing and tolerating terrorism. According to your research, this is because of the wealth to be generated by oil deals.
JEAN CHARLES BRISARD: It is not only a problem concerning the United States, but also to the West that are concerned with these serious political and diplomatic issues. It concerns our own development and it is a very difficult question to handle. How will the funding to terrorists be stopped while we’re so dependent on Saudi Arabia for our own economic development?
BUZZFLASH: What is the significance of the sixth chapter, "Chronicle of a Forbidden Negotiation?"
JEAN CHARLES BRISARD: What we say in the book is that the negotiations with the Taliban regime were driven by economic interests and U.S. corporate interests. And we know now that oil issues were specifically involved in those negotiations.
BUZZFLASH: John O'Neill, who was the former counter-terrorism FBI expert, resigned from the FBI because his investigations into Al-Qaeda were hindered when the leads pointed to Saudi Arabia. He was killed in the September 11th terrorist attacks because he went on to serve as director of security for the World Trade Center. Tell us about him. It seems that he is probably more than anyone, the person who knows the most about how investigations were blocked for political reasons.
JEAN CHARLES BRISARD: The fact is that this guy illustrates the situation of the U.S. law enforcement agencies and the political powers of the executive branch. John O'Neill was the most affected by the slowing of those investigations. My co-author, Guillaume Dasquie', and I interviewed John O'Neill in July of 2001 when he said, "All of the answers, all of the clues allowing us to dismantle Osama Bin Laden’s organization, can be found in Saudi Arabia."
BUZZFLASH: When did he resign?
JEAN CHARLES BRISARD: He resigned in August 2001.
BUZZFLASH: You subtitled the book, "The Failed Hunt for Bin Laden." George Bush said that he was going to get Bin Laden "dead or alive." Why do you think the Bush administration has failed in getting Bin Laden? There are, of course, conflicting theories about whether Bin Laden is dead or alive.
JEAN CHARLES BRISARD: In terms of finding Bin Laden, I don't know. But I will say that the failure to stop Bin Laden prior to 9/11 is for me essentially a cultural failure. The United States intelligence and policy was in a state of mind where basically people were thinking that they would never be hurt directly by the threat. That Bin Laden to some extent was under control even if embassies in Africa and the USS Cole were attacked. They were in a situation where they were feeling protected. The United States never experienced or expected an attack on their soil from Bin Laden. Even after the '93 Trade Center bombing, U.S. intelligence didn't fully understand the potential for future attacks.
Plus, you had the bureaucracy of intelligence services. In other countries the intelligence structures are more organized in terms of their task forces and are very reactive.
BUZZFLASH: What is your take on the ongoing war on terrorism by the Bush administration and its implications worldwide?
JEAN CHARLES BRISARD: The war certainly succeeded in overthrowing the Taliban regime. That's clear. But on the other hand, the United States decided to take as allies the country where the Al-Qaeda movement was born, Saudi Arabia, and the country where Al-Qaeda is taking refuge, Pakistan. These issues are not resolved.
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