THE CLEANTECH CRASH - Earlier Timeline Elements

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  Please note that this Key Research was produced by By Jean-Charles Brisard A 1998 memo written by al-Qaida military chief Mohammed Atef reveals that Osama bin Laden's group had detailed knowledge of negotiations that were taking place between Afghanistan's ruling Taliban and American government and business leaders over plans for a U.S. oil and gas pipeline across that Central Asian country. The e-mail memo was found in 1998 on a computer seized by the FBI during its investigation into the 1998 African embassy bombings, which were sponsored by al-Qaida. Atef's memo was discovered by FBI counter-terrorism expert John O'Neill, who left the bureau in 2001, complaining that U.S. oil interests were hindering his investigation into al-Qaida. O'Neill, who became security chief at the World Trade Center, died in the Sept. 11 attack. Atef's memo shines new light on what al-Qaida knew about U.S. efforts to normalize relations with the Taliban in exchange for the fundamentalist government's supporting the construction of an oil and gas pipeline across Afghanistan. As documented in the book I coauthored with Guillaume Dasquie, "Bin Laden: The Forbidden Truth," the Clinton and Bush administrations negotiated with the Taliban, both to get the repressive regime to widen its government as well as look favorably on U.S. companies' attempts to construct an oil pipeline. The Bush White House stepped up negotiations with the Taliban in 2001. When those talks stalled in July, a Bush administration representative threatened the Taliban with military reprisals if the government did not go along with American demands. The seven-page memo was signed "Abu Hafs," which is the military name of Atef, who was the military chief of al-Qaida and is believed to have been killed in November 2001 during U.S. operations in Afghanistan. It shows al-Qaida's keen interest in the U.S.-Taliban negotiations and raises new questions as to whether the U.S. military threat to the Taliban in July 2001 could have prompted al-Qaida's Sept. 11 attack. Atef's memo is not about the pipeline alone, though it mentions the project several times. It is an analysis of the political situation facing the Taliban. It documents the movement's rise, its leadership, the geopolitical importance of Afghanistan, the Taliban's relationship with Pakistan, as well as the movement's relationship with the Arab mujahedin. The document's intended readership is unclear. But it reveals that the pipeline was seen as a strategic offering toward the West, in order to make the Taliban government acceptable to the United States and Pakistan, as well as to reduce military and investigative pressure on the country to rein in or even extradite bin Laden. Atef explains that the United States wants "to take control of any region which has huge quantities of oil reserves," and "the American government is keen on laying the oil and gas pipelines from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to Pakistan." Atef concludes that al-Qaida's "duty toward the movement [Taliban] is to stand behind it, support it materially and morally, especially because its regional and international enemies are working night and day to put an end to it and make it fail." It seems clear the military chief didn't expect the pipeline negotiations to bear fruit. Referring to Pakistanis as "nonbelievers," and noting that the pipeline "will be under American control ... and it also goes through the territories of Pakistan which are allied to America," Atef implies that the Taliban has no intention of ultimately cooperating with the project, but is trying to string along the Americans and Pakistanis to win some breathing room for its unpopular government. The Atef memo is the latest piece of evidence documenting a murky chapter in recent American history -- the overtures of the last two American administrations to the repressive Taliban regime. Several U.S. oil companies, most notably Unocal, had been advocates of diplomatic overtures to the Taliban, in order to facilitate the building of a pipeline from the Caspian Sea region to Pakistan and the Persian Gulf through Afghanistan. In 1996, Unocal vice president Chris Taggart described the fall of Kabul to the Taliban regime as a "very positive step" and urged the U.S. to extend recognition to the new rulers in Kabul and thus "lead the way to international lending agencies coming in." Just 10 days after the Taliban seized power in Kabul, Zalmay Khalilzad, former National Security Council official and Unocal consultant who was appointed special envoy to Afghanistan by President George W. Bush at the end of 2001, argued in a Washington Post opinion article that the U.S. should try to work with the mullahs and form a broad-based government that included other factions. "The Taliban does not practice the anti-U.S. style of fundamentalism practiced by Iran -- it is closer to the Saudi model ." Khalilzad contended, concluding that "we should use as a positive incentive the benefits that will accrue to Afghanistan from the construction of oil and gas pipelines across its territory ... These projects will only go forward if Afghanistan has a single authoritative government." Soon after, the State Department spokesman Glyn Davies told the New York Times he had hope that "the new authorities in Kabul will move quickly to restore order and security and to form a representative interim government that can begin the process of reconciliation nationwide." Davies also said the United States "wanted to send diplomats to Afghanistan to meet with the Taliban and held out the possibility of re-establishing full diplomatic ties with the country," according to the Times. In November 1997 Unocal invited a Taliban delegation to Texas and, in early December, the company opened a training center at the University of Nebraska, to instruct 137 Afghans in pipeline construction technology. The company also donated to the university's Center for Afghanistan Studies. Unocal CEO John Imle estimated that the company spent between $15 and $20 million on its Central Asia oil pipeline (CentGas) project -- on preliminary feasibility studies, humanitarian projects and other efforts to lobby the Taliban (Unocal equipped the regime with satellite phones, for instance.) In February 1998, Unocal's vice president for international relations, John Maresca, told a House subcommittee hearing on U.S. interests in the Central Asian Republics that an oil pipeline "would benefit Afghanistan, which would receive revenues from transport tariffs, and would promote stability and encourage trade and economic development." Emphasizing that "the proposed Central Asia Oil Pipeline (CentGas) cannot begin construction until an internationally recognized Afghanistan government is in place," he urged the administration and the Congress "to give strong support to the United Nations-led peace process in Afghanistan." Until the 1998 al-Qaida embassy bombings, the Clinton administration's approach toward the Taliban was much the same as Unocal's: All parties agreed that the political stabilization of Afghanistan was crucial to the region, and was also a way to gain access to oil reserves of the Caspian Sea region. Though bin Laden had been in the country since 1996, the U.S. had not pressured the Taliban to hand him over. The embassy bombings in August 1998 changed everything. The Clinton administration denounced the regime and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright turned up the heat on Taliban human rights abuses. The United Nations imposed sanctions, freezing Afghanistan's foreign assets and limiting its citizens' travel. The U.S. continued to talk to the Taliban, but the emphasis was on extraditing bin Laden in exchange for international recognition; the pipeline was off the table. Unocal, which had been close to finalizing its pipeline deal before the embassy bombings, cancelled it. When George W. Bush took office in 2001, his administration made new overtures to the Taliban, and the pipeline deal gained renewed support, as an incentive to get the Taliban to make political concessions and form a broader government. U.S. representatives met with Afghanistan's former King Shah, to see if he might be included in a new government. And American companies began exploring the failed 1998 pipeline project. A report by an Afghan-born Enron manager in July 2001, for instance, illustrates that company's deep interest in some sort of pipeline deal. Enron had begun funding the same sorts of humanitarian projects as Unocal had three years earlier. In March 2001, several Taliban officials, including Sayed Rahmattulah Hashimi, Mullah Omar's personal advisor, were invited to Washington by their U.S. lobbyist, Leila Helms, the niece of former CIA Director Richard Helms. The agenda included discussions of extraditing bin Laden as well as facilitating American companies' access to oil reserves in central Asia. The delegation met with representatives of the Directorate of Central Intelligence (DCI) and the Bureau of Intelligence and Research of the State Department. This visit provoked concern and criticism in Washington over how Hashimi obtained a visa, a plane ticket, security clearance and access to American institutions -- including the State Department and the National Security Council -- despite travel restrictions on Taliban leadership imposed by U.N. sanctions (the official answer was that Hashimi fell below the rank of senior official covered by the sanctions.) Four months later, American diplomats met with Taliban emissaries as well as representatives from Pakistan, Iran and Russia for four days of talks in Berlin in mid-July. Again, the message was that if the Taliban would extradite bin Laden and form a broad-based national government, it could win international recognition and reap extensive economic subsidies from the construction of a pipeline. The meeting was one of several convened by Francesco Vendrell, a Spanish diplomat who serves as the U.N.'s chief representative on Afghanistan. The delegates at the July meeting included Robert Oakley, former U.S. ambassador and Unocal lobbyist; Karl "Rick" Inderfurth, former assistant secretary of state for South Asian affairs; Lee Coldren, head of the Office of Pakistan, Afghan and Bangladesh Affairs in the State Department until 1997; Tom Simons, former U.S. ambassador to Pakistan and the most recent official negotiator with the Taliban; Niaz Naik, former Foreign Minister of Pakistan; Nikolai Kozyrev, a former Russian special envoy to Afghanistan; and Saeed Rajai Khorassani, formerly the Iranian representative to the U.N. The Taliban ambassador to Pakistan, Abdul Salam Zaeef, attended several sessions with some of the delegates in Berlin, according to Naif Naik, though officially the Taliban had not been invited. Naik was expected to carry the U.S. message to the Taliban. According to Naik, the point of the meeting was that "we would try to convey to them that if they did certain things, then, gradually, they could win the jackpot, get something in return from the international community." It might, Naik said, "be possible to persuade the Taliban that once a broader-based government was in place and the oil pipeline under way, there would be billions of dollars in commission, and the Taliban would have their own resources." It was at the July meeting, according to Naik, that Tom Simons suggested that Afghanistan could face an open-ended military operation from bases in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan if it didn't accede to U.S. demands. "Ambassador Simons stated that if the Taliban wouldn't agree with the plan, and if Pakistan was unable to persuade them, the United States might use an overt action against Afghanistan," Naik says. The words used by Simons were "a military operation," according to Naik. Another participant reportedly said the Taliban's choice was clear: either accept a "carpet of gold" riches from the pipeline or "a carpet of bombs," meaning a military strike. Lee Coldren, a member of the U.S. delegation, also confirmed to the British newspaper the Guardian the American position at the Berlin meeting. "I think there was some discussion of the fact that the United States was so disgusted with the Taliban that they might be considering some military action." In statements to newspapers, Simons has offered ambiguous explanations of his statements at the July meeting. In September, he told the British Guardian: "I've known Naik and considered him a friend for years. He's an honorable diplomat. I didn't say anything like that and didn't hear anyone else say anything like that. We were clear that feeling in Washington was strong, and that military action was one of the options down the road. But details, I don't know where they came from." Yet in a November interview with Le Monde, Simons seemed to confirm that there had been some talk of U.S. military action. "It is true that the Taliban was asked to deliver bin Laden and form a [broader] government," Simons told Le Monde. "We said in July that we were investigating the attack against the USS Cole in Yemen, and that if there were solid evidence of the implication of bin Laden, one had to expect a military answer. One can always inflate such a declaration to see a global threat against the Taliban. But the American declaration related only to the response to the USS-Cole. "As for the 'carpet of gold and the carpet of bombs,' we actually discussed the need for a plan for rebuilding for Afghanistan, which would follow a political agreement," he said, adding that "It's possible that a mischievous American participant, after several drinks, may have thought it smart to evoke gold carpets and carpet bombs. Even Americans can't resist the temptation to be mischievous." The last known meeting between U.S. and Taliban representatives took place in August, five weeks before the Sept. 11 attacks, when U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Central Asian affairs Christina Rocca met with the Taliban's ambassador to Pakistan Abdul Salam Zaeef. It would be unfair to suggest that the U.S. threat in July led to the al-Qaida strike. But while Simons doesn't admit that he personally threatened the Taliban with reprisal, he confirms that only a few weeks before Sept. 11, American diplomats warned of military action against Afghanistan if its leaders did not meet U.S. economic and political demands. It is worth asking whether, had this threat been widely known, U.S. intelligence agencies might have analyzed the information they were receiving about bin Laden's plots against the U.S. differently. Now the newly discovered Atef memo makes clear that in 1998, at least, al-Qaida was well informed about negotiations between the Taliban and the U.S. on the oil pipeline and other American concerns. The memo also shows that those negotiations were the Taliban's gambit to extend its power; Mullah Omar's government never had any intention of allowing U.S. firms to construct an oil pipeline, or letting the U.S. dictate the members of its ruling body. Given the inside knowledge al-Qaida had about U.S.-Taliban negotiations, it's reasonable to suspect bin Laden's group also received and understood the U.S. threat of military action delivered in late July as a threat of war. In the end, though, the U.S. got its way. Interim Afghan leader Hamid Karzai decided on May 30 to revive the pipeline project with Pakistan and Turkmenistan, signing an agreement under which the three governments agree to implement a pipeline from Turkmenistan to Pakistan through Afghanistan. Would that U.S. intelligence agencies' investigations into al-Qaida activities in the months before Sept. 11 had such a productive ending. 1.      1991-1997 - Major U.S. oil companies including ExxonMobil, Texaco, Unocal, BP Amoco, Shell and Enron directly invest billions in cash bribing heads of state in Kazakhstan to secure equity rights in the huge oil reserves in these regions. The oil companies further commit to future direct investments in Kazakhstan of $35 billion. Not being willing to pay exorbitant prices to Russia to use Russian pipelines the major oil companies have no way to recoup their investments. ["The Price of Oil," by Seymour Hersh, The New Yorker, July 9, 2001 - The Asia Times, "The Roving Eye Part I Jan. 26, 2002.] 2.      December 4, 1997 - Representatives of the Taliban are invited guests to the Texas headquarters of Unocal to negotiate their support for the pipeline. Subsequent reports will indicate that the negotiations failed, allegedly because the Taliban wanted too much money. [Source: The BBC, Dec. 4, 1997] 3.      February 12, 1998 - Unocal Vice President John J. Maresca - later to become a Special Ambassador to Afghanistan - testifies before the House that until a single, unified, friendly government is in place in Afghanistan the trans-Afghani pipeline needed to monetize the oil will not be built. [Source: Testimony before the House International Relations Committee.] 4.      1998 - The CIA ignores warnings from Case Officer Robert Baer that Saudi Arabia was harboring an al-Q'aeda cell led by two known terrorists. A more detailed list of known terrorists is offered to Saudi intelligence in August 2001 and refused. [Source: Financial Times 1/12/01; See No Evil by a book by Robert Baer (release date Feb. 2002). 5.      April, 1999 - Enron with a $3 billion investment to build an electrical generating plant at Dabhol India loses access to plentiful LNG supplies from Qatar to fuel the plant. Its only remaining option to make the investment profitable is a trans-Afghani gas pipeline to be built by Unocal from Turkmenistan that would terminate near the Indian border at the city of Multan. [Source: The Albion Monitor, Feb. 28, 2002.] 6.      1998 and 2000 - Former President George H.W. Bush travels to Saudi Arabia on behalf of the privately owned Carlyle Group, the 11th largest defense contractor in the U.S. While there he meets privately with the Saudi royal family and the bin Laden family. [Source: Wall Street Journal, Sept. 27, 2001. See also FTW, Vol. IV, No 7 - "The Best Enemies Money Can Buy," - http://www.fromthewilderness.com/ members/carlyle.html. ] 7.      January, 2001 - The Bush Administration orders the FBI and intelligence agencies to "back off" investigations involving the bin Laden family, including two of Osama bin Laden's relatives (Abdullah and Omar) who were living in Falls Church, VA - right next to CIA headquarters. This followed previous orders dating back to 1996, frustrating efforts to investigate the bin Laden family. [Source: BBC Newsnight, Correspondent Gregg Palast - Nov 7, 2001]. 8.      Feb 13, 2001 - UPI Terrorism Correspondent Richard Sale - while covering a trial of bin Laden's Al Q'aeda followers - reports that the National Security Agency has broken bin Laden's encrypted communications. Even if this indicates that bin Laden changed systems in February it does not mesh with the fact that the government insists that the attacks had been planned for years. 9.      May 2001 - Secretary of State Colin Powell gives $43 million in aid to the Taliban regime, purportedly to assist hungry farmers who are starving since the destruction of their opium crop in January on orders of the Taliban regime. [Source: The Los Angeles Times, May 22, 2001]. 10.     May, 2001 - Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, a career covert operative and former Navy Seal, travels to India on a publicized tour while CIA Director George Tenet makes a quiet visit to Pakistan to meet with Pakistani leader General Pervez Musharraf. Armitage has long and deep Pakistani intelligence connections and he is the recipient of the highest civil decoration awarded by Pakistan. It would be reasonable to assume that while in Islamabad, Tenet, in what was described as "an unusually long meeting," also met with his Pakistani counterpart, Lt. General Mahmud Ahmad, head of the ISI. [Source The Indian SAPRA news agency, May 22, 2001.] 11.     June 2001 - German intelligence, the BND, warns the CIA and Israel that Middle Eastern terrorists are "planning to hijack commercial aircraft to use as weapons to attack important symbols of American and Israeli culture." [Source: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, September 14, 2001.] 12.     July, 2001 - Three American officials: Tom Simmons (former U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan), Karl Inderfurth (former Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian affairs) and Lee Coldren (former State Department expert on South Asia), meet with Pakistani and Russian intelligence officers in Berlin and tell them that the U.S. is planning military strikes against Afghanistan in October. A French book released in November, "Bin Laden - La Verité Interdite," discloses that Taliban representatives often sat in on the meetings. British papers confirm that the Pakistani ISI relayed the threats to the Taliban. [Source: The Guardian, September 22, 2001; the BBC, September 18, 2001.The Inter Press Service, Nov 16, 2001] 13.     Summer, 2001 - The National Security Council convenes a Dabhol working group as revealed in a series of government e-mails obtained by The Washington Post and the New York Daily News. [Source: The Albion Monitor, Feb. 28, 2002] 14.     Summer 2001 - According to a Sept. 26 story in Britain's The Guardian, correspondent David Leigh reported that, "U.S. department of defense official, Dr. Jeffrey Starr, visited Tajikistan in January. The Guardian's Felicity Lawrence established that US Rangers were also training special troops in Kyrgyzstan. There were unconfirmed reports that Tajik and Uzbek special troops were training in Alaska and Montana." 15.     Summer 2001 (est.) - Pakistani ISI Chief General Ahmad (see above) orders an aide to wire transfer $100,000 to Mohammed Atta, who was according to the FBI, the lead terrorist in the suicide hijackings. Ahmad recently resigned after the transfer was disclosed in India and confirmed by the FBI. [Source: The Times of India, October 11, 2001.] 16.     Summer 2001 - An Iranian man phones U.S. law enforcement to warn of an imminent attack on the World Trade Center in the week of September 9th. German police confirm the calls but state that the U.S. Secret Service would not reveal any further information. [Source: German news agency "online.de", September 14, 2001, translation retrieved from online.ie in Ireland.] 17.     June 26, 2001 - The magazine indiareacts.com states that "India and Iran will 'facilitate' US and Russian plans for 'limited military action' against the Taliban." The story indicates that the fighting will be done by US and Russian troops with the help of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. [Source: indiareacts.com, June 26, 2001.] 18.     August 2001 - The FBI arrests an Islamic militant linked to bin Laden in Boston. French intelligence sources confirm that the man is a key member of bin Laden's network and the FBI learns that he has been taking flying lessons. At the time of his arrest the man is in possession of technical information on Boeing aircraft and flight manuals. [Source: Reuters, September 13.] 19.     August 11 or 12 - US Navy Lt. Delmart "Mike" Vreeland, jailed in Toronto on U.S. fraud charges and claiming to be an officer in U.S. Naval intelligence, writes details of the pending WTC attacks and seals them in an envelope which he gives to Canadian authorities. [Source: The Toronto Star, Oct. 23, 2001; Toronto Superior Court Records] 20.     Summer 2001 - Russian intelligence notifies the CIA that 25 terrorist pilots have been specifically training for suicide missions. This is reported in the Russian press and news stories are translated for FTW by a retired CIA officer. 21.     July 4-14, 2001 - Osama bin Laden receives treatments for kidney disease at the American hospital in Dubai and meets with a CIA official who returns to CIA headquarters on July 15th. [Source: Le Figaro, October 31st, 2001.] 22.     August 2001 - Russian President Vladimir Putin orders Russian intelligence to warn the U.S. government "in the strongest possible terms" of imminent attacks on airports and government buildings. [Source: MS-NBC interview with Putin, September 15.] 23.     August/September, 2001 - The Dow Jones Industrial Average drops nearly 900 points in the three weeks prior to the attack. A major stock market crash is imminent. 24.     Sept. 3-10, 2001 - MS-NBC reports on September 16 that a caller to a Cayman Islands radio talk show gave several warnings of an imminent attack on the U.S. by bin Laden in the week prior to 9/11. 25.     September 1-10, 2001 - In an exercise, Operation "Swift Sword" planned for four years, 23, 000 British troops are steaming toward Oman. Although the 9/11 attacks caused a hiccup in the deployment the massive operation was implemented as planned. At the same time two U.S. carrier battle groups arrive on station in the Gulf of Arabia just off the Pakistani coast. Also at the same time, some 17,000 U.S. troops join more than 23,000 NATO troops in Egypt for Operation "Bright Star." All of these forces are in place before the first plane hits the World Trade Center. [Sources: The Guardian, CNN, FOX, The Observer, International Law Professor Francis Boyle, the University of Illinois.] 26.     September 7, 2001 - Florida Governor Jeb Bush signs a two-year emergency executive order (01-261) making new provisions for the Florida National Guard to assist law enforcement and emergency-management personnel in the event of large civil disturbances, disaster or acts of terrorism. [Source: State of Florida web site listing of Governor's Executive Orders.] 27.     September 6-7, 2001 - 4,744 put options (a speculation that the stock will go down) are purchased on United Air Lines stock as opposed to only 396 call options (speculation that the stock will go up). This is a dramatic and abnormal increase in sales of put options. Many of the UAL puts are purchased through Deutschebank/AB Brown, a firm managed until 1998 by the current Executive Director of the CIA, A.B. "Buzzy" Krongard. [Source: The Herzliyya International Policy Institute for Counterterrorism, http://www.ict.org.il/, September 21; The New York Times; The Wall Street Journal.] 28.     September 10, 2001 - 4,516 put options are purchased on American Airlines as compared to 748 call options. [Source: ICT - above] 29.     September 6-11, 2001 - No other airlines show any similar trading patterns to those experienced by UAL and American. The put option purchases on both airlines were 600% above normal. This at a time when Reuters (September 10) issues a business report stating, "Airline stocks may be poised to take off." 30.     September 6-10, 2001 - Highly abnormal levels of put options are purchased in Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, AXA Re(insurance) which owns 25% of American Airlines, and Munich Re. All of these companies are directly impacted by the September 11 attacks. [Source: ICT, above; FTW, Vol. IV, No.7, October 18, 2001, http://www.fromthewilderness.com/ members/oct152001.html. ] 31.     It has been documented that the CIA, the Israeli Mossad and many other intelligence agencies monitor stock trading in real time using highly advanced programs reported to be descended from Promis software. This is to alert national intelligence services of just such kinds of attacks. Promis was reported, as recently as June, 2001 to be in Osama bin Laden's possession and, as a result of recent stories by FOX, both the FBI and the Justice Department have confirmed its use for U.S. intelligence gathering through at least this summer. This would confirm that CIA had additional advance warning of imminent attacks. [Sources: The Washington Times,  June 15, 2001; FOX News, October 16, 2001; FTW, October  26, 2001, - http://www.fromthewilderness.com/ members/magic_carpet.html; FTW, Vol. IV, No.6, Sept. 18, 2001 - http://www.fromthewilderness.com/ members/sept1801.html; FTW, Vol. 3, No 7, 9/30/00 - www.fromthewilderness.com/ free/pandora/052401_promis.html. 32.     September 11, 2001 - Gen Mahmud of the ISI (see above), friend of Mohammed Atta, is visiting Washington on behalf of the Taliban. He is meeting with the Chairmen of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, Porter Goss (R), FL and Bob Graham (D), Fl [Sources: MS-NBC, Oct. 7, The New York Times, Feb. 17, 2002.] 33.     September 11, 2002 - Employees of Odigo, Inc. in Israel, one of the world's largest instant messaging companies, with offices in New York, receive threat warnings of an imminent attack on the WTC less than two hours before the first plane hits the WTC. Law enforcement authorities have gone silent about any investigation of this. The Odigo Research and Development offices in Israel are located in the city of Herzliyya, a ritzy suburb of Tel Aviv which is the same location as the Institute for Counter Terrorism which breaks early details of insider trading on 9-11. [Source: CNN's Daniel Sieberg, 9/28/01; Newsbytes, Brian McWilliams, 9/27/01; Ha'aretz, 9/26/01.]. 34.     September 11, 2001, For 50 minutes, from 8:15 AM until 9:05 AM, with it widely known within the FAA and the military that four planes have been simultaneously hijacked and taken off course, no one notifies the President of the United States. It is not until 9:30 that any Air Force planes are scrambled to intercept, but by then it is too late. This means that the National Command Authority waited for 75 minutes before scrambling aircraft, even though it was known that four simultaneous hijackings had occurred - an event that has never happened in history. [Sources: CNN, ABC, MS-NBC, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times.] 35.     September 13, 2001 - China is admitted to the World Trade Organization quickly, after 15 years of unsuccessful attempts. [Source: The New York Times, Sept. 30, 2001.] 36.     September 14, 2001 - Canadian jailers open the sealed envelope from Mike Vreeland in Toronto and see that is describes attacks against the WTC and Pentagon. The U.S. Navy subsequently states that Vreeland was discharged as a seaman in 1986 for unsatisfactory performance and has never worked in intelligence. [Source: The Toronto Star, Oct. 23, 2001; Toronto Superior Court records] 37.     September 15, 2001 - The New York Times reports that Mayo Shattuck III has resigned, effective immediately, as head of the Alex (A.B) Brown unit of Deutschebank. 38.     September 29, 2001 - The San Francisco Chronicle reports that $2.5 million in put options on American Airlines and United Airlines are unclaimed. This is likely the result of the suspension in trading on the NYSE after the attacks which gave the Securities and Exchange Commission time to be waiting when the owners showed up to redeem their put options. 39.     October 10, 2001 - The Pakistani newspaper The Frontier Post reports that U.S. Ambassador Wendy Chamberlain has paid a call on the Pakistani oil minister. A previously abandoned Unocal pipeline from Turkmenistan, across Afghanistan, to the Pakistani coast, for the purpose of selling oil and gas to China, is now back on the table "in view of recent geopolitical developments." 40.     October 11, 2001 - The Ashcroft Justice Department takes over all terrorist prosecutions from the U.S. Attorneys office in New York which has had a highly successful track record in prosecuting terrorist cases connected to Osama bin Laden. [Source: The New York Times, Oct. 11, 2002.] 41.     Mid October, 2001 - The Dow Jones Industrial Average, after having suffered a precipitous drop has recovered most of its pre-attack losses. Although still weak, and vulnerable to negative earnings reports, a crash has been averted by a massive infusion of government spending on defense programs, subsidies for "affected" industries and planned tax cuts for corporations. 42.     November 21, 2001 - The British paper The Independent runs a story headlined, "Opium Farmers Rejoice at the Defeat of the Taliban." The story reports that massive opium planting is underway all over the country. 43.     November 25, 2001 - The Observer runs a story headlined "Victorious Warlords Set To Open the Opium Floodgates." It states that farmers are being encouraged by warlords allied with the victorious Americans are "being encouraged to plant "as much opium as possible." 44.     December 4, 2001 - Convicted drug lord and opium kingpin Ayub Afridi is recruited by the US government to help establish control in Afghanistan by unifying various Pashtun warlords. The former opium smuggler who was one of the CIA's leading assets in the war against the Russians is released from prison in order to do this. [Source: The Asia Times Online, 12/4/01]. 45.     December 25, 2001 - Newly appointed afghani Prime Minister Hamid Karzai is revealed as being a former paid consultant for Unocal. [Source: Le Monde.] 46.     January 3, 2002 - President Bush appoints Zalamy Khalilzad as a special envoy to Afghanistan. Khalilzad, a former employee of Unocal, also wrote op-eds in the Washington Post in 1997 supporting the Taliban regime. [Source: Pravda, 1/9/02] 47.     January 4, 2002 - Florida drug trafficking explodes after 9-11. In a surge of trafficking reminiscent of the 1980s the diversion of resources away from drug enforcement has opened the floodgates for a new surge of cocaine and heroin from South America. [The Christian Science Monitor, January 4, 2002. 48.     January 10, 2002 - In a call from a speaker phone in open court, attorneys for "Mike" Vreeland call the Pentagon's switchboard operator who confirms that Vreeland is indeed a Naval Lieutenant on active duty. She provides an office number and a direct dial phone extension to his office in the Pentagon. [Source: Attorney Rocco Galati; court records Toronto Superior Court.] 49.     January 10, 2002 - Attorney General John Ashcroft recuses himself from the Enron investigation because Enron had been a major campaign donor in his 2000 Senate race. He fails to recuse himself from involvement in two sitting Federal grand juries investigating bribery and corruption charges against ExxonMobil and BP-Amoco who have massive oil interests in Central Asia. Both were major Ashcroft donors in 2000. [Source: CNN, Jan. 10, 2002 - FTW original investigation, The Elephant in the Living Room, Part I, Apr 4, 2002.] 50.     February 9, 2002 - Pakistani leader General Musharraf and Afghan leader Hamid Karzai announce their agreement to "cooperate in all spheres of activity" including the proposed Central Asian pipeline. Pakistan will give $10 million to Afghanistan to help pay Afghani government workers. [Source: The Irish Times, 2/9/02] 51.     Feb 18, 2002 - The Financial Times reports that the estimated opium harvest in Afghanistan in the late Spring of 2002 will reach a world record 4500 metric tons.

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