“Forbidden Truth” Author
Jean Charles Brisard
DONAHUE: Welcome back. In his book, Forbidden Truth-U.S.-Taliban
Secret Oil Diplomacy and the Failed Hunt for bin Laden its subtitle-author
Jean Charles Brisard makes some disturbing allegations regarding a connection
between oil, Saudi Arabia, the Clinton and Bush administrations and al
Well, Mr. Brisard, sir, your book is the talk
of Europe. Its a best-seller. Obviously, Europe has grabbed this
with both hands. Not so here. Were paying-its not that youre
being ignored, but...
JEAN CHARLES BRISARD, FRENCH INTELLIGENCE INVESTIGATOR:
It just arrived.
BRISARD: Just arrived in the U.S.
DONAHUE: It just got here. OK. Well, well
see what happens. In this book, you make the point that-you seem to say
that all the dots connect to Saudi Arabia.
DONAHUE: And those dots include George Bush,
Sr.-Bush 1 as well as al Qaeda and the United States government
itself. Make your case for us here, sir.
BRISARD: I dont want to talk about politics
tonight, OK? So-but the fact is, on the one hand, you have Saudi Arabia,
a known-a well-known country for business with the Western countries,
and is doing-this country is doing business with the United States and
BRISARD: And in that part of the business,
you have probably corporate interests, and probably you find in some years
George Bush, Sr., and probably George Bush, the actual president. And
on the other hand, Saudi Arabia is funding fundamentalism-radical fundamentalism-around
BRISARD: ... especially al Qaeda.
BRISARD: Thats two different points.
DONAHUE: OK. But you are-you are suggesting
that because of oil-rich Saudi Arabia and our connection to them, we were
less than enthusiastic in pursuing al Qaeda before 9/11. Do I understand
DONAHUE: The reason we didnt want to
pursue al Qaeda and go after these people in Afghanistan-now, this is
before 9/11, before the worst attack in our history. The reason we didnt
want to do that is because it would roil Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabias
got to be careful. It is certainly a center of-a significant number of
fundamental Islamicists live there. And we didnt want to mess up
this relationship with oil-rich Saudi Arabia. Do I understand it?
BRISARD: Yes. Yes, because you cannot at the
same time do business with that country, say every day its an ally
of the United States, of the Western countries generally, and at the same
time point out the role of that country in the financing and the funding
DONAHUE: Of terrorism.
BRISARD: ... of terrorism.
DONAHUE: But I dont see how you-you
know, Saudi Arabia exiled, expelled Usama bin Laden.
BRISARD: Yes, I know. Thats the official
story about it.
BRISARD: Yes. The Forbidden Truth,
thats the title of our book, the truth we dont want to see.
DONAHUE: OK. Youre-youre not
suggesting that it was a ruse to expel him? They didnt-he scared
them, didnt he?
BRISARD: Yes, because he was in Saudi Arabia.
Yes, in fact. But for years after he was expelled, he was able to do business
with companies in Saudi Arabia...
BRISARD: ... involving companies based in Saudi
Arabia, involving individuals based in Saudi Arabia. So yes, he was expelled.
DONAHUE: Yeah. Are you suggesting that this
interest in not roiling Saudi Arabia or not making trouble in this area
was because we wanted to build a pipeline?
BRISARD: No. What happened is that, in fact,
we wanted-everybody wanted, especially U.S. corporate oil wanted, a stable
regime in Afghanistan...
BRISARD: ... a stable regime, to be able to
build that pipeline, a regime that was able to control the entire Afghanistan.
DONAHUE: Right. But we wanted the pipeline,
did we not?
BRISARD: Yes. Yes.
DONAHUE: And we wanted to control it.
DONAHUE: And we wanted to build it.
DONAHUE: And so this interest-you-heres
youre suggesting, and I dont know if youre...
DONAHUE: Youre suggesting that the Bush
family, with ties to oil and Texas, had an interest in seeing that the
construction of this pipeline through Afghanistan continued or moved forward,
and that, youre suggesting, slowed us up and reduced our enthusiasm
for going after al Qaeda and terrorism.
BRISARD: Again, Im not going on the
book about a specific link with
DONAHUE: OK, but...
BRISARD: ... any of these families...
DONAHUE: Youll agree that this is a
suggestion. This is an implication in your book. You may...
BRISARD: What we say in our book is that the-several
big U.S. corporations, including Unocal, for instance, wanted to built
that pipeline since 1996. And since that date, U.S. governments, whether
under Clinton or under Bush, have helped them go through that project.
That means negotiate with the Taliban. That means be accommodating with
the Taliban. And its only finally after September 11th that the
U.S. government discovered the real nature of the regime.
DONAHUE: OK. I just want to just take these
folks to school here. Heres Afghanistan. This is the pipeline we
would like to build. This is the Caspian area, very rich oil reserves
DONAHUE: Lots and lots of-maybe more than anyplace
else on earth. So you go through Afghanistan. No such pipeline exists
now. Here are the alternatives. Go through Iran. No, says
the United States. We dont want to go through Iran. Its
too dangerous. Go through Russia? Certainly not. We want to be
able to control this. Do I have it here?
BRISARD: Yes. Thats it. Yes. Yes. Basically,
thats it. Thats the cheapest way and the shortest way to
DONAHUE: But youre not here to say that
it is in the-it was-it was the enthusiasm for building the pipeline that
made the administration be less than aggressive in its-in its treatment
of al Qaeda and Usama bin Laden before 9/11.
BRISARD: Im speaking about the treatment
of the Taliban regime. Yes, we were soft with the Taliban regime probably
because of that pipeline, that big pipeline. Its an $8 billion
BRISARD: ... its important.
DONAHUE: What is the nature of the lawsuit
to which you will attach your own name, as an attorney at law, that is
to be filed in this country this week?
BRISARD: Im simply part of that effort
to bring to justice those who sponsored, financed or give any facility
to al Qaeda and to Usama bin Laden during those years for him to be able
to carry out such a tragedy as the September 11th attacks.
DONAHUE: This will be filed under the terms
what we call tort law.
BRISARD: Thats right. Thats right.
DONAHUE: Tort law says-tort law is asbestos...
DONAHUE: ... Firestone tires-that if youre
DONAHUE: ... for the injury or the death...
BRISARD: You have to pay for that. You have
to pay for that.
DONAHUE: Assuming it could be proved in court
that you were negligent...
BRISARD: Yes. Of course. Of course.
DONAHUE: ... and so on.
BRISARD: Of course. Of course. Thats
the basic principle of the lawsuit, yes. And its done, of course,
on the behalf of the families of the victims because thats the
essential. I was meeting last week with a French mother who lost her son.
She told me, The only thing they recovered from my son was a bone.
When you hear a mother say that, you say someone has to pay for that.
Someone has to be accountable for that. And thats the purpose of
DONAHUE: You must be somewhat distracted by
the fact there has been no real independent investigation of all these
BRISARD: The investigation, at least on the
financial side, is under way, is being carried out...
BRISARD: ... to identify those individuals
or entities that...
BRISARD: ... participated in the financing
of al Qaeda.
BRISARD: In fact, it was-you were asked to
conduct an investigation regarding the finances of Usama bin Laden.
DONAHUE: So you-this is about banks and whos
giving the money...
BRISARD: Yeah. Yeah.
DONAHUE: ... and how it gets in, and so on.
And this, obviously, would be evidence at the trial. So?
BRISARD: Probably, yes. Yes.
DONAHUE: So in your effort, then, to trace
the-to follow the money trail of al Qaeda, you came up with this. Youre
not saying President Bush 1, the presidents father, went to-with
the Carlyle group to the Middle East, or to that region, for the purpose
of promoting the pipeline?
BRISARD: OK, so lets assume, if were
speaking again about Saudi Arabia, that the U.S. government, whoever it
is, has probably a real problem to address the issue of the responsibility
of Saudi Arabia in the tragedy of September 11th, OK, for obvious reasons-economic
and strategic interests, whether personal or not. But thats precisely
the purpose of the lawsuit, what the government cannot do...
BRISARD: ... justice can do it.
BRISARD: But youre honest enough to
tell us that, as compelling as this book is, absorbing and-you dont
have a smoking gun, do you. Do you?
BRISARD: Well, the fact is, again,...
DONAHUE: This is all implication.
DONAHUE: Its circumstance...
BRISARD: Yes. That has to be proven, of course.
DONAHUE: So oil interests trumped...
BRISARD: Yes. Yes.
DONAHUE: going after the terrorists
prior to 9/11.
BRISARD: Thats what at least told me
the former anti-terrorism director of the FBI, John ONeill, yes.
DONAHUE: Well, let me say that...
BRISARD: ... dont want to-to run after
DONAHUE: John ONeill, the former FBI
counter-terrorist-head of counterrorism...
DONAHUE: ... who quit, was the security man
for the World Trade Center...
DONAHUE: ... when the planes hit, died in the
DONAHUE: How ironic is that? And you talked
BRISARD: And hes the one that sent you
on this trail in the first place.
BRISARD: Yeah. Right.
DONAHUE: So-wow. Well, Jean Charles Brisard,
well watch with interest your lawsuit to be filed this week on
behalf of loved ones of the victims of 9/11. And I thank you very much
for sharing this intriguing story with us.
Next, a September 11th widow-not unconnected here-demands
an investigation into the act of terrorism that led to her husbands
Back in a moment. READ