Donahue Interviews
“Forbidden Truth” Author
Jean Charles Brisard
13th August 2002

       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 Qaeda.
       Well, Mr. Brisard, sir, your book is the talk of Europe. It’s a best-seller. Obviously, Europe has grabbed this with both hands. Not so here. We’re paying-it’s not that you’re being ignored, but...
       DONAHUE: Huh?
       BRISARD: Just arrived in the U.S.
       DONAHUE: It just got here. OK. Well, we’ll see what happens. In this book, you make the point that-you seem to say that all the dots connect to Saudi Arabia.
       BRISARD: Yes.
       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 don’t 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 with others.
       DONAHUE: Right.
       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 the world.
       DONAHUE: Yes.
       BRISARD: And...
       DONAHUE: Right.
       BRISARD: ... especially al Qaeda.
       DONAHUE: Right.
       BRISARD: That’s 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 that?
       BRISARD: Yes.
       DONAHUE: The reason we didn’t 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 didn’t want to do that is because it would roil Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia’s got to be careful. It is certainly a center of-a significant number of fundamental Islamicists live there. And we didn’t 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 it’s 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 and sponsoring...
       DONAHUE: Of terrorism.
       BRISARD: ... of terrorism.
       DONAHUE: But I don’t see how you-you know, Saudi Arabia exiled, expelled Usama bin Laden.
       BRISARD: Yes, I know. That’s the official story about it.
       DONAHUE: Yes.
       BRISARD: Yes. “The Forbidden Truth,” that’s the title of our book, the truth we don’t want to see.
       DONAHUE: OK. You’re-you’re not suggesting that it was a ruse to expel him? They didn’t-he scared them, didn’t 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...
       DONAHUE: Right.
       BRISARD: ... involving companies based in Saudi Arabia, involving individuals based in Saudi Arabia. So yes, he was expelled. That’s all.
       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...
       DONAHUE: Stable?
       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.
       BRISARD: Yes.
       DONAHUE: And we wanted to build it.
       BRISARD: Yes.
       DONAHUE: And so this interest-you-here’s you’re suggesting, and I don’t know if you’re...
       BRISARD: OK.
       DONAHUE: You’re 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, you’re suggesting, slowed us up and reduced our enthusiasm for going after al Qaeda and terrorism.
       BRISARD: Again, I’m not going on the book about a specific link with
       DONAHUE: OK, but...
       BRISARD: ... any of these families...
       DONAHUE: You’ll 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 it’s 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. Here’s Afghanistan. This is the pipeline we would like to build. This is the Caspian area, very rich oil reserves here.
       BRISARD: Yeah.
       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 don’t want to go through Iran. It’s too dangerous.” Go through Russia? Certainly not. We want to be able to control this. Do I have it here?
       BRISARD: Yes. That’s it. Yes. Yes. Basically, that’s it. That’s the cheapest way and the shortest way to go through...
       DONAHUE: But you’re 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: I’m speaking about the treatment of the Taliban regime. Yes, we were soft with the Taliban regime probably because of that pipeline, that big pipeline. It’s an $8 billion project, so...
       DONAHUE: OK.
       BRISARD: ... it’s 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: I’m 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: That’s right. That’s right.
       DONAHUE: Tort law says-tort law is asbestos...
       BRISARD: Yeah.
       DONAHUE: ... Firestone tires-that if you’re responsible...
       BRISARD: Yes.
       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. That’s the basic principle of the lawsuit, yes. And it’s done, of course, on the behalf of the families of the victims because that’s 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 that’s the purpose of the lawsuit.
       DONAHUE: You must be somewhat distracted by the fact there has been no real independent investigation of all these events here...
       BRISARD: The investigation, at least on the financial side, is under way, is being carried out...
       DONAHUE: Yes.
       BRISARD: ... to identify those individuals or entities that...
       DONAHUE: Right.
       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.
       BRISARD: Yes.
       DONAHUE: So you-this is about banks and who’s 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. You’re not saying President Bush 1, the president’s 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 let’s assume, if we’re 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 that’s precisely the purpose of the lawsuit, what the government cannot do...
       DONAHUE: Right.
       BRISARD: ... justice can do it.
       BRISARD: But you’re honest enough to tell us that, as compelling as this book is, absorbing and-you don’t have a smoking gun, do you. Do you?
       BRISARD: Well, the fact is, again,...
       DONAHUE: This is all implication.
       BRISARD: Yes.
       DONAHUE: It’s 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: That’s what at least told me the former anti-terrorism director of the FBI, John O’Neill, yes.
       DONAHUE: Well, let me say that...
       BRISARD: ... don’t want to-to run after the Saudis.
       DONAHUE: John O’Neill, the former FBI counter-terrorist-head of counterrorism...
       BRISARD: Right.
       DONAHUE: ... who quit, was the security man for the World Trade Center...
       BRISARD: Yes.
       DONAHUE: ... when the planes hit, died in the rubble.
       BRISARD: Right.
       DONAHUE: How ironic is that? And you talked to him.
       DONAHUE: Yes.
       BRISARD: And he’s the one that sent you on this trail in the first place.
       BRISARD: Yeah. Right.
       DONAHUE: So-wow. Well, Jean Charles Brisard, we’ll 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 husband’s death.
       Back in a moment. READ IT HERE

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