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The following is mirrored from its source at: http://www.onlinejournal.com/Special_Reports/Chin020702/chin020702.html
Most experts agree that the Caspian Basin and Central Asia are the keys to energy in the 21st century. Said energy expert James Dorian (Oil & Gas Journal, 9/10/01), "Those who control the oil routes out of Central Asia will impact all future direction and quantities of flow and the distribution of revenues from new production."
America wants the region under total US domination.
The Caspian Basin has an estimated $5 trillion of oil and gas resources, and Central Asia has 6 trillion cubic meters of natural gas and 10 billion barrels of undeveloped oil reserves. Interconnecting pipelines are the key to accessing and distributing oil and gas to European, Chinese and Russian markets.
Policy planners have devoted years to this agenda. A report published in September 2001 detailing a conference held at the Brookings Institution in May 2001 provides clear evidence that the exploitation of Caspian Basin and Asian energy markets was an urgent priority for the Bush administration, and the centerpiece of its energy policy.
The report states that "the administration's report warned that 'growth in international oil demand will exert increasing pressure on global oil availability' and that developing Asian economies and populations -- particularly in China and India -- will be major contributors to this increased demand" and that "options for constructing gas pipelines east to Asia from the Caspian have been discussed for the last decade."
For years, Enron (along with Unocal, BP Amoco, Exxon, Mobil, Pennzoil, Atlantic Richfield, Chevron, Texaco, and other oil companies) has been involved in a multi-billion dollar frenzy to extract the reserves of the three former Soviet republics, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan.
According to Project Underground (11/7/99), former Soviet, KGB and Politburo members are profiting from oil riches, along with "a formidable array of former top Western Cold Warriors, drawn principally from the cabinet of George [H.W.] Bush." The dealmakers include James Baker, Dick Cheney, Brent Scowcroft, and John Sununu. Also cashing in on the deals are former Clinton Treasury Secretary Lloyd Bentsen (close friend of Ken Lay and longtime recipient of Enron funding) and Zbigniew Brezezinski.
Brezezinski, a leading member of the Council on Foreign Relations and arguably the most influential policy planner in the world, spearheaded the American effort to destabilize the Soviet Union in Afghanistan in the 1970s. He is a consultant to BP Amoco. His recent book, "The Grand Chessboard" is a virtual blue print for a war and balkanization of Central Asia.
According to Alexander's Oil & Gas Connections (10/12/98), Enron signed a contract in 1996, giving it rights to explore 11 gas fields in Uzbekistan, a project costing $1.3 billion. The goal was to sell gas to the Russian markets, and link to Unocal's southern export pipeline crossing Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan. Turkmenistan (where Enron's project was based) and Azerbaijan are closely allied with Israeli military intelligence. Yosef Maiman, a former Israeli intelligence agent, is the official negotiator for energy development projects in Turkmenistan.
Enron recently conducted feasibility studies for a $2.5 billion trans-Caspian gas pipeline to be built jointly with General Electric and Bechtel. Enron's goal was to link this pipeline to another line through Afghanistan.
As described in many accounts, notably the recently published "Osama Bin Laden: The Forbidden Truth" by Jean Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasique, a Central Asia Gas (CentGas) consortium led by Unocal had plans for a 1,005 mile oil pipeline and a 918 mile natural gas pipeline from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to Pakistan. This project stalled because of the political instability in Afghanistan.
In August 2001, George W. Bush revived negotiations with the Taliban.
Writer William Rivers Pitt notes that, "intense scrutiny has shaken loose two e-mails sent by Enron's Ken Lay to his employees in August of last year. In them, Lay waxes optimistic about the strength and stability of his company, and exhorts his employees to buy into the company's stock program."
Pitt believes that, "while many observers view this as the gasping lies of a drowning criminal," Lay's messages must be considered in light of the timing: His last e-mail was sent on August 27, about the same time as the final Taliban meeting with the Bush administration. Was Kenneth Lay anticipating a piece of a new pipeline deal, and an Enron contract, courtesy of George W. Bush?
After the Taliban refused the Bush administration's "carpet of gold," America dropped its "carpet of bombs" on Afghanistan, allegedly in retaliation for the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Was Ken Lay also anticipating a war, and a way to profit from it?
Former Unocal lobbyist Hamid Karzai now heads a bombed and gutted Afghanistan. Bush's US envoy is Zalmay Khalizad, another former Unocal representative, who helped draw up the plans for the original CentGas pipeline.
The US has established four new permanent military bases, throughout the region, including a new one in Afghanistan. Recently, Uzbekistan, hosted dozens of members of the US House of Representatives and the Senate. The region will remain a zone of perpetual violence and conflict, and plunder.
If Enron had not made the mistake of collapsing, Kenneth Lay and his team would be in the thick of it.
Enron, Halliburton, Bush . . . bin Laden?
At the web site Rumor Mill News (www.RumorMillNews.com), a journalist named "Phoenix" has laid out business links that tie Enron to the bin Laden family. These connections, which have been independently verified by Michael Ruppert (www.copvcia.com), play out as follows:
- Osama bin Laden's family business, the Saudi Binladin Group, is a major construction company. Saudi Binladin Group was an investor in the Carlyle Group. Carlyle's directors include George H.W. Bush, and James Baker. George W. Bush's firm Arbusto Energy was funded by an investment from Texas investment banker James Bath, who was also the investment counselor for the bin Laden family. Bath had connections to the CIA, and was involved with the Iran-Contra, savings and loan, and BCCI scandals.
- One of Saudi Binladen's joint venture partners is H.C. Price Company.
- H.C. Price is a major builder of pipelines, and is involved in large projects, including two projects for Enron: the Florida Gas Pipeline and the Northern Border Pipeline running from the US/Canadian border from Montana to Illinois.
- In 1996, Dresser Industries and Shaw Industries merged their pipecoating businesses to form Bredaro-Shaw Group. H.C. Price became part of Bredaro-Shaw.
- Halliburton acquired Dresser in 1998. George H.W. Bush's father, Prescott, was the managing director of Brown Brothers Harriman, which previously owned Dresser. Dresser Industries gave George H.W. Bush his first job in 1948.
- Dick Cheney orchestrated the Dresser and Bredaro-Shaw acquisitions.
- Both Halliburton, and its subsidiary Brown & Root, have deep ties to the CIA and the military. The company has been involved in US military conflicts in Vietnam, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Chechnya, Pakistan, Colombia and Rwanda. Brown & Root builds oil rigs, pipelines, wells, and nuclear reactors.
It does not appear to be a simple case of coincidence that Saudi Binladin, a long time business partner with the Bush family, also has a partnership with a Dick Cheney-affiliated Halliburton that works with Enron.
The cover-up begins
In their book The Outlaw Bank, Jonathan Beaty and S.C. Gwynne wrote of BCCI, "It was a conspiratorialist's conspiracy, a plot so byzantine, so thoroughly corrupt, so exquisitely private, reaching so deeply into the political and intelligence establishments of so many countries, that it seemed to have its only precedent in the more hallucinogenic fiction of Ian Fleming, Kurt Vonnegut or Thomas Pynchon. As tales of its global predations were splattered across headlines all over the world, its apparent influence reached almost absurd proportions."
The scope of Enron's influence has reached well into the absurd, if not beyond. And there are many more Enrons out there, waiting to be blow open.
In describing the system that breeds Enrons, professor Michel Chossudovsky of the University of Ottawa (CovertAction, Fall 1996) wrote:
"Global crime has become an integral part of an economic system, with far reaching social, economic and geopolitical ramifications . . . the relationship among criminals, politicians, and members of the intelligence establishment has tainted the structures of the state and the role of its institutions . . . this system of global trade and finance has fostered an unprecedented accumulation of private wealth alongside the impoverishment of large sectors of the world population, and the prospects for change are dim. Meanwhile, the international community turns a blind eye until some scandal momentarily breaks through the gilded surface."
In light of congressional "investigations" headed exclusively by committee chairmen who have received Enron monies, weeks of FBI foot-dragging, continued White House secrecy, no independent counsel, and media complicity in White House damage control efforts, the Enron trail has already begun to grow cold.
The American corporate media has done its best to look the other way. This is no surprise, since Enron dumped handsome sums into the pockets of media moguls, and conservative journalists such as Lawrence Kudlow, Peggy Noonan, William Kristol and others.
Cronies and cohorts are meeting. Patsies and fall guys have been designated. Lies are being fabricated. Fifth Amendment mantras will be repeated.
As was the case with Watergate, BCCI, Iran-Contra, and the savings and loan scandals, it is not too cynical to expect the Enron hearings to expose only enough malfeasance to silence the public, while leaving the massive system intact. The masterminds and the largest beneficiaries are about to slip into the shadows.
The American empire is built on a thousand Enrons. It will exhaust every means to avoid implicating itself, even as it drowns in the cesspool of its own creation, dragging thousands of innocent people down with it.
Larry Chin is a freelance journalist and an Online Journal Contributing Editor.
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