Osama bin Laden's Bush
Alliance With Pakistan
Will Stimulate Drug Trade, Bring Revenues Under U.S. Control
Colombian Opium Production Will Soar
The Taliban's Biggest
Economic Attack on the U.S. Came in February With The Destruction
of Its Opium Crop
Michael C. Ruppert
[© Copyright 2001, Michael
C. Ruppert and From The Wilderness Publications. All Rights
Reserved. May be reprinted and distributed for non-profit
From the September 18,
issue of From The Wilderness
FTW - Money connections
between Bush Republicans and Osama bin Laden go way back
and the political and economic connections have remained
unbroken for 20 years. And what appears to be a "new" alliance
with Pakistan is merely a new manifestation of a decades-long
partnership in the heroin trade.
Conveniently ignored in
all of the press coverage since the tragic events of Sept.
11 is the fact that on May 17 Secretary of State Colin Powell
announced a gift of $43 million to the Taliban as a purported
reward for its eradication of Afghanistan's opium crop this
February. That, in effect, made the U.S. the Taliban's largest
financial benefactor according to syndicated columnist Robert
Scheer writing in The Los Angeles times on May 22. But --
as we described in FTW's March 2001 issue
-- the Taliban's destruction of that crop was apparently
the single most important act of economic warfare against
U.S. economic interests that the Taliban had ever committed.
So why the gift?
Critics of the Gulf War
well recall how, just prior to Saddam's invasion of Kuwait,
President Bush (Sr.) dispatched Ambassador April Glaspie
to visit Saddam with a letter and a "wink and a nod" telling
the Iraqi leader that it was OK to invade his smaller neighbor.
The May gift from Uncle Sam could well have been sending
the same kind of message, along with necessary funds to
complete the attacks. Drugs and terrorism go hand in hand.
Until February, Afghanistan
had been the world's largest producer of opium/heroin, claiming
close to 70% of the world's total production. That opium,
consumed largely in Western Europe and smuggled through
the Balkans, was a direct source of cash deposits in Western
financial institutions and markets.
I specifically commented
on this at an economic crisis conference in Moscow, Russia
on March 7. In my formal statement to the Russian conference
coming to this conference I read in the Associated Press,
Agence France Press and other reliable sources that the
Taliban has recently eradicated most of its 3000 ton opium
crop in Afghanistan. If true, I view this as a form of economic
warfare against Russia [and
the U.S.] because it would drive opium production more
into Southeast Asia and Colombia. However, I now suspect
that this will result in a shift of opium production to
the Caucasus under the Kurds which will see an increase
in smuggling through Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan. I
should note that both Vice President Richard Cheney and
the designated Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage
are members of the US-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce. Such
a move would have the effect of drastically shortening smuggling
routes and costs into Western Europe and of bypassing unstable
areas of the Balkans.
I have received
additional reports that Uzbekistan is now awash in the opium
poppy and, as in the US with the CIA, that Russian military
and intelligence agencies facilitate the trade as a means
of protecting access to hard currency. The point here is
not that the US it totally evil or the only country doing
these things. But the US is far and away the most advanced
nation when it comes to the use of such methods to achieve
superiority. As [Russian economist Michael] Khazin
has noted, the US and Britain and Germany started the conflict
in Kosovo in 1999 to stave off a collapse of western markets
following the Asian collapse of 1997-8. Now Colombia is
a last-ditch effort to protect the US markets and European
opposition is jeopardizing that plan."
The Taliban's actions this
year severed the ruling military junta in Pakistan from
its primary source of foreign revenues and made bin Laden
and the Taliban completely expendable in the eyes of the
Pakistani government. It also cut off billions of dollars
in revenues that had been previously laundered through western
banks and Russian financial institutions connected to them.
Now as US military action
will replace the Taliban government and fresh crops will
be planted in Afghanistan, the slack in cash flow will assuredly
be replaced by dramatically increased opium production in
Colombia; the revenues from that effort being needed to
maintain the revenue streams into Wall Street. Prior to
the WTC attacks, credible sources, including the U.S. government,
the IMF, Le Monde and the U.S. Senate placed the amount
of drug cash flowing into Wall Street and U.S. banks at
around $250-$300 billion a year.
In that context, the real
history of Osama bin Laden, as America's useful terrorist-du-jour
reveals a long and continuous history, interwoven with the
drug trade and the Bush family, of supporting conflicts
that have benefited U.S. military and economic interests.
There are direct historical links between
Osama bin Laden's business interests and those of the Bush
family. On September 15 I received the following message
from FTW subscriber, Professor John Metzger
of Michigan State University:
"We should revisit the history of
BCCI, a bank used by the legendary Palestinian terrorist
known as Abu Nidal. BCCI was closely tied to American and
Pakistan intelligence. Its clients included the Afghan rebels,
and the brother of Osama bin Laden, Salem. Salem bin Laden
named Houston investment broker James R. Bath as his business
representative in Texas, right after George W. Bush’s father
became CIA director in 1976. By 1977, Bath invested $50,000
into junior’s first business, Arbusto Energy, while Osama
bin Laden would soon become a CIA asset. George W. Bush’s
FBI director Robert Mueller was part of the Justice Department’s
questionable investigation of BCCI. (On BCCI, the bin Ladens,
and the Bushes, see the books, The Outlaw Bank, A Full Service
Bank, and Fortunate Son)." Further
details of the business and financial relationships between
the Bush and bin Laden family are found in Peter Brewton's
1992 book The Mafia, CIA and
George Bush. BCCI, incidentally,
was founded by a Pakistani.
Economics Professor Michel Chossudovsky
of the University of Ottawa has just completed a detailed
history of bin Laden's career detailing his secret funding
and logistical support to terrorist organizations beginning
from his early CIA-supported roots in the 1980s as a "freedom
fighter" through to the present day. Chossudovsky's compelling
and well documented article, Who Is Osama Bin Laden?
dated Sept 12, 2001 can be found on the Internet at: http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO109C.html.
Bin Laden's role has not
just been as a practitioner of terrorist acts but as a trainer
and supplier of terrorist organizations around the world.
Included in bin Laden's coterie are terrorist groups linked
to the Balkans, Albania, the KLA (a U.S. ally), and rebel
groups leading the insurrection against Russia in Chechnya.
As FTW described
in 1998, and as confirmed by Chossudovsky, the key to understanding
U.S. support of bin Laden is to grasp that he has always
been controlled by a cutout, the Pakistani government and
its intelligence service the ISI. In this manner there has
been virtually no direct contact between bin Laden and the
CIA. This has served the dual purpose of maintaining his
apparent "purity" with his followers and providing plausible
deniability for the CIA. The whole underlying pretext for
this relationship evaporated with the Taliban's destruction
of the opium crop in February.
of the drug trade in Central Asia is intimately related
to the CIA's covert operations. Prior to the Soviet-Afghan
war, opium production in Afghanistan and Pakistan was directed
to small regional markets. There was no local production
of heroin. In this regard [Professor] Alfred McCoy's study
confirms that within two years of the onslaught of the CIA
operation in Afghanistan, 'the Pakistan-Afghanistan borderlands
became the world's top heroin producer, supplying 60 per
sent of the U.S. demand…
"With the disintegration
of the Soviet Union, a new surge in opium production has
unfolded. (According to UN estimates, the production of
opium in Afghanistan in 1998-99 -- coinciding with the build
up of armed insurgencies in the former Soviet republics
-- reached a record high of 4600 metric tons. Powerful business
syndicates in the former Soviet Union allied with organized
crime are competing for the strategic control over the heroin
"The ISI's extensive
intelligence military-network was not dismantled in the
wake of the Cold War. The CIA continued to support the Islamic
"jihad" out of Pakistan…"
"… The Golden Crescent
drug trade was also being used to finance and equip the
Bosnian Muslim Army (starting in the early 1990s) and the
Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). In the last few months there
is evidence that Mujhideen mercenaries are fighting in the
ranks of the KLA-NLA terrorists in their assaults into Macedonia…
"… With regard to
Chechnya, the main rebel leaders Shamil Basayev and Al Khattab
were trained and indoctrinated in CIA sponsored camps in
Afghanistan and Pakistan… In this regard, the involvement
of Pakistan's ISI and its radical Islamic proxies are actually
calling the shots in this war.
"Russia's main pipeline
route transits through Chechnya and Dagestan. Despite Washington's
perfunctory condemnation of Islamic terrorism, the indirect
beneficiaries of the Chechen war are the Anglo-American
oil conglomerates which are vying for control over oil resources
and pipeline corridors out of the Caspian Sea basin."
The oil and drug connections
were the subject of FTW's story, The Bush-Cheney
drug Empire in October, 2000. That story is online at http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ciadrugs/bush-cheney-drugs.html.
Both Bush and Cheney are oil men.
George Bush, Sr. was Vice
President and, by virtue of executive Order 12333, in charge
of all U.S. intelligence and narcotics operations from 1981
through 1989. As President from 1989 through 1993, he continued
and expanded his control in these areas. Thus, it was Bush
(the elder) who directly nourished and nurtured bin Laden's
From Indian Government
The web site of the Indian
Embassy in Washington contains dramatic confirmation for
these positions. On September 4, 2000, B. Raman, Director
of India's Institute for Topical Studies wrote an open letter
to the U.S. Congress entitled Pakistan's Noriega's.
That eight-page article exposed the depth of Pakistani government
involvement in the drug trade. It may be viewed at:
The letter said, in part:
"For more than a decade,
the people of India have been living in a state of half-war
and half-peace due to the depredations of a large number
of terrorists, outrageously called jehadists, who have been
trained, armed and funded and infiltrated into the State
of Jammu & Kashmir and other parts of India by Pakistan
in order to make the people of India and its security forces
bleed in the name of religion.
"More people belonging
to different religions -- Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs,
Buddhists and others -- have been killed in India by these
mercenary-terrorists sponsored by the State of Pakistan
than by any other terrorist groups anywhere else in the
"…Many other States have
suffered and have been suffering due to the depredations
of terrorists, made in and exported from Pakistan and the
Taliban-controlled Afghanistan -- [these include] Algeria,
Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the Central Asian Republics, the Chechnya
and Dagestan areas of Russia, the Xinjiang province of China,
Bangladesh, the Arakan area of Burma and the southern Philippines..."
"After his  removal,
[as official head of Pakistani intelligence, trusted advisor
to Pakistani leader Gen. Pervez Musharraf] Lt. Gen. Nasir
traveled to Somalia, Chechnya, Dagestan, the Central Asian
Republics, …China, and the Southern Philippines as a preacher…
and helped Islamic organizations, including the group which
killed U.S. troops… in Somalia."
"…It was he, who, during
his tenure as the DG [Director General] of the ISI… has
entered into an agreement with the LTTE of Sri Lanka [which
secured] LTTE's assistance in smuggling Afghanistan produced
heroin in its ships to West Europe, the USA and Canada…"
"…Another reason for the
ISI's helping the LTTE, despite its anti-Muslim policies,
was to use it for smuggling heroin to West Europe, the U.S.
and Canada. During Zia-ul-Haq's regime in the 1980s, heroin
had become a major source of extra revenue not only for
the State of Pakistan, especially the ISI and Pakistan's
nuclear and missile establishment, but also to many senior
officers of the Pakistan Army, including [Musharraf et al]…"
"The way Mr. Sharif before
October 1999 and Gen. Musharraf since then have been using
the heroin money to prevent the Pakistani economy from collapsing
has not received due attention in the U.S. ..."
"If one goes purely by
economic indicators, Pakistan's must be in as bad a shape
as that of Russia, or even worse, since Russia has been
in receipt of Western and IMF assistance…"
"Where does the money come
from? From the smuggling of heroin to West Europe, the U.S.
and Canada. The U.S. Government might have stopped economic
assistance… from the taxpayers' money. But why should the
Noriegas of Pakistan be worried when they get billions of
dollars from the heroin sale in the U.S.?… "
Vice President Dick Cheney's
recent comment that the CIA needs to get in bed with "unsavory
characters" is a joke. That's a bed that the CIA has never
left. And it's a marriage vow that President Bush has just
reaffirmed for all the world to see.