Released in November 2001, Brisard and
Dasquie's book was mostly ignored by the US media. But it is beginning
to cause a stir. Just two days ago, the story aired for the first time
on US television when CNN's Paula Zahn interviewed former Iraqi chief
U.N. weapons inspector Richard Butler. (Read
"The most explosive charge,
Paula, is that the Bush administration -- the present one, just shortly
after assuming office slowed down FBI investigations of al Qaeda and
terrorism in Afghanistan in order to do a deal with the Taliban on oil
-- an oil pipeline across Afghanistan" Butler said.
Maybe part of the reason Paula left Faux news is
because she knew her right wing bosses would never let her run a story
like this one. But what Paula didn't explore, or even mention, was that
O'Neill was not alive to confirm or refute those charges. What CNN
didn't find interesting was the fact that John P. O'Neill was in his
34th-floor office in the World Trade Tower when the first of two
hijacked planes hit the building, or that he phoned a son and a friend
to reassure them he was fine.
What the US media have apparently found less
interesting than the death of Clinton's dog is that we have only the
government's version of what happened next. O'Neill is reported to have
called FBI headquarters, and then re-entered one of the towers to help
others. The official story is that O'Neill was inside when the buildings
How convenient for the Bush administration that
Mr. O'Neill would not only die in the attack, but also that he would
make such a call. Not only was the Bush administration's most dangerous
critic forever silenced, but he also provided the administration the
perfect story to explain his death.
Can you imagine how the events of the past four
months would have differed had John P. O'Neill, former Deputy Director
of the FBI and head of security at the World Trade Tower at the time of
the attacks, had been alive to tell this story?
Can you imagine the uproar this story would be
causing if Bill Clinton were still president?
As things stand, only time will tell if O'Neill's
story is investigated by the US press that found Monica Lewinsky worthy
of two years of our lives. Certainly, the authors who have reported it
are credible. Till the late 1990s, Brisard was the director of economic
analysis and strategy for Vivendi, the giant French conglomerate that
owns Universal Studios and effective control of USA Networks. He also
worked for French secret services (DST), and wrote for them in 1997 a
report on the now famous Al Qaeda network, headed by bin Laden. Dasquie
is an investigative journalist and publisher of Intelligence Online, a
respected newsletter on diplomacy, economic analysis and strategy. And
Richard Bulter, who put the story in play on the US cable networks, is
hardly an excitable conspiracy nut.
Perhaps the CIA will investigate. But I wouldn't
expect much from them. After all, they were apparently unable to
penetrate the same Al Qaeda network that welcomed in John Walker, a
confused 20 year old kid from California, who is reported to have met
bin Laden himself.