Who Killed John O'Neill? |
© January 9, 2002
The Daily Brew
If you believe the media, John P. O'Neill was simply another innocent victim killed in the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center. But you don't need much imagination to suspect something deeper was at work.
Clearly, O'Neill was a man Osama bin Laden wanted dead. O'Neill had been a Deputy Director of the FBI, and Osama bin Laden's main pursuer in the US government. O'Neill had investigated the bombings of the World Trade Center in 1993, a US base in Saudi Arabia in 1996, the US embassies in Nairobi and Dar-Es-Salaam in 1998, and the USS Cole last year.
But once the first plane hit the North Tower, Osama bin Laden wouldn't be the only man to profit from O'Neill's death. At the moment of impact, O'Neill became the man who knew too much.
Just two weeks, TWO WEEKS, prior to the attack, O'Neill had left his job with the FBI. O'Neill had quit because he believed that the Bush administration had stymied the intelligence agency's investigations on terrorism. O'Neill charged that it had done so even as it bargained with the Taliban on handing over of Osama bin Laden in exchange for political recognition and economic aid. In the ultimate irony, O'Neill had gone public with these charges at the same time that he was leaving the FBI to become the head of security at the World Trade Center.
"The main obstacles to investigate Islamic terrorism were US oil corporate interests, and the role played by Saudi Arabia in it," O'Neill reportedly told the authors of an explosive new book, Hidden Truth, by intelligence analysts Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquie. Brisard met O'Neill several times last summer and reports that O'Neill complained bitterly that the US State Department - and behind it the oil lobby who make up President Bush's entourage - blocked attempts to prove bin Laden's guilt.
Released just last November, 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 Bulter. "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 collapsed.
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.