Thursday, November 20, 2008

Further Evidence That The Bush Administration's Attacks On Afghanistan And Iraq Had Nothing To Do With Osama Bin Laden -- An Illegal War For Oil

November 1, 2004
CounterPunch Exclusive
*** Secret Afghan Envoy Tells All ***
Give Him an "F" in the War on Terror How Bush Was Offered Bin Laden and Blew It By ALEXANDER COCKBURN

George Bush, the man whose prime campaign plank has been his ability to wage war on terror, could have had Osama bin Laden's head handed to him on a platter on his very first day in office, and the offer held good until February 2 of 2002. This is the charge leveled by an Afghan American who had been retained by the US government as an intermediary between the Taliban and both the Clinton and Bush administrations.

Kabir Mohabbat is a 48-year businessman in Houston, Texas. Born in Paktia province in southern Afghanistan, he's from the Jaji clan (from which also came Afghanistan's last king).

Educated at St Louis University, he spent much of the 1980s supervising foreign relations for the Afghan mujahiddeen, where he developed extensive contacts with the US foreign policy establishment, also with senior members of the Taliban.

After the eviction of the Soviets, Mohabbat returned to the United States to develop an export business with Afghanistan and became a US citizen. Figuring in his extensive dealings with the Taliban in the late 1990s was much investment of time and effort for a contract to develop the proposed oil pipeline through northern Afghanistan.

In a lengthy interview and in a memorandum Kabir Mohabbat has given us a detailed account and documentation to buttress his charge that the Bush administration could have had Osama bin Laden and his senior staff either delivered to the US or to allies as prisoners, or killed at their Afghan base. As a search of the data base shows, portions of Mohabbat's role have been the subject of a number of news reports, including a CBS news story by Alan Pizzey aired September 25, 2001. This is the first he has made public the full story.

By the end of 1999 US sanctions and near-world-wide political ostracism were costing the Taliban dearly and they had come to see Osama bin Laden and his training camps as, in Mohabbat's words, "just a damn liability". Mohabbat says the Taliban leadership had also been informed in the clearest possible terms by a US diplomat that if any US citizen was harmed as a consequence of an Al Qaeda action, the US would hold the Taliban responsible and target Mullah Omar and the Taliban leaders.

In the summer of 2000, on one of his regular trips to Afghanistan, Mohabbat had a summit session with the Taliban high command in Kandahar. They asked him to arrange a meeting with appropriate officials in the European Union, to broker a way in which they could hand over Osama bin Laden . Mohabbat recommended they send bin Laden to the World Criminal Court in the Hague.

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