Bush's Homeland Security Pipeline

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Bush's Homeland Security Pipeline

March 29, 2002

By Harry Neville

George W. Bush has been keeping quite a few things secret in the name of homeland security. After all, we need to stop terrorists from harming Americans on American soil, don't we?

But what kind of homeland security do we have when a president can create an administration populated by former employees and investors in Enron, an energy-trading company that used numerous schemes to
raise the cost of energy it sells to various California utilities. Among those schemes was the act of clogging up electrical lines to create rolling blackouts for a phony energy shortage. Bush could then
use this alleged shortage to justify drilling for oil in regions previously regarded as unfeasible by the U.S. Government. Among those regions is the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and the Caspian Sea
near Afghanistan.

Bush gave us additional homeland security by having Vice President Dick Cheney, former CEO of Halliburton--an oil drilling company--meet with Enron as part of the Energy Task Force. Of course, Bush refuses to disclose what was discussed in those meetings with Enron. Perhaps the reason is that the proposed Afghanistan oil pipeline was the topic of discussion. After all, recently released correspondence between Ken Lay and Bush reveals that Lay, former CEO of Enron, "confirmed a meeting with Bush and Uzbekistan's ambassador to the United States." This seems odd because Uzbekistan is a key territory for development of the Afghanistan oil pipeline.

What should make us all feel insecure about our newfound homeland security is that Dick Cheney's old company, Halliburton, bought H.C. Price Company (now called Bredero-Shaw
http://www.bredero-shaw), a Texas-based oil company that supplies anticorrosion coatings for oil pipelines and is a joint partner of the Saudi Bin-Laden Group http://www.sbg.com.sa, a construction company that is owned by the Bin-Laden family and builds crude-oil pipelines.

Logic would indicate that the Bin-Laden Group has the heavy equipment in the region near Afghanistan that would facilitate the building of the pipeline through Afghanistan. And, Halliburton--Cheney's old oil-drilling company--can drill for the oil that is to be fed through the pipeline. Is that pipeline and a possible role in it by the Bin-Laden family the kind
of security we seek?

Next in Bush's quest for homeland security comes Unocal, an oil company that builds oil and gas pipelines. Bush recently appointed a former advisor to UNOCAL as a U.S. envoy to Afghanistan. This might not raise a few eyebrows if it weren't for the fact that UNOCAL has long sought a pipeline that would stretch from the Caspian Sea through Afghanistan and would tap the enormous oil and natural gas reserves of the Caspian Sea region near Afghanistan.

UNOCAL was so motivated to get this pipeline that it met with representatives of the Taliban in Texas in 1997. I don't know about you, but that sure makes me feel secure.

So, if I were really cynical about homeland security, I'd say that the Saudi Bin-Laden Group would provide UNOCAL with the heavy equipment needed to build the Afghanistan pipeline. I'd then take a great mental leap and say that Halliburton would do the drilling to
feed the pipeline. And I'd top off my cynicism by saying that Enron--an energy trading company--would bid up the price of the oil and natural gas to sell it at high cost to neighboring countries such as India, home of Enron's Dabhol natural gas power plant.

Keep in mind that Unocal's pipelines can carry gas, and Enron badly needed the gas reserves from the Caspian Sea for a pipeline that would route natural gas to its Dabhol power plant in India. In "The Enron-Cheney-Taliban-Connection," an article that appeared on the Web site, AlterNet.org, writer Ron Callari says: "the Vice President's energy task force changed a draft energy proposal to include a provision to boost oil and natural gas production in India in February of last year." Callari says this proposal was meant to help Enron with its Dabhol power plant.

In a 1996 Telegraph article entitled "Warring nation holds key to oil riches of Central Asia," writer Christopher Lockwood says that UNOCAL had been negotiating with the Taliban for a natural gas pipeline that would stretch through Afghanistan and end in Pakistan. From there, it's only a short hop, skip and jump away to Enron's natural gas Dabhol power plant in India. What a surprise?

Of course, I like to feel secure. And, if I felt Bush were drafting energy legislation to help oil companies exploit Afghanistan, then I'd have to say he allowed 9/11 to happen. 9/11 essentially cleared the way for Halliburton, UNOCAL, Enron, and other oil and gas entities to make the Afghanistan pipeline possible. And, 9/11 enabled Bush to send U.S. troops to
Afghanistan to clear away militant Taliban forces that are hostile to this pipeline project.

Am I so cynical as to believe all that? I can't tell you. It's a secret. Why? Homeland security.

-- Cherri (jessam5@home.com), April 17, 2002

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