Interview with Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquie,
February 8, 2002 2:24 PM   Subscribe

Interview with Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquie, the two French authors of the increasingly infamous book "Bin Laden: The Forbidden Truth." That's the book in which former FBI deputy director John O'Neill claimed that U.S. oil interests were an obstacle to fighting terrorism.
posted by homunculus (4 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
" ... The book, which has become a bestseller in France but has received little press attention here ..."

Gosh, now that's really surprising.

Personally, I think we need to get Mulder on this right away.
posted by MidasMulligan at 2:44 PM on February 8, 2002

This is laughable. They have a collection of unsurprising facts, and a knack for putting the most unflattering spin on them. For instance, is it so shocking that O'Neill was unable to pursue an investigation in a foreign country with all the freedom and resources and access he would have in the United States? Is it necessary to blame the State Department for "hindering" the investigation, or is it more accurate to say that the Yemenis were marginally cooperative and the State Department was properly communicating to the FBI what they could and could not do in a host country?

Is it shocking and unconscionable that prior to the 1998 embassy bombings, Saudi Arabia had not cracked down on the bin Laden money network?

Hindsight is fucking 20/20 vision. That's all these jerks have, and they're milking it for every damning insinuation they can.

The crux of their argument is contained in this absolutely brilliant, self-referential, circular truism:

Nobody saw the reality of the relationship between Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar. So when the U.N.'s six-plus-two group and the U.S. said accept the king and give us Osama, it was incredible; it was like asking them to kill themselves. It was the very wrong way to negotiate.

Well, fucking DUH. But you just said "nobody saw the reality", so what, exactly, is your point?

More foreign policy with a time machine. Next.
posted by dhartung at 7:29 PM on February 8, 2002

OK, rant mode ratcheted back. That was premature and cathartic. The people I should be ranting at are the spinners at, for putting the headline on piece as follows:

Two French authors allege that before Sept. 11, the White House put oil interests ahead of national security.

Then, on the third page of the interview, we have the direct quote:

Is there anything in the American press about your book you would like to correct?

Brisard: The main error is to say that the U.S. preferred oil to fighting against al-Qaida. That oversimplifies it. And it is also wrong to say John O'Neill told me that George Bush blocked inquiries into al-Qaida because of oil. It was not personally Bush [that O'Neill complained about]; it was a policy of putting diplomacy ahead of law enforcement going back to Clinton.

Salon clearly needs editors like most people need air and water.
posted by dhartung at 7:36 PM on February 8, 2002

Salon is a mixed bag. Some of their stuff is great, but they can be really sloppy sometimes too. I'm just glad somone actually interviewed these guys so we can hear what they have to say instead of what others wish they were saying.
posted by homunculus at 10:41 AM on February 9, 2002

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