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Afghanistan Chronology

Caspian Sea, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan Oil

Search on the date range to find more references at uschronology.com.

1992 June 20: Enron and the government of the state of Maharashtra signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding to build the plant. This led to formation of the Dabhol Power Company (DPC), a joint venture of Enron and two other American corporations, General Electric and Bechtel.

1993 February: A formal agreement was signed for a plant that could generate about 2450 megawatts at an approximate cost of $3 billion.

1993 April: Heinz Vergin, World Bank manager for India, rejects Enron's loan application, saying that the Dabhol plant is "not economically viable."

1993 November: The Central Electricity Authority in New Delhi gave provisional clearance to the project. It was the largest single foreign investment in India.

1994: The Washington-based Export-Import Bank approved a $302 million loan toward a $3 billion Enron-controlled power plant in India. President Clinton took an interest in the deal, asking the U.S. ambassador to that country and his former chief of staff, Thomas F. "Mack" McLarty, then a presidential adviser to monitor the proposal.

1995 August: Clinton administration's cabinet members, Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin and Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary, personally urged India to accept Enron's proposed project.

1995 October: Indian Prime Minister Rao and Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati discussed a routing alternatives for a natural gas pipeline, including one which would run through Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

1995 March: Inaugural memorandum of understanding between the governments of Turkmenistan and Pakistan for a Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline for natural gas.

1995 September to October: UNOCAL Obtains Turkmenistan Pipeline Deal: Oil company UNOCAL signs an $8 billion deal with Turkmenistan to construct two pipelines (one for oil, one for gas), as part of a larger plan for two pipelines intended to transport oil and gas from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan and into Pakistan. Before proceeding further, however, UNOCAL needs to execute agreements with Pakistan and Afghanistan; Pakistan and Ahmed Shah Massoud's government in Afghanistan, however, have already signed a pipeline deal with an Argentinean company. Henry Kissinger, hired as speaker for a special dinner in New York to announce the Turkmenistan pipeline deal, says the UNOCAL plan represents a "triumph of hope over experience." UNOCAL will later open an office in Kabul, weeks after the Taliban capture of the capital in late 1996 and will interact with the Taliban, seeking support for its pipeline until at least December 1997. [Coll, 2004, pp. 301-13, 329, 338, 364-66]

1996 January 8: Enron and the state government of Maharashtra reached a new agreement that would shift some of the construction costs and lower the electricity tariffs.

1996: "Mack" McLarty, who later became a paid Enron director, spoke with Ken Lay on several occasions about the plant. Four days before India granted approval for Enron's project, the Houston-based firm contributed $100,000 to the Democratic Party.

1996: Enron signed a contract giving it rights to explore 11 gas fields in Uzbekistan, a project costing $1.3 billion. The goal was to sell gas to the Russian markets, and link to Unocal's southern export pipeline crossing Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan.

1996: FBI Directly Monitors Militants in Afganistan with Hi-Tech Phone Booth: I-49, a squad of FBI agents and Justice Department prosecutors that began focusing on bin Laden in 1996 (see January 1996) is upset that the NSA is not sharing with them data it has obtained through the monitoring of al-Qaeda.

1996 to late September 2001: Britain Not Interested in Sudan's Files on Al-Qaeda

1996 to 1997: Ptech Begins to Get US Government Contracts. Ptech is a Boston computer company connected to a number of individuals suspected of ties to officially designated terrorist organizations (see 1994). These alleged ties will be of particular concern because of Ptech's potential access to classified government secrets.

1997 June: As an advisory for Unocal, Zalmay Khalilzad drew up a risk analysis of a proposed gas pipeline from the former Soviet republic of Turkmenistan across Afghanistan and Pakistan to the Indian Ocean. He participated in talks and social meetings between Unocal and Taliban officials in 1997.

1997 June 3: Police stormed the homes of several women in western India who had led a massive protest against Enron's new natural-gas plant near their fishing village. According to Amnesty International, the women were dragged from their homes and beaten by officers paid by Enron.

1997 November 14: Enron International's CEO Rebecca Mark unveiled an energy plan that included a $300 million project to build a pipeline from Dabhol to Hazira and to the North to add 1200 km of complimentary pipeline system to the existing HBJ pipeline at a cost of $900 million.

1997 December 7: Unocal invited a Taliban contingency to visit them in Houston, Texas, housed them in five-star hotels, dined them at the home of Unocal VP and medically treated the former foreign minister, Mullah Mohammed Ghaus before he returned home.

1997 April 5: US Again Not Interested in Sudan's al-Qaeda Files: Why America Slept; The 9/11 Commission Report.

1997 May 19: False Flag 11 preparation: Military Review Suggests Cutting Fighter Protection Over US; Several Bases Are Discontinued.

1997 June 3: Motive for False Flag 11: The philosophy of nationalist Federalists Alexander Hamilton, Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt culminates in the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) statement of principles, members. Rebuilding America's Defenses, Strategy, Forces and Resources For a New Century in which Dov Zakheim calls for a new Pearl Harbor (World War 2 False Flag). It is consistent with Zbigniew Brzezinski's 1997 book, The Grand Chessboard in which he said that establishing military bases in Central Asia would be crucial for maintaining "American primacy," partly because of the huge oil reserves around the Caspian Sea. ... Brzezinski suggested that Americans today would support the needed military operations in Central Asia only "in the circumstance of a truly massive and widely perceived direct external threat." See also American Enterprise Institute.

1997 October 27: Central Asia Gas Pipeline was incorporated in formal signing ceremonies in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan by several international oil companies along with the Government of Turkmenistan.

1997 December 4: BBC News, World West Asia: "Taliban in Texas for talks on gas pipeline" - A senior delegation from the Taliban movement in Afghanistan is in the United States for talks with with an international energy company that wants to construct a gas pipeline from Turkmenistan across Afghanistan to Pakistan. A spokesman for the company, UNOCAL, said the Taliban were expected to spend several days at the company's headquarters in Sugarland, Texas. UNOCAL says it has agreements both with Turkmenistan to sell its gas and with Pakistan to buy it. (Confirmed by U.S. State Department's press officer for South Asian Affairs, Len Scensny.) This meeting was followed by meeting in Munich, Germany during which UNOCAL allegedly said to the Taliban "Well give you a pipeline to protect else we'll bury you." UNOCAL was one of the key players in the CentGas consortium, an attempt to build the Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline to run from the Caspian area, through Afghanistan and probably Pakistan to the Indian Ocean. One of the consultants to UNOCAL at that time was Zalmay Khalilzad, now US ambassador to Iraq. The CentGas pipeline was not built, due to inability of CentGas and the Taliban to come to a mutually acceptable economic understanding. Shortly thereafter, the US invaded Afghanistan, removing Taliban control from Afghanistan and making moot the question of their remuneration. UNOCAL is also the third largest member of the recently completed and opened Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline from the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean Sea.
Related reading:
William Maley, "The Foreign Policy of the Taliban," Council on Foreign Relations, 2002.
Tom Turnipseed, "From ENRON Entanglements to UNOCAL Bringing the Taliban to Texas and Controlling Afghanistan. A Creeping Collapse in Credibility at the White House," Counter Punch, January 10, 2002.
Nina Burleigh, "Bush, oil and the Taliban. Two French authors allege that before Sept. 11, the White House put oil interests ahead of national security," Salon, February 8, 2002.
Ron Callari, "The Enron-Cheney-Taliban Connection?" The Albion Monitor (AlterNet), February 28, 2002: "Could the Big Secret of the Enron scandal be that Cheney and the White House were working closely with the Taliban -- on Enron's behalf -- up to a few weeks before Sept. 11?"
Michael Rubin, "Who is Responsible for the Taliban?" Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA), March 2002.
"Enron gave Taliban $millions," March 4, 2002.

1998 February 12: Testimony of John J Maresca, vice-president, international relations, Unocal Corporation was heard by the House Committee on International Relations and the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific regarding "a proposed extension (of the proposed trans-Caspian pipeline) would link with the SUI pipeline system, moving gas to near New Delhi, where it would connect with the existing HBJ pipeline..."

1998 June: Russian Gazprom relinquishes its 10% stake in the Central Asia Gas Pipeline project.

1998 June 23: In a speech to the "Collateral Damage Conference" of the Cato Institute, Cheney said, "the good Lord didn't see fit to put oil and gas only where there are democratically elected regimes friendly to the United States. Occasionally we have to operate in places where, all things considered, one would not normally choose to go. But, we go where the business is."

1998 July 29: The Department of State is pleased that Turkmen Minister of Oil and Gas Arazov announced Turkmenistan's selection of the U.S. company Enron to carry out a feasibility study funded by the Trade and Development Agency for a trans-Caspian gas pipeline.

1998 August 20: U.S. Tomahawk cruise missiles target Kandahar Afghanistan and sites believed to be Osama bin Laden's training camps. Shortly after, the UN imposes sanctions on Afghanistan that isolate the nation.

1998 December 8: UNOCAL withdraws from the Central Asia Gas Pipeline consortium.

1999 January 25: Human Rights Watch released a report that indicated human right violations had occurred as a result of opposition to the Dabhol Power project. Beginning in late 1996 and continuing throughout 1997, leading Indian environmental activists and representatives of villagers' organizations in the affected area organized to oppose the project and, as a direct result of their opposition, were subjected to beatings, repeated short-term detention and were not paid.

1999 February: Joint agreement signed by Turkmenistan and two American companies, Bechtel and GE Capital Services to build a $2.5 billion trans-Caspian pipeline, after Enron conducted a feasibility study.

1999 November: Enron purchased 5.1 percent of the company that operates the country's sole long-distance gas pipeline, which runs from the offshore gas fields in the Bombay High area to the country's capital, New Delhi.

2000 June-October: Maharashtra government allies demand scrapping the project, because of the cost of the power it produces.

2000 October: Eleven months before 9/11, Nick Rockefeller predicted for Aaron Russo "an event that will allow us to invade Afghanistan and Iraq."

2001 early: Vice President Cheney held several secret meetings with top Enron officials, including its Chairman Kenneth Lay. These meetings were presumably part of Cheney's non-public Energy Task Force sessions. A number of Enron stockholders, including Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Trade Representative Robert Zoellick, became officials in the Bush administration. In addition, Thomas White, a former Vice Chairman of Enron and a multimillionaire in Enron stock, currently serves as the Secretary of the Army.

2001 February: Vice President Cheney's energy task force changed a draft energy proposal to include a provision to boost oil and natural gas production in India. The amendment was so narrow that it apparently was targeted only to Enron's power plant in India.

2001 March 2001: Laila Helms, the part-Afghan niece of the former CIA director and former U.S. ambassador to Tehran Richard Helms is described as unofficial Taliban representative in Washington. Ms Helms brought Sayed Rahmatullah Hashimi, an adviser to Mullah Omar, to Washington after the Taliban had destroyed the ancient Buddhas of Bamiyan. Hashimi met the directorate of Central Intelligence at the CIA and the Bureau of Intelligence and Research at the State Department.

2001 April: An Enron memo, which Lay gave Cheney during their one-on-one meeting, makes eight energy-policy recommendations. Seven out of eight recommendations were adopted in the administration's final energy plan.

2001 May: A conference held at the Brookings Institution provides evidence that the exploitation of Caspian Basin and Asian energy markets was an urgent priority for the Bush administration, and the centerpiece of its energy policy

2001 May 17: The U.S. indirectly gives $43 million to Afghanistan's Taliban government as a reward for its efforts to stamp out opium-poppy cultivation. The same day, White House's energy policy recommended, "the president direct the Secretaries of State and Energy to work with India's Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas to help India maximize its domestic oil and gas production."

2001 June: Construction halted on the Dabhol plant.

2001 June 27: Cheney stepped in to try to help Enron collect a $64 million debt from Dabhol. Conducted at a Washington meeting between Cheney and the leader of India's opposition, Sonia Gandhi.

2001 June 28: "Good news" a NSC staff member wrote in a e-mail memo: "The Veep mentioned Enron in his meeting with Sonia Gandhi." An unnamed government staff member wrote that (s)he would "ask the Indians" if Kenneth Lay "is invited to the dinner" with India's national security adviser, Brajesh Mishra. The memo is part of a series uncovered by the Washington Post that revealed that the National Security Council led a "Dabhol Working Group."

2001 June 30: Another Dabhol Working Group memo states the need to "broaden the advocacy" and recommends diplomatic action by the U.S. Embassy and the Ambassador. The memo also notes that Christina Rocca, in charge of Central Asian affairs for the U.S. government, met with a top aide to the Indian prime minister. The memo is marked as a "Confidential Business Communication."

2001 August 2: The last meeting between U.S. and Taliban representatives took place five weeks before the attacks on New York and Washington, the analysts maintain. On that occasion, Christina Rocca met the Taliban ambassador to Pakistan in Islamabad.

2001 August 27: Kenneth Lay wrote another email to his employee/stockholders extolling the value of an employee stock option program, describing a "significantly higher price" the stock would bring in the near future.

2001 September 5: Lay announces that the company will divest itself of $4-$5 billion in assets in the next two years.

2001 September 8: False Flag 11 preparation for profit: "U.S. OK's plan to topple Taliban a day before 9/11." - MSNBC

2001 September 9: General Ahmed Shah Massoud, the leader of Afghanistan's Northern Alliance, is assassinated

2001 September 10: Plan to invade Afghanistan finalized.

2001 September 10: "Those who control the oil routes out of Central Asia will impact all future direction and quantities of flow and the distribution of revenues from new production," wrote energy expert James Dorian in Oil & Gas Journal, published the day before the terrorist attacks.

2001 September 14: Unocal issued the following statement: "The company is not supporting the Taliban in Afghanistan in any way whatsoever. Nor do we have any project or involvement in Afghanistan." Lay also writes to the Prime Minister of India, insisting that his $2.3 billion asking price is reasonable "compared to the size of our legal claim," which Enron placed at $5 billion. September 19, 2001: Enron invokes a clause in its Dabhol power plant contract, claiming that because the Maharashtra State Electricity Board has violated its power purchase agreement, the Maharashtra state government and the government of India are liable for $5 billion.

2001 October 3: Cheney meets with India External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh. The NSC sends "Dabhol talking points" to Cheney's staff.

2001 October 7: Afghanistan added to the global empire. Bush emphasized that the action represented just one front in an ongoing U.S. effort against terror networks. "Today, we focus on Afghanistan, but the battle is broader."

2001 November 1: Bush signed Executive Order 13233 which limits public access to papers of all presidents since 1980 including George W. Bush. Another memo written this day states that talking points for Bush were prepared for his meeting with the India Prime Minister. Bush did not discuss Enron during the meeting.

2001 November 6: OPIC President Peter Watson contacts a top aide of the Indian Prime Minister: "The acute lack of progress in this matter has forced Dabhol to rise to the highest levels of the United States government."

2001 November 8: Enron president Lawrence "Greg" Whalley called Treasury Undersecretary Peter Fisher in late October and disclosed that it had overstated earnings dating back to 1997 by almost $600 million. That same day, an e-mail ("Importance: High"), whose sender and recipient are blacked out, warned, "President Bush cannot talk about Dabhol."

2001 November 9: An e-mail noted that Lawrence Lindsey, chairman of Bush's National Economic Council, had met India's National Security Adviser Brajesh Mishra on Nov. 7, but it said Lindsey was "advised that he could not discuss Dabhol." Lindsey is a former Enron consultant and had served on its board of advisers.

2001 November late: Lay called Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill and Commerce Secretary Don Evans seeking a last-minute federal bailout and was turned down.

2001 December 2: Enron files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

2001 December 27: Bush Administration repealed a Clinton-era rule that prevents the government from awarding federal contracts to businesses that have broken environmental, labor, tax, civil rights or other laws.

2001 December 31: President Bush appointed a former aide to Unocal, Afghan-born Zalmay Khalilzad, as special envoy to Afghanistan. The nomination was announced nine days after the US-backed interim government of Hamid Karzai took office in Kabul.

2002 January 17: Enron reportedly filed an approximately $200 million claim with the U.S. government's Overseas Private Investment Corporation in an attempt to recoup losses from the Dabhol Power Corporation.

2002 January 2: A Creeping Collapse in Credibility at the White House: From ENRON Entanglements to UNOCAL Bringing the Taliban to Texas and Controlling Afghanistan.

2002 January 18: According to documents released on this date, it was noted the Bush administration intervened with top Indian officials last year in a bid to salvage the Enron project in India. The White House said the effort, involving Vice President Dick Cheney and other senior officials, was justified because the $2.9 billion Dabhol power project was financed in part through the U.S. government's Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), a taxpayer-backed agency that provides "political risk" insurance and loans to help U.S. companies invest in developing nations. The White House denied the push was influenced by Enron's political contributions.

2002 January 28: U.S. Ambassador Robert Blackwell addresses an Indian energy industry meeting and demands India honor the "sanctity of contract" and make good on the Enron debt, warning that India's hopes for "big-time international investment" could be harmed otherwise.

2002 January 29: Unocal Advisor Zalmay Khalilzad named representative to Afghanistan.

2002 February 8: Afghanistan's interim leader Hamid Karzai said he and Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf had agreed to revive a plan for a trans-Caspian gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to Pakistan.

2002 February 9: Turkmenistan hopes the fragile peace in neighboring Afghanistan will allow work to resume on the natural gas pipeline connecting to Pakistan.

2002 February 20: OPIC reveals that it gave Enron $554 million in loans and $204 million in insurance. Congress also learns the the Export-Import Bank loaned $675 million to Enron and associated companies.

2002 February 22: The GAO sues Cheney for refusing to reveal details of his meetings with Enron officials. It is the first time that the agency has sued a member of the executive branch of government.

2002 February 28: The Enron-Cheney-Taliban Connection?

2002 December 27: The new deal on the Central Asia Gas Pipeline was signed on by the leaders of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Signing the agreement was made possible by the invasion of Afghanistan by United States military forces a year prior, which overthrew the Taliban government controlling most of Afghanistan.

2004 March 25: U.S. OK'd plan to topple Taliban day before 9/11.

2005 April 6: Afghanistan: Defense Minister Reiterates Desire For 'Enduring Arrangements' With U.S.

2005: Asian Development Bank submitted the final version of feasibility study designed by British company Penspen for the Central Asia Gas Pipeline project.

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