The Rabbani government had been negotiating with an Argentinean consortium called Bridas to build the pipeline. This angered the Four Horsemen, who backed a Unocal-led consortium known as Centgas. In 2005 Unocal became part of Chevron. Many citizens of Kabul were convinced that the CIA had brought the Taliban to power on behalf of Big Oil. 
The Four Horsemen were busy exploiting their new Caspian Sea oil and gas reserves in the newly formed Central Asian Republics just north of Afghanistan. Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan contain vast crude oil reserves estimated at over 200 billion barrels.
Neighboring Turkmenistan is a virtual gas republic, containing some of the largest deposits of natural gas on earth. The biggest gas field is at Dauletabad in the southeast of the country near the Afghan border. All told there are an estimated 6.6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the Caspian Sea region.
The Centgas consortium also planned to build a pipeline which would connect oil fields around Chardzhan, Turkmenistan to the Siberian oilfields further north.  Turkmenistan also has vast reserves of oil, copper, coal, tungsten, zinc, uranium and gold.
With Rabbani out of the picture, Centgas began negotiating in earnest with the Taliban for rights to build their pipeline from Dauletbad across Afghanistan and Pakistan to the port of Karachi, where a US Naval base was in the works on a 100-acre site given mysteriously handed over to Omani Sultan Qaboos.
The Four Horsemen brought with them to Central Asia a loyal Saudi business partners. Saudi billionaire Sheik Khalid bin Mahfouz – owner of BCCI and National Commercial Bank and an enthusiastic supporter of themujahadeen - embraced the Taliban. Bin Mahfouz – whose net worth is over $2 billion – controls Nimir Petroleum, a partner with Chevron Texaco in developing a 1.5 billion barrel Kazakhstan oil field.
A Saudi Arabian government audit found that bin Mahfouz’ National Commercial Bank had transferred over $3 million to Osama bin Laden charities in 1999. 
Delta Oil was another Saudi-owned Four Horsemen partner in the region. According to French writer Olivier Roy, “When the Taliban took power in Afghanistan, it was largely orchestrated by the Pakistani secret service (ISI) and the oil company Unocal, with its Saudi ally Delta”. 
In January 1998 Centgas agreed to pay the Taliban government $100 million a year to run their gas pipeline across Afghanistan. Centgas arranged high-level meetings in Washington between Taliban officials and the State Department.
Representing Unocal was Zalmay Khalilzad, who was Assistant Undersecretary of Defense in the Bush Sr. Administration and worked at Cambridge Energy Research Associates before working at Unocal. Khalilzad was born in Mazar-i-Sharif to wealthy Afghan aristocrats. His father was an aide to King Zaher Shah. Khalilzad also worked at Rand Corporation – a long time CIA asset. 
Khalilzad left his post at Unocal to join the National Security Council in the Bush Jr. Administration.  In 2002 Bush appointed Khalilzad as the first US envoy to Afghanistan in over 20 years. The first item on his agenda was to revive talks on building the Centgas pipeline.
The now-deceased bin Mahfouz was under investigation for funding Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda terror network. He was represented in the US by Washington law firm Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld. The firm represents the House of Saud and the world’s largest Islamic charity, the Saudi-based Holy Land Foundation for Development and Relief.
Within three months of the 911 terror attacks, Treasury had frozen the assets of the Saudi foundation. Akin, Gump successfully defended bin Mahfouz when the BCCI scandal broke. Three partners at the firm are good friends of President George W. Bush. Partner James C. Langdon is one of Bush’s closest friends. George Salem was involved in Bush campaign fundraising. Barnett “Sandy” Cress was appointed by Bush to head a White House-sponsored education initiative. 
According to French intelligence analyst Jean-Charles Brisard, President Bush Jr. blocked US Secret Service investigations into US-based al-Qaedasleeper cells while he continued to negotiate secretly with Taliban officials. The last meeting was in August 2001 just five weeks before 911. Bush wanted the Taliban to deliver bin Laden in return for US and Saudi economic aid and support for the Taliban. 
Deputy FBI Director John O’Neill resigned his post in July 2001 to protest the Bush Administration’s cozying up to the Taliban. Brisard says O’Neill told him, “the main obstacles to investigating Islamic terrorism were US corporate interests and the role played by Saudi Arabia.” O’Neill took a job as Chief of Security at the World Trade Center in New York and was killed during the 911 attacks. 
Big Oil representatives were present at the Bush-Taliban negotiations, where one official told the Taliban at that last August meeting, “You either accept our offer of a carpet of gold, or we bury you under a carpet of bombs.”
According to the French newspaper Le Figaro, the CIA met with bin Laden several times during the months prior to 911. According to the Washington Post, the CIA met with Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar’s envoy Rahmattullah Hashami in July 2001. Hashami offered to hold on to bin Laden until the CIA could capture him but, according to the Village Voice, the Bush Administration turned down the offer. That same month the CIA met with Jamiaat-i-Islami leader Qazi Hussein Ahmed.
The US government gave $43 million in aid to the Taliban in 2000 and $132 million in 2001. The Taliban were told by the Bush White House to hire a Washington PR firm to scrub up their image. The firm was headed by Laila Helms, niece of former CIA Director and BCCI crony Richard Helms. Big Oil representatives were present at the Bush-Taliban negotiations, where one official told the Taliban at that last August meeting, “You either accept our offer of a carpet of gold, or we bury you under a carpet of bombs.”
Even after the 911 terror attacks, President Bush omitted the names of two House of Saud-funded groups – International Islamic Relief Organization and Muslim World League – who financed al Qaedafrom a list of groups whose assets would be frozen by the US Treasury. 
As French intelligence analyst Brisard noted, “The American addiction to Saudi oil and arms money threatens to undermine national security in the West”.
Dean Henderson is the author of four books: Big Oil & Their Bankers in the Persian Gulf: Four Horsemen, Eight Families & Their Global Intelligence, Narcotics & Terror Network, The Grateful Unrich: Revolution in 50 Countries, Stickin’ it to the Matrix and Das Kartell der Federal Reserve. To subscribe to Dean’s weekly blog, Left Hook, go to http://www.deanhenderson.wordpress.com
 “War Criminals, Real and Imagined”. Gregory Elich. Covert Action Quarterly. Winter 2001. p.23
 “Handbook for the New War”. Evan Thomas. Newsweek. 10-8-01
 “The Mesmerizer”. Rod Nordland and Jeffrey Bartholet. Newsweek. 9-24-01. p.45
 “Terror Sweep Drives Arabs from Pakistan”. AP. Arkansas Democrat Gazette. 4-13-93. p.1
 “The Rise of the Taliban”. Emily MacFarquhar. US News & World Report. 3-6-95. p.64
 “The World Today”. BBC Radio. 9-24-96
 “Morning Edition”. National Public Radio. 10-2-96
 “The Roving Eye: Pipelineistan, Part I: The Rules of the Game”. Pepe Escobar. Asia TimesOnline. 1-25-02
 “The White House Connection: Saudi Agents and Close Bush Friends”. Maggie Mulvihill, Jonathan Wells and Jack Meyers. Boston Herald Online Edition. 12-10-01
 “al-Qaeda, US Oil Companies and Central Asia”. Peter Dale Scott. Nexus. May-June, 2006. p.11-15
 “US Ties to Saudi Elite May be Hurting War on Terrorism”. Jonathan Wells, Jack Meyers and Maggie Mulvihill. Boston Herald Online. 12-10-01
 Mulvihill, Wells and Meyers
 Bin Laden: The Forbidden Truth. Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquie. Paris. 2001
 Nordland and Bartholet. p.45