July 21, 2001: Three American officials, Tom Simons (former US Ambassador to Pakistan), Karl Inderfurth (former Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian affairs) and Lee Coldren (former State Department expert on South Asia), meet with Pakistani and Russian intelligence officers in Berlin. [Salon, 8/16/02] It is the third of a series of back-channel conferences called "brainstorming on Afghanistan." The officials say that the US is planning military strikes against Afghanistan in October. Taliban representatives sat in on previous meetings, but may have boycotted this one due to worsening tensions. However, British newspapers confirm that the Pakistani ISI relay the threats to the Taliban. One specific threat made at this meeting is that the Taliban can choose between "carpets of bombs" - an invasion - or "carpets of gold" - the pipeline. [Guardian, 9/22/01; BBC, 9/18/01, the book Bin Laden: The Forbidden Truth, released 11/11/01 (the link is an excerpt containing Chapter 1)] Pakistani representative Niaz Naik says Tom Simons made the "carpets" statement. Simons claims that "It's possible that a mischievous American participant, after several drinks, may have thought it smart to evoke gold carpets and carpet bombs. Even Americans can't resist the temptation to be mischievous." Naik and the American participants deny that the pipeline was an issue at the meeting. [Salon, 8/16/02] So then what was the "carpets of gold" referring to?
From the Complete 9-11 Timeline by Paul Thompson. A vital online resource for anyone wanting to investigate 911 and the war on terror.
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