15 Years, 28 Pages, Still Waiting…

Bush-Saudi-Arabia

Just Buddies – Holding Hands with a Tyrant

by Peter van Buren.

This article originally appeared, with a different title, on Peter’s blog, We Meant Well.

Did the CIA meet with some of the 9/11 hijackers ahead of the attacks on New York?  Did the Saudi government help finance those hijackers?  Someone knows the answers, and soon, you might know as well.

This Summer?

James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, told the New York Times the so-called “28 pages,” a still-classified section from the official report of the Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001, may be released to the public as early as this summer. The full 838-page report, minus those pages, was published in December 2002.

The pages detail Saudi Arabia involvement in funding the 9/11 hijackers, and were classified by then-President George W. Bush.

So what do they say?

The 28 Pages

Richard Clarke is the former National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection and Counterterrorism for the United States. He is best-known for trying to warn the George W. Bush administration that a terror attack was imminent in the days preceding 9/11. As late as a July 5, 2001, White House meeting with the FAA, the Coast Guard, the FBI, Secret Service and the INS, Clarke stated that “something really spectacular is going to happen here, and it’s going to happen soon.”

Here’s what Clarke said at a security forum held this week in New York about what those 28 pages will reveal:

— 9/11 hijackers and Saudi citizens (15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis) Khalid Al-Midhar and Nawaq Al Hamzi met in San Diego with several other Saudis, including one who may have been a Saudi intelligence agent and another who was both an al Qaeda sympathizer and an employee of the Saudi Consulate in Los Angeles.

— The CIA also made contact with Midhar and Hamzi in San Diego, and unsuccessfully tried to “turn them,” i.e., recruit them to work for the United States. The CIA did not inform the FBI or others of this action until just before 9/11. (In a 2009 interview, Clarke speculated that the CIA would have used Saudi intelligence as an intermediary to approach the two al-Qaeda operatives.)

— The 28 pages may include speculation that the Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs funded mosques and other locations in the U.S. used by al Qaeda as meeting places and for recruitment.

— The rumors that Saudi charities and/or the spouse of then-Saudi ambassador to the United States Bandar bin Sultan (who went on to be director general of the Saudi Intelligence Agency from 2012 to 2014) directly funded the 9/11 hijackers per se are “overblown,” according to Clarke.

However, elements of Saudi charities and the ambassador himself did regularly provide funding to various Saudi citizens in the United States, for example, those needing money for medical care. It is possible that the 9/11 hijackers defrauded Saudi sources to obtain funds, but less clear that any Saudi government official knowingly funded persons for the purpose of committing 9/11.

Alongside Clapper, Clarke too believes the 28 pages will be released to the public within the next five to six weeks.

Others have suggested more clear ties between the hijackers and the Saudis, including multiple pre-9/11 phone calls between one of the hijackers’ handlers in San Diego and the Saudi Embassy, and the transfer of some $130,000 from Bandar’s family checking account to yet another of the hijackers’ Saudi handlers in San Diego.

Not the What, But the Why

Should the full 28 pages be released, there will no doubt be enormous emphasis placed on what they say, specifically the degree to which they implicate elements of Saudi Arabia and/or the Saudi royal family in funding or supporting the 9/11 hijackers. If the CIA contact with some of the hijackers is confirmed, that will be explosive.

But as pointed out in Oliver Stone’s movie JFK (below), after the what is the why, and that answer has the potential to affect the future, not just document the past.

— Why were the pages classified in the first place (who benefited?) and why did they stay classified now into a second administration, some 15 years after the events they discuss took place?

— Why did the United States allow officials of the Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs to work in the U.S. under diplomatic status? That Ministry’s existence goes back to the 1991 Gulf War. The presence of American troops in Saudi Arabia was a shattering event in the country’s history, calling into question the bargain between the royal family and the Wahhabi clerics, whose blessing allows the Saud family to rule. In 1992, a group of the country’s most prominent religious leaders issued the Memorandum of Advice, which implicitly threatened a clerical coup.

The royal family, shaken by the threat to its rule, accommodated most of the clerics’ demands, giving them more control over Saudi society. One of their directives called for the creation of a Ministry of Islamic Affairs, which would be given offices in Saudi embassies and consulates. As the journalist Philip Shenon writes, citing John Lehman, the former Secretary of the Navy and a 9/11 commissioner, “it was well-known in intelligence circles that the Islamic affairs office functioned as the Saudis’ ‘fifth column’ in support of Muslim extremists.”

Only one official in the Ministry of Islamic Affairs inside the U.S., Fahad al-Thumairy, was stripped of his diplomatic visa and deported because of suspected ties to terrorists. That was in 2002.

— Why does the U.S. still allow allow officials of the Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs to work in the U.S. under diplomatic status?

— Why did the American government not arrest Omar al-Bayoumi, a Saudi national and employee of the Saudi aviation-services company Dallah Avco. Although he drew a salary, according to the New Yorker he apparently never did any actual work for the company during the seven years he spent in America. Bayoumi was in frequent contact with the Saudi Embassy and with the consulate in Los Angeles; he was widely considered in the Arab expat community to be a Saudi spy, though the Saudi government has denied that he was.

— Why did the CIA not reveal its contacts with the two 9/11 hijackers? Who benefited?

 

6 thoughts on “15 Years, 28 Pages, Still Waiting…

  1. I can’t help but suspect that anything that actually gets released will still be redacted. The timing of the release of anything that makes the last Republican presidency look even worse will benefit one Hillary Clinton come November. We’ve known for a very long time that in August 2001 Dubya was handed an intel briefing headlined to the effect that “bin-Laden Determined to Strike US Mainland,” with the suggestion that aircraft would be employed. But we also know that little George was not exactly a keen reader. Furthermore, I personally have no doubt that Bush wasn’t really “in charge,” so if we are to ever get to the bottom of why US military air defenses were conveniently asleep at the switch that fateful morning in September, and the intel community at large showing too little curiosity about certain Saudi nationals entering the country, we better grab a certain Mr. Cheney, strap him down and administer a big dose of “truth serum” before that august gentleman departs this mortal realm. Who’s with me on this??

    • If anybody in the Executive branch made a call in this instance, my money is on Dick the Lip [I cannot recommend too highly “Dick Cheney – Confidential!” segments on Harry Shearer’s le Show radio/podcast program], but I have no evidence to support this claim.

      I will never advocate the use of torture in any circumstance, including this one. If someone tortures another and is unable to prove the methods he used prevented the execution of a terror event, I think our republic is disserved if the torturer is not charged according to the appropriate statutes and vigorously prosecuted for same.

      This doesn’t mean I will not indulge in the following fantasy: Former VP Cheney, during yet another celebrity appearance on USA shit msm Sunday morning “news” programming, is asked about the 28 pages and asserts that he has “nothing to hide, American citizens have no *need to know* with respect to this particular national security intelligence document, and instead of asking a bunch of buttinski questions and generally trying to stick their nose in where it has no business going, they should shut up, get jobs for a change, and go shopping. Help your country, don’t hurt it.”

      Following a commercial break, in my fantasy, I replace Chuck Know-nothing or Chris Goober Wallace or whoever and invite the audience to “Watch this short clip.” We cut away from the live studiocam to a film montage of Cheney, GOP congressmen, and conservative media celebrities assuring the American public that waterboarding is no more severe than fraternity hazing, it certainly is not torture, and it gets positive results.

      The clip ends, and viewers are returned to the studio where Cheney is strapped back down, head at the lower end of a tilted table, some hooded character dripping water onto a towel covering his mouth and nose (seeing as this is a fantasy, a couple of other hooded dudes are giving the same business to O’Lielly and Hannity on tables, too, and there is a chain gang lined up waiting: Rush, Breitbart, Savage, Trump — why’d I wait so long to list this jackass?, Cruz, you name ’em …

      The towel comes off Cheney first, and he tries to fake a heart attack but I ain’t having it and I signal for the towel to go back on, and at that the 5 time dodger starts spewing straight answers to everything: Saudi’s and 9/11; Saudi’s all the way back to the Nixon administration; Halliburton environmental abuses and the lies the Dickster invented to cover for them; every other law he ever broke; cheating on tests in elementary school; torturing animals as a kid; aiming at hunting partners he lost to in poker games at the lodge the night before.

      Hell, all I have to do is glance at that towel and water bucket and he starts telling me stuff everybody listening knows can’t possibly be true, even though he’s hard to understand what with all the blubbering, tears, and nose-blowing. When his mother used to call him a little snot, she didn’t know the half of it. And now for the rest of those conscienceless pricks.

      Like I said, though, this is all fantasy, just a pleasant little daydream to pass the time. I wait for the day Liz goes out and forgets she left the safe with Dick’s passport unlocked (or she does it on purpose), and his giant ego convinces himself it’s safe to hire a Lear to haul him somewhere outside CONUS. Where he gets nabbed and hauled to The Hague for prosecution.

  2. Consider: Why do we assume that Saudi Arabia is our client State? Because we are told that Saudi Arabia depends on us for military advice and weapons? Really? Do tell…. right….

    From the other end of the telescope, I would say that the US is the client of Saudi Arabia. We fight their wars for them. We are their very own infidel army, hooked on oil and Jesus. Crusader cannon fodder. They sell us oil, we send our children to die for them. Ironic, ain’t it? We even get our kids to volunteer to kill Saudi enemies for Jesus.

    We’ve allowed our elected officials to gut public education, which means our children are not being taught how to be citizens of a democracy. It’s not possible to have a democracy unless the majority of the people know how a democracy actually works, how it is organized and their responsibilities towards future generations and fellow citizens. Civics. Freedom takes constant investment on the individual level. We have failed to educate our children how to be a free people. And so they are not. They are wage slaves who must submit urine samples upon demand. Degrading.

    Governments who persist in humiliating those they govern will not persist long. Even ours. Beware of false constitutions.

    We like to compare ourselves to Rome, as if we had more than a mongrel pedigree. Our current government is barely pubescent. We’re innocent lambs frolicking in front of old wolves. Actually, we’re just like Mommy… Victorian England to a gnat’s whisker. Hyper prudery and snazzy corsets. Those end of Empire Blues, as our pride bleeds itself out on Afghanistan’s plains.
    Rudyard was right. He wasn’t racist. He was a reporter. Highly recommend his work for a great reflection of an Empire in decline.

    “East is East and West is West…..” was a warning to Great Britain. And to future Crusaders like us.

    • Robyn–Don’t forget the third leg of this most unholy and perverse stool: the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is also closely allied with the Zionist regime in Israel. Next year will mark a half century of Israel occupying chunks of Egypt, Syria and Jordan in defiance of all United Nations resolutions instructing them to cease and desist. This situation has only lasted so long thanks to US taxpayer funding of Israel. Several generations of Palestinians have now been born in exile, unable to set foot upon their ancestral land. Is it any wonder that some of these youth have perpetual rage in their eyes? KSA, Israel, Egypt. All deemed “vital allies” of the USA, with US government eyes averted from their state crimes, whether a Democrat or Republican holds the presidency. A disgraceful situation in my opinion.

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