Monday, December 16, 2013

Saudi involvement in 9/11 and the US cover up into the role that wealthy Saudi hardliners , Saudi diplomats and Intelligence Officers played in the high crimes ( helping not just financially but also logistically ) - slowly trickling to the surface with details and names of the Saudi Officials and Agents involved ! Fascinatingly , on the same date of this stunning report , we see a Saudi Prince blasting Obama as being indecisive - maybe he should all the Saudi taunt by being decisive about releasing the missing / redacted 28 pages of thee 9/11 Investigative report covering not just the role of the Saudis , but also the role of the US to cover for the Saudis . Maybe folk will ask why this has been allowed to not just happen , but still be covered up for all of these years ?






Two Congressmen claim secret report on 9/11 pins the blame on Saudi Arabia

POSTED AT 8:23 AM ON DECEMBER 16, 2013 BY ED MORRISSEY

  
What we know from the New York Post’s report on the claim from Democratic Rep. Stephen Lynch and Republican Rep. Walter Jones is that two administrations have kept 28 pages of a 2002 report on the 9/11 so highly classified that they don’t contain redactions — just an ellipsis noting their absence. Lynch and Jones claim that the report from Congress after the attacks that left 3,000 Americans dead contain material that “absolutely shocked” them — and pins the blame on Saudi Arabia for state support of the attack:
President Bush inexplicably censored 28 full pages of the 800-page report. Text isn’t just blacked-out here and there in this critical-yet-missing middle section. The pages are completely blank, except for dotted lines where an estimated 7,200 words once stood (this story by comparison is about 1,000 words).
A pair of lawmakers who recently read the redacted portion say they are “absolutely shocked” at the level of foreign state involvement in the attacks.
Reps. Walter Jones (R-NC) and Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) can’t reveal the nation identified by it without violating federal law. So they’ve proposed Congress pass a resolution asking President Obama to declassify the entire 2002 report, “Joint Inquiry Into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001.”
Some information already has leaked from the classified section, which is based on both CIA and FBI documents, and it points back to Saudi Arabia, a presumed ally.
The Saudis deny any role in 9/11, but the CIA in one memo reportedly found “incontrovertible evidence” that Saudi government officials — not just wealthy Saudi hardliners, but high-level diplomats and intelligence officers employed by the kingdom — helped the hijackers both financially and logistically. The intelligence files cited in the report directly implicate the Saudi embassy in Washington and consulate in Los Angeles in the attacks, making 9/11 not just an act of terrorism, but an act of war.
Three years later, Congress — essentially the same Congress, by the way — produced another report on the 9/11 attacks that didn’t make these accusations, nor the specific allegations mentioned by Paul Sperry in this article. (Be sure to read it all.) Congress would have had the ability to refer to its own materials, one would presume anyway, and clearly the minor changes in the 2002 midterms wouldn’t have wiped out the memories of those who worked on the 2002 report.  That leaves a big question as to whether this intel Sperry cites may have later been discredited, or whether the executive branch interfered with one or both reports.
Why would the Bush administration interfere with the report? Saudi Arabia was a strategic partner for the US in the region, but hardly our only option. If what Lynch and Jones claim is true, the US would have been forced to declare war on Saudi Arabia, which would have touched off a much wider war, especially if we had gone after the holy sites of Mecca and Medina, as was being suggested anyway at the time by some public figures as retaliation for the terrorist attack. Covering up their involvement would still leave the US covering up an act of war out of what can only be charitably called an overabundance of caution.  If the Saudis declared war on us, then we should have responded in kind or forced a very public surrender on our terms.
That still doesn’t explain why the successor Obama administration would have kept this locked away if the data was accurate and conclusions correct, assuming that’s what the report says.  Democrats spent years floating conspiracy theories about the Bushes and the Saudis — and this would have been the smokiest smoking gun of all. It would have helped Obama explain and draw support for his decision to warm up to Iran and snub Saudis over the last few months, if not the last few years.
If I had to guess, I’d say the reason it remains classified is that the data may not be as solid as it appears, but we’re not going to know that until it’s actually declassified. More than 12 years after the attack, it’s time to see that initial review of the intelligence and let the American people make up their own minds about it.






Inside the Saudi 9/11 

coverup

After the 9/11 attacks, the public was told al Qaeda acted alone, with no state sponsors.
But the White House never let it see an entire section of Congress’ investigative report on 9/11 dealing with “specific sources of foreign support” for the 19 hijackers, 15 of whom were Saudi nationals.
It was kept secret and remains so today.
President Bush inexplicably censored 28 full pages of the 800-page report. Text isn’t just blacked-out here and there in this critical-yet-missing middle section. The pages are completely blank, except for dotted lines where an estimated 7,200 words once stood (this story by comparison is about 1,000 words).
A pair of lawmakers who recently read the redacted portion say they are “absolutely shocked” at the level of foreign state involvement in the attacks.
Reps. Walter Jones (R-NC) and Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) can’t reveal the nation identified by it without violating federal law. So they’ve proposed Congress pass a resolution asking President Obama to declassify the entire 2002 report, “Joint Inquiry Into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001.”
Some information already has leaked from the classified section, which is based on both CIA and FBI documents, and it points back to Saudi Arabia, a presumed ally.
The Saudis deny any role in 9/11, but the CIA in one memo reportedly found “incontrovertible evidence” that Saudi government officials — not just wealthy Saudi hardliners, but high-level diplomats and intelligence officers employed by the kingdom — helped the hijackers both financially and logistically. The intelligence files cited in the report directly implicate the Saudi embassy in Washington and consulate in Los Angeles in the attacks, making 9/11 not just an act of terrorism, but an act of war.
The findings, if confirmed, would back up open-source reporting showing the hijackers had, at a minimum, ties to several Saudi officials and agents while they were preparing for their attacks inside the United States. In fact, they got help from Saudi VIPs from coast to coast:
LOS ANGELES: Saudi consulate official Fahad al-Thumairy allegedly arranged for an advance team to receive two of the Saudi hijackers — Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi — as they arrived at LAX in 2000. One of the advance men, Omar al-Bayoumi, a suspected Saudi intelligence agent, left the LA consulate and met the hijackers at a local restaurant. (Bayoumi left the United States two months before the attacks, while Thumairy was deported back to Saudi Arabia after 9/11.)
SAN DIEGO: Bayoumi and another suspected Saudi agent, Osama Bassnan, set up essentially a forward operating base in San Diego for the hijackers after leaving LA. They were provided rooms, rent and phones, as well as private meetings with an American al Qaeda cleric who would later become notorious, Anwar al-Awlaki, at a Saudi-funded mosque he ran in a nearby suburb. They were also feted at a welcoming party. (Bassnan also fled the United States just before the attacks.)
WASHINGTON: Then-Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar and his wife sent checks totaling some $130,000 to Bassnan while he was handling the hijackers. Though the Bandars claim the checks were “welfare” for Bassnan’s supposedly ill wife, the money nonetheless made its way into the hijackers’ hands.
Other al Qaeda funding was traced back to Bandar and his embassy — so much so that by 2004 Riggs Bank of Washington had dropped the Saudis as a client.
The next year, as a number of embassy employees popped up in terror probes, Riyadh recalled Bandar.
“Our investigations contributed to the ambassador’s departure,” an investigator who worked with the Joint Terrorism Task Force in Washington told me, though Bandar says he left for “personal reasons.”
FALLS CHURCH, VA.: In 2001, Awlaki and the San Diego hijackers turned up together again — this time at the Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center, a Pentagon-area mosque built with funds from the Saudi Embassy. Awlaki was recruited 3,000 miles away to head the mosque. As its imam, Awlaki helped the hijackers, who showed up at his doorstep as if on cue. He tasked a handler to help them acquire apartments and IDs before they attacked the Pentagon.
Awlaki worked closely with the Saudi Embassy. He lectured at a Saudi Islamic think tank in Merrifield, Va., chaired by Bandar. Saudi travel itinerary documents I’ve obtained show he also served as the ­official imam on Saudi Embassy-sponsored trips to Mecca and tours of Saudi holy sites.
Most suspiciously, though, Awlaki fled the United States on a Saudi jet about a year after 9/11.
As I first reported in my book, “Infiltration,” quoting from classified US documents, the Saudi-sponsored cleric was briefly detained at JFK before being released into the custody of a “Saudi representative.” A federal warrant for Awlaki’s arrest had mysteriously been withdrawn the previous day. A US drone killed Awlaki in Yemen in 2011.
HERNDON, VA.: On the eve of the attacks, top Saudi government official Saleh Hussayen checked into the same Marriott Residence Inn near Dulles Airport as three of the Saudi hijackers who targeted the Pentagon. Hussayen had left a nearby hotel to move into the hijackers’ hotel. Did he meet with them? The FBI never found out. They let him go after he “feigned a seizure,” one agent recalled. (Hussayen’s name doesn’t appear in the separate 9/11 Commission Report, which clears the Saudis.)
SARASOTA, FLA.: 9/11 ringleader Mohamed Atta and other hijackers visited a home owned by Esam Ghazzawi, a Saudi adviser to the nephew of King Fahd. FBI agents investigating the connection in 2002 found that visitor logs for the gated community and photos of license tags matched vehicles driven by the hijackers. Just two weeks before the 9/11 attacks, the Saudi luxury home was abandoned. Three cars, including a new Chrysler PT Cruiser, were left in the driveway. Inside, opulent furniture was untouched.
Democrat Bob Graham, the former Florida senator who chaired the Joint Inquiry, has asked the FBI for the Sarasota case files, but can’t get a single, even heavily redacted, page released. He says it’s a “coverup.”
Is the federal government protecting the Saudis? Case agents tell me they were repeatedly called off pursuing 9/11 leads back to the Saudi Embassy, which had curious sway over White House and FBI responses to the attacks.
Just days after Bush met with the Saudi ambassador in the White House, the FBI evacuated from the United States dozens of Saudi officials, as well as Osama bin Laden family members. Bandar made the request for escorts directly to FBI headquarters on Sept. 13, 2001 — just hours after he met with the president. The two old family friends shared cigars on the Truman Balcony while discussing the attacks.
Bill Doyle, who lost his son in the World Trade Center attacks and heads the Coalition of 9/11 Families, calls the suppression of Saudi evidence a “coverup beyond belief.” Last week, he sent out an e-mail to relatives urging them to phone their representatives in Congress to support the resolution and read for themselves the censored 28 pages.
Astonishing as that sounds, few lawmakers in fact have bothered to read the classified section of arguably the most important investigation in US history.
Granted, it’s not easy to do. It took a monthlong letter-writing campaign by Jones and Lynch to convince the House intelligence panel to give them access to the material.
But it’s critical they take the time to read it and pressure the White House to let all Americans read it. This isn’t water under the bridge. The information is still relevant ­today. Pursuing leads further, getting to the bottom of the foreign support, could help head off another 9/11.
As the frustrated Joint Inquiry authors warned, in an overlooked addendum to their heavily redacted 2002 report, “State-sponsored terrorism substantially increases the likelihood of successful and more ­lethal attacks within the United States.”
Their findings must be released, even if they forever change US-Saudi relations. If an oil-rich foreign power was capable of orchestrating simultaneous bulls-eye hits on our centers of commerce and defense a dozen years ago, it may be able to pull off similarly devastating attacks today.
Members of Congress reluctant to read the full report ought to remember that the 9/11 assault missed its fourth target: them.


http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/16/world/middleeast/saudi-prince-accuses-obama-of-indecision-on-middle-east.html?_r=0


Saudi Prince Criticizes Obama Administration, Citing Indecision in Mideast



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MONACO — An influential Saudi prince blasted the Obama administration on Sunday for what he called indecision and a loss of credibility with allies in the Middle East, saying that American efforts to secure a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians would founder without a clear commitment from President Obama.
Mohammed Al-Shaikh/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Prince Turki al-Faisal said that the United States had lost credibility among its Middle Eastern allies.
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“We’ve seen several red lines put forward by the president, which went along and became pinkish as time grew, and eventually ended up completely white,” said Prince Turki al-Faisal, the former intelligence chief of Saudi Arabia. “When that kind of assurance comes from a leader of a country like the United States, we expect him to stand by it.” He added, “There is an issue of confidence.”
Mr. Obama has his problems, the prince said, but when a country has strong allies, “you should be able to give them the assurance that what you say is going to be what you do.” The prince no longer has any official position but has lately been providing the public expression of internal Saudi views with clear approval from the Saudi government.
The Saudis have been particularly shaken by Mr. Obama’s refusal to intervene forcefully in the Syrian civil war, especially his recent decision not to punish President Bashar al-Assad of Syria with military strikes even after evidence emerged that Mr. Assad’s government used chemical weapons on its own citizens.
Instead, Mr. Obama chose to seek congressional authorization for a strike, and when that proved difficult to obtain, he cooperated with Russia to get Syria to agree to give up its chemical weapons. Prince Turki and Israeli officials have argued that the agreement merely legitimized Mr. Assad, and on Sunday, the prince called the world’s failure to stop the conflict in Syria “almost a criminal negligence.”
Syria, Iran, nuclear issues and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were the main focus for Prince Turki, who spoke at the World Policy Conference, a gathering of officials and intellectuals largely drawn from Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.
Saudi unhappiness with Iran’s growing power in the region is no secret, and the Saudis, who themselves engage with Iran, have no problem with the United States trying to do the same, the prince said. But he complained that bilateral talks between Iranian and American officials had been kept secret from American allies, sowing further mistrust.
The prince said Iran must give up its ambitions for a nuclear weapons program — Iran says its nuclear program is only for civilian purposes — and stop using its own troops and those of Shiite allies like the Lebanese organization Hezbollah to fight in neighboring countries, like Syria and Iraq. “The game of hegemony toward the Arab countries is not acceptable,” the prince said. Just as Arabs will not dress as Westerners do, he said, “we won’t accept to wear Iranian clothes, either.”
A prevalent theme at the conference was the waning of American influence in the Middle East. Laurent Fabius, the French foreign minister, said: “Today we live in a zero-polar, or a-polar, world. No one power or group of powers can solve all the problems.”
The United States, Mr. Fabius said, was often criticized for being “overpresent, but now it is being criticized for not being present enough.” While “it is perfectly understandable” that Mr. Obama would refrain from new military engagements in the Middle East, he said, “it creates a certain vacuum” that has allowed Russia “to make a comeback on the world scene” and has encouraged France to intervene in the Central African Republic, Libya and Mali.
A former Israeli ambassador to the United States, Itamar Rabinovich, said that after Mr. Obama declined to strike Syria, neither Israel nor Iran believed any longer that he might use military force against Iran.
Prince Turki said the Israeli-Palestinian issue remained central to relations between the Muslim world and the West. He praised the negotiating efforts of Secretary of State John Kerry, but warned that Mr. Obama must be willing to force the parties to accept a lasting resolution. “Mr. Kerry is devoting a lot of time and energy,” he said, “but we’ll see how far he gets if the president doesn’t put his full support behind it.”
He compared the United States to a big bear that must push and frighten both Israeli and Palestinian leaders into an agreement, and give them each an excuse for making the necessary, difficult compromises on issues like Jerusalem, refugees, land swaps and security arrangements.
“Unfortunately, the big bear has not proven to be very bearish-like recently,” Prince Turki said. To get the job done, he said, the bear “has to not only bare his teeth, but also extend his claws” when talks reach the crucial point.
Conversely, Prince Turki warned, “if the president retreats from his position on compromise along the 1967 borders, as he did on his red line on use of chemical weapons by Assad, then the whole enterprise of peace between the Arabs and Israel will evaporate.”
In separate remarks here to the Reuters news agency, Prince Turki said that the United States and Britain had done too little to help the more moderate, more secular Syrian rebels, leaving them to fend for themselves against both “Al Assad’s killing machine” and the better-armed radical Islamist rebel groups.
“Why should he stop the killing?” he said of Mr. Assad.
“That to me is why the F.S.A. is not in as prominent position as it should be today,” he said, referring to the Free Syrian Army, “because of the lack of international support for it. The fighting is going to continue, and the killing is going to continue.”