Over Easy: Revisiting Bush’s Redaction of Saudi Terrorism Financing
With relationships changing between the US and major actors in the Middle East, perhaps it is inevitable that the issue of Saudi Arabia’s funding of terrorism in the US is being revisited.
Congressmembers Walter B. Jones (R-N.C.) and Stephen Lynch (D-Mass) recently got access to unredacted copies of the 2002 report of the Joint Intelligence Committee Inquiry (JICI) on 9/11. You may recall that 28 pages of that document had been redacted by George W. Bush for “national security purposes”. It has been widely reported that the 28 missing pages of the JICI report document a money trail from the Saudi Royal Family to the 9/11 hijackers.
‘I was absolutely shocked by what I read,’ Jones told International Business Times. ‘What was so surprising was that those whom we thought we could trust really disappointed me. I cannot go into it any more than that. I had to sign an oath that what I read had to remain confidential. But the information I read disappointed me greatly.’
This is no new revelation. At the time of the JICI report’s initial release, there was controversy about the extensive redactions and the information that was being withheld. Fourty-six Senators (all Democrats but one) signed a letter asking Bush to release the 28 pages. Bush refused.
Sen. Bob Graham, Chair of the Joint Inquiry, has been concerned about the Saudi connection for a while. In order to get around the sensors who redacted the 28 pages, Graham wrote a fictionalized account of Saudi Arabia’s relationship with the US and Al Qaeda. Here is a plot synopsis via Amazon:
Shortly after an explosive op-ed piece about the 9/11 investigation appears in the New York Times, its author, former Senator and Co-chair of the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry Commission John Billington, is murdered near his Florida home.
Enter Tony Ramos, ex-Special Forces operative and former aide to Sen. Billington and currently a State Department intelligence analyst. Billington, having sensed the danger he faced, has left Ramos detailed instructions for an investigation into suspected Saudi complicity in 9/11. Ramos, in conjunction with Billington’s daughter Laura, uncovers a shocking international conspiracy linking the Saudi Kingdom to Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda.
Despite efforts to derail their investigation, whose scope encompasses Saudi Arabia, India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, Ramos and Laura discover that the Kingdom has recently provided bin Laden and al-Qaeda with three nuclear devices, two of which are successfully detonated by the terrorists overseas. But they were just a warm up to the grand finale. The third device, Ramos learns, will be detonated off the California coast.
So, there is an international conspiracy linking Saudi Arabia to Al Qaeda and Bin Laden that has travels through Pakistan and Afghanistan and includes the transfer of nuclear weapons. The US investigation into the affair has been derailed.
If that all sounds too far fetched for your taste, you might want to think again. We know that Saudi Arabia has extensive connections of a system of terror sponsoring Islamic “charities” worldwide that funnel money into Al Qaeda and its affiliates. There is a special financial relationship between nuclear Pakistan and Saudi Arabia: The House of Saud pays for 60% of Pakistan’s nuclear program and in return expects access to nuclear weapons as needed. Bandar Bin Sultan has been connected to a number of illegal or shadowy arms deals over the years.
If US-Saudi relations have deteriorated to the point of no return and Saudi Arabia’s neocon allies in American government are out of power, maybe, just maybe, enough political will exists to release the dark secrets of Saudi Arabia’s incestuous relationship with Al Qaeda and its influence on terrorism in the US.
Rep. Lynch is optimistic. He says that other members of Congress have been receptive to the idea of revisiting the release of the 28 pages.
Don’t hold your breath. The Pentagon just approved a $1.1 Billion weapons deal with Saudi Arabia last week. Apparently, Saudi Arabia needs missiles “to support defense and counterterrorism missions.”
As always off topic is on topic at Over Easy. The other elements of 9/11 attack are for another day. See you in the thread around 7:30 PST.
Public domain White House photo by Eric Draper.