The two aspects of 9/11 I now think are most worth looking into further are:
- Statements by whistleblowers such as Sibel Edmonds. (See various links in my April 21 post U.S. government foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks.)
- The relationship between the U.S. government and Saudi Arabia.
In my April 13 post My current views on 9/11 – brief summary, I wrote:
My current top reason to suspect at least criminal negligence, by high officials in the U.S. government, is the following combination of facts:
- Saudi Arabia’s less than wholehearted cooperation with the U.S. government’s attempts to investigate the hijackers.
- The Bush family’s continued friendship with the Saudi royal family, despite #1.
- The continuing close alliance between the U.S. government and Saudi Arabia, despite #1.
- The evidence that Osama bin Laden still maintained ties with both his own family and the Saudi royal family, contrary to officially-stated policy.
- The FBI’s and CIA’s informal policies of avoiding investigations that might embarrass the Saudis (and other U.S. allies such as Pakistan and Israel), both before and after 9/11/2001.
Recently, I’ve run into a very interesting opinion piece which might shed some light on the above. According to Daniel Pipes in Government for Sale [to the Saudis], New York Post, December 3, 2002:
Bush administration officials and leading U.S. senators responded very differently to the news that Princess Haifa al-Faisal, wife of the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States, had given many thousands of dollars to a person connected to two of the 9/11 suicide hijackers.
Senators spoke out forthrightly and honestly on the issue raised by the princesss donations.
After several quotes from senators, Daniel Pipes continues:
The senators also criticized U.S. law enforcement’s reluctance to deal with the problem of Saudi financing of terrorism. Lieberman noted, “The FBI and maybe other parts of our government have seemed to want to almost defend the Saudis, or not be as aggressive as they should be about the Saudis.” Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) concurred: “It seems every time the Saudis are involved, we stop [doing a proper investigation].”
In contrast, the Bush administration offered excuses for the couple and glossed over the problems of law enforcement. Secretary of State Colin Powell poured cold water on the revelations: “I think it’s unlikely that Prince Bandar or Her Royal Highness would do anything that would support terrorist activity” – a most unusual endorsement, given that the FBI is actively investigating this matter.
Why this undue solicitude for Saudi feelings? This hedging by the executive branch fits a pattern going back almost 60 years, to when President Franklin D. Roosevelt met the Saudi king in 1945.
Since then, U.S. politicians, diplomats, flag officers and lobbyists have enjoyed a cozy relationship with their counterparts on the Saudi side. The tie is premised on Americans – Democrats and Republicans alike -accommodating the kingdom’s wishes and in return, being plied with substantial sums of money, either at the time or after they leave government service.
A culture of corruption, in other words, pervades the upper reaches of the White House and several departments; it does not, however, extend to Congress, perhaps because the Saudis do not understand the workings or importance of an elected body and so have not tried to buy it.
At some point I should double-check all of the above claims, for which Pipes does not give sources.
The above-mentioned corruption is discussed further on the following pages, also by Daniel Pipes:
- What Riyadh Buys [in Washington], New York Post, December 11, 2002
- The Scandal of U.S.-Saudi Relations, National Interest, Winter 2002/03
- The Saudis’ Covert P.R. Campaign, New York Sun, August 10, 2004
Of course, I’m sure Saudi Arabia isn’t the only foreign government that buys influence in Washington. Daniel Pipes seems to be fixated on Saudi Arabia’s wrongdoings and baleful influence, in much the same way that some other folks fixate on Israel’s wrongdoings and influence.
I don’t fully trust Daniel Pipes. He specializes in opposing Islamism, on which I basically agree with him, but he sometimes seems not to know where to draw the line between opposing Islamism and promoting bigotry against Muslims. Also he’s very pro-Israel. I don’t yet have a definite stand on the Israel/Palestine conflict myself, but I’m not inclined to trust the propaganda of either side. Anyhow, because of Pipes’s pro-Israel bias, I see him as having a strong bias against any or all Arab governments, which is one reason why I don’t fully trust his statements about Saudi Arabia.
So, I’ll need to investigate his claims further at some point, when I have time.
But I suspect he’s onto something here.
For a long time I’ve wondered what the real relationship might be between Al-Qaeda and the Saudi royal family. Supposedly they’re enemies. But are they really? Or is/was Osama bin Laden really the leader of a controlled opposition movement?
I don’t know, but I think this question is worth looking into.