9/11 atrocities and Saudi Arabia

This video says about itself:

David Rovics, The Dying Firefighter

A few days after the attacks on the World Trade Towers in New York, singer songwriter David Rovics came into the studios of WERU Community Radio, in East Orland Maine, where I recorded his performance of this live version, perhaps the first time the song was performed in public, certainly the first time it was recorded. Meanwhile the world watched and waited to see what the United States would do- take the high road toward peace or follow the drumbeat to war.

By Patrick Martin in the USA:

Saudi Arabia, 9/11 and the “war on terror

6 February 2015

More than 13 years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, evidence in a federal lawsuit brought by relatives of the victims is a devastating exposure of events and relations long covered up and obscured by the media and political establishment: that Al Qaeda and the 9/11 hijackers were financed by the Saudi monarchy, a top US ally with extensive ties to US intelligence agencies.

Affidavits filed with Federal District Judge George P. Daniels substantiate claims that leading figures in the Saudi monarchy, including its longtime ambassador to Washington, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, a nephew of the current Saudi monarch, King Salman, financially supported Al Qaeda.

The documents include a deposition from Zacarias Moussaoui, the only individual convicted of direct participation in the plot to hijack airplanes and fly them into the World Trade Center and other US targets on September 11, 2001.

Moussaoui testified that while working for Al Qaeda in Afghanistan in the 1990s he prepared a digital database of the group’s financial backers that included Prince Bandar and two other high-ranking Saudi princes: Prince Turki al-Faisal, the longtime head of Saudi intelligence, and Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, chairman of the Kingdom Holding Company and the wealthiest member of the royal family.

He also described working as a courier for bin Laden, bringing messages to members of the Saudi royal family, including Prince Salman, then the governor of Riyadh, who today is King Salman after succeeding to the throne last month.

The New York Times published lead articles Wednesday and Thursday highlighting the new allegations of Saudi backing for the 9/11 attacks. These had less the character of an exposé, however, than of a semi-official attempt to contain the impact of the material being released as a consequence of the 9/11 families’ lawsuit.

This is the apparent reason for the articles’ near-exclusive focus on Moussaoui, a witness whose testimony can be more easily dismissed by the political establishment. The legal papers filed with the federal district court included Moussaoui’s deposition, but much more, including allegations of Saudi complicity in 9/11 from such pillars of the Washington establishment as former senator Robert Graham of Florida. He wrote, “I am convinced that there was a direct line between at least some of the terrorists who carried out the Sept. 11 attacks and the government of Saudi Arabia.”

Graham is in a position to know. He chaired the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2002 when it produced a lengthy report on the 9/11 attacks. This included a 28-page section on Saudi support to the 9/11 hijackers that was classified and suppressed by the Bush administration, an act of censorship that was endorsed and continued by the Obama administration. Senator Graham, who favors the release of this material, wrote, “The 28 pages primarily relate to who financed 9/11, and they point a very strong finger at Saudi Arabia as being the principal financier.”

The evidence of Saudi complicity in the 9/11 attacks is a devastating exposure of the fraudulent nature of the “war on terror,” the axis of US national security policy for more than 13 years.

The Bush administration used the 9/11 attacks as the pretext for wars against Afghanistan, whose government had provided shelter to Osama bin Laden, but had no involvement in 9/11, and against Iraq, which had no connection to either 9/11 or Al Qaeda. Meanwhile Saudi Arabia, the country that supplied Al Qaeda’s funds, its principal leader, and 15 of the 19 hijackers, was deemed a key US ally.

Every official investigation into the 9/11 attacks had to whitewash the Saudi connection—or be censored, like the Senate Intelligence Committee report. The issue was not just the reactionary role of the Saudi monarchy in financing and supporting Al Qaeda, but the close ties between US intelligence agencies and the supposedly anti-American terrorist group—connections on which the latest Times articles are completely silent. …

The crimes committed on 9/11 took nearly 3,000 lives. The crimes committed using 9/11 as a justification have taken hundreds of thousands if not millions of lives, in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, Libya and a dozen other countries. And 9/11 has served as the all-purpose justification for the wholesale destruction of democratic rights in the United States and other imperialist countries, which have created the framework for police states in the name of preventing “another 9/11.”

… This was signaled last month in Obama’s trip to Riyadh to pay homage to the new king, Salman—one of those named as a financial supporter of Osama bin Laden.

The Saudi connection has been critical to the continuing relations of American imperialism with Al Qaeda and other Islamic fundamentalist groups. These forces were first mobilized in the 1980s as part of the campaign by the Carter and Reagan administrations to subvert the Soviet-backed regime in Afghanistan and foster the disintegration of the USSR. The mujahedddin —including Osama bin Laden—were armed and trained by the CIA and financed by Saudi Arabia. They have more recently been used to overthrow the Libyan regime of Muammar Gaddafi and to undermine the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad.

ISIS itself is a product of this insidious relationship. It originates in the Sunni fundamentalist backlash to the US invasion of Iraq in 2003—prior to the US invasion, there was no Al Qaeda presence in Iraq. Al Qaeda in Iraq reemerged as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, one of the strongest Islamist groups fighting against the Assad government in Syria, with the aid and training of the US, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. It was only when ISIS fighters crossed back over into Iraq and began attacking the US-backed puppet regime in Baghdad that the group became the target of US bombs and propaganda.

Yet at the center of the entire “war on terror” is a monumental and brazen lie, the claim that 19 hijackers plotted and carried out a major attack on New York City and Washington, D.C., without anyone in the vast US military-intelligence apparatus being aware of what they were preparing. The latest revelations about the Saudi role in 9/11 are another blow against this web of fabrication and cover-up.

The White House may declassify still-secret sections of an official inquiry into the 9/11 terrorist attacks which refer to possible Saudi Arabian support: here.

How the legal punishments handed out in Saudi Arabia compare to those of Isis: here.

US and Saudi Arabia: Dysfunctional partners depend on each other for survival: here.

Financial Times confuses Bahraini minister with 9/11 suspect

This video is called CNN – Bahrain security forces torture doctors, medics and patients.

By Sydney Smith:

Financial Times Mistakes Bahrain Foreign Minister in Photo as Accused 9/11 ‘Plotter’

December 26, 2013 05:00 AM EST

Whoops! The Financial Times wrongly used a photo of Bahrain‘s foreign minister, Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed al Khalifa, with a report on accused 9/11 terrorist Khaled Sheikh Mohammed, the Huffington Post reported.

The Financial Times‘ Dec. 21/22 story was titled “Guantanamo inmates face two divergent paths after 12 years” and included a photo of the foreign minister captioned as “among five detainees on trial.”  The caption of the photo called him the accused terrorist.

The Financial Times has published a correction and apology to the foreign minister, “Apology to His Excellency Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed al Khalifa.”

This reminds me of the FBI in the USA confusing photos of Osama bin Laden with Spanish Leftist politician Gaspar Llamazares. There are differences between these two cases, though.

The Financial Times is an unarmed newspaper business. So, the Financial Times‘ misidentification was not a danger for Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed al Khalifa in a big way. While the FBI is an armed organization; some of its members have a “licence to kill”. The FBI did put Gaspar Llamazares’ life in danger.

Though the FBI misidentified Gaspar Llamazares in January 2010, today, almost four years later, they have still not apologized for that as far is I know. Maybe they did not like Gaspar Llamazares’ criticism of George W Bush’s Iraq war? While, on the other hand, the Financial Times apologized immediately and profusely to Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed al Khalifa.

There is still a third difference. Gaspar Llamazares was and is completely innocent of any terrorism. While hundreds of thousands of Bahrainis will consider Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed al Khalifa, as a member of the royal dynasty and of the Bahraini government, engaged in bloody repression of the Bahraini pro-democracy movement, to be a “state terrorist”, roughly in the same league as al-Qaeda.

South Korean consumer products aren’t hard to find in Bahrain, one of the fastest-growing markets in the Persian Gulf for conglomerate Samsung Electronics. But more than two years into anti-government protests in the Gulf state, it is South Korean tear gas – rather than smartphones or flat-screen TVs – that is attracting international scrutiny for its role in an unfinished chapter of the Arab Spring: here.

Bush and 9/11, new documents

This video from the USA is called Richard Clarke: Bush IGNORED terrorism.

By Mark Karlin, editor of BUZZFLASH at TRUTHOUT in the USA:

Bush Lied About 9/11, and Now We Have the Documents to Prove It

Wed, 06/20/2012 – 1:19pm.

At the time of 9/11, BuzzFlash was one of the extremely few major progressive websites on the Internet.

In the months and years following the suicidal hijacking attacks on the Twin Towers, BuzzFlash relentlessly exposed the negligence of the Bush administration in preventing the massacre from happening. (This is not to be confused with the 9/11 conspiracy movement, not at all.)

One of the biggest smoking guns was that Bush had received a CIA briefing while he was in Texas on vacation (in August of 2001), as currently recounted in a Salon article about a recent document dump:

Many of the documents publicize for the first time what was first made clear in the 9/11 Commission: The White House received a truly remarkable amount of warnings that al-Qaida was trying to attack the United States. From June to September 2001, a full seven CIA Senior Intelligence Briefs detailed that attacks were imminent, an incredible amount of information from one intelligence agency. One from June called “Bin-Ladin and Associates Making Near-Term Threats” writes that “[redacted] expects Usama Bin Laden to launch multiple attacks over the coming days.”

The famous August brief[ing] called “Bin Ladin Determined to Strike the US” is included. “Al-Qai’da members, including some US citizens, have resided in or travelled to the US for years, and the group apparently maintains a support structure here,” it says. During the entire month of August, President Bush was on vacation at his ranch in Texas – which tied with one of Richard Nixon’s as the longest vacation ever taken by a president. CIA Director George Tenet has said he didn’t speak to Bush once that month, describing the president as being “on leave.” Bush did not hold a Principals’ meeting on terrorism until September 4, 2001, having downgraded the meetings to a deputies’ meeting, which then-counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke has repeatedly said slowed down anti-Bin Laden efforts “enormously, by months.”

As BuzzFlash recalls, Bush curtly dismissed the CIA briefer discussing the secret document headlined “Bin Ladin Determined to Strike the US” by telling the Langley liaison that “You have covered your ass, so now you can go (paraphrased).”

Futhermore, Condi Rice admitted later to having seen the same document, but neither she, the CIA, nor Bush did anything – absolutely nothing – about it. The document and others like it specifically mentioned hijackings, but the Bush White House did not heighten security at airports (not even notifying them) of the likelihood of imminent hijackings. Since the attacks on the Twin Towers were hijackings, such an action could have prevented the deaths of more than 3000 people.

This is what is best called governmental and personal negligence. Bush laughably – in a tragic sort of way – once conceded that if he had known that terrorists had planned hijacking planes into the Trade Center specifically, they might have done something to prevent it. But the mainstream corporate media failed to challenge him on the notion that he failed to issue any security measure to prevent hijackings, in general, which could have prevented the horrible debacle.

And Condi Rice claimed that no one had ever thought that planes would have been flown into buildings, when there was ample intelligence information that this was to be an expected strategy of Al-Qai’da and perhaps other terrorist groups. (In fact, Bush stayed on a boat during a world economic conference in Italy just shortly prior to 9/11 out of concern of an airborne terrorist attack on hotels.)

Salon furthermore points out that the newly released documents indicate that when the Bush administration took over from the Clinton administration it downgraded the hunt for Usama bin Laden. Translation: the Bush administration put the US more at risk.

It is hard to believe after a decade that Bush, Rice and the whole crew who – if they were in the military likely would have been court martialed for their negligence – are walking freely around the US at this time, as if they bear no responsibility for failing to prevent what happened on 9/11.

The newly released declassified CIA documents, sought by the National Security Archives under Freedom of Information (FOIA) requests, make the case that the US was betrayed by laziness (including Bush on his month long vacation interrupted by photo ops of him clearing brush) and egregious incompetence.

See also here. And here.