Friday Night News Reads: Sirens and Warnings

Good evening.

I hope everyone is okay, there have been tremendous storms today…and some have produced some killer tornadoes.

So here’s a few updates on the weather:

NOAA Storm Prediction Center  Best source for warnings.

Tornado outbreak in Tennessee and Ohio Valley, dangerous situation; Indiana towns destroyed – Capital Weather Gang – The Washington Post

msnbc video: Indiana town takes direct tornado hit

Storm Prediction Public Severe Weather Outlook

I just have a couple other links for you tonight.

I would love to get your take on the recent news regarding possible connections of Saudi Arabia to the attacks on September 11th, 2001.

A few days ago, former Senators Bob Graham and  Bob Kerrey filed sworn statements regarding their investigation into the possible involvement of Saudi Arabia in the 9/11 attacks.

Ex-Senators Graham and Kerrey See Possible Saudi 9/11 Link – NYTimes.com

For more than a decade, questions have lingered about the possible role of the Saudi government in the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, even as the royal kingdom has made itself a crucial counterterrorism partner in the eyes of American diplomats.

Now, in sworn statements that seem likely to reignite the debate, two former senators who were privy to top secret information on the Saudis’ activities say they believe that the Saudi government might have played a direct role in the terrorist attacks.

“I am convinced that there was a direct line between at least some of the terrorists who carried out the September 11th attacks and the government of Saudi Arabia,” former Senator Bob Graham, Democrat of Florida, said in an affidavit filed as part of a lawsuit brought against the Saudi government and dozens of institutions in the country by families of Sept. 11 victims and others. Mr. Graham led a joint 2002 Congressional inquiry into the attacks.

Bob Graham was my Senator in Florida. I have always respected him and found him to be one of the few genuine politicians I have met. Having said that, I want to give you the rest of the story from the NYT.

His former Senate colleague, Bob Kerrey of Nebraska, a Democrat who served on the separate 9/11 Commission, said in a sworn affidavit of his own in the case that “significant questions remain unanswered” about the role of Saudi institutions. “Evidence relating to the plausible involvement of possible Saudi government agents in the September 11th attacks has never been fully pursued,” Mr. Kerrey said.

Their affidavits, which were filed on Friday and have not previously been disclosed, are part of a multibillion-dollar lawsuit that has wound its way through federal courts since 2002. An appellate court, reversing an earlier decision, said in November that foreign nations were not immune to lawsuits under certain terrorism claims, clearing the way for parts of the Saudi case to be reheard in United States District Court in Manhattan.

It makes sense that some information…especially the pertinent intelligence against the Saudi’s would be withheld during the Bush years. It is about damn time this was fully investigated.

The Saudis are seeking to have the case dismissed in part because they say American inquiries — including those in which Mr. Graham and Mr. Kerrey took part — have essentially exonerated them. A recent court filing by the Saudis prominently cited the 9/11 Commission’s “exhaustive” final report, which “found no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi individuals funded” Al Qaeda.

But Mr. Kerrey and Mr. Graham said that the findings should not be seen as an exoneration and that many important questions about the Saudis’ role had never been fully examined, partly because their panels simply did not have the time or resources given their wider scope.

Yeah…that bit about the wider scope is something we would use in college when we did not know the answer to one of Prof VanNeste killer questions. “That is beyond the scope of my research.”

I think the matter of Saudi involvement was beyond the scope of friendship between the Bushes and the Saudi Royal Family. It also was beyond the meme needed to get our asses into Iraq, so that old “Bushie” scores could be settled with Saddam.

Cannonfire has a post about it here:  Were the Saudis behind 9/11? Cannonfire

And Naked Capitalism has one here: 9/11 Commissioner and Co-Chair of Congressional Inquiry into 9/11 Say in Sworn Declarations that Saudi Government Linked to 9/11 Attacks « naked capitalism

Emptywheel has yet to write about it, I am eagerly awaiting her take on it.

Some interesting points via Cannonfire:

In a sense, nothing new here. But the assertion that the Saudi connection won’t be probed because we are on the verge of war with Iran — now that is disturbing.

Lichtblau has been on this story for a while. Here, from 2009:

Allegations of Saudi links to terrorism have been the subject of years of government investigations and furious debate. Critics have said that some members of the Saudi ruling class pay off terrorist groups in part to keep them from being more active in their own country.

A self-described Qaeda operative in Bosnia said in an interview with lawyers in the lawsuit that another charity largely controlled by members of the royal family, the Saudi High Commission for Aid to Bosnia, provided money and supplies to the terrorist group in the 1990s and hired militant operatives like himself.

Another witness in Afghanistan said in a sworn statement that in 1998 he had witnessed an emissary for a leading Saudi prince, Turki al-Faisal, hand a check for one billion Saudi riyals (now worth about $267 million) to a top Taliban leader.

And a confidential German intelligence report gave a line-by-line description of tens of millions of dollars in bank transfers, with dates and dollar amounts, made in the early 1990s by Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz and other members of the Saudi royal family to another charity that was suspected of financing militants’ activities in Pakistan and Bosnia.

Of interest to me is the Israeli angle. There has been talk of Saudi/Israeli cooperation in a potential war with Iran — see, for example, here.

An investigation of possible Saudi involvement with 9/11 could seriously gum up the works.

Add that bit of rhetoric from Obama today, which was focused on Iran and Israel…that, he is the president of the United States and he doesn’t bluff. It is all too curious to ignore.

Over at Naked Capitalism, the Saudi connections are something they have written about for some time.

As we noted last year:

The Co-Chair of the Congressional Inquiry into 9/11 and former Head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Bob Graham, previously stated that an FBI informant had hosted and rented a room to two hijackers in 2000 and that, when the Inquiry sought to interview the informant, the FBI refused outright, and then hid him in an unknown location, and that a high-level FBI official stated these blocking maneuvers were undertaken under orders from the White House (confirmed here).

Today, Graham called for a new 9/11 investigation. As Raw Story notes:

Graham on Monday called on the U.S. government to reopen its investigation into 9/11 after a report found that links between Saudi Arabia and the hijackers were never disclosed by the FBI to the 2002 joint Congressional intelligence committee investigating the attacks.

“In the final report of the congressional inquiry, there was a chapter related primarily to the Saudi role in 9/11 that was totally censored, every word of the chapter has been withheld from the public,” Graham said on MSNBC’s The Dylan Ratigan Show.

“Some of the other questions we ought to be asking are if we know that the Saudis who lived in San Diego and now apparently in Sarasota received substantial assistance, what about the Saudis who lived in Phoenix, Arizona? Or Arlington, Virginia? … What was happening in those places?”

“I believe these are questions for which there are definitive answers, but the American people and largely their elected representatives have been denied that information.”

The article goes on to say:

As we’ve repeatedly noted:

9/11 Commissioner Bob Kerrey said that “There are ample reasons to suspect that there may be some alternative to what we outlined in our version . . . We didn’t have access . . . .” He also says that it might take “a permanent 9/11 commission” to end the remaining mysteries of September 11

Indeed, while everyone remembers the false allegations about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, most forget that the other primary justification for the war was the false linkage between Iraq and 9/11.

The failure to really investigate 9/11 led us into a disastrous war … which has virtually bankrupted our country.

Unfortunately, the endless wars in the Middle East and North Africa are about oil, not national security (and see this).

So we have idiots like MSNBC talking head Joe Scarborough saying that – even if the Saudi government backed the 9/11 attacks – Saudi oil is too important to do anything about it:

Video of Morning Joe at this link.

So what are your thoughts?

Oh, in the latest Romney news, it seems he has the red neck vote in hand…aside from his statements about NASCAR team owners are some of his closest friends…and lets not forget the way he made fun of the rain ponchos the fans were wearing. Yes, Romney got Waffle House King of Scattered and Smothered…Kid Rock to come aboard the Romney Starship. Today he secured the heavy metal, gun lovin’ NRA hunter vote: Ted Nugent endorses Mitt Romney for president

Rocker (and Detroit native) Ted Nugent has endorsed former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for president.

Nugent, the self-professed “Motor City Madman,” said in a tweet from his @tednugent Twitter feed: “after a long heart&soul conversation with MittRomney today I concluded this goodman will properly represent we the people & I endorsed him.”

Nugent has been a lifelong conservative and gun rights advocate, not at all shy about expressing his views. He toyed with the idea of running for governor of Michigan, but now lives in Texas.

Now, all he needs is to get is Walker, Texas Ranger to defect from the Eye of Newt campaign and the “rural” vote will surely step into line. (Cough, cough)

The wind is picking up and the sound of thunder is overpowering the sound of strange bald kids playing their banjos on the front porch. I’m outta here. I’ll try to catch up with you all later in the comments.


51 Comments on “Friday Night News Reads: Sirens and Warnings”

    • bostonboomer says:

      Evansville was leveled? That’s hard to believe. Are you sure? Evansville is fairly big for southern Indiana.

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Why is Saudi Arabia’s connection to 9/11 news? Osama bin Laden was Saudi and it was well known that most of the money came from there. I’m confused about why this is a big deal.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Bob Graham tried to deal with it way back when. I think he left the Senate because he was so frustrated.

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        I think you are right BB, hopefully whatever he and Kerrey knows will come out and a lot of questions can finally be answered.

      • ralphb says:

        I doubt Graham and or Kerrey know anything. I would bet they are suspicious and didn’t like hearing “no” when they asked for information. Kerrey has an ego that would be really pissed about that.

      • bostonboomer says:

        See my link below.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Never mind. I guess that’s just part of your link. Sorry….

    • quixote says:

      It’s hard to believe that the super-swaddled billionaire slave traffickers at the heart of the Saudi government would be in favor of attacking the country shipping them money and fighter jets. It just doesn’t make sense. The government is too fat and satisfied and dependent on the West to even want to blow up skyscrapers.

      Now, there are a few thousand (?) filthy rich princes / members of the royal family, and I’d be surprised if some of them were *not* involved with Bin Laden. He came from that same elite layer of society. But that’s not at all the same as government involvement.

      I suspect where the involvement probably comes in is that the government covered for their local loony relatives after 9/11 and too many people were following the money trail. Accessories after the fact, I guess you could say, but not before.

      • Gregory says:

        That is pretty much my take on the situation. Doesn’t make any sense that the Saudi Royal family would be involved in any way. They just had/have way to much to lose and nothing to gain.

      • Woman Voter says:

        Their relative was Osama, who was connected to Zbigniew Brzezinski who is all over the Obama campaign (A friend from the UK told me to do something better with my time than the Hillary campaign because he had checked and Zbigniew Brzezinski was behind Obama).

        Today Zbigniew Brzezinski is pushing a book and trying to pretend he is with the 99% because the ultimate goal of his is for his son to run for president. Zbigniew Brzezinski has been in our intelligence arena for years and dumb me never figured it out. See here:

        CHANGE Welcomes Zbigniew Brzezinski

        Yup, so with his new book Brzezinski is trying to remake his past, but the truth is that the Saudi’s were never investigated and Brzezinski admits to supporting Osama / Al Qaeda and the Taliban and in that footage admits to wanting to have continued with it.

        Brzezinski “AlQaeda, your cause is right”

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      There is a federal court case going on now in Manhattan. And supposedly there is info, and evidence that connects the Saudis which Bush would not release. It has something to do with assessing who is responsible and for how much to pay the civil settlements/awards for the victims families of the World Trade Center attack.

      Their affidavits, which were filed on Friday and have not previously been disclosed, are part of a multibillion-dollar lawsuit that has wound its way through federal courts since 2002. An appellate court, reversing an earlier decision, said in November that foreign nations were not immune to lawsuits under certain terrorism claims, clearing the way for parts of the Saudi case to be reheard in United States District Court in Manhattan.

      • quixote says:

        Yeah, that would square with covering for their own, wouldn’t it?

      • janicen says:

        Well, this answers my question in the previous post about what it is we are being distracted from noticing.

      • Woman Voter says:

        With the signing of the NDAA this December 31st, 2011, the NDAA of 2012 President Barrack Obama essentially codified the doings of the Bush Administration and gave Bush / Cheney protections, while giving the government power to silence any citizen without charge or proof and hold them in indefinite detention. One has to wonder, why President Obama did all the bowing to the Saudi King? I guess one could say it was to continue the protection that the Bush Administration offered them, will continue under Obama.

    • Mike says:

      It’s a big deal because on 9/11/11 Presidents Obama and Bush went to the 9/11 memorial and had a big photo op where they once again exploited the victims of the attacks. The point being how do you honor the victims by abusing classification procedures to keep the public ignorant as to what truly happened? What about the massive policy changes that were based on “the lessons of 9/11?” Is it not disturbing to realize that many of those policies were based on an ulterior policy agenda?

      Another aspect that the media doesn’t point out because their coverage is so bad is the pre-9/11 conduct of US intelligence. CIA (Alec Station) and FBI (UBLU) Bin Laden units obstructed al Qaeda investigations before 9/11, notably the USS Cole investigation and the search for Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar (both of whom were linked to Cole suspects). To date the media has never interviewed the chiefs of either of these units, Rich Blee of Alec Station and Rod Middleton of the UBLU. That is unbelievably awful media coverage. So the question becomes why on earth were US intelligence units protecting al Qaeda operatives? Since the media refuses to interview the agents who were in charge at the time the public is left to speculate. One obvious theory is that they were ordered to stand down so as not to embarrass Saudis who had ties to al Qaeda. The implications of this theory are nauseating. For one it would mean some powerful US officials cared more about the embarrassment of some of their Saudi pals than they did about Americans being murdered. Two the notion of state sponsored support for al Qaeda contradicts all the government and media talking points about al Qaeda being an independent terrorist organization. One would also have to reassess all the claims that post 9/11 “tough on terror” tactics were required to prevent more attacks. What sort of nonsense is it to claim torture is required while telling the public that Saudi Arabia is a key ally in the war on terror.

      • janicen says:

        I find it deeply disturbing as well. It’s as if Bush had to hurry up and invade Iraq to distract us from the real culprits, his buddies, the Saudis.

  2. Minkoff Minx says:

    Initially silent, Romney addresses Limbaugh ‘slut’ remarks – CNN Political Ticker – CNN.com Blogs

    Mitt Romney steered clear of the Rush Limbaugh controversy until Friday evening, even avoiding a CNN reporter earlier in the day, when he addressed the issue after an event in Cleveland.

    “I’ll just say this which is it’s not the language I would have used,” Romney said. “I’m focusing on the issues I think are significant in the country today and that’s why I’m here talking about jobs and Ohio.”

    – Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

    After an event in Bellevue, Washington, CNN asked Romney for a comment on Limbaugh who called Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke a “slut” after she testified before Congress on the importance of insurance coverage of contraception.

    The former Massachusetts governor was within a few feet of CNN’s camera when he was asked the question. But Romney walked by without comment.

    And the question was not even linking his Bain Cap. to the Clear Channel network that broadcast the Rush show.

  3. Minkoff Minx says:

    Mike Bettes ‏ @TWCMikeBettes

    Very serious #tornado in NW Atlanta. Take shelter now! Worried about my Weather Channel peeps. home to many of them. pic.twitter.com/iqB081Ym
    Retweeted by oceandog

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      Brad Panovich WCNC ‏ @wxbrad
      Brevard, Rosman, Hendersonville & Columbus, NC get to your shelter locations now. #ncwx #tornado

      3m AJC AJC ‏ @ajc
      #ATLstorms RT @wsbtv: New warning issued for Cherokee, cobb, dekalb, forsyth, fulton, Gwinnett, hall counties

      VDEM ‏ @VDEM
      Tornado WARNING for Lee & Scott counties in #VA til 9:45 pm. Pls. find safe shelter, lowest level of bldg. away from windows. #vawx #swva

  4. bostonboomer says:

    Five of Rush’s sponsors have now dropped him.

  5. Minkoff Minx says:

    Hailing right now…Tornado in Murphy has destroyed Ingles grocery store and part of hospital.

    • ralphb says:

      It’s easy enough to know why they kept it from Congress. They were trying to get them back in the country to pick them up. I wonder if those Saudis are free or got picked up at some point overseas by the CIA?

    • ralphb says:

      Damn that story is pimping a book.

      Anthony Summers is co-author of The Eleventh Day: The Full Story of 9/11 and Osama bin Laden, published last month by Ballantine Books, an imprint of Random House. Dan Christensen is the editor of the Broward Bulldog.

      • Woman Voter says:

        Interesting thing is Stratfor emails seem to indicate that there was no burial at sea? :shock:

      • ralphb says:

        I’m not a Birther, Truther, or general conspiracy theorist. Fuck Stratfor’s emails. They are generally a bunch of con artists who peddle “intelligence” to the highest bidder.

      • Woman Voter says:

        Well, considering a COMPLETE CHAPTER is redacted in the 911 Report, it is a far reach to assume that reading the Strafor reports is akin to being a birther. Apparently this guy was on MSNBC before but didn’t get too much consideration, as he did with the Ratigan show:

        Claim Bush & Obama Covering Up Evidence 9/11 Hijackers Were Bankrolled By Saudi Royal Family!

      • Fannie says:

        I’ve just started reading THE FOX EFFECT, How Roger Ailes turned a Network into a propaganda Machine. As I get into it will try to post paragraphs and share.

  6. Woman Voter says:

    DOX ALERT via @VizFoSho: #OpPullOutMethod http://goo.gl/KABj9 Rush Limbaugh #dox #Anonymous #StayOutOfOurVaginas #CabinCr3w

    It would appear the hackivists don’t want RUSH messing with peoples health care, especially their female ‘crew’…guess Rush Limbaugh didn’t know there is an ‘Anonymiss’…

    • Woman Voter says:

      Cheecky kids, I think the #OpPullOutMethod ( For a brief moment I thought it was something Rush said when doubling down on his misogyny) means the advertisers that have pulled their support /advertizements on his show:

      Advertisers that have pulled out of Rush already as part of #OpPullOutMethod
      Citrix
      Sleep Train
      Sleep Method
      Quicken Loans
      Auto Zone
      Legal Zoom
      The Cleveland Cavaliers

  7. Woman Voter says:

    Saudi Royal family directly linked to 9/11 attacks? Investigation blocked by US government!

    Wow, here is the show on youtube.

    • Woman Voter says:

      Michael Moore Backs Call to Re-Open Investigation of 9/11 Attacks:

      Yup, time to reopen the investigations and time for the redacted chapters to be released too, by President Obama…but that is just hope, he has had years to do it and hasn’t.