Friday Night News Reads: Sirens and WarningsPosted: March 2, 2012
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.