Bin Laden family, Saudi Arabia corruption and support of terrorists, connections to Bush...
They may have wanted a war to distract us from their real agenda -
installing a worldwide corporate government. But Cheney and the
House Of Saud made a huge miscalculation by unilaterally attacking
Iraq. They failed to factor in the power of al Qaeda, now even the
Saudi government is worried about al Qaeda.
By unilaterally attacking Iraq, disregarding the Iraqi population's
well being, they have created millions of opposers - to the US and
the House of Saud.
Bin Laden family, Saudi Arabia corruption and support of terrorists,
connections to Bush...
1988: Prior to this year, George Bush Jr. is a failed oil man. Three
times friends and investors have bailed him out to keep him from
going bankrupt. But in this year, the same year his father becomes
President, some Saudis buy a portion of his small company, Harken,
which has never worked outside of Texas. Later in the year, Harken
wins a contract in the Persian Gulf and starts doing well
financially. These transactions seem so suspicious that the Wall
Street Journal in 1991 states it "raises the question of ... an
effort to cozy up to a presidential son." Two major investors in
Bush's company during this time are Salem bin Laden, Osama bin
Laden's oldest brother, and Khaled bin Mahfouz. [Salon, 11/19/01,
Intelligence Newsletter, 3/2/00] Khaled bin Mahfouz is a Saudi
banker with a 20% stake in BCCI, a bank that will go bankrupt a few
years later in the biggest corruption scandal in banking history
(see July 5, 1991). In 1999 bin Mahfouz will be placed under house
arrest in Saudi Arabia for contributions he gave to welfare
organizations closely linked to bin Laden (see April 1999). Bin
Mahfouz's sister is married to Osama bin Laden (see also August 13,
1996, Early December 2001 (B), December 4, 2001 (B), and August 15,
2002 and November 26, 2002). [Washington Post, 2/17/02] In late
2002, Ron Motley, the lead lawyer in a 9/11 Saudi suit (see August
15, 2002), threatens that Bush, now President, "may find himself
being deposed" in court for these financial ties to bin Mahfouz.
[Minneapolis Star Tribune, 8/16/02]
June 4, 1992: It is reported that the FBI is investigating the
connections between James Bath and George Bush Jr. Bath is Salem bin
Laden's official representative in the US. "Documents indicate that
the Saudis were using Bath and their huge financial resources to
influence US policy," since Bush Jr.'s father is president. Bush
denies any connections to Saudi money. What became of this
investigation is unclear. [Houston Chronicle, 6/4/92]
1994: Mohammed al-Khilewi, the First Secretary at the Saudi Mission
to the United Nations, defects and seeks political asylum in the US.
He brings with him 14,000 internal government documents depicting
the Saudi royal family's corruption, human-rights abuses, and
financial support for terrorists. He meets with two FBI agents and
an Assistant US Attorney. "We gave them a sampling of the documents
and put them on the table," says his lawyer, "but the agents refused
to accept them." [New Yorker, 10/16/01]
March 1996: The US pressures Sudan to do something about bin Laden,
who is based in that country. Sudan readily agrees, not wanting to
be labeled a terrorist nation. Sudan's Minister of Defense engages
in secret negotiations with the CIA in Washington. Sudan offers to
extradite bin Laden to anywhere he might stand trial. The US decides
not to take him because they apparently don't have enough evidence
at the time to charge him with a crime. Saudi Arabia is discussed as
a possibility, but the Saudi Arabian government doesn't want him,
even though bin Laden has pledged to bring down the Saudi Arabian
government. US officials turn down the offer, but insist that bin
Laden leave the country for anywhere but Somalia. One US
intelligence source in the region later states: "We kidnap minor
drug czars and bring them back in burlap bags. Somebody didn't want
this to happen." [Village Voice, 10/31/01, Washington Post, 10/3/01]
Bin Laden leaves under pressure two months later (see May 18, 1996).
CIA Director Tenet later denies Sudan made any offers to hand over
bin Laden. [Senate Intelligence Committee, 10/17/02]
August 13, 1996: Unocal and Delta Oil of Saudi Arabia come to
agreement with state companies in Turkmenistan and Russia to to
build a natural gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to Pakistan via
Afghanistan, the agreement is finalized the next year (see October
27, 1997). [Unocal website, 8/13/96] The Boston Herald later reports
that, "The prime force behind Delta Oil appears to be Mohammed
Hussein al-Amoudi" (see November 22, 2002 (B)) and that his business
interests are "enmeshed" with those of Khalid bin Mahfouz (see for
instance 1988 and April 1999). Together and separately, al-Amoudi
and bin Mahfouz have become "partners with US firms in a series of
ambitious oil development and pipeline projects in central and south
Asia." [Boston Herald, 12/10/01] The two are later included in a
secret United Nations list of financiers funding al-Qaeda (see
November 26, 2002).
November 1998 (B): Former President George Bush Sr. meets with the
bin Laden family on behalf of the Carlyle Group. The meeting takes
place in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. This is one of two known meetings
(see January 2000). [Sunday Herald, 10/7/01]
April 1999: A Saudi government audit shows that five of Saudi
Arabia's billionaires have been giving tens of millions of dollars
to al-Qaeda. The audit shows that these businessmen transferred
money from the National Commercial Bank to accounts of Islamic
charities in London and banks in New York that serve as fronts for
bin Laden. $3 million was diverted from a Saudi pension fund. [USA
Today, 10/29/99] $2 billion of the bank's $21 billion is also found
to be missing. The only action taken is that Khalid bin Mahfouz,
founder of National Commercial Bank, Saudi Arabia's biggest bank, is
placed under house arrest and majority control in the bank is bought
out by the Saudi government. [Ottawa Citizen, 9/29/01] The Saudi
government won't allow US officials to talk to bin Mahfouz, despite
asking "at a very senior level." [Washington Post, 2/17/02] By 9/11,
he is in a hospital and technically no longer under house arrest.
The US has not frozen the accounts of bin Mahfouz, and he continues
to engage in major oil deals with US corporations (see Early
December 2001 (B)). Forbes Magazine claims his family fortune is
worth more than $4 billion. [Boston Herald, 10/14/01, Boston Herald,
12/10/01] Bin Mahfouz had invested in George Bush Jr.'s businesses
starting in 1988 (see 1988). He is later sued for his role in
funding terrorism (see August 15, 2002).
January 2000: Former President George Bush Sr. meets with the bin
Laden family on behalf of the Carlyle Group. He had also met with
them in 1998 (see November 1998 (B)), but it's not known if he met
with them after this. Bush denied this meeting took place until a
thank you note was found confirming it. [Wall Street Journal,
9/27/01, Guardian, 10/31/01] FTW
March 21, 2000: FBI agent Robert Wright (see also October 1998 and
June 9, 2001), having been accused of tarnishing the reputation of
fellow agent Gamal Abdel-Hafiz, makes a formal internal complaint
about Abdel-Hafiz. FBI agent Barry Carmody seconds Wright's
complaint. Wright and Carmody accuse Abdel-Hafiz, a Muslim, of
hindering investigations by openly refusing to record other Muslims.
The FBI was investigating if BMI Inc., a New Jersey based company
with connections to Saudi financier Yassin al-Qadi (see October 12,
2002), had helped fund the 1998 US embassy bombings. [Wall Street
Journal, 11/26/02, ABC News, 12/19/02] Federal prosecutor Mark
Flessner and other FBI agents back up the allegations against
Abdel-Hafiz. [ABC News, 12/19/02] Carmody also claims that
Abdel-Hafiz hurt an inquiry into the possible terrorist ties of
fired University of South Florida Professor Sami Al-Arian by
refusing to record a conversation with the professor in 1998. [Tampa
Tribune, 3/4/03] Complaints to superiors and headquarters about this
never get a response. [Fox News, 3/6/03] Furthermore, "Far from
being reprimanded, Abdel-Hafiz [is] promoted to one of the FBI's
most important anti-terrorism posts, the American Embassy in Saudi
Arabia, to handle investigations for the FBI in that Muslim
country." [ABC News, 12/19/02] Abdel-Hafiz is finally suspended in
February 2003 after his scandal is widely reported in the press.
[Tampa Tribune, 3/4/03] Bill O'Reilly of Fox News claims that on
March 4, 2003, the FBI threatens to fire Wright if he speaks
publicly about this, one hour before Wright is scheduled to appear
on Fox News. [Fox News, 3/4/03] Is Abdel-Hafiz promoted to a
sensitive Saudi post because he won't ask hard questions there?
Late January 2001: The BBC later reports, "After the elections, [US
intelligence] agencies [are] told to 'back off' investigating the
Bin Ladens and Saudi royals, and that anger[s] agents." This follows
previous orders to abandon an investigation of bin Laden relatives
(see September 11, 1996), and difficulties in investigating Saudi
royalty. [BBC, 11/6/01] FTW An unnamed "top-level CIA operative"
says there is a "major policy shift" at the National Security Agency
at this time. Osama bin Laden could still be investigated, but
agents could not look too closely at how he got his money. [Best
Democracy Money Can Buy, by Greg Palast, 2/03] Presumably one such
investigation canceled is an investigation by the Chicago FBI into
ties between Saudi multimillionaire Yassin al-Qadi and the US
embassy bombings (see August 7, 1998) and other terrorist acts,
because during this month an FBI agent is told that the case is
being closed and that "it's just better to let sleeping dogs lie"
(see October 1998). Reporter Greg Palast notes that President
Clinton was already hindering investigations by protecting Saudi
interests. But, as he puts it, "Where Clinton said, 'Go slow,' Bush
policymakers said, 'No go.' The difference is between closing one
eye and closing them both." [Best Democracy Money Can Buy, by Greg
July 4-14, 2001: Bin Laden, America's most wanted criminal with a $5
million bounty on his head, supposedly receives lifesaving treatment
for renal failure from American surgeon specialist Dr. Callaway at
the American hospital in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He is possibly
accompanied by Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri (who is said to be bin Laden's
personal physician, al-Qaeda's second-in-command, and leader of
Egypt's Islamic Jihad), plus several bodyguards. Callaway supposedly
treated bin Laden in 1996 and 1998, also in Dubai. Callaway later
refuses to answer any questions on this matter. [Le Figaro,
10/31/01, Agence France-Presse, 11/1/01, London Times, 11/01/01]
During his stay, bin Laden is visited by "several members of his
family and Saudi personalities," including Prince Turki al Faisal,
then head of Saudi intelligence, as well as two CIA officers (see
also July 12, 2001). [Guardian, 11/1/01] FTW The explosive story is
widely reported in Europe, but barely at all in the US (possibly
only by UPI [UPI, 11/1/01]).
Mid-July 2001 (B): John O'Neill, FBI counter-terrorism expert,
privately discusses White House obstruction in his bin Laden
investigation. O'Neill says: "The main obstacles to investigate
Islamic terrorism were US oil corporate interests and the role
played by Saudi Arabia in it." He adds:"All the answers, everything
needed to dismantle Osama bin Laden's organization, can be found in
Saudi Arabia." O'Neill also believes the White House is obstructing
his investigation of bin Laden because they are still keeping the
idea of a pipeline deal with the Taliban open. [CNN, 1/8/02, CNN,
1/9/02, Irish Times, 11/19/01, Bin Laden: The Forbidden Truth,
released 11/11/01 (the link is an excerpt containing Chapter 1)]
August 2001 (G): Former CIA agent Robert Baer (see December 1997 and
January 23, 2002) is advising a prince in a Persian Gulf royal
family, when a military associate of this prince passes information
to him about a "spectacular terrorist operation" that will take
place shortly. He is also given a computer record of around 600
secret al-Qaeda operatives in Saudi Arabia and Yemen. The list
includes 10 names that will be placed on the FBI's most wanted
terrorists list after 9/11. He is also given evidence that a Saudi
merchant family had funded the USS Cole bombing (see October 12,
2000), and that the Yemeni government is covering up information
related to that bombing. At the military officer's request, he
offers all this information to the Saudi Arabian government. But an
aide to the Saudi defense minister, Prince Sultan, refuses to look
at the list or to pass the names on (Sultan is later sued for his
complicity in the 9/11 plot, see August 15, 2002). Baer also passes
the information on to a senior CIA official and the CIA's
Counter-Terrorism Center, but there is no response or action. Large
sections of Baer's book are blacked out, having been censored by the
CIA. [Financial Times, 1/12/02, See No Evil: The True Story of a
Ground Soldier in the CIA's War on Terrorism, Robert Baer, 2/02, pp.
270-271, Breakdown: How America's Intelligence Failures Led to
September 11, Bill Gertz, pp. 55-58]
September 27, 2001: The Wall Street Journal notes that the bin Laden
family could profit from the 9/11 attacks. They had invested in the
Carlyle Group, a well-connected Washington merchant bank
specializing in buyouts of defense and aerospace companies that had
done very well since 9/11. The Carlyle Group is noted for its
connections with George Bush Sr. and other members of his
administration. The bin Ladens invested $2 million in Carlyle back
in 1995, but the Wall Street Journal speculates that they have
invested much more. [Wall Street Journal, 9/27/01] On October 27,
2001, the bin Laden family divests their known $2 million investment
in light of bad publicity. However it isn't known what became of any
additional investments they may have had in Carlyle. [Washington
November 14-November 25, 2001: At the request of the Pakistani
government, the US secretly allows rescue flights into the besieged
Taliban stronghold of Kunduz, in Northern Afghanistan, to save
Pakistanis fighting for the Taliban and bring them back to Pakistan.
Pakistan's President "Musharraf won American support for the airlift
by warning that the humiliation of losing hundreds - and perhaps
thousands - of Pakistani Army men and intelligence operatives would
jeopardize his political survival." [New Yorker, 1/21/02] Dozens of
senior Pakistani military officers, including two generals, are
flown out. [Now with Bill Moyers, 2/21/03] In addition, it is
reported that the Pakistani government assists 50 trucks of foreign
fighters to escape the town. [New York Times, 11/24/01] Many news
articles at the time suggest an airlift is occurring (for instance,
[Independent, 11/16/01, New York Times, 11/24/01, BBC, 11/26/01,
Independent, 11/26/01, Guardian, 11/27/01, MSNBC, 11/29/01]), but a
media controversy and wide coverage fails to develop. The US and
Pakistani governments deny the existence of the airlift. [State
Department, 11/16/01, New Yorker, 1/21/02] On December 2, when asked
to assure that the US didn't allow such an airlift, Rumsfeld says,
"Oh, you can be certain of that. We have not seen a single - to my
knowledge, we have not seen a single airplane or helicopter go into
Afghanistan in recent days or weeks and extract people and take them
out of Afghanistan to any country, let alone Pakistan." [MSNBC,
12/2/01] Reporter Seymour Hersh believes that Rumsfeld must have
given approval for the airlift. [Now with Bill Moyers, 2/21/03] But
New Yorker magazine reports, "What was supposed to be a limited
evacuation apparently slipped out of control and, as an unintended
consequence, an unknown number of Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters
managed to join in the exodus." A CIA analyst says, "Many of the
people they spirited away were in the Taliban leadership" who
Pakistan wanted for future political negotiations. US intelligence
was "supposed to have access to them, but it didn't happen," he
says. According to Indian intelligence, airlifts grow particularly
intense in the last three days before the city falls on November 25.
Of the 8,000 remaining al-Qaeda, Pakistani, and Taliban, about 5,000
are airlifted out and 3,000 surrender. [New Yorker, 1/21/02] Hersh
later claims that "maybe even some of Bin Laden's immediate family
were flown out on the those evacuations." [Now with Bill Moyers,
2/21/03] Was the escape of al-Qaeda deliberate so the war against
terrorism wouldn't end too soon?
August 25, 2002: Former CIA agent Bob Baer says the US collects
virtually no intelligence about Saudi Arabia nor are they given any
intelligence collected by the Saudis. He says this is because there
are implicit orders from the White House: "Do not collect
information on Saudi Arabia because we're going to risk annoying the
royal family." In the same show, despite being on a US terrorist
list since October 2001 (see October 12, 2001), Saudi millionaire
Yassin al-Qadi says, "I'm living my life here in Saudi Arabia
without any problem" because he is being protected by the Saudi
government. Al-Qadi admits to giving bin Laden money for his
"humanitarian" work, but says this is different from bin Laden's
terrorist work. Presented with this information, the US Treasury
Department only says that the US "is pleased with and appreciates
the actions taken by the Saudis" in the war on terror. The Saudi
government still has not given US intelligence permission to talk to
any family members of the hijackers, even though some US journalists
have had limited contact with a few. [MSNBC, 8/25/02]
Senior government officials claim the FBI and CIA failed to
aggressively pursue leads that might have linked the two hijackers
to Saudi Arabia. This has caused a bitter dispute between FBI and
CIA officials and the intelligence panel investigating the 9/11
attacks (see December 11, 2002 (B)). [New York Times, 11/23/02]A
number of senators, including Richard Shelby (R), John McCain (R),
Mitch O'Connell (R), Joe Lieberman (D), Bob Graham (D), Joe Biden
(D) and Charles Schumer (D) express concern about the Bush
administration's action (or non-action) regarding the Saudi royal
family and its possible role in funding terrorists. [New York Times,
11/25/02, Reuters, 11/24/02] Lieberman says, "I think it's time for
the president to blow the whistle and remember what he said after
September 11 - you're either with us or you're with the terrorists."
There is a lot more at:
[Only registered users see links. ]
The Great Escape: 300 Saudis in 55 Planes
By Craig Unger
The New York Times - Tuesday 01 June 2004
....new evidence shows that the evacuation involved more than the
departure of 142 Saudis on six charter flights that the commission
is investigating. According to newly released documents, 160 Saudis
left the United States on 55 flights immediately after 9/11 - making
a total of about 300 people who left with the apparent approval of
the Bush administration, far more than has been reported before.
Americans who think the 9/11 commission is going to answer all the
crucial questions about the terrorist attacks are likely to be
sorely disappointed - especially if they're interested in the secret
evacuation of Saudis by plane that began just after Sept. 11.
We knew that 15 out of 19 hijackers were Saudis. We knew that Osama
bin Laden, a Saudi, was behind 9/11. Yet we did not conduct a
police-style investigation of the departing Saudis, of whom two
dozen were members. of the bin Laden family. That is not to say that
they were complicit in the attacks.
Unfortunately, though, we may never know the real story. The
investigative panel has already concluded that there is "no credible
evidence that any chartered flights of Saudi Arabian nationals
departed the United States before the reopening of national
airspace." But the real point is that there were still some
restrictions on American airspace when the Saudi flights began.
In addition, new evidence shows that the evacuation involved more
than the departure of 142 Saudis on six charter flights that the
commission is investigating. According to newly released documents,
160 Saudis left the United States on 55 flights immediately after
9/11 - making a total of about 300 people who left with the apparent
approval of the Bush administration, far more than has been reported
before. The records were released by the Department of Homeland
Security in response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed
by Judicial Watch, a conservative, nonpartisan watchdog group in
The vast majority of the newly disclosed flights were commercial
airline flights, not charters, often carrying just two or three
Saudi passengers. They originated from more than 20 cities,
including Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit and Houston. One Saudi
Arabian Airlines flight left Kennedy Airport on Sept. 13 with 46
Saudis. The next day, another Saudi Arabian Airlines flight left
with 13 Saudis.
The panel has indicated that it has yet to find any evidence that
the F.B.I. checked the manifests of departing flights against its
terror watch list. The departures of additional Saudis raise more
questions for the panel. Richard Clarke, the former counterterrorism
czar, told The Hill newspaper recently that he took full
responsibility for approving some flights. But we don't know if
other Bush administration officials participated in the decision.
The passengers should have been questioned about any links to Osama
bin Laden, or his financing. We have long known that some faction of
the Saudi elite has helped funnel money to Islamist terrorists -
inadvertently at least. Prince Ahmed bin Salman, who has been
accused of being an intermediary between Al Qaeda and the House of
Saud, boarded one of the evacuation planes in Kentucky. Was he
interrogated by the F.B.I. before he left?
If the commission dares to address these issues, it will undoubtedly
be accused of politicizing one of the most important national
security investigations in American history - in an election year,
But if it does not, it risks something far worse - the betrayal of
the thousands of people who lost their lives that day, not to
mention millions of others who want the truth.
Craig Unger is the author of "House of Bush, House of Saud: The
Secret Relationship Between the World's Two Most Powerful
[Only registered users see links. ]
About Those 28 Blacked-out Pages - The ones about Saudi Arabia's
involvement with the Sept. 11 massacre. The New Republic reports:
[A]n official who has read the report tells The New Republic that
the support described in the report goes well beyond that: It
involves connections between the hijacking plot and the very top
levels of the Saudi royal family. "There's a lot more in the 28
pages than money. Everyone's chasing the charities," says this
official. "They should be chasing direct links to high levels of the
Saudi government. We're not talking about rogue elements. We're
talking about a coordinated network that reaches right from the
hijackers to multiple places in the Saudi government."
[Only registered users see links. ]
2 Islanders call on Bush to release the 28 blacked-out pages of the
congressional report on 9/11
Monday, July 28, 2003
By SAM DOLNICK
Staten Island ADVANCE STAFF WRITER
The Bush administration should stop "coddling and covering up" for
the Saudi Arabian government and release the blacked-out sections of
the congressional Sept. 11 report, said Sen. Charles E. Schumer
Schumer (D- NY), joined by the families of seven Sept. 11 victims,
including two Staten Islanders, called on the Bush administration to
release the 28 blacked-out pages of the congressional Sept. 11
report which are said to detail Saudi Arabia's relationship with
"I truly believe the reason these 28 pages are not being released is
not to protect classified information, but to protect Saudi
complicity," said Schumer. "Those 28 pages probably have more to do
with preventing the next 9/11 than the rest of the 900 pages."
The Staten Islanders who joined Schumer in his midtown office echoed
the same message, demanding Bush disclose the Saudi's involvement in
the Sept. 11 attacks.
"Why did you sell my son, why did you sell out these people's
children for oil?" said Joan Molinaro of Eltingville as she held a
picture of her son Carl, a firefighter with Ladder 2 of midtown, who
was killed in the attacks. "How many barrels of oil was his life
SUSPECT HAD ACCESS
The public version of the report released last week says a Saudi
Arabian government employee, Omar al-Bayoumi, befriended and helped
finance two of the men who hijacked planes on Sept. 11, Khalid
Almihdar and Nawaf Alhazmi. Al-Bayoumi, who Schumer says is now in
Saudi Arabia, "had access to seemingly unlimited funding from Saudi
Arabia," according to the congressional report.
Schumer sent a letter to President Bush requesting the president
demand the Saudi Arabian government hand over al-Bayoumi to U.S. law
enforcement for questioning.
"If the Saudis and [Saudi ambassador to Washington] Prince Bandar
mean what they say -- they're helping us on the war on terrorism --
then we want al-Bayoumi back in the United States to fully answer
questions raised by this report," said Schumer.
Fifteen of the 19 hijackers on Sept. 11 were Saudi Arabian.
John D'Amato of West Brighton, an attorney for the families of Sept.
11 victims suing Saudi interests, joined Schumer in denouncing the
Bush administration's handling of the congressional report.
"The redacted 28 pages represent the essence of the focus of our
lawsuit. Not only do the family members have a right to know who
finances terrorism, but the American people have a right to know.
There shouldn't be a double standard with Saudi Arabia for political
D'Amato is one of the lawyers representing roughly 4,000 people,
including about 750 Islanders, in a lawsuit against scores of Saudi
interests who they say financed al-Qaeda.
CHARGES ARE INTACT
The $1 trillion suit won a major victory last week when District
Court Judge James Robertson refused to dismiss all of the charges
against the Saudi defendants, which include members of the royal
family, charities, individuals, businesses, and cultural groups.
Bill Doyle of Give Your Voice, a Sept. 11 victims' families advocacy
group, who lost his son, Joey, a Cantor Fitzgerald employee, in the
attacks, questioned the Bush administration's commitment to
investigating Sept. 11.
"Who is he going to protect?" asked Doyle of Annadale. "Is he
protecting us or the Saudi's?"
In a statement released last week after the report was made public,
Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the Saudi ambassador, said Saudi Arabia
"has been one of the most active partners in the war on terrorism,
as the president and other administration officials have been
repeatedly and publicly attested. The idea that the Saudi government
funded, organized or even knew about Sept. 11 is malicious and
Ms. Molinaro said Bush should sever ties with the Saudi Arabian
"Get out of that bed. You're laying down with dogs and snakes, and
[Only registered users see links. ]
The New Republic has an unnamed source who has read the 28 blacked
out (classified) pages of the Congressional 9/11 Investigation
report. Here are some juicy bits from what this person says is on
The New Republic Online: 28 Pages
Only at TNR Online | Post date 08.01.03
Since the joint congressional committee investigating September 11
issued a censored version of its report on July 24, there's been
considerable speculation about the 28 pages blanked out from the
section entitled "Certain Sensitive National Security Matters." The
section cites "specific sources of foreign support for some of the
September 11 hijackers," which most commentators have interpreted to
mean Saudi contributions to Al Qaeda-linked charities. But an
official who has read the report tells The New Republic that the
support described in the report goes well beyond that: It involves
connections between the hijacking plot and the very top levels of
the Saudi royal family. "There's a lot more in the 28 pages than
money. Everyone's chasing the charities," says this official. "They
should be chasing direct links to high levels of the Saudi
government. We're not talking about rogue elements. We're talking
about a coordinated network that reaches right from the hijackers to
multiple places in the Saudi government."
OK, so my question is, IF this is true, why did the Saudi Foreign
Minister jet over the day after the flap over the 28 pages started,
publicly saying he was asking the Bush adm to release the material
on those pages. He said while the material was unknown, the Saudi
govt was more damaged by speculation and dark aspersions being cast
If this dude was telling the truth, and the Saudis DO want the 28
pages unclassified, the source above doesn't make any sense. If it
is the Bush adm that wants it classified and the Saudis who want it
unclassified, I'd be more likely to expect that the information on
the 28 pages is a black eye against the Bush adm rather than a black
eye against the Saudis.
Unless the info is so volatile, one would wonder why we went to war
against Iraq rather than Saudi Arabia (yeah, the latter is a
supremely stupid idea, but remember, this is a stupid
Makes me wonder, if the news on those 28 pages is darker for Bush
than the Saudis, if the war against Iraq was simply a move on that
board game "Risk," a positioning threat for whatever "rogue" or not
so rogue elements are in the Saudi govt, in other words, Iraq was
merely seizable territory that gives buckets of oil and allows one
to peer over the shoulders of naughty Saudis while not invading the
Saudis we want to remain our friends.
In other words, maybe the US took Iraq because it could, and didn't
rain fire on Saudi Arabia the way it did on impoverished Afghanistan
because the US has too many rich friends in Saudi Arabia, and they
are more "important" than stopping nasty enemies.
The other alternative, if the source in the New Republic article is
to be believed, is that the Saudi Foreign Minister lied about
wanting the 28 pages released because he already had total assurance
from the Bush adm that those 28 pages would never get out on a cold
day in hell--so that the entire swooping visit was staged as a
public relations ploy to position the Saudis and take the heat off
those pages for the Bushies.
A calculated risk, such a deceptive move would be. Because it is
highly dependent on the fact that those 28 pages will be erased from
history for all time, and Washington is FAR too leaky and too
litigious for that to stand up very long. If the Saudi minister's
trip was a big lie, WHEN the pages do come out, and if the news is
bad for the Saudi govt, folks will most certainly scratch their
heads at WHY the Saudi govt protested so strongly that the pages
should be declassified.
Anyway, chess games aside, back to the article:
This week, Saudi Foreign Minister Saud Al Faisal flew to Washington
for a hastily convened meeting with President Bush. Faisal publicly
demanded that the 28 pages be declassified, but he had to have known
in advance, and welcomed the fact, that his request would be
denied--ostensibly friendly nations don't normally send their
foreign ministers to meetings halfway around the world to be
Yaddah yaddah, like I said.
While the new chairman and vice-chairman of the committee, Kansas
Republican and Bush loyalist Pat Roberts and West Virginia Democrat
Jay Rockefeller, have yet to endorse Graham and Shelby's request,
Kansas Republican Sam Brownback and New York Senator Charles Schumer
have begun gathering signatures demanding declassification.
The Bush administration has insisted, again and again, that the war
on terror is its first priority. In testimony to the Senate Foreign
Relations Committee, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz
argued, "The battle to secure the peace in Iraq is now the central
battle in the global war on terror." Wolfowitz says this presumably
because he still believes that Saddam Hussein's regime had close
ties with Al Qaeda. But it's looking more and more like the
principal theater in the war on terror lies elsewhere. The official
who read the 28 pages tells The New Republic, "If the people in the
administration trying to link Iraq to Al Qaeda had
one-one-thousandth of the stuff that the 28 pages has linking a
foreign government to Al Qaeda, they would have been in good shape."
He adds: "If the 28 pages were to be made public, I have no question
that the entire relationship with Saudi Arabia would change
Before 9/11: Despite Terror Ties, Bush-Saudi Bonds Strengthen
Truth & Consequences
According to Time Magazine, President Bush is far "cozier than most
[Presidents] to Riyadh." But with the LA Times pointing out that the
Saudi government "provided significant money and aid to the 9/11
suicide hijackers," Vanity Fair notes that "the Bush-Saudi
relationship raises serious questions" about why the Administration
ignored the clear Saudi ties to terror before 9/11.
SAUDI TIES TO TERROR KNOWN LONG BEFORE 9/11: According to U.S. News
and World Report, a 1996 CIA report found that a third of the 50
Saudi-backed charities it studied "were tied to terrorist groups."
Similarly, a 1998 report by the National Security Council had
identified the Saudi government as "the epicenter" of terrorist
financing, becoming "the single greatest force in spreading Islamic
fundamentalism" and "funneling hundreds of millions of dollars to
jihad groups and al Qaeda cells around the world." Over the past
decade, "al Qaeda and its fellow jihadists collected between $300
million and $500 million, most of it from Saudi charities and
private donors" and the very "origins of al Qaeda are intimately
bound up with the Saudi charities." [Source: U.S. News and World
SAUDI STONEWALLING OF U.S. COUNTER-TERROR INVESTIGATORS BEFORE 9/11:
At the same time Al Qaeda-Saudi government ties were strengthening,
U.S. "inquiries about bin Laden went unanswered by Riyadh. When
Hezbollah terrorists killed 19 U.S. troops with a massive truck bomb
at Khobar Towers in Dhahran in 1996, Saudi officials stonewalled,
then shut the FBI out of the investigation." [Source: U.S. News and
World Report, 12/15/03]
DESPITE CLEAR TIES TO TERROR, BUSH-SAUDI TIES STRENGTHENED BEFORE
9/11: The Bush Administration maintained and strengthened its ties
to the Saudi government upon taking office. As the Boston Herald
reported, a "revolving U.S.-Saudi money wheel" exists "within
President Bush's own coterie of foreign policy advisers." First and
foremost, the current President's father "remains a senior adviser
to the Carlyle Group" - an investment bank with deep connections to
the Saudi royal family, and received $1 million for his Presidential
library from the royal family. George W. Bush himself is also linked
to the Saudi-backed Carlyle Group: he was a director of a Carlyle
subsidiary called Caterair. National Security Adviser Condoleezza
Rice "is a former longtime member of the board of Chevron which did
business in the Saudi desert." And Vice President Cheney's tenure as
CEO of oil giant Halliburton was among his dealings with "firms
connected to the Saudis that paid big dividends." [Source: Boston
INSTEAD OF TAKING PRE-9/11 TERROR TIES SERIOUSLY, WHITE HOUSE
APPOINTS A CRONY: With the Saudis' ties to terror clear, the
Administration refused to appoint a qualified diplomat or
counterterrorism expert as the U.S. government's ambassador to Saudi
Arabia. Instead, the President appointed his Texas crony Robert
Jordan - a man with no diplomatic experience, who spoke no Arabic
and who had never set foot in Saudi Arabia. Jordan's chief
qualification for the post was that he had been Bush's lawyer during
the SEC inquiry into the Harken energy scandal, was part of the
legal team representing the president in Florida during the 2000
election. He also worked at the law firm Baker-Botts, which is
headed by former Secretary of State James Baker, a man who has
considerable ties to the Saudi government, and who told PBS even
after 9/11 that Saudi Arabia is "an ally and friend of the United
States." Even after Jordan retired earlier this year, the
Administration still refused to appoint a
diplomatic/counter-terrorism expert, instead appointing Texas oil
lobbyist James Oberwetter. [Source: Houston Chronicle, 10/3/01;
Knight-Ridder, 11/17/03; PBS, 10/01; AP, 11/19/03]
After 9/11: White House Refuses Action on Saudi Ties to Terror
After 9/11, President Bush repeated the mantra that "if you aid a
terrorist, if you hide terrorists, you're just as guilty as the
terrorists" at the same time Time Magazine noted he was going "out
of his way to compliment the Saudis." These compliments were given
even though the Los Angeles Times reports the "Saudi government not
only provided significant money and aid to the suicide hijackers but
also allowed potentially hundreds of millions of dollars to flow to
Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups."
IMMEDIATELY AFTER 9/11, WHITE HOUSE FLIES BIN LADENS OUT OF AMERICA:
In the immediate wake of 9/11, all flights in the United States were
grounded. But as the new book "House of Bush, House of Saud" notes,
the flight ban had one exception: the Saudi relatives of Osama bin
Laden. As Secretary of State Colin Powell acknowledged, members of
bin Laden's family were put on flights that "were coordinated within
the U.S. government" and allowed to go back to Saudi Arabia.
According to Gerald Posner's "Why America Slept," the White
House-authorized flights out of the United States also included
Saudi Prince Ahmed, who a top Al Qaeda terrorist said "knew
beforehand that an attack was scheduled for American soil" on 9/11.
The White House's decision to allow the Saudis to leave came at the
same time Vanity Fair notes "Arabs were being rounded up and
interrogated" all over the country and Attorney General John
Ashcroft was asserting that the government had "a responsibility to
use every legal means at our disposal to prevent further terrorist
activity by taking people into custody who have violated the law and
who may pose a threat to America." As one law enforcement officer
asked, "How could officials bypass such an elemental and routine
part of an investigation during an unprecedented national-security
catastrophe? At the very least, wouldn't relatives have been able to
provide some information about Osama's finances, associates, or
supporters?" [Source: Salon, 3/11/04; NBC, 9/7/03; Chicago Tribune,
APRIL 2002 - STILL PRAISING THE SAUDIS AFTER 9/11, EVEN WHILE THEY
REFUSE TO COOPERATE: Even as evidence was emerging that the Saudi
government had connections to the 9/11 attack, President Bush
invited Saudi Prince Abdullah to his Crawford mansion in April of
2002, saying the Saudi government is an "important friend" to the
United States. His comments came two years after the New Yorker
reported the royal family "refused to permit United States
investigators to interrogate one of bin Laden's key financial
aides - Sidi Tayyib" a man who "probably knows as much as anyone
else about bin Laden's intricate financial empire." The praise
continues, even though Newsweek reports officials at the Treasury
and Justice departments have privately expressed deep frustration
over the failure of the Saudi government to impose stricter controls
over their Islamic charities and turn over crucial evidence about
the murky flow of money to Al Qaeda. [Source: White House release,
4/25/02; New Yorker, 1/24/00; Newsweek, 4/16/03]
MAY 2002 - BUSH ADMINISTRATION MOVES TO PREVENT INDEPENDENT INQUIRY
OF 9/11: Months after 9/11, Vice President Cheney went on Fox News
to announce the Administration's full opposition to an independent
9/11 commission. As CBS News noted, the White House "opposed a
commission" from the start, claiming "it would tie up officials
waging the war on terror - and endanger U.S. secrets." [Source: Fox
News, 5/19/02; CBS, 9/20/02]
NOVEMBER 2002 - WHITE HOUSE ASSAILED FOR FAILURE TO AGGRESSIVELY
PURSUE SAUDI-9/11 TIES: In the year following the 9/11 attacks, Fox
News reported lawmakers investigating the attacks believe the
Administration "has not aggressively pursued the possibility that
the Saudi government provided money to students who helped two of
the hijackers." Congressional committees also "accused the Saudi
government of not fully cooperating with American investigators" but
faced a strong defense from the White House. Bush Communications
Director Dan Bartlett "disputed congressional critics" saying, "As
anyone who knows this issue will tell you, it's very difficult to
track financing of terrorist networks because most of it is done in
cash." [Source: Fox News, 11/23/02]
2003 - WHITE HOUSE HIDES EVIDENCE OF 9/11-SAUDI TIE: As
congressional committees prepared to release a bipartisan report on
the 9/11 attacks, the Bush Administration swiftly moved to classify
a section of the report which dealt with the Saudi ties to the
attack. According to AP, that section "examined interactions between
Saudi businessmen and the royal family that may have intentionally
or unwittingly aided al Qaeda or the suicide hijackers." [Source: UK
Guardian, 7/30/03; AP, 8/3/03]
2003 - EVIDENCE EMERGES TYING SAUDI GOVERNMENT TO 9/11: The LA Times
reported that "the 27 classified pages of a congressional report
about Sept. 11 depict a Saudi government that not only provided
significant money and aid to the suicide hijackers but also allowed
potentially hundreds of millions of dollars to flow to Al Qaeda and
other terrorist groups through suspect charities and other fronts."
One U.S. official who read the classified section said it describes
"very direct, very specific links" between Saudi officials, two of
the San Diego-based hijackers and other potential co-conspirators
"that cannot be passed off as rogue, isolated or coincidental." Said
another official: "It's really damning. What it says is that not
only Saudi entities or nationals are implicated in 9/11, but the
[Saudi] government" as well. Meanwhile, Newsweek reported that
thousands of dollars in charitable gifts from Princess Haifa, the
wife of Prince Bandar, "ended up in the hands of two of the
September 11 hijackers." [Source: LA Times, 8/2/03; CNN, 11/23/02]
After 9/11: White House Refuses to Protect the Homeland
For months after 9/11, the Bush Administration opposed the creation
of a Department of Homeland Security to better coordinate efforts to
protect America. Now, even after the White House was forced to
support the proposal, it has continued to drastically underfund
basic homeland security, with many experts saying the department's
budget is at least $14 billion short of what it needs. The White
House itself virtually acknowledged its negligence: the New York
Times reported in 2003 the Administration admitted that it is "not
providing enough money to protect against terrorist attacks on
American soil" and that "domestic counterterrorism programs have
been shortchanged." As a result, a recent GAO report concludes the
White House is not adequately "addressing all of the elements of
resources, investments and risk management" to protect America.
UNDERFUNDING BORDER SECURITY: Because of underfunding, the Justice
Department reported in March of 2004 "the United States remains
vulnerable to infiltration by known criminals and terrorists because
of chronic delays in making millions of FBI fingerprints available
to the Border Patrol." The nation is still about four years away
from an integrated system between the FBI and Border Patrol that
would "allow for a quick, automated check of fingerprints for the
roughly 1 million illegal immigrants who are caught each year...That
means thousands who could be prosecuted for crimes or detained as
security risks will be simply returned to their home countries, free
to try to re-enter the United States, the report found." [Source:
UNDERFUNDING PORT SECURITY: The San Antonio Express-News noted
critics point out that the White House "has skirted port security in
budget requests, including a plea by the Coast Guard for $1 billion
this year to secure ports on American coasts." Currently, there are
"fewer than 100 inspectors assigned to overseas ports" to inspect
cargo containers headed to the U.S. That means that "of the 7
million cargo containers that arrive at US ports yearly, only a
small percentage have been physically or mechanically inspected."
Experts say these containers can be "shipped into a U.S. port with
virtually no oversight, and remain a huge risk for importation of
biological and radiological weapons." [Source: San Antonio
Express-News, 4/1/03; Knight-Ridder, 2/29/04]
UNDERFUNDING AVIATION SECURITY: According to the Century Foundation,
"The Transportation Security Administration estimates there is a 35%
to 65% chance that terrorists are planning to place a bomb in the
cargo of a U.S. passenger plane. Yet, only about 5% of air cargo is
screened, even if it is transported on passenger planes."
Furthermore, the measures controlling general civil aviation
continue to be voluntary and it remains unclear which ones have been
instituted and by whom. [Source: The Century Foundation]
UNDERFUNDING FIRST RESPONDERS: In a landmark report, former Sen.
Warren Rudman (R-NH) said "the United States is drastically
underfunding local emergency responders and remains dangerously
unprepared to handle a catastrophic attack on American soil,
particularly one involving chemical, biological, radiological,
nuclear, or high-impact conventional weapons. If the nation does not
take immediate steps to better identify and address the urgent needs
of emergency responders, the next terrorist incident could be even
more devastating than 9/11." The White House has refused to address
this problem: less than a year after 9/11 the President threatened
to veto additional first responder funding. And just this year, top
police and firefighters organizations noted that the Administration
proposed "a reduction of $1.57 billion, or 31.9%" in funding for
first responders in 2005 alone. [Source: Rudman Report, 6/29/03;
Washington Times, 3/4/04]
CUTTING FUNDING TO SECURE LOOSE WMD: Despite President Bush's
rhetorical support for non-proliferation efforts, the Center for
Defense Information reports the Administration has requested a $41.6
million (9.3%) decrease in funding for the Pentagon's Cooperative
Threat Reduction program - the government's chief program to secure
loose nuclear material that could be obtained by terrorists. The
Administration also proposes in 2005 to cut $21 million (8%) out of
Energy Department programs aimed at securing nuclear material in
Russia. [Source: CDI, 2/20/04; Arms Control Association, 3/04]
IGNORING RAIL SECURITY: With concerns raised after the Madrid train
attack, Asa Hutchinson, the Bush Administration's own Undersecretary
for Homeland Security, said much can be done to improve security in
the U.S. rail system. However, he also said that "we have to
recognize that it has been historically an open system, very
difficult to add layers of security." [Source: USA Today, 5/16/04]
IGNORING POSTAL SECURITY: Despite anthrax and ricin attacks through
the mail, Congressional Quarterly reported that "the president's $37
million budget request in 2005 for the U.S. Postal Service does not
include $779 million for biodetection technology the agency had
sought to safeguard against anthrax-like attacks." [Source:
Congressional Quarterly, 2/2/04]
By Maggie Mulvihill, Jack Meyers and Jonathan Wells
Boston Herald December 11, 2001
Many of the same American corporate executives who have reaped
millions of dollars from arms and oil deals with the Saudi monarchy
have served or currently serve at the highest levels of U.S.
government, public records show. Those lucrative financial
relationships call into question the ability of America's political
elite to make tough foreign policy decisions about the kingdom that
produced Osama bin Laden and is perhaps the biggest incubator for
anti-Western Islamic terrorists. Nowhere is the revolving U.S.-Saudi
money wheel more evident than within President Bush's own coterie of
foreign policy advisers, starting with the president's father,
George H.W. Bush. At the same time that the elder Bush counsels his
son on the ongoing war on terrorism, the former president remains a
senior adviser to the Washington D.C.-based Carlyle Group. That
influential investment bank has deep connections to the Saudi royal
family as well as financial interests in U.S. defense firms hired by
the kingdom to equip and train the Saudi military.
Last year, former President Bush visited Saudi Arabia's King Fahd
bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, but a Carlyle spokesman said the two did not
discuss Carlyle business as previously reported. The elder Bush is
reportedly paid between $80,000 and $100,000 for each Carlyle speech
he makes. The company declined comment on the former president's
The Carlyle Group has also served as a paid adviser to the Saudi
monarchy on the so-called ''Economic Offset Program,'' an
arrangement that effectively requires U.S. arms manufacturers
selling weapons to Saudi Arabia to give back a portion of their
revenues in the form of contracts to Saudi businesses, most of whom
are connected to the royal family. A company spokesman said
yesterday that arrangement was ended ''a few months ago,'' but said
he did not know whether it was terminated before or after the Sept.
A spokesman for former President Bush, reached yesterday, had no
immediate comment on his work for the Carlyle Group.
These intricate personal and financial links have led to virtual
silence in the administration on Saudi Arabia's failings in dealing
with terrorists like bin Laden, said Charles Lewis, executive
director of the Center for Public Integrity, a Washington,
D.C.-based government watchdog group.
''It's good old fashioned `I'll scratch your back, you scratch
mine.' You have former U.S. officials, former presidents, aides to
the current president, a long line of people who are tight with the
Saudis, people who are the pillars of American society and
officialdom,'' said Lewis.
''So for that and other reasons no one wants to alienate the Saudis,
and we are willing to basically ignore inconvenient truths that
might otherwise cause our blood to boil. We basically look away,''
he said. ''Folks don't like to stop the gravy train.''
Some foreign policy observers said as long as American power brokers
in lucrative business deals with the Saudis do not simultaneously
craft U.S. foreign policy, there is no conflict of interest.
''To have Bush Sr. on the board of Carlyle is not necessarily a
significant problem because Carlyle has interests all over the
world,'' said Vincent Cannistraro, a former counter-intelligence
chief for the Central Intelligence Agency. Companies regularly
entice powerful political figures to work for them, he said.
''It's kind of business as usual. Where it really affects things is
when someone with a financial interest in a company also has a
policy position in the administration,'' Cannistraro said.
A significant portion of the millions of dollars U.S. companies and
their politically influential executives have earned in deals with
the Saudis has been through military contracts.
The Carlyle Group had a major stake in the large defense contractor
B.D.M., which has multimillion-dollar contracts through its
subsidiaries to train and manage the Saudi National Guard and the
Saudi air force, U.S. Department of Defense records show. In 1998,
Carlyle sold its controlling interest in B.D.M. to defense giant TRW
Meanwhile, the boards of directors of the Carlyle Group, B.D.M. and
TRW are all stocked with high-level Republican policy makers. Frank
C. Carlucci, a former secretary of defense under President Reagan,
was chairman of B.D.M. for most of the 1990s. Carlucci, who also
served as Reagan's national security adviser and a deputy director
of the CIA, now heads the Carlyle Group.
Along with former President Bush, other officials from past
Republican administrations now at the Carlyle Group include: former
Secretary of State James A. Baker III; ex-budget chief Richard
Darman; and former Securities and Exchange Commission chairman
President Bush is himself linked to the Carlyle group: He was a
director of one of its subsidiaries, an airline food services
company called Caterair, until 1994. Six years later, when Bush was
governor of Texas, the board of directors of the Texas teachers'
pension fund -- some of whom were his appointees -- voted to invest
$100 million with the Carlyle Group.
The president of B.D.M. is Philip A. Odeen, a former high-level
Pentagon official in the Nixon administration. During the Clinton
administration, Odeen chaired the Pentagon task force that planned
the restructuring of the U.S. military for the 21st century.
Currently, he is the vice-chair of the Defense Science Board, which
advises the Pentagon on emerging threats.
TRW, the new owner of B.D.M., has its own noteworthy board members,
including former CIA director Robert M. Gates and Michael H.
Armacost, who served as undersecretary of state under President
Reagan and as ambassador to Japan for former President Bush.
Big Saudi money also makes its way back to Texas and the Bush
family. The family of Saudi Arabia's longtime U.S. ambassador,
Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, gave $1 million to the Bush
Presidential Library in College Station, Texas.
The Revolving Door
Another example of the complex web connecting U.S. and Saudi
powerbrokers is Dick Cheney, who moved from the Pentagon to the
international oil business and back as vice president last year.
After serving as the elder Bush's secretary of defense, Cheney was
hired to run oil-services giant Halliburton Co., where he worked
until he resigned last year to campaign with the younger Bush. In
2000, his last year with Halliburton, Cheney received $34 million
when he cashed out from the company.
Not surprisingly, Halliburton's links to Cheney and other Washington
power brokers appear to have helped the company's business prospects
in the Middle East. Just last month, Halliburton was awarded a $140
million contract to develop an oil field in Saudi Arabia by the
kingdom's state-owned petroleum firm, Saudi Aramco, and a
Halliburton subsidiary, Kellogg Brown & Root, along with two
Japanese firms, was hired by the Saudis to build a $40 million
Cheney isn't the only member of President Bush's inner circle whose
work for firms connected to the Saudis has paid big dividends. The
current national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, is a former
longtime member of the board of directors of another giant oil
conglomerate with business in the Saudi desert, Chevron, which
merged with Texaco this year. Rice even has a Chevron oil tanker
named after her.
Substantial profits received by U.S. leaders in private sector deals
with the Saudis have helped to squelch criticism of the royal
family's refusal to address the role its country has played in
fueling Islamic terrorism, Lewis said.
''There's a disconnect there,'' Lewis said. ''I'm fascinated that we
don't lay this at Saudi Arabia's doorstep. But the chances to cash
in and the amount you can cash in for are starting to become
absolutely astronomical. Who wants to look like the Boy Scout
complaining about it and potentially jeopardize their own
Former advisers to the president's father also hold key positions
with U.S. firms which have teamed up with the Saudis on major oil
Former Bush Secretary of the Treasury Nicholas Brady and a former
Bush assistant, Edith E. Holiday, are both on the board of directors
of Amerada Hess, an American petroleum firm currently teaming up
with several powerful Saudi families to develop oil fields in
Another company that has done business with wealthy Saudis is
international energy firm Frontera Resources Corp. based in Houston.
Until recently, Frontera was a 30 percent investor in a $900 million
project to develop oilfields in Azerbajian. Also investing in the
project were Azerbaijan's state-run oil company and Delta-Hess, a
joint-venture created by the Saudis' Delta Oil and Amerada Hess.
Randy Theilig, a Frontera spokesman, said the company relinquished
its interest in the project in July because it was no longer
''economically viable,'' and has no current business dealings with
the Saudis or in Azerbajian.
Members of Frontera's board of advisers, which includes former CIA
director John Deutch and former Secretary of the Treasury and U.S.
Sen. Lloyd Bentsen, have been active financial supporters of the
Democratic Party. Shining a bright light on the web of financial
connections between the power elite in the U.S. and Saudi Arabia is
critical, Middle Eastern foreign policy experts said.
''I think the fact that they have these connections makes it
important for this information to be made public,'' said Henry
Siegman, a senior fellow on the Middle East at the Council on
Larry Noble, executive director of the Center for Responsive
Politics in Washington, D.C., a non-partisan group that examines
money and politics, said the Bush-Carlyle connection is a concern.
''It is well known that the father is a close adviser to his son and
therefore it does raise concerns,'' Noble said ''It's not
necessarily that the father has been compromised, but the danger is
that it leads people to question George W. Bush. The public has a
right to feel their leaders are making independent judgments without
the influence of private interests.''
The Press on the BCCI-bin Mahfouz-bin Laden Intelligence Nexus
Boston Herald , December 11, 2001
A powerful Washington, D.C., law firm with unusually close ties to
the White House has earned hefty fees representing controversial
Saudi billionaires as well as a Texas-based Islamic charity fingered
last week as a terrorist front.
The influential law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld has
represented three wealthy Saudi businessmen - Khalid bin Mahfouz,
Mohammed Hussein Al-Amoudi and Salah Idris - who have been
scrutinized by U.S. authorities for possible involvement in
financing Osama bin Laden and his terrorist network. In addition,
Akin, Gump currently represents the largest Islamic charity in the
United States, Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development in
Holy Land's assets were frozen by the Treasury Department last week
as government investigators probe its ties to Hamas, the militant
Palestinian group blamed for suicide attacks against Israelis.
Partners at Akin, Gump include one of President Bush's closest Texas
friends, James C. Langdon, and George R. Salem, a Bush fund-raiser
who chaired his 2000 campaign's outreach to Arab-Americans.
In addition to the royal family, the firm's Saudi clients have
included bin Mahfouz, who hired Akin, Gump when he was indicted in
the BCCI banking scandal in the early 1990s. In 1999, the Saudi's
placed bin Mahfouz under house arrest after reportedly discovering
that the bank he controlled, National Commercial Bank in Saudi
Arabia, funneled millions to charities believed to be serving as bin
A bin Mahfouz business partner, Al-Amoudi, was also represented by
Akin, Gump. When it was reported in 1999 that U.S. authorities were
also investigating Al-Amoudi's Capitol Trust Bank, Akin, Gump
released a statement on behalf of their client denying any
connections to terrorism. One year earlier, the firm had
co-sponsored an investment conference in Ethiopia with Al-Amoudi.
Akin, Gump partner and Bush fund-raiser Salem led the legal team
that defended Idris, a banking protege of bin Mahfouz and the owner
of El-Shifa, the Sudanese pharmaceutical plant destroyed by U.S.
cruise missiles in August 1998.
Speaking of Akin, Gump partner Kress' office in the White House,
"That's not appropriate and frankly it's potentially troublesome
because there is a real possibility of a conflict of interest.
Basically you have a partner for Akin, Gump . . . inside the hen
But another longtime Washington political observer, Vincent
Cannistraro, the former chief of counter-intelligence at the Central
Intelligence Agency, said the political influence a firm like Akin,
Gump has is precisely why clients like the Saudis hire them.
"These are cozy political relationships . . . If you have a problem
in Washington, there are only a few firms to go to and Akin, Gump is
one of them," Cannistraro said. Cannistraro pointed out that Idris
hired Akin, Gump during the Clinton presidency, when Clinton
confidante Vernon Jordan was a partner at the firm. "He hired them
because Vernon Jordan had influence . . . that's a normal political
exercise where you are buying influence," he said.
Akin, Gump is not the only politically wired Washington business
cashing in on the Saudi connection. Burson-Marsteller, a major D.C.
public relations firm, registered with the U.S. government as a
foreign agent for the Saudi embassy within weeks of the Sept. 11
Boston Herald , December 10, 2001
Two billionaire Saudi families scrutinized by authorities for
possible financial ties to Osama bin Laden's terrorist network
continue to engage in major oil deals with leading U.S.
The bin Mahfouz and Al-Amoudi clans, who control three private Saudi
Arabian oil companies, are partners with U. S. firms in a series of
ambitious oil development and pipeline projects in central and south
Asia, records show.
Working through their companies - Delta Oil, Nimir Petroleum and
Corral Petroleum - the Saudi families have formed international
consortiums with U. S. oil giants Texaco, Unocal, Amerada Hess and
These business relationships persist despite evidence that members
of the two Saudi families - headed by patriarchs Khalid bin Mahfouz
and Mohammed Hussein Al-Amoudi - have had ties to Islamic charities
and companies linked financially to bin Laden's al-Qaeda
organization. So far, bin Mahfouz and Al-Amoudi, who have denied any
involvement with bin Laden, have been left untouched by the U. S.
Treasury Department, which has frozen the assets of 150 individuals,
companies and charities suspected of financing terrorism.
According to a May 1999 report by the U. S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia,
Delta Oil was created by 50 prominent Saudi investors in the early
The prime force behind Delta Oil appears to be Mohammed Hussein
Al-Amoudi, who is based in Ethiopia and oversees a vast network of
companies involved in construction, mining, banking and oil.
Al-Amoudi also owns Corral Petroleum.
The Al-Amoudis' business interests, meanwhile, are enmeshed with the
bin Mahfouz family, which owns the third privately held Saudi oil
company, Nimir Petroleum. Nimir was established by the Mahfouz
family in Bermuda in 1991, according to the U. S. Embassy report.
The closeness of the two clans is underlined by their joint oil
venture, Delta-Nimir, as well as by their partnership in the Saudi
firm The Marei Bin Mahfouz & Ahmed Al Amoudi Group of Companies &
Meanwhile, information continues to circulate in intelligence
circles in the United States and Europe suggesting wealthy Saudi
businessmen have provided financial support to bin Laden.
Much of it revolves around a 1999 audit conducted by the Saudi
government that reportedly discovered that the bin Mahfouz family's
National Commercial Bank had transferred at least $ 3 million to
charitable organizations believed to be fronts for bin Laden's
U. S. and British authorities also reportedly looked at Al-Amoudi's
Capitol Trust Bank in London and New York for similar activities.
After the audit, bin Mahfouz was placed under house arrest in Taif,
Saudi Arabia, and Al-Amoudi reportedly replaced him as head of
National Commercial Bank.
Some of the Saudi money transferred from National Commercial Bank
allegedly went to the Islamic charity Blessed Relief, whose board
members included bin Mahfouz's son, Abdul Rahman bin Mahfouz.
In October, the U. S. Treasury Department named Blessed Relief as a
front organization providing funds to bin Laden.
"Saudi businessmen have been transferring millions of dollars to bin
Laden through Blessed Relief," the agency said.
In 1999, Al-Amoudi's lawyers in Washington, Akin, Gump, Strauss,
Hauer and Feld, issued a statement saying, "Al-Amoudi did not know
bin Laden and never had any dealings with him" and that the
businessman "was unalterably opposed to terrorism and had no
knowledge of any money transfers by Saudi businesses to bin Laden."
Despite officials' suspicions, the bin Mahfouz and Al-Amoudi oil
companies continue to profit from their working relationship with
America's own oil elite. For example:
-- The Mahfouz family, through Nimir Petroleum, joined forces
recently with Texaco to develop oil fields in Kazakhstan estimated
to contain as many as 1.5 billion barrels of oil.
-- The Al-Amoudi family, through Delta Oil, teamed up with Amerada
Hess three years ago to develop oil fields in Azerbaijan. Delta-Hess
is also part of a consortium hoping to build a $ 2.4 billion oil
pipeline from Azerbaijan to Turkey.
-- In the mid-1990s, Delta Oil formed a partnership with Unocal in a
failed bid to build oil and gas pipelines from Turkmenistan to the
-- In 1994, Delta-Nimir, a joint venture of the Al-Amoudi and bin
Mahfouz families, joined with Unocal in a consortium to develop
three oil fields in Azerbaijan. In 1996, Delta-Nimir and Unocal
closed a second oil development deal in Azerbaijan.
(For more info about banking connections, go to bankersalmanac.com.)
Daily News (New York) , November 10, 2001
U.S. officials allege that Yasin Al-Qadi, a wealthy Saudi
businessman whose assets have been frozen by the Treasury
Department, funneled money from National Commercial to Al Qaeda
through a charity called Muwafaq Foundation.
Because of suspected terrorist links, the Treasury Department has
seized assets and barred numerous banks and financial entities from
doing business in the United States.
A banking official who asked not to be identified said new
anti-terror legislation is flawed because it gives the government
great leeway in determining which business gets blacklisted.
The official said political considerations could favor institutions
associated with crucial allies like Saudi Arabia, paving the way for
terrorist funds to continue to flow through U.S. banks.
White House spokeswoman Claire Buchan acknowledged that the Treasury
consults the President before freezing assets or barring trade with
specific people or organizations.
Two Saudi government agencies bought 50% of National Commercial in
1999. The other half is owned by several shareholders, including
members of the Mahfouz family, which gave up its majority ownership
to the government.
New York Times , October 15, 2001
The 11th floor aerie from which Yasin Abdullah al-Qadi shepherds his
investments is a seemingly endless stretch of plush white carpet
barely interrupted by a white leather couch and a spotless desk. The
Red Sea dominates the view, sparkling azure in the bright October
But the placid surroundings were shattered on Friday when Mr. Qadi
found himself on a new list of 39 individuals and groups accused by
the United States Treasury Department of financing Osama bin Laden
and his organization, Al Qaeda. The citation about Mr. Qadi read in
part: "He heads the Saudi-based Muwafaq Foundation. Muwafaq is an al
Qaeda front that receives funding from wealthy Saudi businessmen."
It goes on to say that the business community has been transferring
millions of dollars to Mr. bin Laden through the charity. It is an
accusation that Mr. Qadi says he finds absurd, not least because the
foundation shut down five years ago.
"Nothing has been given to bin Laden whatsoever, this is nonsense,"
Mr. Qadi, a bearded, 45-year-old businessman, said in an interview.
Accusations against pillars of the Jidda community like Mr. Qadi and
the foundation -- its six-member board included prominent figures
like two members of the bin Mahfouz banking clan.
Boston Herald , October 14, 2001
Three banks allegedly used by Osama bin Laden to distribute money to
his global terrorism network have well-established ties to a prince
in Saudi Arabia's royal family, several billionaire Saudi bankers,
and the governments of Kuwait and Dubai. One of the banks, Al-Shamal
Islamic Bank in the Sudan, was controlled directly by Osama bin
Laden, according to a 1996 U.S. State Department report. A second
bank, Faisal Islamic Bank, appears to have a relative of Osama bin
Laden on its board of directors, the bank's records show.
- Despite repeated denials of any connection to their notorious
relative, members of the family of Osama bin Laden continue to have
close business relationships with another wealthy Saudi banking
clan, the bin Mahfouz family, which is suspected of shipping
millions of dollars to the exiled terrorist as recently as three
The bin Mahfouz family was placed in the spotlight Friday when the
Bush administration moved to freeze the assets of 39 more
individuals and groups it believes are supporting terrorism.
One of the names on the list, Saudi businessman Yasin al-Qadi, is
involved with members of the bin Mahfouz family in a Muslim charity,
Blessed Relief, which the Treasury Department says has steered
millions of dollars to bin Laden.
Sunday Times (London) , October 14, 2001,
Further investigations into the Bin Laden money network have linked
a dynasty of Saudi billionaires with close ties to their country's
royal family to a London charity accused of being connected with Bin
The International Development Foundation (IDF) -which is now under
investigation by Britain's Charity Commission -was founded by
members of the Bin Mahfouz family, one of Saudi Arabia's most
It has emerged, too, that a director of the IDF is also on the board
of an Arab investment company that was refuelling the American
warship USS Cole last year when it was attacked in Yemen on the
orders of Bin Laden. The company was cleared of any involvement.
The alleged links between the Bin Mahfouz family, which has an
estimated fortune of Pounds 2.5 billion, and the Bin Laden money
network will be a severe embarrassment to the Saudi rulers.
The IDF charity, based in Curzon Street, central London, was named
publicly last week in a French parliamentary report as having
"points of contact" with Bin Laden's organisation.
The report also stated that a subsidiary of Sedco, a Bin Mahfouz
family company based in Saudi Arabia, was "suspected by the US of
having made donations to Osama Bin Laden".
According to records filed with the Charity Commission last year,
the directors of the IDF include Abdelelah, Saleh, Mohammed and
Ahmed Bin Mahfouz. Their listed address is the Sedco headquarters in
Saudi Arabia. The Bin Mahfouz family is one of the most successful
trading clans in the Middle East.
The allegations against the IDF and the Sedco subsidiary, which are
all strongly denied by the family, come as Saudi Arabia is
confronted by growing criticism that its companies and charities may
have provided, knowingly or unwittingly, funding for Bin Laden's
An intelligence report published as an annex to a French
parliamentary report last week named more than 40 organisations
registered in Britain with possible links to Bin Laden, including
Khalid Bin Mahfouz, the former president of the National Commercial
Bank in Saudi Arabia, is believed to be under investigation in Saudi
Arabia after allegations that he channelled money to Bin Laden.
Other members of the family involved in Sedco say they are no longer
connected to Khalid Bin Mahfouz and do not in any way support Bin
Laden. "The Bin Mahfouzes are a very, very established family and
Osama Bin Laden is anathema to them," said one source close to the
Bin Laden family, Saudi Arabia corruption and support of terrorists, connections to Bush...
David Evens <[Only registered users see links. ]> wrote in message news:<[Only registered users see links. ]>. ..
It is interesting to see that "David Evens"
uses the standard Bolshevik tactic of attacking the messenger
(With lies no less.) rather than addressing the message,
and implies that all Jews are Bolsheviks or
support the Bolshevik practice of instigating
conflict, violence and war for power and profit.
As any student of history knows, most of the
Bolsheviks of the 1900's were Jews, and most of the
Bolsheviks of the 2000's are Jews,
but this does not mean that ALL Jews are
instigators of conflict and war for power and riches.
Obviously the problem (For Jews in general.) is,
that many Jews tend to overcompensate for the sins
of their fellow Jews, and by thus doing,
they bring problems down on the whole Jewish community.
Note for example, how the Jewish community has
rallied to defend Lori Berenson
who was caught in the act of instigating class war in Peru,
and how they have demonized the very folks who restored Peru to
peace and prosperity.
If more of the moral, rational Jews, who believed
in the brotherhood of man, joined in the criticism
and exposure of the instigators of conflict and war,
rather than joining dog packs to attack the folks who
do believe in the brotherhood of man, it would be
much better for the larger Jewish community,
and the larger world.
Note for example, that the Germans are perhaps the
most moral, intelligent and productive folks on the planet,
and they have been demonized for doing what they could
to control the Bolshevik instigators, terrorists, murderers
and assassins, who were creating death and destruction
all over the world in the 1900's.
As the Bolshevik terrorists managed to destabilize several nations,
and it created a threat to the interests of other nations
(Much as the destabilization of Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.
creates threats to other nations today.), several nations "attacked"
other small nations in an effort to restore stability in those nations,
and to eliminate them as sanctuaries for terrorists.
If FDR had joined with Germany, Spain, Japan, and other nations,
in going after the Bolshevik terrorists, rather than backing them,
WWII would has lasted two months, and there would have been
no millions of deaths, no Cold War, no Korea, no Vietnam ,
no nuclear weapons, and no instigation of global religious war.
And if Bush had gone after the Bolshevik instigators,
rather than selling out to them and Sharon,
there would have been no 9/11, no movement of America
toward a police and military state,
no loss of freedoms to Americans,
no danger to American's at home and abroad,
no collapse of the economy,
no shattering of the national budget,
no war against the Iraqi people,
with its' attendant cost, depletion of
non-renewable resources, environmental damage, etc,
no loss of trust by most nations of the world,
no hatred of America by hundreds of millions of Muslims,
no raid on Social Security,
no freeze of Civil Service employees salaries,
no bankruptcy of major airlines,
no dollar flight,
no meltdown of the dollar,
no meltdown of America,
no weakening of the United Nations,
no weakening of NATO, the G8,
no independent European GPS system,
no loss of trillion dollar markets by Boeing, G.E. and other American firms,
I, for one, can't see why ANY patriotic American
can defend the instigators of conflict and war,
when it has been, and is, so devastating to America and the world.