Kiến Trúc Sư Kỹ Sư  Richard Gage và Nỗ Lực Truy Nguyên vụ 911

James Corbett Một cái nhìn Đơn Giản về vụ 911


Giáo Sư Hóa Học Đại Học Dan Mạch nói về Tòa Nhà WTC 7 911


The Toronto Hearings on 9/11 (Full DVD) – Hội Luận vụ 911 tại Toronto Canada Ngày thứ 1 
 

The Toronto Hearings on 9/11 (Full DVD) – Hội Luận vụ 911 tại Toronto Canada Ngày thứ 2 
 

The Toronto Hearings on 9/11 (Full DVD) – Hội Luận vụ 911 tại Toronto Canada Ngày thứ 3

The Toronto Hearings on 9/11 (Full DVD) – Hội Luận vụ 911 tại Toronto Canada Ngày thứ 4

The Toronto Hearings on 9/11 (Full DVD) – Hội Luận vụ 911 tại Toronto Canada Ngày thứ 5 TRẢ LỜI KHÁN THÍNH GIẢ

== 9/11 The Toronto Hearings – 2011 (Full Length)

The Toronto Hearings on 9/11 Uncut – Richard Gage (Full Presentation)

The Toronto Hearings on 9/11 Uncut – Niels Harrit (Full Presentation)

Professor Daniele Ganser (Switzerland) – 10 Years After 9/11 The Official Account Does Not Add Up (Giáo Sư  Daniele Ganser Đại Học Thụy Sĩ, thuyết trình 911 nhân kỷ niệm 10 năm: Những lỗ hổng trong giải thích chính qui về vụ 911, một cách nhìn khoa học và sử học.

 

 International Conference on “9/11 Revisited (19.11.2012)- Hội Thảo Quốc Tế  về vụ 911 Tại Mã Lai thủ đô Kuala Lumpur do Cựu thủ tướng Mahathir chủ tọa)


Dr. Mahathir Mohamad opens the 9/11 Revisited Conference in Kuala Lumpur

Quotable : Phản Ứng của Giới Chính Qui Nhà Nước Mỹ về 28 trang báo cáo sự vụ 911 của Tình Báo Mỹ bị bôi đen gạch bỏ!

Walter Jones
Walter Jones

Rep. Walter Jones: “I was absolutely shocked by what I read. What was so surprising was that those whom we thought we could trust really disappointed me…It does not deal with national security per se; it is more about relationships. The information is critical to our foreign policy moving forward and should thus be available to the American people. If the 9/11 hijackers had outside help – particularly from one or more foreign governments – the press and the public have a right to know what our government has or has not done to bring justice to the perpetrators.” Source

Thomas Massie
Thomas Massie

Rep. Thomas Massie: “I went into the soundproof, secret room here in Congress and read those 28 pages. And it was a really disturbing event for me to read those. I had to stop every two or three pages and rearrange my perception of history. And it’s that fundamental — those 28 pages….It certainly changes your view of the Middle East…We need to declassify those 28 pages….There is nothing in there that would affect our national security. Some of it may be embarrassing; that is why I believe those 28 pages have been withheld…the American people deserve to know what happened and what led up to 9/11 so that we can prevent the next one.” Source“You have to write a letter to (the House Intelligence Committee chairman) and the ranking member and then they talk and agree to let you go down to the classified room. There’s a guard there and…he sees who you are, looks at your voting card, and then they let you in; and then there’s actually a staffer who knew you were coming down that sits in there and watches you read it, because you cannot make any notes and you can’t take anything out.” Source

Stephen Lynch
Stephen Lynch

Rep. Stephen Lynch: “Once a member reads the 28 pages, I think whether they are Democrat or Republican they will reach the same conclusion that (Rep. Jones) and I reached, which is that Americans have the right to know this information. These documents speak for themselves. We have a situation where an extensive investigation was conducted, but then the Bush [administration] decided for whatever purposes to excise 28 pages from the report. I’m not passing judgment. That was a different time. Maybe there were legitimate reasons to keep this classified. But that time has long passed.” Source“Twelve years after the horrific September 11 attacks, unanswered questions still remain.  These pages contain information that is vital to a full understanding of the events and circumstances surrounding this tragedy. The families of the victims and the American people deserve better; they deserve answers, they deserve a full accounting, and that has not happened yet.” Source

Bob Graham
Bob Graham

Sen. Bob Graham, co-chair of the Joint Congressional Inquiry into 9/11: “I was stunned that the intelligence community would feel that it was a threat to national security for the American people to know who had made 9/11 financially possible.”  Source

=

911Truth.org – Investigation. Education. Accountability

9/11: A Conspiracy Theory : The Corbett Report

Corbett Report- Who Was Really Behind the 9/11 Attacks?

Scholars for 9/11 Truth – Home

Scholars for 9/11 Truth & Justice

Scholars for 911 Truth | scholarsfor911truth.org

Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth

International Conference on “9/11 Revisited

 

 

 

 

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THEIR names were flashed around the world as suicide hijackers who carried out the attacks on America. But yesterday four innocent men told how their identities had been stolen by Osama bin Laden’s teams to cover their tracks.
The men – all from Saudi Arabia – spoke of their shock at being mistakenly named by the FBI as suicide terrorists. None of the four was in the United States on September 11 and all are alive in their home country.
The Telegraph obtained the first interviews with the men since they learnt that they were on the FBI’s list of hijackers who died in the crashes in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.
All four said that they were “outraged” to be identified as terrorists. One has never been to America and another is a Saudi Airlines pilot who was on a training course in Tunisia at the time of the attacks.
Saudi Airlines said it was considering legal action against the FBI for seriously damaging its reputation and that of its pilots. The FBI released the list of 19 suicide terrorists three days after the attacks.
The statement said that the 19 “have been identified as hijackers aboard the four airliners”. Photographs and personal details were published around the world with an appeal for “information about these individuals, even though they are presumed dead”.
The Saudi Airlines pilot, Saeed Al-Ghamdi, 25, and Abdulaziz Al-Omari, an engineer from Riyadh, are furious that the hijackers’ “personal details” – including name, place, date of birth and occupation – matched their own.
Mr Al-Ghamdi was named as a terrorist on the United Airlines flight that crashed in Pennsylvania – a plane said by some experts to have been heading for the White House.
He first knew that he was on the FBI’s list when he was told by a colleague. Speaking from Tunisia, he said: “I was completely shocked. For the past 10 months I have been based in Tunis with 22 other pilots learning to fly an Airbus 320. The FBI provided no evidence of my presumed involvement in the attacks.
“You cannot imagine what it is like to be described as a terrorist – and a dead man – when you are innocent and alive.” The airline was angry too. Officials brought Mr Al-Ghamdi back to Saudi Arabia last week for a 10-day holiday to avoid arrest or interrogation.
An official said: “We are consulting lawyers about what action to take to protect the reputation of our pilots.” Mr Al-Ghamdi faced further embarrassment when CNN, the American television network, flashed a photograph of him around the world, naming him as a hijack suspect.
The FBI had published his personal details but with a photograph of somebody else, presumably a hijacker who had “stolen” his identity. CNN, however, showed a picture of the real Mr Al-Ghamdi.
He said that CNN had probably got the picture from the Flight Safety flying school he attended in Florida. CNN has since broadcast a clarification saying that the photograph may not be that of the accused.
Mr Al-Omari, who was accused of hijacking the American Airlines plane that smashed into the the World Trade Centre’s north tower, said that he was at his desk at the Saudi telecommunications authority in Riyadh when the attacks took place.
He said: “I couldn’t believe it when the FBI put me on their list. They gave my name and my date of birth, but I am not a suicide bomber. I am here. I am alive. I have no idea how to fly a plane. I had nothing to do with this.”
Mr Al-Omari said his passport was stolen when his apartment in Denver, Colorado, was burgled in 1995. He had been studying engineering at Denver University since 1993. He was given a new passport in Riyadh on December 31, 1995 and returned to America to resume his studies in January 1996. After graduating last year he returned to Riyadh to join the electricity authority and later moved to the telecommunications authority.
The other two men accused of being terrorists are Salem Al-Hamzi and Ahmed Al-Nami. Mr Al-Hamzi is 26 and had just returned to work at a petrochemical complex in the industrial eastern city of Yanbou after a holiday in Saudi Arabia when the hijackers struck. He was accused of hijacking the American Airlines Flight 77 that hit the Pentagon.
He said: “I have never been to the United States and have not been out of Saudi Arabia in the past two years.” The FBI described him as 21 and said that his possible residences were Fort Lee or Wayne, both in New Jersey.
Mr Al-Nami, 33, from Riyadh, an administrative supervisor with Saudi Arabian Airlines, said that he was in Riyadh when the terrorists struck.
He said: “I’m still alive, as you can see. I was shocked to see my name mentioned by the American Justice Department. I had never even heard of Pennsylvania where the plane I was supposed to have hijacked.”
He had never lost his passport and found it “very worrying” that his identity appeared to have been “stolen” and published by the FBI without any checks. The FBI had said his “possible residence” was Delray Beach in Florida.
Last night the FBI admitted that there was some doubt about the identities of some of the suspects. A spokesman said: “The identification process has been complicated by the fact that many Arabic family names are similar. It is also possible that the hijackers used false identities.”
The spokesman declined to say whether the FBI would apologise but added: “If we have made mistakes then obviously that would be regrettable but this is a big and complicated investigation.”
When the list was published Robert Mueller, the FBI director, said that it was “fairly confident” that the names were not aliases.

Revealed: the men with stolen identities

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/saudiarabia/1341391/Revealed-the-men-with-stolen-identities.html 

==

Bush Ordered Investigation to Suppress Saudi 9/11 Connection
Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan are the authors of “The Eleventh Day: The Full Story of 9/11 and Osama bin Laden”
Transcript
Bush Ordered Investigation to Suppress Saudi 9/11 ConnectionPAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome back to The Real News Network. I’m Paul Jay in Washington. Now joining us again are Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan. They’re the authors of the book Eleventh Day: The Full Story of 9/11. Thank you both for joining us again.

ANTHONY SUMMERS, JOURNALIST AND AUTHOR: Fine.

JAY: So let’s pick up the story with Senator Bob Graham, who cochaired the congressional joint committee into 9/11. In their final report there’s 28 pages that are mostly blacked out, but it did come to light, more or less, what was in those pages. So why don’t we pick up the tale there?

ROBBYN SWAN, JOURNALIST AND AUTHOR: At the time the joint inquiry filed its report, it was kept secret for about six months and then reviewed for release. And when it was reviewed for release, there was a section of about 28 pages dealing with the possibility of foreign governmental support for al-Qaeda and for the hijackers that was almost entirely redacted. That means where it should be, there are just many, many pages with lines on them. The people who have seen those pages tell reporters that what they contain are very strong and credible evidence of Saudi government and individual ties to the hijackers, the kind of thing that we’ve been talking about already today in this interview. The senator is very keen to see those pages released, and in fact so keen that he made a special point, when the 9/11 Commission came into being, of alerting his–the colleagues coming in on that commission to the issue and urging them to look more closely at the Saudi area. Well, the 9/11 Commission went down the road and sent a team of investigators to look at the issue of possible state support for the hijackers. And in the end, the material that those very dedicated investigators came in with was relegated to the footnotes at the back of The 9/11 Commission Report. Until we did our work, really, no one had had the chance to see the underlying documentation and investigation that those staff workers for the 9/11 Commission had done, and some of it is very, very revealing indeed. They spoke in Saudi Arabia (under the supervisory eye of Saudi secret intelligence) to a couple of the principal characters involved and came away very unconvinced about their veracity. So the lingering questions remain. And one of the things that Senator Graham certainly thinks is necessary and which various family members we’ve spoken to and which we ourselves think is essential is for those 28 pages of the joint inquiry report to be released.

JAY: Graham has himself thought they should have been released. Why were they not?

SUMMERS: The initial version was that they had been redacted–suppressed, in short–at the insistence of the CIA, which indeed was the agency that processed the report for publication, as is reasonable. But Senator Graham made personal enquiries to find out why that particular 27 pages had been redacted. It was important. It was the end of their report, the conclusion, effectively their findings at the end of their investigation. And he said the report came back from the CIA that the 27 pages had been redacted at the insistence of President Bush himself.

JAY: I mean, one can draw conclusions. One knows how close President Bush’s relationship was with the Saudi royal family.

SUMMERS: I think it’s not so much that, but, yes, the Bush family, particularly George W.’s father, did have longstanding business involvements with Saudi oil. But that’s–I think that wasn’t–that’s not a simple explanation of why the president wanted that stuff retained. I asked former Senator Graham about this the other day, and he said he concluded that the pages were withheld (as he nicely put it) to avoid embarrassment to the administration in terms of its–the administration’s relationship with the Saudis, and to avoid embarrassment for the Saudis themselves. Not good enough.

SWAN: But there’s an interesting little sidelight to this, Paul, in that one of the pictures we publish in our book The Eleventh Day is a photograph taken on September 13, two days after the 9/11 attacks. At that point it was known that 15 of the 19 hijackers had been Saudis. The photograph in our book shows a very, very relaxed Prince Bandar, then the longtime Saudi ambassador to the United States, on the balcony, the Truman Balcony of the White House, in a chair, with National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, Vice President Cheney, and President Bush. And the ambassador is sitting back at his ease. They’ve been smoking cigars. And it’s a grainy shot, not the kind of shot of a man who looks at all ill at ease or as if he’s been called on the carpet to answer for his citizens’ action.

JAY: Well, that’s–Bandar was often called an honorary member of the Bush family–dubbed so in the press, at least. But during those days, that’s right around the time when many members of the bin Laden family and many other Saudis are being flown out of the country at a time when there’s not supposed to be any flights, right?

SUMMERS: This is a story that’s always run, and it’s almost one of those non-facts that’s become a fact. It has been much reported that the Saudi groups of royals and others, including members of the bin Laden family, were flown out of the country before the airways were opened up again. We checked extremely carefully into that and looked to the Federal Aviation Administration records and so on. And, in fact, they were free to fly out of the country on the day that they flew, the first group flew out of the country. What is more significant and extremely disquieting is that they weren’t questioned properly, and in some cases not questioned at all by the FBI before leaving.

JAY: My memory of the 9/11 Commission is it became–during the public hearings it became quite a contentious issue who actually authorized that flight. I thought it was because the flights were supposed to be flying then.

SWAN: No, it was a contentious issue. It was a contentious issue because it had been written so–for so many–on so many occasions that it had been sort of mythologized and people were very convinced of it. However, if they looked in the record, they would have found that there is a–what is called a notice to airmen that made it perfectly legal for charter flights, which all of the Saudi-related flights were, to resume flying as of–several hours before the flights took off. But as Tony has said, the real issue is the fact that they weren’t–those people aboard those flights were not properly vetted by the FBI before they left. And the FBI themselves were forced to admit later that it’s–was certainly possible that there were people who had some kind of guilty knowledge aboard those flights. But they hadn’t done all that interviewing. They’d done, at the most, rather cursory checks.

JAY: After years of poring through this material–and I know you’ve explored many aspects of 9/11, not only the Saudi connection, but you’ve spent a lot of time on the Saudi connection, and I know your role as journalists is to try to establish facts, but what conclusions, if any, do you reach about why the Saudis would have been involved in all of this, in terms of their intent?

SWAN: The trail is difficult to follow and there are various twists and turns along the way. And we can’t call it either the Saudis or the Saudi government; we have to think about different individuals and different factions within the Saudi royal family, people who would have supported the very radical brand of Islam that Osama bin Laden preached. But what the evidence suggests is that from very early on, the Saudi government may have been involved in paying protection money to bin Laden and al-Qaeda to keep them from perpetrating attacks against the kingdom, and that support for al-Qaeda began there. And it was only in 2003, when Riyadh was bombed and when attacks started to occur within Saudi Arabia, that official policy veered very strongly away from that. But while all that was happening, there were individual Saudi princes who may well have continued to be supportive of bin Laden, and that is one possibility. The other possibility, which we have not discussed today, is the notion that has been mooted by two of the princes very high in the Saudi government, one of them the former head of Saudi intelligence, Prince Turki, who indicated after 9/11 that part of the fault lay in the fact that the US government had failed to heed warnings that the Saudis had given them, very specific warnings about these terrorists, who they claimed they had been closely monitoring themselves. Now, what does that mean, and where does that trail go? Did American intelligence think the Saudis were monitoring al-Qaeda clearly and thus able to intervene? Did the Americans want the Saudis to monitor these al-Qaeda operatives on their behalf? Did the CIA or another intelligence agency simply drop the ball when the Saudis did tell them something? These are questions we don’t yet have the answer to.

SUMMERS: But the bottom line, I believe, is in fact that it’s really hard to know what goes on inside Saudi Arabia, for very basic reasons: because it’s a closed society, a completely closed society. It’s hard enough to get inside it at all in the first place. After 9/11, the American investigations weren’t given any help by the Saudi authorities. In short, it’s not only a closed society, a closed culture, but it’s also a two-faced culture, and certainly was a closed and two-faced culture at the time of 9/11. You had on the one hand the factions who played along with the United States, the source of the money for the oil (that little short word that we haven’t mentioned in this interview, which is at the heart of the story, oil), and other factions who were guided by the extreme version of Islam that is really and long has been supreme in Saudi Arabia. This is a country, remember, where the children, including a (once upon a time) child called Osama bin Laden, were brought up from the beginning to hate Jewry and to absolutely believe in the importance of fighting for the recovery of one of the three holy places, Jerusalem, which was lost in 1967, and for the recovery of Palestine. And we found–and this is an interesting postscript to it all, a thing that I think–an element that the US public certainly has not understood, which is that the driving force for the young, educated, everything-to-live-for guys who perpetrated 9/11 was the cause of Palestine.

JAY: Just finally, when you look at all the various different threads of what could have been known or was known prior to 9/11, you know, some people suggest and, you know, they refer back to the document the project for a new American century, where it actually says, you know, this quote now that’s become quite famous: you know, none of this strategy of ours of asserting US military dominance around the world is really going to be possible without a new Pearl Harbor. I mean, do you see a pattern of some kind, at the very least, of not wanting to know? In other–you know, if you start from the demotion of Richard Clarke, where you’re–you know, under the Clinton administration you have–the antiterrorism czar is in the principals meeting, practically a cabinet-level position, and in spite of–according to George Tenet, in his first national security briefing to George Bush, President Bush says that al-Qaeda’s the number one security threat to the United States. Given–if that’s all true, then why do you demote your antiterrorism guy, who then tells the 9/11 Commission, our hair was on fire and I couldn’t even get in front of the principals meeting? Like, take all these different threads. Does it suggest anything to you?

SWAN: I’m afraid, Paul, that we’re going to disappoint you in that. We don’t think it suggests anything like that. We think that there are many problems here, there are many questions. There were huge mistakes made. We do not see any great conspiracy to advance an agenda, a neoconservative agenda. What we portray in our book is certainly that the Bush administration took terrible advantage of these attacks to further their agenda, which included regime change in Iraq, and they did that from the very earliest days after the attack. But what let it happen on purpose or made it happen in order to further such an agenda, I don’t think so. There’s no evidence of that.

SUMMERS: Neat idea. No evidence at all.

JAY: I don’t know there’s evidence of that either, so you’re not disappointing me. What I’m saying is that there’s a pattern which seems at the very least to raise the question. I don’t know myself of any evidence that one could prove it. But are you left with the idea that there needs to be an independent inquiry or not?

SWAN: No. There have been two investigations. I don’t think there needs to be another. I don’t know what Anthony thinks.

SUMMERS: Whether or not we think there needs to be another inquiry, the information I’ve gathered and the people I’ve talked to indicate to me that there is absolutely no likelihood whatsoever of a new official inquiry now, whether or not there should be. It’s the same–there came a point, you know, with that other great ball of mystery, the facts surrounding the John F. Kennedy assassination, it becomes rather like the people who called for a new investigation of that. They’re done with that. I don’t think we’re going to get–.

JAY: But you don’t think there should at least be some further inquiry into the role of Saudi Arabia in all of this? That certainly has not been very well explored.

SWAN: I think there should certainly be more releases. There’s a lot of information available that has not yet been released. That would certainly be an important first step. And when that is done, then this is time to assess whether or not any further investigatory steps should be taken.

JAY: Thank you very much, both of you, for joining us.

SUMMERS: Thank you.

JAY: Thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.

==

Bio

Investigating the Saudi Government's 9/11 Connection and the Path to  Disillusionment - Sen. Graham on Reality Asserts Itself pt 1Daniel Robert “Bob” Graham (born November 9, 1936) is an American politician and author. He was the 38th Governor of Florida from 1979 to 1987 and a United States Senator from that state from 1987 to 2005. Graham tried unsuccessfully to run for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination, but dropped out of the race on October 6, 2003. He announced his retirement from the Senate on November 3 of that year. Graham is now concentrating his efforts on the newly established Bob Graham Center for Public Service at his undergraduate alma mater, the University of Florida. He served as Chairman of the Commission on the Prevention of WMD proliferation and terrorism. Through the WMD policy center he advocates for the recommendations in the Commission report, World at Risk. Graham also served as co-chair of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling and a member of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission and the CIA External Advisory Board. In 2011, Graham published his first novel, the thriller The Keys to the Kingdom.[1] Graham has written three non-fiction books: Workdays-Finding Florida on the Job; Intelligence Matters and America: The Owners Manual.

Former U.S. Senator Bob Graham says greater awareness of Saudi Arabia as “essentially a co-conspirator in 9/11…would change the way in which, particularly in the current milieu of events in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia is being viewed” by the U.S. public.

Saudi Arabia, an historic ally of the U.S., had put significant pressure on the Obama administration in recent months to militarily intervene in Syria, and had also attempted to derail recent U.S.-Iran rapprochement.
Senator Graham co-chaired the Congressional Joint Inquiry into 9/11 that investigated intelligence failures leading up to 9/11.  The inquiry’s final report included a 28-page chapter describing the Saudi connection to 9/11, but it was completely redacted by U.S. intelligence agencies.
“I was stunned that the intelligence community would feel that it was a threat to national security for the American people to know who had made 9/11 financially possible,” said Senator Graham.  “And I am sad to report that today, some 12 years after we submitted our report, that those 28 pages continue to be withheld from the public.”
The investigation into 9/11 intelligence failures and the subsequent cover-up of Saudi involvement by the Bush administration led Senator Graham to question his life-long reverence of presidential authority.
“I grew up with the idea that the president was almost a divine figure, that he was the literally the father of the country and always acted in a way that was beneficial to the mass of people in America,” said Graham. “You may have disagreements with the current occupant of the office, but the presidency itself was a beknighted position deserving of your respect and worthy of your confidence.”
“So when I got involved particularly at the national level in the U.S. Senate and saw some of the things that were happening—which were not theoretical; they were things that I was dealing with on a very day-to-day hands-on basis that were contrary to that view of what was the presidency—it was a very disillusioning experience.  And maybe some of the comments that I make in the book Intelligence Matters reflect that path to disillusionment,” said Graham.

Transcript

Bio

Daniel Robert “Bob” Graham (born November 9, 1936) is an American politician and author. He was the 38th Governor of Florida from 1979 to 1987 and a United States Senator from that state from 1987 to 2005. Graham tried unsuccessfully to run for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination, but dropped out of the race on October 6, 2003. He announced his retirement from the Senate on November 3 of that year. Graham is now concentrating his efforts on the newly established Bob Graham Center for Public Service at his undergraduate alma mater, the University of Florida. He served as Chairman of the Commission on the Prevention of WMD proliferation and terrorism. Through the WMD policy center he advocates for the recommendations in the Commission report, World at Risk. Graham also served as co-chair of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling and a member of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission and the CIA External Advisory Board. In 2011, Graham published his first novel, the thriller The Keys to the Kingdom.[1] Graham has written three non-fiction books: Workdays-Finding Florida on the Job; Intelligence Matters and America: The Owners Manual.

Former U.S. Senator Bob Graham says greater awareness of Saudi Arabia as “essentially a co-conspirator in 9/11…would change the way in which, particularly in the current milieu of events in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia is being viewed” by the U.S. public.

Saudi Arabia, an historic ally of the U.S., had put significant pressure on the Obama administration in recent months to militarily intervene in Syria, and had also attempted to derail recent U.S.-Iran rapprochement.

Senator Graham co-chaired the Congressional Joint Inquiry into 9/11 that investigated intelligence failures leading up to 9/11.  The inquiry’s final report included a 28-page chapter describing the Saudi connection to 9/11, but it was completely redacted by U.S. intelligence agencies.

“I was stunned that the intelligence community would feel that it was a threat to national security for the American people to know who had made 9/11 financially possible,” said Senator Graham.  “And I am sad to report that today, some 12 years after we submitted our report, that those 28 pages continue to be withheld from the public.”

The investigation into 9/11 intelligence failures and the subsequent cover-up of Saudi involvement by the Bush administration led Senator Graham to question his life-long reverence of presidential authority.

“I grew up with the idea that the president was almost a divine figure, that he was the literally the father of the country and always acted in a way that was beneficial to the mass of people in America,” said Graham. “You may have disagreements with the current occupant of the office, but the presidency itself was a beknighted position deserving of your respect and worthy of your confidence.”

“So when I got involved particularly at the national level in the U.S. Senate and saw some of the things that were happening—which were not theoretical; they were things that I was dealing with on a very day-to-day hands-on basis that were contrary to that view of what was the presidency—it was a very disillusioning experience.  And maybe some of the comments that I make in the book Intelligence Matters reflect that path to disillusionment,” said Graham.
Transcript
Investigating the Saudi Government’s 9/11 Connection and the Path to Disillusionment – Sen. Graham on Reality Asserts Itself pt 1PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I’m Paul Jay, in Miami Lakes, Florida. And welcome to Reality Asserts Itself.

You’re wondering why I’m in Miami Lakes, Florida. Well, you’re going to find out in just a few seconds.

But we’re going to deal with a rather serious subject in this interview. We’re going to deal with the role of Saudi Arabia and its effect or influence on U.S. foreign policy and a little bit of background, recent background about U.S.-Saudi relations.

Saudi Arabia, as everyone that follows this story, has been certainly one of the driving force in what’s unfolding in Syria. The armed opposition in Syria has been armed by Saudi Arabia. And the Saudis have been putting enormous pressure on the American government to directly militarily intervene.

United States is now involved in negotiations with Iran to make some kind of a pact that would have the Iranians back off on any nuclear program they have. The Iranians say it’s not a weaponized program, and so does American intelligence, but there’s a lot of fear or concern on the part of many that in fact it could become a weaponized program. So negotiations are finally taking place.

But it’s fairly well known that the Saudis are not very happy about these negotiations, along with Israel, at least behind the scenes. The Saudis have been saying these negotiations should not even take place. Prince Bandar, head of the Saudi National Security Council, recently told European diplomats that the United States was losing its credibility in the Middle East because it wouldn’t militarily intervene in Syria and because of what they see as backing down to Iran.

I attended a dinner recently, where I was rubbing elbows with Saudi and other Gulf Cooperation Council country and military leadership, and all the talk at that dinner was about the Saudis wanting the United States not only to intervene in Syria but to actually directly attack Iran.

So if Saudi Arabia’s having so much influence on U.S. foreign policy, shouldn’t we pay attention to the words of Senator Bob Graham, who wrote a book, Intelligence Matters: The CIA, the FBI, Saudi Arabia, and the Failure of America’s War on Terror? In that book he said fairly strong things about Saudi Arabia, and here’s one of them. I believe (and I’m adding a word here to give it context) there is a state-sponsored terrorist support network that still exists, largely undamaged, within the United States.

The whole book is about the role of Saudi Arabia and its connection to 9/11. And according to Bob Graham, members of the Saudi government and royal family were directly connected to inspiring, funding, and helping support the organization of certain 9/11 conspirators. And that’s a result of his work as chair of the congressional joint committee on 9/11. So if we’re going to look at today’s effect and role of Saudi Arabia on current policy and the important role it’s playing, we should also pay attention to the recent history of Saudi Arabia.

And now joining us to talk about all of this is Senator Bob Graham.

Thanks very much for joining us.

BOB GRAHAM, FMR. U.S. SENATOR: Thank you very much. And I appreciate your interest in this very important and underreported subject.

JAY: And strangely underreported, given that this isn’t just some piece of history that should be in a museum and isn’t interesting to discuss it. But we’re talking about the active role of Saudi Arabia today, not just in terms of affecting U.S. foreign-policy, but on other issues that you mention in terms of ongoing–potentially ongoing terrorist networks.

GRAHAM: Their active role, and how our perspective role on that active role would be different if there was an acceptance of the fact that Saudi Arabia was essentially a co-conspirator in 9/11, how much that would change the way in which, particularly in the current milieu of events in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia is being viewed.

JAY: It would change everything, given so much of our policy is based on Saudi Arabia as being, you know, at least one of, if not the primary ally in the Middle East.

GRAHAM: And that perception that Saudi Arabia since World War II has been the object of a special relationship with United States I think has contributed–not the total reason, but a factor, in that we have gone so unexamined in this current relationship between Saudi Arabia and the United States.

JAY: Okay. Before we go further, let me introduce Bob Graham properly, because Senator Graham is not just a senator, in the sense that there’s a lot of senators but not all senators have played as prominent a role as Senator Graham has in the American intelligence community. And here’s a little bit of an introduction, ’cause I know he’s done a lot more than what I’m about to say.

So Bob Graham was born in 1936, was the 38th Governor of Florida from 1979 to 1987 and a United States senator from that state from 1987 to 2005.

Graham tried unsuccessfully for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination. He dropped out of the race on October 6, 2003. He announced his retirement from the Senate on November 3 of that year.

Graham is now concentrating his efforts on the newly established Bob Graham Center for Public Service at his graduate alma mater, at the University of Florida.

After he left office, he served as chairman of the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism. Graham also served as cochair of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. And he’s a member of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission and the CIA External Advisory Board.

So Senator Graham is not just a senator. Senator Graham has been at the center of a lot of very important issues that face American intelligence.

So, Senator Graham, in this show, Reality Asserts Itself–and you’re going to–this is a bit of a tease, all this, because we’re going to go back a little bit. We usually start with little bit of a back story of our subjects and a little bit of why they think what they think. And then we kind of get into the issues.

So tell us a little bit about growing up. Your father was a state senator. He was a dairy farmer, and became a fairly prominent family in Florida.

GRAHAM: I grew up on a farm which was an island in the middle of the Everglades. When I was a boy, I grew up with alligators and frogs and all the critters in the Everglades, and that had a significant effect on me, particularly my concerns about the environment and the protection of our water and land resources.

My father was a very strong influence on me. He had been a mining engineer in the West back in the beginning of the 20th century. He was born in 1885 of Canadian parents and was a very strong, forceful person, but had a special way of relating to people. People wanted to work with him because they admired his honesty and forthrightness and that he treated people with dignity and respect. Those are qualities which I learned from him and I hope I’ve been able to apply.

JAY: Now, he became a state senator. Did you grow up in a house filled with politics?

GRAHAM: Yes. He became a state senator because in the mid-1930s there was a great deal of corruption in South Florida. Al Capone had moved much of his operation from Chicago to Miami. My father was offended by that. And although he never had been in politics before, he thought one way that he might make a contribution would be to be elected to the Florida State Senate at a time when the state exercised almost total control over cities and counties in Florida.

He was elected. In fact, one of the first things he did was abolish the city of Hialeah, which was somewhat at the center of the corruption in Dade County, and then reestablished the city of Hialeah, naming the mayor and all the members of the City Council. Those new members in turn fired the police chief, brought in some honest people. Then Hialeah for a period of time was a very clean city. And I think that influence has continued to today.

JAY: Now, when you grew up, in terms of your conception of America and the American narrative, you know, there’s an official narrative, and then there’s kind of a real history. You become, when you are a senator, a very vocal opponent of the war in Iraq. And in your book you’re pretty clear that you think that the Bush-Cheney administration essentially lied about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. When you were growing up, could you imagine such a thing? You’re seeing corruption, but can you believe the president would lie America into war?

GRAHAM: No. I grew up with the idea that the president was almost a divine figure, that he was the literally the father of the country and always acted in a way that was beneficial to the mass of people in America. I had very high reverence that you may have disagreements with the current occupant of the office, but the presidency itself was a benighted position deserving of your respect and worthy of your confidence.

So when I got involved particularly at the national level in the U.S. Senate and saw some of the things that were happening–which were not theoretical; they were things that I was dealing with on a very day-to-day hands-on basis that were contrary to that view of what was the presidency–it was a very disillusioning experience. And maybe some of the comments that I make in the book Intelligence Matters reflect that path to disillusionment.

JAY: Prior to the Iraq War, are there moments on that path?

GRAHAM: That was the dramatic moment. There were some other things that I observed while I was in public office that caused me to adopt a more pragmatic and a less I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt approach [crosstalk]

JAY: What year are you in the Senate?

GRAHAM: I’m in the Senate from 1987.

JAY: And when do you get onto the Intelligence Committee?

GRAHAM: In 1993.

JAY: So from ’93 forward–and I suppose a lot of this stuff is classified–but are there things that you know from being on the Intelligence Committee that we’re on this path to disillusionment?

GRAHAM: Again, the circumstances that surrounded 9/11 and the run-up to the Iraq War were the epiphany events in my full appreciation of this. But there had been other things that had occurred which began to harden me for this epiphany which I was to experience in the near future.

JAY: Are there examples of that? And let me say, because–I mean, you pursue stuff with your committee on 9/11 that it would’ve been a lot easier for you not to pursue, and especially would’ve been a lot easier for you to shut up afterwards. But you didn’t. I mean, you wrote a book about it. You wrote a novel, because some of the stuff was classified, and the only way to get a sense of it was through fiction. And you write a nonfiction book, where you really come out with some bold statements. It would have been a lot easier for you to keep quiet. So what makes you that person?

GRAHAM: I think it’s my growing up experience, the influence of my father, the unvarnished patriotism which, as a 50-year-old, became a little less unvarnished as I saw some of the realities of activities that fell short of my expectations of how people in the highest office should perform.

JAY: Now, the thing that brought this to my attention and I think that made this so much news was that when your committee reported, it became a story for those that followed this that there were–was it 27 or 28 pages?

GRAHAM: There were 28 pages in the final report, out of over 800 total, which were totally censored from–that were one to the end of that chapter. That was the chapter that largely dealt with the financing of 9/11, who paid for these very complex and in many instances expensive activities that were the predicate for 9/11. I was stunned that the intelligence community would feel that it was a threat to national security for the American people to know who had made 9/11 financially possible. And I am sad to report that today, some 12 years after we submitted our report, that those 28 pages continue to be withheld from the public.

JAY: Now, it’s fairly clear from your book what’s in the 28 pages, I mean, in general terms. The Times did a report on those 28 pages. A journalist for The Times spoke with someone who’d actually seen the 28 pages–didn’t reveal the name. But apparently it’s the actual names of the people in the Saudi government and Saudi royal family that are in on financing 9/11 conspirators. And your book makes it pretty clear that that’s what it’s about.

First of all, who ordered the redaction, that you weren’t allowed to say this?

GRAHAM: First, I’m going to have to withhold my comment on what you have just said. I am under the strictures of classification. I have–although it was written in 2002, I still have a reasonably good remembrance of what was in those 28 pages, but I’m frustrated because I can’t talk about it.

JAY: I know. And that’s why I quoted The Times and didn’t ask you.

GRAHAM: I appreciate–.

JAY: ‘Cause I know you can’t say it. But The Times said they had talked to someone. And I’m not even asking you to confirm it, ’cause that might get you in hot water, too. But the report was that this is actual names, and you actually said–you pointed and said who’s who, and that all got redacted.

GRAHAM: Yeah.

JAY: So in the next segment of our interview with Senator Bob Graham, we’re going to dig into the evidence uncovered by his inquiry and why he thinks the Saudi government and members of the royal family were directly involved in the events of 9/11.

Please join again on The Real News Network for Reality Asserts Itself with Senator Bob Graham.

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PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome back to The Real News Network. I’m Paul Jay. Welcome back to Reality Asserts Itself with Senator Bob Graham. We’re talking about the Saudi role in the events of 9/11 and Saudis’ influence on U.S. foreign policy.

The biography of Senator Graham in length you will find below our video player here. But just quickly again, Senator Graham was the 38th Governor of Florida from 1979 to 1987. He was a U.S. senator from Florida from ’87 to 2005. He was on the Senate intelligence committee, and he chaired the congressional joint committee on 9/11.

Thanks again for joining us.

BOB GRAHAM, FMR U.S. SENATOR: Thank you.

JAY: Senator Graham is also the author of the book Intelligence Matters: The CIA, the FBI, Saudi Arabia and the Failure of America’s War on Terror.

Thanks.

GRAHAM: Good. Thank you.

JAY: So one question that’s always kind of bothered me, ’cause I personally haven’t been able to find something obvious about this–and there’s so much to read, and I haven’t read it all, but it’s been reported that Prince Bandar, who was then the Saudi ambassador to the United States, within hours of 9/11, contacts what we now know must have been President Bush, because the heads of all the other agencies–it was very interesting. Nine-eleven Commission, they kept asking to the head of the FBI: did you authorize these flights to get Saudis out of the country? And he said no. And then the CIA said no. But I think it’s fairly well known now it was the White House. But Prince Bandar, within hours of the attack, wants to get leading Saudis out of the country because 15 of the 19 conspirators on the planes are Saudis. Well, how does he know within hours of the attack that there are so many Saudis involved in this?

GRAHAM: It doesn’t surprise me that he knew that. At the worst, you can say he knew it because he was aware that this plot was developing before 9/11. At the best, his press people had access to the wire services, which quickly did identify that 15 of the 19 people were Saudis. So I’m not–.

JAY: Now, how did the American government and then the wire services, how did anyone know so quickly?

GRAHAM: Well, they quickly found out who the people were because they had their names on the manifest of the four airplanes which they had entered. And some of these people, once their names popped up, were well known to the intelligence agencies. Two of them had participated in what was referred to as “the summit of terrorists” that took place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in January 2000. Others were not as well known. But it didn’t take long to determine something as basic as what were the nationalities of these 19 people. So that doesn’t surprise me.

What does surprise me is the reaction of the United States (and I think this was at the highest level–the president of the United States), how they reacted to this request. Here you have a mass murder, mainly U.S. citizens killed. Here you’ve got people who might have information about this mass murder that law enforcement would like to fully interrogate before they were out of our jurisdiction. And yet the president of the United States agreed, at the request of the Saudi ambassador, to allow a chartered plane to fly from Lexington, Kentucky, back to the Middle East with 144 persons who had not been prescreened, interviewed, or in any meaningful manner debriefed in terms of what they knew about this situation. After the flight, the FBI said, had we known who these people were, we would in fact have interviewed a number of them. They were people of interest.

JAY: So how do you explain it?

GRAHAM: I think the explanations are murky. And there are many. One is that the United States has had a special relationship with Saudi Arabia that goes back to World War II: we provide them a defense cover; they provide us a reliable source of petroleum. Some of it was the special relationship with the Bush family. Going back to the president’s grandfather, there had been a close family relationship between the Bushes and the House of Saud. Other reasons might have to do with the fact that Saudi Arabia was looked at as being a source of stability in a very turbulent Middle East, and that we needed to keep their credibility and respond to their request. Bandar had said that precisely because three-quarters of the hijackers had been Saudis, that that put all persons of Saudi ancestry in the United States at some risk. And he selected who he thought were the ones that were most at risk, most prominent, probably closest to the royal family, to have this–.

JAY: And members of the bin Laden family.

GRAHAM: Yes, there were several members of the bin Laden family, which meets both tests: they were members of the bin Laden family, and that family was itself close to the royal family. And at a time when the request was made, most aviation in the United States was grounded. By the time they actually executed the flight, that restriction had largely been lifted.

JAY: I think the big issue isn’t how could the plane fly. The big issue is how did they let a plane fly with people that might have been involved in the events.

GRAHAM: Because they weren’t very curious as to what those people had known, or there were–I think more likely there were factors that went beyond finding out about 9/11 that trumped the normal policy of full briefing and interrogation–or debriefing and interrogation before people were allowed to leave the country.

JAY: Well, what–we’ll kind of get into this as we move along, but does there not seem to you–and in your book you outline various points at which the 9/11 attacks could have been prevented.

GRAHAM: About a dozen.

JAY: Does there not seem to have been almost a culture that’s almost deliberately created not–that goes beyond lack of curiosity? And, like, I don’t understand this. You become–you’re president. You take over a new administration. Your head of CIA comes in in his first briefing, and according to George Tenet, he tells President Bush the number-one security threat to the United States is bin Laden and al-Qaeda. And then they demote Richard Clarke. How do you demote your antiterrorism czar, and at a time when you’ve been told this is your biggest national security threat? If you don’t like Clarke, fine. You get somebody else. But why would you reduce his level, which was more or less cabinet level access, to when–like, Clarke testifies in 9/11 he couldn’t get anyone’s attention. He said our hair was on fire; there was so much going on that summer that we thought something might be coming, and we could get anyone’s attention. It’s almost like it goes beyond, almost, a lack of curiosity.

GRAHAM: Yeah. This culture of protection of the Saudis ran up and down the ranks of the federal government. A very significant event occurred at the Orlando airport in 2001, early in the year, when a man arrived from Saudi Arabia and was seen by one of the agents at the airport, one of the customs agents, as being suspicious. And so they interviewed him to find out why would a person have flown all the way from Saudi Arabia to Orlando for what appeared to be just a few days, maybe even hours, before he turned around and flew back. There had been some instances in which professional hitmen were brought into the United States to carry out a murder and then quickly leave, and the customs agent was suspicious that that might be such a person. So he refused the man the right to enter the United States.

He was severely chastised by other customs agents, who said, your career is now over, because don’t you remember we were told that we’re supposed to treat Saudis differently than we treat other people. But he persisted. And, in fact, the man was returned without ever gaining legal access to the United States. That may have been–probably was the 20th hijacker who would have filled out the ranks of the five people on each of the four planes.

But even at the level of a customs agent at an airport in the United States, the idea that Saudis were going to be treated with greater deference was an accepted part of the operation. You can imagine what it was like as you moved up into the higher ranks of the federal government.

JAY: Well, if you combine that with what was clearly a message that was sent throughout the police to the FBI, to the intelligence agencies, that we’re not very interested terrorism anymore–. Coleen Rowley that was part of the FBI group in Minneapolis that tried to get a warrant for Moussaoui, who was this guy learning to take off and not land, and the air flight instructor tells the local FBI office, and they cannot get the warrant. FBI headquarters won’t give them the warrant to go get the computer. And it’s a longer, detailed story. And if people want, they can go watch. We’ve interviewed Coleen Rowley. But I asked Coleen, what did you make of this? I mean, why? And she said there just seemed to be coming from the top a culture: don’t follow terrorism; we’re not interested in it.

GRAHAM: And we had a number of instances such as that. There was a very suspicious and I think potentially central figure in the Saudi relationship to the hijackers who was an elderly man, retired university professor, who in his dotage had taken to inviting young Saudis to live in his house as boarders. It was both a source of some income, but also some comfort. It happened that two of the boarders that this man invited to live in his house were future hijackers.

We very much wanted to interview that elderly former professor to find out just what had he learned having these two hijackers living literally under his roof. We were denied access. Here’s–the joint intelligence committees of the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives are being told, you cannot talk to this man. We said, could we send you questions and–.

JAY: Who is this you’re–.

GRAHAM: The FBI.

JAY: FBI.

GRAHAM: And they say, no, we won’t present the questions to him.

So we went to a federal judge and got a subpoena to require this man’s arrival. It was on a Friday afternoon. I had the subpoena in my hand. The FBI agent in charge was in a small room in the capital, and I was prepared to hand him the subpoena. And he backed up against the wall and said, we don’t like to have our people subpoenaed. And they described him as being “our people” because he was–in addition to taking in boarders, he also was paid by the FBI to allegedly oversee the actions of young Saudis.

JAY: Yeah. Isn’t that the point? He was an FBI informant.

GRAHAM: Yeah. So that’s why they were hiding him so much.

But anyway, the man said don’t force the subpoena on us on Monday; seventy-two hours from now we will deliver this man.

So the biggest mistake maybe I made in my public life was accepting the truthfulness, the veracity of that man’s statement, ’cause I did not push the subpoena into his hands. Seventy-two hours passed. No witness came forward. And from that point forward, they just ran the clock out until the session of Congress that we had legal authority to conduct our investigation ran out. And to my knowledge nobody has ever interviewed that man, who I think has a lot to say and to contribute to our understanding of the Saudi role in 9/11.

JAY: Where is he now?

GRAHAM: It think he’s still in San Diego. The last time I checked, which was three or four years ago, he was.

JAY: This must frustrate you to no end that you weren’t able to finish your work, in a sense, and then it has left the public discourse. There’s no further inquiries.

GRAHAM: Well, what I’ve been thinking a lot about recently–and we’re going through the period recognizing the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy–a lot of this discussion has gone back to various theories about how was Oswald able to do this. Was he helped by the mob, by the Cubans or somebody? My question is: what difference does it make? If you’d found out that, yes, there was such a conspiracy, how is that relevant to any decision that we would be making today?

In contrast, the issue of whether the 19 hijackers acted alone or whether they had a support network has enormous current consequences. If in fact the Saudi government was the source of financial, logistical support, provision of anonymity that allowed these people to stay in the country such a long time and go undiscovered, if they were part of the system that made that happen, think of what it would mean to U.S.-Saudi relations today. It would be a complete overturning of the premises upon which we have been dealing with Saudi Arabia, that it was a loyal ally of the United States to now being seen as a country which was prepared to sell its soul to the worst in the world, even if that meant putting the United States in jeopardy and the loss of life of 3,000 people.

JAY: Okay. In the next part of our interview, we’ll ask Senator Graham a little more about why he thinks this is the case. Please join us on Reality Asserts Itself on The Real News with Senator Bob Graham.

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Why Would Saudi Arabia Support the 9/11 Conspirators? Why Would the US Government Cover it Up? 

Senator Bob Graham on Reality Asserts Itself (Part 3) 
Former Senator Bob Graham, co-chair of the 2002 Joint Congressional Inquiry into 9/11, believes that the Saudi government “had a high and what has thus far turned out to be credible expectation that their role” in 9/11 “would not be exposed” by the U.S. government.
“Everything that the federal government has done since 9/11 has had as one of its outcomes, if not its objectives—and I believe it was both outcome and objective—that the Saudis’ role has been covered,” says Graham.
Senator Graham had talked to the other co-chair of the Congressional Joint Inquiry and the two chairs of the citizen’s 9/11 commission about the possibility of the 19 hijackers acting independently.
“All three of them used almost the same word—implausible—that it is implausible that that could have been the case. Yet that has now become the conventional wisdom to the aggressive exclusion of other alternatives,” says Graham.
Graham says it is also possible that the Saudis gave financial support for Osama bin Laden’s operations in order to stop him from launching a campaign of civil unrest within Saudi Arabia as retaliation for allowing U.S. troops to occupy a part of the country during the first Gulf War.
The Saudis’ “confidence in the fact the United States would not react, or that the United States would not go to the extremes that in fact it has to cover up their involvement, were sufficient to outweigh the reality that bin Laden had the capability and the will to topple the monarchy,” says Senator Graham.

Transcript

Why Would Saudi Arabia Support the 9/11 Conspirators, Why Would the US  Gov. Cover it Up? - Sen. Graham on Reality Asserts Itself pt3Why Would Saudi Arabia Support the 9/11 Conspirators? Why Would the US Government Cover it Up?

Senator Bob Graham on Reality Asserts Itself (Part 3)

Former Senator Bob Graham, co-chair of the 2002 Joint Congressional Inquiry into 9/11, believes that the Saudi government “had a high and what has thus far turned out to be credible expectation that their role” in 9/11 “would not be exposed” by the U.S. government.

“Everything that the federal government has done since 9/11 has had as one of its outcomes, if not its objectives—and I believe it was both outcome and objective—that the Saudis’ role has been covered,” says Graham.

Senator Graham had talked to the other co-chair of the Congressional Joint Inquiry and the two chairs of the citizen’s 9/11 commission about the possibility of the 19 hijackers acting independently.

“All three of them used almost the same word—implausible—that it is implausible that that could have been the case. Yet that has now become the conventional wisdom to the aggressive exclusion of other alternatives,” says Graham.

Graham says it is also possible that the Saudis gave financial support for Osama bin Laden’s operations in order to stop him from launching a campaign of civil unrest within Saudi Arabia as retaliation for allowing U.S. troops to occupy a part of the country during the first Gulf War.

The Saudis’ “confidence in the fact the United States would not react, or that the United States would not go to the extremes that in fact it has to cover up their involvement, were sufficient to outweigh the reality that bin Laden had the capability and the will to topple the monarchy,” says Senator Graham.
Transcript
Why Would Saudi Arabia Support the 9/11 Conspirators, Why Would the US Gov. Cover it Up? – Sen. Graham on Reality Asserts Itself pt3PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome back to The Real News Network. I’m Paul Jay. And welcome back to Reality Asserts Itself with Senator Bob Graham.

Senator Graham was the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee. He was also the chair of the congressional joint committee into 9/11. And he held many other important positions on intelligence, and from 2010 to 2012 was on the CIA External Advisory Board.

Thanks for joining us again, Senator.

So we were talking off-camera. And I think we’re going to just pick up where we were, and then we’ll kind of get back to where I was headed in the interview.

But we were talking about the role of the media and how little and practically no discourse there is, debate, followup on issues raised by your commission and other books that have come out on the whole issue of the Saudi 9/11 commission. What do you make of that?

BOB GRAHAM, FMR U.S. SENATOR: It’s an enigma to me as to why something that is so important, not just to be sure we have a historical record right, but that justice is done–. One of the side consequences of this coverup of the Saudis is the 3,000 families and survivors of the victims of 9/11 have been trying to get justice in a federal court for their losses. And in each instance, they have been turned away under the shield of sovereign immunity. You cannot sue Saudi Arabia. And the United States government has gone into the courthouse on the side of the Saudis, not on the side of the U.S. citizens who have lost so grievously.

So this is an issue that is contemporary and has real impact and significance today. And why major U.S. media has not seen this as an issue worthy of in-depth investigation and dogged followthrough is an enigma to me.

JAY: Now, when the Saudis are asked about this issue, former head of Saudi intelligence Turki says that the Saudi intelligence actually tried to warn the Bush administration that an attack was coming. He said that they had been monitoring people in the United States and that they told the Bush administration that they had specific information that something was coming and they were ignored, that there seemed to be no interest on the part of the Bush administration in what they had to say.

GRAHAM: I’ve heard rumors of that. I have not personally confirmed that that is an accurate statement. But I wouldn’t be surprised. There was just sort of a general disbelief–I think the 9/11 Commission called it a lack of imagination–that something of this scale could occur in the United States, and therefore when people sounded alarms that it might in fact be on the verge of happening, they were largely ignored.

JAY: So when you say the Saudi state is involved in this, it’s somewhat contradictory if the head of intelligence is trying to warn the United States that it’s coming. I mean, do you see this as something that’s, you know, government policy, or individuals in the government were involved?

GRAHAM: It wouldn’t be government policy in the sense that someone would stand up in the State of the Union address and announce that we are going to have a policy of not following leads that suggest the United States may be in some immediate peril.

JAY: No. Back up. I’m talking about the Saudi policy. When you look at the Saudi role–and we’re certainly going to get to, actually, where you’re headed there, in terms of what we think was the U.S. government consciousness at the highest level on all of this, but right now I just wanted to ask, when you say this is the Saudi government involved, so is this Saudi government at the highest levels making Saudi government policy? Or these are individuals involved in the government and royal family that are doing something sort of on their own?

GRAHAM: The reality is that the line between what is private and what is public in a monarchy of the length and pervasive influence of the House of Saud in Saudi Arabia is ephemeral. And, in fact, in these cases where Americans have tried to sue entities, some of which are governmental, some of which are what we would call private sector–some are even charitable–because of their alleged involvement in 9/11, the same shield of sovereign immunity has been raised by the Saudi government to protect everything that is of a Saudi origin. So they by their actions have accepted the fact that this is a fully integrated country, and it is legally possible to say that everything that happens is an action of the government.

JAY: Now, we’re going to get into more detail later. And there’s much, much more detail in Senator Graham’s book Intelligence Matters about–you know, where his committee really traced the data points that connected Saudi government officials to the conspiracy. And we’ll get into it a little bit later. But I still want to talk a little bit more big picture.

Why would they? Assuming you’re right about the Saudis, what’s in it for them?

GRAHAM: Well, I wrote a novel called Keys to the Kingdom out of frustration that much of what I knew had occurred had not been made available to the American people, because every time it was suggested, it was immediately classified and rendered out-of-bounds. It was mentioned to me by another former high-ranking government official that he, facing the same frustration, had overcome it by writing exactly what he would have written in a nonfiction book, but put the word “novel” on it, and it got by the censors.

So in the novel I suggest some answers to that, and I don’t think they are farfetched or extreme. One of those is that we know that at the end of the first Gulf War, bin Laden was very angry at the royal family for having allowed U.S. troops, foreign troops of any nationality, to essentially occupy a portion of Saudi Arabia. He would–his anger was deepened by the fact that he had offered to become–come to the defense of the kingdom using several tens of thousands of war-hardened troops that had fought with him in Afghanistan against the Russians. That anger upset the royal family.

And so I project: what if bin Laden had said to the royal family, if you won’t deal forcefully with the Americans, we will do it, but we need your help in terms of being able to assist, support, maintain our operatives who are going to be in the United States, and if you refuse to give us that support, then I’m going to launch civil unrest inside the kingdom of Saudi Arabia and your monarchy will be under the same threat that the former Shah of Iran was when he was toppled from power?

JAY: Well, we know the Saudis took this threat pretty seriously, ’cause they actually made the American base move to Qatar.

GRAHAM: Yeah. And so I’m suggesting that something like that may have been the motivation, the excuse, the rationale that the Saudis look to to say, alright, we will in fact provide assistance to the 19 hijackers, or at least significant numbers of them, in order to avoid this credible threat of civil unrest.

JAY: But the Saudis are no fools. They have to know, whatever bin Laden might be able to throw at them, it’s nothing compared to what the United States could throw at Saudi Arabia if it came out that the Saudi were involved at a governmental level. It’s almost like they have to have known going in that this wasn’t going to happen.

GRAHAM: Well, would a country whose ambassador was so brazen as to go into the private quarters of the White House within hours after an attack in which 15 of his fellow countrymen had been in lead positions and almost demand that the president of the United States facilitate 144 additional Saudis being able to get out of the country, would a country that had that kind of attitude towards the willingness of the United States to stand up for its own interest and not be cowered into submission, would not they be likely to have had that attitude towards the United States and therefore felt it was a risk that they were prepared to take to–.

JAY: But doesn’t it lead you to think that they have good reason to think that they’re not going to be targeted? I mean, you know, instead of regime–being in Afghanistan, if this had come out, regime change would have been in Saudi Arabia.

GRAHAM: Their level of confidence in the fact the United States would not react or that the United States would not go to the extremes that in fact it has to cover up their involvement were sufficient to outweigh the reality that bin Laden had the capability and the will to topple the monarchy.

JAY: ‘Cause bin Laden has been quoted, assuming all this really is from bin Laden, that the plan was to suck the United States into a war in Afghanistan and, kind of Russian style, wear the United States out. And I think bin Laden apparently was a little disappointed that in fact the emphasis got moved to Iraq, ’cause they were hoping to tie American troops down in much bigger numbers. And it kind of worked out in the long run, in a sense, what they wanted, but not at the scale they wanted. They wanted a major presentation of U.S. troops in Afghanistan and to be there for decades and decades and bleed the American economy. The Saudis have to understand that’s his logic.

GRAHAM: Well, you know, we talk a lot about the intelligence capabilities of al-Qaeda. That’s one of the reasons that the NSA is engaged in a lot of its data mining and other high-tech intelligence gathering operations.

The fact is, I think that if bin Laden was operating from the premise that he could suck the United States into Afghanistan and, once there, they would be treated as the Russians had been treated, a war of attrition and finally submission, the fact is, if he thought that way, his intelligence wasn’t very good. The United States almost immediately instituted the single most effective aerial bombardment in the history of mankind in Afghanistan against troops and military installations. We were using–this was pre-drone–we were using traditional military aircraft with laser bombs, smart bombs, bombs that were able to get into places that previously had thought to be impregnable, and just devastated the Taliban’s military ability.

JAY: But let’s assume his intelligence was wrong–and I think it was, if that’s what he said afterwards. But if that’s what the plan was and the Saudis are in on this, then they have to do their own kind of math about where does all this lead. If this leads to–I mean, Saudis have to know the United States isn’t going to just sit there and do nothing. It’s going to come after–somebody’s going to pay for this. And if it isn’t going to be them, and they have confidence that their role in this is going to be hidden and covered up (and the evidence is, whether they were confident because they were told to be confident or not, their role was hidden; that much is a fact), then they start doing the math. And what I mean by math is they have to work out what the next steps and the consequences of this are. And either they share the belief that it’s going to be a tie-down in Afghanistan, or for some reason they’re also understanding that the real target’s going to be Iraq and they don’t mind.

GRAHAM: And therefore that they are immune, that the United States is going to take its vengeance out someplace else.

JAY: More or less on Saddam Hussein, yeah.

GRAHAM: Yeah. Well, I think, first, they had a high and what has thus far turned out to be credible expectation that their role would not be exposed. Everything that the federal government has done since 9/11 has had as one of its outcomes, if not its objectives–and I believe it was both outcome and objective–that the Saudis’ role has been covered. So they could be prepared to assess it was a greater risk that bin Laden would attack them than that the United States would attack them, and therefore they, the monarchy in Saudi Arabia, took actions that would avoid bin Laden with some sense of immunity from the possibility of the United States attacking them.

JAY: Is there a possibility they shared the objective of drawing the United States into a war, that it isn’t just out of fear of bin Laden that they share the agenda?

GRAHAM: Well, I don’t know what they would want to accomplish by encouraging the United States to go into a war other than a war against the place where the attack against the United States had been organized and emanating.

JAY: We know within days of the attack, even though there’s talk of what to do to Afghanistan, President Bush is already issuing instructions to get ready for a war with Iraq. If Prince Bandar is so close to President Bush that he sits in the living room–and I think it’s smoking cigars; I don’t know if he drank scotch or not. I don’t suppose he’s supposed to. But would he be unaware of that’s where this would all lead?

GRAHAM: You know, we are now–.

JAY: It’s speculation.

GRAHAM: We’re now into the outer ranges of speculation.

I believe what we do know or are capable of knowing is what was the full extent of the Saudi role. We know they were involved in San Diego, where, under people who were employees of the Saudi government, protection was given to two of the 19 hijackers.

There was a very suspicious case in Sarasota Florida where three of the pilots of the planes were doing their flight training and at the same time were closely connected to a family of Saudis, which in turn was close to the royal family. That has been another area that has been closely held and with–except the American people had been blocked from understanding what happened in that instance.

What we don’t know is what was going on in other places, like Falls Church, Virginia, places in New Jersey, other places in Florida, where there were substantial numbers of hijackers. Was a full investigation done to determine if they were receiving external support? And if so, why has this not been made available?

JAY: And your main point is that these 19 guys can’t do this without a support network, and you have evidence the support network was at least in part linked to the Saudi government.

GRAHAM: Yeah. And I might say, I have personally talked to the other cochair of the Congressional Joint Inquiry, a man who was a very distinguished congressman and, later, director of the CIA, I have talked to the two chairs of the citizens’ 9/11 Commission, asking them, what do you think were the prospects of these 19 people being able to plan, practice, and execute the complicated plot that was 9/11 without any external support? All three of them used almost the same word, implausible, that it is implausible that that could have been the case. Yet that has now become the conventional wisdom to the aggressive exclusion of other alternatives.

JAY: Well, in the next segment of our interview with Senator Graham, we’re going to look at the role of the Bush administration after 9/11 and before. In his book, Senator Graham calls the Bush administration’s hindrance of 9/11 investigation disgraceful. He goes on to write: orchestrated by the White House to protect not only the agencies that had failed, but also America’s relationship with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

So please join us for the next segment of our interview with Senator Bob Graham.

End

DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.complete accuracy. 

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The 9/11 Conspiracy: Did Bush/Cheney Create a Culture of Not Wanting to Know?

Former Senator Bob Graham on Reality Asserts Itself (Part 4)

Former Senator Graham says that a new inquiry into 9/11 should be launched to ask whether the 19 hijackers acted alone, the extent of Saudi involvement in the attacks, and why the US concealed evidence of a support network for the hijackers.

The Bush administration also failed to seriously respond to a Presidential Daily Brief from August 6, 2001 that contained a section titled “bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US.”

“It was a fairly stark and specific call,” says Former Senator Bob Graham.  “The president, from all evidence, basically ignored that warning and no steps were taken to try to dig deeper or to disrupt the plot.”

Graham served as the co-chair of the 2002 Joint Congressional Inquiry into 9/11.  A 28-page chapter in the final report detailing Saudi involvement in the financing, support, and execution of the attacks on the World Trade Center was redacted by the FBI.

The FBI also withheld information about the support networks for several of the 9/11 hijackers located through the United States, says Graham.

When asked about whether a deliberate culture had been created by the Bush administration to suppress information about possible terrorist attacks, Graham admitted that “virtually all of the agencies of the federal government were moving in the same direction, from a customs agent at an airport in Orlando who was chastised when he denied entry into the United States to a Saudi, to the president of the United States authorizing large numbers of Saudis to leave the country.”

“You don’t have everybody moving in the same direction without there being a head coach somewhere who was giving them instructions as to where he wants them to move,” said Graham.
Transcript
The 9/11 Conspiracy: Did Bush/Cheney Create a Culture of Not Wanting to Know? – Sen. Bob Graham on Reality Asserts Itself pt4PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome back to The Real News Network. I’m Paul Jay. And welcome back to Reality Asserts Itself with Senator Bob Graham.

Senator Graham’s biography is below. If you haven’t watched the previous segments of this interview, you really should, because I’m not going to introduce Senator Graham again. We’re going to get right to it.

Thanks for joining us.

BOB GRAHAM, FMR. U.S. SENATOR: Good. Thank you.

JAY: There’s a lot of discussion and debate about what happened prior to 9/11 and why more wasn’t done. In your book, you suggest–I think it’s a dozen points where if the intelligence agencies and the White House had worked better or more effectively, that this whole conspiracy might not have been successful.

You also write about something which I think’s rather important, which is the presidential daily brief. Can you explain why–the brief that became very well known during the 9/11 committee hearings. Why is that so significant?

GRAHAM: During August 2001, the president was doing what is standard for presidents and was for him, to take a vacation, in this case to his farm in Texas. But he continued to be briefed as to issues that would require his attention. And in one of those briefings–it’s called the presidential daily brief–he was told that intelligence was sensing that there was something serious occurring which could have dramatically adverse effects against the United States, and that they thought that it could involve the use of airplanes in some attack.

JAY: The title of the brief is bin Laden plans to attack the United States.

GRAHAM: Yes. So it was a fairly stark and specific call. The president, from all evidence, basically ignored that warning and no steps were taken to try to dig deeper or to disrupt the plot that the intelligence agency–.

JAY: And Condoleezza Rice sees the same memo and apparently also–briefing, and apparently also does nothing. And you make–in your book, you lay out several things they could have done. For example?

GRAHAM: Well, they could have asked the intelligence agencies–we are very concerned about this; let’s make this the absolute number-one priority for the next period. They could have alerted the federal aviation agency that we have these suggestions that aviation may be used in an attack against the United States; upgrade your security standards. The hijackers who got on the four planes had no more obstruction to them getting on the plane on September 11 than they would have had on June or July or August. They could have alerted the military that it may be necessary to scramble aircraft to intercept commercial planes that we have reason are being used for a terrorist attack. Those were some of the examples of what might have been done had this been taken seriously.

JAY: Now, at the 9/11 hearings, Condoleezza Rice is asked about this presidential briefing, and she says, we didn’t think it had anything to do with anything specific; it seemed to be just some general thing that we already knew, that bin Laden had some plans to attack the United States; and we didn’t consider it all that significant. But you point out something in the book I thought was quite interesting I personally hadn’t seen before, which is in something called the SEIB, the senior executive intelligence brief, which is essentially, normally, if I understand correctly, more or less what’s in the presidential brief, but it goes to many more people. That whole memo on bin Laden has been taken out. Well, if they’d consider it not of any great significance one way or the other, why on earth would they take it out?

GRAHAM: One explanation would be that they didn’t want there to be a broadcast of the possibility that we might be under specific threat of terrorists using airplanes, part of the broader strategy of reducing the people of the United States’ knowledge and anxiety about what might be occurring. Or it could have just been a judgment by the people who convert the presidential daily briefing, which goes to a very small group, and to the executive briefing, which goes to several hundred if not thousand people, that this was not an appropriate item to make as broadly available.

JAY: It seems to me–I know you can’t or may not agree with what I’m saying, but there seems to be a pattern of a culture being created to stop inquiry into possible terrorist attacks. There was a documentary made about Richard Clarke, and we did a story about this, where Clarke says that information about the two al-Qaeda operatives that are living in this house that you talked about earlier, with the Saudi elderly man who was apparently an FBI informant, Clarke said he didn’t know anything about this at the time and he should have, because both the FBI knew and the CIA knew, and nobody told him. And here’s a little clip in this documentary of him saying that.

~~~

RICHARD CLARKE, FMR. NATIONAL COORDINATOR FOR SECURITY, INFRASTRUCTURE PROTECTION, AND COUNTER-TERRORISM: You have to intentionally stop it, you have to intervene and say, no, I don’t want that report to go. And I never got a report to that effect.

If there was a decision made to stop normal distribution with regard to this case, then people like Tom Wilshire would have known that.

~~~

JAY: So, Senator Graham, that’s kind of an alarming thing for Richard Clarke to say. The counterterrorism czar is saying that critical information is deliberately kept from him.

GRAHAM: Well, he wasn’t the only one it was kept from. The first thing that we did when we started our congressional investigation in late 2001 was to ask all the agencies to hold any information materials they had relevant to al-Qaeda and the 9/11 attack and that we would be asking for that as appropriate. We assumed that the agencies had complied with that.

It wasn’t until the summer of 2002, more than halfway through our investigation, that we discovered that there was information in the office of the San Diego FBI about the two hijackers. These are the two men who started in January 2000 in Kuala Lumpur, where some of the basic planning for what became 9/11 was undertaken. They came into the United States undisturbed. Approximately a week later, they have a meeting, at which it just happens that they are sitting in a restaurant close enough to hear each other talk with a Saudi agent who has been dispatched to that restaurant by a Saudi consular official who was the consul of Saudi Arabia in Los Angeles. He, the Saudi agent, overhearing these men speaking Arabic in a Saudi accent, sits with them, engages them, and then invites them to come to San Diego.

Now, the FBI says all of that is just coincidence, that it just happened that out of the over 100 Middle Eastern restaurants in Los Angeles, they both ended up, on the same day, the same hour, in the same section of the restaurant. I find that to be incredible. And these two men end up accepting the offer, come to San Diego. And that’s where they begin the process of preparing for 9/11.

JAY: We know now that the NSA’s been listening to a lot of conversations for many years. I guess what’s new with the Snowden revelations is how much they’ve been listening to Americans’ conversations. But I think it’s pretty well known the NSA’s been listening to foreign conversations for a long time. And given that bin Laden was number one on the FBI’s most wanted list, given that al-Qaeda had already attacked the embassy and the USS Cole, I mean, you’ve got to assume the NSA was doing everything they could to listen to anything to do with bin Laden, which would include the Saudis. Did you have any access to NSA? And did you try to get access to NSA logs or regulations for someone to come tell you what they might have heard?

GRAHAM: Yes. What we found out was that immediately after the two bombings in Africa, there was a person who’d been involved that had survived who was interrogated, and he tipped off the CIA that there was a listening station in Yemen which was sort of the hub of communications for the al-Qaeda network. We immediately started listening to that station. That’s how we found out that there was this meeting of terrorists in Kuala Lumpur. This is how we found out that al-Qaeda was going to attack a U.S. naval ship in the port of Aden. We learned a lot, in fact. We apparently did not learn about the big plot that became 9/11. Maybe bin Laden had a back channel form of communication and didn’t use his main hub to discuss that particular case.

JAY: Did you ask to see records of conversations by Saudis that might have been involved in this?

GRAHAM: To my knowledge, no.

JAY: Would that not be something one would want to see?

GRAHAM: The answer is: I don’t know what the evidence was that would have indicated there were conversations that were relevant to what our inquiry was trying to answer.

JAY: Well, if the Saudis were involved, they might be talking about it.

GRAHAM: Well, I don’t think–at that point I don’t know if there was an issue of whether prior to 9/11, in whatever communications had to take place in the planning and execution of the plot, whether there was a Saudi involvement in that communication network or not.

JAY: And also just to find out just how much was known about this prior to 9/11. I mean, the NSA–I mean, did you or would you have had access to whatever you asked for from the NSA? Did the NSA ever turn you down?

GRAHAM: No, the only agency to my knowledge that withheld information was the FBI.

JAY: So you didn’t ask to see everything they had.

GRAHAM: We asked them to hold everything. And we had–our staff was organized around the major intelligence agencies. And we had a group that was the NSA group, made up of people who had had current or previous experience with NSA. So without being able to say precisely what they asked for, I feel comfortable that had they found something that would have been relevant to the question of the plot and who was involved and were there external forces, that we would have known about it.

JAY: You’re not concerned this same culture of protecting the Saudis might have acted like a filter there as well. I mean, if the NSA did have anything that implicated the Saudis, if there was a culture had been created not to implicate the Saudis, then maybe they wouldn’t have been so forthcoming.

GRAHAM: In a way, that question causes me to wish that we could turn the clock back to 2001 and 2002 and go into that issue. Assumedly, the NSA has maintained the records from that time period. And maybe even 12 years after the fact, there would still be the opportunity to find out what was known through intercepts about the plot.

JAY: So that leads me to something you’ve said several times, that you think this should all be reopened, there needs to be another inquiry. So, I mean, if there was another inquiry, what are a few of the most pressing questions or lines of inquiry that should be followed?

GRAHAM: I think the basic questions are: was there one or more entities that were assisting the 19 hijackers? Or were they in fact acting alone? Since most of the questions about support have focused on the Saudis–specifically, what do we know or can we learn about the extent of Saudi involvement? Was it limited to San Diego? Or was it more broadcast in terms of its impact? And then why would the Saudis have taken this action? We discussed earlier some of the possible reasons. And then finally, why did the United States go to such lengths to disguise, to conceal the Saudi involvement or the involvement of any other outside force to assist the 19 hijackers? What was the U.S. interest in withholding this from the American people?

JAY: And if one takes the logic of what you’re saying, I think then one would think that someone at the level of Prince Bandar might well have known about this. It’s going on in the United States. It’s on his watch. He’s the ambassador here. Do you have any evidence that links Bandar to all of this?

GRAHAM: Some of that evidence I can’t talk about.

JAY: This is in the redacted pages.

GRAHAM: But the fact that he had and exercised as aggressively as he did his special entrée at the White House raises questions about why was he using that special entrée, for instance, to get people who were persons of interest to U.S. intelligence and law enforcement out of the country before they could be interviewed.

JAY: So I’m going to say something which I think all you can do is say, I can’t comment on, but I’m going to say it. If you’re right–and I’m going to take what you said even a little further, which–if you are right that Bandar knew this was going on, then he’s sitting meeting with his friend President Bush regularly in the days leading up to 9/11 and either not saying anything or somehow does. I mean, I know you know there’s a lot of theory–and, I think, a lot of evidence that would at least require an inquiry–that there’s a deliberate attempt not to know. It’s not just lack of–just incompetency and–. I mean, to believe that it’s just incompetency, then you have to think it’s like the Keystone Cops of intelligence agencies: they’re just tripping all over each other. But that seems hard to believe.

GRAHAM: Well, and also the fact that it was so pervasive that virtually all of the agencies of the federal government were moving in the same direction, from a customs agent at an airport in Orlando who was chastised when he denied entry into the United States to a Saudi, to the president of the United States authorizing large numbers of Saudis to leave the country, possibly denying us forever important insights and information on what happened. You don’t have everybody moving in the same direction without there being a head coach somewhere who was giving them instructions as to where he wants them to move.

JAY: So that includes before and after the events.

GRAHAM: Primarily before the event. After the event, it shifts from being an action that supports the activities of the Saudis to actions that cover up the results of that permission given to the Saudis to act.

JAY: So I’ll put you a little bit on the spot here. Would it be–in this new commission that we hope comes, would it be a legitimate line of inquiry into whether President Bush and/or Vice President Cheney knew something might be coming and didn’t do anything about it, in fact may have actually taken action in the sense of creating a culture of not wanting to know?

GRAHAM: Well, without by giving this answer inferring that I believe that they did in fact have reason to believe that this attack was about to occur and made a conscious decision to suppress that information, if there were any evidence–and to my knowledge there is none–of course that would be a line of inquiry that would be central to answering the question of what was the Saudis’ role and why did the United States cover it up.

JAY: Thanks very much for joining us, Senator Graham.

GRAHAM: Thank you. I appreciate the opportunity to talk about some issues that, although it’s been more than a decade ago when this horrific event occurred, I think have real consequences to U.S. actions today.

JAY: There is so much detail to all of this, and particularly a lot of detail in Senator Graham’s book. So I urge you to get the book. It’s Intelligence Matters. And you’ll see a lot of the things we couldn’t explore in this interview in the book.

Thanks very much for joining us on Reality Asserts Itself on The Real News Network.

End

DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy. 

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Saudi Fingerprints on 9/11?

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Claims that Saudi Arabia was behind the 9/11 attacks on America have  been circulating  since 2001. The Saudis have denied all such claims even though 15 of the 19 aircraft hijackers were Saudi citizens.
This week, allegations of Saudi involvement reignited as one of the men convicted in the 9/11 plot, Zacarias Moussaoui, reasserted the allegations. Moussaoui, who is in US maximum security prison, charges senior Saudi princes and officials bankrolled the 9/11 attacks and other al-Qaida operations. He may have been tortured and has mental problems.
Among the Saudis Moussaoui named are Prince Turki Faisal, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, two of the kingdom’s most powerful and influential men. Turki was head of Saudi intelligence; Bandar ambassador to Washington during the Bush administration.
These accusation come at a time when there is a furious struggle in Washington over releasing secret pages of the Congressional Intelligence Committee report on the 9/11 attacks that reportedly implicated Saudi Arabia. The White House claims the report would be embarrassing and damage US-Saudi relations.
I have been following this twisted tale since the 1980’s when I was in Pakistan and Afghanistan. In Peshawar, Pakistan’s wild border city, I met with Sheik Abdullah Azzam, founder of al-Qaida.
At the time, al-Qaida was a tiny, store-front information bureau supporting the “mujahidin” fighters being sent by Saudi Arabia and the US to fight the Soviets occupying Afghanistan.
Sheik Abdullah, a renowned exponent of “jihad,” told me something that shook me: “when we have liberated Afghanistan from Soviet colonialism, we will go on and liberate Saudi Arabia from American colonial rule.” This was the first time I had ever heard America called a colonial power.
Azzam was assassinated soon after. But his star pupil, one Osama bin Laden, carried on Azzam’s quest to drive western influence from the Muslim world.
At the time, “our” Muslims fighting Soviet occupation were hailed as “freedom fighters” by President Ronald Reagan. Today, in a re-writing of history, they are widely called “terrorists.”
What Moussaoui reportedly said is that the two aforementioned senior Saudi princes, Turki and Bandar, donated money to the Afghan mujahidin during the 1980’s, not to al-Qaida. Many Americans will fail to understand the distinction
Saudi Arabia funneled  large sums of money to militant groups in the Mideast, Balkans, Caucasus, Africa, and South Asia. The purpose was twofold: first, to keep young hotheads as far as possible from the kingdom; second, to combat Iran’s spreading influence. Washington gave tacit backing.
Iran, gripped by Islamic revolutionary zeal, was sending preachers and teachers all over Asia and Africa, notably so in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The Saudis, deathly afraid of the Islamic revolution in Tehran that called for sharing oil wealth with the Muslim world’s poor, waged a long proxy war against Iran that pitted Wahabi Sunnis against Shia. Washington, gripped by anti-Iranian fever, backed the Saudi religious offensive.
In the midst of this religious-political conflict arose the Saudi exile bin Laden. Though his father was one of the kingdom’s wealthiest men, bin Laden opposed the Saudi ruling princes whom he charged were stealing the Muslim world’s wealth and helping enable continued American domination of the Muslim world – what I called in my second book, “The American Raj.
Having followed bin Laden’s career since the late 1980’s, I am convinced that he had no direct support from the ruling Saudi princes – nor from CIA. The Saudis were even more afraid  of him than Iran.  But I have no doubt, as I said on CNN back in 2001, that numerous wealthy Saudis and Kuwaitis were giving private donations to al-Qaida and other militant groups.
To the Americans, cutting off al-Qaida’s finances was a primary objective. They never understood – and still do not – that resistance to US influence may be facilitated by money but is not driven by it. The US’s enemies are motivated by ideology and revolutionary fervor, not cash. It’s hard for some westerners to understand that money is not behind everything.
What the media never talks about is that there has long been boiling dissent in Saudi Arabia, perhaps the world’s most rigid, reactionary nation. It comes from both the nation’s second-class Shia as well as the growing numbers of young Saudis who yearn to break out of the stultifying society in which they live. There are even rebels among the kingdom’s 22,000 princes.
A sizeable number of  Saudis believe their nation is occupied by the United States. This is no chimera. There are some 40,000 American “technicians” and “contractors” in Saudi serving the oil industry and military. US forces in Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Diego Garcia overwatch Saudi Arabia. There are secret US bases in Saudi. Israel is a secret ally of the Saudi royal family.
The Saudi royal family is protected by America’s CIA, FBI, NSA, and military intelligence. This, however, is not a guarantee of absolute security: the same arrangement was in place to guard Egypt’s military dictator, Husni Mubarak, yet failed. In the 1980’s, a full division of Pakistan’s crack army guarded the royal family. “The Saudis don’t trust their own military,” Pakistan’s late leader Zia ul-Haq told me after being  seconded to Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia maintains two parallel armed forces: a feeble army, which is denied ammunition, and the Bedouin or “White Army,” that protects the royal family. Most of the tens of billions of US and British arms bought by the kingdom sit rusting in warehouses, or are operated by western mercenaries. US mercenary firms direct the White Guard.
As far as I’m concerned, there is no reason for the Saudi royal elite to have funded Osma bin Laden or the 9/11 hijackers. But the attack was clearly an attempt by Saudi dissidents to strike back at US domination of their country.
In fact, the reasons for the 9/11 attacks have been all but obscured by a torrent of disinformation and hysteria. The attackers were quite clear in their reasons: to punish the US for supporting Israel and oppressing the Palestinians; and for its “occupation” of Saudi Arabia and keeping a tyrannical regime there in power.
The Bush administration claimed the attacks were caused by religious fanaticism and hatred of western values, a false dialogue that continues to this day as we just saw with the Charlie Hebdo shootings in Paris. Muslims are to have no legitimate political motivations; they are all mad dogs. Even if we attack their homelands, they have no right to attack us.
Saudi Arabia remains at a low boil, as western intelligence services hunt for opponents of its feudal government. The intense US preoccupation with remote Yemen reflects Washington’s deep concern that millions of Yemeni expatriates in Saudi could become a revolutionary vanguard. The bin Ladens, of course, were of Yemeni origin.
Yes,  men and funds for the 9/11 attacks likely came from Saudi Arabia; yes, the royal family knew about this – after the fact – but remains mum to this day; yes, Washington knows the Saudi princes knew, but remains mute and keeps trying to censor Part 4 of the damning 9/11 report. Too many senior US officials and legislators have been on the Saudi payroll.
While in office, Britain’s former prime minister, Tony Blair quashed a major report by the Serious Fraud Office into tens of millions in illicit kickbacks by British arms makers to Saudi royals…for “national security reasons.”   Expect the same from Washington.
Few in official Washington want to know that America’s key ally, Saudi Arabia, was involved in 9/11. Even fewer want to reopen the 9/11 investigation, which was full of holes and omissions and perhaps likely to raise questions about some of America’s other allies.
The change of ruler in Saudi has so far made little difference. The song remains the same. But behind the scenes, pressure is growing.