Skip to comments.Rudy's Ties to a Terror Sheikh
Posted on 11/27/2007 3:53:44 PM PST by calcowgirl
Three weeks after 9/11, when the roar of fighter jets still haunted the city's skyline, the emir of gas-rich Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifah al-Thani, toured Ground Zero. Although a member of the emir's own royal family had harbored the man who would later be identified as the mastermind of the attacka man named Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, often referred to in intelligence circles by his initials, KSMal-Thani rushed to New York in its aftermath, offering to make a $3 million donation, principally to the families of its victims. Rudy Giuliani, apparently unaware of what the FBI and CIA had long known about Qatari links to Al Qaeda, appeared on CNN with al-Thani that night and vouched for the emir when Larry King asked the mayor: "You are a friend of his, are you not?"
"We had a very good meeting yesterday. Very good," said Giuliani, adding that he was "very, very grateful" for al-Thani's generosity. It was no cinch, of course, that Giuliani would take the money: A week later, he famously rejected a $10 million donation from a Saudi prince who advised America that it should "adopt a more balanced stand toward the Palestinian cause." (Giuliani continues to congratulate himself for that snub on the campaign trail.) Al-Thani waited a month before expressing essentially the same feelings when he returned to New York for a meeting of the U.N. General Assembly and stressed how important it was to "distinguish" between the "phenomenon" of 9/11 and "the legitimate struggles" of the Palestinians "to get rid of the yoke of illegitimate occupation and subjugation." Al-Thani then accused Israel of "state terrorism" against the Palestinians.
But there was another reason to think twice about accepting al-Thani's generosity that Giuliani had to have been aware of, even as he heaped praise on the emir. Al Jazeera, the Arabic news network based in Qatar (pronounced "Cutter"), had been all but created by al-Thani, who was its largest shareholder. The Bush administration was so upset with the coverage of Osama bin Laden's pronouncements and the U.S. threats to bomb Afghanistan that Secretary of State Colin Powell met the emir just hours before Giuliani's on-air endorsement and asked him to tone down the state-subsidized channel's Islamist footage and rhetoric. The six-foot-eight, 350-pound al-Thani, who was pumping about $30 million a year into Al Jazeera at the time, refused Powell's request, citing the need for "a free and credible media." The administration's burgeoning distaste for what it would later brand "Terror TV" was already so palpable that Kinghardly a newsmanasked the emir if he would help "spread the word" that the U.S. was "not targeting the average Afghan citizen." Al-Thani ignored the questionright before Giuliani rushed in to praise him again.
In retrospect, Giuliani's embrace of the emir appears peculiar. But it was only a sign of bigger things to come: the launching of a cozy business relationship with terrorist-tolerant Qatar that is inconsistent with the core message of Giuliani's current presidential campaign, namely that his experience and toughness uniquely equip him to protect America from what he tauntingly calls "Islamic terrorists"an enemy that he always portrays himself as ready to confront, and the Democrats as ready to accommodate.
The contradictory and stunning reality is that Giuliani Partners, the consulting company that has made Giuliani rich, feasts at the Qatar trough, doing business with the ministry run by the very member of the royal family identified in news and government reports as having concealed KSMthe terrorist mastermind who wired funds from Qatar to his nephew Ramzi Yousef prior to the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, and who also sold the idea of a plane attack on the towers to Osama bin Ladenon his Qatar farm in the mid-1990s.
(Excerpt) Read more at villagevoice.com . . .
More fascinating details of Giuliani Partners’ clients.
Sources? From this far left rag I am skeptical.
Read the article—it’s a five pager packed with sources.
I get it, just like that Kevin Bacon game.
Uh... pretty lame to try to connect this guy to KSM.
Not everybody in Qatar is the enemy. And Al-Jazeera, as obnoxious as they’ve been with OBL videos, nonetheless probably does better quality journalism than CNNABCCBSNBC et al.
I don’t need Giuliani’s relationship with a terrorist Sheikh as an reason not to vote for him. Granted, it can be thrown in with the raft of reasons I already have to not vote for him. But it will, no doubt, be a very useful tool for the DINOrats.
The emir of Qatar, Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, left, shakes hands with New York City
Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, center, as New York Police Commisioner Bernard Kerik, right,
looks on Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2001, at World Trade Center disaster command center in New York.
His Highness made a donation of $1 million to the Twin Towers fund and $1 million to
the Widows and Childrens fund for the New York FIre Department.
The Village Voice has been doing excellent work in exposing the real Rudy. You should be thanking them for getting this out now. I don’t care if they’re leftists, because I have more respect for the hard left than I do for liberals in the media and Democrat Party.
Typical Rudy defense...attack the messenger because they cannot deny the facts.
Early Friday, Mr. Giuliani�s face, along with that of new Citicorp executive Sallie Krawcheck, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and other political and business figures appeared on the Web site promoting Fortune magazine�s Global Forum conference, to be held November 11 to 13 in Washington. After The New York Sun called Mr. Giuliani�s office to ask about the conference, his photo disappeared from the portion of the Web site devoted to the Arab symposium, although his face still appears on the pages promoting the rest of the symposium. A spokeswoman for Mr. Giuliani declined to comment and conference organizers did not return phone calls.
A special one-day symposium is planned for the conference November 11, cosponsored by the Arab Thought Foundation, a new charity apparently aimed at improving the public image of Saudi Arabia. The charity, based in Syrian-occupied Lebanon, is funded with at least $17 million. According to the Saudi Arabian government, the money comes from members of the Saudi royal family and other wealthy businessmen in the kingdom, including $1.5 million from Bakr bin Laden, the man who controls the bin Laden family�s substantial business interests.
The flap over the upcoming conference illustrates the difficulties Saudi Arabia faces as it tries to repair its image in America, which was badly damaged as a result of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. As has previously been reported elsewhere, the kingdom is paying the Washington-based communications firm Qorvis $200,000 a month for a public relations campaign, including television ads portraying Saudi Arabia as a friend of America. The Arab Thought Foundation and its plans for a Washington conference, however, have so far attracted little Western press attention.
Saudi Arabia�s public relations efforts only go so far, analysts say, because of the underlying differences in values between Saudi Arabia � a kingdom that is openly paying $5,000 to the families of suicide bombers targeting Israeli civilians, a kingdom that was the home of 15 of the 19 September 11 hijackers � and America.
That hasn�t stopped the Saudis from trying � with the assistance, in this case, of Fortune magazine, a New York-based business magazine that is a unit of AOL Time Warner. Every year Fortune sponsors a�global business conference; last year it was in Hong Kong and featured keynote speeches by President Clinton and Chinese president Jiang Zemin. This year, however, is the first time that there will be a special symposium on �The Arab Countries: Issues, Answers and Opportunities.�
The director of the Saudi Institute, an independent watchdog group based in Washington, Ali Al-Ahmed, said the Arab Thought Foundation does not represent Arab thought at all.
�It represents a narrow element in the Arab world that is under the control of the same oppressive regimes that we abhor. What do you expect from an organization that is under the control of an absolute monarchy? Freedom of thought? No. This is basically a vehicle to shield the Arab regimes from criticism,� Mr. Al-Ahmed said.
A consultant on Saudi Arabia, Simon Henderson, said he is in favor of improved relations between American and the kingdom, �but that should come through greater openness and greater clarity rather than PR campaigns.�
Mr. Henderson said he was �surprised� that Fortune is having the meeting, �which might appear to be part of a Saudi PR campaign.�
The former Israeli prime minister, Ehud Barak of Israel�s Labor Party, is listed as an �invited� speaker. No speakers from the Israeli government are scheduled to take part, perhaps because the Arabs refuse to meet with Israeli government representatives. A spokeswoman at the Israeli embassy in Washington said she was not aware of the event.
The author of a new book, �The Two Faces of Islam: The House of Sa�ud from Tradition to Terror,� Stephen Schwartz, said the foundation �is not a neutral institution, it exists to advance the interests of the Saudi ruling class and the Saudi elite.�
�It is not a grant-making, social science institute�the U.S. should be asking hard questions of the Saudis, not papering over the differences,� Mr. Schwartz, who is also policy analyst at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, said. �It would be marvelous if the Fortune people and the Arab Thought Foundation made a demand of the Saudi government to make a full, transparent accounting of Saudi involvement and Wahhabi extremism in 9/11.�
Opening the Arab symposium are the editorial director of Fortune, Geoffrey Colvin, and Prince Bandar bin Khalid Al-Faisal, the grandson of the late Saudi King Faisal and the son of Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, the governor of Saudi Arabia�s Asir region � an area where the most fundamentalist sect of Islam, Wahhabism, runs rampant and where a majority of the September 11 highjackers hail from. Prince Khalid Al-Faisal is the chairman of the Arab Thought Foundation.
Prince Khalid Al-Faisal said that the Arab Thought Foundation will offer an independent forum for intellectuals, women and members of the business community to freely discuss religious, economic, cultural and other issues, the Associated Press has reported. The New York Sun called the Saudi Arabian embassy in Washington Friday, but a receptionist said no one was available to comment.
Also scheduled to take part in the Washington Conference is the editor in chief of Arab News, Khaled Al-Maeena. Arab News is the English-language Saudi newspaper that has recently published articles referring to the �subhuman Zionist lobby� and reporting straightforwardly a claim that �Yankee Jew media dominance threatens the lives of U.S. citizens.� A September 21 cartoon in the paper portrays President Bush morphing into Adolf Hitler. Mr. Al-Maeena is identified on the symposium program as a member of the Arab Thought Foundation.
Mr. Al-Maeena is scheduled to speak on �Challenges of Interdependence: The Arab-USA Defense Cooperation.
A woman who says her Saudi ex-husband abducted her two daughters and that they are now being held against their will in Saudi Arabia, Pat Roush, was critical of the symposium as well.
�I would hope that these very same American public relations firms and lobbyists that are organizing this type of publicity campaign or �symposium� for the Saudi Arabian government in hopes of getting the support of the Fortune 500 companies would have a conscience when it comes to American women and children that the Saudis are holding against their will in the kingdom,� Ms. Roush told the Sun. �If the Saudis really want to redeem themselves in the eyes of the American people, not only the money mongers and State Department puppets that are attending this conference, they should free our people and allow them to come home to their American families.�
Mr. Spitzer, Ms. Krawcheck and Mr. Rumsfeld are apparently appearing at the main part of the conference, not the Arab symposium, but their images and names are being used to promote it on the Web, as was Mr. Giuliani�s until the Sun inquired about it.
bkmarking for later.
Come and read this one.
“More fascinating details of Giuliani Partners clients.”
They sure run the gamut.
Giuliani’s friends and associates are a curious lot.
Frankly though, I could never vote for someone who’s own children don’t support him.
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