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Bush Urged To Reveal Secret Saudi Links With Al-Qa'ida
Independent (UK) ^ | 7-26-2003 | David Usborne

Posted on 07/25/2003 3:57:17 PM PDT by blam

Bush urged to reveal secret Saudi links with al-Qa'ida

By David Usborne in New York
26 July 2003

The White House came under fresh pressure last night to launch an aggressive investigation into claims that Saudi Arabia thwarted American efforts to investigate al-Qa'ida before the terrorist attacks of 11 September, 2001. Democrats also called for a inquiry into allegations that the kingdom might have, wittingly or unwittingly, channelled money to the hijackers.

The Democrats want President George Bush to declassify 28 pages of a congressional report on the failures of US intelligence in the run-up to the attacks. The censored pages reportedly detail possible Saudi culpability.

Officials who have knowledge of the full report say the missing pages, withheld at the insistence of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for "national security reasons", specifically examine whether one of America's allies was implicated in the attacks. One declassified section reveals that the investigation found "information suggesting specific sources of foreign support for some of the 11 September hijackers while they were in the United States". The officials were quoted as confirming that one source was Saudi Arabia.

But there still seemed to be no incontrovertible evidence that officials of the kingdom knowingly supported the hijackers. Indeed, the report suggests further investigation of these allegations "could reveal legitimate, and innocent, explanations for these associations".

Even without the missing pages becoming public, the report, which contains the findings of a seven-month inquiry by the Senate and House of Representatives, is critical of Riyadh for failing to help in probing al-Qa'ida. "It was clear from about 1996 that the Saudi government would not co-operate with the United States on matters related to Osama bin Laden," it said.

The CIA reportedly insisted that the 28 pages be kept secret out of fear of damaging relations with Saudi Arabia. Senator Bob Graham, the Democrat presidential hopeful, who was chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, said: "I remain deeply disturbed by the amount of material censored from this report."

The report paints a bleak picture of missed opportunities by US intelligence agencies and breakdowns in communications between them. But it does not uncover any "smoking gun" event that would have given US authorities the date and place of the attacks before they happened. The document will be examined by an independent commission charged by Congress to continue investigating what went wrong in the intelligence community that allowed the plot to take its course.

The renewed focus on the alleged link between Saudi Arabia and the 19 hijackers, 15 of whom were Saudi-born, has prompted a furious response from its government. The allegations were "malicious and blatantly false", the Saudi ambassador to the US, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, said, adding that Riyadh had been trying to investigate al-Qa'ida in co-operation with the US.

That co-operation was stepped up in May this year when Saudi Arabia suffered its own suicide bombings, that left 34 dead.

The Prince said: "Rumours, innuendoes and untruths have become, when it comes to the kingdom, the order of the day. Twenty-eight blanked-out pages are being used by some to malign our country and our people. Saudi Arabia has nothing to hide. We can deal with questions in public, but we cannot respond to blank pages."

Richard Clarke, a US counter-terrorism expert, said: "I think the Saudi government was throwing around a lot of money to dubious organisations without trying to determine who was asking for it, and that a lot of the money got to al-Qa'ida."


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: alqaedasaudiarabia; alqaida; bush; links; saudi; secret; urged

1 posted on 07/25/2003 3:57:18 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam
"Senator Bob Graham, the Democrat presidential hopeful, who was chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, said: "I remain deeply disturbed by the amount of material censored from this report.""

Senate Intelligence is clearly an oxymoron....and Bob Graham is their chief moron.

2 posted on 07/25/2003 4:00:05 PM PDT by anniegetyourgun
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To: anniegetyourgun
If the democrats keep scratching at this 9/11 probe, they might not like what they find. For instance, Al Gore was appointed to head a blue ribbon panel to look into airline safety and one of the recommendations were to reinforce cockpit doors, Why was nothing done and wasn't it Tom Daschle's wife Linda who lobbied to make sure nothing was done to improve airline security?
3 posted on 07/25/2003 4:04:57 PM PDT by MJY1288 (The Enemies of America can Count on the Democrats for Aid and Comfort)
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To: MJY1288
But wait....that would assume that the press would report on such things. Call me jaded....
4 posted on 07/25/2003 4:07:42 PM PDT by anniegetyourgun
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To: blam
You know, I really don't know what Bush will do about the Saudis in the long run. I really, really hope he will take care of them when their turn comes, after he takes care of Iran and Syria.

If so, then what better strategery could he pursue than having all the Dems and the media foaming at the mouth insisting that he should go after the Saudis? "Throw me into that briar patch, Bre'r Fox."
5 posted on 07/25/2003 4:12:54 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: MJY1288
The best thing the Demonrats can do is to clamour for an investigation on Saudi complicity. Both parties have blood on their hands when it come to our cozy relationship with the bastards in SA. It's time to expose it. All of it.
6 posted on 07/25/2003 4:13:37 PM PDT by zarf (Dan Rather is god.)
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To: anniegetyourgun
"Senator Bob Graham, the Democrat presidential hopeful, who was chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, said: "I remain deeply disturbed by the amount of material censored from this report.""

Members of the Senate Intelligence Commitee, or any other Congress critter, can see any classified information they want, they only have to ask for it. They have to be specific of course. When I got my XX/YY compartment briffing at the TS level, they told me that if Red Ron Dellums himself, not an aide, but the old commie in the flesh, asked to see a particular classifed docuement, we would have to show it to him. IOW, this is just spin. Bovine Excrement in other words.

7 posted on 07/25/2003 5:43:24 PM PDT by El Gato
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To: El Gato
As he is my senator, I am well aware of the fraud and fake that he is. He should have stopped with the statement: "I remain deeply disturbed...."
8 posted on 07/25/2003 6:01:07 PM PDT by anniegetyourgun
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To: El Gato
Because he is deeply disturbed.
9 posted on 07/25/2003 6:01:50 PM PDT by anniegetyourgun
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To: anniegetyourgun
I certainly find him "deeply disturbing"!
10 posted on 07/25/2003 6:32:38 PM PDT by tet68
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To: Cicero
***strategery***

You slay me, pal.........FRegards
11 posted on 07/25/2003 8:32:48 PM PDT by gonzo (Re-Hab is for quitters! I'm still tryin' to figger out how much I can get away with ................)
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To: MJY1288
"Why was nothing done and wasn't it Tom Daschle's wife Linda who lobbied to make sure nothing was done to improve airline security?"

Linda Daschle. Plus, $800,000 in soft money contributions to the DNC by the airlines probably also had something to do with it...

12 posted on 07/25/2003 8:38:48 PM PDT by okie01 (The Mainstream Media: IGNORANCE ON PARADE.)
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