Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A Nation of Laws, or Lies?

September 11, 2001: Evacuation of Saudi Nationals
From SourceWatch

Yet to attract the proper attention it deserves from the media is the March 29, 2005, AFP article "FBI flew Saudis out after 9/11":
"... newly released US government records show that Federal Bureau of Investigation agents gave personal airport escorts to two prominent Saudi families who fled the US, while several other Saudis were allowed to leave the country without first being interviewed."
The information was obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit lodged against the Department of Justice by Judicial Watch, a conservative legal group, who gave the information to the New York Times. Although "major passages" of the information were deleted, "the records show that prominent Saudi citizens left the United States on several flights that had not been previously disclosed." [1]
This clearly answers the question posed May 18, 2004, by Alexander Bolton: "Who let bin Ladens leave U.S.?" In his article, Bolton provided a comprehensive overview of the situation as it was known at the time.
Earlier in the day, September 13, 2001, the FAA "issued a notice that private aviation was banned and that three private planes that had violated the ban had been forced to land by military aircraft," according to an article published in Vanity Fair.
On the afternoon of September 13, 2001, "three Saudi men in their early 20s flew in a Lear jet from Tampa, Fla., to Lexington, Ky., where they boarded a Boeing 747 with Arabic writing on it waiting to take them out of the country."
The flight from Tampa to Lexington, first reported October 2001 in the Tampa Tribune, "was one of several flights that Saudi Arabian citizens took in the immediate aftermath of September 11, 2001 when the rest of the country was prohibited from flying.""
"Many of the Saudis
were members of the Saudi royal family or the bin Laden family."
The New York Times "reported that bin Laden family members were driven or flown under FBI supervision to a secret meeting in Texas and then to Washington, from where they left the country when airports were allowed to open Sept. 14, 2001."
concluded that "close to 140 Saudis left the U.S. days after the attacks, even though 15 of the 19 terrorists who carried out the Sept. 11 attacks were Saudi Arabian."


and TIM RUSSERT: Vanity Fair Magazine reports that about 140 Saudis were allowed to leave the United States the day after the 11th, allowed to leave our air space and were never investigated by the F.B.I., and that departure was approved by high level administration. Do you know anything about that?

DICK CHENEY: I don't, but a lot of folks from that part of the world left in the aftermath of 9/11 because they were worried about public reaction here in the United States or that somehow they might be discriminated against. So we have had especially since the attacks in Riyadh in May of this year by the Saudi government great support and cooperation in going after terrorists, especially Al Qaeda. I think the Saudis came to realize as a result of the attacks of last May, that they were as much of a target as we are, that Al Qaeda did have a foothold inside Saudi Arabia, many of the members of the organization are from there, that there have been private individuals in Saudi Arabia who provided significant financial support and assistance, that they're facilitators and operators working inside Saudi Arabia to support the Al Qaeda network. And the Saudis have been, let's say in the last several months, very good partners in helping us go after people in the Al Qaeda organization.
American skies were empty, yet at the same time 140 Saudis were effectively chaperoned out of the country, the allegation is, by the U.S. government. Among them, they weren't just any Saudis, were several dozen members of the bin Laden family.

How is this possible?

Well this month retired Chief White House Aide Richard Clarke revealed that top White House officials approved the evacuation of 140 influential Saudis including members of the Osama bin Laden family two days after the September 11th attacks at a time when all commercial and private flights were grounded. Clarke, who ran the White House crisis team after the attacks writes in the new issue of "Vanity Fair" that the F.B.I. claimed none of the Saudis could be linked to the attacks, which were carried out by 19 hijackers, 15 of whom were Saudi. The "New York Times" reports this is the first public acknowledgement that the White House approved the controversial evacuation plan. We're joined by Craig Unger who is the reporter on this piece for "Vanity Fair" and author of the forthcoming book "House of Bush, House of Saud". Can you explain what Vice President Cheney was saying he did not know about?

CRAIG UNGER: Well, it's interesting the administration has not commented at all on this. Colin Powell was also asked about it the previous week, and he sort of said well, we orchestrated something, but I don't really know the details. I think what's really, really important here is, for the first time there have been rumors of this departure beforehand of the Saudi repatriation, but for the first time we know that Saudis were in the air when American air space was locked down. This was the greatest national security crisis possibly in the history of the United States, and American skies were emptier than at any time since the days of the Wright brothers. Why is it that the Saudis were the most privileged people in the United States including members of the bin Laden family. In any normal criminal investigation, even if it's a common place murder, it is normal to question the friends and relatives of the suspect, and here you had roughly 24 members of the bin Laden family who left without being interrogated or interviewed, and it really calls into question why the administration has been so soft on the Saudis. 15 out of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 were Saudis. Increasingly we've learned since 9/11 about a fairly big Saudi role in terrorism.
Ah not to worry the Bush administration just sold Saudi Arabia about 23 billion in weaponry. They have after all been trading with both sides for over sixty years, it is well documented in both the Library of Congress and the U.S. National Archives.

Cheney and Bush are both above the law, as is congress. It is up to we the people to take the US back from the House of Bush / House of Saud. Clearly King George has been hanging out with the "royals" for far too long.

In the meantime let us demand a national public inquiry about the Saudi escape after 9/11, aided and abetted by the president. Were any of those allowed to leave on the terror watch list?


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