9/11 Commission’s Former Leaders Refute Saudi Involvement in the Attacks | World Defense

9/11 Commission’s Former Leaders Refute Saudi Involvement in the Attacks

BLACKEAGLE

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9/11 Commission’s Former Leaders Refute Saudi Involvement in the Attacks
Joseph Braude11 hours ago 120
Claims of a push in Washington to undermine support for the Saudi-American alliance in favor of a “tilt toward Iran”

A document from the 9/11 Commission Report. Two former officials who led the official investigation into the events of the 9/11 attacks said that Saudi Arabia was not involved in the attacks as is claimed
American political commentators and former government officials have accused the Obama Administration of a thinly veiled attempt to manipulate the American public discussion, at a time of growing disenchantment with the Iranian nuclear deal, by training the media’s attention on an alleged Saudi government operational role in the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Edward A. Turzanski, a prominent former intelligence officer and present co-chair of the Center for the Study of Terrorism at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, told Asharq Al-Awsat “The Administration has exhibited a pattern of conduct in which it will use whatever lever it can in order to bolster relations with Iran. … There’s a broader context to show that the Administration suppresses certain pieces of information at certain times in order to build political capital for whatever purpose it has, and promulgates other pieces of information at other times to advance the same purpose. And there may be a predisposition in certain quarters of the media, first of all, not to be critical of this president; and second, to protect him in those cases where a significant policy initiative of his is at risk.”

Claims along these lines were most recently sparked on April 10, when Democratic Senator Bob Graham — a supporter of the Iran nuclear deal who also played a major role in the first U.S. Government investigation into 9/11 after the perpetration of the attacks — appeared on the national television news program 60 Minutes. Graham revived discussions of the infamous “28 pages,” a still-classified portion of a report by a congressional panel investigating intelligence failures related to the 9/11 attacks. Graham suggested in the course of the interview, as have other public officials and media figures before and since, that the pages contain evidence of an operational link between the Government of Saudi Arabia and the most devastating terrorist attack ever perpetrated on American soil.

In a political culture generally skeptical of “conspiracy theories,” Lee Smith, a columnist at the right-leaning Weekly Standard, described the program as part of a broader information campaign to “make the Saudis look bad.” He assessed the effort as aiming to build support for President Obama’s policies of recalibrating traditional American alliances in the Middle East in favor of a new partnership with Iran.

Also in April, a landmark decision by the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a judgment of $2 billion on behalf of victims of Iranian-sponsored terrorism, including the 1983 Marine Corps Barracks bombing in Lebanon, which killed 241 American servicemen. According to the ruling, the plaintiffs in the case are entitled to collect the monies from Iranian Central Bank funds that were frozen by the United States. Public attention to the ruling was modest, however, compared to a renewed focus on legislation in Congress — called the “Justice Against Supporters of Terrorism Act” — which would make it considerably easier for the families of victims of the 9/11 attacks to sue Saudi Arabia for damages in American courts.

On April 22, a significant statement was issued by two respected former leaders of the “9/11 Commission:” former Governor Tom Kean and former Representative Lee Hamilton. The statement seeks to dispel what it describes as misconceptions which had arisen in recent weeks as a result of the intense media discussion about the “28 pages.” Among other points, it reiterates that the 9/11 Commission found “no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded” Al-Qaeda, insisting that nothing in the 28-page document, should it be released, would prove otherwise.

Hamilton and Kean noted in their statement that the voluminous 9/11 Commission Report dwells extensively on Saudi Arabia, home to most of the 9/11 hijackers. But they also acknowledge that the Kingdom itself has become a prime target of the jihadist groups; that “Saudi Arabia has been an ally of the United States in combatting terrorism;” and that “many Saudi public servants have died in their battles with Al-Qaeda operatives.”
9/11 Commission’s Former Leaders Refute Saudi Involvement in the Attacks - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT
 

Scorpion

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If the US has any evidences it would have disclosed them long ago.
 

RedViper

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I will be among the first to say that Saudi Arabia has domestic issues which lead to the creation of terrorists interested in attacking the United States. I would also say that it is highly probable that private citizens of Saudi Arabia, either with or without their knowledge, provided a great deal of funding to bin Laden's organizations. It is a matter of record that 15 of the 19 hijackers and the public face behind the attacks were Saudi.

But the idea that there was an operational link between the Saudi Government and the specific people involved in the 9/11 attacks is frankly absurd. At best, Saudi security and intelligence maintained contacts within the Al Qaeda organization. I would be worried if they didn't. The ISI did/does the same and the CIA has well established ties to people we consider to be 'bad guys'. This is just a part of how the game is played.

If the US had solid proof that there was an operation link (and this is very specific terminology), I don't think we would not have hesitated to dismantle the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I assume the US would have Kyoto-zoned the Two Holy Cities and gone at it. Keep in mind we did this to a country that had basically nothing to do with 9/11. It would have been trivial to get American voters on board for such an adventure and the global PR campaign writes itself (I imagine we'd all get sick of hearing the words 'betrayal' or 'stabbed in the back' on the morning talk shows). As much as we hear about factions of the American political sphere that are always supporting Saudi Arabia, there are others who are constantly trying to degrade bilateral relations.

How successful the end game of such an operation would be is not so clear. It would probably have fallen well within the confines of 'not good'.

So, is there a shadow campaign to drag the good name of Saudi Arabia through the mud in the US? Yes. I think there is and that Saudi deserves some of it. Saudi Arabia are not our allies because we love each other or share so many cultural and social characteristics that we are natural partners. We are allies because of the vagaries of global trade and because we share several, important geopolitical goals. We have to keep one another well informed of our opinions and outlook to maintain a productive relationship. The US should treat criticism from Saudi Arabia not as a personal attack but as potential useful advice. The opposite is also true.

Addressing a larger point, the US cannot fall into the thought-trap of the Middle East's future turning on the hinge of the Saudi-Iranian cold war. These are two, independent nations and we must approach them as someone who can mediate their conflicts, not as partisans of Riyadh. Sure, if Iran gets it in their mind to actually invade Saudi Arabia (this is so far-fetched, I can't believe I'm saying it), we should defend our ally, but our partnership with Saudi Arabia is one that is about fighting terrorists and ensuring the territorial integrity of the Kingdom. It is not our job to establish Saudi Arabia and the regional hegemon.
 
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