Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Interesting Questions

In an article in The Daily Beast by Bob Graham, former senator from Florida has raised a number of issues and opened up questions that need to be answered:
On September 12, 2001, Americans learned that 15 of the 19 commercial-airplane hijackers of the previous day were Saudis. The thought that went through many minds was, What are the Saudis thinking? Were these 15 individual suicidal decisions, or does 9/11 represent a break in our mutually beneficial relationship stretching back to World War II?

From that date until today those questions have largely gone unanswered. Unanswered because the government of the United States has engaged in a sustained and effective campaign to keep the American public from knowing the truth. And we may ask: Why?


Why would the Saudis have given substantial assistance to at least two of the hijackers, and possibly all 19? The answer I have come to is survival—survival of the state and survival of the House of Saud. The Saudi regime in the late 1990s faced the prospect of a repeat of the 1979 Iranian revolution, when young revolutionaries toppled the shah. Osama bin Laden was ascending. He had achieved hero status—in his country of birth, Saudi Arabia, and across much of the Muslim world—for his work with the mujahedin in expelling the Soviets from Afghanistan. He had successfully bombed two U.S. embassies in Africa. He had trained thousands of potential terrorists in his Afghan camps. And he was planning even greater attacks—this time within the United States itself.

But bin Laden recognized a deficiency: Most of those who would be spirited into the United States had never been there before and did not speak English. How could they survive and maintain anonymity while they completed the final planning, practiced and executed an enormously sophisticated attack? The Saudis, who were known to have a global network of agents to monitor their youth against the prospects of another Iran, could provide the support infrastructure to make this possible. The threat of civil unrest against the monarchy, led by al Qaeda, could be the leverage for access to this network.

An insight into how far the regime might go in defending and perpetuating the status quo occurred in May of this year at the Vienna meeting of the World Health Organization. Advancing its policy of avoiding the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, nuclear or biological, the United States offered a resolution that would have required all 193 members of the WHO to either declare they were smallpox-free or—as would be the case with the United States—to commit to the destruction of any smallpox pathogens held in laboratories or elsewhere within five years. Throughout history, smallpox has been a scourge of mankind, and the virus remains the only communicable human disease successfully erased from nature, a miracle of organization and determination. There is only one way it can reappear, and that is in a weaponized form from a nation or group bent on mass catastrophe and worldwide havoc. The results of any dissemination would automatically be classified as a crime against humanity. This resolution to destroy all samples was successfully filibustered by Iran. It is not surprising that a country which for more than a decade has sought to develop a nuclear capability would also be seeking a biological weapon. What was surprising was Saudi Arabia, one of Iran’s staunchest opponents, declaring that it “strongly disagreed” with the United States' position.

Why would the kingdom abandon its most important ally to support a nation that for the past 30-plus years has been considered its archenemy? Could it be that Saudi Arabia is also developing biological weapons?

The most perplexing unanswered question remains: Why would the United States engage in a cover-up?
I would love to have some answers to the questions raised by Senator Graham. He was co-chair of the Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities before and after the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001 or 'JIICATAS911" is the official name of the inquiry conducted by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence into the activities of the U.S. Intelligence Community in connection with the September 11, 2001 attacks beginning in February 2002, with the final report released in December 2002.

It is hard to have confidence in a "transparent" government when fundamental questions like these go unanswered for ten long years. The go unanswered whether there is a Republican administration or a Democratic administration. Very strange.

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