American Politics Journal

Call it 9-11Gate
By Mike Hersh

May 17, 2002 (Political Sanity/Mike Hersh) -- The Bush White House is trying to block investigations into the September 11th terror attacks. Democrats demand public investigations, but George W. Bush and Dick Cheney are desperate to prevent this.

Here's one reason: the Saudis hired several current and former top Bush administration officials. These officials looked the other way -- or worse -- before and after the Saudi-sponsored terrorist attacks.

Millions of Saudi dollars compromised the patriotism of top current and former Bush officials, including George W. Bush, George Herbert Walker Bush, James A. Baker III, and many others who work or worked in both Bush administrations.

Ties between the Bush and bin Laden families, the Carlyle Group and top Saudi officials let the Oil Royals beat the US like a rented camel.

How close are Bush family ties to Saudi Arabia? "Nowhere is the revolving U.S.-Saudi money wheel more evident than within President Bush's own coterie of foreign policy advisers, starting with the president's father, George H. W. Bush," according to the Boston Herald.

Jimmy Breslin says, "Our government knows ... that Saudi Arabians were the murderers on the planes on Sept. 11. The leader was this guy Atta, from Saudi Arabia, and he flew the plane into the north tower." Breslin concludes, "It's All About Oil."

Does all this Saudi oil money in the pockets of Bush's friends and family hurt us? The Boston Herald reports: "Those lucrative financial relationships call into question the ability of America's political elite to make tough foreign policy decisions about the kingdom that produced Osama bin Laden and is perhaps the biggest incubator for anti-Western Islamic terrorists."

Greg Palast examined "The CIA and Saudi Arabia, the Bushes and the Bin Ladens" on the BBC Newsnight program and asked, "Did their connections cause America to turn a blind eye to terrorism?" Palast identified Washington, DC suburb Falls Church, Virginia as a nest of bin Laden terrorists.

FBI documents obtained by the Guardian shown on BBC Newsnight and show that they sought to investigate two of Osama bin Laden's relatives in Washington and a Muslim organization, the World Assembly of Muslim Youth, also known as WAMY.

National security agents confirmed that Bush ordered them to "back off" their investigations into the bin Ladens, WAMY, and other terrorists living nearby. Bush obsequiousness toward Saudis with alarming connections to terrorism is nothing new. Citing a document marked "Secret. Case ID - 199-Eye WF 213 589", Palast explained Washington field office special agents were investigating Osama Bin Laden's brother Abdullah Bin Laden and WAMY -- a suspected terrorist organization -- but Bush ordered them to "back off."

The Pan Am International Flight Academy reported suspicious behavior, and outlined the specific threat to the Bush FBI and FAA. The Bush administration spiked the warnings. Now they're denying they were warned with enough specificity.

According to a Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune story published December 21, 2001: "Besides alerting the FBI about [indicted terrorist Zacarias] Moussaoui, the school's Phoenix office called the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) early this year about another student -- Hani Hanjour, who was believed to be the pilot of the plane that flew into the Pentagon on Sept. 11."

Look how specific the warning was over a month before the September 11th attacks: "Do you realize how serious this is?" the instructor asked an FBI agent. "This man wants training on a 747. A 747 fully loaded with fuel could be used as a weapon!" This was quoted from briefings to Congressional offices, as reported in the Star Trib. One of the suspicious men reported to the FBI flew the jet into the Pentagon. The other is about to stand trial for terrorism.

Pan Am reported suspicions about these men to the Bush FBI and the Bush FAA. Nothing happened. It looks as if Bush ordered the investigators to "back off" because Bush's family makes millions of dollars in business dealings with the bin Ladens and other Saudis, thereby jeopardizing our national security to coddle Saudis. Again, as reported in the Star Tribune:

"An FAA representative sat in on a class to observe Hanjour, who was from Saudi Arabia." Did this Bush official report Hanjour to the FBI? No. He "discussed with school officials finding an Arabic-speaking person to help him with his English, said Minnesota Representative Oberstar and others with direct knowledge of the school's briefings."

Rather than haul in this terrorist in training for questioning, the Bush FAA helped him learn to fly one of our jets into one of our buildings. Pan Am personnel weren't as trusting as the Bush administration, and sought to alert law enforcement.

The Star Trib reports: "When the instructor phoned, the FBI agent strongly urged him to pursue the matter but gave him the wrong agent to call, the sources said. The instructor made three more calls before reaching the right agent on August 15, the sources said. Moussaoui was arrested the next day and held on an immigration violation."

Despite these specific warnings, the Bush administration blocked FBI and other investigations into terror suspects including brothers of Osama bin Laden, operating in the very shadow of the Pentagon!

Palast and David Pallister wrote in the London, UK-based Guardian newspaper, on November 7, 2001, "US intelligence agencies have come under criticism for their wholesale failure to predict the catastrophe at the World Trade Centre. But agents complain that their hands were tied."

Bush concerns for Saudi sensibilities fatally compromised our national security. Pan Am reported suspicions about these men to the Bush FBI and the Bush FAA. Because Bush's family makes $millions in business with the bin Ladens and other Saudis, Bush ordered the investigators to "back off," jeopardizing our national security to coddle Saudis.

The pattern of deception and secrecy began months ago. Why did the Bush administration delay releasing the bin Laden videotape, and why did their translation omit or change critical passages? ABC News doesn't question why the Saudi police would help a so-called "dissident" meet with a supposed pariah bin Laden, but reports that on the tape, Harbi "tells bin Laden that in Saudi Arabia, several prominent clerics -- some with connections to the Saudi government -- made speeches supporting the attacks on America."

Despite two generations of Bushes slavishly serving Saudi interests, the arrogant oil sheiks escalate their demands and flout their support of bin Laden and terror. Saudi state-run media and top officials lash out at "U.S. media [they consider] critical about the lack of Saudi support for the ongoing investigations." Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah micromanages the Bush Middle East policy.

The New York Times rang the alarm bell in an October 14, 2001 editorial called "Reconsidering Saudi Arabia." Our blood is on Saudi hands, because "money and manpower from Saudi Arabia helped create and sustain Osama bin Laden's terrorist organization."

According to this insightful editorial, "Saudi Arabia sponsor[ed] Afghanistan's ruling Taliban movement, along with Pakistan. Also, "The Saudi government has allowed Saudi [pro-terror] organizations to funnel money to Al Qaeda and its terrorist network."

The Saudis supported our enemies when they "barred Washington from using Saudi air bases to launch attacks against Afghanistan." The Arabic News.Com reported, "The Saudi defense minister Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz has accused Zionism of being behind the media campaign against Saudi Arabia in the US. Whose side is Bush on?

Of course, Bush's Saudi masters oppress their women, and never allow their people the right to vote -- just as did the Taliban that the Saudis supported. The Bush administration helped a few dozen bin Laden relatives flee the US the same time they were trying to obscure their family ties to the Bushes.

Here's the smoking gun that links Bush family financial interests to the breakdown in national security on September 11th: Palast reports, "I received a phone call from a high-placed member of a US intelligence agency [who said] under George Bush...the agencies were told to 'back off' investigating the Bin Ladens and Saudi royals, and that angered agents."

The Bushes, James A. Baker III -- the fixer who helped Bush steal the election -- Dick Cheney, the Carlyle Group, and the band of Texas oil barons who have backed Bush's political career wanted a pipeline built through Afghanistan. Like his father before him, Bush placates his Saudi masters like some appointed colonial satrap.

Saudis led the terrorist attacks on September 11th, but rather than directing the focus at them, Bush attacked Afghanistan -- the poorest, weakest nation in the region. He said this was to bring back bin Laden "dead or alive" -- but recently Bush said that's no longer a priority. If it ever was. Then why did we attack Afghanistan?

The BBC and other international media report many of Bush's top campaign contributors have been trying to build a pipeline through Afghanistan. They negotiated with the Taliban for years. When talks broke down, the Bush administration stepped in threatening to carpet bomb Afghanistan if the Taliban blocked the deal.

This doesn't explain why our administration is still taking orders from the Saudis. Bush can only serve one nation: the US or Saudi Arabia. How much American blood will Bush risk for Saudi oil? The Bush people are "either with us or against us." The Saudis are not "with us." Which side are the Bushes on?

Official Arab sources are even more specific about lack of Saudi cooperation with our efforts to combat terrorism. The Arabic News.Com reported, "The Saudi defense minister Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz has accused Zionism of being behind the media campaign against Saudi Arabia in the US."

The same source reported: "Saudi Arabia has refused to comply with a US request to freeze bank accounts Washington suspects that they have links to certain terrorist groups." [sic] Saudi officials see nothing wrong with their support for terror and their obstruction of American efforts to combat terror. They dismiss even deferential questioning of their pro-terror activities as "Zionism" in the US media.

As usual, Bush's mouthpieces are trying to blame President Clinton for these security lapses. This ignores the facts. The Clinton Administration took strong and certain steps to protect us from terrorism. As the Washington Post reported, President Clinton threatened the Taliban with sure retribution:

"Assistant Secretary of State Michael A. Sheehan, the department's counterterrorism coordinator, delivered the new message directly to the Taliban. He telephoned Foreign Minister Ahmed Waqil and read him a formal declaration known as a demarche. 'If bin Laden or any of the organizations affiliated with him attacks the United States or United States interests,' he told Waqil, 'we will hold you, the leadership of the Taliban, personally accountable. Do you understand what I am saying? This is from the highest level of my government.'"

President Clinton held a loaded gun to back up his ultimatum. Again, according to the Washington Post: "The Clinton administration ordered the Navy to maintain two Los Angeles-class attack submarines on permanent station in the nearest available waters, enabling the U.S. military to place Tomahawk cruise missiles on any target in Afghanistan within about six hours of receiving the order."

President Clinton had two nuclear submarines aimed at the Taliban, and he told them so. Clinton was poised to fire missiles at any location where our agents spotted bin Laden. Bush ordered those submarines to stand down.

Bush coddled the Taliban because his father and friends were trying to build a pipeline through Taliban territory. President Clinton didn't put a pipeline over protecting our people. He read the riot act to the Taliban. He directly threatened to counterattack them if bin Laden attacked us.

Other Republicans are complicit in selling out our security for greedy gain. Al Gore led a commission to improve air security in the US, but the Republican Congress blocked this. Gore stressed action against bin Laden in his 2000 Campaign Platform. He would have continued Clinton-Gore policies holding the Taliban accountable while pursuing Al Queda.

From the 2000 Democratic Platform:

"Battling Terrorism. Whether terrorism is sponsored by a foreign nation or inspired by a single fanatic individual, such as Osama Bin Laden, Forward Engagement requires trying to disrupt terrorist networks, even before they are ready to attack.

"We must improve coordination internationally and domestically to share intelligence and develop operational plans. We must continue the comprehensive approach that has resulted in the development of a national counter-terrorism strategy involving all arms and levels of our government.

"We must continue to target terrorist finances, break up support cells, and disrupt training. And we must close avenues of cyber-attack by improving the security of the Internet and the computers upon which our digital economy exists.

"As President, Al Gore will tolerate no attack against American interests at home or abroad: terrorists must know that if they attack America, we will never forget. We will scour the world to hunt them down and bring them to justice."

Like Bill Clinton, Al Gore would have done all he could to prevent the attacks. George W. Bush cannot say that. Al Gore would not have sold out our security to Saudi Arabia as Bush did. Bush lifted the Clinton-Gore protections. He reversed these policies. Our enemies saw Bush's weakness as their opening and attacked. Bush is to blame for September 11th. That's what Bush is trying to hide from the American people.

CBS News, The Washington Post and Newsweek report Bush wants all inquiry into September 11th limited to the House and Senate intelligence committees which keep their proceedings secret. On May 16, 2002, CBS Evening News quoted Senate Leader Tom Daschle stating that Cheney repeatedly pressured him to keep quiet about September 11th.

Daschle refuses to bow to the pressure, saying: "Intelligence is just a piece of it. People need to know what happened." Bush rejected this answer, and had Vice President Richard Cheney threaten Sen. Daschle to keep quiet. "Press the issue, Cheney implied, and you risk being accused of interfering with the [war on terrorism]."

Senator Robert Torricelli also wants a broad and public inquiry: "We do not meet our responsibilities to the American people if we do not take an honest look at the federal government and all of its agencies and let the country know what went wrong."

Bush ordered our national security agents to "back off" the bin Laden terrorists. A former CIA agent appeared BBC TV saying: "We were just told, 'You get caught spying on the Saudis or looking into their affairs, and you will lose your head!'"

When Representative Cynthia McKinney asked "Why then does the administration remain steadfast in its opposition to an investigation into the biggest terrorism attack in history?" the White House sent its attack dogs to ridicule McKinney.

Bush's spokesman Ari Fleischer laughed: "The congresswoman must be running for the hall of fame of the Grassy Knoll Society." Now Fleischer is denying Bush had specific warnings about the September 11th attacks. We know that's just not true.

The Bush administration is trying to lean on and laugh off our elected officials who demand answers. We're not laughing. The terrorist attacks were a massive, tragic failure. Our Defense Department failed to protect its home, the Pentagon itself. We cannot afford secrecy over security.

To prevent future terrorist attacks, we must understand what went wrong leading up to September 11th.

You can help.

Demand a full public Congressional investigation.

Call Congress at (202) 224-3121.

Write letters to the editor demanding they investigate and report this story.

Go to this website: and print, copy and distribute the article.

Our lives and national security are at stake.

Mike Hersh is the Webmaster of

Copyright © 2002, Mike Hersh.
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ISSN No. 1523-1690