Saturday, September 11, 2004

Why do we have to turn to the foreign media to learn the truth?

From the Guardian

"Yet the truth is that Bush is actually soft on terror. When it comes to going after the men who were behind 9/11 and who continue to wage a jihad against the US, Bush has repeatedly turned a blind eye to the forces behind terrorism, shielded the people who funded al-Qaida, obstructed investigations and diverted resources from the battle against it.

One key reason is the Bush-Saudi relationship, the like of which is unprecedented in US politics. Even after the success of Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11, the subject is largely taboo in the American media. Never before has a president of the US - much less two from the same family - had such close ties with another foreign power.

Prince Bandar, the Saudi ambassador to the US and a powerful member of the royal family, has been a close friend of George Bush Snr for more than 20 years. Nicknamed Bandar Bush, he drops by the Bush residences in Kennebunkport, Maine, and Crawford, Texas, not to mention the White House. He and Bush senior go on hunting trips together.

Then there's the money. More than $1.4bn of financial transactions have gone from the House of Saud to corporations and institutions tied to the Bushes and their allies - largely to companies such as the Carlyle Group, Halliburton, and HarkenEnergy. So what does all that influence buy the Saudis?

Let's go to the White House on September 13 2001. Just 48 hours after 9/11, the toxic rubble at the World Trade Centre site was still ablaze. The estimated death count, later lowered significantly, was thought to be as high as 40,000.

On that afternoon, Bandar met on the Truman balcony with President Bush and the two men lit up Cohiba cigars. At the time, the White House knew that 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis. It knew that Osama bin Laden was Saudi. And, as the 9/11 commission concluded, it knew that Saudi Arabia was "the primary source of money for al-Qaida", which was largely funded by wealthy Saudis via Islamist charities.

President Bush was in the presence of the ambassador from the country that is the guardian of Wahhabi Islam, the fundamentalist sect which helped produce al-Qaida. This is where the war on terror and a massive investigation into the greatest crime in US history should have begun."


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