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Gerald Posner on the Daily Show Last Night

Last night Gerald Posner was on the Daily Show discussing bin-laden/bush/911 ties.. specifically the 4 mysterious deaths surrounding the Saudi royal family..

here is a summary:
Footnotes for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Reference to Abu Zubaydah. According to Gerald L. Posner in his book Why America Slept: The Reasons Behind Our Failure to Prevent 9/11, al-Qaeda associate Abu Zubaydah told interrogators in 2002 that Osama Bin Laden had struck deals with Saudi leaders including Prince Ahmed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz and that some Saudi leaders had known in advance that there would be some kind of a major attack against the United States on September 11.

As noted, some of the people allegedly identified then died in arguably unusual circumstances. Prince Ahmed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, 44, died on July 22, 2002; the Saudi embassy has a statement on-line here. Prince Sultan bin Faisal bin Turki bin Abdullah Al-Saud, 41, died on July 23; the Saudi embassy has a statement on-line here. Prince Fahd bin Turki bin Saud Alkabeer, 25, died "of thirst" on July 29, according to a Saudi statement on-line here.

References to Saudi Arabia. Regarding Saudi Arabia, 15 of the 19 hijackers involved in the September 11, 2001 attacks did come from Saudi Arabia, as did Osama Bin Laden. al-Qaeda also received funding from Saudi citizens and perhaps indirectly and unknowingly from the Saudi government and Saudi leaders. At the same time, al-Qaeda does not have the formal support of the Saudi government and actively opposes some of the Saudi government's policies, notably, its close ties to the United States. Notably, Bin Laden himself was exiled from Saudi Arabia and largely cut off from his family in 1994. Saudi Arabia also took some steps against Bin Laden in the 1990s, such as meeting with the Taliban in 1998 to urge them to expel Bin Laden, an act which led the Taliban to denounce the Saudi government and suspend relations with it.

At least one person involved in the hijacking has reportedly suggested that Saudi citizens were specifically chosen to weaken the US-Saudi relationship, a theory that Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia also has expressed. But one organizer, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, considered the principal architect of the 9/11 attacks, reportedly told interrogators that so many Saudis were chosen simply because Saudis make up the largest portion of recruits in al-Qaeda training camps (roughly 70 percent).

i will post a video clip once i can get my hands on it.. until then you can catch the rerun of the episode tonight at 11:30pm EST and 1:30am EST..

EDIT: video is available on dembloggers.com, you can find it here:
http://www.dembloggers.com/story/2005/5/31/211319/941

Dem Bloggers has the

Having been working at the

Having been working at the US Embassy in Riyadh during the period in question, I do know a bit about these events that Posner tries to tie into a neat--albeit conspiratorial--package.

A tragic coincidence? Certainly. Nefarious doings? Not quite.

I knew Ahmed bin Salman and he was about as apolitical as one can get. He was interested in horses, his publishing business, and horses. The idea that he could have been fronting for Al-Qaeda is ludicrous to anyone who knew him, even slightly.

Ahmed died on the operating table. It happens, even in world-class hospitals. His cousin Sultan bin Faisal was racing from the west of the country--stories differ whether he was coming from Mecca or Jeddah--to get to the funeral. If you've ever driven in Saudi Arabia--particularly on that 10-hour stretch between the west and Riyadh--you'd understand immediately that traffic deaths (which are the leading cause of death in the country, by the way) are not uncommon. Big cars, speed, and not great roads add up to deadly accidents.

The third death is a bit more suspicious because the facts didn't get reported openly. Fahd bin Turki was a notorious drug abuser. Dying of an overdose or as a result of nodding off in a car in the desert in midsummer, isn't inexplicable, either. But the shame of admitting that a prince was also a drug addict kept that detail from being reported.

There was simply nothing suspicious in any of these three deaths (Posner only claims three). No one in US intelligence or law enforcement were concerned about these deaths.

Posner tries to anchor the book he's currently flacking on another specious bit of "intelligence", that the Saudis have booby-trapped their oil infrastructure with radiological bombs. He has the story from a single, unnamed, retired Mossad source, who claims to have seen NSA documents to that effect. Posner says he'd like more information. How about more information before conning the public with the fruits of his imagination? Or at least labeling it "speculative fiction"?

You can find factual information and informed comment about Saudi Arabia at my blog Crossroads Arabia, if you'd care to stop by.

thanks for the heads up :)

thanks for the heads up :)