Playing the “Get into Saudi Arabia free card”
Sunday, August 28, 2011
This guest blog is from Kevin Ryan, co-editor of the Journal of 9/11 Studies. Kevin's personal blog can be found at Dig Within.
Recent developments among supporters of the US government’s version of events indicate that they plan to begin blaming Saudi Arabia for the attacks of September 11, 2001. There is, in fact, much evidence suggesting complicity by some elements within the Saudi government. But that fact only further implicates western powers due to the close relationship between the Saudi royal family, which runs the Saudi government, and deep state controlling interests that have partnered with and manipulated the Saudi royal family for many decades. Blaming Saudi Arabia would, however, make a lot of sense if seizing resources, including the world’s greatest oil reserves, was what the war on terror has always been about.
Two weeks ago I spoke to NPR producer, Alex Kingsbury, who asked if I felt the release of the 28-pages of redacted material from the Joint Congressional Inquiry might help to solve the mysteries still surrounding 9/11. Those redacted pages, and much of the 9/11 Commission report that followed, have always seemed to be a kind of "Get into Saudi Arabia free" card for the powers that be. Kingsbury was interested in knowing whether the redacted pages, which are thought to contain significant references to Saudi Arabia, were of interest to me personally. Of course they would be, I said, but we should remember that the government of Saudi Arabia is far from representative of its people.
Similarly, a recent interview with “Counterterrorism Czar,” Richard Clarke, has been the subject of considerable discussion. Ostensibly, Clark’e objective with this interview was to make the controversial suggestion that two of the alleged 9/11 hijackers were targets for recruitment by the CIA. What many have failed to emphasize, however, is that Clarke was simultaneously suggesting that the two alleged hijackers were actually working for the government of Saudi Arabia at the time of the attacks.
About a month ago, military intelligence officer and 9/11 staffer, Miles Kara, wrote to me asking if I was aware of the publication of a book called The Eleventh Day by Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan. Kara declared that this new book was – “the definitive work, to date, on 9/11.” Having since had a chance to borrow a copy of this book from the library, I can say that it is a malevolent piece of propaganda that attempts to persuade the ill-informed of three things.
The first thing that the Summers and Swann book attempts to do is malign the 9/11 truth movement. For example, the authors suggest that the movement is well represented by people like video-fakery and Star Wars beam advocate, James Fetzer, and it has been well answered by government employees and simple-minded contrarians like Ryan Mackey. Summers and Swann also state that well-sourced samples of World Trade Center dust, collected using completely appropriate chain of custody forms, are not good sources of information yet long-time propagandist, Gerald Posner, and Weekly Standard contributor, Thomas Joscelyn (who recently tried to link Iran to 9/11), are excellent sources.
The second goal of the book is to propose that the partial release of documents by the 9/11 Commission in the last few years has answered all the unanswered questions about the attacks. It’s not clear if the authors had a chance to look at many of those documents though. For example, one of them says that the training school for Hani Hanjour, whom the 9/11 Commission called “the operations most experienced pilot,” questioned Hanjour’s pilot certificate because he had “no fundamental skills / poor English” and they “wondered if the cert was false.” This is but one of many examples in which these newly released documents directly contradict the 9/11 Commission report, instead of supporting it as Summers and Swann claim.
Most importantly, this new book attempts to blaze a new trail for Saudi complicity in the attacks of 9/11. Unfortunately, although the book details a number of reasons why the Saudi government should be investigated for supporting the alleged perpetrators of 9/11, it paradoxically avoids many of the important Saudi links to 9/11. The authors appear to do this in an effort to accuse the Saudis while simultaneously covering-up evidence that western corporations and western government leaders were really behind many of the Saudi links.
Here are a few of the surprising connections between Saudi Arabia and westerners who were in one way or another related to the 9/11 attacks.
· Bernard Kerik, the New York City police commissioner and “9/11 hero,” spent three years working in Saudi Arabia in the 1970s for a company that occupied one of the WTC towers at the time of the attacks. He then spent another three years in Saudi Arabia in the 1980s as “the chief investigator for the royal family.” It was Kerik who first told the public that explosives were not used at the WTC, and it was his police department that was said to have discovered the magic passport which fell from one of the towers to conveniently provide evidence identifying one of the alleged hijackers.
· One of two primary companies to manage the clean-up of Ground Zero, Bovis Lend Lease, had previously built the Riyadh Olympic stadium in Saudi Arabia.
· The other primary clean-up company at Ground Zero, AMEC, had just completed a $258 million refurbishment of Wedge 1 of the Pentagon, which is exactly where Flight 77 impacted that building. AMEC is a major international player in the oil and gas industry, as well as in other natural resource industries. AMEC had a significant presence in Saudi Arabia dating back to the late 1970s, providing support to the national oil company Saudi Aramco.
· The company that designed the security systems for the WTC complex, Kroll Associates, had strong connections to Saudi Arabia. For example, Kroll board member Raymond Mabus was the US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia in the mid 1990s.
· All four of the primary contractors that were involved in rebuilding the security systems for the WTC had done significant business with the Saudis. Electronic Systems Associates' parent, S&H, designed King Saud University, and E.J. Electric worked for Saudi Arabian Airlines. Ensec was owned by a former arms dealer to the Saudis. Stratesec, which had contracts not only for the WTC but also for Dulles airport, where Flight 77 took off, and United Airlines which owned two of the three other planes, worked under "a joint venture agreement with Ahmad N. AlBinali & Sons Co., a large Saudi Arabian engineering and construction company, to develop and conduct business in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia."
· The Bush and Bin Laden-financed Carlyle Group owned, through BDM International, the Vinnell Corporation, a mercenary operation that had extensive contracts in the Middle East since 1975 and trained the Saudi Arabian National Guard. Several of Stratesec’s key employees, including COO Barry McDaniel, came from BDM. In 1995, BDM’s Vinnell was one of the first targets of al Qaeda, in Saudi Arabia.
· In the 1990s, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), run by Dick Cheney protégé, Duane Andrews, trained the Saudi Navy and brought Saudi military personnel to company headquarters in San Diego for further study. SAIC played a large part in the NIST WTC investigation after 9/11, but was also involved in the investigation of the 1993 WTC bombing, boasting that -- "After the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, our blast analyses produced tangible results that helped identify those responsible." SAIC was paid huge sums to rebuild the NSA and FBI systems that supposedly failed before 9/11.
· While SAIC was training the Saudi Navy, the Carlyle/BDM subsidiary Vinnell Corp was training the Saudi Arabian National Guard. Simultaneously, Booz Allen Hamilton was managing the Saudi Marine Corps and running the Saudi Armed Forces Staff College.
· Former FBI director Louis Freeh, whose agency investigated al Qaeda-attributed terrorism from 1993 to 2001, is now the personal attorney for Saudi ambassador "Bandar Bush."
· Salomon Smith Barney, the company that occupied all but 10 floors of WTC building 7, was taken over by Citigroup in 1998. Citigroup had recently been saved from bankruptcy by Prince Alwaleed of Saudi Arabia, in a deal brokered by The Carlyle Group. It is believed that the money, and more, came from the terrorist financing network, BCCI, as it was dissolving. Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney joined the advisory board at Solomon Smith Barney at that time and were on the board until they resigned to join the Bush Administration in January, 2001.
· The Saudi government was sued by thousands of 9/11 victim's family members due to the suspicion that Saudi Arabia helped to finance al Qaeda. The Saudis hired the law firm of Bush Administration insider, James Baker, to defend them in that lawsuit.
Summers and Swann seem to have missed these interesting connections between US government officials and corporations, and Saudi Arabia. That seems odd for a book that pretends to be the definitive work to date. Despite this inconsistency, it is doubtful that Richard Clarke, 9/11 Commission staffer Miles Kara, NPR’s Alex Kingsbury, or any other supporter of the government’s reports, will say anything about it.
 See FOIA response “5 AWA 356” received by the 9/11 Working Group of Bloomington http://www.911workinggroup.org/p/foia-research.html page 71 of 447