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  • The Saudi Connection?

    Is this over the top, or is there some truth in it? I still find it curious that although almost all of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudis, few (if any) moves have been made by the USA against Saudi Arabia, and yet Iraq, with tenuous (at best) links to 9/11, is now occupied.

    http://www.cbc.ca/fifth/conspiracytheories/saudi.html

    Originally Broadcast on October 29, 2003

    CONSPIRACY OR COINCIDENCE?
    Is it a conspiracy or a coincidence? There is a long and tangled history between the Bush family and the elite of Saudi Arabia.


    There are many business and connections between the Bush family and the elite of Saudi Arabia.

    It begins in the 1970's in Houston, Texas, when George W. Bush was just starting out in his family's two businesses of politics and oil. The powerful - and very rich - Bin Laden family helped fund his first venture into oil.

    The cozy friendship continued for decades. After a terrorist attack at a barracks in Saudi Arabia which killed 19 Americans, the bin Laden family received a multi-billion dollar contract to re-build. And incredibly, George Bush Sr. was in a business meeting at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Washington on the morning of September 11th with one of Osama Bin Laden's brothers.

    Below is a timeline that details the relationship between the Bin Laden and Bush families that culminates in the tragic events of September 11th.

    1968
    George W. Bush joins the Texas Air National Guard, a coveted position that ensures he doesn’t have to serve in Vietnam. While a member of the Guard, Bush meets and befriends Jim Bath, a former Air Force pilot and budding entrepreneur.

    1976
    George H. W. Bush becomes director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). During his tenure, Bush helps provide training for the Saudi royal family’s palace guard, cementing a relationship that proves critical to the Bush family’s fortunes. Bush also privatizes various CIA assets, with Bath considered one of the beneficiaries because of his involvement in the aircraft business. Bath will later tell a business associate he works for the CIA and was recruited by Bush Sr.


    Jim Bath is alleged to be the link between the Bin Laden and Bush families.

    Salem Bin Laden, older brother to future al Qaeda leader Osama, enters into a trust agreement with Jim Bath, whereby Bath will act as the bin Laden family’s representative in North America, investing money in various business ventures. Bath also becomes the business representative of Khalid bin Mahfouz, a member of Saudi Arabia’s most powerful banking family and owners of the National Commercial Bank, the principal bank of the Saudi royal family.

    1978
    Charles W. “Bill” White, a former Annapolis graduate and US Navy pilot, graduates from Harvard’s business school. He is then introduced to Jim Bath who is looking for someone to manage his real estate company. Bath hires White as his partner. Money from the bin Laden and bin Mahfouz families is invested in Bath’s real estate company. Among other things, Bath buys the Saudis an airport, office and apartment buildings, and invests in Texas banks. Eventually, Salem Bin Laden and Khalid bin Mahfouz buy an enormous mansion in River Oaks, Houston’s most affluent neighborhood.


    Bush Jr. was a young man when he received funding for his first oil venture from Jim Bath.
    George W. Bush starts up an oil company in Texas called Arbusto 78. Bath will invest money from Salem bin Laden and Khalid bin Mahfouz in this new company. Bill White is told by Bath that more than $1-million of the Saudis’ money was pumped into Bush’s venture.

    1979
    The Carter administration, through the CIA, begins to fund the fledgling mujahadeen in Afghanistan – six months before the Soviet invasion – in the hopes of drawing the USSR into its own Vietnam.

    1980
    George H.W. Bush runs for the presidential nomination of the Republican Party, but loses to Ronald Reagan. He becomes Reagan’s running mate and eventual vice-president.

    1981
    Osama bin Laden, son of the founder of the Bin Laden Group, the largest construction company in Saudi Arabia, travels to Afghanistan to help the mujahadeen in their bloody war against the Soviet Union.

    1986
    Bill White and Jim Bath have a falling out. Bath then launches 28 frivolous lawsuits against White, leading to White’s financial ruin and expulsion from Houston’s business community. White fights the lawsuits, refusing to take a huge pay off to keep silent about his knowledge of Bath’s relationship to the Saudis and Bush family.

    1987
    Harken Energy, a company that George W. Bush’s failed oil companies have been folded into, receives $25-million stock offering underwritten by significant players connected to the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), a Middle Eastern banking concern. Bush is key to Harken obtaining the money.

    1989
    The Soviets pull out of Afghanistan after the CIA spends (US) $3-billion on the largest covert operation in its history. Osama bin Laden returns to Saudi Arabia, angry with how the Americans abandoned Afghanistan after the Soviet retreat.


    Bin Mahfouz, Osama's brother-in-law, lived in Houston and had ties to both the bin Ladens and Jim Bath.

    1988-92
    The BCCI scandal breaks. The bank is exposed for being a massive criminal enterprise, catering to some of the most notorious villains of the 20th century, including Saddam Hussein, Manuel Noriega, terrorist leaders Abu Nidal, and the Medellin drug cartel and for being involved in money laundering, the Iran contra scandal, and pilfering investors’ cash. At the time of its collapse, Khalid Bin Mahfouz (see above) was COO of BCCI, and is eventually fined $225-million to settle felony charges for stealing investors’ money.

    1991
    The first Gulf War occurs, whereby George H. W. Bush is determined to push Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait to ensure the Iraqi dictator doesn’t have a stranglehold on world oil markets. Osama bin Laden urges the Saudi royal family to find an Arab solution, by raising an army on their own to fight Hussein. When the royal family invites the U.S. in to do the job instead, Bin Laden becomes disenchanted with the House of al-Saud. His anger grows when after the war the US leaves 20,000 troops behind in Saudi Arabia. Soon Bin Laden makes a deal with the Saudi royal family: he is allowed to leave the kingdom with his fortune, and will receive funding for al Qaeda from various Saudi charities and banks, but in return he must not launch attacks against the royal family. Bin Laden settles in the Sudan, aiming his ire at the US.

    1992
    George H. W. Bush loses to Bill Clinton. Eventually the former president becomes an adviser to the Carlyle Group, a powerful Washington-based private investment firm with interests in the defense industry. Among his duties, Bush helps strengthen Carlyle’s ties to the Saudi royal family. He will later visit Saudi Arabia and the bin Laden family compound. The bin Ladens eventually invest in the Carlyle Group. Carlyle buys a company called Vinnell Corp., which provides training to the Saudi palace guard. George W. Bush briefly sits on the board of directors of one of Carlyle’s subsidiaries.

    1993
    The first attack on the World Trade Centre, which is connected to Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda, occurs.

    1994
    George W. Bush becomes governor of Texas.

    1995
    Five American soldiers are killed in a car bomb in Saudi Arabia. The Saudis quickly execute the suspects they arrest, ignoring wishes from the FBI to interrogate them beforehand.

    The Taliban come to power in Afghanistan with the backing of Pakistan’s notorious intelligence agency, the ISI.

    1996
    Osama bin Laden is forced to move from the Sudan to Afghanistan under pressure from the Clinton administration. Neither the US nor the Saudis make an effort to arrest him – despite the opportunity offered up to them by the Sudanese government.

    June
    A truck bomb blows up the al-Khobar barracks, housing US air force personnel in Saudi Arabia, killing 19 soldiers. A group called Saudi Hezbollah claims responsibility. Eventually, the Clinton administration drops the investigation because it does not want to upset relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran – the country that funds Hezbollah.


    The Saudis - including Bin Mahfouz meet with an al Qaeda representative at a Paris hotel in 1996.

    Summer
    A meeting of prominent Saudis occurs in a Paris hotel. Among the attendees is the head of Saudi intelligence, Turki bin Faisal, and Khalid bin Mahfouz. They meet with a representative of al Qaeda and agree to extend the earlier arrangement made between the Saudi royal family and Osama bin Laden – whereby in return for cash, al Qaeda agrees not to attack inside Saudi Arabia.

    The CIA produces an internal report that documents the numerous Saudi charities that are funding terrorists. Osama bin Laden’s name is mentioned.

    1998
    Al Qaeda makes it most audacious attack to date by blowing up US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, killing 224 people.

    2000
    January
    Ziad Jarrah, pilot of Flight 93, which would crash into a field in Pennsylvania on 9/11, is stopped and interrogated at an airport in United Arab Emirates (UAE). He is returning from al Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan and is carrying Islamic religious material on him. The US is informed of the interrogation but not the details.

    January
    A high-powered meeting of al Qaeda occurs in an apartment complex in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. Attending the meeting is Khalid Shaykh Mohammed, the number three man in al Qaeda and mastermind behind the 1998 US embassy attacks, and architect of the USS Cole and 9/11 attacks to come. Also at the meeting is Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi, two Saudi citizens who would end up as hijackers on Flight 77, the plane that crashes into the Pentagon on 9/11.

    The CIA learns about the meeting beforehand and asks the Malaysian secret police to place it under surveillance. Video footage and photographs of the dozen men in attendance are taken, though no tape recording is possible. After the meeting breaks up, Al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar fly to the US on their own passports, landing in Los Angeles. There they are met by Omar al-Bayoumi, a Saudi national who works for the Saudi civil aviation authority. Just prior to picking up the two would-be hijackers, Al-Bayoumi meets with a member of the Saudi consulate in LA – a man connected to terrorist activity.

    Al-Bayoumi takes al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi to San Diego, puts them up in an apartment, signs a lease, holds a party for them, enrolls them in flight school and gives them money. Later, the FBI concludes that al-Bayoumi is likely a Saudi intelligence agent. Al-Bayoumi also passes on thousands of dollars to the hijackers that originate from Princess Haifa, wife of Prince Bandar Saudi ambassador to the US.

    May-June
    Members of the Hamburg cell, including ringleader Mohammed Atta, enter the US. They are traveling on Saudi visas, all of which contain errors on them.

    September
    Al-Hazmi and Al-Mihdhar move into the home of a local imam in San Diego, Abdussattar Shaikh. The imam is an FBI informant. In fact, Shaikh holds meetings with his FBI handler while al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar sit in a room next door. Shaikh contends he was never told what mission the hijackers were on. His FBI handler, meanwhile, was never informed by his superiors to look out for al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar.

    October
    The USS Cole, sitting in a harbour off the coast of Yemen, is attacked by a boat laden with explosives, killing 17 sailors.

    November
    George W. Bush is elected president of the US in a contested election. Support for his campaign from the oil industry is generous.

    2001
    In the months leading up to 9/11, the CIA, FBI and National Security Agency receive a burgeoning mountain of intelligence that a terrorist attack of some magnitude, and launched by Al Qaeda, is imminent. They assume the attack will happen overseas.

    January
    The CIA and FBI begin to piece together the importance of the individuals who met a year earlier in Malaysia. Despite the information they have, neither al-Hazmi nor al-Mihdhar are placed on the State Department and Customs watch list.

    April
    Al-Hazmi is stopped for speeding in Oklahoma. He is let go because his name does not appear in the police officer’s data bank as a wanted man.

    May
    The CIA will later determine that Khalid Shaykh Mohammed, architect of 9/11 and al Qaeda’s other attacks, was entering the US as late as this month, despite the fact he is a well-known figure in the terrorist netherworld, his name first becoming known to the CIA as early as 1995.

    June
    CIA and FBI meet to talk about al-Mihdhar. But the CIA does not hand over critical information to the FBI. Again, the men are not placed on any watch list and a search for them is not initiated.

    July
    A Phoenix, Az.-based FBI counter-terrorism agent writes a lengthy memo in which he says it has been noticed that a high number of Arabs, possibly with connections to al Qaeda, are taking flying lessons in local flight schools. His memo is ignored by FBI headquarters.

    August
    President Bush receives a detailed and lengthy presidential daily briefing from the CIA in which Osama Bin Laden and al Qaeda’s aim of launching an attack against the US is discussed. To this day, the Bush White House refuses to release the contents of this briefing to Congressional inquiries into 9/11.

    The CIA finally puts al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar’s name on the watch lists. By then it is too late. The FBI and CIA do a limited search for the men.

    Sept. 11/2001
    The attack occurs. The morning of the attack George Bush Sr. is meets with members of the Carlyle Group in Washington. Bin Laden's own brother is at the meeting. Members of the Bin Laden family are allowed to leave the U.S. without questioning two days later.
    Last edited by Martin Schenkel; 28 Jan 04, 23:18.

  • #2
    I'm certain the Saudi government was in some way indirectly involved in the 9/11 attack. This was likely in the form of financial aid to Al-Qaeda opera-tives. I'm also certain the US knew about the attacks before they occurred, and likely are aware of the connection between Al-Qaeda and the Saudi regime. I don't believe the US government plotted with anyone to allow the attacks to occur. However, we are likely suppressing evidence, which might create the kind of public outrage that leaders could not ignore.

    Any direct action against Saudi Arabia would demand universal international support, with a strong emphasis on support from the Arab world and all the major powers including China and Russia. That kind of support is impossible to achieve now, or immediately after the attacks. The economic ramifactions, and the complexity of Middle Eastern politics provide people like King Fadh, or even Saddam Hussein, with relative security no matter what they do.

    The only way we can punish Saudi Arabia is to abandon King Fadh, and undermine his importance in Middle Eastern affairs. Invading Iraq and withdrawing American troops from SA are two steps in that direction. When Coalition forces were sent to Saudi Arabia in 1990, the King made each country sign a document promising to respect their government's wishes and leave when asked. I didn't have a problem with the contract. However, nothing pissed me off more than watching the Prince smirk about it as if his country would not need the world had Saddam decided to roll south. Hopefully, the King is missing us already.

    Sometimes, you can't prosecute even the most guilty of people. I hope by taking the more indirect approach of finding new allies elsewhere, King Fadh will be forced to become an allie in the war against terrorism and not support groups like Al-Qaeda.
    "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Deltapooh

      Any direct action against Saudi Arabia would demand universal international support, with a strong emphasis on support from the Arab world and all the major powers including China and Russia. .
      Just curious. Why should the same arguments not be valid for the invasion of Iraq?
      ...the troops of love are pulling out... (D.A.D.)

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by rasmus
        Just curious. Why should the same arguments not be valid for the invasion of Iraq?
        Our action in Iraq did not threaten the vital interest of the international community. The most likely ramifactions are within America's capacity to contain them. This is not to say the US should completely ignore the concerns of the international community. Iraq is located in the Middle East, and we all have a stake in the region's future. Yet, America's global and corrective powers could manage the situation without producing unfavorable conditions for the world in general.

        Saudi Arabia is different. It's political, religious, and economic status establishes a degree of global importance that far exceeds those of Iraq. It would be wrong for the US to act against Saudi Arabia, and threaten the vital interest of billions of people, without first seeking their approval.
        "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942

        Comment


        • #5
          Hello,

          I believe by invading Iraq, it is a step in the right direction by removing the US troops stationed in Sandi Arabia and reducing SA's influence in Middle East. Now, in future, SA can no longer expect a lot of assistance from the United States nor it should look to America as a strong ally to be depended upon.

          In the process, we are setting up Iraq as our base should Syria, Sandi Arabia, Jordan, and especially Iran decide to play hardball with America, we will be able to project our military power from Iraq. That's exactly what I think Bush is doing right now. Now it's no longer America acting like a pussycat, it is indeed now a country empowered with the might of her armed forces to protect herself from the rest of world.

          At least I'm glad Bush is a real man, while Clinton, the international's favorite pussycat is no more!

          Dan
          Major James Holden, Georgia Badgers Militia of Rainbow Regiment, American Civil War

          "Aim small, miss small."

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Cheetah772
            Hello,

            I believe by invading Iraq, it is a step in the right direction by removing the US troops stationed in Sandi Arabia and reducing SA's influence in Middle East. Now, in future, SA can no longer expect a lot of assistance from the United States nor it should look to America as a strong ally to be depended upon.
            Saudi Arabia is still a strategically vital allie of the United States, and will remain so as long as we and our allies require it's oil. The impression I believe the US should impose on King Fadh is that his relationship with America is also important to his own position. We should also illustrate the flexibility to establish new alliances with Arab countries in the region, which would also go a long way into changing the Saudi regime's definition of it's relationship with America.

            Originally posted by Cheetah772
            In the process, we are setting up Iraq as our base should Syria, Sandi Arabia, Jordan, and especially Iran decide to play hardball with America, we will be able to project our military power from Iraq. That's exactly what I think Bush is doing right now. Now it's no longer America acting like a pussycat, it is indeed now a country empowered with the might of her armed forces to protect herself from the rest of world.
            Bush is really capitalizing on a shift in policy began under the Clinton Administration. One of the first signs that the US was planning something in the Persian Gulf came when satellite photos revealed contractors had accelerated construction of several bases that had been under construction since mid-2000.


            Originally posted by Cheetah772
            At least I'm glad Bush is a real man, while Clinton, the international's favorite pussycat is no more!

            Dan
            When you match up Bush and Clinton's pyschological profile, you'll find both men are remarkably similar. If people really wanted to rid the White House of Clintonism, they would have done better to elect Al Gore or John McCain. All we've done is replaced one arrogant, idealistic, unrealist, with another. The main difference between Bush and Clinton is where they place their loyalty. Bush focuses heavily on domestic loyalty. Clinton enjoyed international endorsement. There are positives and negatives in both. Just one appeals to one group and not another.
            "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942

            Comment


            • #7
              Deltapooh,

              You would be better off not comparing Bush and Clinton on the same hand. It's a big no-no for a lot of conservatives or even for liberals as well. That's just asking for sort of a political suicide, you're a political scientist, you should know better.

              Al Gore is just another Clinton's puppet. He would have done much greater damage to America like trying to get Koyoto Pact ratified. He is really a Sierra Club nuts. John McCain, I seriously doubt, would have ever made the tough committments to project the military power. I don't think he would have invaded Iraq or even Afghanistan. So, no, I don't want him.

              Dan
              Major James Holden, Georgia Badgers Militia of Rainbow Regiment, American Civil War

              "Aim small, miss small."

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Cheetah772
                Deltapooh,

                You would be better off not comparing Bush and Clinton on the same hand. It's a big no-no for a lot of conservatives or even for liberals as well. That's just asking for sort of a political suicide, you're a political scientist, you should know better.
                It might be bad for business, but it is the truth. I recently attended a seminar on psychological profiling and its employment as an analysis tool. Reports on President Bush and Clinton were presented as examples. Both men are very much alike. Each man lacked a clear political direction early on in their careers. Both were inspired by failure. Each is exciting, idealistic, and to some extent very arrogant. Bush operates on a higher moral standard, but is nonetheless as corruptive as Clinton, mainly because he places a great emphasis on loyalty over competence.
                "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Deltapooh
                  Sometimes, you can't prosecute even the most guilty of people. I hope by taking the more indirect approach of finding new allies elsewhere, King Fadh will be forced to become an allie in the war against terrorism and not support groups like Al-Qaeda.
                  Yet there is an apparent conflict of interest, with these alleged business ties the Bush family has in Saudi Arabia. Is Bush truely interested in distancing the USA from the Saudi regime, if it means losing those business links? Since the Saudis are also major buyers of US military hardware, can the US government afford to move away from the Saudi regime? Certainly the issues aren't this black and white, but these factors must be in the back of Bush's mind.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Deltapooh
                    Saudi Arabia is different. It's political, religious, and economic status establishes a degree of global importance that far exceeds those of Iraq. It would be wrong for the US to act against Saudi Arabia, and threaten the vital interest of billions of people, without first seeking their approval.
                    What is it that makes Saudi Arabia so much more different? Is this due to the Saudi government's relative pro-western stance?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Martin Schenkel
                      Yet there is an apparent conflict of interest, with these alleged business ties the Bush family has in Saudi Arabia. Is Bush truely interested in distancing the USA from the Saudi regime, if it means losing those business links? Since the Saudis are also major buyers of US military hardware, can the US government afford to move away from the Saudi regime? Certainly the issues aren't this black and white, but these factors must be in the back of Bush's mind.
                      It is indeed a conflict of interest. Unfortunately, that doesn't weigh much in the minds of people as they cast their votes. I don't believe it is possible for America to cut all ties with Saudi Arabia. We still need to provide a degree of support for King Fadh to maintain favorable policies. If the US were to cut him off completely, the King would either seek support elsewhere, or worse yet end up being deposed and replaced with a hardlined government, which might be inevitable in any case. Instead you employ quiet diplomacy. Where as in the past, we consulted King Fadh about every matter in the region, we not call him only when absolutely vital. You sign agreements with neighbors without advising the King. These are quiet steps that go unnoticed publically, but can be felt by political regimes like Saudi Arabia.

                      Originally posted by Martin Schenkel
                      What is it that makes Saudi Arabia so much more different? Is this due to the Saudi government's relative pro-western stance?
                      Saudi Arabia oil exports account for 70% of the US intake and more than 50% of Western-Europe's imports. Japan is also very dependent on oil shipped from SA. A war in that country would likely threaten the flow of oil. Given those numbers, that would constitute a serious threat to the vital interest of many nations around the world. While oil reserves would mitigate the negative impact, it won't be by much. The consequences, particularly if the war develops into something like Iraq would hurt the global economy.

                      The greatest concern when the US invaded Iraq was not a reduction in oil supply. Instead, every economists was concerned about Iraq's re-entry into the oil exporting business (though already present, it was below potential). This was far more controllable than a situation we might face in SA.

                      Secondly, I believe Saudi Arabia is more important to Muslims than Iraq. While the country has a strong Islamic heritage, the reign of Saddam Hussein undermined Iraq's cultural stature. If the US were to attack SA, the situation is more likely to degenerate into a regional conflict based on culture and religion. The only thing that might deter would be universal support from the International community and Islamic states. Even then, the operation would be tricky.

                      The situation in Iraq remains contained within it's borders. The only people really paying a price are Coalition forces, the American people, and Iraqis who are coping with a very uncertain future, which can be more frightening than Saddam. If we were to invade Saudi Arabia, more people will be effected to the extent that demands obtaining their support prior to action.
                      "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942

                      Comment

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