Saturday, August 02, 2003

Why is the White House holding back 28 pages from the Congressional report on 9/11? Mr. Bush cited an ongoing investigation. And he may be right.

It has been widely rumored and alleged (most of it by Newsweek) that two of the hijackers, Khalid Almidhar and Nawaf Alhazmi received money from Saudi Arabia's royal family through two Saudis: Omar al-Bayoumi and Osama Basnan. Most of the media reports in the last weeks have failed to point out is that Al-Bayoumi registered himself as 'assistant to the Director of Finance for Dallah Avco', a Saudi aviation-services company suspected of having ties to Al Qaeda. This is what we know until now:

Haifa bint Faisal, wife of Saudi ambassador Bandar bin Sultan, acknowledged that she sent nearly $150,000 to the wife of a Saudi living in San Diego. The recipient, Majeda Ibrahin Dweikat, signed over some of the checks to a friend whose husband, Omar al-Bayoumi (with Dweikat’s husband), helped hijackers Khalid Almidhar and Nawaf Alhazmi find housing in San Diego, open bank accounts, get Social Security cards, pay expenses and arrange flying lessons in Florida. So what's al-Bayoumi's connection? The British found phone records showing calls to two diplomats at the Saudi Embassy in Washington. Is the al-Bayoumi-investigation into is still "ongoing" like Mr. Bush alleged? (Newsweek cited that the FBI was investigating al-Bayoumi and Dallah Avco. No word whether it's ongoing or not. How long does an investigation last anyways?)

Al-Bayoumi was arrested and later released by Scotland Yard and currently resides in Saudi Arabia. The Saudis authorized al-Bayoumi interrogation, but only in Saudi Arabia. This may a sign that the initial investigation yielded nothing and that al-Bayoumi himself must be interrogated.

This is merely speculation, but I think the main reason for not releasing the report is, that it's basically an indictment of Saudi Arabia. This would lead to calls to end all relations with the Wahabis and this may include business relations. And as we know, prominent White House figures, members of Congress and other retired politicians (Bush senior being one) have big investments in Saudi Arabia. I will summarize these and post them later on.

I personally advocate heavier pressure on the Wahabis to crackdown further. What's another solution? A war? A war won't solve anything, it will cause far more destructive things. Like, say... a wave of terrorism for attacking Islamic Holy Land? Or maybe your interested in the fact that one-tenth of a gallon of gas comes from the Wahabis? Both'll do.

But this Saudi bashing coming from liberals is just pure hate for the Saudis (and I share the hate for the Wahabis). So for objecitivy's sake, I like to point out the following. Bush told FBI not to investigate bin Laden family members even though two of the bin Laden brothers raised money for al-Qaeda in a middle-class neighborhood in Falls Church, Virginia that runs along the Orange Metro Line that I take to work in DC. Hey, I'm an equal-oppurtunity basher. Always have been. And of course, all of this was covered all over the world. Except the U.S, of course. What were you thinking?

We're so focused on what the Saudis have done and the failures of the intelligence services. Do you think the intelligence failure to track down Muslim radicals raising money for Mr. Osama bin Laden has anything to do with the fact that Mr. George W. Bush ordered them not to? No. Let's blame...Clinton maybe? It was his fault that Mr. Starr ordered dozens of FBI agents to track down stains on dresses, used cigars and zippers instead of terrorists out to kill 3,000 people. (Sarcasm ends here. Blame all the underlined for 9/11. Ignore the rest.)


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