MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
Yesterday, I committed the heresy of speculating that US weapons manufacturers may be pleased that the war on terrorism does not appear to have an end. Why? Because billions and billions of dollars might be lost in contracts from the Pentagon and CIA if terrorism were halted.
Today, I'll let the co-chair of the 2002 official joint congressional 9/11 inquiry -- former US Senator Bob Graham -- take on another sacred cow in the so-called "war on terror": Saudi Arabia. Graham, who also served as the governor of Florida, has long claimed that a number of Saudi Arabians -- some in the government -- financed and aided al-Qaeda in planning the 9/11 attacks. This assertion is considered heretical by the foreign policy, congressional and White House fossil fuel "pragmatists" because such an allegation, if proven true, would endanger the relationship of the US with the second-largest oil producer in the world (after the US itself, which ranks first). In fact, the White House is vigorously opposing congressional legislation that would allow survivors and surviving family members of 9/11 to sue the government of Saudi Arabia for alleged involvement in enabling the 9/11 attacks. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is threatening to financially harm the United States if the bill becomes law.
Graham charges that there has been a long-term effort to keep a 28-page section of the official report secret from the public. In a recent column for US Today, Graham wrote:
On April 11, CBS's "60 Minutes" led with an important segment about the tragedy of 9/11 and how a 28-page chapter of the final report of a congressional investigation has been withheld from the American people for almost 13 years.
This was not a cover-up. It was the result of aggressive deception. Your government has purposely used deceit to withhold the truth.
The reason for deceit: to protect the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from its complicity in the murder of 2,977 Americans.....
The forms of aggressive deceit have been multiple.
Those in the DC State Department school of oil realpolitik, who argue that Graham is just a disgruntled former Democrat (who was actually a moderate "good 'ol boy" by any standard), are going to have to respond to an article in the Guardian US today that gives a bipartisan rebuke to DC Saudi Arabian 9/11 defenders:
A former Republican member of the 9/11 commission … said Wednesday he believes there was clear evidence that Saudi government employees were part of a support network for the 9/11 hijackers and that the Obama administration should move quickly to declassify a long-secret congressional report on Saudi ties to the 2001 terrorist attack.
The comments by John F Lehman, an investment banker in New York who was Navy secretary in the Reagan administration, [who served on a separate presidential-appointed commission that] issued a 2004 final report that was largely read as an exoneration of Saudi Arabia, which was home to 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11.
"There was an awful lot of participation by Saudi individuals in supporting the hijackers, and some of those people worked in the Saudi government," Lehman said in an interview, suggesting that the commission may have made a mistake by not stating that explicitly in its final report. "Our report should never have been read as an exoneration of Saudi Arabia...."
Lehman and another commissioner, former Democratic senator Bob Kerrey of Nebraska, filed affidavits last year in support of a lawsuit brought against the Saudi government by the families of 9/11 victims.
Many members of the foreign policy establishment -- including President Obama -- are anxiously working to protect the interests of the reactionary kingdom, its supply of oil to the US and the West, and its general alliance with the US in the Middle East (although that is beginning to fray due to the fractious alliances now forming amidst a region in chaos).
Consider, for instance, CIA Director John Brennan, who just recently reiterated his opposition to making the secret 28-page Congressional investigation document public. According to the Independent, Brennan stated, "I think some people may seize upon that uncorroborated, unvetted information…to point to Saudi involvement, which I think would be very, very inaccurate." One has to ask why, after 13 years, the information remains "unvetted."
Graham, on the other hand, told the Independent: "The 28 pages primarily relate to who financed 9/11, and they point a very strong finger at Saudi Arabia as being the principal financier." Graham told the Independent that the FBI has engaged in "aggressive deception" about the involvement of a number of Saudi government officials and wealthy individuals in 9/11.
Brennan might feel a bit alone in his "shield Saudi Arabia" stance, which throws those killed, their families and those who survived 9/11 under the bus.
After all, even former Republican Rep. Porter Goss, who co-chaired the joint congressional investigation of 9/11 with Senator Graham, wants the 28-page document released.
On May 3, the Florida Bulldog reported about Goss's views, which come with substantial weight, since he was CIA director for a short period of time during the George W. Bush administration:
On Monday, former CIA director Porter Goss strongly disagreed with current CIA chief John Brennan's assertions on Meet the Press as to why President Obama should keep secret 28 classified pages from a 14-year-old congressional report about 9/11 said to implicate the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the terrorist attacks.
"I favor full declassification of the 28 pages unless there is a national security reason not to," Goss told FloridaBulldog.org. "If there is such a reason, I feel the administration should tell us specifically what it is. I will not settle for generalities about 'offending allies.'"
In the last two days, BuzzFlash has raised the issue of who profits from terrorism, and the issue of an ally that is likely being protected from accountability for its involvement in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which are being used by politicians to justify an endless war on terrorism.
These juxtapositions give the lie to the jingoistic, heart-tugging narrative of fear and victimhood that is used to justify the ceaseless war on terror.
Not to be reposted without permission of Truthout.