Friday, May 13, 2016

The Fall of the SAUDI dictatorship - America's 9-11 invaders and the global financiers of global terrorism - WHO WILL NOW PUMP MILLIONS INTO AMERICAN PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARIES AS BRIBES TO PROTECT THE SAUDI REGIME FROM THEIR MANY ENEMIES???

















Senate passes bill allowing 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia

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Cameron Lancaster
The Senate on Tuesday approved legislation that would allow victims of the 9/11 terror attacks to sue Saudi Arabia, defying vocal opposition from the White House. 
The upper chamber approved the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act by unanimous consent.
"This bill is very near and dear to my heart as a New Yorker because it would allow the victims of 9/11 to pursue some small measure of justice," Schumer said. "[This is] another example of the [John] Cornyn-Schumer collaboration, which works pretty well around here." 
President Obama has threatened to veto the 
bill. Schumer said he wouldn’t uphold a veto, 
and expects that most senators wouldn't, 
"I think we easily get the two thirds override if the president should veto," Schumer said.
Cornyn said he and Schumer are talking with leadership in both parties to get an "expedited" vote on the bill in the House.
The legislation will allow victims of terror attacks on U.S. soil or surviving family members to bring lawsuits against nation-states for activities supporting terrorism. 
Despite bipartisan support for the legislation, it hit a snag last month when Sen. Lindsey Graham(R-S.C.) said he was blocking the legislation over concerns it would open up the U.S. to lawsuits from foreigners accusing Washington of supporting terrorism. 
But Graham's office said he dropped his hold over the recent recess. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) thanked Graham and other GOP senators for "their willingness to work with us to deal with their concerns." 
The legislation will now head to the House, where lawmakers have also introduced their own version of the bill.
Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has voiced skepticism about the legislation.
"I think we need to look at it," Ryan told reporters last month. "I think we need to review it to make sure we are not making mistakes with our allies and we're not catching people in this that shouldn't be caught up in this." 
The comments created a rare area of agreement between GOP lawmakers and the White House, which struggled to convince Democrats that the legislation could undermine national security. 
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters last month that he was "gratified" by Ryan's comments. 
The legislation has also drawn criticism from the Saudi government. Top Saudi officials reportedly threatened to sell off billions of dollars in U.S. assets if Congress passed the bill.
Saudi Arabia's foreign minister, Adel al-Jubeir, pushed back against the reports in Geneva earlier this month while warning that the legislation could impact Saudi investments, according to Reuters. 
The senators pressed back against criticism that the legislation targets Saudi Arabia, noting that the legislation only allows a lawsuit.
"Look if the Saudis did not participate in this terrorism they have nothing to fear about going to court," Schumer said. "If they did, they should be held accountable."
Cornyn called the potential that Saudi Arabia could sell U.S. assets a "hollow threat," saying, "they're not going to suffer a huge financial loss in order to make a point."
Updated at 1:31 p.m.

Saudi Arabian regime gripped by factional infighting amid mounting economic crisis

By Jean Shaoul 
13 May 2016
The ruling House of Saud, issued a series of royal decrees unceremoniously dumping its longstanding oil minister Ali al-Naimi, central bank governor Fahad al-Mubarak, and other senior officials.
The wide-ranging shakeup of government bodies is part of an attempt to resolve the Kingdom’s growing economic crisis at the expense of the Saudi masses.
The sackings follow the removal last month of Abdullah al-Hasin, the water and electricity minister, in a bid to deflect popular anger over high water rates and new rules over the digging of wells and cuts in energy subsidies aimed at saving the ruling family collectively in excess of one and a half trillion dollars.
The shake-up is intended to concentrate power in the clique around Crown Prince Mohammed, the 30-year-old son of the aging King Salman. It will further exacerbate the enormous political, economic and social tensions wracking this semi-feudal regime that has, since 1945, constituted an essential prop for US imperialist policy in the region and a bulwark of reaction and repression in the Arab world.
The Saudi monarchy, threatened by the revolutionary overthrow of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and the subsequent political turmoil that threatened almost every regime in the region, moved rapidly to topple the elected Muslim Brotherhood-led government of President Mohammed Mursi, even at the risk of conflicting with Washington, and helped install and bankroll the brutal military dictator Abdul Fatah el-Sisi to suppress the Egyptian masses.
It sought—at the cost of tens of billions of dollars—to move against the Syrian regime of President Bashir al-Assad in Syria by funding an Islamist insurgency, and to shore up the rule of its regional allies in Yemen, Bahrain and Jordan. Accompanying its moves in Syria, it sought to undermine pro-Iranian governments in Iraq and Lebanon, through direct or covert military interventions, the use of Islamist fighters as proxies, or economic aid.
Its relations with its chief backer, US imperialism, are now at an all-time low. Riyadh was furious over Washington’s failure to sustain its support for Mubarak against the Egyptian masses in 2011.
The US-led interventions in Iraq and Syria to assert Washington’s hegemony over the Middle East’s vast energy resources have destabilised Saudi Arabia’s neighbours. Washington’s various pragmatic manoeuvres, its failure to intervene decisively in the war to overthrow Assad in Syria allowing Russia to intervene to shore up the regime, its deal with Iran and support for the Shi’ite government in Iraq, helped strengthened the influence of Saudi Arabia’s main regional rival, Tehran.
At home, Riyadh attempted to assuage popular opposition and protests in the Shia-dominated Eastern Province with a combination of violent suppression and a $350 billion package of benefits and social spending, a lifeline for the estimated 28 percent of the population who live in poverty. Between 2 million and 4 million Saudi citizens are believed to be living on less than $530 a month. With its thousands of princes, the parasitic Saudi monarchy deprives its citizens of basic democratic rights It has sought to ruthlessly suppress public discussion of social inequality, imprisoning bloggers who dare to raise such issues or criticise the regime.
This attempt at repression is being undermined by the precipitous fall in oil prices, the result of the Saudis’ political decision to maintain output in an attempt to undermine Russia and Iran. This has led to a $100 billion government deficit in 2015 (15 per cent of GDP). The new oil minister Khalid al-Falih is not expected to rein in oil production and thus boost oil prices because this would also boost the revenues of Saudi Arabia’s rivals.
With 70 percent of its revenue dependent on oil, the government has cut public spending for 2016 by 25 percent, slashing subsidies on fuel, power and water, with gas prices set to increase by 80 percent. It took the unprecedented step of introducing a tax on Saudi nationals—a 5 percent value added tax—in a bid to prevent the budget deficit soaring to $140 billion and to conserve its $600 billion in reserves.
Riyadh’s sponsorship of Islamist forces has led to the advance of ISIS, al-Qaeda and similar outfits with their own agendas in Saudi Arabia and the Arabian Peninsula. ISIS cells have launched dozens of attacks over the last two years and were alleged to have been behind a spate of bombings targeting the Kingdom’s Shia minority.
Last week, Saudi forces carried out an operation against ISIS in Mecca, killing four “wanted” men in a shootout, and another in the southwestern province of Bisha, killing two ISIS suspects and injuring another. It followed the arrest of Ukab Atibi, allegedly a member of the ISIS cell that carried out a suicide attack on a mosque used by members of a local security force in southwest Saudi Arabia in August 2015. Security forces carried out another raid on a house in Jeddah, arresting two suspects.
The ruling clique is torn with dissent over the succession to the ailing King Salmon, who promoted his 30-year-old son Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the positions of deputy crown prince and minister of defence in charge of the murderous, but largely unsuccessful war in Yemen, sidelining other older claimants to the throne. Mohammed has overturned the Kingdom’s decades-long policy of buying political quiescence with a social contract that has provided some security—via low utility prices, social subventions and public sector jobs—for the Saudi population, and promoted a wave of Sunni-based Saudi nationalism.
Last month, in an announcement that the Economist described as “manic optimism,” Mohammed unveiled his Vision 2030, drawn up by the McKinsey & Company global consultants McKinsey and aimed at ending the Kingdom’s dependence on oil by 2030. He later declared on Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya news channel an end to “any dependence on oil” by 2020. The measures include the public listing of 5 percent of Aramco, the world’s largest oil company valued at $2.5 trillion, the creation of a sovereign wealth fund with a potential value of $2 trillion to invest in assets, the development of non-oil industries, including a domestic arms industry; more private sector jobs and a new visa system to allow expatriate Muslims and Arabs to work long-term in Saudi Arabia.
Symptomatic of the insoluble contradictions of the Saudi economy was the announcement last week that one of the largest companies, the construction giant the Saudi Bin Laden Group (SBG) that has built most of the country’s public buildings, was unable to pay its workforce.
SBG fired 77,000 of its 200,000 workforce and issued them with exit visas. Immigrant workers, angry that they had not been paid for months, have held daily protests outside SBG’s offices, burnt company buses in Mecca and refused to leave the country until they are paid. The company also dismissed 12,000 of its 17,000 Saudi managerial and professional staff, calling on them to resign or wait for their wages and a two-month bonus worth $220 million.
With $30 billion in debts, SBG’s financial problems stem from the cutbacks in government spending and the crane collapse on a major expansion of the Grand Mosque in Mecca last year that killed 107 workers and pilgrims. It prompted an investigation of its government projects, many of which were reportedly being carried out without any signed contracts. The company was hit with a withholding of government payments and a ban on SBG tendering for further public building projects.
The impending collapse of SBG provoked such a crisis that the government agreed to allow it to bid for state contracts, said it would ensure that government payments would continue and urged other companies to honour their commitments and pay up on their contracts with SBG.

FBI holds 80,000 pages of secret documents on Saudi-9/11 links

By Patrick Martin
14 May 2016
The American FBI has a secret cache of documents, more than 80,000 pages in all, concerning possible ties between the 9/11 hijackers and an upper-class Saudi family who lived in Florida and fled the United States two weeks before the suicide hijackings that killed nearly 3,000 people.

A federal judge in Tampa, Florida has been reviewing the documents for more than two years as a consequence of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by a trio of online reporters—Anthony Summers, Robbyn Swan and Dan Christensen. The review process has been extremely slow because of restrictive FBI rules on how many pages Judge William Zloch may access at any one time.

The existence of the document trove was revealed Friday in a front-page article in the US-based web publication the Daily Beast. The article identified the Saudi family as Abdulaziz al-Hijji and his wife Anoud, who was the daughter of Esam Ghazzawi, an adviser to a nephew of Saudi King Fahd.

Ghazzawi owned the home in which they were staying in a gated community in Sarasota, Florida. The home was raided by the FBI after 9/11 but the residents had all departed in evident haste on August 30, 2001.

Visitor logs in the community, known as Prestancia, showed that the alleged ringleader of the 9/11 hijackers, Mohammad Atta, had visited al-Hijji, along with two other 9/11 hijackers, Ziad Jarrah and Marwan Al-Shehhi.

Former Senator Robert Graham, co-chair of the joint congressional committee that investigated the 9/11 attacks, told the Daily Beast that he had never known of the FBI documents on the Saratoga home until they were uncovered by the investigative journalists. He later viewed a portion of these records and confirmed that they identified the three 9/11 hijackers as visitors.

Throughout this period, the FBI had denied that the al-Hijji family had any connection to the 9/11 attackers. The agency changed its story only when Graham said he would testify under oath about what he had read in the file of documents. At this point the FBI conceded the existence of 35 pages of documents.

When Judge Zloch ordered a further search for records, the Tampa office of the FBI came back with 80,226 pages of files marked PENTTBOM, which stands for “Pentagon/Twin-Towers Bombing” in FBI jargon. Judge Zloch has been reviewing these since May 1, 2014 and has given no date by which he expects to finish.

The al-Hijji family exited its Sarasota home, leaving behind three cars, an open safe and disarray that suggested a hasty departure. The security guards at the gated community noted their departure, but did not consider it suspicious until the 9/11 attacks two weeks later.

The FBI initially made only a perfunctory response and did not open a formal investigation until eight months later, in April 2002, “based upon repeated citizen calls” about the conduct of the family during their stay in the United States. One of the few documents released said that this investigation “revealed many connections” between a member of the family “and individuals associated with the terrorist attacks.”

The Daily Beast report adds to recent revelations of evidence of Saudi regime ties to the 9/11 hijackers that has been covered up by the US government under both the Bush and Obama administrations.

Graham has actively campaigned for the release of 28 pages of material on the Saudi-9/11 connection comprising an entire chapter of the joint congressional committee report on the 9/11 attacks in which he participated. This material has been withheld for more than 13 years. On April 10, Graham was the main witness interviewed by the CBS program “60 Minutes” in a segment on the continuing cover-up of Saudi-9/11 connections.

In an op-ed column this week in the Washington Post, Graham reiterated his demand for release of the 28 pages, noting that President Obama had promised a decision on declassifying the material by next month. Graham denounced CIA Director John Brennan, who responded to the “60 Minutes” program by publicly opposing any release of the 28 pages.

Also Friday, the Guardian newspaper published an interview with a former member of the bipartisan 9/11 Commission appointed by President George W. Bush, who flatly declared that there was extensive Saudi involvement in supporting the hijackers. Of the 19 perpetrators, 15 were Saudi citizens, most of them having recently arrived in the United States when they seized control of four jetliners on September 11, 2001.

Former Navy Secretary John Lehman, a Republican, told the newspaper: “There was an awful lot of participation by Saudi individuals in supporting the hijackers, and some of those people worked in the Saudi government.” While only one Saudi consular official in Los Angeles, Fahad al-Thumairy, was implicated in supporting the hijackers, according to the official account, Lehman believes that at least five officials were involved.

Al-Thumairy was linked to the two hijackers who lived in San Diego before the 9/11 attacks, Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar, but he was deported rather than charged with a crime. The other five, whom Lehman did not name, “may not have been indicted, but they were certainly implicated. There was an awful lot of circumstantial evidence.”

Another former 9/11 commissioner, who spoke to the Guardian without direct attribution, recounted what the newspaper called “a mostly unknown chapter of the history of the 9/11 commission: behind closed doors, members of the panel’s staff fiercely protested the way the material about the Saudis was presented in the final report, saying it underplayed or ignored evidence that Saudi officials—especially at lower levels of the government—were part of an al-Qaida support network that had been tasked to assist the hijackers after they arrived in the US.”

The 9/11 Commission director, Philip Zelikow, who later served in the Bush administration as senior counselor to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, fired one staffer who protested over the suppression of the Saudi ties to 9/11 after she obtained a copy of the suppressed 28 pages of the joint congressional committee report. Zelikow and the commission members overruled staff protests on the soft-pedaling of the Saudi connection.

These press reports confirm what the World Socialist Web Site has long maintained: the official 9/11 investigations were a series of whitewashes aimed at concealing the role of the Saudi government and US intelligence agencies during the period leading up to the terrorist attacks.

There has long been evidence that sections of the US government were aware of the plot to hijack and suicide-crash airliners, but turned a blind eye because such an atrocity could be used to stampede American public opinion and provide a pretext for escalating US military interventions throughout the Middle East and Central Asia.

The author also recommends:
The 9/11 cover-up continues[3 May 2016]
Once again on Saudi complicity in the 9/11 attacks[13 April 2016]

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