Saturday, July 16, 2016


America’s Worst President?

I nominate Barack Obama, the anti-Lincoln.
July 10, 2016
Public safety
Politics and law

After Thursday’s terrorist slaughter of policemen in Dallas, it’s fair to say that Barack Obama might well be the worst president in U.S. history. Here’s why.
The keynote of America’s domestic politics for the last 60 or 70 years—from sometime between the Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown v Board of Education school desegregation decision and the 1964 Civil Rights Act—has been the nation’s effort to undo the heinous wrongs that slavery and Jim Crow perpetrated on black Americans ever since the first slave was brought here in the 1640s. I am old enough to have had friends who were Freedom Riders, white college kids who went to Mississippi to register black citizens to vote. One I’ll never forget returned with tales of old people, whom legal chicanery had blocked from voting all their lives, marveling in almost Biblical language that such a miracle could be occurring in their own lifetimes, in their own towns. I remember how Sherriff Bull Connor turned the fire hoses and German Shepherds on those civil rights protesters, black and white, in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963, and how that same year governor George Wallace stood at the door of the University of Alabama to prevent the enrollment of two black students, proclaiming himself Jefferson Davis’s spiritual heir and vowing “segregation forever!” But what I most remember is skinny Deputy Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach walking heroically down that hostile Alabama street—alone, but followed by federal marshals—to force Wallace to stand aside and let the two students enter. It was as heart stopping as Gary Cooper walking toward the showdown on Main Street in High Noon.
I also remember how civil rights zeal turned into zealotry. We made the integration of our schools, and then the closing of the black-white achievement gap, our principal educational goal for half a century, with the unintended consequence that we neglected actual education and turned urban schools into machines for perpetuating black failure. Judge-ordained busing in Boston, completely contrary to the terms of the Civil Rights Act, made the schools more segregated than ever. A judge-ordained Kansas City school-funding-equalization order, forcing local taxpayers to shell out $2 billion  over  a decade, including building a bizarrely unnecessary Olympic swimming pool, produced no educational gains whatsoever and proved to anyone with eyes to see that money was not the key to racial equality in education.
Then, the colleges turned to affirmative action in admissions, the ed schools taught their students not how to teach or what facts they needed to transmit but only “social-justice” ideology, and deans of diversity began to outnumber actual teachers on college campuses. The professors themselves brought the stupendous achievements of Western culture under the suspicion of creating nothing but racial inequality (and later an unimaginably broad smorgasbord of inequity). They replaced Plato with Ta-Nehisi Coates.


Obama’s Biggest Failure

The president has substantially set back race relations in the United States.
July 9, 2016
Politics and law

When the country elected Barack Obama president in 2008, those of us who disagreed with many of his policy ideas were nonetheless consoled by the fact that his victory illustrated that America had moved well beyond institutional racism. Certainly the fact that Obama had succeeded in both a hard-fought Democratic primary and a general election meant that the country was ready to move past the intense focus on race in our national politics. Boy, were we wrong! Rather than seeing his own victory as a significant advance in American social life, Obama and those he appointed to his administration vigorously put forward the idea that America remains a deeply racist country, and they have redefined racism in the broadest terms possible. It’s not a coincidence, then, that more than seven years into the administration of the nation’s first black president, Americans are more deeply divided on race then they have been in decades. Their own president has fostered the divide.
Several Obama administration initiatives have distorted the national conversation on race. In 2010, for instance, the administration’s education and justice departments launched investigations against school districts around the country for disciplining black students more often, proportionately, than students of other races. A Department of Education study observed that black students were three and a half times more likely to be disciplined. The study alleged that, “everyday educational experience for many students of color violates the principle of equity.” In making its charges, the department ignored compelling data showing that black students were more likely to misbehave in and around school—including crime statistics revealing that blacks were 25 times more likely than their white counterparts to be arrested at schools for serious offenses like battery.
Similarly, the administration’s Department of Housing and Urban Development, through a policy known as Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing, now is essentially charging wealthier suburban communities like those in Westchester County, New York, with housing discrimination if their populations are not diverse enough for the administration’s taste. Under the new rules, the federal government no longer must prove that these communities are actively engaging in racial discrimination in order to compel them to cast aside local zoning rules and build housing that would attract low-income residents. The mere fact that a town’s population is not diverse suffices for the Obama administration to demand that the community make efforts to transform itself. “HUD’s power grab is based on the mistaken belief that zoning and discrimination are the same,” Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino wrote in 2013. What’s particularly ironic about this implication of racism in Westchester’s case is that the county voted by nearly a two-to-one margin for Obama in 2012.
The president himself has sadly made significant contributions to the notion that America remains deeply racist with his consistent attacks on the police, even in cases where officers’ actions against black perpetrators have subsequently been demonstrated to have been justified. “Too many young men of color,” the president said in November of 2014, “feel targeted by law enforcement, guilty of walking while black, or driving while black, judged by stereotypes that fuel fear and resentment and hopelessness. We know that, statistically, in everything from enforcing drug policy to applying the death penalty to pulling people over, there are significant racial disparities.” Later, he added that, “Communities of color aren’t just making these problems up. . . . These are real issues.” But the president has launched the charges while ignoring significant facts. As Heather Mac Donald has observed, more than 6,000 blacks die of homicides yearly, the overwhelming majority of which are committed by other blacks in minority neighborhoods. The police are more likely to patrol these neighborhoods because that’s where the crime is. And as the Dallas killings sadly illustrate, cops are far more likely to die at the hands of black perpetrators than black men are to be killed by cops. About 40 percent of all cop killings, in fact, are committed by black males. Data also reveal no significant racial component to police shootings. Black officers are far more likely to fire their guns at black citizens than are white officers.
The Obama administration’s tendency to see discrimination in so many crevices and corners of American life has created a new standard for what constitutes racism, as demonstrated by Minnesota governor Mark Dayton’s remarks in the wake of the tragic shooting of a black man, Philando Castile, by police in suburban Minneapolis last week. Implying that race played a role in the killing of Castile, who was legally licensed to carry a firearm, Dayton said that he doubted the shooting would have occurred if Castile had been white. But while the horrific video, taken by Castile’s girlfriend in the immediate aftermath of his shooting, shows that the officer was highly agitated, and the woman claims that the cop overreacted in firing on Castile, there is nothing in the video that is overly racist, and there is no reason to conclude that the outcome would have been different if Castile had been of another race. In America today, however, when a black man is killed by an officer of another color, that fact alone is prima facie evidence for some people that the killing was racially motivated.
Perhaps the most damning evidence against the president and his administration is that in the last four years alone, the percentage of Americans who believe racism is on the rise has nearly doubled. That sharp increase has come even amid little evidence that verified incidents of racism are on the rise. Indeed, efforts by the media to document a significant increase in police shootings of minorities have yielded little. New York City data, for instance, show that the number of times that police discharge their weapons every year has been declining for decades. And a close analysis of a Washington Postdatabase on current shootings by police across America, which describes them in detail, reveals that many were justified.
It’s difficult now to ignore the role that President Obama has played in our growing racial divisions. Elected on themes of hope and renewal, his very ascendancy a powerful statement about the country’s racial journey, he chose to use the White House as a vehicle to introduce a new era of racial grievance into our national discourse. Unfortunately, he succeeded in this effort—and failed America.
Believing that welfare payments constituted well-deserved reparations for 300 years of slavery and oppression, we New Yorkers created a come-and-get-it dole that ended up with one in eight of our neighbors on the welfare rolls—paid for by the rest of us and resulting in a multi-generational underclass. We entertained the foolish notion that black crime was a manly revolt against oppression—that black criminals were only protesting against the closure of all avenues of honest advancement for their race, as well as against the daily humiliation heaped on African-Americans.
The resulting depolicing of black neighborhoods and unwillingness of courts to punish black criminals drove crime to Hobbesian levels and turned minority neighborhoods into killing fields, where mothers put their kids to bed in the bathtub, trying to keep them safe from stray bullets. They would never send them out for a bottle of milk or take them into the street to learn to ride a bike. In those days, my upright, churchgoing cleaning lady had to pay the gang who controlled her block $20 of hard-earned money to allow Macy’s deliverymen to go past them to bring her the comfortable bed she had labored so long to earn. She lived, in other words, in something like the Middle Ages, when bands of ruffians ruled the land and extorted tribute from the peasants.
Thomas Jefferson had prophesied that God would punish America for black slavery, but he could never have foreseen how squalid that punishment would be.
As the Civil War, which cost 620,000 American lives, drew to a close, Abraham Lincoln gave his Second Inaugural Address, six weeks before one of the world’s perennial multitude of fanatics, this one opposed to votes for black citizens, blew the great president’s brains out. Lincoln had spoken in his address about the immense cost the country was paying for the sin of slavery. In the final accounting, he said, it might turn out that “all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and . . . every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword.” But as he looked toward the end of the war fought to end these wrongs, he urged reconciliation. He urged forgiveness. “With malice toward none, with charity for all,” he prayed, “let us . . . bind up the nation's wounds.”
Well, we tried. Despite the evil men who derailed Reconstruction, America took up again Lincoln’s charge “to finish the work we are in.” My whole life coincided with that effort. And for all the resistance and unintended negative consequences, the nation had come very close to succeeding by 2008, when Barack Obama, a black man, was elected president of the United States. A friend had called from London shortly before and asked incredulously, “Surely, America would never elect a black man as president?” “Of course it would,” I said. And when it happened, the resounding shout of joy that went up from the buildings of my ultra-left-wing Manhattan neighborhood was something I had never heard before. My wife and daughter wept. And though no admirer of Obama’s politics, I too felt awe at the historical momentousness of it all.
Not everyone shared that sentiment—most notably the new president and his wife, who had sat for more than a decade in the pews of Jeremiah Wright’s Chicago church listening to the reverend firebrand pray for God to damn America for its ineradicable racism. Though the new president had sworn his oath of office on Lincoln’s Bible, anyone who thought that his election marked the fulfilment of Lincoln’s dream soon heard him and his even more race-obsessed attorney general lambaste America for a racism so deep that white citizens couldn’t even see it, bred in the bone as it was. Colleges even made up a term for this molecular-level racism: micro-aggression. It was hard not to think of Robespierre’s fanatical vow that the revolution had indeed erased monarchy and aristocracy from France, but it wouldn’t end until it had erased the very idea of them from every man’s heart as well.
Central to the nation’s Herculean effort to end the wrongs of racism was the new determination of police departments, led by New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani and his police commissioner William Bratton, to restore law and order to ghetto neighborhoods, so that civil society could come back to life there, and people wouldn’t have to pay tribute to armed thugs controlling their lives. The old policing had ignored all but the most heinous ghetto crimes. Its spirit was: If they want to kill each other uptown, fine, as long as it stays up there. But for the new policing, all victims deserved police attention, regardless of race. All neighborhoods deserved police protection, regardless of the color of their residents. And since the perpetrators of crime are overwhelmingly young minority men, they properly received a very large proportion of police scrutiny. The alternative, to repeat, was to let them kill each other.
But unlike Lincoln, America’s first black president didn’t bind up the nation’s wounds but scratched them open every time police killed a black man—rightly or sometimes wrongly, because when society arms men with guns and authority, it will inevitably attract some bullies, making a police chief responsible for policing his own men vigilantly, as the NYPD especially has striven to do, and as Plato told us was statecraft’s thorniest problem. Anytime a non-black man killed an African-American, Obama cried racism and said it could have been him or his son, if he’d had one. Every time a cop, white or black, killed a black American, Obama’s reflexive instinct was to blame the cop. About the mayhem of black-on-black murder in the nation’s ghettoes, he gave only a single speech.
When the president praises the Black Lives Matter demonstrators, as if they alone of his fellow countrymen know that platitudinous truth, he is only reinforcing black grievance, when his proper role is to convince ghetto blacks that their lives matter enough for them to take responsibility for them, to stop going around with chips on their shoulders and Glocks in their waistbands, to be fathers to the children they beget, and to set for them an example of the responsible citizenship that is theirs for the asking, thanks to the efforts of so many of their countrymen, white and black, living and dead.
True to form, Obama went into grievance-mongering mode on July 7, commenting on the killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile by cops in Louisiana and Minnesota. He noted that “all of us as Americans should be troubled by these shootings, because these are not isolated incidents. They’re symptomatic of a broader set of racial disparities that exist in our criminal justice system.” And he went on to detail law enforcement’s racial disparities, as if there were not even more stark and troubling racial disparities in lawbreaking. His familiar conclusion: “If you add it all up, the African American and Hispanic population, who make up only 30 percent of the general population, make up more than half of the incarcerated population. Now, these are facts. And when incidents like this occur, there’s a big chunk of our fellow citizenry that feels as if because of the color of their skin, they are not being treated the same. And that hurts.”
Later that day, a black former soldier assassinated five Dallas police officers and wounded seven more, sniping from above with a semi-automatic rifle. A sympathizer of the New Black Panther Party, which professes hatred of whites and especially Jews, the sniper, Micah X. Johnson, 25, told police who cornered and killed him that he was avenging cop killings of blacks by killing whites and especially white cops.
If you want to ignite race riots, a sure-fire way to do it is to stir up black hatred and suspicion of cops, which will in turn make cops warier of blacks and more trigger-happy, and so on, until an explosion occurs. So thanks, President Obama. You have set back American race relations by 50 years.


Donald Trump Is Last Chance to Save America



Like millions of constitutional conservatives, I was an ardent Ted Cruz supporter while he was a viable candidate.

I wish he had won the Indiana primary and had overtaken Donald Trump is the race to the Cleveland national convention. But he didn’t. As the convention opens, it’s time for conservatives and patriots to unify behind the only candidate who can defeat Hillary Clinton, and that is Donald Trump.
There are no other choices, no other options, if the goal is to stop Hillary Rodham Clinton from continuing Barack Hussein Obama’s radical transformation of the country we love.  Trump is not the second coming of Ronald Reagan, but he is the only real obstacle to the coronation of Queen Hillary. That’s why patriots must now support his candidacy.
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Of course, some people have other goals besides defeating Hillary. Some want Trump to lose in order to “save the Republican Party from itself.” They remind me of the Rockefeller-Romney establishment liberals who sat out the 1964 presidential election so “Goldwater conservatism” would not take over the Republican party. We know how that worked out: with Lyndon Johnson we got the fiascos of the Great Society, the unwinnable Vietnam War — and Richard Nixon.
Many patriots can and do have serious misgivings about Donald Trump, as I do. I wish he would be more consistent in opposing Obamacare and the single-payer option, a euphemism for government takeover of medical care. I wish he had a better record on abortion. And I wish we could count on Republicans in Congress to hold fast to principles if Trump starts putting “deal-making” above fidelity to the party platform and American sovereignty.
Yes, many good people have misgivings about Donald Trump. But folks, the stakes are simply too high in 2016 to engage in self-indulgent puritanism. The undeniable reality is that constitutional liberty is already on life support, and Hillary has a plan to pull the plug. Will we stop her or will we give tacit assent to the destruction of America by wasting our energy and our votes on futile, utopian gestures?
This may come as a surprise to some ardent constitutionalists, but there is no perfect candidate. Even Ronald Reagan occasionally made mistakes, went down blind alleys and cut deals he later regretted.
  • As Governor of California in 1966, he signed the state’s liberal abortion law.
  • In the very first year of his first term as President, he gave up on his campaign promise to abolish that symbol of federal overreach, the Department of Education.
  • Then in 1982 he raised taxes and in 1986 he signed the nation’s first amnesty bill.
My point is that constitutional conservatives have decades of experience with flawed politicians. There is no doubt conservatism can survive the uncertainties of a Trump presidency. But it is far from certain that the United States Constitution or American sovereignty can survive a third term of Obama’s “transformative justice.”
Yes, our misgivings about Trump are valid reasons for concern. But there are a few overriding issues which are decisive —  if we put the survival of our country ahead of all other questions.
When all is said and done, there are three critical issues facing the country where a Trump presidency is clearly preferable to the transformative, globalist, anti-liberty agenda of Queen Hillary.
Critical issue number one is illegal 
immigration. From the beginning of his 
campaign, Trump has made border security 
and control of illegal immigration the 
cornerstone of his candidacy, and his minions
have put strong language on that issue into 
the 2016 GOP Platform. By contrast, 
Hillary has promised to double down 
on Obama’s executive amnesty.
Critical issue number two: Islamist terrorism. Trump has spoken out often on the need to halt the admission of Muslim refugees with radical Islamist  sympathies, while Hillary has promised to further accelerate the “resettlement” of Muslim refugees. The contrast could not be sharper. With Trump, at least we have a chance for commonsense to break through the fog of globalist idiocy.
Critical issue number three: The Second Amendment. If Hillary Clinton make the next two or three Supreme Court appointments, the Second Amendment will be abandoned by reinterpretation. You want to purchase and own a 18th Century musket? Fine. A semi-automatic rifle? No way.
Newt Gingrich’s advocacy this past week of new laws to make belief in Shariah Law a deportable offense for Muslims already in the United States created a firestorm. Good. We need a political firestorm now if we are to prevent a real one later.
Gingrich’s proposal is similar to one I made as a congressman in September of 2008, when I introduced a bill to bar admission of immigrants or refugees who adhered to Shariah law and allowed the deportation of Muslims who advocate Shariah law. Gingrich’s proposal is not unconstitutional as Hugh Hewitt and other establishment figures retorted — because we are talking about immigrants and  refugees, not citizens.
I believe Gingrich’s proposal is politically significant far beyond its likely condemnation in the editorial pages of the New York Times and the Denver Post. Gingrich was one of the three finalists for Trump’s choice as Vice President running mate, and he is firmly entrenched in the Washington Republican establishment.
Gingrich’s belated awakening to the imminent dangers of Shariah means that the blinders are coming off. Nothing can prevent this from being one of the defining issues of the 2016 presidential campaign.
Now, there are many Republicans — Paul Ryan comes to mind — who will have a knee-jerk, chamber of commerce reaction to any proposal to limit immigration by radicalized Muslims who follow Shariah Law. They will tell Trump to stay away from such ideas, that “America must be more inclusive.”
Ask yourself this: Who is more likely to resist those politically correct warnings, Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton?  Or maybe Gary Johnson, the libertarian party candidate, who just this week said that the threat of terrorism is “highly overblown”?
That question answers itself. Patriots must support Donald Trump, who has made Political Correctness synonymous with stupidity.


US releases Saudi documents: 9/11 coverup exposed

US releases Saudi documents: 9/11 coverup exposed

16 July 2016
The public release Friday afternoon of a section of the Congressional report on the 9/11 attacks, which had been kept secret for 13 years, has provided fresh evidence of a deliberate coverup of the role played, not only by the Saudi government, but US intelligence agencies themselves, in facilitating the attacks and then covering up their real roots.
The 28-page segment from the report issued by the “Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities before and after the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001” provides abundant and damning evidence of extensive Saudi support for the 9/11 hijackers—15 out of 19 of whom were Saudi nationals—in the period leading up to the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon that claimed nearly 3,000 lives.
The Obama White House, the CIA, the Saudi monarchy and the corporate media have all tried to portray the documents—released on a Friday afternoon to assure minimal exposure—as somehow exonerating the Saudi regime of any culpability in the 9/11 attacks.
“This information does not change the assessment of the US government that there’s no evidence that the Saudi government or senior Saudi individuals funded al-Qaeda,” Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary said Friday, boasting that the main significance of their release was its proof of the Obama administration’s commitment to “transparency.”
In reality, the 28 pages have been kept under lock and key since 2002, with only members of Congress allowed to read them, in a Capitol Hill basement vault, while prohibited from taking notes, bringing members of their staff or breathing a word of their content.
The Obama administration, like the Bush administration before it, maintained this secrecy for several reasons. First, it was concerned that the documents would jeopardize its relations with Saudi Arabia, which, after Israel, is Washington’s closest ally in the Middle East, a partner in bloody operations from Afghanistan to Syria to Yemen, and the world’s biggest buyer of American arms.
Even more importantly, it was concerned that the 28 pages would further expose the abject criminality of the US government’s role in facilitating the attacks of 9/11 and then lying about their source and exploiting them to justify savage wars of aggression, first against Afghanistan and then against Iraq. These wars have claimed over a million lives. The false narrative created around the September 11 attacks remains the ideological pillar of the US campaign of global militarism conducted in the name of a “war on terror.”
Media reports on the 28 pages invariably refer to the absence of a “smoking gun,” which presumably would be tantamount to an order signed by the Saudi king to attack New York and Washington. The evidence is described as “inconclusive.” One can only imagine what would have been the response if, in place of the word “Saudi,” the documents referred to Iraqi, Syrian or Iranian actions. The same evidence would have been proclaimed an airtight case for war.
Among those who were involved in preparing the report, John Lehman, the former secretary of the navy, directly contradicted the official response to the release of the previously censored section. “There was an awful lot of participation by Saudi individuals in supporting the hijackers, and some of those people worked in the Saudi government,” he said. “Our report should never have been read as an exoneration of Saudi Arabia.”
Similarly, former Florida Senator Bob Graham, who chaired the committee that carried out the investigation, suggested that the information released Friday was only the beginning. “I think of this almost as the 28 pages are sort of the cork in the wine bottle. And once it’s out, hopefully the rest of the wine itself will start to pour out,” he said.
What clearly emerges from the newly-released document, which is titled “Finding, Discussion and Narrative Regarding Certain Sensitive National Security Matters,” is that there were multiple indications of funding and support for the 9/11 hijackers and Al Qaeda in general, but that investigations were either shut down or never initiated because of the close ties between Washington and the Saudi monarchy, and between US and Saudi intelligence.
“While in the United States, some of the September 11 hijackers were in contact with, and received support or assistance from, individuals who may be connected to the Saudi government,” the document begins. It cites FBI sources as indicating that some of these individuals were “Saudi intelligence officers.”
It goes on to indicate that FBI and CIA investigations of these links were initiated solely in response to the Congressional inquiry itself. “[I]t was only after September 11 that the US government began to aggressively investigate this issue,” the report states. “Prior to September 11th, the FBI apparently did not focus investigative sources on [redacted] Saudi nationals in the United States due to Saudi Arabia’s status as an American ‘ally.’”
The report focuses in part on the role of one Omar al-Bayoumi, who was described to the FBI as a Saudi intelligence officer, and, according to FBI files, “provided substantial assistance to hijackers Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi after they arrived in San Diego in February 2000.”
The inquiry report deals with al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar only from after they arrived in California, and says nothing about the circumstances under which they were allowed to enter the country in the first place. Both were under CIA surveillance while attending an Al Qaeda planning meeting in 2000 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and placed on a “watch list” for FBI monitoring if they came to the United States. Nonetheless, the two men were allowed to enter the United States on January 15, 2000, landing at Los Angeles International Airport, eventually going to San Diego. From then on, they were permitted to operate freely, attending flight training school in preparation for their role as pilots of hijacked planes on September 11, 2001.
Al-Bayoumi, the report establishes, “received support from a Saudi company affiliated with the Saudi Ministry of Defense,” drawing a paycheck for a no-show job. The report states that the company also had ties to Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
According to the report, al-Bayoumi had previously worked for the Saudi Civil Aviation Association and, in the period leading up to 9/11, was “in frequent contact with the Emir at the Saudi Defense Ministry responsible for air traffic control.” Phone records showed him calling Saudi government agencies 100 times between January and May of 2000.
FBI documents also established that the $465 in “allowances” that al-Bayoumi received through the Saudi military contractor, jumped to over $3,700 shortly after the arrival of al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar. During this period, al-Bayoumi initially allowed the two future hijackers to stay in his apartment before finding them their own place—with an informant of the San Diego FBI—cosigning their lease and advancing them a deposit and the first month’s rent.
The report states that FBI investigations following 9/11 indicated that al-Bayoumi had “some ties to terrorist elements.” His wife, meanwhile, was receiving a $1,200 a month stipend from Princess Haifa Bint Sultan, the wife of Prince Bandar, then the Saudi ambassador to the US and later head of Saudi intelligence.
Also named in the document as a likely Saudi intelligence agent is one Osama Bassnan, who lived across the street from the two hijackers in San Diego and was in telephone contact with al-Bayoumi several times a day during this period. He apparently placed the two in contact with a Saudi commercial airline pilot for discussions on “learning to fly Boeing jet aircraft,” according to an FBI report. Bassnan’s wife also received a monthly stipend from Princess Haifa, the Saudi ambassador’s wife, to the tune of $2,000 a month. As well, the FBI found one $15,000 check written by Bandar himself in 1998 to Bassnan. The report states that FBI information indicated that Bassnan was “an extremist and supporter of Usama Bin Ladin,” who spoke of the Al Qaeda leader “as if he were god.”
Appearing before the Congressional inquiry in October 2002, FBI Executive Assistant Director for Counterterrorism Pasquale D’Amuro reacted with undisguised cynicism and contempt when asked about the payments from the Saudi ambassador’s wife to the wives of the two reputed intelligence agents involved with the 9/11 hijackers.
“She gives money to a lot of different groups and people from around the world,” he said. “We’ve been able to uncover a number of these... but maybe if we can discover that she gives to 20 different radical groups, well, gee, maybe there’s a pattern here.” Spoken like a man who believes he is above the law in defense of a figure that he clearly sees as untouchable.
Among other material in the report was the recounting of an FBI interrogation of Saleh al-Hussayen, a prominent Saudi interior ministry official, who stayed in the same Virginia hotel as three of the hijackers the night before the 9/11 attacks. While he claimed not to know the hijackers, the FBI agents “believed he was being deceptive.”
According to the report, al-Hussayen “feigned a seizure” and was released to a hospital, which he left several days later, catching a flight back to Saudi Arabia without any further questioning. During the same period, nearly 1,200 people, with no links to the attacks, were being rounded up and held incommunicado on little more evidence than that they were Arab or Muslim.
Also in the report was the fact that a phone book belonging to Abu Zubaydah, the Al Qaeda operative who is still held at Guantanamo after extensive torture at the hands of the CIA, was found to contain the unlisted numbers of companies that managed and provide security for Saudi ambassador Prince Bandar’s residence in Colorado, as well as that of a bodyguard at the Saudi embassy who, the report states “some have alleged may be a [words redacted].”
Redactions of this sort recur throughout the document in relation to individual Saudis, suggesting their membership in some sort of secret service whose name must remain unmentioned. This is only part of what the secret material still conceals. Members of the inquiry’s staff reportedly protested angrily over the failure to clearly present the evidence of Saudi involvement, leading to the firing of at least one staffer.
If the government is determined to continue to shield such Saudi connections, it is undoubtedly because they would expose the involvement of the US intelligence agencies themselves in the events of 9/11.
If such whitewashes are required, it is because elements within the US government were aware that Al Qaeda was preparing an operation on US soil, turned a blind eye to it and even facilitated it because they knew it could be used as a pretext to carry out longstanding plans for aggressive war in the Middle East.
The release of even the limited material on the Saudi-US-9/11 connection is a devastating exposure of the criminals in the US government, from George W. Bush on down, and the lies they employed to engineer wars that have devastated the lives of millions.
These new facts demand a thorough, impartial and international investigation, as well as the indictment and arrest of top level officials, both American and Saudi. Only a powerful intervention of the international working class, on the basis of a socialist program, will see these war criminals brought to justice.
Bill Van Auken