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16 May 2020

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Barbara Ann

Harper

Glad to see this story picked up here, I was similarly skeptical of the 'mistake' story. This is certainly coincident with a deterioration of US-Saudi relations, as is the recent removal of the Patriot batteries from the Kingdom which were deployed after the drone attack on Abqaiq and Khurais.

Families and survivors deserve the truth, but even if all bridges with KSA were to be burned, I'd expect there would still be CYA issues for the US persons who have covered up Saudi state involvement thus far. The Saudis can also doubtless play the same game and embarrassment cuts both ways.

TV

In the years since 9/11, the US government has been a regular sluiceway of leaks - all sort of national "secrets" have been revealed.
It seems that the higher clearance that a VERY important person holds, the more they leak.
NEVER one word about Saudi complicity in 9/11.
NO one in the deep state (so eager to divulge "secrets") has revealed this information.
George W. Bush must have known;didn't do or say anything.
Bottom line:US-Saudi relations more important than 3,000 Americans massacred in an attack on US territory?

blue peacock

Harper,

Why do you think the US government under both Republican & Democrat administrations and Congresses have worked so hard to keep hidden the Saudi involvement in the 9/11 attack?

9/11 was a direct attack on US soil. Innocent Americans not combatants were killed. Our law enforcement & intelligence with hundreds of billions in annual expenditures failed to uncover the plot. And then the perpetrators were allowed to go scot free and even worse were coddled. Why?

instead we got ourselves in a quagmire in Afghanistan and the ME.

Whose interests do both the political parties and our governmental bureaucracy and media really represent?

Alexandria

Likewise, why have successive US administrations covered up the facts of the June 1967 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty?

TonyL

blue peacock,

Must be because of Mossad involvement or fore knowledge of the attack.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/September_11_attacks_advance-knowledge_conspiracy_theories

"In September 2001, The New York Times and Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that four hours after the attack, the FBI arrested five Israelis who had been filming the smoking skyline from the roof of a white van in the parking lot of an apartment building, for "puzzling behavior". They were charged with illegally residing in the United States and working there without permits. The Israelis were said to have pulled into the parking lot after the destruction of the first tower and videotaped the remainder of the disaster with what was interpreted as cries of "joy and mockery".[59][60][61] Police found the van and a search revealed $4,700 in cash hidden, along with foreign passports and a boxcutter which aroused suspicions and led to the detention of the occupants. The men were held in detention for more than 2 months, during which time they were subjected to interrogation and polygraph tests, before being deported back to Israel; one of the men (Paul Kurzberg) refused to take the test for 10 weeks, and then failed it.[62]"

"A French intelligence agency later noted "according to the FBI, Arab terrorists and suspected terror cells lived in Phoenix, Arizona, as well as in Miami and Hollywood, Florida, from December 2000 to April 2001 in direct proximity to the Israeli spy cells". The report contended that Mossad agents were spying on Mohammed Atta and Marwan al-Shehi, two of leaders of the 9/11 hijack teams"

Tidewater

You mean a trillion dollar judgment in the Southern District of New York against the Saudi royal family and government and the freezing of all Saudi assets in the US until it is paid? Guess what that means...

TV

blue peacock:
"Whose interests do both the political parties and our governmental bureaucracy and media really represent?"
Certainly not the American people and they voted for Trump.
Politicians are the obnoxious kids in HS who never got over the thrill of being class treasurer.
Bureaucrats are, for the most part, mediocrities who could never get close to their equivalent comp. in the private sector.
The media?
J-school and English majors, with no discernible skills, contempt for the American people (the "rubes") and dislike of the country.

turcopolier

TV
I was an English major. Do you think I have no discernable skills?

TV

Col.:
Are you a journalist?
You went to a military school aiming at a military career - which gave you discernible skills irrelevant to your major.
I majored in econ. which without an advanced degree is pretty worthless.

turcopolier

TV
As an English major at VMI I acquired a broad knowledge of human experience and culture that has enriched all my activities ever since. It continues to do so. VMI does not have as its purpose the minting of military officers. That you think that, is yet another sign of the narrowness of your knowledge.

JamesT

Colonel,

I think the quality of some liberal arts degrees might have suffered since when you were at University. Last Christmas I listened to my niece go on and on about "power discourses", and this sort of postmodernist whine has, I have heard, infected some English departments.

turcopolier

James T

My classmate, General JHB Peay who is Superintendent at VMI abolished the English Department at VMI in favor of a department of rhetoric. Perhaps that is why.

turcopolier

TV
"VMI offers a rigorous education that includes a broad undergraduate program with majors in engineering, science, liberal arts, and social sciences. Woven into every curriculum is leadership and character development that benefit graduates for life." VMI.edu

David Habakkuk

The best CJCS in recent history was, in my view, General Martin Dempsey. He had an MA in Eng. Lit, with a thesis on the Irish literary revival, and, if I recall right, taught English literature at West Point for a time.

It has seemed to me that, if you were trying to think seriously about military matters in relation to say, Iraq, Syria, or indeed Ukraine, having tried to make sense of W.B. Yeats would not be so bad a starting point.

My experience of people with advanced degrees in economics is very variable.

Some of them are genuinely brilliant. But in many cases - think Lawrence Summers and Ben Bernanke for a start - the effect has been to turn them into quite incredible dangerous 'Fachidioten.'

The same goes for other 'social science' disciplines, 'international relations' being a particularly salient example.

Mark Logan

Harper,

IIRC Bin Laden dedicated himself to overthrowing the al-Saud at the on-set of Gulf War 1. Reason being he felt dragging the US into that conflict was an affront to Islam as Bid Laden interprets it. What motive could the regime have had for abetting the 9/11 operation by Bin Laden?

Serge

I have the same question as Mark Logan. Osama's motive is well illustrated in that all but 3 of the hijackers were Saudis, Osama's intent was clearly to provoke an attack against the Kingdom or at least a sea-change shift in American perception to her 2nd greatest ally. I do not think that the Saudi intelligence apparatus would have had the foresight to predict that the target of the USA's wrath would be shifted onto the unwitting Saddam, such a foresight would indicate cooperation with Americans or Israelis that would also have wanted Saddam to bear the brunt of the fallout from such an attack. I will not touch that rabbit hole. I stand by the stance I have held all these years, that 9/11 was an organic attack committed with no input from any intelligence services, with any input coming from these services being true-believing rogue actors. This is a distinct possibility, that there were rogue saudi actors, true believers, that directly abetted/supported Osama. Much like there were many rogue gulfie actors that supported IS at one point or another pre 2015.

optimax

TV

The comedian Fred Willard graduated from VMI in 1955. How can you categorize people according to their upbringing or education? You can't.Fred Willard died a couple of days ago, a great improvisational comedian. RIP.

EO

The English equivalent, IMHO, to LHOTP is All Creatures Great and Small. What they had in common was a middle-class set of values dominant to the western world at the time, 1970s, but under deconstruction by cultural-Marxist intellectuals. The Christmas episode when Siegfried judges the farmer's wife's cake is a classic. Superb acting.

Tidewater

The operation was a two-pronged attack. First on the United States, but an attack equally on the House of Saud and the Saudi government. That the Saudi royal family and the Saudi intelligence services at the highest levels would be perceived by the United States to be behind the 9/11 attacks was one desired aim of the plan.

How was this deception to be accomplished?

That fifteen of the hijackers were Saudi citizens is not the number that is interesting. More significant is the fact that twelve of the fifteen were from the south-western mountains that had been known for centuries as Greater Yemen. This is the part of Saudi Arbia that not many westerners know about. It would include Asir, Jizan, Al-Baha, Najran. Ibn Saud sent his sons Khalid and Faisal to conquer the southwest in 1934. The Saudis pushed on down into Yemen to the Hodeida region. Their army committed atrocities in Asir. Eventually they were forced out of Yemen, but held on to the southwestern mountains. A treaty was signed at the mountain resort of Taif on 14 June 1934. The southwest, Greater Yemen, had been practically self- ruling for a long time. Parts of it, such as Najran, were of a different sect than Sunni; they were Shia, of a confession called Zaydi. The customs of the southwestern people were diffent. Women did not wear burka, or cover their face. They worked in the fields. They had the independence of the mountain folk. They found themselves under the arrogant and demeaning Nejdi rule and beset by fanatical Wahabi preachers. Everything changed, and not for the better. It was poor and has remained poor. In 2000 there was gunplay over the Saudi government's ambivalent and oft-changing tolerance of Zaydi--or Shia-- religious practice. So the region of Greater Yemen (that part of Saudi Arabia off of Route 15) was a good place to find recruits for the Struggle(Jihad).

One fanatical preacher named Sheik Ahmed Al Hawashi single-handedly encouraged five young men from Thurday Market (Khamis Mushayt) to join in a ceremony at the Sequeley mosque there in which they swore to give up everything, follow the teaching of Mohammed, and carry out jihad. One of these, Wael Aleshehri, assumed the name of one of the Companions of the Prophet, Abu Mossael al-Janubi. Al Janubi means "of the south." The Alesheris were rich and had built the mosque. The father had been a construction firm owner whose business had been for years with the father of Osama bin Laden. Wael took his brother Walid with him. The brothers would be on board Flight 11.

Recruits thought they were going to Chechnya, or Bosnia, even the Philippines, places where Muslims were being massacred. They did not. Instead they went to Peshawar and then over into Afghanistan. There were over one hundred bases they could have trained at in Afghanistan but the Saudis were carefully routed down to Al Farouk Camp near Kandahar. Here they came under the control of a very high ranking Al Quaeda operative, perhaps number three in the organization, named Mohammed Zein Abu Zubaydah. The Saudis were evaluated and intensively trained for months, in skills which included hand-to-hand combat. After a while they knew they were going to die in the coming operation.

It was easy for them to get into the United States. There were thousands of Saudis getting the expedited special visa granted by the US that made the Saudi passport the best one in Islam.

That was one good reason. Another reason is that Bin Laden had been treated harshly by the Saudi royals while he was in the Sudan. They were going to remove his citizenship. He had many reasons, the most important being of a theological basis, but he had been betrayed. He believed that they had also betrayed Islam. After all, Fahd brought the Americans into the holy land of Islam and they still have not left, even now. That Saudis chosen for the operation were from the most respected and largest tribes in Arabia. That they had volunteered against the government was what would seem like a warning to the west of a deep unrest within the Kingdom. Probably that was not true. Not until the money runs out in Yemen and Najran is taken over by the Houthis.

That the top leadership of the House of Saud could be perceived by millions of Americans as being the ones behind 9/11 would be a brilliantly perverse defamation if it could be made to work. And it looks like the idea--however counter-intuitive--might be taking off after almost two decades. The Al Quaeda 9/11 operation keeps right on going. Is there anything in history quite as remarkable as this operation? Could it still destabilize the United States somehow?

And who knows. Maybe some new information about WTC 7 will be released.

Barbara Ann

Tidewater

Absolutely fascinating comment, thanks for that.

David Habakkuk

Tidewater,

Certainly, a fascinating comment.

A question.

Although I am greatly ignorant about Saudi Arabia, it has long seemed to me that the rulers of that country are on the horns of inherently intractable dilemmas.

On the one hand, Wahhabist Islam is central to their claim to legitimacy.

On the other, their whole position in the world- including the ability to fund the kind of 'welfare state run riot' which the population enjoys, which is also crucial to their legitimacy - depends on collaboration with Western 'infidels.'

Promoting Wahhabism abroad, in ways that those Western 'infidels' have been deluded enough to think serves their own interests, is a not unnatural way to try to cope with the tensions involved.

However, another natural enough outcome of the tension is that there could be expected to be people with ambiguous loyalties - sometimes the product of confusion and incoherence, at other times of dissembling - scattered throughout the Saudi security apparatus.

Accordingly, it could well be the case that some of the people who the leaders of the Saudi intelligence services believed were monitoring and controlling the kind of jihadists who had conceived the kind of two-pronged strategy you depict could have been playing them for suckers.

An hypothesis along these lines might perhaps explain a range of different puzzles not only about the attack on the World Trade Center but also about the cover-up.

And indeed, it might 'mesh' with the suggestion that, although a short-term failure, a strategy designed to ensure that Prince Bandar and his like could be blamed for 9/11 may, in the end, be working.

As to whether it could also have radically destabilised the United States - and Britain, incidentally - that seems to me a not implausible hypothesis.

But, the details of quite how precisely this might work need more 'spelling out', I think.

Fred

It appears that, shock!, the Saudi national who killed 3 and wounded 8 in the Pensacola shooter last December had ties to AQ.
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/pensacola-florida-base-shooting-al-qaeda-fbi-justice-department/

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