9/11 Report

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We declare a national emergency in uncovering what really happened on 9/11/2001 through an immediate call for an independent collaborative investigation worldwide. The U.S. government could help us but instead is doing everything it can to stop any investigations into 9/11.

Sources: 9/11 Report Suggests Saudi Ties

By JOHN J. LUMPKIN and JOHN SOLOMON, Associated Press Writers

WASHINGTON - Classified sections of Congress' Sept. 11 report lay out a web of connections among Saudi businessmen, royal family, charities and banks that may have aided al-Qaida or the suicide hijackers, according to people who have seen the report.

The report raises the possibility that one or more Saudi men who were connected to some of the hijackers or their acquaintances were tied to Saudi intelligence. It also suggests a Muslim imam in the United States may have been a facilitator for some hijackers, the sources said, speaking only on condition of anonymity.

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U.S. investigators are setting out anew to determine whether the connections are innocent coincidences in an Islamic culture that urges charitable support or a pattern of pro-terror money and patronage flowing from the wealthy kingdom that is a longtime U.S. ally, according to government officials familiar with those efforts.

Some of the most sensitive information in a 28-page classified section of the report involves what U.S. agencies are doing currently to investigate Saudi business figures and organizations, the officials said.

The congressional investigators, however, warn the leads they have dug up for the FBI (news - web sites) and CIA (news - web sites) to pursue are at times contradictory or circumstantial. U.S. intelligence and FBI investigators view the evidence of ties to Saudi intelligence as unclear, the officials said.

"On the one hand, it is possible that these kinds of connections could suggest, as indicated in a CIA memorandum, 'incontrovertible evidence that there is support for these terrorists,'" one passage from the unclassified section of the report states. "On the other hand, it is also possible that further investigation of these allegations could reveal legitimate, and innocent, explanations for these associations."

Top Saudi officials call for the public release of the still-secret sections of the report that deal with possible Saudi terror connections and say it is ridiculous to suggest the royal family would deliberately fund an al-Qaida movement dedicated to its overthrow.

Adel al-Jubeir, a Saudi foreign policy adviser, said his government hasn't seen the classified section of the report but based on the Saudis' own terrorism investigation believes much of the evidence is likely uncorroborated. "One of the reasons we believe the intelligence community insisted on classification of that section is it could not confirm or agree with what the joint inquiry report says," al-Jubeir said.

Osama bin Laden (news - web sites), a Saudi by birth, was excommunicated from his homeland in the mid-1990s for his advocacy of violence against the United States and his threats to overthrow the Saudi royal family for allowing U.S. troops on Saudi soil during the 1991 Gulf War (news - web sites).

FBI officials are seeking to question, anew, Saudi businessman Omar al-Bayoumi, who during his time in San Diego threw a welcoming party for eventual hijackers Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi and who put down money for their rent deposit and first month's rent.

Al-Bayoumi left the United States two months before the suicide hijackings of Sept. 11, 2001, and settled in Britain, where Princess Faisal's brother, Prince Turki al-Faisal, was serving as ambassador after a stint as chief of Saudi intelligence.

Several such connections to Saudi government officials have led some in Congress to question if al-Bayoumi was a Saudi intelligence agent an allegation al-Jubeir denies. Saudi officials say British and U.S. officials questioned al-Bayoumi immediately after the attacks and released him. A lawyer for three central witnesses in the Sept. 11 investigation said the FBI also may have an interest in videotapes al-Bayoumi took of numerous events at an Islamic center in San Diego, including the party for two hijackers. Al-Bayoumi "had a video camera at that party. He and his video camera were inseparable," attorney Randall Hamud said in an interview Friday. "In fact, one of my clients even held the camera for a while at that party."

The classified report, as well as other sensitive intelligence gathered by U.S. investigators, focuses on a series of financial transactions and movements by Saudi citizens and royalty.

Key among them are checks Prince Bandar, the U.S. ambassador to the United States, and his wife, Princess Haifa al-Faisal, made out to a couple who were acquaintances of al-Bayoumi.

Saudi officials say Bandar and al-Faisal transferred tens of thousands of dollars to a Saudi named Osama Basnan and his Jordanian wife, Magda Ibrahim Dweikat. Al-Jubeir said Bandar gave charitable donations to Basnan to help cover his wife's medical bills starting in 1998 and that al-Faisal separately gave regular monthly payments to Dweikat, who used her maiden name, which would not call attention to her marriage to Basnan.

Al-Jubeir said Saudi investigators traced every payment which totaled more than $100,000 and found evidence two or three of the princess' checks to Dweikat were signed over to al-Bayoumi's wife. Saudi officials found no evidence that money was transferred to the hijackers or even used by al-Bayoumi when he assisted the hijackers, he said.

He said the money the prince and princess gave was among millions they've donated to help Saudis living in the United States.

FBI officials obtained information about Basnan, who was charged with visa violations after Sept. 11 and eventually sent back to Saudi Arabia, "clearly indicating that Basnan is an extremist and bin Laden supporter," the congressional report concludes.

In a classified section of the report, congressional investigators also trace his movements after Sept. 11, raising the possibility he went to Houston to meet with a Saudi figure with intelligence ties who had come with royal family members when they met with President Bush (news - web sites) in Texas.

Among other connections, the report states that a U.S.-based imam who had been on the FBI's radar before Sept. 11 served as a spiritual adviser for two of the hijackers and his mosques may have facilitated the hijackers on both coasts.

The congressional report says the FBI dropped pre-Sept inquiries about the imam, which it does not identify, "despite the imam's contacts with other subjects of counterterrorism interest and reports concerning the imam's connection to suspect organizations."

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The American Public is evidently in dire need of the truth, for when the plutocracy feeds us sweet lies instead of the bitter truth that would evoke remedial action by the People, then we are in peril of sinking inextricably into despotism.

To Frankenpower

A conspiracy

Robert Reich, Labor secretary in the Clinton administration, wrote recently in the Los Angeles Times that the aim of the Republican leadership in Congress -indeed, in the whole country - is to increase the federal deficit by as much, and as quickly, as possible. This, says Reich, eventually will provoke such a crisis as to force Democrats to agree to deep spending cuts. Thus, all those hated federal programs - from blessed pork projects to education - will be squeezed out of existence. And everyone will live happily ever after.

Supporting evidence for Reich's thesis is clear and compelling: In a little more than two and a half years, the Bush administration has squandered an enormous budget surplus. Today, the administration sports a $455 billion, some say $480 billion deficit as though it were a jaunty tam-o'-shanter. That is to say, it wears this deficit not just proudly, even merrily, and seems no less than pleased as punch to watch it soar.

Our crystal ball does not say whether this policy, if that is the term for it, will be successful. But we have doubts. First, it is not the most responsible of approaches. It assumes the glutton can be driven to his senses. That's not always the case. But that does not deter wishful thinking that at some point an enormous deficit would have to be confronted. Meanwhile, it would not hurt to disguise the problem as much as possible.

Thus Sen. Fritz Hollings, the South Carolina Democrat, argues that the Bush administration has employed creative accounting techniques in measuring the deficit. He argues the actual deficit is closer to $700 billion.

A second issue is how the federal government projects 10-year deficits. The 10-year projected deficit stands, more or less officially, at $3.5 trillion. But a recent study by two scholars at the conservative American Enterprise Institute argue that such projections are seriously misleading.

The Congressional Budget Office and the Office of Management and Budget calculate deficits over a period of years, usually a decade. Moreover, when they do so, they exclude Social Security and Medicare in calculations. The projected imbalance is $36 trillion in Medicare and $7 trillion in Social Security.

That is a total of $43 trillion that should be added to the projected $3.5 trillion. The American Enterprise scholars, Jagadeesh Gokhale and Kent Smetters, contend that excluding Social Security and Medicare from deficit calculations reduces the magnitude of the problem and thus any impetus to push Congress or the administration to act.

That may indeed be the case. But if Reich is correct in his theory that the Republican Party aims to force reform by driving the deficit ever higher, then excluding Social Security and Medicare is a handy deception. After all, $3.5 trillion over 10 years doesn't sound all that bad. But $43 trillion? That's a lot.

The CBO gets its marching orders from Congress. The OMB operates under the executive. If the two branches actually wanted some truth-in-deficit reporting, it would seem the leadership need only command it. And it would be done.

That does not, however, seem to be the case.


Mediocre times produce the very worst that the world has to offer: Reagan, Bin Laden, Bush, Hussein, Sharon, and Blair. None but the feeble minded could draw inspiration from such a ghastly lineup of "leaders".

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