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9/11: Bush’s Guilt and the ‘28 Pages’

The 28 Pages (actually 29 pages) points straight to the involvement of the Saudi Royal family through Saudi ambassador to the US Prince Bandar bin-Sultan Al-Saud – a Bush family friend – which is why George W. Bush sought to suppress it.

Eric Zuesse

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Submitted by Eric Zuesse, via strategic-culture.org

On Friday July 15th, as the national news media were either on vacation or preparing for the opening of the Trump National Convention on Monday the 18th, the long-awaited release of the ‘missing 28 pages’ from the U.S. Senate’s 9/11 report (“DECEMBER 2002: JOINT INQUIRY INTO INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES BEFORE AND AFTER THE TERRORIST ATTACKS OF SEPTEMBER 11, 2001”) occurred. The official title of this document is “PART FOUR — FINDING, DISCUSSION AND NARRATIVE REGARDING CERTAIN SENSITIVE NATIONAL SECURITY MATTERS”, and it constitutes pages 6-34 of a pdf. (Some writers mistakenly call it “29 pages.” [I correct that statement; Robert Parry just now pointed out to me, it really is 29 pages: all of the previous references to it as “the missing 28 pages” had gotten the count wrong. Thanks, Robert!])

It “was kept secret from the public on the orders of former President George W. Bush”, and remained secret under Bush’s successor Barack Obama, until that Friday night late in Obama’s Second Administration, right before a week of Republican National Convention news would be dominating the news (along with any racial incidents, which would be sure to distract the public even more from any indication of Bush’s guilt).

The pdf was of a picture-file so as to be non-searchable by journalists and thus slow to interpret, and thus would impede press-coverage of it. The file was also of a very degraded picture of the pages, so as to make the reading of it even more uninviting and difficult. Well, that was a skillful news-release-and-coverup operation! The Federal Government had plenty of time to do this right, but they evidently had plenty of incentive to do it wrong. They’re not incompetent; the reasonable explanation is something worse than that. (After all: this information has been hidden from the public for all of the 13+ years since that report was published without the 29 pages at the end of 2002.)

A typical ‘news’ report about the matter was NBC’s, which was headlined “Secret 28 Pages of 9/11 Report Released, Hold No Proof of Saudi Link” and which ended: “American officials repeatedly have stated their conclusion: There was none.” That’s stenographic ‘journalism’, like (in 2002 and 2003) about ‘Saddam’s WMD’: it’s ‘journalism’ in which, whatever your government says, is simply reported, as being (or as if it were) the truth.

What these 29 long-suppressed pages revealed was well summarized by one succinct reader who wrote:

“The Inquiry discloses that there is a very direct chain of evidence about financing and logistics … [that] goes from the Saudi Royal family (Amb. Bandar’s wife and Bandar’s checking account) and Saudi consulate employees (al Thumiari) to the agent handlers (Basnan and al Bayoumi) to some of the 9/11 hijackers (Khalid al-Mihdhar, Nawaf al-Hazmi).”

In other words: Prince Bandar bin-Sultan al-Saud, known in Washington as “Bandar Bush” (for his closeness to the Bush family), and who served at that time as Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the United States, paid tens of thousands of dollars to Saudi Arabia’s “handlers” who were directing two of the hijackers, Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi. Also, one of Bandar’s subordinates at the Embassy, named al-Thumiari, was likewise paying the person who was paying and managing those two jihadists.

The report said:

“FBI files suggest that al-Bayoumi provided substantial assistance to hijackers Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi after they arrived in San Diego in February 2000. … According to an October 14, 2002 FBI document, al-Bayoumi has ‘extensive ties to the Saudi Government’. … According to the FBI, al-Bayoumi was in frequent contact with the Emir at the Ministry of Defense, responsible for air traffic control. … Al-Bayoumi was receiving money from the Saudi Ministry of Defense. … Al-Bayoumi was known to have access to large amounts of money from Saudi Arabia, despite the fact that he did not appear to hold a job. … Al-Bayoumi’s pay increased during the time that al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar were in the United States.”

Also, an FBI agent testified on 9 October 2002 regarding al-Bayoumi, and said Bayoumi:

“acted like a Saudi intelligence officer, in my opinion. And if he was involved with the hijackers, which it looks like he was, if he signed leases, if he provided some sort of financing … then I would say that there’s a clear possibility that there might be a connection between Saudi intelligence and UBL [Usama bin Laden].”

Moreover:

“The FBI has now confirmed that only Osama Bassnan’s wife received money directly from Prince Bandar’s wife, but that al-Bayoumi’s wife attempted to deposit three of the checks from Prince Bandar’s wife, which were payable to Bassnan’s wife, into her own accounts. … Bassnan was a very close associate of Omar al-Bayoumi’s and was in telephone contact with al-Bayoumi several times a day.”

Furthermore:

“Bassnan’s wife received a monthly stipend from Princess Haifa.”

>And:

“On at least one occasion, Bassnan received a check directly from Prince Bandar’s account. According to the FBI, on May 14, 1998, Bassnan cashed a check from Bandar in the amount of $15,000. Bassnan’s wife also received at least one check directly from Bandar … for $10,000. … FBI Executive Assistant Director D’Amuro commented on this financing: ‘I believe that we do have money going from Bandar’s wife, $2,000 a month up to about $64,000.’”

Also:

“On March 28, 2002, U.S. and coalition forces retrieved the telephone book of Abu Zubayda, whom the U.S. Government has identified as a senior al-Qa’ida operational coordinator. According to an FBI document, ‘a review of toll records has linked [to] ASPCOL Corporation in Aspen, Colorado. … ASPCOL is the umbrella corporation that manages the affairs of the Colorado residence of Prince Bandar, the Saudi Ambassador. … The U.S. Government also located another Virginia number at an Usama bin Laden safehouse in Pakistan … [where a person was] interviewed by the FBI in June 2002. He could not explain why his number ended up at a safehouse in Pakistan, but stated that he regularly provides services to a couple who are personal assistants to Prince Bandar.”

This has to be seen in the context of George W. Bush’s very close and longstanding personal friendship with Prince Bandar, and also in the context of Bandar’s career.

Bandar has long been involved, both officially and unofficially, in the intelligence operations of the Saud family (which own Saudi Arabia). During October 2005 through January 2015, he served as secretary general of Saudi Arabia’s National Security Council, and he also was director general of the Saudi Intelligence Agency from 2012 to 2014. Furthermore the just-released report asserts:

“The FBI also received reports from individuals in the Muslim community alleging that Bassnan might be a Saudi intelligence agent. According to a CIA memo, Bassnan reportedly received funding and possibly a fake passport from Saudi Government officials. He and his wife have received financial support from the Saudi Ambassador to the United States and his wife. … A CIA report also indicates that Bassnan traveled to Houston in 2002 and … that during that trip a member of the Saudi royal family provided Bassnan with a significant amount of cash. … FBI information indicates that Bassnan is an extremist and a supporter of Usama bin Laden.”

Regarding Shaykh al-Thumairy, he was “an accredited diplomat at the Saudi Consulate in Los Angeles and one of the ‘imams’ at the King Fahd Mosque … built in 1998 from funding provided by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Abdulaziz. The mosque … is widely recognized for its anti-Western views.”

The 29 pages also include lots more, but those facts give at least some solid indications of the links that Prince Bandar had to 9/11.

And other FBI offices than in San Diego were basically not even covered in the 29 pages; this was a rush-job by a Senate Committee, and with enormous resistance from the White House, which did everything they could to block the investigators.

Furthermore: none of this information is as solid as the sworn court-testimony of the captured former bagman for al-Qaeda, their bookkeeper who personally collected each one of the million-dollar cash donations to the organization and named many donors, including Prince Bandar, as having been among the people from whom he picked up those suitcases full of cash. He said of their donations:

“It was crucial. I mean, without the money of the — of the Saudi you will have nothing.”

The authors of the Senate investigation report, never got any wind of this, because that man was in a U.S. prison and held incommunicado until that court-case in October 2014. But it was virtually the entire Saud family — not merely Bandar — who funded 9/11.

So: we know that Bandar “Bush” was practically like a brother to George W. Bush, but what other indications do we have of GWB’s guilt in the planning of the 9/11 attacks?

First of all: if he wasn’t involved in the attack’s planning, then he was grossly incompetent and uncaring, to the point of criminal negligence for the numerous attempts that the CIA had made to warn GWB that such at attack was being planned and would occur soon — that he simply ignored those warnings. Criminal negligence, however, isn’t the same as being a traitor. That’s far more serious, and it would entail Bush’s conscious desire for such an attack to occur. Such evidence does exist. Here it is:

Researcher Chris Whipple headlined at Politico, on 12 November 2015, “‘The Attacks Will Be Spectacular’”, and he reported:

“Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” The CIA’s famous Presidential Daily Brief, presented to George W. Bush on August 6, 2001, has always been Exhibit A in the case that his administration shrugged off warnings of an Al Qaeda attack. But months earlier, starting in the spring of 2001, the CIA repeatedly and urgently began to warn the White House that an attack was coming.

By May of 2001, says Cofer Black, then chief of the CIA’s counterterrorism center, “it was very evident that we were going to be struck, we were gonna be struck hard and lots of Americans were going to die.” “There were real plots being manifested,” Cofer’s former boss, George Tenet, told me in his first interview in eight years. …

The crisis came to a head on July 10. The critical meeting that took place that day was first reported by Bob Woodward in 2006. Tenet also wrote about it in general terms in his 2007 memoir At the Center of the Storm.

But neither he nor Black has spoken about it publicly in such detail until now—or been so emphatic about how specific and pressing their warnings really were. Over the past eight months, in more than a hundred hours of interviews, my partners Jules and Gedeon Naudet and I talked with Tenet and the 11 other living former CIA directors for The Spymasters, a documentary set to air this month on Showtime.

The drama of failed warnings began when Tenet and Black pitched a plan, in the spring of 2001, called “the Blue Sky paper” to Bush’s new national security team. It called for a covert CIA and military campaign to end the Al Qaeda threat—“getting into the Afghan sanctuary, launching a paramilitary operation, creating a bridge with Uzbekistan.” “And the word back,” says Tenet, “‘was ‘we’re not quite ready to consider this. We don’t want the clock to start ticking.’” (Translation: they did not want a paper trail to show that they’d been warned.)

Five days later, I wrote an article interpreting that, titled “Politico Reports Bush Knew 2001 Terror-Attack Was Imminent and Wanted It”. Readers here are referred to that, for the continuation of the case here.

For additional information on the bonding between the Saudi aristocracy and the U.S. aristocracy, see this and this. It’s important to understand in order to be able to understand why Obama helped to set up the 21 August 2013 Syrian sarin attack to be blamed on Bashar al-Assad, who is allied with Russia. The U.S. is allied with the Saud family, against Russia; and Syria is allied with Russia and refuses to allow pipelines for gas from Qatar and oil from Saudi Arabia through Syria to replace gas and oil that Russia has been selling to the EU. (Like RFK Jr. properly headlined on 25 February 2016, “Syria: Another Pipeline War”. That’s why the Sauds want Assad dead.)

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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BREAKING: Explosion in Crimea, Russia kills many, injuring dozens, terrorism suspected

According to preliminary information, the incident was caused by a gas explosion at a college facility in Kerch, Crimea.

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“We are clarifying the information at the moment. Preliminary figures are 50 injured and 10 dead. Eight ambulance crews are working at the site and air medical services are involved,” the press-service for the Crimean Ministry of Health stated.

Medics announced that at least 50 people were injured in the explosion in Kerch and 25 have already been taken to local hospital with moderate wounds, according to Sputnik.

Local news outlets reported that earlier in the day, students at the college heard a blast and windows of the building were shattered.

Putin Orders that Assistance Be Provided to Victims of Blast in Kerch – Kremlin Spokesman

“The president has instructed the Ministry of Health and the rescue services to take emergency measures to assist victims of this explosion, if necessary, to ensure the urgent transportation of seriously wounded patients to leading medical institutions of Russia, whether in Moscow or other cities,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitriy Peskov said.

The president also expressed his condolences to all those affected by the tragic incident.

Manhunt Underway in Kerch as FSB Specialists Investigate Site of Explosion – National Anti-Terrorist Committee

The site of the blast that rocked a city college in Kerch is being examined by FSB bomb disposal experts and law enforcement agencies are searching for clues that might lead to the arrest of the perpetrators, the National Anti Terrorism Committee said in a statement.

“Acting on orders from the head of the NAC’s local headquarters, FSB, Interior Ministry, Russian Guards and Emergency Ministry units have arrived at the site. The territory around the college has been cordoned off and the people inside the building evacuated… Mine-disposal experts are working at the site and law enforcement specialists are investigating,” the statement said.

Terrorist Act Considered as Possible Cause of Blast in Kerch – Kremlin Spokesman

“The tragic news that comes from Kerch. Explosion. The president was informed … The data on those killed and the number of injured is constantly updated,” Peskov told reporters.

“[The version of a terrorist attack] is being considered,” he said.

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10 percent of American F-22 fighter jets damaged by Hurricane Michael

Part of the reason the F-22’s were left in the path of the storm is that they were broken and too expensive to fix or fly.

Seraphim Hanisch

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Note to the wise: When a hurricane comes, move your planes out of the way. Especially your really expensive F-22 fighter planes. After all, those babies are $339 mil apiece. Got the message?

Apparently the US Air Force didn’t get this message. Or, did they find themselves unable to follow the message?

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The Washington Times reported Tuesday that between 17 and 20 of these top-of-the-line fighter jets were damaged, some beyond the point of repair, when Hurricane Michael slammed ashore on Mexico Beach, Florida, not far from the Tyndall Air Force Base in the same state. The Times reports that more than a dozen of the F-22 Raptor stealth fighter jets were damaged after being left in the path of the extremely fierce storm:

President Trump’s tour Monday of devastation wrought by Hurricane Michael took him close to Florida’s Tyndall Air Force Base, where more than a dozen F-22 Raptor stealth fighter jets were damaged after being left in the path of the powerful storm.

The pricey fighter jets — some possibly damaged beyond repair — were caught in the widespread destruction that took at least 18 lives, flattened homes, downed trees and buckled roads from Florida to Virginia.

The decision to leave roughly $7.5 billion in aircraft in the path of a hurricane raised eyebrows, including among defense analysts who say the Pentagon’s entire high-tech strategy continues to make its fighter jets vulnerable to weather and other mishaps when they are grounded for repairs.

“This becomes sort of a self-defeating cycle where we have $400 million aircraft that can’t fly precisely because they are $400 million aircraft,” said Dan Grazier, a defense fellow at Project on Government Oversight. “If we were buying simpler aircraft then it would be a whole lot easier for the base commander to get these aircraft up and in working order, at least more of them.”

This is quite a statement. The F-22 is held to be the tip of the American air defense sword. A superb airplane (when it works), it can do things no other plane in the world can do. It boasts a radar profile the size of a marble, making it virtually undetectable by enemy radars. It is highly maneuverable with thrust-vectoring built into its engines.

However, to see a report like this is simply stunning. After all, one would expect that the best military equipment ought to be the most reliable as well. 

It appears that Hurricane Michael figuratively and physically blew the lid off any efforts to conceal a problem with these planes, and indeed with the hyper-technological basis for the US air fighting forcesThe Times continues:

Reports on the number of aircraft damaged ranged from 17 to 22 or about 10 percent of the Air Force’s F-22 fleet of 187.

The Air Force stopped buying F-22s, considered the world’s most advanced fighter jets, in 2012. The aircraft is being replaced by the F-35, another high-tech but slightly less-expensive aircraft.

Later in the tour, at an emergency command center in Georgia, Mr. Trump said the damage to the F-22s couldn’t be avoided because the aircraft were grounded and the storm moved quickly.

“We’re going to have a full report. There was some damage, not nearly as bad as we first heard,” he said when asked about the F-22s, which cost about $339 million each.

“I’m always concerned about cost. I don’t like it,” Mr. Trump said.

Still, the president remains a fan of the high-tech fighter jet.

“The F-22 is one of my all-time favorites. It is the most beautiful fighter jet in the world. One of the best,” he said.

The Air Force managed to fly 33 of the F-22s to safety, but maintenance and repair issues kept 22 of the notoriously finicky aircraft on the ground when the powerful storm hit the base.

About 49 percent of the F-22s are out of action at any given time, according to an Air Force report this year.

This is a stunning statistic. This means that of the 187 planes in existence, 90 of them are not working. At their cost, that means that over thirty billion dollars worth of military equipment is sitting around, broken, just in airplanes alone.

As a point of comparison, the entire Russian military budget for 2017 was $61 billion, with that budget producing hypersonic missiles, superb fighter aircraft and tanks. Russian fighter planes are known for being able to take harsh landing and take-off conditions that would cripple the most modern American flying machines.

It would seem that Hurricane Michael exposed a serious problem with the state of readiness of American armed forces. Thankfully that problem did not arise in combat, but it is no less serious.

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Saudi Arabia trying to squirm free of Khashoggi murder (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 2.

Alex Christoforou

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RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou take a quick look at Saudi Arabia’s possible admission to killing journalist Jamal Khashoggi…accidentally, while they were torturing the man inside the consulate in Istanbul.

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Via Zerohedge

Even before the publication of last night’s Saudi trial balloon hinting that the kingdom would soon acknowledge that the extrajudicial killing of Jamal Khashoggi – the insider-turned dissident journalist who walked into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week and never walked back out – was the result of a “botched” kidnapping attempt carried out by “rogue killers” (despite reports that the US intelligence community knew that Khashoggi was being “targeted”), two realities had become increasingly clear. One: That the Saudis would avoid responsibility for the killing by pinning it on some unfortunate underling, and two: that there would be few, if any, lasting diplomatic repercussions.

And as more media organizations confirmed reports about Saudi’s plans to spin Khashoggi’s murder as a botched interrogation (we can only imagine what was said in that room to justify the use of such extreme violence), CNN calculated the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Saudi King Salman in Riyadh for approximately 15 minutes early Tuesday, following his 12-hour-plus flight to the kingdom.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s meeting with King Salman of Saudi Arabia lasted no more than 15 minutes, CNN estimates based on the time the top US diplomat’s motorcade arrived at the royal court and departed.

The motorcade arrived at the royal court at 11:42 a.m. (4:42 a.m. ET) and left 26 minutes later. There is a fair distance to walk from where the motorcade dropped Pompeo off to where he met the king.

While Trump said on Monday that Pompeo would travel to Turkey “if necessary”, the Saudi’s decision to “come clean” about Khashoggi’s death pretty much rendered Pompeo’s fact-finding mission unnecessary.More important are developments in Turkey, where the joint Saudi-Turkish “investigation” is turning its attention toward the home of the Saudi consul, where a black diplomatic van that departed the Saudi consulate just under two hours after Khashoggi entered was captured on camera disappearing into a garage. Some speculate that this is where the killers finished disposing of Khashoggi’s body. This comes after a “nine-hour” search of the Saudi consulate building that, according to leaks published in Al-Jazeera, turned up “evidence of tampering” by the Saudis. On Tuesday, Turkey’s foreign minister clarified that Saudi had yet to admit its role in Khashoggi’s disappearance and probable death.

Turkish investigators will carry out a search of the Saudi Consul General’s residence on Tuesday as the probe into the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi continues, according to a Turkish diplomatic source.

CCTV footage released to the media from the day the Washington Post writer vanished show movement of vehicles from the consulate building to the Consul General’s residence nearby.

As speculation mounts that the incident could unseat the increasingly authoritarian Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (who has already marginalized or incapacitated nearly every threat to his rule), it’s looking more likely that neither the US nor the rest of the Western world will do much to punish the world’s most important oil exporter, which can “weaponize” the oil market seemingly on a whim.

Any punishment for this flagrant violation of human rights will need to come, therefore, from the private sector, which, according to Bloomberg, could sabotage MbS’s grand Vision 2030 plan, which aims to remake the Saudi economy via a flood of foreign direct investment:

The economic strategy of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, known as MBS, is to make investment the main engine of economic growth instead of government spending, but the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi could frustrate these ambitions. Foreign direct investment, a key part of the plan to reinvent Saudi Arabia’s economy, declined sharply in 2017 and is unlikely to return to previous levels, leaving the government’s target for 2020 beyond reach, according to analysis by Bloomberg Economics. Increased policy uncertainty and, after the Khashoggi incident, the risk of reputational damage to foreign companies working in Saudi Arabia won’t help.

 

 

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