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FTR #454 The War President in Action

Record­ed April 4, 2004
Lis­ten:
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Archiv­ing impor­tant mate­r­i­al from past broad­casts about the Bush admin­is­tra­tion’s record on com­bat­ing ter­ror­ism, this pro­gram eval­u­ates the per­for­mance of this “war pres­i­dent” (as Bush char­ac­ter­ized him­self in a recent inter­view.) Not only has the admin­is­tra­tion run inter­fer­ence for pow­er­ful Sau­di inter­ests (with which the Bush fam­i­ly and much of the rest of the GOP have impor­tant busi­ness and polit­i­cal alliances), but it has done so in such a man­ner as to utter­ly neu­tral­ize intel­li­gence efforts at inter­dict­ing Al Qae­da oper­a­tions. Fur­ther­more, the admin­is­tra­tion and ele­ments close­ly allied with it are deeply impli­cat­ed in the active frus­tra­tion of inves­ti­ga­tions into Sau­di com­plic­i­ty in the financ­ing of ter­ror­ism. At the foun­da­tion of the com­mer­cial, polit­i­cal and nation­al secu­ri­ty rela­tion­ships between Sau­di and Amer­i­can pow­er elite ele­ments is the petro­le­um and fos­sil fuels indus­tri­al com­plex. The CIA and petro­le­um indus­try back­ground of the elder George Bush, the petro­le­um indus­try back­ground of the younger George Bush and the struc­tur­al rela­tion­ships between the Bush milieu and the Saud­is have gen­er­at­ed and per­pet­u­at­ed the polit­i­cal and eco­nom­ic pow­er embod­ied in this admin­is­tra­tion. Much as a mosquito–seeking only to draw pre­cious flu­ids through its pipeline—transmits the Malar­ia infec­tion, so the Saudi/US com­mer­cial and polit­i­cal rela­tion­ship has served to trans­mit the virus of ter­ror­ism. And it is with­in this “mos­qui­to-like” struc­tur­al eco­nom­ic rela­tion­ship between the US and the Saud­is that the dead­ly, con­spir­a­to­r­i­al ele­ments behind the events of 9/11 have nur­tured, oper­at­ed and thrived. Note the pres­ence in the mate­r­i­al that fol­lows of both the Al Taqwa/Al Qae­da link to the GOP and the links of the same ele­ments to the Islam­o­fas­cist Mus­lim Broth­er­hood. Both the Bush fam­i­ly and the Broth­er­hood have his­tor­i­cal rela­tion­ships with the Third Reich, in both its above­ground and post­war under­ground phas­es.

Pro­gram High­lights Include: The Bush admin­is­tra­tion’s with­hold­ing of Clin­ton-era doc­u­ments on Al Qae­da from the 9/11 com­mis­sion; reports cov­er­ing a decade pri­or to 9/11 of the pro­ject­ed use of kamikaze-style ter­ror­ist attacks involv­ing air­craft; the Bush admin­is­tra­tion’s inter­dic­tion (through the State Depart­ment) of the FBI’s inves­ti­ga­tion into the bomb­ing of the USS Cole; the Bush admin­is­tra­tion’s inter­dic­tion of US intel­li­gence inves­ti­ga­tions into the Sau­di link to Al Qae­da and Islamist ter­ror­ism; the admin­is­tra­tion’s inter­dic­tion of US intel­li­gence inves­ti­ga­tions into the World Assem­bly of Mus­lim Youth (WAMY) and Abdul­lah bin Laden; the admin­is­tra­tion’s inter­dic­tion of US intel­li­gence inves­ti­ga­tions of the Sau­di finan­cial inter­est back­ing the Pak­istani-based Khan nuclear smug­gling effort; the Caspi­an Basin pipeline nego­ti­a­tions under­way between Dick Cheney, Enron, the Saud­is and the Tal­iban; the role of the Enron/Cheny deal in neu­tral­iz­ing US intel­li­gence inves­ti­ga­tions into Al Qae­da; the role that the Enron/Cheney deal appears to have played in facil­i­tat­ing the attacks of 9/11; the Bush admin­is­tra­tion’s autho­riza­tion of the evac­u­a­tion of Abdul­lah bin Laden and Khairal­lah bin Laden short­ly after 9/11 (when no oth­er civil­ians could fly); the links of the GOP and Bush fam­i­ly to Islamists asso­ci­at­ed with the SAAR net­work and the oth­er tar­gets of the 3/20/2002 Oper­a­tion Green Quest raids; the inter­fer­ence by Bush polit­i­cal and busi­ness allies in the Green Quest inves­ti­ga­tions; the role of Harken Ener­gy direc­tor and Bush polit­i­cal chum Talat Oth­man in the frus­tra­tion of Oper­a­tion Green Quest; the dis­missal of for­mer Trea­sury Sec­re­tary Paul O’Neil eight months after Talat Oth­man inter­ced­ed with him on behalf of the defen­dants in Oper­a­tion Green Quest; the links between the GOP/Bush/Operation Green Quest milieu and the that of the Bank Al Taqwa/Muslim Broth­er­hood; the Jus­tice Depart­men­t’s frus­tra­tion of Oper­a­tion Green Quest after the inves­ti­ga­tion was trans­ferred from the Trea­sury Depart­ment; the FBI and CIA sur­veil­lance of the inves­ti­ga­tors of Oper­a­tion Green Quest; intel­li­gence reports indi­cat­ing that Sad­dam Hus­sein had con­tact­ed Al Qae­da about serv­ing as a back­up unit in the event of his ouster by the U.S.; reports that the US inva­sion of Iraq had made the coun­try less secure and more at risk for ter­ror­ist attacks; pre­dic­tions by US counter ter­ror­ist expert Rand Beers that the Iraqi inva­sion would hurt the US and help the ter­ror­ists.

Note that this pro­gram descrip­tion con­tains mate­r­i­al that was not includ­ed in the orig­i­nal broad­cast due to the lim­i­ta­tions of time.

1. The pro­gram begins with dis­cus­sion of the Bush admin­is­tra­tion’s with­hold­ing from the 9/11 com­mis­sion of Clin­ton-era doc­u­ments about Bin Laden, Al Qae­da and ter­ror­ism. “The White House has agreed to allow the inde­pen­dent com­mis­sion inves­ti­gat­ing the Sept. 11 attacks to review thou­sands of Clin­ton admin­is­tra­tion nation­al-secu­ri­ty doc­u­ments that the White House acknowl­edged this week it had with­held from the pan­el, the com­mis­sion said Fri­day. But even as the White House strug­gled to con­vince the pan­el that it was not with­hold­ing valu­able infor­ma­tion, admin­is­tra­tion offi­cials refused to make a com­mit­ment to allow it to have copies of the Clin­ton-era doc­u­ments. [Ital­ics are Mr. Emory’s.] And they sug­gest­ed that sim­i­lar, high­ly clas­si­fied Bush White House doc­u­ments might have also been with­held from the pan­el. . . .
(“9/11 Pan­el to Get Clin­ton Papers” by Philip Shenon [New York Times]; San Fran­cis­co Chron­i­cle; 4/3/2004; p. A4.) [4]

2. ” . . . But the final deci­sion on whether the doc­u­ments could be hand­ed over to the com­mis­sion was left to the Bush White House, which decid­ed to block trans­fer of three-quar­ters of the near­ly 11,000 pages of mate­r­i­al, accord­ing to for­mer Clin­ton aides who said they were con­cerned that so many of the doc­u­ments had been with­held from the pan­el.” (Idem.)

3. ” ‘This is very dis­turb­ing,’ said Richard Ben-Veniste, the for­mer Water­gate pros­e­cu­tor who is a Demo­c­ra­t­ic mem­ber of the com­mis­sion. The White house said on Thurs­day that it decid­ed to with­hold the Clin­ton doc­u­ments from the pan­el because they dupli­cat­ed oth­er doc­u­ments, were not rel­e­vant to the com­mis­sion’s requests or involved nation­al secu­ri­ty and were ‘high­ly sen­si­tive.’ ”(Idem.)

4. ’ ” ‘Since all of the com­mis­sion­ers and most of the staff have secu­ri­ty clear­ances at the very high­est lev­el, it puz­zles me as to what would be with­held on the basis of nation­al secu­ri­ty con­cerns,’ Ben-Veniste said.” (Idem.)

5. Among the top­ics the Bush White House might have been seek­ing to obscure is the amount of fore­warn­ing that exist­ed of the prob­a­bil­i­ty of an attack of the nature of the one that occurred on 9/11. For years, intel­li­gence agen­cies (includ­ing Amer­i­can ser­vices) had been aware of the exis­tence of Islamist ter­ror­ist attempts involv­ing the use air­craft as kamikaze weapons. “1994 EIFFEL TOWER THREAT: ‘Alger­ian Armed Islam­ic Group ter­ror­ists hijacked an Air France flight. . . and threat­ened to crash it into the Eif­fel Tow­er.’ ”
(“Kamikaze Ter­ror­ism Was­n’t New Idea” by Scot J. Pal­trow; The Wall Street Jour­nal; 4/1/2004; p. A4; [Side­bar Titled “Warn­ing Signs”].)

6. “1995 BOJINKA PLOT TO BLOW UP AMERICAN JETS: ’

An accom­plice of Ramzi Yousef told police in the Philip­pines [and the FBI] that a vari­ant of the plot involved fly­ing a plane on a sui­cide mis­sion into CIA head­quar­ters.’ ” (Idem.)

7. “1996 IRANIAN PLOT TO CRASH JAPANESE JET IN ISRAEL: ‘A pas­sen­ger would board the plane in the Far East, com­man­deer the air­craft order it to fly over Tel Aviv, and crash the plane into the city.’ ” (Idem.)

8. “1998 ALLEGED PLAN BY AL QAEDA-LINKED TERRORISTS TO CRASH PLANE INTO WORLD TRADE CENTER: ‘. . . A group, since linked to al-Qa’i­da, planned to fly an explo­sives laden plane from a for­eign coun­try into the World Trade Cen­ter.’ ” (Idem.)

9. “1999 FEDERAL RESEARCH DIVISION REPORT ON TERRORISM: “Sui­cide bomber(s) . . . could crash-land an air­craft . . . into the Pen­ta­gon . . . or the White House.’ ” (Idem.)

10. In the ear­ly months of the Bush admin­is­tra­tion, for­mer FBI agent John O’Neil­l’s inves­ti­ga­tion into the bomb­ing of the USS Cole (exe­cut­ed by Al Qae­da) was active­ly frus­trat­ed by US ambas­sador (to Yemen) Bar­bara Bod­ine and her diplo­mat­ic staff. This was part of a larg­er pat­tern of polit­i­cal pro­tec­tion of Sau­di Ara­bia against crim­i­nal inves­ti­ga­tions into Sau­di com­plic­i­ty in the fund­ing of Al Qae­da. O’Neill attrib­uted the inter­dic­tion of his inves­ti­ga­tion to the influ­ence of US cor­po­ra­tions involved in busi­ness rela­tion­ships with the Saud­is. Key Sau­di backed char­i­ties and many impor­tant mem­bers of the Sau­di elite are impli­cat­ed in the fund­ing of Al Qae­da and oth­er Islamist ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions.

11. “John O’Neill was a rebel in a world where the pres­i­dent and his admin­is­tra­tion called the shots. In charge of inves­ti­gat­ing acts of ter­ror­ism by the Al Qae­da orga­ni­za­tion, he went to Yemen in Octo­ber 2000 after the attack on the USS Cole, in which sev­en­teen U.S. ser­vice­men died. He lam­bast­ed the obstruc­tion­ist atti­tude among Amer­i­can diplo­mats there. In the course of the inves­ti­ga­tion, it became clear that diplo­mats from the State Depart­ment and FBI inves­ti­ga­tors did not share the same approach. The diplo­mats want­ed to com­ply with the Yemenite regime in order to calm polit­i­cal rela­tions, while the FBI want­ed to solve the crime and find those respon­si­ble for the attack as quick­ly as pos­si­ble. It was appar­ent that these two visions—these two cultures—could not coex­ist. After anoth­er dis­pute over the FBI agents’ car­ry­ing of arms and the turn­ing over of sec­ond-lev­el sus­pects to the Amer­i­can author­i­ties, the Amer­i­can ambas­sador to Yemen, Bar­bara Bod­ine, for­bade John O’Neill and his team (of ‘Ram­bos,’ as the Yemenite author­i­ties called them) from enter­ing Yemen. This despite the fact that, accord­ing to O’Neill, the FBI had in hand all of the evi­dence need­ed to impli­cate Osama bin Laden’s ter­ror­ist net­work in the attack.”
(For­bid­den Truth; Jean-Charles Bris­ard & Guil­laume Dasquie; Copy­right 2002 [SC]; Thun­der’s Mouth/Nation Books; ISBN 1–56025-414–9; p. XXVIII.)

12. “Sit­ting in the Chi­na Club at the top of a build­ing over­look­ing Man­hat­tan, John O’Neill recount­ed the heat­ed exchange with the Amer­i­can ambas­sador, his dis­ap­point­ment in the State Depart­men­t’s impotence—feigned or not—and above all the threat of Osama bin Laden. For him, every­thing orig­i­nat­ed in Sau­di Ara­bia, and every­thing could be explained and solved through this prism. ‘All of the answers, all of the clues allow­ing us to dis­man­tle Osama bin Laden’s orga­ni­za­tion, can be found in Sau­di Ara­bia’, he told me, empha­siz­ing ‘the inabil­i­ty of Amer­i­can diplo­ma­cy to get any­thing out of King Fahd’ con­cern­ing ter­ror­ist net­works. The rea­son? There was only one: cor­po­rate oil inter­ests. Could this sin­gle expla­na­tion keep the Unit­ed States from inves­ti­gat­ing one of the prin­ci­pal ter­ror­ist net­works in the world? Yes—for the sim­ple rea­son that the Amer­i­can admin­is­tra­tion had refrained from using the inves­ti­ga­tion as a means of putting pres­sure on its Sau­di friends.” (Ibid.; pp. XXVIII-XXIX.)

13. As will be seen in greater detail below, the restric­tions on FBI inves­ti­ga­tion of Sau­di com­plic­i­ty in ter­ror­ism increased dra­mat­i­cal­ly after the ascen­sion of George Bush to the pres­i­den­cy. “Since George Bush’s elec­tion, ‘the FBI was even more polit­i­cal­ly engaged,’ O’Neill said, and that could be felt ‘even on [his] own inves­ti­ga­tions’ regard­ing Osama bin Laden. ‘Sau­di Ara­bia has much more pres­sure on us than we have toward the king­dom,’ he said, con­sid­er­ing the Unit­ed States’ depen­den­cy on its oil and thus the State Depart­men­t’s need to have a ‘secure and sta­ble’ Sau­di Ara­bia.” (Ibid.; p. XXIX.)

14. “Dur­ing inves­ti­ga­tions into the attack on a mil­i­tary instal­la­tion in Dha­ran on June 25, 1996, which killed nine­teen Amer­i­can sol­diers, O’Neill went to Sau­di Ara­bia him­self to con­vince King Fahd to get the Sau­di author­i­ties to coop­er­ate. But that was a lost cause, because Sau­di offi­cials inter­ro­gat­ed the prin­ci­pal sus­pects them­selves, while the FBI was rel­e­gat­ed to col­lect­ing mate­r­i­al evi­dence from the bomb site. As for the rela­tions between Al Qae­da and Sau­di Ara­bia, the con­clu­sions of my report—which was com­mis­sioned by the French intel­li­gence service—did not sur­prise O’Neill, and he con­firmed that bin Laden had close ties with ‘high-rank­ing per­son­al­i­ties and fam­i­lies of the Sau­di king­dom’ in July 2001, con­trary to their pub­lic state­ments. He believed, how­ev­er, that the chances of get­ting the Saud­is to coop­er­ate were slim, and he called into ques­tion the FBI’s extreme­ly ‘polit­i­cal’ stance in this area, as well as that at the inte­ri­or lev­el.” (Ibid.; p. XXX.)

15. British jour­nal­ist Greg Palast inves­ti­gat­ed Bush admin­is­tra­tion sup­pres­sion of inves­ti­ga­tion of the Sau­di links to the Bin Ladens and Al Qae­da. ” . . . What we did dis­cov­er was seri­ous enough. To begin with, from less-than-hap­py FBI agents we obtained an inter­est­ing doc­u­ment, some 30 pages long, marked ‘SECRET.’ I’ve repro­duced a cou­ple of pages here (fig­ure 2.1). Note the des­ig­na­tion ‘1991’—that’s FBI-speak for ‘nation­al secu­ri­ty mat­ter.’ Accord­ing to insid­ers, FBI agents had want­ed to check into two mem­bers of the bin Laden fam­i­ly, Abdul­lah and Omar, but were told to stay away by superiors—until Sep­tem­ber 13, 2001. By then, Abdul­lah and Omar were long gone from the Unit­ed States.”
(“See No Evil: What Bush Did­n’t (Want To) Know About 9/11” by Greg Palast.) [5]

16. “Why no inves­ti­ga­tion of the broth­ers bin Laden? The Bush admin­is­tra­tion’s line is the Bin­laddins (a more com­mon spelling of the Ara­bic name) are good folk. Osama’s the Black Sheep, sup­pos­ed­ly cut off from his Sau­di kin. But the offi­cial line notwith­stand­ing, some FBI agents believed the fam­i­ly had some gray sheep worth questioning—especially these two work­ing with the World Assem­bly of Mus­lim Youth (WAMY), which the file labels ‘a sus­pect­ed ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion.’ . . .” (Idem.)

17. “No mat­ter how vile WAMY’s indoc­tri­na­tion chats, they are none of the FBI’s busi­ness. Recruit­ment for ter­ror, how­ev­er, is. Before 9/11, the gov­ern­ments of India and the Philip­pines tied WAMY to groups stag­ing mur­der­ous attacks on civil­ians. Fol­low­ing our broad­cast on BBC, the Dutch secret ser­vice stat­ed that WAMY, ‘support(ed) vio­lent activ­i­ty.’ In 2002, The Wall Street Jour­nal’s Glenn Simp­son made pub­lic a report by Bosni­a’s gov­ern­ment that a char­i­ty with Abdul­lah bin Laden on its board had chan­neled mon­ey to Chechen gueril­las. Two of the 9/11 hijack­ers used an address on the same street as WAMY’s office in Falls Church, Vir­ginia.” (Idem.)

18. “Despite these tan­ta­liz­ing facts, Abdul­lah and his oper­a­tions were A‑OK with the FBI chiefs, if not their work­ing agents. Just a dumb SNAFU? Not accord­ing to a top-lev­el CIA oper­a­tive who spoke with us on con­di­tion of strictest anonymi­ty. After Bush took office, he said, ‘there was a major pol­i­cy shift’ at the Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Agency. Inves­ti­ga­tors were ordered to ‘back off’ from any inquiries into Sau­di Ara­bi­an financ­ing of ter­ror net­works, espe­cial­ly if they touched on Sau­di roy­als and their retain­ers. That put the bin Ladens, a fam­i­ly worth a report­ed $12 bil­lion and a vir­tu­al arm of the Sau­di roy­al house­hold, off-lim­its for inves­ti­ga­tion. Osams was the excep­tion; he remained a want­ed man, but agents could not look too close­ly at how he filled his pig­gy bank. They key rule of any inves­ti­ga­tion, ‘fol­low the mon­ey,’ was now vio­lat­ed, and investigations—at least before 9/11—began to die.” (Idem.)

19. “And there was a lot to investigate—or in the case of the CIA and FBI under Bush—a lot to ignore. Through well-known inter­na­tion­al arms deal­ers (I’m sor­ry, but in this busi­ness, sin­ners are bet­ter sources than saints) our team was tipped off to a meet­ing of Sau­di bil­lion­aires at the Hotel Royale Mon­ceau in Paris in may 1996 with the finan­cial rep­re­sen­ta­tive of Osama bin Laden’s net­work. The Saud­is, includ­ing a key Sau­di prince joined by Mus­lim and non-Mus­lim gun traf­fick­ers, met to deter­mine who would pay how much to Osama. This was not so much an act of sup­port but of protection—a pay­off to keep the mad bomber away from Sau­di Ara­bia. . . .” (Idem.)

20. Next, the pro­gram turns to recent dis­clo­sures of a nuclear smug­gling ring, involv­ing Pak­istan’s “father of the bomb” Dr. A.Q. Khan and the ele­ments that helped him smug­gle the nuclear tech­nol­o­gy to oth­er coun­tries. The Bush admin­is­tra­tion blocked inves­ti­ga­tion of this oper­a­tion, once again to pro­tect the Saud­is, who were help­ing to finance the cre­ation of the so-called “Islam­ic Bomb.” “On Novem­ber 7, 2001, BBC TV and The Guardian of Lon­don report­ed that the Bush admin­is­tra­tion thwart­ed inves­ti­ga­tions of Dr. A.Q. Khan, who this week con­fessed sell­ing atom­ic secrets to Libya, North Korea, and Iran. The Bush Admin­is­tra­tion has expressed shock at the dis­clo­sures that Pak­istan, our ally in the war on ter­ror, has been run­ning a nuclear secrets bazaar. In fact, accord­ing to the British news team’s sources, Bush did not know of these facts because, short­ly after his inau­gu­ra­tion, his Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Agency (NSA) effec­tive­ly stymied the probe of Khan Research Lab­o­ra­to­ries. CIA and oth­er agents could not inves­ti­gate the spread of ‘Islam­ic Bombs’ through Pak­istan because fund­ing appeared to orig­i­nate in Sau­di Ara­bia. . . .”
(“Khan Job: Bush Spiked Probe of Pak­istan’s Dr. Strangelove, BBC Report­ed in 2001” by Greg Palast.) [6]

21. ” . . . I probed our CIA con­tact for specifics of inves­ti­ga­tions that were ham­pered by orders to back off of the Saud­is. He told us that the Khan Lab­o­ra­to­ries inves­ti­ga­tion had been effec­tive­ly on hold.” (Idem.)

22. Among the poten­tial­ly explo­sive inves­ti­ga­tions relat­ing to the GOP/Bush rela­tion­ship with the Saud­is con­cerns Al Qaeda’s aware­ness of (and prob­a­ble exploita­tion of) the Enron-bro­kered nego­ti­a­tions between the Tal­iban and the UNOCAL con­sor­tium over a Caspi­an Basin pipeline through Afghanistan. It appears that these nego­ti­a­tions were an enabling fac­tor in facil­i­tat­ing the 9/11 attacks. The Bin Laden fam­i­ly con­struc­tion firm was to have done the con­struc­tion work. Dick Cheney engi­neered the deal on behalf of Enron, which was in ter­ri­ble trou­ble at that point, though not yet bank­rupt. “A high­ly reli­able con­fi­den­tial source who wish­es to remain anony­mous has promised to send me an FBI copy of a high-lev­el Al Qae­da report dat­ing back to the embassy bomb­ings in Africa sev­er­al years ago. The email report was cap­tured in Africa from the com­put­er file of a senior aid to Osama Bin Laden. My client has obtained this doc­u­ment through law­ful means. The email report writ­ten by Al Qaeda’s head of mil­i­tary oper­a­tions, Mohammed Atef, describes Al Qaeda’s view of ongo­ing secret pipeline nego­ti­a­tions between the US oil com­pa­nies and the Tal­iban to build a pipeline through Afghanistan
(“The Enron Pipeline Con­nec­tion to 9/11” by John Lof­tus.) [7]

23. “This Atef report was almost cer­tain­ly reviewed by the late John O’Neill at the time of the Embassy bomb­ing, short­ly after the Al Qae­da report was writ­ten. At the time, O’Neill was the FBI agent in charge of the Embassy bomb­ing inves­ti­ga­tion. The shock­ing pipeline infor­ma­tion may explain why O’Neill became fix­at­ed about the Sau­di-Tal­iban-Al Qae­da rela­tion­ship for the remain­ing years of his life. After O’Neil­l’s inves­ti­ga­tions were repeat­ed­ly shut down by his supe­ri­ors, O’Neill alleged­ly began mak­ing dis­creet inquiries to French intel­li­gence using two reporters as cut-outs. Both reporters were known con­sul­tants for French intel­li­gence and are spe­cial­ists on both the oil indus­try and ter­ror­ism.” (Idem.)

24. “It is plau­si­ble that the French Gov­ern­ment was upset at being shut out of the Caspi­an Basin deal, and may have been help­ing O’Neill behind the backs of his supe­ri­ors in Wash­ing­ton. It does seem that the more that O’Neill learned, the less he was allowed to do with it. The last straw was Cheney’s refusal to fol­low up on O’Neil­l’s request to pur­sue the leads in the Phoenix memo in April 2001. After resign­ing from the FBI in dis­gust, John O’Neill spoke can­did­ly to sev­er­al peo­ple, includ­ing the two French authors, whom he met again in July.” (Idem.)

25. “They have now writ­ten about the pipeline deal in The For­bid­den Truth. The book, not yet trans­lat­ed into Eng­lish, quotes O’Neill as say­ing that his Al Qae­da inves­ti­ga­tions were blocked to pro­tect the Saud­is. The Caspi­an Basin pipeline issue is dis­cussed at length as the motive for the coverup. I do not think that the French authors have the Atef doc­u­ment or they would have released it in their book. The Atef memo may indeed be a smok­ing gun, but I need to see the exact text to be sure before I release it to Con­gress. This Al Qae­da doc­u­ment may be the first hard evi­dence to break the Enron pipeline cov­er-up apart. I need your advice and con­fi­den­tial assis­tance in mak­ing a dis­creet col­lec­tion of all Afghan pipeline research for a memo to present to Con­gress.” (Idem.)

26. The Saudis—political and com­mer­cial allies of the Bush fam­i­ly and admin­is­tra­tion were at the epi­cen­ter of the pipeline nego­ti­a­tions with the Tal­iban. “Here is my inves­tiga­tive hypoth­e­sis which needs to be great­ly fleshed out and foot­not­ed before I go to Con­gress. I have pre­sent­ed my thoughts by top­ic, rather than in chrono­log­i­cal order. Back in the 1970’s and 80’s, Sau­di intel­li­gence (not the CIA as has been report­ed) fund­ed the ear­ly Tal­iban fac­tion and lat­er Al Qae­da as part of the insur­gency to throw the Rus­sians out of Afghanistan. A few years after­wards, US ener­gy com­pa­nies (Enron, as the Afghan pipeline con­sul­tant for UNOCAL) used the Sau­di intel­li­gence con­nec­tion to the Tal­iban to begin nego­ti­a­tions for a pipeline across Afghanistan.” (Idem.)

27. “Prince Tur­ki, chief of Sau­di intel­li­gence, has pub­licly admit­ted mak­ing sev­er­al trips into Afghanistan to nego­ti­ate a peace mis­sion with the Tal­iban. My sources say he was the pipeline medi­a­tor for Enron. Prince Tur­ki was fired as head of Sau­di intel­li­gence imme­di­ate­ly after the pipeline across Afghanistan. Prince Tur­ki is alleged­ly close to the Bin Laden fam­i­ly, which was alleged­ly promised the con­struc­tion con­tract in return for a per­cent­age to the Sau­di Roy­al fam­i­ly. This is a com­mon busi­ness prac­tice ini­ti­at­ed by the Car­lyle Group’s con­tracts in Sau­di Ara­bia. . . .” (Idem.)

28. ” . . . But, if the Tal­iban pipeline had been built, Enron might have owned some of the most valu­able oil explo­ration sites in the world, and res­cued itself from insol­ven­cy. Any White House insid­er who helped Enron would have got­ten rich, filthy rich. When Bush’s son came into office, Enron alleged­ly approached Cheney in late Jan­u­ary and told him vague­ly about the secret Sau­di-Tal­iban inves­ti­ga­tions for a while. For the sake of the Caspi­an Basin pipeline, Cheney passed the word inside the belt­way not to allow any­one in the Gov­ern­ment to con­nect the dots.” (Idem.)

29. “All across Amer­i­ca, ongo­ing Sau­di-Tal­iban inves­ti­ga­tions were hin­dered, obstruct­ed, or closed down, just as the Clin­ton admin­is­tra­tion had done before them. What no one did was check Enron’s account­ing. The pipeline deal made lit­tle eco­nom­ic sense in view of Russ­ian coop­er­a­tion. To Enron’s hor­ror, the pipeline deal col­lapsed in August. Then came 9/11. Then came the Enron col­lapse. Then came the Cheney coverup.” (Idem.)

30. “Cheney’s biggest prob­lem is the two fair­ly senior intel­li­gence offi­cials who rebelled and became whistle­blow­ers: Robert Baer of CIA and John O’Neill of FBI. The rest of the FBI and CIA high­er- ups have kept their mouths shut, although a lot of low­er lev­el peo­ple are now com­ing for­ward to ques­tion their supe­ri­or’s strange behav­ior. The two rebels, Baer of CIA and O’Neill of FBI, were of course, dri­ven into retire­ment. . . .” (Idem.)

31. Author Lof­tus’ sources feel that Cheney may well have kept both Con­doleeza Rice and Bush in the dark about much of this. As Lof­tus, says, if Con­gress ever con­nects the 9/11 inves­ti­ga­tion with that of Enron, the results are like­ly to be dra­mat­ic. ” . . . Cheney was not the first to block the inves­ti­ga­tions, but he is prob­a­bly the last to be involved with the coverup. That could explain why he is resist­ing Con­gress on both the Enron and the pre‑9/11 intel­li­gence doc­u­ments. If Con­gress ever con­nects the two inves­ti­ga­tions, the whole house of cards will col­lapse. Most of my sources say that Bush and Rice may have been delib­er­ate­ly kept out of the loop by Cheney. For exam­ple, it was Cheney, not Rice, who saw the Phoenix memo before 9/11. It is, how­ev­er, the­o­ret­i­cal­ly pos­si­ble that the Pres­i­dent may have known about the pipeline deal from his own sources.” (Idem.)

32. “Pres­i­dent Bush’s father was the lead­ing lob­by­ist for the Saud­is and may have been told every­thing by his Car­lyle Group part­ners, the Bin Laden fam­i­ly, who were sup­pos­ed­ly in line to get the Tal­iban pipeline con­struc­tion con­tract. But it is doubt­ful we will ever know what Bush senior told his son while the pipeline nego­ti­a­tions were under­way. In terms of the upcom­ing Con­gres­sion­al inves­ti­ga­tion, the Al Qae­da doc­u­ment is the first direct writ­ten evi­dence to con­firm the exis­tence of secret pipeline nego­ti­a­tions with the Tal­iban. More­over, it con­firms that Al Qae­da was informed of these nego­ti­a­tions from the ear­li­est stages.” (Idem.)

33. Al Qaeda’s knowl­edge of the pipeline nego­ti­a­tions and the appar­ent lack of reac­tion to the cap­ture of the Atef doc­u­ment may well have con­vinced the plan­ners of the 9/11 attack to pro­ceed, in con­fi­dence that they would not expe­ri­ence too much inter­fer­ence. “This rais­es an inter­est­ing ques­tion. The Al Qae­da author, Mohammed Atef, must have known that his report had fall­en into Amer­i­can hands when his oper­a­tive’s com­put­er was cap­tured by the FBI. Atef may have been sur­prised that his pipeline report was nev­er made pub­lic to embar­rass the Tal­iban. Atef may have sus­pect­ed mere­ly from the sur­pris­ing silence that the CIA and FBI were not being allowed to pur­sue or reveal their Afghanistan inves­ti­ga­tions while the pipeline nego­ti­a­tions were under way. The Saud­is could cer­tain­ly have tipped off the Tal­iban that the fix was in. It is hard to believe that the Bin Laden con­struc­tion com­pa­ny did not learn any­thing from their Car­lyle group part­ners about the pipeline.” (Idem.)

34. “What­ev­er the source, the ear­ly date of the Atef report shows that the high­est lev­els of Al Qae­da cer­tain­ly knew about the pipeline secret from the begin­ning. The pipeline coverup could have con­vinced Atef that Al Qae­da could exploit the lack of coor­di­nat­ed intel­li­gence against them.” (Idem.)

35. “In addi­tion to the usu­al inter-agency bungling, the Enron cov­er-up was the real rea­son for the black hole in US intel­li­gence about events in Afghanistan, and plau­si­bly explains why no US agency was allowed to con­nect the dots. More­over it explains why hon­est offi­cials like Baer and O’Neill were dri­ven into retire­ment. Bot­tom line: Baer and O’Neill were right. There was a pipeline coverup and it very like­ly con­tributed to 9/11. The Atef report rais­es the found­ed sus­pi­cion, based on spe­cif­ic artic­u­la­ble facts, that Al Qae­da might have pig­gy backed on the Enron secre­cy black­out to launch their sur­prise attack, con­fi­dent in their knowl­edge that US intel­li­gence had been delib­er­ate­ly blind­ed by Enron’s cronies in Wash­ing­ton.” (Idem.)

36. Reca­pit­u­lat­ing infor­ma­tion from FTR#423, the pro­gram doc­u­ments the Al Qaeda/terror con­nec­tions of Abdul­lah, Omar and Khalil Bin Laden, two mem­bers of the fam­i­ly among the pow­er­ful Saud­is flown out of the coun­try by the Bush admin­is­tra­tion a few days after 9/11. These Saud­is were the only civil­ians able to fly in the imme­di­ate after­math of the attacks. They were flown out of the coun­try before the FBI could ade­quate­ly inves­ti­gate them. Note that Abdul­lah and the World Assem­bly of Youth had been among the areas deemed “off-lim­its” by the Bush admin­is­tra­tion. (See the first of the two Greg Palast arti­cles high­light­ed above.) “In fact, the F.B.I. had been keep­ing an eye on some of the bin Ladens. A clas­si­fied F.B.I. file exam­ined by Van­i­ty Fair and marked ‘Secret’ shows that as ear­ly as 1996, the bureau had spent near­ly nine months inves­ti­gat­ing Abdul­lah and Omar bin Laden, who were involved with the Amer­i­can branch of the World Assem­bly of Mus­lim Youth (WAMY), a char­i­ty that has pub­lished writ­ings by Islam­ic schol­ar Sayyid Qutb, one of Osama bin Laden’s intel­lec­tu­al influ­ences.”
(“Sav­ing the Saud­is” by Craig Unger; Van­i­ty Fair; October/2003; p. 175.)

37. In addi­tion, Khalil bin Laden has inter­ests in the tri-bor­der area. “Khalil bin Laden, who board­ed a plane in Orlan­do that even­tu­al­ly took him back to Sau­di Ara­bia, won the atten­tion of Brazil­ian inves­ti­ga­tors for pos­si­ble ter­ror­ist con­nec­tions. Accord­ing to a Brazil­ian paper, he had busi­ness con­nec­tions in the Brazil­ian province of Minas Gerais, not far from the tri-bor­der region, an alleged cen­ter for train­ing ter­ror­ists. . . .” (Ibid.; p. 176.)

38. “F.B.I. offi­cials declined to com­ment on the inves­ti­ga­tion, which was report­ed in Britain’s The Guardian, but the doc­u­ments show that the file on Abdul­lah and Omar was reopened on Sep­tem­ber, 19, 2001, while the Sau­di repa­tri­a­tion was still under way. ‘These doc­u­ments show there was an open F.B.I. inves­ti­ga­tion into these guys at the time of their depar­ture,’ says David Arm­strong, an inves­ti­ga­tor for the Pub­lic Edu­ca­tion Cen­ter, the Wash­ing­ton, D.C., foun­da­tion that obtained the doc­u­ments.”
(Idem.)

39. Next, the pro­gram reviews infor­ma­tion from FTR#415 [8] con­cern­ing Karl Rove’s role in help­ing to coa­lesce the Islamist ele­ment in the Repub­li­can Par­ty. It should be not­ed that the Islamist, Al Qae­da and Al Taqwa ele­ments that were raid­ed on 3/20/2002 were linked direct­ly to the Repub­li­can par­ty’s eth­nic out­reach orga­ni­za­tion. As will be seen below, peo­ple con­nect­ed to the GOP/Islamic Insti­tute milieu were part of the WAMY oper­a­tion dis­cussed above. Bush busi­ness part­ner and busi­ness part­ner Talat Oth­man inter­ced­ed on behalf of the insti­tu­tions and indi­vid­u­als tar­get­ed by the Oper­a­tion Green Quest raids. (See ” ‘Count­down with Kei­th Olber­man’ for Oct. 23″; MSNBC News; 10/23/2003 [9].) ” . . . That brief con­ver­sa­tion [between Norquist and Karl Rove] in Austin, Texas, helped start a new chap­ter in Mr. Norquist’s career—and in the polit­i­cal lives of Mus­lims in this coun­try. The fol­low­ing year, Mr. Norquist start­ed the non­prof­it Islam­ic Free Mar­ket Insti­tute. In col­lab­o­ra­tion with Mr. Rove, now Mr. Bush’s chief polit­i­cal advis­er, he and oth­er insti­tute lead­ers court­ed Mus­lim vot­ers for the Bush 2000 pres­i­den­tial cam­paign. Mr. Norquist even cred­its gains among Mus­lims with putting Mr. Bush in a posi­tion to win the crit­i­cal Flori­da con­test . . . To run the non­prof­it’s day-to-day oper­a­tions, Mr. Norquist turned to Khalid Saf­fu­ri, a Pales­tin­ian-Amer­i­can raised in Kuwait who had been an offi­cial of the Amer­i­can Mus­lim Coun­cil, a polit­i­cal group in Wash­ing­ton. The insti­tute’s found­ing chair­man was a Pales­tin­ian Amer­i­can, Talat Oth­man, who had served with Mr. Bush on the board of Harken Ener­gy Corp. and lat­er vis­it­ed the pres­i­dent in the White House, accord­ing to records obtained by the Nation­al Secu­ri­ty News Ser­vice.”
(“In Dif­fi­cult Times, Mus­lims Count On Unlike­ly Advo­cate” by Tom Ham­burg­er and Glenn R. Simp­son; The Wall Street Jour­nal; 6/11/2003; pp. A1-A8.)

40. On April 4, Trea­sury Sec­re­tary O’Neill met with pow­er­ful Islamist Repub­li­cans whose spheres of inter­est over­lap those of the insti­tu­tions and indi­vid­u­als tar­get­ed on March 20, 2002.
(“O’Neill Met Mus­lim Activists Tied to Char­i­ties” by Glenn R. Simp­son [with Roger Thurow]; Wall Street Jour­nal; 4/18/2002; p. A4.)

41. A prin­ci­pal fig­ure in the group that inter­ced­ed on behalf of the (alleged) Al Qaeda/Al Taqwa-con­nect­ed tar­gets of the Oper­a­tion Green Quest raids was Talat Oth­man, a close busi­ness and polit­i­cal asso­ciate of Pres­i­dent Bush. “Among the Mus­lim lead­ers attend­ing [the meet­ing with O’Neill] was Talat Oth­man, a long­time asso­ciate and sup­port­er of Pres­i­dent Bush’s fam­i­ly, who gave a bene­dic­tion at the Repub­li­can Nation­al Con­ven­tion in Philadel­phia in August 2000 . . . But he also serves [with Barz­in­ji] on the board of Amana Mutu­al Funds Trust, an invest­ment firm found­ed by M. Yac­qub Mirza, the North­ern Vir­ginia busi­ness­man who set up most of the enti­ties tar­get­ed by the Trea­sury and whose tax records were sought in the raid.” (Idem.)

42. As Mr. Emory hypoth­e­sized in FTR#353 [10], the Norquist/GOP/Islamist links are part of the Repub­li­can Par­ty’s eth­nic out­reach pro­gram. Again, one should note that these ele­ments are direct­ly con­nect­ed to Al Qae­da and exem­pli­fy the Saudi/petroleum/GOP/Bush struc­tur­al eco­nom­ic and polit­i­cal rela­tion­ships at the core of the cor­rup­tion of inves­ti­ga­tions into Al Qae­da and 9/11. “The case also high­lights con­flicts between the Bush admin­is­tra­tion’s domes­tic polit­i­cal goals and its war on ter­ror. GOP offi­cials began court­ing the U.S. Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ty intense­ly in the late 1990’s, seek­ing to add that eth­nic bloc to the par­ty’s polit­i­cal base.” (Idem.)

43. The Amana orga­ni­za­tion (on the board of which Oth­man serves) has numer­ous areas of over­lap with orga­ni­za­tions described as being impli­cat­ed in ter­ror­ism and the milieu of Al Que­da. “Two non­prof­its affil­i­at­ed with Mr. Mirza and named in the search war­rant, the SAAR Foun­da­tion Inc. and the Her­itage Edu­ca­tion Trust Inc., held large blocks of shares in Amana’s mutu­al funds in 1997, accord­ing to SEC records. The SEC doc­u­ments and oth­er records detail­ing con­nec­tions between Mr. Oth­man and the Islam­ic Insti­tute [on the board of which Mr. Oth­man serves] and the raid­ed groups were com­piled by the Nation­al Secu­ri­ty News Ser­vice, a Wash­ing­ton based non­prof­it research group.” (Idem.)

44. Fur­ther details have emerged about the links between Al Taqwa and the GOP/Bush admin­is­tra­tion. “Mr. Oth­man also is on the board of Mr. Saf­fu­ri’s [and Norquist’s] Islam­ic Insti­tute, the GOP-lean­ing group that received $20,000.00 from the Safa Trust, one of the raid’s tar­gets. The pres­i­dent of the Safa Trust, Jamal Barz­in­ji, is a for­mer busi­ness asso­ciate of Switzer­land based investor Youssef Nada, whose assets were frozen last fall after the Trea­sury des­ig­nat­ed him a per­son sus­pect­ed of giv­ing aid to ter­ror­ists. [Ital­ics are Mr. Emory’s.]” (Idem.)

45. Oth­man’s links to Bush are pro­found. “Mr. Oth­man has ties to the Bush fam­i­ly going back to the 1980’s, when he served with George W. Bush on the board of a Texas petro­le­um firm, Harken Oil & Gas Inc. Mr. Oth­man has vis­it­ed the White House dur­ing the admin­is­tra­tions of both Pres­i­dent Bush and his father George H.W. Bush.” (Idem.)

46. Next, the pro­gram reviews oth­er areas of inter­sec­tion between the labyrinthine net­work attacked in the 3/20 raids, the Al Taqwa milieu, and the Repub­li­can Par­ty. A recent Wall Street Jour­nal arti­cle described some of the orga­ni­za­tions tar­get­ed in the raids: “These include Al-Taqwa Man­age­ment, a recent­ly liq­ui­dat­ed Swiss com­pa­ny the U.S. gov­ern­ment believes act­ed as a banker for Osama bin Laden’s al Que­da ter­ror­ist net­work . . . Two peo­ple affil­i­at­ed with the com­pa­nies and char­i­ties are linked by records to enti­ties already des­ig­nat­ed as ter­ror­ist by the U.S. gov­ern­ment. Hisham Al-Tal­ib, who served as an offi­cer of SAAR, the Inter­na­tion­al Insti­tute of Islam­ic Thought and Safa Trust Inc., anoth­er Mirza char­i­ty, dur­ing the 1970’s was an offi­cer of firms run by Youssef M. Nada, records show. Mr. Nada is a Switzer­land-based busi­ness­man whose assets have been frozen by the U.S. for alleged involve­ment in ter­ror­ist financ­ing, and is alleged by U.S. offi­cials to be a key fig­ure in the Taqwa net­work. . .Jamal Barz­in­ji, an offi­cer of[Empha­sis added.]”
(“Funds Under Ter­ror Probe Flowed From Off­shore” by Glenn R. Simp­son [with Michael M. Phillips]; Wall Street Jour­nal; 3/22/2002; p. A4.)

Mr. Mirza­’s com­pa­ny Mar-Jac and oth­er enti­ties, also was involved with Mr. Nada’s com­pa­nies in the 1970’s, accord­ing to bank doc­u­ments from Liecht­en­stein. A mes­sage was left yes­ter­day for Mr. Barz­in­ji at his address in Hern­don. Mr. Barz­in­ji and Mr. Tal­ib live across the street from each oth­er. A third busi­ness asso­ciate of Mr. Nada, Ali Ghaleb Him­mat (who also has been des­ig­nat­ed by the Trea­sury as aid­ing ter­ror­ism), is list­ed as an offi­cial of the Gene­va branch of anoth­er char­i­ty oper­at­ed by Mr. Mirza, the Inter­na­tion­al Islam­ic Char­i­ta­ble Orga­ni­za­tion.

47. Review­ing infor­ma­tion from FTR#343 [11], we note that Nada him­self is alleged to have been agent of the Abwehr, the mil­i­tary intel­li­gence ser­vice of the Third Reich. “But Yussef Nada is even bet­ter-known to the Egypt­ian [intel­li­gence] ser­vices, who have evi­dence of his mem­ber­ship in the armed branch of the fra­ter­ni­ty of the Mus­lim Broth­ers in the 1940’s. At that time, accord­ing to the same sources, he was work­ing for the Abwehr under Admi­ral Canaris and took part in a plot against King Farouk. [Ital­ics are Mr. Emory’s.] This was not the first time that the path of the Mus­lim Broth­ers crossed that of the ser­vants of the Third Reich.”
(Dol­lars for Ter­ror: The Unit­ed States and Islam; by Richard Labeviere; Copy­right 2000 [SC]; Algo­ra Pub­lish­ing; ISBN 1–892941-06–6; pp. 140–141.) [12]

48. Next, the pro­gram reviews infor­ma­tion first pre­sent­ed in FTR#432. This part of the broad­cast high­lights the admin­is­tra­tion’s frus­tra­tion of Oper­a­tion Green Quest–the law enforcement/intelligence com­mu­ni­ty oper­a­tion aimed at inter­dict­ing fund­ing for Islamist ter­ror­ists, includ­ing Al Qae­da. In addi­tion to the pro­found busi­ness con­nec­tions between the Bush milieu and the Saud­is impli­cat­ed in ter­ror­ist fund­ing, Oper­a­tion Green Quest uncov­ered con­crete links between the GOP and Mus­lim ele­ments involved with the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, Al Qae­da, Al Taqwa and Hamas. ” . . . But despite those efforts, the Unit­ed States has made only lim­it­ed progress in block­ing the fund­ing of ter­ror­ists. Al Qae­da and oth­er Islam­ic ter­ror­ist groups remain well financed. And one of their major sources of fund­ing, a net­work of Islam­ic char­i­ties financed by Sau­di Ara­bia, remains rel­a­tive­ly unin­ter­rupt­ed. Its tough talk notwith­stand­ing, the Bush Admin­is­tra­tion has failed to take deci­sive action against this sig­nif­i­cant source of ter­ror financing—in part, it seems, to pro­tect the gov­ern­ment of Sau­di Ara­bia and its friends in Wash­ing­ton.”
(“Char­i­ty Cas­es: Why Has the Bush Admin­is­tra­tion Failed to Stop Sau­di Fund­ing of Ter­ror­ism?” by David Arm­strong; Harper’s; March/2004; p. 81.)

49. Among the many con­crete efforts by the Bush admin­is­tra­tion on behalf of Sau­di-relat­ed ele­ments impli­cat­ed in Al Qae­da activ­i­ties was the admin­is­tra­tion’s redac­tion of 28 pages of a con­gres­sion­al report on 9/11. Those pages relat­ed to Sau­di char­i­ties and indi­vid­u­als believed to be financ­ing Al Qae­da and oth­er ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions. “The Bush Admin­is­tra­tion has adopt­ed an approach to Sau­di ter­ror­ist fund­ing that would best be described as hands-off. For exam­ple, last sum­mer it cen­sored the twen­ty-eight pages on the sub­ject from a con­gres­sion­al report on the Sep­tem­ber 11 attacks and refused to release the names of Sau­di enti­ties sus­pect­ed to be financiers of ter­ror­ism . . . .” (Idem.)

50. ” . . . In oth­er cas­es, the Bush Admin­is­tra­tion made a con­scious deci­sion not to pur­sue major Sau­di con­duits for ter­ror­ist fund­ing. The clear­est exam­ple involves two osten­si­ble char­i­ties that are long known to have fun­neled mon­ey to Al Qaeda—the Inter­na­tion­al Islam­ic Relief orga­ni­za­tion (IIRO) and the Mus­lim World League (MWL). Both are financed direct­ly by the Sau­di gov­ern­ment. MWL is an evan­gel­i­cal orga­ni­za­tion that was cre­at­ed to help spread Wah­habism, the Sau­di brand of Islam­ic fun­da­men­tal­ism; IIRO is a human­i­tar­i­an relief orga­ni­za­tion that oper­ates pri­mar­i­ly in Mus­lim coun­tries. Yet a 1996 CIA report alleged that IIRO helped to fund six mil­i­tant train­ing camps in Afghanistan, and not­ed that the for­mer head of the group’s Philip­pines office—Osama bin Laden’s brother-in-law—had been linked to plots to ‘tar­get the pope and U.S. air­lines.’ U. S. intel­li­gence offi­cials also believe that MWL employ­ees were involved in the 1998 bomb­ing of two U.S. embassies in Africa. Although both IIRO and MWL were known to have fund­ed Al Qae­da, U.S. gov­ern­ment sources indi­cat­ed to Newsweek in Octo­ber 2001 that the Bush Admin­is­tra­tion left the two orga­ni­za­tions off the list of des­ig­nat­ed ter­ror­ist group in order to spare the Sau­di gov­ern­ment from embar­rass­ment.” (Idem.)

51. Among the fish net­ted by Oper­a­tion Green Quest is Abdu­rah­man Alam­ou­di, him­self very close to the GOP. Note that the respon­si­bil­i­ty for Oper­a­tion Green Quest has been giv­en to the FBI, which has been less than forth­com­ing with those involved in the inves­ti­ga­tion. This has large­ly neu­tral­ized the Oper­a­tion Green Quest inves­ti­ga­tion. Note that Robert Mueller, head of the FBI, is com­pro­mised by his past (and less than vig­or­ous) inves­ti­ga­tions into the Saudi/Bush/intelligence con­nec­tion. “On top of this, the most promis­ing domes­tic inquiry into these Sau­di groups has been dis­man­tled. In March 2002, as part of a Cus­toms Ser­vice inves­ti­ga­tion known as Oper­a­tion Green Quest, gov­ern­ment inves­ti­ga­tors raid­ed the Vir­ginia offices of IIRO and MWL, along with a num­ber of oth­er Sau­di-backed char­i­ties and busi­ness­es. Although the raids turned up con­crete evi­dence that ele­ments of the net­work had fund­ed indi­vid­u­als and groups des­ig­nat­ed as ter­ror­ists by the Unit­ed States, no assets have been frozen and that the few, belat­ed arrests in this case have been made on charges unre­lat­ed to ter­ror­ist financ­ing. In par­tic­u­lar, Abdu­rah­man Alam­ou­di, who heads a group called the Suc­cess Foundation—which in the late 1990’s absorbed the U.S. oper­a­tions of IIRO—has been charged only with accept­ing mon­ey from Libya and with immi­gra­tion vio­la­tions, despite evi­dence, seized from the offices of Suc­cess and oth­er groups he con­trols, of their mate­r­i­al sup­port not just for Hamas but for two known Al Qae­da fronts. (Alam­ou­di was once caught on tape remark­ing that he dis­ap­proved of the 1998 bomb­ings of U.S. embassies in Africa only because no Amer­i­cans were killed, and that instead he pre­ferred more ‘strate­gic’ tar­gets such as the Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty cen­ter in Buenos Aires, which had been bombed in 1994.) Now, under an agree­ment between Attor­ney Gen­er­al John Ashcroft and depart­ment of Home­land Secu­ri­ty head Tom Ridge signed in May 2003, the Cus­toms Service—part of Home­lan

d Secu­ri­ty since last March—has relin­quished con­trol of its coun­tert­er­ror­ism inves­ti­ga­tions to the FBI, which repeat­ed­ly had refused to turn over crit­i­cal inves­tiga­tive files to Green Quest agents. This deal between Ashcroft and Ridge effec­tive­ly shut down Green Quest, quash­ing the one serious—if flawed—probe into domes­tic ter­ror­ist financ­ing. . . .” (Ibid.; pp. 81–82.)

52. In the con­text of the frus­tra­tion of Oper­a­tion Green Quest, the pro­gram notes again the con­nec­tions between the insti­tu­tions and indi­vid­u­als tar­get­ed in the 3/20/2002 raids and the GOP. ” . . . But the dilem­ma, for the Bush Admin­is­tra­tion, extends far beyond issues of his­to­ry. Many promi­nent politicians—not least among them the Bushes—have for years main­tained close polit­i­cal, busi­ness, and per­son­al deal­ings with the Sau­di roy­al fam­i­ly and, more gen­er­al­ly, Sau­di inter­ests. The extent of the admin­is­tra­tion’s dif­fi­cul­ties on this front became clear short­ly after the Green Quest raids in March 2002. Just two weeks after the Cus­toms task force raid­ed the Sau­di-backed groups in north­ern Vir­ginia, two lead­ing Mus­lim activists with ties to the groups were allowed to meet with Paul O’Neill, then sec­re­tary of the Trea­sury Depart­ment (which, at the time, con­trolled Cus­toms) to com­plain about the con­duct of the raids. The meet­ing was arranged by Grover Norquist, the influ­en­tial Repub­li­can activist; Norquist is also the founder and for­mer chair of the Islam­ic Insti­tute, a con­ser­v­a­tive Mus­lim out­reach group in which both of the men who met with O’Neill are offi­cers and which has received fund­ing from some of the raid­ed indi­vid­u­als and groups, includ­ing Abdu­rah­man Alam­ou­di.” (Idem.)

53. As dis­cussed above, Talat Oth­man (a close asso­ciate of Both Georges Bush) inter­ced­ed on behalf of the tar­gets of Oper­a­tion Green Quest. “And the con­nec­tions do not end there. One of the Mus­lim activists who met with O’Neill was Talat Oth­man, a long­time friend and for­mer busi­ness asso­ciate of Pres­i­dent Bush. The two served togeth­er on the board of the Texas-based oil com­pa­ny Harken Ener­gy start­ing in the late 1980’s and have remained close ever since. Oth­man sat on Harken’s board as the rep­re­sen­ta­tive of Abdul­lah Taha Bakhsh, a Sau­di busi­ness mag­nate and a close asso­ciate of sus­pect­ed ter­ror­ist financier Khalid bin Mah­fouz. Bakhsh now heads an oil com­pa­ny that is a sub­sidiary of Hal­libur­ton, the ener­gy giant for­mer­ly run by Vice Pres­i­dent Dick Cheney.” (Idem.)

54. “In addi­tion to his work at the Islam­ic Insti­tute, Oth­man serves on the board of Amana Mutu­al Funds Trust, an Islam­ic invest­ment group that had close ties to raid­ed enti­ties and yet was not itself tar­get­ed. At the time of the Green Quest raids, in March 2002, at least four fig­ures from the tar­get­ed groups were affil­i­at­ed with Amana, iclud­ing M. Yaqub Mirza, the indi­vid­ual who set up the U.S. branch of MWL, the fund-rais­ing arm of the U.S. branch of IIRO, and many of the oth­er raid­ed orga­ni­za­tions. Despite Mirza­’s pres­ence on the board, and despite the fact that large sums of mon­ey from the sus­pect groups have moved through Amana, Green Quest agents chose not to raid the firm.” (Idem.)

55. The milieu of the 3/20-tar­get­ed SAAR net­work and the oth­er objects of the Green Quest raids sig­nif­i­cant­ly over­laps the GOP’s eth­nic out­reach orga­ni­za­tion and the Bush admin­is­tra­tion. The fact that ele­ments of the Al Qae­da milieu appear to have been involved in West­ern intel­li­gence covert oper­a­tions in the Balka­ns, as well as the incon­ve­nient GOP ethnic/Green Quest con­nec­tion may well explain the FBI’s and CIA’s hos­tile inter­est in the inves­ti­ga­tors of Oper­a­tion Green Quest. The inves­ti­ga­tors who were so harassed includ­ed Rita Katz, A.K.A. “Anony­mous.” “The CIA was inves­ti­gat­ing me and the SAAR inves­ti­ga­tors from Green Quest and Cus­toms. The CIA and the FBI inves­ti­gat­ed every­one who had any­thing to do with the SAAR inves­ti­ga­tion. White vans and SUV’s with dark win­dows appeared near all the homes of the SAAR inves­ti­ga­tors. All agents, some of whom were very expe­ri­enced with sur­veil­lance, knew they were being fol­lowed. So was I. I felt that I was being fol­lowed every­where and watched at home, in the super­mar­ket, on the way to work . . . and for what? . . .
(Ter­ror­ist Hunter by “Anony­mous” [Rita Katz]; CCC [imprint of Harp­er Collins]; Copy­right 2003 by Harp­er Collins [HC]; ISBN 0–06-052819–2; p. 328.) [13]

56. ” . . . The Cus­toms agents were ques­tioned. So were their super­vi­sors. So was the U.S. attor­ney on the SAAR case. One of the ques­tions they were all asked was whether they’d leaked mate­r­i­al to me. They all kept say­ing that this was the most pre­pos­ter­ous idea; they all said that before I came, none of them had the slight­est clue about SAAR and 555. They said that there was noth­ing of val­ue they could give me that I did­n’t have already. That it was I who gave them the mate­r­i­al, not the oth­er way around. None of the inves­ti­gat­ed par­ties has the slight­est clue as to the real rea­son they were being inves­ti­gat­ed.” (Ibid.; p. 329.)

57. “Risk­ing crit­i­cism for being unfound­ed­ly para­noid, I must con­vey my the­o­ry about the inves­ti­ga­tion and CIA’s involve­ment in it, I don’t know for cer­tain what’s the deal with the CIA inves­ti­gat­ing the SAAR inves­ti­ga­tors, but it sure feels as if some­one up in that agency does­n’t like the idea that the Sau­di Ara­bi­an boat is rocked. The raids on 555 had tak­en place already—the CIA could­n’t change that—but inves­ti­gat­ing and giv­ing the peo­ple behind the raids a hard time is a most effi­cient way of mak­ing sure the SAAR inves­ti­ga­tion stops there. Which, come to think of it, may be the rea­son the gov­ern­ment looks so unfa­vor­ably on the law­suit filed by 9–11 vic­tims’ fam­i­lies against sev­er­al Sau­di enti­ties and indi­vid­u­als, accus­ing them of fund­ing ter­ror­ism and seek­ing dam­ages.” (Idem.)

58. Recent­ly, Richard Clarke has been high­ly vis­i­ble because of his crit­i­cism of the Bush admin­is­tra­tion’s 9/11 inves­ti­ga­tion. He also dis­cussed the coun­ter­pro­duc­tive effect of turn­ing the Oper­a­tion Green Quest inves­ti­ga­tion over to the FBI. “The US effort to shut down finan­cial sup­port for ter­ror­ist net­works is being seri­ous­ly ham­pered by a gov­ern­ment reor­ga­ni­za­tion that has left the most expe­ri­enced agen­cies with­out any real pow­er, the US gov­ern­men­t’s for­mer top counter-ter­ror­ism offi­cial said yes­ter­day. Richard Clarke, who head­ed counter-ter­ror­ism at the White House for the Clin­ton and Bush admin­is­tra­tions before leav­ing gov­ern­ment ear­li­er this year, said the deci­sion to put the Fed­er­al Bureau of Inves­ti­ga­tion in charge of ter­ror finance inves­ti­ga­tions, and to give new pow­ers to the Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­ri­ty, had set the cam­paign back.”
(“Shake-Up Amid War on Ter­ror ‘Has Hit Cam­paign’ ” by Edward Alden; Finan­cial Times; 10/23/2003; p. 2.)

59. Of para­mount impor­tance in the con­text of the pro­gram is Clarke’s analy­sis that the Bush admin­is­tra­tion’s reor­ga­ni­za­tion of the gov­ern­ment has actu­al­ly ham­pered the fight against ter­ror financ­ing. He specif­i­cal­ly cites the shift­ing of respon­si­bil­i­ty for Oper­a­tion Green Quest to the FBI as a rea­son to fear what is tak­ing place. Recall
that the Oper­a­tion Green Quest milieu is inex­tri­ca­bly linked to the GOP/Bush administration/Bush busi­ness nexus. Recall that Bush (Senior) Jus­tice Depart­ment offi­cial Robert Mueller was placed in charge of the FBI in July of 2001. His “over­sight” of the BCCI inves­ti­ga­tion com­pro­mis­es his abil­i­ty to inves­ti­gate Green Quest and the vital­ly impor­tant links between Bush and the Saud­is. ” ‘Reor­ga­niz­ing the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment in the mid­dle of the war on ter­ror­ism was per­haps not the bright­est thing we could have done,’ he told the com­mit­tee. The admin­is­tra­tion agreed ear­li­er this year to des­ig­nate the FBI as the lead orga­ni­za­tion for inves­ti­gat­ing ter­ror finance net­works, mov­ing a sep­a­rate inves­tiga­tive team, known as Oper­a­tion Green Quest from the Cus­toms Ser­vice to the FBI. In addi­tion, Cus­toms was moved to the new Home­land Secu­ri­ty depart­ment, break­ing it away from oth­er agen­cies in the Trea­sury depart­ment that play a key role in ter­ror finance inves­ti­ga­tions and enforce­ment. The move came at a sen­si­tive time when the Trea­sury was lead­ing a series of actions, includ­ing the inves­ti­ga­tion into a broad net­work of Sau­di-backed char­i­ties based in north­ern Vir­ginia.” (Idem.)

60. ” ‘Hav­ing the cur­rent struc­ture where the FBI is in charge and tells every­body else what to do, is a recipe, I think for fail­ure,’ said Mr. Clarke. He added: ‘The FBI by tra­di­tion does­n’t co-oper­ate well with oth­er fed­er­al agen­cies and it does­n’t share infor­ma­tion. It treats oth­er fed­er­al agen­cies as sec­ond-class par­tic­i­pants in the over­all effort.’ ” (Idem.)

61. The broad­cast clos­es with dis­cus­sion of the Iraq war. Review­ing infor­ma­tion from FTR#404, the pro­gram high­lights dis­turb­ing indi­ca­tions of Sad­dam Hus­sein’s pos­si­ble recruit­ment of Al Qae­da as a “back­up unit” in the event of an Amer­i­can inva­sion. Is this part of the Under­ground Reich’s con­spir­a­cy against the Unit­ed States? Have we walked into a trap? “It appears, how­ev­er, that this ver­sion is only the pub­licly admis­si­ble one, the one that can pass polit­i­cal muster. Accord­ing to the same sources, there was anoth­er sce­nario more in keep­ing with the cal­cu­lat­ing men­tal­i­ty of Sad­dam Hus­sein and his secret ser­vices. In 1998, after declin­ing all offers that had to them through offi­cial diplo­mat­ic chan­nels, those ser­vices are report­ed to have estab­lished a secret oper­a­tional ‘con­nec­tion’ with bin Laden in Mani­la and in Kash­mir. It was indeed dif­fi­cult for Iraq to ignore an Arab like Osama bin Laden who ‘so effec­tive­ly humil­i­at­ed the Amer­i­cans.’ Colonel Khairal­lah al Takir­i­ti, broth­er of the head of Mukkhabarat, the intel­li­gence ser­vices, is report­ed to have been named case offi­cer for the con­nec­tion. The arrest of two Mor­roc­can asso­ciates of bin Laden in Rabat on Novem­ber 11, 1998, made it pos­si­ble to estab­lish to estab­lish the link with cer­tain­ty. Accord­ing to West­ern sources, the Iraqi ser­vices have sought to secure the assis­tance of bin Laden’s net­works, in case Iraq were again to be attacked by the Unit­ed States, in order to car­ry out attacks against Amer­i­can tar­gets in Arab coun­tries.”
(In the Name of Osama Bin Laden; by Roland Jacquard; Copy­right 2002 [SC]; Duke Uni­ver­si­ty Press; ISBN 0–8223-2991–3; pp. 112–113.) [14]

62. “Accord­ing to Arab sources, in antic­i­pa­tion of a fore­see­able rever­sal of alliances in Kab­ul, bin Laden had been in dis­creet con­tact since Sep­tem­ber 2000 with asso­ciates of Oudai Hus­sein, anoth­er of Sad­dam’s sons; the ground for agree­ment was the anti-Israeli and anti-Amer­i­can bat­tle. Bin Laden and the Iraqis are said to have exchanged infor­ma­tion about chem­i­cal and bio­log­i­cal weapons, despite the oppo­si­tion of some of the Bagh­dad lead­er­ship, includ­ing Tarik Aziz.” (Ibid.; p. 113.)

63. U.S. intel­li­gence ana­lysts have not­ed that the US inva­sion of Iraq accel­er­at­ed the recruit­ment of Islamists to the Al Qae­da cause. “The U.S.-led inva­sion of Iraq has accel­er­at­ed the spread of Osama bin Laden’s anti-Amer­i­can­ism among once local Islam­ic mil­i­tant move­ments, increas­ing dan­ger to the Unit­ed States as the al Qae­da net­work is becom­ing less able to mount attacks, accord­ing to senior intel­li­gence offi­cials at the CIA and State Depart­ment. At the same time, the Sun­ni Tri­an­gle has become a train­ing ground for for­eign Islam­ic jihadists who are slip­ping into Iraq to join for­mer Sad­dam Hus­sein loy­al­ists to test them­selves against U.S. and coali­tion forces, these offi­cials say.”
(“Spread of Bin Laden Ide­ol­o­gy Cit­ed” by Wal­ter Pin­cus; Wash­ing­ton Post; 4/4/2004; p. 1.)

64. That this would be part of the out­come of the US inva­sion was pre­dict­ed by Rand Beers, a NSC counter-ter­ror expert. He has not­ed that the Bush admin­is­tra­tion has made this coun­try less safe, not more safe. ” ‘The admin­is­tra­tion was­n’t match­ing its deeds to its words in the war on ter­ror­ism. They’re mak­ing us less secure, not more secure,’ said Beers, who until now has remained large­ly silent about leav­ing his Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil job as spe­cial assis­tant to the pres­i­dent for com­bat­ing ter­ror­ism. ‘As an insid­er, I saw the things that weren’t being done. And the longer I sat and watched, the more con­cerned I became, until I got up and walked out . . .’ ”
(“For­mer Aide Takes Aim at War on Ter­ror” by Lau­ra Blu­men­feld; The Wash­ing­ton Post; 6/16/2003; p. 1.) [15]

65. ” . . . Much of what he knows is clas­si­fied and can­not be dis­cussed. Nev­er­the­less, Beers will say that the admin­is­tra­tion is ‘under­es­ti­mat­ing the ene­my.’ It has failed to address the root caus­es of ter­ror, he said, ‘The dif­fi­cult, long-term issues both at home and abroad have been avoid­ed, neglect­ed or short­changed and gen­er­al­ly under­fund­ed.’ The focus on Iraq has robbed domes­tic secu­ri­ty of man­pow­er, brain pow­er and mon­ey, he said. The Iraq war cre­at­ed fis­sures in the Unit­ed States’ coun­tert­er­ror­ism alliances, he said, and could breed a new gen­er­a­tion of Al Qae­da recruits. Many of his gov­ern­ment col­leagues, he said, thought Iraq was an ‘ill-con­ceived and poor­ly exe­cut­ed strat­e­gy.’ ” (Idem.)