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For The Record  

FTR #517 Update on 9/11 and Related Matters

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The broadcast begins with three stories underscoring the continued vulnerability of this country to devastating terrorist incidents. Failure by both public and private sectors to guarantee the integrity of terrorism insurance has left US business highly vulnerable to the economic effects of a major terrorist incident. Businesses are not insured at all against domestic terrorism. The milk industry in the US is highly vulnerable to a bio-terrorist attack. The broadcast highlights the failure of the US to develop a viable radiation-detection system at ports of entry into the country. After updating the case of accused terrorist-financier Yassin al-Qadi, the program focuses on Prince Bandar, Saudi ambassador to the United States and a close associate of the Bush family for decades. In particular, the program highlights Bandar’s resignation and his long-standing participation with members of the Bush family in various covert operations. In evaluating Prince Bandar and his involvement in covert operations, the central role of former CIA director George H.W. Bush in those operations is important to bear in mind.

Program Highlights Include: Bandar’s pivotal role in generating funds for the Nicaraguan Contras; Bandar’s efforts at facilitating US military and economic assistance to Saddam Hussein in Iraq; Bandar’s work on behalf of the Afghan mujahideen and the genesis of Osama bin Laden as warrior; the elder George Bush’s role directing the anti-Soviet Afghan mujahideen.

1. Examining potential economic impact of future terrorist incidents, the broadcast notes that neither the private sector nor the U.S. government has adequately provided for a sufficient amount of terrorism insurance for business. This failure threatens the possibility of economic collapse in the event of another devastating terrorist incident. Note that terrorism insurance does not cover attacks by domestic terrorists. Should the next attack be perpetrated in part or in whole by domestic neo-Nazis or Islamists, businesses damaged in the attack would not be covered!! Recall in that regard the neo-Nazi links to the events of 9/11.) “Future terrorist attacks could disrupt the US economy because the system of terrorism insurance in its present state would not offer businesses adequate financial protection, a new study, by the RAND Corporation indicates. Terrorism insurance does not protect businesses against attacks by domestic terrorists, nor does it cover attacks involving chemical, biological or nuclear weapons, the report points out. Also, many businesses have neglected to buy terrorism insurance because the cost has soared since the attacks of September 11.”
(“Insurance ‘Gives Too Little Cover for Terror.’” By Ellen Kelleher; Financial Times; 6/21/05; p. 8.)

2. “RAND analysts recommend that Congress consider proposals that would help lower the cost of terrorism insurance to encourage more businesses to buy it. They also believe Congress should expand the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA), which provides a federal backstop to cover insurers’ losses in case of a terrorist attack.” (Idem.)

3. “Peter Chalk of RAND said: ‘Protecting businesses against the economic impact of a terrorist attack should be part of a robust homeland security effort.’ TRIA’s fate still hangs in the balance in Washington as Congress has yet to decide whether to extend it. It is set to expire by the end of the year.” (Idem.)

4. “Insurers, some of whom funded the RAND study, are lobbying the government aggressively amid fears that its passage could be derailed. The Treasury is expected to release a long-awaited analysis on TRIA’s effectiveness by the end of the month. Some Republicans oppose its passage as they think terrorism insurance should be left to the markets.” (Idem.)

5. “Under the act, the Treasury Department is obliged to cap insurers’ liability and reimburse them for some losses. The bill specifies that the government must pay all insured losses greater than $12.5bn (€9.4bn, £6.5bn) in the aftermath of a nuclear, biological or chemical attack on Americans. In exchange, the government forced insurers to stop stripping terrorism coverage from their policies.” (Idem.)

6. “The RAND report urges the US government and insurers to consider programs that would cover terrorism by national groups as well as chemical, nuclear, and biological attacks. Analysts at the prominent think tank also believe state governors should form a national board to assess the performance of TRIA.” (Idem.)

7. Another scenario involving an economically and demographically devastating terrorist attack involves the vulnerability of the nation’s milk supply to an attack by botolinum toxin. A government study underscored the threat posed by such an attack: “About a third of an ounce of botulinum toxin poured into a milk truck en route from a dairy farm to a processing plant could cause hundreds of thousands of deaths and billions of dollars in economic losses, according to a scientific analysis published Tuesday despite efforts by federal officials to keep the details secret.”
(“Study Shows How Terrorists Could Use Milk to Kill” [Wire Services]; Los Angeles Times; 6/29/2005; p. 1.)

8. “The study by Lawrence M. Wein and Yifan Liu of Stanford University discusses such questions as how terrorists could release the toxin and what effective amounts might be. Bruce Alberts, president of the National Academy of Sciences, said in an accompanying editorial that a terrorist would not learn anything useful from the article about the minimum amount of toxin to use. ‘And we can detect no other information in this article important for a terrorist that is not already immediately available to anyone who has access to information from the World Wide Web.’” (Idem.)

9. “In fact, he said, publication of the article by the academy could be valuable for biodefense. The analysis, posted Tuesday on the website of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, seeks to quantify security weaknesses in the nation’s milk supply chain and makes recommendations for closing those gaps. Although some of the suggested changes are underway, federal officials thought the material had enough potential for misuse to warrant a last-minute effort to halt publication. That effort, which delayed the report’s unveiling by a month but ultimately failed to keep it from becoming public, proved to be as contentious as the publication itself and assured the report’s place in the scientific canon as one of the first test cases of how to balance scientific freedom and national security in the post-9/11 era.” (Ibid.; pp. 1-2.)

10. “Wein, whose previous research had forecast the likely effects of terrorist attacks involving anthrax and smallpox, said he was surprised by the government’s push to block publication.” (Ibid.; p. 2.)

11. “As long ago as last

fall, Wein said, he had briefed high-ranking officials of the Departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services, along with dairy industry representatives, on his work. ‘It was clear the dairy people were nervous about this paper coming out,’ Wein said. But when federal officials did not follow up, he said, he assumed they had concluded that everything in the article was already publicly available and easily obtained through an Internet search.” (Idem.)

12. “Bill Hall, a spokesman for HHS, said Tuesday that his department still opposed publication but was not in a position to block release of the data, which were not classified. ‘We respect the academy’s position but we don’t agree with it,’ Hall said. The ‘consequences could be dire and it will be HHS, and not the academy, that will have to deal with it.’” (Idem.)

13. “The report describes the milk supply chain from cow to consumer. It describes points where a toxin could be introduced, such as a holding tank at a farm, a truck transporting milk to the processing plant or a raw milk holding tank at the plant. The analysis by Wein and Liu considered what might happen if terrorists poured into a milk tanker truck a couple of gallons of concentrated sludge containing botulinum toxin, a potent bacterial nerve poison now popular in low doses as a wrinkle eraser.” (Idem.)

14. “Because milk from many sources is combined in huge tanks, the toxin would get widely distributed and within days be consumed by about 568,000 people, the report concludes.” (Idem.)

15. As terrifying as the first two articles are, they are no more frightening than the following story, documenting the failure to adequately guard the nation’s borders against the importation of a nuclear device. “The federal government’s efforts to prevent terrorists from smuggling a nuclear weapon into the United States are so poorly managed and reliant on ineffective equipment that the nation remains extremely vulnerable to a catastrophic attack, scientists and a government auditor warned a House committee on Tuesday.”
(“U.S. Borders Vulnerable, Witnesses Say” by Eric Lipton; New York Times; 6/22/05; p. 1.)

16. “The assessment, coming nearly four years after the September 2001 attacks and after the investment of about $800 million by the United States government, prompted expressions of frustration and disappointment from lawmakers. ‘If we go ahead and spend the money and don’t succeed, I don’t understand that,’ said Representative Steve Pearce, Republican of New Mexico. [Emphasis added.]” (Idem.)

17. “Four federal departments — Homeland Security, Defense, Energy and State — are involved in a global campaign to try to prevent the illicit acquisition, movement and use of radioactive materials, which includes efforts to prevent theft of nuclear materials from former Soviet stockpiles and inspecting cargo containers on arrival from around the world. Dirty bombs, crude devices that widely spread low levels of radiation, are relatively easy to detect. But highly enriched uranium, a crucial ingredient in a nuclear bomb, could easily be shielded with less than a quarter-inch of lead, making it ‘very likely to escape detection by passive radiation monitors’ now installed at ports and border stations, Benn Tannenbaum, a physicist and senior program associate at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, testified at Tuesday’s hearing.” (Idem.)

18. “The monitors are unable to distinguish between naturally occurring radiation from everyday items like ceramic tile and dangerous material like enriched uranium. It has been, let me say, a bad few years,’ Dr. Tannenbaum said. Customs officials also at times allow trucks to pass through the monitors too quickly, said Gene Aloise, an official from the Government Accountability Office. And because the devices sound so many false alarms, Mr. Aloise said, their sensitivity has been turned down, making them less effective still.” (Idem.)

19. “Nationally, less than a quarter of the radiation detection devices needed to check all goods crossing the borders have been installed, federal officials said. In New York, for example, none of the cargo that moves through the largest ship terminal or goods leaving the port by rail or barge are inspected for radiation, Bethann Rooney, manager of security for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, testified. The problems extend beyond the borders, witnesses said. About half of the monitors given to one former Soviet state were never installed or put into use. A monitor that the State Department gave to Bulgaria was set up on an unused road. And sea spray and winds at some ports overseas may have compromised the detection equipment, Mr. Aloise said.” (Idem.)

20. “Richard L. Wagner Jr., a physicist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and chairman of the Defense Department task force on preventing a clandestine nuclear attack, agreed that the radiation detection systems installed across the United States were ‘quite limited in their capabilities and, in general, are insufficient to the task.’ But the situation, Dr. Wagner said, is not surprising given the rapid start up of the effort. ‘There will be false starts and there will be money wasted,’ he said. Representative Jim Langevin, Democrat of Rhode Island, asked how Homeland Security should apportion $125 million in the coming fiscal year between buying more of the same radiation monitor technology and supporting research into better technology. Two witnesses called for putting the detection equipment on ships, so threats could be identified before reaching the United States.” (Idem.)

21. “Members of Congress have also recently questioned a proposal by the Bush administration to spend $227 million in the coming year to create a Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, skeptical that it will do more than add a new layer of bureaucracy. ‘I am not too hopeful about this situation,’ Representative Bill Pascrell Jr., Democrat of New Jersey, said.” (Idem.)

22. Next, the program highlights the Swiss investigative authorities’ decision to pursue an investigation of Yassin al-Qadi, a wealthy Saudi who has allegedly financed both al-Qaeda and Hamas. (Ptech developed the threat-assessment software for the FAA, Air Force and NORAD.) It remains to be seen if the Swiss investigation of Bank al-Taqwa is re-opened. “The U.S. government’s campaign against alleged terror financiers has won a potentially important victory with a decision by Swiss prosecutors to pursue a formal criminal case against a prominent Saudi businessman long accused of providing support to Al Qaeda and other terror groups. The businessman, Yassin al-Qadi, was first named by the U.S. Treasury Department as a ‘Specially Designated Global Terrorist’ in October 2001 as part of a major campaign by the Bush administration to demonstrate it was cracking down on terror financiers in the aftermath of September 11. The U.S. action prompted a number of governments, including the Swiss, to freeze millions of dollars of Qadi’s assets.”
(“Anti-Terror Victory?” By Michaal Isikoff and Mark Hosenball; Newsweek; 6/22/05; p. 1.)

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23. “But his case also has raised serious questions about the strength of the U.S. government’s evidence–little of which has ever been made public—regarding the murky world of terror-finance networks. Qadi, a top target of U.S. investigators, has repeatedly denied all accusations of terror ties. And more than three and a half years after he was first designated by Treasury, no criminal charges have been brought against him—either in the United States or anywhere else throughout the world where he does business.” (Idem.)

24. “That now may change. Earlier this month, in a move long sought by Washington, Swiss deputy federal prosecutor Claude Nicati asked a Swiss federal criminal tribunal to assign a juge d’instruction (investigative magistrate) to prepare a possible criminal case against Qadi. Swiss criminal investigations proceed in three stages. In the first stage, prosecutors and police work together to gather the evidence for a criminal prosecution. In the second stage, an investigating magistrate sifts through evidence gathered by prosecutors, interrogates witnesses and decides (much as an American grand jury is supposed to decide) whether there is enough evidence to send the case for trial. In the third stage, the investigating magistrate would send the case to criminal-court judges-in Qadi’s case, federal judges based in the southern Swiss city of Bellinzona—who would try it and determine whether the defendants were guilty of any crime. The Qadi case is the first terrorism-finance case that Swiss prosecutors have moved to the second investigative stage since 9/11.” (Idem.)

25. “According to Qadi’s lawyer, Nicati’s four-page letter to the federal tribunal focuses in particular on a series of transactions between February and August 1998 in which one of Qadi’s companies, Caravan Development, transferred $1.25 million to a firm owned by another Saudi businessman, Wael Julaidan Julaidan, a reputed one-time associate of Osama bin Laden during the guerrilla war against Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, was placed on both the United Nations and U.S. terror financier lists in September 2002.” (Idem.)

26. “The money transfers were supposed to build dormitory housing for an Islamic school in Yemen – the sort of religious and charitable activities that both Qadi and Julaidan have long contended they have openly supported. But the Swiss letter alleges the funds ‘end up in the hands of Al Qaeda.’ According to an excerpt of the letter read to NEWSWEEK by one of Qadi’s lawyers.” (Ibid.; p. 2.)

27. “But the Qadi lawyer, Saad Djebbar, vigorously disputed the Swiss accusations and predicted his client will be fully vindicated. He calls for the case against Qadi a ‘financial Guantanamo’ that was ginned up by Swiss prosecutors on the basis of notoriously spotty and inaccurate intelligence provided by American officials as part of their post-9/11 crackdown. ‘This is the Kafka school of jurisprudence’, Saad Djebbar, a London-based lawyer who works with Qadi’s legal team led by the well known British firm of Carter-Ruck. ‘The intelligence [regarding Qadi] is no better than the intelligence [the U.S. government] provided about Iraq.’” (Idem.)

28. “Djebbar acknowledged that Qadi himself personally confirmed the money transfers to the Julaidan-connected company during an interview with Nicati, the Swiss prosecutor, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in July 2003—a session he said that was arranged and facilitated by Qadi’s lawyers. But, he added that,’ Qadi adamantly denied during that same interview that he ever intended or knew that any of the funds would be diverted to Al Qaeda.” (Idem.)

29. “‘I never gave one million—not even one cent to Al Qaeda,’ Qadi told the prosecutor, according to an excerpt from his questioning read to a reporter by Djebbar. ‘Not only Al Qaeda, not to any terrorist group. I always in my life was against any terrorist act. It is against our religion, our belief, our community. Nobody in Saudi Arabia can believe I would have ever thought about supporting such groups.’” (Idem.)

30. “Djebbar said that Swiss prosecutors mistakenly thought that the Julaidan company that received the money transfers from Qadi’s company (which is based in Turkey) was connected to Mamdouh Mahmoud Salim, a notorious financial manager for Al Qaeda who has been indicted in the United States on charges connected to the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Salim, who is being held in a federal detention center in New York, is also accused of attempting to a prison guard by stabbing him in the eye with a comb in 2001. But Djebbar said that Salim was no longer affiliated with the company that received the money from Qadi at the time of the money transfers. Djebbar also noted that the Swiss action comes shortly after a Turkish prosecutor dropped a separate investigation into Qadi companies in that country after concluding that there was no evidence linking his firms to terror financing.” (Idem.)

31. “Mark Wiedmer, a spokesman for the Swiss prosecutor’s office, said that the investigation referred to the federal tribunal was one of three major terrorism investigations that Swiss federal prosecutors had recently been preparing for possible transmission to the federal criminal court, a new Swiss tribunal set up after 9/11 to handle complicated cases, including terrorism investigations. One case, which Wiedmer said that federal magistrates were already examining, involved the arrests of nine Muslim immigrants to Switzerland following sophisticated attacks on Western residential compounds in Riyadh in May 2003. According to a copy of the criminal referral in that case obtained by NEWSWEEK, Swiss police opened the case after receiving information indicating that 36 Swiss cell-phone numbers were recorded in the memory of a cell phone used by one of the members of the terrorist cell that carried out the Riyadh attacks.” (Idem.)

32. Much of the discussion centers on Prince Bandar, the Saudi ambassador to the United States and an intimate of the Bush family. For whatever reason, Bandar has resigned his position as Saudi ambassador. Whether or not Bandar’s departure has something to do with any of the ongoing investigations into terror financing and involvement of prominent Saudis in the underwriting of al-Qaeda is a matter for speculation. Bandar has been in charge of numerous accounts held by the Saudis at the Riggs Bank, currently under investigation for the funding of various covert operations. “Prince Bandar bin Sultan, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the US for more than two decades, has resigned his position. According to people close to the Saudi government. Prince Bandar, the longest serving ambassador to Washington, has decided to quit. However, he will remain formally in his role as ambassador until an announcement from the Saudi capital, Riyadh. The announcement could take months.”
(“Saudi Ambassador to U.S. Resigns” by Stephen Fidler and Guy Dinmore, Financial Times; 6/28/05; p. 1; accessed at: http://www.ft.com.)

33. “The Saudi embassy in Washington said that a statement on Sunday, in which it said that Prince Bandar remained ambassador to the US, still stood. ‘Prince Bandar is currently on vacation and is expected to return to his office at the end of August,’ the statement said. But one Saudi government adviser said: ‘He is determined to go. But as there is no formal decree relieving him of his duties, he by default and by name remains ambassador.’ Another

said that Prince Bandar, 56, had already moved his belongings out of the Washington residence, though this could not be confirmed.” (Idem.)

34. “Several reasons are cited for his expected departure, including poor health, which has encouraged him to spend more and more time away from Washington in recent years. But he is also said to have lost influence in Riyadh as the ailing King Fahd weakens and his expected successor, Crown Prince Abdullah, gathers more of the reins of power. ‘It’s a question of how seriously he is taken in Riyadh and how much confidence they have in him,’ said an adviser. Prince Sultan, Prince Bandar’s father, is expected to assume the title of Crown Prince when Abdullah becomes king.”(Idem.)

35. “Prince Bandar’s high profile had also become a source of increasing controversy within the US, and there were questions about whether this was helping Saudi efforts to improve relations with Washington. These sources said that Prince Bandar was not expected to return to Riyadh in a senior policy role.” (Idem.)

36. “There was no word on who would be his likely successor. According to the Saudi government. Prince Bandar did not attend a meeting in Riyadh last week between Crown Prince Abdullah and Condoleezza Rice, the White House national security adviser, who was on a tour of the Middle East. The Saudi embassy in Washington was represented by Prince Salman bin Sultan, Prince Bandar’s half-brother, and a possible successor. Prince Bandar, a former Saudi air force pilot who trained in England, was appointed ambassador to the U.S. in 1983.” (Ibid.; pp. 1-2.)

37. Prince Bandar is a long-time participant with the Bushes in the world of covert operations. He worked with the elder George Bush on generating support for the Nicaraguan contras. “. . . The Saudis had no particular interest in Nicaragua; they didn’t even have diplomatic relations with this small country half a world away. But at the time, congressional opposition to the administration’s policy was so strong that on December 8, 1982, the House of Representatives voted unanimously to prohibit the use of U.S. funds to overthrow the government of Nicaragua.”
(House of Bush/House of Saud; by Craig Unger; Scribner [HC]; Copyright 2004 by Craig Unger; ISBN 0-7432-5337-X; p. 63.)

38. “However, even the Boland Amendment, as the bill was known, was not an insurmountable obstacle to a National Security Council that was prone to macho covert operations, bravado, and cowboy-style adventurism. It considered a variety of options to fund the contras, including obtaining funds from other countries and skimming profits from arms deals with Iran. Finally, in the spring of 1984, National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane raised the possibility of approaching Prince Bandar for the money. If the Saudis were to accede to the request, clearly they would gain favor from the Reagan administration. On June 22,1984, Bandar and McFarlane agreed that the Saudis would give $1 million a month to the contras.” (Ibid. pp. 63-64.)

39. “But the gambit was like playing political Russian roulette and had to be approved by the White House before it could proceed. What would happen if Congress found out? On June 25, 1984, a special meeting of the National Security Planning Group was called to discuss the issue. The highest officials in the country were present—Ronald Reagan, George Bush, George Shultz, Caspar Weinberger, William Casey, and Robert McFarlane, among others. According to minutes taken at the meeting, James Baker, ever the vigilant attorney, argued that actively soliciting money from third countries—such as Saudi Arabia—could be an impeachable offense.” (Ibid.; p. 64.)

40. “But Vice President Bush took issue with that position and said there was nothing wrong with encouraging third parties to help the anti-Sandinistas so long as there was no explicit quid pro quo. ‘The only problem that might come up is if the United States were to promise these third parties something in return so that some people could interpret this as some kind of exchange,’ he said. Bush, after all, had been director of the CIA. The way to do it, he seemed to be saying, was for the United States to let the Saudis finance the contras. Afterward, the United States could then reward the Saudis for their loyalty, but the two events would have to happen without being explicitly tied to each other.” (Idem.)

41. The Saudis obtained U.S. Stinger missiles as partial payment for their financing of the contras. “And so, Bandar deposited $8 million in a Swiss bank. Over time, the amount given by the Saudis to the contras reached $32 million. No explicit promises had been made to the Saudis, so the administration could assert there was no quid pro quo, and therefore no impeachable offense had taken place. And yet the Saudis did not go away empty-handed. After all, tens of millions of dollars had changed hands. At the time, King Fahd and Bandar wanted several hundred Stinger missiles from the United States, which had put restrictions on the sale of such weapons. To help the Saudis out, President Reagan invoked emergency measures to bypass Congress and four hundred Stingers were secretly flown to Saudi Arabia. The Saudis had received their payoff. To put it baldly: in exchange for doing something that had been explicitly prohibited by the House of Representatives by a vote of 411 to 0, Saudi Arabia received lethal, state-of-the-art American weaponry it would not have been allowed under normal conditions. The Saudis had come a long, long way from their first few airplane deals with James Bath. But in many ways their dealings with the House of Bush had just begun.” (Ibid.; pp. 64-65.)

42. Bandar and the Saudis also joined with the Reagan-Bush administration in order to support Saddam Hussein. “The Reagan-Bush administration and the Saudis were not just helping the contras. Early on, the administration also used Prince Bandar as an intermediary to meet Saddam Hussein, and soon Bandar told the United States that Iraq was ready to accept American aid. Even though Congress would never have approved arms transfers to Iraq, the Reagan administration secretly began allowing Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Egypt to transfer U.S. weapons, including howitzers, helicopters, and bombs, to Iraq. These shipments may have been in violation of the Arms Export Control Act. . . .” (Ibid.; p. 65.)

43. By far the most important of the Bush/Bandar joint efforts in the area of covert operations concerns the support for the Afghan mujahideen, then fighting the Soviets. It was this conflict that saw the genesis of Osama bin Laden as a warrior, and the formation of the financial support structure he parlayed into al-Qaeda. “ . . . By this time, Prince Bandar had become King Fahd’s trusted point man in Washington. When William Casey approached Bandar about Saudi Arabia’s funding an escalation of anti-Soviet forces, the two men flew to Jeddah with Bandar serving as Casey’s translator for the meeting with Fahd. Casey met a receptive audience. This campaign was uniquely appealing to the Saudis. Not only would it enable them to cement their ties to the United States, it would also help the royal family deal with domestic unrest. And so, the House of Saud eagerly joined in, matching ‘America dollar for dollar, supporting the mujahideen,’ as Prince Turki, longtime head of Saudi intelligence, puts it.” ( Ibid. p. 98.)

44. “In the U.S. Congress, the Afghan rebels were championed by Democratic congressman Charlie Wilson, the colorful six-foot-seven-inch, skirt-chasing, cocaine-snorting Texan whose role in America’s biggest covert operation was celebrated in George Crile’s book Charlie Wilson’s War. At dinner parties in Houston and in Washington, Wilson would bring together the likes of Henry Kissinger, White House chief of staff James Baker,
and Prince Bandar along with a glittering assortment of senators, astronauts, diplomats, Texas oil barons, and military men in celebration of the mujahideen.”(Ibid.; pp. 98-99.)

45. “ ‘Allah will not be pleased if the king abandons his freedom fighters,’ Wilson teased Bandar. To which Bandar replied, ‘Allah will soon be smiling, Charlie. You will see.’ For his part, Wilson played an important role in seeing to it that Congress provided the $3 billion in covert aid for the mujahideen.” (Ibid.; p. 99.)

46. “The Saudis were a key part of the equation. Thousands of young warriors calling themselves Afghan Arabs streamed out of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Yemen, and all over the Middle East to aid the mujahideen. Neither the United States nor the Saudis seemed to mind that the crusading young Muslims could not have cared less about helping America win the Cold War. They were motivated by religious fervor and passion. This was a people’s war, a noble crusade against an infidel superpower that had invaded Muslim lands, a fight to avenge the martyrdom of their Afghan brothers being crushed by Moscow. It was a time to demonstrate faith and courage. For many Muslims, the liberation of Afghanistan became a very personal jihad.” (Idem)

47. “In sharp contrast to the Mecca Affair, the Afghanistan War was a mission that could be embraced by the gamut of Saudi society, from the wealthy merchant families and the House of Saud to the militant clerics and the fundamentalist masses. For the royal family, the war was not just part of the cornerstone of the burgeoning Saudi alliance with the United States, but served other purposes as well. Contributing to the war effort placated the militant clerics and helped accommodate the growing unrest and the more radical elements of society. In the wake of the Iranian revolution, there was a new determination on the part of Saudi Muslims to outdo their Iranian counterparts, to create a ‘new Islamic man.’” (Idem)

48. “Instead of focusing their anger at the House of Saud or the United States, the militants could now zero in on the atheistic Soviets. A missionary zeal spread through every layer of society. ‘There was a sense that every penny you sent in made a difference,’ says Armond Habiby, an American lawyer who has practiced in Saudi Arabia for many years. ‘It was a very noble movement. The poor gave away prayer rugs, embroidered tablecloths. It established a monumental footprint that went across all levels of society.’” (Ibid.; pp. 99-100.)

49. “As the war got under way, with the United States, the Saudis, and the Pakistanis secretly supporting the Afghan rebels, the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) hoped that Prince Turki bin Faisal, then head of Saudi intelligence and a member of the House of Saud, would bring an actual member of the royal family to the front to demonstrate the commitment of the House of Saud to the jihad. But no Saudi prince wanted to or needed to brave the Afghan mountains. Osama bin Laden, a protégé of Prince Turki’s, was the next best thing. . . .” (Ibid.; p. 100.)

50. The elder George Bush oversaw the MAK covert operations. (MAK were the mujahideen.) “ . . . More to the point, now, in the Afghanistan War, Vice President Bush’s interests and Osama bin Laden’s converged. In using bin Laden’s Arab Afghans as proxy warriors against the Soviets. Bush advocated a policy that was fully in line with American interests at that time. But he did not consider the long-term implications of supporting a network of Islamic fundamentalist rebels. Specifically, as vice president in the mid-eighties, Bush supported aiding the mujahideen in Afghanistan through the Maktab al-Khidamat (MAK) or Services Offices, which sent money and fighters to the Afghan resistance in Peshawar. ‘Bush was in charge of the covert operations that supported the MAK,’ says John Loftus, a Justice Department official in the eighties. ‘They were essentially hiring a terrorist to fight terrorism.’” (Ibid.; pp. 101-102.)

51. Long a beneficiary of Bush family political power and an intimate in Bush-driven covert operations, Bandar was relishing the 2000 return to power of his associates: “Even before the Supreme Court decision awarded the presidency to the Republicans, the Bush team began behaving as if it had won. The election took place exactly ten years after the buildup of American troops in Saudi Arabia for the Gulf War, and to mark both that occasion and the impending Bush restoration, former president Bush and James Baker had proposed a hunting trip in Spain and England. The original guest list included the usual suspects from the Gulf War—the senior Bush; James Baker; Dick Cheney; General Norman Schwarzkopf, the commander of U.S. forces during the war; former national security adviser Brent Scowcroft; and, of course. Prince Bandar, whose enormous estate in Wychwood, England, had been an ancient royal hunting ground used by Norman and Plantagenet kings.”(Ibid.; p. 217.)

52. “The relationship between Baker and the elder Bush had been frayed as a result of the failed reelection campaign of 1992, but the two long-time friends had patched things up as the presidency of George W. Bush became increasingly probable. When he arrived in Austin, Texas, on Election Day, Baker went to Dick and Lynne Cheney’s hotel suite to listen to the results. However, by the next morning, Wednesday, November 8, Al Gore was contesting the Florida vote, so Baker was enlisted to lead the legal battle to win the presidency for Bush. As a result, both he and Cheney skipped the European hunting trip.” (Idem)

53. “But the lavish gathering went on as planned. On Thursday, November 9, a private chartered plane from Evansville, Indiana, picked up former president Bush in Washington en route to Madrid, where the hunting trip was to begin. Already on board was a contingent from Indiana. One member was Bobby Knight, the highly successful but extraordinarily temperamental basketball coach who had just been fired from Indiana University. Other hunters on the trip were powerful coal industry executives from the Midwest—Irl Engelhardt, the chairman and CEO of St. Louis’s Peabody Energy, the world’s largest coal company; and Steven Chancellor, Daniel Hermann, and Eugene Aimone, three top executives of Black Beauty Coal, a Peabody subsidiary headquartered in Evansville, Indiana.” (Ibid.; pp. 217-218.)

54. “During the campaign. Bush had proposed caps on the carbon dioxide emissions that scientists believe cause global warming, a regulatory measure that coal executives had not welcomed. But among them, the coal executives had contributed more than $700,000 to Bush and the Republicans. They still had high hopes of participating in energy policy in a Bush administration and loosening the regulatory reins around the industry. Even though the recount battle was just getting under way in Florida, the Bush family was back in action, mixing private pleasure and public policy.” (Ibid.; p. 218.)

55. “Once in Spain, Bush, Knight, and the executives were joined by Norman Schwarzkopf and proceeded to a private estate in Pinos Altos, about sixty kilometers from Madrid, to shoot red-legged partridges, the fastest game birds in the world. Bush impressed the hunting party as a fine wing shot and a gentleman—the seventy-six-year-old former president was not above offering to clean mud off the boots of his fellow hunters. Throughout the trip, Bush kept in touch with the election developments via e-mail. By Saturday, November 11, a machine recount had shrunk his son’s lead in Florida to a minuscule 327 votes. ‘I kind of wish I was in the U.S. so I could help prevent the Democrats from working their mischief,’ he told another hunter in his party.” (Idem.)

56. “On Tuesday, November 14, Bush and Schwarzkopf arrived in England, where Brent Scowcroft joined them and they continued their game hunting on Bandar’s estate. They kept a close eye on the zigs and zags of the recoun

t battle. As a power play to demonstrate his confidence to the media, the Democratic Party, and the American populace, George W Bush announced the members of his White House transition team even before the Florida vote-count battle was over.” (Idem)

57. “Bandar eagerly anticipated seeing the Bush family back in Washington. Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, and Donald Rumsfeld were men Bandar already knew quite well. Others who would have access to a new President Bush—his father, James Baker, Brent Scowcroft—were also old friends.” (Ibid.; pp. 218-219.)

58. “Moreover, a Bush restoration would also strengthen Bandar’s position in Saudi Arabia. During the twelve years of the Reagan-Bush era, Bandar had enjoyed unique powers—partly because of his close relationship to Bush, partly because he always had King Fahd’s ear. But during the Clinton era. Bandar had lost clout. Never an insider in the Clinton White House, he had disliked what he called the ‘weak-dicked’ foreign policy team of the Clinton administration. Bandar had also lost ground in Riyadh because Crown Prince Abdullah, who had effectively replaced the ailing King Fahd, had never been particularly fond of Bandar. But now, on his estate in England, Bandar was once again wired into the real powers that be, and assuming that Bush won, he would be back in a position that no other prominent foreign official could come close to.” (Ibid.; p. 219.)

Discussion

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