Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #517 Update on 9/11 and Related Matters

MP3 Side 1 | Side 2

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.)

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.)


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