U.S. President Barack Obama and Saudi King Salman walk together following their meeting at Erga Palace in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia April 20, 2016.
The 28 pages of a Congressional report detailing where the 9/11 hijackers got their financing have been classified for years, but what they contain is an open secret. Former Senator Bob Graham explained: “The 28 pages primarily relate to who financed 9/11, and they point a very strong finger at Saudi Arabia as being the principal financier.” So why keep this information secret? Because the Saudis wield undue influence in Washington, among both parties – an influence that has deformed our response to the global jihad threat, and continues to do so.
Responding to a bill that would allow 9/11 victims’ families to sue governments linked to terror attacks inside the U.S., the Saudis have acted like neither an ally nor an innocent party: they’ve threatened to sell $750 billion in U.S. asserts, vividly demonstrating why their influence in Washington is so detrimental.
Nonetheless, they still have a friend in Barack Obama, a man who has never hesitated to reach out in friendship to those who threaten the United States. Obama is trying to get Congress to reject the bill, and his solicitude for the Saudis is drawing criticism even from members of his own party. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) called on him to release the 28 pages: “If the president is going to meet with the Saudi Arabian leadership and the royal family, they think it would be appropriate that this document be released before the president makes that trip, so that they can talk about whatever issues are in that document.”
The New York Daily News, normally a reliable Democratic Party organ, fumed: “If the President allows himself to get pushed around this way in front of the world, then he earns every bit of the anger being directed at him by the extended family of September 11.”
Of course, all too many Republicans are just as much in the tank for the Saudis as the Democrats. CBS Newsreported on September 30, 2001, on George W. Bush’s watch, that “two dozen members of Osama bin Laden’s family were urgently evacuated from the United States in the first days following the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, according to the Saudi ambassador to Washington.” If Hitler had had twenty-four relatives on U.S. soil on December 8, 1941, would FDR have urgently evacuated them to Berlin?
The FBI under both Bush and Obama has likewise been an apparently willing servant of the Saudis. The Miami Herald reported on July 1, 2014 that “freshly released but heavily censored FBI documents include tantalizing new information about events connected to the Sarasota Saudis who moved suddenly out of their home about two weeks before the 9/11 terrorist attacks, leaving behind clothing, jewelry and cars….This release suggests that the FBI has covered up information that is vitally important to public safety.” These “Sarasota Saudis” were a family that abruptly fled the country shortly before 9/11, “leaving behind three vehicles, food in the refrigerator and toys in the swimming pool.” Mohammed Atta may have visited their home. Yet for years, the FBI insisted that they had nothing to do with the 9/11 jihad plot, and has been extremely reticent about sharing information about their investigation. Whom is the FBI protecting, and why?
Meanwhile, the Saudis have spent untold billions of dollars spreading their Wahhabi ideology, including material such as “Jihad: The Forgotten Obligation,” in areas of the Islamic world where jihad had indeed been forgotten, largely if not completely. The Saudis have, in reawakening Muslims to this obligation, set the world on fire: al-Qaeda was a product of the Wahhabi ideology, and the Islamic State, with its unquenchable desire to commit as many jihad mass murder attacks as possible on American soil, despises the House of Saud and is determined to overthrow it but is nevertheless its demon child. The Saudis remain one of the world’s chief financiers of jihad terror.
This is an ally of the United States? No. The Saudis are not an ally of the U.S. and have not been since 9/11 and before. A presidential candidate who really wants to strike a blow against the global jihad would vow to release the 28 pages and to stand up to the Saudis’ threats, and to break the Saudis’ economic hold on the U.S. by putting the full weight of the U.S. government behind offshore drilling, oil pipelines, fracking, and the development of alternative energy sources.
In 1942, Franklin Delano Roosevelt not only wasn’t making sure that Hitler’s relatives were safely back home; he also wasn’t meeting with the Führer to discuss a German-U.S. alliance. It is long past time that the United States stop behaving like a weak client state of the House of Saud.