Another al-Qaida/Saudi Connection

There’s a new controversy breaking in the war on terror.

It seems the government has evidence of direct funding of the terrorists in America by the Saudi government. Here’s an article over at MSNBC.

It seems that the Congress has evidence even stronger than that which has been made public, and wants to let the American people know about it. The Bush administration is resisting, because they don’t want to damage relations between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia:

So, what do dopers think about this? It seems to me that the public evidence isn’t proof of official sanction of terror in America by the Saudi Royal Family, but it’s damned disturbing. Add to that the fact that most of the hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, Bin Laden is a Saudi, the Wahabbist strain of Islam that is causing much of the fanaticism originates from and is supported by the Saudis, and it becomes very troubling.

On the other hand, alienating Saudi Arabia would complicate the war on terror, and the situation with Iraq. Saudi Arabia is the heart of Islam in the Arab world. Having them allied with the U.S. is a big advantage, even if it’s only lip service.

Should the classified information be released? Is this an issue Democrats should get behind to try to outflank the administration on the war? Is the Bush administration wrong for its realpolitik approach to Saudi Arabia?

The Saudi’s are rich, but weak. They are in a very tenuous position. They try to survive by being useful to everybody. They hope to keep potential religious and political enemies distracted. There is no doubt a great deal of what might be described as “Saudi money” being funneled to Al Queda and its like minded organizations, but that shouldn’t be taken as agreement so much as hedging thier bets. The Saudi’s buy off the Wahabbists and other puritanical Islamists so that they don’t focus unwanted attention on the life styles of the rich. Much like the business oriented Republicans throw the occassional bone to the religious right in America, better to have them in the tent pissing out than vice versa.

Sooner or later, the Saudi regime will mistep. My guess is that this is an underlying factor in the importance the Admin places on a more commanding military “presence” in the Mid East. The House of Saud will fall, the question is whether, only when. Then someone else will control all that sweet light crude. But who?

Then someone else will control all that sweet light crude. But who?

Hopefully America. It could be the first step towards remuneration for 9/11.

Um, unless I’m missing something, I don’t see the “Saudi government” here, as in “the whole entire whacking Saudi Government, bureaucrats and diplomats and all”–I see merely yet another out-of-control royal. I suppose you could start with, “she gets an allowance from the government, which is actually her family, and she gives the money to terrorists in America…” and extrapolate that to, “…so that means that the Saudi government is giving money to terrorists in America”. But it’s way, way out there in Logic’s Left Field.

From the link:

So she sent them some money, so what? It apparently doesn’t surprise anyone, and it doesn’t necessarily mean the Saudi government is behind either sending the money or the 9/11 attacks.

So, if the [big air quotes] “Saudi government” knowingly, intentionally gave the money to terrorists in America, why are they cooperating with the FBI?

Yeah, it’s disturbing, but it’s disturbing the way Britain’s Prince Edward boycotting the Miss World pageant is disturbing. Can’t these royal offspring get lives? Must they continue to putter around? And, one doesn’t say “the British royal family, or the British government”, is boycotting the Miss World Pageant–one says, “Prince Edward is boycotting the pageant.”

Since it’s apparently just another royal with too much time on her hands and money to burn, I don’t see why releasing the report should be such an issue, except to duly elected official nitpickers intent on consolidating their power in Congress. From the article:

Makes perfect sense to me.

That’s certainly the public version. However, there are classified documents that are reportedly more incriminating, and which the Senate Intelligence committee is pushing to have de-classified so they can present the evidence to the public. The Bush adminsitration is stonewalling this.

If this were just a ‘rich princess does something stupid’ story, it wouldn’t have the Senate Intelligence Committee so riled up. I believe the insinuation here is that the connection goes right back to the heart of the Saudi Government, but that the money came through the wife of an ambassador in an attempt to hide the transactions.

So, what, you’re inviting us to speculate about the contents of the super-duper extra secret Intelligence Committee documents? Why, I bet they show that this princess is actually a secret agent for Saddam Hussein, who was using her to smuggle weapons of mass destruction into American college campuses, where legions of al Qaeda-led Muslim students will fan out across the nation to replace our regular coffee with mustard gas disguised as Folger’s crystals.

Really, what’s the point of this? Just looking for an excuse to slag the eminently-slaggable Saudis without having to resort to any of those pesky that so often get in the way of a good slagging?

Gee, Minty. I thought it was an interesting story, one worthy of public debate. There are plenty of debatable things here. For instance, is the Bush administration right to block the release of documents that may incriminate the Saudis, for realpolitik reasons? If the Saudis turn out to actually have supported terrorists inside the U.S., what should the government response be?

I’m sure you can find other things worth talking about in this. It seems to be a pretty important development.

I think I just caught you off guard because it’s hard to know how to apply a political spin to this story.

How can you debate in a near absence of facts?

Dunno. Kinda depends on what the documents say, don’t it?

Dunno. Kinda depends on which Saudis and what support, don’t it?

Well, that about wraps it up for this thread. Good night, everyone!

Is it just me, or does anyone else think that Minty is being unreasonable here?

It seems to me that we have about as many facts as we have with many, many other issues that cause long debates to break out on the SDMB.

But jeez, I’m not going to force a debate with you. If you have no interest in the subject, just go away. You don’t have to step in here and pee on everyone else’s cornflakes just because you’re not interested in the topic.

Abortion: Dunno, kinda depends on how you define “murder” and at what point a fetus becomes a human being.

Creation/Evolution: Dunno, kinda depends on whether the Bible is literally true or not.

God-Exists or Not?: Dunno, kinda depends on how you define “God” and whether…well, whether that “God” exists or not.

Islam–Religion of War, or Religion of Peace?: Dunno, kinda depends on which Muslim you talk to.

Other debates to be settled later, as time allows.

Would the mods kindly link to this post at the top of the forum? It might save others the trouble of posting on these topics again.

First you have to show that there are documents. Then you have to show what the documents say. Then we can debate about the documents, whether they should be declassified and revealed to the American public or not.

First, let us see whether there are documents.

[li]The inquiry isn’t finished.[/li][li]The official report isn’t written. There’s a rough draft in circulation, that’s all.[/li][li]When the final report is written, a classified version will come out in December, bits and pieces of which will almost certainly be leaked to the press.[/li][li]And the unclassified version will be released “early next year”.[/ol]So all the American people have to do is be patient and All Will Be Revealed.[/li]
So the “classified report” which the outraged legislators are supposedly demanding be declassified doesn’t even exist yet. Apparently the outraged legislators are demanding that the rough draft be made public, which sounds stupid to me. George Lucas doesn’t release his rough drafts, why should Congress?

What the administration is fighting is not really pressure to “declassify documents”, but just the pressure to have all the juicy details of the FBI’s investigation made public, and since law enforcement agencies generally have a problem with revealing details of ongoing investigations, I’m not a bit surprised that they’re “stonewalling”.

Like I said, it’s just a lot of duly elected official nitpickers intent on consolidating their power in Congress, creating an issue to liven things up during a boring lame-duck session of Congress.

No debate here.

And no secret Saudi conspiracy to destroy the World Trade Center either, sorry.

Oh for Pete’s sake. All I did was post a cite from a reputable magazine, and ask for comment.

FWIW, here’s another article, confirming that the white house is probing this situation, but also adding more facts that seem to downplay the seriousness of this:

No, all you did was post an entire conspiracy theory.

“There are secret classified documents that show that the Saudi government was funding the terrorists in America! And there must be something to it, because the Senate Intelligence Committee is all riled up about it! And the Bush administration is refusing to release these documents to the American people, because they’re just cravenly currying favor with the Saudi royal family!”

Admit it, Sam, you jumped the gun. :smiley:

The sky is not falling. No film at 11.

According to this report, the princess is the wife of the Saudi ambassador to the US. How embarrassing.

Cripes, Sam’s remarks hardly brand him a conspiracy theorist. If the US had a hundredth the evidence pointing towards an Iraq/al Qaeda connection as we do pointing towards a Saudi/al Qaeda connection, the invasion would have happened last year.
By the same token, if the administration wasn’t absolutely certain that the Saudi’s had nothing to do with 9/11 they should have checked them out thoroughly. Apparently that was not done, and that failure, as the tired phrase goes “puts america at risk for a repeat of 9/11.”
It may turn out that Bush played the realpolitik with the Saudi’s correctly, but from the facts that’ve been made publicly available, it appears that he did so based on insufficient information. That’s disturbing no matter what your political affiliation.

Jeez, DDG. It takes a lot of chutzpah to quote someone in full, then misquote them in the same message.

I very carefully said, “It SEEMS that…”, and “REPORTEDLY…”

All I added was that this information, IF TRUE, was troubling in light of the other Saudi involvement in 9/11.

But, for the comprehension challenged let me repeat: I am NOT drawing any conclusions. I don’t know what to think of this. I just thought it would be an interesting thing to talk about it.

There are well over 5000 Saudi Royals. It is necessary to point out that the rich Saudis give monies to the less fortunate studying or receiving medical treatment in countries outside of Saudi Arabia all the time. The Royals give to hundreds of people. The chances of the Princess knowing exactly who she was writing checks for and where the money who go afterwards is slim. OBL wants the downfall of the House of Saud. Why would anyone affiliated with the Saudi Royal family pay money to someone who wants to distroy it? Doesn’t make sence.

That being said, Crown Prince Abdulla is walking a fine line, trying to yank Saudi Arabia into the 21 centry and also keeping its tribal culture and his power in tack.

Chutzpah Central here, I guess. :smiley:

IT SEEMS there is a giant human face carved into a mountain on Mars, and REPORTEDLY the head of NASA is refusing to release photos taken of the face by our orbiting satellites. IF TRUE, this would be very troubling in light of the movie Mars Attacks!.

But I am NOT drawing any conclusions. I don’t know what to think of this. I just thought it wouldbe an interesting thing to talk about.