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Did the government hinder the FBI to investigate against the Bin Laden family?
November 22, 2001 5:00 AM   Subscribe

Did the government hinder the FBI to investigate against the Bin Laden family? Transcript from last night's BBC Newsnight: GREG PALAST: The CIA and Saudi Arabia, the Bushes and the Bin Ladens. Did their connections cause America to turn a blind eye to terrorism? UNNAMED MAN: There is a hidden agenda at the very highest levels of our government. JOE TRENTO, (AUTHOR, "SECRET HISTORY OF THE CIA"): The sad thing is that thousands of Americans had to die needlessly.
posted by alex63 (13 comments total)

 
Interesting story, Alex. I didn't see last night's Newsnight, but this transcript is marked 6 November, so maybe it was an older edition. Here is Greg Palast's write up in The Guardian the day after. It basically goes over the same ground as the television piece does, saying how FBI investigators were prevented from investigating the Bin Laden family with regards to their links with WAMY, and how WAMY has provided financing for Islamic militant organizations such as SIMI.

SIMI considers Osama bin Laden to be an "outstanding example" of a true jehadi "who has undertaken a jehad on behalf of the ummah".

It's good to know that we're getting tough of the "financiers of terror".
posted by dlewis at 6:07 AM on November 22, 2001


There's not much to justify the linkage of investigating the bin Laden family with the "thousands of Americans dying needlessly". Certainly prior to 9/11 there was little to indicate that they would be as dangerous as we now know them; hindsight, alas, is 20/20. And there is no certainty that these investigations would have discovered, hindered, much less prevented the 9/11 attacks. Finally, the Bush-oil conspiracy behind this was out of office from 1996 until 2000, so how influential could they have been? How wide does the "cover-up" spread? Was the Clinton administration protecting the Bush family? Certainly there have always been political considerations when investigating people connected to our allies.

dlewis: You're using post 9/11 rhetoric to lambaste pre-9/11 actions. You do know that, don't you? If so, using the present tense is dishonest.
posted by dhartung at 6:29 AM on November 22, 2001


Recently, shortly after he had published his piece on the Bin Laden family in the New Yoker, S. Hersch on tv talked about the many recorded (vioa NSA) messages coming and going to Saudi Arabia's royal family. If that is so--I have little reason to doubt our always busy NSA--then I assume that the Bin Laden family, second wealthiest family in Saudi Arabis (after royal family) would have been subject to similar taps...nothing, however, has thus far been released to the public, and I imagine they could established things that have been asserted by Palast, one way or the other. But of course they are no in the sharing info business.
posted by Postroad at 6:35 AM on November 22, 2001


Hmm. Over at Ethel the Blog there was mention of a review of a book, "Bin Laden: The Forbidden Truth" by a couple of French writers, Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquie, where a similar accusation is made. The argument in this book focuses on alleged negotiations with the Taliban to construct a cross-Afghanistan pipeline, with the Cheney crowd doing the prodding. Too much to take at face value but certainly something to keep in the back of one's mind.

dhartung, I think the key here is that the FBI were prevented from fully investigating all the connections with the bL family pre-Sep 11. Had they investigated all the connections fully, perhaps they might have come upon the plans for Sep 11. It's tenuous but worth keeping in mind. Whether this is indeed the case or it's just another conspiracy theory, too early to tell.
posted by mmarcos at 6:37 AM on November 22, 2001


i saw this thing rw linked to with articles from the guardian and international herald tribune about the carlyle group.

"Carlyle has become the thread which indirectly links American military policy in Afghanistan to the personal financial fortunes of its celebrity employees, not least the current president's father."

creepy heart of darkness freemason stuff. silencio.
posted by kliuless at 6:55 AM on November 22, 2001


Michael C. Ruppert's Wilderness Publications web site (dont know anything about him or the publisher except the web site name Cop v. CIA) has an interesting conspiracy theory chronology:

"...It gets worse, much worse. A more complete timeline listing crucial events both before and after the September 11th suicide attacks, which have been blamed on bin Laden, establishes CIA foreknowledge of them and strongly suggests that there was criminal complicity on the part of the U.S. government in their execution .It also makes clear that the events which have taken place since September 11th are based upon an agenda that has little to do with the attacks.
...."..

PS This site may originally have come from Mefi ? I suffer from infonesia.
posted by Voyageman at 6:56 AM on November 22, 2001


I am thankful today for Seymour M. Hersh's recent New Yorker articles:
What Went Wrong: The CIA and the Failure of American Intelligence; King's Ransom: How Vulnerable are the Saudi Royals?; Watching the Warheads: The Risks to Pakistan's Nuclear Arsenal; Escape and Evasion: What Happened When the Special Forces Landed in Afghanistan. Finally, an Annals of National Security classic from 1999: The Intelligence Gap.
posted by Carol Anne at 7:04 AM on November 22, 2001


Hersh, on tv and asked about his article, answered a PR guy from Saudi Arabia. The PR guy asked for sources for his comments. Hersh said something about taps and NSA. But would go no further. I assume he has some inside track. That said, why doesn't the NSA find out who they have working that is giving away materials they are gathering? Hersh ought not to have access to such materials. Anothr case of our agencies failing us. Ips: I do appreciate the work Hersh is doing and am not condemning him.)
posted by Postroad at 7:36 AM on November 22, 2001


There's not much to justify the linkage of investigating the bin Laden family with the "thousands of Americans dying needlessly". Certainly prior to 9/11 there was little to indicate that they would be as dangerous as we now know them.

Apart from the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and the 1996 killing of 19 US soldiers in Saudi Arabia. Trento states that at this time the FBI were very concerned about the WAMY organization, yet the bin Laden family's files were closed and deemed inconclusive. Are you telling me that with all ObL's
subsequent actions, the bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, being placed number one in the FBI's most wanted list, didn't suggest that it may perhaps be a good idea to reopen the file on his family? It looks like many of the Washington FBI agents thought so, but were constrained to do otherwise.

And there is no certainty that these investigations would have discovered, hindered, much less prevented the 9/11 attacks.

There's no certainty that al-Qaida was responsible for the WTC attacks, there's no certainty that the bombing of Afghanistan will do anything to combat world terrorism. There's no certainty of anything, apart from the fact that what the intelligence agencies did know about ObL and his organisation's plans before 9/11 left a lot to be desired.

Finally, the Bush-oil conspiracy behind this was out of office from 1996 until 2000, so how influential could they have been?

Personally, dhartung, I'm not overly bothered about the Bush accusation. My concerns are about whether the vast, opaque intelligence agencies were doing their job: national security. It's the very fact that investigations were prevented, for whatever reason, that gets me.

You're using post 9/11 rhetoric to lambaste pre-9/11 actions. You do know that, don't you? If so, using the present tense is dishonest.

Granted. Apologies.
posted by dlewis at 7:42 AM on November 22, 2001


Postroad: I believe that, if it weren't for investigative reporters like Hersh, we wouldn't learn anything from our government, (no matter who is in the White House) that they would rather we didn't know. Hurrah for leakers!
posted by Carol Anne at 8:12 AM on November 22, 2001


re Carlyle Group creepy heart of darkness freemason stuff. silencio

Their site? ..."being redesigned"....maybe this has the clue.
posted by Voyageman at 8:34 AM on November 22, 2001


Carol Anne and Postroad - I also saw Hersh on CNN debating with the Saudi . As much as I respect him, I didnt find him very believable (even giving him the benefit of the doubt for not revealing sources) perhaps because he appeared so dismissive every time the Saudi asked him for concrete evidence to back his accusations. For me, his weak TV performance has now shrouded his written work (much appreciate all the articles you posted) in a veil of doubt.
posted by Voyageman at 8:48 AM on November 22, 2001


One thing about 'leaks': they are double-edged swords. Treat them with care.
posted by mmarcos at 12:42 PM on November 22, 2001


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