Will the 9/11 case finally go to trial?
September 11, 2017 1:38 PM   Subscribe

Crime and Punishment is a Letter from Washington on the Harper's blog that details the current state of play of a court case that "...grew out of a suit filed in 2002 on behalf of bereaved family members and other victims of the attacks...". The post also ranges over the history of the investigation of the 9/11 attacks during all three of the presidential administrations involved, as well as the relationship of each administration with Saudi Arabia.
posted by kingless (13 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
"The reason we know so much about the West Coast activities of the hijackers is largely because of Michael Jacobson, a burly former FBI lawyer and counterterrorism analyst who worked as an investigator for the Joint Inquiry. Reviewing files at FBI headquarters, he came across a stray reference to a bureau informant in San Diego who had known one of the hijackers. Intrigued, he decided to follow up in the San Diego field office. Bob Graham, the former chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told me recently that Robert Mueller, then the FBI director (and now the special counsel investigating connections between Russia and the Trump campaign) made “the strongest objections” to Jacobson and his colleagues visiting San Diego."

"...the two hijackers had been close with an FBI informant, Abdussattar Shaikh. Hazmi had actually lived in his house after Mihdhar left town. Shaikh failed to mention his young Saudi friends’ last names in regular reports to his FBI case officer, or that they were taking flying lessons. Understandably, the investigators had a lot of questions for this man. Nevertheless, Mueller adamantly refused their demands to interview him, even when backed by a congressional subpoena, and removed Shaikh to an undisclosed location “for his own safety.” Today, Graham believes that Mueller was acting under orders from the White House."

Well, that doesn't make Mueller look very good. After so many claiming he's super ethical lately, this is not inspiring confidence in me.
posted by Rufous-headed Towhee heehee at 3:58 PM on September 11, 2017 [8 favorites]

The United States needs better "allies".
posted by tommasz at 5:39 PM on September 11, 2017

This is one of those things we all know is happening on some level but it's staggering to see it laid out nice and clear like this.
posted by The Whelk at 5:45 PM on September 11, 2017 [5 favorites]

Well, that doesn't make Mueller look very good. After so many claiming he's super ethical lately, this is not inspiring confidence in me.

He's certainly very professional! And there are certain kinds of ethics, like when you become a lawyer and wanna be admitted to the bar they tell you to follow certain legal ethics, or various government agencies have designated ethics offices, that I bet he definitely is super good at. And those aren't nothing.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 5:59 PM on September 11, 2017

Excellent link, thanks so much.

The article raises, but does not answer the question of why Obama helped perpetuate this scandal.

Bush and 45, I can understand. But what did Obama get from sucking up to the Saudis? I wonder if we'll ever know.
posted by jasper411 at 6:31 PM on September 11, 2017 [4 favorites]

He got the same thing the last like 60 years of presidents with the same foreign policy have gotten: huge arms deals, military bases, a strong ally in the region, etc.
posted by edeezy at 6:49 PM on September 11, 2017 [11 favorites]

Losing military bases in Saudi would have been a great way to end up a one-term President. Hate it all you want, but that's just reality.
posted by tobascodagama at 6:54 PM on September 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

One of the big benefits of "freeing" Iraq was supposed to be that it gave the US a new place to put permanent military bases, reducing the need for Saudi Arabian soil, and thereby reducing the animosity from those parts of the Saudi family and population that felt occupied.

Not really working out that way just yet, but maybe given the half-done nature of what he inherited, Obama was hoping things would just work out that way after all.
posted by rokusan at 7:34 PM on September 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

Also, there was that time that Russia was getting aggressive in Ukraine and Saudi Arabia conveniently decided to keep their oil production high and let oil prices fall, thus causing economic woes at home for Putin.

I mean it's just speculation, and the Saudi's had their own reasons as far as torpedoing natural gas field development deals by making them seem less appealing. Still, it was awfully convenient timing.
posted by Zalzidrax at 9:49 PM on September 11, 2017

The US closed up its military bases in Saudi after 9/11. The other stuff about a Mideast ally and oil price manipulation and arms sales maybe makes sense, but the military bases? Except for a few training units, all gone by 2003.
posted by notyou at 10:15 PM on September 11, 2017 [3 favorites]

like this is where I have sympathy for conspiracy theorists except they never allow that people in charge are also really dumb and greedy and willing to kick the can down the line forever. Yeah, it's way more important the US keep a strategic defense contract partner and oil business then actually investigate who blew up a major city.

I mean it's not like anyone THEY know died.

when you put it like that its so naked and cynical you almost just refuse to see it.
posted by The Whelk at 12:50 AM on September 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

Mueller actually is Deep State
posted by moorooka at 2:17 AM on September 12, 2017 [2 favorites]

Bush and 45, I can understand. But what did Obama get from sucking up to the Saudis? I wonder if we'll ever know.
-- jasper411

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posted by lazycomputerkids at 2:39 AM on September 12, 2017

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