By Eleanor Goldfield for Act Out! Kingdom of the Unjust; a sit down with activist & author Medea Benjamin about her latest book and how US/Saudi ties perpetuate human rights violations. Saudi Arabia was left off Trump’s Muslim Ban despite the fact that they regularly invest in terrorist organizations, despite being home to 15 of the 9/11 hijackers and indeed despite being the founders of Wahabbism, the perversion of Islam that both ISIS and Al Qaeda follow. So, what gives? In her book and our conversation, Medea Benjamin discusses the inner workings of the Kingdom – from the grotesque treatment of women and immigrant workers to the extremist brand of Islam that perpetuates hate and war in the region. She also outlines our ties to the country, going back to an agreement made over black gold and military protection in the 1940s. In the present day, our ties continue to hold, despite the fact that we only receive 13% of our oil from Saudi Arabia. In lieu of that, we get monstrous military contracts that bolster our war machine, our 1% and their human rights violating wars like the current one in Yemen.
By Medea Benjamin for Code Pink – President Trump’s Muslim ban is not only mean-spirited and, hopefully, unconstitutional, but it is irrational because it doesn’t even include the country most responsible for spreading terrorism around the world: Saudi Arabia. The travel restrictions on seven Muslim-majority countries was rationalized as a way to thwart potential terrorists from entering the United States, with Trump citing the tragedies of 9/11 and the San Bernardino shooting as motivations behind the executive order. But no citizens of the seven banned countries were responsible for the deaths of any Americans on US soil. It is indeed a glaring omission that Saudi Arabia, the country that furnished 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11, was absent from the list.
By Barry Kissin for Op Ed News – In 2016, Alex Gibney (“We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks,” “Taxi to the Dark Side,” “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room,” “Casino Jack and the United States of Money”) released a documentary based on a 2006 New Yorker magazine article by Lawrence Wright that exposes the CIA’s deliberate concealment from the FBI of the fact that two important members of al Qaeda were in the U.S. over a period of 18 months leading up to 9-11.
By Barry Kissin for Popular Resistance. The 28 Pages substantiate that the key figure in the Saudi government involved in financing and facilitating 9-11 was Prince Bandar bin Sultan, then longstanding Ambassador to the U.S. Bandar is also known as “Bandar Bush,” thus nicknamed by George W. Bush because of his longstanding and very close relationship with the Bush family. (When in the 1980s then V.P. George H.W. Bush wanted a way to finance the terrorist Contras in Nicaragua during the then covert, totally illegal, treasonous “Iran-Contra” operation, he relied upon Bandar who by his own admission served as the bagman.) Bandar has relationships with figures throughout our corrupt power structure. The Wall Street Journal reports that since being appointed Director of the CIA by Obama in Jan. 2013, “Mr. Brennan has been in periodic contact by phone with Prince Bandar.” It does well to recognize that from 1996 to 1999, John Brennan was CIA Chief of Station in Saudi Arabia, just before he was promoted to Chief of Staff to CIA Director George Tenet.
By Staff of RT – The conflict in Yara’s homeland has been raging for over a year and a half and has been worsened by often indiscriminate airstrikes conducted by the Saudi-led coalition against Houthi rebel forces. The Saudis and their allies are trying to restore the Riyadh-backed government of the exiled Yemen president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.
By Barry Kissin for Popular Resistance. The lead sponsors of the legislation to uncover the 28 pages of the Congressional report on the attacks of 9-11 were Representative Walter Jones and Senator Rand Paul, two Republicans in fact, both practically unique in their unabashed opposition to our constant wars of intervention. The release of the 28 pages is a victory for Americans who yearn for peace. It comes at a desperate moment in human history. It is imperative and urgent that peace activists take full advantage of the released 28 pages. The essential truth about the 28 pages is that our own government, (Bush administrations followed by Obama administrations), ever since 9-11, has covered up Saudi Government complicity in 9-11. All the while, our government has continued to maintain very close relations, especially with the Saudi Intelligence Agency and the Saudi military. The New York Times says the pages were “kept secret for nearly 14 years out of concern that it might fray diplomatic relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia.”
By Charles Pierce for RSN – …But some investigators remain puzzled by the exact role played by Fahad al-Thumairy, a Saudi consular official based in the Los Angeles area at the time of the attacks. They believe that if there had been any Saudi government role in the plot, it probably would have involved him. Mr. Thumairy was the imam of a mosque visited by two of the Sept. 11 hijackers, and some American government officials have long suspected that Mr. Thumairy assisted the two men—Nawaq Alhamzi and Khalid al-Midhar—after they arrived in Los Angeles in early 2000.
By Kristen Breitweiser for Huffington Post. President Bush did not want the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia investigated. President Bush has deep ties to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its royal family and only wanted to protect the Kingdom. President Bush wanted to go to war in Iraq — not Saudi Arabia. So, 29 full pages that said “Saudi” and “Bandar” instead of “Hussein” and “Iraq” was a huge problem for President Bush. It is well documented that the Joint Inquiry received enormous push-back against its investigation into the Saudis. In fact, former FBI Director Mueller acknowledges that much of the information implicating the Saudis that the Inquiry investigators ultimately uncovered was unknown to him. Why does Mueller say this? Mostly because Mueller and other FBI officials had purposely tried to keep any incriminating information specifically surrounding the Saudis out of the Inquiry’s investigative hands.
By Murtaza Hussain for The Intercept – AFTER YEARS OF political wrangling, the suppressed section of a 2002 congressional report that detailed possible ties between the Saudi government and the 9/11 terrorist attacks was released today. The classified documents have been the source of heated speculation for years, as they highlighted alleged links between high-ranking members of the Saudi royal family and the 9/11 hijackers. Many political figures who had previously seen the report led the charge calling for its release, including former Sen. Bob Graham, who said the 28 pages “point a very strong finger at Saudi Arabia,”
By Richard Ochs for Popular Resistance. For the last two months the 28 Pages Coalition have been holding weekly protests at the White House, US House of Representatives and the Senate in Washington, DC. They have been calling for the release of 28 pages that have been kept secret by both the Bush and Obama administrations. The pages come from a joint committee of the House and Senate that reviewed the 9/11 attacks. Reportedly the pages implicate Saudia Arabia in the attacks. This week members of the 28 Pages Coalition held a banner and signs in front of the White House on Wednesday, June 22 at 5 PM. The banner read: “Open the 28 Pages.” Musicians will accompany protesters in singing “We want to read those 28 pages.” As of now, 70 members of Congress are co-sponsoring bills H.R.14 and S-1471 to declassify these redacted pages. Former chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee, Bob Graham has called the redaction of the 28 pages part of “an aggressive deception.”
By Lizzie Dearden for The Independent – The United Nations has blacklisted the Saudi-Arabia led coalition for killing and maiming thousands of children in Yemen. Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary-General, said intensive bombardment had taken a “devastating toll” on the civilian population as a civil war continues to rage between the Yemeni government, Houthi rebels, al-Qaeda and Isis.
By Lauren McCauley for Common Dreams – Setting up a likely veto fight and opening a potential Pandora’s Box, the U.S. Senate on Tuesday passed a bill that allows victims of 9/11 to sue Saudi Arabia for any role the government may have played in the attacks. The bipartisan Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act was approved by unanimous consent, despite protest from President Barack Obama, who threatened to veto the bill. Obama recently argued, “If we open up the possibility that individuals…can routinely start suing other governments
By Shane Harris for The Daily Beast – The Obama administration may soon release 28 classified pages from a congressional investigation that allegedly links Saudis in the United States to the 9/11 attackers. A former Republican member of the 9/11 Commission alleged Thursday that there was“clear evidence” of support for the hijackers from Saudi officials. But in Florida, a federal judge is weighing whether to declassify portions of some 80,000 classified pages that could reveal far more about the hijackers’ Saudis connections and their activities in the weeks preceding the worst attack on U.S. soil.
By Philip Shenon for The Guardian – A former Republican member of the 9/11 commission, breaking dramatically with the commission’s leaders, said Wednesday he believes there was clear evidence that Saudi government employees were part of a support network for the 9/11 hijackers and that the Obama administration should move quickly to declassify a long-secret congressional report on Saudi ties to the 2001 terrorist attack. The comments by John F Lehman, an investment banker in New York who was Navy secretary in the Reagan administration, signal the first serious public split among the 10 commissioners…