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Co-Chair of 9/11 Inquiry: American Government Covered Up State Assistance to Hijackers

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Washington’s Blog

It’s front page news today that :

Journalists at Rupert Murdoch’s now-shuttered News of the World paper tried to access the mobile phones of 9/11 victims, a former New York City police officer claimed on Monday.

It’s also front page news today that the new Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, said that American soldiers are in Iraq because of 9/11 , even though AFP notes:

That was one of the justifications for the 2003 US-led invasion, but the argument has since been widely dismissed.

(see this for details).

Photo of Sen. Bob GrahamBut a more important story – and one which might focus on a more appropriate country than Iraq – is that the co-chair of the Congressional Joint 9/11 Inquiry (Bob Graham) today alleged a cover up by the U.S. government of state assistance by Saudi Arabia to the 9/11 hijackers.

Graham is no flake. He was a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence for 10 years (including 18 months as chairman), member of the CIA External Advisory Board, chairman of the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism, 18-year U.S. senator, two-term governor of Florida, co-chair of the national commission on the BP oil spill, and member of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission.

Graham writes today in the Daily Beast:

The first two hijackers who entered the United States did so through Los Angeles International Airport in mid-January 2000. Within days they were urged by a shadowy man, already described in an FBI report as an “agent” of the Saudi government, to relocate to San Diego with promises of extensive support–promises on which he promptly delivered.?

The agent’s cover was as a ghost employee of a contractor to an agency of the Saudi government–paid a salary and allowances but never expected to show up and work. His real job was to monitor Saudi youth in San Diego getting an education to ensure they were not also plotting the overthrow of the monarchy.?

When the two future hijackers reached San Diego, the agent’s allowances were substantially increased. Upon their arrival the agent secured and paid for an apartment. He arranged flight lessons. He introduced them to a tight circle of Muslims, primarily Saudis, who offered additional support.?

Yet the support being funneled to the two visitors proved insufficient for their decidedly non-Islamic tastes–alcohol, strip clubs, even a desired, though unfulfilled, marriage to a stripper. The agent then tapped another source of funds: a welfare account maintained for the benefit of Saudis in need by the wife of the kingdom’s ambassador to the United States.?

That is some of what we do know, and we got a sufficient glimpse to know what we didn’t know. Still unanswered after nearly 10 years are the questions of the full extent of the Saudi pre-9/11 involvement: Did any or all of the other 17 receive support from Saudi interests? Why would Saudi Arabia do this? Do the Saudis have the will and capability to aid future attacks against the United States? And most important: Why the cover-up by our government?

I have attempted to address these questions in the final report of the congressional commission and the nonfiction book Intelligence Matters , published in 2004. Each was censored by authorities in the intelligence community, particularly on the role of the Saudis in 9/11.

***

Why would the Saudis have given substantial assistance to at least two of the hijackers, and possibly all 19? The answer I have come to is survival –survival of the state and survival of the House of Saud.

This is stunning. Graham is saying – and actually has said for years – that the Saudis were involved in 9/11, but the U.S. government has been censoring this fact.

But it doesn’t end there.

Show Editor’s Note »

This story doesn’t end here, either. Please see the source, Washington’s Blog , for the remainder. And while you’re there, bookmark the site if you’re interested in excellent news analysis and background, which he provides on a regular basis.