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John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO A COLUMN BY PATRICK COCKBURN IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

The allegations at the end of the article about Saudis paying Osama bin Laden were part of Anthony Summers’ book on 9/11.

There is little doubt that they are true. He was in his day one of the world’s best investigative reporters.

But as with all affairs in the Middle East, the situation was almost certainly more complicated and obscure than that suggests.

The Saudis did not do 9/11. That is a false and ridiculous charge. There were Saudi citizens involved in events leading up to 9/11, but even their role is not clear to this day. It does seem that the US had some kind of elaborate intelligence operation going at the time involving a lot of men from the Middle East. One minor American diplomat was quoted about the large number of quickie visas he was required to issue to suspicious types from the Middle East not long before 9/11. That is a crucial piece of information, never explained.

It actually is not even clear that Osama bin Laden had a role in 9/11 besides applauding it afterward, something by the way more than a few Israelis did also, knowing full well it was a gift from the gods as far as their position in the region. The US never produced an ounce of hard evidence to implicate him. Indeed, when the US tried to extradite him from Afghanistan, the Taleban government asked for some evidence, the supply of which is a customary part of extradition. Of course, the US just ignored them and invaded, something it likely wanted to do anyway for a variety of reasons.

While the mainline press has always avoided stories around it, it is simply a fact that there were two gangs of Israeli spies working in the US at the time. One posed as a group of art students and moved about quite a bit, including in the area were pilot training was given to some of the Saudis. The others went about in a moving truck for a company which did not exist.

The last group was spotted taking pictures from the top of their truck and generally dancing and high-fiving as the smoke rose from the towers. They were reported to police and arrested, but we know virtually nothing of their mission which clearly included being ready to photograph events of 9/11. How did they know? Who did they tell anything? They were soon expelled and no explanation was ever offered.

All we know for sure is that, clearly, advanced information about 9/11 existed, but it was not acted upon, and the fact has been suppressed ever since.

As I said, the situation was almost certainly more complicated and obscure than we understand. But the series of events in years since is likely related. A host of countries in the Middle East have been violently toppled, and the main beneficiary of all that violence has been Israel because the violence created a cordon sanitaire for Israel.

 

 

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