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President Obama, End the Saudi Mystery Around 9/11

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I think it's time the government came clean with us about the true face of petro-politics. That face is very, very ugly, and extremely dangerous, but it's time we learn the truth. For ten years, the U.S. government has kept secret the Saudi connection to the 9/11 hijackers. During both the Bush administration, and now the Obama administration, the government has kept information about possible Saudi government help to the hijackers redacted, and the FBI has not disclosed the full extent of its investigations of Saudi involvement in the attacks.

This isn't my claim. It's what former Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Bob Graham asserted yesterday on my show. Yesterday, he discussed his outrage over the government's secretive behavior with journalist Anthony Summers, whose book on 9/11 blew the lid off some creepy aspects of the attacks that President Bush, and now President Obama and his terrorism advisor John Brennan are keeping secret.

9/11 was not just a horrific tragedy, it was also the biggest security failure in American history. Somehow, 19 foreign hijackers, 15 of them from Saudi Arabia, the largest oil producer in the world, managed to come to America, live quietly, take flying lessons without bothering to learn how to land, make it through our airport security systems, and fly three jetliners into massively important and symbolic buildings. The only part of our security system that did work, per se, was that of normal citizens turned heroes, those on Flight 93 who took matters into their own hands and prevented the terrorists from using the fourth jet as a missile. We owe it to them, and to ourselves, to be truthful about what happened.

And the truth is that while we know the broad outlines, there are still very mysterious questions. For instance, three of the hijackers seemed to have had help from a Saudi couple that lived in a gated community in Sarasota. On August 31, 2001, the couple abandoned the house, leaving so quickly they abandoned a newly bought PT Cruiser in the driveway. The wife of the couple told neighbors that she and her husband were important people in Saudi Arabia, and had connections to the Saudi royal family. It turns out that records from the gated community showed extensive contact between this couple and three of the hijackers. Despite this startling fact, the FBI never told the 9/11 Commission about this couple. Why not? What was the FBI hiding? Why did it take ten years for this information, known to the US government, to be released to the public?

Another example is in San Diego, where a man Graham called a Saudi agent, named Omar Al-Bayoumi, was stationed. His purpose, apparently, was to monitor Saudi students in America to ensure that they weren't planning the overthrow of the Saudi monarchy, but he soon got a second job. He began offering money, protection, guidance, and flight instruction to two individuals who ended up participating in the 9/11 attacks. Shortly before 9/11, Al-Bayoumi left for Birmingham, England, and then returned to Saudi Arabia. The only reason the 9/11 Commission found out the FBI had looked into this connection is because of an intrepid investigator employed by the Commission.

The FBI didn't give the 9/11 commission information on either of these incidents. Anthony Summers, a journalist and author of The Eleventh Day: The Full Story of 9/11 and Osama Bin Laden, asserts that the Bush administration found our oil connection to Saudi Arabia more compelling than releasing the full truth of what happened. The secrecy continues to this day. Senator Graham asked a very reasonable question about other hijackers. We know, or strongly suspect, that those in Sarasota and San Diego had some support from a shadow network connected to the Saudis. What about those who lived in Phoenix, Arlington, VA, or Patterson, NJ, Delray Beach, FL? What was happening in those places? What did the FBI find?

We have the answers, or at the least, the government does. But the final chapter of the report of the Congressional inquiry into the matter, the part that deals with Saudi involvement in the attacks, is censored. Every word. Graham has asked Barack Obama and counter-terrorism chief John Brennan to release the information from that inquiry to the public. Senator Graham thinks this a travesty, and he thinks we need to reopen the 9/11 investigation. He believes the answers on the Saudi government's role on 9/11 are definitive, and the government has them. The public should get that information, too.

Our government didn't prevent 9/11, so telling the full truth about what happened is literally the least it could do.

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