Saturday, September 11, 2004

Bush's Saudi coddling blocked loose nuke probe

Just as Bush went after Saddam on a drip of evidence of supporting of Al Qaeda while blocking the investigation of a fire hose of Saudi support, he did the same thing with nuclear proliferation. We had to invade Iraq because Saddam MIGHT make nukes that he MIGHT give or sell to terrorists or rogue nations. By contrast, Pakistan was already doing both. And Bush's protection of the Saudis blocked the investigation of their funding of the Pakistani nuke program, as BBC reporter Greg Palast points out. Palast deserves a place in American history for his reporting on the disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of black voters in Florida that our media ignored. He performs an equally important service for us here.

At some point, it has to become clear that these guys have no interest in fighting terrorism, but rather in keeping it an open wound that they can use to justify their hostile takeovers (wars) of oil producing countries.




Thursday, September 9, 2004
by Greg Palast

On November 9, 2001, when you could still choke on the dust in the air near Ground Zero, BBC Television received a call in London from a top-level US intelligence agent. He was not happy. Shortly after George W. Bush took office, he told us reluctantly, the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the FBI, "were told to back off the Saudis."

We knew that. In the newsroom, we had a document already in hand, marked, "SECRET" across the top and "199-I" - meaning this was a national security matter.

The secret memo released agents to hunt down two member of the bin Laden family operating a "suspected terrorist organization" in the USA. It was dated September 13, 2001 -- two days too late for too many. What the memo indicates, corroborated by other sources, was that the agents had long wanted to question these characters ... but could not until after the attack. By that time, these bin Laden birds had flown their American nest.

Back to the high-level agent. I pressed him to tell me exactly which investigations were spiked. None of this interview dance was easy, requiring switching to untraceable phones. Ultimately, the insider said, "Khan Labs." At the time, our intelligence agencies were on the trail of Pakistan's Dr. Strangelove, A.Q. Khan, who built Pakistan's bomb and was selling its secrets to the Libyans. But once Bush and Condoleeza Rice's team took over, the source told us, agents were forced to let a hot trail go cold. Specifically, there were limits on tracing the Saudi money behind this "Islamic bomb."