It is a powerful irony that France has suffered the tragic sting of its close embrace of Saudi Arabia — and with it, al-Qaeda in Syria — just as the Obama Administration has been compelled to release some evidence, secret for 15 years, of Saudi Arabia’s role in the “al-Qaeda” attacks on 9/11/2001.
French Presidential candidate and leader of Solidarité et Progrès, Jacques Cheminade, makes the case in his strong statement, below, on the Nice disaster. France’s government cheered on the al-Nusra Front (al-Qaeda in Syria) against Syrian President Assad. It prioritized relations with Saudi Arabia which it knew to be providing weapons going to al-Nusra and its offshoots in Syria — until al-Nusra’s large and notorious recruiting cell in Nice, triggered a deadly strike at home.
The same tragedy occurred with the Bush Administration’s original suppression of the “28 pages” finally released on Friday, which show years of Saudi assistance to al-Qaeda while the 9/11 attacks were planned and prepared. Had that secret chapter been released with the rest of the Congressional 9/11 report, in late 2002, the United States could not have been taken to war with Iraq “to avenge 9/11.”
Now the “28 Pages” have finally been forced out by public pressure, and their release is getting extraordinarily wide and prominent media coverage around the world. This provides a tremendous opening to change the whole trans-Atlantic policy of fighting terrorism and avoiding war, as Cheminade emphasizes — and to win justice for jihadism’s victims as well.
The Obama White House claimed, as the 28 Pages were released — still with some 150 redactions — that they contained “nothing new.” But in fact, the totality of the picture in that chapter is new; a much fuller intelligence picture, of a much more many-sided Saudi operation to assist al-Qaeda in avoiding U.S. operations against it.
The New York Times, which tried hard to agree with Obama, couldn’t:
This referred to the final six pages of the chapter, which were completely unknown publicly until now. The Times headline was “View of a Saudi Effort To Thwart U.S. Action on al-Qaeda.”
Nothing new? The U.K. Guardian assessed:
A full, new investigation now can help the American public see a new paradigm, one by which the United States and all of Europe, including France, can escape the last 15 years Hell of regime-change wars and terrorism.
This means an investigation which goes well back, to the now-exposed 9/11 facilitator Prince Bandar’s famous “Al Yamamah deal” with Britain, which provided the slush funds for so many destabilizations and terror actions.
That’s what we have now demanded. So have the 9/11 victims’ families, who yesterday blasted Obama for trying to close the door on the truth now that it has begun to open.
Jacques Cheminade, French Presidential candidate and founder of Solidarité et Progrès party issued the following statement on his official candidacy website. The translation was provided by his staff.
France has been hit, once again, by criminal terrorism.
And once again the President of the Republic, the Interior Minister and the Prime Minister expressed their sadness in grave tones and their willingness to fight terrorism, without, however, attacking the real causes of this barbarity.
The main cause is their complicity with a policy of supporting jihadism aimed to bring about the fall of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad government, devised by the United States, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, a policy which is now turning against us.
What is going on in Nice? Since 2014, it was known that the city had become a recruitment center for jihadists going to Syria. A report from the domestic security agency DGSI (General Direction for Domestic Security) even noted that Nice has become a “laboratory city” to identify and deal with “radicalization.”
It was from Nice that Omar Osman, a Franco-Senegalese gangster who converted to Islam, recruited his brigade of 50 to 80 Frenchmen, to fight in Syria within the Al-Nusra Front (al-Qaeda in Syria), about which in 2012 our then Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius said, with inappropriate enthusiasm that it was “doing a good job” fighting Assad.
It is also in Nice that it was revealed that potential jihadists were coming and going, travelling with Saudi Arabian diplomatic suitcases. On April 7th, Mayor Christian Estrosi, told to RTL radio’s Olivier Mazerolle in an interview, that in August 2015 two people listed on the S-file of radicalized individuals requiring the highest-level surveillance, had entered France “in a Saudi Arabian convoy” and “that they benefited from a total exemption of inspection” at Nice’s international airport. Asked by his host whether the airport security police had been forced to let them through, Estrosi responded: “Yes, and I know that some of them are very upset, and they let be it known and had to suffer consequences.”
The government can no longer drag its feet on this question, at the risk of ending up like Tony Blair, today or tomorrow, where they will have to explain their actions before a Chilcot Commission, or worse, before a court of law.
The time has come to rapidly reestablish our relations with Bashar al-Assad to undertake the rebuilding and reconstruction of Syria; to work alongside Russia to fight the terrorist threat together; and to strongly induce the United States to do likewise.
Our police, our military, our reservists, and medical caregivers taught Nice a lesson in solidarity and of civic-mindedness. Let us be worthy of their attachment to the values of the Republic and respect for the victims, in order to stop the sinister train of attacks and to avert the specter of division in our country, a rampant radicalization which would overturn the deep balance of our desire to live together.
Anyone carefully reading the just-declassified 28-page chapter from the original Joint Congressional Inquiry into 9/11, with any degree of intellectual honesty, must conclude that the Saudi Royal Family and the Saudi government were up to their eyeballs in the promotion of al-Qaeda, including the nineteen 9/11 hijackers. Substantial portions of the chapter contained details about the Saudi official collusion that were never made public before.
Considering that the Joint Inquiry report was finished and issued to the public in December 2002, it is clear that the suppression of the crucial chapter, detailing Saudi official support for the 9/11 hijackers, was very much related to the Bush-Cheney Administration’s drive for war against Saddam Hussein, which was just months away. That war drive was built upon lies: That Saddam Hussein had an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction, and that he was an architect of 9/11. Had the chapter been made available in late 2002, Bush and Cheney and Tony Blair would have had a near-impossible task to sell the Iraq war, launched in March 2003.
The 28-page chapter detailed many channels of support, running from the Saudi regime to al-Qaeda operatives; made clear that the CIA and FBI had failed to properly assess the danger that al-Qaeda represented prior to 9/11, and cited links between Saudi officials and 9/11 hijackers in other parts of the United States, like Portland, Oregon, that were not previously made public.
The reaction of the 9/11 families and survivors to the release was to further condemn President Obama and his top intelligence officials, James Clapper, the DNI, and John Brennan, the CIA Director, for their efforts to minimize the contents of the chapter.
Kristen Breitweiser penned an article, published Saturday in Huffington Post, that was co-signed by other 9/11 survivors and family members, blasting Obama, Clapper and Brennan. She wrote, in part:
New political possibilities lie in the fact that three related exposures of British-Saudi policies have been released at once: The Chilcot Report in the U.K.; the U.S. House Financial Services Committee report on HSBC’s crimes; and now the “28 Pages,” the last chapter of the 2002 Joint Congressional Inquiry on the Saudis and the 9/11 attacks.
If a full new investigation of Saudi and British policies toward Islamic extremism were to be launched as soon as Congress returns, the effect on Americans’ understanding about those powers could rival the effect of the 1933 Pecora Commission hearings on the public view of Wall Street “banksters.”
The House HSBC report has just begun to show how the British Treasury protected the London bank HSBC when it had been proven to be money-laundering for drug mafias and terror groups in collaboration with a Saudi bank. The Chilcot Report, whose release is politically destroying Tony Blair, and opened the history of how Blair took the Bush White House to war with Iraq which has unleashed disasters throughout the Mideast.
The “28 Pages” of the Joint Congressional 9/11 Inquiry, now declassified and released, show the Saudis protecting al-Qaeda from the United States in ways not revealed before. The final six pages of the 28 are largely previously unknown; they show that a New York FBI investigator called Saudi Arabia “useless and obstructionist,” and it regularly lied to U.S. investigators about al-Qaeda terrorists. It outright refused assistance to the United States in the Summer of 2001, when U.S. officials suspected that al-Qaeda might be planning “an operation” in the United States. “There is a May 1996 memo from the Counterterrorist Center [redaction] stating that the Saudis stopped providing background information or other assistance on bin Laden, because bin Laden had too much information about official Saudi dealings with Islamic extremists in the 1980s.”
That final section also includes the finding that “prior to September 11, the FBI apparently did not focus investigative resources on [redacted] Saudi nationals in the United States due to Saudi Arabia’s status as an American ‘ally’.” One “high-level [redacted] officer” is quoted, when asked how 9/11 might have been prevented, “with Saudi cooperation.”
There is also “previously unknown information about the actions of a powerful figure in the Saudi royal family,” to quote the Guardian. According to the report, at least $15,000 went directly from Prince Bandar’s bank account in Washington to the family of a Saudi expatriate suspected of being a Saudi government spy, who organized a support network in California for two of the 9/11 hijackers while they were living in San Diego in the year before the attacks.
The report also reveals that a phone log maintained by Abu Zubaydah, a senior al-Qaeda operative captured in 2002 in Pakistan, included the unlisted phone number for a Colorado company that managed affairs at Prince Bandar’s home in the mountain resort city of Aspen, as well as the phone number for a bodyguard who worked under Bandar at the Saudi embassy.
Back behind these exposures lies the 1982 British-Saudi “Al-Yamamah” deal, providing Prince Bandar and other top Saudis essentially unlimited “slush funds” for covert destabilizations of nations, including by terrorism.