June 17, 2015

The United States Should Apologize

The United States Should Apologize
Abdullah Al Alami*

During my recent trip to Washington, D.C., and while touring The Congress Building, the tour guide stopped at the basement pointing to a room he referred to as “The Intelligence Committee File Room”. This is where the House of Representatives maintain its "highly confidential" documents. We were obviously told we could not enter the room.
Among these documents, several leaflets raised the question of the alleged role of the Government of Saudi Arabia in the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center. Those leaflets were part of the report presented by the Intelligence Committee in the Senate, led by Bob Graham. Last week, the Inspector General of the CIA, confirmed that there is no evidence that the Saudi government has supported, or knew about the attacks on New York and Washington on September 11, 2001.
It is time for the high officials in the United States government, who accused the Saudi government of planning, supporting, and funding the terrible terrorist attacks on September 11, to apologize to the Saudi Government and Saudi people. Many were involved, but I will summarize them in two major cases.
The first case is the former Senator Bob Graham, who has been screaming day-and-night claiming that there were “secret documents” proving the role of Saudi government financial support to the attackers on the World Trade Center. Graham said on several occasions that he was sure about "the direct participation of the Saudi government in financing the events of 11 September”, and that many of the 19 hijackers received financial support from the Saudi government." At the press conference held by Graham in January 2002 in the Senate with two other representatives; Republican Walter Jones and Democrat Stephen Lynch, the three gentlemen requested that the US government declassify these so-called “secret document” of the September 11 attacks.
This is not everything, Graham claimed the existence of "close ties" between the Bush family and the Saudis, prompting the Bush family to "fear for their reputation" as he put it. Graham may not have seen late King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, when he left Crawford after a serious meeting with US President Bush in April 2006, and how King Abdullah looked upset after Bush had not been convinced of the importance of the Palestinian cause to Saudi Arabia.
The 500-page CIA report on the “9/11 Special Investigation", of which 30 pages were allocated to “Saudi Arabia”, prove beyond doubt that there is “no information confirming that Saudi government had supported the terrorists responsible for the September 11 attacks”.
The second genius who devoted all his life, his money and efforts to attack Saudi Arabia, is the late Republican Congressman in the US Senate from Pennsylvania, Arlen Specter. Specter has failed in three attempts in 2003, 2005 and in 2007 to pass a bill to hold Saudi Arabia accountable for the 9/11 attacks. Never-the-less, Specter managed to include in his proposal holding Saudi Arabia accountable for its “hostility” towards Israel. This was obviously a cheap shot to rally support from Congress, not surprisingly used even today.
The Saudi-US relations have passed through bad times in more than one occasion. The Saudi government has repeatedly denied any relationship with the terrorists of the Sept 11 attacks. Actually, the Saudi government called for the disclosure of these “secret documents” that a few US politicians were pointing at.

Now that these documents were declassified, it was proven without doubt that there was no relationship between the Saudi government and the perpetrators of the September 11 attacks. Even "CNN", confirmed that the “secret documents” do not support the allegations that Saudi Arabia supported the terrorists. On the other hand, the documents revealed serious shortcomings in the CIA's performance in reducing the threat of international terrorism.

*Saudi writer
Twitter @AbdullaAlami

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