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Will Shifting Loyalties in the Middle East (and Fracking) Bring Truth about 9/11?

More at The Real News

As the IBT reported yesterday, Congressman Walter Jones recently managed to get intelligence gatekeeper Mike Rogers to share the 28 redacted pages of the Joint Intelligence Committee Inquiry into 9/11 that show Saudi involvement in the plot.

It took Jones six weeks and several letters to the House Intelligence Committee before the classified pages from the 9/11 report were made available to him. Jones was so stunned by what he saw that he approached Rep. Lynch, asking him to look at the 28 pages as well. He knew that Lynch would be astonished by the contents of the documents and perhaps would join in a bipartisan effort to declassify the papers.

He has now joined with Stephen Lynch in an effort to allow all of us to read about Saudi involvement in 9/11.

“I was absolutely shocked by what I read,” Jones told International Business Times. “What was so surprising was that those whom we thought we could trust really disappointed me. I cannot go into it any more than that. I had to sign an oath that what I read had to remain confidential. But the information I read disappointed me greatly.”

The public may soon also get to see these secret documents. Last week, Jones and Lynch introduced a resolution that urges President Obama to declassify the 28 pages, which were originally classified by President George W. Bush.

And it’s not just the original findings about Saudi financial support for the terrorists. As IBT also notes, more recent reporting from Florida reveals possible ties between Saudi princes and the hijackers. Senator Bob Graham continues his efforts to get people to look more closely at the Saudi role (the entire Real News Network interview with him is a worthy review). And there is reason to believe NSA intercepts that were reviewed neither by the JICI nor the 9/11 Commission implicate Saudis in the attack.

All that — as well as details on how the Saudis refused to cut off funding for terrorism until at least 2009 — has been suppressed for 12 years because our relationship with the Saudis was deemed more important than our need to publicly understand the roots of the worst terrorist attack on US soil.

While it’s very early yet — Congress, many members of which who are funded indirectly by Saudis — are doing everything they can to ensure the Saudis remain ascendant in the Middle East. But if an Iran deal succeeds, and if we continue to wean ourselves from Saudi oil by replacing our ill-considered reliance on them with ill-considered efforts that ruin our own groundwater via fracking, then it may become politically possible to admit that individual Saudis had much more responsibility for 9/11 than, say, Saddam.

But there may be good reason to admit to that now. After all, Bandar flunkie (and the aide of a man who formally suppressed this information) just issued this warning.

An atmosphere this poisonous is dangerous, to say the least. The incentive for the Saudis to engage in all kinds of self-help that Washington would find less than beneficial, even destructive, is significant and rising. Driven into a corner, feeling largely abandoned by their traditional superpower patron, no one should doubt that the Saudis will do what they believe is necessary to ensure their survival. It would be a mistake to underestimate their capacity to deliver some very unpleasant surprises: from the groups they feel compelled to support in their escalating proxy war with Iran, to the price of oil, to their sponsorship (and bankrolling) of a much expanded regional role for Russia and China at America’s expense.

While the suppressed evidence shows more evidence that individual princes supported 9/11 than that the Saudi state did, plenty of still powerful princes have proven their ability to foster terrorism when need be. Particularly as Syria remains a rising source of volatility in the Middle East, it would be well for us to understand how deeply support for 9/11 extended 12 years ago.

Transpartisan Arguments the Government Won’t Want to Succeed

Justin Amash, Paul Broun, Tulsi Gabbard, Morgan Griffith, Rush Holt, Walter Jones, Barbara Lee, Zoe Lofgren, Thomas Massie, Tom McClintock, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Beto O’Rourke, Steve Pearce, Matt Salmon, Mark Sanford, Ted Yoho.

Well, that’s got to be a group of people the Powers That Be don’t want to see joining together?

Captain Tulsi Gabbard, Physics PhD Rush Holt, Appalachian Trail Hiker Mark Sanford, and Paleocon Walter Jones. With my libertarian Congressman, Justin Amash apparently leading the bunch.

All on a court motion together, calling for the court to release the FISC opinion explaining why the government’s Section 702 collection was unconstitutional because without it they can’t do their job. Which includes, in part, informing the American people.

As important, whatever information Members of Congress learn about secret FISC opinions and orders, they are unable publicly to discuss or debate them because any disclosure is still subject to secrecy requirements.

[snip]

In light of recent disclosures regarding the existence of a “classified intelligence program,” related to the “business records” section of FISA, the Director of National Intelligence has acknowledged that “it is important for the American people to understand” the limits of the program and the principles behind it.

[snip]

Notwithstanding the compelling public interest in an open debate about the scope and propriety of government surveillance programs authorized under FISA, even the amici — Members of the U.S. Congress — cannot meaningfully participate in that public debate so long as this Court’s relevant decisions and interpretations of law remain secret. They cannot engage in public discussion on the floor of the Senate and the House about the government’s surveillance programs. And they cannot engage in dialogue with their constituents on these pressing matters of public importance.

[snip]

Informed, public debate is central to Congress’s role as a coequal branch of the federal government. The Constitution acknowledges the unique importance of open debate to Congress’s role in the Speech or Debate Clause. Debate in Congress serves no only the institution’s internal goal of creating sound public policy. Courts have recognized a second crucial purpose of informed, public debate in Congress: to inform the American people about the issues affecting their government.

Now, I think they may overestimate the degree to which this opinion pertains to the Section 215 collection (indeed, if it pertains to Internet metadata collection, it pertains to Section 214 of PATRIOT instead). [Update, 9/13/13: I’m mistaken here–it was exclusively Section 215.]

And I think their Speech or Debate argument has confused people about whether these members of Congress have seen what’s in the opinion. Holt used to be on the House Intelligence Committee, but no longer is, so I assume none of the Members on this brief know what the opinion is. In any case, the House has much more restrictive rules about who can access intelligence secrets than the Senate.

But I am rather fond of the argument that Congress can’t do its job with all the secrecy the Executive is operating under.