The relationship between the high-ranking people in the government in the United States and their counterparts in Saudi Arabia and some other despotic Sunni governments is a story that Americans are never able to completely comprehend. The story is simply never told. We know that there is a relationship between the House of Saud and the House of Bush. We know that the Clintons also have a relationship of some kind. Recently, information surfaced that indicated that Obama may have been sponsored in his adult schooling by money from Saudi Arabia. But all we have are hints and guesses. It can lead almost anywhere.
Fox News reported last night,
“Sources voiced concern about the decision to the Investigative Project on Terrorism, which issued a report Wednesday on the under-the-radar announcement – which was first made by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano after meeting in January with her Saudi counterpart. According to the IPT, this would be the first time the Saudi government has been given such a direct role in fast-tracking people for entry into the United States… Only an exclusive handful of countries enjoy inclusion in the Global Entry program — Canada, Mexico, South Korea and the Netherlands. According to the IPT, some officials are questioning why Saudi Arabia gets to reap the benefits of the program, when key U.S. allies like Germany and France are not enrolled; Israel has reached a deal with the U.S., but that partnership has not yet been implemented.”
Basically, this allows Saudi authorities to investigate people who want to fly to this country and give them “trusted traveler” status after deciding they are low risk. This will allow them to bypass normal customs lines.
By coincidence, about the same time I ran into the story I also saw a list of Ron Paul’s “Questions That Won’t Be Asked About Iraq,” which he asked in Congress on September 10, 2002, trying to get them to not vote for invasion. One of his questions was:
“Is it not true that the intelligence community has been unable to develop a case tying Iraq to global terrorism at all, much less the attacks on the United States last year? Does anyone remember that 15 of the 19 hijackers came from Saudi Arabia and that none came from Iraq?”
Exactly so. There is an Al Qaeda in Iraq now, after we liberated it. But back then there was very little or no connection with global terrorism. Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, was obviously connected but virtually none of it was investigated. On September 13, when the FAA had grounded all air traffic, the White House permitted over a hundred Saudis to fly out of the country and return to Saudi Arabia—including over twenty members of the bin Laden family. When Henry Kissinger was named to head the independent 9-11 commission, he backed out, after being questioned about his Saudi clients, specifically those of the bin Laden family.
What does all this mean? It is hard to know. But inside the power structure of the United States, there seems to be some sort of close relationship that makes no sense to the rest of us. Fox News quotes Janet Napolitano,
“By enhancing collaboration with the government of Saudi Arabia, we reaffirm our commitment to more effectively secure our two countries against evolving threats while facilitating legitimate trade and travel.”
I think there is already too much collaboration.