Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity
Saudi Arabia, owned by the Saud family, are telling the U.S. Government, they’ll wreck the U.S. economy, if a bill in the U.S. Congress that would remove the unique and exclusive immunity the royal owners of that country enjoy in the United States, against their being prosecuted for their having financed the 9/11 attacks, passes in Congress, and becomes U.S. law.
As has been well documented even in sworn U.S. court testimony, and as even the pro-Saudi former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton acknowledged privately, “Donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.” She didn’t name any of those “donors” names, but the former bagman for Osama bin Laden, who had personally collected all of the million-dollar+ donations (all in cash) to Al-Qaeda, did, and he named all of the senior Saud princes and their major business-associates; and, he said, “without the money of the — of the Saudi you will have nothing.” So, both before 9/11, and (according to Hillary Clinton) since, those were the people who were paying virtually all of the salaries of the 19 hijackers — even of the four who weren’t Saudi citizens. Here’s that part of the bagman’s testimony about how crucial those donations were:
Q: To clarify, you’re saying that the al-Qaeda members received salaries?
A: They do, absolutely.
So: being a jihadist isn’t merely a calling; it’s also a job, as is the case for the average mercenary (for whom it doesn’t also have to be a calling). The payoff for that job, during the jihadist’s life, is the pay. The bagman explained that the Saud family’s royals pay well for this service to their fundamentalist-Sunni faith. Another lifetime-payoff to the jihadists is that, in their fundamentalist-Sunni culture, the killing of ‘infidels’ is a holy duty, and they die as martyrs. Thus, the jihadist’s payoff in the (mythological) afterlife is plenty of virgins to deflower etc. But, the payers (the people who organize it, and who make it all possible) are the Saud family princes, and their business associates — and, in the case of the other jihadist organizations, is also those other Arabic royal families (the owners of Qatar, UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Oman). However, 9/11 was virtually entirely a Saudi affair, according to Al-Qaeda’s bagman (who ought to know).
The report of the threat by the Saud family comes in veiled form in an April 15th news-story in The New York Times, headlined, “Saudi Arabia Warns of Economic Fallout if Congress Passes 9/11 Bill.” It says that the Saud family’s Foreign Minister is “telling [U.S.] lawmakers that Saudi Arabia would be forced to sell up to $750 billion in [U.S.] treasury securities and other assets in the United States before they could be in danger of being frozen by American courts.” The NYT says that this threat is nothing to take seriously, “But the threat is another sign of the escalating tensions between Saudi Arabia and the United States.” While the carrying-out of this threat would be extremely damaging to the Saud family, the NYT ignores the size of the threat to the Sauds if their 9/11 immunity were removed — which could be far bigger. Consequently, this matter is actually quite a bit more than just “another sign of the escalating tensions between Saudi Arabia and the United States.”
Russian Television is more direct here: “Saudi Arabia appears to be blackmailing the US, saying it would sell off American assets worth a 12-digit figure sum in dollars if Congress passes a bill allowing the Saudi Government to be held responsible for the 9/11 terrorist attacks.” (The Saudi Government is owned by the Saud family; so, even that statement is actually a veiled way of referring to the possibility that members of the royal Saud family — the individuals name by the bagman — could be held responsible for 9/11.)
Even immediately in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, there had been some mentions in the U.S. press of the U.S. Government making special allowances for Saud Prince Bandar al-Saud, a close friend of the Bush family (and he was also one of the Saudi Princes mentioned specifically by the bagman), to fly out of the country to avoid being sought by prosecutors. Furthermore, Newsweek’s investigative journalist, Michael Isikoff, headlined on 12 January 2001, “The Saudi Money Trail”, and he reported statements from royal Sauds, that they didn’t really mean for their donations to be going to such a thing as this. (Perhaps those individuals didn’t, but Bandar almost certainly did, because he was the Saud Ambassador to the U.S. at the time of 9/11.) However, now that the U.S. Government is relying heavily upon Saudi money to pay for the U.S. weapons and to help to organize the operation to overthrow Bashar al-Assad in Syria and to replace him with a fundamentalist-Sunni leader, there is renewed political pressure in the United States (from the victim-families, if no one else), for the arch-criminals behind the 9/11 attacks to be brought to American justice. After fifteen years, this process might finally start. That would be a drastic change.
Clearly, the threat from the Sauds is real, and the royal response to this bill in the U.S. Congress reflects a very great fear the owners of Saudi Arabia have, regarding the possible removal of their U.S. immunity, after 15 years.
Prosecution of those people will become gradually impossible as they die off. But a lot more time will be needed in order for all of the major funders of that attack to die natural deaths and thus become immune for a natural reason — the immunity of the grave. The U.S. Government has protected them for 15 years; but, perhaps, not forever.
To say that this threat from the Sauds is just “another sign of the escalating tensions between Saudi Arabia and the United States” seems like saying that a neighbor’s threat to bomb your house would constitute just “another sign of escalating tensions” between you and your neighbor. The passing-into-law of this bill in Congress would actually constitute a change from the U.S. Government being a friend and partner of the Sauds, to becoming their enemy.
Obviously, there is little likelihood of that happening; and, on April 20th and 21st, U.S. President Barack Obama is scheduled to meet with Saudi King Salman al-Saud. Without a doubt, this topic will be on the agenda, if it won’t constitute the agenda (which is allegedly to improve U.S. relations “with Arab leaders of Persian Gulf nations” — not specifically with Saudi King Salman and with his son Prince Salman).
If President Obama represents the American public, then the Sauds will have real reason to fear: the U.S. President will not seek to block passage of that bill in Congress. However, if the U.S. President represents instead the Saud family, then a deal will be reached. Whether or not the U.S. Congress will go along with it, might be another matter, but it would be highly likely, considering that the present situation has already been going on for fifteen years, and that the high-priority U.S. Government foreign-policy objective, of overthrowing Bashar al-Assad, is also at stake here, and is also strongly shared not only by the Sauds but by the members of the U.S. Congress. Furthermore, the impunity of the Saud family is taken simply as a given in Washington. And, the U.S. Government’s siding with the Sauds in their war against Shia Muslims (not only against one Shiite: Assad) goes back at least as far as 1979. (Indeed, the CIA drew up the plan in 1957 to overthrow Syria’s Ba’athist Government, but it stood unused until President Obama came into office.)
Furthermore, the U.S. Government is far more aggressive to overthrow Russia-friendly national leaders, such as Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi, Bashar al-Assad, and Viktor Yanukovych, than it is to stop the spread of fundamentalist Sunni groups, such as Al-Qaeda, ISIS, etc.; and, a strong voice for U.S. foreign policy, the Polish Government, even said, on April 15th, that as AFP headlined that day, “Russia ‘more dangerous than Islamic State’, warns Poland foreign minister”; and Russia itself is, along with Shiite Iran, the top competitor against the fundamentalist Sunni Arab royal families in global oil-and-gas export markets. So, clearly, the U.S. Government is tightly bound to the Saud family. Terrorism in Europe and America is only a secondary foreign-policy concern to America’s leaders; and the Saud family are crucial allies with the U.S. Government in regards to what are, jointly, the top concerns of both Governments.
Consequently, there is widespread expectation that some sort of deal will be reached between U.S. President Barack Obama and the Saudi leaders, King and Prince Salman, and that the Republican-led Congress will rubber-stamp it, rather than pass the proposed bill to strip the Saud family’s immunity.