After Israel, Saudi Arabia has been the Middle East’s second-most significant destabilizer. This is borne out by declassified US Central Intelligence Agency documents that point to the Saudis engaging in various forms of subterfuge throughout the Middle East, since the 1980s.
Chief among the Saudis’ transgressions are their incessant mischief-making against Iran, both regionally and globally. The Saudi-Iranian proxy war in Yemen, a conflict that pits a Yemeni Sunni puppet regime of Saudi Arabia against the Iranian-backed Houthi Zaidi sect of Islam, follows many similar proxy wars in which the Saudis have backed one side with little regard for civilian casualties and economic and political disruption.
Using Saudi Arabia’s long history of destabilization as a backdrop, there should be no surprise that its government is actively lobbying against the disclosure of 28 classified pages from the congressional report titled, «Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001». The 28 pages, which the George W Bush and Barack Obama administration insisted remain classified, may soon be declassified. However, there is no indication that they will be released without draconian redactions of entire paragraphs and pages. The Saudis have threatened to sell of hundreds of billions of dollars they hold in US assets if the Congress approves a bill withdrawing the «sovereign immunity» of the Saudi government, thus permitting law suits by the families of 9/11 victims against the Saudi regime. The Obama administration is against the bill that automatically withdraws the sovereign immunity of any government that is found to be involved with terrorist attacks on Americans in the United States.
The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee that drafted and released the 9/11 joint report, former Senator Bob Graham of Florida, condemned Saudi pressure on the Congress over the release of the 28 pages. Graham said Saudi opposition to the bill was based on their fear that their ties to 9/11 would be revealed during a US civil trial seeking damages from Riyadh. Graham condemned the Saudi threat to sell of US assets as blackmail. The Obama White House told Graham that a decision whether or not to release the 28 pages would be made in 60 days, long after Obama’s meeting with the Saudi royal court in Riyadh.
In an interview with the New York Daily News, Graham said, «I think the action by Saudi Arabia is reprehensible and also very revealing. They are so fearful of what would emerge if there were to be a full trial. That says something about Saudi Arabia’s involvement in 9/11». Graham, a Democrat, also criticized the Obama administration for coddling the Saudi regime. Graham added, «I think it’s even more objectionable that the US government has been supporting Saudi Arabia and erecting roadblocks to the passage of the legislation».
The Saudis stood prepared to use their economic and military leverage over Obama to convince him that releasing the 28 pages would irreparably harm US-Saudi relations. And the Saudi pressure worked. Before leaving Washington for Europe and Saudi Arabia, the White House signaled it would veto the Saudi withdrawal of sovereign immunity legislation if it reached Obama’s desk.
Amazingly, President Obama is making a special visit to Saudi Arabia before a final leg of the trip to Europe that includes stops in England and Germany. It is assumed that Obama will assuage the concerns of the Saudis so they do not follow through on the threat by Saudi foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir to sell off some $750 billion in US Treasury securities and other assets if the kingdom’s sovereign immunity is lifted by the US Congress.
A civil trial against Saudi Arabia would not only expose the Saudis but also a few other Middle Eastern countries reportedly cited in footnoted material found in the 28-pages. For example, banks in Dubai were found to have acted as pass-through entities to fund the 9/11 terrorists while they engaged in pre-9/11 activities throughout the United States, from Florida to California. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Defense Department were investigating a group of Israeli Mossad agents, masquerading as art students, furniture movers, and mall kiosk vendors, before the 9/11 attack. Amazingly, their residences and business addresses were all in the same neighborhoods where the 9/11 airplane hijackers lived, trained as pilots, and drank in local bars after work.
Under its director John Brennan, a confirmed Saudiphile and a supporter of radical Wahhabism, the CIA, which sat on actionable pre-9/11 intelligence, has long played along with Saudi destabilization efforts in the Middle East. During the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, Saudi intelligence chief Prince Turki bin Faisal al Saud, regularly briefed his CIA counterparts on Saudi assistance to Iraq in its bloody border war with Iran. It is clear that the Saudis, like the Americans and Israelis, wanted to maximize casualties on both sides of the conflict. For the Saudis, the primarily Shi’a Iranians are infidels and Iraq, under secular Ba’ath socialist leader Saddam Hussein, was not much better. Muslims killing other Muslims is a hallmark of Saudi and Israeli policies in the Middle East, even though the House of Saud claims to be the guardian of the Holy Islamic shrines of Mecca and Medina and a «protector of the faith».
According to a formerly Secret US embassy Jeddah cable dated August 16, 1984, Turki, on August 12, 1984, told visiting US congressman Stephen Solarz, a strong supporter of Israel, that Turki believed that there would never be a clear victor in the Iran-Iraq war. Saudi Arabia was happy that the morale among Saddam’s forces was high and that Saudi Arabia stood ready to build a pipeline from Iraq through Saudi Arabia and Jordan to alleviate the problem of tankers transporting oil from Iraq through the Persian Gulf being attacked by Iranian forces. Turki did admit that the Iranians and the Ayatollah Khomeini saw the Saudi regime as the «manifestation of evil» in the Islamic world.
In essence, as future events unfolded in Iraq, Syria, North and South Yemen, Lebanon, Bahrain, Libya, Afghanistan, and in the United States on 9/11, the Iranians were correct about the Saudis. Now, the Saudi royals will issue forth demands to Barack Obama, who, as a young boy in Jakarta, prayed to Mecca at the Menteng Elementary School. Obama has shown no desire to curb the Saudis as they continue their destabilization of not only the Middle East, but as their $681 million bribe to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, well beyond the region into Southeast Asia. The Malaysian government has enabled Wahhabi Muslim clerics to force non-Muslims to convert to Islam in Sabah, Sarawak, and Penang states. Saudi influence is also being felt in Indonesia, particularly in Aceh province in Sumatra, where non-Muslims are now subject to draconian Islamic sharia law.
Rather than go hat-in-hand to the Saudis and beg forgiveness for the acts of the US Congress, former Senator Bob Graham, and the families of the victims of 9/11, Obama should be issuing forth ultimatums to the Saudi regime. A regime that continuously parades victims into Riyadh’s infamous «Chop Chop Square» to be beheaded Islamic State-style has no business lecturing the United States on any policies, foreign or domestic.