August 05, 2003

TREASURY'S ABOUT-FACE ON SAUDI MONEY: I'd really like to know what's going on here:

The Treasury Department said yesterday that it would decline to provide the Senate with a list of Saudi individuals and organizations the federal government has investigated for possibly financing Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups.

The action was the second in two weeks to set the White House and Congress at odds about the Saudis and federal intelligence-gathering related to the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

Moreover, the move contradicted an assertion made on Thursday by a senior Treasury official, Richard Newcomb, who told the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee in a hearing on Saudi sponsorship of terrorism that the list was not classified and that his agency would turn it over to the Senate within 24 hours.

I still don't understand why the Democrats aren't making a bigger issue of this stuff.

UPDATE: Reader Harry Helms emails:

Answer: because if the Saudi government provided financial, organization, and/or logistical support for the September 11 attacks, that constitutes an act of war against the United States by a foreign nation and the American people will demand military action against Saudi Arabia.

And most elected Democrats are so far into the "no war is ever justified" mindset they can't risk making an issue of the increasingly clear Saudi connection to 9/11; they correctly sense most Americans wouldn't be satisfied with a formal condemnation of Saudi Arabia by the United Nations.

I feel the Bush administration is well aware of the Saudi links to 9/11, and is merely waiting until Iraqi oil is at full production and suitable replacement custodians for Mecca and Medina are aboard (Jordan's Hashemites?) until moving against the House of Saud. 2005 might be a very interesting year for the Saud royal family.

I hope he's right about the Administration, and I'd be disappointed to think that he's right about the Democrats. As for the Hashemite idea, well, where have we heard that before?

UPDATE: Chuck Schumer, who as I mentioned earlier might be a bellwether on this issue, has now released a letter cosigned Sam Brownback and by a bunch of Democratic Senators, calling for release of the censored pages about Saudi involvement in 9/11. (Via Kleiman.)