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9.11 investigation

More 9/11 cover-ups

$$$ --> bank account in the name of the wife of the Saudi ambassador to Washington
$$$ --> 2 Saudi Students
$$$ --> 2 9/11 Hijackers
Just another coincidence that this is the ambassador to Washington and that the Bush adminstration has attempted to keep this secret?
When will the Bush administration learn, if you hve nothing to hide, don't act like you do.
Greed and torture at the House of Saud

Julian Borger in Washington
Sunday November 24, 2002
The Observer

The FBI is investigating a possible financial link between the Saudi royal family and the 11 September hijackers, in an inquiry that the Bush administration has attempted to keep secret for political reasons, it was reported yesterday.

The investigation was triggered by the discovery of money transfers from a US account under the name of Princess Haifa al-Faisal, wife of the Saudi ambassador to Washington, to two Saudi students in California who in turn gave financial assistance to two of the hijackers soon after they arrived in the US.

The inquiry has been under way for some time and congressional investigators have been putting pressure on the White House to release details of its findings.

Some in Congress believe the investigation was being kept secret so as not to alienate the Saudis at a time when Washington needs its help for a conflict with Iraq.

According to Newsweek, monthly payments of $3,500 were sent from Princess Haifa's account in Washington to the family of Omar al-Bayoumi, a student in San Diego, starting in early 2000. Earlier al-Bayoumi had befriended Khalid Almidhar and Nawaf Alhazmi, who had just arrived from an al-Qaeda meeting in Malaysia and who would later crash a hijacked airliner into the Pentagon.

Al-Bayoumi is reported to have thrown a welcome party, guaranteed the lease on a flat next door to his own and paid their first two months' rent.

Al-Bayoumi left the US in July 2001 and went to Britain to study business at Aston University in Birmingham. British police picked him up for questioning, but he denied any prior knowledge of the attack and was released a week later. He is believed to be back in Saudi Arabia. After Al-Bayoumi left the US, the monthly payments went to another student, Osama Basnan, who had also made friends with the two future hijackers and who later celebrated the 11 September attacks at a party.

A spokeswoman for the princess said she had not been questioned about the transfers and would 'co-operate fully'. There is no evidence she knew the students' intentions.

homepage: homepage: http://www.observer.co.uk/waronterrorism/story/0,1373,846556,00.html

Boston Herald corroborates 26.Nov.2002 22:09

see above

U.S. ties to Saudi elite may be hurting war on terrorism
by Jonathan Wells, Jack Meyers and Maggie Mulvihill
 http://www.bostonherald.com/news/americas_new_war/saud12102001.htm

Monday, December 10, 2001

First of two parts.

A steady stream of billion-dollar oil and arms deals between American corporate leaders and the elite of Saudi Arabia may be hindering efforts by the West to defeat international Islamic terrorism.

U.S. business and political leaders are so wedded to preserving the gilded American-Saudi marriage that officials in Washington D.C. continue to give the oil-rich Gulf monarchy a wide berth, despite mounting evidence of support in Saudi Arabia for Osama bin Laden's terrorist network, some experts say.

Since the Sept. 11 attacks, Saudi Arabia has been a reluctant ally, refusing to let the U.S. use Saudi bases as staging areas for military operations in Afghanistan.

The Saudis have also balked at freezing the assets of organizations linked to bin Laden and international terrorism, some of which are Saudi-run. Just last week, Bush administration officials embarked on their second trip this month to the kingdom to try to convince the Saudi government to cooperate.

``If there weren't all these other arrangements - arms deals and oil deals and consultancies - I don't think the U.S. would stand for this lack of cooperation,'' said William Hartung, a foreign policy and arms industry expert at the World Policy Institute. ``Because of those relationships, they have to tread lightly.''

The Saudi government's refusal to publicly join the war against terrorism is rooted in its own fragile internal politics, experts say. Inside the gulf monarchy there is a deepening schism between the authoritarian ruling elite and a politically powerless populace burdened by a rapidly declining standard of living. The Saudi royal family, headed by the ailing King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, is seen by many in the country as bloated and corrupt.

On top of that, the Saudi people, most of whom adhere to a particularly harsh brand of conservative Islam called Wahabbism, have become increasingly anti-American, alienated by their leaders' extensive dealings with the non-Islamic West. This anger was revealed starkly in the days following Sept. 11, when it was learned that 15 of the 19 suicide hijackers were Saudis.

Nevertheless, the Saudi elite and corporate America continue to do big business and reap the rich rewards of their close and longstanding associations.

Jean Charles Brisard, a French security expert and co-author of the recently released book, ``Bin Laden: The Forbidden Truth,'' said the American addiction to Saudi oil and arms money threatens to undermine national security in the West.

``We have to have a critical look at 50 years of foreign policy,'' Brisard said. ``We've had to close our eyes to the support (from Saudi Arabia) of the radical fundamentalists.''

Brisard and other analysts say the extensive U.S.-Saudi collaboration is increasingly risky because to Bin Laden, a Saudi exile, and other Islamic terrorists, it is an unforgivable betrayal of Islam.

Bin Laden has already declared his aim of overthrowing the Saudi royal family and expelling all Americans and other Westerners from the kingdom's soil.

A Herald examination of corporate records, intelligence reports and published accounts - as well as interviews with terrorism and foreign policy experts - reveals an extraordinary array of U.S.-Saudi business ventures which, taken together, are worth tens of billions of dollars.

They range from deals to pipe oil and natural gas out of former Soviet republics and develop Saudi Arabia's own vast natural gas reserves, to lucrative but rarely talked about arrangements pairing private U.S. military contractors with virtually every branch of the Saudi armed forces.

In the oil industry, U.S.-Saudi ventures include:


Two consortiums involving U.S. oil giant Unocal and a pair of private Saudi oil firms - Delta Oil and Nimir Petroleum - which won rights in the mid-1990s to develop Azerbaijan's vast oil reserves. Both are multi-billion-dollar deals.

Another American-Saudi venture between U.S.-based Amerada Hess and Delta Oil - called Delta-Hess - has won the rights to drill in two other oil fields in Azerbaijan. Delta-Hess is also part of a group in line to build a $2.4 billion oil pipeline from Azerbaijan to Turkey.

A 1998 joint venture between Texaco and Nimir Petroleum has already begun drilling in a 1.5 billion barrel oil field in Kazakhstan.

For the last 13 years, half of Texaco's refining and marketing operations in the U.S. have been owned by Saudi Aramco, the government-owned company that controls all of Saudi Arabia's vasts oil reserves.

This year, some of the biggest U.S. oil firms were tapped by the Saudi government to undertake a $25 billion project to extract and sell 220 trillion cubic feet of the kingdom's natural gas.
----------------------------------------------------------

One of the most revealing examples of how U.S.-Saudi business interests seep into foreign diplomacy is a major pipeline deal in the 1990s that almost resulted in the U.S. recognizing the Taliban regime as the legitimate government in Afghanistan.

In 1995, U.S. oil giant Unocal formed a partnership with the Saudi-owned Delta Oil and mounted a high-stakes international lobbying campaign to build oil and natural gas pipelines from oil fields in Turkmenistan, through Afghanistan and Pakistan, and out to the Arabian Sea.

The Unocal-Delta consortium, which included firms from Indonesia, Japan, Korea and Pakistan, reportedly reached a tentative agreement in January 1998 with the Taliban government under which the oil companies would pay the radical Islamic regime for the right to run oil and gas through their country.

The consortium, called CentGas, was prepared to pay the Taliban more than $100 million a year.

Unocal spokesman Barry Lane downplayed the company's dealings with the Taliban, insisting that the oil firm also discussed the pipeline deal with opposition factions in Afghanistan.

``No agreements were reached with anybody, outside of Turkmenistan and Pakistan,'' Lane said. ``This was not an Afghanistan project. Afghanistan was not the focus.''

In 1996, the Islamic extremist Taliban faction effectively gained control of Afghanistan. From 1996 to 1998, as Unocal and Delta executives were talking to the Taliban, the fundamentalist regime was allowing bin Laden and his al-Qaeda organizations set down roots in their country.

But before the pipeline deal could go through, Unocal needed the U.S. to recognize the Taliban as the legitimate government in Afghanistan. To that end, company representatives arranged high-level meetings between the Taliban and State Department officials in Washington, D.C.

On at least one occasion, in December 1997, Unocal officials played host to high-ranking Taliban leaders in Texas. The American oil executives reportedly wined and dined them and took them on a shopping spree.

One of the Unocal representatives dining with the Taliban was Zalmay M. Khalilzad. Khalilzad, a former assistant undersecretary of defense in the first Bush administration, was working for Cambridge Energy Research Associates on Unocal's behalf and advocating that the Clinton administration ``engage'' with the Taliban.

Now Khalilzad is on President Bush's National Security Council and is a key adviser in the administration's quest to destroy the Taliban.

Despite the four-year effort by the Unocal-Delta consortium, which cost the U.S. firm $15 million, the pipeline project collapsed in late 1998 after terrorists allegedly under the direction of bin Laden bombed two U.S. embassies in Africa. Then-president Clinton responded by firing cruise missiles at a suspected bin Laden bunker in Afghanistan.

``There was this idea that as bad as (the Taliban) were on human rights, they were going to create a level of stability that would allow things to take place, such as this pipeline deal,'' said Hartung.

----------------------------------------------------------

The financial bond welding the U.S. and Saudi governments begins with oil but it doesn't end there.

Between 1990 and 1999, the Saudi government paid U.S. arms makers $30 billion for a wide array of weaponry - including F-15 fighter aircraft, M-1A2 Abrams tanks, and Apache attack helicopters - as well as for the training necessary to operate and maintain the U.S.-made arsenal, according to Department of Defense statistics. Those arms and technology deals are, by law, publicly disclosed.

What is less known, however, is that for the last 25 years Saudi Arabia's rulers have also employed a handful of politically connected American companies to buttress the monarchy's military and internal security forces.

These secretive U.S. firms, sometimes referred to as ``spook outfits,'' earned billions of dollars over the last decade alone, equipping, training and managing virtually all branches of the Saudi Arabian armed forces.

As a result of these contracts, tens of thousands of American workers and their families have lived and still live on Saudi soil. This year, private American military companies placed an estimated 35,000 to 40,000 workers inside the kingdom, according to the Congressional Research Service, a non-partisan adjunct to the Library of Congress.

For many Saudi Islamic fundamentalists who oppose the royal family's longstanding alliance with the west, that heavy U.S. presence is deeply offensive.

Because of this, U.S. officials are reluctant to talk about private American military companies operating inside Saudi Arabia.

David DesRoches, a spokesman for the Defense Department, said access to information about U.S. activities inside Saudi Arabia is limited because public disclosures could compromise Saudi security. He also said Saudi officials raise objections when the U.S. releases this sort of data. ``The Saudis are touchy,'' DesRoches said.

The work being done by private U.S. military contractors inside Saudi Arabia is sanctioned by the Pentagon and much of it is carried out by retired U.S. military personnel.

Those companies are working or have recently worked with the Saudi Arabian air force, marines, navy, and national guard. One U.S. firm, O'Gara Protective Services, has been hired directly to guard members of the royal family.

The following U.S. firms are among those bolstering Saudi Arabia's armed services:


Vinnell Corp., a subsidiary of TRW, is currently in its 26th year of helping ``modernize'' the Saudi Arabian National Guard. The most recent five-year contract, awarded in 1998, was estimated at $831 million and involved 280 U.S. government personnel and 1,400 Vinnell representatives.
Vinnell has a long history of working side-by-side with U.S. intelligence agents and armed forces personnel. In the 1960s and 1970s, Vinnell earned hundreds of millions of dollars in Vietnam, first building U.S. bases and later blowing them up following the U.S. withdrawal.

The firm also engaged in some secret programs in Vietnam. In a March 1975 Village Voice interview, a Pentagon official called Vinnell ``our own little mercenary army.''


Vinnell's parent company, BDM, also has had numerous contracts in Saudi Arabia.
From 1995 to 1997, a BDM subsidiary, BDM Federal, had a $50 million contract ``developing, implementing and maintaining logistics, supply, computer, reconnaissance, intelligence and engineering plans and programs'' for the Saudi air force. The pact put 400 BDM employees in Saudi Arabia.

In 1996 and 2000, BDM Federal won two contracts: $44.4 million deal to build housing at the Khamis Mushayt military base in Saudi Arabia and a $65 million contract to provide 845 personnel for maintenance of Saudi Arabia's fleet of U.S.-made F-15 fighter jets.

Until 1998 when BDM was purchased by defense giant TRW, its largest stockholder was the Carlyle Group, an influential Washington, D.C., investment firm loaded with former high-ranking national security officials.


Science Applications International Corp., based in San Diego, had two recent contracts totaling $166 million to upgrade the Royal Saudi Naval Forces' communications and command systems.

Booz, Allen & Hamilton, based in McLean, Virginia, had a five-year contract, which apparently ended in January 2000, working for the Saudi Naval Forces. At the time it was awarded, the Pentagon estimated the contract at $21.8 million. Officials would not disclose any details about the contract's final value or current status.

Tomorrow: High-ranking U.S. policy makers who have made a bundle in deals with the Saudis.
Bush Advisers Cash In On Saudi Gravy Train
 http://www2.bostonherald.com/news/americas_new_war/saud12112001.htm


Timing of these Reports is Highly Suspicious 28.Nov.2002 02:45

CNN defector

I think you should be very skeptical of the timing of this sudden flurry of news reports on the Saudi role in 9-11. As the following analysis by Mike Ruppert suggests, most of these connections were known *immediately* after 9-11 but were deliberately ignored by the same media and US Government that is suddenly "discovering" these facts now.

Ruppert suggests that there has been in essence a thinly disguised Media campaign against Saudi Arabia since the summer for the purpose of preparing public opinion to justify a possible American invasion and seizure of both Saudi oil and gold--immediately after it tries to invade Iraq.

This would be a kind of One-Two punch to colonize Middle Eastern oil, under the guise of a fighting a phony War on Terrorism. Jack Straw has also suggested as much in his essay "MARCHING TO A DIFFERENT WAR DRUM — YOU CALL THIS AN ANTI-WAR MOVEMENT?" which is found at:
 http://www.questionsquestions.net/docs0209/1115_straw.html

The Saudi connections to 9-11 may be true but what the media leaves out are:

1). The fact that these connections also lead back to the American military and government at the highest level.

 http://www.madcowprod.com/index36.html
 http://globalresearch.ca/articles/RIP207A.html

2). The timing and release of this information is not about finding the truth of 9-11 but to serve a covert political agenda--namely the destabilization and invasion of Saudi Arabia.

A Rule of Thumb: Whenever the American (and capitalist) media are hyping or dwelling on a particular issue with an interest or intensity that seems out of the ordinary, the first question to ask is why? Why are they promoting this issue? What political agendas are this frenzied media campaign designed to serve?

Finally, a point of correction on Ruppert's essay. He repeats the line that "15 out of the 19 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia." However, this is not true. Many of the supposed 9-11 hijackers have turned up alive no less!

 http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/middle_east/1559151.stm

***************************************

Saudi Arabia: The Sarajevo of the 21st Century
Is Iraq a Diversion from the Real Invasion or Will Bush Try to Occupy Both Countries at Once?

by Michael C. Ruppert

From the Wliderness, 21 August/ août 2002.
Centre for Research on Globalisation (CRG), Centre de recherche sur la mondialisation (CRM), globalresearch.ca , 22 August/ août 2002

The global horrors of the First World War - the war to end all wars - began with the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand in Sarajevo in 1914. The apocalyptic war of the 21st century may have begun with a $1 trillion lawsuit filed in the United States by 9-11 victim families against Saudi Arabian banks and members of the Saudi royal family. In what may be the opening salvos of a financial and energy apocalypse, the Financial Times reported yesterday that wealthy Saudi investors had begun a run on their U.S. banking deposits that may have taken as much as $200 billion out of U.S. banks. These massive withdrawals - out of an estimated $750 billion in Saudi U.S. investments - occurred within days of the August 15 filing of the suit. Ironically, the principal attorneys in the suit are all political insiders and, in one case, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. You might think they would have thought of this beforehand.

There are two basic questions to ask about Saudi Arabia. Why was Saudi Arabia not a focus of U.S. action and serious media attention in the immediate aftermath of Sept. 11 even though there were so many obvious connections? And why now is Saudi Arabia so prominently a focus of what is apparently government-approved U.S. animosity? One thing is obvious. On the eve of a U.S. invasion of Iraq the deployment of U.S. military personnel in the region is also a convenient placement of resources for what may be a one-two punch to take over a tottering kingdom that owns 25 percent of all the oil on the planet at the same time that Saddam Hussein is removed from power in a country that controls another 11 percent. Together, the two countries -- which have not yet peaked in production capacity -- and which are the only two nations capable of an immediate increase in output possess 36 percent of the world's known oil.

The Saudi situation is complicated by the fact that much of Saudi Arabia's wealth is invested in U.S. financial markets and its sudden loss could devastate the U.S. economy. But Bush brinksmanship -- an understatement -- is making possible a scenario where Saudis long-loyal to the U.S. markets cut off their own arm in a coyote-like effort to free themselves from a trap that threatens the stability both of their kingdom and the global economy.

Osama Bin Laden is a Saudi. Fifteen of the 9-11 hijackers were Saudi. There has been an obvious and clear financial trail showing Saudi support for the Al Qaeda. In fact, as has recently been noted by French author and former intelligence officer Jean Charles Brisard in his book, "The Forbidden Truth," the financial support network of Al Qaeda is a virtual cut-and-paste reincarnation of BCCI, a Pakistani bank known for terrorist, drug, and CIA connections in the 1980s. One of BCCI's former executives, Khaled bin Mafouz, remains the banker for the Saudi royal family today and both he and Saudi Arabia's former intelligence chief, Prince Turki (removed just before the 9-11 attacks after 25 years of liaison with bin Laden), have been discussed repeatedly, if obliquely, in both mainstream and independent press stories since the attacks took place.

After months of strenuous and repeated assertions by the Bush Administration that Saudi Arabia was a key ally in the war on terror, that they were loyal and trusted partners in U.S.-led efforts, someone has suddenly turned on the tap for anti-Saudi propaganda and the mainstream media are eating it up.

On June 20 the Jang group of newspapers in Dubai reported that Al Qaeda networks were active in Saudi Arabia. This followed a June 18 announcement that a group linked to Al Qaeda had been arrested inside the kingdom and charged with planning attacks on Saudi government installations.

On July 18 the BBC reported that Saudi Prince Nayef Bin Sultan Bin Fawwaz Al-Shaalan had been indicted by a Miami court on charges of having smuggled 1,980 kilos of cocaine on his private jet in 1999.

On July 28, Britain's The Observer released a story that quickly spread around the world. It was headlined, "Britons left in jail amid fears that Saudi Arabia could fall to al-Q'aeda." The lead paragraphs read, "Saudi Arabia is teetering on the brink of collapse, fuelling foreign office fears of an extremist takeover of one of the West's key allies in the war on terror.

"Anti-government demonstrations have swept the desert kingdom in the past months in protest at the pro-American stance of the de facto ruler, Prince Abdullah.

"At the same time, Whitehall officials are concerned that Abdullah could face a palace coup from elements within the royal family sympathetic to al-Q'aeda.

"Saudi sources said the Pentagon had recently sponsored a secret conference to look at options if the royal family fell... "

The story later mentioned, "Anti-Abdullah elements within the Saudi government are also thought to have colluded in a wave of bomb attacks on Western targets by Islamic terrorists."

After finally mentioning the apparently unimportant subject of the headline -- the fact that several Britons had been jailed on bootlegging charges -- the story concluded by stating that feuding between factions in the Saudi court was going to increase with the death of King Fahd who was unstable in a Swiss hospital.

The story ended by quoting Saudi dissident Dr. Saad al-Fagih who declared, "'There is now an undeclared war between the factions in the Saudi royal family.'"

On the same day a lengthy essay on Saudi Arabia in The Asia Times by Ehsan Ahrari observed, "It is interesting to note that [Prince] Sultan is believed to be a preferred U.S. candidate for the Saudi throne." Abdullah is the crown prince, not Sultan.

On July 29 Stratfor, a global intelligence reporting and analysis service, reported that a feud was brewing between Saudi Arabia and neighboring Qatar over Qatar's willingness to openly support the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Qatar is nearly sinking under the weight of pre-deployed military equipment and has a brand new state-of-the-art U.S. Air Force Base. [See story this issue.]

On July 30, the suggestions that internecine warfare had erupted in Saudi Arabia were given credence by an Agence France Presse report describing the recent deaths of three Saudi princes in eight days. Prince Fahd bin Turki died of thirst in the desert on July 30. Prince Sultan bin Faisal died in a car crash on July 23, and Prince Ahmed bin Salman died the day before of a heart attack.

On Aug. 1, The World Tribune reported that Saudi Arabia, which has been acquiring long range ballistic missiles had also been, according to reports confirmed by U.S. officials, attempting to acquire nuclear weapons from Pakistan which has been well-documented to have heavy concentrations of Al Qaeda supporters within all parts of its government.

On that same day, Saudi dissident Dr. al-Fagih appeared on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation program "Lateline" and offered some startling revelations:

"Prince Abdullah who is supposed to be the next in charge, the next King would not accept to appoint Prince Sultan as Crown Prince and Prince Sultan insists that he should be the next in line for Abdullah to be [king]."

Al-Fagih predicted the imminent death of the ailing King Fahd and noted, "That's why probably the foreign office have [sic] expected some major thing happening in the next few weeks...

"I mean, Prince Abdullah is in charge of the national guard and Prince Sultan is in charge of the army, and either one will use his own force to fight the other to fight for power. Now they will use all elements of the population, of the society... [including a large portion of the population that supports al-Q'aeda and radical Islamic fundamentalism].

Al-Fagih said that there was a psychological barrier in the country because all information is so thoroughly controlled and the regime maintains the appearance of complete control. Almost all Saudis dislike the corrupt regime for a multitude of differing reasons. But, said the medical doctor who once served with Osama bin Laden in the Afghan war against Soviet occupation, "Once this psychological barrier is broken, either by a dispute of the royal family, or by a financial collapse, you would expect a major act by the people against the regime."

Al-Fagih also noted that in general the dislike of the Saudi people for the U.S. was intense because of its unremitting support of Israel and also because the U.S. had maintained a military presence on Saudi soil long after the end of the Gulf War.

Just five days later on Aug. 6 the Washington Post reported that a month earlier on July 10, a top Pentagon advisory group had received a briefing from Rand Corp. analyst Laurent Murawiec describing Saudi Arabia as en enemy of the U.S. and threatening seizure of its oil fields and financial assets if it did not stop supporting terrorism. The Pentagon group which received the briefing, the Defense Policy Board, is headed by renowned hawk Richard Perle. Although high-level Bush administration figures like Colin Powell downplayed the briefing's significance, it received heavy-handed media play for several days. Subsequent reports stated that Vice President Dick Cheney's staff had "embraced" the report.

On Aug. 7 Saudi Arabia made clear and unequivocal public pronouncements that it would not allow its soil to be used for an invasion of Iraq.

On Aug. 14, Reuters reported that King Fahd, who had just been moved to Spain was in failing health and possibly near death.

On Aug. 15 amidst massive daylong publicity, a 15-count, $1 trillion lawsuit was filed against various Saudi interests for liability in the 9-11 attacks. Included among the defendants were the Saudi Bin Laden Group of companies (previously connected through the Carlyle Group to Bush family finances), three Saudi princes, seven banks, eight Islamic foundations, a number of charities and the government of Sudan.

The three Saudi princes are Turki Faisal al Saud (see above), Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz (same as above), and Prince Mohamed al-Faisal.

This new suit eclipsed three earlier suits, largely ignored by the major media, filed by victim families charging various degrees of liability and/or complicity by the U.S. government. The key lawyers in the case have a history of close affiliation with the Republican Party, the Bush family and/or the Council on Foreign Relations. Media coverage of the suits continued through the weekend ending Aug. 18.

What gives?

FOLLOWING THE MONEY
The instability in Saudi Arabia may well be just the end result of internal decay and rot. But the consequences and implications of Saudi Arabia's current crisis are far deeper once one examines the financial threat that Saudi chaos might unleash.

Like the United States, the Saudi economy is in tatters. Like the U.S. economy it needs only one thing to keep it afloat -- cash.

The Saudi government rightly fears a quickly successful U.S. invasion of Iraq. A first inevitable consequence would be serious anti-American protests from the Saudi population. The second inevitable consequence would be an almost immediate increase in Iraqi oil production, which would result in a price reduction that might break the back of OPEC and dramatically reduce oil income. Seeing that the U.S. economy is on the brink of collapse, the Bush Administration, facing congressional elections in November and a potentially disastrous 2004 presidential election, must do whatever it takes to keep itself in power. For this administration, so hugely populated by oil men (and woman), cheap oil is the obvious first choice.

Saudi Arabia seems to have seen this coming for some time. In April, the Saudi government announced that it was considering privatizing parts of Aramco, the Saudi national oil company, and selling off some of Aramco's operations to Exxon, BP-Amoco, Shell and other major companies. Though little has been disclosed since the early announcements, this move would benefit the Saudis in two big ways.

First, it would give Western companies an equity stake in the stability of the monarchy, making it difficult for the U.S. to consider bombing or embargoing operations owned by western companies. Secondly, it would generate large amounts of cash to offset declining economic growth, rising unemployment and declining per capita income, according to Stratfor on April 29.

The oil-based Mexican standoff is mirrored by what is effectively a much more successful financial deterrent -- the Saudis ability to wreck the U.S. financial markets should they see their situation become utterly desperate.

OWNING THE AMERICAN DREAM
It is impossible to quantify the exact amount of Saudi holdings in the U.S. economy. But anecdotal evidence is utterly compelling.

The New York Times reported on Aug. 11, "An adviser to the Saudi royal family made a telling point about Saudi elites. He said an estimated $600 billion to $700 billion in Saudi money was invested outside the kingdom, a vast majority of it in the United States or in United States-related investments." The BBC has estimated Saudi U.S. investment at $750 billion.

Adnan Khashoggi, perhaps the best-known Saudi billionaire, controls his investments through Ultimate Holdings Ltd. and in Genesis Intermedia, which was reported to have been connected to suspicious stock trades around the time of the Sept. 11 attacks. (No linkage has been made between these trades and the attacks themselves). The rest of his private U.S. holdings are administered through his daughter's name from offices in Tampa, Fla., not far from where many of the hijackers received flight training at both private and U.S. military installations.

Khashoggi is a longtime financial player, deeply connected to the Iran-Contra scandal of the 1980s and also to BCCI. But Khashoggi doesn't even make the Forbes list of the richest people in the world. One Saudi who does is Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, who ranks as the 11th richest man on the planet with an estimated net worth of $20 billion.

Some of Alwaleed's holdings and recent acquisitions include:

- The single largest shareholder in Citigroup, the teetering U.S. financial giant, which is reported to have a derivatives bubble of more than $12 trillion and has reportedly sought recent emergency assistance from the Federal Reserve. On July 18 Alwaleed made an additional $500 million purchase of Citigroup stock, raising his estimated shareholding to $10 billion. - Alwaleed also owns, according to an August 9 story in The Guardian, three percent of the total shares of Newscorp (Fox), making him the second-largest shareholder behind Rupert Murdoch. - Alwaleed's other significant holdings include Apple Computer, Priceline, The Four Seasons Hotels, Planet Hollywood, Saks and Euro Disney. - Alwaleed also sits on the board of directors of the infamous (post-9-11) Carlyle Group.

Alwaleed alone is in a position to pull the plug on the U.S. economy. But, of course, he would cost himself billions to do it and this is not a likely scenario because he has long been a pro-democratic U.S. supporter. The remaining investments of the Saudi family, taken as a whole, would undoubtedly paint an even grimmer risk assessment. All of this assumes, of course, the stability of the Saudi monarchy -- an apparent prerequisite for the preservation of their continued financial empire, the stability of the U.S. economy making it the most profitable place for Saudi investment, and the absence of a major and protracted regional conflict. But if the U.S. economy fails?...

The Bush Administration's unilateral and illegal commitment to an Iraqi invasion brings all three essentials into question.

The August 20 report from the Financial Times suggests that the Saudis are, at minimum, firing a clear warning shot across the bow of the U.S.S. Bush.

ALLAH'S LAST LAUGH

In his appearance on Australian television Dr. al-Fagih discussed the likelihood of a Balkanization of Saudi Arabia by dividing the kingdom into three separate states and separating the eastern oil provinces from the holy sites in the west. Such a shot-term solution might delay what seems to be an inevitable final conflict.

But there is another telling factor that has not been discussed in the major media.

There are signs that major financial power houses are looking into gold hedges, especially mining and actual possession of gold in anticipation of a large gold "bust-out." The head of the California Personnel Employee Retirement System (CALPERS), the largest pension fund in the country, recently announced his resignation to go into the gold sector of the financial markets.

Recent reports starting in 1998 indicate that Saudi Arabia contains enormous quantities of gold. A 1997 Saudi embassy press announcement revealed 800 locations where gold had been discovered. A Nov. 8 report from Ohio State University -- based upon new Global Imaging System technologies, confirmed "2,100 known occurrences of gold, silver, copper, and other metals in the western third of the Saudi peninsula." Saudi Arabia appears to be sitting atop one of the largest gold stores on the planet.

But there is something else in the western third of the country -- the two holiest cities in all of Islam -- Mecca and Medina. And a gold bust-out might well signal the end of the U.S. dollar's reign as the dominant currency in world commerce -- the means by which the U.S. has policed its global financial empire. And Iran has just signaled that it is considering pricing its oil in Euros.

Yet the Bush Administration seems willing to risk everything for a roll of the dice in Iraq and a lawsuit in New York -- moves it may have already committed itself to take and cannot reverse. And still the American people try to ignore the fact that the administration knew about, and could have prevented, the attacks of September 11th.


The URL of this article is:
 http://globalresearch.ca/articles/208A.html

URL 28.Nov.2002 03:22

CNN defector

The URL for Ruppert article is:
 http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/RUP208A.html