Saudi flight(s) a thoughtful White House gift

Over 3000 people are killed in one day in a vicious terrorist attack on our own shores, frightening most of the rest of the country absolutely out of their wits, and directing them toward an enthusiasm for domestic and foreign violence remarkable even by their own unhappy standards, both consequences from which the country has not recovered to this day.

In one of its first responses to the events, the White House immediately arranges for seven score foreign residents, VIPs from just one nation, to flee the country on special flights, this well before the Oval Office had allowed flight restrictions to be lifted for the general public, and before much was known (publicly) about those who had planned them.

We already knew about the flight(s) of the 140 Saudis and their families. The real news today is a report about the direct involvement of the White House. What’s still not part of the news is why it was done, and why those people in particular were spirited out of the country in secret.

Richard Clarke, who ran the White House crisis team after the attacks, but has since left the administration, said today, “The White House feared that the Saudis could face ‘retribution’ for the hijackings if they remained in the United States.”

The NYTimes article, which only appears on page A19 of today's edition, does not explain why or even point out that in the days immediately after the attacks, the White House was apparently only concerned for the safety of certain wealthy Saudi citizens, even to the exclusion of all other nationals, regardless of their origin. Of course this was happening while the same Bush team was busy rounding up people from every Middle Eastern or Central and South Asian country but Israel. None of these people were given plane tickets that week.

Interesting that – and on both counts. I’m referring to the White House’s interesting decision two years ago and the Times decision to focus their report today so narrowly.

The story appears in an article in Vanity Fair out today. I haven't seen it yet, but perhaps there’s more in that notorious, lefty political style mag than the oh-so-responsible Times found fit to print. In any event, I think the fallout from this story has only begun.


It shouls also be noted that one of the families who were immediately wisked out by the State Department were the Bin Ladens who were in NYC doing business with the Carlye Group of wich George HW Bush is involved with. Greg Palsat wrote about this shortly after 9/11. He also includes it in his book The Best Democracy Money Can Buy.

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Published on September 4, 2003 5:57 PM.

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