Release the 28 pages!

Release the 28 pages!
: Well, it sounds as if even the Saudis agree that we should release the 28 pages of the 9/11 report about them:

Saudi Arabia has angrily rejected US allegations that the kingdom may have had a hand in the September 11 terror attacks.

The Saudi Ambassador to the United States called the claims, contained in a long-awaited Congressional report on the attacks, “blatantly false”.

Prince Bandar bin Sultan suggested in a statement released after the report was made public yesterday that sections of the document dealing with possible Saudi involvement had been blacked out because they could not be substantiated.

The White House has refused to declassify 28 pages of the report – a decision that drew sharp rebukes from numerous members of Congress, who called on the White House to allow the information to be made public.

The Ambassador said: “In a 900-page report, 28 blanked-out pages are being used by some to malign our country and our people.

“Rumours, innuendos and untruths have become, when it comes to the kingdom, the order of the day.”…

“Saudi Arabia has nothing to hide. We can deal with questions in public, but we cannot respond to blank pages.”

So let’s forget the rumors, innuendos, and untruths and release the 28 pages!

And by the way, Mr. Saudi, if you haven’t seen the 28 pages, how do you know they’re not true?

  • Eric

    Can someone explain to me why the Bush Administration simultaneously tries to denounce, ostracize, and isolate one oppressive, terrorist-sponsoring, hatred-spewing, oil-producing Islamist theocracy (Iran) while doing every in its power to praise, defend, and whitewash the behavior of another (Saudi Arabia)? Do historical diplomatic and business ties really matter that much, or is it just a case of Bush being blind to his staggering hypocrisy? I’m just asking…

  • linden

    Look in your gas tank. The world economy would go down the tubes if Saudi oil was suddenly cut off or the prices went through the roof.
    We’ll eventually denounce them, etc., but we need to wait till IRaq is better, etc. It’s called strategy.

  • ben

    I think I can explain.
    If we went after Saudi Arabia first, with Iraq oil off the market, the economy of the planet would be in dire straits. (As linden points out above) The rest of the Arab world would rally to Saudi’s defense, including Saddam, and we would have NO friends over there at all.
    Taking out Iraq first, since Saddam was so hated, removes one potential partner in the defense of Saudi Arabia and makes it easy for us to take them on later. We won’t be fighting the entire Arab world now, and those who would fight are limited in their approach. How do you get from Syria to Saudi Arabia now? Go through Jordan, who is friendly to us? Israel?
    Iraq first makes taking on Saudi Arabia easier, and less damaging to the world economy. It makes great military and strategic sense.

  • T. Hartin

    People need to get a grip on the timeline and the sequencing of this campaign. As prior posters note, the strategy of isolating the Saudis before tackling them directly makes all the sense in the world. Complaining that we haven’t taken them on yet would be like complaining in July of 1944 that we have invaded Africa, Italy, and France, but we haven’t invaded Germany yet.
    Further, remember that we have been actively participating in this war for less than two years. This far along in WWII (mid-1943) there was virtually no good news anywhere, especially on the European front.
    We have made huge strides and are winning this war decisively, with the loss of fewer than 400 soldiers. 400 deaths is decimal dust in a real war, people. That many died in a few minutes on D-Day.
    Perspective and patience, perspective and patience.

  • Eric

    I think I should point out here that I never said that we should go to war with Saudi Arabia, even if the possibility shouldn’t be ruled out. We haven’t gone to war with Iran yet, have we? What I did say was that the differences in the ways that we’re currently handling the two regimes defies logic.
    I could understand the argument that we wanted to get rid of Saddam first before taking a harder line on the House of Saud – in fact, I once argued something similar last year. But now Saddam’s gone, 150,000 Anerican troops are in Iraq, and almost none are left in Saudi Arabia, yet the Bush Administration still insists on covering for and coddling the Saudis. Bush also made a trip to Riyadh a few weeks ago to push his Israeli-Palestinian peace initiative. It appears that little has changed in the relationship outside of the removal of American troops, which the Saudis were as keen on seeing as we were.
    I think there’s more to the discrepancy in American policies than mere realpolitik. Bush’s dad and Colin Powell are both friends with the Saudi Ambassador. The Bush family on the whole has oil ties with the Saudis, never mind the influence of the American oil lobby in general. The Saudis purchase billions in American weaponry each year from defense contractors. A number of State Department bureaucrats have close ties with the Saudi government, and many retired State Department guys have gotten rich shilling for the House of Saud after retirement. It goes on and on.
    I’m not trying to float any kind of Illuminati-like conspiracy theory here. I’m simply pointing out that there are powerful forces, both diplomatic and economic, that want to maintain the status quo in our relationship with Riyadh, no matter how morally repugnant the relationship is, how hypocritical it makes us look when dealing with Iran and other nations, how much it leads to the spread of a totalitarian ideology throughout the Islamic world, or how destructive it is to our national interests. And sadly, until I seed evidence to the contrary, the Bush Administration is currently a part of the problem rather than the solution.

  • Soren Ryherd

    The interesting question is, has American foreign policy changed so much that any non-democratic country, even friendly ones, are now on notice?
    In some ways, I sure hope so. But I don’t think we’ve got the diplomatic team in power to pull it off.

  • ESP

    Don’t think that the Bush Admin is quite ready to piss off the entire Islamic world by screwing with the country that contains Mecca within its borders. That combined with OPEC. . . hypocrisy reigns.

  • linden

    Don’t think that the Bush Admin is quite ready to piss off the entire Islamic world by screwing with the country that contains Mecca within its borders. That combined with OPEC. . . hypocrisy reigns.
    I don’t think you mean “hypocrisy reigns” so much as “reality and smart-thinking reign”.

  • ESP

    No, I mean what I said. The United States has very often done things that were expedient, pragmatic, realistic or smart-thinking, but some them were also hypocritical and immoral.

  • PCD

    Expedient= temporary substitute-no long term plans. Is that realistic or smart-thinking?? Seems to me half our present day problems come from that.

  • cj

    I’m torn on this issue. As of today (July 29, 2003), I’m pretty disgusted with what I’ve witnessed, because it seems the “classification” is allowing Saudi Arabia to pull this “put upon” front — the Gee, we’d really like to be able to defend our honor against the innuendo and unsubstantiated claims against us, and we demand that you declassify this info, pronto! I’m just not buying this. And, putting on my cynical hat, I’m beginning to think that this is one reason the Bush administration wants to keep the info classified. As it now stands, it’s a face-saving mechanism for the Saudis (and who knows who else).
    At the same time, I have to ask “what if.” What if the info was declassified and it was wholly damning of Saudi Arabia. What’s the next step? As the posts above note, how does that fit in an over-arching strategy? Let’s say it is so devastating, it would ensure a Democrat winning the presidency. Whomever is elected is going to have to deal with the Saudi issue. Can we afford to take a major hit economically, which is certainly feasible if the Saudi flow of oil is diminished or they push oil prices sky high (and even if Iraq oil is flowing freely and imported, I’m not sure it can totally compensate for a detrimental Saudi oil policy). What if this becomes a no-holds-barred “war of civilizations” (Muslims vs. non-Muslims). Many people feel that it already is, but are we ready to have that front-line drawn at this time in the political arena? Is INS ready? Our military? Our transportation/homeland security, etc. departments? The ripple effect is mind-boggling, and if you think the criticism of “lack of planning for post-Iraq war” is flaming now, what do you think the criticism will be like regarding a Muslim vs. Western Civ. war? Let alone the guaranteed “flaming criticism,” I would think that getting the myriad of federal (let alone state) beauracracies aligned to address the possible effects of an all-out denunciation of Saudi Arabia, in a fragile US economy, currently have to be at the infancy stage. So would we be shooting ourselves in the foot to do so now?
    Caution at this time is only tolerable if you believe that the Bush administration IS willing to confront Saudi Arabia in the future (if only through mostly unpublicized diplomatic means) — which is a big IF given the Bush ties to S.A. and oil — but also one must realize that the Bush admin will not hold the White House forever, and it must also work to set the stage for its successor.
    At this time, I’m willing to give Dubya the benefit of the doubt. I think he’s earned that. I’m quite willing to change my mind if events unfold otherwise. But I’m not sure what, AT THIS TIME, the alternative options are. Especially in the current US political and social climate (i.e., I don’t see the Dems proferring SOLUTIONS, only criticisms, and I don’t see a US populace prepared to undertake long-term, REAL sacrifices).