Thursday, February 23, 2006

Why Dubai Ports 'Deal' is So Bad: U.A.E. and the 9/11 Commission Report

Holy Crap! Via Michael Smerconish's radio program this morning, I have heard yet one more thing that makes the Dubai Ports deal sound absolutely lousy. Apparently, in 1999 (one year after Bin Ladin's fatwah against Americans, but plenty of time before the 9/11 attacks) U.S. agents were tracking Bin Ladin in Afghanistan. But they were hampered in their efforts to nail him because he was hanging with "an Emirati prince or other senior [U.A.E.] officials" and the agents were worried about killing or injuring a UAE representative or causing other "collateral damage." That info is lifted directly from the report. Smerconish simply wondered if the UAE warranted a mention, so he flipped to the index in his copy of the 9/11 Commission Report. And he found several citings to point to page 138. From the report:
Page 138 | 9/1 Commission Report The United Arab Emirates was becoming both a valued counterterrorism ally of the United States and a persistent counterterrorism problem [emphasis added]. From 1999 through early 2001, the United States,and President Clinton personally,pressed the UAE, one of the Taliban's only travel and financial outlets to the outside world, to break off its ties and enforce sanctions, especially those relating to flights to and from Afghanistan.(165) These efforts achieved little before 9/11.
Smerconish has posted the pertinent passages from pages 137 - 139 of the report on his website his Must Read of the Day. I don't know how long it will be available at this link, so check it out now. You can buy a copy of the 9/11 Commission Report pretty cheaply, either at your local bookstore or from Oh, and here is the big money question: Why am I hearing about this from a radio host as opposed to one of my elected officials?! Why hasn't a member of the 9/11 Commission come forward to denounce the Dubai Ports deal!?


Ricia said...

i find it interesting that everyone is all-about-this, on and on.. but few are making any connection between the Emirates, Laden, and events leading up to 911... some curious interelationships and shoulder rubbing has existed there for a long, long, time...

i'm just say'n.

brainwise said...

[I tried to post this comment on Saturday, but it was lost in the ethers ...]

Hi Ricia!

That was exactly the point of this post -- and, I believe, Smerconish's purpose in posting the pages from the 9/11 Commission Report -- to show that some shaky stuff was in play well before 9/11. If that did not come across, then I apologize.

On Friday, Smerconish had Michael Scheuer on the program. Scheuer is the author of Imperial Hubris: Why The West Is Losing The War On Terror, and was the "Mike" referenced in pages 137-139 of the 9/11 Commission Report. He was mentioned in those pages because he was the CIA's lead guy in trying to track down Bin Laden.

During the radio interview on Friday, Scheuer told the host that the 9/11 Commission actually whitewashed many of the details alluded to in pages 137-139 of the report -- to protect US politicians! The details are documented and said documents were submitted to the committee, but they chose to not "go there."

Scheuer also made the following statements (or claims, if you prefer):

- The Emirates' association with Bin Laden was not the result of naiveté -- it was a calculated and decisive slap at the US. They know that the US interests (corporate and political) are beholden to them and their oil production.

- It is not only the Emirates who have royal family members buddy-buddy with Bin Laden. Just about *every* royal family in the Middle East has family members and/or representatives who are affiliated with Bin Ladin and support his cause.

- "Bin Ladin could not (would not?) exist if not for Saudi Arabia." [NOT a direct quote ... this is as closely as I can recall statement].

Those are all bold claims, particularly the last one since Saudi Arabia is supposed to have distanced themselves from Bin Ladin, revoking his papers and all that.