The agents checked the news reports, but there was nothing about a large earthquake in the Los Angeles area the day before, only a small item about a minor tremor that went unnoticed by most Angelenos.
But the Saudis had big-time clout back in Washington. so after checking with their higher-ups, the Vegas agents began trying to get the Saudis a flight out. They were still trying on the morning of September 11, when a cataclysm of quite a different kind struck the United States, in the form of a series of suicidal plane hijackings, almost all carried out by citizens of Saudi Arabia or one of the other oil-rich Gulf Emirates,
But instead of interning the Saudis from Los Angeles and questioning them about their apparent advance knowledge of the attacks, the agents rented them expensive hotel suites, posted guards to ensure they weren’t harassed, and continued to work on arranging their safe passage from the U.S. to their homeland. Finally, after four or five more days, the Saudis were escorted to a chartered passenger jet bound for Riyadh; many of them lacked proper identification papers, and four or five were reportedly on the list of suspects American intelligence agents wanted to question about the hijackings, but they were allowed to leave totally unmolested. All of this was done under orders from Cabinet-level members of the Bush Administration.
Fast forward to late November 2001: American Special Forces teams along with thousands of anti-Taliban Afghans from the Northern Alliance trapped several thousand Taliban and al-Qaeda members and Pakistani intelligence officers in the town of Kunduz.
US troops and intelligence experts eagerly anticipated the death or capture of many of the most dangerous terrorists on earth, but it wasn’t to be. Vice President Dick Cheney’s office sent a direct order to our troops on the ground, telling them to pull back and allow the Pakistani Air Force to fly these deadly enemies of the United States to safety in Pakistan. Today these same men are the vital core of the resurgent Taliban fighting and killing our soldiers in Afghanistan….
The Republicans dare to claim that the Bush Administration should get credit for Osama bin Laden’s death, when it was Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld and company’s cozy relationship with the homicidal oil sheikhs of the Gulf that allowed Taliban, al-Qaeda and similar groups to thrive for so long, a relationship that borders on outright treason. It’s nothing less than obscene.