Supposed Osama Charter Update
Lotta commenting going on regarding the Judicial Watch press release:
DID THE FBI ALLOW OSAMA TO ESCAPE THE US AFTER 9/11?
Judicial Watch, the self professed “conservative, non-partisan educational foundation” devoted to political ethics, has just released documents (*pdf) they received via the Freedom of Information Act which imply that the FBI knew that Osama bin Laden personally chartered a 727 flight to pick his family members up from four major major cities and then take them out of the country out within days of 9/11.
A flight, I might add, that took place while commercial traffic in the United States was under shoot-to-kill lockdown…
No. This particular flight left LA on the 19th, well after most air traffic resumed on the 13th and 14th. Snopes has covered this well. Quoting from the 9-11 Commission Report:
First, we found no evidence that any flights of Saudi nationals, domestic or international, took place before the reopening of national airspace on the morning of September 13, 2001.
Corrected by GTL.
Michael P.F. van der Galiën:
The incompetence leading up to 9/11 and right after it is almost unbelievable. It is common knowledge that there are some members of the Royal Family of Saudi Arabia, who (not so) secretly sympathize with Osama Bin Laden, let alone Bin Laden’s own relatives. They should have been interrogated for hours, even days, at a time: they might have possessed valuable knowledge. Instead, they were allowed to leave the United States, without being hindered.
Fair enough, although there is no real indication they did know anything, and if they had, they were very foolish indeed to stay in the USA past 9/10.
The Wonked-Out Wankers at Wonkette treat it as a given that OBL did charter the plane, despite the obvious fact that the FBI memo in question just mentions it as a possibility:
So guess who chartered the jets that got all the Bin Ladens and Saudi royals out of America right after 9/11? According to the FBI, it was Osama bin Laden himself! Or the Saudi Royal Family — the FBI doesn’t really know, or apparently care, although it did fight for many years to conceal its paperwork on the mysterious flights cleared by the White House. Oh, and an earlier version of the released documents had Osama’s name blacked out, to protect his privacy.
Reasonable point about the name being blacked out; I suspect the FBI was doing a little face-saving there.
Raw Story actually checks with the FBI:
Asked about the documents' assertion that either bin Laden or the Saudi royals ordered the flight, an FBI spokesman said the information was inaccurate.
"There is no new information here. Osama bin Laden did not charter a flight out of the US," FBI special agent Richard Kolko said.
"This is just an inflammatory headline by Judicial Watch to catch people's attention. This was thoroughly investigated by the FBI."
Kolko pointed to the 9-11 Commission Report, which was the book-length result of an official probe into the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington that killed nearly 3,000 people.
Of course, Larissa Alexandrovna, editor of Raw Story can't just let it go there. Over at the HuffPo:
At least this might finally explain a nagging problem I have had with the FBI's most wanted poster of OBL, which makes no mention of September 11, 2001 among the crimes OBL is wanted for.
How does it explain that, Larissa? Raw Story has dipped its toes into 9-11 Denial a few times, so I'm not inclined to cut her any slack. In fact, Osama's wanted poster does not mention 9-11 because he has not yet been indicted for that crime. He's already wanted for murder in connection with the embassy bombings, which gives them adequate reason to arrest and extradite him to the US in the unlikely event he is ever captured alive. At that point, he would certainly be charged for his involvement in 9-11. This is another one of those idiotic pieces of "evidence" that reveal the 9-11 Denial Movement as intentionally fraudulent. Do they really believe that the Feds would not indict him for 9-11 if they caught him?