28 Pages Plus Saudi Lawsuit in the News
There's definitely a linkage between the two stories:
And the 9-11 Families are hoping that the 28 pages get released because their attempted lawsuit against the Saudi government would undoubtedly get a shot in the arm:In its report on the still-censored “28 pages” implicating the Saudi government in 9/11, “60 Minutes” last weekend said the Saudi role in the attacks has been “soft-pedaled” to protect America’s delicate alliance with the oil-rich kingdom.
That’s quite an understatement.
Actually, the kingdom’s involvement was deliberately covered up at the highest levels of our government. And the coverup goes beyond locking up 28 pages of the Saudi report in a vault in the US Capitol basement. Investigations were throttled. Co-conspirators were let off the hook.
Until now,the Obama administration has so far refused to reveal the contents of the missing pages and looks to be leaving the decision to a Congressional vote.
Speaking to the New York Times, Mindy Kleinberg, whose husband died in the World Trade Center on September 11 said: 'It's stunning to think that our government would back the Saudis over its own citizens.'I think the Saudi involvement is much less than billed. Osama had some credibility among wealthy Saudis after Soviet-Afghanistan war. and he was able to capitalize on that with his purported charity, the rather innocuously named "Social Services". Some wealthy Saudis, and probably even some royals donated to his group.
Ms. Kleinberg is part of a group of victims' family members pushing for the legislation against the Middle Eastern country, however so far all attempts to sue the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have failed.
But, as Tom Kean pointed out years ago, the usual exhortation to follow the money in this case was useless, because the money involved was peanuts.
The 60 Minutes report is transcribed here. Note this especially annoying part:
Steve Kroft: And when we say, "The Saudis," you mean the government, the--Hey, Kroft, shut up for a second after you say "You mean the government." By continuing to talk you weakened the argument being made.
Bob Graham: I mean--
Steve Kroft: --rich people in the country? Charities--
Bob Graham: All of the above.
Kroft interviews several of the 9-11 commissioners who are in favor of releasing the report. But, as is typical of advocacy journalism (as compared to real reporting) he omits putting on camera anybody who opposes the release, although he quite obviously paraphrases Philip Zelikow's comments:
Roemer and others who have actually read the 28 pages, describe them as a working draft similar to a grand jury or police report that includes provocative evidence -- some verified, and some not.I remain in favor of releasing the 28 pages. But the dishonest reporting by 60 Minutes actually makes me less comfortable with that position.