There's definitely a linkage between the two stories:
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
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:
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
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.'
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.
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.
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--
Bob Graham: I mean--
Steve Kroft: --rich people in the country? Charities--
Bob Graham: All of the above.
Hey, Kroft, shut up for a second after you say "You mean the government." By continuing to talk you weakened the argument being made.
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.