Det kan være risikabelt å stole på hukommelsen. På den annen side: Man skal lese ting i beste mening, ikke verste. Det første gjelder red. Det andre Jan Arild Snoen i Minerva.
Den 7. juni skrev red. om de 28 hemmeligstemplede sidene av 9/11-kommisjonens rapport som ifølge senatorer kan endre vårt syn på 9/11.
Som kjent var 15 av 19 kaprere saudiere. At rapporten skulle innholde ledetråder til dypere saudisk innblanding kommer ikke som noen stor overraskelse. Jeg tok på hukommelsen flyet med saudiere som med regjeringens godkjenning ble sendt ut av USA rett etter 9/11. Det fikk Jan Arild Snoen til å beskylde red. for å spre konspirasjonsteorier.
Det fikk meg til å stusse, for jeg mente å huske at kilden for dette var god. Det var den. Det var presidentens nasjonale kontraterrorsjef, Richard Clarke, som både skrev om flyet/ene – og vitneforklarte om dem til 9/11-kommisjonen.
Men Snoen hadde rett, eller tok meg i å huske feil på ett punkt: jeg skrev at flyet ble ekspedert ut mens flyforbudet ennå eksisterte. Dette er feil. Flyene ble bestilt 19. september og forlot USA 20. september.
Amerikansk luftrom ble delvis åpnet 13. og helt åpnet 14. september.
Hvis flyet/ene ble sendt ut i dette tidsrommet ville det selvsagt virket mer hemmelighetsfullt. Som om man ville ha dem ut av veien før de rakk å bli avhørt.
Men Osama bin Ladens familie ble sendt ut den 20. september. Det var 26 personer på én flight. I alt var det 140 personer på seks flighter som gikk til Saudi-Arabia. Og kritikken er fremdeles gyldig, og fremstår mer gyldig i dag enn noen gang, når vi kjenner Saudi-Arabias dobbeltspill.
Evakueringen er beskrevet i detalj på 911myths.com. Fremdeles er det mye som er uklart:
This new account of the events seemed to contradict Clarke’s sworn testimony before the Sept. 11 commission at the end of March about who approved the flights.
“The request came to me, and I refused to approve it,” Clarke testified. “I suggested that it be routed to the FBI and that the FBI look at the names of the individuals who were going to be on the passenger manifest and that they approve it or not. I spoke with the — at the time — No. 2 person in the FBI, Dale Watson, and asked him to deal with this issue. The FBI then approved … the flight.”
“That’s a little different than saying, ‘I claim sole responsibility for it now,’” Roemer said yesterday.
However, the FBI has denied approving the flight.
FBI spokeswoman Donna Spiser said, “We haven’t had anything to do with arranging and clearing the flights.”
“We did know who was on the flights and interviewed anyone we thought we needed to,” she said. “We didn’t interview 100 percent of the [passengers on the] flight. We didn’t think anyone on the flight was of investigative interest.”
When Roemer asked Clarke during the commission’s March hearing, “Who gave the final approval, then, to say, ‘Yes, you’re clear to go, it’s all right with the United States government,’” Clarke seemed to suggest it came from the White House.
“I believe after the FBI came back and said it was all right with them, we ran it through the decision process for all these decisions that we were making in those hours, which was the interagency Crisis Management Group on the video conference,” Clarke testified. “I was making or coordinating a lot of the decisions on 9-11 in the days immediately after. And I would love to be able to tell you who did it, who brought this proposal to me, but I don’t know. The two — since you press me, the two possibilities that are most likely are either the Department of State or the White House chief of staff’s office.”
Instead of putting the issue to rest, Clarke’s testimony fueled speculation among Democrats that someone higher up in the administration, perhaps White House Chief of Staff Andy Card, approved the flights.
“It couldn’t have come from Clarke. It should have come from someone further up the chain,” said a Democratic Senate aide who watched Clarke’s testimony. Clarke’s testimony did not settle the issue for Roemer, either.
“It doesn’t seem that Richard Clarke had enough information to clear it,” Roemer said Monday.
“I just don’t think that the questions are resolved, and we need to dig deeper,” Roemer added. “Clarke sure didn’t seem to say that he was the final decisionmaker. I believe we need to continue to look for some more answers.”
Roemer said there are important policy issues to address, such as the need to develop a flight-departure control system.
Several Democrats on and off the Hill say that bin Laden’s family should have been detained as material witnesses to the attacks. They note that after the attacks, the Bush administration lowered the threshold for detaining potential witnesses. The Department of Justice is estimated to have detained more than 50 material witnesses since Sept. 11.
Clarke said yesterday that the furor over the flights of Saudi citizens is much ado about nothing.
“This is a tempest in a teapot,” he said, adding that, since the attacks, the FBI has never said that any of the passengers aboard the flight shouldn’t have been allowed to leave or were wanted for further investigation.
He said that many members of the bin Laden family had been subjects of FBI surveillance for years before the attacks and were well-known to law-enforcement officials.
“It’s very funny that people on the Hill are now trying to second-guess the FBI investigation.”
The Sept. 11 commission released a statement last month declaring that six chartered flights that evacuated close to 140 Saudi citizens were handled properly by the Bush administration.
Hvem gav klarsignal til at saudierne kunne dra hjem, en uke etter katastrofen? Ble de avhørt eller clearet av FBI? Med tanke på at plottet ble organisert og gjennomført av saudiere fremstår hjemsendelsen som merkelig. En uke etter 9/11 var det mye man ikke visste, men man visste nok til ikke å sende hjem seks fly med saudiere.
Kritikken er underbygget.