Factual Back-Up for Fahrenheit 9/11: Section Five THE FOLLOWING IS THE LINE BY LINE FACTUAL BACKUP FOR 'FAHRENHEIT 9/11' Section Five covers the facts in Fahrenheit 9/11 from Saudi Arabia's involvement in 9/11 through the natural gas pipeline in Afghanistan. FAHRENHEIT 9/11: Amnesty International condemns Saudi Arabia as a human rights violator. * “Saudi Arabia systematically violates international human rights standards even after agreeing to be bound by them. For example, in September 1997 Saudi Arabia acceded to the Convention against Torture. Yet, torture is widespread in Saudi Arabia's criminal justice system. (Saudi Arabia acceded to the Convention against Torture and the Convention against Discrimination on Sept 23, 1997).” Amnesty International, "Saudi Arabia: Open for Business," February 8, 2000. http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/engMDE230822000? OpenDocument&of=COUNTRIES% 5CSAUDI+ARABIA * “Sharon Burke, Amnesty International USA's advocacy director for the Middle East and North Africa, said her organization confirmed with the Saudi Ministry of the Interior that three men were beheaded for sodomy.” Washington Blade, January 4, 2002, http://www.sodomylaws.org/world/saudi_arabia/ saudinews15.htm FAHRENHEIT 9/11: “Bush tried to stop Congress from setting up its own 9/11 investigation.… When he couldn’t stop Congress, he then tried to stop an independent 9/11 commission from being formed.” * The original effort by the White House was to limit the scope of the 9/11 investigation to only two congressional committees. “President Bush asked House and Senate leaders yesterday to allow only two congressional committees to investigate the government's response to the events of Sept. 11, officials said.” Mike Allen, “Bush Seeks To Restrict Hill Probes Of Sept. 11; Intelligence Panels' Secrecy Is Favored,” Washington Post, January 30, 2002. * “I, of course, want the Congress to take a look at what took place prior to Sept. 11. But since it deals with such sensitive information, in my judgment, it’s best for the ongoing war against terror that the investigation be done in the intelligence committees,” President Bush said. David Rosenbaum, “Bush Bucks Tradition on Investigation,” The New York Times, May 26, 2002. * “Angry lawmakers [McCain, Pelosi, Lieberman] accused White House Friday of secretly trying to derail creation of an independent commission to investigate the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks while professing to support the idea.” Helen Dewar, “Lawmakers Accuse Bush of 9/11 Deceit,” Los Angeles Times, October 13, 2002. FAHRENHEIT 9/11: The White House censored 28 pages of the Congressional 9/11 report. * “Top U.S. officials believe the Saudi Arabian government not only thwarted their efforts to prevent the rise of al-Qaida and stop terrorist attacks, but also may have given the Saudi-born Sept. 11 hijackers financial and logistical support, according to a congressional report released Thursday. Those suspicions prompted several lawmakers to demand that the Bush administration aggressively investigate Saudi Arabia 's actions before and after Sept. 11, 2001 -- in part by making public large sections of the report that pertain to Riyadh but remain classified. The passages, including an entire 28-page section, discuss in detail whether one of America's most reluctant allies in the war on terrorism was somehow implicated in the attacks, according to U.S. officials familiar with the full report.” Josh Meyer, “Saudi Ties to Sept. 11 Hinted at in Report,” Houston Chronicle, July 25, 2003. FAHRENHEIT 9/11: More than 500 relatives of 9/11 victims filed suit Saudi Royals and others. The lawyers the Saudi Defense Minister hired to fight these 9/11 families was the law firm of Bush family confidant James A. Baker. * “James Baker, whom Bush recently sent abroad seeking help to reduce Iraq's debt, is still a senior counselor for the Carlyle Group, and Baker's Houston-based law firm, Baker Botts, is representing the Saudi defense minister in Motley’s [plaintiff’s council in class-action suit in connection with September 11th attacks] case.” New York Times, “A Nation Unto Itself,” March 14, 2004 FAHRENHEIT 9/11: Saudi’s have $860 billion dollars invested in America. * “Over the next twenty-five years, roughly eighty-five thousand ‘high-net-worth’ Saudis invested a staggering $860 billion in American companies – an average of more than $10 million a person and a sum that is roughly equivalent to the gross domestic product of Spain.” Craig Unger, House of Bush, House of Saud, (Scribner: New York, 2004). * “Allan Gerson, an attorney who represents about 3,600 family members of victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks … said he is not suing the Saudi government, but he is pursuing ‘Saudi interests’ in the United States he estimated totaled about $860 billion.” “ $113 Million in Terrorism Funds Frozen,” CNN, November 20, 2002. FAHRENHEIT 9/11: In terms of investments on Wall Street, $860 billion is “roughly six or seven percent of America.” * “With a total market capitalization exceeding $12 trillion, the NYSE Composite represents approximately 82 percent of the total U.S. market cap.” New York Stock Exchange News Release, “NYSE to Reintroduce Composite Index,” January 2, 2003. ($860 billion is about 7 percent of $12 trillion.) FAHRENHEIT 9/11: Citigroup, AOL TimeWarner have big Saudi investors. * “His name is Alwaleed bin Talal. His grandfather was Saudi Arabia's founding monarch. With huge stakes in companies ranging from Citigroup Inc. to the Four Seasons luxury hotel chain, he is one of the richest men on the planet....Last year, Forbes magazine ranked Alwaleed the fifth-richest man in the world, with a net worth of nearly $18 billion. His Kingdom Holding Co. spans four continents. Over the years, he has acquired major stakes in companies such as Apple Computer Inc., AOL Time Warner Inc., News Corp. and Saks Inc., parent of retailer Saks Fifth Avenue .” Richard Verrier, “Disney's Animated Investor; An Ostentatious Saudi Billionaire Prince Who Helped Bail Out the Company's Paris Resort in the Mid-'90s is Being Courted to Do So Again,” Los Angeles Times, January 26, 2004. * “Carlyle’s first major transaction with the Saudis took place in 1991 when Fred Malek steered Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, a flamboyant 35-year-old Saudi multibillionaire, to the firm for a deal that would enable him to become the largest individual shareholder in Citicorp.” Craig Unger, House of Bush, House of Saud, (Scribner: New York, 2004). FAHRENHEIT 9/11: “I read where the Saudis have a trillion dollars in our banks, their money.” * “Others have said the investment is even more, as much as a trillion dollars on deposit in U.S. banks – an agreement worked out in the early 1980s by the Reagan administration, in yet another effort to get the Saudis to off-set the US budget deficit. The Saudis hold another trillion dollars or so in the US stock market.” Robert Baer, Sleeping with the Devil, p. 60, (Crown Publishers: New York, 2003). FAHRENHEIT 9/11: “Bandar is one of the best protected ambassadors in the world with a six-man security detail provided by the State Department.” * “The dean of the diplomatic corps by virtue of his long assignment in Washington, Bandar is the only ambassador who has his own State Department security detail -- granted to him because of ‘threats’ and his status as a prince, according to a State Department spokesman.” Robert G. Kaiser, et al., "Saudi Leader's Anger Revealed Shaky Ties," Washington Post, February 10, 2002. * “Prince Bandar is often considered the most politically savvy of all the foreign ambassadors living in Washington. That may or may not be true -- but he certainly is the best-protected. According to a Diplomatic Security official, Prince Bandar has a security detail that includes full-time participation of six highly trained and skilled DS officers. (DS officers are federal government employees charged with securing American diplomatic missions.)” Joel Mowbray, Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Threatens American Security, (Regnery, 2003). FAHRENHEIT 9/11: “Bandar is so close to the Bushes they considered him a member of the family. They even have a nickname for him, Bandar Bush.” * “When President [George H.W.] Bush arrived in Riyadh, he took Bandar aside and embraced him. ‘You are good people,’ the president said. Bandar claims that Bush had tears in his eyes. Visiting the Bush summer home in Kennebunkport, Maine, the Saudi ambassador was affectionately dubbed ‘Bandar Bush.’ Bandar returned the favor, inviting Bush to go pheasant hunting at his English estate. (Since leaving the White House, Bush has also profited by acting as a kind of glorified door-opener for the Carlyle Group, an investment company that handles considerable Saudi wealth.)” Evan Thomas, et al., “The Saudi Game,” Newsweek, November 19, 2001 . * “The Saudi ambassador attended the unveiling of former President George H.W. Bush's official portrait when he returned to the White House in 1995. He was among the guests at a surprise 75th birthday party in 2000 for former first lady Barbara Bush, and the former president has vacationed at Bandar's home in Aspen, Colo. Bandar has been a guest at the Bush ranch in Crawford, Texas. Just last year he presented the first family with a C.M. Russell painting, a gift worth $1 million that will be stored in the National Archives, along with other presents from well-wishers destined for a [George W.] Bush presidential library.” Mike Glover, “Kerry Criticizes Bush on Saudi Meeting”, Associated Press, April 23, 2004. FAHRENHEIT 9/11: “Two nights after September 11th, George Bush invited Bandar Bush over to the White House for a private dinner and a talk.” * Two days after the attacks, the President asked Bandar to come to the White House. Bush embraced him and escorted him to the Truman balcony. Bandar had a drink and the two men smoked cigars. Elsa Walsh, “The Prince,” The New Yorker, March 24, 2003. FAHRENHEIT 9/11: Bandar’s government blocked American investigators from talking to the relatives of the 15 hijackers. * “The report strongly criticized top Saudi officials for their ‘lack of cooperation’ before and after the Sept. 11 attacks, even when it became known that 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis.…One top U.S. official told the joint inquiry staff that the Saudis since 1996 would not cooperate on matters relating to Osama bin Laden. Robert Baer, a former CIA officer, said the Saudis blocked FBI agents from talking to relatives of the 15 hijackers and following other leads in the kingdom.” Frank Davies, et al., “Bush rejects call to give more 9/11 data,” Philadelphia Inquirer, July 30, 2003. FAHRENHEIT 9/11: Saudi Arabia was reluctant to freeze the hijackers assets. * Riyadh has not yet fully joined the international effort to block bank accounts thought to be financing terrorist operations, U.S. officials say. But the Bush administration, fearful of offending the Saudis, has not yet raised a public complaint. Elaine Sciolino, et al., “U.S. is Reluctant to Upset Flawed, Fragile Saudi Ties,” New York Times, October 25, 2001. FAHRENHEIT 9/11: “In 1997, while George W. Bush was governor of Texas, a delegation of Taliban leaders from Afghanistan flew to Houston to meet with Unocal executives to discuss the building of a pipeline through Afghanistan.” * “A senior delegation from the Taleban movement in Afghanistan is in the United States for talks with an international energy company that wants to construct a gas pipeline from Turkmenistan across Afghanistan to Pakistan. A spokesman for the company, Unocal, said the Taleban were expected to spend several days at the company's headquarters in Sugarland, Texas.” “Taleban in Texas for Talks on Gas Pipeline,” BBC News, December 4, 1997 (Sugarland is 22 miles outside Houston.) * “The Taliban ministers and their advisers stayed in a five-star hotel and were chauffeured in a company minibus. Their only requests were to visit Houston's zoo, the NASA space centre and Omaha's Super Target discount store to buy stockings, toothpaste, combs and soap. The Taliban, which controls two-thirds of Afghanistan and is still fighting for the last third, was also given an insight into how the other half lives. The men, who are accustomed to life without heating, electricity or running water, were amazed by the luxurious homes of Texan oil barons. Invited to dinner at the palatial home of Martin Miller, a vice-president of Unocal, they marvelled at his swimming pool, views of the golf course and six bathrooms. After a meal of specially prepared halal meat, rice and Coca-Cola, the hardline fundamentalists - who have banned women from working and girls from going to school - asked Mr. Miller about his Christmas tree.” Caroline Lees, “Oil Barons Court Taliban in Texas,” The Telegraph (London), December 14, 1997. FAHRENHEIT 9/11: “And who got a Caspian Sea drilling contract the same day Unocal signed the pipeline deal? A company headed by a man named Dick Cheney, Halliburton.” * On October 27, 1997, both Unocal and Halliburton issued press releases about their energy work in Turkmenistan. “Halliburton Energy Services has been providing a variety of services in Turkmenistan for the past five years.” Press Release, “Halliburton Alliance Awarded Integrated Service Contract Offshore Caspian Sea In Turkmenistan,” October 27, 1997. http://www.halliburton.com/news/archive/ 1997/hesnws_102797.jsp; “ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan, Oct. 27, 1997 - Six international companies and the Government of Turkmenistan formed Central Asia Gas Pipeline, Ltd. (CentGas) in formal signing ceremonies here Saturday.” Press Release, “Consortium Formed to Build Central Asia Gas Pipeline,” October 27, 1997. FAHRENHEIT 9/11: Enron stood to benefit from the pipeline. * Dr. Zaher Wahab of Afghanistan, a professor in the US speaking at International Human Rights Day event, “explained that Delta, Unocal as well as Russian, Pakistani and Japanese oil and gas companies have signed agreements with the Turkmenistan government, immediately north of Afghanistan, which has the fourth largest gas reserve in the world. Agreements also have been signed with the Taliban, allowing these oil and gas giants to pump Turkmenistan gas and oil through western Afghanistan to Pakistan, from which it then will be shipped all over the world. The energy consortium Enron plans to be one of the builders of the pipeline.” Elaine Kelly, “Northwest Groups Discuss Afghan, Iranian and Turkish Rights Violations,” Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, March 31, 1997. FAHRENHEIT 9/11: Kenneth Lay of Enron was Bush’s number one campaign contributor. * Mr. Lay, also a friend to former President George Bush, was the top campaign contributor to Mr. Bush’s 2000 presidential election.” Jerry Seper, “Colossal Collapse: Enron Bankruptcy Scandal Carves a Wide Swath,” The Washington Times, January 13, 2002; “Although Enron is George W. Bush’s No. 1 career donor, the president also is heavily indebted to the professional firms that aided and abetted the greatest bankruptcy and shareholder meltdown in U.S. history.” Texans for Public Justice, “Bush Is Indebted To Enron’s Professional Abettors, Too,” January 17, 2002 http://www.tpj.org/ page_view.jsp?pageid=255 FAHRENHEIT 9/11: “Then in 2001, just five and a half months before 9/11, the Bush administration welcomed a special Taliban envoy to tour the United States to help improve the image of the Taliban government.” * “A Taliban envoy appealed to the Bush administration Monday to overlook his group's support of extremist Osama bin Laden and the destruction of priceless centuries-old Buddhist sculptures and lift sanctions on Afghanistan to help alleviate a humanitarian crisis threatening the lives of a million people. Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi delivered a letter from the Taliban for President Bush that called for better U.S.-Afghan relations and negotiations to solve the dispute over the Saudi-born Bin Laden. Robin Wright, “Taliban Asks US to Lift its Economic Sanctions,” Los Angeles Times, March 20, 2001. * “The Town Hall forum was Hashemi's final meeting in a weeklong visit to California, where he spoke at several universities, including USC, UCLA and UC Berkeley. Later Thursday, he left for New York for another stop on his public relations tour before going to Washington, where he is scheduled to deliver a letter from his party to the Bush administration.” Teresa Watanabe, “Overture By Taliban Hits Resistance," Los Angeles Times, March 16, 2001. FAHRENHEIT 9/11: The Taliban were harboring the man who bombed the USS Cole and our African embassies. * “Osama bin Laden has claimed credit for the attack on U.S. soldiers in Somalia in October 1993, which killed 18; for the attack on the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in August 1998, which killed 224 and injured nearly 5,000; and were linked to the attack on the U.S.S. Cole on 12 October 2000, in which 17 crew members were killed and 40 others injured. They have sought to acquire nuclear and chemical materials for use as terrorist weapons.” “Britain's Bill of Particulars” New York Times, October 5, 2001. * “Osama bin Laden, in recent years, has been America's most wanted terrorism suspect, with a $5 million reward on his head for his alleged role in the August 1998 truck bombings of two American embassies in East Africa that killed more than 200 people, as well as a string of other terrorist attacks… Most recently, the F.B.I. has named Mr. bin Laden as a prime suspect in the suicide bombing of the American destroyer Cole, which was attacked in Aden harbor, 350 miles by road southwest of here, on Oct. 12, with the loss of 17 sailors' lives." John F. Burns, “Where bin Laden Has Roots, His Mystique Grows,” New York Times, December 31, 2000. FAHRENHEIT 9/11: Hamid Karzai was a former Unocal advisor. * “Cool and worldly, Karzai is a former employee of US oil company Unocal -- one of two main oil companies that was bidding for the lucrative contract to build an oil pipeline from Uzbekistan through Afghanistan to seaports in Pakistan -- and the son of a former Afghan parliament speaker.” Ilene R. Prusher, Scott Baldauf, and Edward Girardet, “Afghan power brokers,” Christian Science Monitor, June 10, 2002. http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/0610/ p01s03e-wosc.html. * Afghan President Hamid Karzai, a former Unocal adviser, signed a treaty with Pakistani leader Pervez Musharraf and the Turkmen dictator Saparmurat Niyazov to authorize construction of a $3.2 billion gas pipeline through the Heart-Kandahar corridor in Afghanistan.” Lutz Kleveman, “Oil and the New ‘Great Game," The Nation, February 16, 2004. * TRANSLATED FROM FRENCH: “He was a consultant for the American oil company Unocal, while they studied the construction of a pipeline in Afghanistan." Chipaux Francoise, “Hamid Karzaï, Une Large Connaissance Du Monde Occidental,” Le Monde, December 6, 2001.en minutes