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Two Numbers That Explain Why Trump Won't Sanction Saudi Arabia

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"[W]e may never know all of the facts surrounding the murder of Mr. Jamal Khashoggi," US president Donald Trump told the nation on November 20, but "[t]he United States intends to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi Arabia to ensure the interests of our country, Israel and all other partners in the region."

Many find the president's statement curious indeed given the seeming consensus among the Turkish and US intelligence communities that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman ordered Khashoggi's murder at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. But two simple numbers clarify just how much importance successive administrations, including Trump's, have placed on the US-Saudi relationship.

The first number is the number one.

Jamal Khashoggi was one man. He was a Saudi citizen, and considered an enemy of the state by "his" government to boot. He was neither a US citizen, nor was he killed on US soil. In fact, he was technically killed on Saudi soil -- consulates enjoy the same "sovereign" status as embassies. His murder, while evil and tragic, was really not any more the business of the US government than the execution of an American in Texas would be Mohammed bin Salman's concern.

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The second number is 2,977.

That's how many people 19 hijackers (15 of them Saudis) killed (excluding themselves) at the World Trade Center, at the Pentagon, and at a crash site in Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001.

No later than December of 2002, and presumably before that, the US government knew that the 9/11 hijackers had received significant funding and support from Saudi government officials and members of the Saudi royal family.

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That information remained classified until 2016, when 28 previously redacted pages from Congress's official 9/11 report were finally released to the public -- and still "friendly" relations between Washington and Riyadh continued without interruption.

The US invaded Afghanistan (none of the hijackers were Afghans) in response to the 9/11 attacks.

The US government insinuated a relationship between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq as part of its justification for invading that country in 2003 (none of the hijackers were Iraqis, and in fact al Qaeda was among Saddam's most implacable enemies).

But Saudi Arabia got a free pass, as did the United Arab Emirates (where two of the hijackers came from).

Why? Oil, money, and US foreign policy.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE control a great deal of world's oil, and can threaten to disrupt international oil markets (and international life in general) any time they don't get their way.

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Saudi Arabia and the UAE are also the top two buyers of of US weapons.

Finally, Saudi Arabia and the UAE support the US agenda of isolating Iran and frustrating its regime's regional ambitions, and allow the US military to operate bases on their territory pursuant to that agenda.

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Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.


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George W.Reichel

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And then there's the deep state and those that were there on 911 to "document the event

Submitted on Wednesday, Nov 21, 2018 at 4:56:08 PM

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"That's how many people 19 hijackers (15 of them Saudis) killed (excluding themselves) at the World Trade Center, at the Pentagon, and at a crash site in Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001."

You're conflating two completely different events that don't even have any joint significance. And, only one of those has a true narrative.

The Saudis themselves are pretty much saying Khashoggi was murdered by Saudis. So that narrative is "likely true".

The "official" 9/11 story, on the other hand, is an obvious fairy tale, and it's time people stopped perpetuating this badly-written web of lies and nonsense.

Case in point: (Referring to the quote) 6-7 of the supposed "hijackers" were publicly shown to be alive after the event, and never having participated in it. The very existence of "hijackers" has never been proven.

Giving credence to a lie is no way to make a case for anything.

Submitted on Wednesday, Nov 21, 2018 at 6:30:45 PM

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I heard the "several of the supposed hijackers are still alive" stuff early on. I have yet to see any evidence supporting the claim, although I'll be glad to look at it if you care to point me at it.


I have significant problems with the 9/11 "official narrative." But that "official narrative" does in fact comport with the description in my column, which is what makes the refusal of successive administrations to so much as talk rudely to Saudi Arabia of interest.

Submitted on Wednesday, Nov 21, 2018 at 9:17:04 PM

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"...I have yet to see any evidence supporting the claim, although I'll be glad to look at it if you care to point me at it."

This isn't a "claim". They were alive, not connected to any terrorist operations, and still working their jobs in their home countries. This news went public, and was verified. A few of them were interviewed by a few news outlets. One or two of them apparently even sued the U.S. government for slander, libel and/or identity theft.

It doesn't take much to prove this is true, as they'd all be dead otherwise!

What I find disturbing about this fairy tale is how people are always saying they don't see evidence to the contrary, when they should be asking why there's actually no real evidence to SUPPORT the story. THAT FACT ALONE, is evidence to the contrary.

The point of all my rambling is, 9/11 has absolutely nothing to do with the recent Saudi murder plot, and there's a very simple reason for the "alliance" between the U.S., Saudi Arabid, and Israel.

Dubya's big 9/11 speech contained one major misstatement - it should have been, "You're either with US, or you're AGAINST the terrorists!"

Submitted on Wednesday, Nov 21, 2018 at 10:27:20 PM

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"It doesn't take much to prove this is true"


Cool. Feel free to do so then.

Submitted on Thursday, Nov 22, 2018 at 1:52:27 AM

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"Feel free to do so then."

I did that in that same sentence. Did you miss that, or did the logic escape you? Okay, I'll spell it out for ya...

Dead people can't, and don't, do interviews, or file law suits.

Submitted on Thursday, Nov 22, 2018 at 2:30:50 AM

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You're exactly right. Dead people can't, and don't, do interviews or file lawsuits.


So if you're right, presumably there are some interviews and lawsuits rather than just unsubstantiated rumors of same.

Submitted on Thursday, Nov 22, 2018 at 10:03:27 AM

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As long as you understand your homework assignment.

Submitted on Thursday, Nov 22, 2018 at 6:32:35 PM

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Actually, the only "homework" you have to do is look for an instance in the hundred and something year history of steel reinforced concrete skyscrapers, either before or after 9/11/2001, where one collapsed essentially vertically, in a time not much longer than it would take an object in freefall dropped from the same height to reach the ground, due solely to fires and asymmetrical structural damage. You won't find one because if you could the "debunkers" would be all over it. On 9/11/2001 allegedly three of them did. Alternatively, find one instance of one that collapsed in that manner for any reason other than planned explosive demolition.

Forget about living hijackers. Forget about NORAD protocols not being followed. forget about tapes being destroyed and security camera recordings confiscated. Forget about Marvin Bush being "in charge of security". Stick with what you can verify with your own lying eyes.

Submitted on Monday, Nov 26, 2018 at 3:59:23 PM

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You wrote this article. You made the 9/11 reference. You didn't offer any qualification for this reference. You simply assumed it was a "given", because it's in the "official" story.

The government narrative was never qualified in the first place. It's a "conspiracy theory" as well, and a badly-written one at that. Yet you had no problem just referring to it without feeling the need to back it up.

That's been my point all along.

Submitted on Thursday, Nov 22, 2018 at 7:02:21 PM

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"You wrote this article."


Yes, I did.


"You made the 9/11 reference."


Yes, I did.


"You didn't offer any qualification for this reference. You simply assumed it was a 'given', because it's in the 'official" story."


So now you're a mind-reader?


Varying amounts and quality of evidence have been offered for various parts of the "official" story. Varying amounts and quality of evidence have been offered for various alternative versions.


In 17 years, all that I've seen offered to support, specifically, the claims that some of the alleged hijackers are still alive are the claims themselves. There are references to interviews, but never any links to the video of those interviews. There are references to lawsuits, but never any copies of the complaints. I'll be glad to look at the evidence for those claims when and if someone wants to point me to that evidence.

Submitted on Thursday, Nov 22, 2018 at 8:37:25 PM

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This article is not conflating two unrelated things, it relates them thus: why does Saudi Arabia always get a pass from the US?

The fairy tale reads something like this: once upon a time an evil sultan named Bin Laden decided to punish the freedom loving US by sending his men to hijack planes and crash them into buildings. Two crashed into buildings in New York City and the sultan used his magic powers learned in the construction industry to make the building collapse into dust. A third penetrated the Washington DC air space--again using magic powers--to hit the center of US military power. A fourth was thwarted by the brave passengers who, knowing they were going to die, stormed the cockpit. The US sent its armies to Afghanistan and Iraq to retaliate, and eventually the evil sultan was brought to justice and buried at sea.

So what part of this fairy tale do you think the author is selling? Are you denying that planes hit the buildings? That approximately 3,000 people died? That pages of the 9/11 commission report (which admittedly is itself a fairy tale) involving the Saudis were redacted for years?

Submitted on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2018 at 5:40:19 PM

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Let's face it, the U.S. has a long-standing business model built on arms sales, wars, "regime change" and delivering global terrorism. No matter who is in power, the alliance with Israel and Saudi Arabia will continue.

Submitted on Wednesday, Nov 21, 2018 at 6:38:22 PM

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Exactly. In order for the US MIC to profit, it must have war and arms clients. And in order to wage war, it must have a physial theater as a base of operation. Iraq, Iran... all of them have oil and can disrupt markets. But only one of them is a whore willing to sleep with MIC. That, not oil, is the reason for the allegiance to Saudi Arabia.

Submitted on Wednesday, Nov 21, 2018 at 8:53:41 PM

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I've worked behind the scenes and on these pages to make OpEdNews hospitable to 9/11 Truth. I'm proud that this site has become a magnet for people who have figured out that 9/11 was a false flag event and that the US is fighting both sides of the War on Terror.

It is a further step for us to absorb these truths into our thinking and analysis.

That's how many people 19 hijackers (15 of them Saudis) killed (excluding themselves) at the World Trade Center, at the Pentagon, and at a crash site in Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001.

Every time we take the official account of 9/11 at face value, we reinforce the Big Lie and legitimize the media that report the Lie unquestioningly.

We know that the 9/11 attacks were approved, if not masterminded, by people at the highest level of US government. The Saudi government was probably part of the action, too, and probably at the invitation of the Bush Administration. Let's start our analysis from these facts...

Submitted on Wednesday, Nov 21, 2018 at 10:50:50 PM

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Yep. We're at a point now, where that narrative needs to be stomped on every time it's brought out, and called out for the nonsense it is. If we don't stop this fairy tale in its tracks, it keeps running away with the gullible.

The fact that we even have to point out the lies contained it the story, is a point of contention on its own.

Submitted on Thursday, Nov 22, 2018 at 1:16:20 AM

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I have yet to see you point out any lies. As Thomas has said you have made assertions that you have not backed uo with any links that prove your assertions are true. Please provide links to these interviews and other sources that prove that the presumed hijackers are still alive.

Submitted on Thursday, Nov 22, 2018 at 5:53:33 PM

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I discuss basically the same lies here all the time, as do many others. The links are all over the place.

The crazy thing here is, people are so quick to demand "proof" to refute the "official" story, but don't place the same demands on the government's narrative, which if you've actually followed it, is riddled with impossibilities, and even sounds ridiculous on its face.

Much of what's in the official story refutes itself, if you're really paying attention.

My main beef here is that elements of the government narrative are constantly being used as a "given" in these writings, when we know they're lies. If anyone should be "qualifying" such statements, it should be those writers. Either that, or they just shouldn't be making these references in the first place.

Submitted on Thursday, Nov 22, 2018 at 6:47:58 PM

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I never said I thought that the official statements weren't questionable but if you are going to make a counter claim you need to provide links that back your position whenever you assert it. I, and assume others, simply haven't encountered them before. So no matter how often you say you have provided them in the past you can't expect us to take your claims at face value if you don't provide those links at the time you make your claim.

Submitted on Thursday, Nov 22, 2018 at 9:25:21 PM

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As I keep saying, the stuff's out there and lots of it.

Here's just one example, from the BBC in September 2001. It's actually among the first 3 links I got in a search I just performed minutes before this post...

s.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/1559151.stm

Here's one that claims 8 of the "hijackers" are alive, and provides links to each claim...

click here

Submitted on Friday, Nov 23, 2018 at 1:52:26 AM

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That second reference was an older one, so some of the "ALIVE" links attached to it are now broken, or in the case of the Los Angeles Times, was removed soon after this page was created.

Submitted on Friday, Nov 23, 2018 at 2:03:56 AM

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Thanks for those links.


Here's one to a (possibly unduly dismissive) series in Der Spiegel on the "they're still alive" claims:


click here


In at least one case (Walid al-Shari) the "he's alive" claim was based on the continued survival of a Moroccan, not Saudi, pilot with similar but slightly different name.


In the case of the BBC report, it was based on a previous report in Arab News (published by the son of King Salman/brother of Mohammed bin Salman), which was apparently a series of "we interviewed a guy with the same very common name -- hey, maybe it wasn't those guys the FBI says after all" stories.


All very interesting, but I'm still not seeing any actual evidence. Evidence would look something like this:


Al Jazeera interviews Mohammed Atta, who is clearly the Mohammed Atta in the "official narrative" photographs, about the defamation lawsuit he just filed in the US District Court for the District of Columbia.


Does the absence of such evidence mean the "official narrative" is true? No.


On the other hand, the premise of this column is not particularly that the "official narrative" is true, but that the actions of the US government are not very consistent WITH that "official narrative."


Nor is the purpose of the column to either affirm or contest the "official narrative." When and if I come across actual evidence supporting specific conclusions that contradict that narrative, I'll probably find that evidence interesting enough to write about. I spent a good deal of time in the early years after 9/11 following the "9/11 Truth" movement in the hope that such evidence would be forthcoming. So far, it hasn't been, so I've moved on to other things and will come back to that one when and if someone comes up with the goods.

Submitted on Friday, Nov 23, 2018 at 3:30:33 AM

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Reply to Thomas Knapp:   New Content

Naturally, lots of reference material disappears over time. Sure, it would've been easier to discuss all this properly back in the 2002-2005 period, when the news reports were fresh in everyone's mind.

It can be almost futile fighting over the facts of something that was executed almost 20 years ago. That's how your government gets away with this kind of thing. That's why they had Guiliani quickly destroy the crime scene. That's why surveillance videos from a huge number of sources were immediately confiscated by the FBI. Etc., etc.

David Ray Griffin did few pieces on the non-dead hijackers, complete with a video interview by an independent journalist of one of these people, showing an accountant in Dubai who saw his name and photo on the "19 Hijackers" poster that was being broadcast everywhere. It was easy to see this person was the person being identified on the poster. And, there were a few other similar cases discussed.

Such research is much harder to find now.

But, if you just absorb the implications, it doesn't matter if someone "borrowed" his identity for the poster. The question nobody's asking is, why would U.S. Intelligence need to showcase people who had nothing to do with the event, if there really were hijackers, and they knew who they were, as they insisted?!?

Regardless of the "dead/alive hijacker" issue, there are many, many impossible "facts" in the official story, yet that one is clearly getting a "pass" by many writers. Pieces of the narrative continue to be used as if they don't require the same scrutiny as someone refuting it. That's the imbalance I'm banging on about.

It's the narrative, as a whole, that continues to survive. Everyone argues over the components, but at the end of the day, the narrative is clearly a lie.

So, something we know is a lie gets spread, simply because the writer "doesn't see evidence to the contrary". Even though there's never been any evidence presented to support it.

To be clear, I didn't set out to "hijack" the page with 9/11 discussion, as indeed, there's much more to your piece that I hope others have read, as it deserves reading. I failed to express that earlier, as I got distracted by the 9/11 citations, which I have repeatedly vowed to always call out.

Submitted on Friday, Nov 23, 2018 at 7:08:54 PM

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Mike Zimmer

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Reply to Josh Mitteldorf:   New Content

And I, and I hope others, thank you for this: "I've worked behind the scenes and on these pages to make OpEdNews hospitable to 9/11 Truth."

Submitted on Thursday, Nov 22, 2018 at 7:47:41 PM

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