August 1, 2003
9/11 REPORT: IS RIYADH
** Washington's "blame
game" is an attempt to find a "scapegoat" for intelligence
Saudis "insist" upon the release of the 28 classified pages.
** Others speculate that
the pages reveal an "unholy alliance" between Saudis and al-Qaida.
** The "damning"
report is unlikely to cause any serious strain in U.S.-Saudi relations.
'The U.S. security services could have prevented
Writers worldwide blamed the "lack
of cooperation" between the CIA and FBI for the failure to prevent the
9/11 attacks. The U.S. had
"sufficient information" on suspect activities and individuals, but
interagency "turf-wars" prevented intelligence from being passed on
to the White House. Skeptics charged
Washington with attempting to divert blame from the U.S. "intelligence
empire" by withholding the 28 pages: "Congress is into the blame
game; it does not care who or what gets destroyed in the process."
The Kingdom is committed to eliminating the 'sin of
terrorism.'-- Riyadh's defenders
rejected allegations of al-Qaida ties, claiming Saudi Arabia "has nothing
to hide." London's influential
Saudi-owned Al-Sharq Al-Awsat insisted that "there is no safe haven
for terrorists" in Saudi Arabia, as demonstrated by the Kingdom's recent
success in "uprooting" terrorism.
Moderate outlets charged that the report is based on "false
accusations without any proof" and demanded a chance to publicly refute
the intolerable "innuendo."
Most Saudi commentators asserted that "professional liars" in
"the Zionist lobby" collaborated to discredit the Kingdom's recent
crackdown on terrorism and weaken U.S.-Saudi relations.
The U.S. 'closed its eyes' to Saudi links to al-Qaida-- European commentators urged Washington to
reevaluate its "embarrassing" relationship with "Riyadh's
autocrats" to avoid a potential "scandal." "The feudal, corrupt...Saudi regime hardly
differs ideologically from the Taliban," asserted Germany's business-oriented
Financial Times Deutschland.
British and French journals stated that Usama Bin Laden's
"connections" to high Saudi officials have been critical to the
development of "modern radical Muslim militancy." South Africa's liberal Sunday Independent
called on the U.S. to "coax, bully and bludgeon" the Saudis into
With oil 'covering the truth,' the alliance has
'every chance of surviving'-- Although Saudis accused
the U.S. of jeopardizing 50 years of "close friendship," most
commentators contended that the Kingdom's rulers "will be safe." With "chaos prevailing in Iraq,"
the U.S.--the world's largest consumer of oil--will continue to
"protect" the Saudi regime--the world's largest producer of oil. According to China's official Global Times,
strategic interests make both sides unwilling to "deteriorate into
Editor: Andrew Borda
Editor's Note: This analysis is based on 47
reports from 16 countries, July 25 - August 1.
Editorial excerpts from each country are listed from the most recent
SAUDI ARABIA: "Saudi
Public Is Irritated Over U.S. Administration's Position"
Damman’s moderate, Al-Yaum editorialized (7/31): "When the Kingdom requested the U.S.
administration to release the classified 28 pages of the congressional report
on the events of September 11, the purpose was to present facts before the U.S.
and the international public opinion....
We point out to the U.S. administration that the Saudi public is
extremely frustrated and outraged over its position. The U.S. administration also has to
acknowledge the serious Saudi position on fighting terrorism.... We demand the U.S. administration to publish
those classified pages in order to present facts to the international public
"Abusing Of The Classified Pages"
Riyadh’s moderate, Al-Jazira stated (7/31): "The campaign against the kingdom begun
long before the release of the Congressional report and those who support that
campaign will find in it a new momentum for their conspiracy against the
Kingdom. But this campaign will have no
influence on the Kingdom and its vital role in supporting Arab and Islamic
"Baseless American Justifications"
Jeddah’s moderate Okaz maintained (7/31): "Events so far have proven that no
matter what the U.S justification was for not to declassify the alleged pages,
whether it were for political or security reasons, the excuses remain groundless
and we do not know why. When will they
tell the truth? So that America does not
have to resort to groundless justifications that could only be refuted by
someone who supports justice and righteousness.
But these terms have been missing from the U.S. foreign policies."
"Unfounded Campaigns Will Not Harm Bilateral Relations"
Jeddah’s moderate Al-Bilad commented (7/31): "The Saudi leadership and their American
counterparts are fully aware that those professional liars cannot pollute the
strong relationship between the two countries, which is built on honor, mutual
respect and interests. The leadership of
the two countries realizes that Zionist groups whose main goal is to weaken the
U.S. -Saudi relationships out of envy curry the latest accusations against
"Our War And Theirs"
Abha’s moderate Al-Watan observed (7/31): "It has become very obvious that
targeting Saudi Arabia is directly related to the Kingdom’s defensive position
of Islam, and its fights in support of Muslims all over the world. It is also related to the Saudi involvement
in other Arab issues such as the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. This leading Saudi role is the real target of
these allegations in America, which are carried out in collaboration with the
Zionist lobby. They know very well that
Saudi Arabia is against terrorism because it has been one of its victims. That is why they found those pages convenient
to justify their attacks on the Saudi role in world affairs."
Jeddah’s English-language Saudi Gazette held (7/31): "Saudi Arabia always prided itself on
being at peace with everyone in the world.
It has been an ardent advocate of regional and global stability. Observers will agree that Saudi policy has
stood the tests of time and the Kingdom has nothing to hide."
Riyadh's conservative Al-Riyadh editorialized (7/30):
"The U.S.' refusal to declassify 28 pages of the congressional report,
which talked about a possible Saudi role in the September 11 attacks, from our
point of view was unjustified. To
classify that information is condemnation rather than a political
goodwill.... On the other side, the
Kingdom's demand to declassify those pages is indisputable evidence that we
hide nothing. If there were accusations
against us we want to know them in order to refute and answer."
"Declassify The 28 Pages"
Abha's moderate Al-Watan remarked (7/30):
"The congressional report on the 9/11 events...created a noise especially
in respect to the 28 classified pages on Saudi Arabia that the White House
refused to declassify.... Since things
have gone so far, the Kingdom declared that it is not afraid of publishing
those pages. To the contrary, we insist
that their contents be released. Because
we know that we stand on solid ground....
To the dismay of the kingdom's adversaries, Saudi Arabia calls for the
disclosure of the contents of these pages.
They are afraid of publishing them because they know that they contain
nothing but falsifications of truth, and false accusations without any
"The Congressional Report And Political
Damman's moderate Al-Yaum opined
(7/30): "We want to state clearly
and decisively to the U.S. Congress that the Kingdom, as a sovereign state,
cannot accept to play the role of a victim in a domestic U.S. political
struggle.... The government of the
Kingdom and its people demand the release of those 28 pages so we can
accurately answer and refute them. We
want American and Saudi public opinion to understand that we are not interested
to engage in worthless battles, the aims of which are to advance personal
political ends.... Political hypocrisy
is a synonymous feature of struggle among the pillars of the U.S.
Administration and the U.S. Congress."
Jeddah's English-language Arab News noted
(7/30): "The unpublished 28 pages, which allegedly deals with Saudi
involvement, now threaten to seriously damage Saudi-U.S. relations.... Opponents of the administration are queuing
up to smear the Kingdom....The fact that in most cases their real target is the
Bush administration and that they would readily smear any other country in
similar circumstances makes no difference.
The result is that Saudi Arabia is being vilified as never before, on
the basis of mere speculation and innuendo.
It is worse than unfair; it is intolerable. Saudi Arabia, a firm ally of the U.S. for
longer than anyone else in the region, is being treated like an enemy. More than half a century of close friendship
is being sacrificed on the altar of political advantage by irresponsible
populists who will stop at nothing to embarrass the White House and make a name
"No Shelter For Terrorism"
London's influential, Al-Sharq Al-Awsat editorialized
(7/29): "Once again the Saudi security forces proved their ability to
monitor and disclose the designs of terrorists, whose plans aimed to disturb
the security and safety of Saudi Arabia.
Last night's raid in Al-Qassim province confirmed that even if those
outlawed, terrorists can move from a place to another, they cannot
hide.... In short there is no safe haven
for terrorists and terrorism here....
The raid also was a strong response to some recent Western reports that
challenged Saudi efforts in uprooting terrorism.
"Continuous Confrontation With
Moderate Okaz held (7/29): "Again
our security forces achieve another victory...in a long and a bitter battle
against terrorism and its evils.... Our
battle against terrorism will continue until we eliminate the sin of terrorism
completely from our society.
"An Ultimate Resolve To Hunt
Moderate Al-Yaum opined (7/29): "The
confrontation with terrorists requires vigilance from all especially, the Saudi
citizens through cooperation with the security personnel and reporting on their
whereabouts because their ideology aims to destroy our security and social
stability. We state here clearly to them
that you and your ideology have no place among us and we will support the
security personnel in fighting you and to clear our country from your evils.
Mecca's conservative Al-Nadwa contended
(7/27): "The comment by the State Department Spokesman Richard
Boucher...was an official certificate for failure of another attempt to
undermine the relations between the Kingdom and the U.S. as similar attempts
failed in the past. Those sick-minded
people, who spread baseless allegations from time to time, forget the fact that
the Kingdom was a victim of terrorism, speared no effort and continues to fight
terrorism and to dry up its sources.
Therefore any accusation that the Kingdom supported terrorism is a false
"We Have Nothing To Hide"
Damman's moderate Al-Yaum opined (7/26): "The problem
is not the (congressional) report, or those who prepared it.... But the problem lies on those minds, which
preach for a new world. Yet, the most
dangerous problem is that those people have completely ignored measures
introduced by the Kingdom to fight terrorism from which the Kingdom still
suffers more than the U.S suffers....
Those people do not understand that the Kingdom has nothing to
hide. They should understand, as Prince
Bandar bin Sultan stated, that we can publicly answer questions but we cannot
respond to hidden pages."
"Boring, Repeated Scenarios"
Abha's moderate, Al-Watan editorialized (7/26): "There
is a determination by some American circles, which are backed by the Zionist
lobby, to continue their campaign against Saudi Arabia for reasons no longer
hidden to anybody.... The congressional
report on the September 11 events was drafted jointly with persons well-known
for their anti-Saudi attitudes.... Those
campaigns will have no influence on (the Kingdom)."
Jeddah's English language, Arab News commented (7/26):
"The 900-page U.S. congressional report into the events of September 11,
just released, has targeted and defamed Saudi Arabia. Not with facts but by baseless innuendo and
suggestion.... The report oozes
institutional racism.... Congress, like
the American public opinion it represents, is into the blame game; it does not
care who or what gets destroyed in the process--in this case decades of close
Saudi-U.S. friendship. So it shuts its
eyes to the fact that Saudi Arabia is fully involved in the war against international
terrorism.... Such defamation is
outrageous and is bound to poison the two countries' already troubled
Riyadh's English-language moderate Riyadh Daily argued
(7/26): "The U.S. congressional report released on Thursday insinuates
that the Kingdom could have had hand in the attacks.... Nevertheless, accusations have been thrown at
the Kingdom for far too long. The issue
at stake is not a triviality but such a sensitive and serious issue as
terrorism. The Kingdom has been doing
and continues to do its part in upholding the age-old relation with the
U.S. It's time that Washington, too,
steps in and directly intervenes to put a stop to such dubious
EGYPT: "The Foolish
Pro-government Al Ahram columnist Ahmed
El-Berry wrote (7/31): "There is no
better word to describe the American administration than the Syrian Foreign
Minister's description of it as 'a foolish administration.' It really has pursued foolish decisions and
positions since Sept 11.... It launched
a campaign against terrorism, called 'global,' without clear objectives and
plans or a conscious study of the situations of each country.... The White House rejected a Saudi request to
reveal parts of the September 11 report concerning Saudi Arabia."
Point In War On Terror"
The left-of-center Sunday Observer
editorialized (7/27): "We are now at a critical juncture in the
prosecution of 'the war on terror'. The
easy tasks, to which America's military might was well suited, are
over.... The really difficult problems,
those that genuinely lie at the root of modern Islamic militancy and cannot be
tackled merely with smart bombs, are still unresolved. The Congressional report highlights one:
Saudi Arabia. Whatever the details of
Saudis' involvement in 11 September... there can be little doubt that the
massive exporting of hardline strands of Islam throughout the Muslim world by
the Saudi religious and political establishment over the last 40 years has been
critical in the development of modern radical Muslim militancy. This goes far beyond the simple funding of a
few terrorist individuals. It entails
the spread of fringe conservative doctrines that encourage violence in
millions. Reversing that trend is critical
to fighting terrorism. But it must be
done without playing into our enemies' hands.
Usama bin Laden's aim has always been to radicalize and mobilize those
Muslims who have hitherto shunned his message of hate. This means that the war on terror is
primarily a battle for hearts and minds. As Bush and his advisers digest the
report, and look to the work to be done in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere, they
would do well to bear this in mind.
Otherwise all the gains since 11 September could be lost."
FRANCE: "When Censoring Rhymes With Confessing"
Jean de Belot commented in right-of-center Le Figaro
(7/26): “The fact that the 9/11 report
does not charge the CIA and the FBI, both of which could have prevented the
attacks, is significant, but what is much more serious is the American
administration’s decision to censor 28 pages out of the 900 page report dealing
with the role of Saudi Arabia.... This
censoring is not a blunder, it is a sort of confession. A proof that for years Washington has been
fostering a relationship with the complex Saudi regime knowing all the while
that the latter maintained internal security by financing al-Qaida abroad. What is wrong with this picture?”
Klaus-Dieter Frankenberger argued in center-right Frankfurter
Allgemeine (7/31): "You can bet
on it: Congress and certainly the
opposition will insist on the publication of the 28 pages that have been
blacked out in the Congressional report on 9/11..... Thus the classical conflict is looming
between Congress, which will insist on publication and publicity, and the
president who refers to security interests and ongoing investigations. But because the cauldron of assumptions is
bubbling, the matter is also getting uncomfortable for the Bush administration,
since the blacked out pages are supposed to deal with the involvement of a
'foreign government' in the attacks or its knowledge thereof--Saudi
Arabia. We can imagine that the
leadership in Riyadh feels denigrated and also demands the publication. At least it argues that it insists on
it--knowing that the Bush government will not do it. The Saudi government also claims that it is a
strong ally in the fight against terrorism, even though it has presented
evidence only a few days ago. A queasy
feeling remains that people in the Islamic dark chambers were working on the
destruction of the security and oil partnership between Arabia and the United
States--and this work was tolerated if not promoted. The question is by whom and why?"
Heiko Flottau had this to say in center-left Sueddeutsche
Zeitung of Munich (7/31): "We
do not know whether the Americans secretly passed information to their Saudi
allies. It is possible that the United
States keeps all information to itself.
But this would only show what it fears: Osama bin Laden has the best
connections to the highest government circles in Saudi Arabia, and this would
be a bad suspicion. On the other hand,
both sides will remain dependent on each other for a long time to come. The United
States still wants to have access to Saudi oil reserves. The Saudis in turn need the protection of
America, especially in the fight against al-Qaida. And here the interests of the two unequal
partners meet.... If we want to say it,
we can say that, since the occupation of Iraq, the United States borders on
Saudi Arabia. This proximity may be
reassuring for the Saudi monarchy, but it will also frighten it at the same
time. On the one hand, it guarantees
protection; like in Kabul, any America-hostile regime in Riyadh would not
survive for tool long. But this
proximity can also provoke al-Qaida attacks.
That is why the King and his princes will have mixed feelings when watching
the U.S. protectorate in Iraq. Let's
hope for a good neighborhood."
"End Of The Grace Period"
Business-oriented Handelsblatt of Duesseldorf editorialized
(7/31): "Riyadh's autocrats have
not fallen yet into disgrace in Washington and still enjoy access to the
president about which other partners can only dream. But since the Iraq war, relations between the
globally biggest energy consumer and the biggest oil supplier have dramatically
changed. It has been clear for a long
time that the Saudis invest a considerable part of their petrodollars in the
export of Wahhabism.... But the U.S.
government closed its eyes to this and suppressed any criticism of the
reform-unwilling Saudi monarchy.... But
this is now a thing of the past. With
Iraq, the United States now controls the second-biggest oil reserves in the
world and can even outmaneuver OPEC.
That is why the Saudi monarchy must now face U.S. demands. Washington has called upon Riyadh not only to
improve cooperation in the fight against terrorism, but also the overdue
democratization of politics and society."
"An Ambiguous Game"
Centrist Mitteldeutsche Zeitung of Halle noted (7/31): "If the United States accuses Saudi
Arabia of having promoted Islamic extremism and the 9/11 attacks, then this
will only be half the truth. For
decades, the Saud family played an ambiguous game: alliance with the United States and support
of extremism. But the United States
willingly joined in this game, because the extremists were a weapon against
Moscow and a lever to assert U.S oil interests in Central Asia. Now that the genie that the Saudis let out of
the bottle is turning against the U.S. and the Saudi monarchy, both countries
are blaming each other. This is an
"Change Of Regime In Riyadh"
Business-oriented Financial Times Deutschland
of Hamburg charged (7/30): "The
accusations against Saudi Arabia are by no means out of place. Saudi Arabia is a model example of
undemocratic allies being unreliable allies.
It is no coincidence that 15 of the 19 9/11 attackers came from the
country. The feudal, corrupt...Saudi
regime hardly differs ideologically from the Taliban in Afghanistan. That is why Washington would be well advised
to conceal no longer any Saudi involvement in terrorist activities. What is necessary in Riyadh is regime
change.... There is an insoluble
contradiction between Islamic self-understanding of today's Saudi Arabia and
the alliance with the U.S. that is so comfortable for the material interests of
the king's family. It is reflected in
the links between the elites in Riyadh and the al-Qaida network. They disagree on the appropriate relationship
with the West, but they share the same extreme interpretation of Islam."
"Dark September Traces"
Left-of-center Frankfurter Rundschau
noted (7/29): "The terrorist acts of September 11 could have been
prevented with a bit more attention, and friends are not always friends. This is the conclusion of the document that
summarizes the investigations of a Congressional committee on the attacks. This is an indirect accusation, but it must
be painful for the U.S. president, his security advisor, and the evaluators of
the intelligence reports. The Saudi
trace is interesting...and the denial of the Saudi ambassador to Washington
gives reason for assumptions.... But the
prince is distracting attention from a core point. The state itself is not involved. Its symbiosis with oil industry and the
defense establishment in the U.S. is obvious and not suspicious. But what is more important are the links
between radical groups that made their experience in Afghanistan with U.S. assistance,
and those inner-Saudi opposition which is outraged at corruption and the
greed...of the leading Saudi family.
Second, at issue is the access of alleged terrorist to Saudi financial
resources, and at issue is the picture of the Arab world that the Saudi
ambassador conveyed to the U.S. establishment--and this was a very unrealistic
"Oil Covers The Truth"
Centrist Abendzeitung of Munich contended
(7/28): "The Congressional fact-finding committee, which offers sufficient
evidence of the failure of the FBI and the CIA, is an expression of the
strength of U.S. democracy. But George
W. Bush is again trying to damage this strength. It is an incredible scandal that he blacked
out part of the report.... It would
really be more than embarrassing if the 'U.S.' best friends' in the Arab world,
the Saudis, were involved in the terrorist network. But oil is easily covering the truth. Bush does not want to lose support from the
regime in Riyadh, particularly while chaos is prevailing in Iraq."
Heiko Flottau judged in center-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung of
Munich (7/28): "In the
Congressional report on the shortcomings of U.S. intelligence services before
the terrorist attacks on September 11 some pages have been blackened.... Even though many Saudis were educated in the
West, they have remained supporters of a deeply conservative Wahhabism. That is why they supported bin Laden in the
fight against the atheist Soviet Union, and that is why they also promote him
in his campaign against the decadent West.
The U.S. protectors of the Saudis (better the protectors of Saudi oil
resources) have always known these facts, but only since 9/11 they have been
slowly familiarizing with these facts.
The Americans must now pose the painful question why their country of
freedom and democracy has been supporting for more than seven decades a
fundamentalist-Islamic form of state which it fights elsewhere."
"Blunder Of Agents"
Jochim Stoltenberg contended in right-of-center Die Welt of
Berlin (7/28): "If a Congressional
fact-finding committee now comes to the conclusion that the FBI and the CIA
made serious mistakes in the preparatory stages of the 9/11 attacks, then this
by no means allows the conclusion that the unthinkable could have been
prevented. There is no evidence of it,
since the al-Qaida network was too diversified.... But again, a weak spot of the intelligence
agents from the FBI and the CIA has become obvious. They are competing too strongly against each
other instead of unconditionally cooperating.
The Bush administration has never been short of strong words and even
deeds. But it has to safeguard its
global fight against terrorism at home, too, by stopping the intelligence
services from watching each other. This
alone does not guarantee security but reveals traces that were also covered
Clemens Wegin penned this in centrist Der Tagesspiegel of
Berlin (7/26): "The Congressional
report about the failure of U.S. intelligence services reveals two things:
their sloppiness before the attacks, and the self-purification forces of U.S.
democracy. On almost 900 pages it
reveals where the executive made mistakes....
But it is unclear whether the U.S. government blackened certain passages
to maintain Saudi cooperation in the fight against terrorism or because of
business contacts with important Saudi government officials. This is a blind spot of an otherwise
impressive report. And the question
remains whether the Republican-dominated Congress will use a similar zeal to
investigate the pre-war times."
"If Security Agencies Fail"
Left-of-center Berliner Zeitung remarked
(7/26): "Thanks to the uranium scandal we have gained the impression that
the U.S. intelligence services want to make up for their mistakes and want to
use more intelligent approaches to evaluate their information. But this does not reassure us. On the contrary, while the situation in Iraq
was obviously exaggerated, Saudi Arabia, from which 15 of the 19 attackers
came, is protected. In the report those
passages are blackened that deal with the role of Saudi Arabia. The Bush administration classified certain
findings and nobody will ever learn whether the Riyadh government financially
supported the attackers.... The U.S
government is willing to forgive the CIA and the FBI but on the flight to
Washington, nobody is allowed to use the bathrooms--for reasons of national
Markus Bernath wrote in liberal Der Standard (7/31): “Who is the American government trying to
protect with its refusal to publish 28 pages on Saudi Arabia’s silent, or not
so silent, complicity with the attackers of 9/11? The Saudi monarchy with its long-standing,
notorious lenience towards extremists?
The failure of the U.S. intelligence services? Or itself?
George W. Bush has maneuvered himself into an untenable position with
the censoring of the hefty investigation report of the U.S. Congress on the
events of 9/11.... The American
government wants to avoid a public debate on the relations with Saudi
Arabia--but this debate has already started....
The surviving dependents of the victims of the 9/11 attacks have also
demanded clarity on the role of the Saudi dynasty in the terror attacks. Is Washington still interested in them?”
Foreign affairs writer Gerhard Plott reported in liberal Der
Standard (7/27): “Now it’s official:
The U.S. security services could have prevented the terror attacks of 9/11, the
U.S. Congress investigation committee declared.
A higher level of co-operation between the intelligence services would
have been necessary to avoid the serious mistakes that were made. The comprehensive investigation results
collected by various agents were not assembled into one clear picture, the
report states--obviously, none of the different offices knew what was really
going on. But as is often the case with
year-long investigations, what the report leaves out is more interesting than
what it includes. The passages on
Saudi-Arabian support of terrorists, which were left out in the official
version, are especially political dynamite.
If the U.S. government knew about this and did not react, this is either
proof of dramatic incompetence in the White House, or of the fact that the Bush
administration consistently applies a double standard: Old allies such as Saudi
Arabia can count on lenience, but all other terrorists are ruthlessly fought.”
FINLAND: "Close U.S. Relationship With Saudi Arabia Put To
Leading, centrist Helsingin Sanomat editorialized (8/1):
“The unholy alliance between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia is eroding by the
day.... The controversy as such is not
so serious that it would break the U.S.-Saudi alliance. The key word is oil. That and Saudi Arabia's important
geo-strategic position have helped
create a complex relationship between the two countries, based on the economy,
politics and military policy. There are
many influential decision makers in the U.S. who would add the name of Saudi
Arabia to the list of rogue states.
Reality is different. Unless
income disparity or other internal difficulties lead to an upheaval in Saudi
Arabia, its rulers will be safe. At the
same time, the alliance will remain the shining monument of stark realpolitik
enhancing the belief of the Arab world in the U.S. duplicity.”
"Terrorists From The Wrong Country"
commented (8/1): "The risk exists
that sooner or later a revolution with religious undertones might wipe away the
Saudi royal house. The U.S. fears that
oil will be taken over by a hostile government, and the princes fear for their
lives. This equation guarantees that the
Riyadh-Washington alliance has every chance of surviving."
NORWAY: “Serious Weakness Before September 11”
Newspaper-of-record Aftenposten opined
(7/26): "What might be most
important in [the Congressional report] is what is not said. Because after much pressure from the White
House are 28 pages not being downgraded....
The publishing of the Congress report has directed a new and critical
focus against Saudi Arabia and the special relationship the power holders in
the oil rich country seem to have with the current and former President Bush in
addition to Vice President Dick Cheney.
As long as the U.S. protects Saudi Arabia, the suspicion will continue
that there is something in the relationship that can’t be brought out into the
light of day.”
CHINA: "Saudi Arabia
Qi Zijian commented in the official Xinhua
Daily Telegraph (Xinhua Meiri Dianxun) (7/31): "Analysts think, although Saudi Arabia
has received frequent attacks from terrorists, it was still labeled by the U.S.
as ‘connected with terrorist organizations’.
It shows that the trust between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia has been
shaken. Besides, the continuously
increasing anti-U.S. sentiment in Saudi Arabia is not consistent with the new
U.S. strategy of promoting democracy in the Middle East. Therefore, the ‘accusation’ in the U.S.
report and the ‘disappointment’ of the Saudi government brought new unstable
factors to the relations of the two countries and the security of the Gulf
“The U.S. Irritated Saudi Arabia"
Official Communist Party international news
publication Global Times (Huanqiu Shibao) judged (7/30): "Analysts
think, although the U.S. will continue to put more pressure on Saudi Arabia, it
is still too early to tell if the U.S. and Saudi Arabia will split or not. The strategic inter-complementary relations
between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia haven’t changed. Saudi is the biggest oil supplier of the
U.S., and the U.S. is the biggest trade partner of Saudi Arabia. Both of them are unwilling to deteriorate
into hostility. Therefore, analysts think,
Bush will appease Al-Faisal in order to weaken the adverse effect brought on by
the Congressional report.”
JAPAN: "Danger Of
The liberal Asahi argued (7/28): "A '9/11 report,' compiled by special
Senate and House intelligence committees, gives readers the impression that if
intelligence reports had been passed on to higher levels of government in
advance, simultaneous 9/11 terrorist attacks could had probably been
prevented. The panels pointed out that
FBI and CIA intelligence reports on the pre-9/11 activities of terrorists in
the U.S .had somehow not been passed on to the White House and other high-level
administration officials. This showed
that even in the U.S., which is referred to as an 'intelligence empire,'
bureaucratic sectionalism or a 'turf war' between rival intelligence
organizations often stands in the way of passing crucial intelligence reports
to government agencies concerned in a timely and accurate manner.... The U.S. is also being rocked by the
deepening suspicion that the Bush administration exaggerated the threat of
Iraq's WMD to justify the U.S.-led war on Iraq.
There is rising skepticism that intelligence officials neglected to
provide President Bush with accurate reports on Iraq's WMD before he decided to
use force against Saddam Hussein."
The nationalist Hindustan Times editorialized (7/31): "If the blacked out pages in the U.S.
report on the terror attacks of 9/11 contain vital information on the culprits,
as is suspected, it is surprising that the information should be suppressed at all. One would have thought that the Americans
would be the first to reveal this secret for which the world is
waiting.... If the Saudi regime is
responsible, why should Americans be shy of disclosing the fact? If anything, it should be the Saudis who will
want their dark deeds to be kept secret.
But, in this case, it is Riyadh which wants the contents of those pages
to be published. Clearly, there is more
to the matter than meets the eye. It is
possible that a disclosure that people associated with the Saudi regime were
the actual miscreants [of 9/11] will severely undermine the justification for
invading Iraq.... But is this fatal
miscalculation alone the reason why Washington wants to keep mum on the
suspected Saudi connection? Or is
Riyadh's decades-old friendship with Washington and the Bush family's business
links with Saudi Arabia the explanation for the silence? It seems fairly certain that the hidden
portions of the report contain as much damaging material for Riyadh as for
BANGLADESH: "At Last
Saudi Arabia Is Also Being Implicated"
Pro-Saddam Inqilab maintained (7/27): "Who knows whether the ill motives of
the U.S. would have been clear to Saudi Arabia unless it was not implicated in
the report on the September 11 attacks.
The September 11 incident is no doubt a tragic event in human
history. But the U.S. is using the
incident as a terrible weapon to implement its blueprint to resist the rise of
Muslims as an economic power. If the
U.S. does not have to bear any liability for once encouraging Taliban, Bin Laden
and the al-Qaida network, why should Saudi Arabia have to bear the
responsibility for its failure to suppress al-Qaida? The U.S. does not care, even if this question
becomes acute among the peace loving people of the world. At any moment, the U.S. may turn its active
ally into an enemy and confront it. This
is the essence of the U.S. foreign policy.
The so-called war against terror is also being used as a lame excuse for
achieving its policy of economic expansionism.
It has used and will use Saudi Arabia as long as it thinks necessary and
then it will throw Saudi Arabia away or confront it as an enemy."
SOUTH AFRICA: "Coalition Has Been Barking Up The Wrong Tree"
The liberal Sunday Independent commented (7/27): "It
was the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon that set
the U.S. military on the road to Baghdad, via Kabul. Yet the 800-page report into the failings of
U.S. intelligence that were exposed by the attacks points not towards Iraq but
further south.... If the citizens of
Britain and America worry about terrorist attacks they should ponder this
report--and the absence of evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq
--and conclude that the U.S.-British policy has been misdirected for the past
two years. If the governments of Britain
and the U.S. really wanted to ensure the security of their peoples, they should
have devoted the same resources and attention that were applied to fighting the
war in Iraq to trying to coax, bully and bludgeon the Saudi authorities into
rooting out the networks that support al-Qaida and similar groups. The sooner the coalition can achieve what the
U.S. calls closure in Iraq, the sooner they can devote their energies to
learning the real intelligence lessons of the attack on the twin towers."
CANADA: "Secrets Of
The leading Globe and Mail editorialized (7/31): "The
intelligence and technical flaws, many of which were already known or the
subject of intense speculation, are detailed in a damning report...that numbers
close to 900 pages. But perhaps the most
explosive section, which deals specifically with the possible foreign
assistance made available to the 19 suicide hijackers responsible for the
attacks, remains secret by order of President George W. Bush.... Although complete transparency is always
preferable, there are times when information is simply too sensitive to be made
public. This may very well be one of those times."
"Congressional Report Vindicates Bush Strategy"
David Warren contended in the conservative Ottawa Citizen
(Internet version) (7/26): "Read
impartially...the report gives some useful insights into the nature of the
enemy the West is facing. It puts beyond
doubt the impossibility of defeating this enemy by means of conventional police
methods and civilian courts. It
vindicates what the Bush administration has done, in taking the battle to the
enemy rather than hoping the threat will go away."
BRAZIL: "Fatal Error"
Right-of-center O Globo noted (7/26): "When the first
airplane hit the first world Trade Center tower on September 11, no one doubted
that the American intelligence services had miserably failed. The outcome of a Congressional investigation
recently concluded shows that the CIA and FBI's greatest mistake was the lack
of cooperation. Both the espionage and
counter-espionage agents had sufficient information on the suspect activities
of individuals. But there was not one
single coordinated, intelligent action capable of putting the public interest
above corporation disputes."
Viewed Under A Magnifying Glass"
Ana Maria Salazar judged in old-guard nationalist El Universal
(7/25): "Finally! With great pomp and circumstance a U.S.
legislative commission revealed the results of its investigation into possible
intelligence failures by the CIA and the FBI that resulted in 9/11.... Eighteen months after al-Qaida's terrorist
attack, which now seems like the chronicle of an anticipated attack, the United
States keeps trying to find a scapegoat.
The fact that this report was made public just 15 months ahead of the
upcoming presidential elections turns it into a political tool.... Unfortunately, as paradoxical as it may seem,
this report, and the recent scandal regarding the use of fictitious
intelligence to justify the U.S. invasion in Iraq, shouldn’t weaken Bush's
chances of being reelected.... George W.
Bush is facing the ghost of his father's failure; he did not win reelection
despite of his achievements abroad, such as the Gulf War.... Therefore, history teaches that winning a war
does not guarantee a victory in the upcoming elections. This is a lesson that George W. Bush knows
personally. This is true, with or
without the questions on intelligence."