Not That It Matters
From yesterday's New York Times:
Documents gathered by lawyers for the families of Sept. 11 victims provide new evidence of extensive financial support for Al Qaeda and other extremist groups by members of the Saudi royal family, but the material may never find its way into court because of legal and diplomatic obstacles.
The case has put the Obama administration in the middle of a political and legal dispute, with the Justice Department siding with the Saudis in court last month in seeking to kill further legal action. Adding to the intrigue, classified American intelligence documents related to Saudi finances were leaked anonymously to lawyers for the families. The Justice Department had the lawyers’ copies destroyed and now wants to prevent a judge from even looking at the material.
The Saudis and their defenders in Washington have long denied links to terrorists, and they have mounted an aggressive and, so far, successful campaign to beat back the allegations in federal court based on a claim of sovereign immunity.
Documents, witnesses, and intelligence reports tie members of the Saudi royal family to militants in Bosnia, Pakistan, and to the Taliban, both before and after the September 11 terrorist attacks; but there is no smoking gun tying the family to those attacks.
The Justice Department said a 1976 law on sovereign immunity protected the Saudis from liability and noted that “potentially significant foreign relations consequences” would arise if such suits were allowed to proceed.
Um. Okay. Well, how about some serious investigations? Like with at least some level of transparency. By Congress. By the DOJ.
Kristen Breitweiser, an advocate for Sept. 11 families, whose husband was killed in the World Trade Center, said in an interview that during a White House meeting in February between President Obama and victims’ families, the president told her that he was willing to make the pages public.
But she said she had not heard from the White House since then.
Sounds about right.