By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media
The possible involvement of a Saudi in the Boston terror attacks is being curiously ignored or downplayed by most of the mainstream media. Steve Emerson, Glenn Beck, and others have pressed for answers, however. Beck has issued a full report with updates on the controversy.
When Rep. Jeff Duncan, a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, questioned Homeland Security Department Secretary Janet Napolitano on the matter, she claimed his questions were “not worthy of an answer” and that much of the reporting has been “wrong.” She later said the Saudi was on a watch list but had no involvement.
Saudi Ambassador to the United States Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir issued a statement condemning the bombings in Boston and offering his condolences to the families of the victims.
On Twitter, according to one report from Ahmed Al Omran, a Saudi blogger and journalist, “many Saudis expressed their fear that one of their countrymen could be involved in the bombings. According to the Saudi cultural attaché in the US, there are more than 1,000 Saudi students going to school in Boston.” Al Omran graduated with a Master’s degree from the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University.
The reason for the sensitivity may be that the Obama Administration has been working with Saudi Arabia in “counterterrorism,” and that the country has served as a base for Obama’s drone attacks on al-Qaeda leaders he wants eliminated. This fact was covered up by our major newspapers, including The Washington Post and New York Times, for over a year.
The Post finally blew the whistle on its own cover-up, acknowledging that “an informal arrangement among several news organizations” had been in existence to protect the Saudi role in the drone attacks.
The paper said that it “had refrained from disclosing the location at the request of the administration, which cited concern that exposing the facility would undermine operations against an al-Qaeda affiliate regarded as the network’s most potent threat to the United States, as well as potentially damage counterterrorism collaboration with Saudi Arabia.”
Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen, an American citizen, was said to be the first target of a Saudi-based American drone strike. His son, also an American citizen, was later killed in a drone attack.
The Saudis claim they are cooperating with the U.S. They say that in October 2010, Saudi intelligence officials provided key information to American officials that foiled an attempted terrorist plot involving bombs heading to the United States that originated in Yemen.
But the Saudi role in the drone attacks gives the Saudi regime leverage over the Obama Administration. It might come in handy if Saudis were implicated and detained in terrorist attacks on the United States.
The Saudis and their U.S. allies, especially in the oil business, are heavy hitters in Washington, D.C.
Last October we reported on the Arab-US Policymakers Conference, or AUSPC, sponsored by various American Big Oil companies, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and U.S. corporations such as Boeing. The government of Saudi Arabia and other Arab states were also major sponsors.
On April 20, just five days after the Boston bombings, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel left Washington for the Middle East where, among other things, he was going to discuss a $10 billion package of arms to Saudi Arabia.
This follows a Saudi agreement in 2010 to purchase 84 F-15SA “Strike Eagle” fighter jets, a deal which had a value of $29.4 billion.
A Department of Defense release about the arms sales referred to “Hagel’s First Middle East Trip to Seal Historic Arms Deal.”
If the major media will cover up the Obama Administration’s use of Saudi Arabia as a base for drone attacks, it cannot be dismissed out of hand that reporters are covering up a Saudi role in the Boston terror attacks.
Fox News reporter Bret Baier looked into the alleged Saudi role in the bombings and said the Saudi student became the subject of an “internal document” and put on the “no fly list” because of “an abundance of caution and out of diligence,” according to U.S. officials. However, Baier echoed officials as saying there was no evidence of the man’s involvement in the bombings.
Columnist Diana West says we can’t trust Fox News on this matter, since it is part-Saudi-owned.
Beck appeared on Bill O’Reilly’s show on April 25 to present his findings. “We’re always willing to give you a hearing,” O’Reilly said, without commenting directly on his charges of a cover-up.
Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected].