Capitol Crimes

 

I’m just a plainspoken Colorado criminal defense lawyer, but the way I see it…

The 9/11 Commission Report, issued by Congress almost eleven years ago, was subtitled “Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States.” There was nothing final about it.

Secret pages of the report continue to haunt any claim to finality. As revealed only a month ago, an Al Qaeda operative on sabbatical in my home state, who receives his meals through a slot in the door, characterized the Saudi Arabia royal family as major donors to his terrorist network.

Why shouldn’t he, and why shouldn’t they have been? Most of the 9/11 terrorists were Saudi, Osama bin Laden was Saudi, and — when no other commercial planes were flying — the FBI helped hustle Saudi royal family out of the United States in time to catch lingering celebrations back home.

It’s probably a little embarrassing that the new king of Saudi Arabia happens to be the same guy who was bin Laden’s pen pal not long before 9/11. That local maximum security celebrity I mentioned, Zacarias Moussaoui, says he was the fella who delivered the messages.

It’s probably a little more embarrassing for the United States government, who already knew about that and still pretends it didn’t, and doesn’t.

Twenty-eight pages of the 9/11 Commission Report remain classified as a government secret. “Government secret,” of course, is an oxymoron. Government is by the people, and government people who have seen those pages have told those secrets to nongovernment people — for example, New York Times people.

Why they may remain secret is because of another kind of people: business people. Saudi Arabia is a valued trading partner of the United States — good for Saudi Arabia, good for the United States.

Saudi Arabia sells us oil — lots of it. In 2013, $50.7 billion of it. And half of it comes back to the American oil companies invested in the Saudi Arabian oil companies.

Do we really want to disclose, that the people doing all this business now, financed the terrorists who did us harm then? That’s not good for business. Financing the terrorists was probably itself a business, rather than ideological, investment.

And what’s good for business is good for yet another kind of people: politicians, if they know what’s good for them (and they do). Just as oil is the fuel of industry, business is the fuel of political campaign.

The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee certainly knows what’s good for him. Senator Richard Burr sees the secret pages as an historical curiosity. “There may have been a level of participation by some Muslim country that is not commensurate with today,” he told the New York Times, never mind what Muslim country that might be.

Yes, and Osama bin Laden might have simply evolved into a tired old geezer who liked to watch pornographic videos when we killed him. Not commensurate with the man who declared war on the United States and financed his war with Saudi riyals.

None of political life today is commensurate with the dreams of the people who founded this country, none of whom dreamed, for example, that free speech would come to mean all the speech money can buy.

Political donors are sacrosanct; politicians, supplicants. The former protected by the latter, for whom no sacrifice of principle, of honor, of justice, is too dear.

Not even the principle, the honor, or the justice of two thousand, nine hundred ninety-six lives. A blood drop in the bucket, compared to the lives sacrificed throughout history to the leaders of men, leaders financed by the captains of industry.

The 911 Commission report was praised for its literary qualities and became a best-seller, almost as if it were a work of fiction.

As if it were a work of fiction.

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