Beck, Obama, & Saudi Connections
William Russell is a retired Infantry Lieutenant Colonel from the United States Army and has served in Desert Storm, the Balkans, the Iraq War, and the Pentagon on 9/11. He has spent three years in the Middle East, including 18 months training the Saudi Arabian National Guard in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Since early last week, listeners across the country have
been hearing Glenn Beck rail against the Obama Administration for its handling
of the investigation into the Boston Marathon bombing. Beck has been especially
focused on the quick changes in the status and the subsequent, and very
expedited, deportation of a Saudi suspect, Abdul Rahman Ali Al-Harbi. Al-Harbi was the prime suspect on the day of
the bombing and was previously on an FBI terror watch-list. He had open event
files, including a 212-3B terrorist suspect designation before the bombing. In
spite of this designation, Al-Harbi was quickly declared a witness and sent
home. The truth behind what happened with Al-Harbi lies somewhere in the shadows, and will probably never be fully known.
Glenn Beck and former Muslim Brotherhood member, Whalid Shoebat, and many others are very concerned about the developments of the Al-Harbi connections with the Boston bombing. Glenn Beck has been the most vocal and has been leading the charge to get to the bottom of the story, presenting many verified documents detailing the changes in Al-Harbi’s status. Beck further ties the treatment of Al-Harbi to the pattern established under President Bush when 140 Saudis were quickly sped out of the country following the 9/11attacks of 2001-- although 15 of the 19 terrorists were Saudis.
This quick deportation of Saudis with or without direct connections to the terrorist crimes is troubling. At a minimum, it drives everyone with any discerning temperament and interest in the security of our nation to question why this might occur and so much of it is kept secret. The apparent conflict of interest fuels the fires of distrust and fans the flames of conspiracy theories. Given the already questionable policies and reprehensible performance of the Obama Administration on the foreign and domestic fronts, this fire is spreading.
The Obama Administration has been incredibly distrustful in the protection of our rights, or rather, in its hostilities toward those who wish to protect the Constitution. From the refusal to prosecute the New Black Panthers for voter intimidation in the 2008 election, to the focus on “right-wing Christian extremists,” to the cover up of Beghazi, the Administration and its appointed Secretaries have been seemingly focused on undermining the Constitution and America’s standing in the world. It has reached the point where Beck and many people on the politically and socially conservative side of the house believe the full weight and efforts of the entire Homeland Security Department is focused on the TEA party, and not Al-Qaeda and the Islamic Brotherhood, as the primary threats to our nation.
But all conservatives must keep in mind that there are literally hundreds of thousands of mid-level and fairly senior career intelligence, law enforcement, and military personnel who are sworn to support and defend the Constitution. These professionals are walking the tight rope of showing public compliance with the President and his policies, while quietly using bureaucratic inertia to slow the practical effects of the Administration’s efforts to undermine the Constitution. They are engaged in very personal, gut-wrenching struggles to preserve the institutions charged with protecting our nation. They are doing so at the risk of their careers as well as the risks of being lumped together with the Administration which sets the political agendas for those institutions. In some cases, they resign in protest as the Justice Department official did in response to Eric Holder’s handling of the Black Panther case. But in most cases, they continue to serve quietly to safe guard the continuity and integrity of those institutions until the political winds bring new political leadership.
In spite of the validity of the documents Beck has acquired and his listeners’ Congressional call-in campaigns, the American people will probably never get the answers we are looking for. Part of the reason is the intransigence and incompetence of the Obama Administration. Part of it is the need to keep the work of the Intelligence community secret and avoid actions and leaks which could further the destabilization of the entire Middle East. Such leaks and actions could potentially lead to the replacement of the House of Saud with another Muslim Brotherhood government, controlling a large portion of the world economy’s life blood.
To better understand the dynamics of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, one must understand it is a political tent woven from one of the most complicated patch works of political relationships in the world today, ruled by a royal family (the House of Saud) with over 6000 family members. Only a native Arabic speaker could truly comprehend the mix of Sharia law, family & tribal relationships, pride, insecurity, and face-saving backwards logic which keeps that patch work together. Too much stress in anyone direction, and it will rip apart at the odd angles of its many seams. That patchwork tent is under the stress from the harsh political winds of the Arabian Peninsula which seem to blow all directions at the same time. The civil war in Syria and the revolutions in Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia have only increased those winds. The danger is the Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Qaeda will replace the Saudi tent with a single fabric woven from the most radical interpretations of Sharia and integrated into a new greater Islamic Caliphate.
In the west, we tend to view royal families as vestiges of antiquated political systems with a privileged few holding dominion over the masses, keeping them in poverty and suppressing societal development towards freedom. In Saudi Arabia, the dynamic is reversed. The leadership in the royal family, with all their faults and weaknesses, are the educated, enlightened, and pragmatic ones in the equation. They recognize the need to balance the conflicting legal systems of Sharia, which governs domestic issues, and Common, International, and Trade laws which govern trade and international relations. They are trying to maintain a balance as they move a 15th century society of tent and mud house dwelling Bedouin herders (it is literally the year 1434 by the Muslim Hijri calendar) into the 21st century in a single generation.
To put this in perspective: at their births, many Saudis born outside the major city centers 40 years ago, had more in common with their ancestors of the 7th Century than with their children born today.
The introduction of massive oil wealth and its opulence and decadence, combined with the modern technologies in communications, air travel, and weapons into such a society has produced an extremely volatile mix. The portion of the Saudi population whose religious beliefs, social, and political sophistication is barley removed from the middle ages, is fertile ground for the Islamic Fundamentalist messages and recruiting. The fundamentalists are blanketing those populations with sermons, videos, and printed materials highlighting the corruption and sinfulness of the royal family and accusing them of being servants to the infidel Americans. This is a message which resonates with people whose perceptions of America are shaped by Al Jazera and internet pornography. This is the portion of the population which produced the 9/11 high-jackers.
For Al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations, drawing Saudi recruits for attacks on American soil serves a very strategic purpose: it undermines the relationship between the Saudi government and the United States. It causes public distrust and hatred of all Saudis in the US. This in turn, fuels Islamist propaganda which makes it harder for the Saudi King to use US assistance in standing against Iran and keeping a lid on the Islamic revolutionary movements within the Kingdom.
The Saudi Royal family maintains this incredibly delicate balance with heavily weighted ballasts. The Ministry of Defense, which is responsible for defense against foreign threats, is directly balanced by the full time and equally well armed National Guard, which is responsible for internal defense. In the city of Riyadh, there are a number of security colleges, each training students to serve in different agencies, which also counterbalance each other and prevent anyone administrator from becoming too powerful.
The Americans responsible for working with this myriad of Saudi agencies to keep the open pot of boiling Islamic Fundamentalism from spilling all over the place, reside in the US interagency intelligence communities. They work with the conglomeration of Saudi security agencies on the mutual self interests of the United States and House of Saud in reducing the fundamentalist threats on the Arabian Peninsula and world stages.
Which brings us back to Al-Harbi. It is possible that he has enjoyed some special status in the US because of his Saudi family ties and this somehow got him out of a tight spot. But it is also possible that, in addressing the common threats of terrorism to the US and House of Saud, (we will probably never know for sure), that many of the Saudis who have been quickly whisked away following 9/11 and the Boston bombing were agents and their families working in conjunction with US and Saudi intelligence agencies to infiltrate terrorist organizations in order to track and defeat their leadership and money lines of communications. Their covers were effectively blown when the attacks occurred and links led American law enforcement to them.
The evidence of this is not in what is being said. It is in what is not being said in relation to Beck’s charges and inquiries. While certain documents have been leaked showing changes to the terrorist watch-list standings (probably by law enforcement or political personnel who are naturally alarmed at the changes), the door has been shut on who was responsible for changing the status and why it was done. No one who can get access to the inside information is bringing it forward and most are going silent on the issue. This led Beck to call for his listeners to contact their Congressmen to demand answers. He has also openly wondered if the Obama Administration, which is charged with protecting the country, “is shipping terror into our country.”
The good news is, if Obama was shipping terrorists into our country and then covering them up, there would be mass resignations in protest from the intelligence communities. Those analysts and agents would be bringing the documentation with them to Congress – and this has not happened.
This brings us back to the other part of the equation; the intransigence of the Obama administration.
President Bush enjoyed a certain amount of trust from the vast majority of the American people in dealing with the terrorist threat. Whether they loved him or hated him, almost all Americans recognized that Bush loved America and the people who defend it on the home front, the battlefields of distant lands, and the shadowy world of intelligence. Speculation over the movement of the Saudi Nationals following 9/11 was largely ignored. Whether it was a good or bad decision, just about everyone believed Bush would try to do what is right for America.
President Obama does not enjoy such trust. At almost every turn, he has either failed to reinforce, or directly undermined the trust in the institutions critical to the safe function of our system of government. He has been critical of our Soldiers in the fight and our law enforcement personnel in the execution of their jobs. He left an Ambassador to die at the hands of a terrorist mob in Benghazi and demonstrated his lack integrity in the cover-up of the debacle. His stated thoughts on the Constitution are more concerned with trying to reshape and reinterpret it rather than supporting and defending its original intent and language. Much of his political rhetoric is focused on dividing America along, racial, class, and religious lines. His Administration has publicly stated they see American Citizens who demand the Founding Principles of our nation be respected as greater threats to the nation than foreign enemies actively trying to destroy us. He is a President who refuses to acknowledge that religiously motivated terrorists are basing their reprehensible crimes on the fundamentalist teachings of Islam and its political and legal system of Sharia.
It is truly unfortunate that we have reached a point where a national radio hosts feels called to question not only the judgment, but the loyalty of a sitting President following a national tragedy. It is unfortunate that there is so much documentary evidence to support his questions. Finally, it is unfortunate that a sitting President has so poisoned the well of trust with such a large portion of the population that it serves to divide our nation at a time when we should be united in our stand against enemies who seek to destroy us.
Even if Obama has done the right thing in dealing with the Saudi connection, as he did when he ordered the raid on Osama Bin Laden’s compound, it is unfortunate that he no longer gets the benefit of the doubt from so many of us. Obama’s chickens have come home to roost.COMMENT