WASHINGTON, D.C.—Instead of laying $20 million apiece on Harvard and Georgetown universities in one more effort to win the hearts and minds of the children of America’s elite, as Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal of Saudi Arabia did this week, it would be so much more to the point if he demanded a little transparency from the Saudi royal family.
“As you know, since the 9-11 events, the image of
Islam has been tarnished in the West,” said the
Saudi prince, who has extensive business dealings in the U.S.
and Europe. This is the same prince who tried to give
New York $10 million after 9-11, but was rebuffed by
Mayor Giuliani when he said the U.S. ought to “re-examine its policies in the Middle East and adopt a more balanced stance towards the Palestinian cause.” The prince said other gifts to American universities in Cairo and Beirut will teach Arabs about America, while the gifts to Harvard and Georgetown are “to teach about the Islamic world to the United States.”
Instead of giving these wealthy exclusive
universities money, why doesn’t the Saudi royal family
come clean and tell us what it was doing before 9-11? Did it help finance, directly or indirectly, the attacks that day? Are members of the Saudi government and royal family now providing financial support to
Why give money to wealthy American universities
when the family should be investing in its own poor populace,
offering them an economic future not solely dependent
on the export of a raw commodity-oil-to the U.S. and
Europe? If the huge Saudi reservoirs are beginning to
decline, that country is headed for virtual ruin,
putting more and more people into worsening economic
situations, while the few very rich in the royal
family party on. What about providing Saudi women
with a status equal to that of Saudi men?
The Joint Inquiry of the Congress formed to
investigate intelligence failures after 9-11
discovered a Saudi spy operating in the U.S. There is widespread speculation in Washington that he was but one
of several Saudi spies operating in the U.S.
Former Senator Bob Graham describes in detail in his book, Intelligence Matters, how the Saudi government paid one of its California
operatives through a chain of conduits, and how a member
of the royal family contributed cash to the spy’s
family as well. This took place in California while
al Qaeda was gearing up for the attacks, among other
things settling two of its hijackers in San Diego.
In attempting to track Middle East terrorists, especially al Qaeda before 9-11, FBI officials
sought to interview several people detained by the
Saudis. At first the government stonewalled the feds; then they
beheaded the suspects before the FBI could arrive.
And what was in those notorious 28 pages of classified material in the Joint Inquiry report,
reportedly dealings with the activities of Saudi
officials with regard to 9-11?
Both Harvard and Georgetown gratefully took the
handout. Georgetown president John DeGioia was
almost groveling when he declared in a statement, “We are deeply honored by Prince Alwaleed’s