“Why would you do business with people who helped Khalid Sheikh Muhammad?” Tim Russert asked Giuliani.
Rudy giggled at the question.
Who would think that question is funny? Surely not the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who have been killed, maimed or displaced in a war against a country that had nothing to do with 9/11. And surely not anyone who lost a loved one on 9/11. Or anyone who cares about having a sane foreign policy.
You know who might think that question is funny? Abdallah bin Khalid al-Thani, the member of the Qatari royal family who reportedly help spirit Khalid Sheikh Muhammad out of the country in 1996 when U.S. forces were closing in on him.
But now, as Giuliani told Russert, Qatar is an ally of the United States. Qatar, where a government official helped 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Muhammad escape U.S. authorities before Sept. 11, is now an important ally in a war against a country that had nothing to do with 9/11.
Surely, Abdallah bin Khalid al-Thani must think that’s funny.
From Meet the Press:
MR. RUSSERT: And here’s an article that was written by The Wall Street Journal. “Giuliani could face questions about his business ties if he wins his party’s nomination. The Qatar contract offers a window into the” political “potential complications. While Qatar is a U.S. ally, it has drawn scrutiny for its involvement in the U.S. effort to combat terrorism. In” ‘96, “the FBI went to Qatar to arrest al-Qaeda operative Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, then under indictment in New York for a plot to blow up U.S.-bound jetliners. But Mr. Mohammad slipped away, apparently tipped off by an al-Qaeda sympathizer in the Qatari government, U.S. officials told the bipartisan” September 11th “commission. Mr. Mohammad went on to mastermind the September 11th, 2001 attacks.”
Salon.com asked you this question: “Are you aware that the interior minister appointed in 2001 and reappointed this year by the emir of Qatar is Abdullah al-Thani, the former minister of Islamic affairs and a strict Wahhabi Muslim who has been identified in U.S. press and government reports as a protector of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed?”
MR. GIULIANI: Am I aware of it?
MR. RUSSERT: Yes.
MR. GIULIANI: I—I’m, I’m aware of it now.
MR. RUSSERT: Why would you do business with people who helped Khalid Sheikh Mohammad?
MR. GIULIANI: The reality is that Qatar is an ally of the United States. There are a significant number of American troops that are stationed in Qatar. What we did for them and do for them is security for their facilities. And this is a country that is an ally of ours in the, in the, in the Middle East to the extent that it has a very significant number of American troops stationed there.
MR. RUSSERT: But the emir of Qatar praised Hezbollah for their victory over Israel in Lebanon.
MR. GIULIANI: The, the emir of Qatar also supports the United States, supported the United States, is one of our, one of our friends in the Middle East, is taking the grave risk—the country of Qatar is taking the grave risk of having American soldiers there. When you go to Qatar, when you go to Doha—and I have for security work—you see a significant number of young Americans there. If you walk the streets of Doha, you can meet them, you can talk to them. They need security; the government there needs security. We’re dealing with the same Islamic terrorist threat there as we do all over the world. It gave my company a great deal of expertise in Islamic terrorism, which is really necessary all over the world. So the reality is that we need to develop friends.