2 Allies Aided Bin Laden, Say Panel MembersWingnut predictable argument goes here.
Pakistan and Saudi Arabia helped set the stage for the Sept. 11 attacks by cutting deals with the Taliban and Osama bin Laden that allowed his Al Qaeda terrorist network to flourish, according to several senior members of the Sept. 11 commission and U.S. counter-terrorism officials.
The financial aid to the Taliban and other assistance by two of the most important allies of the United States in its war on terrorism date at least to 1996, and appear to have shielded them from Al Qaeda attacks within their own borders until long after the 2001 strikes, those commission members and officials said in interviews.
"That does appear to have been the arrangement," said one senior member of the commission staff involved in investigating those relationships.
The officials said that by not cracking down on Bin Laden, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia significantly undermined efforts to combat terrorism worldwide, giving the Saudi exile the haven he needed to train tens of thousands of soldiers. They believe that the governments' funding of his Taliban protectors enabled Bin Laden to withstand international pressure and expand his operation into a global network that could carry out the Sept. 11 attacks.
"1996! That'd be CLINTON! It's HIS fault!"
Sorry. That dog ain't gonna hunt...
From 1998 through 2000, Clinton administration officials pressured Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to help force the Taliban to surrender Bin Laden, and to crack down on the growing presence of Al Qaeda in the two countries.Of course if he were close buddies with the Saudi Royal Family, they might have done something. But since Clinton was identified to be the bad guy in the eyes of the Bushes' side of the political landscape, lifting a finger for something like this would be wrong - because after all, the guy got oral sex. And that was ba-a-ad. Ba-a-a-ad.
Both governments refused to sever diplomatic relations with the Taliban or to help investigate Al Qaeda's growing empire, officials said.
The Clinton administration also learned that Taliban efforts to extort cash from Saudi Arabia "may have paid off," a commission report states.