Wednesday, September 03, 2003

The Bush motto: Protect your friends before your country

Remember the story about members of the bin Laden family being allowed to fly out of the country after 9/11 while the rest of the country's airspace was shut down? Remember how many said this story had been debunked?

Well... not only did it happen, it was approved by "Top White House officials":

White House Approved Departure of Saudis After Sept. 11, Ex-Aide Says

WASHINGTON, Sept. 3 — Top White House officials personally approved the evacuation of dozens of influential Saudis, including relatives of Osama bin Laden, from the United States in the days after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks when most flights were still grounded, a former White House adviser said today.

The adviser, Richard Clarke, who ran the White House crisis team after the attacks but has since left the Bush administration, said he agreed to the extraordinary plan because the Federal Bureau of Investigation assured him that the departing Saudis were not linked to terrorism. The White House feared that the Saudis could face "retribution" for the hijackings if they remained in the United States, Mr. Clarke said.

I will not comment on the theory of some that this proves the Bushies were in cahoots with terrorists. You don't need to go that far to assert that this story should be damaging for this administration. For this story, at a minimum, provides yet another example of how this administration bends over backwards to protect its Saudi friends, even in the face of the worst terrorist act in U.S. history.

For the Bushies, protecting their friends is more important than protecting the security of the United States. It's as simple as that.


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