Bob Graham and Bob Kerrey on a Saudi Link to 9/11

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Former Senator and compulsive diarist Bob Graham along with former Senator Bob Kerrey (who has just announced his plans to run in Nebraska for the Senate again) have said that they think that the Saudi government may have been involved in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

From a report in the New York Times that ran last week:


Now, in sworn statements that seem likely to reignite the debate, two former senators who were privy to top secret information on the Saudis' activities say they believe that the Saudi government might have played a direct role in the terrorist attacks.

"I am convinced that there was a direct line between at least some of the terrorists who carried out the September 11th attacks and the government of Saudi Arabia," former Senator Bob Graham, Democrat of Florida, said in an affidavit filed as part of a lawsuit brought against the Saudi government and dozens of institutions in the country by families of Sept. 11 victims and others. Mr. Graham led a joint 2002 Congressional inquiry into the attacks.

I'd love to see what evidence or key questions they think are unresolved or which lead to Saudi government sponsorship of this terror attack.

But strategically, their assertions about Saudi behavior make zero sense.  The attacks precipitated a direct military intervention in the region that brought down Saddam Hussein -- which unleashed the constraints on arch-Saudi rival, Iran.  These attacks created massive tensions between the Arab world and the US -- and have made the generally pro-US foreign policy role played behind the scenes by the Saudis much more complicated.

Fantastic conspiracy theories are part of the currency of the Middle East, but perhaps the trend is spreading to America.  Will be watching to hear more detail on this. 


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Steve Clemons is Washington editor at large for The Atlantic and editor of Atlantic Live. He writes frequently about politics and foreign affairs. More

Clemons is a senior fellow and the founder of the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation, a centrist think tank in Washington, D.C., where he previously served as executive vice president. He writes and speaks frequently about the D.C. political scene, foreign policy, and national security issues, as well as domestic and global economic-policy challenges.

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