I’m The Dope That’s On The Ropes

CNN.com – Saudi official, Bush to meet on 9/11 report – Jul. 28, 2003
This is good news. I’ve been a supporter of this administration and have still been troubled by its penchant for secrecy. Releasing the 28 pages will end any controversy for the administration, though it could spell trouble for the Saudis.

Even if there is no incriminating information regarding the Saudis and 9/11, the President should insist on an end to Saudi funding of madrassas and, if not, they should be placed on the State Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism.

Our relationship with the Saudis, henceforth, should reflect our shared values, which are few. If the madrassas — which teach only the Koran and by most accounts a good deal of anti-Americanism — are merely schools of extreme anti-Western thought, our relationship with Saudi Arabia should reflect that. We needn’t pretend to be friends with a country that actively trashes our values. Our diplomatic relationship should reflect this reality.

If the madrassas are indeed schools for future terrorists, the Saudi support for them should be noted and they should be added to the State Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism. In any case they should be listed on the State Department’s list of countries that are religiously intolerant. The State Department listed dozens of examples of their intolerance and still refused to add them to the list. Do it now.

Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister has asked to meet with President Bush on Tuesday, and a diplomatic source said the Saudi official will seek the release of all, or at least part, of the material dealing with Saudi Arabia that was kept out of the public version of the new congressional report on the attacks of September 11, 2001.

A White House official confirmed the meeting would take place, and another administration official said the Saudis are upset about verbal attacks against their government that several members of Congress have launched in recent days.

Prince Saud al Faisal is to meet with Bush at the White House and will likely spend time with other senior administration officials as well, the diplomatic and administration sources said.

The diplomatic source said the Saudi government wanted “White House help” to quiet the dispute, and said the Saudi government was being “recklessly smeared” by some members of Congress who have said some material was kept classified because the administration is trying to protect the Saudi government and keep incriminating information out of the public eye.

Asked whether the Saudis wanted the material declassified, this diplomatic source said, “That would be one way to stop some of the reckless things and one of the things to be discussed.”

UPDATE: Here’s the WaPo story on the President’s meeting with the Saudis.

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