by Alan Simpson
Libel, Oil and Terrorists?
The story over the letter, or hoax letter to journalist Wayne Madsen is getting real legs in Washington, with old enemies joining forces to once and for all silence the ultra rich Saudi Businessmen, or as has been suggested have them interned in Guantanamo!
Now I feel the witch hunt against all Islamic Charities is wrong, and the notion that giving help to families in need should be stopped if one of their kin has links to Hamas, or Al Qaeda, or even giving them Martha Stewart cookbooks.
I feel that on the flip side that if the foreign courts assist organizations and individuals carry out acts of terrorism the lawyers, and judges share an equal responsibility as the man who strapped the bomb to his chest and killed innocent civilians in the marketplace.
I am all for dragging foreign judges to Guantanamo Bay as "Enemies of the State" even "Enemies of Humanity" when their decisions fly against justice, and aid terrorists.
The same with Saudi businessmen. If they are innocent they should not be wrongly accused. If they are guilty they should be hunted down with the same passion as if they were Bin Laden. I know that President Bandar Bush believes the Saudis have special exemption, even to laying on special planes to fly them out of harms way.
But the Bush protection plan may not be renewed in November, and certainly not in four years time.
But the fact that they contribute to Islamic Charities should not be held against them, if it is for the benefit of the poor, and unfortunate families around the world. The larger the web of donations the less the detailed scrutiny of the use of the funds is possible.
The same applies to corporations that have plants and branches around the world. You never can tell who is a legitimate business partner and who has links to political organizations. Remember one mans Terrorist is another'sFreedom Fighter!
The Republicans hate being reminded but President Reagan was an avid supporter of Central American Terrorists seeking to overthrow a legitimately elected government by the use of guns and bombs. So were the Israelis and by today's definition most of the early leaders should have been arrested and executed. Come to think of it George Washington was a Terrorist, wooden teeth and all.
Since the now infamous letter I have been reviewing the litigation, threats and tactics of the Saudis. There is a distinct pattern in the attacks, which can either be action to stop libel, or a blunderbuss attempt to stop investigation of the guilty. Were I a conspiracy theorist I would see the fingerprints of political advisers in the White House on these attacks, but there is no direct proof.
If it is genuine trauma caused by fabricated and untrue journalism, then the truth needs to be told to the world. If the business, or businessman is a genuine, compassionate benefactor of the poor and unfortunate, this needs to be congratulated. If the story has been manufactured, as several discredited journalists have unfortunately been caught doing, then sincere apologies are in order. In the same medium and prominence as the original story.
Now if it is subsequently found that the reporting, subject to lawsuits and penalties, was in fact accurate and the legal actions aided and abetted the spread of terrorism, death and destruction then I am all for swift, massive and painful retribution.
Unlike my liberal colleagues I have no problems with the old Posses of the Wild West and "Wanted Dead or Alive".
I have no problems in closing down big law firms in London, Washington and around the world, dumping their furniture into the gutter. I have no problem in having the senior partners dragged into custody chained and handcuffed. They are common criminals just like the thugs who attack innocent children, and their mothers in the marketplace.
I also believe the same should apply to ENRON and WorldComm executives, but under the present Administration it won't happen.
There seems a disconnect between the legal profession and current reality. Getting Bin Laden off on a technicality, or shielding wealthy businessmen from investigation, when global terrorism is involved is not a situation that can be tolerated. Yes there will be initial victories, and there are those who will gloat over the roasted Goat, and believe they have subjugated justice in their favor.
But the repercussions will be harsh, and the world opinion is primed and ready to stamp out these who use their wealth, power and access to legal process, to protect their activities.
But could there be other reasons I ask? It is suspicious that the article referred to in the letter, or hoax attributed to Nabarro Nathanson is dated 22nd October 2002. They downloaded it on 18th August 2004.
The Saudis went to great lengths to show their displeasure over a piece that was, how can you say, ancient! Did not their legal advisers do sufficient Due Diligencein monitoring the media, or was it jumping on the legal bandwagon following the decision in the case of Sheikh Khaled Bin Mahfouz and the French Author Jean-Charles Brisard.
Now USA Today is very cautious in anything attributed to Jack Kelly, and would likely retract Today's Weather if written by him. It does not mean the facts were wrong, merely they are covering their bets on a known lame horse.
But Voila! All becomes clear when Mr Wayne Madsen's publisher calls. It turns out that there is massive pressure from England, and Saudi Arabia, and of course the Bush Pit Bulls to stop the publishing of Madsen's book, Jaded Tasks: Big Oil, Black Ops and Brass Plates and certainly delay it until after the November election.
It seems that after long, detailed investigations Madsen has blown the lid off the Oil Scandals and Bush/Saudi relationships. I haven't seen a copy of the book, but many authors and journalists have complimented Madsen on his detailed references to the statements made in the book. One told me several months ago that Madsen appeared to be writing a legal brief, and not a book. Turns out that that was a wise move in light of the dragging up of his 2002 articles to cover threats in late 2004.
But this is not the High Court in London, and those who try and stop books and films usually end up with egg on their face. In fact it seems that the publicity to the threats has brought a huge new audience wanting to learn more about Wayne Madsen. (No smoke without fire?)
The other byproduct of this is that investigative journalists are looking at Sheikh Khaled Bin Mahfouz, Mohammed Hussein Al Amoudi and NabarroNathanson under the microscope. Until yesterday few journalists cared.
They may be innocent Saudi businessmen wrongly accused of acts far from their minds, but let there even be one unpaid parking ticket outstanding, and it will be uncovered!
As for the unpublished book by Wayne Madsen, Jaded Tasks: Big Oil, Black Ops and Brass Plates, which many of us believe precipitated this whole charade, it seems like backers are flocking to get the book into the hands of the masses, smelling a second lucrative Fahrenheit 9/11. Surely not the reaction and outcome the authors of the letters to Madsen had in mind.