Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Saudis Reject Redaction

Turns out the Saudi Royals would prefer those twenty-eight pages be made public.

The White House has already rejected their request. Gee, that was quick.

We have nothing to hide," Prince Saud al-Faisal told reporters in the White House driveway this afternoon as he indignantly denied any suggestions that his country has not been a full partner in the campaign against terrorism.

"We are disappointed," the prince said of the administration's refusal. "But we understand the reasons."

The prince's meeting with the president followed a hastily scheduled flight from Saudi Arabia to Washington amid a controversy over the administration's decision to keep part of the report under wraps.

"Anyone who believes that this president would cover up for anyone involved with 9/11 must be out of touch with reality," the prince said as he reasserted that his country is a full partner with the United States in battling terrorism

Well, if the White House isn't protecting the Saudis...

"There's an ongoing investigation into the 9/11 attacks, and we don't want to compromise that investigation," Mr. Bush said. "If people are being investigated, it doesn't make sense for us to let them know who they are."


In defending the decision to keep the classified section under wraps, Mr. Bush said, "We have an ongoing war against Al Qaeda and terrorists, and the declassification of that part of a 900-page document would reveal sources and methods that will make it harder for us to win the war on terror."

So let me get this straight. We've got an on-going investigation and we've got an on-going war, and never the twain shall meet? Really? No way to redact just the references to those sources and methods?

If the point of keeping a portion of a 900 page report classified is to protect the Saudis, it certainly can't be said to be working.