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Saudi Arabia and 9/11

For more than a decade, questions have lingered about the possible role of the Saudi government in the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, even as the royal kingdom has made itself a crucial counterterrorism partner in the eyes of American diplomats.

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. - New York Times

Here's a prediction: it won't reignite any debate. People may get hung up on the fact that large numbers of Americans were killed on 9/11 but the prevailing attitude in Washington is that that matters less than geopolitical orientation. Iraq played no role in 9/11 and had an infinitely smaller role in fomenting the kind of jihadism that bin Laden embraced than Saudi Arabia. But the aftermath of 9/11 did not see a diligent search for Saudi linkages. What it did see was an effort to rope Saddam Hussein into the equation, because he, not Saudi Arabia, was the geopolitical problem child. And it worked.

Today, that problem child is Iran and I suspect no amount of Saudi complicity in 9/11 (if there was any at all) short of green-lighting the attack itself would change Washington's Middle East calculus at this point.