In the first public dissent of the 9/11 commissioners since they filed their final report in 2004, John Lehman, a former Navy secretary for the Reagan administration, told the Guardian in an interview that it was a mistake to exonerate Saudi Arabia from ties with the terrorist act.
In recent months, the Obama administration has been under increased pressure to declassify the entire 9/11 commission report, of which 28 pages have been kept secret.
Lehman said, “There was an awful lot of participation by Saudi individuals in supporting the hijackers, and some of those people worked in the Saudi government.”
He continued, “Our report should never have been read as an exoneration of Saudi Arabia.” Fifteen of the 19 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia.
The U.S. has sold billions of dollars’ worth of weapons, aircraft and cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia since the start of the Saudi air strikes in Yemen over a year ago.
In an investigation into al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Reuters reported that the Saudi war in Yemen has made al Qaeda “stronger and richer."
Saudi Arabia, leading the Arab-coalition within the country, has been bombing innocent Yemeni civilians in attempt to oust the Iran-allied Houthi militants.
To further support the Arab-coalition in Yemen, the U.S. Army deployed soldiers in Yemen two weeks ago in support of the Saudi cause, according to the Pentagon Press Secretary.
The emergence of an al Qaeda “mini-state” in the southern port city of Mukalla is, Reuters explains, “the most striking unintended consequence of the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen. The campaign, backed by the United States, has helped AQAP to become stronger than at any time since it first emerged almost 20 years ago.”
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque