America First or Saudi Arabia First?

Saudi Arabia is testing President Trump’s “America First” promise by demanding U.S. alignment with Saudi interests in the Mideast, a betrayal that Trump should reject, says 9/11 widow Kristen Breitweiser in a letter to the President.

By Kristen Breitweiser

Dear President Trump,

This week you are scheduled to meet with Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. As a 9/11 widow who has fought for more than 15 years for truth, justice, accountability and transparency with regard to the murder of my husband, Ron, I have a considerable interest in your upcoming meeting with the Deputy Crown Prince.

King Salman of Saudi Arabia and his entourage arrive to greet President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Jan. 27, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

First, foremost and for good reason, I fear that the Deputy Crown Prince will not be forthright with you about his Kingdom’s role in the 9/11 attacks and global terrorism.

Indeed, many in the Kingdom refuse to tell the truth about their continued, long-standing, and well-documented clandestine, logistical and financial support of radical Islamist terrorist groups that target and kill innocent Americans.

For example, last summer when the infamous 2002 Joint Inquiry of Congress’ “28 pages” were finally released, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al Jubeir claimed that the Saudis were exonerated and that the matter surrounding the Saudi role in the 9/11 attacks was “now finished.”

In reality, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its role in facilitating the 9/11 attacks is far from over. And, in truth, the “28 pages” – actually 29 pages of the 832-page report – prove to be quite illuminating, devastating and damning towards that end:

On page 415: “While in the United States, some of the September 11 hijackers were in contact with, and received support and assistance from, individuals who may be connected to the Saudi Government.… [A]t least two of those individuals were alleged by some to be Saudi intelligence officers.”

On page 417: One of the individuals identified in the pages as a financial supporter of two of the 9/11 hijackers, Osama Bassnan, later received a “significant amount of cash” from “a member of the Saudi Royal Family” during a 2002 trip to Houston.

On page 418: “Another Saudi national with close ties to the Saudi Royal Family, [deleted], is the subject of FBI counterterrorism investigations.”

On pages 418 and 419: Detained al Qaeda leader Abu Zubaida had in his phone book the unlisted number for the security company that managed the Colorado residence of the then-Saudi ambassador to the United States, Prince Bandar bin Sultan.

On page 421: “a [deleted], dated July 2, 2002, [indicates] ‘incontrovertible evidence that there is support for these terrorists inside the Saudi Government.’”

On page 426: Bassnan’s wife was receiving money “from Princess Haifa Bint Sultan,” the wife of the Saudi ambassador. (Her correct name is actually Princess Haifa bin Faisal.)

On page 436: The general counsel of the U.S. Treasury Department, David Aufhauser, testified that “offices [of the Saudi charity al-Haramain] have significant contacts with extremists, Islamic extremists.” CIA officials also testified “that they were making progress on their investigations of al-Haramain.… [T]he head of the central office is complicit in supporting terrorism, and it also raised questions about [then-Saudi Interior Minister] Prince Nayef.”

Holding the Saudis Accountable

Fortunately, as you know President Trump, JASTA (Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act) was enacted into law — overriding President Obama’s veto — on Sept. 28, 2016 and the 9/11 Families were given the right to hold the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia accountable in a court of law for its alleged role in the 9/11 attacks.

Prince Bandar bin Sultan, then Saudi ambassador to the United States, meeting with President George W. Bush in Crawford, Texas, on Aug. 27, 2002. (White House photo)

Thanks to discovery and subpoena power, the 9/11 families hope to unearth and reveal a panoply of compelling information surrounding the Saudi role in the 9/11 attacks. Suffice it to say, we do not believe the Saudis should be considered an ally of America.

Unsurprisingly, the Saudis continue to wage war against the 9/11 Families and JASTA by paying millions to their 14 powerful, insider Washington DC lobbying firms, like the Podesta Group, to repeal JASTA and rob us of our day in court.

In addition, some of the Saudis’ key legislative supporters who threaten to repeal JASTA are Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain. Sadly, McCain and Graham choose to protect the Saudis rather than American victims of terrorism.

Quite horrifically, one of the Saudi lobbyists — Qorvis — was recently caught trying to dupe, manipulate, and pit U.S. veterans against the 9/11 families. According to media reports, Qorvis offered vets an all-expense-paid trip to Washington (staying at the Trump Hotel) to lobby against JASTA without telling the vets that it was Saudi money funding their trip. Given that many of these vets had joined the military in the wake of 9/11, the discovery that they were now being duped into “working” for the enemy they enlisted and risked their lives to fight against, was extremely upsetting. Pitting American veterans against American victims is the lowest of the low — yet, there seems to be no lengths that the Saudis will not go.

Which brings me to my last point — the Saudi Aramco IPO on Wall Street. Mr. President, my husband was burnt to death on September 11th. The remains I received included his two arms, a few fingers, and his wedding band.

Thousands of innocent people were brutally slaughtered and turned to ash in broad daylight on that horrific day, now more than 15 years ago. The notion that the Saudis — whom the 9/11 Families are currently trying to hold accountable in a court of law for their role in the murder of our loved ones — want to return to the scene of their own alleged crime to make billions of dollars is immoral and simply untenable.

As my fellow 9/11 widows and I have repeatedly said—not over our husbands’ dead bodies.

President Trump, you have structured your campaign and current policies around being for America First. The 9/11 Families certainly hope that you remain steadfast in your belief that Americans must be protected, supported, and heard, first and foremost above all others—particularly those like the Saudis who fund radical Islamic terrorists that target and kill Americans.

Kristen Breitweiser is a 9/11 widow and activist who – working with other 9/11 widows known collectively as the “Jersey Girls” – pressured the U.S. government to conduct a formal investigation into the terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Follow Kristen Breitweiser on Twitter: [This article originally appeared as a blog post at HuffingtonPost.]

28 comments for “America First or Saudi Arabia First?

  1. Greg
    March 22, 2017 at 03:24

    Osama bin Laden, September 17, 2001:
    “I would like to assure the world that I did not plan the recent attacks, which seems to have been planned by people for personal reasons. ”

    Osama Bin Laden was unofficially convicted of the attacks within a time frame that could not possibly have allowed any intelligence to have been gathered which supported the accusation. That is, it would be impossible if they did not already have that information. How could they have had no warning of an operation, which must have been very difficult to keep under wraps, but then be able to name the culprit in less than a day? Within less than four hours of the attacks taking place, the media were fed comments, which assumed Bin Laden’s guilt, comments made on the basis of events, which could not possibly have occurred. The Pentagon and the Department of Defense used dialogue attributed to Bin Laden, in an effort to incriminate him, while refusing to release all of the dialogue, and refusing to issue a verbatim, literal translation.

    From day one, there has not been a shred of publicly available evidence against Bin Laden. Up until mid December 2001, there was nothing but the continued repetition of his name. The official documents detailing allegations against Bin Laden provide no convincing evidence. Of the 69 points of “evidence” cited, ten relate to background information about the relationship between Bin Laden and the Taliban. Fifteen relate to background information regarding the general philosophies of Al Qeada, and it’s relationship to Bin Laden. None give any facts concerning the events of 9/11. Most do not even attempt to directly relate anything mentioned to the events of that day. Twenty-six list allegations related to previous terrorist attacks. Even if they were convictions of previous terrorist attacks, everybody knows that this isn’t worth the paper it’s written on, in terms of evidence for involvement of September 11th.

    Rex Tomb, Chief of Investigative Publicity for the FBI said, “The reason why 9/11 is not mentioned on Osama bin Laden’s Most Wanted page is because the FBI has no hard evidence connecting bin Laden to 9/11.”

  2. pb
    March 17, 2017 at 03:20

    Has anyone looked at the term Democide? That’s your answer. Both parties are at fault as are those who willingly pay taxes and vote. The US and Saudi governments work together. Your government doesn’t care about you. You are it’s greatest resource to do with as it pleases. Go ahead and vote and pay taxes, just please stop complaining about what you continue to ask for.

  3. Mark Reo
    March 16, 2017 at 08:24

    Thank you Kristen…

  4. Judith Jones
    March 15, 2017 at 20:00

    We have waited for 16 years for justice..the time has come for the likes of Lindsay Graham and
    John McCain to stop their collective assault
    on the 911 families. Give us our day in court.
    Why they side with Saudi Arabia is certainly
    Mr President many of us voted for you because of your determination and resolve to stand by us in this fight..don’t let us down!

  5. John
    March 15, 2017 at 14:44

    There are many documentaries as well as discussions on and about 9/11. Very factual, informative, and eye opening. I have seen many such documentaries and two good places to start researching into this are:, and Plenty of videos and documentaries at as well. Explains a lot on this subject they do and that many in our own government are not innocent if not complicate. To look deeper, Saudi Arabia has a decades old contract with the U.S. pertaining to oil as explained by John Perkins in his book Confessions of An Economic Hit Man. It is notable, because without cheap oil, the military industrial complex and Zionist/globalist corporatocracy agenda comes to end. Or at least begins breaking towards a stop.

    There are many reasons 9/11 happened. But mostly it was about power and conquest. The countries we are bombing and invading now, were on a list compiled many decades ago. They(war mongers, corporations, capitalists, ne-cons, globalists, etc) needed to use the shock doctrine against the American people into goading them into willfully signing away their liberties and an excuse for all these invasions. Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine lays it out pretty well, the mentality behind such things and implementations used.

    • albury smith
      March 15, 2017 at 16:25

      The US was bombing and invading no one when al Qaeda suicide attacked it for the third time in just over three years, and has conquered no land and stolen no resources since then. Despite Naomi Klein’s hysteria-for-profit, the real *Shock Doctrine* came from Osama bin Laden and his zealots, not some imaginary US evildoers:
      From Osama bin Laden’s 1998 (second) fatwa: “The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies-civilians and military-is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it, in order to liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy mosque [Mecca] from their grip, and in order for their armies to move out of all the lands of Islam, defeated and unable to threaten any Muslim. This is in accordance with the words of Almighty God, ‘and fight the pagans all together as they fight you all together,’ and ‘fight them until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in God [blah, blah, blah…]'”

      • F. G. Sanford
        March 15, 2017 at 21:24

        Zbiggy Brzezinski put Osama on the payroll back in 1979. He was mad about getting the “pink slip”. Who do you think you’re kidding?

        • albury smith
          March 16, 2017 at 14:25

          Whom do you think YOU’RE kidding? Osama bin Laden was never on any US payroll, and was relatively unknown to the US government until he started threatening the West in the early ’90s. The UNIFORMED Central American(?) guy in the hoax Internet photo with Brzezinski isn’t bin Laden and looks nothing at all like him except for the beard.

          • F. G. Sanford
            March 17, 2017 at 18:53

            Elizabeth Gould and Paul Fitzgerald Hidden History: Afghanistan’s untold History. You ought to read it. You might. Find out about Richard Pipes, Poppy Bush, the CIA’s “Team B”, the Hekmatyar connection, Zbiggy and…OSAMA! Yep, You picked on the wrong guy. I know exactly who you work for.

        • albury smith
          March 16, 2017 at 14:31

          You can’t make this stuff up, but you’re doing it anyway. OBL did not live in a cave in Afghanistan; he simply took refuge in the Tora Bora caves from US bombings in late 2001 after al Qaeda’s 9/11/2001 Planes Operation suicide attacks on the US.

  6. March 15, 2017 at 11:38

    More info on depredations by the West and its “allies”
    Yemen: From Saudi violations of international law to Western complicity in genocide
    Ms. Marwa Osman. PhD Candidate located in Beirut, Lebanon….
    Published time: 14 Mar, 2017 16:01

    Genocide is taking place in Yemen at the hands of a coalition of Arab states led by Saudi Arabia, supported by the US and the UK, while the world is deaf to the screams and misery of Yemeni children….
    [read more at link below]

  7. exiled off mainstreet
    March 15, 2017 at 02:09

    Trump should stand up for civilization rather than caving in to barbarism.

  8. MEexpert
    March 15, 2017 at 01:50

    It would be interesting to check to see if John McCain and Lindsay Graham were frequent guests to Bandar bin Sultan’s parties. These two have absolutely no shame. They are Israel firsters and now that Israel is on the side of Saudi Arabia, they will be doing her bidding. I commend the lady for writing a passionate letter. 9/11 victims group should hold McCain’s and Graham’s feet to the fire.

  9. Joe Tedesky
    March 14, 2017 at 20:54

    Kristen Breitweiser’s passionate appeal to reject Saudi Arabia should be a litmus test for everything President Trump professed he was all about on his way to the White House.

    • Realist
      March 15, 2017 at 02:10

      So far, “Putin’s Puppet” must be getting his signals from the Kremlin crossed up because I don’t see how anything has changed from Obama or Dubya yet. Or going back all the way back to Reagan and Bushdaddy, when we started being thick as fleas with the Saudis.

      • Joe Tedesky
        March 15, 2017 at 10:31

        Our foreign policy has been on automatic pilot for quite sometime now.

        On another not, I wish someone, anyone within our government would take the side of these 911 victims to heart. Trump for all practical purposes, and with his campaign rhetoric sounded as though he would champion a cause such as Kristen Breitweiser’s. Although in the end if Trump did nothing more than those who preceded him well then it’s all just more of the same…so who’s behind the curtain?

  10. D5-5
    March 14, 2017 at 20:20

    I would like to say that amidst all the furor over “Russian stooges,” who question WASHSPEAK, we have, in this case shown to us by Kristen, government representatives as Saudi stooges who ought to be recognized as such. There is much to develop here which I’ll leave to others.

    I hope the vets were not taken in with the bogus impression that military individuals face the possibility of being sued. They cannot be. GOVERNMENTS are sued. So McClain and Graham et al need to do some explaining. Here is their official reason for not supporting JASTA:

    “The principle known as sovereign immunity has governed relations between states for centuries. It holds that governments cannot be sued for civil wrongs without their consent. In international relations, it preserves the right and responsibility of governments to settle disputes on behalf of their citizens with other governments.”

    So, then, stop delaying, senators, and get to work, based on this principle, representing your government and its duty to sue to Saudi Arabia on behalf of what YOUR OFFICIAL REPORT indicates (the 28 pages) in terms of Saudi governing forces responsible for 9/11. Get going on the legislation. It should be very clear to all Americans that a close associate of George W. Bush, namely Prince Bandar, and his wife, were financing some of the pilots flying into the twin towers, according to this same official report. Paying their rent, paying for their flying school instruction.

    Therefore, it is your DUTY to go after Saudi Arabia and deliver recompense to the victims’ families, who wish to sue you under JASTA. Stop delaying, given your claims to being patriots of this country.

    But you won’t, will you, and the reason being, as you rub your thumb and forefinger together in chorus, is, “Business!” Ah, yes. Business.

    In terms of disgust I just wonder how that could be measured (I suppose it would fill stockyards) in the American people who remember, and who are still saddened at what happened on 9/11, including that there has been no accountability in any direction for it to this date, other than of course the official story.

    • Kntlt
      March 16, 2017 at 07:26

      The sailors and survivors of the USS Liberty have been trying to sue Israel for its attack on a US Navy unarmed ship since 1967. When it comes to Isrsel there is no sovereignty.

      • albury smith
        March 16, 2017 at 14:16

        Israel paid reparations for that nearly FIFTY YEAR-OLD mistaken identity incident:
        …and obviously had nothing to do with the al Qaeda suicide attack discussed in the article here.

  11. Bill Bodden
    March 14, 2017 at 17:48

    An excellent letter from a lady whose enormous courage, unfortunately, will be matched only by a miniscule number of politicians in Washington.

    Instead of selling their souls to Saudi Arabia and Israel the mass of politicians would do much better apologizing to Iran for the despicable behavior the U.S. has inflicted on the Iranian people and join them in trying to resurrect the Middle East from its current tragic state.

    Podesta: Another reason for stuffing the Democratic party down a sewer pipe.

    • albury smith
      March 15, 2017 at 16:16

      I didn’t see any mention of Israel in this article on possible Saudi complicity in al Qaeda’s 9/11/2001 Planes Operation — their third deadly suicide attack on the US in just over three years. Did I perhaps miss something?

  12. March 14, 2017 at 17:47

    This lady’s article raises interesting questions:
    Why is it western governments seem to be grovelling to a country that reportedly funds terrorists?
    Have they all been Saudi-mized?

    • R Davis
      March 15, 2017 at 17:59

      Aren’t Donald Trump & HRH Prince Alwaleed of Saudi Arabia best buddies ?
      Trumps 281 ft boat .. Trump was in debt to the tune of US$900 million plus ..
      Didn’t HRH Alwleed bail him out by purchasing the second hand boat .. no wait it was third hand.
      Talk on the street is that with HRH Alwaleed .. second hand is not in keeping with his lifestyle .. never would he have purchased a second hand anything & this boat was third hand.
      According to HRH Alwaleed he has bailed Trump out twice already .. & for HRH Alwaleed to buy his boat Trump had no other pals standing by with read cash .. these two guys are great pals.

      • Kntlt
        March 16, 2017 at 07:15

        Stop groveling to Israel first. Aha, but that might get you into hot water.

  13. D5-5
    March 14, 2017 at 14:33

    On the effort to recruit and subvert Iraq vets (from February 23):

    “The evidence was overwhelming that we were being used as pawns” says Iraq vet

    “Lobbyists may be planning to kill 9/11 suits against kingdom by restricting lawyers’ compensation”

    “Senior leader of military order of purple heart working for Saudi lobbyists for 100,000$ fee”

  14. Dr. Ibrahim Soudy
    March 14, 2017 at 13:53

    You now have the power to sue The Government of Saudi Arabia…..No Need to write letters to anyone but your lawyers…Go ahead and do it…………

    • Dr. Ibrahim Soudy
      March 14, 2017 at 18:55

      Stonewalled by the C.I.A.
      By THOMAS H. KEAN and LEE H. HAMILTONJAN. 2, 2008

      MORE than five years ago, Congress and President Bush created the 9/11 commission. The goal was to provide the American people with the fullest possible account of the “facts and circumstances relating to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001” — and to offer recommendations to prevent future attacks. Soon after its creation, the president’s chief of staff directed all executive branch agencies to cooperate with the commission.

      The commission’s mandate was sweeping and it explicitly included the intelligence agencies. But the recent revelations that the C.I.A. destroyed videotaped interrogations of Qaeda operatives leads us to conclude that the agency failed to respond to our lawful requests for information about the 9/11 plot. Those who knew about those videotapes — and did not tell us about them — obstructed our investigation.

      There could have been absolutely no doubt in the mind of anyone at the C.I.A. — or the White House — of the commission’s interest in any and all information related to Qaeda detainees involved in the 9/11 plot. Yet no one in the administration ever told the commission of the existence of videotapes of detainee interrogations.

      When the press reported that, in 2002 and maybe at other times, the C.I.A. had recorded hundreds of hours of interrogations of at least two Qaeda detainees, we went back to check our records. We found that we did ask, repeatedly, for the kind of information that would have been contained in such videotapes.

      The commission did not have a mandate to investigate how detainees were treated; our role was to investigate the history and evolution of Al Qaeda and the 9/11 plot. Beginning in June 2003, we requested all reports of intelligence information on these broad topics that had been gleaned from the interrogations of 118 named individuals, including both Abu Zubaydah and Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri, two senior Qaeda operatives, portions of whose interrogations were apparently recorded and then destroyed.

      The C.I.A. gave us many reports summarizing information gained in the interrogations. But the reports raised almost as many questions as they answered. Agency officials assured us that, if we posed specific questions, they would do all they could to answer them.

      So, in October 2003, we sent another wave of questions to the C.I.A.’s general counsel. One set posed dozens of specific questions about the reports, including those about Abu Zubaydah. A second set, even more important in our view, asked for details about the translation process in the interrogations; the background of the interrogators; the way the interrogators handled inconsistencies in the detainees’ stories; the particular questions that had been asked to elicit reported information; the way interrogators had followed up on certain lines of questioning; the context of the interrogations so we could assess the credibility and demeanor of the detainees when they made the reported statements; and the views or assessments of the interrogators themselves.

      The general counsel responded in writing with non-specific replies. The agency did not disclose that any interrogations had ever been recorded or that it had held any further relevant information, in any form. Not satisfied with this response, we decided that we needed to question the detainees directly, including Abu Zubaydah and a few other key captives.

      In a lunch meeting on Dec. 23, 2003, George Tenet, the C.I.A. director, told us point blank that we would have no such access. During the meeting, we emphasized to him that the C.I.A. should provide any documents responsive to our requests, even if the commission had not specifically asked for them. Mr. Tenet replied by alluding to several documents he thought would be helpful to us, but neither he, nor anyone else in the meeting, mentioned videotapes.

      A meeting on Jan. 21, 2004, with Mr. Tenet, the White House counsel, the secretary of defense and a representative from the Justice Department also resulted in the denial of commission access to the detainees. Once again, videotapes were not mentioned.

      As a result of this January meeting, the C.I.A. agreed to pose some of our questions to detainees and report back to us. The commission concluded this was all the administration could give us. But the commission never felt that its earlier questions had been satisfactorily answered. So the public would be aware of our concerns, we highlighted our caveats on page 146 in the commission report.

      As a legal matter, it is not up to us to examine the C.I.A.’s failure to disclose the existence of these tapes. That is for others. What we do know is that government officials decided not to inform a lawfully constituted body, created by Congress and the president, to investigate one the greatest tragedies to confront this country. We call that obstruction.

      Thomas H. Kean and Lee H. Hamilton served as chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the 9/11 commission.

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