John Gibson Interviews Stephen Schwartz (II)
by John Gibson
Folks who lost loved ones on September 11 are taking on the Saudis in a trillion-dollar lawsuit, claiming they bankrolled 9/11, which has some Saudi investors threatening to take out their cash from our economy, because they say this lawsuit is nothing more than a conspiracy.
Joining us in Washington, Stephen Schwartz from the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and the author of the upcoming book, "The Two Faces of Islam."
So, I've seen astounding figures, $200 billion and more, the Saudis are removing from U.S. banks or the banking system. Is this because they're worried about judgments from a lawsuit, or they're in a fit of pique about all the criticism they've gotten from Americans?
STEPHEN SCHWARTZ, FOUNDATION FOR THE DEFENSE OF DEMOCRACIES: Well, the Wahhabi Saudi Alliance in Saudi Arabia has gotten away with murder for 250 years, and now for the first time, because of 9/11 and the various investigative disclosures after 9/11, they're under scrutiny. And the Saudi -- the reactionary faction of the Saudi royal family does not like outside scrutiny.
GIBSON: But is that why they're pulling their money out or do they think there's real jeopardy that they could be held responsible for, you know, 15/19 of 9/11 and have that money attached?
SCHWARTZ: I think for them, scrutiny is a slippery slope. Yes, they're very concerned that at the end of the day they will end up facing the possibility of the seizure of some of their assets or maybe all their assets in the United States.
GIBSON: Do you think that they can be found to be complicit, to be guilty with Atta's merry band, or is it a sort of an axiom of these kind of situations that the axe of a fanatical few can't be attached back to the country they're from?
SCHWARTZ: Well, the actions of the fanatics were expensive actions to carry out. They were extremely elaborate, they were global, they were sophisticated, and they used a lot of technology. I know for a fact -- I believe for a fact, let me put it that way, or I believe -- that the money trail leads right back to a section of the royal family.
I think this will become disclosed. How it will be disclosed or how it will be proven is another matter. One thing is said that I think we have to say is, if there were not a connection, then the Saudi government should have been able to give us a transparent accounting of the whole situation. They haven't even made an effort to begin an investigation in the involvement of their citizens in 9/11, and that to me indicates they have a great deal to hide.
GIBSON: If they had this kind of jeopardy over this many billions of dollars, does that have an effect on changing Wahhabi dogma, if you will?
SCHWARTZ: Well, since these guys have gotten away with murder for 250 years and gotten the Christian powers, Britain, the United States, and France to cover them while they, excuse me, spread their extremism throughout the Islamic world, it is hard for me to imagine that their head is now going to clear and they're going to realize that part of their -- the only way out of the trouble area is to clean up their act.
I don't think they're going to clean up their act. I think they're going to make some kind of last stand. They're going to try to get away with it as long as they can.
GIBSON: Stephen Schwartz from the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.
SCHWARTZ: Thank you.
GIBSON: ... author of the new upcoming book, "The Two Faces of Islam." Steven, thanks a lot.
SCHWARTZ: Thank you.
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