Saturday, July 31, 2004

Saudi Prince: "we granted him a visa, but he never came"

In an exclusive interview with the Telegraph, Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal takes issue with Moore's depiction of the Saudis:

. . . 'It would have been far better if Michael Moore had been able to read the 9/11 report before he made his film. It shows that all the protocols were strictly observed.' Because Moore had not thoroughly researched the allegations levelled against Saudi Arabia, Prince Turki said that Fahrenheit 9/11 is 'grossly unfair' to the Saudis.'

In his film, Moore claims that the Bush administration helped a number of Saudi princes and members of the bin Laden family to flee the United States immediately after the attacks at a time when American air space had been closed to all commercial air traffic. Moore implies that the Saudis were smuggled out of the country to cover up their involvement in the terror attacks.

Prince Turki said these claims have now been completely refuted in the report compiled by the US commission of inquiry into the 9/11 attacks, which was published at the end of last month.

In a section headed 'Flights of Saudi Nationals Leaving the United States', the report found 'no evidence that any flights of Saudi nationals, domestic or international, took place before the reopening of national airspace on the morning of September 13, 2001'. The report also concludes that it found no evidence of political interference by the White House, and states that those Saudis who did leave the US on charter flights in the days following the attacks had been thoroughly vetted by FBI agents.

Prince Turki said Moore could have found this out for himself before he made the film, but he 'chose to speculate' rather than establish what really happened.

'Michael Moore made a request to visit Saudi Arabia and we granted him a visa, but he never came,' said Prince Turki in an interview with The Telegraph. 'He missed an important opportunity to find out key facts. In my opinion he should have made every effort to go to a country he has taken to task so heavily in his film.'

SOURCE: Saudi royal family lambasts Michael Moore for twisting the truth in his 9/11 film. Telegraph August 8, 2004.