Report: Rudy has business ties to 9/11 facilitator
GOP presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani, who has made tough talk about combating Islamic terror a staple of his campaign, has had extensive business dealings with a foreign ministry helmed by a man with ties to the 9/11 attacks, according to a new report.
Giuliani Partners, a consulting firm which the former New York mayor founded after leaving in office in 2002, maintains a "cozy business relationship," with the "terrorist-tolerant" nation of Qatar, writes the Village Voice's Wayne Barrett. Barrett reports that the firm's business partners in Qatar have included that country's former minister of Islamic affairs, Abdallah bin Khalid al-Thani (above right), who has been accused of helping suspected 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Muhammad evade an an FBI arrest attempt in 1996.
"In other words," writes Barrett, "as incredible as it might seem, Rudy Giuliani -- whose presidential candidacy is steeped in 9/11 iconography -- has been doing business with a government agency run by the very man who made the attacks on 9/11 possible."
Appearing on MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann, Barrett said Giuliani should have known about Qatar's ties to terrorism in 2005, when he made the country one of his "principal clients."
"He would have had to have been deaf, dumb and blind not to know it because he then in 2005 had running his security unit two of the FBI agents who had been pursuing the Qatar relationship [to terrorism]," Barrett told Olbermann. "By 2005, the United States had a very complicated relationship with Qatar. It was fully aware of its ties to international terrorism."
Barrett went on to add that Giuliani Partners' business with al-Thani and Qatar was strictly a money decision.
"I think the conundrum really for Rudy as a candidate is he parades around America as the black and white candidate who can't see any grey," he said. "And so here you have a relationship where he could see the grey because there was so much gold involved."
Detailing al-Thani's role in purportedly aiding and abetting Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, Barrett says in the Voice that al-Thani helped the suspected terrorist to flee Qatar. Al-Thani also "remains a named defendant in the 9/11 lawsuits that are still proceeding in Manhattan federal court," he adds.
Barrett writes that the reality of Giuliani's association with Qatar is "inconsistent with the core message of Giuliani's current presidential campaign, namely that his experience and toughness uniquely equip him to protect America from what he tauntingly calls 'Islamic terrorists' -- an enemy that he always portrays himself as ready to confront, and the Democrats as ready to accommodate."
Barrett's report was published a day before a much-discussed story broken by Politico's Ben Smith, which accused Giuliani of obscuring security expenses to disguise an extra-marital affair during his time as New York mayor. Although that story has been picked up by an array of news outlets, the Barrett piece has received a tamer reception thus far in the mainstream press.
Nevertheless, Olbermann called Barrett's story a "startling and potentially ruinous revelation," and said of Giuliani, "The 'war on terror candidate' -- looking tonight a lot more like the 'ties to terror' candidate."
Barrett is the co-author of Grand Illusion: The Untold Story of 9/11, which takes a critical look at Giuliani's role "before, during, and after" the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
The following video is from MSNBC’s COUNTDOWN with Keith Olbermann, broadcast on November 28, 2007