There's an odd story going on in the background of the Afghanistan fiasco, and I strongly suspect that in the labyrinthine and murky ways of Swampington, D.C., that it may have something to do with that fiasco. And amid the justifiable - if not noisy - criticisms of the Bidenenko regime and the apparent multiple layers to the debacle, this story seems to have been swamped right out of the spotlight, overwhelmed like a New Orleans levee. The story was spotted by many of the regular contributors of articles here, so my thanks to all of you who spotted it and passed it along.
So what's the story? President* Bidenenko has apparently ordered the declassification of some documents regarding 9/11, apparently in response to pressure from some of the 9/11 victims' families:
Even in this verbiage-rich information-poor version of the story, however, there's something that caught my eye, and it's this:
Still, the practical impact of the executive order and any new documents it might yield was not immediately clear. Past investigations have outlined ties between Saudi nationals and some of the airplane hijackers, but have not established the government was directly involved. How the release of any previously withheld documents might change that assessment is not known.
The Justice Department revealed last month that the FBI had recently concluded an investigation that examined certain 9/11 hijackers and potential co-conspirators, and that it would now work to see if it could share information that it had previously determined could not be disclosed.
But, the families said Thursday, "thus far, no additional substantive material has been produced, and the FBI has not agreed to make a further effort to find its missing documents." (Boldface emphasis added)
Indeed, anyone who has investigated 9/11 will be familiar with those strange and murky Saudi connections, not to mention a whole host of other connections - think only of Mohammad Atta's very weird and persistent German connections - in the 9/11 plot. The Saudi aspect of the story remains one of the most troublesome and least explored, but it has been known. What needs explaining is why it has taken so long for the government to respond.
What's intriguing to contemplate is the timing of the declassification, which occurs in the time frame of the ongoing Afghanistan debacle, and the geopolitical ramifications which, in this author's opinion at least, will continue to unfold in coming years. Already we're seeing significant reactions from American allies, including this one:
Note that this article makes it clear that the Russian-Saudi arms deal, the exact terms of which are unknown, is being touted as a response to the collapsing American situation in Afghanistan:
“We aim for a progressive development of cooperation in military and military-technical fields on the entire spectrum of issues that pose mutual interest,” Shoigu said, according to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFERL).
Neither signatory party specified any of the deal’s terms, but RFERL noted the signing occurred outside of an arms expo in Moscow. Russia is the world’s second-largest arms exporter aside from the United States while Saudi Arabia is the number one state purchaser of military hardware.
The United States has historically been a major supplier of weapons to the Saudi monarchy. Former President Donald Trump maintained close ties with Riyadh, aiming to bolster the regime against Iran. His arms sales to the Saudis prompted congressional rebuke and Trump subsequently vetoed measures to block arms sales to the country. President Joe Biden, however, reversed course and suspended arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates this year.
Russia’s outreach to an agitated U.S. ally also follows Biden’s decision to extend the Afghan War for an extra four months, breaking a deal Trump brokered that would have resulted in an organized military withdrawal by May 1. Biden’s August 31 deadline – on which he has since doubled down – has prompted tens of thousands of U.S. citizens and allied Afghans to swarm Kabul’s international airport in light of a Taliban takeover of the country last week. Thousands remain trapped in the country as of press time following the Taliban’s successful conquest of Kabul and the evaporation of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan’s forces.
To be sure, the Saudis reached out to Russia during the Trump administration's term, so it is not as if this deal is a sudden response, but it does perhaps betoken an awareness on the part of both principals that America's reliability as an ally and arms provider came into question earlier than the collapse of its position in Afghanistan. But it also suggests that position was known to be collapsing by anyone with half a brain - that would be the Saudis and the Russians, who are apparently operating with their whole brains - long before its televised certification.
Which brings us to today's high octane speculation: How to interpret the declassification by President* Bidenenko? Here I must admit, I am as clueless as the next guy, but I do have suspicions which time may or may not confirm. Is it an attempt to couch his Afghanistan policy in terms of a wider reset of policy? Is it, in other words, an attempt to distance the current administration from the Neo-con policies pursued by the regime of Bush the Stupid (Bush II) and presidents up to Bidenenko? Perhaps. Is it perhaps a response to the need to get out of an over-extended position to free up troops for use against growing Chinese provocations? Perhaps. Or is it perhaps the response of a weakened regime to external pressures from other foreign interests (think China)? Perhaps. Indeed, on the latter score, I've had difficulty throughout this whole fiasco trying to understand how - and why - an evacuation could have been so ineptly mishandled. From any operational point of view, it makes no sense to evacuate the military before evacuating equipment and related civilian populations, unless of course the objective is precisely to arm the Taliban, and create another "Iran hostage crisis", and is this declassification a response to those deep state actors which really created the whole mess in the first place by exposing their presence in the mix by way of the declassification itself? Note, that if that last question is true, then one is confronted with the implication that the current executive is struggling with the same entrenched deep state interests as the previous executive. Again, perhaps.
The bottom line for me is that there's much about this Afghanistan fiasco that makes no sense, and that we're dealing with something multi-layered whose apparent failures predate the Bidenenko regime. Those failures were not suddenly planted and harvested by the current President*. They've been festering for two decades. The President* shares much of the blame for what has happened, but not all of it. If you, like me, suspect that the whole thing dating back to 9/11 has been a bit of orchestrated if not gruesome theater, then perhaps the President's* recent declassification order is an attempt to draw the curtain back, and expose some of the hidden actors on the stage.
Time will tell.
See you on the flip side...