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from Daily Mislead
June 25, 2004

The Bush administration and its right-wing allies are launching an all-out assault on Michael Moore and his new movie, attempting to discredit the film before it is even public. Last month, White House communications director Dan Bartlett said the movie is "so outrageously false, it's not even worth comment" [1] - a comment made despite the fact that the movie was not yet public and Bartlett had not seen the film. Now the smear campaign is focused on creating the public illusion that Moore lied about a secret Saudi flight that was permitted after 9/11 when most U.S. airspace was closed. But, according to one new report, the Tampa International Airport "confirmed that the flight did take place" -- despite three years of Bush administration denials.

According to the St. Petersburg Times, "two days after the Sept. 11 attacks, with most of the nation's air traffic still grounded, a small jet landed at Tampa International Airport, picked up three young Saudi men (including one thought to be a member of the Saudi royal family) and flew to Lexington, Kentucky. From Kentucky "the Saudis then took another flight out of the country." As the newspaper reported, "for nearly three years, White House, aviation and law enforcement officials have insisted the flight never took place and have denied published reports" about the flight. But now, at the request of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks (9/11 Commission), the Tampa International Airport acknowledged the flights happened. For its part, the Bush administration "is still not talking about the flights." [2]

According to the St. Petersburg Times, the Commission has now sent a formal letter to the Tampa International Airport asking for more information about "a chartered flight with six people, including a Saudi prince, that flew from Tampa, Florida on or about Sept. 13, 2001" The commission "appears concerned with the handling of the Tampa flight." Meanwhile, former FBI agent Manuel Perez, who accompanied the formerly-secret flight, said the order to allow the flights "must have come from the highest levels of government." [3]

In all, the New York Times notes it is "safe to say that central assertions of fact in 'Fahrenheit 9/11' are supported by the public record." [4]

For more on Bush administration distortion, visit: http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=42270


1. "Michael Moore's Candid Camera," New York Times, 5/23/04. (Republished online in Common Dreams), http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=42271.
2. "TIA now verifies flight of Saudis," St. Petersburg Times, 6/9/04, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=42272.
3. Ibid.
4. Moore's assertions supported by record; But '9/11' director may have to defend rapid-fire statistics," San Francisco Chronicle, 6/24/04, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=42273

Posted: July 1, 2004


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