Moore fired his opening salvo against George Bush
and his rightwing cronies with his bestseller
Stupid White Men. Now the president is in his
sights again. In this second extract from his
new book he asks his old enemy seven awkward questions...
have seven questions for you, Mr Bush. I ask
them on behalf of the 3,000 who died that September
day, and I ask them on behalf of the American
people. We seek no revenge against you. We want
only to know what happened, and what can be
done to bring the murderers to justice, so we
can prevent any future attacks on our citizens.
Is it true that the Bin Ladens have had business
relations with you and your family off and on
for the past 25 years?
Americans might be surprised to learn that you
and your father have known the Bin Ladens for
a long time. What, exactly, is the extent of
this relationship, Mr Bush? Are you close personal
friends, or simply on-again, off-again business
associates? Salem bin Laden - Osama's brother
- first started coming to Texas in 1973 and
later bought some land, built himself a house,
and created Bin Laden Aviation at the San Antonio
Bin Ladens are one of the wealthiest families
in Saudi Arabia. Their huge construction firm
virtually built the country, from the roads
and power plants to the skyscrapers and government
buildings. They built some of the airstrips
America used in your dad's Gulf war. Billionaires
many times over, they soon began investing in
other ventures around the world, including the
US. They have extensive business dealings with
Citigroup, General Electric, Merrill Lynch,
Goldman Sachs, and the Fremont Group.
to the New Yorker, the bin Laden family also
owns a part of Microsoft and the airline and
defence giant Boeing. They have donated $2m
to your alma mater, Harvard University, and
tens of thousands to the Middle East Policy
Council, a think-tank headed by a former US
ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Charles Freeman.
In addition to the property they own in Texas,
they also have real estate in Florida and Massachusetts.
In short, they have their hands deep in our
as you know, Mr Bush, Salem bin Laden died in
a plane crash in Texas in 1988. Salem's brothers
- there are around 50 of them, including Osama
- continued to run the family companies and
leaving office, your father became a highly
paid consultant for a company known as the Carlyle
Group - one of the nation's largest defence
contractors. One of the investors in the Carlyle
Group - to the tune of at least $2m - was none
other than the Bin Laden family. Until 1994,
you headed a company called CaterAir, which
was owned by the Carlyle Group.
September 11, the Washington Post and the Wall
Street Journal both ran stories pointing out
this connection. Your first response, Mr Bush,
was to ignore it. Then your army of pundits
went into spin control. They said, we can't
paint these Bin Ladens with the same brush we
use for Osama. They have disowned Osama! They
have nothing to do with him! These are the good
then the video footage came out. It showed a
number of these "good" Bin Ladens
- including Osama's mother, a sister and two
brothers - with Osama at his son's wedding just
six and a half months before September 11. It
was no secret to the CIA that Osama bin Laden
had access to his family fortune (his share
is estimated to be at least $30m), and the Bin
Ladens, as well as other Saudis, kept Osama
and his group, al-Qaida, well funded.
gotten a free ride from the media, though they
know everything I have just written to be the
truth. They seem unwilling or afraid to ask
you a simple question, Mr Bush: WHAT IS GOING
case you don't understand just how bizarre the
media's silence is regarding the Bush-Bin Laden
connections, let me draw an analogy to how the
press or Congress might have handled something
like this if the same shoe had been on the Clinton
foot. If, after the terrorist attack on the
Federal Building in Oklahoma City, it had been
revealed that President Bill Clinton and his
family had financial dealings with Timothy McVeigh's
family, what do you think your Republican party
and the media would have done with that one?
you think at least a couple of questions might
have been asked, such as, "What is that
all about?" Be honest, you know the answer.
They would have asked more than a couple of
questions. They would have skinned Clinton alive
and thrown what was left of his carcass in Guantanamo
What is the 'special relationship' between the
Bushes and the Saudi royal family?
Bush, the Bin Ladens are not the only Saudis
with whom you and your family have a close personal
relationship. The entire royal family seems
to be indebted to you - or is it the other way
number one supplier of oil to the US is the
nation of Saudi Arabia, possessor of the largest
known reserves of oil in the world. When Saddam
Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990, it was really
the Saudis next door who felt threatened, and
it was your father, George Bush I, who came
to their rescue. The Saudis have never forgotten
this. Haifa, wife of Prince Bandar, the Saudi
ambassador to the US, says that your mother
and father "are like my mother and father.
I know if ever I needed anything I could go
major chunk of the American economy is built
on Saudi money. They have a trillion dollars
invested in our stock market and another trillion
dollars in our banks. If they chose suddenly
to remove that money, our corporations and financial
institutions would be sent into a tailspin,
causing an economic crisis the likes of which
has never been seen. Couple that with the fact
that the 1.5m barrels of oil we need daily from
the Saudis could also vanish on a mere royal
whim, and we begin to see how not only you,
but all of us, are dependent on the House of
Saud. George, is this good for our national
security, our homeland security? Who is it good
for? You? Pops?
meeting with the Saudi crown prince in April
2002, you happily told us that the two of you
had "established a strong personal bond"
and that you "spent a lot of time alone".
Were you trying to reassure us? Or just flaunt
your friendship with a group of rulers who rival
the Taliban in their suppression of human rights?
Why the double standard?
Who attacked the US on September 11 - a guy
on dialysis from a cave in Afghanistan, or your
friend, Saudi Arabia?
sorry, Mr Bush, but something doesn't make sense.
got us all repeating by rote that it was Osama
bin Laden who was responsible for the attack
on the United States on September 11. Even I
was doing it. But then I started hearing strange
stories about Osama's kidneys. Suddenly, I don't
know who or what to trust. How could a guy sitting
in a cave in Afghanistan, hooked up to dialysis,
have directed and overseen the actions of 19
terrorists for two years in the US then plotted
so perfectly the hijacking of four planes and
then guaranteed that three of them would end
up precisely on their targets? How did he organise,
communicate, control and supervise this kind
of massive attack? With two cans and a string?
headlines blared it the first day and they blare
it the same way now two years later: "Terrorists
Attack United States." Terrorists. I have
wondered about this word for some time, so,
George, let me ask you a question: if 15 of
the 19 hijackers had been North Korean, rather
than Saudi, and they had killed 3,000 people,
do you think the headline the next day might
have read, "NORTH KOREA ATTACKS UNITED
STATES"? Of course it would. Or if it had
been 15 Iranians or 15 Libyans or 15 Cubans,
I think the conventional wisdom would have been,
"IRAN [or LIBYA or CUBA] ATTACKS AMERICA!"
Yet, when it comes to September 11, have you
ever seen the headline, have you ever heard
a newscaster, has one of your appointees ever
uttered these words: "Saudi Arabia attacked
the United States"?
course you haven't. And so the question must
- must - be asked: why not? Why, when Congress
released its own investigation into September
11, did you, Mr Bush, censor out 28 pages that
deal with the Saudis' role in the attack?
would like to throw out a possibility here:
what if September 11 was not a "terrorist"
attack but, rather, a military attack against
the United States? George, apparently you were
a pilot once - how hard is it to hit a five-storey
building at more than 500 miles an hour? The
Pentagon is only five stories high. At 500 miles
an hour, had the pilots been off by just a hair,
they'd have been in the river. You do not get
this skilled at learning how to fly jumbo jets
by being taught on a video game machine at some
dipshit flight training school in Arizona. You
learn to do this in the air force. Someone's
Saudi air force?
if these weren't wacko terrorists, but military
pilots who signed on to a suicide mission? What
if they were doing this at the behest of either
the Saudi government or certain disgruntled
members of the Saudi royal family? The House
of Saud, according to Robert Baer's book Sleeping
With the Devil, is full of them. So, did certain
factions within the Saudi royal family execute
the attack on September 11? Were these pilots
trained by the Saudis? Why are you so busy protecting
the Saudis when you should be protecting us?
Why did you allow a private Saudi jet to fly
around the US in the days after September 11
and pick up members of the Bin Laden family
and fly them out of the country without a proper
investigation by the FBI?
jets, under the supervision of the Saudi government
- and with your approval - were allowed to fly
around the skies of America, when travelling
by air was forbidden, and pick up 24 members
of the Bin Laden family and take them first
to a "secret assembly point in Texas".
They then flew to Washington DC, and then on
to Boston. Finally, on September 18, they were
all flown to Paris, out of the reach of any
US officials. They never went through any serious
interrogation. This is mind-boggling. Might
it have been possible that at least one of the
24 Bin Ladens would have possibly known something?
thousands were stranded and could not fly, if
you could prove you were a close relative of
the biggest mass murderer in US history, you
got a free trip to gay Paree!
Mr Bush, was this allowed to happen?
Why are you protecting the Second Amendment
rights of potential terrorists?
Bush, in the days after September 11, the FBI
began running a check to see if any of the 186
"suspects" the feds had rounded up
in the first five days after the attack had
purchased any guns in the months leading up
to September 11 (two of them had). When your
attorney general, John Ashcroft, heard about
this, he immediately shut down the search. He
told the FBI that the background check files
could not be used for such a search and these
files were only to be used at the time of a
purchase of a gun.
Bush, you can't be serious! Is your administration
really so gun nutty and so deep in the pocket
of the National Rifle Association? I truly love
how you have rounded up hundreds of people,
grabbing them off the streets without notice,
throwing them in prison cells, unable to contact
lawyers or family, and then, for the most part,
shipped them out of the country on mere immigration
can waive their Fourth Amendment protection
from unlawful search and seizure, their Sixth
Amendment rights to an open trial by a jury
of their peers and the right to counsel, and
their First Amendment rights to speak, assemble,
dissent and practise their religion. You believe
you have the right to just trash all these rights,
but when it comes to the Second Amendment right
to own an AK-47 - oh no! That right they can
have - and you will defend their right to have
Mr Bush, is really aiding the terrorists here?
Were you aware that, while you were governor
of Texas, the Taliban travelled to Texas to
meet with your oil and gas company friends?
to the BBC, the Taliban came to Texas while
you were governor to meet with Unocal, the huge
oil and energy giant, to discuss Unocal's desire
to build a natural-gas pipeline running from
Turkmenistan through Taliban-controlled Afghanistan
and into Pakistan.
Bush, what was this all about?
we have a problem," apparently never crossed
your mind, even though the Taliban were perhaps
the most repressive fundamentalist regime on
the planet. What role exactly did you play in
the Unocal meetings with the Taliban?
to various reports, representatives of your
administration met with the Taliban or conveyed
messages to them during the summer of 2001.
What were those messages, Mr Bush? Were you
discussing their offer to hand over Bin Laden?
Were you threatening them with use of force?
Were you talking to them about a pipeline?
What exactly was that look on your face in the
Florida classroom on the morning of September
11 when your chief of staff told you, 'America
is under attack'?
the morning of September 11, you took a jog
on a golf course and then headed to Booker elementary
school in Florida to read to little children.
You arrived at the school after the first plane
had hit the north tower in New York City. You
entered the classroom around 9am and the second
plane hit the south tower at 9.03am. Just a
few minutes later, as you were sitting in front
of the class of kids, your chief of staff, Andrew
Card, entered the room and whispered in your
ear. Card was apparently telling you about the
second plane and about us being "under
it was at that very moment that your face went
into a distant glaze, not quite a blank look,
but one that seemed partially paralysed. No
emotion was shown. And then ... you just sat
there. You sat there for another seven minutes
or so doing nothing.
what were you thinking? What did that look on
your face mean?
you thinking you should have taken reports the
CIA had given you the month before more seriously?
You had been told al-Qaida was planning attacks
in the United States and that planes would possibly
were you just scared shitless?
maybe you were just thinking, "I did not
want this job in the first place! This was supposed
to be Jeb's job; he was the chosen one! Why
me? Why me, daddy?"
... maybe, just maybe, you were sitting there
in that classroom chair thinking about your
Saudi friends - both the royals and the Bin
Ladens. People you knew all too well that might
have been up to no good. Would questions be
asked? Would suspicions arise? Would the Democrats
have the guts to dig into your family's past
with these people (no, don't worry, never a
chance of that!)? Would the truth ever come
while I'm at it ...
- multi-millionaires at large
always thought it was interesting that the mass
murder of September 11 was allegedly committed
by a multi-millionaire. We always say it was
committed by a "terrorist" or by an
"Islamic fundamentalist" or an "Arab",
but we never define Osama by his rightful title:
multi-millionaire. Why have we never read a
headline saying, "3,000 Killed by multi-millionaire"?
It would be a correct headline, would it not?
bin Laden has assets totalling at least $30m;
he is a multi-millionaire. So why isn't that
the way we see this person, as a rich fuck who
kills people? Why didn't that become the reason
for profiling potential terrorists? Instead
of rounding up suspicious Arabs, why don't we
say, "Oh my God, a multi-millionaire killed
3,000 people! Round up the multi-millionaires!
Throw them all in jail! No charges! No trials!
Deport the millionaires!!"
US Patriot Act and the enemy combatant designation
are just a hint of what Bush has in store for
us. Consider a brainchild of Admiral John Poindexter,
an Iran-contra perp, and the Defence Advanced
Research Projects Agency (Darpa): the "policy
analysis market", which the government
was to put up on a website.
Poindexter reasoned that commodity futures markets
worked so well for Bush's buddies at Enron that
he could adapt it to predicting terrorism. Individuals
would be able to invest in hypothetical futures
contracts involving the likelihood of such events
as "an assassination of Yasser Arafat"
or "the overthrow of Jordan's King Abdullah
II". Other futures would be available based
on the economic health, civil stability and
military involvement in Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel,
Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Turkey. All
proposed market lasted about one day after it
was revealed to the Senate. Senators Wyden and
Dorgan protested the Pentagon's $8m request,
and Wyden said, "Make-believe markets trading
in possibilities that turn the stomach hardly
seem like a sensible next step to take with
taxpayers money in the war on terror."
As a result of the uproar over this, Poindexter
was asked to step down.
Saddam the key to Detroit
Las Vegas, an armoured fighting vehicle was
used to crush French yogurt, French bread, bottles
of French wine, Perrier, Grey Goose vodka, photos
of Chirac, a guide to Paris and, best of all,
photocopies of the French flag. France was the
perfect country to pick on. If you're a cable
news company, why spend priceless reporting
time on investigating whether Iraq really does
have weapons of mass destruction when you can
do a story about how rotten the French are?
News led the charge of pinning Chirac to Saddam
Hussein, showing old footage of the two men
together. It didn't matter that the meeting
had taken place in the 1970s. The media didn't
bother to run (over and over again) the footage
from when Saddam was presented with a key to
the city of Detroit, or the film from the early
1980s of Donald Rumsfeld visiting Saddam in
Baghdad to discuss the progress of the Iran-Iraq
war. The footage of Rumsfeld embracing Saddam
apparently wasn't worth running on a continuous
loop. Or even once. OK, maybe once. On Oprah.
October 8, 2003