Like Saddam Hussein, Fox News’ Fourth Largest Investor, Saudi Prince Alwaleed, Funds Terror Through Donations to Families of Suicide Bombers

Prince Alwaleed
Prince Alwaleed

The “truthiest” of the Bush-Cheney administration’s false pretexts for invading Iraq was the claim that Saddam Hussein funded terrorism by making donations of $25,000 to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers. The assertion was true — Saddam even bragged about it — but the Cheneyites and neocons twisted this fact into circumstantial evidence that bolstered their entirely specious claim that Saddam was behind the attacks on 9/11 in the eyes of their low-info base who were unable to distinguish between Hamas, al Qaeda and any other group from the Middle East. (Read: Fox viewers.)

Not surprisingly, Fox News spinners were instrumental in helping the Bush administration square the circle in order to blur Saddam’s donations to Hamas into donations to terrorists writ large (read: the 9/11 bombers).

But that was then. Now, according to Joseph Trento at the DC Bureau website, Fox’s owner, Rupert Murdoch, has struck a deal with Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal that will make the prince News Corps’ fourth largest investor:

The notorious Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, nephew to the Saudi king, met with Rupert Murdoch in Hong Kong on Jan. 14. The prince issued a press release after the meeting stating that the prince’s Kingdom Holding Company had discussions that “touched upon future potential alliances with News Corp.”

…Prince Alwaleed was about to become News Corp’s fourth largest voting shareholder (behind the Murdoch family, Liberty Media, and Fidelity Management & Research Co, a mutual fund). The prince has repeatedly defended his homeland as a problem-free place. What he has failed to mention is that he has personally donated huge amounts of money to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers.

Alwaleed is the same Saudi prince who made headlines right after 9/11 when he personally went to Ground Zero and offered then-New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani a $10 million check for the relief efforts. But Alwaleed could not keep his mouth shut. He released a bizarre statement that blamed the attacks — not on the 15 airline hijackers from Saudi Arabia — but on the United States’ support of Israel. Giuliani, “America’s mayor” [and a nearly constant presence of Fox today,] saw a political opportunity and, confident that his reaction was appropriate, immediately refused the prince’s donation. He said: “There is no moral equivalent for this attack.”

In the weeks since the Murdoch-Alwaleed deal was struck, Trento says he’s detected a noticeable softening in Fox News’ coverage of Saudi Arabia. It’s also a safe bet Fox will impose a blackout on coverage of the Saudi prince — and because its viewers only get their news from Fox, talk radio and other right-wing propaganda outlets, its audience — the same folks who were outraged over Saddam’s donations to the bombers — will never know that a latter day terror funder is keeping the network afloat.


  • Nikolai
    February 22, 2010 - 2:36 pm | Permalink

    What’s the difference between this and shrubs 41 and 43 being in bed with the Bin Ladens and the Saudi royals? Hell, business is business, isn’t it?

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  • March 10, 2010 - 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Please stop the nonsense that we invaded Iraq because Saddam supported terror. Although Saddam did in fact support terror, and even though hundreds of tons of yellow-cake were subsequently found in Iraq, we in fact invaded Iraq, not because we lied about WMDs (Clinton and every Democrat believed he had WMDs), but because he would not allow inspections according to the agreement he made in 1991.

    That out of the way, I linked to your article from Charles Krauthammer is an Idiot

    • March 10, 2010 - 5:09 pm | Permalink

      Bernie: Please stop the nonsense that Saddam would not allow inspections. That assertion is wildly incorrect.

      Associated Press, March 17, 2003 — three days before the invasion:

      U.S advises weapons inspectors to leave Iraq

      In the clearest sign yet that war with Iraq is imminent, the United States has advised U.N. weapons inspectors to begin pulling out of Baghdad, the U.N. nuclear agency chief said Monday.

      Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said the recommendation was given late Sunday night both to his Vienna-based agency hunting for atomic weaponry and to the New York-based teams looking for biological and chemical weapons.

      “Late last night … I was advised by the U.S. government to pull out our inspectors from Baghdad,” ElBaradei told the IAEA’s board of governors. He said U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the Security Council were informed and that the council would take up the issue later Monday.

      U.N. officials have said the inspectors and support staff still in Iraq could be evacuated in as little as 48 hours.

      AP, March 18, one day before the invasion:

      Weapons Inspectors Leave Iraq

      U.N. weapons inspectors climbed aboard a plane and pulled out of Iraq on Tuesday after President Bush issued a final ultimatum for Saddam Hussein to step down or face war.

      A plane carrying the inspectors took off from Saddam International Airport at 10:25 a.m. It landed an hour and a half later in Laranca, Cyprus where the inspectors have a base.

      U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Monday ordered all U.N. inspectors and support staff, humanitarian workers and U.N. observers along the Iraq-Kuwait border to evacuate Iraq after U.S. threats to launch war.

      U.N. spokesman Hiro Ueki said 56 inspectors as well as support staff were on board Tuesday. Reporters at the airport saw about 80 people boarding buses for the plane, and officials earlier estimated the total number of U.N. evacuees at about 150.

      After failing to secure U.N. authorization to use force to disarm Iraq, President Bush gave Saddam 48 hours to step down or face war in a speech Monday night. (Emphasis added.)

      The military invasion of Iraq began in Baghdad on March 20, 2003, at 5:34 a.m. — which was March 19 at 9:34 p.m. EST in the United States.

  • March 10, 2010 - 5:52 pm | Permalink

    Read carefully, I did not write that he wouldn’t allow inspectors, I wrote that he didn’t allow inspections. It’s true there were inspectors but they were given the run-around. On March 2, 2003 Iraq destroyed six Al Samoud missiles, bringing the total destroyed to 10 out of an estimated 100 missiles ordered eliminated by the UN. All he had to do was agree to disarm or allow inspectors to verify there were no more missiles to destroy.

    The next day, Iraq found another six Al-Samoud 2 missiles, and bulldozed them bringing to 16 the number destroyed.

    The next day they destroy another 2 missiles, nickel-and-diming the destruction of banned weapons.

    In that same AP story of Mar 17 that you quoted you left out the mention that ElBaradei and Blix had received an invitation from Baghdad “to visit Iraq with a view toward accelerating the implementation of our respective mandates.” In other words, Saddam -on the eve of war- was saying, OK, OK, perhaps we’ll let you visit more sites and in more detail and more quickly. But it was too late. The US was not going to be okey-doked for another few years.

    On Mar 18, [cbsnews ] “Saddam made a last-minute bid to avert war, admitting that Iraq had once possessed weapons of mass destruction to defend itself from Iran and Israel – but insisting that it no longer has them. ” Missing from this plea was the statement: “OK, look at whatever you want, inspect even my palaces, nothing is off limits. Verify to your heart’s content that I have nothing.” That’s what a sane person would have done.

    • March 10, 2010 - 6:44 pm | Permalink

      Read carefully yourself. I said he would “not allow inspections.” Plus, I never said we invaded because Saddam supported terror. In fact, I called it the “truthiest” of all the false pretexts.

      But what’s with the semantics? The inspectors conducted inspections from November 2002 until March 18, 2003. They filed reports on these inspections, so it is simply antifactual to assert Saddam “didn’t allow inspections.”

      In any case, even if Saddam had had 50 Al-Samouds, he was hardly a threat that warranted taking a great nation to war. After all, North Korea developed nukes on Bush’s watch, but he didn’t invade and occupy the northern peninsula.

      By late 2002, Iraq was completely strapped down by the naval and air forces of US and Britain. If Saddam had launched even a single missile at Israel, it would have been over for him, and he knew it. The notion that we had to invade because he was hiding Al-Samouds was a red herring. Cheney and Bush were going in no matter what.

      It wasn’t all about the oil — Bush had domestic political objectives too — but any sane person would have to admit that if Iraq had been sitting on nothing but one-third of the world’s supply of olive oil, there is no way we would be occupying it today.

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