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Focus? It's All in the Eye of the Beholder

Reported by Nancy - August 3, 2005 -

Today (8/3) on FNL, David Asman announced at the top of the last hour of the program that they would focus on Saudi Arabia & their connections to terrorism. "Focus"? On FNL, that translates to 2 short interview segments, a few teasers, plus the "Asman Observer" op/ed at the end of the program. Total time: approximately 8 minutes of the last hour for this particular "focus". Need I add that Asman's whiny "Observer" was smug, supercilious, arrogant & insulting?

Here's the Saudi "focus", as per FNL:

12:10pm - teasers included: Saudi Arabia - "our ally ... or is it?"

12:12pm - Asman interviewed Bob Baer (former CIA officer & author of "Sleeping with the Devil: How Washington Sold Our Soul for Saudi Crude") about whether the Saudis are "doing more harm than good". Baer claimed the Saudi government is "only going after" those who threaten the royal family. Asman characterized such efforts as "lackadaisical" & brought up an alleged "deal in the 90s" between Al Qaeda & the Saudis. Baer said that deal "goes back to '79" with the war in Afghanistan, when the royal family "agreed to ... export their problems so they can stay in power." Asman wondered "Why can't we get them to cooperate on terrorism?" Baer said the US hasn't "held them accountable." Asman brought up the 26 redacted pages in the report of the 9/11 Commission. Baer said he didn't know what was in those pages but assumed it was about Saudi complicity in the attacks -- "why else take it out?" Baer also said that "if we put too much pressure" on Saudi Arabia it "could affect oil supplies." He noted that Saudi Arabia had elections & "the bad guys won". There was more, along the same lines, then Asman wrapped up by asking "What's gonna happen?" Baer said the "White House is waiting to see what the new King does" & added that he's heard the "he'll be even less sympathetic" to the US.

Comment: Note how Baer glosses over what happened in Afghanistan. The US in 1979 was pleased as punch that Saudi & other "mujahedeen" were flocking to Afghanistan to fight the Soviets. The CIA (GHW Bush's former fiefdom) funded that. I can remember arguing at the time that this would come back to haunt us. Baer's book (there's a good summary at Amazon) actually makes this quite clear, & is critical not only Saudi corruption but also the cozy deals that US oil companies & US politicans have had with the House of Sa'ud -- but none of that was discussed during this too-brief interview.

12:41pm - teasers included: how do we "shut down" the Saudi "terror pipeline"?
12:47pm - teasers included: "we'll follow the terror trail ... on the 'Observer' "

12:50pm - Asman interview USAF Maj Gen (ret) Burton Moore on the topic of how to shut down the Saudi "pipeline". Moore immediately went off track, claiming that to counter the "jihadist theocracy" the US must "stop the insurgents in Iraq" & shut down the pipeline in Saudia Arabia as well as "Kuwait , Syria, Egypt, Jordan & other countries". Asman quickly redirected him back to today's target, Saudi Arabia, asing "How does the Saudi pipeline work?" Moore rambled on about how the "Saudis have bought off the radicals", but eventually got around to this: "primarily through Syria" but there's "also a long border with Saudi Arabia." Asman, always bloodthirsty, asked if there were some military way "to close the pipeline" & suggested "bomb the heck out of that trail." Moore said "We should send Assad the so-called President [of Syria], the dictator" a "missile to one of his palaces" to send a message. Asman leapt to a conclusion: the US "can't deal with Saudi Arabia without dealing with the Syrians." Moore added that "Turkey has been very sympathetic to" bin Laden. Asman asked if the US has plans to attack & Moore said that "during my tenure we had contingency plans" like that. Reagan's bombing of Libya was mentioned, & Asman approvingly opined that "that seemed to turn things around."

Comment: According to the CIA World Factbook, Iraq's borders with neighboring countries are: Iran 1,458 km, Jordan 181 km, Kuwait 240 km, Saudi Arabia 814 km, Syria 605 km, Turkey 352 km Funny how we never hear about any US military ops along that 814km border with Saudi Arabia -- but the Pentagon (& thus Fox) is constantly blaring about all the activity on the border with Syria.

12:56pm - "you are gonna be AMAZED when you hear the details coming up in the 'Observer' "

12:58pm - The "Asman Observer" was another episode in Asman's ongoing campaign to offend, insult & otherwise denigrate every other country in the world. Here are the lowlights:

In figuring out how deep the Saudis are in with the terrorists, we start and finish with money. That's really all the Saudis have — that and the religious landmarks of Islam. The Saudis don't make much of anything. The people don't really work much. They don’t have to. ... the Saudis pull in about $200 billion a year from the sale of oil. ... And having that much money drop in your lap doesn't exactly inspire the work ethic. So there's a lot of spare time and money left over to think up and support depraved ideas, like helping out terrorists or becoming one yourself. Easy money can be a curse, particularly when it ends up in the wrong hands. The Saudis have proved that time and again.

General comments: Let's see -- 1 ex-CIA officer with a possible axe to grind & a definite book to sell PLUS 1 ex-military hawk clearly chomping at the bloodthirsty bit PLUS 1 gung-ho rah-rah interviewer = "balance"? One overworked metaphor ("pipeline"). One utterly offensive op/ed piece (as usual, not labelled as editorial -- but then nothing on FNC ever is). No dissenting viewpoint. Yeah, that's "fair & balanced" -- in FoxWorld.

NOTE TO READERS: Please stay on topic (FNL's "focus" on Saudi Arabia). O/T comments will be deleted. Thanks.