Saudi Arabian officials this week told reporters they are unhappy about the bombing of Afghanistan, sending the clearest signal yet that its relations with Washington are being tested by the so-called war on terrorism. Interior Minister Prince Naif broke Saudi silence on the bombing late on Sunday, telling reporters the kingdom opposed terrorism but did not approve of the U.S. response. The Saudi government has also refused to freeze the financial assets of Bin Laden-related foundations or to release information on the estimated dozen highjackers who investigators say came from Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia is caught between the demands of its allies in Washington, and its own people, many of whom appear to support Osama Bin Laden and oppose the Saudi Royal family, which is increasingly seen as unstable, corrupt and unresponsive to the needs of its population. Longtime investigative reporter Seymour Hersh, writes in the latest edition of the New Yorker that "the Bush Administration, like the Clinton Administration, is refusing to confront this reality, even in the aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks."
- Seymour Hersh, investigative reporter, author the Dark Side of Camelot" and The Price of Power. He is currently writing for the New Yorker and has just written King’s Ransom: How Vulnerable are the Saudi Royals? and What Went Wrong: The CIA and the Failure of American Intelligence