The chair of an organization that represents families of 9/11 victims wrote President Biden to express concerns about the administration’s efforts to engage Saudi Arabia over oil output.
Reports surfaced earlier this week that Biden’s advisors were considering a trip to Saudi Arabia to “convince the Kingdom to pump more oil.”
9/11 Families United chair Terry Strada sent the President a letter demanding he maintains focus on “accountability” for the terrorist attacks.
“We share Americans’ ‘pain at the pump,’ and we recognize there are a number of important issues between our two countries, but any dialogue must include our years-long quest for justice and accountability,” Strada, who lost her husband on 9/11 wrote on behalf of the group.
She added, “No reset of our nation’s relationship with Saudi Arabia can be successful without proper reconciliation for the attacks on September 11, 2001.”
EXCLUSIVE: The chair of one of the most prominent 9/11 family coalitions has written to Biden with concerns about possible renewed engagement with Saudi Arabia, calling on him to uphold his campaign pledge to make the Kingdom a “pariah.”https://t.co/5GBKtdjysi
— Axios (@axios) March 11, 2022
9/11 Families Call Out Biden
Strada pointed to instances in which Biden had vowed to hold Saudi Arabia accountable and treat them as a “pariah.”
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“We were going to, in fact, make them pay the price, and make them, in fact, the pariah that they are,” he said at a Democrat debate in 2019.
At a CNN LGBTQ forum, Biden declared the government in Saudi Arabia has “very little social redeeming value.”
NBC’s @PeterAlexander: “The President, as a candidate, said in Nov. of 2019 of Saudi Arabia–he said we would ‘make them pay the price & make them, in effect, the pariah that they are. There is very little social redeeming value’…Does President Biden stand by those words[?]” pic.twitter.com/5fqZVGMzbV
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) March 7, 2022
Reports surfaced earlier this week that negotiations to convince Saudi Arabia to produce more oil as gas prices skyrocket in America had hit a rough patch.
A Wall Street Journal report indicated leaders in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) refused to take calls from President Biden, even as they took calls from Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The White House denied those reports on Thursday, however.
“That report is inaccurate, so let me start there,” press secretary Jen Psaki said during a White House press briefing.
“The president did speak with the Saudi king just a few weeks ago, several weeks ago, it’s all running together at this point in time,” she added. “There were no rebuffed calls, period.”
9/11 families are likely not pleased whether or not, in fact, the calls to Saudi Arabia went through.
WH Press Sec. Jen Psaki says reports of Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman declining a call from President Biden are false:
“There were no rebuffed calls, period.” pic.twitter.com/nxbW2oEbnK
— The Recount (@therecount) March 10, 2022
Leading up to the twenty-year anniversary of 9/11, hundreds of relatives of the victims of the terror attack asked President Biden not to attend memorial events until he declassified documents pertaining to the terrorist attacks.
At the time they argued that the President had ignored their letters and requests to be transparent on the matter, something he pledged as a presidential candidate.
“We cannot in good faith, and with veneration to those lost, sick, and injured, welcome the president to our hallowed grounds until he fulfills his commitment,” the group collectively wrote.
9/11 families ask Biden not to attend memorial events unless the administration declassifies documents regarding Saudi Arabia’s role in the deadly attacks. https://t.co/qFApch35vZ pic.twitter.com/Llf7zr3svm
— The Hill (@thehill) August 7, 2021
To his credit, some of those documents were declassified, something 9/11 Families United chair Terry Strada notes as a point in which the President must maintain accountability for Saudi Arabia.
The documents in question detailed new information about the support provided to two hijackers by U.S.-based Saudi nationals with diplomatic credentials.
“This new evidence is public because of your declassification order and it is now critical that you, as our President, insist that the Saudi Kingdom confront these issues honestly,” Strada writes.
The Justice Department this week, however, said they would miss President Biden’s deadline to review the FBI investigation of 9/11. Those documents will be declassified and made public after they are reviewed.
The DOJ acknowledged on March 10 that it would miss a deadline set by President Joe Biden’s executive order to review and release documents from the FBI investigation of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, which killed nearly 3,000 people https://t.co/NNhUUwA0Bo pic.twitter.com/9acjAaXvyp
— Reuters Legal (@ReutersLegal) March 11, 2022
Instead of unleashing American energy, the Biden administration is now turning to “Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Venezuela” to ease domestic energy prices.
It’s disgraceful, especially in light of how each of those countries has harbored and supported terrorists – in the case of Saudia Arabia, aiding and abetting the worst-ever terror attack on American soil.
“The failure to hold the Kingdom to account for aiding and abetting al-Qaeda and the 9/11 hijackers is the original sin in the U.S.-Saudi relationship and the source of the American people’s hostility to that nation,” Strada continues.
“The American people know the Kingdom has moral and legal culpability for 9/11 and that Saudi wrongdoers have never been held to account.”
Now the Biden administration wants to reward them by purchasing Saudi oil.
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm has since indicated a pivot in calling on domestic oil producers to step up their game.
🚨Biden admin reverse ferret🚨
Jennifer Granholm, US energy sec in Houston today, addressing the American oil industry:
“We are on a war footing. We are in an emergency… That means you producing more right now, where and if you can.”
— Derek Brower (@derek_brower) March 9, 2022
“We are on war footing,” Granholm said in a speech to executives at the CERAWeek energy conference in Houston, according to Bloomberg News.
“That means [crude oil] releases from the strategic reserves all around the world. And that means you producing more right now if and when you can,” she continued.
“I hope your investors are saying this to you as well. In this moment of crisis, we need more supply.”
The Biden administration stepping up oil production in the United States would diminish reliance on foreign oil from nations like Saudi Arabia, and would meet the demands of the families of victims of 9/11.
Will they actually follow through?
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