CIA CHARTERS FLEW SAUDI FLIGHTS
Flatly contradicting the repeated assertions by the White House and FBI that the Bush administration played no role in the flights, an exclusive MadCowMorningNews investigation has uncovered numerous connections between the White House and the air charter companies involved in the evacuation of the members of the Saudi Royal family after the 9/11 attack.
Two of the six Saudi charter flights scrutinized by the 9/11 Commission were flown by air contractors involved in CIA renditions, while a third had close ties to imprisoned Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
With 57 charter operators nationwide, and hundreds of Boeing 727s to choose from, the composition of the hastily-assembled airlift which can be pieced together from the released documents reveals a secret world which has gone, as yet, completely unreported…
One of the six Saudi charter flights was flown by the national carrier of the African nation of Gabon, to cite just one little remarked example, whose President would soon pay Jack Abramoff $9 million for a promise of an Oval Office meeting with President Bush, which indeed did take place, in May of 2004.
The CIA, The Mob & Universal Weather
We’ve covered two of the Saudi flights in previous stories.
The Tampa flight, where the Bush Administration, the FBI, the FAA, and even defense contractor Raytheon knowingly lied by repeatedly denying that one of the flights—from Tampa to Lexington KY on Sept. 13th—had even taken place. When the flight was eventually confirmed by the 9/11 Commission three years later, Bush Administration officials didn’t even have the good grace to blush.
And the Providence flight, which flew an unnamed Saudi Sheik and his entourage from Providence Rhode Island to Paris on September 14, 2001 on a jet owned by a close business associate of New England Mob Boss Raymond J. (Junior) Patriarca. Yet there is no mention of the organized crime connections of Northstar air charter company owner Frank Zammiello in either the 9/11 Commission Report or the recently-released FBI documents.
Today we’ll look at two more:
- The charter flight called “The Universal Weather Flight” by the FBI has led to the discovery that all three of the top corporate air charter companies in Houston, Texas are CIA contractors deeply involved in “extraordinary renditions.”
- And the PAX flight, an air charter of Saudi royals anxious to flee Las Vegas, on a 727 sporting, ironically enough, the Christian symbol of peace, a dove, on it’s tail, and which belonged to a Christian broadcaster, PAX-TV.
(The series will finish later this week with a report on the most controversial, the bin Laden flight.)
"The murky sludge-filled bottom"
"In trying to get to the bottom of (the Saudi flights) you find a lot of difficulty navigating that murky, sludge-filled bottom," said commissioner Tim Roemer, a former Democratic lawmaker. "There are just not a lot of solid answers on this."
Murky or not, the FBI and the 9/11 Commission have insisted that the Saudi flights were adequately screened by law enforcement officials and the FBI to ensure that the people on these flights did not pose a threat to national security.
FBI officials indicated that they were unconcerned with the departure of the Saudis, including Bin Laden's family members, and that no one of interest to the FBI with regard to the 9/11 investigation was allowed to leave the country.
However their assurances ring a little hollow in light of what has since been learned of methods that can only be described as more than a little flat-footed.
The New York Daily News (June 10, 2004) reported “a top FBI source” confided to the paper that before 9/11 the FBI repeatedly dangled a $5 million reward in front of Bin Laden's siblings living in the U.S. for help in tracking down the terrorist.
"Red-carpeting the entourage"
“We started every conversation with 'Hey, how'd you like to make $5 million?'" the “top” FBI source told the Daily News. “And they'd just look at us, like, 'Are you kidding?'"
Could this be what commissioner Roemer meant by “that murky sludge-filled bottom?”
A close reading of the newly-released government records clearly illustrated the active role played by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in aiding some of the Saudis in their departure.
Of course, the FBI strenuously disagrees.
"I say baloney to any inference we red-carpeted any of this entourage," an FBI official wrote in a 2003 internal note which was released.
“Red-carpeting the entourage” appears to be the least of it.
Pre-positioning the excuses
Labeled “The Universal Weather Flight” by the FBI, the Saudi charter exposed a secret world a world authorities were at some pains to conceal.
The official statement about the flight seemed unusually, even suspiciously, terse:
“A Universal Weather & Aviation, Inc., flight with four Saudi nationals departed from Boston’s Logan International Airport at 12:30 P.M. on September 18, 2001.”
Also, the 9/11 Commission Report, pre-positioning their excuses, said they only learned of the flight while preparing for their final hearings.
All of which piqued our interest…
Just who, or what, is Universal Weather?
“Universal Weather & Aviation Inc. is a $ 150 million a year corporate aviation service company with 300 employees in Houston,” reported a March 7, 1998 story in the Houston Chronicle.
Collecting from slow-paying Sheiks
Dealing with Arab potentates is apparently all in a day's work at Universal Weather. They’ve been doing it for decades. From a Washington Post article on January 11, 1979:
“According to Houston's Universal Weather and Aviation Inc., the president of the United Arab Emirates has until Jan. 20 to pay for $188,000 in services allegedly owed on a $7.5 million jet.
“Sheik Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan owes for services rendered over a six-month period, the company said, and unless payment is made, the jet, grounded in Savannah, will be sold.”
While we could find no resolution in newspaper reports, “Universal Weather’s” robust corporate health seems to indicate they have no trouble collecting unpaid bills.
“Universal Weather” has recently been reported to be a CIA contractor engaged in extraordinary renditions. The company was named in an article about an ACLU lawsuit against Jepperson, a San Jose, CA. aviation contractor also alleged to be flying CIA extraordinary renditions.
Italian investigative journalist Claudio Gatti alleged that Jepperson and three other companies were involved in CIA rendition flights. Gatti’s report, initially published in Italian business daily, Il Sole 24 Ore, named Universal Weather & Aviation Inc as one of the companies directly involved in servicing CIA flights, along with Jepperson, Air Routing International and Baseops Flight Planning.
The Geo-Texan CIA
We’d heard the names of the other two named CIA contractors— Air Routing International and Baseops Flight Planning—before, in the Houston Chronicle story on corporate aviation quoted earlier…
“Houston is home to three major players—Universal Weather, Air Routing International, Baseops International Inc—in the corporate aviation service industry,” the Chronicle reported.
All three major civilian aviation contractors in Houston are involved in CIA renditions.
The geo-Texan nature of this, seems, at least to us, more than a little odd. So, too, do the people running the firm:
Universal Weather’s chairman, Marjorie Evans, is a Director on the board of a small Houston college, The University of St. Thomas, where her son, the President of the firm, is an alumnus.
Sam the Sham & The Big Fey One
Really ardent conspiracy buffs will recall that the University of Saint Thomas was attended briefly by Adnan Khashoggi henchman John Gray, author of “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.”
At the same time Gray was a student, Marshall Applewhite was an instructor.
After a scandal involving inappropriate touching of an unnamed male student, Heaven’s Gate cult leader-to-be Applewhite was forced to leave.
Perhaps coincidentally, Gray left at the same time. Gray left (fled?) the school and become the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s “personal secretary.”
Although he appears not be make a point of it—like he does his mail order PhD.— Gray became the first student of Transcendental Meditation ever to learn to “fly.”
Applewhite went on to lead a cult which committed mass suicide in a Rancho Santa Fe CA, mansion owned by Sam Khouchesfahani, a former Iranian SAVAK Agent convicted in 2001 in San Diego of infiltrating several hundred Middle Eastern men the U.S.
'You can't make this shit up"
Why we say the Saudi flights are a portal into the Secret World:
Later, while working for Khashoggi—who picked up his Mars-Venus book on its way to the remainder tables and made it an international bestseller with an infomercial campaign from a Khashoggi lieutenant named Ramy El-Batrawi, currently on the run from multiple counts of securities fraud, Gray helped fund the mis-named 9/11 Truth Movement...proving that Saudi money is liable to turn up just about anywhere.
Helping to explain all this is the fact that John Gray’s father, who committed suicide under exceptionally bizarre circumstances (even for Texas) was a CIA agent.
Saudi flight on the down-low
Neither the 9/11 Commission nor the recently-released FBI documents seem interested in revealing anything at all about the air charter company involved in one of the Vegas flights used by Saudi Royals.
The FBI documents state:
“On 9/20/2001, 18 members of the Saudi Arabian royal party and their entourage departed Las Vegas Nevada aboard a chartered B 727-21, tail number 727PX, destination Stamstead Airport (London) England. Before departure the aircraft was swept, perimeter security was provided, and all persons boarding were matched to previously provided passports and a manifest by agents of the USCS.”
The 9/11 Commission Report was equally non-committal on the provenance of the flight, calling it only “Chartered Flight B 727-21, Tail Number N727PX.”
“On September 20, 2001, 18 members of the party of Saudi Prince Abdulmajeed Bin Abdulaziz departed from Las Vegas, Nevada, for Stamstead, England. They underwent the same vetting process as the 69 people on the flight the day before…
“At our request, the Terrorist Screening Center ran the names of all passengers on this flight against TIPOFF in April 2004; there were no matches. Las Vegas Airport was open when this flight departed.”
Unlike other Saudi flights like “Ryan International Flight 441 (the “Bin Laden Family Flight”) this tells us little or nothing about the real question:
Who owned the plane?
Abe Lincoln & Ozzie and Harriet
We learned that the plane is registered in Clearwater, FL. to “CLASSIC DESIGNS OF TAMPA BAY INC,” owned by Lowell W. Paxson, one of the founders of Home Shopping Network, as well as the founder of Christian broadcast network PAX-TV.
While this explains the “PX” in the plane’s tail number, it does nothing to suggest why the FBI and the 9/11 Commission do not want the American people to know that a plane owned by a Christian broadcast network was saving Saudi Royal bacon in Vegas one week after 9/11.
“Pax passeth all understanding” was the snarky headline in a London Financial Times story about the network. “Bud Paxson found God in a Las Vegas hotel room and now runs America's newest television network,” reported the paper.
Calling Paxson “a mogul inspired by the Lord,” the story stated, “While work is his calling and his pleasure, Paxson said he does try to have some fun with his money. He and his second wife, Marla, live in a $ 12-million, 35-room oceanfront mansion, and each drives a Rolls-Royce. His is black, hers white. He also owns three airplanes, a 132-foot yacht and a considerable collection of autographs of former U.S. presidents, kings, queens and entertainers. Among his collection are the signatures of Abraham Lincoln and Ozzie and Harriet.”
Hickory dickory dock, the Diceman joins the flock
While PAX-TV has since faded from the ether, it was apparently quite a show while it lasted. TV reviewers had a field day:
“Taking refuge on Tuesday's weekly show is Brett Butler, whose escalating self-destruction prompted ABC to cancel Grace Under Fire in 1998. Looking puffy and pasty, she's playing a benevolent waitress in "Angels, Once in a While."
“Pax bills it as her "much-anticipated return" to TV,” read one typical summation. “Yeah, we've all been on pins and needles.”
The Christian network apparently had an affinity for faded stars with or without documented substance-abuse problems: Stacy (cocaine bust) Keach and Anthony Michael (detox) Hall. Rod Steiger, Teri Garr, Marlee Matlin, Joe Piscopo…
The unlikeliest one-time star appearing on God-fearing, "friend of the family" Pax-TV and plumping for the Lord: Andrew Clay Silverstein AKA “The Diceman,” the former Andrew Dice Clay.
Church of Christ, Palm Beaches
When Paxson moved to Florida's east coast, he had trouble finding a church home. So he became the “creator” of an instant new mega-church in Palm Beach, Florida:
“Christ Church of the Palm Beaches.”
When a deal to buy the Palm Beach Jai Alai fronton to house the unfortunately-named church fell through, he bought actor Burt Reynolds dinner theater in Jupiter, Florida.
Jesus must have been thrilled.
When Pax-TV fell on hard times, it changed its name to ION-TV, and was bought out by a Chicago hedge fund, Citadel Investment Group.
Return of The Usual Suspects
Again, conspiracy buffs will recall that Citadel is the hedge fund which loaned $32.5 million to Jack Abramoff and Adam Kidan to buy a fleet of gambling boats in Florida.
The same hedge fund which had been “duped” by Jack Abramoff in a scheme involving offshore gambling and murdered mogul Gus Boulis had also stepped in to save a business entity whose 727 was put to service on behalf of the Saudi Royal Family one week after September 11th.
At this news, we found ourselves at something of a loss for words. Then we discovered the exact detail which seemed to wrap things up neatly…
Remember Christ Church of the Beaches? The plan was to place heavy emphasis on contemporary music. The pastor brought in a musician from Hollywood to run the church's music program.
His name was Cooper Getschal, among whose many achievements is having programmed the drums on the Michael Jackson album, “Bad.”
Proving once again that truth is stranger then anyone cares to believe.
SUNDAY: RYAN INTERNATIONAL. SHEIKS ON A PLANE