Bandar bin Sultan, George Bush, White House
Photo credit: Adapted by WhoWhatWhy from White House / (CC BY-NC-SA 1.0)

Some people view the release of the infamous “28 Pages” on the involvement of Saudi Arabia in the attacks of September 11, 2001 as the end of a process. But WhoWhatWhy’s Editor-in-Chief Russ Baker points out that the new section raises more questions than it answers.

Watch Russ discuss the 28 Pages and shed light on what they do not reveal.

Full Text Transcript:

These days the conspiracy theory factories, large and self-sustaining for those of us that like to question beyond the mainstream media spoon-fed narrative, this is a good thing. Of course, certain of those among us will get stuck over in the deep end of the conspiracy whirlpool, but that doesn’t rob those of us with more sober minds of our legitimate concerns and doubts, take 9/11 for example. Conspiracies from all ends of the spectrum surround the events of 9/11, but you don’t have to think that the whole event was set up by the Bush Administration to know that something fishy was going on in the back halls of power. Why is that? Well, take for example the recently released 28 pages; redacted until just this year and now available to the public. Among other things, the 28 pages seem to suggest suspicious Saudi royal family links with some of the hijackers. Recently Sean Stone sat down with the founder of, an expert on 9/11: Russ Baker. Sean first asked him if the CIA was also on the trail of the hijackers and how the 28 pages relate to that agency’s operations back in the early 2000s. Let’s take a listen.

Russ Baker: My sense after years of following this story and after our site Whowhatwhy, breaking another piece of it about the Sarasota, Florida connection, again to the Saudi royal family with the hijackers, I think there are layers and layers and layers of this thing. It’s very, very complicated and I do think that there is a larger game in play that will explain why the US government is so determined that we not understand the full scope of what took place.

Interviewer: Absolutely. But let’s start with what has been divulged from the 28 pages. Obviously it focuses only on the San Diego side and San Diego cell of the hijackers, doesn’t get into Florida and other locations, but what do we now know that we did not know before those 28 pages were declassified?

Russ Baker: Well, some of this had already been out a bit. What’s interesting, I mean here’s the basic background, if I may quickly sketch it. You had a Congressional Inquiry following the 9/11 attacks. You also had the so-called Official 9/11 Inquiry. The Congressional Inquiry is the one we’re talking about. They produced a report, about 28 pages of that report were entirely redacted, and those pages dealt with information that the panel saw related to connections between the Saudi royal family and the hijackers via some individuals, two in particular who you mentioned who are Bayoumi and Basnan, who appeared to have been some kind of Saudi intelligence officers, so that’s that report. There was a second report, the so-called Official 9/11 Report, which supposedly references some of the same material but did not get anywhere as far in terms of talking about the Saudi connection. Over the years, the Congressional Inquiry had been prevented from releasing those 28 pages, and former Senator Bob Graham, who had been the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has for years been pushing for those pages to be released and finally we saw several weeks ago the release of these documents. What’s interesting is they released them on a Friday, of course when everybody was heading off on their holiday break, and as many, many other stories were coming out, it did not get the kind of attention that it warranted. And what’s so astonishing about those 28 pages, and by the way, Sean, as you pointed out, even those now released 28 pages were still redacted further. If you look at it, you’ll see big sections blotted out, and on our site Whowhatwhy, you can go there, read an article about this and we have links so you could see the redactions. But in any case, even with those redactions, you can see very clearly that the Commission was under the impression that these two individuals were in fact Saudi intelligence officers. They had direct connections to several of the 9/11 hijackers, principally the first two to arrive in the United States. In one case actually, picking him or them up at the airport, getting them situated with housing, supplying them with funds and other logistical support. Also, very, very significantly, Prince Bandar, who was the Saudi Ambassador to the United States under George W. Bush, was very close with the Bush family, so close that Barbara Bush dubbed him Bandar Bush. There’s that famous photo of him and George W. Bush sitting on a balcony of the White House smoking cigars together. Extremely close. That Bandar Bush and his wife personally provided financial support to the hijackers via this San Diego operation that you’re talking about. So this is of course, there’s no way around it, but this is one of the most profound discoveries on one of the most profound news events of the last century or so. And it appears that the Saudi royal family, one of the US’s most steadfast and most important allies, may have funded and aided and perhaps even planned the attack on the United States on 9/11. And so of course this is enormously important. Now, what you’re raising, I think very correctly, is this other issue that Richard Clark is putting into play, that maybe there was more to this story. Because if in fact the Saudis were behind this, how come the US didn’t go after them and this never came out? What we see continuously is cover-ups by the Justice Department, by the CIA, by the FBI, by the State Department, what are they covering up? And I’m hoping that today, you and I can talk a little bit about that; of the possibility that like a lot of intelligence operations, there were multiple layers and there were perhaps cells and efforts going on that other people were not aware of, where you had people actually trying to ride this operation to see where it was going, I suppose with the idea of stopping it. And then you have to ask yourself, well, if they had that information, why didn’t they stop it?

Interviewer: Right. So obviously you mentioned Bandar providing financing to these hijackers, – well, future hijackers at the time – but they were known as al-Qaeda operatives at that point and Richard Clark’s article points out that because there’s a relationship between a Saudi official, al-Bayoumi and these al-Qaeda operatives, he believes that there could have been a CIA element actually monitoring this and that’s why the CIA did not alert the FBI of the presence of al-Qaeda operatives inside the United States. So do you believe this is a credible explanation?

Russ Baker: I do. I have always suspected that there was more going on here and of course, what we don’t see very often in the media is a sophisticated analysis of the rivalries between these different agencies, their failures to cooperate, which are always chalked up to sort of archaic computer systems or something, but it’s nothing of the sort. They’re really just rivals. Both of these agencies are extremely opaque. We know really very little about what they do and why and who really makes the strategic decisions within them and I don’t doubt at all that elements within the CIA certainly had the sophistication to monitor these people. It seems almost impossible that al-Bayoumi and Basnan could have entered the United States and did what they did and interacted with the individuals that they did, and as you pointed out having the al-Qaeda ties, having the ties and the interactions with key people within the Saudi royal family. They were in contact with the Saudi embassy, consulates and so forth. All of these entities are constantly being monitored and so it seems almost impossible that the CIA would not have known that something was afoot. Now, if we go and we look at Florida, where we see other members of the 9/11 terrorist cell, we again see them interacting with all kinds of people. We see pretty good evidence that the CIA was aware of this. The airfield near Sarasota, where a number of them trained. This family that we wrote about at Whowhatwhy, this family in Sarasota that owned a home in an affluent gated community there. The man who owned the home was the CEO of a company whose chairman was the head of Saudi aviation. And his father, the father of the man who owned this company has since 9/11 become the King of Saudi Arabia. So what you’re looking at is the family of the people who actually run the country right now in direct contact with these hijackers, you see CIA all over it, you see a possibly CIA drug operations and weapons operations running out of the same airfields in South Florida. So I think this is a story that is going to keep on giving. It’s a big, big story that begins to allow us to get a glimpse into what you might call the shadow government, this wholly unaccountable entity within our own government that I think the president frankly understands almost nothing about.

This is part 2, go here.

Related front page panorama photo credit: Adapted by WhoWhatWhy from Saudi men (Stephen Downes / Flickr – CC BY-NC 2.0) 

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The Saudis could very well have had a financial part in supporting the officially-intended patsies, but I fail to see any of their involvement in any of the actual demolitions that did all of the destruction to the WTC buildings or Pentagon. It’s just another page of nonsense to draw our attention away from the very treason and who really planned and pulled off 9-11.

Burnis Tuck

“Follow the money” applies to more than Watergate. As Baker says, the official story is slowly unravelling in spite of the MSM’s attempts to bury it. What we really need is an Ed Snowden or Julian Assange within the Deep State to blow this whole official fabrication apart. But we have to stick to the known facts and be very careful how we connect the dots so as to avoid marginalization as “conspiracy theorists”. I’m very grateful to Baker and whowhatwhy for the slow, reality-based chipping away.


Painstakingly tracking down the leads, gathering the evidence …working the case.
Baker is a rare craftsman, a real reporter!

Anthony Enos Wicher

Well, the 28 pages draw attention to the fact that the Saudi monarchy was involved, and this was covered up by the FBI. The Saudis provided the cover story of bin Laden and the 19 hijackers, but they were not supposed to be implicated. So the release of the 28 pages does get closer to the truth. From here you have to go on to ask the right questions to understand that the Saudis were just playing a part in a larger plot coming from the Bush administration. To understand this, we should ask who benefited from 9/11. The Saudis? Not at all. The Bush administration was the primary beneficiary. I’m talking about the military-industrial-security complex, which has made trillions from the resulting wars. I’m talking about the assumption of dictatorial powers by the executive branch, the destruction of our civil rights, the establishment of a police state. Those who are enriched and made more powerful by war are the main beneficiaries of 9/11. These are the people who still run this country.


The 28 pages thing was just another scam to further scatter the minds of the so-called conspiracy theorists, an effort for us slowed thinking folks. The real evidence has been completely set aside to keep us busy sorting BS. There is still plenty of proof the very real demolitions, and some of the main actors involved and many of the actors to divert our attention from the real truth of what happened as well as who really was involved in that mass murder treason. There never was any evidence that the bin Laden had any part at all in 9-11, and had no fore knowledge of the pretended hijackings, and anything that attempt to show otherwise is created bs and easily proven as nonsense, just as were the CIA sponsored fake videos that popped up following 9-11.


As I’m sure you know, Russ, it wasn’t just the Saudis.

Fireplace 1

Bin Laden had to be assassinated, because he would have been able to shed some light on the 28 pages. The Saudis paid Pakistan officials to make sure this happened.


Hijackers? There were no hijackers!


NIST said WTC7 was brought down by “regular office fires” (as opposed to possibly WTC 1 or 2 falling on it being a major contributor). If that’s the case then why wouldn’t building codes change in NY? (e.g. at the very least, nobody is allowed to live above a certain floor). And how could they POSSIBLY build Freedom Tower?!


As the excellent and inimitable Mr. Baker alluded, there is much, much more to this event of September 11, 2001 (9/11) than the American media is allowing the public access to.

And before a reader responds to my post yelling “conspiracy theorist”, let the generally well-known data point be cited for reference: Six big media companies control 80% of the “news” that Americans are privy to. These six big corporations have a vested interest in keeping the public in the dark regarding many of the dealings of the state apparatus and the American establishment whose interests often diverge from that of the people of the American nation.

The Saudi connection is an interesting avenue of exploration. In addition there has been considerable capable research done into other possible perpetrators or actors in this event. Kevin Ryan, a whistleblower from NIST has published a book, THE OTHER NINETEEN in which he implicates insiders in the Bush administration. Other researchers have looked elsewhere, including among the Neoconservatives within the former Bush administration.

Perhaps the one thing that can be said with certainty regarding the strange and even (it might not be too much of an exaggeration to say) revolutionary — having lead to the Orwellian “Patriot Act” and the beginning of the stripping away of Habeas Corpus in America — events of 9/11, is that the official commission’s explanation cannot possibly be true.


PNAC – We need a new Pearl Harbor. Bingo!

Crimson Wolf

How could the Saudis cause the plane/missile/vehicle that hit the Pentagon (and completely disappeared into a 16 to 20 foot hole) do so unless there was additional involvement that insured that the surface-to-air missile defenses of the Pentagon STAND DOWN? How did the Saudis unaided make sure that there was absolutely no significant evidence of any airplane debris at the Pentagon? No sign of wings, engines, tail etc?


I ask the same questions as you. Also, how did those buildings collapse in a perfect free fall?


There was evidence of plane parts according to John Judge of The Coalition On Political Assassinations. His friend was to be a stewardess on the the plane that hit the Pentagon. She cancelled when she became ill the night before. He went to the Pentagon or another site a week later with her & she identified the fabric on the seats as the plane she was assigned to. Her fellow stewardess friend died in the crash. John Judge told me this way back in about 2003 when in Minneapolis to give a JFK talk.

Anthony Enos Wicher

What seats? Can you provided a photo purporting to be of the wreckage? I can’t. Who provided this alleged fabric?


As I said John Judge, in his 6 hour public presentation in Mpls in 2003 at Mayday Books, described going with his stewardess friend to a site where the seats were on view. She told him she recognized the fabric on the seats as being from the flight she was scheduled to be on. Judge’s veracity is as good as anyone’s if you are familiar with his work on the JFK assassination as a CIA conspiracy. Of course there are problems with this story in terms of photos that may or may not exist. I understand that & am not saying there aren’t alternative explanations.

Anthony Enos Wicher

Right again! I love all these comments. Russ Baker, time to catch up with your commenters.


Russ Baker is out front of , not behind , most commenters who are long on assertions … But short on doing the work.

Agreed…. There’s a ton of evidence, several more tons of circumstantial evidence,and loads of leads that beg to be chased down.

Baker is doing just that. More work than most speculators are used to, maybe…..

We’re fortunate to have a reporter on the case.


Everybody, respectfully, it’s far more simple, and it’s simply this – 9/11 is not something you do TO an ally. It’s something you do FOR an ally.

Anthony Enos Wicher

That’s a good way to put it. But what the Saudis did for their “ally” (or rather boss) was just to provide the cover story of bin Laden and the 19 hijackers. Did they also put the explosives and incendiaries in the buildings? Probably not.


Agreed Anthony. Completely. Thank-you

Howard Brodsky

The hijackers were patsies, just like Oswald was a patsy, and just like Oswald, they all have a common link: CIA. This was a massive operation planned with corporate precision and the supply chain threads through the CIA, Pentagon, NSA, and the WH. Yes it did involve foreign intelligence, but mostly for the maintenance of the backstory. The perpetrators of the murder, destruction and mayhem were all homegrown and they’re still running the show today.


“The Devils Chessboard” Treachery and treason. Pappy Bush one of the kingpins. Mastermind of the JFK murder.


See Russ Baker’s well researched and revealing book FAMILY OF SECRETS about the Bush family.

Anthony Enos Wicher

Absolutely correct! The truth of the matter is not that the Bush administration covered up what the Saudis did, but that the Saudis helped the Bush administration cover up what the Bush Administration did, by providing the cover story of bin Laden and the 19 hijackers. This story is a fabrication. Bin Laden and the “19 hijackers” were indeed the patsie. They were slow-level drug runners, not Muslim fanatics. They were given visas by a special office of the CIA in Jedda. Once in this country they were “sheep-dipped” by being sent to CIA-operated “flight schools” otherwise used for running drugs. They spent their time whoring, drinking and snorting cocaine, not learning how to fly. They never hijacked anything. The airplanes that hit the towers were remote controlled (drones). The buildings were actually destroyed by previously planted explosives and incendiaries, one of which was nanothermite. Not until these facts are clearly understood by all,will our country will be free again. As long as they are not understood clearly by all, we will continue to be ruled by psychopathic murderers whose insane lust for power is liable to start a nuclear war at any moment.


I’m in agreement with most of what you say here. One slight disagreement; I don’t think the events of 9/11 were carried out with absolute “corporate precision.” Mistakes were made. It appears something went seriously wrong on the plane that was apparently shot down over western Pennsylvania. (Donald Rumsfeld is on the record having said “…we shot down the plane over Pennsylvania…” sorry that should be paraphrased; it’s an imperfect quote. I heard Secretary Rumsfeld say this on NPR in, I believe it was 2006, The phrase was quickly deleted from NPR’S news cycle.)

That plane shot down over western Penn. may have been intended for Building 7 of the World Trade Center; how else to explain the obvious controlled demolition of a 47 story building that was hit by nothing and had small, under-control fires burning in the basement.

With the exception of 9/11 no steel core skyscraper has EVER fallen due to fires (or for any other reason except controlled demolitions for that matter). On 9/11 THREE steel core skyscrapers “collapsed” into their “footprints”. Can anyone be so gullible as to believe the official “story” in regard to these buildings?

Howard Brodsky

Corporate precision does not mean perfect execution. It does mean a carefully mapped out and strategically concerted effort. 9/11 could never have happened without the cooperation AND efforts of the covert agencies, the FBI, the WH, the Pentagon, foreign intelligence affiliates of the CIA and the controlled media.


If the debris had not been pulverized by explosives, it would have been about 35-40 stories high.

Arky Barky

I don’t understand why Mr.Baker keeps discussing in this and previous articles/videos this outdated and completely debunked concept of “9/11 hijackers”.

I’d rather read about why the Potus was flown around for hours and finally set down just in time to hang with Warren Buffet….at A U.S. airbase. What was Buffet doing there on 9/11 of all days?