Remember that tin-foil tale about the US helping high-ranking Saudis — including members of the bin Laden family — leave the US without interviewing them? It seems the conspiracy theory had one fact wrong — the flights in question didn't actually take off before the air travel ban was lifted, but only soon after, in a period when flights were still limited. Otherwise, the tin foil view is looking pretty good.
New Details on F.B.I. Aid for Saudis After 9/11: The F.B.I. gave personal airport escorts to two prominent Saudi families who fled the United States, and several other Saudis were allowed to leave the country without first being interviewed, the documents show.
The Saudi families, in Los Angeles and Orlando, requested the F.B.I. escorts because they said they were concerned for their safety in the wake of the attacks, and the F.B.I. – which was then beginning the biggest criminal investigation in its history – arranged to have agents escort them to their local airports, the documents show.
But F.B.I. officials reacted angrily, both internally and publicly, to the suggestion that any Saudis had received preferential treatment in leaving the country.
“I say baloney to any inference we red-carpeted any of this entourage,” an F.B.I. official said in a 2003 internal note. Another F.B.I. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said this week regarding the airport escorts that “we'd do that for anybody if they felt they were threatened – we wouldn't characterize that as special treatment.”
Yes, you see, we give Saudis special treatment like this all the time, so it's not really special, is it?