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What's Up With This?

Given the fact that in Operation Desert Storm the United States literally rescued Saudi Arabia from a certain takeover by Iraq, it is particularly gnawing that they are hemming and hawing so much about helping us with going after Osama bin Laden. But, as reported by the New York Daily News, there is another troubling issue concerning Saudi Arabia that seems to be lurking just below the surface. That country seems inordinately interested in the progress of the investigation.

Our legal system has a dynamic of its own with safeguards for the accused and almost accused ? yes, even in the context of the horrific assault on the Twin Towers. So there is much to be gleaned about where we are up to in tracking down the perpetrators from continuing court proceedings. Here is what the Daily News reported on September 21 in an article entitled, “Saudis Hire Lawyer for Material Witness”:

The Saudi Arabian government has injected itself into the FBI investigation of the attack on America, retaining a lawyer to represent an important witness in the case, the Daily News has learned.

That could give the Saudi government unusual behind-the-scenes access to the progress of the U.S. probe of who is responsible for the hijacking of four airliners used as missiles by the terrorists.

The lawyer, Sean O'Shea, was retained by the Saudi Embassy to represent the interests of one of four material witnesses held by the government, said two sources familiar with the investigation.

O'Shea, a former Brooklyn federal prosecutor, was one of two defense lawyers who showed up under tight security at a secret hearing Wednesday in Manhattan Federal Court.

The hearing was held behind closed doors before Judge Michael Mukasey, and reporters from Newsday and the Associated Press were asked to leave.

When it concluded, lawyers O'Shea and Andrew Patel emerged with prosecutors Andrew McCarthy and Kenneth Karas, who have handled past terrorism cases for Manhattan U.S. Attorney Mary Joe White.

All four declined to comment.

One has this uncomfortable feeling about why Saudi Arabia would rush to the defense of someone linked to the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Also, why do they have this apparent need for an inside track on what information we are developing?

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