Jewish World Review Dec. 11, 2002 / 6 Teves, 5763

Dan Abrams

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Why our government refuses to fully cooperate in the prosecution of a possible 9/11 conspirator | Moroccan Mounir El Motassadeq is on trial in Germany, charged with more than 3,000 counts of accessory to murder for his alleged role as a hijacker's logistics man in Hamburg.

By any account, the most important 9/11 conspirator to go to trial. Found among his belongings, the business card of a prominent Saudi Arabian diplomat, as well as phone records indicating possible links to other Saudis as well.

NOW, ACCORDING to German officials, the Saudis have been less than cooperative in the investigation. It's no surprise there. But U.S. law enforcement agencies haven't helped much in this regard either, refusing to pass along information about a possible Saudi link.

"The New York Times" quotes a Justice Department official staying the requests were "too sensitive." If the material is so sensitive, maybe linking the Saudis, even indirectly, to 9/11, that's kind of scary in and of itself. I wonder whether it means that U.S./Saudi relations are "too sensitive."

Maybe it's just tit for tat after the Germans initially refused to provide certain information on Zacarias Moussaoui because he faced the death penalty, but that would be just as bad. We shouldn't have to worry that political conflicts will cloud the goal of capturing and prosecuting terrorists, particularly those involved in 9/11.

I just hope that this is not another effort to protect the Saudis from public shame at the expense of vigorously prosecuting a 9/11 criminal.

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JWR contributor Dan Abrams anchors “The Abrams Report,” Monday through Friday from 6-7 p.m. ET on MSNBC TV. He also covers legal stories for “NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw,” “Today” and “Dateline NBC.” To visit his website, click here. Comment by clicking here.


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11/27/02: Why men should be able to sue women who lie about who's the daddy
11/26/02: Training lawyers to be touchy-feely
11/25/02: The story of a real American hero
11/22/02: In Illinois, academics lawyers, judges hurting their pro-life cause
11/15/02: A close reading of Iraq's letter of acceptance makes it clear that Saddam will almost certainly refuse to live up to its terms
11/14/02: Al Jazeera: A state-sponsored mouth-piece
11/13/02: Should Moussaoui be sent to a military tribunal?
11/12/02: Should human rights activists complain about the detainees' treatment?

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