Vinnell Corporation: The link between oil fields, Saudi troops, no Jews clauses, coup attempts in Grenada, and Monday s car bombings in Saudi Arabia; One third of the Texas state legislature flees the state and takes refuge in a Holiday Inn in Oklahoma
8:00-8:01 Billboard 8:01-8:06 Headlines 8:06-8:07 One Minute Music Break 8:07-8:20: For the second time in a decade, Saudi bombers target the U.S. company which has been training the Saudi military. Monday s triple car bombing killed 34 including eight Americans. U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia Robert Jordan appeared on U.S. morning talk shows yesterday and said that just days before Monday s car bombings, US intelligence officials detected signs of an impending attack and urgently asked Saudi Arabia to increase security at residential compounds inhabited by Westerners. But Ambassador Jordan said the Saudi government failed to act. Later in the day, White House Spokesman Ari Fleischer said Saudi Arabia must deal with the fact that it has terrorists inside its own country. 34 people died in the bombings, including eight Americans. Nearly 200 people are injured. Saudi foreign minister Prince Saud al-Faisal denied receiving any request for additional security. But he also admitted his country needs to learn from its mistakes. This, as Saudi security chiefs claimed yesterday the mastermind of the suicide car bombings took his orders directly from Osama bin Laden. Officials named Mohammed al-Juhani as the leader of the al-Qaeda cell and said he entered the country two months ago on orders to target Westerners. Intelligence sources also admitted that cell had been under surveillance for nearly two months, that they knew the identities of the leader of the cell and many of its members, and that police had failed to capture any of them despite two armed encounters this year. The unprecedented criticism of the oil-rich kingdom comes as President Bush has himself come under unprecedented criticism. Two days ago, Senior Democratic Senator Bob Graham said: "We essentially ended the war on terror about a year ago, and since that time al-Qaida has been allowed to regenerate. He said: The war on Iraq was a distraction. It took us off the war on terror, which we were on a path to win. But we've now let it slip away from us." Graham is a former chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and a presidential candidate. He also charged the Bush administration ignored relevant intelligence about terrorism before the Sept. 11 attacks - and is still doing so today. Meanwhile, details of precisely who was targeted are emerging. The car bombings directly targeted a U.S. company the Vinnell Corporation. Vinnell s work in Saudi Arabia dates back nearly three decades ago, when it won a contract to train Saudi troops to guard oilfields. * William Hartung, the President's Fellow at New School University. He is the Director of the World Policy Institute's Arms Trade Project. Link: World Policy Institute: http://www.worldpolicy.org. Mercenaries Inc.: How a U.S. Company Props Up the House of Saud http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0513-06.htm Vinnell: http://www.vinnell.com/* Dan Briody, author of The Iron Triangle: Inside the Secret World of the Carlyle Group * Pratap Chatterjee, independent journalist and creator of the WarProfiteers card deck which exposes some of the real war criminals in the US s endless War of Terror. Link: WarProfiteers card deck: http://www.warprofiteers.com 8:20-8:21 One Minute Music Break 8:21-8:40 HARTUNG con d 8:40-8:41 One Minute Music Break 8:41-8:58: Democrats from the Texas legislature have convened informally for a most unusual gathering. They are not in the Texas capitol. They are not even in Texas. They are in the Oklahoma town of Ardmore. And they are in a Holiday Inn. A group of 51 Democrats fled to Oklahoma over the weekend in order to thwart a quorum and derail Republican efforts to redraw the state's congressional districts in favor of the GOP. The redistricting was proposed House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who according to the Fort Worth Star Telegram wanted to correct the 2002 election results which led 17 Democrats and 15 Republicans being elected to Congress. DeLay said Tuesday, "What's at stake here is the most effective, accurate representation for the state of Texas. But Democrats have protested the move claiming that the electoral map should not be altered until the next census is released. The Democrats said they're not coming back until House Speaker Tom Craddick removes redistricting from the House agenda or until Friday -- when it's too late under the rules to consider it. The missing Democrats said they sent their offer to Craddick but hadn't heard back by Wednesday night. Craddick has repeatedly said he won't negotiate and won't drop the redistricting proposal. * Mark Homer, Texas state legislator from Paris, Texas. He is speaking to us from the Holiday Inn in Ardmore, Oklahoma. * Jim Hightower, national radio commentator, editor of the newsletter The Hightower Lowdown and the author of If the Gods had Meant us to Vote They Would Have Given us Candidates. He is the former Texas Agriculture Commissioner. Link: http://www.jimhightower.com 8:58-8:59 Outro and Credits Democracy Now! is produced by Kris Abrams, Mike Burke, Angie Karran, Ana Nogueira and Elizabeth Press. Mike Di Filippo is our music maestro and engineer.