On June 25, 1996, in Khobar, Saudi Arabia, a housing complex near Saudi Aramco (a Saudi national oil company) was targeted by terrorists. A truck bomb was detonated just outside one of the buildings that housed US and foreign military personnel. The explosion ripped the front of the building off, much like what happened in the Oklahoma City bombing.
Casualties from the attack were 1 Saudi and 19 US Air Force personnel killed and 372 US, Saudi and other foreign military personnel injured. The carnage was incredible and left a permanent impact upon many of the survivors of the attack.
William Schooley, a US Air Force staff sergeant was asleep in the next building when the bomb exploded. He immediately responded to the site where he assisted in the recovery of the wounded and dead. Schooley recounted his actions as,
“I cleared the path for the walking wounded to evacuate and then provided first aid to the wounded. Unfortunately, the airman I was working on did not survive. I don’t know how to put arms back on.”
The scene was so intense that Schooley was later given a medical discharge due to post traumatic stress.
Initially, the US officials blamed Hezbollah al-Hejaz the local Saudi Hezbollah, as being responsible for the attack. Since then, the FBI linked Iran’s Revolutionary Guard to the Khobar Tower bombing.
One individual with ties to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and who has been indicated as having some knowledge or possible involvement is Hadi Farhan al-Amiri, who is currently serving as Iraq’s minister of transportation. Though official investigation has not been able to document al-Amiri’s role in the bombing, many believe that there is enough circumstantial evidence linking him to the attacks or that he has knowledge of those who did.
With the implications surrounding al-Amiri, many survivors and the families of the victims of the Khobar Towers bombing are enraged by the callous inconsideration of President Obama who recently hosted a delegation from Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Monday that included al-Amiri.
Schooley commented on al-Amiri’s White House visit by expressing,
“Outrage at the visit to the White House really doesn’t describe what I feel. I watched outstanding airmen die that night and witnessed horrific carnage. The survivors of Khobar Towers have been swept under the rug and now have received the greatest insult.”
On hearing of Obama’s welcoming of al-Amiri, another senior airman who survived the bombing and who asked to be anonymous shared his outrage by saying,
“Given Hadi al-Amiri’s ties to terrorism and potential knowledge of those who committed the yet-unsolved FBI investigation into the brazen murder of 19 USAF airmen at Khobar Towers, his presence in the White House was nothing short of insulting to those who both lost family members and those who survived the horrific attack. It wouldn’t matter whether it was a Democrat or a Republican in the White House, it was just wrong.”
Chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) sent a letter to Obama questioning his wisdom in having al-Amiri at the White House. She also told him that al-Amiri should not be involved in the future of Iraq if they want their future to be successful.
But we should not be surprised by the president’s actions. Over the past three years he has repeatedly demonstrated that he has no concern for the American public or for our military personnel. His only concerns are for his brother Muslims and Marxists who he plans on using to overthrow America as we know it.