We would do that for [any friend of Bush]

    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.”

That, in a New York Times piece about Saudis being flown out of the country while many flights were still grounded. According to documents “obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Justice Department by Judicial Watch, a conservative legal group,” the FBI provided escort even for members of Osama bin Laden’s family, and allowed them to “to leave the country without first being interviewed.”

    “From these documents, these look like they were courtesy chats, without the time that would have been needed for thorough debriefings,” said Christopher J. Farrell, who is director of investigations for Judicial Watch and a former counterintelligence interrogator for the Army. “It seems as if the F.B.I. was more interested in achieving diplomatic success than investigative success.”

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