"Prince Turki al-Faisal, the former head of Saudi Arabian intelligence, has abruptly resigned his post as the Saudi ambassador to D.C., a job he held for a mere fifteen months.
Prince Turki belonged to a mysterious power group called The Safari Club, founded -- according to one account -- by then-DCI George H.W. Bush and Sheikh Kamal Adham, Turki's uncle and predecessor as Saudi intelligence chief. We have looked at this group before. In a public speech, the Prince admitted that this "club" was an off-the-reservation covert action ring, unaccountable to any democratic government
Trento adds that the Safari Club, through Pakistan, ran the anti-Soviet effort in Afghanistan -- which is to say, it created Osama Bin Laden's network. The Club also funded A.Q. Kahn's nuclear hijinks in Pakistan."
* emptywheel has more on Turki's departure with some rampant speculation, and clemons says:
"Sources report that the Ambassador's decision has come after a long bout of battles with anti-reformers in the Saudi government. Turki, according to one source, believes that these are critical times and that the kind of intrigue that others in Saudi political circles want to play is a waste of his time, energy, and beneath him.* josh:
Prince Turki, however, has been a significant "truth-teller" to the Bush administration and has been one of the key players in resurrecting the Saudi proposal on Palestine-Israel negotiations. He is the two-decade long former chief of Saudi intelligence and is considered by many in the Saudi establishment to be one of the sharpest and shrewdest among Saudi elites."
"I'm no expert on the finer points of US-Saudi relations. But I don't think you need to be to see that the underpinnings of the relationship are on the table right now. And just at this moment, the ambassador resigns and gets on the next plane home. To borrow a phrase from our judicial pals, I think any excuse that this is just some personal matter deserves the strictest scrutiny. Something must be up."* Laura: "Mystifying"