Granted, it certainly didn't look good, particularly considering that planes weren't supposed to be in U.S. airspace at all. But imagine for a moment if members of Walmart's Walton family were stuck in Saudi Arabia after one of their spawn grew himself a ZZ Top beard, assembled a personal army, and started murdering thousands. Someone would have been hauling their fabulously wealthy butts out of that country with a quickness.
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"Say, would now be a good time to talk about our health insurance? It'd be a shame if we got sick and couldn't fly."
Saudi Binladin Group is the largest construction company on the planet, with an annual revenue of $30 billion. To put that into perspective, Nike made $24 billion last year. To put it into even more perspective, holy shit.
It's not just about revenue; the Saudi Binladin Group must have some serious brand loyalty if they haven't bothered to scrub their name and logo by now. In a twist of horrible but lucrative irony, the company is currently erecting the tallest building in the world -- Saudi Arabia's Kingdom Tower, which is supposed to cost a cool $1.23 billion. It will likely go over budget into numbers that don't exist because they're so high that the Binladin Group still needs to build them.
Osama, who had already been disowned by the early 1990s, had 53 brothers and sisters. And with all the cousins and "special uncles" thrown in, it's really more like a tribe than a family. That's not to say they're all squeaky clean, but it looks like they are far more interested in making a buck than making threatening videotapes in caves.
"Unless you find the Tumbler in there, we don't care."
As reviled as the name "bin Laden" has become, it's difficult to remember that it is attached to a sprawling bunch of people, many of them insanely rich and of great privilege, who, like their American counterparts, happened to have a black sheep in their midst. Except that particular black sheep didn't just embarrass them, but happened to provoke the War on Terror.