… by Ian Greenhalgh
The recent cooling of relations between the US and Saudi governments may have one unexpected side-effect – we finally get to see those 28 pages removed from the 9-11 report.
VT revealed the involvement of the Saudis in 9-11 long ago; but this disclosure, if it does indeed take place, would have far-reaching repercussions; not least because there are still a lot of families who lost loved ones and who would no doubt clamour for justice should the 28 classified pages reveal any guilty parties.
We shall watch this story carefully as it is likely the tip of the iceberg if Obama is prepared to adopt a new openness towards the release of previously classified material relating to 9-11 and the subsequent ‘War On Terror’.
The White House and intelligence officials are considering declassifying documents known as the “28 pages” which could show the possible existence of a Saudi support network for the hijackers involved in the 9/11 terror attacks.
The discussion of the documents, which have been locked away for 13 years, comes as President Obama plans a trip to Saudi Arabia this month, the Hill reported.
Former Sen. Bob Graham, who helped author the report, told “60 Minutes” the classified information outlines a network of people he believes supported the hijackers while they were in the US.
He said the hijackers were “substantially” supported by Saudi government, as well as charities and wealthy people in that country.
“I think it is implausible to believe that 19 people, most of who didn’t speak English, most of whom never been in the United States before, many of whom didn’t have a high school education — could’ve carried out such a complicated task without some support from within the United States,” Graham said.
The 28 pages were cut from a report on the 9/11 terror attacks in 2003 by the Bush administration in the interest of national security. Porter Goss, who was Graham’s co-chairman during the inquiry, said the FBI refused to declassify the information at the time.
Goss, who later led the CIA, told “60 Minutes” he saw no reason then, or now, for the material to be locked away. Goss and Graham met with the FBI director to try to sway him, but had no luck.
Those interviewed by “60 Minutes” who have read the 28 pages describe the material as similar to a police report or grand jury file, and say it lays out the possibility that the hijackers who settled in Southern California had official Saudi assistance.
Graham said he believes the US classified the pages to protect its delicate relationship with its ally, Saudi Arabia.