Saudi ties to September 11 attacks still suppressed by official mandate

By Cliffd A. Kiracofe Source:Global Times Published: 2015-1-14 20:28:01

The White House has suppressed the truth about 9/11 attacks for too long, according to members of Congress at a recent press conference on Capitol Hill. Breaking news of the Islamic terrorist attack in Paris reinforced their call for President Barack Obama to make public key information which has been kept secret for over a decade.

The press conference was organized on a bipartisan basis by Congressman Walter Jones, a Republican, and Congressman Stephen Lynch, a Democrat.  The highly respected former head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Bob Graham, was a featured guest.  Members of families who are victims of the 9/11 attacks participated with organizations representing them.

As I was driving through early morning traffic to attend the press conference, news flashes on the radio reported events in Paris. Arriving early I spoke with press colleagues and advocacy groups for whom the Paris events formed a dramatic context.

I had the opportunity to speak with the two congressmen, with Graham, and with Terry Strada, a 9/11 widow who leads the Justice Against Terrorism advocacy group.

The congressmen announced their House resolution which calls on Obama to declassify and release to the public a still secret 28-page section of a report by Congress about the 9/11 events. The report, with the exception of this key section, was released to the public in December 2002. 

The 9/11 attacks triggered the initial punitive US response against Afghanistan and the Taliban who hosted Al Qaeda. This justifiable response, however, was converted by neoconservatives and other special interest groups into an unnecessary regime change war against Saddam Hussein in Iraq and an unnecessary counterinsurgency war in Afghanistan. So what is in the still secret 28 pages?

The report shows that factions within Saudi Arabia financed and organized the 9/11 attacks. This point was made clear at the press conference.   

While they could not reveal specific details as long as the pages are classified, they could speak in general terms and point an accusing finger at Saudi Arabia.  Riyadh, of course, denies any involvement. While the speakers indicated that other countries are implicated, they were not identified.

Graham chaired the Senate Intelligence Committee for 10 years including before and after 9/11 attacks and led the investigation for this congressional report. For the last 12 years he has led the effort to make the 28 pages public.

The speakers said the 28-page section of the report was suppressed first by then president George W. Bush and then by Obama in order to protect Saudi Arabia. They argue that no US intelligence sources or methods would be harmed by releasing this section to the public. In fact, they say, it would strengthen US foreign policy and anti-terrorism action. 

It was encouraging to see major US media such as Fox, CBS, and ABC covering the press conference as well as the presence of such distinguished veteran journalists as Eleanor Clift. Clearly the 9/11 issue is back in the news as it should be given the present-day global spread of Islamic terrorism.

The Paris events make it ever more urgent that the White House make public the suppressed pages on the sources of Islamic terrorism.

The author is an educator and former senior professional staff member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.

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