At the inception of each new session of Congress, any pending resolutions must be re-introduced and any previous co-sponsors must make a new request to co-sponsor the updated resolution. Just a few days into the 114th Congress, on January 6, 2014 the catalysts behind the effort to reveal long withheld evidence of a major funding source of 9/11 attacks re-introduced a resolution to declassify 28 pages from the Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001. Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) and Steven Lynch (D-MA) hosted a press conference on Capitol Hill the next day, which featured a presentation by former Senator Robert Graham (D-FL).
This topic has attracted mainstream news coverage since 2002, and this day was no different. There were reporters from the NY Times, Fox News, the Daily News Service, Cox Media Group, U.S. News, and high profile journalist Eleanor Clift of the Daily Beast as well as McGlaughlin Report which is a Sunday news show.
Graham's presence was notable, given that he was co-chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee which produced the Joint Inquiry. Upon its review by the Whitehouse in 2002, which resulted in the redaction of 28 pages dealing with evidence of financing by Saudi royals, Graham has been advocating their release ever since. He stated emphatically, "When we saw that this chapter had been eliminated, there was an immediate outcry. Sen. Dick Shelby, Republican from Alabama, who had been the chair and was at that time the vice-chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and I, issued a statement to the effect that we were intimately familiar with that chapter, we considered it to have no adverse effect on national security, that it was important to the overall understanding of 9/11 and it should be released."
Graham went on to declare that what he has observed is a "pattern of cover-up" which is behind the classification of the 28 pages as well as secrecy on numerous related aspects of 9/11. He added, "What have been the consequences of this refusal to release the pages? And let me say, while the 28 pages are maybe the most important and the most prominent, they are by no means the only example of where information that is important to understanding the full extent of 9/11 have also been withheld from the American people. So the comments I'm going to make are specifically about the 28 pages, but more generally about a pattern of cover-up, that for 12 years, has kept the American people from a full understanding, of the most horrific attack against the United States in its history."
A central concern of Graham and the Congressmen, is the current state of "national security". Their contention that release of the 28 pages is required if threats emerging throughout the Middle East are to be stopped. This same morning, the news broke about the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris, which Graham directly referred to. He stated, "So the consequences of our passivity to Saudi Arabia, have been that we have tolerated this succession of institutions, violent, extreme, extremely hurtful to the region of the Middle East, and a threat to the world, as we saw this morning in Paris."
Also present were 9/11 family members – Terry Strada, Abraham Scott, and Sylvia Carter. Walter Jones stressed the importance of hearing from them and the fact that this effort has largely been for the purpose of providing the 9/11 families with key information they've sought for 13 years to determine responsibility as to how the attacks could have occurred.
Sen. Graham informed the audience of his interest in contacting current members of the Senate to urge them to introduce a companion bill that parallels the House Resolution. Since nearly half of the Senate expressed their desire for the release of the 28 pages, in a letter to then-President Bush in August of 2003, it only follows that the Senate should again add their influence to this cause.
The press conference was an indication of the firm resolve of Jones, Lynch, and Graham as well as a view into the window of opportunity that all thinking Americans have by urging their legislators to (1) read the 28 pages, (2) co-sponsor H.RES. 14, and (3) work for its passage. The opportunity was made clear in Steven Lynch's response to the question "I've heard before that there are multiple foreign governments that could be actually implicated in the pages? Is it just totally Saudi Arabia, or are there other active governments that could be involved?" Lynch answered, "I personally think that the report speaks for itself. And there's one thing that needs to be said here: Once these 28 pages are released, the press will do their job. We've got some smart folks out there on the part of the press. They will investigate this and I think there will be a collective debate and discussion about the implications of these 28 pages, and your question and others will be answered. And that's the whole process here. We'll do a deep dive on this collectively, with the full focus of transparency that it deserves. And I think there will be — you know, I'll learn from the debate. Even though I've read the 28 pages, I'm sure there'll other sets of eyes that will look at that same 28 pages and come up with things that I did not immediate recognize.
Although the points made here are far from exhaustive, these alone should be enough to inspire every member of Congress to learn what's in the 28 pages, and support their immediate release. Unwarranted secrecy is far too detrimental to democracy, and has been used to support military policies abroad as well as undermine civil liberties at home based on suppression of truth. Continuing the policy of secrecy and deception has a cost that is simply immeasurable, while exposing the facts is the best hope for correcting our course into the future.
Support H.RES. 14. Visit www.hr14.org today for details and simple action steps.
March 10, 2015
Note: Since the press conference, several more related news items have broken. The release of the CIA torture report, the death of Saudi's King Abdullah, statements by Zacarias Moussaui, and news of the impending attempt to convict Kaleed Sheik Mohammed and 5 other Guantanamo Bay prisoners, all receipients of torture, for the 9/11 attacks. These additional news stories further add to the importance of creating a groundswell of public demand for release of the 28 pages, as well as all classified information. This includes testimony of Sibel Edmonds and William Rodgriguez, which also have nothing to do with "national security". This effort will create a widespread awareness of secrecy, lies, and crimes at the highest levels. This can then set the stage for a wider acceptance of the full spectrum of 9/11 questions.