Rand Paul, 2 Other Senators: Expose Financers Of 9/11 Hijackers


The campaign to expose the financiers of the 9/11 attacks has heated up as GOP presidential candidate Rand Paul and two other senators co-sponsored legislation to require release of a 2002 joint House-Senate World Trade Center 9/11 via Creative Commonsreport Rand Paulthat has remained secret.

Paul, shown in an official photo, spoke at a June 2 press conference on Capitol Hill with representatives of 9/11 families to urge his senate colleagues and President Obama to release the report, which reputedly states that Saudi Arabia funded several of the accused 9/11 hijackers in Florida and California.

“Information revealed over the years does raise questions about [Saudi Arabia’s] support, or whether their support might have been supportive to these Al Qaeda terrorists,” said Paul, who introduced two bills to release the information.

Co-sponsoring one proposal are Senators Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Ron Wyden of Oregon. Neither of the two Democrats were present at the news conference, held at the Capitol's Visitors Center.

Justice Integrity Project Analysis and Call to Action

Given the importance of 9/11 to most other major issues (such as war, budgets and other domestic policies), the Justice Integrity Project notes with alarm the lack of normal news coverage of the June 2 news conference on the 9/11 secret documents and a similar lack of interest by most members of the Senate and House.

As amplified below, few elected representatives have been willing even to look at the documents, much less voice an opinion on whether the 9/11 families and the rest of the public  should be allowed to learn who funded the accused attackers. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, for example, this week responded in New Hampshire on the presidential campaign trail to a question about the documents by saying officials should learn the secrets only if they were "inclined" to do so. That stance is not leadership, especially since the fatal attacks victimized many New Jersey families and Christie has built much of his career on his supposedly blunt advocacy. Apparently, however, delving into 9/11 secrets is way too tough for him and most of his peers.

We urge the defeat of any federally elected official or 2016 presidential candidate who has not at least read the documents and taken a position pro or con on whether they should be declassified and shared with the public. This is non-partisan, just like the current movement to declassify the documents.

Let's not mince words about the reasons for the impasse. In 2003, 46 Democratic U.S. senators unsuccessfully demanded release of the secret 9/11 report when it appeared they could gain partisan advantage by seeking it over the objections of President Bush's administration and his GOP colleagues. Now that President Obama is stonewalling 9/11 families despite his 2008 campaign pledge, Democrats dare not oppose both their president, GOP militarists and the vast wealth of Saudi Arabia and its allies, who include Wall Street, the defense industry and the most important thought leaders at foundations, "think tanks," academia and the media.

The bipartisan U.S. foreign policy is a disaster, as we and others have been reporting. So are the operations of Congress, the supposed people's representative.

Members of the public have very little impact on decision-making in general, but hold one trump card: Presidential aspirants and elected representatives occasionally must meet the public and at least pretend to care about important issues. Many are taking the precaution of using guards and other screening methods to ensure that they only meet pre-vetted, friendly individuals. But at least some in the public can get past the gatekeepers, especially during the year 2015 before front-runners and established as celebrities above question. For the future of your families, you must not be deterred and must insist on answers.

 

Capitol Hill News Conference: Who Financed 9/11 Attacks?

At the June 2 news conference, Rand Paul was flanked by families of 9/11 victims, House co-sponsors, and former Sen. Bob Graham (D-FL).

“We can not let page after page of blanked-out documents," Rand said, "be obscured behind a veil, leading these families to wonder if there is additional information surrounding these horrible acts.”

Graham, who led the congressional inquiry into the 9/11 attacks, said document release “will cause the American government to reconsider the nature of our relationship with Saudi Arabia.”

“Nearly every significant element that led to the attacks of Sept. 11 points to Saudi Arabia,” according to Terry Strada, the head of 9/11 Families and Survivors United For Justice Against Terrorism. “Money is the lifeblood of terrorism. Without money, 9/11 wouldn’t have happened.” 

Strada's husband was killed in the attacks. She brought her three children to the conference, including one, Kaitlyn Strada, who was four days old when his father was killed.

"9/11 children are growing up," said Kaitlyn Strada, "in a world where we can’t trust our own government because too many truths remain hidden about who was ultimately responsible for the murder of our parents."

The press conference at the Capitol's visitors center included a bipartisan group of House sponsors: Reps. Thomas Massie (R-KY), Walter Jones (R-NC) and Stephen Lynch (D-Ma).

Massie said the 28 pages establish a "chain of liability" around the attacks.

"The 28 pages in the report of over 800 pages go to the question of who financed 9/11 and they point a strong finger at Saudi Arabia," said Graham, who co-authored the report as a three-term senator co-chairing the 9/11 joint committee in 2002. At the time, he was also chairing the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Graham, like other elected officials in congress, is forbidden to discuss the report's contents. But he has said in general that the American public deserves to know the findings. Release of the information, he says, would not hurt national security.

Paul noted that 15 of the 19 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia. Paul also said he does not immediately plan to read the pages on the Senate floor.

Paul, when asked if he thinks the report could disrupt the U.S.-Saudi relationship, replied, "I see this more as just a search for the truth."

 

Analysis and Update (Continued)

Perhaps most notable about the June 2 news conference was lack of coverage by the establishment media. With Rand Paul taking a lead, the news conference thereby featured a prominent GOP presidential contender ranking near the top in public opinion polls among contenders, representatives of 9/11 families, and Bob Graham, a former Senate intelligence committee chairman. As a three-term senator, Graham had co-authored the secret report revealing vital clues to one of the greatest crimes in American history. It helped spark the still-ongoing wars in central Asia and the Middle East that have so-far cost trillions of dollars and more than a million lives. Yet Graham like other elected leaders faces prison if he tells the public the solutions investigators found.

Concerning what must be termed a continuing cover-up: The New York Times and Los Angeles Times had reporters present who did not publish stories, according to the Executive Intelligence Review, which assisted three House members in publicizing the news conference. The Washington Post coverage appeared only online and not in its printed edition. A Bloomberg column primarily mocked those in the audience asking questions, thus trivializing the substance of the featured speakers' concerns.

The likely reasons for the lack of coverage are clear to those of us at the Justice Integrity Project, as well as to other Washington observers: The nation's pro-interventionist bipartisan majority is funded by the financial, military and intelligence colossus.

Those financial powers dominate both major parties, as well as the supposedly independent voices in the academia and the media, including "alternative" media that profess to being independent. The funding is not simply in the ads the militarists buy in the media or in their campaign donations. That spending is a superficial symptom of a deep relationship that operates primarily unseen and on automatic pilot.

The vast bulk of participants in politics, the media and elsewhere have scant understanding of the process, in our experience. Ambitious and often civic-minded young people who provide the bulk of output from Congress, political campaigns, agencies, Washington's media, foundations, etc. have little incentive or opportunity to learn big picture strategies of decision-makers and their funders.

Looming unspoken at the news conference were even larger questions that few dare to mention, whether for reasons of coalition-building or otherwise. But here is a basic fact too important to ignore: For a couple of years after 9/11 until the patriotic pressures leading to the 2003 war against Iraq, major media in the United States and abroad ran news stories and commentaries suggesting that Osama bin Laden had died in late 2001. In a 2009 book, author David Ray Griffin made the case for bin Laden's death in 2001. Osama Bin Laden: Dead or Alive? analyzed major news accounts and videos and argued that videos of "bin Laden" in recent years appeared to be fake, according to experts. Griffin ascribed potential motives as justifying wars in the Middle East. The Obama administration continued that practice and then upped the ante to claim credit for killing "bin Laden" in 2011 as a pillar of its foreign policy success in entering the 2012 re-election campaign season.

We here have learned of these problems only after decades of experience and intensive study. The fruits are reflected in several recent columns listed immediately below. Thus, for example, the largely unreported key fact of the Dennis Hastert pedophile scandal is that the secret made him vulnerable to pressures to rubber-stamp President Bush's war agenda, among other dubious policy choices.

Media Protected Hastert, Then Pounced Like Hyena Pack On Scapegoat, June 8, 2015.

Middle East Failures Show Disastrous, Deceptive Bipartisan Foreign Policy, May 27, 2015.

Tough Questions for 2016 Candidates; Are you ready? Somebody's got to! May 17, 2015.  

Hersh Challenges Obama White House's Veracity On 2011 Bin Laden Raid, May 14, 2015.  

The topics might seem disjointed but have a common thread in actuality: Waging disastrous wars that damage the United States economy and moral leadership, without effective scrutiny.

We narrow that focus further today to focus on the media and elected representatives.

The lack of normal news coverage serves as evidence that the secret segment of the 9/11 report must be important, even though experienced apologists for news managers and docile members of the press corps can always find rationales for omitting coverage of sensitive matters. The rest of us, however, are entitled to conclude that the suppressed information inevitably points to even more sensitive and important information.

Michael Morell, former deputy CIA director, Andrew Kreig Photo May 18, 2015More subtle is the approach by Michael Morell, a 33-year career CIA officer whose responsibilities included the daily national security briefing to President George W. Bush, including a period before the Iraq war.

Readers here can recall that former deputy CIA director Michael Morell author of the gung-ho new memoir: The Great War of Our Time: The CIA's Fight Against Terrorism from Al Qa'ida to ISIS, ducked our question at a National Press Club news conference May 18 on why the CIA opposed release of the 28 pages. After 33 years at the agency, including two stints as acting director and a current post as senior news analyst for CBS news on intelligence matters, Morell could only say he did not know the basis of the CIA's opposition to release of the 28 pages and of remaining materials on the JFK assassination.

Such answers in the rare occasions when members of the press are able to pose questions on the record and unfiltered to the intelligence/financial/media establishment should themselves count as clues suggesting the need for further digging.

Given the stakes for the nation and the world, the view from here is that no senator or House member of either party deserves re-election if he or she has not looked at the 28-pages and rendered an opinion publicly about the content. Additionally, any news or opinion journal purporting to cover Capitol Hill and other national affairs severely diminishes its credibility by failure to cover the debate about release of the 28 secret pages in the 9/11 report issued in 2002.  

 
 
Contact the author Andrew Kreig
 
 

 

 

Related News Coverage

Update

Global Post, With US help, Saudi Arabia is obliterating Yemen, Sharif Abdel Kouddous, Nov. 30, 2015. Ayman al-Sanabani beamed as he entered his family’s home on his wedding day. He was greeting his new bride, Gamila, who was in a bedroom surrounded by friends. Ayman sat beside her for several minutes, receiving warm words of congratulations. It would be the young couple’s first and only encounter as husband and wife. "What can I say?" he says. "My life has been made into nothing."

The terrifying power of a bomb is how it can alter life so dramatically, so completely, so instantaneously. How it can crush concrete, rip apart flesh, and snuff out life. This power is a fact of life in Yemen now. It is brought forth by a coalition of Arab countries led by Saudi Arabia and supported by the United States. The airstrikes have been relentless since March, a period now of eight months. They are supposed to be targeting a local rebel group, but appear largely indiscriminate, regularly hitting civilian targets. Thousands of people have been killed. Human rights groups say some of these strikes amount to war crimes.

Twenty-six new graves outside the now-ruined home of the al-Sanabani family. All together 43 people died when an airstrike tore through a wedding party on Oct. 7. The toll was not confined to them. In all, at least 43 people were killed in the attack, including 16 children. Dozens more were wounded, many of them sliced open by flying shrapnel and debris, others severely burned. Saudi Arabia has denied responsibility. "We did not have any operations there at that time," Brig. Gen. Ahmed al-Asiri, the spokesperson for the coalition, told GlobalPost, adding somewhat impossibly that the strike instead came from the local rebel group the Saudis are fighting. There is little rebel presence in Sanaban.  Aside from US drones operating sporadically in some parts of the country, the Saudi coalition is the only air power flying above Yemen. "The Saudis act with impunity, so it doesn't matter," said Hisham al-Omeisy, a political analyst based in Sanaa. "It's not a big deal that they hit a wedding. Since the beginning of the war they have denied pretty much everything."

Judicial Watch, 9/11 Comm. Chair “Embarrassed” That U.S. Still Keeps Most Records Secret, Sept. 11, 2015. Fourteen years after 9/11, the U.S. government maintains a robust “stonewall of official secrecy” to hide droves of documents that would likely expose incompetence inside the nation’s intelligence agencies and deceptive relations with foreign governments. A key portion of the information that was withheld by President George W. Bush has been kept hidden by President Obama so this is not a partisan issue, but rather an ongoing effort by the government to keep the truth from the public.

The alarming details are provided in a hard-hitting news article published by a nonprofit journalism watchdog, Florida Bulldog, on the 14th anniversary of the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil. Among the information that long ago should have been made public are 28 blanked-out pages in Congress’s 2002 inquiry into the attacks regarding “foreign support for the hijackers” – read Saudi Arabia. Additionally thousands of significant records that should be available to the public after all these years remain off limits, including information that was provided to the 9/11 Commission for its 585-page report on the attacks that killed thousands.

The Vice Chairman of the 9/11 Commission, Lee Hamilton, was quoted in the story saying that he was “surprised and disappointed” that the documents remain hidden. “I assumed, incorrectly, that our records would be public,” Hamilton said. “All of them, everything. I want those documents declassified. I’m embarrassed to be associated with a work product that is secret.”

Tampa Bay Times, Why did the FBI detain Bob Graham?  Lucy Morgan, August 7, 2015. Going to lunch with former U.S. Sen. Bob Graham can be hazardous to retirement. And extremely interesting. He told us Bob Graham with Keys to the Kingdomabout the day in 2011 when he and Adele were heading to the Washington, D.C., area to spend Thanksgiving with one of their daughters. As they stepped off an airplane at Dulles International Airport, two FBI agents approached and asked the Grahams to accompany them to a nearby agency office. Graham had not informed the FBI that he was traveling to the Washington area and to this day does not know how they knew where he planned to spend Thanksgiving or what airplane he would be aboard. A little scary huh? Perhaps his phone is on the NSA's list.

Editor's note: In a photo by the Justice Integrity Project taken at the National Press Club, Graham is shown with his novel Keys to the Kingdom —  which portrays in semi-fictional form his understanding of how entities affiliated with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia funded 9/11 attackers, whose role has been suppressed by authorities. Although Graham was chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and co-authored its 2003 report on the attack he and other elected representatives supposedly providing oversight to the powerful U.S. intelligence community face imprisonment if they tell the public what they know, except in circumstances carefully controlled by the intelligence agencies themselves.

Campaign To Declassify Suppressed 9/11 Report on Funders

Bob Graham, Steve Lynch, Walter JonesFormer Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Bob Graham, left, fields a question Jan. 7 as a press conference on Capitol Hill. U.S. Reps. Steven Lynch, center, and Walter Jones joined Graham and 9/11 family members in advocating for a resolution demanding that President Obama release a congressional study in 2002 identifying funders for 9/11 hijackers (Photo courtesy of LaRouche PAC).

Politico, Rand Paul: Declassify 9/11 report pages on Saudi Arabia, Burgess Everett, June 2, 2015. Rand Paul is already zeroing in on his next national security battle: urging the declassification of a 28-page document many believe implicates Saudi Arabia as a financier in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The Kentucky senator and GOP presidential candidate said on Tuesday that he will seek to force a vote that would make it the sense of Congress that President Barack Obama should reveal the redacted pages of the Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 2001. Paul said he will push to vote on his legislation as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act. Paul acknowledged that he also has the ability as a senator to read the classified documents into the congressional record on the Senate floor, a technique that former Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) threatened to use in December to force the release of the executive summary of an internal report on CIA interrogation techniques. But Paul indicated he is not currently entertaining that as an option. “We’re going to try the normal legislative procedure first and see how it goes. But I will bring it up with the president and ask him directly to do this,” Paul said. 

Newsweek, FBI Agent: The CIA Could Have Stopped 9/11, Jeff Stein, June 19, 2015. Mark Rossini, a former FBI special agent at the center of an enduring mystery related to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, says he is “appalled” by the newly declassified statements by former CIA Director George Tenet defending the spy agency’s efforts to detect and stop the plot. Rossini, who was assigned to the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center (CTC) at the time of the attacks, has long maintained that the U.S. government has covered up secret relations between the spy agency and Saudi individuals who may have abetted the plot. Fifteen of the 19 hijackers who flew commercial airliners into the World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon, and a failed effort to crash into the U.S. Capitol, were Saudis. A heavily redacted 2005 CIA inspector general’s report, parts of which had previously been released, was further declassified earlier this month. It found that agency investigators "encountered no evidence" that the government of Saudi Arabia "knowingly and willingly supported" Al-Qaeda terrorists. It added that some CIA officers had “speculated” that “dissident sympathizers within the government” may have supported Osama bin Laden but that “the reporting was too sparse to determine with any accuracy such support.”

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, Sen. Rand Paul Offers Amendment to NDAA to Declassify 9/11 Congressional Inquiry, Staff report, June 5, 2015. U.S. Senator Rand Paul this week introduced Amendment No. 1680 to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which would require President Obama to declassify and make available to the public the redacted 28 pages from the Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 2001. Similarly, Sen. Paul introduced the Transparency for the Families of 9/11 Victims and Survivors Act of 2015 earlier this week, co-sponsored by Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). “For over 13 years, the family members of the victims of September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks have been deprived of the details surrounding the redacted 28 pages of the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry. I firmly believe the American people deserve a government that instills trust and a restoration of their sense of security, and think my amendment is a step in the right direction,” Sen. Paul said.

Executive Intelligence Review, Bill to Declassify 28 Pages Now in the U.S. Senate, Staff report, June 3, 2015. For more than two years, Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) has been fighting in Congress to get the release of the classified 28 pages of the Joint Congressional Inquiry Report on 9/11. LaRouchePAC and EIR have strongly supported Jones’s efforts, based on its in-depth study of the Saudi-British role in fomenting international terror. Kirsten GillibrandJones’ resolution (H. Res 428) in the 113th Congress to get President Obama to declassify the pages gained a small number of sponsors, as many Congressmen claimed that the resolution could get nowhere without a companion bill in the U.S. Senate. Now that situation has changed. At a packed press conference on Capitol Hill June 2, Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky) announced that he and Democratic Senators Ron Wyden and Kristin Gillibrand (shown in an official photo) have introduced S. 1471, which calls for the declassification of the 28 pages.

28 Pages.org, Christie: Members of Congress Should Read 28 Pages on 9/11 Only “If They’re Interested,” June 10, 2015. Prospective presidential contender Chris Christie routinely accuses rivals of having “9/11 amnesia,” but is at peace with the fact that the vast majority of Congress is in a state of willful ignorance about indications of foreign Chris Christiegovernment support of the 9/11 hijackers found in 28 classified pages of a 2002 congressional report. At a Monday town hall in Goffstown, New Hampshire, a member of the audience provided a detailed overview of the 28 pages and why there’s a growing movement to declassify them. She concluded by noting the fact that very few members of Congress have read them and asked the New Jersey governor if he felt people making life-and-death decisions should spend a half hour reading what Congressman Thomas Massie recently called “some of the best intelligence we have” in the war on terror. “Different people in Congress are interested in different things,” said Christie, shown in a file photo. “If they have an interest, they should go and they should read it. I don’t know why they wouldn’t have an interest, but I’m not going to sit here and dictate to people what they spend their time on.” (Watch the full exchange on the embedded video below.) It was quite a display of casual ambivalence from a politician who — like any other — routinely prescribes actions that others in government should take on countless issues, including many where human lives don’t hang in the balance.

Washington Post, Rand Paul calls for release of 9/11 documents, Katie Zezima, June 2, 2015. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), fresh off a fight over the Patriot Act, has turned his attention to another national security battle: declassifying 28 pages of a 2002 Senate inquiry into the cause of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. Paul is sponsoring the "Transparency for the Families of 9/11 Victims and Survivors Act," which would require President Obama to declassify and make public the pages. The GOP presidential candidate said that he does not yet intend to exercise his ability to read the pages on the Senate floor yet, saying he will try "normal legislative procedure" first and personally bring up the issue with Obama. The issue is a politically charged one, with some claiming the pages will show that Saudi Arabia financed the attacks.

Daily Beast, Rand Paul’s New Crusade: The Secret 9/11 Docs, Eleanor Clift, June 2, 2015. Coming off the Patriot Act fight, the presidential hopeful is sponsoring a bill to declassify 28 pages of a 9/11 report that may blame Rand PaulSaudi Arabia. Senator Rand Paul, the man of the hour when it comes to pushing back against government secrecy, is throwing his weight behind a fresh push to declassify 28 pages from a 2002 Senate inquiry into the causes of 9/11. The Kentucky Republican (shown in a photo from the news conference) is sponsoring legislation called the “Transparency for the Families of 9/11 Act,” which would force the release of the disputed pages. With his support, an important issue that has languished far too long may be finally gaining traction. Paul is a big catch for the 28 pages movement, as advocates describe their effort. Former Florida senator Bob Graham, who has been banging the drum on the classified pages for years, will appear alongside Paul at a press conference at the Capitol on Tuesday morning to lend his gravitas to the occasion.

28pages.org, Rand Paul, Ron Wyden to Introduce 28 Pages Resolution in Senate, Brian McGlinchey, May 28, 2015. The growing, nonpartisan drive to declassify a 28-page finding on foreign government support of the 9/11 hijackers is about to take an enormous step forward with the introduction of a Senate resolution urging the president to release the material to the public. Dramatically compounding the issue’s visibility, the resolution is being introduced by high-profile Republican presidential hopeful Rand Paul of Kentucky. A spokesperson for Senator Paul told 28Pages.org that Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden will cosponsor the resolution, which will serve as the upper chamber’s companion to House Resolution 14. Paul will unveil the Transparency for the Families of 9/11 Victims Act at an outdoor Capitol Hill press conference on Tuesday, June 2 at 10 am, joined by Representatives Walter Jones (R,NC), Stephen Lynch (D, MA), Thomas Massie (R, KY) and former Democratic Senator Bob Graham.

Fox News, Saudi connection? Lawmakers up pressure on Obama to release secret 9/11 documents, Joseph Weber, Jan. 7, 2015. Congressional lawmakers on Wednesday ramped up efforts to get President Obama to release 28 top-secret pages from a 9/11 report that allegedly detail Saudi Arabia's involvement in the terror attacks. Lawmakers and advocacy groups have pushed for the declassification for years. The effort already had bipartisan House support but now has the backing of retired Florida Democratic Sen. Bob Graham, a former Senate Intelligence Committee chairman whom supporters hope will help garner enough congressional backing to pressure Obama into releasing the confidential information. “The American people have been denied enough,” North Carolina GOP Rep. Walter Jones said on Capitol Hill. “It’s time for the truth to come out.”

28Pages.org, The 46 Senators Who Urged Bush to Declassify the 28 Pages, Staff report, Dec. 30, 2014. What a difference eleven years makes: Today, Congressmen Walter Jones and Stephen Lynch are laboring to win a Senate ally or two to join them in pressing for the release of the classified, 28-page finding on foreign government support of the 9/11 hijackers. In 2003, no fewer than 46 senators signed a letter to President George W. Bush urging him to reverse his decision to classify those pages, which constituted an entire section of the report of the joint Congressional inquiry into 9/11. The 2003 letter-signing effort was led by New York Senator Chuck Schumer, who persuaded 43 of fellow Democrats to join him, along with Republican Sam Brownback and independent Jim Jeffords. If just five more senators had stood up for 9/11 transparency, the Senate would have had the 51 votes needed to declassify the 28 pages by itself, even over Bush’s objection.

Speaking forcefully at the time, Schumer said, “The bottom line is that keeping this material classified only strengthens the theory that some in the U.S. government are hellbent on covering up for the Saudis. If we’re going to take terrorism down, that kind of behavior has got to be nipped in the bud and shedding some light on these 28 pages would start that process.” The letter is more than a study in history: As Congressmen Jones and Lynch scour the Senate for counterparts willing to introduce a resolution similar to their own HRes 428—which urges the president to declassify the 28 pages—those who signed the 2003 letter would seem to be prime candidates.

When the new Senate convenes in January, 12 of those 46 signatories will still be in office, all Democrats. In order of seniority, they are: Patrick Leahy (VT), Barbara Mikulski (MD), Harry Reid (NV), Barbara Boxer (CA), Patty Murray (WA), Ron Wyden (OR), Dick Durbin (IL), Jack Reed (RI), Chuck Schumer (NY), Bill Nelson (FL), Tom Carper (DE) and Maria Cantwell (WA).

Charles SchumerGiven his leadership on the issue in 2003, one would expect Schumer (shown in a file photo) to be more than happy to introduce a non-binding Senate resolution pressing Obama to release the 28 pages. However, despite his history on the issue and his current sponsorship of legislation that would clear the path for lawsuits against state sponsors of 9/11 terror, Schumer has yet to join forces with Jones, Lynch and other House supporters of 28-pages transparency. Schumer’s silence on the 28 pages prompts a question: Is he reluctant to publicly hold a Democratic president to the same standard he once held a Republican one? If so, he should note that party lines aren’t evident in the House’s drive to declassify the 28 pages—the list of cosponsors of HRes 428 is a near-perfect split of Democrats and Republicans.

The question of principled consistency among the signers of the 2003 letter is underscored in a different way by the presence of three notable signatures: Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry—Obama’s vice president and his past and present secretaries of state—each urged Bush to release the 28 pages.

And yet, despite the claimed convictions of three of his administration’s most senior officials and the fact that Obama himself reportedly assured 9/11 family members that he’d release the 28 pages, he continues to guard whatever secrets the Bush administration wanted buried.

The only four Democrats who did not sign the letter were Dianne Feinstein, Jay Rockefeller, Zell Miller and Kent Conrad. Republicans Richard Shelby and Olympia Snowe had previously supported the declassification of the 28 pages but did not sign the letter.

New York Times, Claims Against Saudis Cast New Light on Secret Pages of 9/11 Report, Carl Hulse, Feb. 4, 2014. A still-classified section of the investigation by congressional intelligence committees into the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks has taken on an almost mythic quality over the past 13 years — 28 pages that examine crucial support given the hijackers and that by all accounts implicate prominent Saudis in financing terrorism. Now new claims by Zacarias Moussaoui, a convicted former member of Al Qaeda, that he had high-level contact with officials of the Saudi Arabian government in the prelude to Sept. 11 have brought renewed attention to the inquiry’s withheld findings, which lawmakers and relatives of those killed in the attacks have tried unsuccessfully to declassify. “I think it is the right thing to do,” said Representative Stephen F. Lynch, Democrat of Massachusetts and an author of a bipartisan resolution encouraging President Obama to declassify the section. “Let’s put it out there.”

King Salman of Saudi Arabia with his entourage prepare to greet President and Mrs. Obama in Riyadh Jan. 27, 2015 (White House photo)King Salman of Saudi Arabia and his entourage arrive to greet President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Jan. 27, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza.)

New York Times, House Members Push to Declassify 9/11 Documents, Carl Hulse, Jan. 2015. A bipartisan group of House members — in cooperation with former Senator Bob Graham of Florida — has joined the families of 9/11 victims in pressing the White House to release a 28-page classified section of the joint congressional report on the terrorists’ strikes.

ABC News, Still Secret: 28 Pages That Could Change Our Understanding of 9/11, Tom Giusto, Jan. 7, 2015.  A bipartisan group of congressmen joined with 9/11 family members today to renew efforts to declassify 28 pages of a joint congressional inquiry into the worst terrorist attack against the United States. “The 28 pages primarily relate to who financed 9/11 and they point a very strong finger at Saudi Arabia as being the principal financier,” said former Sen. Bob Graham, D-Florida, who co-chaired the inquiry and helped to write the report. Saudi Arabia has denied any involvement. The report in question is the Joint Inquiry Into Intelligence Activities Before and After the Terrorists Attacks of September 2001. It was an investigation by House and Senate committees, released in December 2002.

Justice Integrity Project, 9/11 Commission's Forum Shows How DC 'Works,' Andrew Kreig, July 24, 2014. Members of 9/11 Commission this week leveraged the 10th anniversary of their report to announce a dozen recommendations focused primarily on improving the nation's security against terrorists. The former commissioners called for strong spending on counter-terrorism intelligence and more centralized oversight by fewer congressional committees. Speakers minimized divisive issues regarding past mysteries, and presented the proposals as reforms. News coverage reflected that positive interpretation.

LaRouchePAC, Congressmen Demand Obama Release Suppressed 28 Pages of 9/11 Inquiry Report. The need for the immediate release of the redacted 28 pages on the funding of 9/11, from the Congressional Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September of 2001, was the subject of a high-powered press conference on Capitol Hill Jan. 7. The event was sponsored by Congressmen Walter Jones (R-NC) and Stephen Lynch (D-MA), who on Jan. 6 reintroduced their resolution demanding that President Obama declassify the pages, which were first classified by President George W. Bush. It is now before the Congress as House Res. 14. See video: LaRouchePAC via YouTube, Press Conference on Resolution to Declassify 9/11 Report, Staff report, Jan. 7, 2015 (58:45 min.).

U.S. Rep. Walter Jones logoNew York Post, Politicians push to declassify censored 9/11 reports, Paul Sperry, Jan. 4, 2015. The drive to declassify the 28 censored pages of the congressional 9/11 report detailing the Saudi Arabian government’s possible role in the terror attacks has become a full-blown movement, complete with letter-writing campaigns, lawsuits and legislation. On Wednesday, the former co-chairman of the panel that produced the heavily-redacted 2002 report will hold a Capitol Hill press conference calling for its complete release. Former Democratic Sen. Bob Graham will join Reps. Walter Jones (R-NC) and Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.), as well as 9/11 families, to demand President Obama shine light on the entire blanked-out Saudi section. Graham claims the redaction is part of an ongoing “coverup” of the role of Saudi officials in the 9/11 plot. He maintains the Saudi hijackers got financial aid and other help from the Saudi consulate in Los Angeles and the Saudi embassy in Washington, as well as from wealthy Sarasota, Fla., patrons tied to the Saudi royal family. Jones and Lynch say they will reintroduce their resolution urging Obama to declassify the information in the newly seated Congress. The bipartisan bill has attracted 21 co-sponsors, including 10 Republicans and 11 Democrats, since first introduced 12 months ago.  

Real News Network, Revealing the 9/11 Conspiracy Would Undo the Entire US-Saudi Alliance -- Sen. Bob Graham, Paul Jay, Oct. 3, 2014. Paul Jay asks Senator Graham if a culture of "not wanting to know" was created to prevent the conspiracy from being uncovered and to protect the role of the Saudi government.

CNN, Bob Graham and Terry Strada Interviewed on Declassifying the 28 Pages, Michael Smerconish, Jan. 4, 2015. In anticipation of the upcoming January 7 press conference on Capitol Hill concerning the declassification of the 28 pages on 9/11, former U.S. Senator Bob Graham along with 9/11 Families spokesperson Terry Strada appeared on CNN yesterday in a hard-hitting interview highlighting the Saudi role in financing the 9/11 attacks, and criticizing the Obama Administration for protecting the Saudis instead of protecting the American people.

Jonathan Turley.com, Saudi Arabia To Flog Blogger For Blasphemy On Friday, Jonathan Turley, Jan. 8, 2015. Just days after extremists killed 12 people in Paris for insulting Mohammad in cartoons, the Saudi government has Jonathan Turleydecided to go forward with its plan to flog a blogger for blasphemy. As previously discussed the abusive treatment of Raif Badawi, who founded the “Free Saudi Liberals” website. He was sentenced to 10 years in jail and 1,000 lashes for blasphemy and his first 50 lashes will be carried out on Friday. Badawi’s website criticized senior religious figures, including Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti. Rather than respond to the criticism, he was accused of insulting Islam and religious authorities. Originally, the Kingdom wanted him charged with apostasy and subject to the death penalty. However, he was convicted of insulting Islam and sentenced to seven years in prison and 600 lashes. The conviction led to worldwide condemnation and then an appellate court overturned the sentence. He was given a retrial and hit with an even harsher

Office of U.S. Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC), On Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015. Representatives Walter B. Jones (NC-3), Stephen Lynch (MA-8), and Senator Bob Graham (FL) will hold a bipartisan press conference on H. Res. 428, a resolution that calls on President Obama to declassify the 28 pages of the "Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 2001" that were initially classified by President George W. Bush and have remained classified under President Barack Obama. Senator Graham chaired the Select Committee on Intelligence when the Joint Inquiry was written. He has repeatedly called for the 28 pages to be declassified. H. Res. 428 states that declassification of the pages is necessary to provide the American public with the full truth surrounding the tragic events of September 11, 2001, particularly relating to the involvement of foreign governments.

New Yorker, The Twenty-Eight Pages, Lawrence Wright, Sept. 9, 2014. On the bottom floor of the United States Capitol’s new underground visitors’ center, there is a secure room where the House Intelligence Committee maintains highly classified files. One of those files is titled “Finding, Discussion and Narrative Regarding Certain Sensitive National Security Matters.” It is twenty-eight pages long. In 2002, the Administration of George W. Bush excised those pages from the report of the Joint Congressional Inquiry into the 9/11 attacks. President Bush said then that publication of that section of the report would damage American intelligence operations, revealing “sources and methods that would make it harder for us to win the war on terror.”

“There’s nothing in it about national security,” Walter Jones, a Republican congressman from North Carolina who has read the missing pages, contends. “It’s about the Bush Administration and its relationship with the Saudis.” Stephen Lynch, a Massachusetts Democrat, told me that the document is “stunning in its clarity,” and that it offers direct evidence of complicity on the part of certain Saudi individuals and entities in Al Qaeda’s attack on America. “Those twenty-eight pages tell a story that has been completely removed from the 9/11 Report,” Lynch maintains. Another congressman who has read the document said that the evidence of Saudi government support for the 9/11 hijacking is “very disturbing,” and that “the real question is whether it was sanctioned at the royal-family level or beneath that, and whether these leads were followed through.” Now, in a rare example of bipartisanship, Jones and Lynch have co-sponsored a resolution requesting that the Obama Administration declassify the pages.

The Saudis have also publicly demanded that the material be released. “Twenty-eight blanked-out pages are being used by some to malign our country and our people,” Prince Bandar bin Sultan, who was the Saudi Ambassador to the United States at the time of the 9/11 attacks, has declared. “Saudi Arabia has nothing to hide. We can deal with questions in public, but we cannot respond to blank pages.”

Truthout, An Inquiry Into the 9/11 Commission's 10th Anniversary Report: How to Read a Government Commission Report, Mike Lofgren, July 29, 2014. One of the many things I learned in government is that the investigative commissions which inquire into a scandal, disaster or atrocity are usually intended to bury the real causes of the incident and trumpet other circumstantial or irrelevant details as if they are shocking or novel. In other words, commissions are cover-ups pretending to be exposés. This is not always the case, but as the stakes rise, it becomes the accepted practice.

Reuters, After 13-year struggle, U.S. faces counter-terror fatigue -- panel, Staff report, July 22, 2014. After 13 years of struggle, Americans are showing a growing public fatigue and waning sense of urgency over terrorism, an attitude that threatens U.S. security, members of the panel that investigated the Sept. 11 attacks said in a report on Tuesday. A decade after issuing the official account of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington, the former members of the bipartisan 9/11 Commission issued a new report warning that, while the world has changed dramatically, the threat from terrorism remains and has "entered a new and dangerous phase."

Politico, Former Gov. Tom Kean, Rep. Lee Hamilton slam Congress’ intransigence, Philip Ewing, July 22, 2014. Congressional ‘dysfunction’ on counter-terrorism and national security makes the United States less safe, the heads of the former 9/11 Commission charge in a new report. Former New Jersey Gov. Tom Kean, a Republican, and former Indiana Rep. Lee Hamilton, a Democrat, slam Congress’ bureaucracy and intransigence in a new report out Tuesday, marking 10 years since their first one. The 9/11 Commission chairmen and their former panel members found the U.S. as a whole has made progress since then — but Congress has not. “Congress’ treatment of the issue of terrorism before 9/11 was episodic and inadequate; its overall attention was low,” Kean and Hamilton write. “We predicted that of all our recommendations, strengthening congressional oversight may be among the most difficult. Unfortunately, we were right.”  Other news coverage includes:

Executive Intelligence Review, 9/11 Commission Members Demand Release of Suppressed 28 Pages, Staff report, July 29, 2014. In response to questions from family members of 9/11 victims, the co-chairmen of the 9/11 Commission insisted, at a July 22 public event, that suppressed documents dealing with the role of the Saudi Kingdom in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States should be declassified and released to the public. It was an extraordinary moment, made even more remarkable by the utter lack of interest of most of the establishment news media in such a critical issue of our national security. The occasion was a day-long conference hosted by the Bipartisan Policy Institute in Washington, commemorating the 10th anniversary of the release of the 9/11 Commission's Final Report. The Commission co-chairs, former Congressman Lee Hamilton and former New Jersey Governor Tom Kean, both strongly supported the release of the still-classified materials from the Commission's investigation, especially the 28 pages from the Joint Congressional Inquiry into the 9/11 attacks, which both the Bush-Cheney and the Obama Administrations have kept secret.

The Hill, Rep. Jones survives well-funded challenge, Cameron Joseph, May 6, 2014. Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) has bested his primary challenger, beating back an onslaught of attacks from establishment Republicans. The Associated Press has called the race for the iconoclastic Jones, who was leading Bush administration official Taylor Griffin (R) by 53 percent to 44 percent with 71 percent of precincts reporting. The win all but guarantees him an 11th term in the House in the heavily Republican district. The race was Jones’s hardest fought since he first won the seat, and his win comes in spite of heavy spending from two national GOP groups. The fiscally conservative Ending Spending super-PAC and the neoconservative Emergency Committee for Israel dumped hundreds of thousands of dollars into the district. Griffin benefited from a number of endorsements (and behind-the-scenes help) from former Bush administration officials including former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, as well as a late endorsement from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R), who he worked for while on the McCain-Palin presidential campaign.

Huffington Post, Re-Open the 9/11 Investigation Now, Bob Graham and Sharon Premoli, Sept. 11, 2012. The passage of time since September 11, 2001, has not diminished the distrust many of us feel surrounding the official story of how 9/11 happened and, more specifically, who financed and supported it. After eleven years, the time has come for the families of the victims, the survivors and all Americans to get the whole story behind 9/11. Yet the story of who may have facilitated the 19 hijackers and the infrastructure that supported the attacks -- a crucial element of the narrative -- has not been told. The pieces we do have underscore how much more remains unknown. Editor's Note: Bob Graham is a former U.S. Senator from Florida, Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and co-Chair of the Congressional Joint Inquiry into 9/11. He is the author of two books on 9/11. Sharon Premoli, a survivor of the attack on the North Tower of the World Trade Center, now runs the website Justiceagainstterrorism.net.

 

Catching Our Attention on other Justice, Media & Integrity Issues

C-SPAN American History TV, Church Committee History and Legacy, Staff report, April 17, 2015 (91-minute video). Panelists talk about the history and legacy of the Church Committee, a Senate committee created in 1975 to investigate government intelligence gathering conducted by the CIA, NSA, and FBI in the aftermath of the Watergate scandal. They spoke about how the Senate Historical Office was collecting oral histories of involved personnel, and the impact of the committee’s findings on the FBI. Participants: John F. Fox Jr., historian at the Federal Bureau of Investigation Office of Public Affairs; Beverly Gage, associate professor of history at Yale University; Laura Kalman, History professor, University of California, Santa Barbara; Katherine A. Scott, assistant historian at the U.S. Senate Historical Office; and Athan G. Theoharis, professor emeritus of history and at Marquette University. Host: Organization of American Historians.

Legal Schnauzer, The secret lives of Dennis Hastert, Bill Pryor, and other public officials raise the ugly specter of blackmail, Roger Shuler, June 10, 2015. What happens when a married public official presents himself as heterosexual but leads a homosexual life in the shadows? It raises concerns about one of the ugliest words in the English language--blackmail. We've seen it in Alabama with the rise to power of U.S. Circuit Judge Bill Pryor. We are seeing it now in the fall of former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert. We are likely to be hearing more about it in the coming days as Hastert appears in court today and his case unfolds--probably with stories of more victims and various politicos who helped cover for the speaker.

Courthouse News Service, CIA Search for JFK Records Mostly Sufficient, William Dotinga, June 8, 2015. A federal judge denied most of an attorney's bid for CIA records on the assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy, finding the agency had searched diligently enough to satisfy the law. Anthony Bothwell -- representing himself -- sued the CIA in November 2013 for denying his records request under the Freedom of Information Act relating to five people who he claims may have been involved in the Kennedy assassinations in 1963 and 1968. His initial FOIA request sought all records related to three people allegedly connected to JFK's assassination: Johnny Roselli, Jean Souetre and David Morales. As to RFK's assassination, Bothwell sought records Thane Eugene Cesar and Enrique Hernandez. The CIA denied Bothwell's request as to the JFK connections, saying that if any documents existed they would be exempt from release as "intelligence sources and methods information." For the two individuals allegedly connected to the Bobby Kennedy assassination, the agency said those records were "operational files" also exempted under FOIA.

The Lancet, Offline: What is medicine’s 5 sigma? Richard Horton, April 11, 2015. Dr. Richard Horton is editor in chief of The Lancet, generally regarded along with the New England Journal of Medicine as one of the world's most prestigious peer-reviewed medical journals. The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness. As one participant put it, “poor methods get results.” The Academy of Medical Sciences, Medical Research Council, and Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council have now put their reputational weight behind an investigation into these questionable research practices. The apparent endemicity of bad research behavior is alarming. In their quest for telling a compelling story, scientists too often sculpt data to fit their preferred theory of the world. Or they retrofit hypotheses to fit their data. Journal editors deserve their fair share of criticism too. We aid and abet the worst behaviors. Our acquiescence to the impact factor fuels an unhealthy competition to win a place in a select few journals. Our love of “significance” pollutes the literature with many a statistical fairy-tale. We reject important confirmations. Journals are not the only miscreants. Universities are in a perpetual struggle for money and talent, endpoints that foster reductive metrics, such as high-impact publication. National assessment procedures, such as the Research Excellence Framework, incentivise bad practices.

See also, New York Review of Books, Drug Companies & Doctors: A Story of Corruption, Marcia Angell, Jan. 15, 2009. Dr. Marcia Angell is editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine. Recently Senator Charles Charles Grassley R-IOGrassley, ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee (shown in a file photo), has been looking into financial ties between the pharmaceutical industry and the academic physicians who largely determine the market value of prescription drugs. He hasn’t had to look very hard. No one knows the total amount provided by drug companies to physicians, but I estimate from the annual reports of the top nine US drug companies that it comes to tens of billions of dollars a year. By such means, the pharmaceutical industry has gained enormous control over how doctors evaluate and use its own products. Its extensive ties to physicians, particularly senior faculty at prestigious medical schools, affect the results of research, the way medicine is practiced, and even the definition of what constitutes a disease. After much unfavorable publicity, medical schools and professional organizations are beginning to talk about controlling conflicts of interest, but so far the response has been tepid. They consistently refer to “potential” conflicts of interest, as though that were different from the real thing, and about disclosing and “managing” them, not about prohibiting them. In short, there seems to be a desire to eliminate the smell of corruption, while keeping the money.

 Consortium News, Playing with the Fire of Terrorism, Joe Lauria, May 31, 2015. By pandering to Saudi Arabia and the Sunni-controlled Gulf states, the U.S. government is playing with fire, allowing the spread of Sunni radicalism to destabilize targeted governments like Syria but unable to control the resulting terrorism, writes Joe Lauria.

Washington Post, Family losses frame Vice President Biden’s career, Paul Kane, May 31, 2015. Biden brought the Yale audience to complete silence during speech. Joe Biden had one final bit of advice, a warning, really, for these very successful students. No matter how accomplished their lives turned out to be, they would not be able to control their fates.