Reacting to the Release of the 28 Pages

The release of the 28-page chapter from the Congressional Joint Inquiry on 9/11, which was wrongly classified by the Bush administration, occurred today after 13 years of secrecy. The chapter focuses on financing of the attacks. This declassification is significant for many reasons.

Bob Graham shows classified document
Bob Graham shows up redacted document

The world can now see the pages contained no threat to national security. Instead, the objective was to cover up information that was purported to effect the U.S. relationship with Saudi Arabia, other Middle East countries, and questionable actions or inaction by U.S. agencies.

According to legislators who’ve read the pages, the information is actually central to creating a legitimate policy of national security. So we still need to know, why has this critical information been suppressed since 2003 when we’re also told to be in constant fear of an ISIS attack? How does this reflect on the rationale behind the global war on terror?

Let’s remember how we got here. Due to the relentless effort of Sen. Bob Graham, which led to the bi-partisan House Resolution submitted by Walter Jones, Steven Lynch and Thomas Massie, as well as years of lobbying by 9/11 family members and survivors, finally this led to a review process of the 28 pages which began in the summer of 2014. That’s 2 years ago, which is longer than it took to write the 838-page report in the first place. Obviously, the powers behind the Obama administration did not want to release this information. But they finally had to cave in to ongoing pressure from the public, 9/11 families, and even pressure from mainstream media sources.

Furthermore, there has been a growing realization within Congress that there’s a serious contradiction when we’re protecting Saudi Arabia, a supposed ally who has funded Muslim extremists and supported their ideological indoctrination, while denying information that is needed by the 9/11 families and information that the public must be provided with if this is to be a functional republic.

Now we’ll need to study the contents carefully. We need to know the individuals who are named and the financial transactions that took place. We need to examine every redaction and pursue answers for these omissions. Let’s remember that according to legislators who’ve read the 28 pages, it contains evidence of Saudi financial support for some of those accused as hijackers. The pages include recognizable names, and details of financial transactions. It’s very suspect that the Saudis have said they support the release of the pages because they’re innocent of any involvement in 9/11, yet they threatened to unload $750 billion worth of U.S. treasuries if the U.S. passes the JASTA bill which would lift their sovereign immunity and allow U.S. citizens who were harmed by 9/11 to sue.

We should also take note of the timing of this release. Graham was told to expect an announcement June 12th. The long-awaited announcement came Friday, July 15th. The government always seems to release controversial news on a Friday. They know that the Republican convention begins next week which will dominate the news. That said, the legislators who have been pushing for 9/11 transparency all know that declassifying the 28 pages is a welcome step, but it’s far from over.

As Walter Jones said at a July 6th press conference, there are a multitude of issues and they should all be investigated. Steven Lynch said although the pages will answer some questions, it’ll create thousands more.

Questions? The 9/11 Families Steering Committee compiled a list of 400 questions  for the 9/11 Commission which remain mostly unanswered to this day. Millions of people here and around the world are aware of glaring questions which must be answered. For instance:

  • Why has the FBI suppressed over 80,000 pages of documents about a Saudi cell in Florida?
  • What does it mean that members of the Saudi support network in San Diego had connections to the official Saudi consulate in Washington, DC?
  • As many as 10 of the accused hijackers were reported to be alive after 9/11 by the British press. Head of FBI, Robert Mueller, was forced to admit their identities were not definitively accurate. So why are they still identified as the actual perpetrators?
  • According to reports from flight schools, most of them were lousy pilots. They spoke very little English. How could they take courses, take tests, then gain enough experience to fly a jumbo jet? Why weren’t these questions asked in any of the official investigations?
  • What about $100,000 that was wired to Mohammad Atta by head of the Pakistani ISI?
  • Why were 140 Saudis, including members of the Bin Laden family, evacuated after 9/11 when all other flights were grounded? What role did Prince Bandar play?
  • Why were Israeli agents posing as art students and movers evacuated? Why was a group of Israelis filming the towers from the top of a van and celebrating, then also evacuated?
  • Why did the CIA submit evidence that was obtained through torture, then destroy other evidence the 9/11 Commission had requested?
  • Why was investigator Dana Leseman fired for wanting to investigate leads of Saudi complicity?
  • When the Taliban told the U.S. they would turn over Osama Bin Laden and all we had to do was provide the evidence he orchestrated the attacks, why didn’t we?
  • Why did the FBI agent, Rex Tomb, tell journalist, Ed Haas, that Osama Bin Laden was not on their Most Wanted list because they didn’t have definitive evidence?
  • How could 2 steel-framed sky scrapers, which were built to withstand the impact of passenger jets, disintegrate and collapse in a virtual freefall due to office fires lasting roughly 2 hours? Then how could a third steel-framed building fall at the speed of gravity 8 hours later that wasn’t even hit by a plane?

So again, this is just the beginning. Sen. Bob Graham, and Commissioner John Lehman, have advocated for a reopening of the investigation. But they’re up against formidable forces that have obstructed the truth. It will require broad-based support.

Now we need the public to pressure our government to go all the way. We want leaders to know that the American people are willing to follow all the evidence wherever it may lead, and obtain full justice because 9/11 has led to consequences that affect us all, every day, on many levels.  Perpetual war has enriched the defense industry while wreaking havoc across entire countries. We owe it to the world.

There is information and resources at www.hr14.org. Continuing to push for full disclosure and justice is how Americans can honor the lives of those lost that fateful day as well as the thousands who’ve lost their health, their careers, and their way of life. Together, we can create the change this country needs.

Les Jamieson
Founder, HR14.ORG
July 15, 2016