When H.RES. 14 was introduced to the new Congress on January 6, 2015, former Senator Bob Graham was there. He showed up to support his friend, Walter Jones (R-NC) who sponsored the House resolution to declassify and release the 28 pages from the “Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001″. Also, Graham was thinking bigger. He was there to meet with friends still in the Senate. Over the next 5 months efforts were being made in coordination with Walter Jones to have a member of the Senate sponsor a companion bill to H.RES.14.
At the end of May, it was announced that on June 2nd there would be a press conference to announce the Senate bill which will work in parallel to the House resolution. It’s sponsored by a rising star, Rand Paul (R-KY), Ron Wyden (D-UT), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). Just as the resolution in the House, this bill is bi-partisan, as it should be. Demanding that 9/11 evidence be made available to the public and 9/11 families is certainly a non-partisan issue. It must be mentioned that besides running for president, Rand Paul has been creating headlines in his filibuster to cause the expiration of Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act. As for Ron Wyden, he’s a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Any senator wishing to gain access to the 28 pages must first apply to this committee for approval. This is of major significance. Having a senator from NY, which took he brunt of the 9/11 attacks, is also significant.
Also of major significance is that in August of 2003, nearly half the Senate signed a letter to George W. Bush calling for the declassification of the 28 pages. The signatories included Joe Biden, John Kerry, and Hillary Clinton. You can download the letter here.
Below is the actual bill currently in the Senate.
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
June 1, 2015
Mr. Paul (for himself, Mr. Wyden, and Mrs. Gillibrand) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Select Committee on Intelligence
To require declassification of certain redacted information from the Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 2001 and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the “Transparency for the Families of 9/ 11 Victims and Survivors Act of 2015”.
SEC. 2. DECLASSIFICATION AND PUBLIC RELEASE OF CERTAIN REDACTED PORTIONS OF THE JOINT INQUIRY INTO INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES BEFORE AND AFTER THE TERRORIST ATTACKS OF SEPTEMBER 2001.
(a) Declassification and Public Release of the Joint Inquiry Into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 2001.–Not later than 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act and subject to subsection (b), the President shall declassify and release to the public the previously redacted portions of the report on the Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 2001, filed in the Senate and the House of Representatives on December 20, 2002, including all the material under the heading “Part Four– Findings, Discussion and Narrative Regarding Certain Sensitive National Security Matters”.
(b) Exception for Names and Information of Individuals and Certain Methodologies.–Notwithstanding subsection (a), the President is not required to declassify and release to the public the names and identifying information of individuals or specific methodologies described in the report referred to in subsection (a) if such declassification and release would result in imminent lawless action or compromise presently ongoing national security operations.