On April 11, CBS’s “60 Minutes” led with an important segment about the tragedy of 9/11 and how a 28-page chapter of a congressional investigation has been withheld from the American people for almost 13 years.
This was not a cover-up. It was the result of aggressive deception. Your government has purposely used deceit to withhold the truth.
The reason for deceit: to protect the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from its complicity in the murder of 2,977 Americans. On April 15, The New York Times reported: “Saudi Arabia has told the Obama administration and members of Congress that it will sell off hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of American assets held by the kingdom if Congress passes a bill that would allow the Saudi government to be held responsible for any role in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.”
If that is not sufficient to get your blood boiling, read on: “The Obama administration has lobbied Congress to block the bill’s passage …” Of the many unanswered questions of 9/11, the most significant, I believe, is whether the 19 hijackers operated alone or were aided by a support network. The official position of the U.S. government is that they acted alone. Like myself, the lead investigators of 9/11 find it implausible that these 19 poorly-educated Arab men — most unable to speak English and with no prior experience in the U.S. — could have conducted such a complex plot without assistance from within our country.
The forms of aggressive deceit have been multiple. A few are illustrative:
The 28 pages, which have been reported to disclose the sources of funding for the attack, have been under review for purposes of declassification for three years — three times the amount of time required for the congressional inquiry to research, analyze and issue an 838-page report.
The 28 pages are the most iconic, but not the only, evidence to be withheld from the report of the congressional inquiry. The report is pocked by hundreds of specific redactions.
Investigations at locales where the hijackers lived and plotted prior to the attacks also have been classified. One of those involves Mohamed Atta, the leader of the hijackers, and two of his henchmen who are alleged to have collaborated with a prominent Saudi family who lived in Sarasota for six years before abruptly departing for Saudi Arabia two weeks before 9/11.
The FBI publicly described its Sarasota investigation as complete and said it found no connection between the hijackers and the family. Later, responding to a Freedom of Information lawsuit, the FBI released an investigative report that said the family had “many connections” to individuals tied to the terrorist attacks. The FBI now claims the agent who prepared the report was incompetent, yet refuses to make public the findings upon which that 20-year career agent was thrown under the bus. Some now say, why worry about events that will soon be 15 years old? There are at least three reasons to continue demanding full transparency:
• Justice: The legislation referred to in The New York Times article is designed to modernize the procedures under which Americans can seek justice in an American court for murder or lesser crimes inflicted on U.S. soil by foreign terrorists. Without this, justice to the families of the victims is denied.
• National security: The Saudis blatant attempts to avoid liability as co-conspirators in the crime of 9/11, and the U.S. government’s acquiescence by refusing to release information (and opposition to reforming laws that would hold collaborators in murder to account) has been a clear signal to the Kingdom that it is immune from U.S. sanctions. With that impunity, it continues to finance terrorists and fund mosques and schools used to indoctrinate the next generation of terrorists in intolerance and jihad.
• Democracy: The American government is founded on the consent of the governed. To give that consent, the people must know what the government is doing in its name. Distrust in government is reflected in the speeches of today’s presidential candidates. The public’s sometimes angry response is fueled by a sense of betrayal and deceit.
Bob Graham is a former governor of Florida and U.S. Senator and was a co-chairman of the 2002 congressional inquiry into the 9/11 attacks.