What was on the 18- and-a-half minutes of tape erased by the Nixon White House? We’ll likely never know. 9206c7e49b676350359d91d054e16658_M

While theories and speculation about the content of that lost material still resonate, particularly in alcoves of the Internet, there is one contemporary puzzle that is beginning to attract the attention of lawmakers and citizens.

From the day of its release in 2002, 28 pages of the Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 2001 — commonly referred to as the 9/11 Commission report — have remained classified.

Not only is the content of those pages being kept hidden, but so is the reason for their continuing classification.

Although the public is prohibited from learning the content of the redacted portion of the report, a handful of lawmakers have looked through the protected pages and believe it is time to make Americans aware of what’s contained therein.

In an interview with former congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul recorded on August 14, Representative Walter Jones (R-N.C.) gave Paul a glimpse into the procedure he (Jones) had to follow to read the redacted section.

You have to go down into a room that is guarded by uniformed officers, and then also you have an FBI person to sit there in the room. You can’t make any notes. The Bush people do not want it released. It’s not a national security issue. But it would be embarrassing to the previous administration if this information is opened for the public…. There will be no hope for America’s future if the American people don’t know the truth about a tragedy such as 9/11.

In December 2013, Representative Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) reported on his own experience with the document:

Twelve years after the horrific September 11 attacks, unanswered questions still remain. These pages contain information that is vital to a full understanding of the events and circumstances surrounding this tragedy. The families of the victims and the American people deserve better; they deserve answers, they deserve a full accounting, and that has not happened yet.

Ron Paul’s Voices of Liberty website published comments made by several other former and current legislators echoing the sentiments of Jones and Lynch.

Congressman Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) in a March 12, 2014 press conference with Congressman Jones and Congressman Lynch — “This is something the families deserve to know, this information. It’s been a decade — over a decade: 13 years — since this event happened. And we’ve had a narrative in the media and in the press and in the collective American conscience of what happened that day. But I don’t think it’s fully informed and it won’t be fully informed until everybody gets to see these 28 pages…. I had to stop every couple pages and just sort of absorb and try to rearrange my understanding of history for the past 13 years and the years leading up to that. It challenges you to rethink everything.”

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