WASHINGTON – Innocent people jumping out of windows hundreds of feet to their certain deaths on live television. Skyscrapers falling. The nation’s capital and its biggest city under attack. America had never seen anything like Sept. 11, 2001.
When Pearl Harbor was attacked on Dec. 7, 1941, there was no doubt as to who was the culprit. America declared war on Japan the next day. And, after the Sept. 11 attacks, the world quickly learned 19 hijackers had turned four commercial airliners into missiles and 15 of the gang were citizens of Saudi Arabia.
But 13 years after that fateful autumn day, there are still questions about who planned and financed the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Questions, especially, about the role of the Saudis.
Actually, former Sen. Bob Graham, D-Fla., who co-chaired the joint Senate-House investigation into the Sept. 11 attacks, has no doubt, having told a court, “I am convinced that there was a direct line between at least some of the terrorists who carried out the September 11th attacks and the government of Saudi Arabia.”
Graham made the remarks in an affidavit filed in a lawsuit brought by families of 9/11 victims against the government of Saudi Arabia.
But the details haven’t been made public yet, because of the extensive redactions in the official 9/11 report that was released, a move during the administration of George W. Bush that Graham calls a “cover-up.”
For what it called reasons of “national security,” the Bush administration removed 28 pages of the bipartisan “Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001″ that was published in 2002.
That move could boomerang.
“If it (the 28 pages) came out it would be devastating to some Republicans who are thinking about running for president. I think that’s one reason there’s been a drive not release it,” Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, told WND.
Although Stockman declined to identify which potential candidates he was referring to, a well-placed source in the Republican party told WND it undoubtedly included Jeb Bush, the former president’s brother and former governor of Florida.
Stockman did add that he thought the decision to keep the pages classified was due more to politics than security.
And a deeper look shows if the Bushes did have reasons for wanting to keep some details secret, President Obama may also have his own reasons to keep the pages under wraps.
A bill sponsored by Walter Jones, R-N.C., and Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., urging the president to release the 28 redacted pages to the public is gaining new momentum as the 13th anniversary of the attacks approaches.
Stockman, who co-sponsored the bill, told WND, “It is important people see it. It is a bipartisan push release those documents.”
He also found a practical reason to release the classified section of the report: to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past, some of which, he said, were outlined in the documents.
“And citizens have a right to know what the mistakes were,” he added. “Law enforcement also deserves to know what mistakes not to repeat. Ignoring facts never is helpful.”
Although the 28 pages are classified, much of their contents has been reported over the years, and some have found the information shocking.
In 2003, the New York Times reported the investigation found Saudi officials may have given money to the hijackers. Sources told the Times the report suggests Saudi national Omar al-Bayoumi, ostensibly employed as a civil aviation contractor in San Diego, was actually working with Saudi intelligence.
Graham said he was certain Bayoumi “was an agent of the government of Saudi Arabia.” And, according to the Times, an FBI agent in San Diego also thought the Bayoumi was a Saudi intelligence officer.
The paper said the report found “despite the fact that he was a student, Bayoumi had access to seemingly unlimited funding from Saudi Arabia.”
The Times also said the report urged further investigation of whether he and another Saudi national had any involvement in the Sept. 11 plot.
When asked if he was concerned the Saudis may have financed the hijackers or the planners, Stockman replied, “I think what’s been publicly written shows there is some concern that was the case.”
Written by GARTH KANT
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