At a day-long conference hosted by the Bipartisan Policy Institute in Washington July 22, commemorating the tenth anniversary of the release of the 9/11 Commission report, Commission co-chairs Lee Hamilton and Tom Kean both strongly supported the release of the classified 28 pages of the Joint Congressional Inquiry into 9/11, which both the Bush/Cheney and Obama administrations have kept secret. The event featured, in addition to Hamilton and Kean, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Tex.), Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, DNI James Clapper, and former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge. A large portion of the audience consisted of survivors and family members of victims of the 9/11 attacks.
In response to two separate questions posed by members of the 9/11 families about declassification of documents pertaining to 9/11 including the 28-page suppressed chapter from the Joint Congressional Inquiry into 9/11 that preceded the Commission, all of the speakers who answered the questions were unanimous in their condemnation of the secrecy surrounding the 28-pages and their own Commission work, much of which still remains classified at the National Archives. Hamilton declared that he was embarrassed that the documents still remained secret and said that he had expected that all of the Commission’s work would be released to the public. Kean went one step further by openly discussing the Saudi role, and Ridge agreed that nothing about the investigation should remain classified and kept from the American people.
Matthew Sellitto, who introduced himself as the father of Matthew Sellitto, Jr. (one of the 9/11 victims who died at age 23 on the 105th floor of the World Trade Center tower on September 11, 2001), stated that the most important issue for the families of the victims to know the truth about what happened to their loved ones is the declassification of the 28 page chapter of the 9/11 Joint Inquiry Report. Sellitto posed his question by stating: “Going forward, former Senator Bob Graham, Representative Lynch, and Representative Jones have tried to get them declassified, and they even brought H.Res. 428 and tried to get a ruling to get them declassified. ‘Til this day, they are still classified. I’d like to know from the gentlemen up on the dais, what are your feelings to this day, and do you still think they should be declassified?”
Lee Hamilton answered first, stating very forcefully:
“Yes, they should be! I am embarrassed that they are not declassified. We emphasized throughout, transparency. And I assumed — incorrectly — that our records would be public. All of them. Everything! And then, when I learned that a number of the documents were classified — or even redacted! — I was surprised and disappointed. I want those documents declassified. And I’m embarrassed to be associated with a work product that is secret!”
Tom Kean, the other co-chair of the 9/11 Commission and former Governor of New Jersey, echoed what Hamilton had stated:
“In this democracy, very little ought to be classified. Only the most seriously important national security issues, and there are very few of them. My experience was that almost every other commissioner had an access to classified information before under a security clearance; I never had. That was the upside, I was very excited when I got my first shiny right to look at secrets! And I was amazed, in reading the stuff, that it was stuff I knew already! I mean, the first time I read the whole report, with my classification, I turned to the FBI guy who was watching me, and said ‘I knew all this already!’ And he said, ‘Yes, but you didn’t know it was true.’ [laughter] That is not a reason for classification. But I’d say, and I don’t think I’m exaggerating, I’d say that 60%-70% of the stuff that we saw that was classified, in my opinion should not have been. It should have been available to the American people. This [the 28 pages] is an example of the sort of thing that should be. As I remember that particular section, it has been updated, because I think that we did research on that particular episode in San Diego and Saudi Arabia, and I believe, if you read the 9/11 Report, you’ll find anything you want to find about that particular section. There is no reason to classify it anymore! Even if some of the facts are wrong, that could be pointed out, but I just don’t believe in keeping things secret from the American people.”
That same evening, Fox News posted a report on the event, including an interview with one of the 9/11 family members, Abraham Scott, whose wife was killed at the Pentagon. “Abraham Scott says no matter how long it takes, he is going to keep fighting for reforms for one important reason. ‘So those events on September 11, 2001 don’t happen again,’ he said. Scott has been pushing for a decade now to get 28 pages of the 9/11 report declassified. In those pages, Scott says he believes is information about the funding of the 9/11 terrorists. There is legislation in Congress to declassify some of those pages, but it is unclear how soon—or if—that will happen.”
Indeed, there is legislation, H.Res. 428, introduced by Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) along with Stephen Lynch (D-MA) and Thomas Massie (R-KY), which calls on President Obama to immediately declassify the 28-pages. The resolution states: “Whereas the contents of the redacted pages are necessary for a full public understanding of the events and circumstances surrounding the September 11, 2001, attacks upon the United States; Whereas the Executive Branch’s decision to maintain the classified status of these pages prevents the people of the United States from having access to information about the involvement of certain foreign governments in the terrorist attacks of September 2001; and Whereas the people of the United States and the families of the victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks deserve full and public disclosure of the results of the Joint Inquiry: Now, therefore, be it Resolved, (1) the President should declassify the 28-page section of the Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 2001; and (2) the families of the victims and the people of the United States deserve answers about the events and circumstances surrounding the September 11, 2001, attacks upon the United States.”
Informed of the public remarks, Lyndon LaRouche said that if the 28-pages and other damning documentation can be forced into the public, it will blow up the British Empire’s control over the United States. He declared:
“This is very serious. Bush and Cheney can go to prison if the full truth comes out about their complicity with the British and the Saudis. The Bush- Cheney organization created a crime against the United States, and they need to be punished with the full weight of the law.”