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Wright writes: "In 2002, the Administration of George W. Bush excised those pages from the report of the Joint Congressional Inquiry into the 9/11 attacks. President Bush said then that publication of that section of the report would damage American intelligence operations, revealing 'sources and methods that would make it harder for us to win the war on terror.'"

President George W. Bush meets with Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the Saudi Ambassador to the United States, on August 27, 2002, at Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas. (photo: Eric Drapper/The White House/Getty Images)
President George W. Bush meets with Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the Saudi Ambassador to the United States, on August 27, 2002, at Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas. (photo: Eric Drapper/The White House/Getty Images)


Members of Congress Read Missing 28 Pages of 9/11 Report, Raise Questions of Saudi Involvement

By Lawrence Wright, The New Yorker

10 September 14

 

n the bottom floor of the United States Capitol’s new underground visitors’ center, there is a secure room where the House Intelligence Committee maintains highly classified files. One of those files is titled “Finding, Discussion and Narrative Regarding Certain Sensitive National Security Matters.” It is twenty-eight pages long. In 2002, the Administration of George W. Bush excised those pages from the report of the Joint Congressional Inquiry into the 9/11 attacks. President Bush said then that publication of that section of the report would damage American intelligence operations, revealing “sources and methods that would make it harder for us to win the war on terror.”

“There’s nothing in it about national security,” Walter Jones, a Republican congressman from North Carolina who has read the missing pages, contends. “It’s about the Bush Administration and its relationship with the Saudis.” Stephen Lynch, a Massachusetts Democrat, told me that the document is “stunning in its clarity,” and that it offers direct evidence of complicity on the part of certain Saudi individuals and entities in Al Qaeda’s attack on America. “Those twenty-eight pages tell a story that has been completely removed from the 9/11 Report,” Lynch maintains. Another congressman who has read the document said that the evidence of Saudi government support for the 9/11 hijacking is “very disturbing,” and that “the real question is whether it was sanctioned at the royal-family level or beneath that, and whether these leads were followed through.” Now, in a rare example of bipartisanship, Jones and Lynch have co-sponsored a resolution requesting that the Obama Administration declassify the pages.

The Saudis have also publicly demanded that the material be released. “Twenty-eight blanked-out pages are being used by some to malign our country and our people,” Prince Bandar bin Sultan, who was the Saudi Ambassador to the United States at the time of the 9/11 attacks, has declared. “Saudi Arabia has nothing to hide. We can deal with questions in public, but we cannot respond to blank pages.”

The effort to declassify the document comes at a time when a lawsuit, brought ten years ago on behalf of the victims of the attacks and their families, along with the insurers who paid out claims, is advancing through the American court system. The suit targets Saudi charities, banks, and individuals. In 2005, the government of Saudi Arabia was dismissed from the suit on the ground of sovereign immunity, but in July the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the Kingdom as a defendant. The plaintiffs believe that the withheld twenty-eight pages will support their allegation that the 9/11 hijackers received direct assistance from Saudi government officials in the United States. According to representatives of the families of 9/11 victims, President Obama has twice promised to release the material but so far has failed to do so. “The redaction of the twenty-eight pages has become a coverup by two Presidents, and coverup implies complicity,” Sharon Premoli, who is co-chair of 9/11 Families United for Justice Against Terrorism, said. “The families and survivors have the right to know the whole truth about the brutal murder of three thousand loved ones and the injuries of thousands more.”

Those advocating declassification present a powerful and oftentimes emotional argument, but others offer compelling reasons that the document should remain buried under the Capitol. Immediately after the Joint Congressional Inquiry finished its report, in late 2002, the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States—better known as the 9/11 Commission—began its work, under the leadership of Thomas Kean, the former governor of New Jersey, and Lee Hamilton, a former congressman from Indiana. The questions raised by the twenty-eight pages were an important part of the commission’s agenda; indeed, its director, Philip Zelikow, hired staffers who had worked for the Joint Inquiry on that very section to follow up on the material. According to Zelikow, what they found does not substantiate the arguments made by the Joint Inquiry and by the 9/11 families in the lawsuit against the Saudis. He characterized the twenty-eight pages as “an agglomeration of preliminary, unvetted reports” concerning Saudi involvement. “They were wild accusations that needed to be checked out,” he said.

Zelikow and his staff were ultimately unable to prove any official Saudi complicity in the attacks. A former staff member of the 9/11 Commission who is intimately familiar with the material in the twenty-eight pages recommends against their declassification, warning that the release of inflammatory and speculative information could “ramp up passions” and damage U.S.-Saudi relations.

Stephen Lynch agrees that the twenty-eight pages were buried in order to preserve the U.S. relationship with Saudi Arabia. “Part of the reason it was classified was the fact that it would create a visceral response,” he told me. “There would be a backlash.” But, thirteen years later, is that still a reason to keep the document a secret?

The theory behind the lawsuit against the Saudis goes back to the 1991 Gulf War. The presence of American troops in Saudi Arabia was a shattering event in the country’s history, calling into question the ancient bargain between the royal family and the Wahhabi clerics, whose blessing allows the Saud family to rule. In 1992, a group of the country’s most prominent religious leaders issued the Memorandum of Advice, which implicitly threatened a clerical coup. The royal family, shaken by the threat to its rule, accommodated most of the clerics’ demands, giving them more control over Saudi society. One of their directives called for the creation of a Ministry of Islamic Affairs, which would be given offices in Saudi embassies and consulates. As the journalist Philip Shenon writes, citing John Lehman, the former Secretary of the Navy and a 9/11 commissioner, “it was well-known in intelligence circles that the Islamic affairs office functioned as the Saudis’ ‘fifth column’ in support of Muslim extremists.”

The story told in those twenty-eight pages picks up with the arrival of two young Saudis, Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar, in Los Angeles in January, 2000. They were the first wave of the 9/11 hijackers. Neither spoke English well, so their mission—to learn how to pilot a Boeing jetliner—seemed crazily improbable, especially if they had no assistance.

Two weeks after Hazmi and Mihdhar got to L.A., a benefactor suddenly appeared. Omar al-Bayoumi, a forty-two-year-old Saudi national, was an employee of the Saudi aviation-services company Dallah Avco. Although he drew a salary, he apparently never did any actual work for the company during the seven years he spent in America. Bayoumi was in frequent contact with the Saudi Embassy in Washington, D.C., and with the consulate in Los Angeles; he was widely considered in the Arab expat community to be a Saudi spy, though the Saudi government has denied that he was.

Bayoumi and a friend drove from San Diego, where they lived, to L.A. Bayoumi then went to the Saudi consulate, where he spent about an hour meeting with an official in the Ministry of Islamic Affairs named Fahad al-Thumairy, whom he considered to be his spiritual adviser. (In 2002, Thumairy was stripped of his diplomatic visa and deported, because of suspected ties to terrorists.) Afterward, Bayoumi and his friend drove to a halal restaurant in Culver City. Bayoumi later told investigators that, while eating there, he happened to overhear two men—Hazmi and Mihdhar—speaking Arabic with Gulf accents. He struck up a conversation with them and soon invited them to move to San Diego. He set them up in the same apartment complex where he lived. Because the hijackers-in-training did not have a checking account, Bayoumi paid their security deposit and first month’s rent (for which they immediately reimbursed him). He also introduced them to members of the Arab community, possibly including the imam of a local mosque, Anwar al-Awlaki—later to become the most prominent spokesperson for Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

Another Saudi who was in San Diego at the time, Osama Basnan, also befriended Hazmi and Mihdhar. As it happened, Basnan’s wife was receiving charitable gifts from Prince Bandar’s wife, Princess Haifa. The payments—as much as seventy-three thousand dollars over a period of three years—were supposed to fund the treatment of a medical condition that Basnan’s wife suffered from. According to pleadings in the lawsuit against the Saudis, some of that money went to support the hijackers in San Diego. The F.B.I. has not found any evidence that the money got into the hands of the hijackers, however, and the 9/11 Commission found no links to the royal family.

“We assert that purported ‘charities,’ established by the government of the Kingdom to propagate radical Wahhabi ideology throughout the world, served as the primary sources of funding and logistical support for Al Qaeda for more than a decade leading up to the 9/11 attacks,” Sean Carter, one of the lead attorneys in the lawsuit, told me. “Not coincidentally, these so-called charities were themselves regulated by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, which from its formation, in 1993, assumed primary responsibility for the Kingdom’s efforts to spread Wahhabi Islam.”

Thomas Kean remembers finally having the opportunity to read those twenty-eight pages after he became chairman of the 9/11 Commission—“so secret that I had to get all of my security clearances and go into the bowels of Congress with someone looking over my shoulder.” He also remembers thinking at the time that most of what he was reading should never have been kept secret. But the focus on the twenty-eight pages obscures the fact that many important documents are still classified—“a ton of stuff,” Kean told me, including, for instance, the 9/11 Commission’s interviews with George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Bill Clinton. “I don’t know of a single thing in our report that should not be public after ten years,” Kean said.

September 11th may be a part of history now, but some of the events that led to that horrible day remain veiled by the political considerations of the present. The intelligence community doesn’t want to light up its failures once again, and no doubt the Obama Administration doesn’t want to introduce additional strains on its relationship with the Saudis. In the meantime, the forces that led to catastrophe before are gathering strength once again. Thomas Massie, a Republican congressman from Kentucky and a sponsor of the House resolution to declassify the material, told me that the experience of reading those twenty-eight pages caused him to rethink how to handle the rise of ISIS. It has made him much more cautious about a military response. “We have to be careful, when we run the calculations of action, what the repercussions will be,” he said.

“In some ways, it’s more dangerous today,” Timothy Roemer, who was a member of both the Joint Inquiry and the 9/11 Commission, observed. “A more complex series of threats are coming together than even before 9/11, involving ISIS, Al Qaeda, and cyber-terrorist capabilities. The more the American people know about what happened thirteen years ago, the more we can have a credible, open debate” about our security needs. Releasing the twenty-eight pages, he said, might be a step forward. “Hopefully, after some initial shock and awe, it would make our process work better. Our government has an obligation to do this.”

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+81 # RMDC 2014-09-10 16:02
Maybe someone in Congress will have the decency to steal a copy and leak it to Wikileaks. A lot of people really do believe that the fact that 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis points to a much greater role for Saudi Intelligence Services, which is a franchise of the CIA anyway.

If what this article starts to say is true that most of the report covers up the close relations between Saudi Arabia and especially Prince Bandar and the Bush family, then that is a bombshell. It will be hard not to conclude that 9-11 was planned and carried out by the Bush family operatives along with Saudi assets. By "Bush family Operatives" I don't mean GW Bush. He's a moron and was sent to read about a pet goat and stay out of the way. But Cheney, Rumsfeld and their neo-con gangs have been Bush Family Operatives since the early 1970s. GW Bush was just the crash dummy they set up on stage when they needed to steer reporters away from any subject that mattered.

I read Craig Unger's "House of Bush House of Saud" a long time ago and his point is that the royal family of Saudi Arabia and the Royal Family of Bush are pretty much one family. They engage in terrorism and regime change all over the world. They jointly run madrassas, terror training camps; they fund terrorists and rebel groups. They do exactly what Royal Families have done for millennia.

These 28 pages need to be published for all the world to read. These two corrupt families need to be taken down.
 
 
+16 # MarthaA 2014-09-11 10:06
I do not see any concern for damaging relations with the Saudis, if the Saudis were involved in perpetrating the attacks of 9/11. If so, relations are already damaged and the only thing that is being protected are the people who were complicit.
 
 
+11 # Khidr 2014-09-11 13:27
Those 28 pages need to be published and Prince Bandar according to this article also wants those pages to be released, so what is the hold up? Could it be it might lead to some more embrassing screw ups?
Since Saudis are being protected by the USA, they are in a very precarious situation & I feel could not be the culprits because they are hated by Muslims in and outside kingdom ,by the Zionists & right wing christians here in the USA. Saudi form of government & dictatorships are not kosher according Islam.
My bet would be Israel. Their control of our Congress & Media, highly technological skills, access to aeroplane remote controls, access to cordite paint which was used on the structural components of WTC north & South towers and WTC 7 and a bunch of Israeli agents caught filming destruction of the towers and celebrating it. They frankly don't give a damn. They have 200 nuclear warheads and with a Sampson option to use them if the west ever tries to punish them. It is suprising no one mentions Israel in reference to 9/11. We have conveniently forgotten USS Liberty.
 
 
+67 # politicfix 2014-09-10 17:01
President Obama is crazy for aiding and abetting Bush and his group of criminals. All the remaining Presidents should come forth in support to expose these 28 pages to the public and families of 911. We all deserve to know the truth about 911. President Obama is not going to get the support of the American people by continually participating in covering up dishonesty. That's what gives the people cause not to trust any politicians, and believe there is no difference in the two parties. It's like a "good ole boys" group that cover up for each other. Stop the nonsense and get real and honest.
 
 
+8 # Radscal 2014-09-11 14:53
President Obama is not "crazy" for covering up the crimes of the Bush Administration. He is an "accessory after the fact," complicit and prosecutable.

Unfortunately, he did get enough support from too many of the American people to get reelected, even after making clear that he would not permit criminal investigations of the Bush Administration, the Wall Street criminals or any of those who created so much of the horror in the world today.

Voting for "lesser evils" and worse still, defending the war crimes, evisceration of our Constitutional Rights and many other transgressions of the corporate/milit ary/financial industry complex sycophants the DNC pushes as the only "viable" candidates is how we end up with Democrats in office who are to the right of Nixon and even Reagan.

Please people. Stop putting these criminals in power.
 
 
+61 # PABLO DIABLO 2014-09-10 21:55
Get the neocons out of "our" government. NOW. They and their corporate sponsors make money off of war. We pay.
 
 
+46 # A P 2014-09-10 22:20
With a few notable exceptions, ALL the politicians and lobbyists in Washington are neocons, just some more than others. Repub or Dem, the wars never end and the 0.01% gets richer and more powerful while the citizens and society go wanting for lack of fair wages and taxation on corporations/we alth.
 
 
+9 # RMDC 2014-09-11 05:55
AP -- you are right -- neo-cons, neo-liba, 3rd way democrats, tea party repbublicans -- are all neo-cons.

The neo con movement traces its origin to two ourright fascists -- Milton Friedman and Leo Strauss. So really we are saying that nearly all the politicians in Washington are fascists.
 
 
+29 # VictorG 2014-09-10 23:31
Not that I trust Obama's policies, especially after his latest dangerous decision to throw bombs in Syria. But maybe one reason for sitting on the facts about 9/11 and about tortures as well is because of his knowledge of history. He was only 2 in 1963 but he knows very well what happened to JFK when he started to buck the powers-that-be. And can we really trust every man in the Secret Service?
 
 
+13 # Kev C 2014-09-11 00:39
Obama would become the ultimate whistleblower. Now wouldn't that be somethingt to report?
As for becoming anotherJFK? No we cannot trust every secret service operative nor the close protection teams. I personally think your statement has a certain amount of truth about it but is it because he recalls JFK or because one of his closest advisors does? After all not every secret service agent is corrupt.
 
 
+11 # ericlipps 2014-09-11 04:29
Quoting Kev C:
Obama would become the ultimate whistleblower. Now wouldn't that be somethingt to report?
As for becoming anotherJFK? No we cannot trust every secret service operative nor the close protection teams. I personally think your statement has a certain amount of truth about it but is it because he recalls JFK or because one of his closest advisors does? After all not every secret service agent is corrupt.

But it only takes one to fire a gun.
 
 
+9 # CTPatriot 2014-09-11 06:54
While I think there is a lot of merit to your conjecture, if Obama has withheld such critical truths from the American people, then he is a coward who is more concerned with his personal safety than he is with the good of the nation. A man like that is unfit to be president and never should have run for office in the first place.
 
 
+13 # futhark 2014-09-11 07:48
It seems to me that Barack Obama sold his soul to the state surveillance apparatus a long time ago. He is not "afraid" of them because he is one of them. He is the problem. I would be just as pleasantly surprised if he came forward to demand the truth about 9/11 as I would have been had he declined to accept the Nobel Peace Prize on the grounds that he had done nothing to deserve it. The world needs real leadership right now, not crafty political posturing.
 
 
+4 # Radscal 2014-09-11 15:10
When the Secret Service permitted those "party crashers" to get into a State Dinner just a couple months after Obama's inauguration, I wondered if that was a hint to the new President that he could have a Dealey Plaza moment.

I don't know what I would do in such a case (and will never even come close to finding out). Would I have the integrity to uncover truths that the U.S. and the world deserve to know, or would I put my own safety ahead of the good of humankind? I don't know.

But you know what? If any President is unwilling to do the right thing, even under threat, then that President should resign.
 
 
+28 # Texan 4 Peace 2014-09-11 00:26
When has "credible, open debate" ever been a basis for U.S. foreign policy?
 
 
+10 # RMDC 2014-09-11 05:57
Texan -- good point. Never. The point of the debate is always as Edward Bernays said, "to engineer consent of the american people."
 
 
+9 # jsonix 2014-09-11 06:05
Read "Family of Secrets" and learn about HW Bush's history in the CIA and the questions about his whereabouts on 11/23/1963. Talk about "regime change"...
 
 
+9 # fredboy 2014-09-11 07:10
Do you think?

Amazing that the entire U.S. government and THE AMERICAN PEOPLE gave Saudi a pass after 9/11.

Should FDR have done the same for Japan following Pearl Harbor?

No, the American people at that time would have lynched him if he had. But 9/11 was different--a nation of stupid, sissy lemmings.
 
 
+3 # Khidr 2014-09-11 13:52
9/11

Giant Video Billboard of WTC7’s Destruction for 9/11 Anniversary
Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth has placed a massive, 45-foot video billboard of World Trade Center 7's destruction in Times Square which is timed to run for the 13th anniversary of 9/11 and on through October 5th.
See if you can see this, it might answer some of your misconceptions.
 
 
+13 # riverhouse 2014-09-11 07:30
The Bush family, particularly George W Bush, lived on the largess of the Saudi royal family for many years and in many ways. It is not surprising that protecting the Saudis was an imperative for Bush. What is surprising is that our Congress and the subsequent President has continued to allow this protection to remain in place.
 
 
+5 # CAMUS1111 2014-09-11 13:33
"Members of Congress Read..."-- Highly doubtful in most cases, I'm afraid!
 
 
+4 # Radscal 2014-09-11 14:39
"But the focus on the twenty-eight pages obscures the fact that many important documents are still classified—“a ton of stuff,” Kean told me…"

Yes. let's remember that Lee Hamilton, described here as a leader of the 9/11 Commission resigned during the gathering of information because he realized the Commission had been "set up to fail." The Commission was lied to, information was withheld and roadblocks were established to prevent them from investigating substantial aspects of the crimes before, during and after the attacks.

I suspect these missing 28 pages will not reveal the essential information, even as regards Saudi Arabia's role.

This video does an exceptional job of identifying who had documented connections to 9/11 and what they did before, during and after the attacks. It spends little time on the contentious "how was it done" questions, and focuses mostly on a criminal investigation of means, motives and opportunity.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annotation_3236033741&feature=iv&src_vid=Tuyh3m0qb5o&v=KEf6pAh_8Hs
 
 
+3 # Lowflyin Lolana 2014-09-11 15:13
9/11 has more meaning for me than the 4th of July. That day changed people...for about a week. (Here on the West Coast.) Then everything went back to how it was, pretty much.

But I'll never forget how people were. That day. And the days following. It was like total strangers recognized each others' humanity for the first time in my lifetime. There was a feeling in the air that was different. I will always be curious about that day.
 
 
+3 # Radscal 2014-09-11 17:16
Great observation. In my experience, whenever people are faced with a disaster, most of them come together. Some of course seek to take personal advantage of the situation, but almost all people put aside whatever has kept them apart and work together to pull out of the disaster.

I hear a lot about "human nature," and that whole "red in tooth and claw" narrative about how we're really just beasts with a thin veil of civilization keeping us from slaughtering one another.

But whenever I see the structure of that civilization ripped asunder, I see humans joining hands.
 
 
+5 # reiverpacific 2014-09-11 17:16
I wonder if anybody in the Fragmented States of Amnesia remembers that, while all US Air Traffic was grounded, a plane was waiting at Bluegrass field, KY to whisk several members of the Saud dynasty out of the country.
I'm assuming that they were in Lexington for the horse sales but they usually came in their own private jets (you should see that airport during the sales; it's thick with large private aircraft)
Many things have never added up on that day.
Re' probings, scientific and structural reasoning from the findings of "Architects and Engineers for 9-11 Truth", it just gets weirder and less believable the deeper one digs.
BTW, what the fuck is "the Joint Congressional Inquiry into the 9/11 attacks" {quote}?
Do we have TWO freakin' Congresses now? Shit, the first one doesn't do diddly, why do we need TWO non-diddly-doer s???
 
 
+1 # JJS 2014-09-13 07:36
Quoting reiverpacific:

...Do we have TWO freakin' Congresses now? Shit, the first one doesn't do diddly, why do we need TWO non-diddly-doers???


The Congress of the US is "bicameral". It consists of two legislative branches, the House of Representatives and the Senate. Thus there really are "TWO freakin' Congresses" in the US.

Yup, I remember the plane, the only one allowed to take off, loaded with the Saudis. I also remember the quiet days after 9/11. I live near an airport and there is a lot of air traffic in my area. It was so quiet and peaceful when there were no flights for a time. And no con-trails either. I also noticed the aggressive commuters in their cars were much more civil in their driving. That lasted about 3 months then back to "Mad-Max" driving down the freeway. Today,by my observation, there is practically no civility on the roads around the Baltimore/DC metropolis.
 
 
0 # Questions, questions 2014-09-13 12:20
Look, this whole Saudi connection - while an interesting part of the 9/11 puzzle - appears to really be a sideshow to the main REAL story of 9/11. The Saudis are likely as much patsies in the real 9/11 conspiracy as are Osama Bin Laden and Mohammed Atta. Think about it a minute - why would the Saudis want to take the US out, when we're the biggest liner of their pockets with oil dollars?

I'm saying, someone had to provide well-laundered funding, "express" visas and stolen IDs (from the supposed hijackers who are apparently still alive and well), as well as good incentive (desecration of their holy land by presence of US troops) for the patsies to get involved in the first place. But all that of course needs to be kept hidden, for the sake of "national security."

Bushes and Bin Ladens/Saudi royals tight as ticks? Duhh... can you say oil bidness? But that shouldn't detract from getting to the truth of 9/11 and the culpability of folks right here in the ole' US of A.

That said, the document (and many others) should be released - it might at least be instructive on the origins/directi on of ISIS.
 
 
+2 # reiverpacific 2014-09-13 19:30
Quoting JJS:
Quoting reiverpacific:

...Do we have TWO freakin' Congresses now? Shit, the first one doesn't do diddly, why do we need TWO non-diddly-doers???


The Congress of the US is "bicameral". It consists of two legislative branches, the House of Representatives and the Senate. Thus there really are "TWO freakin' Congresses" in the US.

Yup, I remember the plane, the only one allowed to take off, loaded with the Saudis. I also remember the quiet days after 9/11. I live near an airport and there is a lot of air traffic in my area. It was so quiet and peaceful when there were no flights for a time. And no con-trails either. I also noticed the aggressive commuters in their cars were much more civil in their driving. That lasted about 3 months then back to "Mad-Max" driving down the freeway. Today,by my observation, there is practically no civility on the roads around the Baltimore/DC metropolis.


So 'bicameral" is based on the Latin word "camera" for "chamber" and it goes back to European origins.
I DO know about the Senate and Congress so why wasn't it called "House and Senate Inquiry -" for we of the easly-misled proletariat?
Anyhoo, it's all a bit nit-picky but thanks for pointing out a simple explanation for an obtuse (to me) title -I tend to latch on to stuff I don't quite get until I get it, or it's logically explained (like how "Building 7" collapsed of it's own accord on 9/11, which never has been satisfactorily addressed).
 

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