Report On Saudi 9/11 Terrorists Prompts Outrage, New Questions

 

Some of the 9/11 hijackers received support from individuals probably connected to the Saudi government, according to a long-classified 2002 Senate-House report released in redacted form on Friday, July 15.

World Trade Center 9/11 via Creative CommonsWhite House spokesman Josh Ernest said the report shows "no evidence" of a Saudi role, and Saudi Ambassador to the United States Abdullah Al-Saud put out a statement welcoming the report's publication as administration officials suggested further that recent investigations have vindicated Saudis from the 2002 report's claims.

But Karen Breitweiser and four other prominent 9/11 widows aptly responded with a hard-hitting Huffington Post column 29 Pages Revealed: Corruption, Crime and Cover-up Of 9/11.

"First and foremost," she said of those officials making announcements, "here is what you need to know when you listen to any member of our government state that the newly released 29 pages are no smoking gun — THEY ARE LYING." She continued:

Our government’s relationship to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is no different than an addict’s relationship to heroin. Much like a heroin addict who will lie, cheat, and steal to feed their vice, certain members of our government will lie, cheat, and steal to continue their dysfunctional and deadly relationship with the KSA — a relationship that is rotting this nation and its leaders from the inside out.

Former Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Bob Graham praised the disclosure as a way to allow families and other Former Sen. Bob Grahaminvestigators to pursue the truth about the attacks that killed more than three thousand Americans on Sept. 11, 2001. Graham, shown in a file photo, has helped lead the fight for release of the report he co-authored in 2002 but has been forbidden to describe until now.

Responding in similarly strong but measured tones was U.S. Rep. Walter Jones, a North Carolina Republican and the most senior incumbent member of congress leading the effort.

Jones said newly declassified pages from a congressional report into 9/11 will give victims' families and the American public more insight into the tragedy, as reported by the Reflector.com in Greenville, NC.

9/11 widow Terry Strada, daughter Kaitlyn, three congressmen advocate for 28 pages release July 6, 2016"I'm just delighted for the 9/11 families and the American people that they can see this part of 9/11 and make some decisions for themselves," Jones said. "I said all along that America's strength is when the American people know the truth about a tragedy like 9/11, one of the most horrendous things to happen to America."

President George W. Bush initially classified the report. President Barack Obama, other Executive Branch, and most congressional officials continued the classification. Meanwhile, public pressure has mounted, including a CBS 60 Minutes episode with Steve Kroft broadcast April 8 (and rebroadcast in June), Top secret "28 pages" may hold clues about Saudi support for 9/11 hijackers, making the case for  the report's release.

“This has been a long journey on behalf of the 9/11 families who have felt the horrific pain of that day for years," Jones said. "We are happy that President Obama kept his promise to the 9/11 families."

The redacted document names individuals who helped the hijackers get apartments, open bank accounts and connect with local mosques. Fifteen of the 19 hijackers were Saudi nationals and several were not fluent in English and had little experience living in the West.

Jones is shown at the center of our Justice Integrity Project photo last week. It portrays also 9/11 widow Terry Strada at a microphone outside the Capitol building July 6 calling for release of the report. Reps. Stephen Lynch (D-MA) and Thomas Massie (R-KY) are at the right and left of Jones, respectively.

None of the participants in the years-long struggle to release the 2002 report apparently knew the report was going to be released, or even its correct length of 29 pages. The suppressed report has always been called “the 28 pages.” Those pages have been kept locked up under such tight security that even members of Congress who wrote it — and supposedly provide oversight to the FBI, CIA and other Executive Branch agencies — could not discuss it without facing imprisonment.

That deference to the Saudis and their allies within the United States is the most important part of this episode and so shapes our coverage.  

We shall cite all relevant viewpoints but note that mainstream media for the most part ignore critics of the official reports. One was former Bush Administration counter-terrorism advisor Richard Clarke.

"The fix is in," he recalled (to a biographer) telling a White House colleague in early 2003 upon hearing news that the 9/11 Commission had hired as its executive director Philip Zelikow. Zelikow, part of the Bush administration transition team in 2000, was a close ally of the administration and a fierce opponent of Clarke, a National Security Council staffer who had unsuccessfully warned about al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden before the 9/11 attacks.

Wake Up Everyone

In that spirit (and noting the title of Breitweiser's 2006 memoir, at right, we return to Breitweiser's Huffington Post rebuttal, which was co-signed by four other 9/11 widows, Monica Gabrielle, Mindy Kleinberg, Lorie Van Auken, and Patty Casazza:

"For fifteen long years," she wrote, "I have fought to get information regarding the killing of my husband from the U.S. government."

Kristen Breitwasser

I have fought, pleaded, and begged for the truth, transparency, justice, and accountability because my husband and 3,000 others were brutally slaughtered in broad daylight. And our government has done nothing but block, thwart, impede, and obstruct that path to truth, transparency, accountability, and justice. Even going so far as to gaslight us to this very day by denying the plain truth written on the plain paper of the 29 pages.

Please read the 29 pages. Look at the facts and evidence. And then watch the venal way various members of our government and media play spin-master on those facts — telling you to deny the very harsh, sobering reality found within those 29 pages. I hope their gaslighting disgusts you as much as it disgusts me.

Note that these 29 pages merely detail the Saudi connection to the 9/11 attacks in San Diego. They briefly touch on the Phoenix information, as well. Though more notably, the 29 pages do not include information found in the more than 80,000 documents that are currently being reviewed by a federal judge in Florida — 80,000 documents that neither the 9/11 Commission, the Joint Inquiry, the Clinton, Bush, or Obama White House, nor the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia wants us to know about.

More than anything, please know this: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia provided operational and financial support to the 9/11 hijackers. That is a fact. And, the U.S. government has been covering up that fact for fifteen years — even to this very day. And that is a crime.

Corruption, greed, and vice, specifically as it pertains to protecting the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is not a one-party problem. It spans both Democratic and Republican administrations. Blame President Clinton, President Bush, and President Obama — as well as, all of their officials and appointees.

They are ALL to blame for failing to prevent the 9/11 attacks, helping to facilitate the 9/11 attacks through their own abject negligence, using the 9/11 attacks to further ill-begotten gains and goals, and covering-up the 9/11 attacks by not coming clean with the American public for fifteen years.

A Pioneering Florida Investigator: Daniel Hopsicker

Daniel Hopsicker Welcome To TerrorlandInvestigative reporter Daniel Hopsicker’s outrage at those who try to trivialize the unanswered 9/11 questions and cover-up was similar to 9/11 widows.

Hopsicker is the author of the Welcome To Terrorland: Mohamed Atta & the 9-11 Cover-up In Florida, a riveting first-hand probe first published in 2004 of the most famous hijacker, his colleagues, and discrepancies with official accounts. Most important, Hopsicker showed that neither authorities nor the mainstream media have been inclined to pursue those mountains of evidence, much as his iconic previous book, Barry and the Boys, showed how the former CIA contract pilot Barry Seal worked with famous names and institutions as he became the nation's top narcotics smuggler in history before he was rubbed out in 1986.

Regarding 9/11 hijackers, Hopsicker videotaped an interview, for example, with Mohamed Atta’s former girlfriend, who described their lifestyle of drinking, drugs, fancy clothes and sex that was far removed from Western notions of radical Islam. She apparently had no idea of his future fate, and even ditched him in cavalier fashion by dumping all his clothes off their apartment balcony and telling him to clear out because she had found a better guy.

Daniel HopsickerMost tellingly, Hopsicker (shown in a file photo) quoted her as saying FBI the warned her not to talk. Why? And why does the public have to seek out courageous journalists like Hopsicker in alternative venues like his MadCowNews to learn such things?

Even more ominously, Hopsicker reported that hijacker trainees (with the main ones shown in an FBI collage below right) were clearly incompetent for the most part, and were apparently being groomed by mysterious benefactors that included operators of rogue pilot training schools and financiers who were connected at least indierctly to some of America’s most famous political dynasties.

Hopsicker began this way his July 16 MadCowNews column, Why were Saudis “bulletproof” even AFTER the 9/11 Attack?

The first hugely shocking revelation in the 28-page secret chapter of the Joint Congressional Intelligence Committee Inquiry into the 9/11 attack occurs less than half-way down the very first page, and raises the chief question arising out of the release.

The story of the 9/11 attack is a story of Saudis in Florida. But the until-now classified pages report show that fully one year after the attack the CIA and FBI remained inexplicably uncomfortable with the essential fact of any real 9/11 investigation: that 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi.

“…this gap in U.S. intelligence coverage is unacceptable.”

As the report states, the “gap” in U.S. intelligence is unacceptable. But it is also — and more importantly — inexplicable.

Hopsicker, a former broadcast news producer experienced in tracing drug traffickers and others through the nation’s disreputable aviation, banking and political circles, then proceeds with this challenge:

9-11Hijacking suspectsThe big question is not whether the pages “prove” or “disprove” Saudi government involvement in the 9/11 attack, but what — absent massive bribery — explains what made the Saudis “bulletproof” from investigation for so long, even after the attack?

The Joint Intelligence Committee, which fielded precisely zero investigators of their own, was easily able to discern — just by reading documents submitted by the two agencies — that the terrorist hijackers were in regular touch with representatives from the Saudi Government while they were in the U.S.

Why was the U.S. Intelligence Community — funded more fulsomely than any endeavor in human history — unable or unwilling to inform the American people of this fact?

Hopsicker’s full column provides another nugget especially helpful in setting the stage others quoted below, including those at the White House and elsewhere in the Washington establishment who described the findings as nothing special and indeed outdated.

He notes that the release of the 28-pages “occurred in Washington D.C. on a Friday afternoon, during the middle of summer, in an election year, when a bowling ball rolled through the halls of the Capital stands little chance of hitting anyone. Moreover the release was sandwiched between a major terrorist attack in France, and a military coup in Turkey. It was breaking news for all of 15 minutes.”

At a time when the United States remains under fear from terror attacks and engaged in multiple wars stemming from 9/11, Hopsicker and others raise a legitimate question:

Why have authorities have gone to such great lengths to protect the Saudis and their allies from scrutiny?

That's a rhetorical question since the answer is well known as the truth to awful for polite political discourse:

The pervasive influence of oil money, banking, weapons sales, and “national security” controls American politicians, media and other seemingly independent institutions, including the universities that often serve as rubber stamps for the views of their major donors.

George W. Bush and Prince Bandar (WH photo by Eric Draper Aug. 2, 2002)These are central findings of my decades in journalism and law, including a quarter century in Washington, DC. These historical truths were surveyed in my 2013 book, Presidential Puppetry: Obama, Romney and Their Masters and in our coverage here of the 9/11 issue, including a 2014 column 9/11 Commission's Forum Shows How DC 'Works,' that described how members of blue-ribbon commissions often, as there, often have major conflicts of interest so routine that few in the media even bother to notice.

Bandar bin SultanHopsicker expresses a similar view in his July 15 column on the release, Saudis bribed their way into the heart of U.S. Government

Those kinds of extremely harsh assessments are so unfamiliar to mainstream audiences that they require at least brief mention of investigative history. In 2004, author Craig Unger published House of Bush, House of Saud: The Unique Relationship Between the World's Two Most Powerful Dynasties.

The book documented how the Bush family lead by George H.W. Bush fostered a strong bond between the kingdom's rulers and the Bush family's web of energy, political, banking, military, and intelligence interests.

That strong relationship has continued to the present, illustrated by (among many other ways) the strong relationship to the Bush family of Prince Bandar bin Sultan, a member of the royal family who served from 1983 to 2005 as Saudi ambassador to the United States and since then almost continually in high level national security posts in his native country.

Bandar, given the affectionate nickname "Bandar Bush" by Bush family members to convey his honorary status within the family, is shown with President Bush in an Aug. 2, 2002 White House photo by Eric Draper, and separately in a file photo.

Bandar's associates are mentioned several times in the just-released document. One of the enduring mysteries of the case is whether the redactions or other leads would take the case closer to him, his family and the entities the royal family controls in a kingdom not known for entities operating outside of government control.

Finally, we address why President Obama and his administration have shown such reluctance to solve the mysteries of 9/11. He did not, for example, pressure for release of the 28 pages until a time when growing 9/11 family, congressional and other public pressure threatened to become embarrassing, especially given the post-9/11 wars and the coming elections. More important, he has shown no initiative whatsoever in seven years of office of undertaking a real investigation, or moving to release the tens of thousands of relevant documents being withheld despite years of Freedom of Information Act litigation. Barack Obama and John Brennan speak at White House in 2012 (White House photo)

President Obama with Deputy National Security Director John O. Brennan in 2012. At the White House, Brennan managed the “kill lists” for drone strikes (White House Photo).

The answer is not mysterious, especially once one realizes (as documented in Presidential Puppetry) that Obama and his family had deep roots in the intelligence community long before he became president. This is part of the nation's hidden history. All presidents after Jimmy Carter had covert relationships with the CIA or FBI before they entered politics. they all keep silent about those ties for political reasons.

Those relationships and appreciation for the needs of the power structure provide direction for each president during office.

In Obama's case, his 2008 campaign national security advisor John Brennan has provided such strong guidance that Brennan should be regarded as a "puppet string" to the puppet masters in the U.S. and global power structure.

Presidential Puppetry by Andrew KreigBrennan is now CIA director. One of his career highlights was long service at CIA station chief in Saudi Arabia, where he developed such strong ties that he was invited to participate in a "haj," the sacred religious pilgrimage normally restricted to Muslims. Holder of powerful posts during the Bush administration as during the Obama years, he is part of the nation's permanent government and publicly opposed release of the 28 pages until recently. 

Another Florida Sleuth: Dan Christensen

One of the most persistent and capable independent reporters on this issue has been Florida-based Broward Bulldog editor Dan Christensen, shown at right with some of the hijack suspects he has investigated.

He reacted with column The release of the 28 pages isn’t the last word in the search for who was behind 9/11, excerpted below:

It took 13 1/2 years and enormous public and political pressure to force President Obama to order today’s release of the suppressed chapter from Congress’s Joint Inquiry report about apparent Saudi support for the 9/11 suicide hijackers.

Nearly every page is speckled with black marks where information was redacted. In some cases, those deletions are of entire paragraphs, almost certainly meaning that controversy about the 28 pages will continue.

Those 28 pages, however, aren’t nearly the last word about the people and events behind 9/11. Tens of thousands, likely hundreds of thousands, of additional U.S. government investigative documents about the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks remain classified.

Christensen has worked closely with the former Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Graham. The reporter quoted Graham as saying: “I hope the 28 pages are the cork in the bottle and that all that other material will now be released.” Christensen continued in his column by writing:

The declassification process that led to today’s release of the 28 pages was first sought three years ago by the Florida Bulldog and 9/11 authors Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan, represented by Miami attorney Thomas Julin. The Joint Inquiry’s 838-page report described the hidden chapter as being about “specific sources of foreign sources of support” for the hijackers while they were in the U.S.

Dan Christensen Broward Bulldog collageIn September 2014, in response to criticism that President Obama had failed to keep his promise to 9/11 family members that he would release the 28 pages, the White House announced that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence was “coordinating the required inter-agency review” of the 28 pages for possible declassification.

The declassification review, however, did not include a review of numerous other secret government documents about 9/11 generated by the FBI, CIA, Treasury and State departments and the National Security Agency — or even the 9/11 Commission itself.

The FBI alone has acknowledged that a single field office in Tampa holds 80,000 classified pages about 9/11. Those records are being reviewed for possible public release by the presiding federal judge in a Fort Lauderdale Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by Florida Bulldog’s corporate parent in 2012.

The suit seeks the release of FBI files about its investigation of a Sarasota Saudi family with apparent ties to the hijackers who abruptly moved out of their home and returned to Saudi Arabia two weeks before 9/11 – leaving behind their cars, clothes, furniture and other possessions.

Last month, 19 survivors and relatives of those who died on Sept. 11th sent a letter to President Obama asking him to designate for “prompt declassification” nine categories of documents “relevant to responsibility for the events of 9/11.”

“We hope and trust that you regard the release of the 28 pages as only a first step in responding to the public calls for transparency and accountability,” the letter says.

I have worked also with Graham on this story in such ways as hosting him on a my former radio show, Washington Update, to provide a forum for him to raise public awareness about the "28 pages" and the other flaws in the watchdog process regarding 9/11, one of the most important crimes in American history.

"It's kind of funny that we have to meet like this," he once told me as we discussed the matter in a coffee shop across the street from the White  House in a meeting arranged by an aide two months in advance. No secrets were passed then or afterwards. It was merely a get-acquainted session regarding matters of public record.

But it certainly struck me as ironic that Graham, a Harvard Law grad, successful businessman, best-selling author, former two-term Florida governor and three-term U.S. senator — and the uncle of then Washington Post Publisher Donald Graham — would be meeting what might be charitably described as a "small audience" reporter to try to public attention for such an important story.

Then again my own long career in newspapers, culminating in my 1987 case study: Spiked about self-censorship, other story manipulation, and profiteering in the news business had taught me long ago that some stories are get deemed too sensitive for normal treatment.

The Establishment View

The Washington Post reported the government's disclosure July 15 with three related columns, most notably in Congress releases long-classified '28 pages' on alleged Saudi ties to 9/11 by Karen DeYoung, Karoun Demirjian and Adam Goldman. They said:

A long-classified document, detailing suspected connections between Saudi Arabia and the hijackers who carried out the Sept. 2001 attacks, was released Friday by the House Intelligence Committee after being redacted by U.S. intelligence. The document, referred to as the “28-pages” throughout a years-long battle over whether it should be made public, had taken on a near-mythic status. Victim families and some lawmakers had pushed for the release, charging that the government had tried to cover up possible Saudi links to the attacks, in which 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi citizens.

But the pages, part of a 2002 joint inquiry by the Senate and House Intelligence Committees into the al-Qaeda plot, do not appear to add significantly to information collected in subsequent investigations, including the 9/11 Commission report, published in 2004, and numerous other documents that have since been made public. [Emphasis added.]

Another Post story quoted White House spokesman Josh Earnest as pooh-poohing the significance of the reports by saying its findings had either been reported elsewhere or been undercut by subsequent investigations. The Post treatment was headlined, White House says 28 pages of 9/11 report show no evidence of Saudi role

Finally, the Saudi response is as follows, as summarized by the Reflector in North Carolina and other news reports:

Amb. Abdullah Al Saud, Saudi Ambassador to the United States"Since 2002, the 9/11 Commission and several government agencies, including the CIA and the FBI, have investigated the contents of the '28 Pages' and have confirmed that neither the Saudi government, nor senior Saudi officials, nor any person acting on behalf of the Saudi government provided any support or encouragement for these attacks," Abdullah Al-Saud (shown in a file photo), Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States, said in a statement Friday.

"We hope the release of these pages will clear up, once and for all, any lingering questions or suspicions about Saudi Arabia's actions, intentions, or long-term friendship with the United States," he said. "Saudi Arabia is working closely with the United States and other allies to eradicate terrorism and destroy terrorist organization

The newspaper further reported as history:

Official photo of 9-11 Commission with Chairman Tom Kean and Deputy Chairman Lee Hamilton at center in first rorw, rigtht and leftSeveral investigations into 9/11 followed the congressional inquiry, which released its report — minus the secret chapter — in December 2002.

The most well-known investigation was done by the 9/11 Commission, led by former Gov. Tom Kean, R-N.J., and former Rep. Lee Hamilton, D-Ind. [They are shown at center of the front row in the group's official photo, with Kean in the reddish tie.]

Kean and Hamilton said the 28 pages were based almost entirely on raw, unvetted material that came to the FBI. They said the material was then written up in FBI files as possible leads for further investigation.

They said the commission and its staff spent 18 months investigating "all the leads contained in the 28 pages, and many more."

The commission's 567-page report, released in July 2004, stated that it found "no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded" al-Qaida. "This conclusion does not exclude the likelihood that charities with significant Saudi government sponsorship diverted funds to al-Qaida."

What’s Wrong With This Official 9/11 Commission-White House-Washington Post View?

In essence, the problem is any unwarranted assumption that the official 9/11 investigations fairly and fully probed the most important leads. Vast evidence exists that these probes failed.

The specifics are well known to Washington insiders and specialist researchers elsewhere.

The examples below focus heavily on questions regarding suspected hijackers, their funders, and potential Saudi involvement. These examples do not cover other related questions, such as the mechanics of the attack (including whether the hijackers were somehow patsies for other perpetrators). 

9/11 Commission Report coverRegarding the Senate-House Joint Inquiry in 2002, Graham and other leaders had scant investigative staff aside from their pre-existing personnel. They were required by the Bush White House to finish their report by December 2002. For good reason, they regarded the deadline and staff resources as inadequate for their mission;

Regarding the 9/11 Commission, Breitweiser alleged in her memoir that she and her fellow "Jersey Girls" 9/11 widows learned to their horror in December 2002 that the new 9/11 Commission being planned was tainted from the outset. They discovered that President George W. Bush intended to appoint as chairman Kissinger and Associates founder Henry Kissinger, a former Secretary of State deeply involved with strategic clients globally. In a confrontation with him, they demanded that he disclose whether his clients included Saudis and others suspected of involvement. Kissinger withdrew rather than disclose his clients.

But other commissions and staff had their own conflicts. 9/11 Commission Executive Director Philip Zelikow, for example, kept the investigation tightly controlled and had massive and undisclosed conflicts of interest, including his past and future work with Bush National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice.

Philip ZelikowAs reported in Philip Shenon’s The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Commission (2008), Zelikow (shown in a file photo at right) abruptly fired Commission staff lawyer Dana Lesemann. She had worked on 28 pages research during the congressional inquiry and sought to pursue its leads to hijacker funders as part of her 9/11 Commission. Zelikow refused her permission to see them despite her national security clearance and previous work.

Furthermore, Commissioner Max Cleland, a former U.S. Senator from Georgia (D) and Vietnam War hero, resigned in frustration from the Commission after unsuccessfully seeking a more aggressive investigation. The disabled veteran was a triple amputee from war wounds who had been cruelly mocked during his unsuccessful senate reelection campaign as a potential coddler of America's enemies in Iraq. He needed a full-time job after his senate loss, not the part-time frustrations and intrigues of the 9/11 Commission.

Max ClelandKean and Hamilton remain highly visible on the civic, business and academic scene, as does Zelikow. Their prominence after their rubber-stamp affirmation of convention wisdom on 9/11 contrasts sharply with the professional demise of more independent spirits like Cleland, whose memoir is shown at left. The entire tableau serves as an instruction guide in the ways of Washington to both those at the commission level, and to staffers who aspire to such positions and the rewards.

Two later supposed reviews of 9/11 broke no investigative ground. One was convened by the Bipartisan Policy Center (with Kean and Hamilton portrayed below, with Hamilton at right). The other was a special review of FBI procedures led by former Attorney General Edward Meese III, former Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) and Georgetown University professor Bruce Hoffman , 

Realistically, it’s impossible to build an iron-clad case in blog-length about all of the possible deficiencies of several secret, multi-year 9/11 probes of still-secret if not classified law enforcement and national security matters.

So, let's try to learn from the nation’s best-known precedent, the 1964 Warren Commission probe of President John F. Kennedy's assassination in 1963.

Two of commission's main findings were that accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, a former Marine with widespread contacts in intelligence, law enforcement and the mob, acted alone and that Oswald’s killer Jack Ruby, a Dallas nightclub owner, had no ties to the mob.  

Tom Kean and Lee Hamilton July 22, 2014We now know from vast numbers of declassified documents and courageous whistleblowers and independent researchers that both of these findings from the 1964 Warren Report were flat-out wrong. FBI Director j. Edgar Hoover orchestrated a phony "investigation" from the outset to deceive the American public and steer attention away from the truth.

The compliant and heavily conflicted Warren commissioners essentially rubber-stamped the fraudulent conclusions. So did a gullible media and academia orchestrated by their owners in the notorious Operation Mockingbird program. Ambitious journalists and professors continue the cover-up of the JFK assassination even though large majorities of the public reject (as measured by public opinion polls for decades( the key finding that Oswald acted alone, 

The details are provided in many places (including some two thousand books, three million pages of declassified documents and our own 31-part JFK Assassination Readers Guide.

A particularly granular look at how Hoover (whose name still adorns FBI headquarters) manipulated the investigations is contained in the 1989 book by the late John Davis, Mafia Kingfish: Carlos Marcello and the Assassination of John F. Kennedy. He credibly reports over nearly 700 pages how law enforcers risked their careers at times if they reported that a Mafia existed, much less such inquiries as potential involvement of Oswald and Ruby with Marcello, leader of the mob in Louisiana and Texas.

In sum, we know that FBI investigations and commissions can fail, and fail by intention. The big question: What to do?

President Obama with Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz al Saud in Riyadh, April 20, 2016 (Saudi Press Agency)

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud receives President Barack Obama in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on April 20, 2016 (EPA/Saudi Press Agency)

Next Steps

A number of independent investigators, 9/11 family members and officials are willing to take up former Senator Graham’s challenge, noted above, that release of his report removes “the cork from the bottle” of other material.

Les Jamieson, founder of a website HR14.org that has been devoted to winning support for House Resolution (HR) 14 to release the 28 pages. He has already moved to a next stage of circulating new questions to fellow researchers, which are listed on the site's website for the convenience of reporters and citizen activities.

Also, Jamieson is helping to organize a conference scheduled from Sept. 10-11 in New York City convening leading 9/11 researchers globally. Among them will be a longtime leader of Italy's Supreme Court as well as prominent U.S-based authors, lawyers and researchers. Details will be announced July 19 and posted here.

At a smaller event, this editor is moderating for 90-minutes on July 28 beginning at 9:30 a.m. an expert discussion on the 9/11 findings and next steps. The free will be in Room 201 A at the Capitol Visitor’s Center on Capitol Hill at the annual Whistle Blower’s Summit.  

9/11 family members and the writers Hopsicker and Christensen are among others who are pushing for investigative follow-ups. Family members seek to overcome arbitrary court rules protecting the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from litigation in American federal courts. Christensen is the plaintiff in a major federal court suit in Miami to force the FBI and other federal agencies to comply with federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests made in 2012 for information regarding 9/11 Saudi suspects, as reported June 16 in FOIA lawsuit disputes 9-11 Review Commission effort to discredit sensational FBI report.

In that case, as in so many other circumstances, the federal government’s bipartisan and ongoing restriction of information — with the hard-won except of the “28 pages” — provides strong evidence that there’s more to the official story, much more.        

 
 
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Related News Coverage

Bob Graham, Steve Lynch, Walter JonesFormer Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Bob Graham (D-FL) is shown with Congressman Steve Lynch (D-MA) and Walter Jones (R-NC) advocating on Capitol Hill for release of a 28-page report that Graham co-authored in 2002 identifying who funded the 9/11 attacks on the United States (Justice Integrity Project Photo).

 
HR14.org, Questions after 28 Pages release, Les Jamieson (founder of the advocacy site HR14.org), July 15, 2016. The release of the 28 page chapter from the Congressional Joint Inquiry on 9/11 which was wrongly classified occurred today after 13 years of secrecy. The chapter focuses on financing of the attacks. This declassification is significant for many reasons.

The world can now see the pages contained no threat to national security. Instead, the objective was to cover up for the relationship with Saudi Arabia, other Middle East countries, and questionable actions or inaction by U.S. agencies. According to legislators who’ve read the pages, the information is actually central to creating a legitimate policy of national security. So we still need to know, why has this critical information been suppressed since 2003 when we’re also told to be in constant fear of an ISIS attack? How does this reflect on the rationale behind the global war on terror?

We should also take note of the timing of this release. The government always seems to release controversial news on a Friday. They know that the Republican convention begins next week which will dominate the news. That said, the legislators who have been pushing for 9/11 transparency all know that declassifying the 28 pages is a welcome step, but it’s far from over. For instance:

•    Why has the FBI suppressed over 80,000 pages of documents about a Saudi cell in Florida?
•    What does it mean that members of the Saudi support network in San Diego had connections to the official Saudi consulate in Washington, DC?
•    As many as 10 of the accused hijackers were reported to be alive after 9/11 by the British press. Head of FBI, Robert Mueller, was forced to admit their identities were not definitively accurate. So why are they still identified as the actual perpetrators?
•    According to reports from flight schools, most of them were lousy pilots. They spoke very little English. How could they take courses, take tests, then gain enough experience to fly a jumbo jet? Why weren’t these questions asked in any of the official investigations?
•    What about $100,000 that was wired to Mohammad Atta by head of the Pakistani ISI?
•    Bandar bin SultanWhy were 140 Saudis, including members of the Bin Laden family, evacuated after 9/11 when all other flights were grounded? What role did Prince Bandar play?
•    Why were Israeli agents posing as art students and movers evacuated? Why was a group of Israelis filming the towers from the top of a van and celebrating, then also evacuated?
•    Why did the CIA submit evidence that was obtained through torture, then destroy other evidence the 9/11 Commission had requested?
•    Why was investigator Dana Lesemann fired for wanting to investigate leads of Saudi complicity?
•    When the Taliban told the U.S. they would turn over Osama Bin Laden and all we had to do was provide the evidence he orchestrated the attacks, why didn’t we?
•    Why did the FBI agent, Rex Tomb, tell journalist, Ed Haas, that Osama Bin Laden was not on their Most Wanted list because they didn’t have definitive evidence?
•    How could 2 steel-framed sky scrapers, which were built to withstand the impact of passenger jets, disintegrate and collapse in a virtual freefall due to office fires lasting roughly 2 hours? Then how could a third steel-framed building fall at the speed of gravity 8 hours later that wasn’t even hit by a plane?

Reflector.com (Greenville, NC), Jones commends release of 28 pages of 9/11 report, Staff and wire reports, July 16, 2016. U.S. Rep. Walter Jones (shown in an official photo) said newly declassified pages from U.S. Rep. Walter Jonesa congressional report into 9/11 will give victims' families and the American public more insight into the tragedy. Congress released the last chapter of the congressional inquiry that has been kept under wraps for more than 13 years, stored in a secure room in the basement of the Capitol. Lawmakers and relatives of victims of the attacks, who believe that Saudi links to the attackers were not thoroughly investigated, campaigned for years to get the pages released, the Associated Press reported.

"I'm just delighted for the 9/11 families and the American people that they can see this part of 9/11 and make some decisions for themselves," Jones said. "I said all along that America's strength is when the American people know the truth about a tragedy like 9/11, one of the most horrendous things to happen to America."

MadCowNews, Saudis bribed their way into the heart of U.S. Government, Daniel Hopsicker (author of “Welcome To Terrorland”), July 15, 2016. Leading up to today’s release of the redacted 28 pages from the Intelligence Committee Report on the 9/11 Attack, national security officials have beat out a steady drumbeat proclaiming  “conspiracy theorists” would be  sorely disappointed by the “inconclusive evidence” long-rumored to implicate Saudi Arabian government officials in the 9/11 attack.

Nothing, as it happens, could be further from the truth. And no bigger Big Lie in recent memory has issued from the mouth of an official representative of the U. S. Government as that which White House press secretary Josh Earnest uttered today.

“The release doesn’t shed any new light or change any of the conclusions about responsibilities for the 9/11 attacks,” Earnest dissembled. “It should put to rest longtime speculation that the Saudi government had a role.”

Were that in any way true, the pages would not have been slipped out the door late on a Friday afternoon. And certainly not in the middle of summer, days before the two parties begin holding their conventions. Whistling past the graveyard has long part part of any White House press secretary’s role. But Earnest’s performance today — given the tremendous loss of life America suffered that fateful day — seems particularly shameless.

New York Times, Congress Releases Secret 9/11 Document Detailing Possible Saudi Ties to Al Qaeda, Mark Mazzetti, July 15, 2016. Congress on Friday made public a long-classified document detailing possible connections between the Saudi government and the Sept. 11 terrorist plot.

The 28-page document is a wide-ranging catalog of possible links between Saudi officials and Qaeda operatives. It details contacts that Saudi operatives in Southern California had with the hijackers and describes the discovery of a telephone number in a Qaeda operative’s phone book that was traced to a corporation managing a Colorado home of Prince Bandar bin Sultan, then the Saudi ambassador to Washington.

Washington Post‎, Congress releases long-classified '28 pages' on alleged Saudi ties to 9/11, Karen DeYoung, Karoun Demirjian and Adam Goldman, July 15, 2016. A long-classified document, detailing suspected connections between Saudi Arabia and the hijackers who carried out the Sept. 2001 attacks, was released Friday by the House Intelligence Committee after being redacted by U.S. intelligence. The document, referred to as the “28-pages” throughout a years-long battle over whether it should be made public, had taken on a near-mythic status. Victim families and some lawmakers had pushed for the release, charging that the government had tried to cover up possible Saudi links to the attacks, in which 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi citizens.

Washington Post‎, White House says 28 pages of 9/11 report show no evidence of Saudi role, Josh Earnest (White House spokesman), video, July 15, 2016. U.S. intelligence officials have finished reviewing 28 classified pages of the official report on the Sept. 11 attacks and they show no evidence of Saudi complicity, says White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest. 

Washington Post‎, The mystery surrounding 28 pages said to show links between 9/11 plotters and Saudi Arabia, Adam Taylor, July 15, 2016. What is the official line on the Saudi role in the 9/11 attacks? Of the 19 hijackers who carried out the 9/11 attacks, 15 were from Saudi Arabia. They were all affiliated with al-Qaeda, the terrorist organization founded by Osama bin Laden, the scion of a wealthy and connected Saudi family. The Saudi royal family also has been accused of tolerating extremist clerics within the kingdom in exchange for domestic stability and political support.

Florida Bulldog, The release of the 28 pages isn’t the last word in the search for who was behind 9/11, Dan Christensen (shown at right), July 15, 2016. It took 13 1/2 years and enormous public and political pressure to force Dan ChristiansenPresident Obama to order today’s release of the suppressed chapter from Congress’s Joint Inquiry report about apparent Saudi support for the 9/11 suicide hijackers. The pages, however, were not released in full. Nearly every page is speckled with black marks where information was redacted. In some cases, those deletions are of entire paragraphs, almost certainly meaning that controversy about the 28 pages will continue.

Those 28 pages, however, aren’t nearly the last word about the people and events behind 9/11. Tens of thousands, likely hundreds of thousands, of additional U.S. government investigative documents about the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks remain classified.

“I hope the 28 pages are the cork in the bottle and that all that other material will now be released,” said former Florida Sen. Bob Graham. Graham (shown at left in a file photo) co-chaired the Joint Inquiry and has long advocated for the public release of the chapter that was withheld from publication at the direction of President George W. Bush.

CBS 60 Minutes, Top secret "28 pages" may hold clues about Saudi support for 9/11 hijackers, Steve Kroft, April 8, 2016. Current and former members of Congress, U.S. officials, 9/11 Commissioners and the families of the attack's victims want 28 top-secret pages of a congressional report released. Bob Graham, the former Florida governor, Democratic U.S. Senator and onetime chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, says the key section of a top secret report he helped author should be declassified to shed light on possible Saudi support for some of the 9/11 hijackers. Graham was co-chair of Congress' bipartisan "Joint Inquiry" into intelligence failures surrounding the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, that issued the report in 2003.

Graham and his Joint Inquiry co-chair in the House, former Representative Porter Goss (R-FL) — who went on to be director of the CIA — say the 28 pages were excised from their report by the Bush Administration in the interest of national security. Graham wouldn't discuss the classified contents, but says the 28 pages outline a network of people he believes supported hijackers in the U.S. He tells Kroft he believes the hijackers were "substantially" supported by Saudi Arabia.

Asked if the support was from government, rich people or charities, the former senator replies, "all of the above."
"I think its implausible to believe that 19 people, most of whom didn't speak English, most of whom had never been in the United States before, many didn't have a high school education, could have carried out such a complicated task without some support from within the United States," says Graham.

Graham and others think the reason for classifying the pages was to protect the U.S. relationship with ally Saudi Arabia.