Talk:The 28 pages

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The 29 pages[edit]

I'm sure it's far too late to change the name, but this section is actually 29 pages: Pages numbering 415-443. That difference is 28, except that there is also material on p. 415. Thus, the document called "The 28 Pages" actually contains 29 pages.

I don't think it matters, but whoever came up with the name failed to adequately check the name. DavidMCEddy (talk) 18:33, 5 September 2017 (UTC)

people mentioned in the 28 pages[edit]

What is known about Mohammed al-Qudhaeein and Hamdan al-Shalawi?

As documented on p. 433 of the declassified "Part 4", these two "attempted on two occasions to enter the cockpit" in a flight in 1999. "The plane made an emergency landing and the FBI investigated the incident, but decided not to pursue a prosecution. At the time, al-Qudhaeein and al-Shalawi claimed that the Saudi Embassy paid for their airplane tickets."

These names do not appear on the list of w:Hijackers in the September 11 attacks. Does anyone know if they are still alive? Or might they have been part of the 19 under different names?

Beyond that, this "declassified Part 4" (aka "The 28 Pages", even though there are 29) discusses another Saudi national with "close ties to a member of the Saudi royal family. [He] no longer resides in the United States, but is still the subject of an FBI investigation" -- so was still apparently alive in 2002. He also worked for Saudi Arabian Airlines and was reportedly "checking security at the Southwest border and discussing the possibility of infiltrating individuals into the United States" in 1999 (pp. 418 and 436-437). His (or her, though almost certain "his" given the Saudi culture) name was not declassified with the rest of The 28 Pages.

If this is accurate, at least 3 people beyond the 19 suicide attackers were involved in planning the September 11 attacks, not counting Prince Bandar's wife and others in paid by the Saudis in the U.S. DavidMCEddy (talk) 19:13, 5 September 2017 (UTC)

Quote from the original re. Saudi government complicity in preparations documented by the FBI in 1999[edit]

Hey, thanks for adding new materials to the article. However, it's expected that you add citations to reliable sources to maintain the verifiablity policy. Thanks again. --Mhhossein talk 13:51, 9 October 2017 (UTC) [ Note:This comment was copied from DavidMCEddy's talk page by DavidMCEddy. --Mhhossein talk 15:39, 9 October 2017 (UTC)]

I provided links to the original on Wikisource. I can put that as a footnote. Will that be adequate?
For sure, the original should be considered the ultimate. (The Wikipedia rule about "No original research" "is used on Wikipedia to refer to material—such as facts, allegations, and ideas—for which no reliable, published sources exist." Clearly there is nothing more reliable in this case than the original.)
To be precise, I use the Wikisource copy, both the Wikisource transcription and the pdf images of the original. The official copy from "https://intelligence.house.gov/sites/intelligence.house.gov/files/documents/declasspart4.pdf" has never come up for me when I've tried it. That almost certainly is an effort of the Deep state in the United States to muddy the record and limit the dissemination of this information.
Please let me know if you see a better way to cite this.
I plan to do this in two steps:
  1. Clarify the definition of "Top Secret", since that is where {{CN}} appeared.
  2. Provide a subscript to the original documentation with page numbers. Getting page numbers is harder and will therefore take more time. Page numbers were provided with the transcript earlier but have disappeared since I saw them earlier.
I trust this will be adequate. Thanks, DavidMCEddy (talk) 14:17, 9 October 2017 (UTC)
Dear DavidMCEddy, I checked the Wikisource page and I can verify that there's such a page with the materials being discussed in the article. The good news is that I could find the mentioned file archived. However, please note that the file is counted as primary source and we can't cite to it. Please seek a secondary source. --Mhhossein talk 17:16, 9 October 2017 (UTC)
Dear User:Mhhossein: The page you cite on primary sources says that secondary and tertiary sources are used to establish notability, which is clearly not a issue in this case. It further indicates that primary sources can be used, though secondary and tertiary sources are generally preferable.
The Wikipedia policy on "identifying and using primary sources" says, "primary sources may only be used on Wikipedia to make straightforward, descriptive statements that any educated person—with access to the source but without specialist knowledge—will be able to verify are directly supported by the source." Can there be any doubt about the applicability of this criterion in this case? Thanks, DavidMCEddy (talk) 17:55, 9 October 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for quoting "primary sources may only be used..." which clearly says that the source is not applicable here since what you added was not "straightforward" and/or "descriptive". I suggest you to ask for a third opinion, if you still disagree with me. --Mhhossein talk 18:06, 9 October 2017 (UTC)
These were straightforward excepts from the original. What can be more straightforward than that?
Wikipedia:Third opinion says, "3O is only for assistance in resolving disagreements that have come to a standstill." Are we at a standstill? DavidMCEddy (talk) 18:22, 9 October 2017 (UTC)
I don't think that we can make use of this primary source here, unless we have a secondary source analyzing the file. This means that there's a disagreement. --Mhhossein talk 18:27, 9 October 2017 (UTC)

Acceptability of a quote from the original re. Saudi government complicity in preparations documented by the FBI in 1999[edit]

User:Mhhossein has asked for a source for quotes from a declassified U.S. government document.

User:DavidMCEddy provided citations to pages on the referenced declassified U.S. government document including links to that document on Wikisource.

User:Mhhossein insists that this primary source is not acceptable for this purpose.

User:DavidMCEddy still believes that these citations to the primary source in question are consistent with the letter, spirit and intent of the Wikipedia policy on "identifying and using primary sources".

We are therefore requesting a Wikipedia:Third opinion.

Thanks, DavidMCEddy (talk) 18:43, 9 October 2017 (UTC)

Added to Wikipedia:Third opinion#Active disagreements. DavidMCEddy (talk) 18:47, 9 October 2017 (UTC)

Pictogram voting comment.png 3O Response: There has been so much back and forth here that it's unclear exactly whst the issue is. It would be helpful if both editors could spell out there concerns. From the article history, the following issues appear to be contentious:

1) The 28 pages were classified as top secret. My opinion is that this can't be included without a secondary source. WP:PRIMARYCARE seems clear enough here. We can only use a primary source to make straightforward descriptive statements. This is anything but straightforward or descriptive. A straightforward descriptive statment would be "The preamble to the paper warns any readers to take care because the document is classifed top secret". Having the words top secret on the top and bottom of a page, apprently crossed out, is not that. Being crossed out usually indicates an error that has been redacted. As such it is far from simple or clear what the status of the document is, what it was, and when or if it was changed.

2) The statement that since it is top secret, this means that it could cause damage. This definitely can not be included. This is classic WP:SYNTH. The primary source says its's top secret. Another unrelated source defines what top secret means. Textbook synthesis and never going to pass any sort of dispute resolution

3) The statement "The text describes two incidents that, in retrospect, appear as preparations for the Sept 11 attacks". In my opinion this clearly can't remain. At no point does the document state or imply that these incidents were preparations for the later attacks. We can not use primary sources this way. A good example of the how a primary source should be used is "The 28 pages state that some of the hijackers recieved support from individuals connected to the Saudi government." That is a clear descriptive statement. Anyone reading the source can see that it makes a statement to that effect. The report never says that any previous incidents were preparations for later attacks. In fact the incidents are mentioned under the heading "connections between Saudi Givt and possible terrorists". There isn't even the slightest hint that these incidents were preparatory.

4) Tthe statements that this was clearly known to the FBI prior to the Afghanistan invasion and discussed by the Bush administration. Those statements are supported solely by a link to a Wikipedia article. That is a clear violation of WP:CIRCULAR. At this point those statements are unreferenced and need to be removed per WP:NPOV.

Remember, anything we attribute to a primary source must be streaightfoward descriptive statement. Basically, if it doesn't take the form of "the document says X" or "on page 34 is a photograph of a male person" then it can't be referenced to the primary source. Mark Marathon (talk) 08:34, 10 October 2017 (UTC) Mark Marathon (talk) 08:34, 10 October 2017 (UTC)

Mark Marathon: Thank you, you addressed my concerns regarding WP:PRIMARYCARE. --Mhhossein talk 11:02, 10 October 2017 (UTC)
I would suggest incorporating the following secondary source into the article: Sperry, Paul (2017-09-09). "Saudi government allegedly funded a 'dry run' for 9/11". New York Post. Retrieved 2017-10-10.TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 02:34, 11 October 2017 (UTC)
Great. Might you be able to find time to do it? My calendar is pretty full until Saturday. Thanks, DavidMCEddy (talk) 06:44, 11 October 2017 (UTC)

2016 Republican National Convention and AIPAC[edit]

On 2018-08-52, user 216.248.99.93 inserted a discussion of a draft plank supporting declassification at the 2016 Republican National Convention. This included claims that it was inserted by AIPAC:

According to emails sent among Tom Barrack, Paul Manafort, Yousef Al Otaiba, who was the United Arab Emirates Ambassador to the United States, and others, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee had inserted the plank to show that the 9/11 terrorists received funding for their attacks from the Saudi Royal family.<ref name=AlJazeerah180629/><ref name=MiddleEastEye180628/><ref name=McGlinchey180702/>

The third reference given here said that AIPAC was NOT involved in this, contradicting the other two. This claim is controversial and is tangential to the main thrust of this article. I therefore removed it. This was contained in the paragraph about the 2016 Republican National Convention. The rest of that paragraph seems fine to me and consistent with recent publications that seem otherwise credible. DavidMCEddy (talk) 13:58, 12 July 2018 (UTC)

Restoring the link to house.gov[edit]

@Mark Schierbecker: On 2018-07-18, user:Mark Schierbecker deleted the "External link" to:

This link may seem redundant. However, I think it's important to keep it, because it establishes clearly that "The 28 Pages" document was at one time actually available from a US government source and not a bit of propaganda by pinkos intent on destroying the good reputation of the US government. The fact that one must use archive.gov to get this is itself an interesting story in this regard, I think.

Accordingly, I'm restoring that external link. DavidMCEddy (talk) 05:45, 18 July 2018 (UTC)

Maybe it could instead be linked in the caption itself? Mark Schierbecker (talk) 05:55, 18 July 2018 (UTC)
I added the link to the Wayback machine copy to the figure caption at the top, consistent with your suggestion.
However, I still think it belongs in "External links", and I added verbiage to explain the difference between the house.gov and Wikisource versions. I think that also helps explain why I think both are needed and serve different purposes.
DavidMCEddy (talk) 11:44, 18 July 2018 (UTC)

Bruce Riedel analysis[edit]

Bruce Riedel includes a mention of the 28 pages in the appendix of his 2017 book, Kings and Presidents: Saudi Arabia and the United States since FDR. It is not available within the Google Books preview, but can be seen in the Amazon preview. It may prove useful in the writing of this page. Tkbrett (✉) 01:44, 7 January 2019 (UTC)