The 28 pages

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The 28 pages refers to the final section of the December 2002 report of the Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities before and after the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001, conducted by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. This section is titled "Part IV: Finding, Discussion and Narrative Regarding Certain Sensitive National Security Matters," and summarizes investigative leads suggesting possible financial, logistical and other support provided to the hijackers and their associates by Saudi officials and others suspected of being Saudi agents.[1]

Contents[edit]

The 28 pages state that some of the September 11 hijackers received financial support from individuals connected to the Saudi Government.[2] FBI sources believed that at least two of those individuals were Saudi intelligence officers.[2] The U.S. Intelligence Community believed that individuals associated with the Saudi Government had ties to al-Qaeda.[2]

Plaintiffs in a 9/11 civil suit against Saudi Arabia have alleged that a November 1999 attempt by two men with longstanding ties to the Saudi government—Mohammed al-Qudhaeein and Hamdan al-Shalawi—to get inside an America West Airlines plane's cockpit was "a dry run for the 9/11 attacks." The FBI reportedly confirmed that the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington, D.C. paid for Qudhaeein and Shalawi's tickets to board that flight. The 28 Pages quoted a document from the FBI's Phoenix Field Office as stating: "Phoenix FBI now believes both men were specifically attempting to test the security procedures of America West Airlines in preparation for and in furtherance of UBL [Osama bin Laden]/Al Qaeda operations."[3][4]

Some leaked information from CIA and FBI documents allege that there is "incontrovertible evidence" that Saudi government officials, including from the Saudi embassy in Washington and consulate in Los Angeles, gave the hijackers both financial and logistical aid. Among those named were then-Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar and Osama Bassnan, a Saudi agent, as well as American al-Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, 9/11 ringleader Mohamed Atta, and Esam Ghazzawi, a Saudi adviser to the nephew of King Fahd.[5]

Classification decision[edit]

When the congressional joint inquiry report was published in July 2003, the 28-page section on possible Saudi links to the attacks was completely redacted at the insistence of the George W. Bush administration. Bush claimed that releasing the material would "reveal sources and methods that would make it harder for us to win the war on terror."[6]

Movement to declassify the 28 pages[edit]

In July 2003 Senator Bob Graham pressed the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence to release the material, in accordance with its authority under Senate Resolution 400, which established the Committee in 1976. However, the committee did not vote, and his request was merely denied. Then-chair Senator Pat Roberts and Senator Jay Rockefeller wrote Graham that "it is our view that release of additional information from Part Four could adversely affect ongoing counterterrorism efforts." Graham later said the response showed that the Intelligence Committee had shown "a strong deference to the executive branch."[7] In the same month, Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) joined approximately 42 Democratic senators in calling on President Bush to release the 28-page section which was censored for "national security reasons". Senator Graham stated the refusal "is a continuation of the pattern of the last seven months-a pattern of delay and excessive use of national security standards to deny the people the knowledge of their vulnerability."[8]

In December 2013, Representatives Walter B. Jones, Jr. and Stephen Lynch introduced a resolution urging United States President Barack Obama to declassify the 28 Pages.[5][9] House Resolution 428 of the 113th Congress had 21 co-sponsors when the 113th Congress concluded.[10]

In July 2014, freelance writer Brian McGlinchey launched the website 28Pages.org to provide information about the 28 pages to the public and journalists, and to facilitate grassroots activism aimed at achieving their declassification.[11]

In January 2015, Representatives Jones, Lynch and Massie introduced H.Res.14 as the 115th United States Congress began. Its wording was identical to H.Res.428 in the previous, 114th Congress. It amassed 71 cosponsors.[12]

On June 1, 2015, Senator Rand Paul introduced Senate Bill 1471, the Transparency for the Families of 9/11 Victims and Survivors Act. Senators Ron Wyden and Kirsten Gillibrand joined as original cosponsors. No other senators cosponsored the measure, which sought to compel President Obama to release the 28 pages.[13]

In July 2015, the U.S. government released a 9/11 Commission document, compiled by Dana Lesemann and Michael Jacobson, known as "Document 17." It was an overview of individuals of interest to investigators pursuing potential links to the Saudi government. Among dozens of named individuals are Fahad al-Thumairy, Omar al-Bayoumi, Osama Bassnan and Mohdhar Abdullah. Document 17 was first brought to public attention on April 19, 2016 by the website 28Pages.org.[14][15]According to the former Democratic US Senator Bob Graham, "Much of the information upon which File 17 was written was based on what's in the 28 pages."[16]

On April 10, 2016, 60 Minutes aired a segment on the drive to declassify the 28 pages, featuring interviews with former Senator Bob Graham, former congressman and 9/11 Commission member Tim Roemer and former 9/11 Commission member John Lehman. Steve Kroft also interviewed Sean Carter and Jim Kreindler, attorneys representing 9/11 family members, survivors and insurers suing the kingdom for its alleged support of the attacks. On the afternoon before the 60 Minutes segment aired, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi issued a statement urging the release of the pages.[17] [18]

The Saudi government voiced support for the declassification of the 28 pages, saying it would "allow us to respond to any allegations in a clear and credible manner".[19] Congressman Stephen Lynch said, "I think there may be some duplicity on the part of the Saudis in terms of them desiring this to be disclosed." [20]

In July 2016, during the 2016 Republican National Convention, a proposed plank supporting the declassification of the 28 pages advanced from the national security subcommittee of the convention's platform committee. A motion to kill the plank was approved by the subsequent meeting of the full committee [21][22][23] Steve Yates led the successful effort to remove the plank.[24][25][26][27]

Declassification[edit]

In 2016, following a declassification review, the Obama Administration approved the declassification of the partially redacted 28 Pages, the Joint Inquiry's only wholly classified section. The document was then sent to congressional leadership and on July 15, 2016, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence approved publication of the newly declassified section.[28][29]

Location of the 28 pages[edit]

The document is kept in a sensitive compartmented information facility (SCIF) in the basement of the Capitol building in Washington, D.C.[30]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "As you know, the final report of the Joint Inquiry into the events of September 11 has been submitted to the Intelligence Community for declasslflcation review. We look forward to early release of the publlc report so that efforts at reforms can be accelerated" (PDF). 28pagesdotorg.files.wordpress.com. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  2. ^ a b c "Declassified version of 28 pages Archived 2016-07-15 at the Wayback Machine". United States House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. December 2002. Accessed on July 15, 2016.
  3. ^ Sperry, Paul (2017-09-09). "Saudi government allegedly funded a 'dry run' for 9/11". New York Post. Retrieved 2017-10-13.
  4. ^ "Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001/Part 4 (Declassified)". United States Government Printing Office. 2016-07-15. pp. 419, 433. Retrieved 2017-10-13.
  5. ^ a b Sperry, Paul (15 December 2013). "Inside the Saudi 9/11 coverup". New York Post. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  6. ^ "Bush Won't Reveal Saudi 9/11 Info". Cbsnews.com. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  7. ^ Watkins, ali. "Senate intelligence panel could seek to declassify documents; it just doesn't". McClatchydc.com. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  8. ^ Karl, Jonathan; Turnham, Steve (30 July 2003). ""GOP senator joins push to declassify 9/11 report; Bush rejects calls for release of information"". Cnn.com.
  9. ^ "Letter to Barack Obama" (PDF). Jones.house.gov. 10 April 2014.
  10. ^ H.Res.428 - Urging the president to release information regarding the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks upon the United States, 113th Congress (2013-2014) at Congress.gov.
  11. ^ "About". 28pages.org. 13 August 2015. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  12. ^ "Cosponsors - H.Res.14 - 114th Congress (2015-2016): Urging the president to release information regarding the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks upon the United States". Congress.gov. 6 January 2015. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  13. ^ Paul, Rand (1 June 2015). "Cosponsors - S.1471 - 114th Congress (2015-2016): Transparency for the Families of 9/11 Victims and Survivors Act of 2015". Congress.gov. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  14. ^ "EXCLUSIVE- A Buried Envelope & Buried Questions: Your First Look Inside Declassified Document 17". 28pages.org. 19 April 2016. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  15. ^ "Updated work plans and detailed list of associates" (PDF). 28pagesdotorg.files.wordpress.com. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  16. ^ Riechmann, Deb. "File 17 Is Glimpse Into Still-Secret 28 Pages About 9/11". Associated Press. ABC News. Retrieved 3 July 2016.
  17. ^ Master, Cyra (10 April 2016). "'60 Minutes': Classified '28 pages' may shed light on Saudi ties to terrorism". TheHill.com. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  18. ^ "Newsroom - The Office of Majority Leader Steny Hoyer". Majorityleader.gov. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  19. ^ Buncombe, Andrew (25 April 2016). "Obama administration 'set to release' secret 28 pages from 9/11 report". Independent.co.uk. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  20. ^ "September 11th and the missing 28 pages". Msnbc.com. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  21. ^ "Trump confidant was willing to share information with UAE: Leaked emails show a close working relationship between the Emiratis and Trump's circle while he was still a candidate". Al Jazeerah. June 29, 2018. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  22. ^ Hearst, David (June 28, 2018). "Revealed: How Trump confidant was ready to share inside information with UAE: Emails will be of interest to Mueller investigation, which is looking at whether the UAE and Saudi funnelled payments to Trump's campaign". Middle East Eye. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  23. ^ McGlinchey, Brian (July 2, 2018). "Leaked Emails Suggest Trump Campaign Duplicity on 28 Pages". Ron Paul Institute. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  24. ^ "Cheney Advisor Led Effort to Kill GOP Platform Plank on 28 Pages". 28pages.org. July 14, 2016. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  25. ^ "The Congressional Record-Senate". Books.google.com. October 28, 2003. p. 26042. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  26. ^ Kroft, Steve (April 10, 2016). "28 Pages: Former Sen. Bob Graham and others urge the Obama administration to declassify redacted pages of a report that holds 9/11 secrets". CBS News: 60 Minutes. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  27. ^ Wright, Lawrence (September 9, 2014). "The Twenty-Eight Pages". The New Yorker. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  28. ^ Sciutto, Jim; Walsh, Deirdre (15 July 2016). "Congress releases '28 pages' on alleged Saudi 9/11 ties]". CNN.
  29. ^ Jack Langer (15 July 2016). "Intel Committee publishes declassified "28 pages"". Intelligence.house.gov. Retrieved 31 July 2016.
  30. ^ DePetris, Daniel R. "The 28 Pages: What's Taking So Long?". The National Interest. Retrieved 7 July 2016.

External links[edit]