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This article appears in the November 21, 2014 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

A Veterans Day Luncheon
with Senator Bob Graham

by Matthew Ogden

[PDF version of this article]

NAPLES, Fla., Nov. 11—Today, Bob Graham, former U.S. Senator (1987-2005), Governor of Florida (1979-87), and former co-chairman of the Congressional Joint Inquiry into the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, was the featured speaker at a Veterans Day event here. Graham was joined by investigative journalist Dan Christensen of the Broward Bulldog to deliver a thorough account of the untold story behind 9/11, and the ongoing Executive Branch coverup of the truth about who the true sponsors of those attacks were.

The event, which was attended by approximately 200 people, at the Naples Sailing & Yacht Club, was organized by Loreen and Matt Sellitto, whose son Matthew was a victim of the 9/11 attacks. Terry Strada, the widow of Tom Strada (who was killed in the World Trade Center) and co-chair of the 9/11 Families United for Justice Against Terrorism (JUST), introduced Graham and Christensen:

“They are here to tell you the untold story of 9/11. It is both riveting and frightening. And no matter what you think you may know about that day, I promise you, by the end of this program, you will learn so much more.”

Strada stressed in her introductory remarks, that the only strategy by which the so-called war on terrorism can be won, is by cutting off the funding of terrorism at its source. Without taking that action, all other efforts will ultimately be futile. She told the audience:

“9/11 was a brutal act of terrorism. We must recognize that as long as there are well-funded radical Islamists vowing to destroy us, we will never be safe. No matter how many of their leaders we eliminate, airstrikes we launch, sanctions we execute, or boots on the ground we deploy, if we do not stop the flow of money going to the terrorist organizations like al-Qaeda and ISIS, we will never be safe. This is where the story of 9/11 as most of us know it, ends, and the untold story begins. It is with great pride and personal honor, that I introduce a hero of mine, a man who works tirelessly fighting for the truth to be told, former Senator Bob Graham.”

The Saudi Role Exposed

During his remarks, Senator Graham stated his belief that had the truth about the sponsors of 9/11 not been suppressed by two successive Presidential administrations, the threat the nation and the world now face from ISIS would never have arisen.

Graham introduced the story of who financed the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 by posing the question to the audience as to how it would have been possible for the 19 hijackers to carry out such an operation without a vast and deeply embedded support network inside the United States.

“There continue to be some untold stories, some unanswered questions about 9/11. Maybe the most fundamental question is: Was 9/11 carried out by 19 individuals, operating in isolation, who, over a period of 29 months, were able to take the rough outlines of a plan that had been developed by Osama bin Laden, and convert it into a detailed working plan, to then practice that plan, and finally to execute an extremely complex set of assignments? ...

“The two chairs of the 9/11 Commission, Tom Kean and Lee Hamilton, have said that they think it is highly improbable that those 19 people could have done what they did, without some external support during the period they were living within the United States. I strongly concur....

“Where did they get their support?”

Graham went on to describe some of the facts that the Joint Inquiry did uncover about the support network that existed in one location, San Diego, Calif., detailing the case of Omar Bayoumi, whose activities prior to 9/11 strongly indicate that he was working on behalf of the government of Saudi Arabia to provide assistance to one cell of the hijackers, coordinated directly through the Saudi Embassy in Washington.

The Sarasota Case

The work of the Joint Inquiry had concentrated on the case of San Diego, but that is not the only location where evidence of the Saudi role has surfaced. Graham introduced his fellow speaker, investigative journalist Dan Christensen, by stating that Christensen’s work over the past five years in pursuing similar leads in the case of a Sarasota cell involving Saudis and the hijackers, confirms that San Diego was not an isolated case, but only one piece of a pattern.

Christensen walked the audience through a riveting step-by-step recounting of his battle against unceasing stonewalling by the FBI, to win release of 80,000 pages of documents pertaining to the connections between a prominent Saudi family in Sarasota and several of the 9/11 hijackers, including Mohammad Atta, pilot of the plane that hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center. This was a lead that the FBI had never even brought to the Congressional Inquiry’s attention, but serves to confirm that everything the Joint Inquiry found in the case of San Diego was indeed part of a national pattern.

Tom Julin, a Miami-based First Amendment attorney, discussed his efforts alongside Christensen to sue the FBI, forcing them to finally release these 80,000 documents—which previously the Bureau had consistently denied even existed—to a Federal judge in Florida, who is currently reviewing them. (This lawsuit included a sworn affidavit by Senator Graham, accusing the FBI of impeding a Congressional investigation—an extremely serious charge.)

Julin also described another initiative he and Christensen are undertaking, utilizing a procedure called a Mandatory Declassification Review, to submit a request to an interagency advisory board to declassify the 28 pages. This effort is also still pending.

In conclusion, Graham indicated a number of other leads which still remain open, but which investigators, including himself, have been prevented from pursuing.

“Let me just wrap up with a few other of the untold stories. In addition to what we know in Sarasota, and what we know even more in San Diego, there were other places where hijackers spent significant amounts of time, such as Paterson, N.J.; Falls Church, Va.; and Palm Beach County, Fla. We have been trying to find out, [whether there were] investigations similar to what we know took place in Sarasota, in those three areas, and, if so, what result.

“We have run into exactly the same stonewall, even on the question of, did they investigate an area such as Palm Beach County where Atta and the leadership of the hijackers lived for an extended period of time? It’s unbelievable that there wasn’t an investigation, but it’s equally unbelievable that the FBI won’t even say ‘yea’ or ‘nay’ that there was such an investigation. So, there are gaps of factual knowledge about what happened that I think would open additional windows.”

Why the Cover-Up?

Graham went on to say that the question which is the hardest for him to answer, is why the United States has been so soft on the Saudis. He asked, “Why have we allowed them to go without public awareness of their complicity?” He stated that it was easier for him to answer that question during the Bush Administration, seeing as how the Bush family had a long association with the House of Saud, going all the way back to George W. Bush’s grandfather Prescott Bush. But, he stated:

“The more difficult thing, and I say this as a Democrat, is, why has the Obama Administration continued this soft treatment of Saudi Arabia? My speculation is that they have felt that the Middle East is so fractious and violent at this time, that Saudi Arabia would be a source of stability in an otherwise very shaky region of the world. I personally completely disagree with that assessment.”

Graham emphasized that with Congress now considering whether to authorize war against ISIS, exposing the truth about Saudi Arabia’s role in 9/11 is more urgent than it’s ever been. He stated that he believes that ISIS is merely the latest ramification of Saudi Arabia’s efforts to export Wahhabism, an extremist form of Sunni Islam, and that:

“The failure of the United States to publicly disclose what Saudi Arabia has done in the past, has been taken as a signal to the Kingdom that they have impunity, they can do virtually anything they want to, and there won’t be any reaction, at least from the United States. And the consequence of that immunity has been that Saudi Arabia essentially established al-Qaeda—and ISIS—fits almost the same pattern. It [ISIS] is the child of Saudi Arabia, and continues to be substantially supported—financially, militarily—by Saudi Arabia.

“I personally think that the national security of the United States will be served when we let the American people know what happened, and I think there will be a public reaction that will cause the United States to no longer give to the Saudis this impunity that we have in the past. So, in addition to the reasons that the American people deserve to have the historic record set right, and the families who have suffered so much deserve to have justice—and they will get justice when the facts of the Saudi involvement are known—and our own long-term national security, all argue for dispelling some of these unknowns, and unanswered questions, and unknown stories.

“Let the American people know what happened, and then let the American people be involved in shaping what our future towards justice and our own security should be.”

Battle To Release the 28 Pages

This event represents a crucial part of the drumbeat nationally to declassify the 28 pages, which, if revealed, would disclose to the American people some of the facts which verify what Senator Graham and Dan Christensen summarized in their remarks. This campaign bears directly on the future peace and security of the United States and the world, as we confront the ever-increasing threat of chaos and war emanating from the Middle East. Rather than merely reacting to events, Congress must be forced to ask the question: What is the source of this violence, and how can it be rooted out?

Bipartisan efforts in Congress by Congressmen Walter Jones (R-N.C.), Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.), and Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) continue to build, as their bill, House Resolution 428 calling on the President to release the 28 pages, gains co-sponsors. There are currently 21 sponsors of HR 428, almost equally split between Republicans and Democrats. The necessary next step in this process is to recruit a Senate sponsor to introduce a companion resolution into the U.S. Senate.

The website features a “28 Pages” developing story page where one can find the latest in this ongoing fight, and how to join the campaign to ensure that the truth about who sponsored the attacks on the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, and who is continuing to finance terrorism today, is released for the American people and the world to see.

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