In the Wake of Paris:
Release the 28 Pages Now!
by Jeffrey Steinberg
Nov. 17—On Jan. 7, 2015, just hours after terrorists staged an assault on the Paris offices of the satirical publication Charlie Hebdo and killed a dozen people, former U.S. Senator Bob Graham (D-Fla.) joined House of Representatives Members Walter Jones (R-N.C.), Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.), and Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), and representatives of the 9/11 families, in a Capitol Hill press conference, convened to demand the immediate release of the 28-page chapter from the original 2002 Joint Congressional Inquiry into 9/11, which documented the role of the Saudi Royal Family in financing the hijackers.
Sen. Graham’s words are even more profound and timely today, in the wake of the Nov. 13 Paris massacres by Islamic State-allied butchers. Graham told the standing-room only crowd:
The Saudis know what they did. They are not persons who are unaware of the consequences of their government’s actions. Second, the Saudis know that we know what they did! Somebody in the Federal government has read these 28 pages, someone in the Federal government has read all the other documents that have been covered up so far. And the Saudis know that.
What would you think the Saudis’ position would be, if they knew what they had done, they knew that the United States knew what they had done, and they also observed that the United States had taken a position of either passivity, or actual hostility to letting those facts be known? What would the Saudi government do in that circumstance, which is precisely where they have been for more than a decade?
Well, one, they have continued, maybe accelerated, their support for one of the most extreme forms of Islam, Wahhabism, throughout the world, particularly in the Middle East. And second, they have supported their religious fervor, with financial and other forms of support of the institutions which were going to carry out those extreme forms of Islam. Those institutions have included mosques, madrassas, and the military. Al-Qaeda was a creature of Saudi Arabia; the regional groups such as al-Shabaab have been largely creatures of Saudi Arabia; and now, ISIS is the latest creature!
Yes, I hope and I trust that the United States will crush ISIS, but if we think that is the definition of victory, we are being very naive! ISIS is a consequence, not a cause—it is a consequence of the spread of extremism, largely by Saudi Arabia, and if it is crushed, there will be another institution established, financed, supported, to carry on the cause.
So the consequences of our passivity to Saudi Arabia, have been that we have tolerated this succession of institutions,—violent, extreme, extremely hurtful to the region of the Middle East, and a threat to the world, as we saw this morning in Paris.
Sen. Graham was absolutely right on Jan. 7. His words now take on even greater significance, as the entire world is still in shock over the Friday events in Paris, and the prospect that it can happen again.
It Can Happen Again
ISIS has already issued a new threat of similar blind terror attacks, this time targeting Washington, D.C. and other American cities. The Russian government, after a careful investigation, has concluded, as of Nov. 17, that the Metro Jet plane that blew up over Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, was downed by a terrorist bomb planted on board. ISIS has claimed credit for that atrocity, in which 224 people were killed. ISIS also took credit for a pair of suicide bombings in southern Beirut on Nov. 12, which killed and wounded hundreds of innocents.
White House/Pete Souza
Sen. Graham is absolutely right. ISIS is a consequence of Saudi promotion of Wahhabism and violent jihadi terrorism. To be more precise, al-Qaeda, the Islamic State, the Nusra Front and other terrorist groupings are products of an Anglo-Saudi alliance, most publicly associated with the Al-Yamamah arms-for-oil barter deals between London and Riyadh. Al-Yamamah created an offshore slush fund for terrorism that directly fed al-Qaeda, from the start of that sinister deal in the 1980s.
The shock of the Paris attacks has forced the Obama Administration, for the moment at least, to abandon its hate campaign against Russia and President Putin, and at least formally accept the urgency of collaboration with Moscow to crush the Islamic State.
Now it is time for a reckoning with the Anglo-Saudi apparatus that has been steering the growth of the global jihadist apparatus, through decades of funding and logistical support.
It is time to release the full 28 pages from the Joint Congressional Inquiry into 9/11. The release of those 28 pages should be the start of a thorough, top-down investigation into the role of the Saudi Monarchy in promoting global terrorism, starting with full disclosure of the Saudi role in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
Time for a Reckoning
Congress must not tolerate one more moment of White House cover-up of those 28 pages. The Joint Inquiry was a legislative branch investigation, and the Congress has total authority to release the 28 pages, whether the White House goes along or not. The 1971 U.S. Supreme Court unanimous ruling in the case of then-Senator Mike Gravel (D-Alaska), who placed the Pentagon Papers into the Congressional Record under the “speech and debate” clause of the Constitution, makes clear that Congress has the Constitutional authority to declassify those pages immediately.
While it is known that those pages provide details of how the Saudi General Intelligence Directorate supported at least two of the 9/11 hijackers upon their arrival in California, and how then-Saudi Ambassador to the United States Prince Bandar bin-Sultan provided funds to the two hijackers, the pages clearly contain other vital details and leads on the full scope of the Saudi regime’s backing for the 9/11 killers.
Had the full scope of the Saudi Monarchy’s bloody hands behind 9/11 come out at the time, no American President could have gotten away with the coddling of the Saudis that has been the hallmark of both the Bush and Obama Administrations, post-9/11. To this day, President Obama openly praises the Saudis for their role in the “coalition” fighting ISIS. Even if he had committed no other impeachable acts, this President’s shameless coverup of the Saudi hand behind global jihadist terrorism, itself rises to the threshold of “high crimes and misdemeanors” that warrant immediate impeachment proceedings.
If there is to be any justice for those who died in 9/11, who perished aboard Metro Jet, who were brutally murdered in Paris and in southern Beirut, the full complicity of the Saudis must be exposed publicly, now.
Otherwise, as Sen. Graham so presciently warned, Al Qaeda and ISIS may be formally crushed, but the underlying disease will resurface in a new and more virulent form in no time at all.
Release the 28 pages now!