Under Pressure from 9/11 Families, Biden Orders 9/11 Declassification Review
Sept. 3, 2021 (EIRNS)—“When I ran for President,” said President Biden today,
“I made a commitment to ensuring transparency regarding the declassification of documents on the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on America.
“As we approach the 20th anniversary of that tragic day, I am honoring that commitment. Today, I signed an executive order directing the Department of Justice and other relevant agencies to oversee a declassification review of documents related to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s September 11th investigations. The executive order requires the Attorney General to release the declassified documents publicly over the next six months.”
The executive order calls for rolling declassification timelines, the first documents being completed by Sept. 11, 2021, the next (all other records from In re Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001) in 60 days, additional FBI investigation materials within 120 days. The last deadline, in 180 days, includes all other investigations that may be relevant to the 9/11 attacks, including “investigation of any individual subjects of the subfile investigation that are relevant to the 9/11 terrorist attacks or to any of the individual subjects’ connection to an agency relationship with a foreign government.”
Biden’s order says that “Information shall not remain classified if there is significant doubt about the need to maintain its classified status. Nor shall information remain classified in order to conceal violations of law, inefficiency, or administrative error or to prevent embarrassment to a person, organization, or agency.”
Included in the process are the Attorney General (currently Merrick Garland), the National Security Advisor (currently Jake Sullivan), and the Congressional intelligence committees.
9/11 Families United—chaired by Terry Strada, who just a few weeks ago had scored Biden for not doing more to release information on Saudi involvement in the attacks—released a statement in which she said:
“We are thrilled to see the President forcing the release of more evidence about Saudi connections to the 9/11 Attacks. We have been fighting the FBI and intelligence community for too long, but this looks like a true turning point.
“There is much more work to be done to secure justice for our murdered loved ones and to rectify the immense damage the 20-year shroud of secrecy has caused, but we now are optimistic that President Biden will be helping us achieve those goals. Sen. Menendez told us that Congress sometimes has to jolt the White House into action and we’re pleased that President Biden took notice. We all thank Sen. Menendez and the other senators for their leadership.”
Menendez was one of the sponsors of the September 11 Transparency Act, whose provisions clearly influenced Biden’s executive order.