9/11 Families Rebuff Biden, Seek Declassified Documents That Implicate Saudis
Aug. 9, 2021 (EIRNS)—Nearly 1,800 Americans who lost family members in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks told NBC News’ Courtney Kube and Mike Memoli that they oppose President Joe Biden’s participation in any 9/11 memorial events this year, unless he honors his pledge to declassify U.S. government evidence, which the families believe implicate Saudi officials in supporting the acts of terrorism. The victims’ family members, first responders, and survivors released statements today calling on Biden to absent himself from the 9/11 20th anniversary events in New York, in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and at the Pentagon, unless he releases the documents.
Biden promised fulsomely to be more transparent and release as much information as possible under intense pressure from the families, but he has ignored their letters and requests since being elected, NBC News reports. Among the documents the group seeks are supporting evidence found during a widespread FBI investigation into the 9/11 attacks that examined alleged Saudi links, and which was completed in 2016.
The families wrote,
“[W]e cannot in good faith, and with veneration to those lost, sick, and injured, welcome the president to our hallowed grounds until he fulfills his commitment. Since the conclusion of the 9/11 Commission in 2004 much investigative evidence has been uncovered implicating Saudi government officials in supporting the attacks. Through multiple administrations, the Department of Justice and the FBI have actively sought to keep this information secret and prevent the American people from learning the full truth about the 9/11 attacks.”
Brett Eagleson, whose father, Bruce, died at the World Trade Center, said he and his co-signers “collectively are at our wits’ end with our own government.... We are frustrated, tired and saddened with the fact that the U.S. government for 20 years has chosen to keep information about the death of our loved ones behind lock and key.” Eagleson is one of a group of victims’ relatives filing a lawsuit accusing Saudi Arabia of being complicit in the attacks. Among the evidence Eagleson cites is the 2017 sworn testimony of former FBI Special Agent Stephen Moore, who was in charge of the Los Angeles Task Force Team for PENTTBOM, the FBI’s investigation of the 9/11 attacks. He reports, “S.A. Moore wrote in his affidavit, ‘Based on evidence we gathered during the course of our investigation, I concluded that diplomatic and intelligence personnel of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia knowingly provided material support to the two 9/11 hijackers and facilitated the 9/11 plot. My colleagues in our investigations share that same conclusion.’ ” The “two 9/11 hijackers” refers to Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar, the first two hijackers to arrive in the United States, based in southern California, and were largely the subject of the classified “28 pages” chapter of the December 2002 Joint Intelligence Committee report on 9/11, co-chaired by Sen. Bob Graham and Rep. Porter Goss.
The Administrations of George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump also declined to declassify supporting documents. The Trump Administration invoked the state secrets privilege in 2019 to justify keeping the documents classified.
Several U.S. Senators are now pressing for increased transparency of U.S. government investigations into 9/11, also citing Saudi ties, Joseph Clark of the Washington Times reported Aug. 5, in an article titled, “Senators Press for 9/11 Transparency, Declassification of Saudi Links.” U.S. Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) introduced “The September 11 Transparency Act of 2021,” which requires a full declassification review of the 9/11 investigation, and justifications for any decisions to keep details secret in the future. Republicans John Cornyn (TX) and Chuck Grassley (IA) have also signed on to the Senate legislation.