In the next few days Barack Obama will review whether to declassify one of the U.S’s most sensitive documents, detailing secret revelations about the September 11 attacks.
The documents, known as the ’28 pages’, detail the possible existence of a Saudi support network for the 9/11 hijackers while they were in the U.S., and the papers could be released in the next 60 days.
The ’28 pages’ have reportedly been locked away in a secret vault for the last thirteen years with only a small group of people having ever read them, because both the Bush and Obama administrations have argued that revealing them was a national security risk, the Daily Mail reports.
Former Florida Senator Bob Graham has campaigned for years for the documents to be released, ever since they were classified back in 2003. He’s convinced the attackers were helped by the Saudi Arabian government.
I think it is implausible to believe that 19 people, most of whom didn’t speak English, most of whom had never been in the United States before, many of whom didn’t have a high school education– could’ve carried out such a complicated task without some support from within the United States.
The ex-Senator and others claim the Saudi’s role in the attack has been played down to protect the delicate relationship with the politically complex kingdom, where rulers, royalty, riches and religion are all intertwined.
The timing of the documents release could be highly significant, with Obama heading over to Saudi Arabia to meet the country’s leaders next week. New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is calling for the pages to be released ahead of that meeting, so Obama could discuss any consequences with the Saudi government.
Gillibrand argues that the families of 9/11 victims deserve to know the truth.
Speaking to 60 Minutes she said:
If the president is going to meet with the Saudi Arabian leadership and the royal family, they think it would be appropriate that this document be released before the president makes that trip, so that they can talk about whatever issues are in that document…
Of the nineteen hijackers on 9/11, fifteen were Saudis, as was al-Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden – the son of a Saudi billionaire with close ties to the kingdom’s royal family.
Meanwhile the White House Press Secretary, Josh Earnest, said he didn’t know whether Obama had read the sealed documents himself, but confirmed the files were being reviewed.
He also mentioned that the 9/11 Commission’s report found no evidence of al-Qaeda being funded by Saudi officials.