CIA Director John Brennan on Sunday said releasing the excised 28 pages to the 9/11 report, aka the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, would compromise “sensitive methods” and “investigative actions” used by the government.
Brennan said the missing chapter has not been released to the public because it hasn’t been vetted or corroborated. He added that releasing the information would be used by enemies of Saudi Arabia.
“I think there’s a combination of things that are accurate and inaccurate [in the report],” Brennan said. “I think the 9/11 Commission took that joint inquiry and those 28 pages or so and followed through on the investigation and then came out with a very clear judgment that there was no evidence that … Saudi government as an institution or Saudi officials or individuals had provided financial support to al Qaeda.”
While there is scant information available implicating the Saudi government directly in aiding and abetting al-Qaeda, there is sufficient evidence the kingdom green lighted private funding of al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and Lashkar-e-Taiba, a terrorist group based in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.
Saudi private funding of terrorism was admitted in a memo attributed to Hillary Clinton when she was Secretary of State.
“More needs to be done since Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qaida, the Taliban, LeT and other terrorist groups,” a secret December 2009 paper signed by Clinton states.
“Donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide,” she said. “It has been an ongoing challenge to persuade Saudi officials to treat terrorist financing emanating from Saudi Arabia as a strategic priority.”
The memo is part of a cache of diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks.
A CIA Inspector General report released last year addressing so-called “intelligence failures” leading up to the attack also clears the Saudi government. The CIA report was made public several days after Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky introduced a bill to release the 28 pages.
Despite the claim the Saudi government was not involved in the attacks, there is sufficient evidence showing a Saudi relationship to the alleged hijackers. (See our “Here’s what will not be included in the 9/11 ’28 pages.’”)
Saudi Arabia insists it was not involved in the attack and has threatened to sell off hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of American assets if a bill supported by members of the Senate and the House is passed and the 28 pages are released.
Obama has lobbied against the legislation.