“In the course of our investigation into the national response to the attacks, the 9/11 Commission staff discovered that the official version of what had occurred (the morning of September 11, 2001) – that is, what government and military officials had told Congress, the Commission, the media and the public about who knew what when – was almost entirely, and inexplicably untrue.”
– John Farmer, senior counsel to the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States
We are one month away from the thirteenth anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001. Since that time, America has undergone great changes as a result of the ensuing War on Terror. A number of wars have been launched by the American government and its allies. Questionable surveillance and security measures have been put into place, all in the name of keeping the people safe. Many Americans accept these changes as consequences of living in a post-9/11 world, where terror lurks behind every corner.
However, a growing number of individuals in America and around the world continue to question the events of that day, where the funding originated from, and who benefits from shunning any such questioning. Those asking these tough questions include survivors and family members of those who lost their lives on that fateful day. Despite the efforts of the corporate owned media to portray the 9/11 Truth movement as disrespectful or un-American, many people are realizing there are legitimate reasons why any critically thinking individual should support a new investigation into the attacks. Today we take a look at six of those reasons.
1. Lawsuits Against Saudi Arabia
Once it became clear that the Bush Administration was dragging its feet when it came to investigating 9/11, family members began investigations of their own and demanding the government do the same. As early as 2003 it had been reported by the New York Times that congressional reports pointed toward involvement of Saudi citizens, working at the behest of the Saudi government, in the funding of individuals responsible for the attacks. Because of this, family members, survivors, and insurance companies have been pursuing justice by attempting to sue various Saudi Arabian officials, and citizens, as well as charities, banks, and other organizations accused of financing the attacks.
The cases have been bogged down in bureaucracy and diplomatic immunity. First, in 2005 a federal District Court judge in New York said Saudi Arabia could not be sued. In 2008 an appeals court agreed with that ruling. In May 2009, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Elena Kagan – at that time serving as U.S. solicitor general – urged the Supreme Court not to allow arguments against Saudi Arabia to proceed. The court agreed with Justice Kagan. Those decisions have recently been reversed however, and the lawsuits are now allowed to go forth. There is a catch however.
In late June of this year the Supreme Court ruled that lawsuits by family members and survivors could proceed, however, the justices allowed a previous ruling from a lower court which dismissed claims against 25 defendants, to stand. This means that relatives of Osama bin Laden and Saudi businesses reportedly connected to al-Qaida would not be allowed as defendants. This decision has angered critics, especially in light of the fact that two days after the 9/11 attacks, while all flight traffic was grounded, members of the bin Laden family were allowed to fly out of the county. Close financial ties between the United States and the Saudi Arabian government has made the situation precarious for U.S. officials who do not wish to embarrass their allies. Several times Judges have ruled that Saudi Arabia is entitled to immunity under the federal Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.
With the recent Supreme Court ruling it may only be a matter of time before the victims family members find the justice they seek. While public officials proclaim to be working to support the family members, there seems to be a concerted effort to keep certain details from being released. In February 2014, watchdog group Judicial Watch revealed 79 pages of documents from the FBI further detailing the Saudi connection.
2. 28-Page Classified Report
Immediately following the attacks family members called for an investigation into what happened and what went wrong. This lead to the formation of the Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities before and after the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001, the official name for the report completed by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. The investigation began in February 2002, and the report was released in December 2002.
When the final report was released it amounted to over 800 pages. Despite the lengthy report critics immediately pointed towards 28 pages that had been classified. Since the report was first released in late 2002 family members and lawmakers have fought to release the classified pages. In December 2013, Representatives Walter Jones (R-NC) and Stephen Lynch (D-MA) introduced Resolution 428, calling on President Obama to make the pages public. The resolution has received bi-partisan support.
Representative Jones has said the 28 pages will be an embarrassment to the administration, while Thomas Massie (R-KY) said while reading the documents he “had to stop every couple of pages and absorb and try to rearrange my understanding of history for the past 13 years and the years leading up to that. It challenges you to rethink everything,” he said at a press conference discussing the bill. In order to view the documents they had to sit in a soundproof room without taking notes.
Former Senator Bob Graham of Florida, co-chair of the joint Senate-House investigation, recently told VICE News that the redactions are a “cover up.” Graham stated, “It’s become more and more inexplicable as to why two administrations have denied the American people information that would help them better understand what happened on 9/11.”
On several occasions President Obama promised family members that the classified pages would be released.
3. 9/11 Commission Members Embarrassed and Set up to Fail
Four hundred and forty two days after the attacks the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, also known as the 9/11 Commission, was established. The commission was chaired by five democrats and five republicans. The Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, or 9/11 Commission report, was released on July 22, 2014.
The report was wrought with controversy from the beginning, with the Bush Administration fighting testifying under oath and the public criticizing appointments that were seen as conflicts of interest. Perhaps the most telling piece of information came from the Chairman of the 9/11 Commission himself. In 2006, Chairman Thomas Kean, former Republican Governor of New Jersey, and Vice Chairman Lee Hamilton, former Representative from Indiana, co-authored the book “Without Precedent: The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission”. In the book Kean writes that the Commission was “Set up to fail.” In an interview with CBC News Kean was questioned further on his comments.
He states, “We had a lot of people strongly opposed to what we did. We had a lot of trouble getting access to documents and to people. We knew the history of commissions; the history of commissions were they.. nobody paid much attention to ‘em. So there were all kinds of reasons we thought we were set up to fail.”
At a recent press conference for the ten year anniversary of the release of the government’s official report on the attacks, Kean and Hamilton were questioned by a family member on the 28 classified pages. Hamilton stated, “I am embarrassed that they are not declassified.” He said the pages should be released. Kean commented that 60-70 percent of the information they saw should not be classified.
If the Chair and Vice Chair of the report responsible for telling Americans what happened on September 11th, 2001 do not believe they were able to tell the full story, why should Americans believe it?