Twenty-eight classified pages from the famous 9/11 Commission Report on the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, could be made public by June, according to James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence.
An April 25 report from VOA quoted Clapper’s remarks made at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast. “I think that is certainly a realistic goal from where we stand with that,” said Clapper who is responsible for overseeing the redacted pages’ potential declassification. “We are in the position of trying to coordinate interagency position on the declassification of the 28 pages,” the director and retired Air Force lieutenant general added.
VOA noted that only a select group of U.S. officials have read the classified report, which has been locked in a secure area of the U.S. Capitol building since a joint congressional committee compiled it in 2002. Bills have been introduced in both the Senate and House of Representatives calling for the declassification of the report’s redacted pages.
One of the most outspoken voices calling for a release of the classified pages has been former Democrat Florida Governor and Senator Bob Graham, who said Sunday during an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press that the pages should be released to end the continued debate over what they contain and to allow the American public to make up its own mind about the significance of their contents.
VOA summarized Graham’s contention that the question of whether the 19 hijackers — 15 of whom were Saudi citizens — had received any outside help is the most important outstanding question related to the September 11, 2001, attacks. “I think it’s implausible to think that people who couldn’t speak English, had never been in the United States before, as a group were not well-educated, could have done that,” Graham said on Meet the Press. “So who was the most likely entity to have provided them that support? And I think that all of the evidence points to Saudi Arabia.”
Graham has been making his point on other TV talk shows, including a CBS News 60 Minutes program that aired on April 10 called “28 Pages.”
As we wrote in our April 15 report about that program, 60 Minutes noted that Graham has been trying to get those 28 censored pages released since they were classified back in 2003, during a time when he was chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and co-chair of the bipartisan joint congressional inquiry into intelligence failures surrounding the attacks.
We also cited a CBS News report that the joint inquiry had reviewed a half a million documents, interviewed hundreds of witnesses and produced an 838-page report, the final chapter of which was blanked out — redacted by the Bush administration for reasons of “national security.”