The Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities before and after the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001 (henceforth, Joint Inquiry) is the official name of the inquiry conducted by the U.S. Senate and House committees on intelligence into the activities of U.S. intelligence agencies (like the CIA and NSA) in connection with the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
The investigation began in February 2002, but quickly ran into stonewalling, delays and attacks from then Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, especially after an alleged leak from the committee to CNN, which reported that the National Security Agency had received warning about the attacks on September 10, but failed to translate and forward them.
In August 2002, four months before the release of the final report of Joint Inquiry, unnamed individuals who had read the report revealed it contained accusations of links between the government of Saudi Arabia and the attacks. As the New York Times put it, “two Saudi citizens who had at least indirect links with two hijackers were probably Saudi intelligence agents and may have reported to Saudi government officials, according to people who have seen the report.” The Saudis denied this and asked that the section be made public, but then-President George W. Bush refused.
On December 11, 2002, in a PBS Newshour interview, Senator Bob Graham (D-FL), Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said:
“I was surprised at the evidence that there were foreign governments [note the plural ‘governments‘] involved in facilitating the activities of at least some of the terrorists in the United States.
I am stunned that we have not done a better job of pursuing that to determine if other terrorists received similar support and, even more important, if the infrastructure of a foreign government assisting terrorists still exists for the current generation of terrorists who are here planning the next plots.
To me that is an extremely significant issue and most of that information is classified, I think overly-classified. I believe the American people should know the extent of the challenge that we face in terms of foreign government involvement….
I think there is very compelling evidence that at least some of the terrorists were assisted not just in financing — although that was part of it — by a sovereign foreign government and that we have been derelict in our duty to track that down….”
On December 20, 2002, the Joint Committee released its final report, Report of the Joint Inquiry into the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001 – by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. The report detailed failings of the FBI and CIA to use available information about terrorists the CIA knew were in the United States — information that could have disrupted the terrorist plots.
However, the George W. Bush administration redacted 28 pages of the report which contained information concerning foreign governments’ involvement in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Those pages remain “classified” to this day, despite Congressional efforts to declassify them.
The most recent effort was more than two years ago.
On December 2, 2013, Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) introduced House Resolution 428, urging President Obama to declassify and release those 28 pages of the joint House and Senate Intelligence Committee report.
HR 429 was a bipartisan resolution, with 21 cosponsors (11 Democrats, 10 Republicans). Jones’ resolution was not enacted.
Below is the full text of H. Res. 428.
H. Res. 428
Urging the president to release information regarding the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks upon the United States.
Whereas President George W. Bush classified 28 pages of the Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 2001;
Whereas the contents of the redacted pages are necessary for a full public understanding of the events and circumstances surrounding the September 11, 2001, attacks upon the United States;
Whereas the Executive Branch’s decision to maintain the classified status of these pages prevents the people of the United States from having access to information about the involvement of certain foreign governments in the terrorist attacks of September 2001; and
Whereas the people of the United States and the families of the victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks deserve full and public disclosure of the results of the Joint Inquiry: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that–
(1) the President should declassify the 28-page section of the Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 2001; and
(2) the families of the victims and the people of the United States deserve answers about the events and circumstances surrounding the September 11, 2001, attacks upon the United States.
On October 28, 2003, there was a debate in the Senate on an amendment similar to H. Res. 428. In the debate, Sens. Bob Graham and Byron Dorgan (D-ND) argued for a “yes” vote. Immediately following their speeches, debate was shut down and a vote prevented based on an objection made by Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) that “the amendment is not germane”. Read the debate here.
Graham and Dorgan are no longer senators.
Recall that Sen. Graham, who was the chair of one of the committees of the Joint Inquiry, had said he was surprised by “the evidence that there were foreign governments involved in facilitating the activities of at least some of the terrorists in the United States.”
Note that Graham used the plural “governments,” not “government’.
According to longtime D.C.-based investigative journalist Wayne Madsen, in his 2014 book The Star and the Sword, both Israel and Saudi Arabia were intimately involved in planning and carrying out the 9/11 attack on the United States. Both countries, while seemingly enemies, have been longtime secret allies. They share a number of common enemies, including Iran, Shi’a Islam, pan-Arab nationalism, Hezbollah, and the Muslim Brotherhood. Their intelligence chiefs often meet and conspire in utmost secrecy. The Saudis and Israelis had the motive and the means to cooperate in launching a “false flag” terrorist attack on the United States in order to plunge America into endless conflicts to bolster the positions of Israel and Saudi Arabia.
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