Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) is criticizing the Obama administration as having attempted to strong-arm a former senator who is pressing to declassify 28 pages of the 9/11 report addressing Saudi Arabia.
He recounted exactly how Rep. Gwen Graham (D-Fla.) and her father, former Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Bob Graham (D-Fla.), were detained by the FBI in 2011 at Dulles International Airport outside Washington. The communication from the agents, reported by the Grahams, was to quit pressing for declassification of the 28 pages.
The FBI “took a former senator, a former governor, grabbed him in an airport, hustled him into a room with armed force to try to intimidate him into taking different positions on issues of public policy and important national policy, and the fact that he wasn’t intimidated because he was calm doesn’t show that they weren’t trying to intimidate him,” Sherman stated in an interview with The Hill’s Molly K. Hooper.
– From last week’s article: Disturbing Claim – FBI Interrogated Former Senator for Wanting “28 Pages” Declassified
Pundits of my recurrent focus on highlighting the Saudi role in 9/11 assert that anything exposed in the “28 pages” will be marginal at best, leaving many of the most important issues surrounding the attacks engulfed in secrecy. I concur. What I argue with is the conclusion that aggressively pursuing a declassification of the 28 pages is for that reason meaningless.
There is almost always a underlying reason behind my persistent goal of certain topics. One of the key reasons of this website is to chronicle the myriad illustrations of U.S. government lies, corruption and criminality on part of a handful of insiders at the expense of the citizenry. This is because I concur wholeheartedly with Thomas Jefferson when he wrote to Charles Yancey
If a nation expects to be ignorant & free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was & never will be. The functionaries of every government have propensities to command at will the liberty & property of their constituents. There is no safe deposit for these but with the people themselves; nor can they be safe with them without information. Where the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe.
The shadow government and its minions address the general public as stupid malleable serfs, because for the most substantial part, they are. This sad state of affairs has been accomplished over the decades through ridiculous government propaganda slavishly peddled to the masses by way of Nazi news media outlets. The internet has permitted tens of millions to wake up, but hundreds of millions are required in order to turn this thing around and bring forth an era of freedom, progress, creativity and spiritual renaissance. This will never come about until folks start to question and face the unimaginably maniacal status quo.
The reason I think the “28 pages” are so critical is because it without doubt demonstrates that senior members of the U.S. government care more about the public understanding of Saudi Arabia, and protecting its terrorist spawn, than cares about the public interest. Without a doubt, focus on these pages is already starting to achieve just that.
As the Guardian noted earlier today:
A former Republican member of the 9/11 commission, breaking dramatically with the commission’s leaders, said Wednesday he believes there was clear evidence that Saudi government employees were part of a support network for the 9/11 hijackers and that the Obama administration should move quickly to declassify a long-secret congressional report on Saudi ties to the 2001 terrorist attack.
The comments by John F Lehman, an investment banker in New York who was Navy secretary in the Reagan administration, signal the first serious public split among the 10 commissioners since they issued a 2004 final report that was largely read as an exoneration of Saudi Arabia, which was home to 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11.
“There was an awful lot of participation by Saudi individuals in supporting the hijackers, and some of those people worked in the Saudi government,” Lehman said in an interview, suggesting that the commission may have made a mistake by not stating that explicitly in its final report. “Our report should never have been read as an exoneration of Saudi Arabia.”
He was critical of a statement released late last month by the former chairman and vice-chairman of the commission, who urged the Obama administration to be cautious about releasing the full congressional report on the Saudis and 9/11 – “the 28 pages”, as they are widely known in Washington – because they contained “raw, unvetted” material that might smear innocent people.
The 9/11 commission chairman, former Republican governor Tom Kean of New Jersey, and vice-chairman, former Democratic congressman Lee Hamilton of Indiana, praised Saudi Arabia as,overall, “an ally of the United States in combatting terrorism” and said the commission’s investigation, which came after the congressional report was written, had identified only one Saudi government official – a former diplomat in the Saudi consulate in Los Angeles – as being “implicated in the 9/11 plot investigation”.
“Only one Saudi government official.” Can you imagine this? On the other hand, that official was simply deported from the U.S. without ever being charged with a crime. More evidence that the Saudis and bankers have been awarded their own separate “justice” system.
Subsequently, it’s not even true…
In the interview Wednesday, Lehman said Kean and Hamilton’s statement that only one Saudi government employee was “implicated” in supporting the hijackers in California and elsewhere was “a game of semantics” and that the commission had been aware of at least five Saudi government officials who were strongly suspected of involvement in the terrorists’ support network.
The commissioner said the renewed public debate could force a spotlight on a mostly unknown chapter of the history of the 9/11 commission: behind closed doors, members of the panel’s staff fiercely protested the way the material about the Saudis was presented in the final report, saying it underplayed or ignored evidence that Saudi officials – especially at lower levels of the government – were part of an al-Qaida support network that had been tasked to assist the hijackers after they arrived in the US.
In fact, there were repeated showdowns, especially over the Saudis, between the staff and the commission’s hard-charging executive director, University of Virginia historian Philip Zelikow, who joined the Bush administration as a senior adviser to the secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, after leaving the commission. The staff included experienced investigators from the FBI, the Department of Justice and the CIA, as well as the congressional staffer who was the principal author of the 28 pages.
Zelikow fired a staffer, who had repeatedly protested over limitations on the Saudi investigation, after she obtained a copy of the 28 pages outside of official channels. Other staffers described an angry scene late one night, near the end of the investigation, when two investigators who focused on the Saudi allegations were forced to rush back to the commission’s offices after midnight after learning to their astonishment that some of the most compelling evidence about a Saudi tie to 9/11 was being edited out of the report or was being pushed to tiny, barely readable footnotes and endnotes. The staff protests were mostly overruled.
However, the commission’s final report was still widely read as an exoneration, with a central finding by the commission that there was “no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually” provided financial assistance to Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network. The statement was hailed by the Saudi government as effectively clearing Saudi officials of any tie to 9/11.
Zelikow, the commission’s executive director, told NBC News last month that the 28 pages “provide no further answers about the 9/11 attacks that are not already included in the 9/11 commission report”. Making them public “will only make the red herring glow redder”.
This from the dude who led the charge to deliberately whitewash the Saudi role and deliberately con the American public. Yet these folks call Edward Snowden a traitor.
But Kean, Hamilton and Zelikow clearly do not speak for a number of the other commissioners, who have repeatedly suggested they are uncomfortable with the perception that the commission exonerated Saudi Arabia and who have joined in calling for public release of the 28 pages.
It’s extremely hard to read the above and not deduce that senior U.S. government officials were, and keep on being, more engaged in protecting their Saudi “allies” than presenting justice for the thousands of innocents murdered on 9/11. It should make everybody considerably more distrustful of our crooked government.
If that is all the “28 pages” drama accomplishes, I’d call that a success!
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