U.S. authorities must stop protecting those who funded the 9-11 terrorists. That was the theme of speakers at a Capitol Hill press briefing Jan. 7 who made compelling arguments against continued secrecy.
Former Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Bob Graham (D-FL) and Congressmen Walter Jones (R-NC) and Stephen Lynch (D-MA) were joined by representatives of 9/11 families. They urged passage by the new Congress of a resolution declassifying the 28 pages of the 2002 congressional joint inquiry on 9/11 that identified funders of the 19 accused hijackers.
Jones opened the briefing with a reference to the Jan. 7 terrorist attack in Paris that killed at least 12 at the Paris newspaper Charlie Hebdo. The attack by suspected Muslim extremists was reported in such accounts as: Gunmen storm Paris satirical newspaper, killing at least 12.
“Just like the tragedy in France today,” Jones said, “no nation can defend itself unless the nation knows the truth, and especially when there’s been an attack like 9/11.” Jones led the effort last year that attracted 13 co-sponsors to House Resolution No. 428 from among the 435 House members.
A nearly hour-long video of the briefing is here, showing Lynch at left and Jones:
“Money is the lifeblood of terrorism,” added Terry Strada, national co-chair of 9/11 Families United Against Terrorism and the widow of World Trade Center I victim Tom Strada. “By hiding the truth about who financed 9/11, the guilty parties have gone unpunished, free to continue financing terrorist organizations. As a consequence, we have witnessed the creation of branches of al Qaeda like ISIS grow at an alarming rate.”
Graham, as co-chair of the joint congressional investigation of 9/11, co-authored the 28-page section of its report that Presidents Bush and Obama have suppressed.
Graham, 78, shown in an official photo, was a three-term senator and two-term Florida governor who retired in 2005 after exploring a presidential candidacy.
This week, he recalled being shocked that the Bush White House suppressed findings vital to a key point – did the hijackers act alone? Graham said the 28-pages remain vital also to the country’s ongoing need for justice and national security.
Graham and others who have read the report face arrest if they describe what is in the top-secret section. Since July, members of Congress have been able to read it in a guarded room so long as they take no notes. About thirty members have reportedly seen it so far.
At the Jan. 7 press briefing, officials have cited non-secret investigations to say evidence points to the Saudi Arabian government and its controlled entities as heavy funders of the pre-attack expenses of at least some of the 19 accused hijackers, most of them Saudi natives.
“Al Qaeda was a creature of Saudi Arabia,” Graham said. “And now, ISIS is a creature of Saudi Arabia.”
He cited the day’s killings at the Paris newspaper.
“So, the consequences of our passivity to Saudi Arabia,” the former senator continued, “have been that we have tolerated this succession of institutions — violent, extreme, extremely hurtful to the region of the Middle East and a threat to the world, as we saw this morning in Paris.”