Confidential and deeply controversial documents said to reveal the support network behind the 9/11 hijackers may soon be made public, according to the Obama administration’s head of national intelligence.
James Clapper, who is charged with overseeing the declassification, reportedly said that it is a “realistic goal” that the 28-page section of the 9/11 Commission Report would be available as early as June.
“We are in the position of trying to coordinate interagency position on the declassification of the 28 pages,” he told attendees of an event sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor,The Hill reported on Monday.
Clapper’s statement followed similar remarks made Sunday by Sen. Bob Graham (R-Fla.), who was co-chairman of the bipartisan congressional inquiry into the 9/11 attack. Graham and others familiar with the report have alleged that the report contains damning information about U.S. ally Saudi Arabia.
“To me, the most important unanswered question of 9/11 is did these 19 people conduct this very sophisticated plot alone, or were they supported?” Graham said on NBC‘s “Meet the Press.”
“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. So who was the most likely entity to have provided them that support?” he continued. “And I think all the evidence points to Saudi Arabia. We know that Saudi Arabia started al-Qaida. It was a creation of Saudi Arabia.”
The pending declassification comes amid an increasingly tumultuous standoff between the Obama administration and a coalition of congressional lawmakers, who have introduced a bill that would allow victims of 9/11 and other U.S.-based terrorist attacks to sue sovereign nations that supply material or other support for such violence.
U.S. President Barack Obama has signaled that he would veto the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act while the Gulf monarchy has threatened to sell off hundreds of billions of dollars worth of American assets should the legislation go through.
Observers have suggested that the White House’s resistance to the bill stems from a concern that, if passed, the United States would in turn face legal action for its own acts of terrorism, such as drone strikes.
Both Democratic presidential contenders Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have expressed support for the 9/11 bill, while the Vermont senator has specifically called on Obama to declassify the 28 pages “as soon as possible.”
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