FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 1, 2003
Office of Sen. Charles E. Schumer
SENATORS APPEAL DECISION TO KEEP THE 9/11 REPORT'S 28 PAGES CLASSIFIED
Led by Schumer and Brownback, 46 Senators argue that America is being kept in the dark about possible Saudi involvement in the 9/11 attacksA group of US Senators led by Democrat Charles Schumer and Republican Sam Brownback today asked the President to reconsider his decision not to release 28 classified pages of the Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 2001.
Schumer: Letter indicates that a majority of Senators are likely to support declassifying the material
Earlier this week, the President said declassifying the 28 pages could compromise national security. In their letter, the Senators argue that those concerns can be addressed through responsible redaction, rather than totally effacing the section’s contents. The Senators wrote that keeping the material classified would essentially spare Saudi Arabia from any public penalty for the support it may have given to terrorists.
"It's clear to me that the support for making this material public is growing by the day," Schumer said. "We've gotten 46 people on this letter and there are two other Senators who have called for the public disclosure of this material. The bottom line is that keeping this material classified only strengthens the theory that some in the US government are hellbent on covering up for the Saudis. If we're going to take terrorism down, that kind of behavior has got to be nipped in the bud and shedding some light on these 28 pages would start that process."
It has been widely reported that the foreign sources referred to in the 28 pages reside primarily in Saudi Arabia. According to the report, the contents of the redacted pages detail “specific sources of foreign support for some of the September 11th hijackers while they were in the United States.” The lawmakers asserted that by not disclosing the section, the American public will remain "in the dark about other countries that may have facilitated the terrorist attacks.... As a result, the decision to classify this information sends the wrong message to the American people about our nation’s anti-terror effort and makes it seem as if there will be no penalty for foreign abettors of the hijackers."
"If we are to protect our national security, we must convince the Saudi regime to get tough on terror. Keeping private its involvement – or that of any other nation – in the September 11th attacks is no the way to accomplish this goal. We respectfully urge you to declassify the 28-page section that deals with foreign sources of support for the 9-11 hijackers," the letter continued.
For a copy of the letter click here.