August 7, 2003
HOUSE INTELLIGENCE DEMOCRATS CALL ON ADMINISTRATION
TO DECLASSIFY MAJOR PORTIONS OF 9/11 REPORT AND
REQUEST COMMITTEE INVESTIGATION OF FOREIGN SUPPORT
FOR TERRORISTS IN U.S.
Washington, D.C. - The nine Democratic members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence issued the following statement today calling for additional declassification of portions of the 9/11 Joint Inquiry report:
"While the attacks of September 11, 2001 are nearly two years behind us, they are never far from our thoughts. With the recent release of the Joint Inquiry Report on 9/11, the nation's attention turns again to that dark day and the events leading up to it. In particular, there is enormous Congressional and public interest in Part IV of the Report, which deals with information about sources of foreign support for some of the 9/11 hijackers while they were in the United States, and especially the 27 pages of Part IV that remain classified.
We agree with a growing number of our colleagues in the House and Senate that there is a compelling national interest in releasing more of Part IV, and that doing so will not compromise important intelligence activities. We recognize that information revealing sensitive intelligence sources and methods or ongoing investigations must remain classified and abhor the all too commonplace leaks of sensitive information. Nonetheless, we urge the Administration to declassify more of Part IV.
We also urge that Recommendation 19 of the Joint Inquiry Report, which speaks most directly to the concerns raised in Part IV, be made a high priority of the House Intelligence Committee. Recommendation 19 calls on the Intelligence Community - particularly the FBI and CIA - to investigate the possibility that foreign governments are providing support to or are involved in terrorist activity targeting the United States and its interests. That recommendation was endorsed when the draft 9/11 Report was voted on unanimously last December by House members of the Joint Inquiry, a number of whom continue to serve on the House Intelligence Committee. We urge our Committee to address this oversight work promptly, including the possibility of requesting a National Intelligence Estimate on the matter."
The nine Democratic members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence are Ranking Member Jane Harman (CA), Alcee Hastings (FL) Silvestre Reyes (TX), Leonard L. Boswell (IA), Collin C. Peterson (MN), Bud Cramer (AL), Anna Eshoo (CA), Rush Holt (NJ), and Dutch Ruppersberger (MD).
A copy of the text of recommendation 19 from the Joint Inquiry Report is attached.
Text of Recommendation 19 from the Joint Inquiry Report
19. The Intelligence Community, and particularly the FBI and the CIA, should aggressively address the possibility that foreign governments are providing support to or are involved in terrorist activity targeting the United States and U.S. interests. State-sponsored terrorism substantially increases the likelihood of successful and more lethal attacks within the United States. This issue must be addressed from a national standpoint and should not be limited in focus by the geographical and factual boundaries of individual cases. The FBI and CIA should aggressively and thoroughly pursue related matters developed through this Joint Inquiry that have been referred to them for further investigation by these Committees.
The Intelligence Community should fully inform the House and Senate Intelligence Committees of significant developments in these efforts, through regular reports and additional communications as necessary, and the Committees should, in turn, exercise vigorous and continuing oversight of the Community's work in this critically important area.