The contents of the 28 pages are reportedly “shocking” and likely point to Saudi funding of the 9/11 hijackers.
WASHINGTON — A new White House petition demands the declassification of 28 pages of the U.S. government report on 9/11, which could force the government to issue a public response if enough people sign.
According to the Whitehouse.gov petition site, if the 9/11 petition reaches 100,000 signatures by Sept. 25, the government will be expected to formally respond. As of Thursday afternoon, only 667 people had signed.
The federal government censored these missing pages from the “Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001,” the report issued by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks, when many questions were raised about the United States’ preparedness as well as whether the attacks could have been prevented. Congress published their joint findings in December 2002 in the form of an 832-page report — but with these 28 key pages redacted.
Brian McGlinchey, director of 28Pages.org, an information and activism hub for the movement to declassify the pages, told MintPress News that he hoped the petition would put more pressure on the U.S. government to release this crucial suppressed information:
“A declassification review by the intelligence community has already taken twice as long as the original joint inquiry that produced the 28 pages, with no end in sight. We launched the petition to help Americans tell the White House they want those pages released immediately.”
For years, the surviving relatives of 9/11 victims have tried to get these pages declassified. In March 2014, North Carolina Rep. Walter Jones told MintPress News that the pages remain concealed not because of their strategic importance but because of potential embarrassment they could cause to both governments.
“I would not even be helping the 9/11 families if there was anything that would threaten the national security of this country,” Jones said. “Nothing in this report would do that.”
After 9/11, the U.S. government quickly blamed al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden for the attack, with the Bush administration using this as a pretext to attack Afghanistan and begin a war that would last over a decade. However, 15 of the hijackers were Saudi nationals, and members of Congress who have read the classified pages say they suggest funding for the attacks came from members of the ruling House of Saud.
President George W. Bush claimed the pages were redacted to protect national security interests, but others suspect it has more to do with the United States’ continued alliance with Saudi Arabia, along with the American dependence on Saudi Arabia’s massive oil reserves.
Last year, Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie described the pages as “shocking” at a press conference, continuing: “I had to stop every couple pages and … try to rearrange my understanding of history. It challenges you to rethink everything.”
Jon Gold, an advocate for 9/11 justice, who supports the 28 Pages movement, told MintPress, “The families need these pages as evidence for their lawsuit.”
”We should always support the 9/11 family members seeking truth, accountability and justice for what happened,” Gold added.
McGlinchey echoed those sentiments, emphasizing the pages’ importance:
“The 28 pages aren’t just a historical footnote. They’re evidence in a crime investigation, and could shed some very interesting light on U.S. foreign and counter-terror policy.”
Members of Congress like Massie and Jones urged the government to declassify the 28 pages with letters of concern and an attempt to pass a bill last year, to no avail.
Although the government responds to most petitions that reach 100,000 signatures, the time frame for responses is flexible and the response is unlikely to be favorable to the petitioners’ demands. The White House took two years to respond to a petition demanding a pardon of Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower, before accusing him of causing serious negative consequences for national security.
Watch Rep. Thomas Massie describe the experience of reading the 28 pages at a 2014 press conference: