The families of 9/11 victims urge the Obama administration to declassify redacted pages of the report that holds 9/11 secrets.
By Rakesh Raman
The 60 Minutes TV newsmagazine, in which CBS News correspondents contribute their stories, has raised the issue of secret documents pertaining to 9/11 attacks.
In a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks – which according to the U.S. administration were carried out by the Islamic terrorist group Al-Qaeda on the U.S. on September 11, 2001 – nearly 3,000 people were killed.
In its latest report titled “28 Pages” aired Sunday, 60 Minutes has hinted that Saudi Arabia, which is a strong U.S. ally, would have supported the terrorists that attacked the U.S. locations in 2001.
For 13 years, according to the “28 Pages” program, the 28 pages – that might provide a clue to the people behind 9/11 attacks – have been locked away in a secret vault and only a small group of people have seen them.
Through the 60 Minutes report, former Sen. Bob Graham and the families of 9/11 victims urged the Obama administration to declassify redacted pages of the report that holds 9/11 secrets.
The program, anchored by CBS correspondent Steve Kroft, suggests that there are “lingering doubts about the Saudi commitment to fighting violent Islamic extremism” while President Obama will visit Saudi Arabia at a time of deep mistrust between the two allies.
According to 60 Minutes, the “28 pages” have to do with 9/11 and the possible existence of a Saudi support network for the hijackers while they were in the U.S.
Meanwhile, the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia has reacted sharply to the 60 Minutes report aired on April 10.
“The CBS 60 Minutes program was a compilation of myths and erroneous charges that have been thoroughly addressed not just by the Saudi government but also by the 9-11 Commission and the U.S. courts,” Saudi Arabia said in its statement released Sunday.
The 9-11 Commission long ago put to rest these false accusations, which have caused fear of and cast doubt over Saudi Arabia. The 9-11 Commission confirmed that there is no evidence that the government of Saudi Arabia supported or funded Al-Qaeda, the statement said.
It further said that the report stands in contrast to the insinuations of the infamous report of the Joint Congressional Inquiry into 9/11, with its 28 redacted pages, which aimed at perpetuating these myths instead of investigating them seriously.
Saudi Arabia also mentioned in its statement that the 9-11 Commission stated in its report “…we have found no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded the organization.”
Further, according to the statement, on three occasions—2015, 2008 and 2006—lawsuits against the Kingdom were dismissed by two separate judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals.
“The court findings were based on the sheer absence of any substantive claims against Saudi Arabia, plain and simple,” said Saudi Arabia in its statement.
Bob Graham, who played a major role in the first government investigation into 9/11 attacks, said he is deeply disturbed by the amount of material that has been censored from the report.
Photo courtesy: CBS News, Wikipedia