CIA Director John Brennan said Sunday that releasing the 28 classified pages from the 9/11 Commission report would be a mistake because they contain inaccurate, un-vetted information that could be used to tie Saudi Arabia to the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
“This chapter was kept out because of concerns about sensitive methods, investigative actions, and the investigation of 9/11 was still underway in 2002,” Brennan said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
He said information in the 28 pages hasn’t been vetted or corroborated, adding that releasing the information would give ammunition to those who want to tie the terror attacks to Saudi Arabia.
“I think there’s a combination of things that are accurate and inaccurate [in the report],” Brennan said. “I think the 9/11 Commission took that joint inquiry and those 28 pages or so and followed through on the investigation and then came out with a very clear judgment that there was no evidence that … Saudi government as an institution or Saudi officials or individuals had provided financial support to al Qaeda.”
Former and current congressmen argue the pages show the existence of a Saudi support network for the hijackers involved in the terror attacks. The 28 pages were cut from a report on the 9/11 terror attacks in 2003 by the George W. Bush administration in the interest of national security.
Those critics say the vague wording in the report left open the possibility that less senior officials or other parts of the Saudi government could have played a role.
Former Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla.), who helped author the report, says he believes it shows the 9/11 hijackers were “substantially” supported by the Saudi government, as well as charities and wealthy people in that country.
“I think it is implausible to believe that 19 people, most of whom didn’t speak English, most of whom had never been in the United States before, many of whom didn’t have a high school education – could’ve carried out such a complicated task without some support from within the United States,” Graham said in an interview with “60 Minutes” in April.
Meanwhile, House and Senate lawmakers are backing a bill that would let families of terror victims sue foreign states that helped fund or support terrorist attacks in the U.S.
In response to that legislation, which President Obama has lobbied against, the Saudi government threatened to sell off hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of American assets.
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