9/11 Community United Applauds Introduction Of The September 11 Transparency Act
Families and survivors of the 9/11 attacks back new bipartisan legislation requiring ODNI to oversee a full declassification review of 9/11 investigation documents
Washington, D.C. – Today, 9/11 Community United thanked U.S. Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ), John Cornyn (R-TX), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and others for introducing the September 11 Transparency Act, which requires the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) to oversee a full declassification review of the government’s investigation of the 9/11 attacks.
As America approaches the 20th anniversary of the worst-ever terrorist attacks on American soil, long-standing questions about the attacks—including about the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s role in supporting the terrorist hijackers—remain unanswered. To date, the U.S. government has refused to conduct a full review of its own files to determine what can be declassified, and has even invoked a “state secrets” privilege to prevent potentially explosive parts of its investigation from being publicly disclosed.
“We applaud Senators Menendez, Cornyn, Schumer, Blumenthal and Grassley for introducing the September 11 Transparency Act, which will help provide the 9/11 community, and our entire country, with some of the answers needed for transparency, justice and accountability,” said Terry Strada, member of 9/11 Community United.
“The declassification of our own government’s investigation into the murderous 9/11 attacks is long overdue. For 20 years, the 9/11 community has demanded answers from the federal government, but our demands have largely fallen on deaf ears,” said Strada.
Brett Eagleson, member of 9/11 Community United, added, “It is encouraging that Senate leaders in both parties are standing side by side with us in our demand for transparency from our government.”
“But frankly, this legislation never should have been necessary. Four administrations have failed to provide the 9/11 community with the answers we and the American public deserve, but this bill is a solid step toward giving us the truth about the murder of our loved ones,” said Eagleson.
9/11 families, survivors and lawmakers in both parties have pressed President Biden to keep his past promise of transparency in government, but letters to his Administration have thus far gone unaddressed. Most recently, 9/11 Community leaders sent a letter last week to President Biden requesting a meeting at the White House, as past presidents have done, but that letter has similarly gone unanswered.
A full declassification review is already overdue. In 2004, 9/11 Commission Chairman Tom Kean and Vice Chair Lee Hamilton made clear in a letter to the White House that they fully expected this kind of review of key investigative files by January 2, 2009.
The September 11 Transparency Act is modeled on similar Congressional mandates for declassification reviews that passed with wide bipartisan support. Congress mandated this kind of review of the bin Laden documents collected during the Abbottabad raid in Pakistan in 2014.
Eagleson concluded, “We hope more Members of Congress will stand with the 9/11 community and our fight for transparency and accountability by co-sponsoring the September 11 Transparency Act.”
About 9/11 Community United:
9/11 Community United is an organization consisting of family members of those murdered in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, as well as those who survived, were injured in or sickened from the attacks, a community that numbers well over 10,000. National co-chairs Terry Strada’s husband, Tom, and Brett Eagleson’s father, Bruce, each died in the World Trade Center on that day.