9/11 Families United Statement On Limited White House Response to 9/11 Documents
The DOJ’s review of previously-identified documents is a necessary but insufficient commitment to full transparency
Washington, D.C. – Today, 9/11 Families United released the following statement in response to the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) commitment to reviewing a small selection of the federal documents that have been blocked from public release due to the invocation of the “state secrets” privilege, a review the White House now supports:
“We appreciate that President Biden recognizes that long-standing questions about the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the worst-ever terrorist attack on American soil remain unanswered, but nobody should be fooled by this half-hearted, insufficient commitment to transparency,” said Terry Strada, member of 9/11 Families United.
“Today’s announcement only applies to limited to a subset of cherry-picked documents that the FBI has already identified for review. It does not address the FBI’s refusal to look for some of the most critical documents needed for true accountability and transparency. This announcement is a necessary but insufficient step towards transparency, accountability and above all, justice. Only quick passage of the 9/11 Transparency Act will ensure that the government carries out the full declassification review that is needed for the 9/11 community and the American people,” said Strada.
MOUNTING PRESSURE ON THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION
Today’s announcement from the White House is the result of mounting pressure on the Biden Administration to publicly release all documents detailing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the 9/11 attacks. Just last month, 9/11 Families United leaders sent a letter to President Biden requesting a meeting at the White House. Past presidents have honored the request. So far, however, the request has gone unanswered and unacknowledged. The Biden Administration has still not committed to meeting with the largest organization of families impacted by the 9/11 attacks as we approach the 20th anniversary of the attacks.
Members of Congress on a bipartisan basis have also demanded that the Biden Administration publicly release all documents related to Saudi involvement in 9/11.
9/11 TRANSPARENCY ACT
Last week, Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ), John Cornyn (R-TX), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and others introduced 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
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.
About 9/11 Families United:
9/11 Families United is an organization consisting of family members of those murdered in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, as well as many of those who survived, were injured in or sickened from the attacks, a community that numbers well over 10,000.