Bill demands Obama release classified 9/11 report

Reps. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) and Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) have introduced a resolution that calls on President Obama to fulfill his promise to release 28 classified pages of a 2002 report on the 9/11 attacks against the United States.

The non-binding resolution, H.Res. 428, is the latest in a long line of attempts to declassify those pages, which deal with foreign entities that helped al Qaeda pull off an attack that shocked the world and led the U.S. into wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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Fifteen months after the attack, the House and Senate Intelligence Committees released a report called the Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 2001. At the time, committee members explained that the report was aimed at finding ways to improve U.S. intelligence operations, and not to point fingers or cast blame for the failure to stop the attack.

President George W. Bush ended up classifying 28 pages of the fourth part of the Joint Inquiry. But in 2003, dozens of senators called on Bush to declassify those pages.

Various press reports have said the pages include information indicating that entities in Saudi Arabia helped fund al Qaeda's attack. The senators argued in 2003 that keeping these pages classified sends the signal that foreign entities who supported al Qaeda will go unpunished.

Last June, the families of 9/11 victims asked President Obama to reclassify the 28 pages. Obama said in 2009 that he would release the pages, but he has not.

"The crux of the problem is a persistent pattern of obfuscation and deflection into the parts of the investigation that shed light on who provided the financial and material assistance that made the attacks possible," the 9/11 families wrote to Obama. "Our plea is for you to bring your laudable pledge of transparency to the 9/11 investigation."

The resolution from Jones and Lynch says keeping the pages classified "prevents the people of the United States from having access to information about the involvement of certain foreign governments in the terrorist attacks."

"[T]he contents of the redacted pages are necessary for a full public understanding of the events and circumstances surrounding the September 11, 2001, attacks upon the United States," it says.

It concludes by saying the House believes the president should declassify those pages, because "the families of the victims and the people of the United States deserve answers about the events and circumstances surrounding the September 11, 2001, attacks."

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