Paul brings 9/11 docs fight to defense bill

Paul brings 9/11 docs fight to defense bill
© Getty

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulMedia fails spectacularly at smearing Rand Paul for surgery in Canada Rand Paul to have hernia surgery in Canada Ron Paul: Remove incentives for illegal immigrants instead of building border wall MORE (R-Ky.) is trying to force a fight over secret pages in a 13-year-old review of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks that could point to Saudi Arabia’s support for the attack.

Paul, a 2016 GOP presidential contender, is offering up an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to force the 28 secret pages from a 2002 congressional inquiry out into the open.

ADVERTISEMENT

“For over 13 years, the family members of the victims of September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks have been deprived of the details surrounding the redacted 28 pages of the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry,” Paul said in a statement Friday. ”I firmly believe the American people deserve a government that instills trust and a restoration of their sense of security, and think my amendment is a step in the right direction.”

Lawmakers have been pushing for the release of the secret pages for years. 

But the proposed amendment from Paul — fresh off a high-profile battle to temporarily terminate parts of the Patriot Act this week — heightens the profile of the fight and may increase the stakes for opponents.

The 28 pages were taken out of the 2002 analysis by the Bush administration, allegedly because they contained details showing that senior officials within Saudi Arabia — al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden’s home country — were complicit in the attacks.

Former Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla.) has been one of the most vocal proponents of exposing the pages, which he has said will force a reckoning of the U.S.’s relationship with Saudi Arabia. Graham is a former chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Not everyone has drawn the same conclusions. Saudi Arabia has supported the effort to declassify the pages, arguing the continued secrecy makes the revelations appear more serious than they actually are.

Earlier this week, Paul introduced legislation, along with Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), to force the declassification of the 28 pages.