Amid a media firestorm surrounding potential Saudi involvement in the planning of the September 11 attacks, President Barack Obama has indicated he will make a decision whether or not to declassify relevant 9/11 documents within 60 days – a move that has observers asking, “Why now?”
Speaking to Breitbart News, Eli Gold, a national security expert at the London Center for Policy Research, had this very question. “I find this situation with Saudi Arabia and our 9/11 report to be an interesting one,” he notes. “Most people right now are focused on the notion that the Saudis have been involved in the 9/11 attacks, yet we have all but ‘known’ all along that they have had some involvement. The story here is not about the Saudis, but rather President Obama’s decision to now release the full report.”
“Why now? What is he attempting to accomplish? How will this benefit U.S. interests? The notion that The truth will set you free is not always applicable,” he added.
The quick answer is mounting bipartisan pressure from both political figures and 9/11 victims’ families to allow those affected to sue the government of Saudi Arabia for its involvement in the attacks. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders both have come out this week in support of 9/11 families’s ability to sue the Saudis if the pages show a link. Many news outlets, including most recently 60 Minutes, have done investigations highlighting the Saudis’ role in the attacks. However, the classification of the 9/11 document is standing in the way of untimely proving the role of the Saudi government in relation to the hijackers.
Most recently, Senators Chuck Schumer of New York and John Cornyn of Texas co-sponsored a bill in early September of 2015 called the “Justice Against
Last year, bills in the House and the Senate were also introduced in effort to get the 28 pages released. These bills urge the president to release the information regarding the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The bill in the Senate, the Transparency for the Families of 9/11 Victims and Survivors Act of 2015, was introduced by Senator Rand Paul on June 1st.
Sen. Paul has been especially vocal in pushing for the release of these documents. “I stand with my colleagues today to call for the release of the final 28 pages of the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry,” Senator Paul said in 2015 “I firmly believe the family members of the victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks have the right to know the details surrounding the tragedies that occurred on that sad day.”
The White House has indicated President Obama would veto such a bill if it come to his desk. “This is a matter of how generally the United States approaches our interactions with other countries,” President Obama has said on the matter. “If we open up the possibility that individuals and the United States can routinely start suing other governments, then we are also opening up the United States to being continually sued by individuals in other countries.”
The classified document in question is a 28 page section of an 585-page congressional report. These 28 pages are speculated to show the money trail extending from Saudi Arabia to the United States where the hijackers were living before the attack on 9/11/2001.
This week, when news broke that President Obama was considering releasing the classified 28 pages, the Saudi Kingdom threatened the US with fiscal retaliation if they were cited as conspirators in the report. According to Breitbart News, “Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir has expressed to President Barack Obama personally when he traveled to Washington, D.C., last month that the kingdom will “sell up to $750 billion in treasury securities and other assets in the United States before they could be in danger of being frozen by American courts.”
Gold tells Breitbart News he is unsure the Saudis would execute that threat should the bill pass. “Is the Saudi threat realistic?” he asks.”With Saudi Arabia hurting financially, can they realistically sell off $750B without taking a heavy loss? Is that something that they would be in their best interest?”
President Obama is currently on a diplomatic trip to Saudi Arabia.