I want to talk about something that is very personal to me and my family.
On September 11, I was working inside the Pentagon and I will never forget the pain and devastation I saw firsthand that day. I saw colleagues and innocents perish. I saw hundreds of people severely injured. I watched the pain in the eyes of my American brothers and sisters who like me, could not believe what they were witnessing.
But I also remember seeing the remarkable spirit of everyone who immediately jumped into action to save as many lives as possible that day. When I think about the spirit of the American people, that is what I think of.
I bring this all up because recently there has been much discussion regarding whether or not President Obama should release the redacted 28 pages of the 9/11 Commission Report to the American people. Republican and Democrat leadership on Capitol Hill have both gone on record opposing releasing those pages for “national security” reasons. They say that releasing those 28 pages to the American people could damage our relationship with one of our supposed “allies.”
Well I’m here to say that as someone who was in the Pentagon on 9/11, helped author the plan for the War on Terror following the attacks and then commanded a bomber squadron into the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, that I not only believe we should release those 28 pages to the American people, I believe we MUST release them.
September 11 forever changed our nation and we owe it to each and every American to give them the full, unbridled truth about that terrible day. While this may cause some discomfort in Washington, D.C., we owe the American people the truth.
Most importantly, we owe the full truth to the families of those who died on 9/11, who after 15 years, still have not received the answers to all of their questions. We owe it to each and every survivor. We owe it to the families of each and every survivor. These men and women deserve to know who they and their loved ones were attacked by, regardless of the “political consequences” for doing so.
If one of our “allies” in the Middle East were found to be partially responsible for the attacks as some have speculated, we all deserve to know that. By not releasing the 28 pages, the politicians in Washington are dishonoring all of those who suffered and lost loved one’s on that fateful day.
That is why I’m demanding President Obama to do the right thing and release the entire, un-redacted 9/11 Commission Report to the American people.
Col. Rob Maness is a Republican running for U.S. Senate in Louisiana