The 28 Pages: What’s Taking So Long?

NATIONAL INTEREST — In late April, former Sen. Bob Graham made news by revealing his discovery that Obama administration officials were preparing to release the only 28 pages of the Joint Congressional report on the 9/11 terrorist attacks that were kept from the public. The 28 pages, of course, refer to a small section at the end of the 422-page congressional investigative report detailing the extent of foreign state sponsor support for Al-Qaeda prior to the September 11 attacks. And when we speak of possible state support, what we are really talking about is possible financial or logistical connections between several of the 9/11 hijackers who resided in the United States before the attacks and individuals in the Saudi royal family or Saudi government.

If there is anyone in the world who would like to see the 28 redacted pages declassified by the U.S. intelligence community, it is Bob Graham. As a former chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and the co-chairman of the joint congressional panel that looked into the planning and execution of the 9/11 attacks, Graham has spent much of his life after politics pushing the White House and the intelligence community to level with the American people and provide them with the final report that he helped write. Graham has always suspected that there were some elements within the Saudi government and inside the Royal Family who were at best lavishing Al-Qaeda with financial donations or at worst assisting the 9/11 hijackers in carrying out the deadliest act of terrorism on U.S. soil.

On the topic of the 28 pages, Graham doesn’t mince words. During his April 24 appearance on Meet the Press, the former senator from Florida all but implicated Riyadh in the plot. “I think it’s implausible to think that people who couldn’t speak English, had never been in the United States before, as a group were not well-educated could have done that [the attack],” Graham told Chuck Todd. “So who was the most likely entity to have provided them that support? And I think all the evidence points to Saudi Arabia. We know that Saudi Arabia started Al Qaeda. It was a creation of…Saudi Arabia.”

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