Sen. Lindsey Graham
Former 9/11 commission member calls for release of 28 pages in report
CNN - Nicole Gaouette Tue May 24, 2016
Washington (CNN) — A former member of the 9/11 Commission called Tuesday for the public release of 28 classified pages pertaining to the attacks.
"I am strongly in favor of declassifying this information as quickly as possible," Tim Roemer told a House committee. "The 9/11 families deserve it, the American people deserve it, and justice deserves it. We have the right to transparency and sunlight -- not the darkness."
The hearing, titled "The U.S.-Saudi Arabia Counterterrorism Relationship," comes amid increasing scrutiny in Washington about Saudi Arabia's possible role in the terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, and a push in Congress to allow victims of terrorism to sue foreign governments linked to terror attacks on U.S. soil.
That has fueled calls for the release of 28 classified pages on the report into the attacks. The pages indicate that a network of Saudis, some in official positions, supported al Qaeda operatives in the run up to the attacks, according to some of those who have seen the documents and are pushing for their release, including former Navy Secretary John Lehman and former Senator Bob Graham.
At Tuesday's hearing, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle criticized the Saudi Arabian government for funding the spread of Wahabi Islam, a fundamentalist interpretation of the ancient religion that "teaches that apostates should be persecuted and in some cases killed," said Texas Rep. Ted Poe, the Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on terrorism.
Poe noted that some analysts say that followers of Wahabi Islam might be more disposed to feel sympathetic to terrorist groups. And he echoed Roemer's call.
Is Senate bill allowing 9/11 families to sue Saudi Arabia all it seems? Lawmaker ‘added loophole that allows State department to
Is Senate bill allowing 9/11 families to sue Saudi Arabia all it seems? Lawmaker ‘added loophole that allows State department to stall action’
May 25, 2016 By Tom Wyke for MailOnline and Associated Press
~The Senate passed legislation Tuesday that would allow families of September 11 victims to sue the government of Saudi Arabia
~The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act had triggered a threat from Riyadh to pull billions of dollars from the U.S. economy
~Now it has been revealed loophole was inserted to reduce bill's power
~Senate Democrats had firmly supported the legislation, putting them at odds with the Obama administration
The Senate's unanimous passing of legislation that allows families of September 11 victims to sue the government of Saudi Arabia may not be as groundbreaking as it was first believed.
The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) was initially reported as being a chance for the families to pursue damages from the Saudi government but now it has emerged a clause was inserted to water down the bill's power.
The wording of the loophole states the Secretary of State just has to engage 'in good-faith discussions with the foreign-state defendant concerning the resolution of claims against the foreign state,' according to the NY Post.
It had been feared the legislation would trigger potential diplomatic issues with Riyadh, which was threatening to pull billions of dollars from the U.S. economy, if the bill is enacted.