With the Obama presidency drawing to a close and the 15-year anniversary of 9/11 approaching, the administration still hasn’t released the infamous “28 pages,” a much-clamored-for, redacted section of a preliminary congressional inquiry that reportedly names Saudi nationals suspected of helping the hijackers.
The White House’s own estimate of when intelligence officials will have concluded their review of the declassification process, by the end of June, has passed without an update.
Meanwhile, though, much of what’s in the 28 pages is already out there, quietly released by the government last summer as the 17th file in a cache of FBI documents related to 9/11.
First reported by 28pages.org, the file lists some three dozen people who had contact with the hijackers in a section headed “A Brief Overview of Possible Saudi Government Connections to the September 11th Attacks.”
“Much of the information upon which File 17 was written was based on what’s in the 28 pages,” former Democratic Sen. Bob Graham of Florida, who co-chaired of the congressional inquiry, told the AP.
Graham believes the 19 hijackers — 15 of whom were Saudi nationals — had an extensive Saudi support system providing financial and logistical aid while they were in the United States.
After all, Graham has reasoned, many couldn’t even speak English and had never been in the US before.
“File 17 said, ‘Here are some additional unanswered questions and here is how we think the 9/11 Commission, the FBI and the CIA should go about finding the answers,’ ” Graham said.
Graham also believes the 28 pages have been kept under wraps for fear of straining ties with Saudi Arabia.