And that’s why we’ve launched 28Pages.org. More than a website, it will serve as an information and activism hub for citizens, elected officials and journalists who want to follow or join the growing, bipartisan movement to declassify a 28-page finding about foreign support for the 9/11 terrorists.
The 28-page redaction at issue is found in the report of the Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001. Not to be confused with the 9/11 Commission, this inquiry was a separate undertaking of the House and Senate intelligence committees.
While the resulting 838-page volume features many redacted words, sentences and paragraphs, President George W. Bush’s censorship of this particular section was comprehensive: 28 consecutive pages fully masked from public view, with only a few introductory paragraphs left intact. Within what little that is visible, we find the inquiry reviewed “FBI and CIA documents suggesting specific potential sources of foreign support for the September 11 hijackers.”
Though some argue for continued deference to President Bush’s decision and President Obama’s inaction in reversing it, a growing number from both sides of the aisle are calling for declassification, united by two shared conclusions:
- There’s no national security justification for the comprehensive redaction of this section.
- Citizens deserve to know about foreign support for the 9/11 attacks.
The growing drive to declassify this section doesn’t spring from passive curiosity. Rather, it is compelled by a near-universal interest in:
- Securing justice for 9/11 victims. Such justice is often pursued via military and diplomatic action, but it can also come in a courtroom: Victims and families are pursuing civil action against countries they believe to be complicit in the 9/11 attacks.
- Preventing future attacks. Warding off future terrorist attacks necessitates an accurate and shared understanding of the most devastating attack to date.
- Pursuing a rational foreign policy. For both policymakers and the citizens from whom their power flows, it’s essential to fully understand the misdeeds and motives of foreign governments that aided Al Qaeda in its preparation for September 11…lest we continue policies that actually reinforce the maintenance of power by guilty parties.
With a firm commitment to well-sourced facts and sound reasoning, 28Pages.org explores the many facets of this issue and shines a spotlight on the stances taken by elected officials, as we strive to facilitate the long-overdue disclosure of what lies in those 28 pages.