Patrick Cockburn, regarded by many as the preeminent journalist covering the Middle East, offers a substantial contribution to the recent flurry of 28-pages news and analysis with a piece published in Sunday’s edition of The Independent, a British national newspaper.
Centered on an interview with former Senator Bob Graham, Cockburn’s story makes a compelling case that the U.S. government’s ongoing practice of turning a blind eye to Saudi support for Sunni extremists has helped ISIS rise to its current menacing position.
Graham, who co-chaired the joint House/Senate intelligence inquiry that wrote the 28 pages on foreign government involvement in 9/11, told Cockburn, “I believe that the failure to shine a full light on Saudi actions and particularly its involvement in 9/11 has contributed to the Saudi ability to continue to engage in actions that are damaging to the US – and in particular their support for Isis.”
Cockburn points to the 28 pages as the prime indicator of the U.S. government’s continued effort to shield Saudi Arabia from scrutiny:
The most striking example of Washington’s willingness to protect the Kingdom over complicity in 9/11 is the 28 pages of the official inquiry that were censored and have yet to be published. Senator Graham is not allowed to reveal what is in the chapter that was redacted, but other sources say that they are about connections between Saudi government officials and the 9/11 attacks.
Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan, in their book The Eleventh Day: The Full Story of 9/11, quote a senior American official, who saw the 28 pages before they were excised, apparently on the initiative of President Bush, as saying: “If the 28 pages were to be made public, I have no question that the entire relationship with Saudi Arabia would change overnight.”
Graham also explained why the FBI and other government agencies may be among the hidden forces opposing the declassification of the 28 pages:
(Graham) says that some government agencies, notably the FBI, have a motive in keeping information from the public about “their actions and their competence at the time of 9/11”. In Sarasota, Florida, the FBI initially denied having any documents relating to hijackers who were based there but has now handed over 80,000 pages that might be relevant under the Freedom of Information Act…