Congressman Alan Grayson, one of three representatives who last week joined the growing movement to declassify a 28-page finding on foreign government support of the September 11th hijackers, told 28Pages.org he did so because “the American people have the right to know what happened on 9/11 in every regard.”
As he takes a stand for releasing the 28 pages to the public, he remains determined to read the 28 pages himself. Denied permission by the House intelligence committee in the waning weeks of the last Congress, Grayson will try again in the new one.
The Florida congressman said the December 1 refusal of his first request was “politics, pure and simple.”
“There are people on the intelligence committee who are unhappy with the fact that I have been a staunch opponent of pervasive domestic spying here in the United States,” said Grayson. “The vote was almost entirely on party lines because the Republican chairman (Mike Rogers) misrepresented information to the committee about my actions.”
In June 2013, amid the first wave of Edward Snowden’s revelations of NSA mass domestic surveillance, Grayson delivered a speech on the House floor that was accompanied by a display of NSA briefing slides that had already been published in The Guardian and The Washington Post. Grayson said the information he shared in the speech relied “solely on information in The Guardian…and that was misrepresented to the (intelligence) committee members as my misusing classified information.”
“Frankly, if they’re going to be playing those kinds of games, it’s a wonder that good people ever get to find out anything about the octopus tentacles of the spying-industrial complex,” said Grayson.
Grayson is hoping for a different outcome when he submits a new request to read the 28 pages.
“Chairman Rogers is no longer chairman of the committee—in fact he’s no longer on the committee or even in Congress—and I hope the current chair will not try to twist the facts the way that Rogers did and I’ll be able to see the information that not only I should be able to see but also every member of the public,” said Grayson.
Grayson cast doubt on the notion that releasing the redacted information could pose a risk to national security or intelligence operations.
“It’s inconceivable to me at this point, more than 13 years later, that there’s any actionable information the administration needs to keep secret in order to be able to do anything with it,” said Grayson, who represents Florida’s 9th congressional district. “No one has ever claimed there’s anything in those 28 pages that needs to remain classified in order to protect current U.S. interests,” he added.
Grayson’s criticism of the continued secrecy of the 28 pages is echoed by many who have read them, including former Senator Bob Graham—who co-chaired the joint congressional inquiry that produced the 28-page chapter in an 838-page report—and Congressmen Walter Jones, Stephen Lynch and Thomas Massie.
While Grayson is well-known as an outspoken Democrat, support for the declassification of the 28 pages on Capitol Hill comprises a near-perfect 50/50 mix of Republicans and Democrats united by a common belief that foreign government links to the 9/11 terrorists shouldn’t stay secret.