Five activist 9/11 widows have called new attention to the classification of 28 pages from a congressional intelligence inquiry that are said to implicate Saudi Arabia in financing the attacks that killed their husbands.
In a pointed piece for Huffington Post that was written by Kristen Breitweiser and co-signed by Patty Casazza, Monica Gabrielle, Mindy Kleinberg and Lorie Van Auken, the widows accuse the Obama administration of subordinating 9/11 justice to the U.S. government’s maintenance of its cozy relationship with the Saudi royals. The five women all served on the Family Steering Committee for the 9/11 Commission.
Throughout a more than 14-year quest for 9/11 transparency, Breitweiser says, “my government has fought me tooth and nail.” She points to the 28 pages as a prime example of that obstructionism:
“There are 28 pages of the Joint Inquiry of Congress (an investigation into the U.S. government intelligence failures prior to 9/11) that have remained classified and hidden away from the American public by both the Bush and Obama Administrations. These 28 pages allegedly prove that the Saudis had a controlling hand in funding the 9/11 attacks that killed 3,000 innocent people.
Now, it’s more than fair to say that if these 28 pages blamed the Iraqis or the Iranians for financing the 9/11 attacks, they would have been released years ago. Unfortunately, since the 28 pages allegedly implicate the Saudis, they’re likely to remain secret and kept away from the American public forever.
Knowing that evidence of your husband’s murder is being specifically withheld from you by the president — with the sole intent to protect the terrorists and their financial backers — is not something any American should ever have to tolerate.”
Breitweiser, whose husband, Ron, worked on the 94th floor of the World Trade Center’s Tower 2, describes other examples of the U.S. government’s efforts to shield Saudi Arabia from scrutiny of its alleged hand in the 9/11 attacks.
The Department of Justice, for example, counseled the Supreme Court to deny taking a case presented by 9/11 family members arguing that the kingdom shouldn’t enjoy immunity under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. The pattern extends into the legislative branch: the proposed Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), which would smooth the path for claims against state sponsors of terror, was stymied by “a whisper campaign with no fingerprints.”
“And, those whispers sounded something like this: if JASTA passes, the Saudis will bankrupt our economy by withdrawing $800 billion worth of T-bonds, and even worse, if JASTA passes, the Saudis will stop protecting and sharing intelligence information with the U.S. and leave us vulnerable to an ISIS attack.
It would seem that the same group of people who fought against the release of the 28 pages, and our case being heard by the Supreme Court, are at it once again, this time opposing JASTA and labeling it a diplomatic disaster.”
Breitweiser catalogs many reasons for the government’s protection of Saudi Arabia, including weapons deals, reliance on Saudi funding of Syrian insurgents, the kingdom’s provision of drone bases and aggressive Saudi payments to lobbying firms with ties to the current and previous White House administrations.
Obama will visit Saudi Arabia on April 21. Writes Breitweiser: “I only wish I could adequately relay the disgust I have in my heart when I anticipate having to see my president smiling, laughing, and joking with his ‘special Saudi friends’ — the very same people who I believe underwrote the murder of my husband and nearly 3,000 others.”