At NED, Leading U.S. Experts on Saudi Arabia Say '28 Pages' Should Be Declassified
September 22, 2014 • 6:53PM

Two experts, including one of the pre-eminent American scholarly authorities on Saudi Arabia, called today for the declassification of the long-hidden '28 pages' of the Congressional Report on the 9/11 attacks, whose release is demanded by the growing number of Congressional sponsors of House Resolution H.Res. 428.

At a panel discussion on "Saudi Arabia and Democracy" at the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in Washington, D.C., the issue of the never-revealed section of the Congressional report dealing with potential roles of U.S. "foreign allies" in 9/11, was forcefully raised by an EIR representative from the floor. Both Karen Elliott-House, former managing editor of the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones, and Prof. Bernard Haykel, director of the Institute for the Study of the Middle East and North Africa at Princeton University, said the section should be revealed to the American people.

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The legislation to compel this, against 13 years' classification by Presidents Bush and Obama, is sponsored by Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) and Rep. Steven Lynch (D-MA) and has 18 bipartisan sponsors. The Congressional investigation's co-chairman, Sen. Bob Graham of Florida, has repeatedly implied that this would directly impact U.S. "counterterrorism" policy because of the issue of Saudi Arabia; Obama is currently proposing to train "moderate Syrian rebels" to fight ISIS, supposedly not radical Islamists, in Saudi Arabia which has produced so many of the latter.

Ms. Elliott-House, aware of H.R. 428, strongly supported it in response to the questions raised by EIR, and said she was "shocked that this should still be classified."

Prof. Haykel's public backing for releasing the secret section was the more remarkable because he called the EIR representative's specific statements and charges "absurd.... What you're suggesting is that Saudi Arabia was behind the attacks of 9/11! Al-Qaeda is Saudi Arabia's sworn enemy." He acknowledged, however, that 16 of the 19 9/11 hijackers were Saudis and that they "received support" from the Saudi government through its embassy while they were here.

After Ms. Elliott-House's strong support for declassification and her forceful intervention regarding his remarks, Professor Haykel stated about the 28 pages, "Then let them be put out."

The NED panel was moderated by another expert on Saudi and Mideast matters, Christopher Walker, executive director of NED's International Forum for Democratic Studies, who did not publicly take a position during this debate on release of the 28 pages.

9/11 Commission co-chairmen Thomas Keane and Lee Hamilton have recently publicly called for the secret section of the Congressional inquiry to be released, as the support for HR 428 has grown. Obama once promised the families of 9/11 victims he would declassify the section, and cannot keep it hidden now.