Bob Graham gets call from White House and word that review of secret 9/11 documents is underway
After years of pushing to gain public release of 28 secret pages of a report on the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, former U.S. Sen. Bob Graham said he got a call from the White House on Tuesday.
Graham told the Tampa Bay Times that Brett Holmgren, a senior policy adviser to the assistant to the president for Homeland Security, told him the review of the documents withheld from a report issued by a Joint Congressional Commission in 2003 will soon be completed.
Graham, who asked the president to declassify the records more than two years ago, said he asked how soon he could expect a decision and was told “one or two months.” Graham was co-chairman of a joint congressional committee that investigated the attacks.
The 28 pages were classified at the request of the FBI. Graham has been pushing for release of the documents since 2011 when he learned that the FBI had failed to disclose part of its investigation that included reports that high-ranking Saudi Arabian officials provided financial aid and other help to the 19 hijackers who flew airplanes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. He says the FBI initially denied there were such reports but has since turned over 80,000 pages in a federal lawsuit seeking the release of all reports on the investigation.
Graham said he believes recent news reports on the secrecy surrounding the 28 pages, including a report Sunday on 60 Minutes, prompted the White House to react.
“The decisionmakers at the White House have realized the public cares about it and there is an urgency to come to a decision,’’ Graham said.