Survivors and widows of 9/11 victims are outraged over news President Obama hasn’t bothered to read the secret 28 pages of a report believed to finger Saudi government officials in the attacks, after assuring them he’s actively reviewing the chapter for declassification.
Beginning as a candidate in 2008, Obama has repeatedly promised 9/11 families he would release the censored section. In exclusive interviews with WND, they say it’s now clear he has been stringing them along.
Earlier this week, the White House revealed the president hasn’t reviewed arguably the most critical and sensitive part of the 2002 congressional joint inquiry report on 9/11 dealing with foreign sponsorship of the hijackers.
“I’m not sure that he felt that it was necessary for him to read those 28 pages,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said in response to a reporter’s question.
Sharon Premoli, a 9/11 survivor who was on the North Tower’s 80th floor when the hijacked plane hit, says she’s both “angry and shocked” at the president’s indifference.
“An average reader could get through those 28 pages in half an hour, but in seven years, he hasn’t even looked at them?” she said, incredulously.
Added Premoli: “I cannot believe that the president of the United States has been making foreign-policy decisions with Saudi Arabia and about the Middle East having never read the 28 pages.”
Kristen Breitweiser, whose husband was killed in the attack, called Obama’s negligence disrespectful to the memory of the nearly 3,000 terrorist victims and suggested he was derelict in his duty as commander in chief.
“I question whether it is a stunning lack of curiosity, blatant dereliction of duty, or for reasons of plausible deniability that Obama hasn’t bothered to read the 28 pages,” she said. “How has the president made any foreign policy decisions surrounding the Middle East and Saudi Arabia when he has clearly chosen to remain ignorant on the issue of the Saudi role in the 9/11 attacks?”
The fact that the president hasn’t even read the Saudi dossier is “the clearest example” of why his successor must sign the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), 9/11 widow Monica Gabrielle asserted.
“It’s absurd that the president hasn’t read these pages,” Gabrielle said. “It shows why we cannot rely on the government to protect our rights as victims.”
Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers have thrown their support behind the so-called JASTA bill, which would let families of terror victims sue foreign states that helped fund or support terrorist attacks in the U.S. Hillary Clinton has pledged to sign the legislation, while Obama has threatened to veto it.
Breitweiser suggested Obama’s opposition to releasing CIA and FBI evidence that could implicate Saudi government officials in the 9/11 attacks amounted to treason.
“Without even bothering to see the evidence presented in the 28 pages, the president has chosen to oppose JASTA and actively block the 9/11 families from holding the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia accountable in a court of law,” she said. “It indicates his disturbing predilection for protecting the Saudis over U.S. victims of terror.”
Obama isn’t just at odds with 9/11 families. He’s also at variance with his own party.
Democrats are lining up to read the 28 pages, which are locked in a vault in a secure room in the U.S. Capitol basement. Those who have checked out the document have felt compelled to sign a Republican bill directing Obama to declassify it for public release.
Support for the legislation – known as H.Res.14 – has more than doubled since the last Congress, despite losing several co-sponsors to retirement. Interest spiked after December’s terrorism attack in San Bernardino, California. There are now 49 co-sponsors of the declassification bill, 31 of whom are Democrats. Eight of the lawmakers signed up in April alone.
A companion bill in the Senate, meanwhile, has garnered a handful of backers, including Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.