Former 9/11 commissioner brings shocking new details about redacted documents to light

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Declassified Documents: 9/11 Commission's Inquiry Into Saudi Arabia

What's behind the redacted 28 pages of the 9/11 report, stored in a vault deep beneath the Capitol building?

Most likely, they show evidence of complicity in the attacks by our great and glorious ally Saudi Arabia. Former Florida senator Bob Graham says declassifying the 28 pages will help make the case for Saudi involvement in 9/11. Congressman Thomas Massie warns, "It's sort of shocking when you read it." Former 9/11 commissioner Tim Roemer has advocated for removing most of the redactions.

Now, you can add John F. Lehman, former secretary of the Navy under Ronald Reagan and Republican commissioner behind the 9/11 report. In an interview with the Guardian published yesterday, Lehman unleashed the most shocking allegations we've heard yet:

"There was an awful lot of participation by Saudi individuals in supporting the hijackers, and some of those people worked in the Saudi government," Lehman said in an interview, suggesting that the commission may have made a mistake by not stating that explicitly in its final report. "Our report should never have been read as an exoneration of Saudi Arabia."

He was critical of a statement released late last month by the former chairman and vice-chairman of the commission, who urged the Obama administration to be cautious about releasing the full congressional report on the Saudis and 9/11 –"the 28 pages", as they are widely known in Washington – because they contained "raw, unvetted" material that might smear innocent people. ...

Lehman said Kean and Hamilton's statement that only one Saudi government employee was "implicated" in supporting the hijackers in California and elsewhere was "a game of semantics" and that the commission had been aware of at least five Saudi government officials who were strongly suspected of involvement in the terrorists' support network.

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Former 9/11 commissioner brings shocking new details about redacted documents to light
Aerial view of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center during its construction in lower Manhattan, New York City, 1971. (Photo by Carsten/Three Lions/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
The recently completed World Trade Center twin towers with Staten Island in the background, New York, New York, August 5, 1972. (Photo by Gene Kappock/Underwood Archives/Getty Images)
Lower Manhattan in New York City, USA, with the twin towers of the World Trade Center on the left, circa 1975. (Photo by Archive Photos/Getty Images)
A picture taken 20 May 1986 in New York shows the Statue of Liberty and the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in the background. The Twin Towers collapsed 11 September 2001 after being damaged by two hijacked planes. AFP PHOTO MARIO SURIANI (Photo credit should read MARIO SURIANI/AFP/Getty Images)
Margot Werner, Ehemann Jochen Litt, Stadtbummel, Manhatten, New York, Amerika/USA, Reise, Twin-Towers, World Trade Center, WTC, Schnee, Pelz-Mantel, Mütze, Schauspielerin, Sängerin, PBE/JB;01.03.1979 ; (Photo by Peter Bischoff/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 1: Francesco Scavullo, director for The Crystal Gayle Special, frames a shot in New York harbor. The World Trade Center towers (twin towers) are in the background. Image dated September 1, 1979. (Photo by CBS via Getty Images)
The Merit Cup representing Switzerland in the Maxi Yacht regatta tacks into the wind 02 July 1992 with the twin towers of the World Trade Center in the background. The Merit Cup beat out the Italian entry Safilo in the race at New York harbor. (Photo credit should read HAI DO/AFP/Getty Images)
From the cockpit of a 747 jumbo jet flying at 1500–ft, the twin World Trade Center towers loom distinctly on the Manhattan skyline. The Nov. 1994 view illustrates how clearly the landmark targets could have been to terrorist hijacker Mohamad Atta. (Photo by Don Bartletti/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 26: Aerial view of lower Manhattan with the World Trade Center twin towers. (Photo by Jon Naso/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 17: The twin towers of the World Trade Center and surrounding buildings are etched against the New York skyline at night. (Photo by Pat Carroll/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 30: Residents are out for a stroll on a warm spring day along the Esplanade in Brooklyn. That's the Brooklyn Bridge and the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in the background., (Photo by Evy Mages/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
The twin towers of the World Trade Center rise behind a flower bed in New York City's Battery Park August 12, 1999. (Photo by Brian Cleary)
UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 22: Airview of New York Harbor with the Statue of Liberty at left and the twin towers of the World Trade Center in the background at right. (Photo by Susan Watts/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 06: The twin towers of the World Trade Center loom over sculpture by Japanese artist Masayuki Nagare, at the Church St. entrance of the World Trade Center Plaza. (Photo by Misha Erwitt/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
372154 07: (FILE PHOTO) A ship passes in front of the World Trade Center during Operation Sail 2000 July 4, 2000 in New York City. The buildings where destroyed September 11, 2001 when two planes crashed into the Twin Towers. (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)
Seen from the New Jersey shore, fireworks at the Statue of Liberty light the sky as New York City celebrates the Declaration of Independence bicentennial anniversary, on July 4, 1976. The display ended a day of festivities in the New York Harbor, with boats and tall ships from across the world gathered for Operation Sail. Lower Manhattan with the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center is seen on the right. (AP Photo)
One of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center is seen from the ground up, 1985. (AP Photo)
Bill Rodgers, left, of Boston and Chris Stewart of Great Britain pass by skyline of lower New York City during running of the New York Marathon in New York, Oct. 23, 1977. Rodgers, running with what he called "hardly any sleep the last few nights," won the grueling race for the second straight year, while Stewart placed third. (AP Photo/Carlos Rene Perez)
George Willig, left, and Philippe Petit prepare to catch a bite at the base of New York's twin World Trade Center Towers Wednesday, April 12. The two adventurers are more familiar with the skyscrapers from a different perspective; Petit for his tight rope walk between the two buildings, and Willig for his facade-climbing journey up the 110-story building last year. (AP Photo/Dave Pickoff)
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If true, the release of the 28 pages—which could come as early as June—would put enormous public strain on our alliance with Saudi Arabia and call into question why our government for so long has run cover for an archaic desert kingdom that constitutes the world's number one terrorism funding source. The Guardian reports fierce disagreement inside the 9/11 commission, with executive director Philip Zelikow even firing an employee because she allegedly griped over the free pass being given to the Saudis. If that's true, then Zelikow should spend the rest of this year being berated by congressional committees.

Lehman's allegations fit with what we already know about the Saudis and our government's supine posture before them. Fifteen of the 19 9/11 hijackers were Saudi, as was Osama bin Laden. Yet immediately after the attacks, our government chartered flights to whisk 140 Saudis out of the country, including almost two dozen bin Laden family members. The most rookie detective on the squad knows to question a missing suspect's relations, yet here the most rudimentary police work after the crime of the centry was skipped. Why?

Andrew McCarthy, the National Review writer and terrorism prosecutor, has been probing Saudi ties to terrorism for years. Among the fishy cases he's catalogued are: Abdulazziz al-Hijji, a Saudi oil magnate who revered Osama bin Laden and was connected to the 9/11 hijackers—he fled to Saudi Arabia weeks before the Twin Towers came down and the FBI buried its investigation of him; Omar al-Bayoumi, a Saudi government agent who previously worked for the Kingdom's defense ministry before relocating to the United States, and who befriended and aided two of the hijackers before also fleeing to Saudi Arabia; and, most damning of all, Anwar al-Awlaki, an al-Qaeda mastermind, who escaped to plot more terrorist attacks after the Saudis intervened on his behalf and the Justice Department mysteriously "un-arrested" him.

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One World Trade Center
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Former 9/11 commissioner brings shocking new details about redacted documents to light
One World Trade Center stands in Lower Manhattan, Tuesday, April 21, 2015, in New York. The visitors center at the top of the 104-floor skyscraper, One World Observatory, is scheduled to open to the public on May 29. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 22: One World Trade Center is viewed a week before the newly built observation deck opens on May 22, 2015 in New York City. The observation deck sits atop the 104-story skyscraper. Manhattan's most scenic. The observation deck sits atop the 104-story skyscraper at the former site of the Twin Towers, opening to the public on May 29th with tickets currently being sold online. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Media stand on the Sky Portal, a 14-foot wide disc that delivers high-def footage from the street below at the One World Observatory May 20, 2015 during a media tour and preview in New York. This early visit to the Observatory at One World Trade Center will showcase all of the main attractions that the Observatory offers on floors 100 to 102 -- Voices, Foundations, Sky Portal, City Pulse and more. One World Observatory announced that its official public opening date will be May 29, 2015. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
The Financial District and the World Trade Center, lower center, are seen from the observatory at One World Trade Center, Wednesday, May 20, 2015, in New York. The observatory atop the 104-story skyscraper opens to the public on May 29. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
The One World Trade Center building, center, is reflected on one of the pools at the 9/11 Memorial, in New York, Monday, March 23, 2015. The first stair-climb benefit will be held at One World Trade Center in May to raise money for military veterans, two foundations, the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation and the Captain Billy Burke Foundation, formed after the 9/11 attacks announced Monday. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Eric Robinson, center, demonstrates City Pulse at One World Observatory, Wednesday, May 20, 2015, in New York. The interactive ring of high-definition monitors allows guests to view landmarks and neighborhoods that they view from above. The observatory atop the 104-story One World Trade Center opens to the public on May 29. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 22: People look out from the newly built One World Observatory at One World Trade Center on May 22, 2015 in New York City. The observation deck sits atop the 104-story skyscraper at the former site of the Twin Towers, opening to the public on May 29th with tickets currently being sold online. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
A time-lapsed view of New York seen through the years is viewed from the Sky Pod Elevator at the One World Observatory May 20, 2015 during a media tour and preview in New York. This early visit to the Observatory at One World Trade Center will showcase all of the main attractions that the Observatory offers on floors 100 to 102 -- Voices, Foundations, Sky Portal, City Pulse and more. One World Observatory announced that its official public opening date will be May 29, 2015. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 22: A panel exhibition is viewed at the to the newly built One World Observatory at One World Trade Center on May 22, 2015 in New York City. The observation deck sits atop the 104-story skyscraper at the former site of the Twin Towers, opening to the public on May 29th with tickets currently being sold online. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Midtown Manhattan, including the Empire State Building, center, are seen from the observatory at One World Trade Center, Wednesday, May 20, 2015, in New York. The observatory atop the 104-story skyscraper opens to the public on May 29. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
A view through the Sky Portal shows a live video view of the streets below from One World Observatory, Wednesday, May 20, 2015, in New York. The observatory atop the 104-story One World Trade Center opens to the public on May 29. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
A time-lapsed view of New York seen through the years is viewed from the Sky Pod Elevator at the One World Observatory May 20, 2015 during a media tour and preview in New York. This early visit to the Observatory at One World Trade Center will showcase all of the main attractions that the Observatory offers on floors 100 to 102 -- Voices, Foundations, Sky Portal, City Pulse and more. One World Observatory announced that its official public opening date will be May 29, 2015. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
The City Pulse ring is seen at the One World Observatory May 20, 2015 during a media tour and preview in New York. This early visit to the Observatory at One World Trade Center will showcase all of the main attractions that the Observatory offers on floors 100 to 102 -- Voices, Foundations, Sky Portal, City Pulse and more. One World Observatory announced that its official public opening date will be May 29, 2015. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
A video screen called Voices is shown at the entrance to One World Observatory, Wednesday, May 20, 2015, in New York. The 144 monitor screen tells the personal stories of the men and women who built One World Trade Center. The observatory atop the 104-story skyscraper opens to the public on May 29. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 22: People look out from the newly built One World Observatory at One World Trade Center on May 22, 2015 in New York City. The observation deck sits atop the 104-story skyscraper at the former site of the Twin Towers, opening to the public on May 29th with tickets currently being sold online. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 22: One World Trade Center is viewed a week before the newly built observation deck opens on May 22, 2015 in New York City. The observation deck sits atop the 104-story skyscraper at the former site of the Twin Towers, opening to the public on May 29th with tickets currently being sold online. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 22: The view of Manhattan from the newly built One World Observatory at One World Trade Center on May 22, 2015 in New York City. The observation deck sits atop the 104-story skyscraper at the former site of the Twin Towers, opening to the public on May 29th with tickets currently being sold online. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
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The same pattern manifests itself over and over again: a malicious terrorism suspect is tied to the Saudis, he high-tails it for Saudi Arabia, the American government looks the other way. Don't think that only Riyadh will be humiliated if the 28 pages are ever released. There will be plenty of embarrassment in Washington as well.

It's unlikely anyone at the highest levels of the Saudi government knew in advance about the 9/11 attacks: those debauched crown princes understand they need the American alliance and are hardly paragons of puritanical Islam themselves. But for years, Riyadh has played a dangerous game, allowing its schools to teach slanderous garbage about Christians and Jews, portraying Shias as heretical non-citizens, and funding Wahhabist and Deobandi ideology abroad that's killed thousands.

While the Kingdom routinely arrests al-Qaeda agents who plot locally, it looks the other way when those plots are directed outwards, especially when the targets are Iranian-funded Shiite movements. Saudi Arabia was one of only three countries to officially recognize the Taliban, while Iran was fighting the Taliban even before 9/11 happened. And there's plenty of evidence that the Saudi government itself—particularly its sinister Ministry of Islamic Affairs—has warm relations with philanthropists and charities that have funded terror.

Saudi Arabia has been dancing with the devil for decades. Given its nourishment of Sunni terrorism abroad, it was only a matter of time before "abroad" came to include the United States. It's past time we listened to those in the know like Lehman and released those 28 pages.

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