Democratic Rep. Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts continues to pressure the U.S. government to reveal the full story about the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, calling it "an embarrassment" that key facts implicating Saudi Arabia have been kept secret for 14 years.
"We still don't have the complete story on the weeks and months of preparation by the hijackers," Lynch told the Boston Herald last week. "We owe it to the families ... transparency and truth is the best way to deal with this."
Lynch and a number of other lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have struggled for years to get the Obama administration to release 28 pages of secret findings about a Saudi government connection to the terrorist attacks.
Lynch is sponsoring a House bill that would make the 28 pages public, and he is joined by 16 co-sponsors. In the Senate, Republican presidential contender Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon and Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York are backing similar efforts.
The blacked-out pages, which have been said to contain some of the best intelligence available on 9/11, were contained in the final report of a 2002 inquiry by the House and Senate intelligence communities into what intelligence agencies knew leading up to and immediately after the attacks, according to the Boston Globe.
Lynch has read every redacted page, as have numerous other lawmakers, but the law prevents them from divulging the contents.
"The documents speak for themselves," Lynch added. "It's an embarrassment it's not been made public, especially with their impact on (9/11) families."
Fifteen of the 19 hijackers who carried out the attacks using commercial jets hailed from Saudi Arabia.
A federal lawsuit in a Manhattan court, brought by family members of 9/11 victims, is also trying to get the pages released, reported The New York Post.
During a July 30 hearing, lawyers for the victims' families revealed that the most damning allegations against the Saudis were blacked out from the final draft of the 9/11 Commission Report as well.
"They were removed at the 11th hour by the senior staff" in what was described as a political decision, plaintiffs' attorney Sean Carter of Cozen O'Connor told The Post.
A judge in the case previously claimed that Saudi Arabia had sovereign immunity, however, in December 2013, a federal appeals court reinstated the case citing the existence of a legal exception, according to The Daily Caller.
Numerous people tasked with writing the 9/11 Commission Report have also voiced frustration over their production. Commission co-chair Lee Hamilton said he doesn't "believe for a minute that we got everything right" and that the commission was "set up to fail."
Hamilton and Thomas Kean, chairman of the commission, wrote in a 2008 New York Times op-ed that the CIA stonewalled and obstructed their investigation. They and others involved in the panel also concluded the Pentagon had deliberately misled the commission and public with a number of false statements that prompted them to initiate a criminal investigation with the Pentagon's inspector general.
Upon resigning from the commission, Max Cleland stated: "It is a national scandal." He added, "This investigation is now compromised," and, "One of these days we will have to get the full story because the 9-11 issue is so important to America. But this White House wants to cover it up." When asked in 2009 if he thought there should be another official investigation into 9/11, he stated, "There should be about fifteen 9/11 commissions."
"At some level of the government, at some point in time...there was an agreement not to tell the truth about what happened," said John Farmer, the senior counsel to the 9/11 Commission. "I was shocked at how different the truth was from the way it was described .... The tapes told a radically different story from what had been told to us and the public for two years.... This is not spin. This is not true," he said, according to the Washington Post.