Joe Biden To Release Secret 9/11 Files After Being Disinvited From Memorial
President Joe Biden has ordered a review into declassifying documents related to 9/11 after he was issued with an ultimatum by families of victims of the attacks.
A group representing the families earlier this week said it was disinviting the president from an official commemoration ahead of the 20th anniversary of the attacks, and called on him to fulfil a campaign promise to review and release documents related to possible links between the government of Saudi Arabia and some of the hijackers.
In response, the Justice Department said in a court filing on Monday, August 9, that it was preparing to disclose the information ‘expeditiously’.
‘The FBI has decided to review its prior privilege assertions to identify additional information appropriate for disclosure,’ the DoJ said, adding that following the review the Bureau would begin to ‘disclose such information on a rolling basis as expeditiously as possible’.
In a statement, President Biden said:
I welcome the Department of Justice’s filing today, which commits to conducting a fresh review of documents where the government has previously asserted privileges, and to doing so as quickly as possible.
Families of 9/11 victims have been campaigning in court for several years to gain access to secret documents understood to outline possible connections between Saudi officials and the Al-Qaeda terrorists.
In a letter sent during the 2020 election campaign, Biden pledged to ‘err on the side of disclosure’ when it came to the documents, following outrage from the families after Trump’s attorney general William Barr refused to declassify documents relating to the attacks on the grounds of national security.
The official 9/11 Commission found ‘no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded,’ however families have continued to call for transparency, and ahead of the upcoming anniversary have sought to up the pressure on the Biden administration.
‘It’s 20 years; this has gone on for too long,’ Brett Eagleson, whose father died in the attacks, said in an interview reported by The New York Times. ‘If you’re not going to release the documents and you’re going to continue with the process of covering up the Saudi role in 9/11, we’ll have to object to you coming.’
In his statement, Biden expressed his sympathy with the families’ fight, writing, ‘I know well the all-consuming grief of losing someone you love so suddenly. I can only imagine the added pain these families have endured, spending 20 years pursuing accountability and justice.’
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