Trump backtracks on promise to release concealed documents on Saudis.
By John Friend
The U.S. Justice Department, leading intelligence officials, and several other senior officials insisted in federal court recently that releasing documents relating to the 9/11 terrorist attacks would jeopardize and harm national security, despite President Trump’s promises to families of 9/11 victims that previously concealed documents would be made available to assist in their civil case against the Saudi government, which was first filed in 2017.
Attorney General William Barr and Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell insisted in court filings that the documents in question must remain state secrets in order to “protect the national security interests” of the U.S. government, and that releasing or publicly disclosing any of the information could cause “exceptionally grave damage” to national security. The contents of the documents in question largely remain a mystery, yet family members of victims of the 9/11 attacks believe they could provide strong evidence in their civil case against the government of Saudi Arabia, where 15 of the 19 alleged hijackers were from.
Grenell argued that the documents contain “highly sensitive and classified national security information concerning foreign government information, intelligence activities, sources and methods, and information concerning foreign relations and foreign activities of the United States, including confidential sources,” which “must be protected because its disclosure reasonably could be expected to cause serious damage” to the U.S., it was reported.
U.S. officials, including Attorney General Barr, went even further by arguing that even publicly discussing the documents or explaining in specific details why they must be kept as state secrets “would reveal information that could cause the very harms my assertion of the state secrets privilege is intended to prevent.” In other words, the justification for keeping the documents secret is itself a secret, which, if publicly discussed or acknowledged, could jeopardize the national security interests of the U.S. and her allies—such as Saudi Arabia.
“The extraordinary lengths that they’re going to here suggest that there must be some deep, dark secret that they’re still trying very hard to hide after almost 20 years,” Steven Pounian, a lawyer for the families, told “ProPublica.” “But who are they protecting? Something might be a Saudi government secret. But how can these be secrets that still need to be kept from the American people after all this time?”
At an event at the White House commemorating the 9/11 attacks last year, President Trump reportedly told many of the family members of those killed during the attacks that he would help with their case and grant access to the FBI’s secret files. While the federal government has released some information relating to Saudi Arabia’s connections to the purported hijackers, much still remains a mystery and even more remains concealed behind the state secrets privilege that has been constantly invoked by federal officials for decades now.
“He looked us in the eye on 9/11, he shook our hands in the White House and said, ‘I’m going to help you—it’s done,’” Brett Eagleson, whose father died in the World Trade Center towers, explained to “ProPublica,” describing his interactions with President Trump during the 9/11 commemoration event last year. “I think the 9/11 families have lost all hope that the president is going to step up and do the right thing. He’s too beholden to the Saudis.”
President Trump has long hinted that he is skeptical of the official narrative explaining the events of 9/11, and that there is much more to the story. While running for president in 2015, Trump boldly proclaimed that Americans “will find out who really knocked down the World Trade Center, because they have papers in there that are very secret,” before going on to suggest that it may be the Saudis. Unfortunately, the Trump administration continues to block the release of such “papers” that may shed more light on what really happened on 9/11 and who was responsible.
While much about 9/11 remains a mystery—such as the precise manner in which the World Trade Center complex was destroyed, for example, or the exact connections or relationships the alleged hijackers had to the Saudi government—there can be no doubt what agenda the attacks have and continue to serve. 9/11 and the official government and media promoted narrative explaining the attacks largely serve as the basic paradigm under which current U.S. foreign policy is formulated. The very notion of a never-ending “Global War on Terror” waged against various stateless actors was a pre-concocted paradigm of Western foreign policy advanced by Zionists and Israeli geopolitical and military strategists beginning in the late 1970s, which needed a “new Pearl Harbor” in order to kick start and justify.
Many 9/11 researchers and alternative media personalities have viewed the Saudi connection to 9/11 with skepticism, particularly given the fact that so much circumstantial and forensic evidence points to Israel and her agents in the U.S. as having direct foreknowledge of the event and also benefiting from the event in the aftermath, both from a geopolitical perspective as well as financial.
John Friend is a freelance writer based in California.