So, I offer--h/t emailer Jim--the following article on the continued Deep State efforts to prevent fuller details on the Saudi connection from being made public.
Let me be clear on where I stand. I recognize that there can be valid national security reasons for restricting access to some information. Nevertheless, we're approaching 20 years after this most devastating terrorist attack. That attack has served as the justification for the resulting GWOT and almost incalculable expenditures and suffering. In my view, if the United States is to function as a republic rather than an empire, the citizenry deserves more transparency in order to give informed consent to the policies that continue to flow from that traumatic event.
small team of agents spent years investigating whether one of
Washington’s closest allies was involved in the worst terror attack in
U.S. history. This is their story.
On the morning of Sept. 11 last year, about two dozen family members of those killed in the terror attacks filed into the White House to visit with President Trump. It was a choreographed, somewhat stiff encounter, in which each family walked to the center of the Blue Room to share a moment of conversation with Trump and the first lady, Melania Trump, before having a photograph taken with the first couple. Still, it was an opportunity the visitors were determined not to squander.
One after another, the families asked Trump to release documents from the F.B.I.’s investigation into the 9/11 plot, documents that the Justice Department has long fought to keep secret. After so many years they needed closure, they said. They needed to know the truth. Some of the relatives reminded Trump that Presidents Bush and Obama blocked them from seeing the files, as did some of the F.B.I. bureaucrats the president so reviled. The visitors didn’t mention that they hoped to use the documents in a current federal lawsuit that accuses the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia — an American ally that has only grown closer under Trump — of complicity in the attacks.
The president promised to help. “It’s done,” he said, reassuring several visitors. Later, the families were told that Trump ordered the attorney general, William P. Barr, to release the name of a Saudi diplomat who was linked to the 9/11 plot in an F.B.I. report years earlier. Justice Department lawyers handed over the Saudi official’s name in a protected court filing that could be read only by lawyers for the plaintiffs. But Barr dashed the families’ hopes. In a statement to the court on Sept. 12, he insisted that other documents that might be relevant to the case had to be protected as state secrets. Their disclosure, he wrote, risked “significant harm to the national security.”