Politics|Biden Moves to Declassify Some Documents Related to Sept. 11
In an enforcement order, the president instructed Attorney General Merrick B. Garland to publically merchandise the declassified documents implicit the adjacent six months.
Sept. 3, 2021, 4:37 p.m. ET
WASHINGTON — Making bully connected a run promise, President Biden directed the Justice Department and different national agencies connected Friday to oversee the reappraisal and declassification of documents related to the F.B.I.’s probe into the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
In an enforcement order, Mr. Biden instructed Attorney General Merrick B. Garland to publically merchandise the declassified documents implicit the adjacent six months.
“When I ran for president, I made a committedness to ensuring transparency regarding the declassification of documents connected the Sept. 11, 2001, violent attacks connected America,” Mr. Biden said successful a connection released earlier the 20th day of the attacks adjacent week. “We indispensable ne'er hide the enduring symptom of the families and loved ones of the 2,977 guiltless radical who were killed during the worst violent onslaught connected America successful our history.”
For years, families of the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks person pushed the national authorities to uncover much accusation astir immoderate Saudi engagement successful financing the attacks.
In 2019, William P. Barr, past the lawyer wide nether President Donald J. Trump, declared successful a connection to a national court that documents related to the attacks should enactment classified to support nationalist security. The determination stunned the families.
As a candidate, Mr. Biden pledged past twelvemonth to “err connected the broadside of disclosure successful cases where, arsenic here, the events successful question occurred 2 decades oregon longer ago.”
It is not wide what documents the Justice Department volition merchandise erstwhile its reappraisal is complete. But the announcement was instantly hailed by immoderate household members who person escalated unit connected Mr. Biden to act.
Last month, a radical of much than 1,600 radical affected by the attack, including survivors, exigency aesculapian workers and household members of victims, told the president to skip the memorial lawsuit this twelvemonth astatine crushed zero if helium did not commencement the process of reviewing the documents for imaginable declassification and release.
“We are thrilled to spot the president forcing the merchandise of much grounds astir Saudi connections to the 9/11 attacks,” Terry Strada, whose husband, Tom Strada, was killed successful the World Trade Center, said successful a connection connected Friday. “We person been warring the F.B.I. and quality assemblage for excessively long, but this looks similar a existent turning point.”
Some household members deliberation that the documents could item connections betwixt the Saudi authorities and the hijackers who carried retired the attacks.
The 9/11 Commission, which released its last study successful 2004, recovered “no grounds that the Saudi authorities arsenic an instauration oregon elder Saudi officials individually funded” Al Qaeda, which carried retired the attacks. But that phrasing near immoderate to speculate that determination mightiness beryllium grounds of engagement by other, lower-ranking officials.