from The Mind Unleashed:
In a last minute court filing, U.S. officials demanded a federal judge block the release of files detailing Saudi connections to the 9/11 attacks.
On Monday, U.S. Attorney General William Barr, acting director of national intelligence Richard Grenell, and other senior officials called on a federal judge to prevent the disclosure of files related to the role of the government of Saudi Arabia in the September 11 attacks. The officials told the judge in the civil case that the release of the files would endanger national security.
The files are being sought by families of the 9/11 victims who have spent the last two decades attempting to uncover the truth about the attacks. The families filed a lawsuit in federal district court in New York in 2017 as part of their effort to uncover the role of the Saudi government. What is publicly known is that the alleged 9/11 hijackers had a relationship with Saudi government officials. As Pro Public reported, at the 2019 White House September 11 memorial, U.S. President Donald Trump promised the families he would help them uncover the truth about 9/11. He made similar promises while he was campaigning for president.
“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, a banker whose father was killed in the World Trade Center, told Pro Publica. “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.”
The Trump Administration stated that the national security threat was so great that even sharing the reasoning behind the request for secrecy could cause harm. According to Pro Publica, AG Barr told the court that public discussion of the issue “would reveal information that could cause the very harms my assertion of the state secrets privilege is intended to prevent.”
Pro Publica notes that four statements from FBI and Justice Department officials were also under seal and can not be seen by the public. Another five statements from FBI, Justice Department, and CIA officials were only seen by the judge and could not even be shared with the families’ lawyers. Steven Pounian, a lawyer for the families also suggested that “there must be some deep, dark secret that they’re still trying very hard to hide after almost 20 year,” and that it “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?” — Steven Pounian, attorney for the 9/11 victims families
The call for secrecy was questioned by three Senators who asked the Justice Department’s inspector general to investigate why the FBI has refused to release information about Saudi connections. The information is being sought as part of a subpoena filed by the 9/11 families in 2018. Senators Charles Grassley of Iowa, Charles Schumer of New York, and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut questioned the FBI’s decision to keep the files classified.
“The September 11 attacks represent a singular and defining tragedy in the history of our Nation. Nearly 20 years later, the 9/11 families and the American public still have not received the full and transparent accounting of the potential sources of support for those attacks to which they are entitled,” the senators wrote to Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz.
Barr stated that Justice Department guidelines set down by the Obama administration in 2009 prevented the government from asserting a state secrets claim as a method of concealing illegal behavior or embarrassing actions. Barr told the judge that he believed these guidelines had been met. Unfortunately, in the absence of any further information the American public is resigned to trusting Barr, Trump, and anonymous FBI and CIA agents.