Saturday, December 4

9/11 Victims’ Relatives Don’t Want Biden on 20th Anniversary


Correspondent in New York

Updated:

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Joe Biden has a visit to New York on his agenda: he will go to the Big Apple to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks against the Twin Towers of the September 11, 2001. However, the main protagonists that day, the families of the victims, want him not to appear: they demand that, before joining the acts, the US Government declassify information on the role of Saudi Arabia in attacks.

It is an old claim from the relatives, who have seen the commissions and investigations into the attacks happen and who criticize that much of the information -especially, that related to Saudi Arabia, a strategic partner of the United States in the Middle East- has not been disclosed. Last year, during the electoral campaign, Biden assured that if he won, he would require the attorney general to “personally examine all cases” in which there is secret information for state reasons and to show himself “in favor of declassification in cases, like this one, in which the events in question have occurred at least two decades ago. “

Biden is in the White House, that time is about to be fulfilled and the president, however, has not given indications of fulfilling that promise. Last Friday, the White House spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, acknowledged that some members of the Biden Administration have held meetings with relatives of the victims on this matter, which, he said, “remains a priority” and that Biden has not forgotten and “remains committed to that promise.”

With just over a month to go until the anniversary, the victims’ families seem fed up with waiting for that to happen, with no indication from the Biden Administration that it will. “In good faith, and with veneration for the dead, sick and wounded, we cannot welcome the president to these holy places until he fulfills his commitment,” they say in a letter sent to the White House and signed by 1,800 family members of affected.

“After being used as political currency for two decades, our patience has run out”

“As we approach the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and after having been used as political currency for two decades, our patience has run out,” says the letter, which explains that when Biden came to power, family members had high hopes for him. that the president was the “defender we have lacked” and that he put “the values ​​of truth, justice and accountability before the interests of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

“Twenty years later, there are simply no reasons – unfounded ‘national security’ reasons or otherwise – to keep this information secret,” the letter continues. If Biden continues in his efforts not to declassify, “we will be obliged to publicly oppose any participation of his administration in any commemoration of 9/11.”

One of the victims’ relatives who are leading the pressure for more information to be disclosed is Brett Eagleson, which has assured “The Washington Post” that the answer given by Psaki is not enough and that they need “tangible proof” that there will be declassification of documents.

Eagleson has argued that the group is not politically motivated and that they are now taking action because “previous administrations promised ‘reviews’ only to use them as tactics to protect the Saudi government.”

It was a reference to the Government of Donald Trump, which assured them in 2019 that the disclosure of documents was “very imminent” and then nothing happened.

Ground zero in New York after the 9/11 attacks
Ground zero in New York after the 9/11 attacks – Afp

Now, the relatives want to use the attention that the 20th anniversary of the attacks brings so that Biden gives his arm to twist. They argue that there is much information about the role of Saudi Arabia that should be known, beyond the conclusions of the 9/11 Commission of the US Congress, finalized in 2004. The former senator Bob Graham, chairman of the Senate Intelligence committee between 2001 and 2003, has assured that there is “evidence of the support of the Saudi government to the terrorists” and fought for years to get 28 pages related to Saudi Arabia that did not appear in the public report of the 9/11 Commission.

Family members also want a Complete version from a 2016 FBI report on an investigation against Saudi government agents. An FBI agent, Stephen Moore, who led the Los Angeles group to investigate 9/11, said in an affidavit that the conclusion is that “Saudi Arabia knowingly provided material support” to the terrorists.

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