Rep. Jones told VICE News that he discussed the classified passages with Graham two years ago and decided to access them on his own.He first had to get permission from the House Intelligence Committee, which vets such requests. Once approved, Jones was led to a soundproof room where an official watched over him to prevent any note taking as he read.“I’ll tell you, the 28 pages will be an embarrassment to the previous administration,” Jones said, though he is barred from offering details. “We live in a world where there are certain leaders in certain countries that some people are concerned of their reaction. I feel differently.”The pages could show that the Bush administration knew all along that Saudi Arabia was closely tied to the attacks that became the basis of more than a decade of hawkish foreign policy, including the misguided invasion of Iraq.“Perhaps the previous administration sought to insulate us or our allies from embarrassment or liability,” Representative Thomas Massie (R-KY), one of the resolution’s co-sponsors, told VICE News. “But the current administration needs to be asked, point blank, what benefit this president finds in keeping these pages secret.”
'I believe when a nation is attacked by a foreign element that those people who lost loved ones, as well as the American people, have a right to know who was involved in that attack.'
The Bush administration said that releasing the redacted information would imperil national security. There may be unanticipated revelations to come — or, as the report noted, innocent explanations for the allegations discussed in the section. Yet knowledge of what is believed to be in the classified pages seems so common that experts whom VICE News consulted discussed the material offhandedly.“We live in a world where people are peddling a plethora of lunatic conspiracy theories,” Jeffrey Bale, a professor at the Monterey Institute of International Studies who specializes in terrorism and the Middle East, told VICE News. “Yet here we potentially have real evidence of covert aid provided to some of the hijackers by Saudi officials — information that was essentially concealed by the Bush administration.”Former New Jersey Governor Thomas Kean and former House Representative Lee Hamilton, who chaired the 9/11 Commission that followed the Joint Inquiry, have also recently said that the material should be released.“I’m embarrassed that they’re not declassified,” said Hamilton, speaking with Kean at an event last month marking the tenth anniversary of the commission’s final report — the text of which noted, “we have found no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded the organization. (This conclusion does not exclude the likelihood that charities with significant Saudi government sponsorship diverted funds to al Qaeda.)”
'I was amazed in reading this stuff that it was stuff I knew already.'