Would the former intelligence staffer for George H.W Bush declassify 9/11 inquiry document?
Former Bush, Sr. Intell Staffer Answers: Would You Declassify 28 Pages?
February 19, 2014 • 8:43PM
On Tuesday February 18, the Institute of World Politics, a graduate school of national security and international affairs, held a book lecture to discuss the 13 year intelligence veteran, Michael Allen’s, newest publication, “Blinking Red: Crisis and Compromise in American Intelligence After 9/11.” Allen said he hopes his book will provide “the authoritative history of the 2004 Intelligence Act,” a measure that led to the greatest transformation of America’s intelligence establishment since Harry Truman’s 1947 National Security Act. Allen’s analysis largely covered the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission after the “failure to connect the dots” on September 11, 2001 and the subsequent creation of “a new super-spy [the Director of National Intelligence], governing the more than 16 intelligence agencies.”
After a short presentation, Allen took questions from the audience. A representative of Executive Intelligence Review and LaRouchePAC asked if Allen would support the declassification of the 28 pages of the Congressional Inquiry into the 9/11 attacks. Allen’s answer raises more questions, especially concerning the role of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) and its chair, Mike Rogers (R-MI), in possibly preventing members of Congress from viewing the 28 redacted pages of the 9/11 report.
From January 2013 until approximately July or August, Representatives Walter Jones (R-NC) and Frank Wolf (R-VA) repeatedly submitted requests to the HPSCI to view the classified 28 pages, which, according to reports, deal with the Saudi Arabian role in financing and facilitating the September 11th attacks on the U.S. Viewing classified material is a routine privilege enjoyed by members of Congress. According to a representative of the majority staff of the HPSCI, congressmen have security clearance by virtue of their membership. But the members of the Intelligence Committee, in the House and the Senate, have the oversight responsibility of intelligence matters. As a result, they have access to information regarding sources and methods that others don’t have. Moreover, if a member who is not on the Committee requests to see classified material, that request is passed on to the committee chair. Afterward, the Committee as a whole votes on whether or not to grant access.
During the period when Jones and Wolf were repeatedly trying to gain access to the classified pages, Michael Allen was serving as the Majority Staff Director of the HPSCI under Chairman Mike Rogers. In the context of Allen’s response to the question from EIR/LPAC, transcribed below, it is reasonable to ask whether Allen played a role with Mike Rogers in blocking access to the redacted pages. Furthermore, given his background of serving seven years with the Bush Administration’s National Security Council, what, if any, are his interests in protecting the identity of Saudi Arabia as “the country” alluded to in the classified pages?
EIR/LPAC: Parallel to the the 9/11 Commission, there was also the Joint Congressional Inquiry led by Senator Bob Graham. When their report was finished, one chapter of it was classified by President Bush, and Obama said he would declassify. Not only did he reclassify but he went to court on this.
There is now a move in congress by Walter Jones, Stephen Lynch, and now a growing number of congressmen demanding that the 28 page chapter be declassified, because it directly implicates Saudi Arabia in providing the background, providing the money, and basically orchestrating 9/11, even including the then-ambassador [Prince] Bandar [bin Sultan], who is now their head of intelligence. This has immediate implications because of the role of the Saudis and implicitly, interestingly, the British–but especially the Saudis–in Syria where they are in the middle of luring us, again, unfortunately, into something horrendous, where we get involved in some kind of conflict that could lead to even a great power confrontation, which nobody wants.
The question is, would you support the declassification of the 28 page chapter which is the subject of this growing brouhaha in the Congress.
Michael Allen: I think President Bush and later, uh, I’m am not familiar with Obama saying he was going to declassify. I’m not challenging you, I just didn’t know that.
I’m familiar with the Bush administration’s thinking on that and I think they thought that it would do grievous damage to the bilateral relations with one particular country.
A lot of people in Congress have read that 28 pages. I’m for trying to air out all theories and everything else. You know, I’ve been sort of critical today of some of the 9/11 Commission’s recommendations, but most people, and I understand this school of thought about the 28 pages and the Joint Inquiry and the rest, but most people who have studied the 9/11 Commission Report think they got it right on the facts of the plot and how and who was involved. That’s not to say that there’s not more to learn. There is going to be more to learn over time. And I don’t think and I’m not sure that the theory has borne out that this particular country was absolutely involved in a knowing way with the 9/11 plot.
I think the 9/11 Commission, which, for all its faults, did not sort of, they were no shrinking violets, and if that were part of the story, I think they would have gone with it.
– Leandra Bernstein