MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Former U.S. Senator Bob Graham and others are urging the Obama administration to declassify the most sensitive documents – known as the “28 pages” – having to do with the investigation into the September 11th attacks.READ MORE: Seminoles Suspend Sports Betting After Court Rulings
Graham has been trying to get the 28 pages released since the day they were classified back in 2003. At the time, he was chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and co-chair of the bipartisan joint congressional inquiry into intelligence failures surrounding the attacks.
The joint inquiry reviewed a half a million documents, interviewed hundreds of witnesses and produced an 838 page report — minus the final chapter which was blanked out. The excised portions were ordered by the Bush administration for reasons of national security.
While Graham won’t discuss the details of the classified information, he will say that they outline a network of people he believes supported the hijackers while they were in the U.S.
“I think it is implausible to believe that 19 people, most of whom didn’t speak English, most of whom had never been in the United States before, many of whom didn’t have a high school education– could’ve carried out such a complicated task without some support from within the United States,” said Graham during an interview with Steve Kroft which aired on “60 Minutes”.
Graham believes substantial support came from Saudi Arabia.
“When we say “The Saudis,” you mean the government, the rich people of the country, charities,” asked Kroft.READ MORE: 23rd Annual 'A Home For The Holidays At The Grove' Comes To CBS On Sunday, December 5th
“All of the above,” replied Graham.
Graham and others believe the Saudi role has been downplayed to protect this country’s delicate relationship with a kingdom where rulers, royalty and religion are deeply intertwined.
Porter Goss, who was Graham’s Republican co-chairman of the House side of the joint inquiry, and later Director of the CIA, also felt strongly that the uncensored version of the 28 pages should have been included.
Graham and Goss said they went to then-FBI Director Robert Mueller to make their case as to why the unclassified pages should be included in the final report.
“They pushed back very hard on the 28 pages and they said, ‘No, that cannot be unclassified at this time’,” said Goss.
Goss said they also asked why the material was classified in the first place.
“The answer was because, ‘We said so and it needs to (LAUGH) be classified’.”MORE NEWS: Sharp Increase In Hospitalized Children With Covid Investigated In South Africa
In 10 days, President Barack Obama will visit Saudi Arabia at a time of deep mistrust between the two allies, and lingering doubts about the Saudi commitment to fighting violent Islamic extremism.