WASHINGTON — Representative Stephen F. Lynch introduced a resolution Monday urging President Obama to make public 28 pages from a congressional investigation of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that remain secret.
Lynch said he believes it will shed new light on the worst terrorist assault in US history. The South Boston Democrat, along with Representative Walter B. Jones, a Republican from North Carolina, recently reviewed the findings, which were almost entirely blacked out when the panel issued its final report in December 2002.
“These pages contain information that is vital to a full understanding of the events and circumstances surrounding this tragedy,” the South Boston Democrat said in a statement Tuesday.
The withheld pages have long been a source of controversy and have fueled conspiracy theories that the US government covered up certain aspects of the plot to fly hijacked civilian airliners into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania, killing nearly 3,000 people.
The final report of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees — called the Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 2001 — did give some indication of what was contained.
The introduction stated the investigation uncovered “information suggesting specific sources of foreign support for some of the September 11 hijackers while they were in the United States.”
Many specialists have suggested that those sources of support for the Al Qaeda terrorists, most of whom were from Saudi Arabia, could have come from their home governments. But all the details were withheld on national security grounds.
Eleanor Hill, who served as the staff director of the inquiry and is now a Washington-based attorney, recalled Tuesday that the findings, gleaned through a combination of interviews at the time with FBI and CIA officials and a review of agency files, were alarming.
“It was disturbing,” she said. “Even back then I personally felt they could have released more of it. Somebody needs to look at it again.”