Biden signs executive order calling for declassification review of 9/11 documents
Joe Biden has signed an executive order directing the Justice Department to oversee a declassification review of the FBI’s investigation into the 9/11 attack on the US.
The order requires Attorney General Merrick Garland to publicly release any declassified documents on the attacks over the next six months.
In a statement, Mr Biden said that when he ran for president, he made a commitment to ensuring transparency regarding the declassification of such documents and that as the 20th anniversary approaches he is honouring that commitment.
“We must never forget the enduring pain of the families and loved ones of the 2,977 innocent people who were killed during the worst terrorist attack on America in our history,” Biden said in a statement Friday. “For them, it was not only a national and international tragedy. It was a personal devastation.”
The president’s executive order came after nearly 1,800 Americans directly affected by the attacks issued a statement last week, opposing Biden’s participation in any memorial events this year unless he upholds his pledge to declassify the documents, evidence they believe may show a connection between Saudi Arabian leaders and the events.
“Since the conclusion of the 9/11 Commission in 2004 much investigative evidence has been uncovered implicating Saudi government officials in supporting the attacks,” the group’s statement said. “Through multiple administrations, the Department of Justice and the FBI have actively sought to keep this information secret and prevent the American people from learning the full truth about the 9/11 attacks.”
The president’s Friday statement continues: “We must never forget the enduring pain of the families and loved ones of the 2,977 innocent people who were killed during the worst terrorist attack on America in our history. For them, it was not only a national and international tragedy. It was a personal devastation.”
He concludes his statement: “My heart continues to be with the 9/11 families who are suffering, and my administration will continue to engage respectfully with members of this community. I welcome their voices and insight as we chart a way forward.”