Biden Orders Department of Justice To Release Classified 9/11 Documents
President Joe Biden has reportedly signed an executive order directing the Department of Justice and other federal agencies to conduct a declassification of documents related to the 9/11 attacks for review and release.
Under the terms of the executive order, the FBI must complete its declassification review of documents from that probe by Sept. 11, 2021, which has been dubbed the “Subfile Investigation.”
“Information should not remain classified when the public interest in disclosure outweighs any damage to the national security,” Biden wrote in the executive order.
For years, relatives of the September 11, 2001 victims have been pushing to acquire more information on the attacks, who sought to file suits against the Saudi government. However, without the information needed, their suits would not be able to progress.
This declassification may just be what meets the demands of the bereaved families.
Last month, Biden was urged by many families to avoid doing the 20-year memorial events unless the information gathered by the FBI during its probe was released to the public.
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Biden reflects on the promises he made during his campaign, saying, “When I ran for president, I made a commitment to ensuring transparency regarding the declassification of documents on September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on America.
As we approach the 20th anniversary of that tragic day, I am honoring that commitment.”
The Department of Justice then answered, noting that they will be revisiting earlier investigations to check why some information was withheld from the families.
According to the families of the victims and advocates for the declassification of this probe, the information withheld were those connected with Saudi government’s involvement in the attacks.
“Although this development followed the U.S. District Court rulings upholding the government’s privilege assertions, the FBI has decided to review its prior privilege assertions to identify additional information appropriate for disclosure.
The FBI will disclose such information on a rolling basis as expeditiously as possible,” said a representative from the Justice Department.
Support came for Biden’s recent declassification move, with Representative Adam Schiff, chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, saying he supported this.
“As we near the 20th anniversary of that terrible day, the families of those who were killed, and all Americans, have a right to know the full story, and the passage of time has mitigated concerns over sources and methods,” Schiff said.
Next week, Biden will participate in the memorial commemorating 9/11.
“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.”