Release the 9/11 report’s missing 28 pages

For once, the State Department isn’t giving Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar bin Sultan what he wants. And for once, the Center for Security Policy is urging the administration to give Prince Bandar his way.

Bandar has called on the Bush Administration to declassify 28 controversial pages in the new congressional report on 9/11 intelligence failures, concerning the alleged involvement of the Saudi kingdom in support for terrorism.

Administration officials justify the secrecy on national security grounds, but senators from both parties who have read the hidden text say that up to 95 percent of it was to prevent diplomatic unpleasantness or perhaps cover up the relations between Saudi financiers of al Qaeda and American businessmen or politicians.

Saudi Arabia has nothing to hide, Bandar says. We can deal with questions in public, but we cannot respond to blank pages. Saudi foreign minister Saud al-Fisal echoed Bandar’s comments after a hastily arranged meeting with President Bush.

The White House must release as much of the 28 pages as possible, before the issue becomes a scandal that weakens our wartime president.

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