When Congressman Thomas Massie first arrived in Washington, DC as a freshman from Kentucky, a long-tenured North Carolinian, Walter Jones, asked him an intriguing question.
“He said, ‘Did you realize there’s 28 pages of the 9/11 report that never been released, but as a congressman, you can go read them in a secret room?’,” Massie recalled on The Tyler Cralle Show (audio below).
His curiosity piqued, the MIT grad obtained permission to read the 28 pages and proceeded to a secure, soundproof facility in the basement of the Capitol where he read them under close observation and without the option of taking notes or bringing anyone from his staff.
Rep. Thomas Massie
Massie was surprised by what he found, telling host Tyler Cralle, “They’re the most consequential pages in the thousand-page report.” At a 2014 press conference, Massie said the experience was “shocking,” and that he had to “stop every couple pages and try to rearrange my understanding of history.”
Jones, who joined Massie in his discussion with Cralle, said, “There’s a lot of information (in the 28 pages) the American people and the 9/11 families have a right to see. The American people cannot trust a government that will not let them see information on one of the worst tragedies in America.”
Former Senator Bob Graham, who co-chaired the 2002 joint congressional intelligence inquiry that produced the 28 pages, has said the 28 pages “point a very strong finger at Saudi Arabia as being the principal financier” of the attacks.
The pages—an entire chapter of the joint inquiry report—were classified by the Bush White House. “After reading those pages, I will tell you that I can I can understand (why)…because the Bush administration was very close to the Saudis, if you remember. The king actually visited Crawford, Texas,” said Jones.
Republicans Jones and Massie, along with Democrat Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts, are leading the House effort to release the 28 pages. The focus of their campaign is House Resolution 14, which urges the president to release them.
Noting the resolution has attracted a modest 18 cosponsors to date, Massie said, “Trust me, it’s a dangerous thing to cosponsor this because they want to keep this under the rug.” Nonetheless, he said it’s important “to release those 28 pages in the 9/11 report that will once and for all show the American people what caused 9/11 and who funded it.”
Jones also told radio host Cralle about his decision-making process regarding the upcoming vote on the Iranian nuclear agreement.
His scrutiny of the topic has already included consultation with Brent Scowcroft, former National Security Advisor to Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush (he supports it), and will include discussion with scientists and a thorough reading of the arrangement, which places additional safeguards on Iran’s nuclear program that go beyond the ones already imposed on the country as a signatory to the nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Jones said his very deliberate approach to the vote reflects a painful lesson learned in 2002, when he voted to authorize military action against Iraq.
“I did not do what I should have done to read and find out whether Bush was telling us the truth about Saddam being responsible for 9/11 and having weapons of mass destruction. Because I did not do my job then, I helped kill 4,000 Americans and I will go to my grave regretting that.”
Though he was talking about Iraq and Iran, his conviction that a full understanding of the facts should precede any critical national security decision seems equally applicable to his drive to release the 28 pages.
That same conviction motivates Massie: “If we’re going to be fighting more wars ostensibly because of terrorism and to keep us safe, shouldn’t we know what caused and what enabled 9/11? The American people are in the dark right now.”
The conversation about the 28 pages begins at the 21:00 mark in the broadcast.