2016 presidential candidate and Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky is advocating for the release of classified documents created in 2002 that details more specifics on the root causes of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York City and The Pentagon.
Pau is sponsoring legislation titled the “Transparency for the Families of 9/11 Act,” which would force the federal government to release 28 classified pages of a U.S. Senate report that thoroughly investigated the attacks one year after they occurred.
While Paul has not received much support from members of his own party on the release, Senate Democrats, former and current, have publicly supported his efforts.
Former Democratic Sen. Bob Graham of Florida, who has been calling for the release of the documents for over a decade, was the first politician to come out and support Paul. While Graham has never revealed information that comes directly from the pages, he did state that the paperwork “points a very strong finger at Saudi Arabia as being the principal financer” of the terror attacks that claimed nearly 3,000 lives, The Daily Beast reported.
Democratic Sens. Ron Wyden of Oregon and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York have also shown interest in releasing the documents. Wyden is co-sponsoring the legislation, and Gillibrand has been described as “definitely interested" in the disclosure of the documents.
In order for any member of Congress to read the classified pages, they must first obtain a security clearance to receive access to the U.S. Capitol basement, where the documents are located. Lawmakers also have to write to the ranking member of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee and receive approval to enter the files.
Jack Quinn, a D.C. lawyer who is representing families of 9/11 victims, is part of a legal team that is accusing the Saudi government of conspiring with other nations to attack the United States in 2001.
“This isn’t going to go away. There’s too much here that points to the culpability of people who held positions in the Saudi government,” Quinn said.
Paul has made headlines recently, particularly when it comes to foreign policy and government security measures.
On June 1, the USA Patriot Act, which authorized the federal government to collect phone records and other personal data to track terrorists throughout the states, lost some of its influence as an important section of the act expired. Now, the government is not allowed to collect and save phone records through the National Security Agency (NSA).
In an interview on CNN's "New Day," Republican presidential candidate and former New York Governor George Pataki called out Paul for being "significantly responsible" for the NSA program's shutdown.
While many saw the NSA program as unconstitutional and an infringement on Americans’ Fourth Amendment rights, Pataki apparently disagreed.
“This is probably the most dangerous time for Americans here since September 11th," he said, "and to now have this void where the NSA cannot track lone wolves, they cannot use roving wiretaps against people they understand, probably are looking to engage in terrorist acts is completely wrong."
Photo Credit: The Blaze, WikiCommons