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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Statement of September 11th Advocates

Several news sites are carrying the following:

For Immediate Release
June 18, 2007

Statement of September 11th Advocates
Regarding the Release of the CIA Inspector General's Report – Post 9/11
June 18, 2007

"The report, prepared by the CIA's inspector general, is the only major 9/11 government review that has still not been made publicly available."
Michael Isikoff, Newsweek, January 31, 2007

Almost six years have passed since the attacks of September 11, 2001, yet critical information continues to be withheld from the American public regarding the attacks.

In 2002, after reviewing the evidence produced by the Joint Inquiry of Congress into the 9/11 Attacks, both Republican and Democratic Congressmen agreed that a CIA Inspector General review into individual responsibility was necessary. Faced with the facts, these Congressmen understood that accountability in the Intelligence Community was crucial. Their intent was that a final declassified CIA/IG report be released to the public and where deemed appropriate by the report, for personnel at all levels to be held accountable for any omission, commission, or failure to meet professional standards in regard to the events of September 11, 2001. To date, despite enormous efforts from the Senate Intelligence Committee, nothing has happened.

Michael Isikoff wrote in his January 2007 Newsweek article that, "When it [the CIA/IG report] was completed in August 2005, NEWSWEEK and other publications reported that it contained sharp criticisms of former CIA director George Tenet and other top agency officials for failing to address the threat posed by Al Qaeda, as well as other mistakes that might have prevented the attacks."

Isikoff goes on to say, "What's really behind the intelligence community's refusal to release the report, the senators suspect, is a desire to protect the reputations of some of the main figures."

Since sources and methods are not revealed in a declassified report, national security is protected and thus not an excuse for withholding this document. Since when does embarrassment meet any standard for keeping a government report secret? Isn’t it time for our elected and appointed officials to do the job that they were sent to our Nation’s Capitol for: to protect the public and not reputations?

Americans have the right to know that the problems identified in this report have been addressed and corrected. We have the right to know that competent people are serving us in strategic positions – our safety and security depends on it. Incompetence costs lives.

Legislation, co-sponsored by Senators Ron Wyden D-OR and Kit Bond R-MO, calling for the release of the 9/11 CIA/IG report, already exists, has passed the Senate and has strong bipartisan support. Yet, the White House and the CIA continue to refuse to release the already declassified version of the report.

It is sadly and abundantly clear that, once again, only heightened public pressure on the Administration and the CIA will force accountability. We call on the public and the press to demand the release of the declassified version of the 9/11 CIA’s Inspector General report.

Patty Casazza
Monica Gabrielle
Mindy Kleinberg
Lorie Van Auken