tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN September 11, 2016 1:48am-3:01am EDT
opinion the court ever made in the dred's got. justice curtis and one other dissenter wrote a fine dissent in that case. think of the era of separate but equal, plessis against ferguson. think of the restrictive of each cases that came to the court at the time of world war i when justice brandeis and justice holmes wrote in dissent, there was the sense of today the law of the land. so, you can see from my dissents what i would disagree with, and
i also might mention an impressive dissent written by justice breyer a couple of years ago. why the death penalty is cruel and unusual punishment. >> this has really been so incredibly inspiring to all of us. on the your career court, your career as an advocate, as a scholar -- you just so profoundly changed not only the nation but the world. for everyone here as you are starting your legal career to have the opportunity to spend an hour listening to you about your career and about what the law can do, i cannot think of a better way to start law school, so please join me in a round of applause. [applause] >> this sunday night on "q&a," author and columnist david kay
johnston discusses his book "the making of donald trump," which takes a critical look at the republican presidential nominee. quick sign that donald and immediately recognized he is pt barnum. he is selling tickets to the fiji mermaid and the amazing two headed woman. because he was the dominant force, i started asking about him, and his competitors, ynn, andg steve w people who work for him and gamblers all century donald does not know anything about the casino business. , you can.c-span.org watch our public affairs and political program any time at your convenience on your desktop, laptop, or mobile device. here's how. go to our mobile page and clicked on the video library search bar where you can clicked on the name of a speaker, the sponsor of a bill, read in an
event topic, and clicked on the programs you would like to watch or refine your search with our many search tools. if you are looking for our most current programs and do not want to search the library, our homepage has many current programs ready for your immediate viewing, such as today's "washington journal" or the programming we covered that day. if you are a c-span watcher, check it out at www.c-span.org. >> in the president's weekly address, he pays tribute to the victims of the september 11 attacks. president obama: 15 years ago, the september day that began like any other became one of the darkest in our nations history. the twin towers were reduced to rubble. the pentagon was in flames. a pennsylvania field burned with the wreckage of an airplane and nearly 3000 innocent lives were lost. sons and daughters, husbands and wives, neighbors and colleagues
that were from all walks of life, all races and religions, all colors and creeds from across america and around the world. this weekend, we honor their memory once more. we stand with the survivors who still bear the scars of that day. we thank the first responders who risked everything to save others and we salute a generation of americans, our men and women in uniform, diplomats, and our intelligence, homeland security, and law enforcement professionals who serve in the some cases have given their lives to help keep us safe. a lot has changed over these past 15 years. we have delivered devastating blows to the al qaeda leaders that attacked us on 9/11. we delivered justice to osama bin laden. we have strengthened homeland security. we have prevented attacks. we have saved lives. at the same time, the terror
threat has evolved, as we have seen so tragically from boston to chattanooga, from san bernardino to orlando. so in afghanistan, iraq, syria, and beyond, we will stay permit was against terrorists like al qaeda and isil -- we will stay relentless. past 15flect on these years, it is also important to remember what has not changed. the core values that define us as americans, the resilience that sustains us. after all, terrorists will never be able to defeat the united states. their only hope is terrorizing us into changing who we are or our way of life. that's why we americans will never give in to fear. that's why this weekend we remember the true spirit of 9/11. we are still the america of ,eroes who ran into harm's way the very folks who took done the hijackers, the families who
turned their pain into hell. we are still the america that looks out for one another bound by their shared belief that i am my brother's keeper and i am my sister's keeper. in the face of terrorism, how we respond matters. we cannot give in to those who would divide us. we cannot react in ways that you wrote the fabric of our society because it is our diversity, our welcoming of all town that, our treating of everybody fairly no matter their race, gender, ethnicity, or faith, that is part of what makes our country great. it is what makes us resilient, and if we stay true to those values, we will uphold the legacy of those we have lost and keep our nation strong and free. god bless you and god bless the united states of america. >> georgia senator johnny isakson issued a republican response, but the usual video version is not available. in his printed date but he said,
-- the smithsonian's national museum of american history is commemorating the 50th anniversary of the september 11 attack with a special one-day exhibit tomorrow. the museum will display more than 35 objects from the three sites -- new york, the pentagon, and shanksville, pennsylvania. here's a look. >> we're talking with the
curator for the national september 11 connection -- collection. thanks for talking with us. what are we looking at? >> we're looking at the september 11 collection here. the collection represents all .hree of the attack sites we have here shanksville, pennsylvania, and in the middle, on the the pentagon, and far right, we have the world trade center. >> how did you get these pieces? >> we sent curators to each of the attack sites soon after the attacks occurred. the curators spent their time looking at three specific collecting focal points. looked at the attacks themselves, the recovery effort, and the first responders. they chose to focus on just three elements of the september otherwise it would
have been far too in or mr. try to capture. it's very emotional to be able to just separate the story from what was happening. it would have been very difficult, but with those three, they were able to really create a representative story about what happened on that day. making of these pieces an unveiling for the first time with interesting stories from the pentagon, a note. tell us about this note. >> yes, we were contacted by the donor. they had a very interesting daria and frank worked at the pentagon, and when the attacks occurred, they both met at a prearranged site, and that was their car. and letot there first this note for her husband frank letting him know that everything was ok and she was going to go to a more traditional evacuation , and it is a wonderful piece because it reminds us that in 2001, cell phones were you --
when not -- were not ubiquitous and if i understand correctly, cell phone coverage that day was spotty because of the massive number of people trying to call emergency services, call their loved ones. it's a good question -- what to contact your loved ones when you do not have access? it is something that today is so much more difficult for us to understand because a cell phone is everywhere. and this simple note helps us better understand. the table, some pieces of plain, some office effects, but what is this jacket, what is its story? >> the jacket belonged to an .mployee of the salvation army i think it is really significant because it tells a story about who took care of the first responders, who took care of family members that were down at
ground zero. who took care of the law enforcement officers? the people who were at ground zero, like first responders, recovery workers, and family members -- those we know and expect, but at the end of the .ay, someone was feeding them the recovery workers were working 24/7, three shifts a day. someone gave them clothing when they were cold. remember, most of this was happening in the late fall, winter 2001, 2002, making sure everybody was warm. there was a place for people to meet. these are questions we are trying to help future researchers understand that there was much more going on than just the recovery burden, and we wanted to make sure that people understood that. >> you spent a lot
what we're hoping is that by providing this object of storage approach it means that it's not your standard exhibit and you can come and you can look at the objects just as they are now. and you can walk up and won't be any cases and be able to interact with our staff and they will be able to talk with you and we can discuss how the objects, where they came from. how they were collected. but most importantly, we want you to connect with the objects yourselves. by giving you this intimate look to allow you to be your own curator and remember what happened on that day. as each passing year goes by, we're farther and farther away from what actually happened. we're hoping this helps people connect with what happened on september 11, 2001. >> what you're seeing is a small part of the september 11 collection at the smithsonian. we're talking to the curator of the national september 11 collection. thanks for your time. >> early this afternoon vice-presidential candidate
mike pence made a surprise visit to the pentagon to commemorate the september 11 attacks. roll call reports the republican nominee spent half an hour during an unannounced visit to the 9-11 memorial. accompanied by his wife, karen. they laid a bouquet of white roses in honor of an army lieutenant and indiana native ho died in the attack. >> sunday marks the 15th never of september 11. and c-span's live coverage of the day's events begins at 7:00 a.m. eastern during washington journal. when you can join the conversation about 9-11. and then we're live from new york city for the ceremony at the national september 11 memorial. at 9:30 a.m. eastern we go to the september 11 ceremony at the pentagon with remarks from president obama. and at 10:00 we will be in shanksville, pennsylvania, for the neiron commemoration at the flight 93 national memorial. we will return to new york for the remainder of that ceremony. the 15th anniversary of september 11 on c-span.
c-span radio app and -span.org. now, former florida senator bob graham on the 28 pages of recently declassified material from the 9-11 terrorist attack report. the former senator co-chaired the joint congressional 9-11 inquiry into the attacks. this is about an hour. >> good morning, everyone. my thomas is thomas burr and i'm the washington correspondent for the salt lake tribune and the 109th president of the national press club. our guest today is former senator bob graham of florida. the chairman of the senate intelligence committee before and after the september 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. i would like to welcome our public radio and c-span
audiences and i want to remind you you can follow the action on twitter using the #npclive. we are now less than two weeks away from the 15th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of september 11, 2001. which cost the lives of more than 3,000 americans and laufrpbled america into war in two countries. just last month, the united states government released 28 redacted pages of the congressional joint inquiry into the 9-11 attacks. our guest, senator graham, has repeatedly called for the release of those pages. and i'm guessing will argue today for more transparency into the worst attacks on united states soil in its history. senator graham is the co-author of "america, the owners manual: you can fight city hall and win." he is also a former two-term governor of lord of. since leaving the senate in 2005, graham has been the chair of the congressional commission on weapons of mass destruction, proliferation, and terrorism, a
member of the financial crisis inquiry commission, and cochair on the presidential commission on the bp oil spill. a phi beta kappa graduate of the university of florida and harvard law school. senator graham will offer some remarks and will turn to questions. i will call on you and ask that you identify yourself. you may also submit questions o firstname.lastname@example.org. senator graham, the time is yours. senator graham: thank you for the opportunity to come back to the national press club.
as has been said, on july 15, after some 14 years, the chapter of 28 pages from the final report of the congressional joint inquiry in the 9/11 was released. i want to recognize the role that a number of american journalists have played in achieving this objective. i will just focus on a few, but there were many who continue to bring to the attention the public -- to the public that they did not have the full information as to what had transpired from one of the most horrific days in american history. lucy morgan of "the tampa bay times" and carl hope of "the new york times" kept a regular reflection on reminding people that these pages were missing and their potential significance might be. tony summers and dan christiansen, journalist and blogger with "the florida bulldog" broke the story on sarasota, which i will discuss
in a moment. finally, howard rosenberg was the producer of the "60 minutes" segment that was come in many ways, the end of the withholding of the 28 pages. the release of the pages received a variety of interpretations. there were some who said this confirms the saudi link to the 9/11 hijackers. the foreign minister of saudi arabia said the matter is now finished, and ds versions cast at saudi arabia for the last 14 years will end. i believe there is a different interpretation, and that is that this is removing the court from the -- cork from the bottle. there is a significant amount of information, which like a 28 pages, has been withheld, and that it was necessary to get
this first block of material to the public in order to build the support that will be necessary for the balance of the material to flow. the unanswered questions still remain largely unanswered. did these 19 people, most of whom did not speak english, most of whom had never been in the united states before, most of whom were not well educated, did they carry out this sophisticated task alone, or did they have some form of support while they were in the united states? if the answer is they had some support, who provided that support? a couple of contextual facts about the 28 pages. one, they were written in the fall of 2002. we know a lot more even in spite of the stringent efforts
to withhold than we did in the fall of 2002. second, most of the information in the 28 pages was derived from three of the 19 hijackers, the three who lived in san diego. the other 16 hijackers lived across the country, primarily in places like florida, virginia, new jersey. there were investigations conducted in each of those, and other places, which have also been classified and withheld. now that the bottle is open, what is likely to pour forth? i think there are three casks into which the liquid will flow. one is, in the 28 pages, written in the fall of 2002, but a number of instances were not completed.
we were under a mandate to submit our final report before the end of that session of congress, which meant by the end of december of 2002, and there were some issues that had ot been taken fully to ground. as an example, the role of the long saudi ambassador of the united states come in the 28 pages, it is disclosed that in the book of one of bin laden's closest operatives were the telephone numbers which were otherwise unavailable to his mansion in aspen, and to his bodyguard, here in washington. there was also information about the fact that both he and his wife had been involved in money transfers which appeared to go to the minters and
protectors of the three hijackers in san diego. was that where that money flow ended, or did it end up supporting the hijackers? that is the kind of questions that were raised in the 28 pages, but i hope we will now get information to close those loops. second, there has been a number of developments since december 002. in the fall of 2011, and author, anthony summers, and the journalist dan christiansen disclosed the fact that there had been three hijackers who had lived near sarasota, florida while they were taking their flight training. these included mohammed, who was thought to be the leader of the 19.
while here, they had significant contacts with a prominent saudi family, which left the united states after six years of residence in sarasota, for saudi arabia under what was described as urgent conditions. a new car left in front of the house, food in the refrigerator, clothes in the close washer -- washer. when that story surfaced, the fbi's response was in a public statement, that it had done a complete investigation of the situation in sarasota, had found no connections between the hijackers and the prominent saudi family, and that all of that information had been made available to the congressional joint inquiry and the citizens 9/11. i was quickly able to determine
that the third statement was incorrect. we searched the records of both the 9/11 commission and the congressional joint inquiry, talked to the leadership and chief staff of those and found they had never received any information about the situation in sarasota. i happened to have the opportunity to look at two of the investigative reports written by the fbi agent in charge of the six months investigation, and he said there were many connections between the three hijackers and the saudi family. subsequently, in a release document, through the freedom of information act, that report is now publicly available with the statement that there were many connections. and second, that the investigation was not complete, that there were other leads
that had been suggested by the agent in charge which were not pursued. i believe there are other examples of information like this that will be available when the investigative reports from places like falls church and southeast florida and paterson, new jersey become available. the third area will be judicial. the families of 9/11 have been litigating to try to establish the relationship between the kingdom of saudi arabia and entities, and the 19 hijackers. those efforts have been frustrated, with the support of the u.s. department of justice and state, which has sided with the saudi's on this issue. and interpretation of a 1970 sovereign immunity law has been effectively raised by the saudi's to not only cause there
to be the dismissal of actions against the kingdom, but against many of the entities within saudi arabia. there is currently legislation in the congress, it passed the u.s. senate unanimously, which would provide an exception to that 1970's law in the circumstances similar to 9/11, where there was an alleged foreign government involvement with a terrorist organization that resulted in harm to americans on u.s. soil. that matter is pending in the house of representatives and i hope that it will act during this session, ideally for the 5th anniversary of 9/11. the question was raised, why are you doing this? 15 years later, what difference does this make? get a life.
i was told that by the deputy director of the fbi. the answer, i think, is threefold. one is justice. these almost 3000 american victims and their families deserve justice. they deserve the right, in a court of law, to present the evidence they have gathered which is voluminous that will link the kingdom and other entities of saudi arabia to the 19 hijackers. the second is national security. these are the facts. the saudi's have heard the essage from the united states, including the defense that has been provided by two of its major executive agencies, department of justice, department of state, to dismiss the suit against them. how have they interpreted those facts?
i believe they have interpreted them as immunity. if the united states government will not take action in a case as serious and severe as this, the word is overused, but was a transitional event in history of the united states, what else will it take for saudi arabia to do before the united states government will be involved? i think the response that has come from that answer is we will continue to fund, as we have, the major terrorist organizations, and we will continue to fund mosques and madrasahs which are training the next generation of terrorism. the two things that any terrorist organization depends on is a consistent flow of money and recruits. saudi arabia is providing both of those.
but i think the third reason why this is important is our democracy. there was a recent report from dartmouth college of a study of what is the impact of secrecy, particularly focusing on the 28 pages, to the american people? the result is cynicism and suspicion. the american people are losing confidence that their government is abiding by the ssential compact of democracy, that the people will give their respect to the government, and the government will give its respect to the people by letting them know what the government is doing in their name. this is not the only factor that is leading to a decline in confidence in government, and i think we are seeing it in full color in this presidential election. there are other facts, and one that relates to the book that
chris hand and i have just published, is that americans have lost the sense of their personal ability to affect government. when benjamin franklin walked out of the con to touche not -- constitutional convention, a resident of philadelphia asked the question, mr. franklin, what have we got, a monarchy or republic? franklin responded, a republic, if you can keep it. the fact that he and the founders gave us a republic is no assurance that we will always have it. i believe that one of the essential elements to retaining a republic is to retain the concept that the role of the citizen is central, that it is the citizen for whom the republic was established, and for whom it will be accountable. today, too many people are dropping out.
we had an important election yesterday in florida. early reports are less than one out of three, maybe one out of four, people took the time to even vote, much less people getting actively involved. we are developing a democracy of spectators who think their role is to sit in the stands and watch the game of democracy, not be a direct participant. i believe our democracy is in trouble. until people begin to feel that they have a personal ability to affect change, this book "america, the owners manual: you can fight city hall and win" lays out dozens of examples where citizens have gotten involved and made a difference. they did not just have to rely on selecting the right person to office, they did it themselves. and it provides the skills that are necessary in order to be an effective citizen.
i believe the linkage between the cynicism of government by its people and the suggestion that one of the ways to overcome that cynicism is to motivate, provide the skills for the citizens not to be tacit, but the active participants in their democracy, is one of the most important anecdotes. thank you very much, i appreciate the opportunity to return to the national press club and will be happy to answer questions, except from larry lipman, who asks nasty questions, which i can certify. >> thank you, senator.
thank you, senator. we will turn to q&a now. please identify yourself and your news outlet when asking the questions. i will stop you if you start to give a speech or start to stack the questions. let me start off with a couple. you allude to this quite often in your speech. is the united states government protecting saudi arabia, and why? senator graham: yes, it is protecting saudi arabia, and i believe the reasons have varied over the years. one of the key reasons early on was that president bush said, at the site of the world trade center, that we will follow these heinous people to the ends of the earth to bring justice for those who have lost their lives. we immunity decided the ends of the earth were in iraq. it was rather embarrassing than to have information flowing in
to the intelligence agency that actually iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, but it appeared as if saudi arabia had a lot to do. so how do you square that difficult circle? i think the way, in part, was to submerge and suppress the information about the saudi involvement. i think another factor is the long relationship that the united states has had with saudi arabia going back to franklin roosevelt, his agreement with the king that we would provide them security, they would provide us oil. that relationship has been a difficult marriage to enter into a serious discussion as to whether may be separation or divorce is going to be required. i think another reason more recently has been all the turmoil in the middle east.
we have enough disturbance in places like syria and iraq that we do not need to add another one in saudi arabia. i believe, to go back to the marriage example, the way that marriages or any human relationships remain strong is honesty. that you share with each other and work through the difficult times. i think this is one of those times where our relationship with saudi arabia -- we are not going to have a positive, fruitful relationship with a country in which there is heavy suspicion that they were a facilitator in this horrific vent against our people. >> it took 14 years for the government to release 28 redacted pages. how confident are you the u.s. will release thousands of more pages of investigatory material when it took 28 pages 14
years? senator graham: we will have a task today which is how much news comes of this press conference that points out that the 28 pages were not the end, as the foreign minister of saudi arabia had said, but just an opening to massive amounts of additional information. to give you one example going back to the sarasota case, after the fbi released that statement that there were no connections, investigation was complete, they turned over information about this, then there were a series of freedom of information ask initiated. incidentally, i learned one thing throughout this. have any of you been involved in a freedom of information act? i think the law should be amended. the amendment should be to require that, at the time you
file your freedom of information, you also have to file a certified statement from an actuary as to what your life expectancy is. [laughter] it is just incredible the tactics of delay and obfuscation that make the ultimate objective of letting the american people know what their government is doing become reality. let me use the sarasota case. the first response by the fbi to the freedom of information act was, we are protecting privacy, we cannot release these 28 pages. the judge asked the obvious question. the hijackers are all dead. the saudi families are back in riyadh. whose privacy are we protecting? the fbi did not have a good answer to that so he rejected that argument for non-release. the second defense was, we
don't have any record. we conducted a six-month investigation, interviewed scores, if not hundreds of people sarasota investigation. his one judge with a couple of young clerks in fort lauderdale now has had this as his roommate, these boxes, for over two years. i am hopeful that soon, to answer your question, that he will begin the process of releasing the documents, building on the drumbeat that will come out of this press conference with that hard information that the case will begin to move forward
again. >> somebody who has a foia outstanding for about five years, i understand your question. we have a microphone being passed around, so please wait or that. >> thank you for hosting this for him. senator graham, congratulations for what you are doing, insisting that the fax from 9/11, out. as you point out and as the media points out, the 28 pages points out, there were meetings, facts. in san diego, the meeting of the religious director with at least three of the hijackers, and 15 of the 19 were from saudi arabia, and there was money paid from the princes account. those are the facts. but it seems american policy is to hide an office gate. why? -- obfuscate. why when they admit they did
not have a problem and then go forward on the basis of honesty saying that now we are fighting terrorism together. is it a matter of democrats and republicans pandering to saudi arabia? i don't understand why we don't take the facts and move on from there. senator graham: i thought i had answer that question earlier, but i will answer, no, this is not a partisan issue. in the house, the effort to ass this jasta legislation that will modify the saudi defense, and prior to that a resolution urging the president to release the 28 pages was led by a republican, walter jones from north carolina, democrat stephen lynch from massachusetts. this had strong bipartisan support. if anything, it is more of the executive branch versus the people of america. it has been the executive branch, through not only
justice and state but treasury and intelligence agencies that have largely been the barrier to allowing this information to be known by the american people. let the american people that form a judgment. what do they think we ought to be doing in this relationship with saudi arabia? >> next question in. please identify yourself. >> jeff steinberg, executive intelligence review. senator, former and -- navy secretary john lehman, who was a commissioner on the 9/11 commission, said there was never a complete investigation by the 9/11 commission. you have already said the joint inquiry was limited by time and resources. now, 15 years later, we have the 28 pages. as you indicated, lots of facts in their, a -- there, a report written by the commission on our staff who were following
up on the saudi leads. they listed 22 officials that have direct contacts with just the san diego hijackers. what do you envision as the next step, can there be a new investigation without the time restrictions and other problems, and do you support that, how would you envision moving forward from here in addition to the lawsuit which we do hope will be reinstated against the saudi's for discovery? senator graham: in addition to the request of the national archives to release the ustodians of the citizens 9/11 papers, to release those sections of its report which have been withheld, which relate to following up on the leads in the 28 pages. in those pages, is there a chapter about prince bandar that pursues the leads outlined
in the 28 pages? that will be one. second, there will need to be more freedom of information act. is there anyone here under the age of 40 that has the chance o be around -- [laughter] with the fbi and the cia. another thing would be the president. i can understand why george bush acted the way he did. i cannot understand why barack obama is acting the way he is. this information is going to be known, whether if it is 2016 or 26 or 36 or 46. like the pentagon papers, eventually it will come out. i think the legacy of barack obama will be stained when the people recognize how much
information was under his control, that he made the executive decision to continue o restrict from the american people. those are, i think, the rincipal lovers. -- levers. the american people care about knowing what their government did in this particularly egregious action. if so, will they put enough political pressure? the political candidates, they were both leaning toward releasing the 28 pages, have they continued to be sequestered. maybe now they should be asked a different set of questions. i am not intending to do your journalism for you, but, if you are the net president, will you
release this other information for which the 28 pages are the indicator, but not the last word? >> you have endorsed secretary clinton. have you made it a part of your endorsement or conversation with the campaign, the focus exactly on this issue, and said i would endorse you if you do this? are you pressing her campaign to do that? senator graham: given the choice that we are going to have on november 8, there is hardly anything that would be a strong enough restraint against the other candidate to vote for onald trump. i could not, in all honesty, even if she answered it in the way that i did not want her to do it, that i would not support a vote for her. >> question in the middle. >> andrew craig.
justice integrity project. senator, you have mentioned, a few moments ago, if the american public puts enough pressure, maybe good things will happen on this issue. probably your book addresses how. i wonder if you could say to the audience listening on c-span and elsewhere, what can an individual do, based on your extensive knowledge of politics, to make something happen on an issue like his? what practical steps should or could somebody do? senator graham: the most immediate thing is to contact your member of congress and urge he or she to vote for jasta. that bill has had a roller coaster existence over the last
four or five years. it seems to be closer to reaching its destination today than at any time in that period. the key is will the house take it up? my daughter happens to be a member of the u.s. house, second congressional district of florida. i asked her about this. she says, since the 28 pages were released, they have been getting more and more mail, e-mails, contacts from constituents in support of jasta. that is where the pressure needs to be until that important task is accomplished. >> jason. independent journalist. there was involvement -- if there was involvement by the saudi government, what was the motive? we have seen immobilization by the u.s. government against terrorism, really brought the issue of islamic extremism to
the forefront. what is the reason they may have participated in this? senator graham: we are asking that question in the timeframe f september 11, 2001 and the period proceeding that. some of this was laid out in a recent article by "the new york times" on the history of the audi kingdom, what its motivations are. i think the underlying objective of the saudi kingdom is survival. they come out of a desert tradition of antagonism at the tribal level. that is still a permeating concern. i believe, after the 1990's first persian gulf war, that the saudi's felt very hreatened, legitimately,
because saddam hussein, if he had moved more quickly, could have invaded saudi arabia. and they felt that their relationship with the united states had been compromised because the united states had been previous to the invasion assisting in iraq and its military comeback -- combat with iran. so they were looking for other ources of defense. one of the things they did was start buying military supplies from particularly the british rather than from the united states. this is a speculation, but i hink bin laden, who had been exiled from saudi arabia, had gone to afghanistan, had been a ajor figure in the rejection of the soviet union from
afghanistan, and had put together an army of 30,000 war hardened troops, went to the kingdom and threatened civil insurrection unless it would help him in a plot. i am not suggesting that he necessarily gave the details, but it was clear he wanted to do something big in the united states that was going to be adverse to u.s. interests, and needed help. the saudi's have people in the united states that have the capacity to render help, people like the man in san diego, possibly this family, associates of this family in sarasota. we don't know that yet. they agreed to make these eople available. but again, that is
speculation. if this information is eleased, information that is available not just on three but all 19 of the hijackers, that we will have a better and more fact-based answer to your question. >> mark meredith. bc tent. you mentioned you felt stonewalled even by the deputy director of the fbi. did you ever feel like your life was at risk, your security a concern for you as you pursue this? senator graham: i never felt that, but i was disappointed, it appeared as if the fbi was moving from a cover-up, which i consider to be a passive withholding of information, to ggressive deception. in the case of sarasota, which is one of several examples, they rewrote the narrative.
they said we finished the investigation and have found no connections, when in their own files, written by their special agent from the tampa office incidentally, they had contrary information. they then, and have continued, to withhold the information other than the 80,000 pages. from the public. i consider that to justify the categorization of being aggressive deception. > kristina wong. the hill. what is the mechanism for the release of the investigations on the other hijackers, are there foias out? why would the fbi suppress hose investigations? what role are the families playing?
senator graham: you asked several questions, if i don't answer all of them -- the reason the fbi is doing it, one, it is not doing it on its own. the pattern of behavior from the fbi, cia, state department, justice department, treasury department has all been consistent. i think the message has gone out from the white house that we do not want any information relative to saudi arabia to be released. there was a very interesting and important book written several years ago by phil -- with "the new york times" who had written a book about the investigation into 9/11. he pointed out the number of times information about the saudi's role was aggressively
suppressed. this is not a new or unique to he fbi -- venture. >> do you believe -- you mentioned coming out from the white house -- didn't start from the bush white house and continue to the obama white house? senator graham: yes. >> the question before, have those requests on the other hijackers been foia'ed? senator graham: i have been nvolved in florida, and they ave been in florida. incidentally, 13 of the 19 hijackers spent most of their time in the united states in southeast florida. we have enough issues. don't take that into account as to where you are going to take our next vacation. i assume they have all left by now.
i am not sure whether a foia has been filed in falls church, hich is incidentally not far from here, if somebody wants to take that one on, or paterson, new jersey, two of the other places where numbers of hijackers lived for significant periods of time. >> lastly, what role are the families playing in getting increasing public pressure? their primary role -- senator graham: their primary role is to help the passage of legislation. here are very able law firms involved in this matter. i am aware of much of the investigative work they have lready done. of all the channels of information about the saudi role, what will come out in that litigation, if it is allowed to occur, because sovereign immunity defense,
ill be astounding. >> canal plus french tv. is there any other channel that you are using, are you in contact with any other group, for instance wikileaks, or any other organization that would be able to help that issue be more public, in a more scandalous way, so that people are forced to read and act on that? the second question is, you are asking for the house to vote on jasta. you are asking them to allow american families to sue a foreign government in u.s. court. how confident are you that this will not open the door for
other governments to sue the united states and as for reparations for other things that have been done? senator graham: first, use the word channels. i will state, i have not contacted and will not contact wikileaks to secure release of this information. i think the american government needs do it, not the subterranean manner. one thing that has impressed me is how much interest there is internationally in this. to my knowledge, because i have participated in some of the production, there are programs, itv, the british commercial principles station will be issuing a documentary on this subject the week of september 11. there is a french and german documentary that has
developed. and the australians are producing a very deep documentary on the whole suppression of information on /11. support is becoming international. saudi arabia has not just ngaged itself in u.s. matters, going back to that "new york times" article of last week. they have had a very negative impact on making islam a much more rigid and reactionary religion in places like western europe and indonesia, and pakistan, than it had been in the past. our second question was --
[inaudible] senator graham: i know that is an argument against jasta. one of the frustrations here is there is another channel and it has been used many occasions. there has been some news coverage recently of the event that occurred 25 years ago when a pan am jet was blown up over lockerbie, scotland. the families, the victims did not go to court to get compensation. they went to their government. their government went to the libyan government and negotiated a settlement of some $2.5 billion, which was then distributed amongst the families of the victims. through two administrations there has been an unwillingness to negotiate with saudi rabia. here is what we know was your involvement.
do you want to enter into diplomacy to determine the ppropriate compensation of these american families? if the answer is we refuse to do so, and the reason i have been given is because the relationship is too important to even suggest to them that they may have been nvolved. well, i think it is a little presumptuous for the rest government to say on the one hand of these families, we will not enter into diplomacy like we did with lockerbie on behalf of the families of the victims, but at the same time, we will aggressively resist your ability to use our court system as a means of getting justice. i find that argument to be very nsatisfying. >> can i follow up on something about secretary clinton?
are you concerned about anything that came out of her e-mails, do you feel there any e-mails involving secretary clinton that have not been released? senator graham: the answer to the second question is i don't know. it is hard for me to believe, as one, who for 10 years, had access to a lot of classified information, that any secretary of state -- certainly not knowingly -- but either by inadvertence, assisted in making classified information available. apparently, the documents that flowed through her computer, with only a few exceptions, did not have any indication on them that they were considered to be lassified.
to use her words, this was an act of bad judgment. she should not have done this. but i do not think it is a national security threat, or that she should be criminally indicted for this. > thank you. many rob lowe, rt america. you mention your experience dealing with the fbi tried to get more information about the saudi connection. have you been in contact with any officials in saudi arabia, and if so, what has been the outcome of that inquiry? enator graham: some of the answers to your question i cannot discuss publicly. i did go to riyadh in 2011,
2012, and had conversations on this issue at that time both with saudi and u.s. persons. there was some information i got that i think would tend to be a reinforcing of my relief -- belief that there was a relationship, but i cannot go beyond that. >> celia wexler. who, what, why, and online news organization. i want to be clear about what you are saying about saudi involvement. do you believe that saudi involvement is at the highest level of their government, or is it saudi officials, saudi individuals, or all three? senator graham: again, that is precisely the kind of
information that is knowable, just not to anybody outside of a small group of people in the agencies who have control of the information. my own belief is that it involves layers of the saudi society, in part, because of the nature of the saudi society. the saudi society is a medieval monarchy where the king can literally do no wrong. other entities within that kingdom are reticent to act, particularly on something that would be as sensitive as being duplicitous to your closest ally without some signal of clearance. i think there is an interesting part of the suits to date against saudi arabia. i mentioned it is not just the kingdom that was listed as a
defendant, but also a long list of other saudi entities, banks, foundations, nongovernmental organizations. they have also claimed the same sovereign immunity that the king has claimed. and the courts have accepted that. that tells me, the assumption is, every institution, from the palace to the back-office of a financial institution in saudi arabia is considered to be worthy of the protection of sovereign immunity, which says they must, in some way, be responsive to the kingdom which holds that sovereign mmunity. >> one follow-up. you were pretty much harassed by the fbi when you try to go further in your inquiries. since you went public, have you heard of anybody else who had that kind of treatment from the
fbi? senator graham: no. this was a situation which occurred in 2011, as all this information about sarasota was starting to come out. my wife and i flew up from iami to dulles to have thanksgiving with our daughter who lives in great falls. we were met at the airport by two fbi agents. they said an official with the fbi wants to talk to you about the sarasota situation. i was encouraged, feeling maybe some of the questions we had been asking were going to be answered. so we drove with the agents to the office at dulles which the fbi has. my wife was put in one room. she was given as entertainment the fbi training manual.
if you want to know some arcane aspects of fbi training, she is fully prepared. i was taken into another room with the deputy director of the fbi, a young female fbi agent, nd a middle-aged lawyer from the department of justice, and essentially, the message was, we have done this complete investigation. everything that is known is known. you need to get a life. i pointed out what he did not know was that i had actually read two of the investigative reports by their agent which contradicted which they had said publicly and what he had just said to me privately. he said, you don't understand, one, that was not a very good agent. has there been an investigation by the fbi in its history that was as important to the
american people as full knowledge of 9/11? and the very fact that they would say that they sent to head an investigation into what i think was an important component of the total picture, someone that they declared to be less than a fully capable person, was itself revelatory. then he proceeded to say, we have other information that puts what you read in context, and you will see that, in fact, what we have said is true. i said, fine, could i see the information that would put it into context? he pointed to the young female agent and directed her to assemble the files. we arranged a time to meet at the fbi office for the district of columbia. a few days later, i showed up
for our meeting, prepared to read these files. the deputy director was there and he said, the meeting is canceled. we are not going to reschedule it. and, since i knew who the agent was who was described as less than competent, and i had called him to try to have a telephone conversation -- he said, i know that you have been calling agent x. stop calling him because i have told him to stop taking your calls. that was the last of any official character meeting i had with the fbi. >> time for two more questions. >> i work with a tv station, a
u.s. station based here. my question is something that a lot of people in the middle east are asking, especially the moderate people, the anti-wahhabi people, the anti-sharia law people. can we say that the u.s. are sacrificing the 9/11 cause and its dignity as a superpower in order to keep oil supplies in the energy market? and also to keep the $7 billion in american banks and avoid any economic crisis in the uture. this is why the americans are dealing peacefully with the saudi's. senator graham: if those questions are being asked in the middle east by people who you describe as being constructive, nonviolent individuals, that just underscores that releasing this
information which would provide answers to questions like that, and not just personal speculation, is not only important for the american people, it is important for our global reputation. i cannot answer those questions, other than to the degree i have speculated on it earlier. i think it is important for the american reputation -- maybe this comes under the category of our national security. people respect us to be honest with what we know about the relationship with saudi arabia to 9/11, and begin that series discussion of what our future will be, in terms of the elationship. >> my name is bill earl, communicator with the national press club. i lost my godson in the 9/11 attacks.
the 9/11 attack was really the second attack on the world trade center. in 1993, a saudi-connected and funded terrorist group bond the parking garages the world trade center. my question is, should it a look back be to the complacenc'y be to the complacency of the u.s. government going as far back as 1993 and then leading up to 9/11? a general proposition, i would say, yes. in fact, there were some ties because one of the two people who are identified as being the principal protectors of the three people in san diego was a man named thought non-who had in peripherally involved in the first attack back in 1993.