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Bush Refuses to Declassify 9/11 Report

HeadlineJul 30, 2003

President Bush stands by his 28-page gap. He is refusing to declassify the portion of the Congressional 9/11 report that is believed to detail ties between Saudi Arabia and the Sept. 11 attacks.

This comes despite calls from the Saudi foreign minister and a bipartisan coalition of Senators.

Bush yesterday held a hastily arranged meeting with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Faisal after which Faisal told reporters at the White House “We have nothing to hide. Anybody who accuses us must have a morbid imagination.’’

Bush claimed the section could not be released without jeopardizing national security. But Republican Sen. Richard Shelby, who served as a vice chairman of the congressional inquiry, contradicted Bush by saying up to 95 percent of the section could be released.

At the meeting, the Saudi minister agreed to allow U.S. officials question Omar Bayoumi, the former Saudi aviation official, who is believed to have helped two of the hijackers find and pay for an apartment prior to the attacks. The report found that Bayoumi had “had access to seemingly unlimited funding from Saudi Arabia.”

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