Saudi Government Officials Assisted the 9/11 Terrorists, According to a Rogue Commissioner

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A former member of the 9/11 Commission said Wednesday the commission's report was negligent for not more straightforwardly linking Saudi Arabia to the World Trade Center attacks. 

John Lehman is the only commissioner to declare the group's report lacking and publicly point the finger at Saudi Arabia. Fifteen of the 19 hijackers were Saudi citizens. 

"There was an awful lot of participation by Saudi individuals in supporting the hijackers, and some of those people worked in the Saudi government," Lehman said, according to the Guardian. "Our report should never have been read as an exoneration of Saudi Arabia."

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Sen. Bob Kerrey (L) and John Lehman (R) testify to the House of Representatives Government Reform Committee in 2004.  Lawrence Jackson/AP

Much of the 9/11 Commission's investigation was based upon another report known as "The 28 pages," which contain the findings of a congressional investigation into intelligence weaknesses surrounding the attacks. However, then-President George W. Bush made the document classified in order to shield those involved.

Recently, there has been a swelling call to entirely declassify "The 28 pages," a move the 9/11 Commission's chairman, former New Jersey Gov. Tom Kean, and vice chairman, former Indiana Rep. Lee Hamilton, have not supported, according to a joint statement April 22. 

"We would recommend that steps be taken to protect the identities of anyone [in 'The 28 pages'] who has been ruled out by authorities as having any connection to the 9/11 plot," the statement read.

Lehman strongly disagreed Wednesday with Kean and Hamilton. "Saudi government officials may "not have been indicted, but they were certainly implicated," he said. "There was an awful lot of circumstantial evidence."

Former chairman and vice chairman of the 9/11 Commission, Gov. Tom Kean (L) and Rep. Lee Hamilton (R).  J. Scott Applewhite/AP

And the Saudi government appears to agree with Lehman. 

"Our position, since 2002 when the report first came out, was 'release the pages,'" Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said, according to Agence France-Presse.

"We know from other senior U.S. officials that the charges made in 'The 28 pages' do not stand up to scrutiny. And so, yes, release 'The 28 pages.'"