September 26, 2018 - Issue: Vol. 164, No. 159 — Daily Edition115th Congress (2017 - 2018) - 2nd Session
URGING THE RELEASE OF INFORMATION REGARDING THE SEPTEMBER 11, 2001, TERRORIST ATTACKS UPON THE UNITED STATES; Congressional Record Vol. 164, No. 159
(Senate - September 26, 2018)
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[Pages S6316-S6317] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] URGING THE RELEASE OF INFORMATION REGARDING THE SEPTEMBER 11, 2001, TERRORIST ATTACKS UPON THE UNITED STATES Mr. BLUMENTHAL. Mr. President, shortly, I will move for unanimous consent to pass S. Res. 610, urging the release of information regarding the September 11 terrorist attacks upon the United States. It is a bipartisan resolution, and I thank the cosponsors who joined me in this historic effort: Senators Cornyn, Schumer, Gillibrand, Murphy, Menendez, Grassley, Markey, Booker, Rubio, and Sanders. At a time of very deep division in our country and in this body, all of us are still able to come together to help the survivors and families of the horrific September 11 terrorist attack as they seek justice and fairness to deter additional and ongoing state sponsorship of terror. Following our successful efforts in 2016 to enact the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, also known as JASTA, the families of 9/11 victims who perished earned the right to have their day in court. We thought that day would come quickly and they would receive justice. We believe they also earned a right to the necessary [[Page S6317]] Federal Government archive investigative files on the al-Qaida terrorists and foreign nationals who may have assisted. As much as we expected justice, the Federal Government denied them those records and documents that are vital to their cause. So 17 years after this national tragedy, the appropriate declassification releasing these documents poses no threat to our national security, and there is no reason for the Federal Government to resist their requests. These files have been kept secret for too long. That secrecy contradicts the national interest. Their cause serves our national security, not only because it gives them justice individually, but it also deters terrorists in the future. Denying them access to this important evidence is unjust, unfair, and unwise. The U.S. Government should make public any evidence of links between the Saudi Arabian Government officials and the support network inside the United States used to aid and abet the 9/11 hijackers. The legal and moral responsibility of our government is to provide its citizens with all available information regarding this horrific tragedy on September 11, 2001, particularly where there may be evidence that foreign nationals conspired within our borders to support terror with the assistance of foreign governments. This resolution would never have been possible without the efforts of my constituent Brett Eagleson, of Middletown, CT. He was 15 years old when his father Bruce was lost to him in that massive, unspeakable destruction. He was on the 17th floor of Tower 2 of the World Trade Center. Brett was joined in his advocacy and efforts by members across the country of the 9/11 Families and Survivors United for Justice Against Terrorism. That group is a profile in courage, reliving the pain and anguish of those days in their efforts to seek justice for all Americans. They include a number of individuals whose names I wish to place in the Record: Mary Fetchet of New Cannan, who lost her son; Gordon Haberman of Wisconsin, who lost his daughter; Carol Ashley of Long Island, who lost her daughter; Tim Frolich, a survivor from New York City; Sharon Premoli, a survivor from Vermont; Loreen Sellitto from Florida, who lost her son; and Charles Wolf of New York City, who lost his wife. I thank each of them and the many others who supported this effort for their courage and strength. There are so many we honor today by our passage of this sense-of-the- Senate resolution. This Senate resolution is itself succinct but significant. It resolves that it is the sense of the Senate that documents related to the events of September 11, 2001, should be declassified to the greatest extent possible; and, two, that the survivors, the families of the victims, and the people of the United States deserve answers about the events and circumstances surrounding the September 11 terrorist attack upon the United States. Many years later, the pain and grief they endure on that horrific day is still with them. Each year in Connecticut we commemorate this day, and we will never forget. That is our resolve--never to forget, never to yield to hopelessness, never to allow our support for these families to diminish. This sense-of-the-Senate resolution makes real the promise the Nation made to these 9/11 families. They deserve this evidence. Even if it is embarrassing to foreign governments or foreign nationals, they deserve justice. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs be discharged from further consideration of S. Res. 610 and the Senate proceed to its immediate consideration. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered. The clerk will report the resolution by title. The senior assistant legislative clerk read as follows: A resolution (S. Res. 610) urging the release of information regarding the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks upon the United States. There being no objection, the Senate proceeded to consider the resolution. Mr. BLUMENTHAL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, and the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered. The resolution (S. Res. 610) was agreed to. The preamble was agreed to. (The resolution, with its preamble, is printed in the Record of August 21, 2018, under ``Submitted Resolutions.'') Mr. BLUMENTHAL. Mr. President, I yield the floor. I suggest the absence of a quorum. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll. The senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll. ____________________