With all the outrage in Washington on both sides of the aisle regarding Apple CEO Tim Cook's failure to create backdoor access to Syed Rizwan Farook's iPhone, I am wondering why there is not the same outrage for the U.S. government to release the 28 pages of the Joint Inquiry of Congress that deals with the foreign sponsorship of the 9/11 attacks. (See pages 395-422.)
Why isn't the release of information regarding the 9/11 attacks so equally and passionately sought after?
The 28 pages are the classified pages of the Joint Inquiry of Congress's Final Report that allegedly contain information regarding the foreign financing of the 9/11 attacks. For nearly 15 years, these classified 28 pages have been kept secret, thereby preventing us from holding these foreign nations accountable for funding the 9/11 attacks.
The 9/11 victims' families have begged, pleaded and argued for access to these 28 pages. We have held press conferences. We have pushed for legislation. We have been solemnly promised by President Barack Obama that he would declassify these pages and give the U.S. federal courts access to this vital information.
Yet, the 28 pages remain classified -- which is why I find our government's current swoon over access to Farook's iPhone so absolutely hypocritical.
Because, why is access to Farook's iPhone any more important than access to the 28 pages?
Truthfully, had the 28 pages been accessed years ago, terror funding might have dramatically decreased and it's possible Farook might not have even been radicalized, nor able to carryout the San Bernadino attacks that killed 14 people.
"For a government that is so quick to violate and trample on everyone else's privacy rights... they certainly go to great lengths to protect their own."
One person who hasn't supported access to the 28 pages is Senator Diane Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee. Interestingly, when it comes to Apple sharing information, Ms. Feinstein wants Apple to share away.
Feinstein said, "There is a phone encrypted that could yield additional information, and I believe that as a government we have every responsibility and duty to see that Apple provides that information."
Gee, considering Senator Feinstein's statement above, it's ironic that the government has seen fit to keep the 28 pages of the Joint Inquiry of Congress classified and secret for the past 15 years.
So maybe Senator Feinstein and her friends in Congress should do the same thing that they are asking of Tim Cook -- give access to all the information available regarding the terrorist attacks that killed 3,000 people; information that could deter future terrorist funding and, thereby prevent future terrorist attacks.
And, the really good news is that giving access to the 28 pages doesn't violate anyone's privacy rights.
Bottom line: For a government that is so quick to violate and trample on everyone else's privacy rights via the Patriot Act or this recent swipe at Apple, they certainly go to great lengths to protect their own.
So, is this truly the government in search of access to information in order to prevent terrorist attacks? Or is it merely just another power-grab? Either way, release the 28 pages because the information contained therein will undoubtedly deter future terrorist attacks.
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