CIA Director John Brennan Warns Against Release of 28 Pages of 9/11 Report

PHOTO: CIA Director John Brennan testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on worldwide threats to America and its allies, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Feb. 9, 2016.PlayMolly Riley/AFP/Getty Images
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Releasing a classified section of the congressional investigation into the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States would be a mistake, according to Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan.

There is a growing debate on whether to declassify 28 pages of the 2002 report, but Brennan said a reason to keep them under wraps is they contain "unvetted information" that some could use to unfairly implicate Saudi Arabia in the terror attacks.

Brennan argued on NBC’s "Meet the Press” Sunday that the independent 9/11 commission followed up on the information in the 2002 report from the House and Senate intelligence committees and found no links between the Saudi government and the terrorists.

"I think some people may seize upon that uncorroborated, unvetted information that was in there that was basically just a collation of this information that came out of FBI files, and to point to Saudi involvement, which I think would be very, very inaccurate," Brennan said.

Lawmakers and former Senate Intelligence Chairman Bob Graham, who co-chaired the 2002 joint congressional inquiry into the attacks, have pushed for the full report to be made public. Graham, a Florida Democrat, has said the report shows the 9/11 hijackers were likely supported by officials in the Saudi government, as well as those with the capacity to finance them in that country.

Critics have said the 28 pages would leave open the possibility that parts of the Saudi government could have played a role in the attacks. Brennan pushed back against this idea.

"I think there's a combination of things that are accurate and inaccurate," Brennan said of the report, noting he is "quite puzzled" by the push from Graham and others to have the 28 pages released publicly.

"I think the 9/11 commission took that joint inquiry and those 28 pages or so and followed through on the investigation. And they came out with a very clear judgment that there was no evidence that indicated that the Saudi government as an institution, or Saudi officials individually, had provided financial support to al Qaeda."