Biden orders declassification of documents relating to Sept 11 attacks

WASHINGTON:  President Joe Biden on Friday directed the declassification of certain documents related to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, a supportive gesture to victims' families who have long sought the records in hopes of implicating the Saudi government.

The order, coming little more than a week before the 20th anniversary of the attacks, is a significant moment in a yearslong tussle between the government and the families over what classified information about the run-up to the attacks could be made public. That conflict was on display last month when many relatives, survivors and first responders came out against Biden's participation in 9/11 memorial events if the documents remained classified.

Biden said Friday that he was making good on a campaign commitment by ordering the declassification review and pledged that his administration “will continue to engage respectfully with members of this community.”

“The significant events in question occurred two decades ago or longer, and they concern a tragic moment that continues to resonate in American history and in the lives of so many Americans,” the executive order states. “It is therefore critical to ensure that the United States Government maximizes transparency, relying on classification only when narrowly tailored and necessary." - AP