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Release documents on Saudi Arabia and 9/11

Recovered from Ground Zero after the 9/11 attacks,

Recovered from Ground Zero after the 9/11 attacks, these structural steel "tridents" rose from the base of the original 1 World Trade Center, or the north tower. They are now at the entrance of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum pavilion. (Sept. 6, 2013) Credit: Craig Ruttle

Victims of the 9/11 attacks and the public deserve to know whether Saudi Arabia financed the terrorists who leveled the World Trade Center.

Zacarias Moussaoui, the so-called "20th hijacker," testified recently in a civil lawsuit for damages brought by relatives of some 9/11 victims that he had contact with Saudi government officials in the run-up to the attacks, and that Saudi officials also had direct dealings with Osama bin Laden.

Moussaoui's controversial claim that the Saudi government directly assisted the hijackers is reportedly buttressed by sworn statements from former U.S. Navy Secretary John Lehman and former Sen. Bob Kerrey, who were members of the 9/11 Commission, and by government documents filed in federal court in Manhattan by lawyers for the plaintiffs.

Now the families want to know if there is damning evidence in 28 pages of a report by congressional intelligence committees on their investigation of the attacks. Those key pages deal specifically with al-Qaida's funding. President George W. Bush ordered them classified in late 2002 when the rest of the report was made public.

Obama should declassify the pages, known as "Part 4" -- edited, if necessary, to protect intelligence sources and methods.

The Saudi government reportedly favors release of these documents, insisting that would make it easier to refute the claims Moussaoui made from a supermax federal prison in Colorado, where he is serving a life sentence. The Obama administration is reviewing whether to declassify the document, but has set no timetable for a decision.

It's been more than a decade. That's long enough.