Senator also pushing to stop unauthorized military force.
While the Presidential race takes the spotlight, Senator Rand Paul is continuing to work diligently behind the scenes on two important issues – the push to have 28 redacted pages of a 9/11 investigative report released, and the effort to get the Senate to stop the White House using a 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force to conduct military operations in Syria and Iraq.
Paul has long spearheaded the move to have the 9/11 review pages, compiled in 2002, made public. It is believed that the documents contain undeniable proof that Saudi government officials were connected to the funding of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
Paul has filed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which would mandate that the 28 pages be released within 60 days of the NDAA being signed into law, later this year.
Paul’s amendment would see all the redacted pages made public, minus any “identifying information” the White House believe will cause “imminent lawless action or compromise presently ongoing national security operations.”
Essentially, the release would confirm Saudi involvement, but would leave it up to the President as to whether the Saudi officials involved were named.
The Senate has been pushing for the release for some time. Last month it unanimously approved legislation allowing relatives of 9/11 victims to sue countries that helped fund the attacks.
“Look, if the Saudis did not participate in this terrorism, they have nothing to fear about going to court,” Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), expected to be the next Senate Democratic leader, said earlier this month. “If they did, they should be held accountable.”
Last year Rand Paul made clear his intentions to reveal the truth in the 28 pages.
“We cannot let page after page of blanked-out documents be obscured by a veil,” Paul said, adding that “Information revealed over the years does raise questions about [Saudi Arabia’s] support, or whether their support might have been offered to these al Qaeda terrorists.”
Paul has introduced legislation called the “Transparency for the Families of 9/11 Act,” that would force the Obama administration to disclose the pages, which were extracted from a congressional inquiry into the attacks in 2002 and made secret by the Bush government.
The CIA has pushed to keep the documents secret, with Director John Brennan claiming that their release would compromise “sensitive methods” and “investigative actions” used by the government.
Senator Paul also vowed Monday to introduce legislation connected to the Defense bill that would make it clear that a 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force no longer applies when it comes to military operations in Iraq and Syria currently being conducted.
“I will be introducing an amendment to the upcoming defense bill that will state in no uncertain terms that the President cannot use vague, out-of-date authorities to send our troops to war,” Paul wrote in an op-ed for Time.
“My amendment will state that it is the sense of the Senate that the 2001 9/11 AUMF and the 2002 Iraq war AUMF do not apply to today’s war in Iraq and Syria and that if war is to continue there must be a new declaration of war by Congress.”
“The Constitution explicitly gives the power to declare war to Congress,” Paul wrote. “But this administration still continues to use Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), which was passed way back in 2001 and 2003, and originally intended to give President George W. Bush the green light for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq after 9/11, as justification for continuing military actions abroad today.”
Paul further warned that the “never ending series of wars” is not being wound down by Obama, and that a “hawkish Hillary Clinton or a more unknown in Donald Trump” should not simply be passed the power to wage war without due process.
“No president—including this president—deserves this kind of extra-constitutional power.” Paul urged.