In a remarkable and sweeping executive order, President Joe Biden Friday ordered the FBI to quickly make public many now classified documents detailing the government’s investigation of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington nearly 20 years ago.
To safeguard genuine national security information – long a key FBI excuse for withholding information – Biden’s order instructs Attorney General Merrick Garland and the heads of other executive departments and agencies that originated the information to conduct “declassification reviews” of the records before their release.
“The American people deserve to have a fuller picture of what their Government knows about those attacks,” says Biden’s order. “It is therefore critical to ensure that the United States Government maximizes transparency, relying on classification only when narrowly tailored and necessary. Thus, information collected and generated in the United States Government’s investigation of the 9/11 terrorist attacks should now be disclosed, except when the strongest possible reasons counsel otherwise.”
The only specific document President Biden ordered to be reviewed for public release “no later than September 11, 2021” is an April 4, 2016 “electronic communication from the subfile investigation,” of the FBI that’s also known as Operation Encore. That report is said to be a 16-page summary of Encore’s findings about possible Saudi government complicity in 9/11.