For Immediate Release
The White House
July 29, 2003
President Discusses Middle East Peace with Prime Minister Sharon[Excerpts on Declassification of 9/11 Report]
July 29, 2003
Q: Mr. President, will the decision to not declassify the entire 9/11 report affect relations with Saudi Arabia, do you think? Might it have an impact on what they are doing to counter terrorism? Do you have any qualms?
PRESIDENT BUSH: About not declassifying? No, absolutely have no qualms at all, because there's an ongoing investigation into the 9/11 attacks and we don't want to compromise that investigation. If people are being investigated, it doesn't make sense for us to let them know who they are.
Secondly, we have an ongoing war against al Qaeda and terrorists, and the declassification of that part of a 900-page document would reveal sources and methods that will make it harder for us to win the war on terror. Now, perhaps at some point in time down the road, after the investigations are fully complete, and if it doesn't jeopardize our national security, perhaps we can declassify the 27 of the hundreds of pages in the document. But it makes no sense to declassify when we've got an ongoing investigation that could jeopardize that investigation. And it made no sense to declassify during the war on terror because it would help the enemy if they knew our sources and methods.
Q: Mr. President, Senator Shelby says 95 percent of the redaction has nothing to do with sources and methods, sir. Is he wrong?
PRESIDENT BUSH: Sorry.