September 26, 2003

Dear Senator Graham:

Thank you for your recent letter in which you urged the President to consider declassifying all portions of the Report of the Joint Inquiry into the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001. On his behalf, let me update you on the Administration's viewpoint regarding this matter.

As you know, we worked very closely with the Joint Inquiry and made every effort to declassify as much information as possible. Indeed, a large portion of the report was cleared for release with little substantive change. However, the parts of the report which are to remain classified contain information relating to sources and methods, to ongoing investigations tied to the September 11, 2001 attacks, and to law enforcement and intelligence collection targets. Continued success in the war on terrorism requires that we not compromise this highly sensitive information or the methods by which we collect it. Our ongoing intelligence and law enforcement investigations into the September 11 attacks would not be served by making public the details of particular individuals, locations, or methods which may be still under investigation.

As the President has said, at some point in the future this information may be declassified, if that is consistent with our national security and does not harm our efforts in the war on terrorism. In the meantime, we cannot take any action which will weaken our hand in the pursuit of those responsible for planning attacks against the American people.

The Honorable Bob Graham
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510-0903

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