Graham’s novel, Keys to the Kingdom, is the hail-Mary pass of a dedicated public servant working way beyond the call of duty and well outside his comfort zone to provide the world with the unvarnished, uncensored truth about the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
As Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and Co-Chair of the Congressional Joint Inquiry into 9/11, Graham became convinced that the Saudi government has the blood of September 11th on its hands.
Specifically, the Saudis created a social and financial infrastructure stretching from Sarasota to San Diego which made it possible for the 19 hijackers —who had no fluency in English, no ties to America and no visible means of support—to live in anonymity amongst us as they prepared to shatter our domestic tranquility. Graham is chillingly persuasive in making the case that this infrastructure is still here and remains capable of unleashing new horrors on American soil.
Censors armed with classified stamps redacted the best evidence from the official reports. But as a work of fiction, Keys to the Kingdom is beyond the reach of the government’s power to trample on truth, said Graham at a forum last Tuesday to mark the 11th anniversary of the attacks. The program, titled “Unanswered Questions of 9/11: A Conversation With Bob Graham”, was a fundraiser for the Internet-based investigative reporting website Broward Bulldog, and drew 125 people to the downtown Museum of Art.
Bulldog has, almost single-handedly, kept alive the story of what Graham calls a “bi-partisan cover-up” of Saudi involvement in the attacks. Last year, Bulldog editor Dan Christensen, working with Anthony Summers, co-author of The Eleventh Day, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for History, revealed that the FBI withheld from the Congressional Inquiry, and from the subsequent 9/11 Commission, the fact that it had investigated the “Sarasota Saudis.”
Responding to Bulldog’s reporting, the FBI claimed it had disclosed to Congress everything it knew about 9/11. Graham—a Harvard educated lawyer not given to casual cursing—calls that claim “total B.S.”
In the recent past, a highly reliable source like Graham bearing stories about Saudi nationals living large in Sarasota and raining death upon thousands of our countrymen was raw meat for packs of rabid watchdog journalists who roamed the country and the world from basecamps in Florida’s notoriously aggressive newsrooms.
Not anymore. As the Jounro-pocalypse of layoffs and furloughs grinds on, Broward Bulldog pretty much owns this story.
Christensen worked for the Miami Herald, the Daily Business Review, and other south Florida newspapers at the apex of their agenda-setting power. His reporting about Broward Sheriff and former state senator Ken Jenne’s private business dealings sparked a federal corruption investigation that landed Jenne in prison in 2007. His reporting on hidden and falsified court records led to a pair of unanimous Florida Supreme Court decisions in 2007 and 2010 outlawing those practices. In 2000-2001, his reporting about a deadly gun-planting conspiracy and cover-up by Miami police resulted in the indictment of more than a dozen officers and the establishment of Miami’s long sought civilian review panel.
Graham, whose late brother Philip and sister-in-law Katharine, built the Washington Post into one of the world’s great newspapers, understands better than most people the importance of investigative reporting. He heaped praise upon Christensen’s stories about “the Sarasota Saudis” and other truths about terrorism that President George W. Bush and his successor, Barack Obama have stuck in the “state secrets” drawer.
Like Graham and Christensen, Bulldog’s pro bono First Amendment lawyer, Tom Julin, cut his professional teeth in an era when every news organization fought for every story, and took no guff from government. This month, Julin filed suit in federal court in Ft Lauderdale against the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice. The lawsuit cites the Freedom of Information Act and demands release of the records which will tell the truth behind the fiction in Keys to the Kingdom.
Graham with his “fiction” and Christiansen with his website are the new faces of The Lonely Pamphleteer. If you want to know the whole truth about September 11, buy Graham’s book; support Christensen’s website; and tell President Obama to declassify the documents.
Florence Snyder is a member of the Board of Directors of Broward Bulldog. She is a corporate and First Amendment lawyer. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org