Americans have grown accustomed to broken promises from politicians. And yet, some lapses are so striking that they can muster indignation from even the most jaded political observer. Case in point: President Obama’s personal assurances to 9/11 family members—on two separate occasions—that he would declassify a 28-page finding on foreign government support of the hijackers.
“I will get them released”
It’s one thing to neglect a broad policy promise made in the heat of an election, and another thing altogether to renege on a personal commitment to 9/11 family members—but that’s precisely what Obama is doing, based on accounts provided by Kristen Breitweiser and Bill Doyle, who each lost loved ones in the September 11 attacks.
Breitweiser—whose husband, Ronald Breitweiser, worked in the South Tower of the World Trade Center and was the father of a then-two-year old girl—told the Philadelphia Inquirer Obama’s assurance to her came at a meeting with 9/11 survivors at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in February 2009, just weeks after he’d taken office:
“We had opportunities to raise our hands and ask questions, and I asked him whether he would be interested in releasing the 28 pages, because for years we had been trying to get President Bush to do it,” said Breitweiser…
Obama “said absolutely, I don’t see why not. The bottom line is he agreed to do it, and he gave me and the rest of the world his promise,” Breitweiser said.