Congressman: "There will be anger, frustration, and embarrassment" when classified pages are revealed

Wednesday morning, Glenn played audio of Representative Thomas Massie (R-KY) calling for the government to declassify twenty-eight pages of the 9/11 report that have been hidden away from the American people. He claimed those pages do not present a threat to national security, and that they would fundamentally change people's understanding of what happened that day. Wednesday night, Rep. Massie joined The Glenn Beck Program to discuss in more detail why those pages should be released and how the American people will react.

"Tonight, we’re going to shine the light on something that has been kept in the dark for nearly 13 years going back to the Bush administration and even before," Glenn said. "It’s going to lead to some ugly truths, but no matter how embarrassing it might be for the Bush administration, for the Clintons, or whoever else is involved, if it’s embarrassing for our allies, a nation that claims to stand for truth and justice must adhere to that principle every time, not when it’s easy, not when it’s in our best interest or our political interest, but when it is a value every time."

"Citizens, especially the families of the 9/11 victims, deserve to know the truth. Now, some congressmen were recently given access to 28 classified pages from a 9/11 intelligence report. TheBlaze has shown this before, but we’ve just shown you the blacked-out pages. Now, after reading it, the whole page, one congressman who we’re about to talk to here, said he couldn’t go more than a few sentences each paragraph without having to pause and 'rearrange his understanding of history.' That’s remarkable."

"Here’s the story, back in 2002, a congressional report was released called Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001. We have gone through this, we have talked about it. People back in 2002 or 2003 were asking for more of it. It’s why we have these conspiracy theories in the first place.

"But 28 pages of the report, about 7,200 words, were redacted and deemed classified by President George W. Bush. Now, his reasoning was a vague reference to it being national security risk. Normally, and the reason why this didn’t work, is normally only sensitive names and contracts and covert agents, etc., are redacted, but this had 28 pages that were entirely blacked out."

"And at the time, 46 senators, that’s half of the Senate, led by Chuck Schumer, wrote a letter to the president asking to declassify the pages. Schumer claimed that the redacted information was related to, and I want to quote, 'specific sources of foreign support for some of the September 11th hijackers while they were in the United States' – probably screams Saudi Arabia, and that’s what it did. He went directly to claiming Saudi Arabia was the primary source of this foreign funding."

Glenn explained that other people have come out and drawn connections between the 9/11 hijackers and Saudi Arabia, including former Senator Bob Graham.

While Congressman Massie can't reveal exactly what he read in those redacted pages, he can speak out about why it's important they be released. He talked to Glenn about those issues Wednesday night:

A transcript of the interview is below:

Glenn: Congressman Massie joins me now from Washington, D.C. Congressman, how are you?

Congressman Massie: Doing well, Glenn. Thanks for having me on.

Glenn: I’m concerned because I know you can’t say anything because anything that you say can and will be held against you, so, you know, you’re going to have to talk as cryptically here, but I was gravely disturbed by your description where you said you had to stop and refigure history every couple of sentences. Can you give us any other description other than that?

Congressman Massie: Well, absolutely. You know, when 9/11 happened and shortly thereafter, we were all like sponges, we’re trying to absorb as much information to understand the who, the what, the why, the where, but at some point you quit collecting information because there’s no more information to be had or you think there’s no more information. And it all sort of sets up like concrete in your brain.

Well, as I was reading these 28 pages, I had to try and take apart that concrete that had set up, my own understanding of what had led up to 9/11 and what had enabled it. And then also what really hurt me was to wonder why did my government keep this from me for 13 years? What were their motives?

You know, there will be anger, frustration, and embarrassment when these 28 pages finally come out. Those are all emotions that you describe that I had while I was reading these pages. These are emotions that I think the public will have when they find out.

Glenn: Here’s what worries me, and I want to make sure that we’re not talking about this. We went to war, we’ve killed a lot of people, and we used our own righteous indignation or righteous anger to stop this. Have we done something morally reprehensible here? Is it going to change our understanding of war?

Congressman Massie: Well, you’re right. We fought two wars ostensibly to keep another 9/11 from happening, and I’m not ready to relitigate those wars and the causes for going to war. But here’s why I’m coming out right now and making this one of my priorities to get this out there is we’re talking about getting involved in two other wars, the war in Syria and a war in Iraq. And I don’t want to relitigate the other wars, but look, before we jump into these wars, we need to understand what really caused 9/11.

And if we’re going to use 9/11 as a motivation to get involved in these civil wars in the Middle East, then I think the American public and surely to goodness all of the congressmen up here who are going to be voting on these wars need to read these pages and understand what truly caused 9/11 and who our friends are and who our enemies are.

Glenn: Okay, I mean, I know you’re not going to tell me, but this sounds like we’re talking about Saudi Arabia, but I want, and that just could be my bias from the things that we know from the intelligence community that have been told to us, we know there is a bias on that. I don’t think anybody would be surprised, and let’s use both Clinton and Bush, I mean Sandy Berger went in to smuggle papers out of the National Archives in his underpants. You don’t do that and then get pardoned by the guy from the other side if they’re not trying to kick dirt over the trail.

And I don’t think personally that it was anybody in our administration was doing anything nefarious or, you know, anything like that. It just looked bad. It was just embarrassing because they might’ve been, you know, taking too many walks with too many princes or whatever. Is this stuff that will deeply tear us apart, or will this be just, has our government been worse than just sloppy and greedy at times? I’m trying to figure out a way to ask you these questions.

Congressman Massie: No, this will not tear our country apart. It will be embarrassing. It will not endanger us to release this information, but the American public needs to have it. I would tell you to look to maybe Bob Graham, Senator Bob Graham, who was privy to even more information than I have in those 28 pages since he was on the intelligence committee. You know, he’s leading this charge.

I will say, you know, there are things I can’t even tell my wife that I learned about in these soundproof SCIFs, and those 28 pages are included in that category. Congressman Walter Jones from North Carolina, he’s the one who sponsored this resolution. It’s called House Resolution 428, and you know, they thanked him for sponsoring that by the establishment primaried him and spent ten times as much money as him back in his district this spring, and he still won because he represents the people and truth and transparency.

But those are the kind of risks that, you know, we bring upon ourselves by speaking out. But now is the time, and I’ll tell you, you mentioned the families. You played a clip from the families of the victims. This needs to come out because there are things being litigated in court right now that pertain to these 28 pages, and the families of the victims deserve this information and this evidence because there is culpability here, and there is liability. And you know, if our judicial system is going to work its way, the evidence and the truth needs to be there.

Glenn Congressman, thank you very much, and you keep up the fight. Let us know, I’ve directed TheBlaze to cover any and all, so you can count on us. Just let us know how we can help. Appreciate it.

Congressman Massie: Thank you, Glenn. People need to contact the White House. They need to contact their congressmen and their senators.

Glenn: Thank you. God bless. Listen, TheBlaze is going to stay on this as much as we can until the information just dries up, but this is not a partisan thing. This is a bipartisan thing. This is about the truth. This is about who are we really, and as the congressman said, before we go any further, we have to know who the bad guys are, we have to know what we’ve done.

Let the chips fall where they may. I mean, if George Bush was involved in doing some things, and he was buddies with somebody and whatever, it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter. That’s in the past. Let’s chart the course on the future, and the only way we can do that is if we build it on a foundation of truth.

The themes of healing and redemption appear throughout the Bible.

Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. — 1 Corinthians 15:43
It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners. — Mark 2:17.

So, for many Christians, it's no surprise to hear that people of faith live longer lives.

Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for you are my praise. — Jeremiah 17:14.

But it is certainly lovely to hear, and a recent study by a doctoral student at Ohio State University is just one more example of empirical evidence confirming the healing benefits of faith and religious belief.

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Moreover, the study finds that religious belief can lengthen a person's life.

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. — Proverbs 17:22
Lord, your discipline is good, for it leads to life and health. You restore my health and allow me to live! — Isaiah 38:16

The study analyzed over 1,000 obituaries nationwide and found that people of faith lived longer than people who were not religious. Laura Wallace, lead author of the study, noted that "religious affiliation had nearly as strong an effect on longevity as gender does, which is a matter of years of life."

The study notes that, "people whose obits mentioned a religious affiliation lived an average of 5.64 years longer than those whose obits did not, which shrunk to 3.82 years after gender and marital status were considered."

And He called to Him His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction. — Matthew 10:1

"The researchers found that part of the reason for the boost in longevity came from the fact that many religiously affiliated people also volunteered and belonged to social organizations, which previous research has linked to living longer. The study provides persuasive evidence that there is a relationship between religious participation and how long a person lives," said Baldwin Way, co-author of the study and associate professor of psychology at Ohio State.

Prayer is good medicine, and faith is a good protector.

In addition, the study showed how the effects of religion on longevity might depend in part on the personality and average religiosity of the cities where people live, Way said.

Prayer is good medicine, and faith is a good protector.

And the power of the Lord was with him to heal. — Luke 5:17
Heal the sick in it and say to them, The kingdom of God has come near to you. — Luke 10:9.

In early June, the Social Security and Medicare trustees released their annual report on the fiscal health of these programs, and the situation looks dire. Medicare is scheduled to run out of money in 2026 (three years sooner than anticipated), while Social Security is expected to run out in 2034. The rising national debt is only one of the well-known financial struggles the millennial generation faces. The burdens of student loan debt, high housing prices (thanks to zoning restrictions), stagnant wage growth, the rising cost of healthcare and lingering aftershocks of the Great Recession are among the biggest sources of economic anxiety millennials feel.

Progressive politicians have been very successful at courting the youth vote, partly because they actually promote policy ideas that address many of these concerns. As unrealistic or counterproductive as Senator Bernie Sanders' proposals for single-payer health care or a $15 an hour minimum wage might be, they feel in theory like they would provide the economic stability and prosperity millennials want.

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Republicans, on the other hand, have struggled to craft a message to address these concerns. Fiscal conservatives recognize, correctly, that the burden of the $20 trillion national debt and over $200 trillion in unfunded liabilities will fall on millennials. Some conservatives have even written books about that fact. But the need to reform entitlements hasn't exactly caught millennials' attention. Pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson, in her book The Selfie Vote, notes that millennials generally view protecting the safety net as more important than reducing the deficit.

Clearly, Republicans have a problem. They need to craft solutions that address the millennial generation's struggles, but they can't seem to sell entitlement reform, their biggest policy preference that addresses those problems. The Republican approach to wooing millennials on policy is failing because talking about stopping the debt from reaching an unsustainable level is long-term and abstract, and offers few immediate tangible benefits. A new approach to both pave the way for entitlement reform and give millennials an immediate financial boost is to first reform not entitlement spending, but the payroll tax: specifically, by partially (or wholly) replacing it with a value-added tax.

Under the current Social Security model, workers pay for the benefits of current retirees through the payroll tax. This system creates the illusion of a pension program, in which what you put in is what you get out, but in reality Social Security is a universal safety net program for the elderly paid for by taxes. The payroll tax falls on workers and is a tax on labor, while the value-added tax (VAT) is a tax on consumption imposed at every part of the production process. Assuming that this policy change is revenue-neutral, switching to a VAT will shift the responsibility for funding Social Security and Medicare away from workers, disproportionately poorer and younger, and onto everyone participating in the economy as a whole. Furthermore, uncoupling Social Security funding from payroll taxes would pave the way for fiscal reforms to transform the program from a universal benefit program to one geared specifically to eliminating old-age poverty, such as means-testing benefits for high-income beneficiaries, indexing benefits to prices rather than wages or changing the retirement age.

Switching from the payroll tax to the VAT would address both conservative and liberal tax policy preferences.

Switching from the payroll tax to the VAT would address both conservative and liberal tax policy preferences. As the Tax Policy Center notes, the change would actually make the tax system more progressive. The current payroll tax is regressive, meaning that people with lower incomes tend to pay a higher effective tax rate than people with higher incomes. On the other hand, the value-added tax is much closer to proportional than the payroll tax, meaning that each income group pays closer to the same effective tax rate.

For Republicans, such a change would fit conservative economic ideas about the long-run causes of economic growth. A value-added tax has a much broader base than the payroll tax, and therefore would allow for much lower marginal tax rates, and lower marginal tax rates mean smaller disincentives to economic activity. According to the Tax Foundation's analysis of a value-added tax, the VAT would be a more economically efficient revenue source than most other taxes currently in the tax code.

Not only would replacing part or all of the payroll tax provide an immediate benefit to millennial taxpayers, it would also open the door for the much-needed entitlement reforms that have been so politically elusive. Furthermore, it would make the tax code both more pro-growth and less regressive. In order to even begin to address the entitlement crisis, win millennial support and stimulate the economy in a fiscally responsible manner, Republicans must propose moving from the payroll tax to the VAT.

Alex Muresianu is a Young Voices Advocate. His writing has appeared in Townhall and The Federalist. He is a federal policy intern at the Tax Foundation. Opinions expressed here are his only and not the views of the Tax Foundation. He can be found on Twitter @ahardtospell.

Glenn was joined by Alanna Sarabia from "Good Morning Texas" at Mercury Studios on Thursday for an exclusive look at Mercury Museum's new "Rights & Responsibilities" exhibit. Open through Father's Day, the temporary museum features artifacts from pop culture, America's founding, World Ward II and more, focusing on the rights and responsibilities America's citizens.

Get tickets and more information here.

Watch as Glenn gives a sneak peek at some of the unique artifacts on display below.

History at the Mercury Museum

Alanna Sarabia interviews Glenn Beck for "Good Morning Texas" at Mercury Studios.

Several months ago, at the Miss Universe competition, two women took a selfie, then posted it on Instagram. The caption read, "Peace and love." As a result of that selfie, both women faced death threats, and one of the women, along with her entire family, had to flee her home country. The occasion was the 2017 Miss Universe competition, and the women were Miss Iraq and Miss Israel. Miss Iraq is no longer welcome in her own country. The government threatened to strip her of her crown. Of course, she was also badgered for wearing a bikini during the competition.

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In an interview, Miss Iraq, Sarah Idan, said:

When I posted the picture I didn't think for a second there would be blowback. I woke up to calls from my family and the Miss Iraq Organization going insane. The death threats I got online were so scary. The director of the Miss Iraq Organization called me and said they're getting heat from the ministry. He said I have to take the picture down or they will strip me of my title.

Yesterday, Miss Iraq, Sarah Idan, posted another selfie with Miss Israel, during a visit to Jerusalem.

In an interview, she said that:

I don't think Iraq and Israel are enemies; I think maybe the governments are enemies with each other. There's a lot of Iraqi people that don't have a problem with Israelis.

This is, of course, quite an understatement: Iraq, home to roughly 15,000 Palestinians, refuses to acknowledge Israel as a legitimate country, as it is technically at war with Israel. The adages says that a picture is worth a thousand words. What are we to do when many of those words are hateful or deadly? And how can we find the goodness in such bad situations?