Portrait of Ron DeSantis

Statement by Ron DeSantis on Meeting with 9/11 Families

September 11, 2023

NEW YORK , NY - Ron DeSantis issued the following statement after meeting this morning with families that lost loved ones on 9/11:

"Today, Casey and I had the honor of joining with families who still bear the scars of the 9/11 terror attacks to commemorate the 22nd anniversary of that dark day. We heard their heart-wrenching stories, the cherished memories of those they lost, and their strong commitment to never forgetting what happened on this hallowed ground twenty-two years ago. September 11, 2001, changed those families and our nation forever.

"And now decades later, we as a nation still owe full transparency and accountability to these grieving families. Yet too many politicians have broken past promises to them, and that is wholly unacceptable.

"The heinous acts of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his co-conspirators tore at America's heart and fundamentally altered our nation's trajectory. Any plea deal allowing the accused to avoid the harshest penalties and transparency is unconscionable given the loss inflicted by their terrorist acts. While the Biden Administration has allegedly rejected a considered plea deal over the near-term, pressure must remain so that any way forward includes public answers and maximum lawful punishment. Avoiding a public trial denies victims the justice they deserve and allows others to evade scrutiny. I urge the administration to serve justice and send an unequivocal message that such attacks on American lives will never go unanswered.

"Second, I call on President Biden to publicly commit to declassifying the remaining Intelligence Community documents regarding the planning and financing of 9/11, consistent with protecting national security. While over the last three years some progress has been made, a selection of documents and answers remain unclear. As President, I will demand from each agency that they provide a detailed justification for every remaining redaction, and decide, in the interests of transparency, whether the public interest outweighs any potential harm in disclosure before making declassification and public release decisions. I will end the federal government's decades-long abuse of the classification system and will strive to be the most transparent administration in U.S. history.

"Finally, I join in support of the Ensuring Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act introduced in Congress to close loopholes that prevent victims' families from holding foreign sponsors of terrorism accountable. I supported the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act in Congress, which was a crucial step forward. The Ensuring Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act will help realize its full intent so the families can get justice and answers.

"We have shown in Florida that we can rise to the occasion to provide those who lost their lives on 9/11 the respect they deserve. I was proud to sign a measure into law in Florida earlier this year that designates September 11 as "9/11 Heroes' Day" and requires history education regarding the significance of that day, including remembering the sacrifice of military personnel, government employees, civilians, and emergency responders who were killed, wounded, or suffered sickness due to the terrorist attacks.

"The pain of 9/11 endures for these families and all of us who remember that day, and its history must be taught for generations to come. Our work is not done until we have fully brought to light all the details surrounding the attacks, and those responsible are held accountable. I will not rest until both are fully achieved. We Must Never Forget."

Ron DeSantis, Statement by Ron DeSantis on Meeting with 9/11 Families Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/367769

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