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December 10, 2008
NEW YORK — The American Civil Liberties Union today released a statement from 31 9/11 victims’ family members challenging the legitimacy of the Guantánamo military commissions and their ability to achieve justice.
Below is the full text of the statement:
9/11 FAMILY MEMBERS CHALLENGE LEGITIMACY OF GUANTÁNAMO MILITARY COMMISSIONS
As family members who lost loved ones on 9/11, we feel compelled to speak out about this week’s proceedings at Guantánamo. Recently, the Guantánamo military commissions office announced that victims’ family members would be permitted, on a lottery basis, to attend the Guantánamo legal hearings of those accused of planning the 9/11 attacks. The lottery system inherently results in the granting of media attention to the select few who are chosen, and whose views are not necessarily representative of all victims’ families. The media coverage of Monday’s commission hearings included statements attributed to attending family members that the tribunals provided a fair hearing for these prosecutions and that family members “were struck by the extensive rights accorded the accused men.”
While we support everyone’s right to their individual opinions about these proceedings, including, of course, other family members who have suffered the devastation we have, we also feel obliged to make clear that many of us do not believe these military commissions to be fair, in accordance with American values, or capable of achieving the justice that 9/11 family members and all Americans deserve.
We believe that the secretive and unconstitutional… Continue reading
By LARRY NEUMEISTER
NEW YORK (AP) — NEW YORK — A judge said Wednesday he favors keeping Sept. 11-related documents and interviews secret until the trials for several families of victims suing the airline industry, an opinion that upset several victims’ family members.
Donald Migliori, a lawyer for families of three people who died on hijacked planes in the 2001 attacks, asked U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein to make nearly a million pages of evidence and 200 depositions public, saying there was no reason for secrecy.
Hellerstein did not rule, but he said he favored not publically disclosing evidence that had been gathered and shared with lawyers for the victims under a confidentiality agreement until a trial occurs. No trial has yet been scheduled.
He said the confidentiality agreement speeded a pretrial process that enabled more than 90 families of victims of the Sept. 11 attacks to settle their cases. Only three families have not settled.
Michael Rowe Feagley, a lawyer for the aviation defendants, said it would not be fair to make all of the pretrial evidence public now, especially since defendants had turned over so much with the understanding that it would remain confidential before trial. He said it would take “extraordinary circumstances and an extreme need for it” to force its public release.
Mike Low, the father of a flight attendant who died on one of the hijacked planes, said afterwards that he was disappointed but not surprised by Hellerstein’s position.
Low sued in spring 2003 on behalf of his daughter, Sara Low, 28, a Boston-based flight attendant who died when American Airlines Flight 11 struck the World Trade Center.…Continue reading
Dear Friends Around the World,
We, the 9/11 Family Members, First Responders and Survivors who make up the Executive Council of the New York City Coalition for Accountability Now, would like to announce our profound dedication to establishing an independent, impartial, subpoena-powered investigation into the events of September 11, 2001. We stand together with you, our fellow citizens, to place this important referendum on the New York City ballot on November 3, 2009.
Each one of us has a different story and a different reason for becoming part of this journey, but we have united for this purpose and this purpose alone: to establish an independent, impartial, subpoena-powered investigation into the events of September 11, 2001.
As 9/11 Family Members, First Responders and Survivors of those tragic moments, our lives were irreversibly devastated. Below, we describe our pain and our quest for closure. We hope you will join us in this quest – it is of paramount importance for our personal and collective healing, and for the betterment of our world.
DONNA MARSH O’CONNOR, MOTHER OF VANESSA LANG LANGER:
As the world moves further and further away from the actual events of 9/11/2001 both in time and spirit, and as 9/11 effaces into yet another simple story cast in history, as the parent of Vanessa Lang Langer lost as the towers fell, I want to let it go. I want to stop talking about 9/11. I am tired of the questions unasked and unanswered. I am tired of… Continue reading
This episode of Visibility 9-11 welcomes back to the program Kyle Hence, founder of 9-11 Citizens Watch and producer of the excellent documentary 9-11 Press for Truth. Included is a brief discussion about the film as well as a new film Kyle is working on based on footnote #44 in Chapter 6 of the 9-11 Commission Report. A press release from the September 11th Advocates reads in part:
“In July 2004, when the 9/11 Commission released its Final Report, we read with enormous interest, Chapter 6 – “From Threat to Threat”, including footnote #44. Footnote #44 details an instance where a CIA desk officer intentionally withheld vital information from the FBI about two of the 9/11 hijackers who were inside the United States. This footnote further states that the CIA desk officer covered-up the decision to withhold said vital information from the FBI. Finally, footnote #44 states that the CIA desk officer could not recall who told her to carry out such acts.”
Also included in this discussion are the circumstances surrounding the historic national premier of 9-11 Press for Truth on a major market PBS station. On June 3, 2009 at 7:00pm, 9-11 Press for Truth will be shown on KBDI, Channel 12 in Denver Colorado. This historic broadcast will feature in-studio interviews during the broadcast with Kyle Hence, Bob McIlvaine, and a representative of Colorado 9-11 Visibility. As has been the case for the past couple of years, Colorado 9-11 Visibility will also be manning… Continue reading
This moving 50-second piece released by NYC Coalition for Accountability Now features 9/11 Family Members Jean Canavan, Bob McIlvaine and Manny Badillo asking the unanswered questions and calling upon all New Yorkers to “Vote For Answers.” The coalition has gathered nearly 45,000 signatures, and needs your help to get to the 70,000-signature goal. Please take a moment to go to NYC Coalition for Accountability Now and give what you can to help make this a reality. Only by getting it on the ballot can New Yorkers “Vote For Answers.”
July 15, 2009
For eight years I have lobbied and supported investigations and litigation in an effort to learn the whole truth behind the death of my son Joseph and the murder of so many others. I’ve always been hopeful we’d get the answers we deserve and that we’d see accountability exacted within the halls of Congress, the White House, DoD, CIA, FBI, State and Justice Departments.
However, there are still too few answers to too many questions even as promotions and medals are handed out rather than pink slips or prosecutions. Excessive secrecy and redactions still cover-up the truth and leave us in the dark about: terrorist financing from still unnamed foreign nations, suspicious pre-9/11 stock market activity, pre-9/11 warnings to the President, the Attorney General and others, the infamous 28 pages of the Joint Inquiry Report, The Holy Land Trial, Riggs Bank wire transfers, faulty NYFD radios that didn’t work in ’93, Ground zero toxins breathed by thousands, a 9/11 narrative derived from torture induced testimony, etc., etc. I could go on and on.
No American who believes in his country should settle for being in the dark about all this over seven years after the event. I won’t and I can’t for the sake of my son and for the country. For this reason I feel compelled to support a new investigation in NYC led by family members and others who will produce an accounting we can be proud of.
Three thousand dead civilians. A President… Continue reading
August 19, 2009
This took place at the Anthony Wayne Movie Theater in Wayne, PA. Thanks to everyone that came out tonight, and thanks to Betsy Metz for making it possible. Correction: The news about NORAD lying, and the 9/11 Commission came out around the time this movie was released.
6 Days And Counting Until The Historic March For Answers – NYC CAN
September 27, 2009 2pm Battery Park
NYC CAN Files Legal Memo Defending Petition’s Legality
September 21, 2009
Today the New York City Coalition for Accountability Now (NYC CAN) filed its Memorandum of Law with the New York State Supreme Court, beginning a 6-day countdown until the historic March For Answers to be held on September 27 at 2pm. The march will start at Battery Park and work its way towards Ground Zero, the New York City Clerk and the State Supreme Court, before arriving at City Hall.
9/11 family members Bob McIlvaine and Manny Badillo, and Daniel Sunjata, star of Fox’s “Rescue Me”, will address thousands of supporters of the proposed referendum to establish a new 9/11 investigation. Other speakers will be announced over the coming days.
NYC CAN’s 52-page legal memo comes nine days before a final determination will be made as to whether the referendum for a new 9/11 investigation will be on the NYC ballot this November. So far 80,000 New Yorkers have signed the petition calling for the voters to be able to create a local commission to conduct an impartial investigation of 9/11.
NYC CAN has posted the legal memo on its website. Click to download.
If you would like to volunteer to hand out fliers or to help organize the March For Answers, email volunteer [at] nyccan.org, with VOLUNTEER in the subject line.
On September 27, 2009, let us take to the streets in the THOUSANDS on behalf of the families, first responders and survivors of September 11th and the 80,000 New Yorkers who signed the petition.…Continue reading
BREAKING: 9/11 Families March on City Hall As City Seeks to Stop Fresh Probe of Attacks from Going on November Ballot;
NY Supreme Court Hearing 9:30AM Tuesday Will Determine Fate of Referendum
March For Answers 9/27/09
New York City — Yesterday, The New York City Coalition for Accountability Now (NYC CAN), a group comprising 9/11 family members, first responders and survivors, led 300 New Yorkers from Battery Park to City Hall in protest of the City’s attempt to block the referendum for a fresh probe of the 9/11 attacks from going on the November ballot.
Today, the Court ordered litigants to present arguments before Judge Edward Lehner at a hearing scheduled for 9:30AM, Tuesday at the New York Supreme Court, Room 252, 60 Centre Street.
On Sunday, 9/11 family member Manny Badillo welcomed the crowd at Battery Park, “Today we are marching peaceably to let the world know that the City of NY is defying the will of the people to have one question on the ballot, the question to have a proper independent investigation to answer 100% of the questions raised by the 9/11 families.”
Mark Crispin Miller, author and professor of Media Studies at NYU spoke of the lack of accountability. He noted that after 9/11 “no heads rolled”; until recently when Obama adviser Van Jones was forced to resign because he [ Ed.: allegedly ] signed the “9/11 Truth Statement” in 2004.…Continue reading
by Jon Gold
This is dedicated to the 9/11 Truth Movement. – Jon
Before I begin, I would like to say that theorizing about what happened on 9/11, when you’re not being given answers to your questions about that day by the people who SHOULD be able to do so, is PERFECTLY normal. As is suspecting that the reason these answers aren’t being given is “sinister” in nature. As Ray McGovern said, “for people to dismiss these questioners as “conspiratorial advocates”, or “conspiratorial theorists”… that’s completely out of line because the… The questions remain because the President who should be able to answer them, WILL NOT.” When you think about everything the previous Administration did in 8 years, the idea that they might not be giving us the answers we seek because of something “sinister” is not crazy. In fact, it’s the most logical conclusion one can come to at this point. After seven plus years of obfuscation, spin, lies, and cover-ups regarding the 9/11 attacks, it is unavoidable to think that criminal complicity is the reason why.
That being said, we have not proven it beyond the shadow of doubt. We do not have documentation that shows they planned it. We do not have a signed confession from someone. We have pieces of the puzzle, and to most of us that have been doing this a long time, those pieces point to more than just Osama Bin Laden, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and 19 hijackers. If we could… Continue reading
by Kristen Breitweiser,
9/11 widow and activist
November 16, 2009
Even after witnessing the horrors of 9/11 that included me helplessly watching the murder of my husband on live television, I still believe that we are a civilized nation of laws. And like the Nuremberg trials that brought the murderers of millions to justice, now more than ever, Americans need to trust our own judicial system to fully and openly prosecute the mass murderers of 9/11 while the rest of the world bears witness.
Because while the terrorists were successful in bringing down the Twin Towers and hijacking airplanes on 9/11, our Constitution should never be hijacked or brought down as a result of anything–let alone the potential adversity faced in prosecuting modern day monsters like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
Indeed, in the fight against Islamist extremism, we should never bow to the terrorists by compromising, manipulating, re-writing or flat-out ignoring the core, bedrock principles of our Constitution that speak to the very heart of who we are as a nation–a democracy.
Yet, quite alarmingly, Republicans seem to be exhibiting just this sort of crisis of confidence in our Constitution’s ability to prosecute these horrible men. Republicans argue that men like KSM are war criminals who can only be convicted in military commissions where they won’t receive the protections of our laws. Republicans seem to lack a certain faith in our Constitution’s ability and adaptability in meting out the demands of modern day justice.
So the once-brazen, chest-thumping Republicans who… Continue reading
By Michael McAuliff
November 24, 2009
Some 9/11 widows who want to see a terror trial in New York today questioned why a group strongly linked to Liz Cheney is leading the charge in opposition to the trial.
Her father, after all, is the man many Democrats and liberals think broke the law in pushing for interrogation techniques now deemed torture by the Obama administration, and which were used on Al Qaeda plotter Khalid Shaikh Mohammed.
The anti-trial group is led by Debra Burlingame — whose brother piloted one of the doomed planes — and who is a guiding light at 9/11 Families for a Safe & Strong America.
The 9/11 Families group had as a springboard Keep America Safe, a Liz Cheney vehicle where Burlingame serves on the board.
“Perhaps they’re trying to protect her father’s role in torturing these detainees,” said Lorie Van Auken, who lost her husband on 9/11. “And that’s actually what could keep us from seeing justice, is this torture that was done to these people because that evidence is not really evidence. It won’t be admissible anywhere.”
Auken was speaking on a conference call organized by the liberal Human Rights First.
Later, she declined to back off her statement. “You start to wonder why Liz Cheney would be organizing the 9/11 families,” she said. “It’s just a funny connection.”
Below (see source) is the press conference Burlingame did today with Rep. Pete King and others, posted online by Keep America Safe, in which… Continue reading
For Immediate Release
It is with utter disbelief that we listen to the unfolding details of the attempted December 25, 2009 terrorist attack of Delta Flight 253.
Let us remind you, on September 11, 2001, 19 terrorists managed to evade all security measures, hijack four commercial airliners, slam them into three buildings and a field in Pennsylvania, killing 2,976 innocent people, including our husbands.
We responded by strenuously lobbying for an independent investigation to find out how on earth so many agencies could have failed in their duties to protect us, and our loved ones, from such an attack. We asked that they find and fix the loopholes that existed, in order to safeguard our nation.
After the 18-month 9/11 Commission investigation, countless systemic and human failures were uncovered, including: failure to analyze data, failure to share information, human error, failure to follow up, antiquated computer systems, too much information in the system, not enough information in the system, not enough time or people to analyze data, failure to watch list, failure to properly coordinate the watch list with other lists and visa issuance and monitoring failures. Despite all of this, the 9/11 Commissioners simplistically announced that it was a “failure of imagination” that caused the agencies to falter and allowed 9/11 to happen. Additionally, we were told that those in positions to protect us “could never have imagined this type of attack” and that “everyone is at fault, so no one is at fault.”
The 9/11 Commissioners would not… Continue reading
By Mireya Navarro
New York Times
Sgt. Dawn Sorrento says she looks on the years since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks as a blur of doctor’s visits, ambushes by illnesses she had never heard of and growing resentment toward the city that challenged her injury claims.
[RELATED: Ground Zero Workers Reach Deal Over Claims (March 12, 2010)]
Yet on Friday, Sergeant Sorrento, a police officer who is among some 10,000 rescue and cleanup workers at ground zero who sued the city for health damages, felt a grim sort of satisfaction. She had expected her case to be among the first to go to trial this spring; instead, both sides announced a legal settlement of up to $657.5 million Thursday night.
“It’s nice that someone took responsibility, finally,” said Sergeant Sorrento, 43, who helped coordinate the movement of cranes, dignitaries and cadaver-hunting dogs in and out of ground zero in September 2001. “The city finally acknowledges that 9/11 diseases do exist and that people are suffering.”
Officials cast the settlement as righting a historic wrong on Friday and predicted that it would assure speedy and just compensation to the workers, who have waited more than six years for a legal resolution. But significant hurdles remain.
Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein, of the United States District Court in Manhattan, has made clear that he intends to play a role in assuring that individuals are compensated fairly.
At a hearing on Friday, Judge Hellerstein said he would take a week to review the terms of the agreement and convene again next Friday to give his “initial impressions” and to hear from interested parties, including plaintiffs.…Continue reading
March 31, 2010
From the Huffington Post:
In anticipation of a final announcement as to the trial venue for the 9/11 plotters, September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows is warning the president against “buckling to political pressure,” calling the use of military tribunals the “wrong thing to do.”
In a nearly four-minute long video, Donna Marsh O’Connor — a Peaceful Tomorrows member who lost her pregnant daughter when the Twin Towers collapsed — speaks both to the broad notion that America has a “historic commitment to justice” and, more narrowly, to the horse-trading politics that now surround terrorist trials. Reflecting disappointment with recent signals from the White House, O’Connor calls specifically for the president to reject a reported compromise proposal with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) in which the administration would drop plans for civilian trials in exchange for Republican support for the closure of Gitmo.
“As 9/11 families, we have suffered greatly and waited almost nine years to see justice done with our own eyes,” O’Connor says. “We understand that you face political pressure to back down. We ask that you do not allow fear and prejudice to govern your decision as we are not afraid. We know our country is strong enough to hold on to our values in the face of terrorism.”
The video follows other efforts from Peaceful Tomorrows to advocate for civilian trials for the 9/11 suspects.
A 30 second television spot featuring 9/11 family members and promoting awareness of the destruction of World Trade Center Building 7 has begun airing in New York City. The ad is sponsored by buildingwhat.org and highlights the fact that over 1200 architects and engineers have called for an independent investigation into the events of 9/11.
World Trade Center 7 was the third skyscraper to be completely destroyed on September 11, 2001 — despite not having been hit by an airplane.
The ad began airing on election day and will run through November 10 on 13 channels, including CNN, MSNBC and VH1. NYCCAN, the group who created the ad, estimate that it will be seen by nearly 900,000 viewers. The group plans to commission an opinion poll after the run of the ad and send the results to every City Council member.
“We’ve been educating the City Council about Building 7 and the need for a new investigation for the past six months,” said Bob McIlvaine, father of Bobby McIlvaine and one of the 9/11 family members who appear in the ad. “We are asking them now to do something about it.”
Manny Badillo, another family member who appears in the spot, said “For the next two weeks, we the people will see, many for the first time, the demise of the Salomon Brothers building on the day of my uncle’s murder. What you witness allows critical thought about details of the crime that we have… Continue reading
By David Edwards
The Senate passed a bill by unanimous consent Wednesday that will provide health care benefits to first responders and survivors of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.
Original report follows…
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) earned himself a visit from some 9/11 first responders after he threatened to block a bill that would provide them health benefits.
A group of former Ground Zero workers visited the senator’s office Tuesday to give him a piece of their mind but Coburn refused the meeting.
“Mr. Coburn should be ashamed of himself,” John Feal, the leader of the group, told Think Progress. “Because I think before he was a senator he was a doctor and he took an oath to help people that are sick. He’s going against his oath as a doctor. He can vote any way he wants as a senator, but as a doctor, he just embarrassed the medical profession.”
“What about going office to office? Have their staff and the senators been very receptive to the group?” Think Progress asked.
“Once in a while we’ll run into some resistance and some arrogance and some rude people. Listen, we busted our asses since 9/11. We’ve fought and advocated for ourselves so others wouldn’t. So to be insulted by the staff of the United States Senate and Congress — most of them were 12 years old when 9/11 happened — doesn’t bother me,” Feal said.
All but one of the 42 Republican senators stood together last week… Continue reading