Originally published at The Stranger by Brendan Kiley on 12/12/14
Earlier this week, a real estate attorney from Coeur d’Alene stood up in front of a three-judge panel in Seattle’s Ninth Circuit courthouse to argue Smith vs. Obama—a case challenging NSA surveillance that began back in Idaho, and could be the one that ends up before the US Supreme Court.
It was the first time the attorney, Peter Smith, had appeared before the Ninth Circuit—as another lawyer once said to me, “the Ninth Circuit ain’t beanbag”—or done anything like it. Smith later said in a phone interview that he and his wife Anna were troubled by the 2013 Guardian stories about Edward Snowden and the NSA and had “an interesting discussion about what that means… Anna didn’t feel right.” So Smith did some research about the legality of the NSA’s bulk-collection programs and decided he had grounds to challenge them. Depending on how the Ninth Circuit rules, Mr. Smith could eventually go to Washington.
“Anna is my wife,” Smith started his statement to the judges. (You can watch the arguments by Smith and counter-argument from Department of Justice lawyer H. Thomas Byron III in the video below.) “She is also a neonatal intensive care nurse. She’s a mother. And ten years ago, Anna’s government began a dragnet collection of her call records. Those call records reveal detailed information about Anna when analyzed in the aggregate—”
“How do we know those records were… Continue reading
Originally published at The NY Post by Isabel Vincent, Melissa Klein and Susan Edelman on 11/16/14
In a greedy grab for blood money, a law firm representing sick and dying Ground Zero workers overbilled its legal partner by $36 million in expenses, newly released court papers allege.
The shocking charges call into question the estimated $50 million in additional legal expenses billed to 10,000 firefighters, police officers, construction workers and others who received more than $700 million in settlements for 9/11-related ailments.
An advocate for ill responders — John Feal, a Ground Zero demolition supervisor — demanded Napoli Bern be investigated by authorities.
“It’s outrageous and disgusting,” said Feal, claiming the majority of complaints he hears about legal representation relate to Napoli Bern.
The once-prestigious personal-injury law firm has been rocked by infighting over allegations of sexual improprieties and financial misconduct.
Napoli Bern has also been battling its partner law firm, Worby Groner, since 2012 over legal fees they shared in the 9/11 litigation. The two firms teamed up in 2004 to represent Ground Zero workers afflicted with cancer and other ailments.
The total settlements with the city and other defendants came to about $725 million. Before the 9/11 workers got their checks, though, various costs were deducted. The law firms then got a 25 percent cut of the remainder.
Napoli Bern and Worby Groner… Continue reading
Originally published at the Daily Mail Online by AP and Kieran Corcoran, updated on 11/16/14
A jihadist serving life in prison on terror charges brought in the wake of 9/11 has claimed the Saudi Arabian royal family helped finance the plot.
Zacarias Moussaoui, 46, says an unnamed Saudi Prince paid for flying lessons for him and the 19 terrorists who hijacked planes in the September 11 attacks in the run-up to the atrocities.
The incredible claims were made in documents filed to a federal court in Oklahoma, in which Moussaoui says a prince ‘was assisting me in my Islamic terrorist activities… and was doing so knowingly for Osama bin Laden’.
He also said that bin Laden provided assistance from Saudi leaders in planning the attacks, and that he was involved in a plot to shoot down Air Force One with President Bill Clinton on board.
The Saudi government has flatly denied any involvement in 9/11. Moussaoui’s own credibility is also suspect – as even Osama bin Laden has denied he had anything to do with his terrorist plots.
Lawyers for… Continue reading
Originally published at KFOR by K. Kerry on 11/13/14
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (KSTU) – A federal judge in Utah has indicated that he wants an investigation into whether the FBI tampered with a witness in a trial regarding the Oklahoma City bombing.
At a hearing on Tuesday, the judge stopped short of finding the FBI in contempt of court, according to KSTU.
Instead, he indicated that he would appoint a federal magistrate judge to oversee further investigation into the claims.
However, he ruled that the FBI failed to file a report on the allegations in a timely manner.
Jesse Trentadue is suing over the death of his brother, Kenneth, who he claims was mistaken for a bombing co-conspirator and killed while in federal custody during an interrogation.
Trentadue is asking for records, including videotapes that he claims show convicted bomber Timothy McVeigh parking a truck in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building and leaving with someone else before the bomb went off.
Trentadue has claimed that the other person was an FBI operative.
“There’s no doubt in my mind and it’s proven beyond any doubt that the FBI knew the bombing… Continue reading
Originally published at The Litigation Daily by Michael D. Goldhabe on 10/15/14
An earlier version of this story stated that 28 pages of the 9/11 Commission Report are classified. In fact, the 28 pages were redacted from the report by the congressional joint inquiry into 9/11 intelligence. The story has been so revised.
“I loooove to pick on the Saudis,” the South Carolina trial lawyer Ronald Motley said in a 2004 New York Times magazine cover story, “A Nation Unto Himself.”
The U.S. executive and judiciary are less eager to tweak the House of Saud. But Motley’s trillion-dollar 2002 claim against the Kingdom, captioned In re Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001, has experienced a slow-motion revival that culminated last month in the quiet filing of a devastating new complaint. The Sept. 15 amended complaint, filed by the late Motley’s more sober co-counsel at Cozen O’Connor, only seeks some $200 billion for Saudia Arabia’s alleged role in backing the 9/11 terrorists. The lively, 156-page narrative reads as a prequel to the 9/11 Commission Report, and as a much-needed corrective.
Exactly a week later, a jury in the world’s first terror funding trial found Jordan’s Arab Bank liable for funneling money from a Saudi state charity to Hamas during the Palestinian intifada. “The core issue in 9/11 and Arab Bank is the same,” says Motley Rice’s Jodi Flowers, who acts for the plaintiffs in both cases. “As one of the… Continue reading
Originally published at The New Yorker by Lawrence Wright on 9/9/14On the bottom floor of the United States Capitol’s new underground visitors’ center, there is a secure room where the House Intelligence Committee maintains highly classified files. One of those files is titled “Finding, Discussion and Narrative Regarding Certain Sensitive National Security Matters.” It is twenty-eight pages long. In 2002, the Administration of George W. Bush excised those pages from the report of the Joint Congressional Inquiry into the 9/11 attacks. President Bush said then that publication of that section of the report would damage American intelligence operations, revealing “sources and methods that would make it harder for us to win the war on terror.”
“There’s nothing in it about national security,” Walter Jones, a Republican congressman from North Carolina who has read the missing pages, contends. “It’s about the Bush Administration and its relationship with the Saudis.” Stephen Lynch, a Massachusetts Democrat, told me that the document is “stunning in its clarity,” and that it offers direct evidence of complicity on the part of certain Saudi individuals and entities in Al Qaeda’s attack on America. “Those twenty-eight pages tell a story that has been completely removed from the 9/11 Report,” Lynch maintains. Another congressman who has read the document said that the evidence of Saudi government support… Continue reading
Witness Iraq has brought a lawsuit against key members of the Bush Administration: George W. Bush, Richard B. Cheney, Donald H. Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell and Paul Wolfowitz.
In Saleh v. Bush, plaintiff Sundus Shaker Saleh alleges that the Iraq War was a premeditated war against the Iraqi people, the planning of which started in 1998. The war was not conducted in self-defense, did not have the appropriate authorization by the United Nations, and under international law constituted a “crime of aggression” — a crime first set down at the Nuremberg Trials after World War II.
See August 19 update
Originally published at Quiet Mike by Quiet Mike on7/25/14
Last summer, Inder Comar, Esq. filed a lawsuit against the Bush Administration on behalf of Iraqi refugee plaintiff Sundus Shaker Saleh. It is a noble attempt to hold the Bush Administration accountable for war crimes and a case that Quiet Mike has been following from the beginning.
Earlier this year, the Department of Justice, who is defending the six Bush Administration officials, responded to the lawsuit by requesting that the case be dismissed. The Bush tribe is claiming that the planning of the war occurred within the scope of their employment and therefore they have immunity.
Rather than dismissing the case, the Judge asked for additional information. So Mr. Comar… Continue reading
Originally published at FOX13 by Ben Winslow on 7/31/14
SALT LAKE CITY — A trial over evidence and conspiracy theories from the Oklahoma City bombing wrapped up here, with a shocking twist.
As a trial over documents and videotape the FBI had from the 1995 bombing that killed 168 ended on Thursday, the man suing the federal government claimed one of his witnesses had been told not to show up — or else.
Jesse Trentadue said John Matthews, whom he claimed worked as an undercover government operative in the militia movement in the 1990s, had been contacted by an FBI agent and told “it would be best if he didn’t show up to testify.”
“He was told he should take a vacation and that if he did testify he should suffer from a case of the ‘I don’t remembers,’” Trentadue told U.S. District Court Judge Clark Waddoups.
Trentadue told FOX 13 that Matthews had known convicted bomber Timothy McVeigh and worked for the government in an operation targeting the patriot militia movement known as “PATCON.”
“He was part of an operation the FBI ran for a decade during the ’90s where they would infiltrate, and it’s questionable whether they incited the right wing,” he told FOX 13.
Lawyers for the FBI denied the allegation and said it was Matthews who had contacted them asking how he could get out of testifying. Matthews could not be located to testify, they told the judge.
“This is a serious accusation,” Judge Waddoups said.… Continue reading
Originally published at CSMonitor by Warren Richey on 6/30/14
Thousands of victims of the 9/11 terror attacks have lost their bid to revive a class-action lawsuit against various banks, financial officials, and members of Osama bin Laden’s family for allegedly providing material support to Al Qaeda.
The US Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up a case examining whether lower courts properly dismissed a significant portion of their lawsuit.
The high court took the action without comment.
The justices had asked the Obama administration for its views on the case. US Solicitor General Donald Verrilli said in a filing last month that the court should reject the case.
Lawyers for those killed or injured or who suffered property damage in the hijack-terror operation sought to pursue what they said were the “principal financial and operational supporters of al Qaeda” during the period leading up to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
They included several Saudi banks, Islamic charities, three financial institutions in Liechtenstein, four of Mr. bin Laden’s half brothers, and the family construction business, the Saudi Binladin Group.
A federal judge and a federal appeals court dismissed much of the case, ruling that the plaintiffs’ lawyers had failed to show evidence that actions taken by the alleged Al Qaeda… Continue reading
Originally published by The NY Post on 12/19/13
A U.S. appeals court on Thursday revived claims by families of victims of the September 11, 2001, attacks who alleged that Saudi Arabia provided material support to al Qaeda.
Reversing a lower court ruling, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York said “the interests of justice” justified reviving the claims, in light of a 2011 decision that allowed similar claims to proceed against Afghanistan.
Circuit Judge Chester Straub wrote for a three-judge panel that it would be “especially anomalous” to treat both sets of plaintiffs differently. He returned the case to U.S. District Judge George Daniels in Manhattan for further proceedings.
The litigation was brought on behalf of families of the nearly 3,000 people killed in the September 11 attacks, as well as insurers that covered losses suffered by building owners and businesses.
Most of the attackers were Saudi nationals who hijacked planes and flew them into the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and – when passengers revolted – into a field in Pennsylvania.
“This opinion is eminently correct and will give 9/11 victims their day in court,” said Stephen Cozen, a partner at Cozen O’Connor representing the plaintiffs. “The parties will start over, and we are very, very satisfied that we will meet any defenses, both legal and factual, that are raised.”
Cozen said damages could reach tens of billions of dollars.
Michael Kellogg, a partner at Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd,… Continue reading
Campaigner and film maker Tony Rooke claimed a moral victory today after a UK court gave him a conditional discharge even though he has refused to pay his BBC license fee. Over 100 supporters from as far away as Denmark and Norway cheered in front of the court house as independent media people conducted interviews and photographed the crowd. Court officials had booked their largest room for the case but were at a loss to find that well over 50 people could not be fitted in.
Tony said: “I am taken a back and hugely grateful for all the support.” He is asking for at least one person to take up the campaign by refusing to pay or taking other legal action (see below).
Rooke argued that the BBC’s coverage of the 9/11 terror attacks in New York has been so distorted that it amounts to giving aid and comfort to the unidentified terrorists who demolished three World Trade Centre buildings in 2001. Two hijacked planes were flown into the famous Twin Towers and a third tower WTC7 collapsed later in the day. The attacks were used as the pretext for a decade of wars and the introduction of police state measures across the NATO countries. Vast personal fortunes were made by White House and CIA officials who failed to thwart 9/11.
The official 9/11 story was promulgated by the US media within minutes of the first collision, based on anonymous sources in the Bush White House. Despite a mass… Continue reading
On February 25, in the small town of Horsham in the United Kingdom, there will be a rare and potentially groundbreaking opportunity for the 9/11 truth movement. Three hours of detailed 9/11 evidence is to be presented and considered in a court of law where the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) will be challenged over the inaccurate and biased manner in which it has portrayed the events and evidence of 9/11.
Over the last 16 months, BBC has been challenged strongly by individuals in the UK over two documentaries that they showed in September 2011 as part of the tenth anniversary of 9/11, namely ‘9/11: Conspiracy Road Trip’ and ‘The Conspiracy Files: 9/11 Ten Years On’. Formal complaints were lodged with BBC over the inaccuracy and bias of these documentaries, which, according to 9/11 activists, was in breach of the operating requirements of BBC through their ‘Royal Charter and Agreement’ with the British public. This document requires BBC to show information that is both accurate and impartial. These complaints were supported by the US-based educational charity Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth (AE911Truth), which submitted detailed scientific evidence to BBC to buttress the complaints. The evidence focuses in particular on the confirmed free-fall of WTC 7 and NIST’s 2008 admission of this fact. In addition, over 300 AE911Truth petition signers supported these complaints by sending letters to BBC, requesting that BBC show this evidence to the public.
As a continuation of this process with BBC, documentary film maker Tony Rooke has… Continue reading
U.S. Courts Have Denied Recourse
December 11, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NEW YORK – The American Civil Liberties Union and Yale Law School’s Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic today filed a petition against the United States with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IAHCR) for the unlawful detention and torture of José Padilla, a U.S. citizen, whom the United States detained and interrogated for four years.
The petition was filed by Padilla’s mother, Estella Lebron, on her own and on her son’s behalf. Padilla and Lebron had previously filed federal lawsuits – since dismissed – against current and former government officials for their roles in Padilla’s torture and other abuse.
The petition is an international complaint asking the IACHR, which is an independent human rights body of the Organization of American States, to conduct a full investigation into the human rights violations suffered by Padilla; to find that his mistreatment violated the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man; and to recommend that the United States publicly acknowledge the violations and apologize for its unlawful conduct.
“The U.S. justice system denied a day in court to a U.S. citizen who was arrested and then tortured on U.S. soil by his own government,” said Steven Watt, senior staff attorney with the ACLU Human Rights Program. “The U.S. has historically been a leader in ensuring access to justice for human rights violations around the world, but it has effectively closed the courtroom door to all victims and survivors… Continue reading
Statement of September 11th Advocates Regarding Guantánamo Bay Military Tribunals
For Immediate Release
May 4, 2012
It would seem that the U.S. Government found itself in a conundrum when they allowed prisoners, like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), to be tortured in secret prisons around the world. Once tortured, any confession or testimony from KSM, or others, could not be deemed reliable. Furthermore, the focus of the eventual proceedings would become a trial about the practice of torture, instead of being a trial about alleged terrorist crimes. That would have been untenable for the U.S. Government, which wants to avoid any and all accountability for their own crimes of torture.
In order to bypass potential discussion of torture, the latest Chief Prosecutor for the Military Commissions, Brig. General Mark Martins, found a willing witness in Majid Khan, a fellow GITMO inmate to KSM. Khan himself was not involved in the 9/11 plot. He supposedly got his information from time spent behind bars at GITMO with KSM. Kahn will be allowed to give this hearsay evidence against KSM in return for a reduced sentence. However, Khan’s sentencing won’t take place for four years. It seems the Prosecution is pinning their hopes and dreams on Khan’s upcoming performance. None of this lends credibility to an already suspect system.
Additionally, with campaigning for the upcoming Presidential elections heating up, the timing of this latest attempt at justice for 9/11 is exploitive at best.
Patty Casazza Monica Gabrielle Mindy Kleinberg Lorie Van Auken
9/11… Continue reading
By Chris Mondics
Inquirer Staff Writer
In a ferocious legal battle pitting government lawyers against victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, the Justice Department is fighting to block thousands of individuals and businesses from taking $6.6 million in frozen al-Qaeda assets seized from an alleged terrorism financier.
Frozen by the U.S. Treasury Department in 2007, the money is sought by the attorneys for 6,000 individual victims and insurers who suffered billions in losses from the attacks on the World Trade Center.
The money, in a Chicago brokerage account controlled by senior al-Qaeda operative Abu al-Tayyeb until his arrest in Saudi Arabia in 2006, drew little public notice until lawyers for 9/11 victims moved in June to collect on a 2007 default judgment.
A short time later, the Justice Department initiated legal proceedings to claim the money for itself – and keep it out of the hands of the 9/11 victims and insurers.
That triggered a fierce response from the victims’ lawyers, among them the Center City law firm Cozen O’Connor, who accuse the Justice Department of duplicity in seeking to prevent them from getting access to… Continue reading
Engineering Consent For Attack On Iran
US Court Claims Iranian 9/11 Link
By RT (Russia Today)
December 17, 2011 — A US court has won a default judgement that Iranian officials, including its supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, provided help to the 9/11 hijackers behind the worst terror attack on American soil. The lawsuit was filed by the families of the atrocity’s victims. There was no Iranian representation in court. RT talks to Michel Chossudovsky, Director of the Center for Research on Globalization.
Iran Accused Of 9/11 Role
By Fox News
May 20, 2011 “Fox News” — NEW YORK: Two defectors from Iran’s intelligence service have testified that Iranian officials knew in advance about the attacks of September 11, 2001, says a US court filing that seeks damages for Iran’s “direct support for, and sponsorship of, the most deadly act of terrorism in American history”.
Iran Accused Of September 11 Role To Plan, Train & Escape WTC Attacks 21/5/11:
One of the defectors also claimed that Iran was involved in designing the attacks, the filing said. The defectors’ identities and testimony were not revealed in the filing but were being submitted to a judge under seal, said lawyers who brought the original suit against Iran on behalf of families of dozens of September 11 victims.
The suit says Iran and Hezbollah, the Lebanese militant group with close ties to Tehran, helped al-Qaeda with planning the attacks and with the hijackers’ training and travel. After the attacks, the suit says, Iran and Hezbollah helped al-Qaeda operatives and their families to escape, in some cases providing them with a safe haven in Iran.…Continue reading
Historical Judgment of Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal
by Cynthia McKinney
Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal
Bush, Blair Defense Relies On 9/11/01
That’s why we need an independent investigation of 9/11.
While the prosecution of President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair for the crime of aggression, crimes against the peace, took two days to present because the docket was so full of important evidence, including their own books written after the Iraq War, the Defense (by way of Amicus Curiae) sought to conclude its proceedings by invoking the emotionalism of the tragedy that took place on 11 September 2001. Amid multiple rebukes by the Chief Justice of the Tribunal to avoid emotionalism, the Defense team could not help itself.
Lead Defense Counsel continued, “Had George W. Bush said ‘We know who you are, we know what you did, and we forgive you,’ the world could have been a much different place. But, instead, Afghanistan, Iraq, Guantánamo happened. We are fallible human beings. We make mistakes.” And the Defense stated that the defense of Bush and Blair defense is that the accused “are human.”
The Judges interjected at this point that perhaps the correct defense should have been “temporary insanity” or “provocation” since the prosecution had already stated that 9/11 was a pretext for the war that was desired by certain personalities as far back as 1998.
The Defense noted that what happened was human fallibility and in the end, the information that prompted the war… Continue reading
By Pete Kasperowicz
November 19, 2011
A bipartisan group of senators proposed legislation this week that would overturn a court interpretation of current law that has blocked a lawsuit brought by 9/11 victims against Saudi Arabia for supporting al Qaeda.
The bill introduced by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) would amend the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) and the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) to clarify that victims of terrorist acts in the U.S. can hold the foreign sponsors of those attacks responsible in U.S. courts. Co-sponsoring the bill are Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), and Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.).
Schumer said the bill is needed because some U.S. courts have interpreted FSIA and ATA that Americans injured during the 9/11 attacks have no recourse against foreign states that should be held responsible. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York threw out a victims’ suit against Saudi Arabia in 2008, based on the argument that Saudi Arabia did not direct the 9/11 attacks, and that FSIA did not apply to this case.
But Schumer said this decision reflects an incorrect interpretation of FSIA and ATA, and is “contrary to the plain language” of those laws.
“[T]aken together, the FSIA and ATA were designed to enable terrorism victims to bring suit against foreign states and terror sponsors when they support terrorism against the United States,” Schumer said. “I am introducing this bill… Continue reading