10/27/2004 11:01:00 AM
To: National Desk
Contact: David Kubiak, 207-967-2390, Kyle F. Hence, 401-935-7715 or 212-243-7787 or firstname.lastname@example.org; both of 911truth.org
A coalition of 9/11 victim family members, survivors and advocacy groups will deliver a formal complaint requesting a new criminal investigation of 9/11 events to New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer this Thursday following a 2:00 PM press conference outside the Equitable Building (corner of Nassau and Cedar Streets). The Complaint petitions the Attorney General to launch an independent in-depth criminal and civil probe of evidence suggesting grave official misconduct including criminal negligence, criminal facilitation, and accessorial abetment of murder, insider trading, obstruction of justice, and other violations of New York law.
The Complaint asks the Attorney General to seek justice for 9/11 crimes by applying New York State law to recover damages incurred by state and local governments from corporations and individuals whose conduct furthered the criminal conspiracy. The Complainants, including victim family member Bob McIlvaine who lost his son, maintain that few if any of these charges or supporting evidence were adequately investigated by the 2002 Joint Intelligence Inquiry or the 9/11 Commission which released its final report last July.
“For many New Yorkers, AG Spitzer is the last hope for finding the truth about what happened on 9/11 and enforcing the law.” noted spokesperson David Kubiak. “Because administration officials have classified evidence under the “state secrets” doctrine, preempting local probes and obstructing official inquiries, there has been no comprehensive, credible independent investigation of… Continue reading
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Kyle F. Hence, 401-935-7715 email@example.com
9/11 Families and Survivors Group File Expanded Complaint Urging New Spitzer-led Investigations into 9/11 – Will Announce Press Conference and Further Steps Next Week
New York, NY (October 28, 2004) – Today a group of 9/11 victim family representatives, survivors and first responders files an updated 35-page Complaint and Petition with New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. Chief Investigator William Casey accepted the original Complaint/Petition from the Complainants on October 28th. In a call for truth and accountability, the Complaint demands that the AG open a criminal inquiry and/or grand jury investigation into the many still unsolved crimes of September 11, 2001 over which his office has jurisdiction. Co-complainant Bob McIlvaine, who lost his son in the attacks, said this is now absolutely necessary so that “justice is finally done.”
The group which operates under a “Justice for 9/11″ banner is posting the Complaint online at www.Justicefor911.org where those who wish to express their support can sign an electronic petition. “In essence the Complaint calls for criminal and civil probes into previously suppressed or ignored areas of inquiry identified by victim family members and others who have formally posed many questions to Congress, the 9/11 Commission, the FBI and other government agencies. Most of these questions have still not been addressed, let alone answered. There’s been zero accountability and full story behind 9/11 has yet to be told,” said Kyle F. Hence, spokesperson… Continue reading
9/11 Victims, National Security Whistleblowers, Go to Court to Support Sibel Edmonds; Demand Government Stop Silencing Employees Who Expose Security Risks
WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 21, 2005) – An unprecedented group of national security whistleblowers and family members of 9/11 victims’ families will gather Wednesday, January 26th to demand that the government halt its detrimental practice of silencing employees who expose national security blunders.
The event comes as several 9/11 family member advocacy groups and public interest organizations file a friend-of-the-court brief in support of Sibel Edmonds’ case against the government.
Edmonds, a former Middle Eastern language specialist hired by the FBI shortly after 9/11, was fired in 2002 after repeatedly reporting serious security breaches and misconduct in the agency’s translation program. She challenged her retaliatory dismissal by filing suit in federal court. Last July, the district court dismissed her case when Attorney General John Ashcroft invoked the so-called state secrets privilege. The ACLU is representing Edmonds in the appeal.
The event will be held at 12 p.m. at the National Press Club. Speakers will include Edmonds, ACLU Associate Legal Director Ann Beeson, FBI whistleblower Mike German, 9/11 family member Bill Doyle and others. Many high level national security whistleblowers and 9/11 family members will be at the event and available for interviews.
The event comes on the heels of last week’s release of an unclassified summary of the Justice Department’s Inspector General report investigating Edmonds’ termination. The report concluded that Edmonds was fired for reporting serious security breaches and misconduct… Continue reading
Special Report by D. Alexander Floum
Online Journal Contributing Writer
January 28, 2005-The evidence that certain elements of the government intentionally allowed and caused the 9-11 tragedy appears to be extremely strong. See, for example, Painful Questions by Eric Hufschmid, Synthetic Terror by Webster Tarpley, and The New Pearl Harbor and The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions by David Ray Griffin.
After failing to obtain any competent investigation or tangible results from the 9/11 Commission, the White House, or Congress (many of the governmental personnel responsible for preventing an attack on the U.S. have actually been promoted since 9-11), many Americans are asking whether justice may be obtained through the courts. The answer is complicated, and it would be impossible for a brief article such as this to do anything other than scratch the surface concerning 9-11 justice.
Instead of being the final word on 9-11 legal issues, this article is intended to be an introduction to strategy regarding 9-11 lawsuits, and a practical discussion of how to avoid some of the landmines present on the path to the courtroom battlefield which could knock the unwary out of the game before they even get started.
CAN WE WIN A 9-11 LAWSUIT?
Legally, I believe we should win in court. If the facts surrounding the 9-11 attacks were applied to the elements of the law in a vacuum, then I believe that many of the real 9-11 perpetrators and accomplices would end up behind bars. There is strong… Continue reading
by Tom Flocco
Washington — Former FBI contract translator and whistleblower Sibel Edmonds and her attorneys were ordered removed from the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse so that a three-judge U.S. Court of Appeals panel could discuss her case in private with Bush administration lawyers.
In an exclusive interview on Saturday, we asked Edmonds if she would deny that laundered drug money linked to the 911 attacks found its way into recent House, Senate and Presidential campaign war-chests, according to what she heard in intelligence intercepts she was asked to translate.
“I will not deny that statement; but I cannot comment further on it,” she told TomFlocco.com, in a non-denial denial.
Edmonds is appealing the Bush administration’s arcane use of “state secrets privilege,” invoked last year to throw out her U.S. District Court lawsuit alleging retaliation for telling FBI superiors about shoddy wiretap translations and allegations that wiretap information was passed to the target of an FBI investigation. Given our multiple reports and numerous other interviews, Edmonds heard much more–but enough to warrant public suppression of criminal evidence by a wholly Republican appeals court panel?
“Tom, I’m telling you that not a single newspaper covered what happened to me on Thursday when I went into court,” said the exasperated translator, adding, “[Judge David] Ginsberg kicked everyone out, cut off my lawyer’s arguments and told us ‘we have questions to ask the government’s attorneys that you cannot… Continue reading
By Sibel Edmonds
May 14, 2005
“Those of you who still think this case, my case, is about covering up some administrative blunder or bureaucratic mismanagement, please think again… What were [my] core allegations, and who did they involve… They would not go to this length to protect some nobody criminal or terrorist.” – Sibel Edmonds
The Appeal Court’s decision on Sibel Edmonds’ Case is out: ‘Case Dismissed;’ no opinion cited; no reason provided. The Court’s decision, issued on Friday, May 6, has generated a string of obituaries; “another major blow, maybe the last one, to Sibel Edmonds, a woman who has faced an unprecedented level of government secrecy, gag orders, and classification.” Well, dear friends and supporters, Sibel Edmonds may be gagged, but she’s not dead.
On October 18, 2002; three months after I filed my suit against the Department of Justice for unlawful termination of my employment caused by my reporting criminal activities committed by government officials and employees, John Ashcroft, the then Attorney General, invoked a rarely invoked privilege, the State Secrets Privilege. According to Ashcroft,everything involving my case and my allegations were considered state secrets, and whether or not I was right in my allegations, the United States District Court had to dismiss my entire case without any questions,hearings or oral argument; period. According to Ashcroft, the court had to grant his order and dismiss the entire case with no hearings solely based on the fact that he, Ashcroft, said so. After all, our government knew best.…Continue reading
Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility News Release (www.peer.org)
For Immediate Release: February 10, 2006
Contact: Chas Offutt (202) 265-7337
BUSH AXING LIBRARIES WHILE PUSHING FOR MORE RESEARCH — EPA Set to Close Library Network and Electronic Catalog
Washington, DC — Under President Bush’s proposed budget, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is slated to shut down its network of libraries that serve its own scientists as well as the public, according to internal agency documents released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). In addition to the libraries, the agency will pull the plug on its electronic catalog which tracks tens of thousands of unique documents and research studies that are available nowhere else.
Under Bush’s plan, $2 million of a total agency library budget of $2.5 million will be lost, including the entire $500,000 budget for the EPA Headquarters library and its electronic catalog that makes it possible to search for documents through the entire EPA library network. These reductions are just a small portion of the $300 million in cuts the administration has proposed for EPA operations.
At the same time, President Bush is proposing to significantly increase EPA research funding for topics such as nanotechnology, air pollution and drinking water system security as part of his “American Competitive Initiative.”
“How are EPA scientists supposed to engage in cutting edge research when they cannot find what the agency has already done?” asked PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch, noting that EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson is moving to implement the… Continue reading
By Christine Kearney and Paritosh Bansal
Tue Aug 7, 2007
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Airlines sued by victims of the September 11 attacks filed complaints with a U.S. court on Tuesday to compel testimony from FBI and CIA agents in a bid to make the federal government more culpable for not preventing the attacks.
In separate complaints filed in the U.S. Court for the Southern District of New York, seven U.S. airlines sought testimony from two members of a U.S. Central Intelligence Agency unit that investigated Osama Bin Laden and five current and former FBI agents who investigated al Qaeda.
Some relatives of the victims of September 11 have filed suit against the seven airlines – including AMR Corp.’s American Airlines and UAL Corp.’s United Airlines – seeking damages for personal injury and wrongful death.
The airlines said they needed the agents’ testimony to prove their actions were reasonable.
In seeking the agents’ testimony, the airlines argued that “the inability of the federal agencies to detect and stop the plot is a more significant causal circumstance of the terrorist attacks than any allegedly negligent conduct of the aviation parties.”
Both U.S. agencies have refused to allow their agents to be questioned even though they have given public statements about their intelligence knowledge in the past, the airlines said.
The FBI and CIA had “far more intelligence information concerning the terrorist threat” than the airlines and knew that two of the suspected hijackers were in the United States, the air carriers… Continue reading
By Barry Siegel
September 16, 2007
On Aug. 15, before an overflow crowd at the federal courthouse at 7th and
Mission in San Francisco, three judges from the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals
listened to lawyers argue whether the once-obscure “state secrets privilege”
gives the government an absolute right to withhold documents, bury evidence
and block lawsuits.
The government claimed the privilege in connection with two cases challenging
the Bush administration’s domestic surveillance programs, including its controversial
warrantless wiretapping operation. Deputy Solicitor General Gregory Garre, arguing
for the government, maintained that the cases should be dismissed instantly,
no questions asked, because a trial would endanger national security. Presenting
any evidence in a courtroom, he said, would put the country at “exceptionally
When it comes to national security, Garre said, judges must give the executive
branch the “utmost deference.”
After listening to such claims for a while, the senior judge on the appellate
panel, Harry Pregerson, asked Garre whether the state secrets privilege meant
that the courts must simply “rubber stamp” the decisions of the executive.
“The bottom line here is the government declares something is a state secret,
that’s the end of it,” Pregerson said. “The king can do no wrong.”
“This seems to put us in the ‘trust us’ category,” said Judge M.
Margaret McKeown, referring to government assurances that the surveillance program
didn’t violate the law. “We don’t do it. Trust us.…
The Fourth Amendment
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Retroactive immunity for telecom companies who engaged in illegal spying at the behest of the NSA is at the heart of a bill currently being considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill, even before having been officially introduced, is being hotly debated by bloggers, electronic privacy groups, and civil libertarians, as well as presidential contenders (CT Senator Chris Dodd has actually posted a petition at his election website, encouraging readers to support his threatened “hold” on the bill). We should compare the issues involved here with the retroactive immunity provided CIA interrogators in the September, 2006 Military Commissions Act, who could otherwise have been accused of war crimes.
Below, we direct readers to an important series of programs from PBS’ Frontline to help readers investigate the background of this issue, and a deeper consideration of some of what’s at stake in continually ceding power to a rogue Executive bent on dissolving the few civil liberties which currently remain untouched.
Lest readers be swayed by the Administration’s repeated argument that “9/11 makes this necessary,” the Rocky Mountain News reported (emphasis added) on October 11, 2007 that this spying was underway well before 9/11/01:
… Continue reading
“The National Security Agency and other government agencies retaliated against Qwest because the Denver telco refused to go along with a phone spying program, documents released Wednesday suggest.
By MATTHEW BARAKAT, Associated Press Writer
November 20, 2007
A federal judge expressed frustration Tuesday that the government provided incorrect information about evidence in the prosecution of Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui and raised the possibility of ordering a new trial in another high-profile terrorism case.
At a post-trial hearing Tuesday for Ali al-Timimi, a Muslim cleric from Virginia sentenced to life in prison in 2004 for soliciting treason, U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema said she can no longer trust the CIA and other government agencies on how they represent classified evidence in terror cases.
Attorneys for al-Timimi have been seeking access to documents. They also want to depose government witnesses to determine whether the government improperly failed to disclose the existence of certain evidence.
The prosecutors have asked her to dismiss the defense request. The government has denied the allegations but has done so in secret pleadings to the judge that defense lawyers are not allowed to see. Even the lead prosecutors in the al-Timimi case have not had access to the information; they have relied on the representations of other government lawyers.
After the hearing, the judge issued an order that said she would not rule on the prosecutors’ motion until the government grants needed security clearances to al-Timimi’s defense lawyer, Jonathan Turley, and the lead trial prosecutor so they can review the secret pleadings.
Brinkema said she no longer feels confident relying on the government briefs, particularly since prosecutors admitted last week that similar representations made in… Continue reading
By William Glaberson
The New York Times
Saturday 09 February 2008
Military prosecutors are in the final phases of preparing the first sweeping case against suspected conspirators in the plot that led to the deaths of nearly 3,000 Americans on Sept. 11, 2001, and drew the United States into war, people who have been briefed on the case said.
The charges, to be filed in the military commission system at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, would involve as many as six detainees held at the detention camp, including Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the former senior aide to Osama bin Laden, who has said he was the principal planner of the plot.
The case could begin to fulfill a longtime goal of the Bush administration: establishing culpability for the terrorist attacks of 2001. It could also help the administration make its case that some detainees at Guantánamo, where 275 men remain, would pose a threat if they are not held at Guantánamo or elsewhere. Officials have long said that a half-dozen men held at Guantánamo played essential roles in the plot directed by Mr. Mohammed, from would-be hijackers to financiers.
But the case would also bring new scrutiny to the military commission system, which has a troubled history and has been criticized as a system designed to win convictions but that does not provide the legal protections of American civilian courts.
War-crimes charges against the men would almost certainly place the prosecutors in a battle over the treatment of inmates because at least two… Continue reading
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: media@acluorg; (212) 549-2666
Ruling Allows Executive Branch To Police Itself, Says ACLU
NEW YORK — The U.S. Supreme Court today refused to review a legal challenge to the Bush administration’s warrantless surveillance program. The case was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of prominent journalists, scholars, attorneys and national nonprofit organizations who say that the unchecked surveillance program is disrupting their ability to communicate effectively with sources and clients. The court’s decision today lets stand an appeals court’s ruling on narrow grounds that plaintiffs could not show with certainty that they had been wiretapped by the National Security Agency.
The following quote can be attributed to Jameel Jaffer, Director of the ACLU’s National Security Project:
“Congress enacted the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act intending to protect the rights of U.S. citizens and residents, and the president systematically broke that law over a period of more than five years. It’s very disturbing that the president’s actions will not be reviewed by the Supreme Court. It shouldn’t be left to executive branch officials alone to determine what limits apply to their own surveillance activities and whether those limits are being honored. Allowing the executive branch to police itself flies in the face of the constitutional system of checks and balances.”
The following quote can be attributed to Steven R. Shapiro, Legal Director of the ACLU:
“Although we are deeply disappointed with the Supreme Court’s refusal to review this case, it is worth noting that today’s… Continue reading
Between The Lines
For The Week Ending Feb. 29, 2008
Posted Feb. 20, 2008
LISTEN to this week’s entire program/view the program summary.
Click here for downloadable or streaming audio, and more information.
Interview with Marjorie Cohn, president of the National Lawyers Guild,
conducted by Scott Harris
On Feb. 11, the Bush administration announced it would charge six detainees held at the U.S. prison camp at Guantánamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba, alleged to be involved in the planning of the September 11 terrorist attacks. Among those being charged are Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the purported mastermind of the 9/11 conspiracy. This is the first set of charges brought by U.S. authorities against Guantánamo detainees that related directly to involvement in the Sept. 11 attacks.
These trials will be conducted under the rules outlined in the Military Commissions Act passed in 2006 by the Republican-controlled Congress in response to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that the original Bush trial procedures at Guantánamo were unconstitutional.
Although the Military Commissions Act forbids the admission of evidence extracted by torture, it permits evidence obtained by cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment if it was secured before Dec. 30, 2005. Thus, the Bush administration’s refusal to declare waterboarding as an act of torture will be a key issue in these trials. Other procedures criticized allow a trial to proceed in the absence of the accused, places the power to appoint judges in the hands of the Secretary of Defense, permits the introduction of hearsay and evidence obtained without a warrant, and denies the accused the right to see all of the evidence against them.…Continue reading
Lawyers claim he pleaded guilty without seeing secret evidence
By MATT APUZZO
February 26, 2008
WASHINGTON — Lawyers urged Zacarias Moussaoui not to plead guilty to terrorism charges. They just couldn’t tell him why.
In newly filed court documents, Moussaoui argues that court-imposed secrecy undermined his ability to present an adequate defense. His new lawyers say Moussaoui’s guilty plea should be thrown out and a new trial should be convened for the man who once claimed to have been a part of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist plot.
Moussaoui was not allowed to see the classified evidence against him and was shut out from closed-door hearings in which that evidence was laid out.
Defense lawyers say they were barred from even discussing with Moussaoui evidence that could help prove his innocence. They say Moussaoui faced an unconstitutional choice: plead guilty or go to trial without knowing the evidence.
“Moussaoui appeals because his plea was unknowing, uncounselled and invalid,” attorneys Justin Antonipillai and Barbara Hartung wrote.
The documents, filed with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., raise a fundamental question about whether terrorism suspects like Moussaoui should be given access to all the evidence against them — access that is normally guaranteed in criminal cases.
The Bush administration has sought to avoid such conflicts by keeping most terrorism cases out of civilian courts. Instead, officials plan to try several cases before special military commissions at the Guantánamo Bay naval base, where judges have broad authority… Continue reading
By Jane Sutton
Fri Apr 18, 8:40 AM ET
GUANTÃNAMO BAY U.S. NAVAL BASE, Cuba (Reuters) – The U.S. military will televise the Guantánamo trial of accused September 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and five other suspects so relatives of those killed in the attacks can watch on the U.S. mainland.
“We’re going to broadcast in real time to several locations that will be available just to victim families,” Army Col. Lawrence Morris, chief prosecutor for the controversial war crimes court, said at the naval base recently.
In February, military prosecutors charged Mohammed and five other captives with murder and conspiracy and asked that they be executed if convicted of plotting to crash hijacked planes into New York’s World Trade Center and the Pentagon in 2001.
No trial date has been set but they are the first Guantánamo prisoners charged with direct involvement in the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people.
Morris said several of the victims’ relatives asked to watch the trials at the detention center set up in Guantánamo Bay naval base to try foreign terrorism suspects.
The base sits on a dusty patch of the island of Cuba and does not have many flights, beds or courtroom seats to accommodate spectators.
The trials will be beamed to closed-circuit television viewing sites on military bases at Fort Hamilton in New York, Fort Monmouth in New Jersey, Fort Meade in Maryland and Fort Devens in Massachusetts, Morris said.
The military is borrowing a page from the civilian court sentencing hearing of Zacarias Moussaoui, a flight school student who is the only person convicted in the United States in connection with the September 11 plot.…Continue reading