By Ray McGovern
April 6, 2011
The Obama administration’s decision to use a military tribunal rather than a federal criminal court to try alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four others means the real motives behind the 9/11 attacks may remain obscure.
The Likud Lobby and their allied U.S. legislators can chalk up a significant victory for substantially shrinking any opportunity for the accused planners of 9/11 to tell their side of the story.
What? I sense some bristling. “Their side of the story?” Indeed! We’ve been told there is no “their side of the story.”
For years, President George W. Bush got away with offering up the risible explanation that they “hate our freedoms.” The stenographers of the White House press corps may have had to suppress smiles but silently swallowed the “they-hate-us-for-our-freedoms” rationale.
The only journalist I can recall stepping up and asking, in effect, “Come on; now really; it’s important; why do the really hate us” was the indomitable Helen Thomas.
In January 2010, just weeks after the “underpants bomber” tried to down an airliner over Detroit, President Barack Obama asked White House counter-terrorism guru, John Brennan, to field questions from the White House press.
Helen Thomas took the opportunity to ask why the would-be bomber did what he did. The exchange with Brennan is, hopefully, more instructive than it is depressing — highlighting a limited mindset still stuck in bromides.
Thomas: “Why do they want to do us harm? And what is the motivation?… Continue reading
The accused mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks will be tried in a military tribunal and not in Manhattan federal court blocks from the World Trade Center site, officials said Monday.
The Justice Department’s announcement was a major reversal for the Obama administration, which had faced strong pressure to abandon its 2009 decision that it would seek to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four alleged co-conspirators in civilian court downtown.
Attorney General Eric Holder said Congress has imposed restrictions on where Guantánamo detainees can be tried, and rather than fight those restrictions and delay the trial, he ordered prosecutors to dismiss the federal indictment in New York in favor of a military trial.
Holder emphasized that prosecutors had been “prepared to bring a powerful case” against the suspects and said he still believes a civilian trial would have been the best choice.
The 2009 announcement that the 9/11 suspects would be tried in New York was met with fierce opposition from many elected officials, families of victims and those who live and work in Lower Manhattan, who would have had to contend with several rings of heavy security for the months of the trial.
Julie Menin, chairwoman of Community Board 1 in Lower Manhattan, said Monday that the choice to back out of New York was an “outstanding victory.”
“Having 2,000 checkpoints, let alone one checkpoint, would have ruined the whole neighborhood. It would have affected small businesses and residents,” she said. “People are thrilled that we… Continue reading
Represented by the Center for 9/11 Justice
NEW YORK, March 23, 2011 —
/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A December 2010 poll conducted by the prestigious Emnid Institute, and reported in the German magazine “Welt der Wunder,” revealed that 89.5% of German respondents do not believe the official story of 9/11.
The issue is heating up in America as well, and will soon be heard in court.
Top Secret Military Specialist April Gallop saw disturbing things up close that have not been reported in the media.
On the morning of September 11, 2001, she was ordered by her supervisor to go directly to work at the Pentagon, before dropping off her ten-week-old son Elisha at day care.
Amazingly, the infant was given immediate security clearance upon arrival.
The instant Gallop turned on her computer an enormous explosion blew her out of her chair, knocking her momentarily unconscious.
Escaping through the hole reportedly made by Flight 77, she saw no signs of an aircraft — no seats, luggage, metal, or human remains. Her watch (and other clocks nearby) had stopped at 9:30-9:31 a.m., seven minutes before the Pentagon was allegedly struck at 9:38 a.m.
The 9/11 Commission reported that “by no later than 9:18 a.m., FAA centers in Indianapolis, Cleveland, and Washington were aware that Flight 77 was missing and that two aircraft had struck the World Trade Center.”
Why then were there no anti-aircraft defenses, Gallop asks, or alarm warnings inside the Pentagon?
Gallop was briefed by officials not to tell her story… Continue reading
By Glenn Greenwald
February 18, 2011
In March, 2002, American citizen Jose Padilla was arrested in Chicago and publicly accused by then-Attorney-General John Ashcroft of being “The Dirty Bomber.” Shortly thereafter, he was transferred to a military brig in South Carolina, where he was held for almost two years completely incommunicado (charged with no crime and denied all access to the outside world, including even a lawyer) and was brutally tortured, both physically and psychologically. All of this — including the torture — was carried out pursuant to orders from President Bush, Secretary Rumsfeld and other high-ranking officials. Just as the Supreme Court was about to hear Padilla’s plea to be charged or released — and thus finally decide if the President has the power to imprison American citizens on U.S. soil with no charges of any kind — the Government indicted him in a federal court on charges far less serious than Ashcroft had touted years earlier, causing the Supreme Court to dismiss Padilla’s arguments as “moot”; Padilla was then convicted and sentenced to 17 years in prison.
Padilla — like so many other War on Terror detainees — has spent years in American courts trying unsuccessfully to hold accountable the high-level government officials responsible for his abuse and lawless imprisonment (which occurred for years prior to his indictment). Not only has Padilla (and all other detainees) failed to obtain redress for what was done to them, but worse, they have been entirely denied even… Continue reading
December 14, 2010
by Catherine Herridge
An Army Reserve colonel is suing the Pentagon and U.S. intelligence agencies, claiming that they violated his free speech rights by blocking the distribution of his book over concerns it threatened national security.
Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer’s First Amendment lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., targets the Defense Department for buying 9,500 copies of his book, “Operation Dark Heart” for $50,000 and destroying them. The lawsuit also names the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency as defendants.
“Because the defendants have impermissibly infringed upon Shaffer’s right to publish unclassified information in Operation Dark Heart, they have violated Shaffer’s First Amendment rights,” the lawsuit says.
The suit provides a rare insight into the internal review process for the publication of books based on the search for senior Al Qaeda leadership in post-9/11 Afghanistan.
The lawsuit was filed by national security lawyer Mark Zaid and alleges that the book was compiled by Shaffer along with a former Washington Post reporter and author, Jacqui Salmon, who used unclassified or “open source” documents and independent interviews. The manuscript was submitted to Shaffer’s Army Reserve chain of command for review in June 2009 and ultimately given “a favorable legal and operational security review” in January. The court documents state, “the Army Reserve believed that the book had been reviewed and approved as having been completely clear of any classified information.”
The suit alleges that the Defense Intelligence Agency “claims to have… Continue reading
Ex-Guantánamo inmate accused of role in US embassy attacks acquitted
on all but one of 286 charges at civilian trial.
November 11, 2010
Ghailani was arrested in Pakistan in 2004 and transferred to the US-run Guantánamo
Bay prison in 2006 [AFP]
The first former Guantánamo detainee to be tried in a civilian court has been
found not guilty on all but one of the 286 charges in the 1998 bombings of two
US embassies in Africa.
A federal jury handed down the verdict on Wednesday to Ahmed Ghailani, a Tanzanian
national who had been accused of conspiring in the car bomb attacks in Kenya
and Tanzania that killed 224 people.
The jury found him guilty of one charge of conspiracy to damage or destroy
US property by means of an explosive device.
Ghailani was cleared of 276 murder and attempted murder counts, along with
five other conspiracy charges.
However, he faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years after his conspiracy
“We respect the jury’s verdict and are pleased that Ahmed Ghailani now
faces a minimum of 20 years in prison, and a potential life sentence for his
role in the embassy bombings,” the US justice department said after the
‘Efficient and fair’
Daphne Eviatar, from Human Rights First, said that the trial demonstrated the
system works and that there was no need to keep the Guantánamo Bay facility
“What strikes me is how efficient, fair, and transparent the federal court
prosecution was,” she… Continue reading
Unearths Striking Video/Photo WTC Evidence
by Eli Rika
November 6, 2010
Over the last century, the most astounding historical discoveries of man-made artifacts have often been accomplished by well-funded, highly experienced researchers. From the excavation of King Tut’s tomb to the sighting of the sunken Titanic, stunning finds have required immense financial and human resources, as well as the leadership by distinguished. So, how did a mountain of never-before-seen footage used in NIST’s World Trade Center investigations get exposed to the light of day last month? Was it the work of a billionaire adventurer? Not quite. You can thank an upstart non-profit, the International Center for 9/11 Studies, whose efforts have at last borne fruit.
The International Center for 9/11 Studies was founded in 2008 by Director James Gourley, a Texas lawyer who began questioning the events of 9/11 after watching a presentation given by David Ray Griffin on C-SPAN.
“I was just floored by what I was hearing,” Gourley explained, “and I’ve been looking into 9/11 ever since then.”
In order to encourage a better understanding of the 9/11 attacks and promote scientific study of these tragic events, Gourley assembled a small team of trusted colleagues, which includes physics instructor David Chandler, activist Dr. Graeme MacQueen, and Justin Keogh, the Center’s Chief Technical Officer. The Center has partnered with other key researchers in the past, including physicist Steven Jones and chemist Niels Harrit.
Since its inception, the Center has contributed to groundbreaking work… Continue reading
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 29, 2010
[Revised November 8, 2010]
The 2010 Colorado Democratic Party platform, approved by the 146 member platform committee states:
“Whereas many disturbing facts were consciously ignored by the 9/11 Commission; Be it resolved, therefore, that the CDP calls for the establishment of a truly independent Grand Jury and public investigation into these and other anomalies in order to find the truth of the September 11, 2001 attacks, so that we have a greater probability of preventing attacks of this nature in the future.”
This controversial plank was added to the State Democratic Party Platform after evidence supporting the critical need for a new investigation was presented at several caucuses in 2004, 2008, and 2010.
The citizens who presented arguments for a new investigation at their precinct caucuses are signatories to the Architect and Engineers for 9/11 Truth organization (ae911Truth.org) which calls for a new investigation into the events of September 11, 2001.
The quality of evidence contradicting the official 9/11 story is substantiated in part by the 2010 Platform Committee Chairman Hal Bidlack’s statement: “… this platform represents the consensus of the 2010 Platform Committee, guided by the results of county assemblies across our state. The folks who worked tirelessly on the Committee can rightly be proud of their efforts, and deserve our special thanks.” (Bidlack’s statement can be found on page one of the 2010 platform.)
In the upcoming Colorado election, Green Party U.S. Senatorial candidate Bob Kinsey and District One U.S. Representative candidate… Continue reading
By William Fisher
NEW YORK, Sep 27, 2010 (IPS) – Hundreds of people who believe they were falsely detained and imprisoned by the Department of Justice in the wake of the Sep. 11, 2001 attacks are now seeking redress through the U.S. courts.
The exact number of detainees is unclear, as no lists were ever released publicly. But according to a report by the Office of the Inspector General in 2002, 475 9/11 detainees were arrested and detained in New York and New Jersey. Hundreds more were arrested across the country.
Some of these men are plaintiffs in a federal class action lawsuit against former Attorney General John Ashcroft and other top officials in the administration of President George W. Bush (2001-2009) who were responsible for their illegal roundup, abuse and detention.
The suit charges that the detainees were kept in solitary confinement with the lights on 24 hours a day; placed under a communications blackout so that they could not seek the assistance of their attorneys, families and friends; subjected to physical and verbal abuse; forced to endure inhumane conditions of confinement; and obstructed in their efforts to practice their religion.
Some of the abuse included beatings, repeated strip searches and sleep deprivation. The allegations of inhumane and degrading treatment have been substantiated by two reports of the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General, and several defendants in the case have been convicted on federal charges of cover-ups and beatings of other prisoners around the same time… Continue reading
By David Edwards
Monday, July 12th, 2010
Fox News’ senior judicial analyst made some surprising remarks Saturday that
may go against the grain at his conservative network.
In a interview with Ralph Nader on C-SPAN’s Book TV to promote his book Lies
the Government Told You, Judge Andrew Napolitano said that President George
W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney should have been indicted for “torturing,
for spying, for arresting without warrant.”
The judge believes that it is a fallacy to say that the US treats suspects
as innocent until proven guilty. “The government acts as if a defendant
is guilty merely on the basis of an accusation,” said Napolitano.
Nader was curious about how this applied to the Bush administration. “What
about the more serious violations of habeas corpus,” wondered Nader. “You
know after 9/11 Bush rounded up thousands of them, Americans, many of them Muslim
Americans or Arabic Americans and they were thrown in jail without charges.
They didn’t have lawyers. Some of them were pretty mistreated in New York City.
You know they were all released eventually.”
“Well that is so obviously a violation of the natural law, the natural
right to be brought before a neutral arbiter within moments of the government
taking your freedom away from you,” answered Napolitano.
“So what President Bush did with the suspension of habeas corpus, with
the whole concept of Guantánamo Bay, with the whole idea that he could avoid
and evade federal laws, treaties, federal judges and the… Continue reading
By BENJAMIN WEISER
June 17, 2010
A federal judge in Manhattan who was criticized by families of victims of 9/11 for taking too long to decide motions in lawsuits they had filed has handed down a ruling dismissing claims made against many of the defendants.
The judge, George B. Daniels of Federal District Court, has overseen a group of lawsuits filed in the wake of the attacks. The suits sought to hold charities, financial institutions and individuals responsible for providing money and other support to Al Qaeda.
The terrorism-financing suits are not related to separate 9/11 wrongful death and injury claims brought by families and rescue and cleanup workers that are before another judge and appear near resolution. Judge Daniels, in his ruling made public on Thursday, cited jurisdictional grounds in dismissing dozens of defendants.
Robert T. Haefele, a plaintiffs’ lawyer, said, “We are pleased that the court has ruled but naturally disagree with the decision.” He said it could “immunize and embolden” terror sponsors.
Mr. Haefele and other plaintiffs’ lawyers had filed a petition this month with the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, asking that the judge be removed from the case. They said he had not acted on almost 100 petitions to dismiss since being assigned the case in 2007.
One defense lawyer, Lynne A. Bernabei, said, “Finally the court has recognized that these defendants, including many of our defendants, had nothing to do with the horrific acts on 9/11.”
Ms. Bernabei’s firm… Continue reading
By John Byrne
May 11th, 2010
Elena Kagan, President Barack Obama’s latest nominee to the Supreme Court,
helped protect the Saudi royal family from lawsuits that sought to hold al Qaeda
financiers responsible in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
The suits were filed by thousands of family members and others affected by
the Sept. 11 attacks. In court papers, they provided evidence that members of
the Saudi royal family had channeled millions to al Qaeda prior to the bombings,
often in contravention of direct guidance from the United States.
But Kagan, acting as President Obama’s Solicitor General, argued that the case
should not be heard even if evidence proved that the Saudis helped underwrite
al Qaeda, because it would interfere with US foreign policy with the oil-rich
nation. She posited “that the princes are immune from petitioners’
claims” because of “the potentially significant foreign relations
consequences of subjecting another sovereign state to suit.”
In an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer published Tuesday,
the mother of a man who was killed on United Flight 93 in Pennsylvania said
he didn’t know why Kagan argued that the case not even be heard. By keeping
the case off the dockets, the Saudis were spared scrutiny of their finances.
“We had hoped she would be with us so that we could have our day in court,"
Beverly Burnett said.
with Ralph Schoenman and Mya Shone
April 7, 2010-
Lynne Stewart has for forty years defended the poor and the oppressed against
arbitrary authority and false charges
Lynne Stewart, together with former Attorney-General Ramsey Clark and Abdeen
Jabar defended Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, who was tried and convicted of plotting
to blow up noted landmarks, including the George Washington Bridge, Lincoln
Tunnel, Holland Tunnel, Statue of Liberty, and to assassinate Senator Alphonse
D’Amato and U.N. Secretary General Boutros-Boutros Ghali
Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman was innocent of these charges and had no part in the
initiation, planning or execution of these presumptive plots.
Indisputable and massive evidence has demonstrated that the Federal Bureau
of Investigation, through its operatives, including Emad Ali Salem, was, in
fact, the author of these plots and planned, initiated and financed these and
other acts of terror, including the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993
in a “false flag” operation.
Attorney General John Ashcroft launched a cynical campaign to persecute and
prosecute Lynne Stewart for “aiding and abetting terrorism” based upon her serving
as defense attorney for Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman.
The Justice Department has undertaken the persecution and prosecution of Lynne
Stewart because she defended her falsely accused client zealously and refused
to be intimidated by the drumbeat of government propaganda arising from its
false “war on terror”.
Lynne Stewart has been tried and convicted in District Court of JudgeJohn G.
Koeltl of aiding and abetting terrorism based solely on the fact that she defended
a man demonized by the State for the purpose of creating a climate of fear in
the United States and public acquiescence in global wars of conquest including
Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and beyond.…
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.
March 22, 2010
by Stephen C. Webster
A terror war prisoner, once considered of such high value by the Bush administration that former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld ordered he be tortured, has taken his first step toward freedom thanks to a federal district court judge, who ordered the government to free him after nearly 10 years of imprisonment at Guantánamo Bay.
Though 39-year-old Mohamedou Slahi, an alleged 9/11 conspirator, won his habeas corpus appeal before U.S. District Judge James Robertson on Monday, he likely does not know it yet. That’s because the judge’s decision was classified, according to published reports.
“After the [9/11] attacks, he was fingered by a senior al Qaeda operative for helping assemble the so-called Hamburg cell, which included the hijacker who piloted United 175 into the South Tower,” href="http://pierretristam.com/Bobst/07/wf040107.htm" target="_blank">The Wall Street Journal reported in 2007.
After being captured and imprisoned in Guantánamo Bay, he was repeatedly subjected to torture by his American captors, with Rumsfeld himself ordering “special” interrogation tactics be set aside for Slahi.
“For a sampling of what Slahi experienced at Guantánamo, check out page 139 of the Senate Armed Services Committee’s 2008 report into the abuse of detainees in the custody of the Department of Defense,” Washington Independent reporter Spencer Ackerman noted.
The Senate report reads:
The memoranda indicate that, on several occasions from July 8 through July 17, Slahi was interrogated by a masked interrogator called “Mr. X.” On July 8, 2003 Slahi was interrogated by Mr. X… Continue reading
9 May 2010:
A Note on a Major Event in the Worldwide Movement to Arrest the
Organized Crime of War Profiteers
from Anthony Hall
Hello friends, associates and supporters.
Hello, as well, to those who are new to the case of Splitting The Sky versus
George W. Bush.
I have no hesitation in asserting that the brilliant content of these videos
will be transformative for multitudes of global viewers. These videos contain
poetry in You Tube. They offer sophisticated political analysis of the kind
that should strike fear in the heart of the criminal class who are currently
running the global apparatus of so-called national security. These presentations
are studies of effective communication. They embody joy, love and skilled articulation
combining classical motifs of ballet-like performance with the free form creativity
of hip hop. They highlight two individuals at the top of their form who are
leading an accelerating global revolt against the lawless war machine’s broadening
onslaught. More than any other force, the organized crime of the war machine
threatens all humanity– indeed, all life forms– with imminent oblivion. Please
take the time to study this set of amazing videos and disseminate them far and
The event took place on March 9 only hours after the premature termination
of Splitting The Sky’s Calgary trial. As the trial was being hurriedly shut
down by the state, the legendary Cynthia McKinney arrived in Calgary from London
to show solidarity with the veteran Mohawk activist. In an event hosted… Continue reading
by Anthony J. Hall
Professor of Globalization Studies
University of Lethbridge
10 March, 2010
Judge Manfred Delong shut down the trial of Splitting The Sky versus George W. Bush on the second day of proceedings. The court denied STS his frequently emphasized request to have two witnesses give evidence in his defense. Those witnesses were myself and Cynthia McKinney. The trial came to an end just as Ms. McKinney arrived in Calgary from London. The US-based oil conglomerates active throughout Alberta form the core business constituency of the Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who represents a Calgary riding in Parliament.
The court accepted two documents as evidence for the defense. One is Gail Davidson’s widely disseminated legal opinion for Lawyer’s Against the War. STS and I studied this document closely in the days leading up to my friend being arrested for his arrest attempt. LAW’s legal opinion highlighted some of the evidence, statutes and treaties to brand Bush as a “credibly accused war criminal” that should not be allowed into Canada. Prior to Bush’s touching down in Calgary to address an audience of oil executives, Davidson’s documemtation was distributed widely to officials of the Harper government and Canada’s Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
The other exhibit for the defense was my own paper that I originally presented at an invited academic venue at the University of Winnipeg. It has been published under a variety of titles on the Internet, including at Global Research.ca, 911 Blogger.com, 9/11 Truth.org and Voltairenet in both French… Continue reading
SPS versus “W” in Court Hearings in Calgary
By Carol Brouillet
March 7, 2010
DailyCensored.org from Project Censored
Dacajaweiah, John Boncore, or Splitting the Sky, is not a man of few words. If you read his hefty 653-page autobiography, it is very clear that he has lived an extraordinary life and has survived more than his share of violence, to find deep within himself a well of energy and spirit enabling him to not only endure hardships, but to serve his people and the land in the timeless struggle against oppression and tyranny. From the Attica Rebellion to Gustafen Lake to Calgary in 2009, when he attempted a citizen’s arrest of George W. Bush, “Dac” has consciously taken a leadership role to politically challenge the powerful forces that dominate the North American continent. Brutally arrested for his action, he earned his “day in court” to voice not only his defense, but “to highlight the hypocrisy and criminality of the Canadian government for allowing Bush into Canada, and to firmly establish the legal defense of ‘civil resistance’, the duty of citizens to act when our governments and their agents are derelict in their duty. This will be very useful in the future to rein these criminals in.”
Prior to Bush’s visit, the group Lawyers Against the War asked Canadian officials to bar entry or try Bush for his suspected crimes since Canadian Law prohibits “people suspected of any involvement in torture or other war crimes and crimes against humanity from entering… Continue reading