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
The Trial of Splitting the Sky as a Trial of the Cheney-Bush-Rumsfeld Cabal of War Profiteers
by Anthony J. Hall,
Professor of Globalization Studies, University of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
December 3rd, 2009
printable version (pdf)
Who and what is on trial ?
When Splitting the Sky broke through police lines in his attempt to conduct a citizen’s arrest of former US President, George W. Bush, the Mohawk Freedom Fighter pierced a thick wall of tyranny. He broke through a tight phalanx of state protection for the perpetrators of War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity, and Crimes Against the Peace.
With his courageous act, Splitting the Sky announced the unwillingness of millions of global citizens to tolerate any longer the culture of impunity that places a small, interlinked global plutocracy above the law. By breaking police lines, the Attica Brother and American Indian Movement activist scouted a route of liberation for those of us seeking to get out from under the weight of complicity in International Crime committed in our name. We are all deeply implicated in the state terror permeating the 9/11wars because it is our tax dollars that fund these imperial assaults.
Splitting the Sky’s action in Calgary highlights the abject failure of law enforcement agencies to do their job. It highlights the unwillingness of police and those who direct them to apply the law equitably and independently.
When he broke through police lines last march, Splitting the Sky built on the message of Muntadarar al-Zaidi, the Baghdad journalist who… Continue reading
by Larry Neumeister, Associated Press Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — Nearly completed settlements of two of the remaining three lawsuits brought by families of victims of the Sept. 11 terrorism attacks are likely to include language requiring evidence to be displayed at the National 9/11 Memorial & Museum, a lawyer said Wednesday.
Attorney Mary Schiavo said the public display of evidence collected for trial by lawyers in the case was important to the families.
She called the museum a fitting place for it and said the materials were likely to be put in the museum’s reading room.
She commented outside a court hearing where lawyers announced they had settled 15 of 18 property damage cases stemming from the terrorism attacks for an undisclosed amount, including claims by the Windows on the World restaurant.
U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein said he expects he will insist the amounts be made public later because of the “extreme public interest” in the cases.
Schiavo said families were close to settling cases stemming from the deaths of Sara Low, 28, a Boston-based flight attendant who died when American Airlines Flight 11 struck the World Trade Center, and Barbara Keating, 72, of Palm Springs, Fla., who was also aboard American Flight 11.
The lawyer said the remaining family was unlikely to settle its case on behalf of Mark Bavis, 31, of West Newton, Mass., a scout for the Los Angeles Kings professional hockey team. He was aboard United Flight 175, which also struck the… Continue reading
February 17, 2010
Contact: press [at] ccrjustice.org
New York — Yesterday evening, the district court in Washington, D.C. ruled against two men who died in Guantánamo in June 2006 and their families in a case seeking to hold federal officials and the United States responsible for the men’s torture, arbitrary detention and ultimate deaths at Guantánamo.
Following a two-year investigation, the military concluded that the men had committed suicide. Recent first-hand accounts by four soldiers stationed at the base at the time of the deaths, however, raise serious questions about the cause and circumstances of the deaths, including the possibility that the men died as the result of torture.
In dismissing the case, the district court ruled that the deceased’s constitutional claims that it was a violation of due process and cruel treatment to detain them for four years without charge while subjecting them to inhumane and degrading conditions of confinement and violent acts of torture and abuse, could not be heard in federal court. The men were held on the basis of an “enemy combatant” finding by a Combatant Status Review Tribunal later found by the Supreme Court itself to be inadequate.
The district court held that the claims were barred by a jurisdiction-stripping provision of the 2006 Military Commissions Act that bars any challenge by a Guantánamo detainee to their treatment, conditions, or any other aspect of their detention, while failing to address the plaintiffs’ arguments about the unconstitutionality of the provision itself. The court also dismissed the deceased’s claims under the Alien Tort Claims Act, following a holding by the D.C.…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
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
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
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
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.
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.…
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.
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 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 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
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
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
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
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