American Society of International Law and New York Times told about Japanese legislators' 9/11 statements

Below are two messages I sent to a listserv of the American Society of International Law in which I participate, which is read by academics, students, and private, government,and military lawyers in the United States and abroad. More accurately, it's a report to that listserv, which is not limited to ASIL members, and to one New York Times reporter who has been writing about the CIA tapes.

Like my prior messages questioning the official story about 9/11, these messages have been met with polite silence. I brought Scott Shane of the New York Times into the discussion by the third message below, dated December 21, which was well-received by the list.

I've argued several times on the list that the deeper implication of the below article on the alleged KSM confessions is that there is no reliable evidence for the official story of 9/11. None of the professors or lawyers on the list, including the author, have acknowledged that deeper implication.

Kean and Hamilton conceded the same in their January 2, 2008 article in the New York Times.

Finally, I thought, maybe this simple and obvious point of law and common sense would be acknowledged. Nothing yet.

I suppose I'm speaking out of school by posting these here, but this is not merely an academic issue. I've made my point, and am through with their parlor room discussions about whether torture and war crimes are unlawful, when 9/11 as the premise for torture and the "war on terror" goes unexamined. I would say the same to the ACLU, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Human Rights First, and all the other groups that take the unproven official story at face value. This was inexcusable to begin with, as shown by the proposal of ASIL's president Ann-Maire Slaughter for an international tribunal mentioned below. It is even more inexcusable after all the serious questions that have been raised about the official story. And now that the chairs of the 9/11 Commission have conceded that their report was based on unverified "evidence," I would call this silence by lawyers, academics, and human rights groups to border on complicity in this fraud.

This is insane, really, because all these academics and human rights groups are talking about the proper balance between "liberty" and "security." If crimes are not properly investigated, there is no security.

I submit this in this spirit of making a record as Matthew Naus proposed here:


Date Sat, 26 Jan 2008
Subject Japanese opposition party asks whether 9/11 was crime or war

Below is a link to a video I think everyone should watch. First, some
context. I'm Ccing Scott Shane because he asked me what I meant by "the
underlying crimes of 9/11." I thought it was clear that the 9/11
attacks were treated as criminal acts by our government, just looking at
the prosecution of Moussaoui.

I'm also sending this to Mr. Shane because I'm surprised the New York
Times didn't mention it in this or a separate article:

On January 10, a Japanese legislator Yukihisa Fujita, during debate
about extension of Japanese refueling support for U.S. military vessels
in the Indian Ocean, asked cabinet ministers about 9/11 as ther premise
for the war on terror, and also whether the government considers 9/11 a
crime or act of war. He asked the government whether they had done
their own investigation, given that 9/11 was not only the starting
point, origin or premise (gen-ten) for the war on terror, but also given
that Japanese citizens died in the attacks.

His party, the Democratic Party of Japan, is not a fringe party but is
the largest opposition party and .

This party is proposing an alternative counter-terrorism bill which
focuses on development aid for Afghanistan. Fujita's remarks are also
in the context of this counter-proposal.

As you can see from the above website, Fujita's party is not standing
behind what he said, at least in English and as far as I can see, in
Japanese either. His remarks were ridiculed in a national magazine, and
I imagine the party is happy to distance themselves.

But he said it, and all this was broadcast live nationally on NHK.

Whatever you think of questions about 9/11, it is significant that these
questions were asked in Japan's parliament, and pretty sad that our
press has not reported on it, if simply because of the importance of
Japan to our economy. Japanese refueling support is reportedly more
symbolic than militarily significant, but Japan is an important ally, or 51st
state if you wish, and the American people should know about this.

I've been waiting on a good translation, being too busy and lazy to do
one myself.

The subtitles in this video are excellent. I lived in Japan 9 years and
have a masters in law from Kobe University, and can say the translation
is accurate. They scroll quickly, unfortunately, but are complete and

This is just Part 1, and I can't vouch for the rest yet. I imagine they
are good also. Fujita goes on to raise questions about the facts of
9/11, using visual aids that are pretty self-explanatory. Part 1 is the
most important part, and the part most relevant to international law.

9/11: crime or war? Whether crime or war, what level of investigation
should a government do and provide its people and other governments?
What level of investigation should the international community expect
before legitimizing or assisting use of military force?

These questions are particularly timely given that the chairs of the
9/11 Commission have recently stated, in so many words, that their
report is not based on reliable evidence.

Here is a full transcript in Japanese:


Dwight Van Winkle

Date Sun, 27 Jan 2008
Subject Re: Japanese opposition party asks whether 9/11 was crime or war

Re: Japanese opposition party asks whether 9/11 was crime or war

Oddly, the U.S. press, including the New York Times, and the European
press have often quoted Yukihisa Fujita.

Not this time:

An Italian version of Fujita's presentation to the Japanese Diet is also
available, apparently based on the English version I sent earlier:

French and Spanish translations are also available, but from what I can
read they are based on an early English translation that was good but

Here's a German version - I gave some input to the translator on his
English version and it looks like my advice was taken.

I of course cannot vouch for any of these translations other than the
English. My point in posting these is to show the international interest
in this event.

This story unfortunately appeared in the U.S. press in a letter to the
editor by a former lecturer at the University of Wisconson that was not
rehired because of his controversial views on 9/11:

His statement that Fujita "asked whether the Japanese police could
arrest George W. Bush for his complicity in 9/11" is false and
apparently based on an early article at a "conspiracy theory" website of
Alex Jones. It's too bad that the American press with resources and
journalistic standards did not report on this, with proper translation.

Mr. Fujita's only reference to President Bush was simple and reasonable:
given that 9/11 is a crime in which Japanese citizens died, and is also
the premise for Japanese participation in the "war on terror," should
the Japanese government rely only on statements by President Bush and
others that Al Qaeda and only Al Qaeda are responsible, or should the
Japanese government do a thorough investigation of its own.

Of course, if an international tribunal had been established, as the
president of the American Society of International Law recommended early
on, these questions might not have been raised six years later.

Anne Marie Slaughter, "Al-Qaeda Should Be Tried Before the World"; The
New York Times, November 17, 2001.

It's interesting that Professor Slaughter says in this article that the
defendants are "most likely Muslims." The United States had been
bombing Afghanistan for five weeks when this article was published, yet
Professor Slaughter could not say unequivocally that Muslims were
responsible for 9/11? I would be curious to know what she has learned
since then, especially since she invoked "Al Qaeda" in an April 2003
article in the Washington Post justifying the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

It seems to me that Elias Davidsson asks some quite reasonable questions
about 9/11 and international law:

These questions are similar to the issues raised in the Japanese Diet by
Yukihisa Fujita.

I would think lawyers and journalists would finally have some questions
about 9/11 after the chairs of the 9/11 Commission essentially stated
that they had no reliable basis for their report:

"Stonewalled by the C.I.A.," Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, NY Times,

This is not the first time "stonewalling" on 9/11 was questioned:,2933,113513,00.html

Professor D'Amato's article on Khalid Sheik Mohammed also raises some
interesting questions, especially in light of CIA claims to have
destroyed tapes. Am I reading too much into this article?

By the way, Kevin Barrett also appears to have relied on a poor
translation of the remarks of former Italian president Francisco
Cossiga, though this mistake is not as serious. A rough translation and
link to the Italian is at this end of this article:

Cossiga has an interesting history, having resigned the presidency after
disclosing his involvement in setting up Operation Gladio, discussed

The second article has an interesting quote from that time:

"The problem with the President," said the Republican Party leader,
Giorgio La Malfa, "is that he talks too much and is still talking too

At least one researcher, Swiss researcher Daniele Ganser, believes there
was more to Operation Gladio than reported in the New York Times.

The State Department disputes this, saying it is based on Soviet

It's apparently undisputed that neo-fascists were behind many so-called
"false flag" bombings in Italy first blamed on leftists.

Allegations of "false attacks" by Columbian military officers have been
reported recently:

Regardless of the truth about Operation Gladio and the "strategia della
tensione)," Danser's article below raises a reasonable question: whether
there is a blind spot in Western academia and journalism, not
recognizing the existence of secret and violent networks within one's
own society, while easily seeing it in "the other," especially the
radical Islamic community.

The idea that if you question whether Al Qaeda did 9/11, then you are
saying "Bush did it" is dangerously simplistic. At some level, it
doesn't matter who did it, it matters how it was used. That point is
cogently argued here, in article that cites Jordan Paust:

The Nation recently published an article stating that "Team Bush's
latest tactic is to play up a thirteen-year-old accusation that Iran was
responsible for the notorious Buenos Aires bombing that destroyed the
city's Jewish Community Center, known as AMIA, killing eighty-six and
injuring 300, in 1994." The author questions whether Iranian
involvement has been proven, and states that "the Bush Administration's
manipulation of the Argentine bombing case is perfectly in line with its
long practice of using distorting and manufactured evidence to build a
case against its geopolitical enemies."

One could draw from this example a question as to whether geopolitical
motives might lead a government to not properly investigate a crime or
to rely on false leads. Seymour Hersch reported in the New Yorker that
false leads were planted on 9/11:

"Many of the investigators believe that some of the initial clues that
were uncovered about the terrorists' identities and preparations, such
as flight manuals, were meant to be found. A former high-level
intelligence official told me, 'Whatever trail was left was left
deliberately—for the F.B.I. to chase.'"

I'm not sure how it could be more clear that it is only rational to
question the official story of 9/11.

Some may think this is nutty and irresponsible, as does University of
Wisconsin law professor Ann Althouse:

I don't know Ann Althouse, and assume she does not lack "intelligence,
judgment, and trustworthiness." I suspect that instead she suffers from
the blind spot discussed by Ganser. But as a lawyer, in a country
brimming over with lawyers, I never cease to be amazed at how seldom
standards of evidence, even minimal standards of evidence, are applied
to claims of our government.

And what of our press? Justice Hugo Black said in New York Times Co. v.
United States:

"The press was to serve the governed, not the governors. The
Government's power to censor the press was abolished so that the press
would remain forever free to censure the Government. The press was
protected so that it could bare the secrets of government and inform the
people. Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose
deception in government."

I wish this were censorship. It is much worse, I am afraid.


Dwight Van Winkle

The below message is how this started with Scott Shane of the New York Times. He later wrote back and said he did not understand what I meant by "the underlying crimes of 9/11," since he though we were talking about potential crimes by American government employees, not crimes by Al Qaeda. I was surprised to receive this, because I thought it was well-known that the summaries of these interrogations prepared by the CIA had been used in the prosecution of Moussaoui, and self-evident that 9/11 was a crime and interrogations were potential evidence of these crimes. As heinious as torture is, I think the bigger issue is that the torture, whether it occurred or not, is being used as justification for not holding criminal prosecutions.

Date Fri, 21 Dec 2007 9:01 AM
Subject Re:

Dear Mr. Shane,

Thank you for writing back. I'm sure you are busy now and appreciate
you taking the time.

This evidence relates not only to torture, but let's not forget, to
prosecutions for the underlying crimes of 9/11. Hence my deep concern for what legal
scholars think of the government's actions.

This may be quibbling, but your article states "most legal scholars,"
which suggests both that you had taken a representative sample and that
some scholars took the other position. Now you are saying that no one
took the other position, and asking me to find my own legal scholar. I
understand that you do not want to name sources without permission, and
that you have space constraints, but it would be helpful for readers to
know who is saying what. I would not be surprised to hear recent Office
of Legal Counsel lawyers take that position, not to say that your sample
included or was limited to such lawyers.

That said, what should be done is different from what would be done. I
would not be surprised if most scholars agreed, though I wonder whether
they take that position as a legal or practical opinion. Also, you may
have been referring only to charges related to the crime, not the cover
up. Gonzales' possible involvement in the coverup as White House
counsel might create a conflict of interest for the Justice Department
because he later became Attorney General. I also wonder whether legal
scholars and former Justice officials believe that a special counsel
should be or needs to be appointed.

I'm no expert. As I stated, I am forwarding your response to the ASIL
listserv, read by many lawyers and law professors who may have a
different opinion than those you interviewed. This is blind carbon copy
to you, with a link to your contact page should anyone want to contact

Best regards,

Dwight Van Winkle

[Response from Shane omitted]

> Dear Mr. Shane: In this article,
> you state:
> "Most legal scholars say that even under a future administration, the
> Justice Department would not seek charges against C.I.A. officers for
> actions the department itself had approved." Could you please tell me
> which legal scholars you interviewed in order to form this conclusion?
> Which legal scholars said that the Justice Department would not seek
> charges against C.I.A. officers for actions the department itself had
> approved, and which legal scholars said that they would or might? I want
> to report your answer to an electronic discussion forum of the American
> Society of International Law, and so am carbon copying this inquiry to
> that list. I am just a participant in that forum and not a member of the
> American Society of International Law, and speak only for myself. Thank
> you. Sincerely, Dwight Van Winkle Attorney, Seattle Cc: American Society
> of International Law Forum lists
> erv