Kristen Breitweiser: "there is no better place than the Southern District of New York" for 9/11 trial

November 13, 2009 MSNBC: Countdown with Keith Olbermann, Lawrence O'Donnell guest host

Dave N.: The famed 9/11 widow -- one of the people who helped force the creation of the 9/11 Commission and one of the leaders of the 9/11 victims' families organization -- went on with Lawrence O'Donnell last night and countered the right's favorite new fearmongering meme, namely, that holding civilian trials for the 9/11 conspirators in New York might set them free.

O'Donnell: Some of the victims' families of 9/11 have indicated that they're not pleased with this move to New York. How do you react to this?

Breitweiser: I think those families seem to be indicating a sense of anger or fear. And I think really, to be feeling those types of things, it doesn't fit my personality. I think that that's bowing to the terrorists. I think there is no better place than the Southern District of New York to be having these prosecutions heard. I think it's an open forum. And I think it speaks to the world that we are in fact a nation of laws. And frankly, I think, after eight years of the Bush administration we've got a lot of work in restoring our legitimacy to the rest of the world, that we are indeed a just nation that follows the rule of law.

Video is available at the link above.

Always Respected Breitweiser

She is very good on TV. Obviously has smarts.

She is not selling a book, and much more can be said about SDNY

The prosecutor of KSM in the Southern District of New York (SDNY) will be Preet Bharara, who became an AUSA in 2000 and (supposedly) went after organized crime like Giuliani (supposedly) did. Bharara is now the US attorney in the SDNY.

Others associated with the US attorney's office in the SDNY, in terms of how they relate to the overall story of 9-11.

  • Rudy Giuliani was the US attorney for the SDNY, from 1983 to 1989
  • James Bucknam, Kroll’s executive VP for Operations, worked for Rudy Giuliani as an AUSA SDNY
  • Michael Chertoff was an AUSA SDNY and later became Homeland Security Secretary
  • Michael Mukasey was a US District Judge for SDNY from 1987 until 2006, and led the 1993 bombing trial
  • Louis Freeh, now Bandar Bush's attorney, was FBI director from 1993 to June 2001, and was an AUSA SDNY and a US District Judge for the SDNY
  • Patrick Fitzgerald, someone who is accused by Peter Lance and others of complicity in terrorism, was also an AUSA SDNY
  • Anthony Scalia, one of the Supreme Court Justices who selected W. for his first term as President, was an AUSA SDNY
  • Richard Ben Veniste, 9-11 Commissioner, was an AUSA SDNY
  • Kenneth Feinberg, who managed the 9-11 Victim's Compensation Fund and is now Obama's "Pay Czar", was an AUSA SDNY
  • Dietrich Snell, who rewrote the 9-11 Commision report purging the Saudi connections and Able Danger, was an AUSA SDNY

Interesting SDNY Summary

Good SDNY / 9-11 summary Kevin, out of curiosity do you have any idea if they assigned the judges in the cases? Following are a couple of other interesting connections relating to the neocon puppet Mukasey that you may want to add to your list:

1. Mukasey, as the chief judge of SDNY on 9/11, was intricately involved in a number of "material witness" cases shortly after the attacks (basically, individuals who were taken in as potential suspects after the attacks).

2. Although most suspects were let go and their cases sealed, the one case Mukasey tried (Osama Awadallah) ended in an acquittal approximately 5 years after being charged.

3. Mukasey ruled Jose Padilla had a right to habeus corpus, but that the President had the authority to detain American citizens as "enemy combatants" and that they need not be charged with any crimes.

4. Mukasey was the "initial" judge in the Susan Lindauer case. Lindauer was a cousin of Andy Card and she was charged with being an unauthorized lobbyist for Iraq after trying to send Card some letters regarding meetings she had with some Iraqi officials before the war. Among other things, Lindauer also claimed to have foreknowledge of 9/11 through at least one individual who was almost certainly connected with US intelligence. Now Lindauer was definitely as quirky as they come, but the prosecution, with Mukasey's supported rulings, went to extraordinary lengths to paint her as mentally insane. Similar to Awalladallah case, the DOJ (when Mukasey was then the AG), dropped the case after 5 years and about one week before Obama took over.

Mukasey is bad news and his history shows how a judge can heavily influence a case through his rulings. Lets hope the 9/11 suspects to not get a judge in Mukasey's mold.

BTW: When are you coming out with Part 3 of your WTC Controlled Demolition Suspects?

Part 3

...will be out soon.

And my apologies - Antonin Scalia was not an AUSA, but worked with Giuliani in the US Attorney General's office.

A question for readers: Why would someone be water-tortured 183 times... to gain information or to eliminate information?

183 times

is such an absurdity. I don't believe for a second that anyone could withstand that much torture and still have a functioning brain.

Here's what Scientific American says about the long-term physical effects of waterboarding:

It seems pretty obvious that waterboarding can cause emotional trauma, but does it threaten a person's physical health?

No doubt about it, says Allen Keller, an associate professor of medicine at New York University School of Medicine (who, it should be noted, testified that waterboarding is a form of torture before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in 2007). During waterboarding, some of this water can flow through the nostrils and into the lungs, Keller explains. Water in the lungs, especially if it's dirty, can cause potentially deadly pneumonia or pleuritis, an inflammation of the lung lining.

Waterboarding could also cause hypoxia, a condition in which the body is not getting enough oxygen, either because the victim is holding his or her breath or inhaling water -- and inadequate oxygen supplies can lead to deadly organ failure, Keller adds.

But don't underestimate how tightly intertwined the physical and psychological experiences of waterboarding are, Keller notes. Since it mimics the terrifying sensation of drowning, it triggers the release of stress hormones called catecholamines that can cause heart rate and blood pressure to soar, potentially setting the stage for heart attack in a person with underlying heart disease, he says.

But even healthy people can die from sheer terror, as Martin A. Samuels, chairman of the neurology department at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston told earlier this year. The sudden outpouring of stress hormones can cause the heart to beat abnormally, hampering its ability to deliver blood to the body.

Waterboarding might be an ideal way to cause a fear-induced heart problem, Samuels speculates, pointing to experiments by the late Johns Hopkins psychobiologist Curt Richter, who in the 1950s created what he called a "swimming" jar for wild rats that was partially filled with water, allowing them to swim but not escape. The rats often died, and when Richter examined their hearts, he found damage suggesting stress hormones caused heart muscle cells to contract uncontrollably, Samuels explains.

"Make no mistake about it, [waterboarding] is a profoundly traumatic event," Keller says. "The physical and psychological and social aspects are all interdependent and feed off one another."

"permanent psychological damage"

"Done 183 times on a single person, each flood of water, each subsequent near-death experience, increases the possibility of debilitating and irreparable harm," says Brad Olson, a research professor of psychology at Northwestern University. "The cumulative impact of this waterboarding is tremendous. It's going to produce permanent psychological damage even in the most resilient human.",8599,1892721,00.html

Well Said Kristen

FYI below is a thread I just posted on Kevin Fenton's blog that I thought might be of interest.

What a coincidence that the 5 suspects the USG plans to prosecute in federal court have all indicated that they plan to plead guilty. Lets hope for at least a couple of curve balls on those pleas and that the 9/11 families hoping for "any" friggin transparency in this 8+ year nighmare get some closure. What a surprise it might be to get both transparency and accountability in something related to the 9/11 attacks, but I'm not holding breath on this one.

Lets not forget that in addition to the physical torture administered to some of these suspects (183 waterboards in the case of KSM alone), these suspects were also mentally tortured when psychotic USG interrogators threatened to rape and kill family and friends of these suspects. If I was told that a group of fugly Blackwater scum were going to gang rape my wife, daughters, sons, and mother, I would plead guilty in a minute. For a country that has lost so many of it's morals and values around the 9/11 attacks, I would not be surprised if the guilty verdicts were coerced in a similar manner.

Of course trial(s) would be potentially great for long awaited transparency, but even then I have my reservations on what evidence would eventually be allowed in the discovery process and other court motions and arguments. At least the neocon puppet, Michael Mukasey, is out of the Southern District of New York Court and will not be trying any of the cases. However, I would not be surprised if the case(s) were assigned to one of his like minded cronies.

Although Holder's announcement is one small step for the 9/11 families seeking truth and justice, I've been disappointed too many times over the last 8 years to get my expectations too high. Here's to hoping at least a couple suspects change their minds and plead not guilty and that they get a reasonable judge that will allow a discovery process that will finally show the truth behind the dozens of failures and unanswered questions.

BTW: Aren't you an attorney Kristen? I don't know what kind of counsel these suspects will receive (probably an incompetent and uninterested public attorney), but I was thinking, who better than 9/11 Truther's who know the real facts and evidence in the case, to possibly give the suspects counsel the information they should be seeking during the discovery process to uncover the unexplained failures and lies to date.

It's important to note...

Regarding KSM's Al-Jazeera confession...

April, June, or August 2002: Al Jazeera Reporter Claims to Conduct Interview with 9/11 Masterminds
It is originally reported that Al Jazeera reporter Yosri Fouda interviews 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM) and 9/11 associate Ramzi Bin al-Shibh at a secret location in Karachi, Pakistan, in either June [London Times, 9/8/2002] or August. [Guardian, 9/9/2002] Details and audio footage of the interview come out between September 8 and 12, 2002. The video footage of the interview al-Qaeda promised to hand over is never given to Al Jazeera. [Associated Press, 9/8/2002] Both figures claim the 9/11 attacks were originally going to target nuclear reactors, but “decided against it for fear it would go out of control.” Interviewer Fouda is struck that KSM and bin al-Shibh remember only the hijackers’ code names, and have trouble remembering their real names. [Australian, 9/9/2002] KSM, who calls himself the head of al-Qaeda’s military committee and refers to bin al-Shibh as the coordinator of the “Holy Tuesday” operation, reportedly acknowledges “[a]nd, yes, we did it.” [Fouda and Fielding, 2003, pp. 38] These interviews “are the first full admission by senior figures from bin Laden’s network that they carried out the September 11 attacks.” [London Times, 9/8/2002] Some, however, call Fouda’s claims into doubt. For example, the Financial Times states: “Analysts cited the crude editing of [Fouda’s interview] tapes and the timing of the broadcasts as reasons to be suspicious about their authenticity. Dia Rashwan, an expert on Islamist movements at the Al-Ahram Centre for Strategic Studies in Cairo, said: ‘I have very serious doubts [about the authenticity of this tape]. It could have been a script written by the FBI.’” [Financial Times, 9/11/2002] KSM is later variously reported to be arrested in June 2002, killed or arrested in September 2002, and then arrested in March 2003. After this last arrest report, for the first time Fouda claims this interview took place in April, placing it safely before the first reports of KSM’s capture. [Guardian, 3/4/2003; CTV Television, 3/6/2003] Bin al-Shibh also gets captured several days after Fouda’s interview is broadcast, and some reports say he is captured because this interview allows his voice to be identified. [Observer, 9/15/2002; CBS News, 10/9/2002] As a result, Fouda has been accused of betraying al-Qaeda, and now fears for his life. [Independent, 9/17/2002] As the Washington Post states, “Now Al Jazeera is also subject to rumors of a conspiracy.” [Washington Post, 9/15/2002] Yet after being so reviled by al-Qaeda supporters, Fouda is later given a cassette said to be a bin Laden speech. [MSNBC, 11/18/2002] US officials believe the voice on that cassette is “almost certainly” bin Laden, but one of the world’s leading voice-recognition institutes said it is 95 percent certain the tape is a forgery. [BBC, 11/18/2002; BBC, 11/29/2002] It will later be revealed that details of the interview were told to the CIA in mid-June 2002, which directly resulted in bin al-Shibh’s arrest a few months later (see June 14, 2002 and Shortly After).

Edit: Coleen Rowley told me that she met Fouda and he is the "real deal."

Do these people deserve to know how and why their loved ones were murdered? The facts speak for themselves.

Navy lawyer: Defending 9/11 suspects a patriotic duty

Navy lawyer: Defending 9/11 suspects a patriotic duty

On wiki

Breitweiser in Wonderland

Kristen Breitweiser is an incompetence theorist who lives in a fantasy land of Islamic terrorists, bungling politicians, well-meaning spies, wars that have a legitimate purpose and 911 as a preventable event.

Breitweiser writes regularly for Internet Mockingbird outlet Huffington Post.

Breitweiser has credibility in the media, but unfortunately, no genuine grasp on reality.

Breitweiser's views, and her enunciation of them, are harmful to the 911 truth movement, because they make denial of the best evidence (controlled demolition, NORAD stand down) seem like a credible and reasonable position.

Love Alison

The families...

Some of them, read this site. How about a little respect?

Do these people deserve to know how and why their loved ones were murdered? The facts speak for themselves.

To pursue truth is the highest respect

Jon, with all due respect, I feel that by insisting upon the recognition and acceptance of valid evidence, that I am respecting the families.

The families deserve the truth. How can they get that, if we allow compromise on the facts?

By advocating truth, I am helping the families the best way I can in the long term. All the families. Where one family member stands in the way, blocking the path to truth, it needs to be pointed out, in the Universe that I live in. Compromise and brushing things under the carpet won't work.

Love Alison

I agree...

But I don't even badmouth Debra Burlingame who has made me sick to my stomach. I respect all 9/11 Family Members. Even those that don't agree with us.

Do these people deserve to know how and why their loved ones were murdered? The facts speak for themselves.

"Breitweiser in Wonderland"

Kristen Breitweiser profiles

"Kristen Breitweiser is an incompetence theorist who lives in a fantasy land of Islamic terrorists, bungling politicians, well-meaning spies, wars that have a legitimate purpose and 911 as a preventable event."

"no genuine grasp on reality."

Wow. It would help to have some links or quotes to back up charges like these:

Is there really no such thing as "Islamic terrorists"; can you be sure that none of the patsies and those that aided them believed they were attacking the US- and didn't know they'd been coopted and were being helped?

Are you sure she's excused the politicians as "bungling" and the spies as "well-meaning"?

What wars has she supported?

Was 9/11 really not "preventable"?

It's true Breitweiser has not been as outspoken as the other Jersey Girls in calling for a new investigation and accountability, but if she's promoted a particular theory or world view, I'm unaware of it. I'm more familiar with her stuff from the 9/11 Commission, and haven't been reading her stuff in HuffPo; is that what you're basing these claims on, Alison?

I am aware she raised a lot of reasonable questions during the JICI and 9/11 Commission which were never properly addressed by either investigation, and she was very critical of the 9/11 Commission. If it weren't for the efforts of the Jersey Girls, neither 'investigation' might have happened. When the American People wake up in large enough numbers to actually do something, the people that participated in these cover ups will be investigated as well. Personally, i wasn't paying attention during the 9/11 Commission- at that time I assumed that the "two" parties held each other accountable, and that the media did, if they didn't. And while I think it's obvious the WTC destructions were CD, I don't expect that it's going to be obvious to everyone. And with all the seemingly credible people pushing bogus info about 9/11, I don't blame people for reserving judgment about much of it.

Breitweiser statement to the JICI

Unanswered Questions

Press Releases and Statements

Denial of best evidence

I respect Kristen Breitweiser's right to speak and her motivation.

But I can't agree with her outlook. My statement was colourful I suppose but I pretty much stand by it. This latest effort published here:

certainly doesn't do anything to alter my view of her.

I am basing what I said on her HuffPo articles, which, in moments of boredom, I have lightly perused from time to time. I get the gist of them and I don't think she's on our side or helpful to our cause either really.

I thought my description was actually quite accurate. Kristen talks about strategy and winning in Iraq as though she's never heard of oil and the war really might have a legitimate purpose. She talks about Al-Qaeda like nobody knows that the intelligence agencies have either provoked, or created, or sponsored, most of the terrorism that has occurred in the world. She lectures congress, the President and VP with maternalistic remarks more as though she is scolding children than dealing with the perpetrators of the most brazen, vicious mass murders in American history

I suppose I could go trawling through them for quote after quote but it was just a colourful remark to make a point that's all, and I don't really wish to take it further than that.

Look, I suppose I just don't really like her. I'm tired of people who are in denial about our crucial, direct best evidence because of - what? What stake do they have in things as they are at present that would prevent them from seeing it? Why can't we ask this question?

Anyone who refuses to look at this evidence has no grasp of the realities of the situation.

911 was preventable yes, but not because of what Kristen is implying, which is incompetence. The view that it was preventable but occurred due to incompetence is very dangerous for our cause, as it threatens our best evidence of actual complicity.

Love Alison

Even if...

You "just don't really like her," you should still respect her for the fact that she, along with Lorie Van Auken, Patty Casazza, and Mindy Kleinberg forced Washington D.C. to create a so-called Independent 9/11 Commission. As compromised as it was, we wouldn't even have had that if not for them. You should also respect her because she lost her husband Ronald on 9/11. As I said above, Debra Burlingame has made me nausea on ocassion. However, I will never say a bad word about her as a person. Because she is a 9/11 Family Member. We should respect all 9/11 Family Members even if they don't agree with us. They didn't ask to be put into the position that they're in. This past February, Kristen asked Obama to de-classify the 28 redacted pages of the JICI. He said he would look into it, and she has never heard from him. Whether or not you like the way she goes about it, she is still on the side of truth. I just disagreed with her in that thread you posted, but I was respectful in how I did it. In my opinion, that's how everyone should act with regards to the family members.

Do these people deserve to know how and why their loved ones were murdered? The facts speak for themselves.

Murder, justice, guilt, confusion

I think it's normal and expected that some 9/11 activists will get frustrated and angry with family members who embrace claims that activists have worked against for years, and now are even embracing the death penalty.

OTOH, the death of loved one has a huge impact on people in ways they may not even understand for years. And in these cases it was a violent, preventable and highly public death. We can expect some distorted and unfortunate views, and everyone is different, both in their responses to traumatic events, and in their interpretations of those events.

No one is wrong, we're just all different and at different places in our understandings and abilities to integrate the huge amount of information about the 9/11 attacks.

That said, we're 8 years into this, and I will openly say that I reject any calls for the murders of anyone more in connection to the 9/11 attack, no matter what they have or have not confessed to, and no matter who is calling for it.

Murder does not equal justice. It equals murder.