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Kurt Haskell: Looks Like I'll Be A Witness For The Defense In The Underwear Bomber Case

...I realize that some may not agree with me and may attempt to harm me. Nevertheless, I will speak the truth and not be intimidated. I will do this for the common good of all of the citizens of the United States. It is not often that I quote a passage from the bible, but I think it is appropriate here:

"And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." ---Kurt Haskell

Looks Like I'll Be A Witness For The Defense In The Underwear Bomber Case
by Kurt Haskell - Thursday Oct 6, 2011
http://haskellfamily.blogspot.com/2011/10/looks-like-ill-be-witness-for-defense.html

Today was the day for final jury selection in the Underwear Bomber case. I watched some of it on Tuesday and I was interested to see which jurors were picked. The final jury was set to be picked today at 1:30. I adjusted my schedule so that I could be down there at 1:30 today. I had a trial a few blocks away that was due to last until around 1:00 today. My plan was to head over there when I finished my trial. As my trial was ending, I got the following text from my brother "I hear that you will be testifying in the underwear bomber case". This was news to me as my status as a witness was undetermined as of Tuesday. I gave my brother a call and he said he heard on the radio, that stand-by Anthony Chambers said in court this morning that I would be testifying. While walking to Federal Court to watch final jury selection, I ran into someone that works with stand-by attorney Chambers. He told me that final jury selection was done as it didn't take as long as expected. He also told me that it was Umar that said he would call me as a witness, not Chambers. He then said Chambers is right there, go talk to him and he pointed across the street. Chambers was standing on the sidewalk across the street. I talked to Chambers for a minute and we agreed to talk again soon. He said I won't be testifying for approximately another month as the trial is supposed to be lengthy. I then headed back to my office and found out that I had messages from Fox National News and the A.P. I talked to Ed White from the A.P. on Tuesday and he misquoted me in the article he wrote. Specifically, Ed White asked what I though about Umar making outbursts in court. I said the following "I saw him before boarding and he never said anything, I've seen him in court several times, and I even saw him when he lit his fake bomb and his crotch was burning and he never makes a peep. This is totally out of character for him." You can see how Ed White did a cut and paste job of my quote here:

http://www.ydr.com/crime/ci_19035789

Note that Ed White left out that I saw Umar before boarding and that he lit a fake bomb.

I talked to Ed White again today and told him that I would only talk to him if he didn't twist my words around to mean something else. He agreed, but here is the hatchet job Ed White did to my interview with him today. Note that he says I have a "wild theory" among other things:

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2011/10/05/2666662/final-jury-pool-settled-in-underwear.html

This is the last straw in my discussions with the media. The media is nothing but a 4th branch of the government. I will no longer talk to any of them except the alternative media that has been supportive all along.

Note, however, in the above article, Chambers indicates that I may be the only defense witness called. How ironic is it that I will have Umar's life in my hands just as Umar had my life in his hands (or underwear) on Christmas Day 2009? I will be up to the task. I realize that some may not agree with me and may attempt to harm me. Nevertheless, I will speak the truth and not be intimidated. I will do this for the common good of all of the citizens of the United States. It is not often that I quote a passage from the bible, but I think it is appropriate here:

"And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

From the HaskellFamily Blog - Thursday - October 6, 2011
http://haskellfamily.blogspot.com/2011/10/looks-like-ill-be-witness-for-defense.html

TIMELINE AND RUNNING RECORD
http://911blogger.com/node/22270

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(The referenced news articles are posted in full below, because sometimes they become expunged.)

http://www.ydr.com/crime/ci_19035789
Airline attack suspect starts trial with outburst
By ED WHITE Associated Press
Updated: 10/04/2011 07:09:25 PM EDT

DETROIT—A Nigerian man accused of trying to bring down a jetliner with a bomb in his underwear made a defiant political outburst Tuesday, demonstrating again why his courtroom behavior will be closely watched throughout the trial where he's representing himself.
"The mujahadeen will wipe out the U.S.—the cancer U.S.," said Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, scowling as he referred to Muslim guerrilla fighters.

When marshals removed his handcuffs, he also claimed that a radical Muslim cleric killed last week by the American military is still alive.

In nearly two years of legal proceedings, Abdulmutallab has normally been polite and studious in front of the judge and prospective jurors. But in the moments before court, he's shown a tendency to make comments reflecting loyalty to al-Qaida and contempt for the United States.

The 24-year-old is charged in federal court with trying to destroy the Amsterdam-to-Detroit flight on Christmas 2009. He has pleaded not guilty, and his trial is expected to last three or four weeks.

Prospective jurors were questioned one by one, and most were told to return Thursday for inclusion in the final pool of 37 to 45 people.

Abdulmutallab, who is acting as his own lawyer, briefly questioned a potential juror, who expressed concern about people possibly "waiting in the wings outside the courthouse," no matter the verdict.

"There could be people who would be angry and want to retaliate?" he asked.

"Yes," she replied.

There was no good indication how active Abdulmutallab will be when witnesses begin testifying next week. On Tuesday, he rarely looked up from the defense table and deferred most questions to Anthony Chambers, his court-appointed standby attorney. He wrote or read and quietly talked to Chambers about whether to request that a jury candidate be excused.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds reminded him that appearances are important. She firmly recommended that he not wear jail clothes and instead put on something that would make a "better impression on jurors," at least a shirt with buttons to replace an oversized white T-shirt.

Abdulmutallab asked whether he could wear a traditional Yemeni belt with a dagger—a request the judge swiftly denied.

He returned with a dark pinstriped suit coat over a full-length tunic, with a black skull cap.

Abdulmutallab, a well-educated man from a wealthy African family, has spent two years in custody and rarely causes a ripple in court. But Tuesday's outburst was his second in two weeks.

"Anwar is alive," Abdulmutallab said, referring to American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in an air strike in Yemen just days ago.

The government alleges Abdulmutallab's attack on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 was directed by al-Awlaki. In September, he made a reference in court to slain al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, who has called him a "hero," and complained about his prison clothes.

But Abdulmutallab has never showed defiance in front of Edmunds, a judge who has spent nearly 20 years on the bench.

"I don't know if he's trying to make a show. It's totally out of character" compared to past court appearances, said Kurt Haskell, a Detroit-area attorney who was a passenger on Flight 253. "Even when he lit the bomb, he didn't make a peep."

Abdulmutallab has pleaded not guilty to eight charges, including conspiracy to commit terrorism and attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction. The government says he intended to blow up the plane by detonating chemicals in his underwear just seven minutes before the jet carrying 279 passengers and a crew of 11 was to land at Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

The bomb failed, and passengers assisted by crew members saw flames and pounced on Abdulmutallab. It was the first terrorist act in the U.S. during the Obama administration.

The government says Abdulmutallab willingly explained the plot twice, first to U.S. border officers who took him off the plane and then in more detail to FBI agents who interviewed him at a hospital for 50 minutes, following treatment for serious burns to his groin.

As the judge and lawyers combed through prospective jurors, exposure to news reports about the case was a major topic. The first two people were quickly excused when they doubted they could be fair.

Some of the most intense questioning involved Chambers and a woman who works on computer networks for a major retailer. Names and other personal details were not revealed in court.

On her questionnaire, she said the alleged attack was not an "accident" or the "act of an innocent man." But in court, she said she could put that view aside.

"I may have a lot of opinions but there is a right to a fair trial based on facts, not opinions," she said.

Chambers wanted her removed but the judge kept her in the pool.
———
Associated Press Writer Jeff Karoub contributed to this report.

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http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2011/10/05/2666662/final-jury-pool-settled-in-underwear.html
Nigerian native dismissed from airline attack jury
By ED WHITE Associated Press Posted: Thursday, Oct. 06, 2011

DETROIT A native of Nigeria was dismissed Thursday minutes after being picked as a juror for the trial of a Nigerian man accused of trying to bring down a jetliner with a bomb in his underwear, a sudden jolt at the end of a long, tiresome process involving dozens of candidates.

The woman, like all prospective jurors in the case, was never identified by name. There was no indication in court why she was removed.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds was wrapping up some routine pretrial issues, 30 minutes after settling on a 12-member jury and four alternates, when she declared, "We have a problem with a juror."

After a recess, she returned to the bench and said the woman was dismissed and would be replaced by an alternate in time for the trial's opening statements Tuesday.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a 24-year-old from an upper-class Nigerian family, is accused of a stunning plot to blow up Northwest Airlines Flight 253 with a bomb in his underwear on Christmas 2009. The government says he was under the direction of a radical Islamic cleric and working for al-Qaida on the Amsterdam-to-Detroit plane. The bomb didn't work but he was badly burned.

There was no objection to keeping the Nigerian woman in the jury pool when she was questioned in court Wednesday, the second day of the selection process. She had said on a questionnaire that she was "embarrassed" at the time of the attack.

"We all feel it as a community," she said in court.

The woman said she is from Nigeria's "middle belt," where dozens of ethnic groups mingle on contested land separating the Muslim north from the predominantly Christian south. Abdulmutallab's family home is in northern Nigeria.

Abdulmutallab is representing himself but jury selection was handled by his court-appointed standby counsel, Anthony Chambers. Chambers declined to comment on why the Nigerian woman was dismissed but expressed disappointment with the makeup of the jury, which has nine women and three men. Two women are black, like Abdulmutallab.

"We don't have a fair cross-section of the community," Chambers said outside court.

In the moments before the jury was picked, a farmer said he would have a hard time serving. He eloquently described himself as a man who prefers "mercy before condemnation."

"I've got to face the eternal judge myself," said the man, whose name was not released.

The judge did not excuse him from the pool but prosecutors used one of their challenges to remove him.

Chambers said the defense might offer only one witness, a Detroit-area lawyer who was a passenger on Flight 253 and has a wild theory about what happened that day. Kurt Haskell told The Associated Press that the U.S. government conspired with Abdulmutallab and outfitted him with an intentionally defective bomb.

Haskell believes the incident was intended partly to force a broad roll-out of full-body scanners in U.S. airports.

"He's not innocent but he might be not guilty," Haskell said in an interview.

The failed suicide attack, the first act of terrorism in the U.S. during the Obama administration, revealed the rise of a dangerous al-Qaida affiliate and the growing influence of American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed by a U.S. military strike in Yemen last week.

Follow Ed White on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/edwhiteap

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Channel 4 Detroit TV - VIDEO & previous story links
October 6, 2011
http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/29403454/detail.html
Jury Selected In Detroit Underwear Bomb Trial
Forty-Seven People Are In The Final Jury Pool

DETROIT -- A juror from Nigeria was dismissed Thursday shortly after being selected for the trial of a Nigerian man accused of trying to bring down an international flight with a bomb in his underwear.

About a half-hour after 12 jurors and four alternates were selected for Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's trial, U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds told attorneys, "we have a problem with a juror."

Edmunds then dismissed a woman identified a day earlier as being from Abdulmutallab's home country. The judge did not elaborate or explain the dismissal in court.

Abdulmutallab, a well-educated 24-year-old from an upper-class family, was directed by a radical Islamic cleric and wanted to become a martyr when he boarded Northwest Airlines Flight 253 in Amsterdam on Christmas 2009, according to the government.

Lawyers had not objected to keeping the Nigerian woman in the jury pool when she was questioned in court Wednesday. She had said on a jury questionnaire that she was "embarrassed" at the time of the attack.

"We all feel it as a community," she said in court.

She will be now be replaced by one of the four alternates and a new alternate will be chosen. Opening statements in the trial are scheduled to begin Tuesday.

The 12 jurors are made up of three men and 12 women -- nine are Caucasian, two are African-American and one is Indian.

Abdulmutallab has been representing himself, but he has a stand-by attorney, Anthony Chambers.

"Clearly throughout the jury selection process, we've had a concern and focus that the jury represent the community. We're concerned that we don't have a fair cross section of the community," Chambers said. "We feel disappointed in the jury pool and its lack of representation of all people. We have a situation here where the United States has a case before our courts and we're always concerned with other citizens of other countries in the fairness and the equities. We want to be fair and have equities as well."

Abdulmutallab has pleaded not guilty to eight charges, including conspiracy to commit terrorism and attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction. The government says he wanted to blow up the plane by detonating chemicals in his underwear, just seven minutes before the jet carrying 279 passengers and a crew of 11 was to land at Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

But the bomb didn't work, and passengers assisted by crew members saw flames and pounced on Abdulmutallab.

The failed suicide attack, the first act of terrorism in the U.S. during the Obama administration, revealed the rise of a dangerous al-Qaida affiliate and the growing influence of American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed by a U.S. military strike in Yemen last week.

THANK YOU KURT

This is what INTEGRITY looks like.

Friday - Oct 7 - The Detroit Free Press

http://www.freep.com/article/20111007/NEWS06/110070389/Jury-picked-accused-underwear-bomber-s-terrorism-trial-Detroit
Jury is picked for accused underwear bomber's terrorism trial in Detroit
BY DAVID ASHENFELTER AND TRESA BALDAS

Both sides in a major terrorism trial that opens in Detroit next week made quick work Thursday of whittling the jury pool -- but there was plenty of drama.

It was caused by two jurors, including a pig and cattle farmer, who had second thoughts about sitting in on the highly anticipated case.

The proceedings in U.S. District Court got off to a late start Thursday when the Monroe County farmer showed up late and told Judge Nancy Edmunds he couldn't sit in judgment on Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, lest he be judged by God.

Abdulmutallab, a 24-year-old Nigerian student, is accused of trying to blow up a Detroit-bound jetliner on Christmas Day 2009 with a bomb concealed in his underwear.

"I can't really condemn him," the man told Edmunds. "I'm a mercy person. ... I'm all about life and good things."

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Tukel urged Edmunds to dismiss the farmer, no doubt fearful he could hang the jury, resulting in a mistrial.

Anthony Chambers, the defendant's standby lawyer, wanted the man on the jury, noting he was the only black man in the pool.

Edmunds kept him, forcing prosecutors to use a preemptory challenge to get him dismissed.

And once Edmunds finished impaneling 12 jurors and four alternates, a Nigerian immigrant on the regular panel asked to be dismissed.

Edmunds wouldn't say why. During jury selection, the woman said she had family members in Nigeria, prompting speculation that they might come to harm if she sat on the jury.

Edmunds moved an alternate juror to the regular panel, setting off a scramble to recall one of two surplus jurors who had been allowed to go home.

Chambers was unhappy about the way things turned out.

"Obviously, I'm not pleased with the pool," he said after court. "By appearance, it does not represent the community -- that should be clear."

He said a more diverse jury is warranted "especially in a case like this."

Abdulmutallab's 12-member jury consists of three white men, seven white women and two black women. One of the jurors is an Indian immigrant. Several jurors expressed doubts about his innocence, but said they would be fair. They are serving anonymously.

The expected four-week trial starts Tuesday with opening statements.

Abdulmutallab has insisted on representing himself, but Chambers has done most of the heavy lifting. Abdulmutallab questioned only one of the 60 prospective jurors.

He has until 4 p.m. today to decide whether he will make his own opening statement to the jury.

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3:04 PM, Oct. 7, 2011 - BY TRESA BALDAS AND DAVID ASHENFELTER
Underwear bomber suspect Abdulmutallab defers to attorney for opening statement

Terror suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab has given his standby-attorney permission to give his opening statement to the jury next Tuesday, when his case officially goes to trial.

Abdulmutallab, who is representing himself, had indicated recently that he wanted to give the opening statement. Instead, the 24-year-old Nigerian student is deferring to his stand-by lawyer, prominent defense attorney Anthony Chambers, who got the green light today to present the case to the 12-member panel.

The final panel, which was picked Thursday, is comprised of nine women and three men. Of those, two of the women are African American. The rest are white. The four jury alternates are a white man, two white women, and one black woman.

“Obviously, I’m not pleased with the pool,” Chambers told reporters after jury selection.

“By appearance, it does not represent the community,” he said of the jury, adding that a more diverse jury is needed “especially in a case like this.”

“We are always concerned about how foreign countries treat our citizens,”Chambers said. “Certainly we should be aware of that here."

Chambers is helping defend Abdulmutallab against charges that he tried to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner with explosives hidden in his underwear on Christmas Day 2009.

The bomb failed to detonate, and Abdulmutallab was wrestled to the floor of the aircraft by passengers and crew, prosecutors said. The charges carry a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Prosecutors say the man was on a mission for al-Qaida, and that he explained his plot in detail to federal agents in a hospital room at the University of Michigan, where he was treated for severe burns after the foiled attempt.

Chambers has argued in court documents that the bomb could not have brought down the jetliner.

The trial, which is expected to take four weeks, will run daily from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

This is the second major terror trial to take place in Detroit.

In 2003, two North African immigrants were convicted of providing material support and resources to terrorists, but the convictions were thrown out at the request of the U.S. Attorney’s Office after it discovered prosecutors had withheld evidence favorable to the defendants.

One of the prosecutors in the case was tried and acquitted of prosecutorial misconduct.

The government’s star witness in that case was a convicted credit card thief of questionable credibility.

In this case, the government has a planeload of witnesses, a malfunctioned bomb, scorched underwear and a burned suspect who made an incriminating statement to the FBI and explained the alleged plot in detail.