Court sanctions lawyers behind 9/11 case

Reposted From: Reuters

Feb 2 (Reuters) - A federal appeals court on Thursday sanctioned lawyers behind a lawsuit accusing former officials in the Bush administration of orchestrating the Sept. 11 attacks.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit ordered two California lawyers to pay $15,000 in addition to double what the government spent defending the case. For the next year, the lead lawyer behind the litigation must inform other federal courts in the circuit of the sanctions against him.

Three attorneys -- Dennis Cunningham, William Veale and Mustapha Ndanusa -- filed the lawsuit in 2008 on behalf of April Gallop, a member of the U.S. Army injured in the Pentagon attack on Sept. 11, 2001. The lawyers accused then-Vice President Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld of causing the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in order to create a political atmosphere that would allow the U.S. government to pursue domestic and international policy objectives. The suit alleged conspiracy to cause death and bodily harm and a violation of the Antiterrorism Act.

U.S. District Judge Denny Chin dismissed the case in 2010, ruling that the complaint was frivolous and a product of "cynical delusion and fantasy." A three-judge panel of the 2nd Circuit upheld that decision, imposing $15,000 in sanctions on the three lawyers for filing the suit.

In requesting a rehearing before the full 2nd Circuit panel, the lawyers asked the court to disqualify the panel "and any like-minded colleagues" from participating in the decision to grant en banc review. Their motion accused the panel of exhibiting "severe bias, based in active personal emotions arising from the 9/11 attack."

But the 2nd Circuit took exception to the disqualification request, concluding that no attorney would make such a demand in good faith.

The court imposed an additional punishment on Cunningham, who described himself as "the decider" in developing the case and writing the court filings. For the next year, Cunningham must inform other federal courts in circuit of the sanctions order.

"We are not delusional by any means. We have the facts, and they cannot be explained," said Veale, a former chief assistant public defender for Contra Costa County, California.

Cunningham did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The 2nd Circuit reversed the sanctions against Ndanusa, who only served a minor role as local counsel. Ndanusa said all of the lawyers acted in good faith in bringing the lawsuit.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York declined to comment on the litigation.

The case is Gallop v. Cheney et al, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, No. 10-1241.

For Gallop: William Cunningham, Mustapha Ndanusa and William Veale.

For Cheney et al: Assistant U.S. Attorney Alicia Simmons.

(Reporting By Terry Baynes)Court sanctions lawyers behind 9/11 case

Thanks ATL! From my personal blog, covering this earlier today:

Back in April of 2011, April Gallop’s court case against Dick Cheney and others, for playing parts to a conspiracy on 9/11, was determined to be frivilous.

However, it was long before then that people within our own movement knew this court case was doomed. Why? Read here

*A blogger named “Vullich” said this quite clearly in May, 2011:

Indeed, the kitchen sink approach seems “set-up to fail“. It lumps together the strongest evidence with the baseless nonsense as though it is all the same. And as we all know, if someone had a large lawsuit about a complex topic, and inserted within it were the equivalent of (to most Americans) “and aliens landed in the middle of the event and then flew away and no one noticed,” any judge would go out of his way to dump it just to keep from discrediting himself with ever even considering it.

Pentagon flyovers, plane swapping, etc are on the level of nutso for most Americans, and when even the movement itself rejects those claims, a judge would look like a total idiot to buy into them.

Set-up to fail.

This has nothing to do with heroic acts, wishes or intentions.

One of many important statements made by “jimd3100″ on the same thread was this, “Gallop offers not a single fact to corroborate her allegation of a ‘meeting of the minds’ among the conspirators.”