October 19, 2012
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Battles Over Government Secrecy Dominate 9/11 Hearings
Posted: 10/17/2012 1:49 pm
The definition and use of classified information, and the public's right to hear it, is proving to be one of the most important issues arising in pre-trial hearings in this historic September 11th terrorism prosecution. With only two of the defendants actually in the courtroom on Wednesday (the others elected not to come), lawyers from the government, defense, ACLU and 14 media organizations over the last two days have argued vehemently over whether the government is properly classifying information -- particularly the memories and experiences of the defendants, who were subjected to the CIA's classified "enhanced interrogation" program. Even if it is deemed classified, argue the ACLU and news organizations, it still has to meet a strict First Amendment standard for the court to lawfully prevent the public from hearing it.
The First Amendment only allows the closing of a courtroom, argued ACLU lawyer Hina Shamsi and media lawyer David Schulz, if it will "cause grave harm to national security."
"The government fails utterly to explain how it has a legitimate interest, let alone a compelling one, in suppressing information about a CIA coercive interrogation and detention program that was illegal and has been banned by the president," the ACLU says in its brief to the court.
The issue is important, both for the public's right to know what its government did and for the legitimacy of this historic trial. As Schulz told the court yesterday: "Nothing is likely to shape the public perception of the fairness of these proceedings more significantly than the way the court handles this request for a protective order."
The current proposed order, he said, "covers things that quite clearly can't credibly constitute a threat to our national security."
KSM may not get a trial at all: Alleged 9/11 plotter may simply be left to military custody with no trial.
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, November 13, 2010; 12:38 AM
Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, will probably remain in military detention without trial for the foreseeable future, according to Obama administration officials.
The administration has concluded that it cannot put Mohammed on trial in federal court because of the opposition of lawmakers in Congress and in New York. There is also little internal support for resurrecting a military prosecution at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The latter option would alienate liberal supporters.
The administration asserts that it can hold Mohammed and other al-Qaeda operatives under the laws of war, a principle that has been upheld by the courts when Guantanamo Bay detainees have challenged their detention.
The White House has made it clear that President Obama will ultimately make the decision, and a federal prosecution of Mohammed and four alleged co-conspirators has not been ruled out, senior officials said. Still, they acknowledge that a trial is unlikely to happen before the next presidential election and, even then, would require a different political environment.
On the latest edition of Media Roots radio we discuss China's forced abortions, the unjust case of Aafia Siddiqui, Prop 19, Christine O'Donnell's embarrassing revelations of ignorance, and Free Masonry: the origin and evolution behind the organization and their political influence on America's formation and progression.
Recently Added Events
Showing 1-20 of 100 recently added events:
* 6/28 - NEADS Instructs AWACS Plane to Return to Washington Area to Help It Communicate with Fighters, (11:25 a.m.) September 11, 2001, posted by matt
* 6/28 - Marine Fighters Arrive over Washington but Lack Correct Authentication Code, (11:25 a.m.) September 11, 2001, posted by matt
* 6/28 - Attorney General Ashcroft’s Plane Diverted to Richmond, Threatened with Being Shot Down, 11:11 a.m. September 11, 2001, posted by matt
* 6/28 - Attorney General Ashcroft Ignores FAA Order for His Plane to Land, 10:40 a.m. September 11, 2001, posted by matt
* 6/28 - Unarmed Fighters Find Target Is Just US Military Aircraft, (10:35 a.m.) September 11, 2001, posted by matt
* 6/27 - FAA Controller Passes on Shootdown Authorization to Toledo Fighters, Because NEADS Cannot Reach Them, (Shortly After 10:32 a.m.) September 11, 2001, posted by matt
* 6/27 - FAA’s Boston Center Declares ‘ATC Zero’, (Shortly After 10:20 a.m.) September 11, 2001, posted by matt
Amnesty International is calling for people to lobby Congress to allow US trials for the 9/11 accused go forward; currently Sen. Lindsey Graham is spearheading attempts to block US trials in favor of military commissions - loose nuke
ONLINE ACTION CENTER: DON'T LET CONGRESS BLOCK TRIALS FOR THE 9/11 ACCUSED
President Obama made the right decision to try Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and other alleged 9/11 conspirators in U.S. federal court, but now members of Congress are attacking the President's decision and threatening to block funding for the trial. Senator Lindsey Graham called federal trials a "dumb idea" and wants to use the kangaroo courts known as military commissions, that he and other politicians cooked up at Guantanamo, to ensure convictions and cover up evidence of torture.
December 26, 2009
By BENJAMIN WEISER
Since the government’s announcement that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed would be tried with others in Manhattan in connection with the 9/11 attacks, some lawyers and others have expressed skepticism that such a trial will ever be held in the city.
They are confident that defense lawyers will ask that the trial be moved, and believe that a judge might even consent.
But a review of previous terrorism trials and interviews with lawyers involved in those cases and other legal experts show that such an outcome is hardly guaranteed.
Federal juries in Manhattan, for instance, have not imposed the death penalty against any of the six defendants who could have received it since the federal death penalty was reinstated some two decades ago. Lawyers for Mr. Mohammed could well calculate that their greatest legal obligation is not to win acquittal but to save his life, and that there is no better place to try to do that than in a Manhattan federal courtroom.
The Obama administration has picked the worst possible case for its first torture trial.
By Dahlia Lithwick
Posted Monday, Dec. 14, 2009, at 6:38 PM ET
For close to a year now, the Obama administration has been playing judicial Whac-a-Mole over accountability for Bush administration torture policies. Each time an opportunity arises to assess the legality of Bush-era torture, the Obama administration shuts it down. When another case pops up, the administration slaps it down. This all started last February when the Justice Department invoked the alarming "states secrets" privilege in an effort to shut down an ACLU lawsuit against Boeing subsidiary Jeppesen DataPlan Inc. for its role in Bush's "extraordinary rendition" program. (That case will be reheard at the 9th Circuit tomorrow).
Poll finds broad support among New Yorkers for death penalty in Khalid Shaikh Mohammed terror case
BY ROBERT JOHNSON AND DAVID SALTONSTALL
DAILY NEWS WRITERS
Sunday, November 22nd 2009, 4:00 AM
An overwhelming majority of New Yorkers believe the terrorist thugs who planned the 9/11 attacks should and will be sentenced to death - and two-thirds of city residents say they'd be unafraid to serve on the jury.
An exclusive Daily News/Marist poll found that 77% of New Yorkers agree with President Obama that alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and his four cowardly cohorts will be found guilty in a Manhattan federal courtroom.
"If I'm on that jury, there's no doubt they get a conviction - no doubt," said Larry Amandola, 48, an electrician from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, and one of a dozen regular New Yorkers interviewed separately by The News. "I had a few friends who died on Sept. 11 and I worked [at Ground Zero] immediately after. The people that suffered through this have a right to judge them."
I see many people calling for action at the KSM trial. But has anyone really thought about the ramifications of showing up at the KSM trial with "9/11 Was an Inside Job" signs? The Department of Homeland Security has been trying to label 9/11 truthers as terrorists for a couple years now. What will happen if a single 9/11 truth sign shows up at the trial and even hints that KSM is innocent?
It doesn't matter if KSM is really innocent or not. The government has labeled him a terrorist and is putting that terrorist on trial in a public court for the whole world to see. If any 9/11 truth signs show up at that trial, that will be the final nail in the coffin for 9/11 truth. We will be labeled as terrorist sympathizers, terrorist supporters, or homegrown terrorists. DHS would love nothing more than to see 9/11 truth signs flying around at that trial so that they can finally start rounding up the only real voice that threatens whatever agenda the criminals in our government are trying to attain.
There's even the possibility that "agents" could pose as 9/11 truthers to obtain the same goal of painting us as terrorists or terrorist supporters.
Also see this poll with a similar but slightly different question:
Poll: Most Americans want military trial for 9/11 suspects
Scroll down for the 2nd poll. Visit originals for hyperlinks. Posted in full for posterity - loose nuke
55% in New York Oppose Civilian Terror Trials
Friday, November 20, 2009
Just 35% of New York State voters agree with Attorney General Eric Holder’s decision to try the confessed mastermind of the 9/11 terror attacks and five other suspected terrorists in a civilian court in New York City rather than before a military tribunal.
A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in the state finds that 55% are opposed to that decision, which is part of the Obama administration’s effort to close the terrorist prison camp at the Guantanamo Naval Base in Cuba.
But 57% are at least somewhat confident that New York City will be safe and secure during the trials of the terrorism suspects. Twenty-three percent (23%) are very confident.
Notice the interesting parts of this article that cover the 10,000 signatures and the estimated cost for the first year of this trial.
Eric Holder's Baffling KSM Decision
The attorney general's Senate testimony this week did nothing to reassure the families of 9/11's victims.
By DAVID BEAMER
On Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee met to question Attorney General Eric Holder about his decision to prosecute Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four others in criminal courts rather than military tribunals. As the father of Todd Beamer, who died on United Airlines Flight 93, I was able to attend that hearing. What transpired caused me great concern and shook my confidence in our current administration.
Former N.J. Gov. Thomas Kean opposes trial in N.Y.C. for alleged mastermind of 9/11 attacks By Brian Donohue/The Star-Ledger
November 17, 2009, 10:59AM
NEW YORK -- Thomas H. Kean, chairman of the commission that investigated the 9/11 terrorist attacks, today criticized the decision by the Obama administration to try the alleged mastermind of the attacks in federal court in New York.
In what he described as his first interview since the decision by United States Attorney General Eric Holder last week, Kean told WNYC radio he feared an open trial in Manhattan federal court would make the suspect, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed a "martyr" and "hero" among al Qaeda sympathizers around the world.
Thomas H. Kean, former New Jersey governor and chairman of the 9/11 Commission, and Co-Chair Lee H. Hamilton confer during a news conference in 2005 in Washington, D.C.
Kean's comments came in a radio interview with Brian Lehrer on WNYC.
Kean, a Republican who is also former governor of New Jersey, appeared on the program with fellow 9/11 commission member Richard Ben-Veniste, a Democrat.
Considering that only 16% of Americans in 2006 said they believed the Bush Administration was "telling the truth" about "what they knew prior to September 11th, 2001, about possible terrorist attacks against the United States" http://www.angus-reid.com/polls/view/13469 , the results of this poll are puzzling and disturbing. Why are so many Americans not interested in a public trial, if they're so sure of KSM's guilt? Why are so many Americans willing to tolerate secret evidence and other limitations on the human rights of the accused? The percentages in the polls show that some of the same people supporting military tribunals are also skeptical the Bush Administration has told the truth about 9/11. It seems likely that significant numbers of Americans believe that, whatever responsibility the Bush Administration (and/or others) bear for 9/11, that KSM and the other accused did play a role in the 9/11 attacks. And KSM et al may well have played a role- but let's have the evidence produced, in a public courtroom, where it can be challenged by competent defense counsel, and weighed by a jury and the interested public. - loose nuke
While this article does not question the general narrative about how 9/11 happened and who was responsible, it does highlight some important facts about the stated motivations of KSM, Bin Laden and Islamic radicals in general, that the MSM are omitting, as usual- even though its been noted by the 9/11 Commission, Dick Cheney and the Pentagon's Defense Science Board, among others. It's not because "they hate our freedoms"; it's US policy makers' support of tyrant allies in oil-rich nations, and one-sided support for Israel, despite its human rights abuses. - loose nuke
Shining Light on Roots of Terrorism
By Ray McGovern
November 15, 2009
Media commentary on the upcoming 9/11 trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has raised concern that state secrets may be divulged, including details about how the Bush administration used torture to extract evidence about al-Qaeda.
“I think that we’re going to shine a light on something that a lot of people don’t want to look at” is how American Civil Liberties Union attorney Denney LeBoeuf put it, according to The New York Times on Saturday.
If you find them, please share them. Thanks. - Jon
By CAROL ROSENBERG
Pictures of accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed and his nephew posing for Red Cross delegates at Guantánamo have suddenly turned up on the Web, offering a rare glimpse into life inside the prison's secret Camp 7 just days ahead of the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
The photo of Mohammed, on his knees as if preparing for prayer but staring straight into the camera, is the first public picture of the alleged arch-terrorist since his widely circulated capture photo -- showing him pulled from his bed in a torn T-shirt, with messy hair and in need of a shave. Pakistani security forces in Rawalpindi took that image at his March 2003 arrest and then turned him over to the CIA for interrogations that reportedly included 183 episodes of waterboarding to get him to spill al Qaeda secrets.
Scenes of chaos have gripped a US military court in Guantanamo Bay where five alleged 9/11 plotters were due to appear together before a judge.
All five, including alleged mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, initially refused to attend the hearing.
The judge rejected prosecution calls for them to be compelled to attend but three did appear after a recess.
The hearing focuses on whether two of the accused are mentally competent to represent themselves.
The 11 September 2001 attacks, in which hijacked airliners were flown into buildings in New York and Washington, killed nearly 3,000 people.
Microphone cut off
Walid Bin Attash, Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali and Mustafa Ahmad al-Hawsawi appeared in the courtroom after the recess.
But Mr Hawsawi asked to leave again after he was refused the opportunity to speak. He was escorted out by US military guards.
Mr Bin Attash asked the judge whether he could question a witness.
When told he could not, he asked: "Even if he told lies?"
I have previously pointed out that the self-confessed 9/11 "mastermind" Khalid Sheikh Mohammed also falsely confessed to crimes he didn't commit.
However, a second witness - Abu Zubaida - fingered Khalid Sheikh Mohammed as the 9/11 mastermind (Zubaida was subsequently severely tortured for many months. But he initially identified KSM even before being tortured).
So we have independent confirmation that KSM was the chief architect of 9/11, right?
Well, the New Yorker notes this week:
'Same people defending torture' ignored 9/11 warnings
Posted by Larisa Alexandrovna -
Marc A. Thiessen, President Bush’s former speechwriter, is defending torture in the Washington Post. Apparently, this is the level of clout Dick Cheney and George Bush have, when the only people out defending them are speechwriters and people who are implicated in torture.
Here is what Mr. Thiessen writes:
In releasing highly classified documents on the CIA interrogation program last week, President Obama declared that the techniques used to question captured terrorists "did not make us safer." This is patently false. The proof is in the memos Obama made public -- in sections that have gone virtually unreported in the media.
Given what's going on re: KSM in Guantanamo, I thought this would be good for people to read. - Jon
Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was captured in Rawalpindi, Pakistan on March 1, 2003. General elation greeted the news. Porter Goss (R), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, even proclaimed, “This is equal to the liberation of Paris in the second World War.” [AP, 3/2/03 (C)] But its not that simple. Frankly, the official story of his arrest is a mass of lies, cover-ups and contradictions. It is highly likely Mohammed was not arrested on that day. What exactly did happen when is unclear, but the details of his arrest suggest something very disturbing is going on.
Was Mohammed Actually Arrested in Rawalpindi?
Five 9/11 Suspects Offer to Confess
But Proposal Is Pulled Over Death Penalty Issue
By Peter Finn
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, December 9, 2008; A01
GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba, Dec. 8 -- Five of the men accused of planning the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks said Monday that they wanted to plead guilty to murder and war crimes but withdrew the offer when a military judge raised questions about whether it would prevent them from fulfilling their desire to receive the death penalty.
"Are you saying if we plead guilty we will not be able to be sentenced to death?" Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the self-proclaimed operational mastermind of the attacks, asked at a pretrial hearing here.
The seesaw proceedings Monday raised and then postponed the prospect of a conviction in a case that has become the centerpiece of the system of military justice created by the Bush administration. A conviction would have capped a seven-year quest for justice after the 2001 attacks, but the delay in entering pleas will probably extend the process beyond the end of the Bush presidency.
By ANDREW O. SELSKY, AP
GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba (Dec. 8) – The alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks and four co-defendants told a military judge Monday they want to immediately confess at their war-crimes tribunal, setting up likely guilty pleas and their possible executions.
The five said they decided on Nov. 4, the day President-elect Barack Obama was elected to the White House, that they were abandoning all efforts to defend themselves against the capital charges. It was as if they wanted to rush toward convictions before Obama — who has vowed to end the war-crimes trials and close Guantanamo — takes office.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and another defendant said at their arraignment in June they would welcome execution as a path to martyrdom. But word that they were giving up their defense came as a shock to some of the victims' families.
WeAreChangeLA 'debriefs' former CIA Case Officer Robert Baer about apparent Mossad and White House 9/11 foreknowledge, and more
On October 16, 2008, Robert Baer, who was a CIA Case Officer in the Middle East over the course of almost two decades, participated in a discussion at the Hammer Museum entitled "A Third War: The Threat of War with Iran." Dr. Trita Parsi was part of the discussion which was moderated by Ian Masters.
Baer was briefly interrupted during the discussion by Jeremy Rothe-Kushel for clarity's sake, after he brought up 9/11 and reaffirmed his recently aired belief that Osama bin Laden is likely dead. That part went something like this-
Bob: The chances of Bin Laden being dead are very high. The question is are they going to drag him out in the next two weeks. Is he going to [laughter] out of cold storage and say "we finally got him." I don't know that he's dead, but he probably is.
This is a very interesting article on the front page of the USA Today today (June 3).
The thing that struck me about this article is that there is no mention of any EVIDENCE against KSM. One fundamental principle for the government when they want to railroad someone is that they need a strong 70% to 80% consensus that the railroaded person is guilty. If you don't have that, the railroading looks sloppy, and if you don't have 50%, then the railroading becomes a public relations disaster. That is what is happening to the Bush Administration at this time.
It looks like public opinion is strongly in favor that they want to see the EVIDENCE against KSM.
The old talking points that revealing the evidence will jeopardize the war on terror and American safety is wearing thin on most people. The Franklin Pierce Law Center appears to be our ally in this regard and they make some bold statements.
Is there any EVIDENCE against KSM? Not that I am aware of. First, we were told the Osama bin Laden was behind the 9/11 attacks, then we were told that Mohamed Atta was the "ringleader", and now we are told that KSM is the mastermind. Which is it, Mr. Bush?
Official victim's list?
"The charge sheet also named the 2,973 victims killed during the September 11 attacks"
by Jim Kouri, CPP - Prosocutors in the case against the self-described mastermind behind the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and five of his co-conspirators have amended the charge sheet against the detainees to further clarify their activities, a senior Pentagon official announced today in a teleconference for Internet journalists and bloggers.
The reswearing of charges involves the case against Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, more commonly known by his initials, KSM, and five others in connection with the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York, the Pentagon and Pennsylvania, Bryan Whitman, deputy assistant secretary of defense, said during the teleconference.
The other defendants in the “9-11 case” are Walid Muhammad Salih Mubarek bin Attash, Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawsawi and Mohammed al Kahtani. All of the suspects are being held at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention facility.
From tonight's Countdown with Keith Olbermann:
(excuse the poor quality)
Link to video: http://www.youtube.com/v/90B-Ii4lz3Q
MUST-HEAR RADIO (MP3)
by Ralph Schoenman and Mya Shone
What we are seeing right now is one of the last, pathetic attempts of this administration to save itself from the truth about 9/11. First they rolled out KSM, with his confessions about 9/11 and every other terrorist plot in the last twenty years. As if they really expect us to believe in the first place something which has been entirely mediated through the Pentagon and CIA after three years in a secret torture prison, there are gaping holes in KSM's story. First off, he "admitted" to a terror plot against a building for which the planning didn't even begin until 2006... and yet he's supposedly been in custody for three or four years now. Secondly, he supposedly admits to killing journalist Daniel Pearl. But someone else has already been brought in for that killing- Omar Sheikh. Notice how US-Pakistani relations have been cooling off lately? Maybe it's to do with the fact that Pakistani President General Musharaff outed Omar Sheik about six months ago as an MI-6 agent.
The father of murdered Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl says he doesn't believe al Qaeda mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed is the man who beheaded his son, despite Mohammed's confession to a US military tribunal.
"He wants to take credit for doing it, and he wants to exonerate al Qaeda, blame Pakistan, and whatever," said Judea Pearl, Danny's father. "When a person confesses and he has nothing to lose. You have to take it with a spice of doubt." ... Continued...
Some background on KSM by Chaim Kupferburg;
The following text by Chaim Kupferberg, first published by Global Research in October 2003, shortly after the arrest of KSM, reveals with foresight and accuracy the nature of the propaganda ploy. According to Kupferberg, a "marketing plan" was established in June 2002 to introduce Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to the public as the 9/11 mastermind.
Kupferberg exposes with accuracy and foresight, how the official legend was fabricated around Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. - Continued...