Andy Worthington is a freelance investigative journalist, activist, author, photographer, film-maker and singer-songwriter. He is the co-founder of the “Close Guantánamo” campaign, the director of “We Stand With Shaker,” calling for the immediate release from Guantánamo of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in the prison, and the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by Macmillan in the US, and is available on Amazon) and of two other books: Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion and The Battle of the Beanfield. He is also the co-director (with Polly Nash) of the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo.” He has written for the New York Times and the Guardian, and is currently writing for Al-Jazeera. He has also worked with the United Nations, WikiLeaks and Reprieve.
Journalist for Media Roots, creator of the film American Anthrax, and co-host of Media Roots Radio with Abby Martin. He has appeared on Tyrel Ventura's Buzzsaw TV, KPFA, Breaking The Set on Russia Today, Deadline Live, The Corbett Report and has been interviewed by La Figaro, the BBC, Neural Magazine and the San Francisco Chronicle. He is the founder of recordlabelrecords.org and is a musician under the alias of Fluorescent Grey.
Statement of September 11th Advocates Regarding Guantanamo Bay Military Tribunals ... No Justice for 9/11 Victims Found Here
For Immediate Release
May 4, 2012
It would seem that the U.S. Government found itself in a conundrum when they allowed prisoners, like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), to be tortured in secret prisons around the world. Once tortured, any confession or testimony from KSM, or others, could not be deemed reliable. Furthermore, the focus of the eventual proceedings would become a trial about the practice of torture, instead of being a trial about alleged terrorist crimes. That would have been untenable for the U.S. Government, which wants to avoid any and all accountability for their own crimes of torture.
[One assumes no one will ask how these folks could control NORAD, etc. --Student]
April 5, 2012 12:00 am
By Peter Finn / The Washington Post
WASHINGTON -- A senior Pentagon official on Wednesday authorized a new trial for Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four others accused of orchestrating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, a step that restarts the most momentous terrorism case likely to be held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The suspects were first charged in a military commission in 2008, but the case was suspended after the Obama administration came into office and later moved to have them tried in federal court in New York City. That effort collapsed in the face of congressional and local opposition.
In April 2011, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that he was reluctantly sending the case back to the military. Military charges against the five men were re-sworn in June, and retired Vice Adm. Bruce MacDonald, the official who oversees the commissions and is known as the Convening Authority, on Wednesday sent the case for trial after reviewing and approving those charges.
The men face multiple charges, including murder in violation of the law of war, attacking civilians, attacking civilian objects, hijacking aircraft and terrorism. If convicted, they could face the death penalty.
Charged along with Mr. Mohammed are Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, a Pakistani who is Mr. Mohammed's nephew; Ramzi Binalshibh and Walid bin Attash, both Yemenis; and Mustafa al-Hawsawi, a Saudi. All are accused of playing key organizational or financial roles in the attacks on New York City and the Pentagon, a plot that Mr. Mohammed has said he masterminded.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed faces Guantanamo trial for 9/11
The BBC reports....
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, and four of his alleged co-conspirators will be tried in a military commission at Guantanamo Bay, reports say.
The Obama administration had planned to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a civilian court, but abandoned that plan in the face of fierce opposition.
9/11 Suspects to be Tried at Guantanamo, Not NYC
NBC New York reports....
The Obama administration's announcement in 2009 that it would seek to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the other four suspects in civilian court was met with fierce opposition from many elected officials, families of victims and those who live and work in Lower Manhattan, who would have had to contend with several rings of heavy security for the months of the trial.
See the original for links.
Published on Friday, November 20, 2009 by Salon.com
The Administration Guts Its Own Argument for 9/11 Trials
by Glenn Greenwald
"What I'm absolutely clear about is that I have complete confidence in the American people and our legal traditions and the prosecutors, the tough prosecutors from New York who specialize in terrorism" -- Barack Obama, yesterday.
"Holder said five other Guantanamo detainees would be tried by military tribunals. The five include Abd al-Rahim al Nashiri, who is accused of masterminding the 2000 attack on the USS Cole warship in Yemen; and Canadian Omar Khadr, accused of killing a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan" -- NPR, yesterday.
The Trial of bin Laden’s Driver
Re “Panel Convicts bin Laden Driver in Split Verdict” (front page, Aug. 7):
Our husbands were killed on Sept. 11, 2001; thus we have a personal interest in the Guantánamo trials and their outcome.
Since neither the promised closed-circuit TV nor the 9/11 family member trip to Cuba has materialized, we must rely on reporters to be kept informed about these proceedings.
We understand that the practices being used by these military commissions, such as allowing hearsay evidence and coerced testimony, are questionable at best and un-American at worst. What we have not been allowed to see could fill an encyclopedia.
But we do know that it has taken almost seven years for our government to convict Salim Ahmed Hamdan, Osama bin Laden’s driver, of material support of terrorism. What about those who allegedly financed the terrorists, like the Saudis? Wouldn’t this be considered material support of terrorism? When will they be tried?
Here is an excerpt from a statement from the September 11th Advocates with regards to the Military Tribunals taking place at Guantanamo.
Prosecuting these men within a system that is secretive in nature and lacking in due process, and which uses evidence tainted by questionable interrogation methods and possibly even torture, is a dangerous endeavor.Here is information supporting the claim that the military tribunals are "secretive in nature":
By Carol Rosenberg | Miami Herald
GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, Cuba — The U.S. government is blocking the American Civil Liberties Union from paying attorneys representing suspected terrorists held here, insisting that the ACLU must first receive a license from the U.S. Treasury Department before making the payments.
ACLU director Anthony Romero on Tuesday accused the Bush administration of "obstruction of justice" by delaying approval of the license, which the government argues is required under U.S. law because the beneficiaries of the lawyers' services are foreign terrorists.
"Now the government is stonewalling again by not allowing Americans' private dollars to be paid to American lawyers to defend civil liberties,'' Romero said.
Treasury Department spokesman John Rankin declined to comment on the showdown with the ACLU, citing privacy policies.
But he said the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control "is treating this request with the seriousness it deserves and strives to process license applications as expeditiously as possible.''
Do you think we'll get a new picture of KSM? - Jon
Source: Associated Press
By ANDREW O. SELSKY – 4 hours ago
GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba (AP) — The military expects a confrontational hearing when the alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and four alleged confederates are brought before a Marine colonel presiding over their war-crimes tribunal.
At an arraignment scheduled for Thursday, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was expected to make his first public appearance since being captured in Pakistan in 2003, held in CIA custody at secret sites and transferred to Guantanamo in 2006.
Air Force Brig. Gen. Tom Hartmann, a top tribunal official, told dozens of journalists late Wednesday he expects defense lawyers will robustly argue points with prosecutors and Judge Ralph Kohlmann on behalf of their clients, who face the death penalty.
"Expect to see challenges tomorrow, and the intensity of the process," Hartmann said at a briefing in an abandoned aircraft hangar near the courthouse at this isolated U.S. Navy base.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: (646) 206-8643 or (212) 549-2666; email@example.com
NEW YORK — Family members of 9/11 victims have sent a letter today to Susan Crawford, Convening Authority of the Guantánamo military commissions, sharply criticizing the politicization of the system. According to news reports, a Pentagon representative secretly invited an outspoken supporter of the military commissions to Guantánamo Bay for Thursday's arraignment of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other detainees on terrorism-related charges, but did not make this option available to family members who have expressed criticism of the commissions. This type of politicization is symptomatic of the unconstitutional and biased tribunal system, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.
Delay sought in Guantanamo 9/11 case
Source: Associated Press
By ANDREW O. SELSKY – 21 hours ago
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Military lawyers are seeking to delay the arraignment of five Guantanamo detainees suspected of mounting the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, alleging the government has made it impossible to defend them, authorities said Monday.
The motions — four were filed in a flurry on Monday and one on Friday — attempt to postpone the first pretrial hearings for men charged with the 2001 attacks that killed almost 3,000 people in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.
The arraignment is scheduled for June 5 at the remote U.S. Navy base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The U.S. is seeking the death penalty for all five defendants.
A postponement would likely mean the hearing would not come until after the Supreme Court rules on the Bush administration's latest attempt to try terror suspects in the first U.S. war-crimes trials since World War II.