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Thread: Military Prosecutors Set To Open Major 9/11 Case

  1. #31
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    Suspicions grow that drugs were used in detainee interrogations

    http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Suspic...d_in_0422.html

    Muriel Kane
    Published: Tuesday April 22, 2008

    The Washington Post charged on Tuesday that detainees at Guantanamo Bay may have been injected with drugs in the course of their interrogation. "At least two dozen other former and current detainees at Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere say they were given drugs against their will or witnessed other inmates being drugged, based on interviews and court documents," the Post reports.

    The CIA and the Defense Department have denied using drugs in interrogations and suggest that the detainees' stories "are either fabrications or mistaken interpretations of routine medical treatment."

    However, a newly-released memo written by Justice Department lawyer John Yoo in 2003, which argued that nothing in U.S. law limits what the president can order done to prisoners in time of war, also suggested that drugs could be used on prisoners as long as they did not cause permanent psychological damage. Even with that restriction, such a practice would likely be in violation of the Geneva Conventions.

    The Post points out that "the interrogation memo was considered a binding opinion for nine months until December 2003, when OLC chief Jack Goldsmith told the Defense Department to ignore the document's analysis."

    According to Congressional Quarterly, the use of drugs on detainees was anticipated by the administration as early as January 2002 and was first rationalized by Yoo in a 2002 memo for top administration officials. The justification was further elaborated by Yoo in his 2003 memo due to "the rising resistance to harsh interrogation techniques by military lawyers and the FBI."

    The detainee claims cited by the Post have been widely circulated for several years, although they have been less publicized within the United States.

    When four British subjects were released from Guantanamo in 2005, one of them claimed that "he was repeatedly injected with an unknown substance that triggered psychosis."

    Another British detainee told a television interviewer after his release in 2004 that "many detainees were given regular injections, after which 'they would just sit there like in a daze and sometimes you would see them shaking'" and that "he was beaten and put in isolation because he refused injections and was sometimes forcibly given unidentified drugs."

    A Moroccan detainee released in 2004 also claimed he was given forcible injections, and Jose Padilla's lawyer has asserted that his client was given drugs against his will, possibly LSD or PCP. However, no charges of this nature have ever been proven.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  2. #32
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    Lawyer fears 9/11 mastermind trial will be 'insanity' Story Highlights
    Lawyer defending suspected 9/11 mastermind calls waterboarding 'mock execution'

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/04/23/...ney/index.html

    By Kelli Arena and Carol Cratty
    4/23/2008

    WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Prescott Prince is a small-town lawyer who has never taken a death penalty case to trial. Yet he finds himself involved in one of the biggest capital punishment cases this century: He's defending the alleged mastermind of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

    Prescott Prince says the suspected 9/11 mastermind deserves a fair trial.

    1 of 2 He readily acknowledges how his client is perceived as "one of the most reviled people" in the world. But he says it's imperative America give Mohammed a fair trial, just like anyone else accused of a crime.

    No civilian court, he says, would accept confessions obtained after a defendant was mistreated. But the CIA admits Mohammed was waterboarded, a controversial interrogation technique that involves simulated drowning.

    "I take the position that this is mock execution. ... Colloquially speaking, at least it's torture," Prince says.

    The fact whatever Mohammed said during such duress could be used at trial is alarming to Prince.

    "That's not the rule of law. That's just insanity." Watch waterboarding is "mock execution" »

    A Navy reservist who has been called to active duty, Prince, 53, rejects the suggestion that he is less than patriotic for representing an accused terrorist. "I had friends who were at the Pentagon the day it was attacked so I don't accept the concept of 'gee I don't know what it's like.'"

    Prince is currently visiting the detention center at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba to meet his client. He was denied a meeting with Mohammed on Wednesday due to procedural problems; he will try again today.

    Before Prince headed to Guantanamo, he told CNN he had no idea whether Mohammed will accept him as his lawyer. He says he's gone over what he's going to say "about a hundred times a day."

    He's been reading the Koran and has met with psychologists and other lawyers who have represented accused terrorists. "This would not be the first time I've met with a client who initially did not want, if you will, court-appointed counsel," he said. "I've had clients call me almost any name in the book. I've had them refuse to come see me." Meet the attorney defending suspected 9/11 mastermind »

    Still Prince realizes this is different. Very different.

    Mohammed has been in custody since he was caught in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, in 2003. He was transferred from a secret location to Gitmo in 2006. The government says he confessed to his involvement in the September 11, 2001, attacks and many other terrorist plots.

    The government in February said six terror suspects, including Mohammed, would go before military commissions and could face the death penalty if it is judged they were involved in the September 11 attacks. The proceedings are governed by the Military Commissions Act, which Congress passed to handle arrestees in the war on terror. See the terror suspects who could face the death penalty »

    The act requires detainees have access to lawyers as well as to any evidence presented against them. They also will have the right to appeal a guilty verdict, potentially through a civilian appeals court and perhaps the U.S. Supreme Court, according to the act. Watch general describe charges against al Qaeda suspects »

    In the case of Mohammed, the government acknowledged he was subjected to waterboarding, a harsh interrogation technique that many experts believe violates the Geneva Conventions' ban on torture. Waterboarding involves strapping a person to a surface, covering the face with cloth and pouring water over the cloth to imitate the sensation of drowning.

    Prince finds that extremely troubling because he says a civilian court would never admit evidence gained through a coerced statement. The government says Mohammed has confessed to 9/11 and other terror plots.

    "Even the greenest deputy sheriff or rookie police officer in Skunk Hollow County knows that if you rough up a defendant, anything he says after that is not going to be admitted into court," Prince says. "The officer might not like those rules, but he understands them and will abide by them."

    But a judge in a military commission could have it entered into evidence. "We have created a system under the military commissions that says in essence, 'if he was roughed up, but what he says still seems reliable, we'll accept it any way.' And that's just wrong."

    Prince says there are other complications. He may not have the chance to cross-examine Mohammed's accusers and may not see all the evidence to be put forward in court. Watch families of 9/11 victims push for fair trials »

    Prince doesn't believe Mohammed can get a fair trial and says the country risks trashing "our constitutional values when it becomes convenient to do so."

    "I don't want to impugn anyone's character, but this is where Ronald Reagan's term 'trust but verify' will come into play," he says.

    The military has assigned him a three-person team consisting of another lawyer, an intelligence analyst and a paralegal. The American Civil Liberties Union and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers have also teamed up to find volunteers to help Prince and the other lawyers defending accused terrorists at Guantanamo Bay.

    Norman Reimer, the executive director of the NACDL, explained the daunting task this way:"It's going to require all of the ingenuity and resources -- not just to defend the accused -- but to defend the American system of justice and what we stand for in the world. That's what this is about."

    Two lawyers from Boise, Idaho, have agreed to help Prince. No strangers to terrorism cases, David Nevin and Scott McKay won an acquittal for a Saudi man who faced terror charges.

    Prince for years ran a small practice in Richmond, Virginia. But last year, the reservist was called to active duty and spent six months in Iraq. He never thought this would be his next assignment.

    "I could have said, 'No,'" he says, before adding, "I don't think I would have been doing honor to myself or honor to my calling."
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  3. #33
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    Alleged 9/11 plotters see Navy lawyers

    http://www.miamiherald.com/509/story/512412.html

    Posted on Mon, Apr. 28, 2008
    By CAROL ROSENBERG
    crosenberg@MiamiHerald.com

    GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, Cuba -- Ten weeks after the Pentagon prosecutor swore out preliminary death penalty charges, Navy defense lawyers have had first talks with the top three alleged 9/11 conspirators.

    For each of the men, it was his first private meeting with an attorney offering help after years of secret CIA custody and interrogation, including the waterboarding of one of them.

    And only one of the three has so far agreed to accept the free-of-charge services of a military lawyer.

    He is Ali Abdal Aziz Ali, a Pakistani man and the nephew of reputed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed -- who allegedly sent about $120,000 to the hijackers to fund, among other things, flight training at U.S. flight schools.

    Navy Lt. Cmdr. Brian Mizer said Sunday that Ali, who speaks ''fluent'' English, agreed to let him defend him, along with two volunteer civilian lawyers from Seattle -- after two days of talks last week.

    ''He appears to be fine,'' Mizer said of this 30-something client.

    Getting lawyers for the men has been a key hurdle in the Pentagon efforts to move forward on a complex conspiracy case of six men held here for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that killed 2,973 people in New York, at the Pentagon and in a Pennsylvania field.

    Several alleged al Qaeda foot soldiers are boycotting their trials and have fired their lawyers, both military and civilian volunteers. Those men, however, face a maximum of life in prison if convicted, not death.

    Charge sheets issued Feb. 11 propose the military execution of Ali and the five others, should they be convicted by a military commission.

    No trial date has been set while a civilian Bush administration appointee named Susan Crawford decides whether and when to go forward with the 9/11 case.

    While she looks at the charges, prison camp officials have been granting military defense lawyers restricted access to the accused -- imposing national security limits on them and taking custody of their notes while the Pentagon establishes Top Secret sites and clearances for defense teams.

    Last week, Navy Reserves Capt. Prescott Prince, a defense counsel, introduced himself to Ali's uncle, who is known in the United States by his initials, KSM, and who allegedly ran the Sept. 11 plot for al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden.

    Mohammed has yet to agree to the military defense counsel.

    Prince is assembling a four-attorney defense team to fend off the capital charges against Mohammed, whom the CIA has admitted to waterboarding in secret detention.

    Prince calls waterboarding ''torture'' -- and says his client should be tried in a civilian or military court, not by commissions, where each military judge gets to decide whether to let the jury of U.S. military officers hear evidence gleaned through torture.

    Prince and Mohammed met on Thursday under strict security arrangements that mostly muzzle the Navy Reserves captain who has practiced private law in Virginia for decades.

    In parallel, Navy Reserves Cmdr. Suzanne Lachelier and Navy Lt. Ricardo Federico met with the 9/11 plot's alleged control officer, a Yemeni named Ramzi Bin al Shibh, and offered to defend him.

    ''He seems smart,'' Lachelier said of Bin al Shibh. ``I think he's checking us out. He's naturally very distrustful -- but very respectful.''

    The three met for about five ''productive'' hours across two days, said Lachelier, who declared the talks ''favorable,'' although he did not yet agree to let them defend him.

    They meet again in about two weeks.

    Lachelier, a former San Diego federal public defender, said he did not seem averse to the idea of a woman lawyer leading his defense team. ''I didn't get any bad vibes in that regard,'' she said.

    Bin al Shibh has been described as a KSM deputy who allegedly served as a key intermediary with some of the 9/11 suicide squads.

    The American Civil Liberties Union has assigned Chicago lawyer Thomas A. Durkin to work with Lachelier. Durkin, a veteran civilian defense attorney, has defended alleged terrorists in federal courts where the government has invoked national secrets protections.

    In announcing the arrival of the ''high-value detainees'' at Guantánamo in September 2006, President Bush defended rough interrogations as a war-on-terror necessity.

    He said agents used an ''alternative set of procedures'' -- later identified by the CIA director, Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden, to include waterboarding -- on terror suspect Abu Zubaydah, to hunt down Bin al Shibh.

    Also Sunday, Mizer said he met with Aziz Ali across two days, during which the 30-something detainee agreed to accept Seattle attorneys Jeff Robinson and Amanda Lee on the defense team. The two were signed up through an American Civil Liberties Union project, which is helping fund the work of civilian lawyers defending death penalty candidates at the war court.

    Mizer, who is defending bin Laden driver Salim Hamdan of Yemen in a non-capital case, said he is forbidden from discussing his latest client's case under military intelligence rules that sealed his notes of their meeting in the prison camp lawyer's safe.

    He described representing both men -- in separate proceedings -- as ``a delicate juggling act.''

    In the Hamdan case, for example, Mizer has sought the testimony of KSM and other former CIA detainees to clear the driver of terror charges -- by adopting a government theory that the former CIA detainees are senior al Qaeda members.

    Hamdan, 36, has an extensive civilian legal team working with Mizer, including the former Navy lawyer who helped overturn President Bush's first format for military commissions by challenging the driver's first war crimes case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

    In contrast, Mizer is the only attorney so far to ever meet with Aziz Ali.

    According to a Pentagon transcript, Aziz Ali told U.S. military officers a year ago that he neither knew of the 9/11 plot nor was a member of al Qaeda.

    Asked about the cash transfers, he told the military panel that some wealthy Arab men living in the United States routinely sought funds for lavish lifestyles while studying abroad. He described one friend as an English language student who needed $100,000 cash in the United States -- to buy a Ferrari.

    Two of the former CIA captives have yet to meet with their military defense counsel.

    The sixth man accused in the conspiracy is Mohammed al Qahtani, a Saudi man in his 30s who has been held for years at Guantánamo and was subjected to a rough military interrogation regime approved by Donald Rumsfeld, unlike his alleged co-conspirators, who were held secretly by the CIA.

    In the Qahtani case, according to a leaked log of his 50-day interrogation at Camp X-Ray here, U.S. interrogators in November and December of 2002 used sleep deprivation, left him strapped to an intravenous drip without bathroom breaks and had him strip naked to break his will.

    They also told him to bark like a dog in a bid to get him to confess to being the so-called 20th Hijacker, the man who didn't get to the United States in time to join the 19 other terrorists in the 9/11 attack.

    Qahtani has not yet met his military attorney, Army Lt. Col. Bryan Broyles. But his long-serving civilian attorney, Gitanjali Gutierrez of the New York Center for Constitutional Rights, said late Sunday that she has gotten Defense Department approval to defend him along with Broyles at the war court.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  4. #34
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    Getting Away With Torture
    Legal maneuvering has shielded those responsible for conditions at Guantánamo Bay.

    http://www.newsweek.com/id/134308

    May 5, 2008 Issue

    Our "terror trials" aren't working. The prosecutions of a fistful of prisoners at Guantánamo Bay—just getting underway after more than six years—are barely moving forward. Evidence is flimsy and stale. Prisoners claiming to have been abused and subjected to involuntary use of drugs are refusing to participate in their trials. There may yet be verdicts at Guantánamo. But following years of abuse, neglect and secrecy, there won't be justice. The other place we won't see legal accountability is at the upper levels of the Bush administratiom, where evidence of lawbreaking is largely dismissed or ignored. I want to be clear that there is no moral equivalence between the actions of members of the Bush administration and those of alleged "enemy combatants" at Guantánamo. But both the tribunals at Guantánamo and the wrongdoing in the Bush administration reflect how legal processes can fail under extreme political pressure.

    Outside the Bush administration, there is bipartisan agreement that Guantánamo should be shut down and the military commissions scrapped. A compelling case could have been made for Nuremburg-style trials for some of the prisoners there—including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. But the CIA admits Mohammed was waterboarded, rendering his confession unreliable and any conviction a sham. And even if we do convict this handful of terrorists at Guantánamo, there still remain almost 300 detainees at the base, held there for years without charges. Some were turned in by Afghan captors for bounties. Some are held as a result of coerced testimony from others.

    Full and fair trials might have happened for enemy combatants, but missteps have led to a legal process that now exists solely to prove the detentions were justified; that the captives are—as former Defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld once called them—"the worst of the worst." That's a political conclusion, not a legal one, and it's why Col. Morris Davis—former chief prosecutor for the military commissions at Guantánamo—resigned last fall, claiming political interference had created the impression of a "rigged process stacked against the accused." Davis later told The Nation that in a conversation with Pentagon general counsel William Haynes in 2005, Haynes told him flatly, "[w]e can't have acquittals. If we've been holding these guys for so long, how can we explain letting them get off? We've got to have convictions."

    Bad evidence, tortured testimony, delay, error, guilty prisoners jumbled up with merely unlucky ones and the necessity of politically motivated convictions. But politics won't keep just the Gitmo prisoners from seeing justice. Politics will also keep those responsible for alleged crimes at Guantánamo from ever having to defend their actions in a court of law.

    If prisoners were illegally tortured at Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib, who was responsible? A memo written by John Yoo, a deputy at the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel from 2002 to 2003, was declassified this month. He argued that military interrogators could subject suspected terrorists to harsh treatment as long as it didn't cause "death, organ failure or permanent damage." (It was later rescinded.) While it's possible Yoo was merely producing a theoretical, lawyerly opinion—he calls it "d = S"—it may well have opened the floodgates to prisoner torture and even death. Yet virtually nobody suggests Yoo should be subject to prosecution.

    Yoo's possible contributions to torture at Guantánamo almost pale in comparison with ABC News's revelations that administration officials, including Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, John Ashcroft, George Tenet, Colin Powell and Don Rumsfeld, met several times in the White House to discuss torture techniques for Al Qaeda suspects. The group signed off on slapping, pushing and waterboarding, in a manner "so detailed … some of the interrogation sessions were almost choreographed." Days later, President George W. Bush confirmed he "approved" of these tactics.

    Yet despite the fact that senior members of the Bush administration may have violated the War Crimes Act of 1996, the Geneva Conventions and the Uniform Code of Military Justice, there is scant serious talk of legal accountability. The Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility is investigating whether agency attorneys provided the White House and CIA with faulty legal advice. That's a bit like setting the local meter maid on them.

    Few believe the high-level architects of the American torture policy will ever face domestic prosecution. As Yale Law School's Jack Balkin pointed out, the political costs are too high: "One can imagine the screaming of countless pundits arguing that the Democrats were trying to criminalize political disagreements about foreign policy."

    High-ranking administration officials and enemy combatants may have broken the law, and their legal situations are weirdly parallel. Both show how the rule of law can fracture under the strain of politics. Those alleged lawbreakers at Guantánamo can never be acquitted for purely political—as opposed to legal—reasons. The alleged lawbreakers in the Bush administration will never be held to account on precisely the same grounds.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  5. #35
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    Bin Laden's driver can send notes to detainees

    http://www.miamiherald.com/news/brea...ry/515398.html

    By CAROL ROSENBERG
    crosenberg@MiamiHerald.com
    Posted on Wed, Apr. 30, 2008

    GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, Cuba -- A military judge on Wednesday ruled that Osama bin Laden's driver is permitted to sign a personal plea to alleged senior al Qaeda leaders segregated on this base, despite a U.S. government claim that it would breach national security.

    Navy Capt. Keith Allred, the judge, issued the decision in early morning pretrial arguments in the case of Salim Hamdan, 36, who for the first time was absent from his hearing.

    A day earlier he declared a boycott of his trial and forbade his lawyers to speak on his behalf as long as he was absent.

    So Hamdan's lawyers sat at his defense table, silent, while Justice Department attorney John Murphy warned Allred that letting Hamdan write a note to reputed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed and others could expose ``grave national security secrets.''

    Guards have isolated 16 so-called high-value detainees under top secret circumstances somewhere on this base; to speak to them, their lawyers need special classified status.

    Allred, however, ruled that there was no inherent danger in letting Hamdan write the men a note asking for their written testimony ahead of their upcoming trial.

    It might even help lure him back to court, the judge said.

    Hamdan had never before missed a court date across nearly four years of on-again, off-again military commission sessions in his case.

    He is charged as an al Qaeda co-conspirator and insider who as worked bin Laden's $200-a-month driver in Afghanistan. Hamdan is also accused of sometimes serving as bin Laden's bodyguard and faces life in prison if convicted.

    Hamdan's trial is now scheduled to open June 2. It would be the first full-blown military commission, in which U.S. military officers are jurors.

    Given the driver's dialogue with the judge on Tuesday, his five-member defense team is now facing the dilemma of how and whether to defend an empty chair.

    Still, Allred said he chose to hold the early Wednesday morning session on the assumption that his lawyers could repair the rift -- sometime after war court staff left this remote base on an afternoon charter back to Washington.

    He said he was proceeding on the belief that Hamdan was snoozing through the session behind the razor wire of Camp Delta.

    According to the judge, Hamdan told some guards on Tuesday night: ``Don't wake me in the morning. I don't want to be there. I'm sleeping in.''

    So, Allred said for the record: ``Mr. Hamdan slept in this morning. He's in his cell in the camp, and all five counselors are still on the case, still representing him.''

    Defense lawyers said they would submit motions and replies in writing, apparently because their client was absent.

    Prosecutors then argued against a series of defense requests.

    The key decision was Allred's approval of Hamdan's signing a note to several so-called ''high value detainees'' held in segregation at Camp 7, appealing for their cooperation with defense attorneys in his case.

    His lawyers have been trying for months to get the alleged 9/11 mastermind, known as KSM, and other former CIA detainees to answer written questions about Hamdan's role in al Qaeda.

    The Justice Department's prosecutor, Murphy, objected to the idea, saying there were inherent risks in any detainee communication with ``the brain trust of some of the worst activity that the world has seen in our lifetime.''

    Hamdan's lead defense lawyer, Navy Lt. Cmdr. Brian Mizer, says that those men would know best of all what Hamdan did, and support their defense that he was not a key al Qaeda insider but a driver on the fringes of the terror network.

    Allred had earlier ordered the government to let Hamdan's lawyers submit written questions to Camp 7 captives, in Arabic, through a government security officer with authority to censor national security secrets from the answers.

    No replies have emerged. Now the lawyers want Hamdan to write the men, in effect saying, 'This is me. Please answer my lawyers' questions.''

    Specifically, Murphy said: ``We are worried about highly classified information and the manipulation that these detainees could undertake to thwart this commissions process.''

    Government lawyers have long said they are safeguarding intelligence secrets surrounding the men, three of whom the CIA now confirms were waterboarded in custody.

    Still unknown, however, is what other interrogation techniques were used on them and in years of CIA interrogation.

    Murphy said the men should never have been allowed to know that Hamdan was held here, among about 260 non-high-value detainees.

    The judge overruled the objection and authorized the prosecution to craft a short note, translate it and permit defense lawyers to get Hamdan's signature on it.

    ''They know Hamdan is here,'' Allred said.

    ``I think the government has an interest, the system has an interest, the defense has an interest in having him sit there and participate in the trial. It might give him a sense that he has some impact on his trial.''
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    Accused 9/11 planners set for court

    http://tvnz.co.nz/view/page/536641/1780705

    May 15, 2008 10:28 AM

    Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the man accused of masterminding the September 11 attacks, is tentatively scheduled to appear before a Guantanamo war court judge for the first time on June 5.

    The chief judge for the Guantanamo tribunals, Marine Colonel Ralph Kohlmann, notified military defense lawyers of the tentative arraignment date for Mohammed and four other captives who could face execution if convicted of murder and conspiracy charges stemming from the 2001 attacks.

    "The judge made it clear that if there were problems with scheduling that he requested to be notified immediately," Army Colonel Steve David, the chief defence counsel for the tribunals, said via e-mail.

    The Pentagon announced on Tuesday that Susan Crawford, the official overseeing the special court at the US naval base in Cuba, had endorsed the charges against Mohammed and four other prisoners - Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, Ramzi Binalshibh, Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi and Walid bin Attash.

    They are accused of conspiring with al Qaeda to murder civilians and with 2,973 counts of murder, one for each person killed when hijacked passenger planes crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field.

    Crawford's approval cleared the way for their arraignment within 30 days, but the trials still face numerous hurdles.

    The CIA has admitted subjecting Mohammed to harsh interrogation methods, including the simulated drowning technique known as waterboarding. That calls into question the reliability of his confession that he planned every aspect of the September 11 attacks.

    The former chief prosecutor of the tribunals testified last month that political appointees and higher-ranking officers exerted illegal influence over the process, pushing prosecutors to use coerced evidence and rushing them to file charges against Mohammed and the other "high-value" prisoners before the November US presidential election.

    A military judge has already disqualified the tribunals' legal adviser, Air Force Brigadier General Thomas Hartmann, from further involvement in the pending case against Osama bin Laden's driver, Salim Hamdan, and questioned his ability to act with the impartiality mandated by law.

    Defence lawyers are expected to challenge Hartmann's role in the charges against Mohammed and the other four.

    The Guantanamo tribunals are the first US war crimes tribunals since World War II. They were established after September 11 to try non-American captives whom the Bush administration considers "enemy combatants" not entitled to the legal protections granted to soldiers and civilians.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    9/11 Co-Conspirators Charges Referred

    http://www.blackanthem.com/News/comm...red16489.shtml

    By U.S. Department of Defense, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
    Blackanthem Military News
    May 14, 2008 - 12:17:01 PM

    WASHINTON, D.C. - The Defense Department announced today that charges against five of the six detainees who are alleged to be responsible for the planning and execution of the attacks upon the United States of America on September 11, 2001 have been referred to trial by military commission. Those attacks resulted in the death of 2,973 people, including 8 children. The referred charges detail 169 overt acts allegedly committed in furtherance of the 9/11 events. The accused will face trial in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

    In accordance with the Military Commissions Act of 2006, the Convening Authority has the sole discretion to determine what charges will be referred to trial. In exercising her independent judgment, the Convening Authority, Ms. Susan Crawford, has referred to trial charges against Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Walid Muhammad Salih Mubarak Bin 'Attash, Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, and Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawsawi. The five accused will be tried jointly, and the cases are referred as capital for each defendant, meaning they face the possibility of being sentenced to death.

    The Convening Authority has dismissed without prejudice the sworn charges against Mohamed al Kahtani. Because the charges were dismissed without prejudice, the government has the option of charging Kahtani separately, but he will not be tried with the other accused in this case.

    The charges allege a long-term, highly-sophisticated, organized plan by al Qaeda to attack the United States. Each of the accused is charged with conspiracy, murder in violation of the law of war, attacking civilians, attacking civilian objects, intentionally causing serious bodily injury, destruction of property in violation of the law of war, terrorism and providing material support for terrorism.

    Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Walid Muhammad Salih Mubarak Bin 'Attash, Ramzi Binalshibh, and Ali Abdul Aziz Ali are also charged with hijacking aircraft.

    The charges allege that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks by proposing the operational concept to Usama bin Laden as early as 1996, obtaining approval and funding from Usama bin Laden for the attacks, overseeing the entire operation, and training the hijackers in all aspects of the operation in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    Walid Muhammad Salih Mubarak Bin 'Attash is alleged to have administered an al Qaeda training camp in Logar, Afghanistan where two of the September 11th hijackers were trained. He is also alleged to have traveled to Malaysia in 1999 to observe airport security by US air carriers in order to assist in formulating the hijacking plan.

    Ramzi Binalshibh is alleged to have lived with the Hamburg, Germany al Qaeda cell where three of the 9/11 hijackers resided. It is alleged that Binalshibh was originally selected by Usama bin Laden to be one of the 9/11 hijackers and that he made a "martyr video" in preparation for the operation. He was unable to obtain a US visa and, therefore, could not enter the United States as the other hijackers did. In light of this, it is alleged that Binalshibh assisted in finding flight schools for the hijackers in the United States, and continued to assist the conspiracy by engaging in numerous financial transactions in support of the 9/11 operation.

    Ali Abdul Aziz Ali's role is alleged to have included sending approximately $120,000 to the hijackers for their expenses and flight training, and facilitating travel to the United States for nine of the hijackers.

    Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawsawi is alleged to have assisted and prepared the hijackers with money, western clothing, traveler's checks and credit cards. He is also alleged to have facilitated the transfer of thousands of dollars between the accounts of alleged 9/11 hijackers and himself on September 11, 2001.

    The military commissions provide the following protections for the accused: to elect not to testify at trial and to have no adverse inference drawn from it; to be represented by detailed military counsel, as well as civilian counsel of his own selection and at no expense to the government; to examine all evidence presented to a jury by the prosecution; to obtain evidence and to call witnesses on his own behalf including expert witnesses; to confront and cross-examine every witness called by the prosecution; to be present during the presentation of evidence; to have no statements obtained by torture admitted; to have a military commission panel (jury) of at least five military members (12 in a capital case) determine guilt or innocence by a two-thirds majority, or in the case of a capital offense, at least 12 members must unanimously decide to impose a sentence of death; and the right to an appeal to the Court of Military Commission Review, then through the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to the U. S. Supreme Court.

    These protections are guaranteed to the defendant under the Military Commissions Act, and are specifically designed to ensure that every defendant receives a fair trial, consistent with American and international standards of justice and the rule of law.

    The charges are only allegations that each accused has committed a war crime under the Military Commissions Act. The accused are presumed innocent of any criminal charges unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt at a military commission.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  8. #38
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    Lawyers seek dismissal of 9/11 charges

    http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5h...F2vHwD90OCM6O0

    12 hours ago

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Military lawyers for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the suspected mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, and four alleged coconspirators are arguing that charges against their clients should be dropped following illegal meddling by a Pentagon official.

    A motion filed late last week before a U.S. war-crimes tribunal at Guantanamo argues that the case has been tainted by the involvement of the tribunals' legal adviser, Air Force Brig. Gen. Thomas Hartmann, who was removed from another case because he lacked the required neutrality.

    The defendants are to be arraigned June 5 at the Guantanamo Bay Navy base in Cuba on charges including conspiracy, hijacking an aircraft and murder. The U.S. is seeking the death penalty for all five men.

    In their filing, Pentagon-appointed defense attorneys noted that Hartmann was accused of urging prosecutors to pursue "sexy" cases and directing them to use evidence that a former chief prosecutor said was tainted by coercion.

    A judge presiding over the trial of a former driver for Osama bin Laden ousted Hartmann from that case earlier this month, ruling that his instructions to prosecutors suggested that factors "other than those pertaining to the merits of the case" were at play.

    In an interview last week, Hartmann told The Associated Press he expected defense lawyers for other detainees to use that ruling as grounds to challenge charges against their clients. But he said he was facing no pressure to resign.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  9. #39
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    Report: Military used harsh methods on 9/11 terror suspect

    http://deepbackground.msnbc.msn.com/...0/1043750.aspx

    By Jim Popkin, NBC News Senior Investigative Producer
    Posted on Tuesday, May 20, 2008 12:29 PM PT
    Filed Under: Terrorism, Iraq

    A new report by the Justice Department Inspector General details many of the harsh and intentionally humiliating techniques that the U.S. military used against Mohammed Al-Qahtani, a Saudi detainee at the Guantanamo Bay military prison who many U.S. officials believe was meant to be the 20th hijacker on Sept. 11, 2001.

    The 438-page IG report focuses on the FBI's involvement in detainee interrogations in Iraq and Afghanistan. But it also provides a window into the methods used by the Defense Department and the CIA on uncooperative detainees such as Al-Qahtani.

    Quoting military records and reports, the Justice Department Inspector General said that a "special projects team" of the U.S. military interrogated Al-Qahtani between November 2002 and January 2003.

    Their methods included:

    • tying a dog leash to Al-Qahtani's chain, "walking him around the room and leading him through a series of dog tricks."
    • "repeatedly pouring water on his head"
    • "stress positions"
    • "20-hour interrogations"
    • "forced shaving for hygienic and psychological purposes"
    • "stripping him naked in the presence of a female"
    • "holding him down while a female interrogator straddled the detainee"
    • "women's underwear placed over his head and bra placed over his clothing"
    • "female interrogator massaging his back and neck region over his clothing"
    • "describing his mother and sister to him as whores"
    • "showing him pictures of scantily clothed women"
    • "discussing his repressed homosexual tendencies in his presence"
    • "male interrogator dancing with him"
    • "telling him that people would tell other detainees that he got aroused when male guards searched him"
    • "forced physical training"
    • "instructing him to pray to idol shrine"
    • "adjusting the air conditioning to make him uncomfortable"
    Hospitalization:

    The IG report notes that in December 2002, during this period of intense interrogation, Al-Qahtani was hospitalized "as a result of the DOD interrogations" for hypothermia or "low blood pressure along with low body core temperature." The IG writes that while FBI agents were aware that Al-Qahtani was being subjected to intense questioning by the military, "we have no evidence that the FBI or DOJ were aware that the specific techniques described above were used on Al-Qahtani" at that time.

    Qahtani has often been referred to as the 20th hijacker because of evidence that he tried to enter the United States a few days before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and because he was in touch with the men who became the hijackers. Al-Qahtani flew to the Orlando airport from Europe in August 2001, but was barred from entry to the U.S. Investigators later determined that Sept. 11 ringleader Mohammad Atta had been waiting to pick him up at the airport. Qahtani was captured in Afghanistan in December 2001.

    Just last week, the Pentagon official in charge of war crimes cases declined to permit a case against Al-Qahtani to proceed, dismissing charges against him. The official, Susan Crawford, whose title is Convening Authority, approved death penalty charges against five other detainees in the 2001 attacks, while declining to approve charges Al-Qahtani. Crawford provided no explanation.

    Her decision said the charges against Mr. Qahtani were being dismissed “without prejudice.” Later, a spokesman for military prosecutors said the government could “reinitiate charges against him at any time.”

    Qahtani's defense lawyers and officials familiar with the case have said it is unlikely that Qahtani will face new charges because he was subjected to such aggressive interrogation techniques. Many of the aggressive interrogation methods used on Al-Qahtani were previously disclosed in TIME, which obtained an 84-page secret interrogation log prepared by his U.S. military captors.

    --Contains background information from published reports.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  10. #40
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    Delay sought in Guantanamo 9/11 case

    http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5h...F2vHwD90P2O4O1

    By ANDREW O. SELSKY – 19 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.

    The Court declared a previous military tribunal system unconstitutional in 2006. It is expected to decide by the end of June whether the 270 men held at Guantanamo have access to regular U.S. courts, which could undermine the military trials.

    Attorneys for the five men charged in the Sept. 11 attacks, including confessed mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, filed motions to delay their arraignment, Joe DellaVedova, a spokesman for the war-crimes tribunals, told The Associated Press.

    Two military attorneys for Ramzi Binalshibh, who allegedly served as the main intermediary between the Sept. 11 hijackers and al-Qaida leaders, said they are working in "an extremely challenging environment."

    Navy Cmdr. Suzanne M. Lachelier and her assistant counsel said flights to Guantanamo are limited and that, because all information they obtain from Binalshibh is "top secret," their notes can be kept only in a room without computers at the office of the chief defense counsel in Arlington, Va.

    "Counsel have no means of taking the notes back with them to their offices in Arlington, Va.; detailed counsel are unable to work with the notes in their offices on-board Guantanamo Naval Station; and counsel cannot even confer with each other about any discussions had with any 'high value' detainee, unless they return to Arlington, Va.," their motion said.

    Prosecutors have until May 25 to declare to the judge, Marine Col. Ralph Kohlmann, whether they oppose the motions.

    Defense lawyer and Army Maj. Jon Jackson said his team does not have enough access to his client, Mustafa al-Hawsawi, or to secure facilities where classified material must be reviewed.

    Al-Hawsawi, a Saudi, is accused of helping the Sept. 11 hijackers obtain money, clothing, traveler's checks and credit cards.

    Jackson said he has met his client only twice.

    According to a copy of the motion provided to the AP, Jackson has been barred from discussing those meetings with his assistant defense counsel, Navy Lt. Gretchen Sosbee, because the military has not yet given her security clearance. Sosbee accompanied Jackson to Guantanamo last week but was prevented from seeing al-Hawsawi, he said.

    Furthermore, the defense has not received any potential evidence against al-Hawsawi supporting charges that "allege a complex conspiracy spanning several years," Jackson told the judge.

    Defense lawyers are also crippled because they have been assigned no authorized location, at Guantanamo or in Washington, to review classified information, Jackson said in his motion.

    "Counsel have no place to store work product, discuss classified material or prepare for their case while in Cuba," Jackson wrote, adding that construction of a secure facility in Washington — which was to have been completed by the end of 2007 — has not even begun.

    DellaVedova insisted that defense lawyers have secure facilities at Guantanamo and in Washington to review the information.

    Jackson asked the judge to delay his client's arraignment until the government provides a security clearance for Sosbee, supplies the defense team with secure facilities for classified material and allows "for defense preparation of this case." More time is also needed to obtain a civilian attorney for al-Hawsawi if he wants one, Jackson said.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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