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Thread: At Satellite Courthouses, 9/11 Relatives Will Watch Moussaoui's Sentencing

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    FBI agent: warnings about Moussaoui unheeded

    By Deborah Charles 1 hour, 1 minute ago

    ALEXANDRIA, Virginia (Reuters) - An FBI agent testified in the sentencing trial of September 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui on Monday that agency superiors repeatedly blocked his efforts to warn of a possible terror attack.

    Harry Samit, the FBI agent who arrested Moussaoui three weeks before the deadly airliner hijackings that killed 3,000 people, said he tried to tell his superiors that he thought a hijacking plan might be in the works.

    "You tried to move heaven and earth to get a search warrant to search this man's belongings. You were obstructed," defense attorney Edward MacMahon said as the trial resumed after a week's delay over improper witness coaching.

    "From a particular individual in the (FBI's) Radical Fundamentalist Unit, yes sir, I was obstructed," Samit said.

    Moussaoui has already pleaded guilty to six charges of conspiracy. The trial -- the only one for anyone charged in connection with the September 11 attacks -- will determine if he is sentenced to death.

    Moussaoui, an admitted al Qaeda member who regularly yells "God curse America!" when the jury and judge leave the courtroom, was arrested on August 16, 2001, after raising suspicions at a flight school.

    Samit said after questioning Moussaoui he knew the Frenchman of Moroccan descent had "radical Islamic fundamentalist beliefs" and thought he was part of a bigger plot to attack the United States. In an message to his superiors on August 18, 2001, Samit said he believed Moussaoui was "conspiring to commit a terrorist act."

    Samit also warned that Moussaoui, who did not have a pilot's license, had been taking simulator lessons to learn the basics of flying a jumbo jet. Samit expressed his concerns that Moussaoui was plotting a possible hijacking.

    "You thought you had a terrorist who was planning a terrorist attack. And you wanted everyone in the government to know," MacMahon asked Samit.

    "Yes," he replied.

    Although he sent numerous e-mails and formal requests to agents and to his superiors warning of a potential hijacking attack, Samit said he was unable to get authority to seek a warrant in order to search Moussaoui's belongings.

    He even sought assistance from FBI agents in France and Britain and consulted with people in different agencies.

    "I am so desperate to get into his computer, I'll take anything," he wrote in an e-mail to Catherine Kiser, an intelligence official, one day before the deadly attacks.

    Her response was ominous: "You fought the good fight. God help us all if the next terrorist incident involves the same type of plane."

    Samit also drafted a memo to the Federal Aviation Administration warning that Moussaoui might have been part of a plot to seize a jumbo jet but it was not clear "how far advanced were his plans to do so." Samit's bosses at FBI headquarters did not send the memo.

    MacMahon quoted from a report in which Samit accused people at FBI headquarters of "criminal negligence" and said they were just trying to protect their own careers.

    The trial resumed on Monday after a week's delay caused by the discovery that a Transportation Security Administration lawyer, Carla Martin, had improperly discussed the trial with aviation witnesses who were to testify for the defense and the prosecution.

    After initially throwing out all aviation-related evidence and testimony, U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema agreed to allow the government to bring forward new "untainted" witnesses and evidence, but limited the parameters for the questioning.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    I've never made an article completely red before.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  3. #33
    Partridge Guest
    From the NYT

    F.B.I. Discounted Suspicions About Moussaoui, Agent Says

    Published: March 20, 2006
    ALEXANDRIA, Va., March 20 — The F.B.I. agent who arrested and interrogated Zacarias Moussaoui just weeks before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, told a jury today that his efforts to confirm his strong suspicions that Mr. Moussaoui was involved in a terrorist airline hijacking plot were thwarted by senior bureau officials in Washington who acted out of negligence and a need to protect their careers.

    Harry Samit, under intense cross-examination by Mr. Moussaoui's chief court-appointed lawyer, detailed his frustration over the days before the hijacking as he made numerous requests to look into what Mr. Moussaoui had been up to at the time of his arrest. Mr. Moussaoui was arrested on immigration violations in Minnesota, where he was learning to fly a jetliner.

    "I accused the people in F.B.I. headquarters of criminal negligence" in an interview after Sept. 11, Mr. Samit acknowledged under questioning by Edward B. MacMahon Jr. He said that the senior agents in Washington "took a calculated risk not to advance the investigation" by refusing to seek search warrants for Mr. Moussaoui's belongings and computer. "The wager was a national tragedy," Mr. Samit testified.

    Mr. Samit said that two senior agents declined to provide help in getting a search warrant, either through a special panel of judges that considers applications for foreign intelligence cases or through a normal application to any federal court for a criminal investigation.

    As a field agent in Minnesota, he said he required help and approval from headquarters to continue his investigation. He acknowledged that he had written that Michael Maltbie, an agent in the F.B.I.'s radical fundamentalist unit, told him that applications for the special intelligence court warrants had proved troublesome for the bureau and seeking one "was just the kind of thing that would get F.B.I. agents in trouble." He wrote that Mr. Maltbie had told him that "he was not about to let that happen to him." During that period, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court, had complained about improper applications from the bureau.

    Mr. Samit also acknowledged that he had written that David Frasca, a supervisor of the radical fundamentalist unit, had similarly blocked him from seeking a search warrant under the more common route in a criminal investigation. Some of the special court's complaints dealt with the idea that law-enforcement officials were sometimes using the lower standard required for warrants in intelligence investigations and then using the information they obtained in criminal cases.

    Mr. Frasca, Mr. Samit explained, believed that once the Moussaoui investigation was opened as an intelligence investigation, it would arouse suspicion that agents had been trying to exploit the intelligence law to get information for an investigation they now believed was a criminal one.

    (An F.B.I. spokesman, Bill Carter, said the agency did not comment on pending trials or litigation.)

    The distinction between the two standards for obtaining warrants has since been eliminated following the Sept. 11 attacks.

    The government is trying to prove to a jury that Mr. Moussaoui should be executed because he bears some responsibility for the deaths from Sept. 11. Prosecutors have argued that if Mr. Moussaoui had told Mr. Samit and other investigators what he knew about Al Qaeda plots to fly planes into buildings, the attacks might have been foiled.

    Although Mr. Samit was a government witness who sought to bolster the government's case that he could have uncovered the plot had Mr. Moussaoui spoken to him truthfully, his responses to Mr. MacMahon today appeared to provide a lift for the defense. Mr. MacMahon sought to show that the problem was not with Mr. Moussaoui but with senior F.B.I. officials in Washington who would not budge no matter how hard Mr. Samit pressed them.

    The F.B.I.'s handling of clues to the impending Sept. 11 attacks was sharply criticized in a report by the Justice Department's inspector general's office in 2004. Citing a memo from a Phoenix agent who had become suspicious of several students taking flying lessons in Arizona, the report said the agent's memo did not get the timely attention it deserved, not so much because of individual lapses within the F.B.I. but because of "critical systemic failings" that kept information from being effectively evaluated and shared.

    The slow and incomplete attention given the memo from Phoenix was illustrative of a system "in which important information could easily 'fall through the cracks' and not be brought to the attention of the people who needed it, the inspector general's office concluded.

  4. #34
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    Jan 2005
    FBI Agent Slams Bosses at Moussaoui Trial

    By MICHAEL J. SNIFFEN , 03.20.2006, 06:36 PM

    The FBI agent who arrested Zacarias Moussaoui in August 2001 testified Monday he spent almost four weeks trying to warn U.S. officials about the radical Islamic student pilot but "criminal negligence" by superiors in Washington thwarted a chance to stop the 9/11 attacks.

    FBI agent Harry Samit of Minneapolis originally testified as a government witness, on March 9, but his daylong cross examination by defense attorney Edward MacMahon was the strongest moment so far for the court-appointed lawyers defending Moussaoui. The 37-year-old Frenchman of Moroccan descent is the only person charged in this country in connection with al-Qaida's Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

    MacMahon displayed a communication addressed to Samit and FBI headquarters agent Mike Maltbie from a bureau agent in Paris relaying word from French intelligence that Moussaoui was "very dangerous," had been indoctrinated in radical Islamic Fundamentalism at London's Finnsbury Park mosque, was "completely devoted" to a variety of radical fundamentalism that Osama bin Laden espoused, and had been to Afghanistan.

    Based on what he already knew, Samit suspected that meant Moussaoui had been to training camps there, although the communication did not say that.

    The communication arrived Aug. 30, 2001. The Sept. 11 Commission reported that British intelligence told U.S. officials on Sept 13, 2001, that Moussaoui had attended an al-Qaida training camp in Afghanistan. "Had this information been available in late August 2001, the Moussaoui case would almost certainly have received intense, high-level attention," the commission concluded.

    But Samit told MacMahon he couldn't persuade FBI headquarters or the Justice Department to take his fears seriously. No one from Washington called Samit to say this intelligence altered the picture the agent had been painting since Aug. 18 in a running battle with Maltbie and Maltbie's boss, David Frasca, chief of the radical fundamentalist unit at headquarters.

    They fought over Samit's desire for a warrant to search Moussaoui's computer and belongings. Maltbie and Frasca said Samit had not established a link between Moussaoui and terrorists.

    Samit testified that on Aug. 22 he had learned from the French that Moussaoui had recruited someone to go to Chechnya in 2000 to fight with Islamic radicals under Emir Ibn al-Khattab. He said a CIA official told him on Aug. 22 or 23 that al-Khattab had fought alongside bin Laden in the past. This, too, failed to sway Maltbie or Frasca.

    Under questioning from MacMahon, Samit acknowledged that he had told the Justice Department inspector general that "obstructionism, criminal negligence and careerism" on the part of FBI headquarters officials had prevented him from getting a warrant that would have revealed more about Moussaoui's associates. He said that opposition blocked "a serious opportunity to stop the 9/11 attacks."

    The FBI's actions between Moussaoui's arrest, in Minnesota on immigration violations on Aug. 16, 2001, and Sept. 11, 2001, are crucial to his trial because prosecutors allege that Moussaoui's lies prevented the FBI from discovering the identities of 9/11 hijackers and the Federal Aviation Administration from taking airport security steps.

    But MacMahon made clear the Moussaoui's lies never fooled Samit. The agent sent a memo to FBI headquarters on Aug. 18 accusing Moussaoui of plotting international terrorism and air piracy over the United States, two of the six crimes he pleaded guilty to in 2005.

    To obtain a death penalty, prosecutors must prove that Moussaoui's actions led directly to the death of at least one person on 9/11.

    Moussaoui pleaded guilty last April to conspiring with al-Qaida to fly planes into U.S. buildings. But he says he had nothing to do with 9/11 and was training to fly a 747 jetliner into the White House as part of a possible later attack.

    Samit's complaints echoed those raised in 2002 by Coleen Rowley, the bureau's agent-lawyer in the Minneapolis office, who tried to help get a warrant. Rowley went public with her frustrations, was named a Time magazine person of the year for whistleblowing and is now running for Congress.

    Samit revealed far more than Rowley of the details of the investigation.

    MacMahon walked Samit through e-mails and letters the agent sent seeking help from the FBI's London, Paris and Oklahoma City offices, FBI headquarters files, the CIA's counterterrorism center, the Secret Service, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Federal Aviation Administration, an intelligence agency not identified publicly by name in court (possibly the National Security Agency), and the FBI's Iran, Osama bin Laden, radical fundamentalist, and national security law units at headquarters.

    Samit described useful information from French intelligence and the CIA before 9/11 but said he was not told that CIA Director George Tenet was briefed on the Moussaoui threat on Aug. 23 and never saw until after 9/11 a memo from an FBI agent in Phoenix about radical Islamists taking flight training there.

    For each nugget of information, MacMahon asked Samit if Washington officials called to assess the implications. Time after time, Samit said no.

    MacMahon introduced an Aug. 31 letter Samit drafted "to advise the FAA of a potential threat to security of commercial aircraft" from whomever Moussaoui was conspiring with.

    But Maltbie barred him from sending it to FAA headquarters, saying he would handle that, Samit testified. The agent added that he did tell FAA officials in Minneapolis of his suspicions.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  5. #35
    Partridge Guest
    Roommate Told FBI of Moussaoui Interests

    A former roommate of confessed al-Qaida terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui told FBI agents that Moussaoui had expressed an interest in holy war and believed Muslims were within their rights to kill infidels, according to court testimony.

    A videotaped deposition of Hussein al-Attas, who roomed with Moussaoui in 2001 in Oklahoma and was with Moussaoui in Minnesota in August 2001 when he was arrested by federal agents, was to be played for the jury Tuesday when Moussaoui's death-penalty trial resumes.

    The jury got a preview of some of al-Attas' statements through the testimony Monday of Harry Samit, the FBI agent who arrested Moussaoui in August 2001 and also interrogated al-Attas.

    Samit testified that his belief that Moussaoui was a radical Islamic extremist bent on terrorism was based in part on al-Attas' statements.

    Al-Attas told Samit that Moussaoui often talked about jihad, or holy war, and that Moussaoui once pointed out to him a television report about Osama bin Laden, with Moussaoui noting that bin Laden was an important person.

    Samit testified that he worked obsessively after Moussaoui's Aug. 16, 2001, arrest to convince FBI headquarters that Moussaoui warranted a full-scale investigation and that a search warrant should be obtained for his belongings.

    The agent obtained a search warrant only after the Sept. 11 attacks, and attributed the FBI's failure to launch a timely investigation to "criminal negligence" and careerism by certain agents in FBI headquarters. The bureau's failures thwarted an opportunity to prevent the attacks, he said.

    Moussaoui is the only person charged in this country in connection with the Sept. 11 attacks.

    He has already pleaded guilty to conspiring with al-Qaida to hijack aircraft and commit other crimes. But he denies a specific role in 9/11. His sentencing trial will determine his punishment: death or life in prison.

    The FBI's actions between Moussaoui's arrest and Sept. 11 are crucial to the trial because prosecutors allege that Moussaoui's lies to Samit prevented the FBI from thwarting or at least minimizing the Sept. 11 attacks. Prosecutors must prove that Moussaoui's actions caused the death of at least one person on 9/11 to obtain a death penalty.

    The defense argues that nothing Moussaoui said after his arrest would have made any difference to the FBI because its bureaucratic intransigence rendered it incapable of reacting swiftly to Moussaoui's arrest under any circumstances.

  6. #36
    Partridge Guest
    Supervisor: I Never Read Moussaoui Memo

    A terrorism supervisor in FBI headquarters dismissed a field agent's concerns about confessed al-Qaida member Zacarias Moussaoui in the weeks before Sept. 11, 2001, as "hunches and suppositions" during testimony at Moussaoui's death-penalty trial.

    The supervisor, Michael Rolince, testified Tuesday that he had not even read an Aug. 18, 2001, memo written by Minneapolis agent Harry Samit, who arrested Moussaoui and was convinced from the outset that Moussaoui was a terrorist with plans to hijack aircraft.

    Rolince, who headed the FBI's International Terrorism Operations section, said he was briefed on Moussaoui only twice by a subordinate in hallway conversations lasting less than a minute.

    Rolince concluded that the bureau had a long way to go in building a case against Moussaoui, even though Samit had laid out in a nearly 30-page memo his reasons for believing that the bureau had built a sufficient case to launch an all-out investigation and obtain a search warrant for Moussaoui's possessions.

    "What Agent Samit's hunches and suppositions were is one thing," Rolince said. "What we knew was clearly something else."

    Samit's memo proved prescient. He correctly predicted two of the six specific charges to which Moussaoui pleaded guilty: plotting international terrorism and air piracy.

    Moussaoui is the only person in this country charged in connection with the Sept. 11 attacks. He pleaded guilty to conspiring with al-Qaida to hijack aircraft and other crimes, but he denies any role in Sept. 11. He says he was preparing for a possible future attack on the White House.

    The sentencing trial now under way will determine Moussaoui's punishment: death or life in prison.

    The FBI's actions in the time between Moussaoui's Aug. 16, 2001, arrest on immigration violations and Sept. 11, 2001, are key issues at Moussaoui's death-penalty trial. Prosecutors allege that if Moussaoui had revealed his plans for a terrorist attack, the FBI could have thwarted or at least minimized the attacks. To obtain a death penalty, prosecutors must prove that Moussaoui's actions caused the death of at least one person on Sept. 11.

    The defense argues that nothing Moussaoui said after his arrest would have made any difference to the FBI because its bureaucratic intransigence rendered it incapable of reacting swiftly to Moussaoui's arrest under any circumstances.

    U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema limited the scope of Rolince's testimony after the defense objected that he was trying to describe what the FBI would have done if it had known about Moussaoui's terrorist ties.

    The defense argued that speculative testimony based on a hypothetical confession by Moussaoui unfairly implied that Moussaoui had some obligation to confess.

    Brinkema allowed some limited hypothetical questioning but advised the jury: "Juries cannot decide cases on speculation. ... Nobody knows what would have happened."

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Witness Lists FAA Measures Available for a Pre-9/11 Tip
    An agency official is the first to give aviation testimony after a federal attorney nearly derailed the sentencing trial of Zacarias Moussaoui.

    (Gold9472: Pretty one-sided testimony wouldn't you say? What were the "tainted" witnesses going to testify about? That air traffic controller tapes were destroyed? That the FAA received multiple warnings prior to 9/11? This trial is a sham.)

    By Richard A. Serrano, Times Staff Writer
    March 23, 2006

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A week after their case nearly imploded amid allegations of witness tampering, federal prosecutors began introducing aviation testimony Wednesday in Zacarias Moussaoui's sentencing trial, hoping to prove that had he cooperated, the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks could have been prevented.

    Their first witness was Robert Cammaroto, chief of the Federal Aviation Administration's commercial airports policy division at the time of the attacks. He was allowed to testify on a limited basis after revelations last week that a Transportation Security Administration lawyer had improperly coached other federal aviation witnesses on their testimony.

    Cammaroto listed security measures that could have been implemented had Moussaoui cooperated with the FBI after he was arrested in Minnesota for visa violations on Aug. 16, 2001.

    For two hours, prosecutors methodically walked Cammaroto through his testimony. He told the court how the government could have responded to the Sept. 11 threat, and he offered new details on how the Federal Aviation Administration beefed up security when, in 1995, it was learned that Muslim extremists were plotting to blow up a dozen U.S. airliners over the Pacific Ocean.

    Cammaroto spoke with authority and the experience of 25 years in the government security field — starting as an air traffic controller, moving on to become a federal air marshal and rising to a post as one of the FAA's top law enforcement officials.

    Asked by Assistant U.S. Atty. David J. Novak how swiftly airport security officials would have reacted had Moussaoui revealed that the Sept. 11 hijackers planned to smuggle small knives aboard planes and then commandeer the cockpits, Cammaroto said:

    "It could have been done fairly quickly. In a matter of hours."

    But under cross-examination by defense lawyer Gerald T. Zerkin, Cammaroto conceded that in the late summer of 2001, the approach to airport security was far more relaxed than it is today.

    Few people envisioned planes being hijacked on suicide missions, he said, and airport gate screening operations were less stringent. Passengers often were permitted to carry aboard such items as folding knives, bottles, screwdrivers and knitting needles.

    Indeed, shown a security video of some of the Sept. 11 hijackers easily passing through checkpoints at Washington Dulles International Airport that morning, Cammaroto noted that only seven of the 19 had even been sent to a secondary screening, and none had been denied a seat.

    "It seemed an act of desperation to blow yourself up" back then, Cammaroto said.

    In the past, he said, hijackings mainly involved planes' diversion to Cuba or ransom demands. "We'd never had an incident where the bomber rode the bomb," he said.

    The aviation testimony and evidence are central to the government's argument for executing Moussaoui. Prosecutors seek to convince the jury that Moussaoui knew enough about the Sept. 11 plot to help stop it.

    But Moussaoui lied to the FBI and then refused to cooperate, sharply dividing the FBI about what to do with him.

    The FBI never sought search warrants to open his belongings and learn more about why he was training on jumbo jet simulators in Minnesota.

    The defense maintains that Moussaoui, who pleaded guilty to being a Sept. 11 conspirator last April, was a lone operator and never had any direct role or knowledge that four planes were going to be boarded that day, three of which reached targets in New York and Virginia.

    With Moussaoui's survival at stake, the government's case nearly fell apart last week when it was discovered that TSA senior attorney Carla J. Martin had improperly influenced seven TSA and FAA witnesses for the government. U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema sharply limited the government's aviation testimony and evidence to just one or two witnesses, making Cammaroto's testimony all the more crucial.

    The judge has yet to call Martin into the courtroom to explain her conduct.

    Cammaroto described half a dozen security steps the FAA could have taken to try to head off the attacks. He said more officers could have been posted immediately at airport checkpoints, and small knives and other potential weapons could have been confiscated at the gates.

    He said planes could have been searched before boarding to make sure previous passengers had not hidden bombs or weapons in overhead baggage bins or in lavatories.

    Cammaroto said flight crews could have been warned to keep cockpit doors secure, and new no-fly lists could have been posted to stop the 19 hijackers from boarding planes.

    "We could have done much of this in the course of a couple of hours," he said.

    He drew a parallel with the "Bojinka" plot, uncovered in 1995 in Manila, in which radical Islamists planned to hide liquid bombs on 12 U.S. planes and detonate them over the Pacific.

    Just as they could have done to thwart the Sept. 11 conspiracy, Cammaroto said, officials alerted the airlines about the Bojinka conspiracy, stopped passengers from carrying open drink containers aboard, and sent bomb-sniffing dogs to the Philippines. More thorough pat-downs and other passenger searches also were initiated.

    "As our intelligence improved, we were able to refine and refine and refine until we got closer to the mark," he said.

    In the end, there were no attacks.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  8. #38
    Partridge Guest
    Agent says Moussaoui could have helped FBI

    The confession given by al-Qaida terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui last year could have helped unravel the Sept. 11, 2001, plot if investigators had heard it when he was arrested in the month before the attacks, according to testimony Thursday by a former FBI agent.

    In particular, Moussaoui's admission that he received more than $14,000 in wire transfers from a man using the name of Ahad Sabet could have allowed the FBI to backtrack through Western Union, cell phone and calling-card records to identify two of the Sept. 11 hijackers, former agent Aaron Zebley said in Moussaoui's death penalty trial.

    Rulings by U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema prevent Zebley from offering explicit speculation about what the FBI could have accomplished had it known this information when Moussaoui was arrested in August 2001. But the clear implication is that Moussaoui's refusal to give a timely confession thwarted some of the FBI's best opportunities to prevent or at least minimize the Sept. 11 attacks.

    As it was, certain details came out when Moussaoui pleaded guilty in federal court in April.

    Moussaoui is the only person in this country charged in the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people when al-Qaida flew hijacked planes into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field.

    He pleaded guilty in April to conspiring with al-Qaida to hijack aircraft and commit other crimes, but he denies a specific role in 9/11. The sentencing trial now under way will determine whether he is executed or imprisoned for life, the jury's only choices.

    When Moussaoui pleaded guilty, he confessed his al-Qaida membership and divulged numerous details of his terrorist plans, including his flight training, his receipt of al-Qaida money from an individual in Germany, and al-Qaida's general plans to hijack aircraft and crash them into prominent U.S. targets.

    Zebley testified that the details of Moussaoui's confession, had they been known before 9/11, could have provided multiple leads for the FBI, including tracking al-Qaida's money trail and assigning more agents to the case.

    Earlier in the trial, the FBI agent who arrested Moussaoui said he spent four weeks warning his bosses about the radical Islamic student pilot. Harry Samit said bureaucratic resistance to his efforts to subject Moussaoui to a thorough investigation blocked "a serious opportunity to stop the 9/11 attacks."

    Moussaoui was arrested Aug. 16, 2001, on immigration violations after he aroused suspicion at a Minnesota flight school. He lied to agents and insisted his flight training was for personal enjoyment.

    To obtain the death penalty, prosecutors must prove that Moussaoui's actions caused the death of at least one person on 9/11. They argue that he could have prevented or at least minimized the attacks if he had confessed and alerted federal agents to the imminent threat posed by al-Qaida. [Partridge: Perhaps someone a bit more knowledgable can help me out here but... I recall seeing/reading somewhere that some NY official - Guliani maybe - said something to the effect that "we knew [one of the towers] was going to collapse" - yet they failed to tell the firemen in the building. Shouldn't that person also be facing the death penalty for causing 'at least one death'?]

    The defense argues that nothing Moussaoui said after his arrest would have made any difference to the FBI because its bureaucratic intransigence rendered it incapable of reacting swiftly to Moussaoui's arrest under any circumstances.

    Prosecutors argue that Moussaoui was obliged to tell the truth once he decided to talk to federal agents, and that the jury can consider what might have happened if Moussaoui had confessed.

    Meanwhile, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered Brinkema to make public copies of certain documents, videos and photographs the day after they are introduced as evidence. Brinkema had been withholding them until the trial's end. The court acted in a lawsuit brought by nine news and reporters' organizations, including The Associated Press.

  9. #39
    Partridge Guest
    Meanwhile, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered Brinkema to make public copies of certain documents, videos and photographs the day after they are introduced as evidence. Brinkema had been withholding them until the trial's end. The court acted in a lawsuit brought by nine news and reporters' organizations, including The Associated Press.

    The Pentagon videos?!?!?

  10. #40
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Families' Hope For Answers At 9/11 Trial Is Unfulfilled
    With New Information Scant, Frustration and Pain Mingle

    By Timothy Dwyer
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Saturday, March 25, 2006; Page A08

    Eleni Kousoulis carries a glossy photograph of her sister, Danielle, who was killed at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. She brought it to the seventh-floor courtroom of U.S. District Court in Alexandria this week when she and her mother, Zoe, made the trip from their home in Merion, Pa.

    They had watched some of the death penalty trial of Zacarias Moussaoui on closed-circuit television in the courthouse in Philadelphia -- where only a few people have come each day -- but wanted to see Moussaoui in person and feel what it was like to sit a few feet away from him.

    "It was emotional at times, especially when you see him smiling and laughing," Kousoulis said.

    Moussaoui has pleaded guilty to conspiring with al-Qaeda in the attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center, and the government is seeking his execution.

    The prosecution rested its case Thursday. For the families that have been watching the trial or keeping track of it, the process has been painful, frustrating and, sometimes, unsatisfying. What many of them were looking for, besides justice, was information about the day their loved ones were killed or injured and what the government could have done to prevent the attacks.

    "There was one young lady I was talking to in court one day, and she was saying that the government is on trial as much as Moussaoui," said Abraham Scott of Arlington, a regular spectator whose wife, Janis, died in the plane that crashed into the Pentagon. "And in a sense she was right. They are both on trial."

    Family members interviewed yesterday said they thought that prosecutors had a difficult case to prove -- that the Sept. 11 attacks could have been prevented had Moussaoui not lied when he was arrested by the FBI in August 2001. Some were angry at Carla J. Martin, a lawyer with the Transportation Security Administration whose coaching of witnesses prompted key testimony from Federal Aviation Administration employees to be disallowed.

    "I'm not satisfied," said Rosemary Dillard of Alexandria, whose husband, Eddie, was also on the plane that hit the Pentagon. "I was definitely expecting more information to come out at the trial. It is still not a clear picture. It is very blurred for me."

    Others gave the prosecutors credit.

    "I think they did the best they could with what they had," said Kousoulis, a lawyer with the federal public defender's office in Delaware.

    She said that she welcomed Moussaoui's promise to testify; he could take the stand as early as Monday. "I would love it," she said. "I think he would be stupid to testify, but I would love him to get on the witness stand, love to hear what he had to say to see if he could give us more information than what we have now."

    Congress and U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema designated federal courthouses in Boston, Newark, Philadelphia and New York and on Long Island, N.Y., where families can watch the trial. In addition, a courtroom in Alexandria has been set aside for viewing the broadcast. Only family members with special passes are allowed in, so it is difficult to gauge the turnout.

    Zoe Kousoulis said that in Philadelphia, attendance had ranged from a half-dozen people to one or two.

    The half-dozen people who gather daily to watch the trial in U.S. District Court in Boston have come up with a name for themselves.

    "The Usual Suspects," said Blake Allison of Hanover, N.H., whose wife, Anna Allison, was killed on American Airlines Flight 11, which struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

    Allison said he thought the prosecution was hurt by the testimony of FBI agent Harry Samit, who said that he sent reports to FBI headquarters with more than 70 references to Moussaoui as a terrorist and that the FBI declined his requests to open a criminal investigation or get a search warrant.

    "I have felt from the outset that Moussaoui didn't deserve the death penalty for his role in this because I did have doubts about his relationship to the events of Sept. 11," Allison said. "And the prosecutors have done nothing to alter my opinion. . . . I was hoping that this would bring to light information that would put the events into a more clear light, and I am very disappointed that that has not happened."

    He said that the elimination of some of the FAA testimony gutted half of the prosecution's case and prevented the families from hearing what the FAA would have done, or did, to prevent the attacks.

    Cathie Ong-Herrera, whose sister, Betty Ong, was a flight attendant on Flight 11, traveled from California to Alexandria during the first week of testimony and has been following it closely in news reports.

    She said Martin damaged "the prosecution case and kept it from going the way that it was supposed to go. For the families, I think I have to say that we were hoping to learn more than we already know, and she hurt the case as far as helping us get more information."

    Sheila Langone, whose two sons -- a firefighter and a police officer -- were killed at the World Trade Center, said she feared that Martin's misstep will spare Moussaoui's life.

    "I am of the opinion right now that he will not get the death penalty," she said. "I think that little screw-up kind of messed things up. I would hope that it wouldn't affect it, but I think it will."

    She said the trial proved to her that "there is an awful lot in our government that needs to be straightened out. The FBI doesn't talk to the CIA, and the CIA doesn't talk to anyone else."
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

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