Huffington Post reports:
A judge expressed frustration on Monday that an unknown U.S. government entity censored his courtroom audiovisual feed, cutting public access to pretrial hearings for five accused Sept. 11 plotters.
“If some external body is turning the commission on or off based on their own views of what things ought to be, with no reasonable explanation … then we’re going to have a little meeting about who turns that light on and off,” said the judge, Col. James Pohl.
Pohl’s comments came after an unknown censor cut off a live media feed to the court proceedings as David Nevin, a lawyer defending Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, began discussing his request for information on his client’s case.
A court security officer positioned next to the judge has the ability to dump the feed if anything secret arises. That officer didn’t activate the censorship button on Monday.
“I would like to know who has the permission to turn that light on and off, who is listening to this, who is controlling these proceedings, or controlling that aspect of these proceedings,” Nevin said.
This is just one of a series of outrages regarding investigation and trial of alleged 9/11 terrorists.
In 2008, the former chief prosecutor for Guantánamo’s military commissions disclosed that the trials have been rigged to prevent the possibility of acquittal. Specifically, the head of the Guantanamo tribunal — who is actually in charge of both prosecuting and defending the suspects — told the former chief prosecutor:
Wait a minute, we can’t have acquittals. If we’ve been holding these guys for so long, how can we explain letting them get off? We can’t have acquittals, we’ve got to have convictions.
In addition, three other Guantanamo prosecutors — Maj. Robert Preston, Capt. John Carr and Capt. Carrie Wolf — “asked to be relieved of duties after saying they were concerned that the process was rigged. One said he had been assured he didn’t need to worry about building a proper case; convictions were assured.”
Another former Guantanamo prosecutor resigned, saying in a sworn declaration that the government pulled all sorts of shenanigans in one case.
No wonder the American Bar Association, “which the Pentagon had said would help arrange such representation, has refused to participate because it objects to the trial procedures.” And no wonder the defense attorneys who have agreed to represent the defendants say that the process is completely unfair. See also this interview.
MSNBC speculated that the U.S. put a “stun belt” on alleged terrorist Moussaoui during his trial to keep him in line:
9/11 Commissioners Slam Blatant Obstruction of Justice
The 9/11 Commissioners publicly expressed anger at cover ups and obstructions of justice by the government into a real 9/11 investigation:
- The Commission’s co-chairs said that the CIA (and likely the White House) “obstructed our investigation”
- 9/11 Commissioner Bob Kerrey said that “There are ample reasons to suspect that there may be some alternative to what we outlined in our version . . . We didn’t have access . . . .”
- 9/11 Commissioner Timothy Roemer said “We were extremely frustrated with the false statements we were getting”
- 9/11 Commissioner Max Cleland resigned from the Commission, stating: “It is a national scandal”; “This investigation is now compromised”; and “One of these days we will have to get the full story because the 9-11 issue is so important to America. But this White House wants to cover it up”
- The Senior Counsel to the 9/11 Commission (John Farmer) – who led the 9/11 staff’s inquiry – said “At some level of the government, at some point in time…there was an agreement not to tell the truth about what happened“. He also said “I was shocked at how different the truth was from the way it was described …. The tapes told a radically different story from what had been told to us and the public for two years…. This is not spin. This is not true.”
And the Co-Chair of the official Congressional Inquiry Into 9/11 – and former head of the Senate Intelligence Committee – has called for a new 9/11 investigation.
Some examples of obstruction of justice into the 9/11 investigation include:
- An FBI informant hosted and rented a room to two hijackers in 2000. Specifically, investigators for the Congressional Joint Inquiry discovered that an FBI informant had hosted and even rented a room to two hijackers in 2000 and that, when the Inquiry sought to interview the informant, the FBI refused outright, and then hid him in an unknown location, and that a high-level FBI official stated these blocking maneuvers were undertaken under orders from the White House. As the New York Times notes:
Senator Bob Graham, the Florida Democrat who is a former chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, accused the White House on Tuesday of covering up evidence ….The accusation stems from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s refusal to allow investigators for a Congressional inquiry and the independent Sept. 11 commission to interview an informant, Abdussattar Shaikh, who had been the landlord in San Diego of two Sept. 11 hijackers.
- The chairs of both the 9/11 Commission and the Official Congressional Inquiry into 9/11 said that Soviet-style government “minders” obstructed the investigation into 9/11 by intimidating witnesses
- The 9/11 Commissioners concluded that officials from the Pentagon lied to the Commission, and considered recommending criminal charges for such false statements
- The tape of interviews of air traffic controllers on-duty on 9/11 was intentionally destroyed by crushing the cassette by hand, cutting the tape into little pieces, and then dropping the pieces in different trash cans around the building as shown by this NY Times article (summary version is free; full version is pay-per-view) and by this article from the Chicago Sun-Times
- As reported by ACLU, FireDogLake, RawStory and many others, declassified documents shows that Senior Bush administration officials sternly cautioned the 9/11 Commission against probing too deeply into the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001
Both the 9/11 Trials and the 9/11 Commission Investigation Were Based on Unreliable Evidence Produced by Torture
The CIA videotaped the interrogation of 9/11 suspects, falsely told the 9/11 Commission that there were no videotapes or other records of the interrogations, and then illegally destroyed all of the tapes and transcripts of the interrogations.
9/11 Commission co-chairs Thomas Keane and Lee Hamilton wrote:
Those who knew about those videotapes — and did not tell us about them — obstructed our investigation.
The chief lawyer for Guantanamo litigation – Vijay Padmanabhan – said that torture of 9/11 suspects was widespread. And Susan J. Crawford, the senior Pentagon official overseeing the military commissions at Guantánamo — the novel system of trials for terror suspects that was conceived in the wake of the 9/11 attacks — told Bob Woodward:
We tortured Qahtani. His treatment met the legal definition of torture.
Moreover, the type of torture used by the U.S. on the Guantanamo suspects is of a special type. Senator Levin revealed that the the U.S. used Communist torture techniques specifically aimed at creating false confessions. (and see this, this, this and this). And according to NBC News:
- Much of the 9/11 Commission Report was based upon the testimony of people who were tortured
- At least four of the people whose interrogation figured in the 9/11 Commission Report have claimed that they told interrogators information as a way to stop being “tortured.”
- One of the Commission’s main sources of information was tortured until he agreed to sign a confession that he was NOT EVEN ALLOWED TO READ
- The 9/11 Commission itself doubted the accuracy of the torture confessions, and yet kept their doubts to themselves