Monthly Archives: May 2011

Military Commission 9/11 murder and conspiracy charges to be resworn against KSM et al

We received tonight from the Office of Military Commssions that the charges against Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his four senior cohorts will be resworn Tuesday:

30 May 2011
2000 hours

Dear 9/11 Families,

We wanted to inform you that charges will be sworn tomorrow against Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Walid Bin ‘Attash, Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, and Mustafa al Hawsawi for their involvement in the September 11, 2001 attacks. The eight charges common to all five of the accused are: 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, Hijacking Aircraft, and Terrorism.

The Conspiracy charge details 167 overt acts allegedly committed in furtherance of the 9/11 attacks, and alleges the following against the five accused in the following order:

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is alleged to have been 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 U.S. air carriers in order to assist in formulating the hijacking plan. It is also alleged that he provided a letter to Usama bin Laden detailing his findings on airport security, including how to get a razor-knife on board an aircraft.

Ramzi Binalshibh is alleged to have originally been selected by Usama bin Laden to be one of the September 11th pilot-hijackers with his Hamburg, Germany associates Mohamed Atta, Ziad Jarrah, and Marwan al Shehhi. It is alleged that after filming a “martyr video” in preparation for the operation, but then failing four times to get a visa to travel to the United States to attend flight school, Binalshibh continued to assist the conspiracy by engaging in numerous financial transactions in support of the 9/11 operation. It is also alleged that Binalshibh then became the communication hub between the pilot-hijackers and senior al Qaeda leadership regarding the planning details of the operation.

Ali Abdul Aziz Ali is alleged to have sent approximately $120,000 to the pilot-hijackers for their expenses and flight training, and alleged to have facilitated travel to the United States for nine of the hijackers. It is also alleged that Ali attempted to enter the United States just prior to the September 11th 2001 attacks but was denied a U.S. visa to travel.

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 around September 11th, 2001.

These charges are allegations and the five accused are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by a military commission.

After charges have been sworn, they will be presented to the Legal Advisor for the Convening Authority (CA) for his review and advice. After this review, the CA – in his sole discretion – may then refer the charges to a military commission. The CA will also determine whether or not to refer the charges to a capital military commission (meaning whether or not the death penalty will be sought in the case). If referred (capital or non-capital), a military judge would then be assigned and a panel of eligible military officers would be selected as potential members of the military commission. The accused would then be arraigned within 30 days of the service of the referred charges.

Did enhanced interrogations of high-value detainees work, lead to bin Laden, and were they ethical?

Today at the American Enterprise Institute, panelists Elisa Massimino of Human Rights First, former Attorney General Judge Michael Mukasey, former Acting General Counsel of the CIA John Rizzo, AEI fellow Marc Thiessen, and Brookings Institute fellow Benjamin Wittes discussed whether the enhanced interrogations of high-value detainees worked, lead to Osama bin Laden, and if they were ethical. One interesting point made by John Rizzo was while he served at the CIA until October 2009, the current administration asked the CIA to recommend a list of interrogation techniques above those in the Army Field Manual:

I hope to someday hear a robust debate on the ethics of not aggressively interrogating high-value detainees. One way you protect civilians during war is to deny Geneva Convention protections to unlawful combatants — a right to remain silent — to not allow them to only give their name, rank, date of birth, and serial number.

Debra Burlingame: ‘Those interrogators, CIA case officers are patriots’

Debra Burlingame was interviewed on WMAL radio this morning about her confronting Barack Obama during a meeting at Ground Zero. She explained her reasons for asking the President to express his opinion to Attorney General about dropping the investigation of CIA officers who conducted the enhanced interrogations of detainees:

Try as they might, the Obama administration can not deny the courier was first identified and determined to be a valuable person to find and follow in the hunt for Osama bin Laden during those enhanced interrogations.

Debra Burlingame on Ground Zero meeting with President Obama and CIA interrogations investigation

Debra Burlingame was one of fifty 9/11 family members who met in a closed-door meeting with President Barack Obama today near Ground Zero. She asked him, considering that by all reports the enhanced interrogations of high-value detainees was “part of the mosaic” of the intelligence that led to Osama bin Laden, if he would at least give his opinion to Attorney General Eric Holder about dropping the investigation of CIA interrorgators. President Obama replied, “No, I won’t.” Here is the video of her Fox News interview:

Debra Burlingame: Obama’s bin Laden photo and burial decisions ‘play right into’ enemy’s hand

Debra Burlingame, the sister of pilot Charles “Chic” Burlingame III whose plane was hijacked and flown into the Pentagon on 9/11, discussed with Neil Cavuto today yesterday President Barack Obama’s decision to not release Osama bin Laden’s death photos and to give him a respectful sea burial.

Before watching the video, consider this: America is allegedly at war against al Qaeda and its violent affiliates; Obama (and Bush before him) is not at war alone against this enemy. Killing bin Laden was a major tactical victory and we, America, needed to use it to demoralize the enemy towards total victory. And we needed to exploit whatever intelligence that was gathered during the operation. So, what did this adminstration do? They bragged about the kinds of intelligence gathered at the scene for the sole purpose of domestic political popularity and undermined the intelligence value of what was gathered. Obama and his administration deserve condemnation for putting their political aspirations ahead of the interests of protecting the American people and defeating the enemy.

Obama has stated that al Qaeda’s ideology is “a perversion of Islam,” bin Laden “murdered Muslims on September 11,” and the latter “was not a Muslim leader.” Why give a perverted, mass-murdering, non-Muslim a religious ceremony in line with Muslim tradition?

Nothing has been found of 1,125 of those slaughtered on 9/11; their families had no body to respectfully prepare, to pray over, or to properly lay to rest. My wife lost her brother that day. I would have bagged bin Laden up, weighed him down, and tossed him over the side with the garbage.