Gitmo

Rep. Marsha Blackburn works to PROTECT America from GITMO Detainees

Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (R, TN-7) has introduced H.R. 4836, the PROTECT Act, to criminalize the transfer of detainees held at Guantanamo Bay to the United States. Congressman Frank Wolf (R, VA-10) co-sponsored the bill.

Rep. Blackburn explains in the video below why this legislation is necessary.

Note: 9/11 Families for a Safe & Strong America supports the legislation, as noted by Rep. Blackburn during her House floor speech.

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.

KSM trial non-decision angers 9/11 family members; Obama ‘changes’ stance on Gitmo tribunals

I participated in yesterday’s White House conference call briefing to 9/11 family members; they provided us nothing new as to when or where Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his lieutenant co-conspirators would be tried.

The Washington Times reported this morning:

Debra Burlingame, co-founder of 9/11 Families for a Safe and Strong America and a board member of Keep America Safe, said she was upset at the White House after participating in a conference call with families of the victims of 9/11. “What we heard today is that despite the fact that Congress has closed every loophole for trying Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and his co-conspirators in Article III courts, the White House is persistent in defying the will of the American people and plans to do it anyway,” she said.

The briefers stated to us, “President Obama remains committed to using Article III courts for terrorists,” and added, “The President will work with Congress to lift the restrictions imposed in December 2010.” Last month, the House passed legislation that would extend the bar to all federal agencies imposed against using DOD funding for transferring Gitmo detainees to the U.S.

All of the questions during the call came from 9/11 family members.

The White House could not say how the Justice Department would overcome objections by officials in New York, Virginia, and Pennsylvania to 9/11 civilian trials in those states and reconcile such a decision with 6th Amendment requirements. They could not provide information as to when the decision would be made. They dodged questions about why Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his cohorts were not being tried by Military Commission, at Guantanamo, and not being placed at that “top of the list.” They disputed one family member’s assertion that the 9/11 plotters were not being given top priority but provided no evidence to support their counter-argument. One 9/11 family member tersely told White House briefers, “This call is a waste of time.”

Many aging parents of the 2,976 slaughtered on 9/11 will not live to see justice done for the war crimes committed against their loved ones. But President Obama is “taking the issue off the table” for the 2012 election campaign; it will be “all Congress’s fault” if they do not let him bring foreign enemies onto U.S. soil and bestow them with Constitutional rights.