Military Commission

Recall President Obama’s foreign policy; Constitutional rights to 9/11 war criminals

Between now and Election Day 2012, 9/11 Families for a Safe & Strong America will take a look back at President Barack Obama’s foreign policy. Today, we remember this:

November 2009:

Attorney General Eric Holder wants to fly Khalid Sheikh Mohammed into New York City, cloak him and his four “co-defendants” with liberties they would deny every American, and gamble he can get the worst of the worst past a gauntlet of federal judges and Supreme Court Justices.

Lower Manhattan is hallowed ground. … Twelve days after 9/11, [my family and I] attended a meeting of families and firefighters near Ground Zero. As I stepped from the car, my shoes sunk down into perhaps inch-deep pulverized concrete. It was seeded with the molecules of several thousand precious souls and the blood of hundreds of heroes; that dust also covered nearby Foley Square and the same federal courthouse where Eric Holder wants to give war criminals due process.

In the air and on the ground, those were all war crimes. Military Commissions were created by Congress to prosecute them and protect national security, both Presidents Obama and Bush have signed the Military Commissions Act into law, and the Supreme Court has recently confirmed them as Constitutional. 9/11 was not a tragedy or homicide; it was an act of genocide committed by war criminals.

It is also worth recalling that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has freely admitted his war crimes. Stark evidence proving his assertions was found with him when he was captured:

March 15, 2007: WASHINGTON (CNN) — Admitted 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed told a U.S. military tribunal he personally beheaded Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in 2002, the Pentagon revealed Thursday.

“I decapitated with my blessed right hand the head of the American Jew, Daniel Pearl, in the city of Karachi, Pakistan,” said a Pentagon transcript of Saturday’s hearing. “For those who would like to confirm, there are pictures of me on the Internet holding his head.”

The admission was part of testimony that was originally removed from a Pentagon transcript of Mohammed’s tribunal at the U.S. military base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

He also said he was the mastermind behind the September 11, 2001, attacks.

“I was responsible for the 9/11 operation, from A to Z,” Mohammed said through a military representative.

According to the 26-page transcript, a computer hard drive seized during Mohammed’s capture contained photographs of the 19 hijackers and a paper listing the pilot license fees for Mohammed Atta. Atta, the alleged ringleader of the attacks, flew one of the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center.

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.

Statement from 9/11 Families on the President’s Decision to Prosecute 9/11 Cases in Military Commissions

Media Advisory
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 4, 2011

Statement from 9/11 Families on the President’s Decision to Prosecute 9/11 Cases in Military Commissions

New York, NY — April 4, 2011 — We are relieved that President Obama has abandoned his plan to try the 9/11 conspirators in a civilian court on U.S. soil. Prosecuting war criminals, whose only connection to this country is the location of their victims, in military commissions, is the right thing to do. Justice, long overdue, is now in sight for the victims of this savage attack. We are grateful to the president for reversing his decision, conveyed to families just last month, to go forward with civilian trials and to seek repeal of congressional legislation that stripped funding for that effort. This enraged victims’ families, who are facing the 10th anniversary of the attacks this year.

We have great confidence in the military commissions legal framework, which is fair, lawful and effective and consistent with our tradition and values as a nation. We thank the American people for standing with us, and wish to express our profound gratitude to the prosecutors and staff at the Office of Military Commissions, who have never wavered from their commitment to these cases and to the pursuit of justice for our loved ones and this country.

Contacts:

Tim Sumner

Debra Burlingame
media@911familiesforamerica.org

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.