Debra Burlingame

9/11 Families Respond to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: (914) 844-3146 Media@911familiesforamerica.org

9/11 Families Respond to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi

New York, NY, August, 18 — For the last four months, 9/11 families, first responders, survivors and concerned citizens have been asking where developers are getting funding for a $100-million dollar mosque and Islamic center planned for Ground Zero. The imam who is heading the project has refused to identify the source of the $5 million cash that was used to purchase the building, and told an Arab newspaper that he will get funding for the project from Arab and Muslim countries. Given the imam’s statements, that America was “an accessory to the crime” on 9/11, that “Osama Bin Laden was made in the U.S.A.” as well as his repeated refusal to condemn Hamas, we believe he has an obligation to come clean to the public on his financial sources. Our concern has been amplified by news that the imam’s worldwide “Shariah Index Project” is being funded by the Malaysian government, and that he is a principal figure in the Perdana Global Peace Project, the number one funder of the Gaza Flotilla, a violent attempt to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza.

Today we learn that instead of taking our concerns seriously, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi suggested that the opponents of the Ground Zero mosque should be investigated. This comment is clearly intended to intimidate those of us who are speaking out to preserve the sanctity of Ground Zero, where more than 20,000 human remains have been recovered, 1,845 in the last five years. We can assure Ms. Pelosi that whatever funds we have spent to get our message out, they pale in comparison to the price we have personally paid since that day, and continue to pay as a result of the mosque project. The vast majority of the American people support us. They lived through September 11 with us, and they know, as we do, that this not a “local issue.” What happened on 9/11 affected all Americans.

Debra Burlingame
Tim Sumner
Co-founders, 9/11 Families for a Safe & Strong America

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www.911familiesforamerica.org
www.stopthe911mosque.com

Urgent Action Alert: nomination of Deputy Attorney General James Cole Must Be Stopped

Urgent Action Alert for [today]! A message from Debra Burlingame of 911 Families for a Safe and Strong America.

Dear 9/11 Families and Friends:

President Obama has nominated James Cole to be the Deputy Attorney General (DAG) at the the Department of Justice. This is a critically important position. While Attorney General Eric Holder is the nominal head of the Justice Department, it is the deputy attorney general who actually runs the day-to-day operations of the entire department. For instance, it was Mr. Holder who, as DAG during the Clinton administration, orchestrated the Sept. 1999 clemencies of 16 terrorists belonging to the FALN, a Puerto Rican separatist group that carried out 146 bombings which killed 9 people and maimed NYPD bomb squad officers. Mr. Holder also facilitated and pushed through the pardon of fugitive Marc Rich, who made billions of dollars engaging in illegal oil trades on behalf of Iranian ayatollahs. Today, the DAG has a pivotal role in formulating and executing decisions dealing with the policy issues surrounding the capture, detention, interrogation and prosecution of suspected Islamic terrorists.

So who is James Cole? As a partner at the law firm of Bryan Cave, he represented Prince Naif Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, a member of the Saudi royal family and one of the defendants in the 9/11 lawsuit filed on behalf of 9/11 Families against the government of Saudi Arabia and other Saudi individuals by the law firm of Motley Rice. Prince Naif ran the Al Haramain Foundation, a Saudi charity designated in 2004 by the U.S. Treasury Department as a facilitator of terrorism which diverted charitable funds to Al Qaeda both before and after Sept.11, 2001.

Additionally, in 2006, Mr. Cole was also appointed as an independent overseer of insurance giant AIG. The whistleblower non-profit, Government Accountability Project, has come out against his nomination due to the gross irregularities that happened while he was charged with oversight responsibilities prior to its 2008 collapse. See http://www.whistleblower.org/blog/31-2010/529-aig-monitor-james-cole-wrong-choice-for-deputy-attorney-general

In light of this history, it is impossible to fathom how Mr. Cole can ethically carry out his duties and responsibilities as the de facto head of the Justice Department while U.S. troops are fighting terrorists who receive funding and support from organizations associated with the Saudi government and their proxies. This is a direct conflict of interest. Given Saudi NGOs’ continued involvement in terrorist facilitation world-wide and their connection to the Saudi royal family, this conflict of interest will cripple Mr. Cole’s ability to ethically perform his duties as head of a department charged with investigating and prosecuting terrorist facilitators associated with or working for the Saudi government.

Below is an op-ed published by Mr. Cole just two days before the first anniversary of 9/11, in which he compares 9/11 to drug crimes, ordinary murder, rape and mafia-type crimes, saying that the “war on drugs” is actually “a longer term and far more devastating disaster for our country in terms of the number of people affected…” Ironically, Mr. Cole says that the only factor which distinguishes those crimes and the “tragedies of Sept. 11? is that “foreign organizations, possibly even foreign governments, were involved in the planning, funding and carrying out of the Sept. 11 attacks.”

Further, Mr. Cole has gone on record opposing military commissions for any detainees, stating that military commissions are an inferior form of justice which do not provide defendants with adequate due process protections. In light of the fact that the Obama administration continues to drag its feet on an announcement regarding the forum and venue for the trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the other admitted 9/11 conspirators, Mr. Cole’s nomination is an alarming signal. The public is overwhelmingly opposed to holding these trials in New York federal court. Clearly, the administration needs to hear from us again.

Mr. Cole is scheduled to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Tuesday, June 15. The hearing, calendared so quickly after the announcement of Mr. Cole’s nomination, appears calculated to capitalize on the media’s attention on the oil spill crisis in the Gulf, and to limit our ability to mount public objection.

I urge all 9/11 family members and friends who were disappointed that the administration opposed the 9/11 Families’ opportunity to have their day in court in the Saudi lawsuit, to contact the President Obama, Attorney General Holder, and members of Congress, and express your adamant objection to Mr. Cole’s nomination to Deputy Attorney General.

Respectfully,

Debra Burlingame
Co-founder, 9/11 Families for a Safe & Strong America
www.911familesforamerica.org
media@911familiesforamerica.org

See the 9/11 Families Legal Complaint: http://www.investigativeproject.org/documents/case_docs/1239.pdf

Keep America Safe Statement In Response To President Obama’s New Role In The KSM Debate

Keep America Safe Statement In Response To President Obama’s New Role In The KSM Debate

“We welcome President Obama’s decision to engage on a matter of vital national security. The process by which 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will be tried, and the location of the trial, require the urgent attention of our Commander in Chief.

“We also welcome the administration’s newfound openness to prosecuting KSM in a military commission. Military commissions, which have been used since the beginning of American history, have been authorized by Congress and are the appropriate way to deal with war criminals during wartime. Moreover, they support bedrock principles of international humanitarian law that afford privileges to those who adhere to the laws of war. Rewarding those who savagely target civilians with all the rights and privileges of American citizens in our civilian courts incentivizes them to continue attacking civilians.

“An overwhelming, bipartisan majority of Americans believe that captured terrorists should be treated as enemy combatants and face military justice. They are right and it’s time for President Obama to start listening to the American people.”

Liz Cheney, Bill Kristol and Debra Burlingame
Board of Directors
Keep America Safe