World Trade Center

Supreme Court appeal denied for 1993 WTC bomber

From the New York Daily News:

Fifteen years after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, a Palestinian sentenced to more than 100 years in prison in the attack claims that a vengeful U.S. government has blocked him from appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court. Ahmad Mohammed Ajaj, who remains in extreme isolation in the nation’s most secure prison, filed a lawsuit last year in U.S. District Court in Manhattan against more than a dozen judges, federal court employees, Bureau of Prisons officials and his former defense lawyer Maranda Fritz. He said they failed to notify him of appeals court rulings and blocked his access to what he would need for a Supreme Court appeal of his conviction on conspiracy charges in the Feb. 26, 1993, bombing, which killed six people and injured more than 1,000 others.

In his court papers, Ajaj describes a grim existence at the Colorado prison in which he was forced to wear waist and leg chain irons for prison video conferences with the courts. He said his lack of access to the courts has left him depressed and with chronic low self-esteem and stress.

It sounds to me like the guards at Colorado’s Supermax prison are doing a fine job.

Garbage dump no place of honor for 9/11 dead

Nothing of 1,100 of those murdered at the World Trade Center has been identified and more than a million tons of debris from that site was moved to Fresh Kills and ultimately placed on top of garbage. New York City saved $58 million dollars in FEMA funding by “finishing” sifting operations a year ahead of schedule. Mayor Michael Bloomberg continues to block moving the WTC debris to an area within the Fresh Kills landfill where garbage was never dumped and to erect there an international memorial.

The following are excerpts from commentary in this morning’s New York Daily News by 9/11 family members Anthony Gardner and Diane Horning:

Directly after the World Trade Center attacks, debris from the site was carted off to Staten Island’s Fresh Kills landfill. And there it sits, nearly seven years later, on the 48 acres that are called Hills 1 and 9. The hills contain household trash and about 1 million tons of World Trade Center material — including 200,000 tons from the first 32 days after the attacks that we believe was never sifted. The remains of our loved ones are there, too. While critics can argue that it’s unlikely, the lessons of the former Deutsche Bank building — where more than 700 human remains were found years after the attacks — have taught us otherwise.

A landfill is no place to honor the dead. And yet, the families of those killed in the largest attack on American soil are forced to pay their respects at our nation’s largest garbage dump. This is a national disgrace. Where is their Arlington? It’s time for this city to create a place worthy of all those who perished on Sept. 11, 2001. That’s why we are fighting for a permanent and proper final resting place for the remains at Fresh Kills

The mayor is entitled to his opinions, but these casualties of war deserve to rest in peace, not in garbage.