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Guantánamo judge unplugs hidden censors from 9/11 trial

(MIAMI HERALD)   The military judge presiding at the Sept. 11 trial Thursday ordered the government to unplug any outside censors who can reach into his courtroom and silence the war crimes tribunal.

Only a court security officer sitting in court, at the judge’s elbow, has the authority to hit a mute button on the proceedings if there’s a suspicion that national security information could be spilled, Judge James L. Pohl announced.

At issue was a mysterious episode Monday when the sound to spectators was suddenly replaced by white noise in court after 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed’s attorney David Nevin said the word “secret.”

Nobody inside court did it. The judge erupted in anger, and appeared surprised that “some external body” had the power to prevent the public from listening to the proceedings — which are broadcast in the spectator’s gallery on a 40-second delay.

“This is the last time that will happen,” the judge said Thursday. “No third party can unilaterally cut off the broadcast.”

The court was just beginning to tackle a defense request that the judge issue a protective order on whatever remnants exist of the CIA’s secret overseas prison network. President Barack Obama ordered those facilities closed on taking office.

Defense lawyers say the five men now charged as the alleged plotters of the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackings were tortured at those places. The chief prosecutor, Army Brig. Gen. Mark Martins, says no evidence obtained other than voluntarily will be used at their death-penalty trial.

Pohl never once mentioned the CIA, the agency that controls information about what happened to alleged mastermind Mohammed, who agents waterboarded 183 times, and his four co-defendants. Instead, he referred to the “OCA” — short for the original classification authority — a generic term for any agency of the U.S. government that stamped a document or declared a program Top Secret.

“This is the last time that an OCA or any third party will be permitted to unilaterally decide if the broadcast should be suspended. The OCA, any OCA does not work for the commission and therefore has no independent decision-making authority on how these proceedings are to be conducted.”

“An OCA does not work for the commission,” he said, using the Pentagon term for the war court, “and has no independent decision-making authority on how these proceedings are to be conducted.” On Tuesday, civilian 9/11 prosecutor Joanna Baltes cast the role of the OCA as an approved extension of the military commissions.

“The OCA, original classification authority, reviews closed-circuit feed of the proceedings to conduct a classification review to ensure that classified information is not inadvertently disclosed,” she said in a note to the judge. “When the parties do press the mute button on the microphone, no audio is transmitted through the closed feed.”

It was not immediately clear if the judge would order the prosecution to present a witness to swear that outside censor buttons had been unplugged. Defense lawyers asked the judge to have the war crimes prosecutor certify it, once done.

In another major decision, the judge ordered the Pentagon’s most senior official responsible for the war court, retired Vice Adm. Bruce MacDonald, to testify in a pre-trial hearing the week of Feb. 11. Pentagon prosecutors had opposed the testimony of MacDonald, whose formal title is “convening authority” and whose responsibility includes reviewing charges sheets and approving prosecutions.

Defense lawyers want Pohl to throw the case out because of “unlawful command influence,” a military expression for inappropriate meddling by a senior officer. MacDonald becomes the most senior U.S. government official ordered to testify at Guantánamo. Martins, the chief prosecutor, said MacDonald would testify in person at the court rather than by video-teleconference.

The drama of the day occurred out of earshot of the five men accused of conspiring in the Sept. 11 hijackings that killed nearly 3,000 people in New York, Pennsylvania and at the Pentagon. Mohammed and the others declined to attend the hearing, a pre-trial prerogative the judge has granted them, and also declined an offer to listen to him remotely.

Monday’s outside censorship episode occurred on the first day of proceedings after the judge formally approved the 40-second audio delay in the Sept. 11 trial, rejecting an American Civil Liberties Union argument that it transformed a live court into a “censorship chamber.”

The way the Guantánamo war court works is, spectators watch the proceedings live inside a soundproof room at the back of the court, hearing the audio 40 seconds later. If the court security officer functioning as a censor deems what is being said is a national security secret, he pushes a button and obscures the sound with white noise.

A red emergency light then spins in court to signal to everyone inside the tribunal chamber that the outside world can no longer hear them.

White noise has silenced the court three times since Mohammed and his fellow defendants were arraigned on May 5, and in each instance the judge or prosecutor concluded it was not legitimately censored, or “closure” as the lawyers and judge refer to it. All three instances occurred while defense lawyers were speaking — two of them U.S. military officers arguing to the judge in uniform.

http://m.miamiherald.com/mh/db_42942/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=ZBiRJfP2&full=true#display

9/11 hero firefighter who featured in iconic photo dies after contracting rare lung disease from working at Ground Zero

(DAILY MAIL)   A hero firefighter who bravely served on September 11th alongside hundreds of other first responders has died of a rare lung condition, and was laid to rest yesterday.

FDNY Lt Martin Fullam contracted polymyositis in 2005, and had also suffered from pulmonary fibrosis, which left him breathless and exhausted after the simplest of tasks.

The late firefighter, 56, was one of the men carrying fatally wounded FDNY Chaplain Mychal Judge through the still-smoking rubble on 9/11. 

The image of Lt Fullam and four others carrying the chaplain has remained one of the most poignant and haunting pictures from that horrific day.

Hundreds of members of New York’s bravest gathered Saturday afternoon on Staten Island to say farewell to Lt Fullam, who fought tirelessly for first responders of 9/11 and those living near ground zero.

‘Marty is an inspiration to all of us,’ FDNY Commissioner Salvatore Cassano said outside of Our Lady Star of the Sea in Huguenot. 

After Lt Fullam heard of what happened at the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11, 2001, he rushed to the site, even though he wasn’t on duty that day.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE

How the Twin Towers Disappeared from ‘The Carrie Diares’ and ‘Sex and the City’

(ESTHER ZUCKERMAN)   In this week’s series premiere of The Carrie Diariesthe new Sex and the City prequel that takes place in the 1980s, a teenaged Carrie Bradshaw is seen working and shopping in Lower Manhattan, presumably right near the World Trade Center, but there is no reference to the Twin Towers. Turns out that was a conscious decision, and one that echoes how the franchise has approached the iconic buildings since September 11, 2001. In a phone interview today with The Atlantic Wire, Carrie Diaries executive producer/showrunner Amy B. Harris, who also worked on Sex and the City, said that the creative team “talked about it for quite some time,” adding that “from a sensitivity standpoint it was the right decision” to leave the Twin Towers out of any shots of downtown New York.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE

Head of 9/11 Hijackers’ Flight School Faces Drug Running Charges

(ABC)   The man who ran the flight school that unwittingly trained two of the 9/11 hijackers now sits behind bars, accused of drug smuggling and offering his illicit services to an undercover federal officer.

Rudi Dekkers, a Danish national who used to run the Florida flight school Huffman Aviation, came to the attention of federal authorities in October when he was introduced to an undercover federal officer as an associate of  suspected drug smuggling kingpin Arturo Astorquiza, according to Texas court documents. Though Astorquiza was the target of the federal operation, Dekkers allegedly told the undercover officer in their first meeting that he “was involved in narcotics transportation via private aircraft and that he [had] flown narcotics and U.S. currency previously without any problems.”

After Astorquiza was arrested, the documents say Dekkers reached out to the undercover officer and offered his services directly. Federal investigators then began tailing Dekkers and eventually arrested him in early December when it appeared he was about to make a drug run for another customer.

The arrest comes more than a decade after Dekkers found himself in the national spotlight in the days after terrorists hijacked four commercial airplanes and used them to kill nearly 3,000 people on Sept. 11, 2001. Federal investigators quickly identified Dekkers’ school, Huffman Aviation, as the location where two of the hijackers, Mohamed Atta and Marwan al-Shehhi, earned their instrument certificates from the Federal Aviation Administration. Atta and al-Shehhi were the men at the controls of the planes that flew into New York’s World Trade Center buildings.

In an interview with ABC News in 2001, Dekkers said the men were unfriendly, but he didn’t think there was anything suspicious about them.

Because of his fleeting connection to the 9/11 hijackers, the years after the attack proved difficult for Dekkers as he described in his memoir “Guilt by Association.” He reportedly said in the book he received death threats and that people suspected he was somehow complicit in the attack.

In a recent interview with a local Fox News affiliate, Dekkers was asked if he thought he would ever outlive the shadow of 9/11.

“Yeah,” he said. “When I die.”

Dekkers has been charged with intent to distribute five kilos or more of cocaine and 100 grams or more of heroin. A Texas judge ordered he be held without bond, as the court said there was a “serious risk that the defendant will flee.”

Dekkers has not entered a plea in the case and his public defender declined to comment for this report.

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2012/12/head-of-911-hijackers-flight-school-faces-drug-running-charges/

 

Down The Rabbit Hole w/ Popeye (10-28-2012) Hurricane Sandy, Preparing, Patrick Clawson & Mossad

(FEDERALJACK)   On this edition of DTRH Popeye talks with radio show host, activist, and friend Bob Tuskin. The two of them go over hurricane Sandy; Preparing for emergencies; Moving out of the city; Bob’s interview with Zionist lobbyist Patrick Clawson; Mossad’s connection to 9/11/01 and more. Make sure to tune into this insightful broadcast.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8o5DfJWyF3c

Romney’s Top Adviser, Dov Zakheim, Connected to 9/11

(Brandon Turbeville)   At this stage in the campaign, the claim that Mitt Romney and Barack Obama are virtually identical in every way can scarcely be denied. From their positions on healthcare, the implementation of economic austerity, and perpetual warfare, the Presidential candidate and the President himself are mirror images of one another with the minute exception of the political presentation of those polices and the much-exploited physical differences hyped by the media.

However, while Obama’s expansion of war and wholesale slaughter is accomplished through deceit and other covert forms of treachery, Mitt Romney’s war psychosis is manifested much more openly. As I detailed in my last article, “Open War Policy Revealed by Romney’s NeoCon Advisers,” Romney’s sprint toward a third world war of a potentially thermonuclear variety could scarcely be more clear, quite the rarity for Romney.

With this in mind, I have written two articles dealing with Romney’s foreign policy advisers and their own ideological leanings. After all, regardless of the potential resting in the office of the President, the fact is that a President’s inner circle of advisers, as well as his cabinet, are, generally speaking, the foot soldiers in whatever foreign entanglements the country is set to find itself in.

Unsurprisingly, Romney’s foreign policy team is made up mainly of Neo-Cons left over from the boy Bush Administration, as well as other raving war hawks, Zionists, and imperialists.

In this regard, I encourage the reader to access my articles, “Open War Policy Revealed by Romney’s NeoCon Advisers,” (linked above) “Romney’s Foreign Policy Advisers Exposed As Globalists,” and “Mitt Romney’s 13 Globalist ‘Working Groups’ Exposed” for a summary of these individuals and their organizational memberships, affiliations, and past careers.

Yet, out of all the advisers listed as part of Romney’s foreign policy team, one member, Dov Zakheim, bears special notice, not least of which because he is considered to be the top adviser working amongst the publicly acknowledged branch of the team.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE

Iran Accused of Being Behind the 9/11 Attacks

(Global Research)

Global Research Editor’s Note:

We bring to the attention of  our readers a carefully documented study by Global Research’s Julie Levesque published in May 2012 pertaining to a high profile Manhattan lawsuit launched in 2004 against the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The Havlish v. Iran lawsuit accuses Iran of having supported the 9/11 hijackers.

At this historical  juncture, with Iran being the object of numerous threats both byTel Aviv and Washington, The Havlish v. Iran judgment could be used as a justification for a waging a preemptive attack on Iran.

In the context of the commemoration of 9/11, the issue of Iran’s alleged role as a “state sponsor” of terrorism is likely to surface in media coverage as well as in the commemoration speeches off both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.

The investigation into Tehran’s alleged role in the 9/11 attacks was launched by the Havlish lawyers in 2004, pursuant to a recommendation of the 9/11 Commission “regarding an apparent link between Iran, Hezbollah, and the 9/11 hijackers”. The 91/11 Commission’s recommendation was that the this “apparent link” required  “further investigation by the U.S. government.” (9/11 Commission Report , p. 241). (See Iran 911 Case ).

The Havlish lawyers built their case against Iran using the testimonies of  “expert witnesses”  as well as “evidence”, which was in large part fabricated.  In the December 2011 court judgment (Havlish v. Iran)  “U.S. District Judge George B. Daniels ruled  that Iran and Hezbollah materially and directly supported al Qaeda in the September 11, 2001 attacks and are legally responsible for damages to hundreds of family members of 9/11 victims who are plaintiffs in the case”.

According to the plaintiffs attorneys “Iran, Hezbollah, and al Qaeda formed a terror alliance in the early 1990s. Citing their national security and intelligence experts, the attorneys explained “how the pragmatic terror leaders overcame the Sunni-Shi’a divide in order to confront the U.S. (the “Great Satan”) and Israel (the “Lesser Satan”)”. Iran and Hezbollah allegedly provided “training to members of al Qaeda in, among other things, the use of explosives to destroy large buildings.” (See Iran 911 Case ).

Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research,  September 10, 2012

*      *     *

Iran Accused of Being Behind the 9/11 Attacks

U.S. Court Judgment, December 2011 (Havlish v. Iran)

by Julie Levesque

May 11, 2012

*      *      *

The Havlish v. Iran 2004 lawsuit pertained to the alleged role of Iran in the 9/11 attacks.

This judicial procedure is nothing more than another vicious weapon in the fabricated “War on Terror” to be used against another Muslim country, with a view to destabilizing Iran as well as justifying ongoing military threats. It also says a lot more about the people behind the lawsuit than about the accused.

The expert witnesses who testified against Iran are very active in warmongering neocon circles. They belong to a web of architects of the 21st century Middle-Eastern wars, ranging from high profile propagandists to intelligence and military officers, including former U.S. officials.

But what makes this case absurd is that in September 2011, a few months before the judgment, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has questioned the official 9/11 narrative, was accused by Al-Qaeda leaders of  “spreading conspiracy theories about the 9/11 attacks”. The semi-official media outlet of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, insisted that al-Qaeda “had been behind the attacks and criticized the Iranian president for discrediting the terrorist group.”

The U.S.court judgment issued in December 2011 (Havlish v. Iran) which blames the Iran government for the 9/11 attacks is part of the propaganda ploy, which consists in demonizing the Islamic Republic of Iran. It is part and parcel of America’s ongoing war against Iran since the overthrow of its U.S.-backed monarchy in 1979.

Like many similar lawsuits in America, this legal procedure’s ultimate goal is to draw off important sums of money from the Iranian government leading to the possible confiscation of assets, thereby further strangling the country’s economy, already targeted by U.S. sanctions, while simultaneously reinforcing Iran’s image of  a “state sponsor of terrorism”.

This ruling allows the families involved to claim damages from the Iranian government as well from a number of Iranian State corporations, the amount of which is still unknown, but could reach billions, like last December’s judgement which found Iran liable for the 1983 Beirut bombings.

This judicial procedure is nothing more than another vicious weapon in the fabricated “War on Terror” to be used against another Muslim country, with a view to destabilizing Iran as well as justifying ongoing military threats. It also says a lot more about the people behind the lawsuit than about the accused. The expert witnesses who testified against Iran are very active in warmongering neocon circles. They belong to a web of architects of the 21st century Middle-Eastern wars, ranging from high profile propagandists to intelligence and military officers, including former U.S. officials.

In addition, all three branches of the U.S. government, under both Republicans and Democrats, contributed to make this and other legal attacks against Iran possible, while preventing comparable cases against the Saudi monarchy, most notably a case accusing Saudi Arabia for the 9/11 attacks. Although the evidence pertaining to the role of Saudi Arabia in 9/11 remains classified, the available evidence in the public domain indicates more connections between Al Qaeda and the Saudi monarchy than those allegedly pertaining to Iran.

But what makes this case absurd is that in September 2011, a few months before the judgment, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has questioned the official 9/11 narrative, was accused by Al-Qaeda leaders of  “spreading conspiracy theories about the 9/11 attacks”. The semi-official media outlet of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, insisted that al-Qaeda “had been behind the attacks and criticized the Iranian president for discrediting the terrorist group.”

Part I of this analysis (below) will focus on the evidence on which the judgement is based.

Part II (forthcoming) examines  the profile of the expert witnesses and their links to the U.S government, various anti-Iran lobbies and think tanks. Part III centers on the role of various branches of the US government in facilitating judicial procedures against Iran. Part IV explores how the U.S.authorities have been protecting Saudi Arabia from similar legal suits.

 Part I

The “War on Terror” Rests on Kangaroo Courts

Osama bin Laden, allegedly responsible for 9/11, was apparently killed over a year ago by a U.S. Special Operations Team in violation of international law.

Khalid Sheik Mohammed (KSM) detained in Guantanamo and four others have recently been accused of orchestrating the 9/11 attacks. Their detention, mistreatment and accusations before a military tribunal also violate international law. According to this court judgement, Iran is also to blame for 9/11.

Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda are accused as well in Havlish v. Iran, but we will focus on Hezbollah and the Iranian defendants, including many entities such as the Ministries of Finance and Energy. Since it is a default judgment, the defendants were not present in court and no cross-examination took place.

Considering the fact that bin Laden has never been formally accused of the 9/11 attacks, due to lack of evidence, and that the evidence against KSM and the other accused has been obtained through torture and is classified, it is no surprise that the case against Iran also relies on “shaky evidence”. In fact, it seems that in logic of America’s “Global War on Terror” anybody can be accused of the 9/11 attacks with trumped up charges.

Havlish v. Iran reads like a typical kangaroo court case. Iran’s responsibility for 9/11 is mostly based on previous attacks and foiled attempts in the U.S. and other countries and all the so-called evidence is actually a collection of assumptions which are turned into facts from one sentence to another without any addition of factual evidence to support it. Some claims are inconsistent, purely subjective and what is said to be the strongest evidence is a clumsy distortion of facts, which can be easily refuted by sound factual evidence.

Ironically, this attempt to link Iran to 9/11 demonstrates a notoriously twisted legal procedure, not to mention a cruel lack of corroborating evidence.

To set the stage, numerous attacks unrelated to 9/11 are presented with alleged financial or material backing from Iran and/or Hezbollah, the Shia Muslim militant group. We can see a pattern and key people emerge: very often the U.S. and Israel accuse Iran of those attacks which have either not been resolved, or have been blamed on other governments and terrorist groups, or other organizations are said to have claimed responsibility for them.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE

Pastor Rips Off Millions From 9/11 & Katrina Victims

(DAILY MAIL)   A pastor is accused of using cash from a $4.8m fund he started to help victims of 9/11 and hurricane Katrina to pay off his mortgage, credit card bills and his son’s tuition fees, it was revealed on Monday.

As New Yorkers grieved in the aftermath of horrific terrorist attacks on the twin towers, Rev. Carl Keyes was plotting his rise to wealth.

Donors poured $2.5 million into the minister’s charities, Urban Life Ministries and Aid for the World, but much of the fund never made it past his pocket, it has been claimed.

Far from helping the needy, Keyes’ alleged new-found fortune went on treating himself and his family, and pouring money into his crumbling church.

He is accused of taking credit for the work of others at ground zero, embellishing his involvement and fabricating phoney demonstrations of his efforts as a good Samaritan.

Keyes’ pot of wealth seemed ever increasing with generous donors contributing to what they believed to be a genuine cause, with more opportunities to raise relief money coming four years later.

At least another $2.3 million was collected for efforts along the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast, in the poorest corners of West Virginia and Tennessee, and even in remote African villages.

READ THE FULL ARTILCE HERE

 

After Olympic Involvement, Muse’s Frontman Bellamy Says He No Longer Questions 9/11

(NME)   Muse‘s Matt Bellamy has revealed that he no longer thinks the terrorist attacks which were carried out on the World Trade Center on September 11 were an “inside job”.

Previously, the front-man had claimed that there was “massive evidence” to support theories that US authorities had either allowed the attacks to take place or had made them happen. In a 2006 interview with CMU, he stated: “There was a document called ‘Project For The New America Century’… which clearly says, ‘We need a Pearl Harbor-level event so we can have an excuse to invade the Middle East’.”

Speaking to the Metro, however, Bellamy said that his political views were “more nuanced now” and that he no longer believed in conspiracy theories surrounding the tragedy.

He said:

I don’t believe that any more, although there are lots of questions to be answered.

He went on to add: “I still read a lot about political history, the influence of corporations and the military, but I make sure I’m reading from credible sources. I think my political views are a bit more nuanced now.”

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE

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