Wednesday, April 16, 2014

9/11 Justice...GITMO defense drops a bombshell revelation

In GITMO this week another four days of pre-trial motions was scheduled in the proceedings against the  five accused terrorists behind the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers.

On Tuesday, the court was recessed after just one hour, as it became evident that a defence team member had been "approached by a government agency."  

From American Forces Press Services (DoD) come this:

Military Commission Judge Mulls Probe of Defense Claim

By Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service


FORT MEADE, Md., April 15, 2014 – The judge in the military commission proceedings for five suspects in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States called for a recess today to prepare an order allowing defense attorneys time to determine whether current or past defense team members were contacted by a government agency.

The proceedings began yesterday at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and a satellite feed here allows reporters unable to travel to Cuba to cover the case.

Court recessed today at about 11 a.m. when the judge, Army Col. James Pohl, said he will issue the order later today.

The order follows the defense team’s request this morning for an investigation after one of the defense attorneys disclosed yesterday that the FBI questioned a member of his team about the suspects.

Pohl told defense attorneys they have until 5 p.m. tomorrow to submit a request if they want the court to subpoena witnesses from agencies that have contacted past or existing defense members. Any information the defense teams find will be disclosed only to the lead defense counsel for each team, Pohl ordered.

“The lead counsel will use his or her professional judgment in bringing the issue to the judge,” explained Army Lt. Col. J. Todd Breasseale, a Defense Department spokesman.
The court order is to avoid a conflict with any nondisclosure agreement an agency might have required a member of the defense team to file, Breasseale said.

Pohl is considering a court investigation on agencies that contacted defense team members, based on requests from defense team members in today’s proceedings. Because of those requests, the judge told the defense teams to determine which witnesses they believe they need. As yet, there is no indication the judge will proceed with an investigation.

James Harrington, attorney for defendant Ramzi Binalshibh, told the court at the start of yesterday’s hearing that the FBI contacted one of his team members for information. He did not say why FBI agents recently questioned his defense team member, but said the individual handled classified evidence.... [emphasis mine]

Read more of this news report here.

Before the DoD article was published above, TIME.com had this:

FBI Tried to Recruit Member of 9/11 Plotters’ Legal Team, Lawyers Claim

 Massimo Calabresi 

 April 14, 2014

 The 9/11 accused confer with their defense lawyers during a break in pretrial hearings at the U.S. Navy base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on April 14, 2014.

The defense team for five men accused of planning and launching the Sept. 11 attacks, currently in pretrial hearings at Guantánamo Bay, alleges the FBI attempted to turn one of its lawyers into a confidential informant




At Guantánamo Bay, the wheels of justice turn not so much slowly, as seldom. Twelve and a half years after 9/11, the five men accused of planning and launching the attack are in pretrial hearings at a military tribunal there. On Monday, the tribunal held proceedings for the first time since December. Within minutes, the hearing recessed.
As the indefatigable Carol Rosenberg reports in the Miami Herald, Army Colonel James L. Pohl, who is the presiding judge on the tribunal, called the recess after lawyers for the accused terrorists said the FBI had tried to turn a member of the defense team into a confidential informant:
Defense lawyers alleged Monday that in at least one instance, two FBI agents enlisted a civilian on the defense team of accused plot deputy Ramzi bin al Shibh as a confidential informant.
The FBI declined several requests for a comment.
The development seemed to stun the chief prosecutor, Army Brig. Mark Martins, who told the judge, Army Col. James L. Pohl, that he was unaware of the FBI activity....

MUCH more here. 

 What is missing from these reports, and usually any of the reporting on these Hearings, is the effect of all this on the families of the victims lost on that terrible day in 2001. 

It is no secret to regular readers here that I am friends with Diane and Ken Fairben, parents of Keith Fairben, a Paramedic who gave his life saving lives that day (and other EMS 'peeps' who were there on 9/11.)  We talk - often.

 This latest bump on the slow road to justice has hit Diane and Ken hard. Part of Diane's response shared with me - and here with her permission:

 We were home at 11 am again 

The short version of today...one of the defense lawyers is the one who sent KSM's letters ( to his wife) and his manifesto, part 1

Nevins is his name, the LEAD attorney. So we won't see him again, as he's the one the FBI is investigating. So, Judge Pohl recessed for the day, no hearings, maybe I  have no clue as to what will happen to the trial.

 Disappointed, sad, frustrated....I don't think I will get the chance to ever tell them about Keith, and let them know what they took from us.  

The feeling of not having control of anything regarding this trial is overwhelmingly depressing.  

 Actually, since that day, we have had no control...13 years.  I'm sure it will be all over the media. 

Holder must be dancing in the streets, he's really dancing on all their graves and the families hearts. 

Diane is always emphatic, unwavering,  in her praise and faith in the whole prosecution team.  

Over time, she has shared with me details of the families' various meetings and communications with the prosecution team, and I am truly in awe of the patience and the calm even-handedness of Judge Pohl as he navigates these pre-trial Hearings in the face of the tactics continuously thrown up by the defense attorneys.

It is obvious to me that the prosecution team that is diligently affording those terrorists before them all the rights of a fair and balanced trial,  is always mindful of the losses of the families who daily face the brunt of the gaping holes in their hearts of their innocent sons, daughters, husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, beloved family members, who were murdered on that day.

Sadly, it seems that most of the world, and indeed the majority of American msm,  have forgotten the cost in human lives of that day.  From what I can tell, most folks are not even aware that a trial is still going on.  (Hell, most people don't even know that we still have Troops in harms way in this Global War on Terror.)

Despite all that, I believe that it is imperative that every one of us pay attention.  Every day we all need to remember  the individual lives lost, the families - like the Fairbens and so many more, who expect JUSTICE to be served.

No, none that I know are naive enough to believe that a verdict ultimately rendered (GUILTY, of course) will bring back their loved ones.

However, I maintain my faith that there will BE American justice served and a price paid by those murdering terrorists who ripped apart the fabric of so many families.

I believe. 

Related link:  Military Commission

Wednesday Hero

This post was suggested by SJ
 
 
2nd Lt. Walter Ehlers
2nd Lt. Walter Ehlers 92 years old from Long Beach, California 18th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division May 7, 1921 - February 20, 2014 U.S. Army 
 
 
 On February 20 2nd Lt. Walter Ehlers passed away. 2nd Lt. Ehlers was the last surviving Medal Of Honor recipient from D-Day. From his MoH citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty on 9-10 June 1944, near Goville, France. S/Sgt. Ehlers, always acting as the spearhead of the attack, repeatedly led his men against heavily defended enemy strong points exposing himself to deadly hostile fire whenever the situation required heroic and courageous leadership.
 
 Without waiting for an order, S/Sgt. Ehlers, far ahead of his men, led his squad against a strongly defended enemy strong point, personally killing 4 of an enemy patrol who attacked him en route. Then crawling forward under withering machinegun fire, he pounced upon the guncrew and put it out of action. Turning his attention to 2 mortars protected by the crossfire of 2 machineguns, S/Sgt. Ehlers led his men through this hail of bullets to kill or put to flight the enemy of the mortar section, killing 3 men himself. After mopping up the mortar positions, he again advanced on a machinegun, his progress effectively covered by his squad. When he was almost on top of the gun he leaped to his feet and, although greatly outnumbered, he knocked out the position single-handed.
 
 The next day, having advanced deep into enemy territory, the platoon of which S/Sgt. Ehlers was a member, finding itself in an untenable position as the enemy brought increased mortar, machinegun, and small arms fire to bear on it, was ordered to withdraw. S/Sgt. Ehlers, after his squad had covered the withdrawal of the remainder of the platoon, stood up and by continuous fire at the semicircle of enemy placements, diverted the bulk of the heavy hostile fire on himself, thus permitting the members of his own squad to withdraw. At this point, though wounded himself, he carried his wounded automatic rifleman to safety and then returned fearlessly over the shell-swept field to retrieve the automatic rifle which he was unable to carry previously. 
 
 
After having his wound treated, he refused to be evacuated, and returned to lead his squad. The intrepid leadership, indomitable courage, and fearless aggressiveness displayed by S/Sgt. Ehlers in the face of overwhelming enemy forces serve as an inspiration to others.
 
 
You can read more about 2nd Lt. Ehlers here


These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives just so others may get to enjoy freedom. For that I am proud to call them Hero.


 Those Who Say That We're In A Time When There Are No Heroes, They Just Don't Know Where To Look This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.
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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Terrorism in Kansas: Three dead

From Homeland Security News Wire:

Three killed in attacks on two Jewish centers in Kansas City

14 April 2014

A man shouting “Heil Hitler” and uttering other neo-Nazi slogans killed at least three people at two separate Jewish centers in Kansas City. Police arrested the man Sunday afternoon at an empty elementary school, located near the scene of the second shooting. One of the dead is a 14-year-old boy. Witnesses say the attacker appeared to be a man in his early 70s. As he was walking through the JCC and the theater, he asked people whether they were Jewish before shooting them.

One of the attacks occurred at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City where teenagers were auditioning for KC Superstar, a state-wide competition, at the Lewis and Shirley White Theatre located on the premises.

One of the dead is a 14-year-old boy....

More information here, and a report on the killer's history - and pictures - here at the Daily Mail

Related link.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Nigeria: Terrorist attack kills 71

Boka Haram???

From NY Post:

Terrorist attack at Nigerian bus station kills at least 71

By Associated Press
 April 14, 2014

 Twin blasts at a bus station packed with morning commuters on the outskirts of Nigeria's capital killed dozens of people on April 14. Photo: STRSTR/AFP/Getty Images 

ABUJA, Nigeria — A massive explosion ripped through a bus station during the morning rush hour in Nigeria’s capital, killing at least 71 people and wounding 124 in a bombing that marked the bloodiest terrorist attack ever in Abuja.

President Goodluck Jonathan visited the scene and blamed Boko Haram, an Islamic extremist group which operates in the northeast of Nigeria and which has been threatening to attack Nigeria’s capital. One official said he believed the bomb was buried in the earth, while the emergency management agency said the explosives apparently were hidden in a vehicle.

The blast destroyed 16 luxury buses and 24 minibuses and cars, said police spokesman Frank Mba, who gave the death toll....

Much more here. 

[H/T Homeland Security News Wire]


Friday, April 11, 2014

Welcome Home

Leading Seaman Thomas Clark and his daughter Betty-Rose ©UK MOD CROWN COPYRIGHT

From MoD: 
Brocklesby returns home from NATO deployment

11 April 2014
 
The small but highly capable ship left her home port in late January to some of the most horrific weather the UK has seen in a long time and sailed to meet the UK’s commitments to NATO in the Mediterranean. 

Brocklesby has been working as part of a multinational maritime force called the Standing NATO Mine Counter Measures Group 2 (SNMCMG2). 

Ships from allied nations operate together throughout the year defending sea routes from the threat of underwater mines and carrying out joint training exercises.

“This has been a great deployment for us,” said Lieutenant Commander Gregg Powell, Executive Officer and second in command. 

“Despite the bad weather at the start, working with our NATO partners is always a privilege and it’s given us a great opportunity to train in preparation for our deployment to the Gulf next year.”...

More with pictures here.

 

Red Shirt Friday