I last wrote about Keith and his family on this year's anniversary of 9/11. You can find that here.
Keith can no longer speak for himself, because a bunch of terrorists committed an act of war on US soil. Let there be no doubt, however, that Keith's voice WILL be heard loud and clear, no matter what any politician - now or in the future - may like to believe.
Diane and Ken Fairben are Keith's mom and dad, and like many of the 9/11 families, they are outraged with Attorney General Holder announcing that the war criminal, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four of his co-conspirators, will be brought into New York to be tried in a civilian court.
KSM is a WAR criminal, who has confessed to committing war crimes against the United States of America. CNN did a profile of this war criminal back in 2003. Go here. Despite the well known details of KSM's actions, the US Attorney General, and the US president, says these terrorists will be tried in a civilian court in New York; given all the rights that American citizens are given. These goons will be tried by a jury of their 'peers' not far from where they killed thousands of innocents.
...it makes me physically ill that they should be near to hallowed ground, which is what that is to us. Bringing them that close to ground zero is like bringing them to the cemetary where Keith is...
In Diane's view, and hard to argue with her logic:
...this was an act of war. They had an agenda and were military trained...
Some will tell you that KSM's confessions will not be admissable, since they were obtained by torture (no, don't break out the violins,) but any who say that are ill-informed. KSM has bragged about his role, and confessed - without the aid of torture - to his role in 9/11 and other terrorist attacks against America. KSM has bragged about, among other atrocities, that he "decapitated with my blessed right hand the head of the American Jew, Daniel Pearl." The Pentagon released this information. They know who KSM is: a criminal who has spent his life committing acts of war against Americans and America. Yes, I just re-watched the video of Daniel Pearl's murder, and yes, I have read his father's writings since he lost his son. For a short list of the acts of war KSM has been tied to, (and bragged about) look here.
Diane and Ken know who KSM is, too. They have sat in a courtroom and watched the war criminal who murdered Keith and so many other precious loved ones. On a visit with other families to GITMO, Diane and Ken witnessed KSM playing to the crowd. They saw him laugh at them, and wave. KSM - even within GITMO - knew the families of his 9/11 victims were there as he looked toward the gallery.
KSM - war criminal - was educated in America. He knows how our system works, and has manipulated it every step of the way:
Terrorist. Born March 1, 1964 or April 14, 1965 in the Baluchistan region of Pakistan. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was raised in Kuwait and joined the Muslim Brotherhood at age 16. He pursued his education in the United States, earning a degree in mechanical engineering from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in 1986.
After graduation, Mohammed and his brothers went to Afghanistan to resist the Soviet invasion in the late 1980s. It is believed that soon after, he began anti-American terrorist operations. His first terrorist plan was allegedly Operation Bojinka, a plot to bomb 12 commercial airlines en route between the U.S. and Asia. The plot was discovered but Mohammed had fled to Qatar. He then moved to Afghanistan and became the leader of al Qaeda's media committee.
According to the 9/11 Commission Report, Mohammed was "the principal architect of the 9/11 attacks." He was indicted on terrorism charges following the attacks and placed on the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorists list. Mohammed was captured in Rawalpindi, Pakistan on March 1, 2003 by the Pakistani ISI. Since then, he has been in U.S. custody. (here)
[And yes, his fingerprints, participation in other terrorist acts war crimes against America, are on the record.]
To hear the bleeding hearts tell it, GITMO is hell on earth for these war criminals, and the president has vowed to close the facility. Ken and Diane Fairben have seen first hand the living conditions in GITMO, and so has Steven Crowder. You can see the video of the 'terrible treatment and conditions' (yes, sarcasm) these enemies of America live in here. They are not suffering, even as they abuse our troops whose job it is to work at GITMO. I have read, and Diane confirmed for me from her visit there, that these ill-treated residents at GITMO use every opportunity to do things like throw 'cocktails' (feces and any other bodily fluids) at our troops, along with other outrageous acts. And the mainstream media panders to their sob stories of how hard and cruel life is at GITMO for these detainees.
Here is what Diane had to say about Crowder's video on GITMO:
... One thing that struck me was that Crowder echoed exactly the feelings of us . And the other families we were with in July. His comments were so on the mark. He said everything we said to the media on our last day there, including telling them what the troops endure as far as shit thrown at them (the cocktail). I also thank him for putting this out, hardly anyone else gives much thought to what happens at GTMO. And for sure, the troops there get no recognition. I think if everyone could see Crowder''s video they would think differently, including the politicians...oh wait, I forgot, the politicians haven't been there, (especially BO) You can quote me on that...
As Ken Fairben said when he saw Crowder's video: Keep them in Cuba.
Indeed; and Ken and Diane, and all the other families have the right to be heard, and they should be listened to by every American, especially the politicians of all stripes. Keith's mom and dad have seen the way KSM and others manipulate the system. They have seen how they try to set the agenda, and it distresses Diane that within the civilian courtroom, KSM will have freer rein to decide the agenda, to 'perform.' Diane also feels that civilian courts would bend over backwards to accomodate any and all delaying, manipulating motions the terrorists could come up with. Strictly in the interests of the criminals' rights, of course. As Debra Burlingame said on Fox news this morning: "...what a recruitment poster campaign for Al Qaeda..."
Has the US government taken the opinions of the 9/11 families into account in this latest decision? Doesn't seem so, not to Diane at least. The families of 9/11, along with USS Cole families, and others, were invited to a meeting, by the military commission, back in June, at the Department of Justice. As Diane tells it, Holder "popped in to say hello," and got quite the surprise:
"...he was stunned to find 40 family members who were not idiots. There are a few lawyers in the group, and he was lambasted. One of the women challenged him on a few points, at one time telling him 'You are wrong!' He told us then that they want to 'do the right thing' and that we should email the Attorney General with any concerns. They gave us a special email address. Did we email? Yes, we did, and they didn't listen. Did we ever hear back? No."
This meeting, and other government actions, or rather inactions, have convinced Diane that the 9/11 families are always being pushed aside. Diane's fear, as she told me, is that as time goes by, complacency will set in. Families have had very little control over any decisions made:
"...somebody has to be held accountable, to make sure the right thing is done. The right thing is that they be tried in military court... that is absolutely the right place."
Diane and Ken are not alone in their views. Last night I heard an interview with Ed Kowalski. He was in New York on 9/11. He sits on the Board of 9/11 Familes for a Secure America Foundation.
He had this to say(and yes, I am paraphrasing):
"...trying them in civilian courts is just another way to put the CIA on trial, to air classified information. Civilian courts are too restrictive, with lots more evidence disallowed. They should be tried in military courts, with evidence collected by soldiers on the war field. In a civilian court four or five blocks from ground zero, it would be a circus environment, and a rich terrorist target. .. Apart from all that, it is extending the pain of the families..."That last part was in answer to a question about how some 9/11 families feel it to be fitting that KSM is tried in a civilian court in New York - for justice to be meted out near where this terrible journey all began.
Valerie Lucznikowska was also part of the broadcast I heard (The Current on CBC radio.) She is the aunt of Adam Arias who was in Tower 2 when he was murdered. She made it very clear that she spoke only for herself, and not as a family representative. Again, I am paraphrasing:
...[she] commends the AG. Sees this all as a war of ideas, and that ours will win. By trying these suspects in a civilian court, we are upholding our ideas. Within the federal courts, we show that we are treating the detainees fairly and justly.[Yes, she used that phrase a few times.] Our civilian courts have been around for about 200 years and have been proved to work. Military commissions/courts are too new, untested, and any decision they make could be overturned later. I do feel that any confessions by KSM - those obtained by other means than torture - would be admissable. ...Valerie Lucznikowska plans to attend every day of the trial, because she wants to see justice done.
Check out this video from CSpan, of a mother whose son was on Flight 93. Here she is confronting AG Holder.
Just as there are divergent opinions within the 9/11 families so, too, are there polarised opinions among commentators, and from New York politicians. Michael Bloomberg, the current Mayor of NY, supports the idea of these trials being held at civilian court in New York. Rudy Guiliani, who was mayor of NY on 9/11, vehemently disagrees. You can find interviews with him on YouTube here. Check out John Howard's opinion piece in Family Security Matters, also. He is a lawyer, and he has plenty to say about the AG's announcement. Read him here.
This decision to take KSM et al to a New York civilian court was made with no consultation with those Americans most impacted by the heinous act of war on 9/11. AG Holder made his announcement, and to this uneducated, but somewhat jaundiced, observer, it has all the earmarks of a politically based choice. If you want to read more about Holder (and judge for yourself about his background which apparently governs everything he does, including make this latest decision) go over to Michelle Malkin and read her excerpt about him from her latest book. Quite the eye-opener, and raises more than a few questions for this reader as to whether Holder should even have been involved in this decision. No hints, just go here.
Diane told me that while the military commission was overseeing the process, she felt that for them it was not just a job. She has high praise for how the military conducted itself in their interactions with 9/11 families. From the judge who kept a tight rein on the proceedings, to all the military personnel who took care of the families during the hearings they attended, Diane felt they listened, and considered the families' views, whilst adhering to the formal protocols. She also pointed out that part of the 9/11 attacks was on the Pentagon, a military facility. She is the only person I have heard on this point, and it does raise the question of the precedent of trying crimes against the military in a civilian court. Diane also reminded me that the perpetrators of the USS Cole bombing were tried in military court.
One of Diane's concerns with a civilian trial is that classified information will be shared in open court. As Ed Kowalski alluded to in his interview, and Diane agrees, any such information can - and will - be used by other terrorists determined to strike at the heart of America.
All that I have heard and read leads me to agree with Diane that this administration has no consideration for the families who lost loved ones on 9/11. They have not listened to them. I firmly believe that it would have taken very little effort on the government's part to reach out to the families, ask for their input into decisions directly related. This administration was elected, in part, because of their skills in using the internet and social media to rally Americans to their point of view. I fail to see why they could not use that same acumen to involve the 9/11 families in important decisions that have a direct impact on the families. The only plausible explanation I can come up with, is that they don't care enough about those families directly impacted on that day.
Ken Fairben, Keith's dad, also shares Diane's outrage. On the heels of Holder's announcement, Ken posted this video online, with this comment:
"This should be sent to that man sitting in the White House each and EVERY DAY... he is giving America away God help us..."
Diane and Ken are a family of great faith in God, and while she would never have willingly chosen a life without Keith, the Fairbens are very clear on their role - all the 9/11 families' role - as they face the new reality that is their lives.
"Each family member has to speak up. The victims are not here to say anything. We ARE the voice of the victims."
I would strongly urge President Obama, Attorney General Holder and all the politicians, to pay attention to what these families have to say. They ARE America, they do matter. They will not be silenced, not now, not ever.
When will you listen, Messrs Obama and Holder?