The Denial of Justice for 9-11 Victims
by Christopher Bollyn
20 March 2007
After five and a half years of the loathsome "war on terror," with its costly and disastrous wars and tedious preoccupation with "homeland security," the public has grown weary of the media discussion of 9-11. With the passage of time, the hiding of the evidence and the flood of disinformation, many people have lost interest in the developments and details of the terror attacks that brought this misery upon us.
On the other hand, thanks to the Internet, a significant percentage of the U.S. population simply does not believe that Osama bin Laden and his nebulous Al Qaida organization committed the terror attacks that killed some 3,000 people on 9-11.
In 1981, William Casey, then director of the CIA, said with confidence, "We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." In the Information Age, however, government disinformation is challenged by the Internet. The deception about 9-11, pushed by the controlled media outlets, has clearly failed to convince the skeptical public about who is really behind the seminal event that was exploited to launch the "War on Terror."
It is not widely known, for example, that not one single victim's case from 9-11 has been heard in a court of law. Because the United States is known to be an extremely litigious society with hordes of lawyers, it was expected that the relatives of the 9-11 victims would seek justice and compensation in the courts. While thousands of the relatives have sought justice in the courts, they have yet to find it. Some 6,600 lawsuits were brought against the airlines and the passenger screening companies, but not one victim's case has gone to trial.
Much of the physical evidence, such as the steel from the World Trade Center, has been destroyed and other crucial evidence remains concealed. Thousands of government employees who may have noticed something unusual or may know something about what actually happened on 9-11 have been effectively gagged after having received secret letters ordering that they remain silent. Threatened with the loss of their jobs, their pensions, or their freedom, there have been very few "whistle blowers" coming forth with information.
The judge who is handling all of the 9-11 victims' cases, Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein of the United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York, has said that he wants the 58 or so remaining cases resolved as quickly as possible. What this means is that he wants the weary plaintiffs to negotiate with Sheila L. Birnbaum, the "special mediator" for the court, and accept the money offered to them. In this way nearly all of the cases have been resolved through out-of-court settlements.
Photo: Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein, the Zionist who oversees and handles all 9-11 victim lawsuits.
He is hijacking the 9-11 victim lawsuits:
By accepting the compensation the relatives forfeit the right to sue the government, the airlines, or the passenger screening companies. In this way, the question of accountability has been avoided for more than 5 years, because there has been no trial in which the essential facts have been established with evidence.
"I doubt very much that Ms. Birnbaum is going to remain in her facility beyond June  and probably not even that far. It's now September," Judge Hellerstein said during the court hearing on September 28, 2006. "March or April  would be probably a reasonable target date to finish up."
"There is an extraordinary public benefit in having these cases resolved and not allowing through them the wounds of 9-11 suffered by our entire society to keep festering," Hellerstein said at the December 11 hearing. Hellerstein clearly wants to have the cases resolved as quietly and quickly as possible – but is that justice?
"I want justice," 9-11 widow Ellen Mariani says. "I want accountability. Who is responsible? I want the truth." Discovery has been complicated and contentious. "How can you have a trial without discovery?" Mariani asks.
Photo: Ellen Mariani, whose husband, Neil, allegedly died when United Air Lines (UAL) Flight 175 crashed into the World Trade Center
More than 5 years after she filed the first wrongful death lawsuit against United Airlines for the loss of her husband, Mariani is still seeking the truth about 9-11. Her case, in which she is now only a beneficiary, is one of the last remaining unresolved cases.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
Sheila Birnbaum, the special mediator, is a partner in the law firm of Skadden Arps, a leading corporate law firm with close business ties to Israel. The firm calls itself one of the leading U.S. legal advisers to Israeli companies "doing business and raising capital" outside of Israel. "Many of our attorneys are thoroughly familiar with the legal structure, business environment and political system of Israel, and several have been admitted to the bars of both Israel and New York and are fluent in Hebrew and English," the firm's website says.
Israeli individuals and companies, however, are suspects and defendants in the crimes of 9-11. At least 200 Israeli suspects were arrested in connection with 9-11. An Israeli airport security company, Huntleigh USA, is at the very center of the story. Huntleigh, the passenger screening company that checked the passengers at the airports of Boston and Newark on 9-11, is a wholly owned subsidiary of ICTS, an Israeli company headed by Menachem Atzmon, a political ally of prime minister Ehud Olmert and a man convicted of illegally raising funds for the Likud Party while he was the party's co-treasurer with Olmert in the 1980s.
Scores of Israeli "movers" and "art students" were arrested in New York and Florida as suspects in connection with the events of 9-11. The evidence clearly indicates that the terror attacks were Israeli "false flag" operations which were carried out to blame Moslems and Arabs and instigate the Zionist-planned "war on terror" against the enemies of Israel. The Israeli terror suspects were quietly released without going to trial while innocent Arabs were wrongly blamed. This was done while the criminal division of the Department of Justice was headed by the Israeli-American Michael Chertoff.
A FALSE CONFESSION?
Now that a detainee known as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), the alleged Al Qaida commander and mastermind of the terror attacks, has confessed, it seems likely that lawsuits will be brought against him by the families of the victims. A lawsuit brought by any of the relatives against KSM would reveal whether his confession is true or not by bringing out evidence in a court. This discovery process is essential to determine the true extent of his involvement, and that of others, in the terror attacks of 9-11.
No defense attorney or journalist was allowed to attend the hearing, which was meant to determine whether the detainee known as KSM could be classified as an "enemy combatant." In the eyes of the government and the controlled press, however, the confession clears the way for the Pentagon to declare the detainee an "enemy combatant" and try him in a U.S. military war crimes court, which would have the authority to issue a death sentence.
An enemy combatant is defined as "an individual who was part of or supporting the Taliban or al Qaida forces, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners. This includes any person who committed a belligerent act or has directly supported hostilities in aid of enemy armed forces." This means that any person who takes up arms to resist the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan can be considered an "enemy combatant."
While banner headlines shouted "9-11 architect confesses" there was surprising little follow-up discussion in the media. While controlled news outlets such as Al Jazeera are clearly trying to support the seemingly outrageous claims made by a detainee known as KSM, the public simply isn't buying it. Although hardly scientific, CNN conducted an online poll the day the story broke in the newspapers and found that, regarding the truthfulness of the confession, skeptics outnumbered believers by a margin of more than 3-to-1. Seventy-six percent of the nearly 100,000 respondents to the poll said they did not believe that the disheveled detainee seen in the photos was truly the mastermind of 9-11 and 30 other terror attacks, including the Bali bombing and the first attack on the World Trade Center in 1993.
Yosri Fouda, a bureau chief for Al Jazeera, interviewed Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in Pakistan during the first week of September 2002. Reports of the KSM interview were reported in the BBC on September 8, 2002. Oddly, Fouda, who is the only journalist to have interviewed KSM, has said nothing about whether the person in the photo resembles the person he interviewed in 2002. Fouda has, however, questioned whether Al Qaida even exists: "I do not really believe there is such a thing as al-Qaida, the organization; there is al-Qaida, the mind-set."
The detainee, Fouda wrote in the Sunday Times on March 18, "might be taking credit so other people, still at large, can avoid the blame. We can never know for sure." The bizarre confession, supposedly made by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, has been played up in the U.S. media as proof that Al Qaida actually planned and carried out the terror attacks at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in 2001.
Although the detainee's confession was read before a military tribunal in Guantanamo, Cuba, on March 10, it was held by the government and not released until late Wednesday, March 14. The delayed release of the confession effectively obscured a very important article about how the 9-11 families are being denied access to the government's evidence.
The confession by a tortured detainee in a super-secret gulag prison in Cuba is one thing, but access to the government's evidence is quite another. USA Today, the CIA-linked newspaper, ran the headline "Prisoner confesses 9-11 was his work" on March 15, while a much smaller article entitled "Families denied 9-11 evidence" was found at the bottom of page 9.
The Chicago Tribune, on the other hand, ran the headline "9-11 architect confesses," but chose not to even report the decision by a federal appeals court to reverse the ruling that the government should turn over evidence from the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui to family members of those killed in the terrorist attacks. Such distorted media coverage of the 9-11 cases, in which the press focuses on the government's trials of the accused terrorists while ignoring the fate of the 6,600 lawsuits brought by the relatives of the victims, speaks volumes about the bias of the controlled press in the United States.
WHO IS THIS KHALID SHEIKH MOHAMMED?
There are several indicators that the KSM confession is not credible. The first problem is that KSM was reported to have been killed in Pakistan in September 2002, shortly after his interview with Yosri Fouda of Al Jazeera. Syed Saleem Shahzad, a senior political correspondent with the Dawn Group of newspapers in Karachi, Pakistan, reported in October 2002 that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed had been killed in a raid carried out by the FBI and ISI in Karachi on September 11, 2002:
"Now it has emerged that Kuwaiti national Khalid Sheikh Mohammed did indeed perish in the raid, but his wife and child were taken from the apartment and handed over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), in whose hands they remain," Shahzad reported on 30 October 2002. "Nine other suspected terrorists were captured, and two were killed. A woman FBI official examined the bodies, and, as reported by an ISI official, suddenly exclaimed, 'You have killed Khalid Sheikh Mohammad.' The woman then instructed that a finger be cut off the body, which she took away, presumably for a DNA test," Shahzad wrote.
"ISI officials close to the case at this time were convinced, as were the FBI, that Khalid had been killed. But they chose not to disclose the death as they wanted other al-Qaeda members to attempt to remain in contact with him through the recovered satellite telephones, mobile phones and laptop computers."
There are other problems challenging the credibility of the confession that surfaced in a super-secret military tribunal in an off-shore prison in Cuba. The detainee who is supposedly making this historic confession did not even identify himself or take an oath before the evidence was presented.
The president of the tribunal simply began with these words: "Before we begin, Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, I understand you speak and understand English. Is that correct?" The transcript then notes that the detainee only nodded his head. A non-verbal response, such as a nod, is not acceptable in a court of law.
The transcript reveals that the detainee's English skills are very poor, not what one would expect from a person who earned an engineering degree from an American university, as did the real KSM. The real KSM attended Chowan College, a small Baptist school in Murfreesboro, North Carolina, for one semester in 1983, and then transferred to North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NCAT), where he completed a degree in mechanical engineering in 1986.
Furthermore, the real KSM was a person who had traveled and worked extensively across Asia and had lived in many foreign countries, from the United States to the Philippines to Bosnia. With this level of education and foreign travel, the real KSM would have a much greater command of the English language than what we find in the transcript.
There were no defense attorneys or members of the press allowed to the secret hearing in which the military tribunal heard the confession of the alleged architect of 9-11.
"The Detainee served as the head of the Al Qaida military committee and was Osama bin Laden's principal Al Qaida operative who directed the 11 September 2002 attacks in the United States," the statement said.
“I was responsible for the 9-11 operation, from A to Z,’’ the detainee said through an interpreter, according to the transcript of the hearing. He also claimed responsibility for the 1993 bombing at the World Trade Center. The detainee sat with an Arabic interpreter to his left and a U.S. military officer who was his official representative to his right.
"I not take the oath…" the detainee said in broken English about why he was not taking an oath in the court. "Just to explain for this one, does not mean I'm not saying that I'm lying. When I not take oath does not mean I'm lying."
"I understand," the tribunal president said. But how can such meaningless gibberish coming from an unidentified detainee who has not taken an oath be seen by anyone as a credible confession?
No photographs accompanied the release of the KSM confession and there are very few photos of the person who is accused of being the terrorist mastermind of our time. To see if the disheveled, hairy, and overweight person said to be Khalid Sheikh Mohammed resembled the mechanical engineering student that studied in Greensboro in the 1980s, I contacted the engineering faculty of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University.
Photo: The person who is said to be Khalid Sheikh Mohammed
David E. Klett, a retired professor of thermodynamics, had the real KSM in several of his classes. Asked about the photos of the person said to be the terror mastermind, Klett said, "I did not recognize that person. I never saw that face before."