September 11, 2019
Military Tribunal Judge Shane Cohen issued a Trial Date Order and Schedule for the 9/11, KSM et al Proceedings to be Held on January 11, 2021.
This long awaited news was welcomed by many, even through the trial date was set for 20 years after the 9/11 terror attack in 2001. Believe it or not, this date in 2021 is for the trial to ACTUALLY BEGIN. Everything else over the years was all preliminary.
Hello, I’m Linda Forsythe… and I’m a Volunteer Citizen Journalist with C-VINE News. We have a team that has been in LIVE attendance via CCTV at every KSM et al Military Tribunal Pre-trial in GTMO, since January 28, 2019.
Our team has taken a special interest in these trials and have spent a great deal of time researching it’s history and pouring over the transcripts. Since that fateful day in September, 2001, our world has been forever changed.
We all remember where we were when we first heard about the attacks. America and the World stared in disbelief as we watched the horror unfolding before our eyes. The terror attacks were a series of four coordinated events that ended the lives of over 3000 victims on that day, and the toll continues to climb from the after effects.
Judge Cohen, assigned to this case, is relatively new as of June, 2019, and inherited a complex history. I will quote Carol Rosenberg from her article in the New York Times as she says, “When he took over as the judge in the military trial of the five defendants charged in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Col. W. Shane Cohen inherited 23,039 pages of public and secret transcripts; a vault with secret evidence withheld from defense lawyers by prosecutors invoking a national security exception; approximately 500 substantive legal case motions, some awaiting rulings; and more legal arguments and filings in the pipeline.
He is the third person since 2012 to preside over the complex, slow-moving proceedings, which have been bogged down over how to handle what the United States did to the terrorist suspects from 2002 to 2006 in the C.I.A.’s secret network of black sites.
More than 17 years have passed since the attacks by Al Qaeda — and seven since Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the accused mastermind of the plot, and four accused accomplices were arraigned in the case, which carries the death penalty — and Colonel Cohen could be the first judge to set a trial date”.
Her predictions were accurate, as he is indeed the first judge to finally set a trial date. But, in this case, we need to ask “WHY did it take over 17 years to finally set a date?” The Nuremberg Tribunals after WWII were over in only one year!
(You may review the entirety of the Trial Order and Schedule HERE).
In today’s KSM et al tribunal on 9/11, Judge Cohen made the statement, “Such an order should have been written a long time ago, but it ‘does not preclude me from setting an earlier date”. His statement does manage to give hope, but was a stark turn around from an earlier statement that basically said a later trial date may also be a strong possibility if important issues continue unresolved.
A number of family members, victims, and 9/11 first responders have continued to stay involved by closely watching the justice system in play for bringing those responsible to justice. A travesty of ongoing delays, case dismissals and 2 series of pretrials still have not brought us much closer to justice. To say they are fed up would be an understatement.
But if a trial date has been set… that should mean something good; right?
Unfortunately no, it doesn’t.
Please understand that even though this news I’m about to release is troubling… there is potentially GREAT news that can possibly get around all this. So, please don’t despair. MUCH may be resolved on Thursday, (tomorrow on 9/12). Attorney General, William Barr has a 9/12 deadline to make a decision on the release of the Saudi Official’s name that was redacted from a 2012 tribunal proceeding. The importance of this name cannot be understated, because it will probably lead to a slew of other revelations. Barr also could potentially choose to keep the name classified, in which case we then will have a problem. But… I digress.
Another potential “work around” came from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed himself, when he made a proposal to the victims and family members that he would name who else was responsible for the planning and orchestration of the 9/11 terror attacks. But only if they would be willing to take, “the death penalty” off the table. This proposal was announced on Fox News a couple of weeks ago.
I have spent a great deal of time deliberating whether to bring this information to the people. What I have to tell you, I’ve suspected for awhile now, and have recently found out that a number of people close to these trials already know this. All information has facts to back up these assertions. I bring them to you… to the court of public opinion because We the People may have to make some demands for change.
In this report, I will only bring you the highlights because there are 18 years of complicated history. After pouring over all the facts, reviewing files and speaking with witnesses, I’ve come to the conclusion these trials were set up for failure since it’s inception.
President George H. W. Bush implemented new military tribunal laws into place after the attacks that kept many proceedings closed at the whim of the tribunal judge, for any reason he deemed necessary for national security. A number of attorney’s and watch groups complained vehemently and wrote papers explaining the many problems with the changes. In addition, President George W..Bush implemented and signed into law the AUMF order on September 18, 2001 which ultimately states terrorists can be detained without charging them. There are 31 remaining middle eastern terrorists who are still detained at GTMO under this classification. Then President Obama came along and made a few changes of his own that caused some critical evidence to be inadmissible in court, or caused trial jurisdiction questions, such as federal court or military tribunals. There is much more to this and would take an entire report to cover it all. But, are significant pieces of the puzzle.
There has been official announcements that we have enough evidence to gain a “guilty” verdict, and that is true. But, it won’t matter. These trials will never make it past the pre-trial phase. These proceedings will never make it to trial.
I was first told this disconcerting piece of information by a kindly elderly gentleman on January 28, 2019, who was in attendance with his wife at the KSM et al pre-trials in Ft. Meade watching the proceedings via CCTV. He was a wealth of information and explained the trial history. I listened gratefully as he basically gave me a verbal tour. He beamed with pride as he explained that his son was the lead Defense Attorney and his son had told him on multiple occasions that “these proceedings will never make it to trial”.
I remember looking at him with surprise and asked, “Well why not?!?!” He said, “There were too many problems that were unsolvable”. He never said much else after that because the proceedings began and he usually only showed up to the first trial.
This same gentleman repeated this information verbatim on three other occasions in different monthly proceedings. This statement was repeated to three other C-VINE Citizen Journalists. All of us were told separately and he wasn’t aware we all knew each other. I personally doubt we were the only 4 people he said this too. There were probably others.
I never fully understood the reasons why he said that until recently. Why would the lead Defense Attorney come to the conclusions that he had. Now i know and apparently so do many others who have been following closely over the years. Including 9/11 victims and family members.
It is important for the public to understand some of the events during the last 18 years that brought us to this point.
History Lesson as to why the KSM et al Pre-trials are taking so friggen long….
It will also help you to understand Judge Cohen’s statement he made about the possibly of making a ruling for “Life in Prison” for all concerned. This statement was said during the last day of the July KSM et al proceedings and is also in the transcripts.
As mentioned earlier, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, et al. is the trial of the FIVE alleged Al-Qaeda members named for aiding the September 11, 2001 attacks. This means that each of these individuals are being tried at the same time so the proceedings can actually take 5 times as long. Each has their own case and representation.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was first captured on Oct. 1, 2003.
There was a period of, “enhanced interrogation” from that date until late in 2007.
2008 is when the 1st arraignment (pre-trial) BEGAN.
The Case was thrown out of Court in 2010 because of the 2009 Military Commissions Act that made testimony obtained under “Enhanced Interrogation” inadmissible in Court and were only allowed to use, “Clean Team Statements” that were not derived from Enhanced Interrogation.
2012 is the year the 2nd arraignment (pre-trial) began and the one we are still in after 7 years, and are about to the end of.
But, a very disturbing incident was discovered a few years ago and has been of major concern ever since.
On February 11, 2015… Carol Rosenberg wrote an article for the Miami Herald that best explains what was discovered and why now there is a never-ending saga of delays and mistrust: “The CIA court-appointed linguist for Bin al Shibh was sitting next to him in court, when three of the other defense team members recognized him from their years spent in a secret CIA prison. Both the CIA and FBI have been discovered infiltrating the defense members; the FBI had earlier secretly questioned the accused defense team members, then had them sign non-disclosure agreements”. The following is a very necessary read to understand KSM et al history. HERE.
It has been suggested by those “in the know” that because of this last incident, the Defense Team may very well be filing a Motion and arguing to have THESE pre-trials thrown out of court.
I don’t know about you but when I heard this, I threw up my hands and rolled my eyes. For some reason, the old tune called, “The Song That Never Ends” came to mind. I was beginning to think that is what is happening to these tribunals.
Here are some of the other main unresolved issues that continue to date and must be rectified before a trial can begin:
- Should the al Baluchi case be moved to Federal Court and out of the Military Tribunals? The Defense Team argument is, al Baluchi conducted most of his alleged atrocities BEFORE 2001, and we therefore were not in a state of war. If that is the case, he should be moved to Federal Court. What are the benefits to al Baluchi? Federal Court will not allow confessions made during enhanced interrogation to be admissible in court.
- The CIA witness who is also the linguist that identified the voices on the FBI taped surveillance phone calls, continues to have any testimony given in Closed Proceedings remain classified. Concerns for their safety and that of the families from Al Qaeda terrorists. Long arguments continue to rage about how the witness identity can be concealed by multiple methods, successfully used in many other trial proceedings.
- Continued suppression of confessions made by all alleged terrorists because information given was “against their will”. In other words, confessions are argued as being inadmissible. There was a work around by implementing what is called, “Clean Teams” which are interrogators utilizing non-violent methods to obtain voluntary testimony or confessions.
- Continued suppression of information from CIA and not shared with Defense Team because of it remaining redacted in court transcripts due to a threat to national security that would divulge “ways and means” of collected information.
- Potential infiltration of the Defense Legal Team by a CIA witness who obtained a job on the Defense Team after retiring.
Before the July KSM proceedings, there were three important new rulings made by Judge Cohen that resolved all these issues. These were posted on the DoD website. Judge Cohen was already making HUGE headway and taking charge to move things forward in a swift, but fair manner. No more stalling with THIS guy!!! These rulings were key and meant to go into effect by 7/22, the first day of the July proceedings.
I thought this was great news! FINALLY we have forward momentum! Alas, it was not meant to be.
To remove the legalese, here is an encapsulation and gist of what was said…
1) FIRST RULING: Open court proceedings will happen when questioning the CIA Witness to the “Enhanced Interrogations” with al Baluchi. Note FYI… this witness is also the linguist who identified the voices in the taping of the FBI surveillance, of chatter in 118 calls from 25 lines who were planning and orchestrating 9/11 before it happened in 2001.
2) SECOND RULING: Ruling temporally, initially hidden and in a placeholder implemented until a response received by the Defense Team. Deadline was July 22nd when Ruling would be revealed for public eyes on whether or not the Defense argument of “We weren’t at War when 9/11 happened, so Baluchi should be tried in Federal Court”. We will hear whether or not is was overruled. Mandated Ruling to be in open court the week of July 22nd.
3) THIRD RULING: Another Ruling temporally hidden and a placeholder implemented until a response received by the Defense Team. Deadline again was July 22nd when Ruling would have been made available for public eyes and mandated during the proceedings that week. This has to do with al Baluchi’s information divulged during “Enhanced Interrogations” on whether or not this information should continue to be suppressed or inadmissible as evidence because statements were made against his will OR ruling would stipulate it IS admissible and will therefore be revealed in Open Court that week.
All seemed to be going well, and great progress made. It appeared as if the Judge was taking the bull by the proverbial horns and moving things forward.
Nope! During that entire week there was mass pandemonium, as both sides raged against the orders of the new Judge. Ultimately, in all of the 5 days that were to be held in Open proceedings, only 2.5 days remained open, none of the rulings stood and one of the Defense Team members received a Contempt of Court Ruling for “Manufactured Outrage” during the Tuesday Closed Proceeding. You can read or listen to my entire report HERE
It appears that these proceedings in September are having a similar repeat performance as Judge Cohen continues trying to move things forward… but the laws and legal set up, appear to be causing an on-going saga of what I have coined as, “the pre-trials that never end”.
I guess this report is more of a “good news – bad news” type scenario. The trial issues may or may not be solved in any of our lifetimes, but there does appear to be hope for justice through other avenues.
Let’s pray that Attorney General Barr makes the right decision on Thursday. But let me end by saying as a reminder, that it is “We the People” who run this country. We elect officials to represent US! We hired them as our employees with our voting ballots. What good boss allows their employees to run the business into the ground or not get work done? What good boss allows a “hostile takeover”? We may need to make a few executive decisions here fairly soon if this continues.
Linda Forsythe & Leonard Bacani are Patriot, Volunteer Citizen Journalists and News Commentators on C-VINE News.
Linda Forsythe is also the FOUNDER and architect of the C-VINE Network that includes Breaking News and an International Forum. She is not paid for any of this labor of love.
Leonard Bacani is a retired Santa Ana Police Officer and the Founder of HOMELAND SECURITY SERVICES, INC. headquartered in Southern California.HOMELAND SECURITY SERVICES, INC. is a Private Investigation, Private Security firm and State Authorized Training Facility.
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