A Week of Pandemonium ~ Tribunal Analysis ~ 9/11 KSM et al Pre-trial ~ 7/22/19 to 7/26/19
Wow! What a Crazy Week for These Last Tribunals! Out of All of KSM et al Pre-trials I’ve Witnessed, This Last Week Were the Most Intense.
Welcome Back to the C-VINE News Network! I’m Linda Forsythe and am Here to Give you a Glimpse Into the Last Week of Proceedings. I Traveled to Ft. Meade in Baltimore Maryland to Watch Them LIVE via CCTV Where They Were Held in Guantanamo Bay, CUBA at (GTMO).
Down at the bottom of our report, are Transcripts of the Open proceedings that C-VINE has loaded onto their server, originally obtained from the DoD – Office of Military Commissions website. Please take the time to download each one and maybe print them out. Be aware these are many hundreds of pages.
For those who are new here… the United States v. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, et al. are the pre-trial of five alleged Al-Qaeda members for aiding the September 11, 2001 attacks. Charges were announced by Brigadier General Thomas W. Hartmann on February 11, 2008 at a press conference at the Pentagon. The men charged are Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Walid bin Attash, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Ammar al-Baluchi, and Mustafa Ahmad al Hawsawi.
Please NOTE: Because of the great length and detail of the proceedings, we will bring only the highlights of the week and in depth analysis of ONE significant day. (July 24th) and briefly cover other situations of note. Detailed information can be found in the transcripts made available for your download below.
This past week will be of historical significance as much of notation went down. Not just within the Tribunal setting itself, but peripheral happenings that worked together in tandem.
Day 1 of Proceedings – 7/22
On the first day of tribunal proceedings, all five accused KSM et al 9/11 attack conspirators must appear at the hearings. Otherwise they generally have historically opted out from attending the rest of the week.
A very polite Judge Cohen consistently addressed the accused as “Sir” or “Mr.” from his first day on the job in June and continues to do so.
Also in court today, Prosecutors are pressing the Judge to agree to start hearing from “Clean team” statement witnesses in September. Some may require subpoenas. Defense teams say the idea is premature, and are still investigating.
Hearing are in a closed session for the day as Judge Cohen and lawyers discuss disagreements on some of Judge Cohen’s rulings. In addition, they will determine if a national security hearing is needed.
We find out in Open Court on the next day that there was a great deal of heated discussion in this Closed Session.
It is of importance to be aware of some background information, in order to fully understand why situations transpired as that have this last week. In addition it will help to understand why the KSM et al proceedings have taken almost 19 years. But, we won’t go into that information yet because most are anxious to hear the report first. Historical information will be given afterward.
Before this week began, there were three important new rulings made by Judge Cohen and posted on the DoD website. (Be aware that Judge Cohen was assigned to replace Judge Parella on June 1st. Judge Parella was only on this case since September 2018, and he came in to replace Judge Pohl). There has been quite the revolving door of judges on KSM et al and an unending history of delays and slow movement. BUT, Judge Cohen is 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.
To remove the legalese and encapsulate the 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.
Whelp… the Defense and the Prosecution both took loud and dramatic exception to these rulings. In fact the entire week was a drama-fest for the KSM et al, 9/11 pre-trial Tribunals. The Defense and Prosecution were both raging for various reasons and expressing grievance against Judge Cohen’s rulings in addition to protesting the mandated Discovery deadlines.
The Rulings given, were also meant to keep proceedings in OPEN court this week. The Government concerns for testimony from a CIA linguist who identified voices in pre 9/11 chatter, were over-ruled for closed proceedings as these would not divulge “Sources and Methods” for FBI Discovery, and the Defense argument for repression of al Baluchi testimony during enhanced interrogation was also over ruled. Last but not least… the team was mandated to set a definitive date for actual KSM et al Trials to begin.
The results of all these Rulings? Sunday proceedings were added via Defense and Prosecution request in order to discuss how information would be argued in Open Court. Ultimately, two days of proceedings ended up being in closed sessions.
Wednesday, (July 24th), was pandemonium and the most action filled day as the proceedings began. Charges were brought against a Defense Team member, Mr. Harrington during the Tuesday Closed Proceeding the day before and Harrington mentions Wednesday morning that he, “guesses he will have to hire himself a lawyer, and outside counsel” for what was described as, “Manufactured Outrage”. So in other words, the lawyer needs to hire himself a lawyer.
After Judge Cohen took a role call of who was in attendance, Cheryl Bormann from the Defense team’s argument was interrupted by Prosecution for “ringing the bell” of alarm against testimony that turned out wasn’t classified and temporarily closed the hearing with a “Secure Session, Please Stand By” blue screen for approximately 5 minutes.
Judge Cohen demanded an explanation from Military Trial Counsel for Prosecution Mr. Trivett to explain his, “ringing the bell” for the record. Initially he said it was to protect the identity of the CIA linguist upon his entrance into the courtroom. His explanation? “I misunderstood and apologized to the court…but then did it again two more times.
Defense had been arguing the first and second time about why they felt the proceedings for repression of al Baluchi testimony needed to stay repressed and serious mistrust issues alleging CIA infiltration into the Defense Team.
Prosecution was also fighting against date for Discovery deadlines and also argued against the Order of allowing the CIA Operative to be questioned in Open Court. Judge Cohen continued to suggest the multitude of ways the CIA Operative Identity could be disguised and these methods were successfully used in Federal Courts all the time. Prosecution disagreed. Unprecedented! Crazy! Heated Discussions! Each time the proverbial “bell was rung” the following displayed sign would flash up on the CCTV screen and stay for varied amounts of “stand by” time.
At a side educational note, here is a link to a news alert on what the CIA is working with Congress on in order to better protect CIA Operatives which is part of the reason Mr. Trivett was working so hard to prevent the identity of the CIA linguist HERE.
The majority of the day was held in Closed Proceedings except for a 23 minute Open Session for a Motion Ruling on whether Mr. al Hawsawi can have access to a court-approved, 2008 laptop without WiFi in a 24-hour day, Mr. al Hawsawi will only have access to that laptop for four hours, in two hour increments.
In order to explain to Judge Cohen the reason why these proceedings have taken so long, Mr. David Nevin tells the judge, “We have had infiltration of the defense teams. I was at one point subject to investigation. All these things slow the process down”.
KSM Defense Lawyer David Nevin, with his client absent from court, is now addressing the judge on the sentencing question: Torture is at the heart of this case. If the United States had never tortured his client, Nevin says, this case would not be happening here at Guantanamo.
Nevin: Mr. Mohammed was arrested 3/1/2003, didn’t see a lawyer until 2008, five years later. An effective attorney-client relationship is still evolving at this point. Seven years from arraignment strikes me differently than it does Prosecutor Ryan, given what happened before.
Nevin is showing the court a photo of KSM’s two sons, maybe 5 and 8 years old in the picture when the photo was taken. He says his team sought discovery on the detention of Mr. Mohammed’s sons and received no written material, no explanation, no FBI documentation. Just the photo received in 2008.
Nevin argues the defense are entitled to the full Senate Study on the CIA’s Rendition, Detention and Interrogation Program, aka “the Torture Report,” and the millions of underlying documents. In Nevin’s view, discovery is not complete.
Judge Cogen has decided that he will start holding hearing on the Defense Suppression Motions in September, when he has set the schedule for a three week pretrial session.Discovery MUST be met before next proceedings.
Prosecutor Ryan is deviating a bit from the morning argument where he said the prosecution could meet 701 discovery obligations on Sept. 1, 2019. Now he says, “they can do it by Oct. 1, building in some wiggle room for that.”
Ryan says the prosecution understands that there will be accountability, consequences if they don’t live up to their obligations. Judge Cohen requests prosecutors to give him timelines, commitments on how fast the U.S. government can turn around security clearances.
Defense Attorney, Cheryl Bormann to Judge Cohen: “Make a hard stop. Litigate what we can. Don’t move forward until the prosecution certifies that they’ve done complete discovery. Until they do, nothing can move forward”.
She says the team needs, among others, a medical expert on Walid Bin Attash’s health situation at the time he supposedly voluntarily confessed to FBI agents at Gitmo in 2007-2008.
Bormann discussing her team’s needs, including more lawyers, staff. Critically, she says, when Judge Pohl suppressed the “clean team” statements, the Office of Military Commissions de-funded all her experts, and has yet to reinstate them for the suppression motion due 8/18.
Judge Cohen declares the hearing in recess until September with this: “I have some tough decisions to make… Stand by for additional guidance.” He also alluded earlier in the week that maybe the only fair decision for all concerned would be to put down a ruling for”Life in Prison”.
Note: A trial date has yet to be set. No firm plan for how to shape September’s docketed three-week hearing straddling the 9/11 anniversary.
The transcripts for July 22nd Open hearing came out on time that evening. Transcripts for July 24, 25 and 26 Open hearings, were delayed release for over one week, which woefully missed their 24 hour turn around time. What was even more interesting is that testimony heard by all in Open Court, was still redacted in some parts of the transcripts.
As promised at the beginning of this report, we said we would update you on the history 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 about possibly making a ruling for “Life in Prison” for all concerned.
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 Statement” that were not derived from Enhanced Interrogation.
2012 is the year of 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 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. Listen to it HERE for a bit of levity.
I could go into a long tirade right now about how these proceedings appear to be quite similar to on-going tactics by some to keep the court systems bogged down with endless trials, allegations, lawsuits, and appeals ad nauseam. In other words, our laws and court systems being weaponized against us. But, I won’t do that here.
Stay with me because, I DO SEE A POTENTIAL LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL AND NO,… IT ISN’T A TRAIN.
Miraculously after the end of the last KSM et al proceedings, the following news report came out that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, is willing to divulge to the 9/11 Victims and Family members the identity of Saudi officials and other masterminds of the attack if they would be willing to spare his life: HERE
Here is a reminder of a previous C-VINE BREAKING News video on March 25th revealing in the KSM et al Military Transcripts about the taping of terrorist chatter and plans 6 months in advance of 9/11 HERE,
And another reminder of the brief video when we played the following Fox News Alert a couple times in past reports where 9/11 Victims and Family members were demanding the name releases of Saudi co-conspirators in federal court, but we were never able to find a judge’s ruling on the issue. A copy of that brief video is HERE.
At least this will open up and expose what it is that needs to be exposed to take down what we all know who is involved in our government and frankly other governments that were all working together. But that is fodder for another video.
Yes, I have more information for you but it will have to come on the next news release… in the next day.
That being said….Some BREAKING GTMO News came through a couple hours ago that today’s DC-GTMO War Court flight was canceled and rescheduled for tomorrow after the charter aircraft was struck by lightning and then grounded in Miami. There were no hearings scheduled this week, and this particular flight was to support attorney meetings.
SHEESH! This is the second interesting GTMO Flight “issue” in a couple months! First time the flight slid off the runway into the water. Here is an article by the New York Times explaining what happened the last time HERE:
I think I will stay content covering the Tribunals from Ft. Meade via CCTV in Maryland. Struck by lightening? Really?
And in closing this report, I would like everyone to know I am on my knees in gratitude to our C-VINE family that has stepped up in a mind blowing way to help me cover these last tribunals. WOW!
Because of your love and encouragement to stay strong… I was able to view and report on the Tribunals LIVE! I am not talking about just financial support, but prayerful support and volunteer workers behind the scenes. This really has become a spiritual battle that can be exhausting and has been causing battle fatigue within our ranks. All of us continue to uplift each other through this storm. Mutual support is essential!
I was able to secure lodging and purchased one plane ticket to fly across the country. It was purchased on faith and believing the rest would show up to bring me home… and of course the way was shown. God is good!