by David Vine
‘[...] Outside the United States, the Pentagon controls a collection of military bases unprecedented in history. With US troops gone from Iraq, it’s easy to forget that we probably still have about 1,000 military bases in other peoples’ lands.
The Pentagon has dispersed around $385 billion to private companies for work done outside the US since late 2001, mainly in that baseworld. That’s nearly double the entire State Department budget over the same period. Almost a third of the $385 billion has flowed into the coffers of just 10 top contractors, [with the largest amount going to] KBR, the former subsidiary of Halliburton.
Once upon a time, however, the military, not contractors, built the barracks, cleaned the clothes, and peeled the potatoes at these bases. This started to change during the Vietnam War, when Brown & Root, better known to critics as “Burn & Loot” (later KBR), began building major military installations in South Vietnam as part of a contractor consortium.
Pentagon spending on its baseworld has been marked by spiraling expenditures, the growing use of uncompetitive contracts and contracts lacking incentives to control costs, outright fraud, and the repeated awarding of non-competitive sweetheart contracts to companies with histories of fraud and abuse.
The $385 billion total is at best a rough estimate; the real totals are surely higher. And there’s been so much cost gouging that any attempt to catalog it across bases globally would be a mammoth effort. The $31-$60 billion in contracting fraud in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars alone, as calculated by the Commission on Wartime Contracting, suggests the global total could be astronomical.’
by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed
‘A whistleblower has revealed extraordinary information on the U.S. government’s support for international terrorist networks and organised crime. The government has denied the allegations yet gone to extraordinary lengths to silence her. Her critics have derided her as a fabulist and fabricator. But now comes word that some of her most serious allegations were confirmed by a major European newspaper only to be squashed at the request of the U.S. government.
In a recent book Classified Woman, Sibel Edmonds, a former translator for the FBI, describes how the Pentagon, CIA and State Department maintained intimate ties to al-Qaeda militants as late as 2001. Her memoir, Classified Woman: The Sibel Edmonds Story, published last year, charged senior government officials with negligence, corruption and collaboration with al Qaeda in illegal arms smuggling and drugs trafficking in Central Asia.
In interviews with this author in early March, Edmonds claimed that Ayman al-Zawahiri, current head of al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden’s deputy at the time, had innumerable, regular meetings at the U.S. embassy in Baku, Azerbaijan, with U.S. military and intelligence officials between 1997 and 2001, as part of an operation known as ‘Gladio B’. Al-Zawahiri, she charged, as well as various members of the bin Laden family and other mujahideen, were transported on NATO planes to various parts of Central Asia and the Balkans to participate in Pentagon-backed destabilisation operations.
According to two Sunday Times journalists speaking on condition of anonymity, this and related revelations had been confirmed by senior Pentagon and MI6 officials as part of a four-part investigative series that were supposed to run in 2008. The Sunday Times journalists described how the story was inexplicably dropped under the pressure of undisclosed “interest groups”, which, they suggest, were associated with the U.S. State Department.’
by Glenn Greenwald
‘[...] That the Obama administration is now repeatedly declaring that the “war on terror” will last at least another decade (or two) is vastly more significant than all three of this week’s big media controversies (Benghazi, IRS, and AP/DOJ) combined. The military historian Andrew Bacevich has spent years warning that US policy planners have adopted an explicit doctrine of “endless war”. Obama officials, despite repeatedly boasting that they have delivered permanently crippling blows to al-Qaida, are now, as clearly as the English language permits, openly declaring this to be so.
It is hard to resist the conclusion that this war has no purpose other than its own eternal perpetuation. This war is not a means to any end but rather is the end in itself. Not only is it the end itself, but it is also its own fuel: it is precisely this endless war – justified in the name of stopping the threat of terrorism – that is the single greatest cause of that threat.’
by Patricia Zengerle
‘A few dozen words rushed into law days after the September 11, 2001, attacks have been used to justify U.S. counterterrorism efforts from the war in Afghanistan to warrantless wiretapping and drone strikes, all on orders of the White House – and with little congressional oversight.
Now, as criticism grows that the law has been stretched well beyond its original intent to go after militant groups that did not even exist on 9/11, some Democrats and Republicans have begun writing legislation to update the nearly 12-year-old resolution.
That could restoke tensions between Congress and the White House over executive power, which were on display when Republican Senator Rand Paul staged a 13-hour filibuster in March to protest President Barack Obama’s use of unmanned aircraft to conduct targeted killings.’
by Natasha Ghoneim
‘Some of the families of victims who died on September 11th, as well as visitors to the site, are complaining about a proposed mandatory fee at the future museum in Lower Manhattan.
With a nonstop flow of people coming and going, the National September 11th Memorial and Museum has become one of New York’s most popular attractions.
“We all feel the loss as well as the family members,” one man said. “So the donations that they are receiving, I’m sure, with the thousands and thousands of people visiting, I’m sure they should be making enough.”
But museum officials say they need more money to cover operating costs. That’s why the board has voted to impose a $20 to $25 fee when the underground museum opens next year.
Jim Riches, who lost a son during the attacks, said he’s outraged.’
CNN/Time ran a poll with the question “Would you be willing to give up some civil liberties if that were necessary to curb terrorism in this country, or not?”
The results were:
Willing – 40%
Not willing – 49%
Depends – 9%
No opinion – 2%
‘The poll suggests that public attitudes toward terrorism and civil liberties have changed dramatically since 1995, when the deadly bombing of a federal office building in Oklahoma City first ushered in a new era of anti-terrorism measures that impacted the lives of ordinary Americans. Back in 1995, 57% of the country said that they were willing to give up some civil liberties if that were necessary to curb terrorism. Today, that figure is down to 40%, and it appears that the biggest change is in attitudes toward cell phones and email.’
[...] Muslim civil rights leaders say the anti-Islam reaction has been more muted this time than after other attacks since Sept. 11, which had sparked outbursts of vandalism, harassment and violence. Ibrahim Hooper of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which monitors bias and hate crimes against Muslims, said his organization has seen no uptick in reports of harassment, assaults or damage to mosques since the April 15 bombings. Leaders noted a larger, broader chorus of Americans warning against placing collective blame.
The change may only reflect the circumstances of this particular attack. The two suspects are white and from an area of the world, Russia’s turbulent Caucasus region, that unlike the Mideast, Americans know little about. Investigators say Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, and his brother, Dzhokhar, 19, who had lived in the U.S. for about a decade, carried out the bombings, although it’s not clear why.
But U.S. Muslims also credit a new generation of leaders in their communities with helping keep tempers in check after the attack. Many are the American-born children of immigrants who saw the impact of the 2001 terror attacks on their faith and have strived ever since to build ties with other Americans.
by Ann Mercogliano
A police officer stands guard while detectives walk in and out of 49 Park place. In the back of the neighboring building – an amazing discovery – police say what appears to be part of the landing gear from one of the commercial airliners that crashed into the Twin Towers September 11th.
“As you get closer you can see a series number and you see the word Boeing,” Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said at a presser Friday.
Now the question is, how exactly did it get there?
In protective gear, Commissioner Kelly got a look for himself.
by HEIDI EVANS
New York Daily News
Cancer among 9/11 responders is 15% higher than among people not exposed to the Ground Zero toxins, a study by Mount Sinai Hospital’s World Trade Center Health Program has found.
The increase was seen primarily in three types of the disease, thyroid, prostate and blood cancers, such as leukemia and lymphoma.
Researchers analyzing data from 20,984 participants in the WTC Health Program from 2001 to 2008 found 575 cases of cancer, compared with the 499 epidemiologists expected to see in the general population for that size sample.
The findings will be published online Tuesday in the medical journal Environmental Health Perspectives.
by Lila Shapiro
The Huffington Post
The mother of the brothers who have been named as the Boston Marathon bomb suspects told a longtime spa customer the Sept. 11 terror attacks were a U.S. government conspiracy to make Americans hate Muslims, said the customer, Alyssa Kilzner.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, mother of the brothers, told Kilzner she believed the conspiracy theory. “It’s real,” Kilzner said Tsarnaeva told her during the facial session. “She said, ‘My son knows all about it. You can read on the Internet.’
“I have to say I felt kind of scared and vulnerable when she said this, as I am distinctly American, and was lying practically naked in her living room,” Kilzner said.
Tsarnaeva’s younger son, Dhzokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19, also endorsed a 9/11 conspiracy theory, tweeting last year that it was an “inside job.”
by William Westhoven
Speaking at Drew University Thursday night while the manhunt continued for the Boston Marathon bombers in Boston, former United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said “we are safer than we were on Sept. 10, but we are not yet safe.”
Appearing as part of the school’s 2013 Thomas H. Kean Visiting Lecturer series, Rice said the attack in Boston evoked disturbing personal memories of 9/11 and that “whatever the origin of the horrible events in Boston this week, our conception of security has been shattered because we are an open society. We cannot protect everything. America’s notion of invulnerability was shattered on that September day and we will never feel invulnerable again.”
Recalling the Secret Service “levitating” her out of the West Wing and into a bunker after the 9/11 attacks, she said “From that moment on, our conception of security would never be quite the same. That a group of stateless terrorists could have come from a failed state, Afghanistan, brought down the Twin Towers, blown a hole in the Pentagon, caused a plane to be flown into the ground in Pennsylvania and probably, at perhaps a cost of $300,000, created the worst attack on the territory of the most powerful country in the world, your conception of security would never be the same.
“For the first time we would worry more about ungoverned spaces than powerful states. The real threats would come from Afghanistan, the high mountains between Pakistan and Somalia, and Yemen, and places where terrorists could train and hide.”
Abby Martin talks to former US Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, discussing her time spent confronting the establishment as a political insider, the Palestine-Israeli conflict and the never-ending War on Terror.
by Jennifer Farrar and Susan James
Here is a list of some of the worst bombings in the U.S. dating to the 1800s, including some famous attempts that failed:
— April 15, 2013: Two bombs explode in the packed streets near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring more than 140.
— Jan. 17, 2011: A backpack bomb is placed along a Martin Luther King Day parade route in Spokane, Wash., meant to kill and injure participants in a civil rights march, but is found and disabled before it can explode. White supremacist Kevin Harpham is convicted and sentenced to 32 years in federal prison.
— May 1, 2010: Pakistani immigrant Faisal Shahzad leaves an explosives-laden SUV in New York’s Times Square, hoping to detonate it on a busy night. Street vendors spot smoke coming from the vehicle and the bomb is disabled. Shahzad is arrested as he tries to leave the country and is sentenced to life in prison.
— Dec. 25, 2009: The so-called “underwear bomber,” Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, is subdued by passengers and crew after trying to blow up an airliner heading from Paris to Detroit using explosives hidden in his undergarments. He’s sentenced to life in prison.
— Sept. 11, 2001: Four commercial jets are hijacked by 19 al-Qaida militants and used as suicide bombs, bringing down the two towers of New York City’s World Trade Center and crashing into the Pentagon. Nearly 3,000 people are killed in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.
— Jan 22, 1998: Theodore Kaczynski pleads guilty in Sacramento, Calif., to being the Unabomber in return for a sentence of life in prison without parole. He’s locked up in the federal Supermax prison in Colorado for killing three people and injuring 23 during a nationwide bombing spree between 1978 and 1995.
— Jan. 20, 1998: A bombing at an abortion clinic in Birmingham, Ala., kills one guard and injures a nurse. Eric Robert Rudolph is suspected in the case.
— July 27, 1996: A bomb explodes at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta during the Summer Games, killing two people and injuring more than 100. Eric Robert Rudolph is arrested in 2003. He pleads guilty and is sentenced to life in prison.
— April 19, 1995: A car bomb parked outside the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City kills 168 people and injures more than 500. It is the deadliest U.S. bombing in 75 years. Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols are convicted. McVeigh is executed in 2001 and Nichols is sentenced to life in prison.
— Feb. 26, 1993: A bomb in a van explodes in the underground World Trade Center garage in New York City, killing six people and injuring more than 1,000. Five extremists are eventually convicted.
— Oct. 11, 1985: A bomb explodes at the Santa Ana, Calif. office of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, killing a director at the organization and injuring several others. The case remains unsolved.
— Nov. 7, 1983: A bomb blows a hole in a wall outside the Senate chamber at the Capitol in Washington. No one is hurt. Two leftist radicals plead guilty.
— May 16, 1981: A bomb explodes in a men’s bathroom at the Pan Am terminal at New York’s Kennedy Airport, killing a man. A group calling itself the Puerto Rican Armed Resistance claims responsibility. No arrests are made.
— Dec. 29, 1975: A bomb hidden in a locker explodes at the TWA terminal at New York’s LaGuardia Airport, killing 11 people and injuring 75. Palestinian, Puerto Rican and Croatian groups are suspected, but no arrests are made.
— Jan. 29, 1975: The U.S. State Department building in Washington, D.C., is bombed by the radical left group Weather Underground. No one is killed.
— Jan. 24, 1975: A bomb goes off at historic Fraunces Tavern in New York City, killing four people. It was one of 49 bombings attributed to the Puerto Rican nationalist group FALN between 1974 and 1977 in New York.
— Aug. 6, 1974: A bomb goes off at Los Angeles International Airport, killing three people and injuring 36. Muharem Kurbegovic, a Yugoslavian national who became known as the “Alphabet Bomber,” is convicted.
— Jan. 27, 1972: A bomb wrecks the New York City office of impresario Sol Hurok, who had been booking Soviet artists. One person is killed and nine are injured, Hurok among them. A caller claiming to represent Soviet Jews claims responsibility, but no arrests are made.
— March 1, 1971: The Senate wing of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., is bombed by the radical left group Weather Underground. No one is killed.
— March 6, 1970: Three members of the Weather Underground accidentally blow themselves up in their townhouse in New York City’s Greenwich Village while making bombs.
— Sept. 16, 1963: Four black girls are killed in a bombing at Birmingham, Ala.’s Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. Years later, juries convicted three Ku Klux Klansmen and one suspected accomplice died without ever having been charged. One of the four is still in prison and the others are dead.
— 1951-56: George Metesky, a former Consolidated Edison employee with a grudge against the company, sets off a series of blasts at New York landmarks, including Grand Central station and Radio City Music Hall. No one is killed. Known as The Mad Bomber, Metesky spends 16 years in a mental hospital.
— May 18, 1927: 45 people — 38 of them children — are killed when a school district treasurer, Andrew Kehoe, lines the Bath Consolidated School near Lansing, Mich., with hundreds of pounds of dynamite, and blows it up. Investigators say Kehoe, who also died in the blast, thought he would lose his farm because he couldn’t pay property taxes used to build the school.
— Sept. 16, 1920: A bomb explodes in New York City’s Wall Street area, killing 40 and injuring hundreds. Authorities conclude it was the work of “anarchists” and come up with a list of suspects, but all flee to Russia.
— Oct. 1, 1910: The Los Angeles Times building is dynamited during a labor dispute, killing 20 people. Two leaders of the ironworkers union plead guilty.
— May 4, 1886: A bomb blast during a labor rally at Chicago’s Haymarket Square kills 11 people, including seven police officers, and injures more than 100. Eight “anarchists” are tried for inciting riot. Four are hanged, one commits suicide and three win pardons after seven years in prison.
by Jessica Chasmar
Families of Sept. 11 victims are outraged after the 9/11 Memorial Foundation went back on its word not to charge a $2 fee for advance reservations made online or by phone.
“I don’t want the American public to have to pay a dime to pay respects to my son,” said Sally Regenhard, whose firefighter son, Christian, died in the World Trade Center attacks, according to the New York Post.
“They made … a vow that no one would ever be charged for going to the memorial, but money is the bottom line here.”
Jim Riches, a retired FDNY deputy chief who lost his firefighter son on 9/11, agreed, calling the $2 fee “disgusting.”
by Melanie Batley
Two government agencies took eleven years to respond to a Freedom of Information Act request, and in the end deferred the decision to another agency for further review.
The request from the non-partisan Judicial Watch organization was submitted to the Defense Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency in 2002 as part of a broad investigation into the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Judicial Watch promotes transparency and accountability in government and politics.
Judicial Watch said it received a letter on Tuesday saying the two agencies had no jurisdiction over release of the requested information and had forwarded the request to the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) to consider.
The NCIS told Judicial Watch, “Your request has been placed in our complex queue. At this time we are unable to provide you an approximate completion date.” The agency apologized for the delay.
Judicial Watch often makes FOIA requests, and in some cases has been forced to file lawsuits to get information usually considered within the public records.
“It’s not uncommon to get the run-around during the FOIA process and lawsuits are par for the course, but this shatters all records,” the organization said on its website. “Perhaps this one should be framed.”
The extremist US pastor Terry Jones announced plans to burn more copies of Islam’s holy book of Quran, a move which is likely to spark worldwide outrage.
Jones’ organization announced that members of the group will hold an event, which they call “International Burning of 2,998 Qur’ans,” to mark the 12th anniversary of September 11, 2001 attacks against the US.
The “2,998” reportedly represents the number of people who were killed in the attacks that destroyed the twin World Trade Center towers in New York.
The radical Florida-based pastor burned copies of the Holy Quran on the anniversary of 9/11 attacks in 2010, which caused angry protests in several Muslim and non-Muslim countries.
In November, 2012, an Egyptian court sentenced Jones, in absentia to death for his role in the production of a blasphemous anti-Islam movie and accusing him of desecrating Islam.
by Sarah Dorsey
The city began sifting through 9/11 material again April 1 in search of human remains—but a group representing victims’ families wants the effort halted until the mishandling of DNA at the Medical Examiner’s Office can be investigated.
The 9/11 Parents & Families of Firefighters and WTC Victims last week also called for an independent auditor to monitor all 9/11 work at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, and for an investigator to review all previous World Trade Center samples and order them retested if needed.
The New York City medical examiner’s office says it has started sifting construction debris from the World Trade Center site in an effort to find any human remains from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
The work began Monday. It’s expected to continue for about 10 weeks on Staten Island.
Deputy Mayor Cas Holloway said in a memo Friday that DNA testing will continue until every possible identification can be made.
City officials say about 60 truckloads of construction debris have been collected around the lower Manhattan site over the past 2 1/2 years. A skyscraper will replace the destroyed twin towers.
Some 2,750 people died at the World Trade Center in the 2001 attacks. So far, 1,634 people have been identified.
Abby Martin talks to Nafeez Ahmed, director of the Institute for Policy Research, about his new project cataloging hate speech, ‘Wikidpedia’, and how the war on terror relies on the perpetuation of Islamophobia.
Learn more about Wikidpedia here: http://www.sponsume.com/project/wikid…
Mr. President, what a high bar you have set for yourself in assuring us that you are no Dick Cheney when it comes to drones.
Wow, the country must feel so comfortably numb with your glowing self-assessment.
But actually Mr. President, you are probably worsethan Dick Cheney.
Because with Cheney, the Democrats screamed and yelled (ok, more like ineffectively grumbled and mumbled) about Cheney’s unconstitutional power grabs. Yes, with Cheney at least there was a modicum of pushback, a scintilla of oversight — even if it was only due to partisan politics.
With you Mr. Obama, indeed, the halls of Congress, the media, and the provocateurs of the prattle-sphere are mostly silent. And that’s what’s so dangerous.
Because who could believe that the first African-American President — a former Con-law professor, no less! — could so thoughtlessly, recklessly throw our Constitution under the bus?
Who would have imagined that such a man like Barack would have maintained a kill list that would please even the staunchest, most hawkish Republicans?
Who would ever think that a Democratic President would task his legal team for over two years to find the language and loopholes necessary to assassinate US citizens — even innocent 16-year-old citizens?
Tell me Mr. President, is your current aversion towards any oversight surrounding your drone program a faculty of your own lack of conviction in having killed all these people (allegedly a sum of more than 4700) or simply that you feel you are above the law? Because humbly, I think we are entitled to know.
And by the way Mr. President, glad to see you picked up Cheney’s idea of using minders when it comes to protecting WH arse. It works quite well in cover-ups. I should know, since Cheney used it with regard to the 9/11 Commission investigation. But again, you’re nothing like him, are you.
For me, it’s quite clear. You have gone from a Senator who allegedly believed in transparency, oversight, and the balance of powers — notably all requisite things in a d-e-m-o-c-r-a-c-y — and erased them from your memory banks. Not because you have cogent, intelligent reasons that reveal any sort of deep conviction on your own behalf, but rather because you’ve tasted power.
Should I expect you to take up fly-fishing on the Snake River in the near future just to be more like Dick?
Respectfully, Mr. President, perhaps there is one thing that separates your Administration from that of Bush/Cheney, at least they returned phone calls and told you — to your face — when they were going to stab you in the back.
by Mark Hamblett
American Airlines and other defendants sued in connection with the 9/11 terror attacks can claim the act of war defense to strict liability under a federal hazardous substance cleanup law, Southern District Judge Alvin Hellerstein (See Profile) ruled yesterday.
Hellerstein said in In re September 11 Litigation, 08 Civ. 9146 (AKH), that the exception to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA) was another reason why the owners of a building one block south of the World Trade Center cannot recover for damages and the cleanup of pulverized dust created when the twin towers collapsed.
The judge had already ruled in 2010 that Cedar & Washington, the owner of the 12-story building at 130 Cedar St., could not recover under the act against the World Trade Center owner, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, corporations affiliated with trade center lessee Larry Silverstein, and American and United airlines.
That ruling was based on the running of the six-year statute of limitations and the judge’s holding that damages to the building did not fit the definition of a “release,” such as a spilling, leaking or discharging, under the act, 42 U.S.C. §9601(22), nor were the building’s structure and contents “solid waste or hazardous waste” under §9603(3).
Cedar & Washington appealed, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in 2012 remanded for Hellerstein to consider the “threshold question” of “whether the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11 was an ‘act of war’ within the meaning of CERCLA’s affirmative defense.”
The act, which imposes strict liability for the release of hazardous substances, was passed in response to environmental damage at such notorious sites as Love Canal in New York and the Valley of the Drums in Kentucky.
The exceptions to strict liability are for acts of God such as natural disasters, acts of war or if the release is caused by a third party.
But Hellerstein said the statute does not define acts of war, Congress has declined to include terrorism as acts of war on more than one occasion, and the defense “has been raised infrequently and without success.”
In fact, he said, the only case where it was discussed to any extent was in United States v. Shell Oil, 294 F.3d 1045 (2002), where the United States sued companies for dumping acid waste by-products in making high-octane aviation fuels critical in World War II.
by Jordy Yager
House Homeland Security Chairman Mike McCaul (R-Texas) is pressing for answers about why the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has begun talks to allow air travelers from Saudi Arabia to use a pre-screening system to fly to the United States.
In a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, McCaul and nine other Republicans on the committee asked for more details about what steps the department is taking to guard against potential terrorists using Global Entry to enter the United States.
The lawmakers pointed to the 15 hijackers involved in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks who were from Saudi Arabia as a key reason to be concerned.
Free to do as he pleases, living out his days in the suburbs of northern New Jersey, a Syrian national who is a known associate of the 9/11 hijackers never has to worry about deportation by the U.S. government, according to an investigation by Fox Files.
With nearly 400,000 people waiting for U.S. citizenship, Daoud Chehazeh last November received political asylum for a third time after a series of bureaucratic screw ups at the federal level, according to a review of court documents and interviews with former federal and state investigators.
“It’s a slap in the face to Americans, especially the victims of 9/11 and the families,” said Jim Bush, who as a New Jersey state criminal investigator was part of the 9/11 investigation code-named PENTTBOMB. His partner in the investigation was Bob Bukowski, a now-retired FBI special agent.
“Three thousand people were murdered,” Bukowski said. “(Chehazeh) was definitely part of that conspiracy. … He facilitated the moves and protection up to the whole flight, basically, of Flight 77. Could we prove that in a court of law? No. But there are other remedies. Deport him. That’s what should have been done in this case.”
“This is an example of our national security policy gone mad,” Debra Burlingame, the co-founder of 9/11 Families for a Safe and Strong America, said. Fox Files’ findings and the connection between Chehazeh and the Flight 77 hijackers were especially disheartening because Burlingame’s brother, Charles, was the pilot of Flight 77, which was hijacked and slammed into the Pentagon.
“This is what comes of demilitarizing the ‘War on Terror’ and political correctness, treating enemies with the rights of ordinary people,” she said. “We owe a person like this absolutely nothing. His confederates were summarily executed by drone. This is an utterly incoherent national security policy.”
Chehazeh arrived in the U.S. in July 2000 from Saudi Arabia and quickly settled into Paterson, N.J.’s Middle Eastern community. Paterson was the launching pad for the plot, where 11 of the 19 hijackers passed through before the attacks.
By Nate Raymond
A U.S. appeals court weighed on Wednesday whether to revive claims by families of victims of the Sept. 11 attacks that allege Saudi Arabia provided material support to al Qaeda.
The plaintiffs, who also include insurers and companies that paid billions of dollars in property damages, asked the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to revive their lawsuit. The request follows a 2011 ruling that allowed similar claims to proceed against Afghanistan.
“The equities require we get this relief,” Stephen Cozen, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, told a three-judge panel.
Michael Kellogg, a lawyer for Saudi Arabia, argued that the plaintiffs had their chance, going all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court after their lawsuit was dismissed.
Courts have repeatedly held that a change in the law is no reason to reopen a case, he said.
“The defendants here are entitled to finality,” he said.
Victims of the 9/11 attacks began filing lawsuits against Saudi Arabia and alleged al Qaeda operatives and supporters starting in 2002. The cases were consolidated in 2003.
The plaintiffs alleged that charities acting as agents of Saudi Arabia knowingly provided funding and support to al Qaeda.