Six in Guantánamo Charged with 9/11 Murders: Why Now? And What About the Torture?

Finally, then, nearly six and a half years after the 9/11 attacks, the US administration has charged six Guantánamo detainees with, amongst other charges, terrorism, murder in violation of the law of war, attacking civilians, and conspiracy — adding, for good measure, that it will seek the death penalty in the case of any convictions.

The six men are: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), who confessed in his tribunal at Guantánamo last March that he was “responsible for the 9/11 operation, from A to Z”; Ramzi bin al-Shibh, reportedly a friend of the 9/11 hijackers, who helped coordinate the plan with KSM after he was unable to enter the United States to train as a pilot for the 9/11 operation, as he originally planned; Mustafa al-Hawsawi and Ali Abdul Aziz Ali (aka Ammar al-Baluchi), who are accused of helping to provide the hijackers with money and other items; Walid bin Attash, who is accused of selecting and training some of the hijackers; and, rather less spectacularly, Mohammed al-Qahtani, who is accused of trying and failing to enter the United States in August 2001 to become the 20th hijacker on 9/11.

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Iran’s defense spending per capita among lowest in Mideast

LONDON (IRNA) — Iran’s defense expenditure per capita remains among the lowest in the Middle East region despite having the second highest population behind Egypt, according to the new publication of Military Balance.

The 2008 edition said that Iran’s total defense spending for 2006, the latest available, was nearly 55 percent less that Israel’s, despite having ten times the population of the Zionist entity.

Per capita, Israeli regime’s expenditure was calculated to be nearly 17 times higher at an average of $1,737 per person compared with only $110 for each Iranian.

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Executions May Be Carried Out at Gitmo

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — If six suspected terrorists are sentenced to death at Guantanamo Bay for the Sept. 11 attacks, U.S. Army regulations that were quietly amended two years ago open the possibility of execution by lethal injection at the military base in Cuba, experts said Tuesday.

Any executions would probably add to international outrage over Guantanamo, since capital punishment is banned in 130 countries, including the 27-nation European Union.

Conducting the executions on U.S. soil could open the way for the detainees’ lawyers to go to U.S. courts to fight the death sentences. But the updated regulations make it possible for the executions to be carried out at Guantanamo.

David Sheldon, an attorney and former member of the Navy’s legal corps, said an execution chamber at Guantanamo would be largely beyond the reach of U.S. courts.

“I think that’s the administration’s idea, to try to use Guantanamo as a base to not be under the umbrella of the federal district courts,” he said. “If one is detained in North Carolina or South Carolina in a Navy brig, one could conceivably file a petition of habeas corpus and because of where they’re located, invoke the jurisdiction of a federal court.”

The condemned men could even be buried at Guantanamo. A Muslim section of the cemetery at Guantanamo has been dedicated by an Islamic cultural adviser, said Bruce Lloyd, spokesman for the Guantanamo Naval Station. Among those buried elsewhere at the cemetery are U.S. servicemen.

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Comcast Defends Role As Internet Traffic Cop

 

By Cecilia Kang

Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, February 13, 2008; Page D01

Comcast said yesterday that it purposely slows down some traffic on its network, including some music and movie downloads, an admission that sparked more controversy in the debate over how much control network operators should have over the Internet.

In a filing with the Federal Communications Commission, Comcast said such measures — which can slow the transfer of music or video between subscribers sharing files, for example — are necessary to ensure better flow of traffic over its network.

In defending its actions, Comcast stepped into one of the technology industry’s most divisive battles. Comcast argues that it should be able to direct traffic so networks don’t get clogged; consumer groups and some Internet companies argue that the networks should not be permitted to block or slow users’ access to the Web.

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Another Killing Spree in Mesopotamia: “Pacifying” Mosul

 “When I hear anyone talk of Culture, I reach for my revolver.” Hermann Goering (1893-1946.)

In the Orwellian world of the United States military, when a killing spree in Mesopotamia is embarked upon, it is called an “Iraq Pacification Operation’”. There have been hundreds of these (I abandoned counting at three hundred and eighty, with numerous more to go.)

Each ‘pacification’ has a name which brings a glimpse into a very strange mindset: “Operation Devil Thrust”, “Operation Terminator”, “Operation Scorpion Sting”, “Operation Sidewinder”, “Operation Roaring Tiger”, “Operation All American Tiger”, “Operation Panther Squeeze”, “Operation Warhorse Whirlwind”, “Operation Resolute Sword”, “Operation Wolverine Feast”, “Operation Arrowhead Ripper”, “Operations ‘Geronimo Strike’, ‘Rat Trap’ and ‘Grizzly Forced Entry’”. And from a porn show near you: Operations “Squeeze Play”, “Triple Play”, “Therapist” and “Tombstone Thrust”. ( http://www.globalsecurity.org )

Seemingly there are even “insurgent” cows, if “Operation Cowpens” lived up to its name. Al Cow-aeda, maybe?

Perhaps the oddest is: ‘”Operation Suicide Kings”. Suicide bombers of course, were unheard of in Iraq until the invasion. The title is no doubt a coincidence in macho “bring ’em on”, bragging. None however are titles which conjure up the joyously liberated, reveling gratefully, savoring their freedom and democracy.

Having “pacified” Iraqis in to the grave, from Abu Ghraib to Falluja, from Ramadi to Tel Afar, with numerous other murderous stop offs across the land of Abraham, the crusading Christian soldiers are moving onwards to “cleanse” Mosul. That it was the puppet “Prime Minister”, Nuri Al Maliki who used the expression is as inconsequential as he is – his orders come from the pacifiers and their masters in Washington.

In words and deeds, happenings in Iraq are chillingly redolent of Nazi Germany. Neighborhoods walled in and “cleansed” of Sunnis, others of Shias, Christians and Iraq’s richness of minorities … people who have lived together and inter-married since time immemorial. The distinctions were imposed with the incoming tanks and troops – divide and rule writ large. In Falluja, Goebbel’s ghost walks tall. The residents even have their own identifying arm patch to prove it. And it has certainly been cleansed, in uncountable thousands – exactly how many unknown, since in the words of General Tommy Franks it is not “productive” to count Iraqi deaths.

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Is this Justice? US accused of using ‘Kangaroo Court’ to try Men accused of Role in September 11 Attacks

Picture is not part of the original article but added by travellerev. Sometimes a pictures tells more than a thousand words.

by Andrew Gumbel

Global Research, February 12, 2008

The United States military announced yesterday that it was bringing death penalty charges against Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and five other men suspected of orchestrating the September 11 attacks, and intended to try them under the Bush administration’s much-criticised military tribunal system, which is subject only to partial oversight by the civilian appeals system.

The decision to use Mohammed and the others as guinea-pigs in a constitutionally dubious legal proceeding is likely to trigger a firestorm of anti-American sentiment in the Islamic world and spark a fractious domestic debate in an already highly charged presidential election year.

Concerns were raised last night of political interference by the White House in the military’s decision to go to trial in the middle of an election campaign in which the Republican frontrunner, John McCain, has made the fight against al-Qa’ida central to his election bid.

“What we are looking at is a series of show trials by the Bush administration that are really devoid of any due process considerations,” said Vincent Warren, the executive director head of Centre for Constitutional Rights, which represents many Guantanamo detainees. “Rather than playing politics the Bush administration should be seeking speedy and fair trials,” he said. “These are trials that are going to be based on torture as confessions as well as secret evidence. There is no way that this can be said to be fair especially as the death penalty could be an outcome.”

While few doubts have been raised, domestically or internationally, about the men’s involvement in the attacks on New York and Washington, just about everything else about their treatment has been bitterly contested and is likely to continue to be contested, inside the courtroom and out. Everything is laden with potential controversy – the decision to try the six men together rather than individually, the proposed venue at Guantanamo Bay, where all six are being held, the threatened use of the death penalty, and perhaps the most controversial question of all: the admissibility of evidence gathered through waterboarding and other coercive techniques generally defined as torture.

Even Brig-Gen Thomas Hartmann, the Pentagon official co-ordinating the case, acknowledged yesterday that it could be several months before a trial begins and months more, if not years, before any death penalty – assuming it is enforced – is carried out.

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Remember, remember the eleventh of september.

Watch this man speak, and understand the suffering these first responders go through, in their awarenes of how evil and callous their leaders are. They need money to help each other. Donate to the John Feal foundation. Not just the 16th but everyday. If you live in New York and you don’t have money give your time. That’s what they did on the 9/11.