Tuesday, August 28, 2012

9/11 hearings: Hear no evil - Opinion - Al Jazeera English

Lisa Hajjar
Lisa Hajjar is a professor of sociology at the University of California

9/11 hearings: Hear no evil - Opinion - Al Jazeera English.

Hurricane Isaac has caused a suspension of the Guantanamo military commission hearing for the five accused 9/11 suspects that was scheduled to begin on August 22. When the storm passes and the hearing on multiple pre-trial motions commences, it will produce fodder for a new chapter in the long, strange saga of American torture. 

The five defendants - Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Walid bin Attash, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali and Mustafa al-Hawsawi - were held for years in CIA in black sites and subject to what the government euphemistically terms "enhanced interrogation methods" before being transferred to military custody at Guantanamo in September 2006.

With another choice euphemism, the government describes them as "participants in the CIA programme". That participation exposed them to "classified sources, methods and activities". 

The challenge the government faces is how to prosecute people who have been tortured without putting the torturers and those who authorised them on trial, too. Of course, no one responsible for CIA torture has actually been put on trial, but these 9/11 defendants are a weak link in the wall of unaccountability.

If they testify or speechify about their "participation" in the CIA's interrogation programme, then journalists and others observing the military commission might hear things that the government claims would cause "exceptionally grave damage to national security". To avert that possibility, the government has produced a protective order to make everything the defendants say presumptively classified, pending completion of a classification review. 

Full-scale censorship

If the government's order is accepted by Judge James Pohl, then every time one of the defendants speaks, the sound will be cut off to the observation booth at the back of the courtroom where journalists and observers sit and to other remote sites where the proceedings are being projected. The sound system in that courtroom is set up for a 40-second audio delay, a feature utilised at other hearings that have taken place in it, including the 2008 arraignment of these five defendants. 

 Inside Story - Will the 9/11 suspects receive a fair trial?

In this case, however, the protective order would impose not a brief delay or selective blockage, but full-scale censorship. Only those words cleared by censors would ever be heard, later. Actually, they would never be "heard", but rather would be made available in the form of redacted transcripts. If the government prevails, observers at any of the 9/11 hearings would see, but not hear those on trial. 

In response to the government's move to censor the proceedings in this way, in May the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a motion requesting that Judge Pohl not accept the terms of the protective order on the grounds that it is inimical to an open trial and violates the public’s right to know what transpires at this historic military commission. Defence lawyers have also submitted a motion to end presumptive classification. 

The ACLU motion argues that the government does not have the legal authority to "classify defendants' statements containing their personal knowledge of the detention and treatment, including torture, to which they were subjected in US custody". In a lawyerly way, the ACLU motion pokes at the government’s absurd claim that they were "participants" by pointing out that any information they acquired about classified CIA sources, methods and activities was forced upon them by the government. 

Moreover, the ACLU points out, illegal methods of interrogation to which the defendants were subjected have been banned, and the secret prisons where they were held have been closed. Suppressing defendants' statements about their own experiences and knowledge about that history is not, as the government claims, necessary to protect methods because those methods are no longer in use.

The proposed suppression aims to limit and control public knowledge about that sordid chapter in the "war on terror", and that, the ACLU argues, is not legitimate. 

Declassified documents

Finally, what the defendants might say about how they were treated is not an actual secret, and the ACLU urges Judge Pohl not to succumb to the government's misrepresentation that it is. Copious details about the CIA programme, including the treatment of these five defendants, are publicly available in the form of declassified government documents and other reports as well as investigative journalism. 

Since 2003, the ACLU doggedly has submitted Freedom of Information Act requests for official documentation about the US torture programme and litigated to achieve results. The organisation has gathered a vast array of memos, reports and other information in an easy-to-search database.

While many of the official documents made available as a result of the ACLU's FOIA work are heavily redacted, they nevertheless expose the issues the government is now trying to suppress by censoring public access to defendants' words at the military commission. 

When the hearings on these motions are rescheduled, it will fall to the judge to decide how public these ostensibly public proceedings will be. Will he accept the government's position that these defendants' experiences and knowledge are a state secret that the public must not be able to hear? Or will he refuse to endorse the proposed protective order for censorship and the absurdist claims of grave danger which undergird it? 

Given the global ramifications of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the fact that this is the first trial to assign direct responsibility to people accused of being its perpetrators, the ACLU is absolutely correct in reminding Judge Pohl that "the eyes of the world are on this military commission". When it comes to this matter, the ears of the world are on it, too.

Lisa Hajjar is a professor of sociology at the University of California - Santa Barbara. Her research and writing focus on the laws of war and conflict, human rights and torture. She is the author of Courting Conflict: The Israeli Military Court System in the West Bank and Gaza. She is also co-editor of Jadaliyya and serves on the editorial committees of Middle East Report and Journal of Palestine Studies. Hajjar is currently working on a book about anti-torture lawyering in the US.



    Russian Expert Predicts Obama Will Declare Martial Law in America by End of 2012

    Igor Panarin, dean the Russian Foreign Ministry School for future diplomats, believes that President Obama will announce martial law by the end of 2012. He explains: “There’s a 55-45% chance right now that disintegration will occur.”

    In 2009, Panarin lectured at the Diplomatic Academy where he said that he believes that the US will begin to collapse in 2010. He compared America to Nazi Germany and blamed the US for the global financial crisis that destroyed the Russian economy.


  2. Beta testing complete: Have they cracked the race genetic code for eugenics?

    AIDS-Like Disease Mysteriously Appears Where Merck Conducted Vaccine Trials


  3. Dr. Mercola - Confirmed: India’s Polio Eradication Campaign in 2011 Caused 47,500 Cases of Vaccine-Induced Polio Paralysis

    2011 Polio Eradication Campaign in India http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/08/28/polio-eradication-campaign.aspx via @mercola

  4. I scream
    you scream
    red team ☭
    blue team

  5. Interesting map, PD. But if the naval map is correct, most of the east and west coast will be under water soon anyway........which with the way they are controlling the weather is a distinct possibility.


    Here are some Funnies from just today:

    Jim Fetzer says:
    August 28, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    “We had an expression in the Corps that captures rogue1 perfectly: 20 pounds of shit in a 10 pound sack! This is far beyond absurd, Craig. This guy should be permanently banned.”

    Jim Fetzer says:
    August 28, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    “Some of the most corrupt posts I have ever read occur here from rogue1, ruffadam, and SEO. Everyone is going to have to sort this out for themselves. These guys are grotesque.”


    grotesque - Neat word ....

    ... reminds me of gargoyles and the hunchback Quasi Moto. I think that is where I learned that word as a kid..

    ~Citizen Counter Provocateur \\][//

  7. Russian Expert Predicts Obama Will Declare Martial Law in America by End of 2012"

    "Declare" Martial Law???

    It IS martial law right now.

    The "US" is the most efficient maximum security police state ever to be imposed on a population.



  8. boomerangcomesbackAugust 28, 2012 at 7:32 PM

    Grow Tesk... Here's one of the chief banker mafia dons that TPB awarded whatever he wanted, whilst he "blackmailed" Congress, who stood in for the American people and handed him the Carte Blanche credit card for his schemes. Then they billed All Americans and stuck us with the interest payments too.


    So, we see TPB as Enemies of "The State of Being". And scum like this will run smack dab into Mr. Karma, and their hired thugs will be useless.

  9. 1950 - $425 Billion

    2012 - $54584 Billion



  10. Tornadoes: AR, AL, LA, MI follows the el haarpo derecho and supercells if they attempt to steer it on land. It would be nice to deluge the drought ridden Mississippi and breadbasket but don't be surprised for a sharp right 90 degree turn.

    Theres a very odd stationary front just prime for scalar winds. I think it's best not to assume they want the farmland watered unless they have just chemtrailed.

  11. The Phoenix in the birth canal between the transcendent and the manifest realms.


  12. DHS Source: “It’s going hot”

    Places of interest Eagan MN -44o 82o N

  13. boomerangcomesbackAugust 29, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    Its freaking HOT everywhere Puddy. No more so, than the Weather Wars and Financial Wars. http://www.blacklistednews.com/Obama_Has_Stolen_%245.3_Trillion_From_Our_Children_In_Order_To_Make_Himself_Look_Good/21264/0/38/38/Y/M.html

    Sure, its only "debt" money, ficticious fiat fool's money, yet I have a personal problem with the way its wielded. Lot's written on the subject, so no point in being re dun dant.

    I'm quite tired of the this steaming Titanic turd taco being served from a push cart.

    Certainly, there's something anybody can do to slow the impact.

    Consider your options...they are many. Enjoy the guerilla 'cause you're certainly living in a Zoo. Laugh! Sing! Shout! For Tomorrow you may have to stick the banana where the sun don't shine. Remember, your foe is just a shlo mo in search of mojo. And you've got the mojo.

  14. boomerangcomesbackAugust 29, 2012 at 5:48 PM


  15. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DU3I0Pi6y_8

  16. boomerangcomesbackAugust 30, 2012 at 5:28 AM

    Dog Poet has been putting up this link for a long time now. For some odd reason, he doesn't buy the guv "story"... Anyone with a brain larger than a chipmunk (this excludes Bush, Jr. the pathetic rodent) would see the subterfuge:


    In the "comments" section, a large list of Links to articles and videos are offered by readers. Here's just 2.


    "B-25 Bomber Hits Empire State Building (1945)"

  17. boomerangcomesbackAugust 30, 2012 at 5:37 AM

    REPOST: Just Go Home: Call for a US-Canadian General Strike Aug. 31-Sep. 4, 2012


    I agree. Every step these days, is a step which feeds the Beast. Humans have become chattel and "batteries", blood in the veins of the Beast. Unplug en masse. Unless you're a virus, and can get to the head.

    Preliminary Earthquake Report Magnitude 6.6 Mwb
    Date-Time 30 Aug 2012 13:43:24 UTC
    30 Aug 2012 12:43:24 near epicenter
    30 Aug 2012 08:43:24 standard time in your timezone

    Location 71.462N 10.723W
    Depth 8 km
    Distances 422 km (262 miles) ENE (70 degrees) of Ittoqqortoormiit (Scoresbysund), Greenld
    937 km (582 miles) NNE (25 degrees) of REYKJAVIK, Iceland

    Location Uncertainty Horizontal: 13.9 km; Vertical 2.8 km
    Parameters Nph = 591; Dmin = 424.0 km; Rmss = 1.08 seconds; Gp = 40°
    M-type = Mwb; Version = 7
    Event ID us c000cb69

    I have cofirmed to myself the Issac storm is indeed being steered by TROMSO. The Byz boys want Barry and the red dux weak for November. We will see what the counter is for October. The blue team blues are a comin.'

  19. It's a zero to one revolution Boom. It has to be on ones own terms. Organizational psyops and OCCU-Pi only weaken the cause. I have already striked. I got a tap from the authorities yesterday. Mind my P's & Q's and not quite a cease and desist. They did not want to tip their hand at what I posted or transmitted that has them in a twitter. I'll expand soon enough should I not get caught in a vortex of committee.

  20. For sheeple Fiat is the vis major. The occu-pi the sinusoidal energy sucker from the zeropoint. It's a useless waste of time to convince them.

    It will be the X-factor in the transition and basically neutralize any couterforce. I am on my own and so is everyone else. They better get to zero soon or just party like it's 1999 and burn their star out.

  21. BURNING MAN this week. Feeble but makes the case for what we should do globally. BURN THE EGO and DETACH from all frequencies thereof.



  22. lets take a brake,
    for two minutes of hate.

    .. Goldstein !!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  23. boomerangcomesbackAugust 30, 2012 at 8:29 AM

    We look forward to a parable account of the episode.

  24. Huh?

    Dunno - I'm just not a big one to subscribe to hating...

  25. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4zYlOU7Fpk