The US military has held a pre-trial hearing for five Gitmo inmates accused of planning the controversial 9/11 attacks in 2001 as the defendants maintain justice does not exist in the court martial.
Pre-trial hearings for Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and four other alleged al-Qaeda operatives opened Monday with a ruling that the defendants cannot be forced to attend the court martial at the US naval base and notorious prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, widely cited for torturing inmates.
Monday was the opening day in a weeklong pre-trial hearing on 25 reported legal disputes in the only presumed legal trial emerging from the highly controversial 9/11 terrorist attacks with mounting, unanswered questions about the role of US government elements in the attacks. The defendants are named in 87 charges that include conspiracy, murder, aircraft hijacking and terrorism. A trial has been tentatively scheduled for May 2013.
Press TV has conducted an interview with Mark Dankof, a prominent political analyst from San Antonio, to further discuss the issue. The following is a rough transcription of the interview.
Let’s talk about the pre-trial hearing that we have seen, or heard about any way because no cameras are there. What’s your take on all of this? First of all, we’re talking about 11 years after the fact of 9/11, and now that these trials will be taking place and in secret, what does that say about the judicial system in general in the United States?
It doesn’t say much for it at all, does it? It seems to me that this case belongs in a civilian court, not in Guantanamo.
Secondly, I agree with Captain Jason Wright who is the court-appointed attorney for one of these defendants - and that is that there is serious allegations that the United States government tortured these defendants in order to extract confessions; and that the way that things are being set up with this secret testimony and some of these appeals to national security secrecy is a convenient way of avoiding any conversation about how these confessions were obtained.
There is something else that is going on here that I think is very significant and very serious, and that is that many of us in the United States have come not to believe in the official version of what happened in New York that day at all; that in fact, there was a another element that was involved in this 9/11 situation that has gotten a free pass and that is the government of Israel.
When you look at the people who were conducting the official 9/11 investigation for the United States, it is very clear when you look at Mr. Chertoff and Mr. Philip Zelikow, that the two chiefs of the American investigation of 9/11 are both Israeli citizens.
I think this has a lot to do with why certain people who were involved that day were allowed to return to Israel unscathed when there was immediate circumstantial evidence of Israeli involvement in this thing.
Well, you just brought up something I wanted to talk about because, as you said, there are a growing number of people actually questioning the American government’s official version of what happened in 9/11.
Why isn’t there more pressure, let’s say from the media, from various organizations to put pressure on the US government that at least these hearings or trials would be open to the public or at least have cameras running so people could hear what these individuals are saying about their involvement or the lack thereof in the 9/11 scenario?
The passivity of the American public never ceases to amaze me. We can go all the way back to the Kennedy assassination as one example where there were serious questions raised from the beginning about the Warren Commission’s account of what happened to John Kennedy.
And as the years passed and as it became abundantly clear to many of us that President Kennedy’s death happened in a fashion that was other than that advertised by the Warren Commission, there was, nonetheless, never a really good, thorough, formal, official investigation of this whole situation. Many of us still believe that a cover up was involved in that.
I find it interesting that Arlen Specter died today, the former United States Senator from Pennsylvania, who at the time of the Kennedy assassination was the US attorney in Philadelphia, and he was appointed by the Warren Commission to come up with a series of things that led to the official conclusions of that commission including the so-called single or magic bullet theory as to how President Kennedy and Governor Connelly were wounded.
The fact of the matter is, of course, that it did not escape the attention of some of us that Arlen Specter had probably received more money from the Israeli lobby once he was inside the United States Senate than virtually any other politician in existence.
This is suggestive of the kinds of forces that some of us think are very much involved in covering up the truth about 9/11, and that includes a disproportionate power that the Israeli lobby has and that Jewish interests have in the United States in our news media that keeps some of this stuff from being discussed.
I think there’s a connection between the dynamics of what happened to John Kennedy and the official explanation in the Warren Commission report and what we are seeing all these years later in the 9/11 tragedy and the subsequent official explanation to what happened that many of us simple do not believe holds water.
If what you’re saying is true, what will it take for Americans to get control again over their government?
I don’t know what it’s going to take. It seems to me, and this is not a comforting thought, that it may take a tragedy of such monumental proportions that there will finally be an awakening of the American public to what’s happened here.
One of the things that I’m very concerned about is that that might well transpire in terms of an expansion of these American military involvements in the Middle East, chiefly spurred on by Israel and the Israeli lobby that will finally blow up in the Americans’ face, once and for all, both in terms of military catastrophe, political catastrophe and economic catastrophe.
Then if it comes to that, maybe we’ll finally see the American public saying enough is enough - we’re tired of what’s been going on with this for years - we’re tired of what’s happened to our banking system - we’re tired of what’s happened to our media - we’re tired of the bought-and-paid for character of our government - and we’re tired of the fact that when it comes to some of these criminal episodes that have happened in the United States, in some of our lifetimes, it always seems to point to the same sources especially when it comes to the after-the-fact cover-up of the truth.