The blog of Xeno, a slightly mad scientist
A military commission judge’s attempt to explain this morning why the 9/11 pre-trial hearing being held at Guantanamo Bay was briefly blacked out from observers yesterday has only caused more confusion.
Beginning the hearing of the five alleged September 11 co-conspirators this morning, Judge James Pohl said a “security officer” is in charge of cutting off the feed when he believes something classified is being discussed. The judge didn’t say who or where this security officer is or on what basis he makes his decision that the matter is classified. He didn’t even clarify whether there is just one security officer in the courtroom, or others receiving the real-time audio feed elsewhere with the ability to press the censor button.
In the situation yesterday, Judge Pohl explained, whoever it was should not have cut off the feed because Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s attorney, David Nevin, was merely talking about his motion to obtain evidence of secret CIA detention facilities, commonly known as “black sites,” which has been filed in court and posted on the public docket. Obviously a reference to it can’t now be considered classified.
Ultimately, Pohl said, he’s the one in charge of deciding when to “close the courtroom” — that is, when to cut off the audio feed that lets observers hear the proceedings. Still, he acknowledged that there are several audio feeds going to several different places, including one real-time feed that goes straight to the court reporter. And Judge Pohl said he’s not sure who hears that feed.
The judge was candid about his own confusion: “We’re relying on what we think the technology is, not knowing what it is.”
That’s not making the defense lawyers feel any better about it. Defense attorney David Nevin stood up to say that it’s important that he be able to turn off his microphone so no one — whether the court reporter or some unnamed government security officer somewhere — so he can have confidential conversations with his client. As KSM’s attorney, he’s ethically required to maintain his client’s confidentiality.
Defense lawyer Cheryl Bormann echoed those concerns. Is the audio feed to the court reporter recording her conversations with her client, Walid bin Attash? If so, it’s a violation of court rules as well as her ethical obligations.
Pohl, who’s presiding over the 9/11 case but didn’t invent the elaborate censorship technology created to limit the public’s access to it, agreed with the defense lawyers’ concerns. He just didn’t know how to answer any of their questions.
He promised to allow the lawyers to call witnesses later to explain to the court how the courtroom technology works. …
Where’s Dick Cheney these days? Since I won’t believe this fake trial any more than the fake killing of the already dead Bin Laden, here is some (satire I expect, but who knows…) that I found on the Internet:
“It was a terrible, terrible thing to do,” said Cheney, speaking in the lobby of Bethesda Cardiac Unit in Maryland, the nation’s most prestigious heart center. Reporters, his transplant team and members of his family crowded around Cheney, who served for eight years under President George W. Bush.
“Looking back, I can’t believe Karl and I actually did that,” he added, referring to former White House staff member and Republican strategist Karl Rove.
“There are a lot of ways to start wars. I don’t know why we had to kill so many Jewish people,” he explained. As reporters shouted their questions, Cheney raised his hand and said, “I am sorry, this is very difficult. I don’t have that much more to say. I just needed to get this off my chest.”
Cheney said that he planned the attacks so that the United States could get a permanent military presence in the Middle East, and have access to Iraq’s largely untapped oil reserves, the third largest in the world. “I can’t believe people didn’t put this together,” he said, “especially since we outlined the plan publicly in 1998. Even if people trusted me, I take responsibility for lying. It just wasn’t right.”
He said that it was Rove who came up with the date of Sept. 11, which translates to 9-11, “so that people would reminded of it as long as they lived, every time they see an ambulance or police car. It was very clever marketing. Karl is good that way,” Cheney said chuckling. “But it’s not funny. Sorry,” he added. …
He criticized the demolition of WTC 7, the third building to fall that day, as “sloppy work,” which he said was the result of “the CIA’s arrogance. They said nobody would notice, and by golly, they were almost right about that.”
He briefly mentioned how the Pentagon was really hit by a AGM-86B cruise missile, launched from an NSA destroyer on Chesapeake Bay. “It was not an airplane. It was supposed to be, but we had problems. We went to the backup plan, and visually it worked pretty well.” He made no further comment about the Pentagon.
Cheney then summed up the ways in which the government’s involvement was covered up. “But that’s not really an accurate description. The whole thing was a coverup.”
Attempts to contact former Pres. Bush at his home in Texas were not successful. Bush’s father, former Pres. George H.W. Bush, released a statement that said, “I never did like that guy.”
Truthout.org managed to reach Bill Clinton doing relief work in Namibia. “You would be real surprised how common this kind of thing is,” he said, while supervising a Habitat for Humanity house construction site. “I’m so glad to be out of the game.”
News of Cheney’s announcement spread around the Internet rapidly on Saturday, trending at record levels on Twitter as hashtag #yesireallydidit. Major news outlets, including The Washington Post and The New York Times, refused to carry coverage of the revelation. “We think that the vice president is suffering from medical complications or the influence of drugs,” the Times said in a statement. “We will not carry this story.”Josh Finkelstein, The Post’s longtime managing editor, was confronted by reporters at Washington’s famous Intelligentsia restaurant on D Street. He said, “This is absurd. This cannot be true.”
The White House immediately went on the defensive. Pres. Obama appeared at a hastily convened press briefing Saturday afternoon, flanked by the White House physician, Dr. Omar Kalibri, and Dr. Wilbur Smith, a medical psychiatrist from George Washington University.
“This is a medical issue, so I will let the appropriate professionals speak,” he said, turning the podium over to Dr. Kalibri.
“Sometimes when a major organ is transplanted, the patient takes on some of the psychological properties of the donor,” he said. “That seems to be what happened in this situation.”
The Associated Press reported several hours ago that Cheney’s new heart came from Richard Falcone, who was influential in the 9-11 Truth Movement in San Francisco. He disappeared mysteriously on Friday, March 23. The information was leaked to AP by an anonymous source at the Organ Clearinghouse Database (OCD) in Toledo, Ohio, which matches donors and recipients for the whole country.