Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Paul Robinson — legal blowback

Lawfare, according to Wikipedia, is ‘the illegitimate use of domestic or international law with the intention of damaging an opponent, winning a public relations victory, financially crippling an opponent, or tying up the opponent’s time.’ It is highly questionable what would constitute an ‘illegitimate use of the law’, but what is true is that certain people are turning to the courts as a political tool, and that some courts seem willing to help them by making what seem to be highly politicized judgements.
In March of this year, for instance, a US court ordered Iran to pay $10.5 billion in damages to relatives of victims of the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. And today the US Supreme Court determined that Iran must pay almost $2 billion to relatives of Marines who died in an attack on their base in Beirut in 1983. Yet in an interview this week, US president Barack Obama opposed attempts to sue Saudi Arabia for its alleged role in the 9/11 attacks. Obama declared: ‘If we open up the possibility that individuals in the United States can routinely start suing other governments, then we are also opening up the United States to being continually sued by individuals in other countries.’ Thus it is o.k. for Americans to sue Iran for $10.5 billion for 9/11, even though Iran was not responsible, but not o.k. to sue Saudi Arabia, even though a link is much more likely.…
legal blowback
Paul Robinson | Professor, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa


Matt Franko said...

"Thus it is o.k. for Americans to sue Iran for $10.5 billion for 9/11, even though Iran was not responsible,"

I would say a court of law said otherwise or the verdict would have been different... this guy must be a libertarian....

Matt Franko said...

" Iran must pay almost $2 billion to relatives of Marines who died in an attack on their base in Beirut in 1983."

No blood just munnie... and not even enough munnie... this one is still open...

Tom Hickey said...

The commission has found that eight to 10 of the hijackers passed through Iran between October 2000 and February 2001, Time magazine reported this week.

The magazine said that commission investigators have found that Iran had a history of allowing al Qaeda members to enter and leave the country across the Afghan border.

But the report does not offer evidence that Tehran was aware of the plans for the 9/11 attack.

Circumstantial evidence.

Here is some non-circumstantial evidence of interest about Pakistan's ISI. Like KSA, Pakistan is a US ally.

According to the 9/11 Commission Report, the 9/11 plotters spent between $400,000 and $500,000 to plan and conduct the attack:

al-Qaeda funded the plotters. KSM [Khalid Sheikh Mohammad] provided his operatives with nearly all the money they needed to travel to the United States, train, and live... The US government has not been able to determine the origin of the money used for the 9/11 attacks. Ultimately the question is of little practical significance.[102]

CNN and other news outlets reported in September and October 2001 that $100,000 was wired from the United Arab Emirates to lead hijacker Mohamed Atta prior to the attacks, by Ahmed Omar Saeed (Syed) Sheikh, a long time Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence asset.[103]

The report, which was later confirmed by CNN,[104] stated that "Atta then distributed the funds to conspirators in Florida... In addition, sources have said Atta sent thousands of dollars – believed to be excess funds from the operation – back to Syed in the United Arab Emirates in the days before September 11. Syed also is described as a key figure in the funding operation of al-Qaeda"[105]

The day after this report was published, the head of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence, Gen. Mahmood Ahmed, was fired from his position.[103] Indian news outlets reported the FBI was investigating the possibility that Gen. Mahmood Ahmed ordered Saeed Sheikh to send the $100,000 to Atta, while most Western media outlets only reported his connections to the Taliban as the reason for his departure.[103]

The Wall Street Journal was one of the few Western news organizations to follow up on the story, citing the Times of India: "US authorities sought [Gen. Mahmood Ahmed's] removal after confirming the fact that $100,000 [was] wired to WTC hijacker Mohammed Atta from Pakistan by Ahmad Umar Sheikh at the instance of General Mahmood."[106]

The 9/11 Commission Report concludes: "we have seen no evidence that any foreign government – or foreign government official – supplied any funding."[107] The difficulty in tracking the funding is due to the traditional means of zakat, a Muslim form of charitable giving essential to proper following of the faith [108] and hawala, another ancient system of transferring funds based on trust and connections, including family, clan, and regional affiliations.[109]



Tom Hickey said...


This on KSA

In May 2002, former FBI Agent Robert Wright, Jr. delivered a tearful press conference apologizing to the families who lost loved ones on 9/11. He described how his superiors intentionally obstructed his investigation into al-Qaeda financing.[111][112] Agent Wright would later tell ABC's Brian Ross that "September 11th is a direct result of the incompetence of the FBI's International Terrorism Unit," specifically referring to the Bureau's hindering of his investigation into Yasin al-Qadi, who Ross described as a powerful Saudi Arabian businessman with extensive financial ties in Chicago.[113] One month after the attacks, the US government officially identified al-Qadi as one of Osama bin Laden's primary financiers, through his Muwafaq Foundation, and they declared him to be a global terrorist.[114][115] A former FBI Counter Terrorism Agent commented that for someone like al-Qadi to be involved in 9/11 is "of grave concern."[116]

In June 2009 lawyers for 9/11 victims' families provided documents to The New York Times. The families of the victims formed an organization called Families United to Bankrupt Terrorism[117] and filed a civil suit in U.S. federal court that sought to hold The Saudi Royal family responsible for supporting Al Qaeda. On June 29, 2009 the United States Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of a lower court decision that held that the Royal Family are immune from suits in U.S. courts due to a 1976 law. According to The Times "The documents provide no smoking gun connecting the royal family to the events of Sept. 11, 2001. And the broader links rely at times on a circumstantial, connect-the-dots approach to tie together Saudi princes, Middle Eastern charities, suspicious transactions and terrorist groups". According to the Royal families lawyer “In looking at all the evidence the families brought together, I have not seen one iota of evidence that Saudi Arabia had anything to do with the 9/11 attacks”.

In February 2012, former U.S. senators Bob Graham and Bob Kerrey made sworn statements filed in federal court as part of this litigation commenced by the 9/11 victims' families in which the former senators stated that the government of Saudi Arabia might have played a direct role in the 9/11 attacks.[117][118] The two senators had reviewed top secret information concerning the 9/11 attacks when they were in the Senate. “I am convinced that there was a direct line between at least some of the terrorists who carried out the September 11th attacks and the government of Saudi Arabia,” stated former senator Graham in his sworn court document. According to Graham's sworn statement, unanswered questions remain regarding Saudi-sponsored financial links to Al Qaeda and the role of Omar al-Bayoumi, a Saudi citizen living in San Diego with ties to two of the 9/11 hijackers and to officials of the government of Saudi Arabia.[118] There remains substantial unreleased documentation related to these issues.[119][120]

On February 4, 2015, former al-Qaeda operative Zacarias Mousaoui who is imprisoned for life for his role in 9/11 attacks, told lawyers that members of the Saudi royal family, including former intelligence chief Prince Turki al-Faisal Al Saud, supported al-Qaeda to carry out its attacks.[121


Matt Franko said...

Tom this will all swing the other way if Trump wins... he has all but said so directly... so you can see why the "long knives" (as a metaphor) are out for him...