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9/11 trial lawyer: CIA had its finger on Guantánamo’s mute button

Gitmo trial muted by CIAMystery solved, if there was any doubt: It was the CIA that hit the mute button in the war court earlier this year when a defense lawyer for the accused 9/11 mastermind began talking about the CIA’s secret overseas prisons, the lawyer said Monday.

The Jan. 28 episode so embarrassed Army Col. James Pohl, the judge in the Sept. 11 terror case, that he ordered the kill switch unplugged, an order the agency apparently honored because no outside entity has censored the court since.

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Guantanamo lawyer floats possible defense argument: 9/11 attack justified

Gitmo prisonThe accused mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks has a right to justify the worst terror attack on U.S. soil at his death-penalty trial, and that requires exchanging material about jihad with his defense team, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's lawyer told an Army judge Wednesday.

Veteran criminal defense attorney David Nevin invoked "recent history, ancient history" and "impressions throughout many areas of the world of Western oppression" in an argument to bring Guantanamo prison's legal-mail handling policy in line with what he cast as American Bar Association standards.

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Secret Evidence Kept From Defendants Debate in 9/11 Case

Khalid Sheik MuhammadKhalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other men accused of plotting the 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon returned to a military courtroom in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, today for pre-trial hearings that immediately became mired in a debate over how to handle secret evidence.

As a week of hearings began, defense lawyers said they weren’t willing to sign a memorandum of understanding on the handling of classified material because they said a judge’s order would prohibit them from sharing relevant evidence with their clients.

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Sons of FDNY firefighters who were killed by 9/11 illness losing chance to serve

 9/11 FDNY sonsThey dreamed of following in the firefighter footsteps of their fathers who died of 9/11-related illnesses. But then government bureaucrats declared their dads’ deaths weren’t heroic enough to be fully considered “in the line of duty.”

At least 13 men who banked on a longstanding FDNY policy granting children of firefighters who died on the job preferential status are devastated because their dreams have gone up in smoke.

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World Trade Center owners’ bid to sue airlines for 9/11 attacks blocked

Larry SilversteinThe owners of the World Trade Center were blocked Thursday from filing a multibillion-dollar lawsuit against the two airlines whose hijacked planes brought down the twin towers.

The ruling from Manhattan Federal Judge Alvin Hellerstein came after a four-day trial where the doomed skyscrapers’ owners sought to sue for at least $3.5 billion in the 9/11 terrorist attack.

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9/11 family members demand the FBI ‘come clean’ about Sarasota Saudis

Saudi family fled SarasotaA group representing 6,600 survivors and relatives of those killed and injured in the 9/11 attacks has called on the FBI to “come clean” about its investigation of Saudis in Florida who may have aided the terrorist hijackers.

The reaction by 9/11 Families United to Bankrupt Terrorism on Thursday followed news that former U.S. Sen. Bob Graham had accused the FBI in court papers of concealing the existence of its Sarasota investigation and impeding Congress’s Joint Inquiry into the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

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FBI's demands for private data struck down by federal court

Court stops private data lettersThe FBI has suffered a dramatic setback in its use of hyper-secret gagging orders in the name of national security to obtain the private data of US citizens, after a federal court struck down the practice.

A judge in a California US district court ordered the US government to stop issuing what are called "national security letters". Susan Illston said the letters, which have mushroomed since 9/11 under the Patriot Act, were unconstitutional as they breached the first amendment rights of the parties being served the orders.

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