A onetime Pentagon worker and her lawyer who alleged in a suit that the Sept. 11 attacks were arranged or allowed by U.S. leaders could face sanctions as a result of their appeal.
In an opinion (PDF) issued on Wednesday, the New York City-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order to show cause why sanctions should not be imposed. The case had been argued only three weeks before. The court said the complaint was frivolous and affirmed dismissal, calling the suit a “fantastical alternative history.”
The plaintiff, April Gallop, said she was working at the Pentagon with her infant son on the day of the attacks, and both sustained head and brain injuries from the collapse of the building’s ceiling and walls. She alleges the Pentagon was destroyed, not by a plane crash, but possibly by a missile or explosives on the orders of U.S. leaders. She claimed the conspiracy was motivated by a desire to create a political atmosphere where officials could pursue their policy objectives and to conceal trillions of dollars in defense misappropriations.
The suit named as defendants former Vice President Dick Cheney, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other U.S. officials.
"The courts have no obligation to entertain pure speculation and conjecture," the 2nd Circuit said. In this case, the appeals court said, the plaintiff advanced inconsistent theories, including that the defendants may have ordered explosives to be planted in the Pentagon, may have hired Muslims extremists to carry out the attacks, may have used Muslims as dupes or patsies, or may have fired a missile into the Pentagon. Nor did the plaintiff cite any facts to support a conspiracy among the defendants, according to the opinion.