Published by The Lawfare Institute
in Cooperation With
Good afternoon, and warm tidings during this holiday season—a deeply meaningful season for so many peoples around the globe—to all of you. For us to be here over winter solstice on the shortest weekday of our year in the northern hemisphere, and when many we know are using every minute of that short day in order to set aside time for loved ones in family meals and community celebrations over the coming fortnight, is noteworthy in itself. We prosecutors, defense attorneys, and commission personnel are of course obligated to spend as much time here as necessary, with the judge and supervisors capable of requiring all to remain on site once proceedings in a case have begun. And certainly in recent years military personnel are often away from home over holidays. But for those of you who have chosen to travel long distances in order to observe or report on this pre-trial legal process, to be here this week has inevitably caused you to forego other things you might wish to be doing, and to forego those other things while in an environment that is more austere and less convenient than that to which you are accustomed. From this soldier’s point of view, the fact that you are willing to do so is heartening, because even as our legal system can be both exhaustive and exhausting to watch, the stakes in this case could not be higher for much that we hold dear. In particular, we are privileged to have been joined here this week by a survivor of the September 11th attack on the Pentagon, as well as by family members of four who were killed that day in the World Trade Center towers. Their stories are heart wrenching, and yet their journeys to this place and time also nevertheless inspiring. Gina Cayne met Jake Cayne on a blind date in 1986 at a Baskin-Robbins ice cream store in Marlboro, New Jersey, and married him four years later. She recalls how they dedicated their lives to their three precious daughters and were surrounded by family and friends. On September 11th, Jake, a bond trader at Cantor Fitzgerald, began his day, like any other, at his desk on the 104th floor of the North Tower when the first plane hit. He was 32. Gina’s best friend. Her first boyfriend. Her beloved husband. The father of her children. And now, twelve years later, Gina and her father—as well as five others still mourning their own personal losses on 9/11—are here, demanding justice under law, with dignity and with resolve. Summary of Twenty-One Commission Rulings and Other Proceedings Reveal Substantial Progress This Week This week, the Military Commission convened to try the charges against Khalid Shaikh Mohammad, Walid Muhammad Salih Mubarak Bin ‘Attash, Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, and Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawsawi continued its consideration of various pre-trial issues raised by the defense and the prosecution. The Judge examined the parties’ written briefs, heard oral argument, took witness testimony, and issued numerous written rulings.