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May 2023 Newsletter

Focusing On Plea Agreements In The 9/11 Case


Rule of Law Committee:

Work for Plea Agreements Remains the Focus of the Rule of Law Committee

The Rule of Law Committee continues to focus on plea agreements in the 9/11 case. Committee members met with staff in Senator Gillibrand’s office and are arranging a meeting with Senator Schumer’s staff to advocate for our position. While there has been no breakthrough on the “policy principles” in the plea negotiations, there have been some important developments. During the week of May 8, the prosecution will be holding in-person meetings with victim family members in New York and Boston that Peaceful Tomorrows members plan to attend. We hope there will finally be news of some progress. In a separate development, one of the defendants, Ramsi bin al-Shibh will undergo a competency hearing that was ordered by the judge. Since the evaluation will not be completed for 90 days, the hearings scheduled for this coming July will likely be cancelled. Pending the outcome of the competency hearing, if Mr. bin al-Shibh is found unfit to participate in plea negotiations, it could lead to severing the case against the five defendants into at least two separate proceedings.


Finally, we were deeply gratified to read the NYTimes Editorial, Biden Can Close the Legal Black Hole at Guantánamo,” which concludes: “The time to expect justice through the legal process has passed. As General Baker testified, ‘The best that can be hoped for at this point, more than 20 years after the crimes were committed, is to bring this sordid chapter of American history to an end. And that end can only come through a negotiated resolution of the cases.’ Mr. Biden has the power to help reach that end and an obligation to do so.”


Membership Committee:

The Membership committee has been reaching out to members not heard from for a long while via email, phone and mail. If you have NOT been contacted, please notify us. If you prefer not to get messages, let us know. There is no implied commitment to anything other than staying in touch and/or being kept up to date on our actions as well as related media.

A good time was had by all on April 14 when six of us met for lunch in Midtown Manhattan. All four of “the next generation” joined September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows (PT) in the last couple of years. Three lost fathers and Jack, his grandmother.

Kathleen is an artist and lives near Ft. Tyron Park. Rhiannon grew up in NJ and has lived in Dublin for the past several years. Jack is an aspiring writer and lives in Brooklyn, while Aidan is studying law at NYU.

It’s always so heartening when members can sit down together to share our stories and get to know each other – and this meeting was no exception. We all agreed that with the restrictions of the pandemic years lifted we should meet more often. Being considered are an informal get together in the New York metro area during the summer, and one in the Fall, location TBD.

Stay tuned!

Feel free to contact Phyllis Rodriguez at phylvicpeace@gmail.com with any further questions.

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