Scott Fenstermaker, an attorney for one of the five Islamic terrorists involved in the September 11, 2001 attacks, says all five, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, will plead "not guilty." See video below.
Fenstermaker represents Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali, the nephew of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. He says the men will not deny their role in the 9-11-01 attacks, but will "explain what happened and why they did it."
Mohammed, Ali and the others will explain "their assessment of American foreign policy," Fenstermaker said.Scott Fenstermaker seems to have a career-in-the-making defending Gitmo detainees. After President Obama ordered Ahmed Ghaliani, a one-time body-guard for Osama bin Laden, to become the first detainee to be tried in New York City, Fenstermaker entered Ghaliani's "not guilty" pleas. Ahmed Ghaliani is accused of being an al-Qaeda member and complicit in the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya. Ghaliani first appeared in a New York City courtroom in June 2009. The Republicans got it right:
"Their assessment is negative," he said.
Fenstermaker met with Ali last week at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. He has not spoken with the others but said the men have discussed the trial among themselves.
"This is the first step in the Democrats' plan to import terrorists into America," charged House Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio.
Ghailani's trial is scheduled for September 2010.
Scott Fenstermaker is not without controversy. New York Judge Kevin Thomas Duffy, wanted to know how Fenstermaker "came to be retained by the detainee."
The Ghailani case is not the first time that he [Fenstermaker] has clashed with the authorities over his representation of detainees. In 2007, another federal judge in Manhattan dismissed a petition he filed on behalf of Mr. Ghailani and other detainees. The judge noted that Mr. Fenstermaker had not met with or spoken with the detainees, nor was he “truly dedicated” to their best interests. Mr. Fenstermaker has appealed the ruling.
Last August, a federal judge in Washington removed him from an action he had filed claiming that Mr. Ghailani was being held illegally. That case was dismissed.
That same month, Mr. Fenstermaker was suspended as a member of the pool of civilian lawyers who work with military lawyers in defending detainees at Guantánamo, court records show. The military office that represents detainees wrote that his dealings with some of its lawyers had “been counterproductive” and that he had “not been forthright” about his representation of certain detainees.
In March, his suspension was lifted — but only in Mr. Ghailani’s case.Scott Fenstermaker is a New York City criminal defense lawyer, a graduate of Harvard Law School and a former Manhattan assistant District Attorney. If you google "Scott L. Fenstermaker USAF Academy, you see cache indicating that he graduated the Academy in 1984, but if it was ever on his own websites, it has been scrubbed. Not likely a detainee would find an AF grad appealing for representation.
Attorney General Eric Holder showed just how devious he is, this week when Lindsay Graham asked him how many terrorists, not arrested on U.S. soil, had been tried inside the U.S. Holder punted - Graham interrupted his ummms and uhhhhs, and told Holder that this has never been done, then added that Holder was "making bad history." Holder knew the answer, but didn't dare speak it. Lies, smoke and deception. Many hoped that, whether these men came to the U.S. for trial, or stayed in Guantanamo, they would carry forth with their previously stated wish to plead guilty, receive the death penalty and achieve martyrdom.
PowerLine says Fenstermaker has "represented a number of Guantanamo Bay detainees. As we see now, there is no way terrorists give up the "not guilty" plea, and the American stage. Listen in the video below, as Lindsay Graham quizzes Holder about a theoretical trial for Osama bin Laden - and when Holder's only answer is "it depends," Graham asks why bin Laden might be tried in a place different from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed? Perhaps this discussion is more important than the "not guilty" pleas of these five bound for New York City.