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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Open Letter to Senator Leahy

From the father of Gary G. Swenchonis, Jr:

Dear Senator Leahy,
Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee

My name is Gary G. Swenchonis, Sr. I am the father of Gary G. Swenchonis, Jr who was murdered in the attack on the USS Cole on 10/12/00 along with 16 of his mates. Thirty nine other sailors were wounded in that attack as well.

Senator Cornyn’s office has informed me that you are not receptive to a Judicial Hearing into the issues surrounding the attack on the Cole, the subsequent failed investigation because of the lack of cooperation and overt interference on the part of the Yemeni regime, and our nation’s continued support of the Yemeni regime which is harboring three of the Cole bombers with 5 million dollar bounties on their heads. That failed investigation would have major ramifications for our nation just 10 months later on 9/11. But yet I just recently read where you asked President Obama for a Truth Commission to investigate the Bush administrations anti-terror programs. We think its way past the time for a Truth Commissions investigate President Saleh and how he has freed all of our sons killers. And how he refuses to take any action against other individuals in his country which aid and support Al-Qaeda. This support has been documented by the United Nations in some cases. Saleh has also released numerous captured terrorists who have returned back to Al-Qaeda, which has been documented. Some of these terrorists were freed from Guantanamo Prison. Why do we even bother to capture these terrorists, just to set them free to kill innocent people again.

There is more than enough evidence to prove the complicity of the Yemeni regime interfering with the investigation into the Cole attack, and Saleh’s continued support of Al-Qaeda. We are asking you to reconsider your decision in not letting the hearing take place. And to give the murdered sailors and their families the truth and justice that they have been denied for so long by our own government, and the Yemeni Regime. And in which they so rightly deserve.

As you know just recently President Obama decided to dismiss the charges against one of the Cole bombers, and to close Guantanamo. Effectively denying our son and us justice again. Unfortunately this has become a habit in dealing with all of the Cole bombers, except those killed by President Bush in the war, they have all gotten off one way or another. Please Sir, we are pleading with you to change your mind and let the hearing go forward. We have more than enough facts to substantiate our claims, and credible witnesses as well. I have been informed by the leading FBI agent that he will testify, and members of Able Danger, and the Commander of the Cole. I have also been told that some ex-cabinet members of the Yemeni regime will testify, and maybe the former commander of the Yemeni Navy too.

Sir, I hope you find it in your heart to take the side of truth and justice, and not partisan politics.

Thank-you for your time in these most serious matters.

Sincerely and Respectfully,
Gary G. Swenchonis, Sr. and Deborah Swenchonis
Remember the Cole!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Charges dropped against suspect in Cole blast

From the AP:

WASHINGTON – The Pentagon says the senior military judge overseeing terror trials at Guantanamo Bay has dropped charges against a suspect in the 2000 USS Cole bombing.

The military charges against suspected al-Qaida bomber Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri marked the last active war crimes case at Guantanamo Bay.

The legal move by Susan J. Crawford, the top legal authority for military trials at Guantanamo, brings all cases into compliance with President Barack Obama's executive order to halt terrorist court proceedings at the U.S. Navy base in Cuba.

Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said Crawford dismissed the charges against al-Nashiri without prejudice. That means new charges can be brought again later. He will remain in prison for the time being.

"It was her decision, but it reflects the fact that the president has issued an executive order which mandates that the military commissions be halted, pending the outcome of several reviews of our operations down at Guantanamo," Morrell said Thursday night.

The ruling also gives the White House time to review the legal cases of all 245 terror suspects held there and decide whether they should be prosecuted in the U.S. or released to other nations.

Obama was expected to meet with families of Cole and 9/11 victims at the White House on Friday afternoon to announce the move.