GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba — Some People who misplaced family members on 9/11 oppose the demise penalty for the accused terrorists going through trial at Guantanamo Bay. Glenn Morgan is just not amongst them.
“They’re killers,” mentioned Morgan, whose father, Richard Morgan, who died when the South Tower of the World Commerce Middle collapsed whereas he was responding to the incident as a part of Con Edison’s emergency administration staff. “I am not going to be unhappy if these persons are not alive.”
However Morgan says he additionally desires to rise above his personal thirst for retribution. And in that spirit, he has been donating artwork provides to be used by Guantanamo detainees and guards alike. Earlier this month, army officers who run the jail accepted his newest batch of donated provides, a small act of grace in one of many world’s most unforgiving locations.
“Glenn’s dedication to sending artwork provides to the high-value detainees and to the guard pressure is one other instance of how he cultivates humanity amongst those that can seem like on reverse sides,” mentioned Tammy Krause, who works as a liaison between sufferer members of the family and the protection staff of the confessed 9/11 mastermind, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
KSM, as he’s recognized, appeared in court docket final week with 4 different accused 9/11 conspirators because the ninth 12 months of pre-trial hearings resumed in a battle crimes case that many authorized consultants say is a nationwide embarrassment. A brand new decide within the case faces a steep studying curve as pre-trial motions over CIA torture and different issues have stacked up. No trial date is in sight.
The glacial tempo of the army fee proceedings is a matter of deep frustration for Morgan and different family members of 9/11 victims. Though the accused terrorists are in jail, the households need their day in court docket.
“To me, justice is telling the world, in a trial, what these terrorists did to homicide so many individuals,” mentioned Paul Berry, whose brother-in-law, New York Metropolis Fireplace Capt. William F. Burke, Jr., died within the World Commerce Middle’s North Tower whereas attempting to assist a paraplegic man to security.
“A trial is a spot the place not solely members of the family of the victims, however the American public and the entire world can witness the reality and see America dwell as much as its beliefs,” mentioned Terry Rockefeller, whose sister, Laura, additionally died within the North Tower.
“My mom died ready for a verdict; my father’s sister died ready for a verdict; my father’s brother died ready for a verdict,” he mentioned. “I am 59, and I do not wish to die with out a verdict.”
That, Morgan mentioned, could be a victory for the accused terrorists.
However as he waits, he mentioned, he additionally desires to make a optimistic distinction. He bought the concept to donate artwork provides in 2018, he mentioned, after speaking to his daughter, who’s an artist.
“I can both selected to do what’s proper or I can select to do what’s straightforward, and I select to do what’s proper,” he mentioned.
He says he has spent “north of $1,000” on the provides. Due to the blanket of secrecy that envelops the Guantanamo Bay jail, he has no thought which detainees, if any, have made use of them. U.S. Southern Command’s Joint Job Drive Guantanamo, which runs the jail, didn’t reply to an NBC Information request for info.
Detainees have been making artwork at Guantanamo for years. In 2017, the President’s Gallery on the John Jay Faculty of Prison Justice in New York Metropolis placed on an exhibition, “Ode to the Sea,” that includes 36 works created by prisoners.
After that exhibition, the Pentagon launched a overview of the way it handles detainee artwork and issued a press release saying the artwork remained the property of the U.S. authorities, in response to the New York Instances.
After efficiently donating provides in 2018, Morgan determined to strive once more.
“It’s onerous,” he mentioned. “Lots of people needed to say ‘sure’ to this.”
It’s tough to overstate the tradition of secrecy that pervades the army and authorized forms surrounding the 39 detainees who stay in jail at Guantanamo. The Joint Job Drive releases virtually no info, and the safety measures round their operations are remarkably intense, provided that the prisoners are locked away on a army base in a distant nook of Cuba.
Protection legal professionals, regardless of holding High Secret safety clearances, will not be allowed to speak with their shoppers by phone or video convention, for instance.
And on a latest, sanctioned media tour of the courtroom and surrounding services, a army guard confiscated a drawing by the accredited courtroom sketch artist — and chastised a reporter for touching a chair by which one of many 9/11 defendants usually sits.
Common observers of Guantanamo say the bureaucratic warning has gotten extra suffocating through the years. So Morgan was considerably stunned two weeks in the past when he bought approval to donate extra artwork supplies.
“I used to be informed I had the chance to ship them on the following journey, and so I scrambled and purchased quite a lot of artwork provides,” he mentioned.
Morgan hopes it makes issues a little bit higher there for everybody.
“Possibly people who take a look at themselves as pure adversaries can take a look at themselves as standing throughout a bridge,” he mentioned. “Whenever you see somebody’s artwork, you get to have a window inside them. Its’s like, ‘Oh my gosh, that individual’s human. I’ll wish to punish that individual, however he is nonetheless a human being.'”