UPI: Transcripts Came From Lawyers Defending United, American
In Civil Trials
We may now know more about the motives behind what some analysts
have termed the "incredible" legal blunders of TSA attorney Carla
Martin. As you might recall... she's the government lawyer who nearly
derailed the government's case for putting admitted al-Qaeda
terrorist Zacarious Moussaoui to death.
Last week, federal prosecutors told Judge Leonie Brinkema that
Martin had broken the court's rules on information provided to
seven FAA witnesses -- some for the prosecution and some for the
defense. A string of emails she wrote to them -- including an
attachment of the prosecution's opening arguments -- has led to
accusations she was coaching the witnesses in the penalty trial of
confessed al-Qaeda conspirator Moussaoui.
But to what end? We may now have the beginnings of an answer to
"What we know from the email chain that was disclosed by
prosecutors last week, is she was first sent those transcripts by
lawyers who represent the two big airlines defending themselves in
a series of massive civil cases against them by the victims of the
September 11 attacks," Shaun Waterman, Homeland and National
Security Editor at United Press International, told ANN Senior
Editor Pete Combs Monday.
In addition to forwarding those transcripts to seven FAA
witnesses, Waterman says Martin also voiced her concerns about
prosecutors’ opening arguments -- when they said, had the FAA
been aware of the precise threat of the suicide hijackings, it
would have been able to warn airlines to take precautions against
short-bladed weapons being allowed as carry-on items.
That refutes United's
and American's civil suit assertions that there was nothing they
could have done to stop the 9/11 attacks, no matter what
information they may have had. It’s a key to point in their
defense against allegations brought by the families of 9/11
victims, who say the airlines could have done much more to protect
their loved ones on that deadly day in 2001. Attorneys for the
victims' families have already stated they believe Martin might
have coached transportation witnesses, in an effort to help airline
companies defend against the civil lawsuits.
In the days after the email revelation, United and American have
both distanced themselves from Martin.
Waterman says that American wrote to Brinkema over the weekend,
denying their lawyers have ever contacted Martin, nor had any
contact with her at all for at least a year. United issued a
statement asserting its conduct, and that of its outside council,
has been "appropriate" in the Moussaoui trial.
Martin will soon have to stand before Brinkema to answer for her
conduct. That should be an interesting conversation... and, of
course, ANN will bring you the highlights.